BACKYARDBRACKET2020: HELLSCAPE YEAR’S APPROPRIATELY MAILED IN (AND LATE) ROUND TWO REVIEW/BCS PREVIEW

THE GIF REFERS TO…

both me writing up another one of these and this RECYCLED BCS matchup from two years ago, but we shall get to that in due time. Probably a lot quicker than it usually takes to get to that. Anywho ONCE AGAIN I am here to do my due diligence and put together something I plan on nobody reading. Just to capture a moment in time yanno? This must be what it is like to be a “Soundcloud rapper”…..welp we are down to our final two and it’s a familiar final two, with one of them being VERY familiar to the BCS as of late. So that’s…..I don’t want to call it an “accomplishment” but that’s something. It’d be more of an accomplishment if you fuckers ponied up and added a small cash prize to this slog, like I suggested years ago (particularly now that you’re all “degenerate gamblers,” but I digress. Let’s see how we got here, ONWARD…..

#2 Ocean Gate Fishing Club

DEFEATED BY

#8 Astoria Isotopes

9-5

WHAT WENT RIGHT — TOPES:

A couple of schmucks (Wainwright & Minor) put together those cute 7 IP CGs and those ended up being the difference, really…..4 measley SBs were enough to win that cat by 1…..the Fishing Club had a sub-40 RBI week which I’ve now decided is some sort of arbitrary cutoff for good vs. bad RBI weeks…..probably most importantly on the offense side was DJ LeMahieu being a man possessed (9 Rs, 4 2Bs, 4 HRs, 10 RBIs, .516 OBP)

WHAT WENT WRONG — Fishing Club

None of their schmucks were able to throw 7 IP CGs…..only 3 SBs from a team that used to steal more bases, LOOKIN AT YOU Trea Turner…..sub-40 RBIs and sub-30 Rs aren’t great….. on 10 HRs feels a little light…..a few fellas (Sano, Solak, Grossman) put up some ugly OBP numbers to drag down the team OBP, below the other team’s OBP…..somehow tied in QS even though they put up a 2.73 ERA and the ‘Topes put up a 4.41…..

#4 Barnegat Banana Slugs

DEFEATED BY

#6 Lacey Township Backdoor Sliderz

9.5-4.5

WHAT WENT RIGHT — LTBS

The Braves offense was once again fairly murderous…..got 7 RBIs outta Keston Hiura somehow…..got the victory in the Ks cat even with deGrom exiting his start early…..but chyea those Braves have just been murder for like a month…..

WHAT WENT WRONG — Slugs

They failed to grab a 2nd (and then ideally 3rd) Hold and they ran into a Butt Sliderz offense that was HAWT, that’s pretty much it folks…..OBP and RBIs were a little low (you can sort of blame Adalberto & Vladito for both) but why nitpick…..

BCS PREVIEW

#6 Lacey Township Backdoor Sliderz

vs.

#8 Astoria Isotopes

OVERVIEW:

It’s 2018 all over again folks, only THIS TIME the world is a smidge more hell-ish. Which I think is reflected here. The LTBS are the 6 seed once again but THIS TIME they’re facing a ‘Topes team that was the 8th seed and has no business being here, and also THIS TIME it is Doch’s 3rd straight BCS appearance and threatens to be his 3rd straight title (if he wins this sentence will be altered to delegitimize said title don’t worry). GUESS WE WILL SEE WHAT HAPPENS OR WHATEVER

GUYS™ TO WATCH:

BATS BATTLE — DJ LeMahieu (‘Topes) vs. Freddie Freeman (LTBS)

It’s the BCS so it’s going to come down to BEST vs. BEST and in this case we are referring to the two best hitters since the calendar hit September 1, and that’s been Freeman and LeMahieu for the whole LEAGUE if the “score” thing is to be believed. Unfortunately Acuna Jr. is third in that metric and I don’t know how he isn’t second, that metric is a bit of a mystery (also fellow ATL/LTBS Adam Duvall is 5th which just shows you how ridiculous those dumb Braves have been) so the ‘Topes will have to contend with THAT. But yea DJ will need to stay hawt and then maybe the ‘Topes hope law of averages cools down the Braves O a bit.

ARMED CONFLICT — German Marquez (‘Topes) vs. Jacob deGrom (LTBS)

SOMEHOW the two Coors pitchers are the ‘Topes best QS options, they both go twice this week but Marquez is the one that provides a bunch more Ks and ALSO the one that’s already went and given them a QS on Monday. They will seek another this weekend and ideally two from his counterpart (KYLE FREELAND, not sure why I was treating him as if he was in WITSEC). For the Butt Sliderz, they’ll get deGrom twice this week and he’s already gotten things popped off with a 7 IP 2 ER 14 K performance Monday evening. Thank GOODNESS that wasn’t a doubleheader or else the ‘Topes would have really been smartin’. But yea the LTBS are about as set up as they could as for in the finale between two deGrom starts and two from Aaron Nola INCLUDING a doubleheader start this very evening (ahem….. CG alert). So maybe I should have gone with Nola. And if I wrote this before that 14K game I probably would have but I didn’t and now I’ve written too much to go back and change it. Let’s move on.

PREDICTION:

Those who don’t learn from history are something something something, let the history teachers finish that one. But yea I would be a FOOL to not expect the LTBS to continue their run, and I am no fool, so that is what I expect them to do. Shall start writing the post that dismisses this as a legit 3peat now. Backdoor Sliderz WIN IT ALL AGAIN, 8-6

BACKYARDBRACKET2020: HELLSCAPE YEAR’S APPROPRIATELY MAILED IN (AND LATE) ROUND TWO REVIEW/BCS PREVIEW

BACKYARDBRACKET2020: HELLSCAPE YEAR’S APPROPRIATELY CHAOTIC (AND LATE) OPENING ROUND REVIEW/ROUND TWO PREVIEW

I CANNOT…

Stress enough, how little interest I have in pretending to care about the outcomes of these fucking things. AND YET…I feel I must capture them in time on the internet, until the Earth is swallowed up by the sun or we delete the blog or whatever. Maybe I’m just sour about incorrectly predicting 3 outta the 4 matchups. But NO I think I’m just over “blogging” as an art form. But so YEA this thing is on hospice, nobody should even read this, we are just going to bang it out for reasons unclear to even myself. ONWARD…..

#1 River City Fightin’ Margs

DEFEATED BY

#8 Astoria Isotopes

9-5

WHAT WENT RIGHT — TOPES:

3 Dongs for Matt Olson…..got some triples and the other team did not get any…..6 QS despite a fairly MEH 4.41 ERA…..6 Holds to grab that cat in a particularly contested Holds matchup…..just seemed to do justttt enough to grab cats or tie cats where the Margs put up solid numbers (SBs comes to mind, tied 8-8)…..

WHAT WENT WRONG — Margs

39 RBIs on 10 HRs feels a little light…..a few fellas (Sano, Solak, Grossman) put up some ugly OBP numbers to drag down the team OBP, below the other team’s OBP…..somehow tied in QS even though they put up a 2.73 ERA and the ‘Topes put up a 4.41…..

#2 Ocean Gate Fishing Club

DEFEAT

#7 Rojo’s Renegade Force

9-5

WHAT WENT RIGHT — OGFC

Two CGs and only ONE of them was the bullshit 7 IP variety (Gerrit Cole), Luis Castillo manned up and went the full 9…..managed to tie in 4 cats (2Bs, HRs, QS, Ws)…..got triples when the opponent didn’t get triples…..2 QS outta Kyle Hendricks…..all of a sudden the RRF were a team that DIDN’t get any Holds…..

WHAT WENT WRONG — RRF

Apparently they abandoned the Holds strategy at some point…..Alec Mills‘ 9 inning no-hitter wasn’t allowed to count for 2 CGs…..they only got to 11 starts which may have made ALL THE DIFFERENCE (but no probably not)(but close)…..

#3 Island Beach Bears

DEFEATED BY

#6 Lacey Township Backdoor Sliderz

9.5-4.5

WHAT WENT RIGHT — LTBS

The Braves offense was absolutely murderous for most of the week (7 Rs, 3 HRs, 13 RBIs, .571 OBP for Freddie Freeman, for example)…..some inconsistent rookie pitchers were fairly consistent (2.94 team ERA)…..bullpen contributed 3 Ws (and the team had NINE total)…..lots o’ Ks…..

WHAT WENT WRONG — Bears

All attempts to use the bullpens on doubleheaders imploded in their face with shitty relievers blowing Hold opps…..ostensibly good relievers also blew leads (6 ER in 2.1 IP for Kenley Jansen)…..Nicholas Castellanos stopped being good a few months ago (.192 OBP)…..

#4 Barnegat Banana Slugs

DEFEAT

#5 East Coast

12.5-1.5

WHAT WENT RIGHT — Slugs

MOST things, the offense was really cookin’ with 62 RBIs despite a so-so (but good enough to win the cat) .326 OBP…..9 Ws and 97 Ks outta the staff is really good…..getting 9 RBIs outta Alec Bohm is really good…..getting EIGHT out of Adalberto Mondesi (14 total for the year now) is really good…..Adalberto also out-stole the opponent 6 to 4, which is really good…..they hit more triples than their opponent…..they just did really good, good job…..

WHAT WENT WRONG — East Coast

uhhhh paltry K numbers…..mediocre RBI total despite an above-mediocre R total…..a few sub-.300 OBP fellas (Baez, Correa, Hoskins, Happ, McMahon) dragged down the bunch a bit too much…..starting Rick Porcello maybe cost them the ERA cat…..

ROUND TWO PREVIEW

#2 Ocean Gate Fishing Club

vs.

#8 Astoria Isotopes

OVERVIEW:

CHILDHOOD FRIENDS BATTLE (I think?) Both of these losers are the idiots that allowed the LTBS to win these past two years (I think?) and now one of them may be tasked with allowing him to do it again. Hard to root for either of these teams but especially hard to root for that city slicker fuck whose too good to SLUM IT in NJ for his friend’s children’s birthday parties. So fuck him go Fishing Club (I think?)

GUYS™ TO WATCH:

BATS BATTLE — Josh Bell (OGFC) vs. DJ LeMahieu (‘Topes)

This is entirely based on what’s already happening, which is DJ is on fucking fire (6 Rs, 3 2Bs, 3 HRs, 8 RBIs, .571 OBP). So uhhhh yea, Josh Bell should try to close the gap a bit in the 1B battle. Is my analysis. I am truly phoning this in so what do you want from me, me.

ARMED CONFLICT — Shane Bieber (OGFC) vs. Mike Minor (‘Topes)

Shane Bieber could realllllly do the Fishing Club a solid by grabbing a LEGIT CG, like a man, against the Tigers. And that is because the ‘Topes already got a helluva start out of their old friend Mike Minor (7 IP “CG” shutout dub with 8 Ks) to give them a commanding 2-0 lead in the all of a sudden juicy CGs category (cuz of these aforementioned doubleheaders), so that was helpful. And they’ll hope he gives them another solid start on Sunday.

PREDICTION:

The CGs give the Isotopes a nice early leg up but I’m going to suggest here that the Fishing Club prevails because fuck Mikey T I haven’t seen the guy in 8 months. Fishing Club advances, 7.5-6.5

#4 Barnegat Banana Slugs

vs.

#6 Lacey Township Backdoor Sliderz

OVERVIEW:

WELL I didn’t do my part (which I shouldn’t have been expected to quite frankly, haven’t won a playoff matchup in yearrrrrrrrz) so it’s now up to Barnegat to hault the Backdoor Sliderz march towards a third straight championship (which I’d then have to unfortunately note as illegitimate. If the Slugs have an offensive showing like they did in Round 1 I wouldn’t put it past them. If the Braves keep acting like Murderers Row that gets trickier. There’s also PITCHING in these fantasy baseball weeks. So we’ll see how the pitching goes I guess.

GUYS™ TO WATCH:

BATS BATTLE — Luke Voit (BBS) vs. Freddie Freeman (LTBS)

Luke Voit is still powering the Slugs offense (3 HRs, 8 RBIs already this week) so this matchup makes ALL THE SENSE. Last week Freddie Freeman was an absolute murderer so if Voit can outpace him this week that’d be nice. Real nice for the Slugs.

ARMED CONFLICT — Trevor Bauer (BBS) vs. Aaron Nola (LTBS)

Trevor Bauer is in many ways a person that shouldn’t be allowed to use the internet but BOY can he pitch this season, and the Slugs will get two starts out of him and the first one was a beaut (12 Ks). Another double digit K perfromance would be a nice boost. Speaking of double digit K performances, Aaron Nola has 4 of them this year including 10 in each of his last two starts. So he can be a real sonuvabitch like that. GOOD ARMED CONFLICT HERE.

PREDICTION:

This is one part noting the LTBS are good, one part wanting to annoy the Slugs, and one part acknowledging my prediction is more of a curse than anything. LTBS advances 9-5

THERE ANOTHER ONE ETCHED INTO THE PYRAMIDS OF HISTORY. OR SOMETHING.

BACKYARDBRACKET2020: HELLSCAPE YEAR’S APPROPRIATELY CHAOTIC (AND LATE) OPENING ROUND REVIEW/ROUND TWO PREVIEW

BACKYARDBRACKET2020: HELLSCAPE YEAR’S APPROPRIATELY CHAOTIC (AND LATE) OPENING ROUND PREVIEW

That blurry outline of a thing is what it’s allllll about folks (trophy’s actual location currently unknown?)

That’s right “OPENING ROUND”

Because I refuse to acknowledge the “Wild Card Weekend” as actual ~playoffs~ there was a win-less team in there for fucks sake. Also because this “preview” is late enough already so put two and two together. This is going to be appropriately half-assed because it’s been a half-assed sort of year and also I AM LOCKED IN. So let’s get this shit over with…..

#1 River City Fightin’ Margs

vs.

#8 Astoria (LIARS) Isotopes

OVERVIEW:

FINALLY a sense of normalcy in a broken world. In fact I was at Margs HQ POOLSIDE the other day and I do believe ownership implied the Margs winning this matchup might save lives or something? Aanywho the Margs returned to prominence in a big way by rebounding from an out-of-the-bracket finish in the ’19 season to the top seed in this weird gotdamned ’20 season. Their reward is a date with the team from Astoria that we all know full fucking well no longer resides in Astoria. If I can work in the POINTS SYSTEM early here uhhh the Margs lead the league at 101.5 points and the ‘Topes were 7th at 71.5 points and that is perhaps why the Margs had 5 more wins. They’ll look for another win against a longtime playoff foe in their first taste of Fantrax Bracket Action.

GUYS™ TO WATCH

BATS BATTLE — Manny Machado (Margs) vs. Nolan Arenado (‘Topes)

As these two Handsome Hot Corner Hotties go, often their teams’ respective offenses tend to follow. Last year it was Machado struggling to a pretty mediocre 108 wRC+ (LOOK IT UP) while Arenado was his same old self (plus a career high BA and OBP), but this “year” (all 40 fucking games of it) it’s Arenado that is struggling (88 wRC+) while Machado is hitting arguably the best he ever has (career high 149 wRC+, I’m just going to make all of these wRC+ get fucking used to it).

ARMED CONFLICT — Corbin Burnes (Margs) vs. Tyler Mahle (‘Topes)

The late start on this preview allowed me to sort of cheat but I SWEAR I selected Burnes vs. Mahle prior to their starts. Okay prior to Burnes’ start. And my thinking there was as follows: ‘Topes get a two start week out of a weirdly high-strikeout Tyler Mahle, so if you’re the Margs you’re hoping for somebody to at least MATCH Mahle’s Monday output (a 7 inning QS with 3 ER and 10 Ks). And then you hope the next Mahle start is dogshit, which is certainly possible (cuz it’s still Tyle Mahle). ANYWHO Burnes was able to do that on Wednesday afternoon and then some (7 inning QS/W with 0 ER and 11 Ks). So that’s what you want to see. If you’re the Margs. In your Armed Conflict®.

PREDICTION:

The River City franchise has longggg been a tough out in the first round. Which is what this is. Margs over ‘Topes, 8.5-5.5

#2 Ocean Gate Fishing Club

yanno what Brian worked really hard on logos so you’re getting your old logos you FUCKS
vs.

#7 Rojo’s Renegade Force

OVERVIEW:

The Ocean Gate Fishing Club enter this year’s dance as the #2 seed, but I mean that’s a game away from nearly being the #5 seed so WHO GIVES A FUCK. The POINTS SYSTEM paints a rosier picture however, as they easily clock in at 2nd place with 97.5 POINTS which is 8 POINTS higher than the #3. Higher points are better here. And on the flip side you have the Renegade Force which had 66 points, which is a very low total, but not so low that they were gunning for a seed in the top 6 (aka THE ACTUAL PLAYOFFS YOU CLOWNS) til just about the bitter end. They came up a bit short, but they also got to face that guy Guy who just put together the sort of season we burned Cliff at the stake for. So now the RRF are cursed to continue on, in a matchup with Heroy that’s pretty rivalry-free as best I can tell. Which is a shame because Rojo has said lots of terrible things to me about Heroy’s wife and child and I’ve just never told Heroy about them. So I blame myself here.

GUYS™ TO WATCH:

BATS BATTLE — Mike Trout (OGFC) vs. Kyle Tucker (RRF)

On paper this “battle” feels sort of ridiculous, Mike Trout is the best plaer in baseball and Kyle Tucker is not. But look under the hood and Kyle Tucker has been all SORTS of valuable this year, mostly because the Astros gave him whatever Magic Triples Elixir they gave to Evan Gattis that one year. So Kyle has 6 of them triples on the year and another one (or two) in this matchup would be HELPFUL. Or HURTFUL if you subscribe to the theory that Rojo wants no part of winning this week. Which I do. So it’s HURTFUL.

ARMED CONFLICT — Zac Gallen (OGFC) vs. Hyun Jin Ryu (RRF)

This Zac Gallen character is all of a sudden a bonafide STUD, which is unfortunate because Heroy owns him and he will squander the talent. And then you have Hyun Jin Ryu who was pretty excellent last year, and had regression written all over him as he moved over to the AL East, but has managed to be pretty darn good this year as well. And both of these fellas get two starts this week and GUESS WHAT both of their first starts came on Monday and neither did a great job. So let’s see if they do a better job next time. That may help dictate things yanno?

PREDICTION:

My prediction is that Rojo’s will to lose outshines Heroy’s will to fuck up. Fishing Club advances, 9.5-4.5

#3 Island Beach Bears

vs.

#6 Lacey Township Backdoor Sliderz

This is the second fuck alluded to below Heroy’s logo…

OVERVIEW:

In many ways, this matchup is for the VERY SOUL of the Backyard. The Island Beach Bears, the reluctant voice of this league/probably his generation (just hasn’t written a book yet) versus the Lacey Township Backdoor Sliderz, B2B BCS Champ and league VILLIAN. Nobody has ever won 3 in a row aside from that time I won 3 in a row (or 1.5 in a row if you guys want to be fags about it)(Heroy probably does) and DAMNED if I don’t intend to defend my honor, and Odom’s honor. And the league’s honor. For it is all we all have. The PROBLEM is the Backdoor Sliderz are likely a much better 6 seed than their first go-round as the 6 seed in their league debut, what with their 87.5 POINTS and their top 3 or so dynasty players and whatnot. The Bears on the other hand grabbed the #3 seed despite only amassing 73 POINTS (last I checked, these things change quick it seems) and despite an 0-3 start. They won 5 straight after that start, dropped one, and then won two more to close out the season so that should demonstrate SOME ability to win SOME matchups SOMETIMES. Here’s to hoping this is one of those times. Once again the league’s very soul is at stake you should all be rooting for me.

GUYS™ TO WATCH:

BATS BATTLE — Tim Anderson (Bears) vs. Fernando Tatis Jr. (LTBS)

Fernando Tatis Jr. has turned out to be the crown jewel of the worst trade I’ve ever made (little known fact, I remember a certain text from Odom that was like “it’s Altuve mehhhh” so I blame him a bit) as he’s been ridiculous this season. And just as sadly he’s also ridiculously enjoyable to watch. I LIVE for grand slam dongs on 3-0 counts in blowout games. So it’s a struggle. So it is of small consolation, but consolation all the same, to roster an equally ~fun~ shortstop of our own in TA. His hitting profile leaves a ridiculous floor but he’s ACTUALLY managed to sort of hold his own in the actual stats portion of this battle as well. NO REALLY LOOK AT THE FULL STATS:

Tatis (44 GP, 171 ABs): .310/.407/.655 (180 wRC+), 45 Rs, 10 2Bs, 2 3Bs, 15 HRs, 39 RBIs, 8 SBs

Anderson (32 GP, 136 ABs): .353/.390/.596 (167 wRC+), 35 Rs, 10 2Bs, 1 3B, 7 HRs, 15 RBIs, 5 SBs

ADMIT IT, closer than you’d think……and that shall likely need to remain the same this week.

ARMED CONFLICT — Sixto Sanchez (Bears) vs. Jacob deGrom (LTBS)

Certain members of the Backyard loveeeee posting shit about their young pitchers in the GC and for that reason you should all be THANKING me. Sixto Sanchez has been the best young pitcher out there and it hasn’t been particularly close and I shudder to think what the chat would be right now if he was on certain rosters. 25-2 K-BB PEOPLE. ANYWHO the Bears will have him for two starts this week, first one went swell (6 scoreless, QS/W, 6 Ks) and they’ll gladly take a repeat performance over the weekend. And even WITH that repeat performance the hope is that adds up to a few more Ks than deGrom racks up in his one start (13.13 Ks/9). Jacob racks up alotta Ks and throws the ball really hard. But Sixto throws it pretty hard too 😉

PREDICTION: This league has been terrorized by the Butt Sliderz for FAR TOO LONG. Like one entire year, where they terrorized the entire league and only lost once (to me). And then the previous year where they snuck into the 6th seed and won the championship like bastards. And then now here they are, 6th seed a-fucking-gain. YES they’ve won the championship two years in a row. But doing it three years in a row is really hard. So… BEARS SLAY THE DRAGON, 8-6

#4 Barnegat Banana Slugs

vs.

#5 East Coast

close enough…

OVERVIEW:

This one’s the long-winded chat post replete with *laugh crying emoji* versus the occasional GIF dropped into the chat out of nowhere. The guy I would never ever pick to win the championship because it’s more fun not to versus the guy I picked to win the championship but not because we are related. The Slugs are probably a tad peeved to have fallen all the way down to the 4 seed, with their 90.5 POINTS and all. But that’s life in the NFL and also life in a strange 11 “matchup” season. Fortunately their counterparts can empathize, as the East Coast franchise was in first place last time I wrote about this godforsaken fucking league and here they’re the 5th seed. But it’s the Backyard Bracket Baybay (I know because James Paxton is hurt) so both of you buck up.

GUYS™ TO WATCH:

BATS BATTLE — Luke Voit (BBS) vs. Nelson Cruz (EC)

SURE I could have made this about MI “stars” like Story & Lindor but uhhh I didn’t fucking wanna, so I didn’t. This one’s gonna be about the BIG BOPPERS. THE DONG DADDIEZ. THESE TWO GUYS. Luke Voit has managed to maintain the GAINZ from last year, in fact he’s increased his slugging percentage from .468 in ’19 to .SIXOHFOUR in ’20. Which is pretty dang good. But a number that’s better than that number is .SIX EIGHTY FIVE and that’s what Nelson Cruz is slugging these days, tops in the majors (Trout in 2nd at .671). Nelson is ageless and Luke is singlehandedly holding the Yankees offense together with glue and masking tape, and both of these boppers operate out of their respective teams Utility spots and I think it will be important for one of them to hit better than the other one this round. Cruz with the early advantage in Dongs 2-1, due to Doubleheader Dongs. But PLENTY OF ABs TO GO (which is why it’s okay for this preview to come out now)(go fuck yourselves)

ARMED CONFLICT — Max Scherzer (BBS) vs. Sonny Gray (EC)

If the Slugs were gonna set their rotation they’d likely set it for Mad Max to get two starts this week and that is PRECISELY what they’re getting. And Max has already given them one great start (7 scoreless, QS/W, 8 Ks) and you gotta figure he’s fixing to give them another one on Sunday. Maybe. So if you’re ~East Coast~ you’re going to need one of your best K guys to come out and match that sorta performance and the PROBLEM with Sonny is his last start came on 9/1 and he got 2 outs and gave up 6 runs. So then they skipped him once through the rotation. So now East Coast fans have to hope that mental refresher pays dividends and he comes out guns blazing Thursday.

PREDICTION:

Can’t back off that Pre-Season Prediction now baybay, East Coast advances 7.5-6.5

BACKYARDBRACKET2020: HELLSCAPE YEAR’S APPROPRIATELY CHAOTIC (AND LATE) OPENING ROUND PREVIEW

2020 IS ALL FUCKED UP: SO MIDSEASON AWARDS ARE MORE LIKE 0.6 SEASON AWARDS

Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}'s ...

TECHNICALLY SPEAKING, I would have declared last “week” to be more of the “mid-season” because we are basically working with a 12 “week” season just with most of those “weeks” being half-week horror shows. But I didn’t write this last week, probably because I didn’t want to or plan to. Also because it was Shark Week and that takes all of my focus.

But NOW, now I’ve decided a slow Monday workday means I should once again attempt to document this mess of a year for future generations. This time through the majestic beauty that is the mid-season awards. Mostly the lazy version from last year, that is. Also some “mid-season but more” Power Rankings at the bottom, we are going to fucking blink and the whole year will be over so these will likely be a one and done. Read it, don’t read it, I don’t care obviously. This is for science.

(All stats through 08/16/20 )

 

MOST ATTRACTIVE OWNER SISTER OR RELATIVE OR EX-GF OR SO ON OR SO FORTH:  All of them. All women are beautiful. It’s 2020 I don’t even SEE physical characteristics any more.

 

“FIRST HALF” ROY:  Luis Robert (LL)  –  80 ABs, 11 Rs, 6 2Bs, 3 HRs, 10 RBIs, 4 SBs, .333 OBP

This mighta gone to that REVELATION Jake Cronenworth had he been rostered for his three-baggers and/or two of his Dongs but he WASN’T and that’s the kind of hard-hitting investigation we do here at the Mid-Season Awards post. It also probably SHOULD go to Dobnak but I didn’t wanna because he’s just been lucky probs. There’s this thing called strikeouts RANDY perhaps you’ve heard of it?

honorable mention:  Randy Dobnak (‘Topes), Jake Cronenworth (‘Topes)

 

“FIRST HALF” ROLAIDS RELIEVER OF THE YEARLiam Hendricks (LTBS)  –  11.1 IP, 2 ER, 1 W, 17 Ks, 7 Saves, 1.59 ERA

I am NOT doing the cute shit where I give it to an RP eligible starter, and Hendriks slightly edges Britton by doubling up his Ks and having a dub.

honorable mention:  Zach Britton (Leviathans)

 

“FIRST HALF” IMMODIUM BEDSHITTER RELIEVER OF THE YEAR:  Craig Kimbrel (EC/Margs)  –  4.2 IP, 7 ER, 6 Ks, 2 Holds, 13.50 ERA

Craig was the Immodium award winner last year as well so we are just carrying over. To be fair to the Margs he did all of his damage on the East Coast Baseball Team, racking up 2 Holds in 3 appearances at a cost of 2 ER per appearance.

honorable mention:  Kirby Yates (BBS)

 

BEST NEW COMMISSIONER TYPE GROUP THING — N/A

WORST NEW COMMISSIONER TYPE GROUP THING — Shane/Brian: Trying to add an extra lineup spot was bad I guess but really I’m only still disgusted with the math behind 7 starts a mini-matchup thing when the full week number used to be 12. Impeachable offense. They should have stepped down.

 

BEST NEW OWNER — Guy (#IWTTGAAIGWC19): Yanno by default lets everyone beat him and that is what a good first year owner should do, terrible team name aside.

 

WORST NEW OWNER — Guy (#IWTTGAAIGWC19): Also by default. Also because THEY HAVE YET TO WIN A MATCHUP, which is something I tend to find impressive no matter how bad a roster looks. With this one it’s mostly understandable with the LEVIATHANS that is a Herculean performance by Shane to still hold onto last place for dear life.

But oh yea while I’m at it….

 

WORST TEAM NAME — #IWTTGAAIGWC19:  This is the least defensible aspect of Guy’s debut, as I SPECIFICALLY requested the orange man be left out of the league’s imagery. What is the point of this blog if people don’t listen to it, I ask you. And if the McCann/Smith administration had any balls they’d ban hashtags and force a name change to something more like….

 

BEST TEAM NAME — East Coast:  It’s simple it’s clean it’s to the point. It’s a man with the good sense to at least be like “YANNO WHAT I can’t think of a team name right nowand I don’t want to, rather than calling myself the ‘East Coast Coronas’ or something shameful.” I assume that was roughly the thought process. Very “Washington Football Team” of them.

 

OWNER MOST LIKELY TO DIE BEFORE SEASON’S END— ANY ONE OF YOU. Literally any one of you can die at any moment this year. Ditto for anyone and everyone you love. That’s generally the case any year I guess but in 2020 that is EXTRA THE CASE so it would be wrong to try and flip the coin here to decide whom is most susceptible to covid-19 (between Brian and Rojo though).

 

“FIRST HALF” LVP (Pitcher):  Matthew Boyd (LL)  –  19.1 IP, 22 ER, 18 Ks, 10.24 ERA

LAWD this man has been getting rocked. A nice dash of Tigers Homerism out of Shane to keep him on the roster, realllly not letting go of last place without a fight.

honorable mention:  Madison Bumgarner (RRF)

 

“FIRST HALF” MVP (Pitcher)Shane Bieber (OGFC)  –  34.2 IP, 5 ER, 5 QS, 4 Ws, 54 Ks, 1.30 ERA

In a year where most pitchers don’t even bother going the distance to be eligible for a win LET ALONE throwing a QS, Bieber having 5 here is a real sight to behold. Dylan Bundy having 4 is a surprise to say the least and Freeland having 4 (3 at home) is more SHOCKING than anything (with 4.56 K/9, no less) but this category wasn’t “most shocking ‘first half’ (pitcher)” now was it.

honorable mention:  Kyle Freeland (‘Topes), Dylan Bundy (EC), Trevor Bauer (BBS)

 

“FIRST HALF” LVP (Hitter)Scott Kingery (#IWTTGAAIGWC19)  –  47 ABs, 2 Rs, 1 RBIs, .180 OBP

There are some uglyyyyyy seasons all over the place out there but nobody has done absolutely nothing over more ABs than this man. Impressive in a way.

honorable mention:  Dee Gordon (#IWTTGAAIGWC19), anyone other than Edwin Encarnacion

 

“FIRST HALF” MVP (Hitter)Fernando Tatis Jr. (LTBS)  –  90 ABs, 20 Rs, 13 2Bs, 1 3B, 20 HRs, 52 RBIs, 7 SBs, .462 OBP

This is the only man I ever regret trading tbh, in alllll my years of fantasy, cuz that hair is so FUN and I think him and Tim Anderson would have been best buds and just yea. Who knows how much of this can be ~kept up~ but just an unfortunate situation regardless.

honorable mention:  Mike Yastrzemski (LTBS), Brandon Lowe (LTBS)

 

 

 

 

“MID-SEASON” POWER RANKINGS:

 

1.)  Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz (5-1-1)
       Preseason Rank:  1 (#3 at end of year though :))

The beauty of this season is either this team doesn’t win the title, in which case I declare the season totally valid, or they DO win the title in which case I declare the season a fraud. A lot of people had to die to keep Doch from truly being able to win three years in a row but here we are. Their sacrifices are appreciated. So the BAD NEWS is they lead in every offensive category except steals. That’s probably the bad news. And the most concerning aspect of the year thus far is the fact that the ButtSliderz have the top 3 league “MVP” candidates and two of them are relative schmucks. If you’re looking for better news I guess it’s uhhh idk Verlander injury? Bellinger has been shitty? They have the second fewest wins and second-worst ERA? I’m going to thank Robbie Ray for those sorts of things and just avoid talking about all of the pitchers they have outside of those guys that are actually pitching fairly well and just MOVE ON.

     League-leading Cats:  6 (Rs, 2Bs, 3Bs, HRs, RBIs, OBP)

League-worst Cats:  0

 

First Half” Team MVP:  Fernando Tatis Jr. (83 ABs, 16 Rs, 5 2Bs, 1 3B, 9 HRs, 21 RBIs, 5 SBs, .382 OBP)

First Half” Team LVP:  Ozzie Albies (44 ABs, 4 Rs, 2 2Bs, 1 HR, 6 RBIs, .196 OBP)

 

2.)  River City Fightin’ Margs (5-1-1)
       Preseason Rank:  5

I’m confused by it, I TRULY AM. I s’pose what we are seeing here is some confluence of Matt Olson & Xander Bogaerts being good, Machado rebounding, Harper being more productive across 55 ABs than a lot of guys are off 85, etc. have the Margs right back in the mix of things one year after missing the playoffs. Of course nobody misses the “playoffs” this year but BESIDES THE POINT. The point is this team would have been #1 in the rankings had they beaten the ButtSliderz last week but they didn’t (they tied) and I did the rankings a week late and here we are. The pitching has been a bit of a mixed bag but MOSTLY most of the young guys have been pitching well enough (May, Burnes, Cease, Woodruff, etc.). McCullers makes me sad 😦

     League-leading Cats:  0

League-worst Cats:  0

 

First Half” Team MVP:  Bryce Harper (55 ABs, 17 Rs, 3 2Bs, 1 3B, 4 HRs, 12 RBIs, 3 SBs, .493 OBP)

First Half” Team LVP:  Sean Manaea (20 IP, 17 ER, 18 Ks, 7.65 ERA)

 

3.)  EAST COAST (6-1)
       Preseason Rank:  3 (#1 EOY)

This is the team I picked to win the wholeee shebang when it’s all said and done so I guess it’s good they currently own the best record. That’s good I guess. They also currently have been getting good results out of their starting pitching (particularly Bundy, Gray, Kershaw, Carrasco) while simultaneously having to deal with injured starting pitchers and WHAT ELSE IS NEW there. For them. They’ve been dealing with that for a decade probably. Bats-wise Yelich has been so-so SO it’s been the likes of Realmuto, Rendon, and the beloved (by me, at least) Nelson Cruz that have been carrying the bats. ODDLY Dylan Bundy has been their best pitcher. Feels like that should be noted as many times as possible.

     League-leading Cats:  1 (Ws)

League-worst Cats:  1 (SBs)

 

First Half” Team MVP:  Nelson Cruz (79 ABs, 16 Rs, 4 2Bs, 6 HRs, 21 RBIs, .416 OBP)

First Half” Team LVP:  Amed Rosario (66 ABs, 8 Rs, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, .197 OBP)

 

4.)  OCEAN GATE FISHING CLUB (5-2)
       Preseason Rank:  2 (#3 EOY)

Typical Fishing Club just sorta hannnnnging around for the same reasons they always sort of hang around (Trout/Betts). Probably to be ultimately undone for the same reasons they’re always ultimately undone (Greg/Greggers). Trea Turner doesn’t have a SB so that’s weird and Tyler Glasnow has struggled a bit but OTHERWISE it should mostly feel like business as usual for this team. Of course they have enough big pieces to be dangerous in any playoffs matchup, but lets see which matchups they draw. I say.

     League-leading Cats:  2 (QS, ERA)

League-worst Cats:  1 (3Bs)

 

First Half” Team MVP:  Shane Bieber (34.2 IP, 5 ER, 5 QS, 4 Ws, 54 Ks, 1.30 ERA)

First Half” Team LVP:  Francisco Mejia (38 ABs, 5 Rs, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, .146 OBP)

 

 

5.)  BARNEGAT BANANA SLUGS (5-2)
       Preseason Rank:  6

The Slugs are more or less where I expected them to be by now, which is in position to be absolutely devastated by a Bo Bichette Jr. injury. That one is SAD and might be significant, but in the mean time they’re getting another really really good season out of Trevor Story and Whit Merrifield has been his usual v. valuable self and they’ve been getting Decent Dong Production (DDP) in lots of spots. So they should be pleased with that. Pitching here has run the gamet from really really good (Bauer, Lynn, Montas) to okay (Scherzer, Senzatela) to sorta bad (Gray, Gausman). Check back in two or three weeks and see what the ratios are there. And send Brian a card about Bo WOULDJYA.

     League-leading Cats:  2 (SBs, CGs)

League-worst Cats:  0

 

First Half” Team MVP:  Trevor Story (86 ABs, 20 Rs, 5 2Bs, 1 3B, 6 HRs, 14 RBIs, 4 SBs, .396 OBP)

First Half” Team LVP:  Eugenio Suarez (65 ABs, 7 Rs, 2 2Bs, 2 HRs, 6 RBIs, .278 OBP)

 

 

6.)  ATORIA ISOTOPES (2-5)
       Preseason Rank:  7

AS PREDICTED the ‘Topes are getting a bit ravaged by disease injuries, and yet they trudge on. This team might be one that could really benefit from a bye week in the “opening round” so it’s a shame they’re not currently in a position to do that. Don’t let the #6 ranking fool you. That’s just here because injuries and all they’re still putting up pretty strong offensive numbers, thanks to their Yanks (DJ/Judge *both currently injured*) Rox (‘Nado/Blackmon) and such. WEIRDLY their Rox (Freeland/Marquez) are also two of the few promising parts of their pitching persons. I THINK the Rockies are just playing really well right now, is the thing. Far better than the ‘Topes are. Let’s check back in with these dipshits in a few weeks as well and see how the health is.

     League-leading Cats:  1 (Holds)

League-worst Cats:  0

 

First Half” Team MVP:  Nelson Cruz (79 ABs, 16 Rs, 4 2Bs, 6 HRs, 21 RBIs, .416 OBP)

First Half” Team LVP:  Ozzie Albies (44 ABs, 4 Rs, 2 2Bs, 1 HR, 6 RBIs, .196 OBP)

 

 

7.)  ISLAND BEACH BEARS (4-3)
       Preseason Rank:  4

I am appreciative of Nicholas Castellanos and Dinelson Lamet and Rockies Mgmt. (for finally unleashing Garrett Hampson), and appreciative of very little else. Nearly nothing else.

     League-leading Cats:  0

League-worst Cats:  0

 

First Half” Team MVP:  Nick Castellanos (75 ABs, 15 Rs, 5 2Bs, 1 3B, 89 HRs, 1 RBIs, .353 OBP)

First Half” Team LVP:  Edwin Encarnacion 😦 (47 ABs, 5 Rs, 2 HRs, 3 RBIs, .184 OBP)

 

 

8.)  ROJO’S RENEGADE FORCE (6-1)
       Preseason Rank:  8

Never great to have the lowest OBP in an OBP league (thanks A LOT Elvis Andrus and Mitch Garver) but it isn’t all bad for the Renegade Force O, they’ve gotten some okay production out of a few fellas. WHICH fellas you ask? Marcell Ozuna and Joey Gallo. That’s basically been it. They’ve looked far better on the pitching side but it’s been a real bitter struggle between guys that are trying to be good (Darvish, Urias, Alec Mills) and guys that are trying to be bad (Bumgarner, Cueto, Morton) fighting for the soul of the team. Might not matter if the offense remains so fucking BLEH (109 total runs scored) but just the fact that Rojo remains in the league is a real treasure. Every day is a blessing people.

     League-leading Cats:  0

League-worst Cats:  1 (OBP)

 

First Half” Team MVP:  Yu Darvish (29 IP, 5 ER, 3 QS, 3 Ws, 27 Ks, 1.88 ERA)

First Half” Team LVP:  Madison Bumgarner (17.1 IP, 18 ER, 13 Ks, 9.35 ERA)

 

 

9.)  LAKEHURST LEVIATHANS (0-7)
       Preseason Rank:  10

My Manager of the Year vote has to probably go to Shane here; this guy REALLY stepped up this half-“season.” Saw a hotshot new guy come in that was making eyes at his last place perch and he has risen to the occasion, to make sure he too would not win a matchup for the entire first half. I am impressed. If you’re looking for positives on this team I guess it’s that Luis Robert has been good enough and Starling Marte has been good enough (but not Merrifield/Vladito good) and Max Fried and Framber Valdez have been very solid. If you’re looking for whom to thank for the record I guess you need to start with Matthew Boyd and then I don’t really know who else. Just a gutsy gritty performance from Shane this season, is all it is.

     League-leading Cats:  1 (Saves)

League-worst Cats:  1 (ERA)

 

First Half” Team MVP:  Max Fried (29 IP, 4 ER, 3 QS, 3 Ws, 28 Ks, 1.24 ERA)

First Half” Team LVP:  Matthew Boyd (19.1 IP, 22 ER, 18 Ks, 10.24 ERA)

 

 

10.)  #IWTTGAAIGWC19 (0-7)
       Preseason Rank:  9

We are giving these guys a pass this year I S’POSE and it is one that is sorely needed, as they have Cliff-ian team #s right now. So Cliff-ian I’m not going to dignify them with a discussion, but YEA the holes on the roster remain wideeeeee open. So very wide open. At least Jose Ramirez has looked good again.

     League-leading Cats:  0

League-worst Cats:  8 (Rs, 2Bs, HRs, RBIs, QS, Ws, Ks, Holds)

 

First Half” Team MVP:  Jose Ramirez (83 ABs, 16 Rs, 5 2Bs, 1 3B, 5 HRs, 18 RBIs, 3 SBs, .371 OBP)

First Half” Team LVP:  Scott Kingery (47 ABs, 2 Rs, 1 RBIs, .180 OBP)

 

2020 IS ALL FUCKED UP: SO MIDSEASON AWARDS ARE MORE LIKE 0.6 SEASON AWARDS

2020 is all fucked up so 10 Teams in FIVE Days: Numba 1 and Numba 2

ONWARD

 

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who knows (or cares!) what their actual logo is these days, it’s THESE GUYS okay

 

#2 Ocean Gate Fishing Club

2019 RECORD:  9-8-1 + BCS Runner-Up

PROJECTED 2020 RECORD:  7-3-1, 4th place (2-1 Playoffs, BCS RUNNER-UP ONCE AGAIN). The OGTFC or the OGFC or WHATEVER will forever symbolize something beautiful about the Backyard, in that they used to be (and maybe at the moment this feels more like a “used to be”) I felt the best team on paper (err screen) just about every single year and just about every single year that wouldn’t matter a fucking bit. So it Greg is ANNOYING I might spin that as him being a failure (I know being labeled a “failure” at fantasy sports cuts deep)(actually with Greggers it might) but what I really think it was about, even moreso than the team needing a re-branding as the LessWithMores, was about the IDEA that you could win with just about any roster. This shit’s more roulette than chess. ANYWHO it would be nice for the BDSliderz to not win this year so this point can seem legit, but we aren’t talking about them right now we are talking about Team Greggers. Go blow another BCS matchup you magnificent bastards.

SHORT SQUAD SYNOPSIS:  THE FISHING CLUB. Theseeee assholes. Fresh off their BCS appearance last year where they laid down like DOGS and failed to defend the honor of the trophy (which obviously doesn’t like going to the same team 2x in a row), they’re back with their solid core which keeps them in the hunt prrrrrobably every single year. Regardless of how ownership may try to stand in the way of that. Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, Trea Turner are all really really good Backyard participants. And apparently are pretty good IRL as well. Steady bats like Kris Bryant & Anthony Rizzo back those assholes up and then you have a whole buncha other assholes like Josh Bell, Jose Abreu,  JMichael Brantley, Kyle Schwarber etc. etc. that SHOULD be reliable but also COULD have a bit more room for regression baked in. Speaking of room for regression they also have kept a tether to their “Youth Movement” dayz by keeping guys like Nick Senzel, Kyle Lewis, & Eloy Jimenez around. The result is a bit of an incongruous combo of established bats and wild cards but it will PROBABLY work out for them. What do I know.

The pitching staff frustrated me below when I attempted to pick a dud and that’s probably a good thing, yes? They basically have 2-3 studs (Gerrit Cole, Shane Bieber, and perhaps Glasnow), 2-4 very good arms (Giolito, Castillo, maybe Glasnow here instead FOR NOW), and then 2-3 meh guys (Kyle Hendricks, Griffin Canning, Zac Gallen). What am I supposed to do with these names analyze them? I refuse.

 

SHORT SEASON STUD BAT:  LF/OF Eloy Jimenez  –  Eloy was certainly solid in year one but the scary thing, if there’s any way someone should find something in fantasy baseball to be ~scary~ (there isn’t), is that like Amed above Eloy got significantly better as the year went by. Perhaps cuz he’s shy of 24 years old. Let’s do the splits again I’m playing with the splits a lot for the finale: .241/.303/.482 in the first half vs. .292/.328/.592 in the second half. And that second half line can be dialed in even closer to a .308/.342/.575 line in Aug./Sept., with 14 Dongs delivered during that time. So yes THE KID IS GOOD. Could and should be even better this season.

SHORT SEASON DUD BAT:  SS Dansby Swanson  –  Tis a testament to the Fishing Club roster that I had to stare at it for a bit before I could select a “dud” (and really that goes for the top 3 in these here previews) but I’m settling on Dansby here. He may not be a large part of the OGFC’s plans but should he get thrust into action at some point methinks there’s a chance he’s more 2017 Dansby than 2019 Dansby. HALF SEASON SPLITS ALERT:  after a solid 1st half (.270/.330/.493) he turned back into a pumpkin in the “second half” with a .204 average and a .308 OBP and a ghastly .254 OBP. He also went from striking out 20% of the time in the 1st half to 30% of the time in the second half and you realllllly need to have a better slugging percentage than that abomination if you want to whiff 30% of the time. Also fuck his name.

SHORT SEASON STUD ARM:  SP Tyler Glasnow  –  Gonna keep this one simple: he was filthy last year in 60 IP so why can’t he be filthy this year in 50-something IP? He CAN. Not that this is going out on much of a limb, and tbh there’s just not many guys in this staff that I need to or want to go out on a limb for. BUT last year the Rays were a little cute with Glasnow’s usage and I think this year they treat him more traditionally (I am prepared to be wrong on this) and with that comes more traditional VALUE. Value added. He can be a top 20 arm, if not top 15 if not top 10. MAN did the Pirates fuck up or what…  

SHORT SEASON DUD ARM:  SP Griffin Canning –  I’m actually sort of mad at Heroy (I may also just be hungry) for giving me this group of good starters and then some MEH guys and now I’m supposed to pick the meh guy that I think will be most MEH? Sorta bullshit. But alright I’ll bite sure GRIFFIN CANNING why not. He does put up some solid Ks numbers but he’s also going to be a part of a 6 man rotation (PITUH) and gives up a lot o hard contact. Too much hard contact. Out of Griffin. So yea let’s pick him.

 

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#1 Lacey Township Backdoor Sliderz (ayyyy they can space it out now way to go Fantrax 🙂 )

2019 RECORD:  17-1 + BCS Champ (PROPS where props are due. But let’s not forget where that 1 came from 😉 )

PROJECTED 2020 RECORD:  8-3, 1st place (1-1 Playoffs).  Theseeee assholes again. After squeaking into the last available seed in the 2018 playoffs, and then winning the championship, the LTBS came back considerably stronger (or luckier? There’s some luck to this, it’s like poker, deal with it) and damn near ran the table. SO that’s two titles in two seasons for his Dochness, and staring at an attempt to become the second owner(ship group) in league history to 3peat. But he’ll have to do it in a season that will either be discredited by him or by everybody else, depending if he can actually pull it off. WE BELIEVE his luck will run out (See Soto, Juan) 

SHORT SQUAD SYNOPSIS: What else can ya say but say this team has slowly but surely amassed a potent roster, OFTEN it’s my fault even (Cody Bellinger, Ronald Acuna, Fernando Tatis, OOPS TEE HEE 🙂 ). All of those guys are apparently pretty good, the silver lining being Bellinger’s 2019 first half and Tatis’ 2019 in its entirety were prrrrobably a good chunk of unsustainable bullshit. You have to have talent to get to certain numbers, but of course, but sometimes you also have to have the Baseball Gods on your side. And this team did. Juan Soto being diagnosed with covid on OD and Freddie Freeman currently being a little girl about it on the IL right now are perhaps signs the Baseball Gods are trying to bake in some regression, and the rest of the league shall need it.

The Sliderz Armz are ALSO a problem for opposing teams, I mean obviously. They only lost one game last season they were a problem for everybody. Not sure why that isn’t clear. But YEA Walker Buehler is forreal good which is unfortunate, and Jacob DeGrom and Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke are here, and Aaron Nola is no slouch (this is another one of mine tee hee). At least the rest of the staff (Ray, Folty, Lucchesi) have the potential to not be aces, and I for one hope none of them are. Fuck em. And also LETS TALK BULLPEN. Like to keep everyone on their toes so I’m going to acknowledge the Lacey bullpen. Liam Hendriks and Roberto Osuna are good the rest are meh. BULLPEN COVERED

 

SHORT SEASON STUD BAT:  3B Justin Turner –  Justin Turner is a great fucking hitter and a great man but he is no spring chicken, so it seems like every season inevitably his knee starts barking or something and he’s sidelined. so BEHOLD Mr. Turner, you only need to hold up for 60 games this season. Should be a piece of cake, and should he stay healthy he should be a real stabilizing OBP presence on a roster that doesn’t need any stabilizing per se. But they’re gonna get it anyway.

SHORT SEASON DUD BAT:  2B Keston Hiura – It was tempting to jam Soto in here just to celebrate that news a bit more but I FOR ONE shall not be celebrating any covid IL stints this year cuz it’s too apocalyptic as it is. Lets just hope Soto misses most of the year and then is all out of sorts when he returns. But that him and his family are eventually happy and healthy. ANYWAYS Keston Hiura is likely a pretty good hitter but he is not a .400 BABIP hitter, cuz nobody is, but he was in 2019 (should also note fucking Tatis racked up a .410, just a real BLESSED season for the ButtSliderz amirite) so expect that number to come down this season (or who knows it’s 60 games, maybe it’s .500 this year) and with that comes the sweet sweet regression this squad deserves.

SHORT SEASON STUD ARM:  SP Vince Velasquez – This sickens me a bit because the last thing I need to do is root for this team to have a surprise stud pitcher BUT I still have love in my heart for VV and I believe he might yet be able to get his shit together under the Girardi regime. He’s had some problems with the long ball but there’s been talk of previous pitching coaches trying to work up in the zone in a way he was just plain uhhh BAD at, so I dunno. ERA could be 3.30 or it could be 5.30 and I wouldn’t bat an eye either way. I guess I have to root for the 5.30 though 😦

Wesley Snipes on Potential 'New Jack City' Sequel: "I Don't...Like ...

 

SHORT SEASON DUD ARM:  SP Mike Foltynewicz  –  The beauty of this blurb is that it’s the last little fucking blurb I have to write for this stupid thing and it basically writes himself because Folty already WAS shit for half a season just last season. And it wasn’t really beinc “unlucky” or something, Folty’s FIP in the first half was 6.15 (to match up to his 6.37 ERA. Of course he righted the ship and pitched to a 2.65 ERA in the second half (3.77 FIP) but I mean, he’s sucked once he can suck again. Try that line on your WIVES you dumb married idiots. I’m running outta gas here clearly.

 

 

AND SO MERCIFULLY IT IS OVER. THERE WE HAVE IT FOLKS. BASEBALL IS BACK, BLOG IS BACK (maybe, in a sense), WEEKLY REVIEWS WILL MAYBE BE BACK (as in like every 4 matchups), TRADE REVIEWS WILL…….eh I dunno. Commitment isn’t really my thing so lets stop this now. No need to get carried away. Best of luck to all of you in this cursed season, as the planet actively tries to exterminate our species (sort of rooting for it).

 

now look at this:

 

 

Feeding Habits - Brown Bear

2020 is all fucked up so 10 Teams in FIVE Days: Numba 1 and Numba 2

2020 is all fucked up so 10 Teams in FIVE Days: 3 & 4

 Alright my beautiful babies, FINAL FOUR here. I am sure this is where the win loss records fall apart but I don’t care, if baseball can’t be bothered to have the Toronto Blue Jays play in Toronto (or seemingly ANYWHERE) I can’t be bothered to line that shit up. Onward….

 

 

 

IBBears

We have many logos okay…

#4 Island Beach Bears

2019 RECORD:  8-9-1

PROJECTED 2020 RECORD:  6-4-1, 4th place (1-1 Playoffs). I mean not to toot my own horn here but I think I deserve some credit for all the GREAT PLAYERS that I have briefly owned, but no longer own. Alotta greats have passed through these doors. And what we are left with now is a team that I think is just top to bottom real solid. Solid but unspectacular, but steady enough to slot right in the middle of the ole playoff pack if we were still having playoffs with some level of dignity. Alas we are not having those. And alas I can’t be steered to victory by my co-owner but I’m sure he can advise me on enough moves to maybe win a playoff matchup for a fucking change? That’d be nice. I’m a simple man of simple pleasures.

SHORT SQUAD SYNOPSIS:  So now the FEELING I get when I glance at this roster is just…WOW. Such potential. Such potential that will be fully actualized. Ketel Marte and Austin Meadows are two young studs that were added last season and they’ll be real good OBVIOUSLY (the latter will need to return from this FUCKING virus first), Max Muncy is forreal and that dastardly Dave Roberts will have to really work overtime to keep benching him against lefties for no reason whatsoever, Marcus Semien was excellent last season and shall obviously be excellent again in his contract year, and BEST OF ALL Cavan Biggio is about to become a bonafide star. Ya got all that and ya got some other stuff and maybe Gary Sanchez will stay healthy and maybe Edwin<3 has one more great year in him. And by “one” I mean three. So that’s the bats.

The pitching I’m even PROUDER of, because Blake Snell is definitely healthy and definitely not bouncing balls in the dirt in his final “spring” tuneup. He pairs nicely with Mike Clevinger as two aces on the staff, which is a personal best for my pitching staffs. Behind them we feel like we’ve got a buncha guys that are top 50 arms or so, like maybe seven guys in the top 60 or something. The whole staff, just good solid arms (and Dinelson Lamet and Joe Musgrove can both make a leap and so obviously they both will). So Michael Kopech can take his ball and go home and see if I fucking care. Also I know I haven’t really talked about the bullpen for anyone else but I will for my team and my team only:  We are happy to have Kenley Jansen back as our longest tenured arm and we also feel like Nick Anderson is really good and has only the “Rays Ways” standing in his…..way. Please note I probably felt the same way about Jose Alvarado last season…..turned out to be a misfire. HEY IN THIS SPORT YOU FAIL 7 OUTTA 10 TIMES AND YOU ARE A HALL OF FAMER AMIRITE?!

 

SHORT SEASON STUD BAT:  SS Cavan Biggio  –  I had to ship Jose Altuve outta town just to CLEAR ROOM for this guy, that’s how much we believe in Cavan. Helluva walk percentage last year, made verrrry little “soft contact,” 14 for 14 in SBs. LOOK AROUND and there’s a buncha 20/20 talk surrounding this guy, with a few concerns about his “swings less than Votto” approach but there’s a deep dive on this very website that shows he picked up the ole swinging pace towards the end last year. Just read that or something IDFK:  https://www.fantraxhq.com/breaking-down-biggio-a-deep-dive-into-cavan-biggio/ 

SHORT SEASON DUD BAT:  SS Carter Kieboom  –  The dud part is a bit hard to pull off when discussing one’s own team CUZ I MEAN if I think a guy is gonna be a true “dud” I should just not be rostering that guy, but in Carter’s case there’s a few caveats. Firstly he’s a prospect I’ve had like twice now, and he still has a whole buncha minors eligible ABs to try and figure this thing out. So we need to ride out that eligibility OBVIOUSLY (even with the tweaks to that system, always tweakin ya tweakers). Secondly team ownership thinks he’s eventually gonna be a real solid bat, team ownership just isn’t sure if that’s going to come to full fruition in a shortened season where he will be most focused on not booting grounders over at third. Lest he lose time to fucking Asdrubal Cabrera. So Carter may have some growing pains in the year twenty twenty Anno Domini.

SHORT SEASON STUD ARM:  SP Dinelson Lamet  –  UNFORTUNATELY (using another chunk from a previous preview, this is just efficient writing) Dinelson has been a sleeper darling all offseason so that’s a curse in and of itself BUT…..we think they get it right on this one, for a change. Lamet was being treated with kid gloves last season as he returned from TJ but this year he’s supposedly in line to be allowed to throw “without restrictions.” He also supposedly throws two sliders (both nasty) and had about 13 Ks per 9 last year across 70ish innings. If we decided he qualified he would have had a top 20ish for starters swinging strike percentage (14%). PS Blake Snell was tops amongst starters at 17.7, Gerrit Cole was the next closest at 16.8 JUSSAYIN.  

SHORT SEASON DUD ARM:  SP Jake Odorizzi  –  As stated above we really find our collection of starters to be just CONSISTENTLY ABOVE AVERAGE but if I had to pick one guy I expect to let me down, without the influence of Dave Roberts (seriously I fucking hate that guy), it would be Jake Odorizzi. Because it certainly SEEMS like the Twins may have come to the decision he is best when pulled after the 5th no questions asked. He was very good last year, he was also only allowed to go 6 or more 10 times in 30 starts. PERHAPS QS is a dying stat anyhow and he just blends into the pack but also PERHAPS, that gets so annoying we have to tell him to hit the bricks. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

 

Bert Lahr (1895–1967) The Cowardly Lion in "The Wizard Of Oz" 1939 ...

#3 East Coast WhateverTheFuck (Lions?? Are they gonna be lion-themed?)

2019 RECORD:  10-8

PROJECTED 2020 RECORD:  7-4, 3rd place (3-0 Playoffs, BCS CHAMP).  That’s right that crown is NO ACCIDENT, friends. I believe, cuz I have to believe, that 3 titles in a row is just far too statistically unlikely to happen twice in this league. I also believe, as I have for several years now, that the core of this team is good enough to win a championship SHOULD THEIR OWNER PAY ENOUGH ATTENTION. Shorter season plays to the shorter attention span, ergo I predict they finally live up to the potential in the year TWENTY TWENTY. The asterisk title may be more curse than gift but all of the titles are pretty much meaningless, as is life, so don’t worry about it my brother. 

SHORT SQUAD SYNOPSIS: I feel like I’m always gassin this roster up in these things and I don’t feel like it’s a fraternal thing but I would understand if someone made that accusation but let’s do it againnnn I guess. I mean thank god we took Ketel from this roster or else LOOK OUT AMIRITE?! Nah but their bats are okay, and they got Rhys Hoskins as a return in that deal anyhow and he’s pretty damn solid in this league. Other bats that are solid to above solid include yanno pretty much the ENTIRE lineup. You could make an argument there’s some work to be done with a last OF spot or last two OF spots or something but everywhere else is pretty damn good to great, particularly that Christian Yelich guy and that Gleyber Torres guy  and that great for a long time now Anthony Rendon CHARACTER. The bats are really solid throughout folks. OH YEA also Francisco Lindor and Javy Baez. See what I’m saying here?

The INTRIGUE here may be that for years this team was pitching staff heavy and didn’t quite have the same firepower on the other side of the ball, and now the other side of the ball may be a smidge better. That doesn’t mean the pitching staff isn’t very good, though. Stephen Strasburg, Jose Berrios, James Paxton, Carlos Carrasco, Clayton Kershaw all potentially GREAT when right (which I acknowledge can be said about all sorts of injury prone pitchers out there). Now this staff probably has the most risk baked into it in alllll the Backyard but again, the thinking here is the short season might benefit them most of all for that reason. Perhaps there’s no TIME for these guys to get hurt. Also David Price probably did them a favor by opting out. Also I assume this team, like the rest of your teams, has some relievers and maybe those guys are good I dunno. Short synopsis has no time for (most) bullpens.

 

SHORT SEASON STUD BAT:  SS Amed Rosario –  NOT that this team needs any help in the middle infield, in fact they probably need less, but I actually well and truly feel something might actually go the Mets way in the form of a real GROWTH SZN outta Amed Rosario. The kid already made for a sneaky Backyard asset even as he struggled to get his OBP up to snuff, chipping in 15 triples over the past two seasons (4th best in MLB). But what intriiiigues me is the tale of two halves for 2019. A not ideal .299 OBP in the first half was replaced by a .351 OBP in the second half, and the slugging percentage ticked up ’bout 40 percentage points. Not sure he’ll ever be confused for a power hitter but a sustained .350ish OBP would give him plenty of opportunities on the basepaths, perhaps plenty of opportunities to score runs should the rest of the Mets DO THEIR FUCKING JOBS. Amed could certainly stand to try and work a few more walks into his game but there’s folks that think he can get the average up over .300. I read it somewhere. On the world wide web. So HERE…..Ryan does not own David Dahl are you happy? Does not own David Dahl yet? 

SHORT SEASON DUD BAT:  2B/3B Ryan McMahon – Ryan McMahon hits the ball pretty damned hard and his name is similar to Ryan’s name and he popped 24 HRs last year so what is the problem here why isn’t he in the stud section amirite?! UAREWRONG, cuz he also hit the ball on the ground 50% of the time which means he needed a TWENTY SEVEN PERCENT HR/FB rate to get to those 24 Dongs. Sure there’s guys that had higher rates last year (that wacky fucking new baseball of theirs) but uhhh that’s pretty high man. Not too many true talent 27% hitters out there. He also struck out nearly 30% of the time which is pretty damn high itself. There’s a floor to be found here, Coors be damned . And also just like get the fuck out of Garrett Hampson‘s way mannnnn.

 

SHORT SEASON STUD ARM:  SP Jordan Montgomery – Perhaps this is Casual Yankees Fan Bias or Regional Bias but I’ve been far too in tune with Jordan Montgomery’s tuneups this year and the guy has looked GOOD. I watched the start on Sunday and he mowed those bitch-ass Mets down. Breaking balls looked filthy, he’s claimed it’s the best he has felt in “a while” and I just think he can be one of the two or three best pitchers in the Yankees rotation this season. PERHAPS meaning that James Paxton isn’t but that would be cuz of injury or something, I like the Big Maple no BM (hehe) slander here….

SHORT SEASON DUD ARM:  SP Anthony Desclafani  –  They have a really good pitching staff so Desclafani is obviously their worst starter. Can’t I just stop here? I mean I probably could but I’ll go on. Sureeee he’s got pretty solid strikeout numbers but I just feel like this guy feels like he’s perpetually 25 and NO…..he’s 30. And he gives up a lot o Dongs and probably got lucky on both the BABIP and the strand rate last year. I just don’t think he’s particularly good, Sonny Gray made it work in the GAB but many other pitchers do not make it work there, more streamer than rostered fella IMHO. I DON’T KNOW WHAT ELSE TO SAY I ALREADY FEEL LIKE I SAID MORE THAN I NEEDED TO. 

 

 

 

I think this one may have had my most caps lock and we allllll know what that means. It means I’m getting bored of this shit already. THANKFULLY we have the final two tomorrow, which you can obviously guess (BUT NOT THE PLAYOFF PREDICTIONS MAYBE), so I’ll try and spice it up by including multiple personal attacks on both owners. I’ll also perhaps commit to some level of weekly reviews IN WRITING there to keep me honest, but when I say weekly I mean it will be like every 3 or 4 weeks or something boo hoo deal with it or write em yourself. I will see all of you, my many readers (Brian), tomorrow for the BIG FINALE and MULTIPLE REAL GAMES and POSSIBLY MIKE AND I EACH HAVING TO TAKE A BUNCHA AQUAVIT SHOTS.

 

now look at this:

 

 

jk nothing to look at eat a dick.

 

2020 is all fucked up so 10 Teams in FIVE Days: 3 & 4

2020 is all fucked up so 10 Teams in FIVE Days: 5 & 6

I really pondered why I write these before I wrote this, like I don’t give a shit about your teams I barely give a shit about my own. Same goes for fantasy sports as a whole. And the thing I care for LEAST really is this god forsaken blog. And yet I write, even though I don’t care about my readers. This may be why David Foster Wallace killed himself.

ANYWHO this one is gonna be my favorite, I think, so perhaps that propels me through. Might even get a bit verbose on this bad boy (which means lots of parenthetical asides such as so). These two were always meant to be together, we all know em and love em, they probably will be most offended by whomever I declare a “dud,” let’s not waste any more time and let’s bring em out here…….

First though CHECK THIS SHIT OUT….I should probably make this my logo, once I get tired of Brian’s tasteful interpretation.

Bear Surfing On Shark" Art Board Print by NoWukkasMate | Redbubble

SPEAKING OF…

#6 Barnegat Banana Slugs

2019 RECORD:  7-10-1

PROJECTED 2020 RECORD:  6-5, 6th place (0-1 Playoffs). I’m not going to sit here and imply that the BBS are going to be distracted by their League Office role (whatever those roles may be) in this topsy turvy 2020 season, I’m going to just say that the 6th seed is their true talent level. Regardless of the league office shit. WHICH, for my tastes, is off to an auspicious start 😉 😉 😉 (I’ve seen more leadership outta Biden and they’ve all but locked him in a basement until September, is what I’m sitting here implying).

SHORT SQUAD SYNOPSIS:  The FEELING I get when I glance at that roster is that of a team that oozes potential but needs about 75 things to go right all at once, in a year when NOTHING HAS GONE RIGHT. Which maybe presents a situation where things go right for the Banana Slugs because that’s the sort of thing that would go right in this sort of year so maybe that’s a “sane man in an insane world” sort of thing. Which is no doubt what Slugs ownership thinks of themselves. BUT YEA Vlad Jr. and Bo Bichette can certainly be something at SOME point but why would that happen in a 60 game sophomore season….is what I’m saying. They’ll also need these buncha guys (Rosario, Gurriel, Suarez, Soler, Voit) to keep all the GAINZ from their career years and maybe some of them do but surely not all of them. Because life needs to make SENSE. I do think the other two Royals make for nice assets in this here league and I do admit Trevor Story is a real fantasy monster these days. That is a truth I hold to be self-evident. BUT I accurately predicted a sophomore slump for him once upon a time and that’s sort of the theme here now isn’t it. Blue Jays. sophomore. slumps.

The pitching feels like it has less of a floor but there’s still some pitfalls:  Jon Gray pretty consistently pitches better at home than on the road and THAT has to piss Coors off, Trevor Bauer had some correct points about the labor negotiations but REMAINS a tool that picks fights on Twitter and dates his “agent”….decide amongst yourselves which of those things is more pathetic. And BASEBALL WISE GAB is a hitters park and Trevor has one lone and truly ~good~ season to his credit. Alright enough on that schmuck. Max Scherzer is, obviously, one of an ever-dwindling number of starters that can can and will carry a fantasy rotation in a week (which I guess would be TWO weeks in this son of a whore of a season)(Hamilton reference for Bri there). Chris Paddack & Kirby Yates I’m a fan of both of these Friars, they’ll be an asset for the Slugs surely. Anddd if post-PEDs Frankie Montas is still nasty this overall band of arms is probably in pretty good shape all things considered. I trust this ownership group to tinker as needed and I root for Bauer implosions that might test that tinkering. He’ll never quit him though.

SHORT SEASON STUD BAT:  SS Adalberto Mondesi  –  Lord knows I’ve shit on this man’s batting profile in the past and LORD KNOWS there’s a real floor here but LORD ALSO KNOWS there’s really not a more dynamic player in this league when he’s on. In theory. I can argue. Particularly since there is no lord. But yeah I know I’ve been skewing speed on these stud bats, I think sometimes, but Adalberto is in a class of his own (mostly) in terms of his ability to have a hot week and rack up 3 triples 6 steals that sorta shit. It appears trading Carlos Martinez for him was wise. Is what last year told me.

SHORT SEASON DUD BAT:  1B Yuli Gurriel  –  Yuli is ALLEGEDLY 36 now, and not to take this to a racial place, but let’s be honest that could mean 40. And he just used a juiced ball and a few trashcan bangs to bang his way to 35 Dongs (I saw a very compelling video of him seeing a Jonathan Loasiga changeup was coming last year via BANG BANG BANG. Anywho I’m not sure what the status is on the ball, I’m pretty sure they won’t use trash cans anymore, I’m also pretty sure it won’t matter either way. Yuli ain’t no slugging first basemen in my book and I won’t adjust that book for anybody.

SHORT SEASON STUD ARM:  SP Frankie Montas  –  UNFORTUNATELY for those league owners out there that enjoy seeing bad things happen to the Slugs, if there could possibly be such a thing (and honestly if that’s you what you need to do is look long and hard in the mirror and ask yourself what that’s about, and maybe cut your hair it’s getting really long. Brian is a decent man! You unknown scoundrels), it appears Frankie may be forreal. He’s looked great in whatever this spring training type thing should be termed and the velocity is there and he was named the Opening Day starter and the whole nine. Whole fuckin’ shebang. So that’s a shame. I think the Slugs got to just up and grab him at that point last year where everyone was waiting to grab him due to superior waiver order (something I don’t believe in) and now here we are, and we are just going to have to learn to live with it. At least Lance Lynn probably isn’t this good.  

SHORT SEASON DUD ARM:  SP JA Happ  –  JA, bless his heart, squeaked out a few extra years with some sorta elevating the fastball thing across a few seasons but he’s officially run outta fastball elevation. Guy can’t keep the ball in the park, Yankee Stadium certainly doesn’t help here, but I think he’s gonna suck hard and quickly lose his gig on both the Pinstripes and the Nanslugs. Banslugs? Nanslugs. MAYBE Nannerslugs.

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#5 River City Fightin’ Margs

2019 RECORD:  6-9-3

PROJECTED 2020 RECORD:  6-4-1, 5th place (1-1 Playoffs).  Pretty much the same synopsis above implies, because everyone knows this guy is trying to play PUPPETEER behind the scenes. Shadow government. Buy Shane dinner first before you jam your hand up there WOULDYA. But yea the Margs are what they are. 

SHORT SQUAD SYNOPSIS: I’m not entirely sure what happened to the Margs last year but I think it’s somehow connected to the same forces that made nobody wanna sign Manny Machado or Bryce Harper…. and then when they DID sign they were sorta meh the whole year (poor Bryce was fine he’s just cursed by the 197 wRC+ season he shall never repeat, which just isn’t his fault). But anyway I’m not here to defend Bryce Harper via parenthetical I’m here to badmouth Mike’s team so let’s get on with it. The bats here have a pretty wideeee range of outcomes when you look at them:  Giancarlo Stanton, Nomar Mazara, Eric Thames, Byron Buxton, Yoenis Cespedes, ALL OF THOSE GUYS could put up great seasons or terrible seasons and it wouldn’t really surprise me either way (Giancarlo really only stumbles if he misses time, the rest of them can probably be in the lineup and range from “meh” to trash). The more reliable names are probably that dickhead on the Red Sawks (Xander), Pete Alonso, Wilson Contreras, Matt Chapman, etc. etc. These guys I mostly expect to do what they are expected to do, though a sophomore slump from the Polar Bear would be fun. By and large the bats here will live and die with the wide range of outcomes on a whole buncha guys and then how much of  rebound you see out of Machado. I really don’t know what more people expect out of Bryce but it FEELS LIKE Philly is probably mad at him. Love that place. Oh yea and Rougned Odor sucks and offends me as a hitter.

The arms here are the REAL MYSTERY, because I could swear I recall Mike saying to me beside his pool that his pitching staff was “great” or something and then I log on to fantrax dot com and this is what I am greeted with:

Question marks | Diocese of London

A BUNCHA GIANT FUCKING QUESTION MARKS. Sure everybody loves them some Brandon Woodruff and he’s probably really good but the rest of these guys? Questions abound. I’ve never been a fan of Stroman (maybe he’s ~okay~ I dunno), McCullers & Rodon who knows what you’re gonna get, ditto for the returning to the rotation C-Mart, Corbin Burnes trash Freddy Peralta who knows what he is or what his role is (also why so many fucking Brewers pitchers, is everything okay Mike?), Sean Manaea is usually ~okay~ (he’s been getting rocked all “spring” whilst working on his Randy Johnson-aided slider or whatfuckingever), I’m just very perplexed is what I’m saying. I could SWEAR Mike spoke highly of this group of arms and now I’m staring it dead in the face and I’m wondering if it’s inside the league’s top 5. And now I’m also going over everything he’s ever said to me. And I encourage you all to do the same. #DefundLobman

SHORT SEASON STUD BAT:  LF/CF/RF/OF David Dahl –  This feels like the perfect storm of a season for Dahl to actually remain moderately healthy and put up large numbers, leading to BIG DREAMZ for his fantasy owners for 2021. Which will then be derailed when he shits out his gall bladder or something. Dahl was pretty damned solid last year in his own way (sky high BABIP aside) to the point where I’m sort of surprised the Margs didn’t parlay it into a trade of some sort, but I’ll blame THIS DAMNED VIRUS for really tamping down the league’s trade winds. Which is a shame. Your family’s will all die eventually anyway so that should in no way interfere with you shopping your top 50 OFs. I MISS ROSTER CHURN.

SHORT SEASON DUD BAT:  2B Rougned OdorThis……this was inevitable. Similarly inevitable are the 3 or 4 weeks where “Rougie” puts up league-leading LVP numbers and BOOM that’s half the season. This guy sucks. I’m surprised Lobman hasn’t dug up some tweet about him being “6-12” in simulated games and vomited that thing into the chat but I’m also not paying great attention to the chat so maybe he has.

SHORT SEASON STUD ARM:  SP Lance McCullers – Take what I just said about Dahl  up there and apply it to Lance down here. Whom I LOVE. But yea 60 game season means McCullers largely without restrictions, I expect him to shine (with occasional bouts of walking like 7 in 3 IP) and then I expect him to come back last year and rip his arm from its socket on a beautiful 12-6 curve to even the count at 1-1. Honorable mention same exact scenario except make it a slider:  Carlos Rodon

SHORT SEASON DUD ARM:  SP Carlos Martinez  –  Maybe this is just to draw scrutiny to the Mondesi deal again (I mean it’s all laid out here STUD vs. DUD) but also maybe I really do think he’s gonna be a bit of a Dud. And I KINDA DO. For starters you need to pitch him out of a P or RP slot for his first five go-rounds, for seconders his shoulder’s been known to give way with a starter’s workload, for thirdlys I’ve heard his commitment to conditioning and whatnot in between starts has been called into question a few times. There’s an article about it! That article seemed to mention Adam Wainwright and his work ethic a lot so it may be a racist St. Louis beat writer sorta issue (Cano vs. Pedroia all over again) but it may also be true. The fact that a guy as good as Carlos Martinez once was had to compete to win the “5th starter” role gives me pause. And he’s on Mike’s team so fuck ’em I hope he’s terrible.

FINAL FOUR COMING UP IN THE FINAL TWO DAYS, each of which will feature actual baseball. Whatta majestic country.

now look at this:

Amazon.com : Home Originality Set of 4 Bears of Grace Figurines ...

2020 is all fucked up so 10 Teams in FIVE Days: 5 & 6

2020 is all fucked up so 10 Teams in FIVE Days: 7 & 8

I HAVE NO INTRO, so here look at this…….

 

Image result for bear middle finger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#8 Rojo’s Renegade Force

2019 RECORD:  7-10-1

PROJECTED 2020 RECORD:  5-6, 8th place (0-1 Playoffs). If there’s anyone that’s susceptible to just sort of forgetting that we are actually attempting a season in this THICK SOUP OF A VIVID NIGHTMARE OF A YEAR, it is Rojo. I’m not even entirely sure whom is on his team so this is mostly based on my wariness about the man himself.

SHORT SQUAD SYNOPSIS:  You know what the cupboard isn’t bare, but there’s also no way for me to make an “Indian in the Cupboard” reference here because there’s no Cleveland representation. But if I could have done that I would have been like “MAN am I fucking good at this or what?!” But I couldn’t so I’m not. N E wayz there’s some decent bats here, which makes sense as I seem to remember this team near the Backyard Hitting Leaderboards at the end of last year (which will burn to the ground if we don’t remove the extra bat before OD….ahem). Rojo is the sort of Yankee fan that can make peace with rostering Rafael Devers so that’s fucking disgusting. Definitely the most heinous roster issue that’s ever sprung up from this team and its ownership. Uhhh some other guys that are less heinous for him to roster include George Springer (except cheater TELL ‘EM T) and Joey Gallo and MITCH GARVER seems like a fine hitter out of the all-annoying catcher spot. Baseball should replace both catchers and umpires with robots.

So yea there’s good bats and there’s Charlie Morton and maybe Yu Darvish and maybe whatever’s left of Corey Kluber (and of Paul Goldschmidt for that matter, he of his 34 HR down years, but we are done covering hitters). THERE’S GOOD PLAYERS OKAY. I just don’t trust the ship to have rudders at all of the times it needs to have those things. I’m no sailor but have you SEEN the way Rojo has been letting his hair and beard go? Doesn’t inspire confidence from shareholders.

 

SHORT SEASON STUD BAT:  CF/OF Victor Robles – This feels a lot like the Luis Robert pick from yesterday but I swear I’m not going to just keep going with young speedsters (at least I don’t think so) but also I’m not just gonna fucking be like “GOLDSCHMIDT WILL PROBABLY BE GOOD.” Where’s the joy in that, I ask you. So yea Robles. This cat actually amassed solid stats last season, and it feels like Rojo has owned him forever, and yes AGAIN I think this might be another one of those guys that really shines in the short stint. “Fantasy analysts” shall spend all of next February trying to decide how high he should be drafted, and wherever they decide will probably be too high. But we are off topic, HE IS GONNA STEAL BASES AND THAT’S ALL I AM LOOKING AT THIS YEAR.

SHORT SEASON DUD BAT:  2B Jason Kipnis – No WAY this guy ain’t cooked, right? He’s gotta be fucking cooked. You’re telling me Brian Dozier the Bulldog Gawd can’t find a job in baseball but this dipshit is going to get some NL DH ABs for the Cubbies? Fuck that. Find a better fucking second basemen, ‘Gades. Putting him in the actual 2B slot should feel embarrassing.

SHORT SEASON STUD ARM:  SP Kenta Maeda – The thing about dancing with mid-rotation Dodgers arms is they just loveeeee pulling some of those arms out of the fucking game they’re cruising through at like 60 & 70 & 80 pitches, with no regard for strikeouts or nastiness or cruising. I have watched Maeda cruise on my behalf, SEVERAL TIMES,only to be pulled by Dave Roberts shy of the 6th, shy of the 5th, often shy of 90 pitches. So fuck Dave Roberts with a spiky one. Rocco Baldelli, however, great man. SO what’s important here is I don’t think it’s crazy to think Rocco might not have the samequick hook for Kenta (unless he does….. see Jake Odorizzi). But I meannnn it’s a short season, Maeda isn’t some young arm they’re protecting, Minnesota is very clearly a very racist state. Let the chink throw I say.  

SHORT SEASON DUD ARM:  SP Madison Bumgarner – I just do nawtttttt see Arizona going particularly well for Mr. MadBum. That park plays up for Dongs and MadBum’s dong rate was up last year, San Fran was obviously a pitcher’s park but his road ERA last year you ask?  5.29. So when I say “nawt particularly well” I mean ERA over 4.5 nawt particularly well. And he’ll be all salty about some hitter watching a Dong for too long and it’s what he deserves, truly. I’m far more interested in what that nervous Ford salesman fellow is up to these days to be honest. REMEMBER THAT GUY?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#9 Astoria Isotopes

2019 RECORD:  8-10

PROJECTED 2020 RECORD:  5-5-1, 7th place (1-1 Playoffs).  The ‘Topes feel like the team poised to get most battered by VIRUS this season cuz why not. If we all were to contract coronavirus and I had to place bets on who survives it Mikey T’s slender frame would have him somewhere near the top of list. After Rojo of course. And Brian. And maybe Shane. YOU’VE GIVEN UP TOO MUCH OF YOUR LIFE FORCE SHANE (sperm). 

SHORT SQUAD SYNOPSIS: Only two years removed from NOT SHOWING UP in the BCS, this team is yanno….still here. Still relying on power, at least PROJECTED power, with 11 guys projected for DoubDigDongs© and I dunno that’s maybe the most in the league? Maybe tied for the most in the league? I’m not gonna mail this shit in and then go and check that. They also have Sam Hilliard, whom I LOVE, hanging in there in the minors projected for 9 Dongs. Which sounds doable. Other doable Fantrax HR projections:  Moustakas, ‘Nado, Judge if he stays healthy (big if), Khris Davis if he stays healthy. Non-doable Fantrax HR projections:  Matt Olson (meh), Joc (see below), Judge (won’t stay healthy), Eduardo Escobar (NOT BUYIN IT EDDIE). So there you have it there’s the bats.

Starting to wish I spent more time expounding upon the bats cuz these arms GAH. Let’s just do some Nahs (shoutout to Nas) and then maybe some Yeahs. NAH:  Minor, Marquez, Hamels, Hudson, these men ALL suck. Sadly even Dellin Betances sucks now (ve-lo is gone-o). So really this ENTIRE pitching staff makes me sad, what the fuck happened here (aside from the Sale tragedy 🙂 )? I don’t even have any Yeahs. I kinda like Randy Dobnak a little, I guess. JUST A SMIDGE though nothing crazy. Wouldn’t date em.

 

SHORT SEASON STUD BAT:  RF/OF Franmil ReyesFranmil is a large man and he hits the ball VERY hard and back in March he was like 12-27 with 5 Dongs. Now does that matter now, no. But does the fact that he dropped 18 pounds in the offseason and still kept mashing those Dongs and doesn’t have to play the field ever again if the Indians so choose matter? YES. Yes it matters. This is precisely the sorta fella that could start this abbreviated season hot and end up the MLB leader in HRs. In fact maybe I’m even predicting that (only will reference this if it actually happens, obviously).

SHORT SEASON DUD BAT:  1B/LF/RF/OF Joc PedersonNot that I think they’re relying on Joc per se but a platoon bat in a shortened season PITUH…PITUH *spitting on the floor*…. pituh. Joc is also the sorta guy that might bat .100 for a few weeks even against righties and then uhhh he’s out of a job. He just has such a dumb face that I feel like he’s too aloof to get motivated by the fact that the Dodgers basically traded him already.

SHORT SEASON STUD ARM:  German Marquez – SIMILAR THEME here which I love but PLATOON ARM IN A SHORTENED SEAON PUHH PITUH PUHHH. Coors Field is undefeated and Marquez had a 6.26 ERA there last year so uhhh….I mean he’s getting that OD start on the road. Got that going for him. But yea rostering zee German this year is rough. T’s gonna stand by his man though, I AM SURE.  

SHORT SEASON DUD ARM: German Marquez – SIMILAR THEME here to the dud bat which I love, PLATOON ARM IN A SHORTENED SEAON PUHH PITUH PUHHH. Coors Field is undefeated and Marquez had a 6.26 ERA there last year so uhhh….I mean he’s getting that OD start on the road. Got that going for him. But yea rostering zee German this year is rough. T’s gonna stand by his man though, I AM SURE.

 

 

 

TWO DOWWWNNNN. I’m really hitting my creative writing stride, go back up and look at the “Indian in the Cupboard” reference again. And I mean REALLY…..look at it.

 

now look at this:

 

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2020 is all fucked up so 10 Teams in FIVE Days: 7 & 8

2020 is all fucked up so 10 Teams in FIVE Days: 9 & 10

Foreword: A little background for the uninitiated. These lil team previews are my way of taking shots at your teams and poorly predicting end of season records. This has been made A BIT MORE DIFFICULT by this HELLSCAPE of a year but whatever, let’s do it again. 2020 should be saved on the blog for posterity’s sake. And yanno what let’s also consider these Preseason Power Rankings cuz why not. And since I decided to do this a tad late we are doubling up, 10 Teams in FIVE days leading up to the first full-ish schedule of games allegedly taking place on July 24th. In empty stadiums. So weird, so let’s get weird: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#10 Lakehurst Leviathans

2019 RECORD:  6-12

PROJECTED 2020 RECORD:  4-7, 10th place (0-1 Playoffs).  LOOK MAN, ya gotta not finish in last place before I project you to not finish in last place. Also your logo gives me “big into Asian schoolgirl hentai porn” vibez but that’s neither here nor there…

 

SHORT SQUAD SYNOPSIS, A LA THE SEASON:  Shane’s teams have always had a certain grace about them, in how they just sort of string together a bunch of un-sexy names around JD Martinez and then call it a day. I’ll get this caveat out of the way now and say that ANY PLAYER, and truly anyone you love, can be felled by this virus (or by car accidents, life is chaos get used to it)(RIP Jose Martinez 😦 ) so who knows how JD feels currently. And also who cares. But if he’s alive he’ll hit some Dongs®, Yasmani Grandal is sneaky good, Carlos Santana is a guy I’ve wanted to take off McCann’s hands for a while now, and they have a few bats coming off career years (Kepler, Polanco, a few people that aren’t on the Twins I’m sure) so if that continues WHO KNOWS GANG. Maybe not last place, for Shane.

If I had to stumble for other reasons to think maybe not last place, and really why would I because here I am projecting last place, but if I did: A few top 50-ish SPs in  Mike Soroka, Jack Flaherty, and Patrick Corbin. Counterpoint to suggest MAYBE LAST PLACE THOUGH:  The rest of their pitchers. Fuck ’em. I mean they have both a Zack  and a Zach that can’t bode well.

 

SHORT SEASON STUD BAT:  CF/OF Luis Robert – Luis might very well hit the ground running and become a Guy™ in the Backyard. OBP might not be anything to write home about, but counting stats might be. Plus worrying about rate stats in a shortened season may be bad business. But what do I know, all I’ve ever done in fantasy baseball is tried to look pretty while Odom made all our dynasty’s roster decisions (getting the first one out of the way before, like, Heroy can).

SHORT SEASON DUD BAT:  SS Jorge Polanco – We here at Backyard Views dot com project Polanco to turn back into a pumpkin, now that all PEDs have been thoroughly flushed from his system.

SHORT SEASON STUD ARM:  SP Mitch Keller – Mitch had a downright UNSIGHTLY 7.13 ERA over 48 IP last season but SURPRISE I think he’s much better than that. He was striking out 12 per 9 but running a ridiculous a .475 BABIP; FIP was actually a rather delightful 3.19. Ideally Shane is reading all of these acronyms as nerdy gobbledygook and I can have him as a TOSS-IN to that aforementioned Carlos Santana trade. Toss him in the way one might toss in a Vlad Guerrero Jr. for example.  

SHORT SEASON DUD ARM:  SP Mike Soroka – Do I think Soroka is going to be a completely useless piece of shit dud? No I do not. But to continue asking questions I will then answer myself, do I think he will keep an ERA under 3 again? Again I do not. Perhaps Soroka is really THAT good at limiting Dongs® but, dear reader, WHAT IF HE ISN’T? I mean he has been his whole minor league career but still, I expect SSS (small sample size duh) to wreak havoc this year. Throw in the NL DH now and that ERA may very well end up over 4….point….two. No more freebies for these pansy NL pitcher fucks.

 

Could I write more about Shane’s team? I don’t know MAYBE, maybe I fucking could. Could I have used less questions to myself in the writing of this? Absolutely. But the season is shortened and sort of ridiculous so these things are going to be the same. For example, last year I made sure all of the records were theoretically possible in the league with my math and this year I likely do NOT. Do that. CHAOS BAYBAY. Let’s get to #9….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#9 #Iwenttothegamean dallIgotwascovid19

2019 RECORD:  7-8-3 (X-Rayz)

PROJECTED 2020 RECORD:  4-6-1, 9th place (0-1 Playoffs).  This is partly cuz Odom GUTTED this roster last year and partly because you made me type out that fucking name. The pic is a favorite of mine but I also refuse to have that man’s face on here. DO BETTER ALL AROUND.

 

SHORT SQUAD SYNOPSIS, A LA THE SEASON ITSELF: This was going to open with some type of “Odom desecrated this man’s roster far worse than he ever desecrated this man’s sister” type joke but I love Annabel and wish her nothing but the best and I know Odom does as well and so we aren’t even going to go there. BUT FORREAL THOUGH, the reason why I half-used that opener is pretty apparent. This roster was managed a real zaaaaaney way and when the dust settled and previous ownership retired to a life of leisure it was left with like Jose Ramirez and…………………………Jeff McNeil?………………….for bats. I threw the new guy Jose Altuve because that’s what I DO, and everyone should be more like me and trading their best players all of the time (#DownWithDynasty). There’s also a buncha people left over from the speed heavy philosophy of olden days but I don’t want to talk about them, so we are done with the bats.

Unfortunately it would be far more difficult to find things to say about the arms. Let’s just say that Guy is very devoid of Guys™ so he’s got his work cut out for him, and I’m not sure if the shortened season will help or hurt in this regard. I do know that the previous regime would have made sure to have as many players as possible active for like the two games on 7/23 so maybe they can do that. I also know they have Aroldis Chapman at least, whom I’ll always love. He should trade him back to me.

 

SHORT SEASON STUD BAT:  CF/RF/OF Mallex SmithA holdover from the Speed Killz days of yore, Mallex is the perfect time for me to dig into these FANTRAX PROJEXCTIONS for Mallex is projected to have the second most steals in alllll of baseball in this bullshit season. And dammit I think he might be able to do it. Which I don’t say about all projections, and I’m sure I’ll disagree with Fantrax far more than I agree, but here we are. Projections are just humans grasping at ways to pretend life isn’t chaos anyhow. ANYWHO Mallex Smith of the M’s is also projected to lead baseball with 4 triples, and if he can nab 4 that can potentially make alllll the difference this year. Like potentially the difference between sayyyy being the last place team and the 9th place team.

SHORT SEASON DUD BAT:  3B/RF/OF Hunter DozierSticking with the Ftrax Trips Projections Theme, they’ve got Hunter here nabbing 3 and I knowww he nabbed 10 last year but Evan Gattis had 11 one year so….yea settle down. I don’t think Dozier is a triples savant and I also don’t think he’s a .500+ SLG guy. I think he’s more slug than slugger is what I’m saying here. Don’t know what else to say.

SHORT SEASON STUD ARM:  SP Ryan Yarbrough – Yarbrough, like many a player in the Rays org, got jerked all around last year due to the typical Rays fuckery. However, in between  “opening” and “bulking” and all of that bullshit, he was actually allowed to well and truly start a few games. Including 8.2 scoreless against the Mariners last August. Sounds like he’s in line to crack the “rotation” this year and perhaps even the Rays let him fly a bit and not pull him every 3 innings, and if they do so I think both they and THIS TEAM (I pray they settle in and change this fucking name because I don’t intend on typing it out twice…..the Redskins is now available I hear) won’t be disappointed in the results.  

SHORT SEASON DUD ARM:  SP Mike Fiers – These were originally terms “surprise” studs/duds but that felt too restrictive, but even if that remained I’m not sure this should necessarily come as a SURPRISE. Just in case it might, just in case a few good months with the A’s may have people viewing Mike Fiers with rose-colored glasses, let me announce that Mike Fiers remains Mike Fiers. Not particularly good for quite some time now, and with Ks dipping to 6.14 per 9 last year I say the margin for error is slim. UNFORTUNATELY beggars can’t be choosers so I understand hoping for a sub-4 ERA here. FORTUNATELY there’s still time to trade him to Mikey T, as he would like to thank Mr. Fiers for his service as Astros Whistleblower. CHAPMAN STILL HUNG THAT SLIDER MIKEY. ANYWHO Fiers sucks.

 

 

ONE DOWN FOUR TO GO.

 

 

YOU UNGRATEFUL “let me spellcheck this immediately” FUCKS.

 

Also welcome to the league Guy 🙂

2020 is all fucked up so 10 Teams in FIVE Days: 9 & 10

2020 Backyard Championship League Season: Fuck It Why Not One More (or so)

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Apparently this is our window? So time for one more, yanno?

 

 

FIRSTLY let me just say that I was not entirely sure we would get this thing up and running again, nor am I entirely sure now, but damned if we shouldn’t give it a shot. I have several reasons why:

1-  I need to prevent the BackdoorSliderZ from winning a third championship in a row.

2- Brian has KIDS you monsters, don’t make him do it.

 

Okay that’s all I have for now BUT, I’m sure there’s more. On to the important league matters, and I’m gonna go bold on this one because it seems to be a concept people are struggling with:

 

WE NEED TO DECIDE WHO THE FUCK STILL WANTS TO BE IN THIS THING BEFORE WE TRY AND PITCH OTHER STUPID SHIT…..

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……Really can’t stress this enough. T’s article below, while I don’t recall all of what it said and don’t feel like re-reading it, was mostly horseshit and is irrelevant at this point in time. Equally irrelevant is people acting like we need to be putting out “feelers” in January as if we are going to be asking people if they want to go on a mission to Mars in April. I would need like two weeks tops advanced notice on said mission and that’s only because I’m a professional. This ain’t that deep.

ERGO, I’m proposing NAY demanding that everyone takes a little time andthinks long and hard about if they want to continue to be in this fantasy baseball league and then makes that clear to me (Omnipotent Blog Deity) whether or not you’re in or out. And I’m proposing nay demanding that happens by 01/20/20 cuz look how pretty that is and also:

 

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SO I need to hear from everyone basically that they’re in by MLK Jr. Day, and once we determine who ain’t we can move forward filling those slots and thennn getting to all the other either necessary or (more likely) unnecessary “fixes” people are proposing.

 

This league has been kinda sorta mismanaged for I don’t know five years now, just throwing a number out there. I’m more than happy and in fact PREFER to not be “the commissioner” but the reason one exists in leagues is to avoid all the wishy washy bullshit we sometimes allow because everyone’s prone to acting like teenage girls…

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AND YET, we can pull it together once again. The league can be a beautiful thing, you don’t have to let it consume you but you can have some fun with it, KIT with the fellas over it, break up the minutiae of all your terrible children’s birthday parties that I get dragged to with it.

But not until you fucks decide if you’re in or out. And I say that largely referencing a few folks that I plan to reach out to directly, because I know there are currently plenty of us in regardless (unless this post full of MLK quotes strangely inspires them to decide otherwise). And Doch is on the list of people I consider to be in and no I’m not implying he’s racist (he’s not at all) and might change his mind due to all of these MLK quotes but it IS kinda funny how life worked out that way, isn’t it?

But yea Doch said he’s in last night and I believe him, and I’ll take the baton and also say “HEY I AM IN GANG.” I am not going to allow it to ruin my life the way some of you act like it ruins yours when BABIP doesn’t break your way in a given week but HEY I’M IN LET’S DO THIS THING. Let The Seans lead you all forward.

 

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ANYWHO, nothing moves forward until we get our full 10 owners sorted out (SHAME we can’t expand to 12 really, Mike and I once talked dreams of 12….

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but baby steps) and so I’m giving everyone like two weeks to figure out where they’re at. I’ll inquire with those I think may be out or on the fence but, like, fuck….. we’re all fucking adults here, nobody is going to be begging anyone to stay or indulging hissy fits that shit is embarrassing you should feel embarrassed. Be fucking adults for ONCE in this GODFORSAKEN LEAGUE.

I have a dream that we can. And maybe we can’t, and honestly we probably can’t, and honestly I hope that random Youtube video is right bring on that fucking asteroid 12/21/20 let’s do it……

But UNTIL THEN, let’s have a fantasy baseball league. Let’s not unravel before Shane’s basketball league flatlines, that shit would also be embarrassing.

 

 

BACKYARD CHAMPIONSHIP LEAGUE CONTENT JUST TO MAKE THIS POST NOT ME YELLING AT EVERYBODY THE ENTIRE TIME:

 

 

 

I made a comment in the chat last evening about getting back to “the good old days” where the team with the best roster didn’t win shit, meaning back when Odom/I used to win, and it got me the thinking. Let’s take a look at where everyone’s rosters ended up on the ole player rater and see if the numbers BEAR out. Chances are they should but this shit is H2H so who the fuck knows.

-We’ll be using the 2019 Player Rater and tabulating the # of players each team had with a score over 9.

-I know I know there’s some inherent flaws to the Player Rater system (CGs come to mind) but it’s a good barometer for the league.

-I know I know some players changed hands I don’t give a shit, looking at the current rosters I can see.

-I know I know where the fuck did 9 come from WELL it came from the fact that Doch made Kolten Wong a free agent and he was an 8.85. As always, blame Doch. ON TO THE LEADERBOARD

 

1 — Ocean Gate Fishing Club (9-8-1):  TWELVE players above 9 (from Shane Bieber 19.54  to Michael Brantley 9.14)

2 — Lacey Township BackdoorSliderZ (17-1):  TEN players above 9 (from Justin Verlander 20.24  to Zack Greinke 10.56)

3 — RMac’s Periods (10-8):  TEN players above 9 (from Christian Yelich 18.06  to Javier Baez 9.33)

4 — Barnegat Banana Slugs (7-10-1):  TEN players above 9 (from Trevor Story 15.26  to Yuli Gurriel 9.20 [whom I believe got passed around like a cheap whore])

4 — Rojo’s Renegade Force (7-10-1):  EIGHT players above 9 (from Rafael Devers 14.88  to Elvis Andrus 9.27)

6 — Lakehurst Leviathans (6-12):  EIGHT players above 9 (from Starling Marte 12.89  to Max Fried 9.38)

7 — Astoria Isotopes (8-10):  SIX players above 9 (from Mike Minor 13.53  to DJ LeMahieu 10.44)

8 — Island Beach Bears (8-9-1):  SIX players above 9 (from Ketel Marte 15.85  to Max Muncy 9.08)

9 — River City Fightin’ Margs (6-9-3):  FOUR players above 9 (from Xander Bogaerts/Bryce Harper 12.57  to Matt Chapman 9.32)

10 — Odom’s Asterisks (7-8-3):  THREE players above 9 (from Mallex Smith 11.31  to Jose Ramirez 9.65)

 

TURNS OUT things were sorta like “the good ole days” in some ways after all. HUH.

 

(except Doch is in the league now)

(He Must Be Stopped 2020)

 

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2020 Backyard Championship League Season: Fuck It Why Not One More (or so)