10 Teams In 10 Days: #4 Manchester MooniniteZ

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KNOW YOUR OWNER!:  SEAN!  What can be said about this guy that hasn’t already been said, really?  Ungenerous lover?  Surely no one has ever said that about Sean, because it would be demonstrably false.  Anyways, BEST OF LUCK TO SEAN IN THE UPCOMING SEASON!

(HEY GUYS LOBMAN HERE: I’m going to do some critiquing of the Mooninitez, if for no reason just to get back at Sean for the HIT SHOW he’s been putting on ya’ll. So here we go. FUCK SEAN AND BEST OF LUCK!)

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KEY ADDITIONS!:  CF Andrew McCutchen, LF/CF Ian Desmond, CF Keon Broxton, SP Vince Velasquez

(Lobman’s Key Additions: Andrew McCutchen, Ian Desmond, A new address, Keon Broxton’s inflated sense of worth, Lance McCullers’s healthy elbow for a month or so, Gray hair, Kendrys Morales)

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KEY SUBTRACTIONS!:  SP Danny Duffy, SP Alex Reyes (INJURY), RP Andrew Miller, RP AJ Ramos, CF Victor Robles possibly eventually

(Lobman’s Key Subtractions: His Freedom, Danny Duffy, Dexter Fowler, Andrew Miller, Ability to make the babies, AJ Ramos, His youth, etc)

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THE HITTERS!:  SOME PROMISING PIECES. Really gotta hand it to this owner/manager/savant. I tell ya I can talk about this collection of hitters all day but will attempt not to. I mean WHERE TO BEGIN? Nolan Arenado is a stud everyone knows this. LESS people seem willing to acknowledge that Joey Votto is…..Votto is grossly disrespected in this league, this is AN OBP LEAGUE (.490 OBP in 2nd half last year, basically the best hitter in baseball over that stretch). So yea stop being rude to Votto ALL OF YOU, top 15 hitter in OBP leagues.  Add Matt Carpenter to the grossly disrespected category, in perhaps his last beautiful year of 2B eligibility (eligibility losses throughout could actually be a bit of a problem come 2018). Everyone knows what Gary Sanchez did last year and everyone has an opinion about what level he can repeat this year. He’s kinda like (a better) Trevor Story in that way. Edwin Encarnacion still has A FEW good years left in him and will be rostered by the MooniniteZ until he retires goddammit. Speaking of eventual demise, reports of Andrew McCutchen‘s demise have been GREATLY EXAGGERATED if you ask me (again his worst year ever last year and it was basically Adam Jones production); the MM look forward to Cutch and Ian Desmond putting up numbers for them that they are therefore not putting up for the reigning champs. And then there is KEON BROXTON, beautiful Keon Broxton. Whom will surely divide opinions around the league but whom hits the ever fucking fuck out of a baseball (when he actually hits it). And can steal 40+ bags and can walk enough to be in position to steal 40+ bags. This franchise fully expects Keon Broxton (and/or his counterpart/replacement Lewis Brinson) to produce excellent numbers this upcoming season. REMEMBER THOSE NAMES. And now I will conclude namedropping everyone on the team. Also I like Justin Turner‘s hair what can I say. Done now.

(Lobman’s Note: Oh hey fuck this team. Actually, they’re very good. Starting at the top, we could talk about the fact that Nolan Arenado might be the best player in baseball overall, which is maybe bold, but saying something! Then move to Easy E, Carp, Votto, and Cutch as some veteran help which really adds a ton of consistency to the mix of offensive young talent that the Moon Men possess. I’m so disgustingly done with the LOVE that Sean throws at Keon fucking Broxton, but in all actuality, he has potential to be a nice fantasy player this year. He will not realize this potential, but HEY lets just dream on that potential! Actually no lets not. The Mooninitez won’t lack for offensive production this year, and if they get some production out of the young hitters and prospects, they could top a lot of the stat columns in the league this year. But he won’t tho, because of the two finalists last season.)

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THE ROTATION!:  SOME PROMISING PIECES. Really gotta hand it to this owner/manager/savant. Justin Verlander is I suppose TECHNICALLY the staff ace following his 2016 renaissance season (3.04 ERA, 10.04 K/9), but if you ask me (and it is my team) THE REAL GEM is a one Lance McCullers. McCullers has absolutely filthy stuff and only health concerns standing in the way of a possible Cy Young campaign YEA I SAID IT, and ideally some mechanical changes for him that have been discussed this spring alleviate some of those concerns. Another guy with nothing but goddamned health concerns in his way is James Paxton, Mariners lefty of the altered mechanics that gave him third best fastball velocity amongst starters last season (minimum 120 IP). He can be very good this season and many think he in fact shall LOOK AROUND THIS ISN’T JUST ME. That is your big 3 for this rotation, of which only one can be considered established. Behind them are equally un-established but intriguing talents in Matt Shoemaker and Vince Velasquez, both were kinda excellent for stretches there in 2016 (Velasquez more first half Shoemaker more second half) and both are coming off kinda scary injuries (Shoemaker a liner to the head which is scarier for him, Velasquez dreaded biceps issues which are scarier for me). Again dare I say that if we can guarantee solid health you can expect solid performance from those two, likely high K solid performance which is this team’s favorite kind. And lastly and most boringly is Jake Odorizzi, which is what you get when a team is dead last in quality starts 2 years running and gets tired of watching Michael Pineda‘s line implode in the early innings. Odorizzi is being counted on for consistency hopefullyyyyy right around 8 Ks per 9 and an ERA right around 3.60 or something. Also ALEX REYES WOULD HAVE BEEN A BEAUTIFUL THING TO WATCH. Now he’s a possible trade chip or a depressing stash until mid 2018, when he might finally cross the non-minors-eligible threshold.

(Lobman’s Note: Poor Poor Alex Reyes. At least Sean didn’t kill this Cardinals prospect. FLY HIGH FREE BIRD! For some reason, Sean loves Matt Shoemaker, who he called intriguing for whatever reason, but fine. There are many questions with the rotation, but one thing it doesn’t lack is potential. Talking Paxton, McCullers {A Lobman Favorite}, and Vinny Velasquez make for a pretty fantastic young stable of pitchers, albeit with many concerns. I’m sure Sean is concerned. His pitching won’t be the best, but it will be enough for him to be wildly successful as a whole.)

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THE BULLPEN!:  SOME PROMISING PIECES. Really gotta hand it to this owner/manager/savant. Okay I’ll admit the initial look here notttt the mosttttt promising. But also let me just be clear since this came up recently, this team fielded 2016’s best bullpen FULL STOP (only team with 200+ saves+holds, lead the league in Ks and ERA so the bullpen was clearly doing its duties). But now it is 2017. Kenley Jansen is 1st or 2nd best fantasy closer in all the land so he will be fine, but beyond him ehhhhh. The MooniniteZ will be adopting an early strategy of “banking on Dodgers wins” and hoping Grant Dayton is an effective set up man (he was pretty damn good in 2016), they will also be banking on someone OTHER than Koda Glover so that they have the Nats closer rather than just some fuckface Nats holds guy (Blake Treinen and Shawn Kelley currently rostered, AT MOST only one expected to survive final roster cuts)The MooniniteZ will ALSO be banking on Carter Capps and his cheating cheater delivery to return to the dominance they both enjoyed in 2015, and then hope he quickly grabs the closers role, and then hope that it even matters because how many leads are the Padres going to even gather. There’s also hope that the SP-eligible Raisel Iglesias gets a shower seat/takes hold of the closer’s gig in Cincinnati (again leads will be at a premium) and hope that Juan Nicasio grabs some holds out of an SP spot and EVEN hope in minors relievers (Joe JimenezAJ Minter) coming up later in the year and helping out down the stretch run. HOPE ALL OVER THE DAMNED PLACE. HOPE ABOUNDS.

(Lobman’s note: LETS TALK ABOUT CARTER CAPPS. Actually, nah. Really its about Kenley. Mostly because he’s the only real closer on this team right now. That is a problem. The good thing is that the bullpen is pretty easy to fine tune into serviceable during the season, and that’s discounting the fact that the Mooninitez carry some huge potential relievers as of now. SO WHO KNOWS. Whatever tho…)

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THE OUTLOOK!:  THE SKY (and the max carrying capacity of hope) IS THE LIMIT for this talented group of fantasy fodder. There are quietly concerns within the organization over the 2018 team with several players possibly losing KEY positional eligiblity but that makes the desire to win in 2017 (and then dismantle the team like I’m Lobman) all the stronger. A few bullpen issues to likely address throughout the course of the year and pitcher injuries are always headaches (there’s perhaps a slightly elevated risk of those here) and there can be some slumping hitters in this group to work around or upgrade, but who doesn’t trust this owner to put it all together? Anyone? I certainly trust this owner to put it all together.

(Lobman’s Note: You’re lying to yourself if you don’t think this team will be in the race for one of the byes this season. You’re also lying to yourself if you don’t think this team does carry some concern in every area of their roster that could potentially ruin their season. Its kind of the breaks when you have the “thinking ahead of the game” mentality that Sean {and myself} possess. The positive thing is the bone structure of a championship team are absolutely there, so if the breaks are in the Mooninitez favor, he’s an easy title contender. Lets not root for that tho.)

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SEAN’S PREDICTION!:  11-5-2, 2nd place.  BELIEVE IN YOURSELF, people.  Confidence is key.  Note:  This is only second place IN THE REGULAR SEASON, I also fully expect to win the championship. See you bitches at my victory BBQ.

(Lobman’s Note: I’ll base this off of nothing and say The Mooninitez win 10 games and get somewhere in the 4th spot. But that’s spitballing. He will also lose to me in all facets. FUCK SEAN)
10 Teams In 10 Days: #4 Manchester MooniniteZ

MLB.TV/MILB.TV Sharing

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A bit of league business:

Ok, so, I don’t know how many of you I’ve spoken to about all this, but MLB.TV is good. I don’t even know how many of you even use it to watch random Twins games on a Thursday in July, but I do, along with Iron Pigs games on random Wednesday afternoons in June. Or whatever you get my point.

Well the point is I want to see if the league had any willingness to pool together and buy MLB.TV memberships and/or MiLB.TV memberships, in light of our current league structure. MLB.tv is 112.99 for the year, while MiLB.tv prices are not yet available. I am buying both for myself, and would like to subsidize the cost by sharing with everyone. If you’re interested (or already buy it), lets work this out.

@ ME on the chat or text or whatever and we’ll build a list and work out costs.

Love always,

Mike

MLB.TV/MILB.TV Sharing

2017 TROLL SERIES, VOL. 5: PARTNERS IN (PETTY) CRIME

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FILE PHOTO: Sean and Odom

(Reviewing the Odom/Sean Split)

– Jon Bevilaque was too beautiful for this world. Well, this fantasy baseball world, I guess. As he left us and his floundering dumpster fire of a team (thank you for D. Wright’s productive years), a duo took his place. This duo would take the league by storm and revolutionize the way we work our teams for years to come. Established in 2011 as a team with MANY names, but settling in as the JVDG’s (Jimbo’s Vulcan Death Grip, with quite a story attached), They did the improbable and took their 9-11 inaugural roster to a championship run, defeating the 17-3 Mashers and defending champ Takeover. I mean, this was a pretty good feat right there, they did it 2 more times to become the ONLY 3 time champions in the league’s short history.

Naturally, all good things must come to an end, so when Lenny (or Mitchell or whoever) left our league, it was time to split the golden partnership to create two knowledgable and trustworthy owners. The results? We’ll just say the jury is still out. Lets just see how these two have done in their handling of individual teams:

SEAN MCLAUGHLIN AKA MAIN STREET MOONINITEZ

Lets talk about the Mooninitez’ 2015 (Editor’s Note:  THEY WERE THE “MANTIS SHRIMP” FOR MOST OF THAT SEASON FUCKING GET YOUR FACTS IN ORDER). You look at the roster and say “hey that’s a pretty good team” after their dispersement draft. Then Sean goes and trades Anthony Rizzo for Johnny Cueto because “He didn’t like Rizzo’s face”. Well, Rizzo goes to the eventual champions, and Cueto did not, in fact, finish the season on the Mooninitez roster. Couple that with trading Jose Bautista for Carlos Gonzalez (and a ride), then dropping CarGo before he exploded again, ITS REALLY HARD TO PHATHOM why he ended up in 10th place. Oh, and his pitching. It SUCKED. Cool, guy, way to have good relievers when your best starter was the incomparable Collin Fucking McHugh.

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Traded for Anthony Rizzo? NICE

So yea, he moves on to 2016, where he enjoyed a great deal of success. We’re talking #2 seed and a bye success. Helped by a good draft and the pickup of MANY MANY nice young players, the Mooninitez ripped off a crazy 8 week streak of W’s on route to a bye and a semi-final round matchup against Heroy and the OGTFC. If any of you are familiar with Sean and certain outcomes in his life, you’re JUST SHOCKED to find out that he actually blew it and lost. All that talent, and he BLOWS IT. You suck, Sean.

To sum it up, you’re looking at 1 season of downright awful roster management and results, then a fairly successful year only to completely blow it when it matters most. If that’s not classic Sean McLaughlin, then I just wasted 15 years of my life getting to know this dude. What I’m saying is he’s been a waste of talent and brains, but HEY things are looking up for 2017!

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Mooninites are stupid and so are you.

Overall Grade: C- (At least you traded Lo-Cain for Joey Votto)

MIKE ODOM AKA POINT LOMA X-RAYS

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RIP to Odom’s successful season

Audible laughter was heard during the draft in 2015, as the playful stoner buddy we all know and love was piecing together his roster. I just remember how critical Slugs owner Brian Smith was of the X-Rays roster construction. I mean, he was BERATING that draft. Almost insulting things were said. But anyways, it was universally recognized that the X-Rays were the presumptive favorites for “The Figs ©”, which is given to the biggest loser in the league much like that nickname is given to the biggest loser in real life. WELL wouldn’t you know it, the X-Rays (then Dee-generation X) worked some incredible magic to become the improbable #3 seed in the playoffs in their 1st year of existence, which is approximately 7 spots higher than what Sean’s inaugural season resulted. Fair to say that despite the BEATDOWN that the Slugs gave Odom’s X-Rays in the first round the playoffs, Things were really looking up for 2016.

Cut to 2016, where the X-Rays somehow IMPROVED on their inaugural season and finished #1 in the regular season standings. Well, as Hallowed Two-Time Champion and Established Most Successful Franchise in Backyard History Owner Mike Lobman will tell you, #1 seeds and Regular Season championship don’t mean shit unless you win something (Self-Burn). All of the good that 2016 saw in the regular season was undone by a quick but close loss to the defending champion Cuban Missiles, which was a tough way to end a very promising season.

With 2 consecutive seasons of promising regular seasons, followed by disappointing blown opportunity in the playoffs, one has to question the mental toughness or ability to make clear decisions when it matters most. Are the X-Rays constructed to win the regular season, followed by incredible flame outs in the playoffs? So far, YEP. Our now commissioner will take with him a large amount of expectation going into 2017, coupled with the actual and probably annoying task of managing the league. Safe to say anything less than a championship will be an IMMENSE DISAPPOINTMENT.

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I don’t know why I signed with the Red Sox, either

Overall Grade: C (Big steps but David Price is CLEARLY REGRESSING)

 Does that mean they are effective owners of championship teams without each other? The answer of course is no. No they aren’t.

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We’ll always remember the good times

Overall Grade: F (Fuck Both of these guys, in particular)

-Lobman

2017 TROLL SERIES, VOL. 5: PARTNERS IN (PETTY) CRIME

2017 Troll Series, Vol. 1: Power Rankings – Tying Up Political Loose Ends Edition

Well, my friends, its 2017. 2016 has left us, as has our dignity, sense of American pride, and inevitably certain inalienable rights that are SURE to be taken from us when our fascist neo-con piece of garbage PEOTUS comes to power in mere days. But fear not. 2017 is a better year for this group, as another season is upon us. I do need to exercise some of the demons that the last half of 2016 presented to me, which left me a sad and broken man on New Years Eve this year. These power rankings to begin 2017 will make us all think, and therefore possibly better. Or maybe even worse. Whatever, here are your rankings:

(Note: Just jokes guys…)

  1 . OceanGate Trout Fishing Club

The Candidate: Donald Trump

Yes, yes, we have to start with the champ. Greg Heroy’s horrendously named club withstood all comers to win his FIRST championship in the league, and I guess the league is better for it. The parallels are basically perfect with our newly elected president and current champ: Both horrendous racists, both completely winging it in policy, both likely to have important members of their teams killed during their reign (RIP JOSE). No matter what we think of these guys, they won 2016.

As for the FC, they had a pretty excellent season. Offensively, they were clearly the best offensive team in the league, while having JUST ENOUGH pitching to win close matchups. There’s no question that Heroy still boasts a very young and talented offensive core, but will no doubt need to shore up the pitching staff if he wants to repeat as champ in 2017.

  1. River City Cuban Missiles

The Candidate: Hillary Clinton

Both historically successful and wildly unlikable, there are again some pretty decent comparisons with the runners up in both the league and the election. The Missiles had an incredibly uneven campaign, marred by slight missteps and scandals, but still somehow continued to barrel through the competition to face the OGFC in our championship game. Hillary (although more of a favorite) had much of the same situation. The league and the country supported change, and that’s what they got.

The Missiles had what many would call a down year by any standards, so the sheer fact that they made the title game should be considered a huge success in hindsight. Still relying on power numbers and strikeouts, the Missiles made some trades to get younger in areas, which can certainly help them address some questions and become more well-rounded as we head into 2017.

FROM THIS POINT, YOU’LL JUST HAVE TO ALL GO WITH ME ON THESE COMPARISONS

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  1. Point Loma X-Rays

The Candidate: Marco Rubio

Despite the fact that he was a part of the 3 time championship run, I consider Odom’s X-Rays to be somewhat of an upstart in this league. In terms of ideas and strategy, they quickly established themselves as a key player during the stretch run, much like our boy Rubio. When it really mattered (the playoffs), both Odom and Rubio showed to be slightly out of their depth, as they were quietly silenced in short order. FRET NOT, Point Loma fans, this team is for real. As Rubio is establishing himself to be a strong Republican influencer and potential opposition to Trump in 2020, Odom will continue to wheel and deal his way into relevance in 2017.

  1. Main Street Mooninitez

The Candidate: Bernie Sanders

I mean, I gotta give a little love to Sean here for basically mirroring the man he supported this year. The Mooninitez certainly felt the BERN in the regular season, working their way to the 2 seed and becoming a very much feared opponent for any team competing for the title. The problem with both Bernie and Sean was while their messages were strong and they had a nice following, they both fell to much stronger opposition when it mattered most. Maybe they were both too stubborn and one-note in their strategies, or maybe what they were doing grew stale over the course of the season. Maybe they just choked. Either way, Bernie created a movement, something which the Mooninitez would love to carry on into 2017 for some playoff success.

  1. Barnegat Banana Slugs

The Candidate: Ted Cruz

Despite the fact that they do NOT share one consistent political ideology or belief, there’s probably no better match in 2016 than the Slugs and the human representation of slug, Ted Cruz. Both Smitty and Cruz could be considered by some to be pretty pompous or sometimes a bit smug, but there’s definite genius there. Up and comers from a few years ago, the Slugs have really become a team to be taken seriously, most recently reaching championship game status in 2015 and debunking the vaunted RUNNER UP Curse ©. Ted Cruz shares a similar path, going from freshman senator to legitimate presidential candidate in relatively short order. Both took the L pretty hard to end their respective seasons, but neither are going away anytime soon.

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  1. Rojo’s Resurgence

The Candidate: Ben Carson

Look, we can’t all be winners. The Resurgence had a few years of some really forgettable seasons, so the beginning of 2016 showed signs of a … resurgence … of sorts. Our favorite village idiot neurosurgeon/HUD secretary (?) also shared a very strong start to 2016. Both showed to be players in their respective races, but somehow in the middle of their competition, things sort of fell apart. For the Resurgence, it may have been the apprehension to make the big deal or take a risk. For Carson? I would say it was basically the words that came out of his mouth. Or the fact that he thought the pyramids were for grain storage. Or the idea that cavemen and dinosaurs were friends or whatever. Either way, neither the Resurgence or Benny Boy were much of a factor come crunch time. The hope is that Rojo will find a way to take his team to the next level in 2017, while Carson will begin his 2017 by doing something he’s woefully unqualified to do. I’m not going to say there’s a comparison there.

  1. Pine Lake Punchouts

The Candidate: Jeb Bush

If winning is in the blood, then the McLaughlins are this league’s answer to the Bush family. Sometimes you’re a GHW Bush (Ryan’s first title, followed by a big drop), sometimes your G dubs (Sean’s part in a 3 peat that we all know he had no part in). Sometimes you’re just JEB. Jeb was a candidate who at the beginning looked to be the frontrunner, with the pedigree and history to think that he’d be a lock for the nomination. Drawing parallels, the Punchouts had the league’s best collection of pitching coupled with strong offensive pieces. The issue with both was unclear, but both Jeb and the Punchouts went down without so much as a whimper in the end. Please Clap.

  1. Springfield Isotopes

The Candidate: Chris Christie

Basically the physical opposite of Chris Christie, Topes owner Mikey T talks a very hard game and tried all season to flex his muscle as commish. Both Christie and the Topes came off as hard-talking authoritarian types, only to end up failing large and looking small at the end. While Christie is used to losing before the playoffs (politically speaking), the Isotopes missed the playoffs for the first time in their league history, which means River City are now the ONLY team to never miss the playoffs. Just thought I’d throw that in there. ANYWHO, the futures for both are up in the air. Christie will most likely become Emperor Cheeto’s coffee maker, but what can we expect from Mikey T and his Isotopes in 2017?

  1. Club Going Up on Altuve

The Candidate: Rand Paul

Rand Paul is a totally irrelevant politician, which exactly how I view Connor’s team naming and roster construction. Other than that? I mean, neither were all that successful with anything in 2016. Moving on.

  1. Whitestone Bulldogs (NOW MORNING WOOD)

The Candidate: Carly Fiorina

In the spirit of the effort Cliff put into his 2016 season, I have put that much effort into picking Carly Fiorina as his candidate. None of it matters, because he’s gone now. But our new friend SHANE is here to get this team out of the doldrums. And hey, regardless of whether you liked his 2 trades shortly after taking over the team you gotta love the fact that he’s actually making moves. I’ll miss Cliff, but the time was right to let him go, as was the time that Ms. Fiorina left the presidential race. There.

-Mike

2017 Troll Series, Vol. 1: Power Rankings – Tying Up Political Loose Ends Edition

(OVERDUE) TRADE DEADLINE POSTMORTEM

Editor’s Note (APPARENTLY I FASHION MYSELF AN EDITOR NOW):  I, Sean McLaughlin, your front-runner for this year’s number one seed in the playoffs, did not write this article.  This article was CLEARLY written by Mike Lobman; you can tell because he really enjoys the word “postmortem” (dead bodies fetish?  who am I to decide).  But anyways somehow I can view any and all “drafts” that have been written for the site and have not yet been posted and I mean SHIT this looks pretty done to me, so fuck it get it up there.  Because I can never keep my opinions to myself I have added an “Editor’s Grade” below Mike’s grade.  And as with Odom’s uhhh THING that I threw up on here (literally vomited it onto here), all comments in italics are mine and everything else ain’t.  ON TO THE…..postmortem……..  

– Well, its been roughly an hour (Editor’s Note:  MANY HOURS HAVE PASSED SINCE) since our LEAST impressive and probably MOST damaging trade deadline of the league’s history happened, so it’s about godddddd damn time someone does a review of each team grade their trades for the deadline! Since I’m sitting around doing nothing in particular, that someone is ME. (Note: Key additions/losses are reflected in players currently on your team).

ONTO THE REVIEW:

Whitestone Bulldogs

Trades: 4

Key Additions: Vince Velazquez, Dansby Swanson, Carson Fulmer, BENJAMIN ZOBRIST

Key Losses: JA Happ

Remarks: Cliff has the worst record in the league, but somehow a lot of parts that one would deem “movable”, which he surprisingly did in a small way. The main idea for a team who’s in last place is to find a way to get better (maybe younger) for the future, and Cliff took those steps by acquiring Carson Fulmer, Dansby Swanson, Dan Vogelbach, and Vince Velazquez. All of this while dealing a few usable parts like Happ, Jeffress, and Zimmermann, which all in all was a pretty nice job. The Reyes for Ellsbury was kind of a joke, but its negligible anyways because Ellsbury ended up on the FA list shortly thereafter. Maybe he could’ve done a little better to capitalize on some desperate team’s need for pitching? Yea, but this wasn’t too bad.

Grade: B-

Editor’s Grade:  B.  In terms of what Cliff needed to do I would say he accomplished it, trading away an older starter like J.A. Happ at peak value for a few nice young pieces (and also a 35 year old 2B but yanno HAD TO TAKE ON THE CONTRACT, or something).  I am sure the next owner of Cliff’s team will appreciate some of the younger trade chips available to him.  lolz suck it Cliff YOU ARE OUTTA HERE.

Springfield Isotopes

Trades: 6

Key Additions: Adam Duvall, Freddie Freeman, Charlie Blackmon, Steve Piscotty, Craig Kimbrel (so I guess we are working in some trades that happened BEFORE the deadline as well.  This article lacks focus, Michael.)

Key Losses: Mike Napoli, Jon Lester, Chris Davis, Alex Colome, Carlos Beltran

Remarks: Ok, so on the surface, the +/- of the moves he made isn’t necessarily as bad as you’d think. The issue is: For a team that has a bunch of holes and an aging roster, WHY are you buying buying equally older players while not selling some of the more movable bigger names on your roster. Couple that with the PUZZLING (possibly colluding) deal of Lester/Napoli for Duvall, basically The ‘Topes didn’t do a thing to appease a fan base who’s ACHING for a rebuild. Big ups to T for pilfering Freddie Freeman from the Missiles for a broken closer.

Grade: C

Editor’s Grade:  C- (C+ if we are counting the Freddie Freeman deal).  Like the Lobman assessment below, this valuation is greatly affected by whether or not we are including THAT ABSOLUTE PILLAGING of Freddie Freeman.  The pillaging makes the trade work of the ‘Topes look much better, but to his credit he still manages to come out looking not great.  Two main reasons:  the failure to trade David Phelps before he became mostly useless and the UTTER FAILURE that was that Napoli/Lester trade.  Don’t even want to get into that one.  But at least he brought Charlie Blackmon home.  And if we go farther back Freeman was a GREAT pickup and Piscotty was also a pretty nice get for an SP-eligible closer.  

Pine Lake Punchouts

Trades: 2

Key Additions: Yasiel Puig

Key Losses: Odubel Herrera

Remarks: Not a whole lot to say here. R-Mac has been logjammed with an outfield crunch, and did a little to build for his future by dealing Herrera for Puig. Outside of that? Not a lot. One would’ve hoped that he could deal one of Upton/Braun/Ozuna for a little more roster flexibility, but that job wasn’t done at this deadline.

Grade: C-

Editor’s Grade:  D+.  I for one am NOT going to go quite as easy on this brother of mine.  I know this lack of action was probably due to him being barraged by AWFUL trade offers from every other member of the league, but I think with Benintendi on the horizon and the limitations imposed by the league’s roster construction made it sorta a NECESSITY to pick the OF he liked least and deal him for the package he liked best.  Perhaps frustrated by garbage offers, Ryan didn’t do that.  But he should have just accepted a garbage offer of mine.  I should have made one.

Bad Drake Puns

Trades: 0

Key Additions: None

Key Losses: None

Remarks: Maybe the Puns are currently in the mix for that last playoff spot, but to not make a move at all (adding or subtracting) shows a lack of care and attention to what his team needs in a either a playoff race or a selling for the future. It’s an uninteresting deadline from an uninteresting team.

Grade: F

Editor’s Grade:  F.  Yea who the hell knows with this guy.  Theoretically it is difficult to trade if you have to wait to have your tweeted questions about said trade answered by the CBS sports guys first, but Connor certainly could have made a move or two to put himself in better position to sneak into the playoffs.  Fuck ’em though.

River City Cuban Missiles

Trades: 10

Key Additions: Willson Contreras, David Dahl, Sonny Gray, Jameson Taillon, Roberto Osuna, Wade Davis

Key Losses: Kenta Maeda, Freddie Freeman, Zack Grienke, Edwin Diaz, Yasiel Puig

Remarks: The defending champs have had a very uneven season so far, yet find themselves on the cusp of a playoff berth, which really made the trade deadline especially difficult. One could argue that they got hammered by the INEXPLICABLE deal to send Freddie Freeman to the hated Isotopes for Trevor Rosenthal, who subsequently lost his job and was dropped shortly thereafter. The trades made were part building for the future, part building for a playoff run. It’s a risky strategy, but the Missiles have bought their fans at least a season of acceptance after a championship run last year.

Grade: C+

Editor’s Grade:  C+ (D- if we are counting the Freddie Freeman deal).  Lobman’s self-assessment really only works if we leave out the Freddie Freeman DEBACLE, which happened back in June.  That was possibly the worst trade this league will ever see.  But ANYWHO aside from that the Missiles had a pretty productive deadline, scoring potential young studs in Dahl, Contreras, and Taillon and scoring two real solid closers (although Wade Davis is so overdue for TJ surgery).  Sonny Gray is so fucking MEH at best that his name should be Sonny Meh.  But overall (NOT COUNTING FREEMAN DEAL) Mike had a nice deadline.  Docked him a bit for trading away the heart and soul of his team and decreasing his Cubans count.

Ocean Gate Trout Fishing Club

Trades: 3

Key Additions: Aaron Sanchez, Kenta Maeda, Jeremy Jeffress

Key Losses: Roberto Osuna, Willson Contreras, Dansby Swanson

Remarks: For a team that is STILL searching for their first championship in the league, you would’ve thought that they might of sold out a little bit for some top end pitching help. I mean, they more than had the prospects to do so, which lends a lot of credence to the idea that Trouts owner Greg Heroy just loves his prospects a little too much. Either way, The FC acquired Maeda and Sanchez from the Missiles in 2 separate trades, which will definitely help down the stretch (assuming they don’t die like every other pitcher he has).

Grade: B-

Editor’s Grade:  B-.  Sometimes it’s the moves you don’t make.  Heroy did good on adding Sanchez and Maeda, and Jeffress has been productive even after being traded to the Rangers and converted from a closer to a holds guy, but the best move Heroy made may have been picking up Dylan Bundy off the waiver wire the week of the trade deadline and then managing to not trade him that week.  Because Dylan Bundy has arrived folks, and good on Heroy for grabbing him for free and resisting the urge to flip him.  How a person feels about the Dansby Swanson for Jeffress swap earlier in the season is basically a litmust test for how a person feels about prospects that are several seasons away.  I say who needs ’em.

Rojo’s Resurgence

Trades: 0

Key Additions:

Key Losses:

Remarks: Another team that’s still searching for championship #1, you’d think he would’ve used some of his top prospects to get anything to upgrade his team. Unfortunately for the Resurgence fans, he stands pat with the squad he has. The problem is the current roster is 1-4-1 since Week 11, and currently getting trounced by the Banana Slugs this week. This is not a positive recipe for success. SAD!

Grade: F

Editor’s Grade:  F.  Harsh but fair.  The Resurgence have been in a BIT of a freefall in the 2nd half of the season, one that threatens THEIR VERY TEAM NAME, and it’s hard not to make the case that they could stand to use an upgrade at a position or two.  Flipping Kyle Schwarber at the deadline may have been one way to accomplish that, but even if Rojo was dead set on keeping that fat and overrated bastard he still should have explored a move or two.  The fans needed to see action and they got ZILCH. 

Point Loma X-Rays

Trades: Many

Key Additions: Many  (very low energy of you, Mike:  uhhhh Chris Davis, Odubel Herrera, Mike Napoli, Jon Lester, Brad Hand, Adam Duvall at or around the deadline.)

Key Losses: Many  (uhhhh Charlie Blackmon, Craig Kimbrel, Anthony Desclafani, Wade Davis at or around the deadline.)

Remarks: Fashioning himself as the league’s preeminent wheeler-dealer, X-Rays owner Mike Odom did some major work this deadline to re-shape his roster to a more balanced offensive team. The Rays made a lot of moves, and its hard to know exactly what the shell game will end up looking like down the stretch, but we could all agree that they added a ton of power, and STOLE Lester/Napoli from the Isotopes with a classic deadline steal.  One way or another, The X-Rays did NOT stand pat, and made moves which might give them a better chance against the powerhouses in the playoffs.

Grade: B

Editor’s Grade:  B+.  Mitch Odom has been called a lot of things, but he has never been called “unadaptable”.  At least I don’t think so.  I mean it isn’t even a word.  Ever the active trade deadliner, Odom saw a roster built for speed and speed alone and took a few opportunities to diversify a bit and add some extra pop.  As Mike notes above the Lester/Napoli deal was absolute robbery, but the Chris Davis and stuff for Charlie Blackmon and stuff deal was quite balanced.  In the end Odom added a slew of power bats to a lineup that could stand to work a few in, and a more well-rounded approach just might serve him well come playoff time.  Also Brad Hand is a nice little SP-eligible reliever, can’t argue against that.

Barnegat Banana Slugs

Trades: 3

Key Additions: Rick Porcello, Edwin Diaz, Zack Grienke, Rich Hill

Key Losses: Adam Duvall, Sonny Gray, David Dahl, Jameson Taillon, Adrian Gonzalez

Remarks: After losing in the championship last season and acquiring the Runner-Up Curse ™, The Slugs had no real interest in staying in neutral this deadline. In 3 separate trades, Smitty got himself 3 very good starters and maybe one of the most coveted pieces in the league going right now in Edwin Diaz. He paid a large price for these pitchers, but you always need to deal value to get value.  Will it be enough to make up for the loss of Trevor Store due to injury? That’s the million dollar question.

Grade: B+

Editor’s Grade:  B+.  I hate when I agree with Lobman’s grade but YEA.  Brian’s Banana Slugs did nice work round the deadline, scoring Diaz aka the highly sought after SP-eligible reliever whom you just knew would turn into the Mariners closer at a moment’s notice.  And turn into the Mariner’s closer he did.  SAWKS pitcher Rick Porcello was a nice pickup as he is in the midst of a very strong season, and the other hurlers added could prove valuable come playoff time even though Greinke is in the midst of a somewhat BLAH season and Hill is in the midst of dealing with the blister of his fucking life.  The Slugs felt the need to shake up their pitching core they shook it, though not without parting with some young talent in Dahl and Taillon.  Ya gotta give a little to get a little folks. 

Main St MooninitezZ

Trades: 5

Key Additions: Justin Verlander, JA Happ, Ryan Schimpf, Matt Bush (CUT!), BRANDON FUCKING MOSS

Key Losses: Alex Colome, Vince Velazquez, Ben Zobrist, AJ Ramos

Remarks: The Mooninitez knew they needed to tighten up that pitching staff a bit with an eye toward the playoff push, and he sure as shit did so by picking up solid pitchers Verlander and Happ.  The idea of losing Velazquez is made palatable by picking these two up, and the Addition of Matt Bush as a rookie eligibile setup guy was a nice move.

Grade: B+

Editor’s Grade:  A-.  I am just a fan of this guy’s work, personally.  The Velasquez move, like a tough-to-swallow in hindsight drop of Michael Fulmer earlier in the season, are the clearest indications that THIS GUY is trying to win THIS YEAR and not trying to deal with pitchers getting shut down mid-playoffs run.  Justin Verlander and J.A. Happ fit the bill for that purpose, and at least one of them became somewhat necessary after the loss of Lance McCullers.  This guy just gets it.

(OVERDUE) TRADE DEADLINE POSTMORTEM

The Future of the Backyard – Starting a Conversation……..

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Mmmmm, Baseball

– As I sit in my own personal prison in Piscataway, mourning the loss of my dear friend Yasiel (SAD!), I’m looking to give some relief to my idle hands and start the dialog of what can, will, and should happen for the future in the coming months for The Backyard. As Odom and Sean (poorly) began the conversation yesterday, I will begin to ask the questions that will be ultimately answered to continue to shape the league in this new Dynasty setting.

New Frontiers?

The first question we got to ask ourselves is: WHAT in the hell is this league going to look like moving forward? I mean, we’re basically in uncharted territory as we head into the playoffs. The trading scenario is incredibly uncertain, as nobody really knows how to handle the currency of prospects along with the lack of draft picks to trade. How high do we rate prospects or even young pitching to shape the teams of 2017 and beyond? It feels like we’re going to have a multitude of approaches moving forward, with some teams capitalizing on uncertainty and some teams… well, not doing so.

My feeling is fairly clear in the sense that there is no REAL (we’ll get to this later) draft next year, so a successful team can’t just sit idly by and not look to reshape their team to the future. The playoff teams will have to balance the art of competing and preparing for the playoffs along, along with the look towards the next few seasons. This is much like what teams deal with in ACTUAL baseball. The remaining few teams who are clearly out of this playoff race will have to take a look at their roster and ask themselves who’s going to be a viable part of my 2017 season? That choice is entirely up to them.

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Pictured: Guys that aren’t really well liked. Much like some owners in the league.

New Owners?

Another very important question to this whole vision for next season: Which teams in this league will be a part of 2017 and beyond? I will not mix words, this league is about 100x more intensive than your average fantasy league (if you like to win). It takes infinitely more research and roster checking, both to see if you’re using a compliant roster and to shape your team in a way where your team is as usable and well-rounded as possible. Its not easy, and with the inevitable addition of more minor leaguers (more on this later), it may just be too much for some teams to control with real life in the way.

That question will have to be answered in the off-season, but if ANY team feels like this league is becoming too much, please think about what you’d like to do moving forward so we can line up adequate replacements.

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Do you even watch baseball?

New Technology

One idea that’s been floated around is the idea of a yearly league dues. Now, we’re not talking about prize money. Anyone who thinks prize money is a good idea for this group is not looking at the league in the correct way. That trophy (which currently sits in my office) is all the happiness I need when it comes to Fantasy Baseball. The dues (maybe $20/team) would be used to purchase the nameplate for the champion each season to go on said trophy, as well as an INCREDIBLY good idea by current (more on this later) commissioner Mike Turtora. We use some of these dues to pay for both MLB.tv and MiLB.tv for the league, so everyone could watch all of the games for both minors and big leagues. I have both, and I typically don’t mind giving the logins up to those who want them, but this would be a nice thing for the league (and save me some cash).

 

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Pictured: A guy that one owner will sell both of his kids to acquire

New Blood?

Something that’s evolved in a big way over the last few years will continue to evolve, as we will be expanding the minor league system over the offseason for the 2017 season. This system will be expanded from 5 Minor league spots (which are usable up to 50 IP or 130 AB with no restrictions), to *To be finalized* 8 Minor league spots, with 4 being strict 0 IP / 0 AB slots for players in the low minor leagues. This is essential to our future as a league in accordance with the whole dynasty system.

In order to accommodate the system, we will need some sort of a draft every January/Feb (Once the league re-ups each season) to accept some of the new guys added each winter in as fair of a way as possible. My thoughts would be a quick 5 round draft (maybe even less) to shake out some of the new additions, with the draft order and particulars to be figured out over the break. Something to think about…

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Is this man *TIRED* of leading this league?

New Commissioner?

Our commissar Mikey T has been a great servant to the league for now going into it’s, what, 9th year? We’ve shaped this league into something much more than a fantasy league, which is highly commendable due to the difficulty and control that it needed. That being said, US Presidents only get 8 years, and they have to be contested in between. I think it’s well established in the chat that T will have some competition for the future of the commissionership in the coming off-season. Whether he even wants to be commissioner in 2017 is another question all together.

So the way it could shake out is a multi-candidate election for the commissioner’s job, filled with (some kind of) a platform for what you think the league needs to do moving forward, and a plan to accomplish the objectives. Anyone’s welcome to run in this thing, so that’s another question you’ll have to ask yourself. You’ll be given the league manager powers, along with the duty of coordinating all deadlines and time-frames, as well as being the final say in any disputes for the entirety of the league. Good luck if you’re into that.

SO YEA, in summation, we got a lot to chew on here. I hope everyone reads this and really takes into account the points made that affect them. We got a lot to do to continue to shape the league, so if you have any ideas, lets hear em!

-Lobman

The Future of the Backyard – Starting a Conversation……..

A WEEK 5 REVIEW

A SPECIAL DISCLAIMER: THIS REVIEW IS ONLY MEANT TO BE FUNNY. I’M JUST TRYING TO KEEP THESE POSTS FRESH AND FUNNY (NOT ALWAYS FUNNY). I AM ONLY KIDDING WITH YOU AND YOUR TEAM. IF YOU ARE OFFENDED BY MY JOKES, DON’T BE. ALSO, I FEEL SORRY FOR YOU IF YOU ARE OFFENDED BY MY JOKES. PROCEED TO THE REVIEW:

 

– Quick note – FUCK Y’ALL (REVISED)

 

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This guy is smug as shit, as he helps take down the Bulldogs

Main Street Mooninitez EUTHANIZE Whitestone Bulldogs – 9-4-1

MVP: Ben Zobrist – Shit I mean someone test this guy for some Eastern European steroid cocktail or something. 4 Homers, 15 RBI (Yes, 15) with a .455 OBP led the way. That’s pretty good.

LVP: Cliff’s Luck – This guy must of run over a black cat or killed a gypsy or some shit, because he’s 0-5 and really not bad at all. I just don’t get it. Can’t have anything to do with his roster activity no no no no no no no…..

Well, it took some crazy shit hot offense and solid relief pitching, but the Mooninitez continued to pile on the misery for the Bulldogs in a match-up where either team might have beaten lots of teams with the showings they had. Unfortunately for Cliff, he was playing on of the few that he, like, was worse than. This poor guy just can’t catch a break, as he had near 100k performances from his pitchers (JON GRAY hello) with 10 QS along with some pretty nifty offensive numbers. Sean’s Moonmen have shaken off some of the “you killed Oscar Taveras” bad mojo from last season, and are really starting to reap the benefits.

Next Week: Mooninitez head over to take on the Cuban Missiles, while The Bulldogs are gonna continue their search for win 1 against the Runner Up Curse ™ holder Barnegat Banana Slugs.

 

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Robbie Cano CLEARLY is doing some things.

Springfield Isotopes defeats Point Loma X-Rays – 8-3-3

MVP: Robbie Cano – With 4 homers and 9 RBI, Cano is back, dontcha know?

LVP: David Price – He PROBABLY wasn’t the worst player this week, but I will say this dude needs to get it going ASAP if Odom wants to contend. Here’s what his last 2 starts against the Yankees (THE FUCKING YANKEES) looked like: L L

The Topes have continued to pull their way back to respectability for the 2nd consecutive week with a win over a playoff team in the X-Rays. Neither team really lit the world on fire, but the real difference here was the Isotopes pitching staff, posting a near record 11 saves and approaching the 100k mark. Offensively outside of Cano, there was really not much to speak of, so I really won’t at this point. It has to be asked if the suspensions and crazy shell game offense of the X-Rays are really taking a toll on the production that this team has week to week.

Next Week: The Isotopes take on The People’s Champs, while The X-Rays work to right the ship against the Trout Fishing Club (get it?)

 

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America’s favorite underachieving pitcher treats us to quite a week.

River City Cuban Missiles CRUSH Bad Drakepuns – 8-2-4

MVP: Jeff Samardzija – You wouldn’t know it, but this dude had a nice little 18k 2 QS performance. Nice.

LVP:  Connor – Just because.

Defending Champ Cuban Missiles do the rest of the league a solid and take down the somehow top spot Altuves, in really what was a very balanced performance from both teams. Despite all of the bluster about how the Missiles conducted their business in the offseason, they currently lead the league in power numbers, and are doing so in a very balanced way. The Puns got yet another strong week from Jose Quintana and some of his other pitchers, but really it wasn’t enough because Lobman’s guys were just a bit better. And really, that’s good for everyone. If you think about it.

Next week: Cuban Missiles welcome the Mooninitez back to Earth, while the Altuves will do their best to deal with the RESURGENCE.

 

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Brandon Belt, pictured with his brother Brian Belt, help take down the Slugs in week 5.

Pine Lake Peoples Champs Salted the Barnegat Banana Slugs 6-5-3

MVP: Brandon Belt – Great week from an underrated player – Basically what you get when you play Cincy and Colorado in a 7 day week. Good times.

LVP: Sonny Gray – 7 Earned giving up 11 hits to the Mariners is GENERALLY a bad thing. I’m sure R-Mac doubly enjoyed that one.

Picture this: heading into the Sunday Night game (Yankees vs Sawxxx), you have a 6-5-3 disadvantage, so you really have a shot. ALL YOU NEED is a triple or a steal. One of those stats could keep you in the above .500 club. You have 2 guys going and your opponent has none. Ok, so I just need a triple or a steal from………… Brian McCann or David Ortiz? SHIT. Runner Up CURSE ™ Runner Up CURSE ™ Runner Up CURSE ™ Runner Up CURSE ™ Runner Up CURSE ™ Runner Up CURSE ™ Runner Up CURSE ™ Runner Up CURSE ™

Next Week: Will the Runner Up CURSE ™ lead the Slugs to be the first team to lose to the Bulldogs? MAYBE. Also, The Peoples Champs get a fun little matchup with the T’s Topes.

 

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THE WENDY’S GHOST PEPPER FRIES AND JALEPENO CHICKEN SANDWICH GAME OF THE WEEK

 

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Steven Wright pitches the Resurgence into a Week 5 Victory. Wait.

Rojo’s Resurgence (re)Surged past the Ocean Gate Trout whatevers – 7-5-2

MVP: Steven MOTHERFUCKIN Wright – How about a clinching CG win when your team needed it most? Wright did some major damage to Heroy and his trout club by tossing 9 innings of 7k ball in a win.

LVP: Todd Frazier – Look, I got Toms River pride and all (Note: I don’t), but Frazier couldn’t buy a base this week. .185 OBP is weak despite the homer. There may have been worse players, but I dislike Frazier so there.

Basically, all that needs to be said was the OG’s were leading going into the Sunday Night Game (geez that game was important), and all they needed was for Steven Wright to not have a great game. Well, Wright threw a CG 7k win (as noted) and really crushed all of Heroy’s hopes as we watched him anguish on the chat. A fun time was had by most, Heroy being the main exception.

Next Week: The Resurgence will hope to continue this Cinderella run against the Bad Drakepuns, and The Fishing Club of Sadness will match up against Odom’s X-Ray roster carousel.

– Lobman

A WEEK 5 REVIEW