Well, this is a weird feeling. For the first time in the history of the league, yours truly the TWO time champeeen River City Bad Dude–Margs are not chasing another title run. I know the rest of the league is as broken up as I was about this fact, but in respect of the remaining playoff chasers, we will press on and give a QUICK review of this first round of the playoffs in the year of our lord 2019. Without further ado:
BYE Weeks: Lacey Twp backdoor Sliderzzzzzzzz(z), East Coast Kings
They both did a nice job managing (not managing) their rosters and setting themselves up for their respective weeks in Round 2. Good for them.
Lakehurst Leviathans defeat THE NEW LOOK River City Fightin’ Margs – 9-3-2
NOTES: Shane keeping Mike Fiers has paid immediate dividends, as his centerpiece for 2020 throw a 6 inning 5 earned GEM. This start further entrenches him in the Leviathans 2020 rotation (I assume). Anyways, nobody really gives a fuck about the consolation bracket, but its really fucking swell to see Bryce Harper hit dingerZ when they don’t actually matter. Both teams had solid OBP’s (Shout out to the 2019 OBP record for Shane this week BUT THE MEDIA ISN’T REPORTING THAT) and didn’t start the requisite 12 which is just fine for this situation.
Next Up: Honestly who cares.
Rojo’s Renegade Force defeats Barnegat Banana Slugs – 7-3-4
NOTES: I dunno. Aristides Aquino had a very nice week. The Renegades got some strong Japanese power with an Ohtani JROLL, as well as a lovely outing from Yu Darvish. One must think that this momentum will really push The Renegades into good form for next seas…………. Nevermind. Uh, moving on!
Next Up: Again, Nobody Cares
Pacific Beach X-Rayz Start lots of guys, defeat Island Beach Bears – 9-3-2
You just know you’re in for a long playoff week when you look at your opponent’s starting roster on a Monday and find 8(!) random pickups on for a doubleheader in Yankee Stadium. That’s not what you want, and for Sean’s Bears, the random beat-down continued throughout the entirety of the week. There’s no way to know if Sean actually paid attention this week, but if he did, he would have seen that the X-Rayz started 40 FORTY different batters! If I were Mikey T, I’d make some claim that this was DEFINITELY a record. I’m not sure if it was, but it was a record. Anyways, Jose Ramirez is good again, so he gets my MVP of the week award for this matchup. Also, it can’t feel good to see FORMER Bear, Domingo German tossing a 7-inning gem against his former team. Again, I’m not sure Sean noticed.
FOR THE BEARS, Max Munchy had a nice week, and the team sure got a lot of holds. Marcus Semien rung up a JROLL moral victory, and the Bears did not start 40 batters this week. That’s like all I got here. The real winner here are the Bears, as now their owner can paddle out to sea on his boogie board without having to worry about checking his roster. I think at the end of the day, both teams got what they wanted, and that’s really what this league is all about.
Next Up:Pacific Beach X-Rayz travel to the back woods of Lacey Township to face our defending champion. I expect too many wrestling comments.
Matchup of the Playoff Week, SPONSORED BY DICK’S SPORTING GOODS:
The Ocean Gate Trout Fishing ClubTIE and DEMORALIZEand END the SEASON of the Astoria Isotopes – 6-6-2
Wooooo boy. I mean, where to begin here. This matchup had EVERYTHING, and by everything, I mean that I really started following what was going on around 5:30 on Sunday night. But the drama was palpable heading into that 7pm Little League whatever the fuck that is that they do every year now. It honestly looked like the Fishing Club had this thing all done and dusted at the end of the day on Saturday, but low and behold the #Dopes decided to go out and have a fairly RIDICULOUS 6 homer 14 RBI Sunday afternoon (along with 2 holds and 2 saves) to take a 7-5 lead into this now historic 7pm game. Now, I didn’t watch the game, mainly because A-Rod is so terrible to listen to and he wears uncomfortably tight dress shirts, but the situation had the Topes getting into the semifinals if the score held. The OGFC needed a homer and a double from one of the Bell/Bryant/Rizzo trio, which in hindsight was entirely plausible.
The chat was FILLED with T comments saying, “I WANT THE CHAMP” and talking about his impending matchup with The BDSliderz. I remember thinking to myself “Just how much will I laugh if Bryant doubles, then Rizzo homers right behind him?” very early on in the game (while tracking on my phone, again A-Rod isn’t good). WELL GUYS you’ll never guess what happens in the 5th inning! Mitch Keller gives up a quick double to Kris Bryant, to prompt Mikey T to say something along the lines of “Uh Oh”. Now, we all knew what was coming next, which was inevitably the end of the Dopes I mean Topes season. Trying to rile up my good friend T, I said “Hey wouldn’t it be funny if Rizzo homered here?”. The chat BLEW UP. Rizzo had done it, something ALL TOO MANY have done off of Mitch Keller this season, but this one mattered. The Bryzzo combo had officially sent the hopes of Topes 2nd title crashing down in the Williamsport night. Many little leaguers were cheering. I assume T was not. Heroy was hungover and somewhat down about his victory. Nobody wins sometimes.
Let’s just give a big ole MVP to Bryzzo here for disemboweling the Topes on a late Sunday night.
Next Up: The OGFC head to the East Coast (?) to face the Kings, where there’s no doubt where Heroy will concede victory to R-mac about 15 times and proclaim that he doesn’t really care about this league anyways and wants it all to end.
OUR LONG BACKYARDONAL NIGHTMARE IS OVER. A few weeks ago the Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz were some sort of undefeated unstoppable juggernaut (likely influenced by some wholly unsustainable BABIPs but I digress), their heel of an asshole of an owner had taken over the blog with promises of timely content and copious wrestling references, and things looked bleaked folks. Fast forward a few weeks and there has been very little content (FRAUD), and the BackdoorSliderz have finally tasted defeat in the 2019 Backyard season (FRAUD), and now I have returned to write about it in longform while also restoring Jimmy Rollins to his rightful JROLL throne. If you’re threatening an undefeated season culminating in a second straight championship we are forced to take you seriously because that THREATENS the 3PO greatest team of all time narrative. And that allows you a little leeway within the blogosphere. But now you’re just some fraud that’s got a first round bye that’s got to HOPE AND PRAY their team’s insanely good fortunes aren’t running out all at once at the worst possible time. Better to be .450 BABIPing in August and not April, folks. To be fair they also have insanely good players BUT you also have to yanno, HOPE AND PRAY those guys don’t slump or get injured. I see vulnerability in the Lacey’s beady little eyes…..
Oh yea there’s also some other matchups that happened, the X-Rayz finally bulk reliever’d their way to the Ks record, etc. etc. etc. all will be covered BUT FIRST…..
East Coast Kings Perhaps Permanently Pummel Playoff Plans Pertaining Towards The Barnegat Banana Slugs (Probably?) – 12-2-0
MVP: Nelson Cruz – Honestly I forgot the Kings even HAD Nelson Cruz (been kinda outta the review game for a minute) but LOVE IT LOVE HIM love the energy, he’s my second favorite Old Man Masher in baseball (see opening GIF for #1).12/29, 10 Rs, 1 2B, 7 HRs, 13 RBIs, .485 OBP
LVP:Yasiel Puig – Yasiel just didn’t contribute much stuff this week, and that’s about as much analysis as I intend to give here. On the Yasiel front. 4/21, 4 Rs, 2 2Bs, .292 OBP
JROLLs: Francisco Lindor (2, ECK)
HRs. The poor Banana Slugs likely mashed as hard as they’ve mashed all season (7th in HRs) but it still wasn’t enough against a locked in Kings squad, and they lost the HRs cat 25-17. That means 8 more runs for the Kings (the won Rs 60-48), at least 8 more and obviously more than 8 more RBIs for the Kings (they won RBIs 70-57), perhaps a slight OBP bump (the won OBP .363 to .357). Put it all together and you have two teams that had impressive offenses in Week 16 but yanno, one was more impressive. And so that one….won.
Assorted Musings Should I Feel Like Musin’: Haven’t talked pitching in a Kings matchup so let’s do that, shout out to a weirdly dominant streamed Steven MatzCG shutout for the Kings. Also shout out to the fact that mayyybe just maybe Trevor Bauer isn’t the super-established ace Trevor Bauer likely thinks he is. I consider him a super-established whiny little bitch, however…
What’s Next (Week 17): ECF v. LL (9-7 v. 6-10)
RRF@ AI (7-8-1 @ 7-9)
Pacific Beach X-Rayz Rack Up A Shit Ton Of Strikeouts, Also Do Other Things Well In Big Beatdown of Astoria Isotopes – 10-1-3
MVP: Jose Ramirez – JOSE RAMIREZ SIGHTING. The X-Rayz have turned around an ugly start to the season but Jose has mostly been an afterthought even during said turnaround. That is up until July; 9 HRs in a month that has seen the X-Rayz go 3-0. If J-Ram keeps it going into the #BackyardBracket this team can make noise folks.12/30, 7 Rs, 3 2Bs, 4 HRs, 9 RBIs, 2 SBs, .441 OBP
LVP:Mike Moustakas – More like Mike MOSTSUCKASS, AMIRITE? I hate that I’m dignifying that bad name joke, and also this was a real toss up between Mike and Khris (2/22, 2 RBIs), but ultimately we are going with Moustakas and with that shitty name joke and that is just how things are. 1/15, 1 R, .182 OBP
Strikeouts. In a week where the X-Rayz set a new and rather tough to top record in the Ks department, I guess I have to go with Ks here. Ever the Innovator Odom has really taken a shine to this whole “bulk reliever” craze because of course he has, but it’s worth noting the EFFECTS here. The ‘Topes rocked a 9.513 K per 9 in Week 16, better than the X-Rayz 9.217, but WHAT’S THAT MATTER when the latter team tosses 116.2 innings to your 84.2, THIRTY TWO MORE INNINGS THROWN on the Pacific Beach side. And that’s how you set a Ks record and win the cat 119-89, and that’s how you grab 11 wins, and usually there’s a risk of ERA ruin but the ‘Topes managed to suck more (X-Rayz won ERA 4.71 to 5.53), and that’s how you get your doors relatively blown off (also only hitting like 6 HRs doesn’t help) and get leapfrogged in the Backyard Bracket Standings.
Assorted Musings Should I Feel Like Musin’: Eight bulk relievers used by the X-Rayz in Week 16, not sure what his usual is but SEEMS LIKE A LOT… ‘Topes were league-worst in Wk 16 in Runs, HRs, RBIs and I guess that’s just what happens when Khris Davis is slumping HARD… Also a real rollercoaster of a season for Astoria, whom started out 0-5 then won 7 in a row and have now lost 4 in a row…
What’s Next (Week 17): PBX v. BBS (6-7-3 v. 5-10-1)
AIv. RRF (7-9 v. 7-8-1)
River City Bad Dudes Best A Super Invested Definitely Started Twelve Pitchers* Rojo’s Renegade Force Squad – 9-4-1
*one was an opener but beggars can’t be choosers
MVP: Miguel Sano – Miguel Sano is a fat turd (whoever had “turd” twice in Blog Bingo gets a prize) who strikes out too much and is probably a piece of shit, BUT he’s mashing taters this season and mashed some taters in Week 16 and I guess that’sa ll the MVP of the week part cares about. Nice tie-in to the River City Mashers hidden in this paragraph, FAN SERVICE for longtime Backyard fans. The Doch Blog never delivered this sort of stuff, or any sort of stuff really. A totally Weak and Low Energy blogger. ANYWHO YEA MIGUEL SANO. 9/27, 6 Rs, 4 HRs, 11 RBIs, .379 OBP
LVP:Masahiro Tanaka – I mean, FOR FUCKS SAKE Masahiro. You get LVP of the Week cuz I’m not sure I’ve seen that many runs given up in quite some time. And it was against the Red Sawks so SHAME ON HIM. 3.1 IP, 12 ER, 4 Ks, 32.40 ERA ***LVP OF THE WEEK***
Holds. You lost AT YOUR OWN GAME ROJO. The Bad Dudes won Holds 4-1and that isn’t necessarily why they won the MATCHUP (the .342 to .311 OBP disparity probably more damning) but it IS necessarily all I want to talk about here cuz this matchup bores me.
Assorted Musings Should I Feel Like Musin’: Renegade Force perhaps making league history as the first team to knowingly (I think) start an “opener,” THIS LEAGUE JUST GETS WACKIER AND WACKIER…
MVP: Didi Gregorius – Both Didi and JD Martinez did real work in Week 16 (pretend Judge is JD in the GIF above) but Didi did slightly better work and fuck the sawks and so on and so forth.11/26, 5 Rs, 4 2Bs, 1 3B, 2 HRs, 13 RBIs, .448 OBP
LVP:Francisco Mejia – On the opposite end of the spectrum, Mejia did the very opposite of work and contributed nothing but a few base hits and no wonder this goddamned owner always harrasses me about Gary Sanchez. 4/16, .294 OBP
JROLLs: Trea Turner (2, OGFC) ; Adam Eaton (1, LL)
Triples. This matchup was tiiiiiiiight all over the place man, but it’s always an unfortunate circumstance when your team musters more than one three-bagger and still loses the cat. And that was the case here so lets highlight Heroy sadness, two triples (AND ONE JROLL) out of the OGFC and they get bested by a Leviathans team that put up four despite the absence of Adalberto. Tough break kiddo. Other tough breaks include 1 “point” losses in SBs, QS, and Holds but this paragraph was about the triples so we are gonna STICK TO THE TRIPLES.
Assorted Musings Should I Feel Like Musin’: The Leviathans had 69 RBIs (nice.)… ALSO, with this victory the Leviathans have more wins in Year 3 than they had in Years 1 and 2 COMBINED (double nice.)(#TrustTheProcess)…
What’s Next (Week 17): LL @ ECK (6-10 @ 9-7)
OGFCv. IBB (8-7-1 v. 6-9-1)
2019 WEEK 16 BACKYARD BATTLE OF THE WEEK, SPONSORED BY THE 1985 CHICAGO BEARS’ WEEK 13 DEFEAT
Island Beach Bears Accomplish Everything They Needed To In 2019 Season, Slay The Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz Beast Fucking Finally (they are now allowed to go win the championship or whatever I guess*) – 7-6-1
*jkjk we root against any and all back-to-back chamPEEN challengers ’round here, fuck them I want ’em bounced in Round 2..
MVP: Edwin Encarnacion – Were there better performers in Week 16 both on the Bears and on other teams? I mean yea PROBABLY (definitely). But this was another performance in a long line of CLUTCH PLAYOFF PERFORMANCES (as far as I’m concerned I just won the playoffs) wherein Encarnacion, win or loss, gave us a heroic effort. In this case we needed doubles and he HEROICALLY contributed FIVE, 45% of his total heading into Week 16. Good. Man. 11/32, 6 Rs, 5 2Bs, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, .400 OBP ***MVP OF THE WEEK/PROBABLY YEAR***
LVP:Alex Bregman – Bad week outta Breggy and a quiet week outta a few other ButtSliderz Starz in Week 16, it’s almost like that’s how baseball is supposed to work as opposed to having EVERYTHING GO YOUR WAY ALL YEAR LONG. Suck it, turds. 1/17, 3 Rs, 1 2B, 1 RBI, .238 OBP
Bears Hitter Of Note: Jonathan Villarheard rumors of other owners BALKING at requested returns (probably justifiably so) when those owners came asking about himand so he went out and had himself a week on them basepaths (10/33, 9 Rs, 1 2B, 2 HRs, 5 RBIs, 5 SBs, .361 OBP).
Bears Pitcher Of Note: When you trade away all of your other good pitchers you’re left with one good pitcher and then that good pitcher likely ends up your pitcher “of note” in these winning situations, and his name is Mike Clevinger (14 IP, 4 ER, 14 Ks, 2 QS, 2 Ws, 2.57 ERA).
BackdoorSliderz Hitter Of Note: Lets all point at Cody Bellinger and laugh because he DIDN’T absolutely bludgeon me in Week 16 and perhaps he isn’t Barry Bonds, which would be nice for me and my trade psyche (he’s still really good and young and I regret that trade and that trade only)(I’ll still trade any mothafucka)(4/18, 4 Rs, 1 2B, 2 RBIs, .333 OBP).
BackdoorSliderz Pitcher Of Note: And just for FAIR and BALANCED reporting of the FACTS I’ll not do the thing where I try and single out a bad performance here… Robbie Ray had double digit Ks in back-to-back starts so good for him, STILL LOST LOSER (12 IP, 5 ER, 21 Ks, 2 QS, 1 W, 3.75 ERA).
How many words does one owe history? When will enough be written about our triumphs in WWII, about the moon landing, about the moments that DEFINED civilization? Can enough words ever be written? I posit that they cannot, which is why this blog will fail regardless of how long I write about one of the greatest regular season victories (if not THE greatest) in Backyard history (and I intend to write a buncha words and they won’t even be particularly interesting but THE WORD COUNT, oh the word count). Sure teams have gone on some runs, won some games in a row, even won some championships in a row 😉 . But has there ever been a team that remained undefeated this late into one of our regular seasons? No seriously I am asking. And IF SO, could that team have possibly been helmed by a more despicable owner than the one that currently presides over the Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz? This one I can answer myself: no, for that would be impossible.
Comeuppance has been a long time coming for this team, a talented unit to be fair but one that also has been hashtag BLESSED with some lucky bounces in its day. I think they beat the Banana Slugs in a week when they had like a .270-something OBP, I think Fernando Tatis Jr.and Keston Hiura have had UNSUSTAINABLE BABIPs to begin their respective careers, I think this had to happen the way it happened. At the hands of your fearless, really at this point less-than-part-time, blogger (and perhaps part-time lover) because only HE would then chronicle the great moment in glorious detail. And only HE, thanks to his own human failings, would be able to perfectly set up a Sunday Night Scenario that quite frankly I didn’t see enough applause for the in chat. Edwin Encarnacion is a BACKYARD TREASURE and he deserves your respect. Perhaps no player is more synonymous with their respective franchise, and obviously no player more perfectly epitomizes the GLORY DAYZ of back-to-back-to-back championships for this (once proud, now multiple times renamed) franchise, and now he has basically delivered a fourth championship. Feels like I’ve won the championship this season. You’re all free to keep playing and do the whole “Backyard Bracket” thing but yanno…..whatever.
There was a time when I planned to break down each day of this HISTORIC VICTORY FOR THE ISLAND BEACH BEARS, but holy shit that sounds exhausting and its difficult enough to piece together the play-by-play just from Sunday. So yea with that caveat in place lets now get fucking pumped up and lets fucking LETS BREAK DOWN THIS HISTORIC MATCHUP’S HISTORIC SUNDAY, SHALL WE?! FUCK YEA LETS:
DAY 7 (Sunday, 7.28.19 Anno Domini)
The Island Beach Bears enter day 7 of their battle WEARY and sensing defeat. Things were lookin’ kinda solid with the BackdoorSliderz offense scuffling, and then Saturday they uhh unscuffled. Categories as of Sunday AM were as follows (not because I think anyone wants to read this shit, but because I want to pump up this word count to up the obnoxious):
Runs – Bears lead 53 to 38
Doubles – Sliderz lead 14 to 12
Triples – Bears lead 2 to 0
HRs – Bears lead 11 to 9
RBIs – Sliderz lead 44 to 37
OBP – Sliderz comfortably ahead just take my word for it
SBs – Bears lead 7 to 4
Ks – Bears lead 80 to 69 (nice.)
QS – Bears lead 9 to 5
CGs – Bears haven’t had one all goddamned year, surprised the ButtSliderz didn’t grab one but yea this ended up 0-0
Ws – Tied 6 to 6
Saves – Sliderz lead 4 to 1
Holds – Bears lead 5 to 1
ERA – Sliderz lead like 2 something to 3 something
BEARS LEADING 7-5-2
This lead, this lead is a mirage and the Bears know it. For what you DON’T see up there, though certainly I had the room to note it, is the Bears have maxed out their starts by Sunday AM (and amassed a measly 80 Ks doing so) while the BackdoorSliderz would be trotting out four arms for the final day: Kyle Gibson, Robbie Ray, Walker Buehler, and AARON NOLA. The last arm is of obvious added significance, it’s an arm that already logged a start for the Bears earlier in the week and an arm they then traded away because dynasty is boring make some trades you pussies. It is also an arm that what was SUPPOSED TO BE starting only once in Week 16, was sort of important to me to avoid facing my sweet sweet Aaron in 2019. Alas he ended up getting bumped up to Sunday, and Lacey ownership did what Lacey ownership does best: paid lip service to sitting him as some sort of courtesy or signaling of their high moral fiber but MERELY A SIGNAL, they were never gonna sit him WERE THEY (Bears ownership wouldn’t have wanted that, but also was drinking at the time of the initial message so didn’t really offer that opinion clearly one way or the other, so could Doch have even KNOWN what I wanted? Has he ever known what anyone else ever wanted? Has he failed to please everyone in his life?)?! ANYWHOM, ultimately Nola got the nod and that was the right move I wouldn’t have wanted a bullet left in the chamber.
SO, and stay with me now, what we have at this point is the Bears BASICALLY expecting Ks and Ws to go to Lacey, with a possibility of them going 4-4 in QS and tying that up as well….. things seemed bleak to say the least. As I alluded, the BackdoorSliderz had already used a 16 run/4 double/5 HR/15 RBI/.460 OBP Saturday to overtake OBP and generally signal the end times for the Bears upset chances. Or so we thought :))))))))))))))) It would require a good amount of good Lacey pitchers pitching poorly for the Bears to retake the ERA lead, and we had already done everything in our power to try and grab more Ks or more Ws or whatever by signing a buncha shitty SP-eligible relievers and treating it like BCS Sunday. And so at this point Bears ownership was on the beach not paying much mind to these sorts of longshot hypotheticals, is what I’m saying.
FAST FORWARD to late afternoon and suddenly the BackdoorSliderz pitching staff has managed to blow the ERA lead by pitching jusssttttt poorly enough, suddenly the Bears are told they’re clinging to a 7-6-1advantage, and even more suddenly they must reckon with all of those fucking random SP relievers they brought in to try and grab additional pitching stats. Pretty quickly it was assumed by Bears ownership, QUITE CORRECTLY (because they’re actually super smart and stuff), that those shitty relievers were shitty for a reason and so they would fuck said Bears and return said ERA lead and the overall lead with it probably upon their first opportunity…. almost instantaneously Colin McHughdid just that. Around the same time just GENERAL LIFE LIVING, the sort of thing Rojo has tried to tell us all about from high atop the mountains, prevents Bears ownership (me) from subbing out a resting Nicholas Castellanosfor a not-resting Hunter Renfroe. By the time of this realization the DEFINITELY EXPECTED Luis Perdomo earned runs have also crossed the plate and we’ve officially written off ERA (evidently we shouldn’t have we only lost 3.90 to 3.86, I would have been haunted by Josh Tomlinif things broke poorly), now turning the attention to catching the evil LTBS RBIs and/or 2Bs while also defending a slim lead in HRs.
This is gripping stuff, one would imagine, if both owners were both scowling MLBTV and furiously refreshing computer screens to follow along. And in fact for the sake of this blog post we are going to say that Doch definitely was doing precisely that, in some sad little Lacey cave like the ones people used to pretend Bin Laden was hiding in. There’s some parallels there. At some point we know the LTBS closed the HR gap to one (thanks to Soto or Confortoor Santana or one of those fucks, but this isn’t their story) and at some other point we now know Marcus Semien and Danny Santana have homered to give the #DongsCat it’s final margin of victory for the Bears. Small margin, small total overall but it’s not the size that counts. So ALL GOOD ON THE HRs, hooray for the good guys. RBIs inched close (another size pun in here somewhere), some thanks due to Travis D’Arnaud for contributing 7 RBIs for the IBB while only bequeathing 2 RBIs for the LTBS (he’s filled in admirably for Gary Sanchez), but ultimately despite our best efforts bad things sometimes happen to good people and good things sometimes happen to bad people (see Doch’s 2018 season) and so we couldn’t close the gap there. And by “best efforts” I mean we couldn’t close the gap because Hunter Renfroe hit a grand slam on the fucking bench, with plenty of space for him in our not-being-used RF slot.
SO RBIs weren’t working out and its down to doubles to slay the beast. Ozzie Albies knocked the lone Sunday double for Lacey, the very excellent Danny Santana and Jonathan Villar and Travis D’Arnaud chipped in their own two-baggers for Island Beach (left out a “two-bagger” joke about Dorothy here), and by the time the dust had settled we arrived at a very unsatisfying 6-6-2 tie heading into Sunday Night Sawks-Yanks. This could not stand, however….
SUNDAY NIGHT SAWKS-YANKS (7.28.19 Anno Domini)
The Yankee-loathing Lacey outfit has no participants in the Sunday night game, the Bears have ❤ Edwin Encarnacion ❤ and Aaron Hicks. The Bears need one double or 4 RBIs to finally hand the BackdoorSliderz a much-needed loss in 2019, and the presence of Edwin in this equation has them quietly CONFIDENT….. so confident they are not watching the game one bit, and are going to Mellow Mushroom. I think I’m back from Mellow by the time Edwin evidently smokes a single in the top of the 5th…..
….that moves Hicks to 3rd and no farther, so yea running out of innings but WE ARE FINE EVERYTHING IS FINE. STILL. I think at this point I’m “watching a documentary” on PFAS, Edwin would not betray this organization.
In the 7th inning, we get what we need and by “we” I mean THE LEAGUE AS A WHOLE needed:
Encarnación doubled to left center, Hicks to third.
Print that out and smoke it folks, I’m giving you PITCH TYPE and everything here. I will also note the double was hit off of Bad Dudes RELIEVER PHENOM EXTRAORDINAIRE Darwinzon Hernandez.
Bears win 7-6-1
Bears win self-proclaimed “last week they give a shit about winning”
Undefeated season for the ButtSliderz is off the table, which is a bit of a relief I think we can all agree
Bears now have to keep giving a shit until formally eliminated from playoffs (TAKE NOTE ROJO), which isn’t a relief per se but is still FINE ITS FINE we can pay attention to a fantasy baseball league while still existing in the world (TAKE NOTE LOBMAN, OR MAYBE ROJO, I am forgetting the gripes at this point)….
The league is saved and you’re all fucking welcome
Look I know this one was a bit of a coin flip in several spots and we just have easily could have allowed the LTBS to escape with yet another win and they’re still the current favorites (though clearly I think we’ve exposed some kinks in the armor, not gonna tell anyone what they are it’s a big secret) for that OTHER champeenship still to be awarded. I know all these things. But I also know that this shit needed to end and so Edwin ended it, and so nobody ever ask me if he was available to trade for ever again. Notta one of youz. ANYWAYZ Week 17 has the Bears still in the bracket hunt weirdly enough, so they’re gonna head to Ocean Gate and try and beat those jackasses. And if they don’t at least they beat this jackass. This jackass and his ButtSliderz take on the River City Bad Dudes in our Backyard Battle Of The Week.
Consider this a bit of a Troll For Champions, as I’m sure everyone feels like their team was the best championship team OF ALL TIME and mostly everyone there is wrong. It is also a bit of a troll because I am doing VERY LITTLE research here. So finally, as a labor of love, and since we finally have 10 league champions, I will rank them all. The last troll article had some rules let’s get some more rules in here.
FIRST RULE, is more of a statement and that statement is I don’t have access to any league pages before like 2013. So really I am the worst possible person to compile a top ten. HERE IT IS ANYWAYS.
Previous season result MATTERS, in the obvious ways you will expect it to matter. aka teams that win multiple years in a row should obviously be PRAISED BY ALL.
Regular season stats matter A BIT, particularly since I only have that to go off of for a couple of seasons.
But playoff run also matters, particularly since I only happen to know the playoff runs for a couple of seasons. Alright let’s get to it, I don’t even think I needed to list rules but I copy and pasted the top from last time for some reason ANYWAYS HERE WE GO…
2017 – POINT LOMA X*RAYZ: 10-6-2
Notable Performers: Jose Ramirez, Dee Gordon, Billy Hamilton, Elvis Andrus, Daniel Murphy, Chris Archer, Robbie Ray, Jeff Samardzija, Edwin Diaz, Dellin Betances
Why They’re Number Ten: BECAUSE THEIR BCS #NimmoGate CONTROVERSY NEARLY RUINED US ALL. I love this particular roster and was a big fan of their playoff run, but lets face it the BCS uhhh “incident” was a bit o’ a shitshow. And since that shitshow was mostly due to a terrible rule established by this team’s OWN OWNER that kinda seals their fate as the number ten here. Which doesn’t at all take away from the fact that Odom has taken home the chip (or co-taken co-home) in 4 of 7 seasons in the league which is plenty fucking impressive. And I thank him for Rhys Hoskins in a roundabout way (assuming Rhys works out).
2011 – JIMBO’S VULCAN DEATH GRIP: 9-11
Notable Performers: Mike Napoli, Elvis Andrus, Michael Young, Carlos Gonzalez (half the season), Hanley Ramirez (the other half), Joe Mauer (the other half but also always hurt), CC Sabathia (half the season), Cole Hamels (the other half), an erratic Ubaldo Jimenez, David Robertson
(special thanks to Odom for helping me remember some guys)
Why They’re Number Nine: REGULAR SEASON RECORD is what does this team no favors. Despite a fan favorite name and an impressive championship in their eventual inaugural season as owners, the facts are the facts and the facts are this is the only team to ever win a championship with a sub-.500 regular season record. I am also going to claim this team INVENTED THE BLOCKBUSTER, because this thing is full of wild claims without sources. A midseason deal sent That record CC and CarGo to the WVU Bombers or whatfuckingever for Mauer, Hanley Ramirez, and Cole Hamels and those three would be staples on the team for YEARS TO COME. Mauer would go on to homer in a first round matchup against WVU which was amusing because he hit all of 3 HRs that season. But YEA THE RECORD, the record gave the doubters plenty of fuel with which to doubt. DOUBT THAT WOULD PROVE FOOLISH. clearly it was a star, t from humble beginnings for the Odom/Sean dynasty to be.
2009 – SCARLET KNIGHTS: 15-7
Notable Performers: JASON BAY, Brian Wilson ALLEGEDLY for the latter half, Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Robinson Cano, Jorge Posada, Travis Hafner maybe?, Vernon Wells maybe?, Miguel Tejada maybe?, Dustin Pedroia for part of the season? Some other closers? I dunno how the fuck should I know…
Why They’re Number Eight: PRE-COMPETITIVE ERA. Because while a 15-7 record is nothing to sneeze at, they played in the pre-competitive era free of minor league systems and excessive numbers of keepers and so on and so forth. Also their BCS victory came at the hands of a notable idiot with a 12-10 record, unlike the next 15-7 team on the list that defeated a fellow 15-7er to capture a crown. FUN FACT: I won the fantasy football championship this season thanks to a one CJ2K. So that is a fun fact.
2010 – TOMS RIVER TAKEOVER: 15-7
Notable Performers: CLAYTON KERSHAW I AM SURE, Roy Halladay and his NINE CGs I am sure, Justin Upton, Jon Lester, Juan Pierre?, injury-hampered Justin Morneau? injury-hampered J-ROLLLLLLLL, Dan Uggla?, Tim Hudson?, hopefully kept Kelly Johnson through the tough times cuz 2010 was his masterpiece?
Why They’re Number Seven: SUPERIOR BCS MATCHUP. AGAIN this comes in the era of a bunch of shitty owners shitting around, BUT this particular 15-7 squad edges the previous due to a seemingly more challenging BCS matchup. No idea who really made up this roster (heavy speculation based on ’08 draft above), but I DO see they dropped a ridiculous 81 RBIs (still the all-time record) and 70 Runs on their poor Week 16 opponent. So I suspect they had some strong offensive players. Feel pretty confident in this guess.
2016 – OCEANGATE TROUT FISHING CLUB: 11-7-2
Notable Performers: Mike Trout, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Mookie Betts, Todd Frazier, Trea Turner, Ian Desmond, Corey Seager, Jose Fernandez, Francisco Rodriguez
Why They’re Number SIX: GENERAL ROSTER TALENT. This team had done such an excellent job of SQUANDERING their elite talent for years that I campaigned a few times for them to change their name to the LessWithMores, but in 2016 they finally got it done. They entered the playoffs as the #4 seed and advanced out of the first round via a tie with the #5 seed but BY GOD, they still got it done. Mostly unimpressive playoff performance aside. They got it done. Good for them. I rank them this highly simply because they got it done in THE COMPETITIVE ERA and also because their roster was good enough to likely beat pretty much any other team on this list (provided they weren’t MISMANAGED INTO THE GROUND).
2015 – RIVER CITY CUBAN MISSILES: 12-6-2
Notable Performers: Anthony Rizzo, Jose Abreu, Manny Machado, Bryce Harper, Chris Davis, Jose Bautista, Jon Lester, Garrett Richards, Jacob DeGrom, Zach Britton
Why They’re Number Five: POSTSEASON DOMINANCE. The interesting thing to ME here is I’ve been able to look at a few “roster summaries” here and this one appears to be one of the more unimpressive ones stats-wise (pitching especially) AND YET can’t deny this postseason performance. Not only did the Cuban Missiles grab the #1 seed, but they won their two playoff matchups by a combined score of 23-3-2. I dunno that feels like it may be some kind of record. The Missiles defeated team rmac 11-1-2 in the second round and the fresh on the scene Barnegat Banana Slugs 12-2 in the BCS, effectively steamrolling the competition in a way that needs to be acknowledged here. And it has been acknowledged. So now lets move on.
2008 – RIVER CITY MASHERS: 19-3
Notable Performers: I mean NO IDEA one might think, because I am blocked from accessing these old rosters. BUT, I can piece together the probable notable performers from a recap of the league’s first draft and so here they are – Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, David Wright ‘scuseeee me, Mark Teixeira, Adam Dunn, Jhonny Peralta, Raul Ibanez, Roy Oswalt, Brad Lidge
Why They’re Number Four: HELLUVA RECORD. Truthfully this team may have earned the right to be higher (NOT MUCH HIGHER) but I just wasn’t involved back then and I just do not know what to tell you. But yea, 19-3 is a nice fucking record and a little league history blurb from the blog tells me they whomped Cliff in the BCS (11-2-1) after narrowly edging out Ryan’s “Tar Heels” in the second round (7-6-1 on a .3812 to .3810 OBP advantage) and good on them. Looks like a damn fine year. Way to go Mashers.
2012 – TAMPA BAY TWO-TIME TWO-TIME (strange name): 11-9
Notable Performers: FUCKING AARON HILL (everybody look up Aaron Hill’s 2012 please, he had two cycles that year, thank you), Edwin Encarnacion, Hanley Ramirez, Joe Mauer, Nick Swisher, Cole Hamels, an erratic Tim Lincecum, Craig Kimbrel, Kenley Jansen,David Robertson
Why They’re Number Three: BECAUSE WE WENT BACK TO FUCKING BACK. Has yet to be repeated, is a very tough thing to do I believe time has told. Our second championship team merely flipped the record from our first championship team (from 9-11 to 11-9) but put together a solid postseason run and grabbed their second in a row AND THAT IS IMPRESSIVE. Allllll the years previous and alllll the years since that hasn’t been done (not counting our third in a row), so that needs to be rewarded with this particular ranking.
2014 – PINE LAKE SWINGMEN: 16-3-1
Notable Performers: Carlos Gomez, Paul Goldschmidt, Justin Upton, Adrian Gonzalez, Anthony Rendon, Dee Gordon, Clayton Kershaw, Felix Hernandez, Sonny Gray, Greg Holland (team was fucking stacked though I should more or less list the whole offense)
Why They’re Number Two: This team impressed the shit outta me because of their SUB 100 MOVE SEASON. Also the team was stacked and set multiple season records including Runs, HRs, and Strikeouts (Ks being an all time record to this very day). But back to the moves, maybe this wasn’t always the case but in the modern era here movement is life; all serious competitors routinely hit triple digits with their moves in-season. The Pine Lake Swingmen of 2014 only needed 98 moves to grab the #2 seed in the regular season (13-6 record, 3Peat Offendaz #1 at 14-7) and then march through the playoffs on the way to Ryan’s 2nd championship in five seasons. OF COURSE one will never know what might have happened if this team ran into the 3Peat Offendaz in the championship, as the 3PO lost to a 4 seed of questionable character in a strangely lazy 2nd round performance. The 3PO would have beat the #3 seed though, I think we all know that. ANYWAYS REALLY IMPRESSIVE YEAR BY THE 2014 PINE LAKE SWINGMEN, very nearly the most impressive of all time.
AND NUMBER 1, WHICH SHOULD HAVE NEVER BEEN IN DOUBT….
2013 – TOMS RIVER 3PEAT OFFENDAZ (clearly named post-parade): 16-3-1
Why They’re Number One: SEEMS PRETTY CLEAR TO ME. This is the first and probably the last 3peat team this league ever saw, it started off 2-3 before winning a remarkable 14 in a row, it defeated a 16-4 #2 seed Angels in the TROUTfield via a TIE in the BCS (also defeated the TROUTfield in both regular season meetings). In case there is strangely still any doubts about this as your top team o all time, they defeated the River City Mashers in the 2nd round THIRTEEN-ZERO-ONE. I could write a thousand words about this particular season but trying this new brevity thing.
So there you have it folks, no real surprise about the particular TEAM in the top spot but….
HAHA TOOK THAT STRAIGHT FROM THE LAST TROLL SERIES POST. But yea, shouldn’t be a surprise. Feel free to try and educate me about the teams from the years of softer competition because I am sure that would be a fun and educational GroupMe conversation for the league but yea. Really this whole thing was written just to point out how impressive that 3peat season was/how impressive that 98 move season of Ryan’s was. Mission. Accomplished.
The 2017 Troll Series happened and it was a beautiful thing and posts were written about just about every team in the league BUT, now it is 2018 and I don’t want that many troll posts. So the challenge became, how does one devise a troll post that covers every gotdamned team in the league all it once. And the answer was simple: TROLL WITH TRUTH. These days the harshest league-wide judgment is reserved for declaring a winner of each and every fucking trade that goes through the league office, no matter how insignificant it may be. So in keeping with that theme, I now present to you TOP TEN WORST TRADES OF 2017. Albeit with some rules so each team gets properly roasted.
I will be picking each team’s worst individual trade and then ranking those trades from least terrible to most terrible. Ergo every team shall have their worst trade in my humble and correct opinion broadcasted here (as well as some of their dishonorable mentions). Otherwise this might just be 10 morning boner trades and who wants to look at that.
For the most part I am trying to avoid hindsight. Hindsight may be 20/20 but so is my foresight.
For the most part (FOR THE MOST PART) I will try and avoid prospect trades, unless it is something truly egregious. Because prospects don’t do shit until they actually do shit. Sometimes you can disagree with a team’s valuation of their own prospect (i.e. what they gave the guy up for) but STILL that guy could end up going for a drive in the DR or something and never producing for his new club. Although to cite that sort of thing I would be violating the avoiding hindsight rule above. Alright let’s just get to the thing…
BUT BEFORE I DO…… a few potential 2018 Troll Posts that probably never see the light of day cuz I am too lazy to write them:
“Why Trevor Story Is Probably Still Overrated”
“Preaching How Unbiased You Are Because You Won’t Call An Insane Presidency Insane Doesn’t Make You Advanced, Also Maitan Is A Bust”
“Adam Duvall And Jay Bruce Are Basically The Same Person, Both Are Shittier Than Scott Schebler”
“It Is Truly Impressive To Roster 2017 Charlie Blackmon and 2017 Aaron Judge And Only Manage A 6 Seed (Barely)”
“Shane Shouldn’t Be Allowed To Trade Without League Approval”
“Why The 1990-1993 Buffalo Bills Are A Better Team Than The Bad Dudes”
etc. etc. etc. Okay now onto the “bad trades” “list”:
T traded Cody Bellinger, LAD 1B to MOON
T traded Scott Kingery, Phi 2B to MOON
T traded Rhys Hoskins, Phi 1B to MOON
MOON traded Nolan Arenado, Col 3B to T
What Went Wrong: CODY BELLINGER IS LIKE A TOP 10 DYNASTY PLAYER RIGHT NOW AND HOSKINSIS PROBABLY TOP 50 AND RISING AND KINGERYIS GONNA BE A GREAT POWER/SPEED 2B YOU JUST WATCH AND FUCK YOUUUUU ‘TOPES. I didn’t say this was all gonna be super logical. I am sure Nolanwill do fine.
Isotopes Dishonorable Mention: Trading Kimbrel for Gleyber, that felt like a prospect overpay (my prospect rule doesn’t necessarily extend to Dishonorable Mention, also I am sure I am going to break it any moment now).
RRF traded J.T. Realmuto, Mia C to rmac
rmac traded Jackie Bradley Jr., Bos CF to RRF
What Went Wrong: Rojo gave up the GREAT J.T. Realmuto (our league’s top catcher in 2017 according to ESPN Player Rater) for suckass Jackie Bradley Jr. (24th best CF according to ESPN Player Rater) is WHAT WENT WRONG. I dunno getting the RRF to trade is like fucking pulling teeth it seems.
RRF Dishonorable Mention: I dunno they traded away Ozzie Albies once, ALBIES IS GREAT NOBODY SHOULD HAVE TRADED HIM.
RRF traded Matt Kemp, LAD RF to rmac
RRF traded Yu Darvish, FA SP to rmac
rmac traded George Springer, Hou RF to RRF
rmac traded Yasiel Puig, LAD RF to RRF
rmac traded Rafael Devers, Bos 3B to RRF
What Went Wrong: This is a tough one because the then-Punchouts-now-Warriors DID get top talent back in Yu Darvish, but they may have finally pushed their Pitching First agenda too far on this one. Springer is a stud Puig remains a useful piece and Devers, despite being a filthy Red Sawk, projects to be a well above average fantasy asset as soon as this season. For a team that had plenty of pitching even without Yu, Yu gotta think this was giving up too much.
Now-named Warriors Dishonorable Mention: I dunno man their 2017 ledger is pretty clean otherwise.
BBS traded Josh Hader, Mil SP to LTBS
LTBS traded Daniel Vogelbach, Sea 1B to BBS
What Went Wrong: Anddd here it is, PROSPECT TRADE. The rule is meaningless. LORD this one looks bad, kinda makes me want to put it ahead of the next one but the next one was part of that ill-received championship offense teardown so let’s leave that there. But EW. We all know how Lobman’s Shark saga went. He had to sit there and watch him be terrible for most of the goddamned year before finally (mercifully) giving up on him prior to the playoffs, which lead to unethical PTBNL deals and un-saavy deals for Tyson Ross and hey what do yanno I am basically summarizing this whole goddamned list. Chris Archer went on to be really really good for Odom (cuz Ryan traded him for Strasburg, FAR MORE DEFENSIBLE) in 2015, before being more like just okay last year, but this year he will probably be good again next year. Carlos Rodon will maybe be really really good any day now or maybe he will just be like Francisco Liriano, but in any case those two good to great pitchers for that one awful Shark year that did not work out one bit.
Slugs Dishonorable Mention: Trading Antonio Senzatela for Dominic Smith was a bad trade because I was forced to mention it on this website.
LTBS traded A.J. Pollock, Ari CF to SAD!
SAD! traded Eduardo Nunez, FA SS to LTBS
SAD! traded Kevin Maitan, Atl SS to LTBS
What Went Wrong: Poor AJ Pollock always getting tossed around this league, but yea TOO MUCH PROSPECT HUMPING for Doch in his first year of business. Maitan has already lost his luster and Nunez is Nunez, I don’t blame team SAD! for making this one 100 times out of 100. FUN FACT: SAD! also traded Ronald Acuna to acquire Nunez. SAD!
(Edit: Apparently Doch got a draft pick in this trade and thinks I give a shit. While I WILL enjoy the player he acquired with said draft pick, I don’t give a shit about draft picks and everybody knows that. For all I know he could have used it on Mike fucking Zunino or something.)
BackdoorSliderz Dishonorable Mention: The haul given up to get Acuna is probably a weeee bit of an overpay, especially because ONCE AGAIN Fernando Tatis Jr. is going to the be the top prospect next year. Gimme the SS over the OF any day, “generational talent” OF be damned.
T traded Matt Moore, Tex SP to XYZ
T traded Tyler Naquin, Cle CF to XYZ
XYZ traded Khris Davis, Oak LF to T
What Went Wrong: The X*Rayz are always fast and furious traders and with that you are gonna have a few missteps, I certainly believe they “win” more than they “lose” with these things. HOWEVER Moore kinda sucks and Naquin kinda sucks and Khris Davis kinda just socks dongs year afer year after year.
X*Rayz Dishonorable Mention: Didn’t love them trading Ozzie Albies (who is great) for fuggin Hernan Perez and Steven Wright (neither are great), didn’t love giving up a stock as high as it will ever be Matt Olson for Jorge Mateo (though I now love Mateo)
MOON traded Andrew McCutchen, SF CF to rmac
MOON traded James Paxton, Sea SP to rmac
rmac traded Kyle Seager, Sea 3B to MOON
rmac traded Tim Beckham, Bal SS to MOON
rmac traded Michael Wacha, StL RP to MOON
What Went Wrong: YEESH what was I doing here. I know I was trying to purge everyone that failed me in my playoff matchup so I believe at one point I wanted just to straight up McCutchen for Kyle Seager, and yet somehow I end up accepting a proposal where I just THROW IN James Paxton for fucking Michael Wacha and Tim Beckham. That is a tough one to make sense of.
Babadooks Dishonorable Mention: Trading Victor Robles (and Roman Quinn) for Keon Broxton doesn’t look very good right about now, one could also say I’ve given up a few prospects a bit freely but SO WHAT.
MOON traded Eduardo Nunez, FA SS to SAD!
SAD! traded Ronald Acuna, Atl CF to MOON
What Went Wrong: HINDSIGHT TRADE. Because rules are meant to be broken. Obviously this one looks more horrible now than it did then but I DID MY RESEARCH and knew what I was getting, the Trout Fishing Club shoulda done theirs.
Fishing Club Dishonorable Mention: While we are doing hindsight trades they also traded Albies for AJ Reed, also traded Rhys Hoskins as part of a PACKAGE for Joe Jimenez. Also trading Buster Posey for Josh Bell and Clint Frazier doesn’t look great now that the Fishing Club literally don’t have a fucking catcher.
T traded Trevor Rosenthal, STL RP to RCBD
RCBD traded Freddie Freeman, Atl 1B to LTBS
What Went Wrong: OH WAS THIS FROM 2016? I DO NOT CARE BECAUSE I AM STILL NOT OVER IT. Because it is from 2016 (and because the Morning Wood are more prolific in their missteps) I will leave this one at #2, but it remains so colossally fucking awful that I want it on a 2017 worst trades list even if it wasn’t actually from 2017. Shame on everyone that stood by and watched it happen.
Bad Dudes Dishonorable Mention: AS FOR 2017 TRADES, Carlos Martinez Mitch Haniger & Vlad Guerrero Jr. for Yoenis Cespedes & Jharel Cotton feels like it hasn’t aged great. Also he traded Dylan Bundy for Francisco Rodriguez last February and K-Rod is so olddddd and Bundy is (still) full of promise (maybe).
WOOD traded Noah Syndergaard, NYM SP to rmac
WOOD traded Carson Fulmer, CWS SP to rmac
rmac traded Brandon Belt, SF 1B to WOOD
rmac traded Felix Hernandez, Sea SP to WOOD
What Went Wrong: AND A FULL PIVOT BACK TO THE “NO HINDSIGHT” RULE. Just to make this “column” if you will as frustrating of a read as possible. Obviously Syndergaardgot injured last year and gave rmac little to nothing but AT THE TIME of trade he was coming off a prettttty brilliant 2016 and the Morning wood still parted with him for fucking Brandon Belt and a washed up King Felix. Also 24 hours earlier I offered Joey Votto for Syndergaard and it was declined about 15 minutes before this trade was processed. So yea. But really this isn’t about picking any one QTCMW trade, pick your own personal favorite and put it in here. If it wasn’t for me handing this guy catchers for free and good prospects I don’t know where he would be (in the same spot I guess).
Morning Wood Dishonorable Mention: God IS THERE A CHARACTER LIMIT FOR DISHONORABLE MENTION? Packing Sano and Lindor (and Harvey but whatever) in a trade was bad, acquiring Robbie Ray from Odom and then trading him BACK to Odom 1.5 months later for Christian Arroyo Jorge Bonifacio & Chris Tillman was bad (MY GOD WHAT WAS THIS), trading Whit Merrifield for Starling Marte but inexplicably throwing in Vlad Jr. was bad, Kyle Seager for Carson Fulmer was bad (had already traded away Fulmer above, you see), Gleyber Torres for K-Rod and Frankie Montas I wouldn’t term good, ditto for Brent Honeywell for Ender Inciarte, and at this point maybe I am just being too hard on the ole’ erections but still yea just do a bit better going forward please.
So there you have it folks, no real surprise about the particular TEAM in the top spot but really I want to commend the league. For this troll post was harder to write than I thought it was gonna be, most teams make mostly sound decisions in the trade game (hiccups can happen). LOOKING FORWARD TO TRADING WITH YOU ALL THIS SEASON, if I feel like it, which I may at some point but also may not. You can always trade with Odom at least.
Springfield Isotopes fans (hint: it’s Connor) realllllly thought a corner was being turned, and you can’t blame them. The Isotopes longstanding philosophy of hoarding aging players seemed to take a tonal shift with the trade of a 31 year old Evan Longoria for a 27 year old Jean Segura (with two prospects swapping sides as well). Follow that up with the acquisition of a 26 year old Wil Myers and a 28 year old Jose Quintana and FINALLY, the fans thought, the Isotopes were building a young core for the future. Perhaps finally acknowledging there will come a time when the Robby Canos and Adrian Gonzalez’s and Miggy Cabreras and Cole Hamels’ of the world would no longer be able to answer the bell. And with excitement buzzing for the team’s young core as it headed towards the inaugural first year player draft, the ‘Topes had a chance to show their fans they are a resilient franchise capable of adapting to a changing baseball landscape and that they are aware that Ryan Howard is no longer a good fantasy baseball option and so on and so forth. With the best way to do so being a well-researched draft of prospects with which to plan for the future. LET’S SEE HOW THEY DID SHALL WE……
Round 1: ‘Topes select Javier Baez, and FAIR ENOUGH I CAN SEE IT. Baez is 24 years old, very likely has a bright future, plays for a great offensive lineup, etc. etc. etc. The problem being he currently has really no spot in the Cubs lineup, in terms of everyday ABs, and he is also many hundreds of ABs over our high minors eligibility limits. So I think we all see the writing on the wall, the Isotopes probably get tired of his spotty playing time and outright drop him by the end of April (my money is on Earth Day!). But FAIR ENOUGH, got a young stud excitement is still high amongst ‘Topes fans. Time to get their prospects and build for the future in Round 2 and Round 3.
Round 2: ‘Topes attempt to select Josh Hader, whom is already rostered by the Woods of Morning. This shows a lack of preparation. ‘Topes management then panics and somehow blurts out Eric Fedde, HINTING AT SOME SORT OF PREPARATION. Fedde is the 2nd ranked prospect for the Nationals currently (#52 overall BA, #60 overall MLB.com). And really I have nothing bad to say here, well done ‘Topes. BRING IT HOME WITH ONE LAST PROSPECT……
Round 3: Mike. Napoli. AND IT ALL FALLS APART.
Round 3 is the crux of this entire troll post well-researched article. Mike Napoli is everything wrong with Isotopes management, and Mike Napoli is why they may not win a playoff game or earn a bye until 2022. Put aside the fact that there were MULTIPLE better options if you are just looking for a run of the mill aging power bat, put aside the fact that this is the same Mike Napoli the ‘Topes more or less gave away at the deadline last year, and it still makes little to no sense. The ‘Topes roster REMAINS a logjam of bench bats with 2 current major leaguers, one player (Josh Bell) 2 ABs away from losing high minors eligibility, and 2 other high minors bats (Aaron Judge and Manuel Margot) that will likely start 2017 in the majors and would be absolutely fuckinggg wasted sitting on the ‘Topes bench. Those are the types of high potential prospects that should get a shot in the real lineup, platoon a utility spot if you must, but for fucks sake they can free up roster spots and allow you to direct major leaguers elsewhere. Like for example that super uninspiring pitching staff, WHICH IS ALSO A LOGJAM. NOT PROMISING. The ‘Topes picked up Mike Napoli because he ended up with 34 HRs last year, as if he’s even a good bet for 25 this year. ESPN projections tend to inflates everyone’s numbers and they could only be comfortable projecting him for 22. THE FANS HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO BE CONCERNED.
In the end, Springfield Isotopes management chose Mike Napoli over giving their fans hope for a strong future. Their owner’s lone title (and possibly last playoff win, TOUGH TO TELL) gets further in the rear view mirror every single year, and the road ahead seems bleak. If Isotopes management has AIDS and just doesn’t know how to tell us quite yet, grabbing an aging “slugger” in a First Year Player Draft makes sense. IF NOT, it is a troubling sign for a sputtering franchise.
River City Cuban Missiles (formerly River City Mashers, likely soon to be River City Somefucking Thing Else) owner Mike Lobman loveeeeees to brag about his two championships, conveniently leaving out it took him like twenty seasons to get them both (number of seasons it took me: 2). He also loooooves to discuss “all time wins” with Mikey T, as if regular season wins fucking matter (particularly sad in Mikey T’s case, he of the [roughly] 3-9 postseason record). And the last thing he likes to brag about (in fantasy baseball terms, we are leaving aside things like thermostats and walkway stones and back splashes and other lame “adult” shit that he is also perfectly comfortable bragging about) is his willingness to WHEEL AND DEAL! HE’S A DEALS MAN! LOVES TO MAKE DEALS! Well this post is about when those deals go wrong.
I am listing the 5 worst deals BY LOBMAN FOR LOBMAN of the “modern era” here, which in this case I am designating as the past 2 years only. This is for a very important reason: the past two years are the first two years when Odom and I were separated, leaving me no longer able to TALK SENSE into that guy when he wants to do wild trades (see Vol. 6 for more Odom potshots). Couple that with the excellent job Odom did of pretty much singlehandedly hyping up a trade deadline that for years had been relatively quiet, and you can see where the process of quantity go up quality go down might have taken hold. But NO EXCUSES PEOPLE (Lobman), let’s look at the worst trades the Missiles have been a part of in the past two years……. in reverse order…..
The Trade: River City Cuban Missiles trade fantasy baseball darling of the 2015 summer Kyle Schwarber to the WVU Bombers (Rojo) for Tyson Ross.
The Take: This one gets a bit of a pass because the Missiles ultimately won their second championship in 2015 (took them long enough) and Tyson Ross was pretty nasty in 2015. HOWEVER, still not a great trade simply because you could have extracted MORE. 2015 Kyle Schwarber was Gary Sanchez before Gary Sanchez showed up and showed how much better he is than Kyle Schwarber. Back then, Schwarbs was destined to continue to maintain catcher eligibility and continue to rake (now the first part isn’t so certain). To trade that asset to a non-contending team and only get one piece back is a bit disappointing. Tyson Ross, lord knows I love him, but he has always fallen a wee bit short of a #1.
The Trade: That stupid PTBNL deal with Brian, I don’t even want to dignify it with specifics. Trevor Bauer was involved.
The Take: This trade sucked less for the players involved than for what it REPRESENTED, which was nothing short of an attempt to undermine the very fabric of the league. The trade prompted an immediate outcry because it essentially boiled down to Brian trying to trade a piece for the rights to Lobman’s best non-keeper the next offseason, a slippery slope at best. Both of you should be ashamed of yourselves, but this troll post is focusing on Lobman so SHAME ON YOU LOBMAN.
The Trade: River City Cuban Missiles trade Chris Archer and Carlos Rodon to the Pine Lake whatever they were at the time (Ryan) for Jeff Samardzija.
The Take: GOOD LORD this one looks bad, kinda makes me want to put it ahead of the next one but the next one was part of that ill-received championship offense teardown so let’s leave that there. But EW. We all know how Lobman’s Shark saga went. He had to sit there and watch him be terrible for most of the goddamned year before finally (mercifully) giving up on him prior to the playoffs, which lead to unethical PTBNL deals and un-saavy deals for Tyson Ross and hey what do yanno I am basically summarizing this whole goddamned list. Chris Archer went on to be really really good for Odom (cuz Ryan traded him for Strasburg, FAR MORE DEFENSIBLE) in 2015, before being more like just okay last year, but this year he will probably be good again next year. Carlos Rodon will maybe be really really good any day now or maybe he will just be like Francisco Liriano, but in any case those two good to great pitchers for that one awful Shark year that did not work out one bit.
The Trade: River City Cuban Missiles trade Anthony Rizzo with no sense of loyalty whatsoever/cuz they were bored to the OGTFC (Heroy) for Troy Tulowitzki and Zack Greinke.
The Take: It’s all about the trolling TIMING, Michael. I once traded Anthony Rizzo before he ever took an AB for my team, because I didn’t like his face and didn’t know if he could trulllly hit lefties even though he had already proven at that point that he could. But you, you took a guy that was a CORNERSTONE of your championship run and you traded him for two sacks of shit. Apologies, it was one sack of shit pitcher who was coming off a career year NEVER PAY FOR THE CAREER YEAR. And then an old sack of shit shortstop whom is never healthy and on a steaddddddy decline at a time when shortstops are EVERYWHERE. Why pay for a shorstop. Aledmys Diaz’s grow on trees these days.
The Trade: River City Cuban Missiles trade a scorching hot FreddieFreeman to the Springfield Isotopes (T) for a losing his job in front of everyone’s eyes Trevor Rosenthal.
The Take: SEE IT IS ALL ABOUT THE TIMING, MICHAEL. If you are making this sort of trade in spring training because you think Rosenthal is gonna save 50 games and Freeman is going to fucking SOMEHOW struggle to the point where he is only worth a closer then at least you can defend that as you miscalculating some sort of not so distant future. NOT THE CASE HERE. This trade was accepted on June 27th, and on June 27th Trevor Rosenthal had a 5.40 ERA. He was very clearly going to very soon lose his job to the superior talent that is Sueng Hwan Oh (love me some Oh). Beyond that he is just a closer and Freddie Freeman is Freddie Freeman. “But but but Sean”, some asshole who thinks questions are allowed during this might say. “But Sean didn’t Freeman have a really bad start to the year?” He certainly did, and so again TIMING means maybe in April this trade makes some sort of sense. Lobman thinks Freeman is messed up or hurt or something, ditch him while you still can. But let’s look at what Freeman did in June: .426 OBP, .656 SLG, 9 doubles, 4 triples, 5 HRs, 13 runs, 14 RBIs, FUCKING EVEN THREW IN TWO STEALS. WORST TRADE I HAVE EVER SEEN IN THIS LEAGUE, and I was away in the woods of Delaware so I wasn’t able to point that out because apparently nobody else fucking saw it somehow. If nobody suggested a veto there our league veto system is dead. DEAD I SAY.
So there are the 5 worst trades of the past 2 years for this highly celebrated by their own owner franchise, with no room for alternative interpretations whatsoever. That is your list. HOPE YOU ARE PROUD OF YOURSELF LOBMAN.
Before I begin the process of badmouthing our new commish, LET ME FIRST BADMOUTH ALL OF YOU. There is a fun joke thrown out here and there where I am given no credit for my role in the only dynasty this league has ever seen or probably will ever see, and I actually quite enjoy that joke. That is a fun joke. Good clean comedy. The other and far sadder joke on this topic is the one where people try and asterisk the 3-peat by basically going with the line of thinking that you all couldn’t beat us, for three glorrrrrious years in a glorrrrrious row, simply because you didn’t have a co-owner. Think that one through, is what I am asking of you people. Follow that to its logical conclusion and it just sounds sadddddd, sounds sad every time someone says it. Don’t admit in a public forum that you weren’t capable of winning a FANTASY BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP without somebody to help you make your widdle decisions and set your widdle lineup. PATHETIC. All of you. Pathetic. Affronts to the fantasy baseball gods.
Now, on to me taking credit for every championship and then blaming Odom for the death of the dynasty. I don’t think anyone is ever going to win 3 in a row in this league ever again (apologies to the O-G-T-F-C but that shit is T-O-U-G-H) and I take as much pride as possible for a fantasy sport accomplishment for what Odom and I were able to accomplish. Now indulge me while I point out why I deserve all the credit for our successes (the vegan part of this post) and Odom deserves all the blame for the failed 4-peat (the meaty part of this post)…..and possibly the death of Oscar Taveras.
TO THE YEARS >>>>>>
Result: FIRST CHAMPIONSHIP
Why Sean deserves all the credit: I dunno I barely remember this one, IN ACTUALITY there was a pretty even split of personnel decision making particularly after the 3rd owner went by the wayside. I must have come up with the Jimbo’s Vulcan Death Grip name though (later found out that move is more of a face mush than a choke but oh fucking well). And for that, and for the fire it lit under the boys, SEAN DESERVES ALL THE CREDIT.
Result: SECOND CHAMPIONSHIP (Back 2 Back)
Why Sean deserves all the credit: It was either this year or the previous year that Odom traded Brandon Beachy for David Robertson and I yelled at him about it. But that trade super duper worked out. But I dunno aside from that trade WHAT DID HE DO? Surely you don’t remember. I don’t remember. Surely he doesn’t remember (drugs). Idefinitely remember I picked up Edwin Encarnacion off the FA pool at the beginning of the year though, and voted to keep him over (2012 NL RBI leader) Chase Headley. Also this was the year we cut Mark Trumbo during the playoff run because he was racking up DNPs, and I don’t think Odom was against it at all but for the sake of this post I am saying he was vehemently against it. And that kinda move is the kinda move that brought us the championship. And so, in the absence of any credible evidence to the contrary, SEAN DESERVES ALL THE CREDIT*.
*Note: On the last night of the playoffs matchup with Lobman I was definitely in a Folly Beach tequila bar trying to take home a pink-haired waitress so Odom was definitely physically making the moves with regards to sitting guys to preserve OBP leads BUT I stepped outside to take a phone call on the decision. Which makes me even more deserving of all the credit, in my humble opinion.
Result: THIRD CHAMPIONSHIP (Back 2 Back 2 Back)
Why Sean deserves all the credit: Now this year, IN MY RECOLLECTION, is one where Odom’s lifestyle (drugs) or lifestyle (I dunno liquore store managing?) kept him away from a lot of the day to day spot start picking up business and WHO PICKED UP THE SLACK YOU ASK? I did. I also put in the waiver claim for a one Matt Carpenter, he of the 55 doubles in 2014. I also uhhhh, I dunno did some other stuff. This was by far our most difficult (only difficult) championship matchup, credit to Heroy, and I most definitely streamed some closers and picked up Latroy Hawkins for some Mets-Marlins doubleheader in which he notched a crucial save. What more needs to be said here? SEAN DESERVES ALL THE CREDIT.
Result: FUCKING FAILURE
WHY ODOM DESERVES ALL THE BLAME AND POSSIBLY KILLED OSCAR TAVERAS: This year started out much like the last two, with the supremely cocky and confident duo (that was us) seeking a fourth straight championship. There was legitimate conversation about quitting the league if we won 4 in a row and declaring there was nothing left to accomplish, but ALAS. Again I am going to make accusations that Odom’s lifestyle forced me to make the majority of the spot start moves, and again I can barely remember what I had for lunch yesterday (fake chicken I think, stylized as chick’n).
Probably the defining moment of our season, a symbol of all that went wrong, is when that CONFUSING minor leagues system put us in the situation as follows: I was dropping Oscar Taveras from our majors roster thinking he was still protected by the safety net of our minors team, when in fact Odom had dropped him from our minors team (I never paid much attention to the minors teams) just to shuffle around some minor league dickheads. And THEN after learning of our misstep and cruelly being barred from having a takesies backsies, we had to trade Addison Russell* to get him back. One can see how all of this back and forth and added pressure on fantasy Oscar Taveras could have lead to real life person Oscar Taveras dying that offseason. ONE CAN CLEARLY SEE THAT
*Fun fact: Addi was the only minors guy I ever really picked up, to make up for me pushing the Profar-for-Zobrist trade so hard prior to the uhhh previous season I think? And just LOOK how that turned out, yet another mostly mutual thing I feel I deserve sole credit for.
While not the dominant season of one year prior, we entered the playoffs once again the #1 seed (Ryan probably a far superior team as the #2 seed) so CAN’T REALLY COMPLAIN. Now allow me to complain about us blowing our matchup with out-of-work bridge ogre and then-named McGibblets team owner Connor, in bullet form:
Prior to even beginning these points I want to point out that I am still flummoxed when I look over this box score, we had a pretty damn good week and it just was NOT ENOUGH
My first and probably best point, if Odom is such a MASTER OF THE STEALS then how come our team lost steals 16-1? RIDDLE ME THAT?
My second point, we uhhhh. We lost OBP, even though .3265 isn’t a bad OBP by any means, but we lost OBP and Odom’s teams since have historically yielded low OBPs so PROBABLY NOT A COINCIDENCE.
We gave Yovani Gallardo a start? And he gave up 5 runs in 5 innings and we lost ERA 3.249 to 2.710? I dunno feels like Odom’s fault.
We only had 79Ks that week and if you look since that time we have both fielded the strongest strikeouts teams, at least two in the top 3. But last year I think my team was better (don’t worry about the year before) so Odom’s fault.
We gave too many ABs to Matt fucking Adams for some reason and he murdered our OBP. Makes ya think…..
Oscar Taveras hit a two run home run that week. Makes ya think…..
read the tea leaves ODOM DESERVES ALL THE BLAME AND HIS SLOPPINESS VERY LIKELY POSSIBLY COST OSCAR TAVERAS HIS LIFE.
So there you have it, a take-down of that sad “yea well you had two owners” excuse you simpletons like to throw out there and an attempt to re-direct all the “Sean contributed nothing” jokes into “Odom contributed nothing” jokes. Which will only lead to more “Sean contributed nothing” jokes. REGARDLESS, I thank you all for tuning in to yet another excuse for me to point out that Odom and I won 3 championships in a row and in all likelihood nobody will ever do that again.
– 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.
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!
Overall Grade: C- (At least you traded Lo-Cain for Joey Votto)
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.
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.
Overall Grade: F (Fuck Both of these guys, in particular)
Let’s hop in our way back machine to the night of our league’s LAST EVER DRAFT* before adoption of the dynasty format we are currently feeling our way through. Spirits were high for a lot of teams, as I imagine even the Padres feel good about their shot in spring training, but perhaps no team’s draft was more hotly anticipated than ROJO’S RESURGENCE. I can hardly remember the previous team name, other than to recall it was some sort of vague ode to WVU because CERTAIN PEOPLE IN THIS GROUP don’t realize how sad it comes across when you are insanely invested in an alma mater that gave you nothing but a useless degree in return for many thousands of dollars in tuition. MIKEY T YOU WILL GET YOUR COMEUPPANCE SOON ENOUGH. Where was I? Oh yea…. call it clever marketing (waiting until the very last moment for the big reveal on the new name) or clever draft pick hoarding (3 picks in the first round) or some combination thereof, but THE ROOM WAS ABUZZ if my memory serves me correct (it is blurred by alcohol and does not serve me correct). Rolling out the “Rojo’s Resurgence” name displayed a confidence not seen in its team owner since his TRBA days, where he felt no shame in jumping on free throws even though 8 year old girls likely feel shame jumping on free throws. And that confidence carried him into his draft. Let’s troll judge the Resurgence’s draft real quick:
Johnny Cueto (2nd Rd) – Cueto was a great get in a very uneven second round, as he threw 5 CGs last year and generally just provided the Resurgence with top notch production from start to finish.
And that’s all for that category.
Shin Soo Choo (4th Rd) – Did not pan out/is old (more on this to come).
Luis Severino (5th Rd) – Did not pan out.
Rojo’s Entire First Round – Back to the old thing for a second. It is almost like Rojo read some sort of article about ageism in fantasy baseball drafts, or was spending a lot of time contemplating his own ever-present mortality, because he spent a good chunk of this DYNASTY DRAFT picking up folks that are at or near the end of their MLB journey. Which is very anti-dynasty format on its face. Obviously this does not apply to his first pick (Hosmer), #whom wouldn’t have been my choice in that spot but hey different strokes different folks I can see where there was some perceived (2nd round) value in there. However he followed that up with a very productive but very much retiring in the near future Adrian Beltre, and a 31 year old (at the time) who feels more like a 38 year old Matt Kemp. I DON’T CARE HOW MANY HRs HE HIT.
So that was the Resurgence draft, a mixed bag in the way that everyone’s drafts are mixed bags. I don’t really want to spend time dissecting his later rounds otherwise I would praise him for drafting Kendy Morales or some shit, but who even knows how long that fat fuck had a spot on the Resurgers. ANYWHOM one cannot judge the Resurgence’s draft efforts too harshly because LOOK AT THAT START TO THE SEASON. The Resurgence roared to an 8-2 start and were the darling of power rankings from late April through late June, more than justifying their namesake’s claim of a comeback year afoot. But then the trouble started: The Resurgence dropped their next 2, won 1, and then went 0-3-1 over their next four. I am sure the trade deadline passed at some point during all this calamity. A 3-2-1 finale to the season was far too mediocre to correct the damage already done to the former top seed, and the Resurgence limped into the playoffs as our #5 seed. Hold that thought….
At a time when a win now move might have been necessary to right the ship and at least attempt to improve playoff positioning, Rojo’s Resurgence stubbornly held onto certain future assets. What vague move might I be referencing? GLAD YOU ASKED…..
ROJO SHOULD HAVE TRADED KYLE SCHWARBER
Kyle Schwarber is a much ballyhooed bat, to be sure, but it is precisely that ballyhoo that could have grabbed Rojo a “win now” haul from a team out of contention. Also, and this to me is a central issue here, a big part of that ballyhoo relates to the idea that Schwarber’s bat will be utilized at the catcher position in fantasy (historically an offensive wasteland but maybe less so next year GARY SANCHEZ WHAT UP). Schwarber will in all likelihood have C eligibility in 2017 but followin this season that is decidedly not a certainty. The man just shredded his knee and there’s a good chance the Cubs decide to never again put that knee in a catcher’s crouch. Which would make Schwarber a power bat in the corner OF come 2018, i.e. would make him far less valuable than he was in 2016. Back to taht “win now haul”, perhaps that haul helps Rojo to win a few more of those games down the stretch, yanno in the now. And then WHO KNOWS maybe Rojo grabs the 4 seed rather than the 5.
Which brings us back to our held thought: The Resurgence valiantly played our eventual league champions to a tie in Round 1, and that in itself would probably be Rojo’s justification for holding onto the Kyle Schwarbers of the world. HOWEVER it is my thesis that with some different win now-ish pieces maybe they pull ahead in one more category OR with some different win now-ish pieces maybe they are the 4 seed to the OGTFC’s 5 seed. Usually I have to work harder to justify attempting to manage not just my own damn team in these pieces, but here THE EVIDENCE IS CLEAR: Rojo done goofed.
And now to loosely tie this critique to the title that claimed it would be mostly about exploring a team name. There was a lot to love about the Rojo’s Resurgence team name; undoubtedly Rojo resurged a bit, at least in the first half of the season. But a refusal to push all his chips in the middle in the second half, coupled with a holds only bullpen strategy (that I didn’t even ADDRESS here because it would add another 1000 words) eventually lead to the narrowest (and therefore easiest to critique) of first round exits. Dare I claim, because nobody can ever fact check it, that there has never been a more egregious example of a team DESPERATELY needing to make a move to stop a slide and having a pretty obvious move to make and failing to make it. There I claimed it, on the internet, where things are written in permanent ink.
I have no choice but to recommend that the 2017 incarnation of Rojo’s franchise be renamed “Rojo’s MEH That Was Good Enough.”
Few rookies, if any, have ever had a start to their major league careers quite as scintillating as Trevor Story’s. Few league owners, if any, defend their players (sometimes to the point of delusion) with the fervor that Barnegat Banana Slugs owner Brian Smith will defend his players with (see: Jose Bautista chat discussion from yesterday). I think you see where this is going…..
WHY TREVOR STORY WILL HAVE TO REGRESS AND WHY BRIAN SMITH WILL HAVE TO MAKE PEACE WITH THAT¹: INTRODUCTION
Trevor Story began his big league career with a 2 HR day back on April 4th, 2016. He would follow this with a home run on April 5th, another home run on April 6th, and finally another 2 HR day on April 8th (setting a record as the first player to ever homer in his first four games. Young Trevor finally took a day off from hitting a HR on 4/9, before again blasting one on 4/10 (setting a record for most HRs in a team’s first 6 games of the season). A LEGEND WAS BORN, and Banana Slugs owner Brian Smith was his typically humble self when discussing said legend. Ultimately Story would end up hitting 10 HRs in April (tying a rookie record for the most HRs in April) and would keep up a pretty torrid pace throughout the season until a thumb injury cut said season short on August 2nd. Now I am here TO POINT OUT THE OBVIOUS, that this was an unrepeatable performance and that regression shall come for thee, Trevor Story. Oh yes it shall come for thee.
¹Readers may note that this is arguably the second installment in our Brian Bait Series, an unofficial sub-series to the 2017 Troll Series.
WHY TREVOR STORY WILL HAVE TO REGRESS AND WHY BRIAN SMITH WILL HAVE TO MAKE PEACE WITH THAT: METHODS
All date herein has been pulled from http://www.fangraphs.com and interpreted by the Main Street MooniniteZ Scouting/Stating the Obvious Department. I will not be citing these works professionally because I don’t miss being in school quite THAT much (probably not at all actually).
WHY TREVOR STORY WILL HAVE TO REGRESS AND WHY BRIAN SMITH WILL HAVE TO MAKE PEACE WITH THAT: RESULTS
Trevor Story 2016 ISO (slugging percentage – average): .292
Trevor Story Previous Career High ISO: .250 (across 218 plate appearances, Rockies A+ ball 2014)
Trevor Story 2016 BABIP: .343
Trevor Story 2016 K% (Strikeouts/PA): 31.3 %
Trevor Story 2016 Fly Ball Ratio (FB/Balls In Play): 47.1 %
Trevor Story 2016 Home Run to Fly Ball Ratio: 23.7%
Trevor Story Home Splits: .313/.393/.693
Trevor Story Road Splits: .235/.292/.454
WHY TREVOR STORY WILL HAVE TO REGRESS AND WHY BRIAN SMITH WILL HAVE TO MAKE PEACE WITH THAT: DISCUSSION
Firstly let me discuss that after looking through the numbers, I cannot definitively present an argument that Trevor Story is awful. Which is A SHAME because it would have made for a more fun article. And because this article is mostly to push Brian’s buttons I didn’t really include many positive stats up there in the data (we live in a post-facts world) but on the positive side Trevor Story hits the ball hard as shit, a 44.9% hard hit percentage second only to David Ortiz in all of baseball (scaled to a minimum of 400 PAs). He also rarely hits the ball “softly” with a “Soft%” of only 14.3%, good for 26th best in baseball. So yea he will probably be fine, whatever. ENOUGH PRAISE.
Young Trevor will have a hard time duplicating his hot start to last year because anybody would because that hot start was really really hot. Even if we are to assume that the thumb surgery has done nothing to his power in the short-term (not necessarily a given), his power to begin last year was unsustainable and in fact failed to sustain. Trevor’s ISO was a bonkers .435 in April before dropping down to .196 in May (think George Springer and Ian Kinsler for the entirety of 2016, so still very good), rising back up to .235 in June (Trout, Cano, Carpenter etc. so REALLY GOOD) and rising even higher to .338 in July (think nobody at all because that can’t last for a full season, Ortiz had a .308 and he was a freak). Pretty much everyone has this volatility but pretty much nobody expects Trevor Story to ISO close to .300 again, early projections have him around .217.
Next we have a couple of things that all work in tandem here: BABIP, K%, FB%, HR/FB ratio. A bunch of FANCY PANTS NEW AGE stats that some of our league’s more Goose Gossage-y owners will turn their nose at, that I will now use to annoy Brian. Story’s K% of 31.3% was 5th most in baseball² when scaled to 400 PAs, that number should and could come down a bit but will probably not come down toooo far given his extreme pulling fly balls approach. This should put a bit of a ceiling on the ole’ batting average, and that ceiling he probably reached last year (.270-.275ish). Early projections expect him at about .260 this year and if you ask this troll I would cap him at about .250. Story’s BABIP is certainly a bit on the high (read: lucky) side but for a man that hits the ball as hard as he does that can sometimes be understandable. Where it CANNOT be understandable is when a man hits that many balls in the air, and that many of those balls in the air somehow find holes. Trevor Story hit about HALF of all of his balls in the air in 2016 and about HALF of those found the seats, making him some sort of bizarro tiny white version of Chris Carter. Which is all good and fine I GUESS, but Chris Carter also had a BABIP of .260. As he should have, and kinda as Trevor Story should have. Guys like Brandon Belt and Freddie Freeman are able to run high BABIPs with high FB percentages but that is a function of their high LD%, as line drives are far more likely to fall in for hits than your standard “fly ball.” Trevor Story’s LD% is 34th in baseball (Freeman 1st, Belt 2nd) i.e. nothing to write home about IPSO FACTO LOWER BABIP IN 2017.
²Just for fun here’s your top 5: Miguel Sano (36%), Steven Souza Jr. (34%), Chris Davis (32.9%), Chris Carter (32%), and Story (31.3%).
So after all of this we are left with but one simple conclusion: Trevor Story is a fucking fraud.