2017 TROLL SERIES, Vol. 2: Why The Trout Fishing Club’s Pitching Is Hot Garbage

There was also a Marlins troll doll but that one felt in poor taste……. RIP JF

Evidently almost exactly 3 months ago Lobman promised some vague “things” that would be announced “by the weekend”.  But like his daughter will soon learn, Lobman is an unreliable deadbeat who can’t be trusted to follow through on the things he says.  So we will call those “things” still in Limbo.

MOVING RIGHT ALONG, the year 2016 is now mercilessly behind us.  And what a hideous year, perfectly summed up by the fact that Heroy was finally able to get out of his own way long enough to capture his first Backyard Championship.  CONGRATS TO HIM AGAIN.  And now, I will point out the very obvious weakness with our current defending champion heading into the 2017 season aka THE INAUGURAL DYNASTY SEASON.

The Trout Fishing Club has for years boasted a strong roster, hence the whole “won the championship” thing.  But even our league’s best champions of years past are not immune to criticism (except possibly the 3-peat champion 3PO squad that beat this very Heroy back in 2013).  In this team’s case, their greatest weakness heading into 2017 is THE HOT GARBAGE PITCHING STAFF.

First there’s the rotation…….yessss the rotation, once anchored by Jose Fernandez…… just realized there is a boating pun in there NOT INTENDED…..but anyways yea he is dead now.  Boat related.  Cocaine related.  A Scarface-ian cautionary tale that has left the OGTFC rotation somewhat BEREFT of talent.  Then there’s the bullpen, which to be honest isn’t THAT terrible.  But it also isn’t THAT not terrible, and he only has 3 players in it, and fuck him.  Let’s go through his entire (current, always time to make a move Gregory 😉 ) pitching staff one by one and point out why they probably suck:

The “Rotation”

Jose Fernandez –  See above (is dead).

Tyler Glasnow –  Tyler Glasnow is the first of a repeating theme here, that theme being “young pitcher may put it all together but may also not put it all together.”  Nobody has a crystal ball, and fantasy baseball is a lot like gambling in many ways, but at the same time I do in fact own a crystal ball and Glasnow walked about 5 batters per 9 for the entirety of last year (AAA + MLB) so I can tell you for a fact he will not put it all together.

Lucas Giolito  – Giolito’s stock plummeted so swiftly within the Nationals organization that it cost him plus Reynaldo Lopez plus the Nats’ 2016 first round pick just to acquire Adam fucking Eaton.  NEED I SAY MORE (won’t put it all together).

Julio Teheran – Julio Teheran is a guy that people have been looking to as a guy that can put it all together, and maybe you look at his breakout in 2014 and/or his solid season last year and note that he’s just shy of his 26th birthday and say “HEY that young guy has put it all together.”  Well I am here to tell you that he hasn’t.  Both of those years he ran an unuuuuuusually low BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play, a measure of how often non-HR batted balls fall for hits) in the .260s.  League average these days is about .300, anything lowers tends to be mostly a function of luck maybe a function of a good defense behind you; in 2015, when he ran a BABIP of .288 his ERA snuck back above 4.  FURTHERMORE his LOB% (Left on Base %, the percentage of baserunners a pitcher strands over the course of a season) has been a tad high (77% last year, league average is around 70-72% and pitchers above or below that number tend to regress to the mean).  Ergo facto Teheran’s mediocre 2016 should regress to the mean a bit in 2017 ergo facto WILL NOT PUT IT ALL TOGETHER (had to really work for that one).

Aaron Sanchez – Sure….SURE everyone thinks he had a great year last year and deserved Cy Young recognition and yadda fucking yadda but RIDDLE ME THIS….if he’s so great why did he spend the majority of 2015 pitching out of the bullpen like some sort of schlub?  I will tell you why:  because he has not. And will not.  Put it all.  Together.

Kenta Maeda – Do not eeeeven get me started on this guy.  The king of the 5 and a third outing, is what this guy is.  And an (allegedly) 28 year old rookie I mean what exactly is that all about?!  Fishy.  Won’t put it all together.

Michael Wacha – Michael Wacha had a 5.09 ERA last year and it is not my job here to point out reasons why that would be a misleading figure, it is my job here to note that is the ERA of a young man who has not/will not put it all together.  THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDIN’.

Gerrit Cole – What makes a great pitcher?  Is it things like stats and numbers?  Is it the pitcher’s arsenal?  His fastball velocity?  Pitch movement?  Probably maybe it is some of these things, but what really makes a great pitcher is where they choose to slot you into the rotation at the beginning of the season.  Gerrit Cole pitched the FIFTH game for the Pirates last year.  FRANCISCO LIRIANO PITCHED OPENING DAY.  Sounds to me like if a Jeopardy question states “this young Pirates righty obviously has not and shan’t not put it all together” your answer should be “Who is Gerrit Cole.”

Garrett Richards – Had “stem cell treatment” cuz he was too puss to undergo TJ surgery, which I can only imagine will ultimately be a mistake.  Don’t count on this fella, OGTFC fans(s)!

Tyson Ross – Don’t count on this fella either!  Had that weird thoracic outlet surgery and waited til October to have it, and also probably throws more sliders than the human arm will allow.  Which is a shame because I am a fan (not so much of a fan that I would trade anything of value for him HEROY, nobody wants to trade for this guy, please do not send people trade offers with this guy).

The “Bullpen”

Tony Watson – Tony Watson might very well be a serviceable closer for the Pirates, but they also maybe wanted to trade him at some point so MAYBE NOT.  I like my closers to K at least 8 per 9 and Tony fails to measure up.  Also, amongst pitchers with 15 or more saves last year, only Jake McGee and Tony Cingrani had a worse FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching, FUCKING GOOGLE IT STATS CLASS IS OVER) than Tony’s 4.37.  Translation:  “Pfft.”  And also “MEH.”

Seung Hwan Oh – Ohhhhhh, Oh.  He actually had a really good year and I would have a hard time badmouthing him because I am a fan but uhhhh, YOU ARE OLD OH.  That should do it.

Francisco Rodriguez – Francisco Rodriguez is even older than Oh and also has the advantage of being far worse as a player.  Sure he saved 44 games for the Tigers (DO IT AGAIN YOU WON’T) but he also just barely scraped above 8 Ks per 9 and had an ERA above 3.  Who wants an ERA above 3 from a closer.  Nobody that’s who.


Sure the OGTFC can hope for young pitchers like Wacha, Giolito, Glasnow, and Cole to make leaps and there’s hope that Aaron Sanchez can build on a surprisingly strong season, but the reality is that this staff has a lot riding on young pitchers “putting it all together” and young pitchers sometimes take fucking forever (or don’t at all) to “put it all together”.  But yanno maybe he’s hoping Garrett Richards and Tyson Ross come back right as rain, or maybe he just plans on sweeping hitting cats and catching a few breaks.  WHO FUCKING KNOWS.  The point is I won’t stand for repeat champions that aren’t Odom/me and thanks to the fragility of life and the volatility of young pitchers it is very possible I won’t have to.

Smoked em…….
2017 TROLL SERIES, Vol. 2: Why The Trout Fishing Club’s Pitching Is Hot Garbage

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.


Image result for Marco Rubio Funny Face

  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.

Image result for ben carson

  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.


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