Shooters Bullets Part 4

Disclaimer: The thoughts, views, and opinions expressed in this and any other work I present to the group is made purely for entertainment purposes only. They are not intended to offend, hurt, or anger anyone. If you don’t like adult humor, vulgar verbiage, drug and sex references, the occasional light taunt, or the musing from the life of a filmmaking bum… please stop before crossing into the world of Suplex City. Also, I don’t know shit about fantasy advice, so if you’re here for that, you better walk your ass over to Chris Clegg or someone who gets paid for putting out trash content. Whatever you prefer. 

 

Today, I have a COP .357 Derringer and I’m listening to Run Through the Jungle by Creedence Clearwater Revival with a Pimm’s Cup:

 

  • Cord Cutting

So: This week, the Anaheim Angels came to town and I thought it was going to be the perfect time to get into the 2002 World Series. I was going to get into Trout vs. Salmon, Anaheim’s proximity to LA, why Disneyland is better than Walt Disney World, Orange Groves. All sorts of shit. But then something happened on Friday that changed the entire tenor of my weekend. I woke up from a weed nap, ready to watch Anaheim continue to get their comeuppance from 2002 – I will never forgive you, John. NEVER– and much to my chagrin, the game wasn’t available. Now, I don’t have the MLB Extra Innings, so maybe this means nothing to someone who does. But after looking through the guide on Hulu, I find Yankees/Red Sox on MLB Network and a Dodgers/Royals game on one of the other networks. NBC Sports California was showing the second game of the Twins/Oakland A’s double-header, but nothing for the Giants/Angels game. Then, after looking through, I found the game was being broadcast on Apple and was not available for me to watch. This is now the third time this season where I have gotten blacked-out of getting to see my team despite being in the market my team plays in. No local TV – this feels like some Spectrum LA shit. This isn’t supposed to happen here. But then again, first they came for the Dodger children, and I did not speak out – because I am not a Dodger child. In a world where we are constrained by price and choices made by the elite class over the rest of us, I feel like the least we should get is our teams’ games broadcast on local TV in said market. And look, I went to sport marketing school, I get why this is happening: Apple paid the fee, they get the games, shut the fuck up and take the money. Except, it’s not even about money, it’s about making the game more unreachable for some people (whether they are tech-savvy and can get on Apple or not). It’s akin to the MLS making that megadeal with Apple to have the exclusive rights for the league over the next decade. The issue with that is: while it allows for Apple to reap the rewards of hardcore MLS fans flocking to buy it, the deal also makes the MLS much less approachable to those who don’t value it or Apple enough to pay for the service. And, thus, the alternative (the USL) is starting to make a name for itself. This is kind of what things like the Apple game of the week or the Amazon games or some of the other weirdo scheduling things (putting the MLB Game of the Week on FS2 rather than on Fox proper, or FS1 during the late season run last year in favor of more niche sports) really are getting to be more problematic than an opportunity to grow a game that feels like it’s just one or two executive firings away from being on par with the other major sports in North America. People are watching hockey now, and women’s hoops has been growing and may be at an apex. Meanwhile, we have EDLC, Ohtani, Bobby Baseball, and a myriad of other talents that could be taking the sporting world by storm, but they’re busy playing behind a paywall while Hunter Pence horribly commentates. Great. 

I know! I know! Writing about soccer (or futbol) when this is a baseball thing is unbecoming. But after missing Heliot Ramos’ big Friday Night, I need a break. I need something fun, and there’s nothing more fun than a bunch of Europeans fighting each other to the death for sport. The 2024 European Football Championship (better known as Euro) began this past Thursday. We already had a fantastic Netherlands/Poland game and an upset of massive proportions (LUKAKU!). I love futbol, not to be confused with football. Futbol is a gentleman’s game played by hooligans, football is gladiators going for the kill. Love them both, but they definitely are different tastes. What I love about soccer/futbol is the continual action that leads to little more than the sporting equivalent of blue balls, until it doesn’t. The global feel, the different fan bases and pockets, the identities and characteristics of the different locations, fans, players, stadiums and leagues all make it something much different than anything else going on in any other entertainment sphere around the world. And when Futbol is right, it’s in a different stratosphere. This summer is one where that can happen, in large part because of three major tournaments going on. The first – and most prominent – to non-soccer die-hards is the Olympics. However, the biggest tournament of the summer is the aforementioned Euro 2024. The tournament, which is the second most important competition in international soccer behind only the World Cup, is played every four years (though, due to the pandemic, the Euro 2020 was played in 2021). Qualification parameters change, but ultimately the 24 best teams in Europe compete across 6 groups of 4. The top two in each group in addition to the best four 3rd placed teams filter into a 16-team bracket. From there we get into a single elimination tournament, one fall to a finish, sudden death rules, till we get the final on July 14th in Berlin. For me and my dad, outside of the World Cup and Copa America (more on that below), this is the biggest tournament to watch. And here’s the thing: we are coming off of a wild Euro 2020, which saw the pandemic issues, a surprise cup run for England (looking for their first major tournament win since 1966), and a shocking final (with full London hooliganism). It was great TV! Maybe not great in person. But great TV! When it comes to Europe, I typically root for England, Spain, Portugal and Belgium. But it’s usually going to come down to who plays the grounded, Ginga-style possession game. But at the end of the day, it’s all just a good time. So, Go Three Lions! It’s Coming Home

  • Number 16

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the debut of Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Carlos Rodrguez, better known around Suplex City as “The Nicaraguan Nightmare”. I don’t bring him up because he blew the doors off with his pitching (3.2 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 4 K, 1 BB, 71 Pitches), though he flashed some fantastic stuff. The same fantastic stuff he flashed in that World Baseball Classic game a few years back against that tough Puerto Rico team. I don’t bring him up because he’s a member of my team. Nor do I bring him up because he’s a Milwaukee Brewer, a team some of you guys in the league follow closely. I bring Carlitos up because he is the 16th major leaguer from the pearl of Central America – Nicaragua. I am Nicaraguan-American and, as such, it’s always a big deal to see someone representing the birthplace of my father and my mother’s parents. The homeland, if you will. My father, who pitched in school before having to leave for the US due to the Nicaraguan Revolution, talks about how nasty some of the stuff he saw (and threw) down there and how El Presidente was the blueprint. When I was coming, Marvin Bernard and Vicente Padilla (I LOVE MY PEOPLE) both flashed. And while they were both productive players with long careers, neither really became a superstar that followed in Dennis Martinez’s footsteps. There was a lot of hype for Everth Cabrera, Cheslor Cuthbert, and Erasmo Ramirez over the past 15 years – some deserved, some not. When Jonathan Loaisiga signed with the Giants in 2012, I know I thought he might end up being a future ace. Of course, that didn’t happen (but the Yankees did get a hell of a set-up man). Now comes the newest hope for a Nicaraguense superstar. Good luck, young man. Not just because I have you on my team and I need some help, but because… all of our hopes. Also: if we ever do have a real World Series with representation of places outside of the Lower 48 and Canada, Central America’s greatest baseball franchise, Indios del Boer, needs to be included. And not just because they’re the Yankees of Central America or because they’re older than most Major League franchises. No no no. Part of it has to do with the nice ballpark (content in Spanish) they get to play in. 

  • Two Soccer Bullets? This is a baseball article, FFS.

I’ll make this short… Copa America is starting this week! Mexico is probably going to be ass, but that’s my team. With no Ochoa, Lozano or Jimenez, it’s going to be a tough road. At least Edison Alvarez is still going out there. And, while my Chivas fandom shouldn’t allow this, Quinonez looks good. My dad is a Brazil fan, and they probably will find a way to lose, despite having the best team on the field. They just haven’t been the same since Ronaldinho was out here, but how can you replace a talent like that (or like Ronaldo…or my favorite Brazilians, Hulk and Maicon!) I don’t know if I prefer to lose in the group stages, or to pretend like this is the World Cup, squeak by the group stages (looking like shit most of the way) only to lose to Argentina in the round of 16again and again only to CRY in my beer? It all sounds pretty terrible. Either way, watch some soccer this summer, guys. It’s a good time. Unless you’re a Mexico fan like me, then it’s torture. And not the good kind either. I wanted to get tickets to that July 2nd Brazil/Colombia game at Levi’s Stadium to go with my dad, but boy is shit expensive

 

Wild Man’s Musings: The Logo passed last week. Rest in Power! Them punk-ass Lakers did him so dirty…. Bro, what?.. I dunno if this should make me confident in the Giants or not. Maybe everyone sucks?.. Bruh, I think these city connect shits get worse by the day… Not to dogpile on the Dodgers, but Ouch!.. Well, there’s also this. Sorry, Doyers… Still hype about the game at Rickwood Field, but this is kinda sadNINE TIMES!?!.. I dunno if this is the goal of the summer, but it’s in the running. Post-Script: This is the goal of the summer. The debate is finished. So good, my dad teared up. That’s a shoot.… If Cartman was a sportscaster… Are we really going to have nan a Sunday game during the NBA Finals? We already lost the video essays and the pre-game hype. This is just wack… Speaking off wack, the Chuckster is retiring? No one is going to be able to replace him, granted I dunno if that’s the whole story… We really need to bring this kind of excitement back to sports… I told you they’d Park the Car at Harvard Yard in 5… Happy Belated Father’s Day! These fathers day kicks go hard… Speaking of Father’s Day, what an awkward storyElly is a fucking freak!.. People need to stop doubting The Beast… I dunno if this was The Ump Show or The Manny Show, but I love it. Get his ass, Manny!… I miss Schwab…  Fire Farhan! Fire Manfried!

 

My Brother’s Awful Movie Recommendation of the Week: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003) starring Sean Connery (Her Majesty’s loyal terrier, a certified freakScotland’s number top pimp  and the only real threat to Brickma’s claim of being the top dog)  and Peta Wilson (La Femme Nikita). 

 

An Alternative Version of that Movie: Ocean’s Eleven (2001) starring George Clooney (imagine if he would have stayed in Lanford), Julia Roberts (Big Mistake! Big! Huge!), Bernie Mac (didn’t I tell your punk as boy he couldn’t have no goddamn cookies?), Brad Pitt (it’s a shame I got to take you back), and Andy Garcia (yo, didnt he fuck his cousin? Gabagool.). 

 

The Jon Dowd Memorial Power Rankings:

 

Top of the League

  1. Who’s Your Haddy (10-1, Won 4): While it was a bit of a low-end performance on the pitching side of things  for Haddy last week, his hitting was more than able to keep him atop the power rankings this week. A disappointing showing from JP Sears (-9 points across two starts this week) and a subpar week out of Zack Wheeler (-21 on Sunday, 29 points across two starts this week) is probably somewhat of an outlier. Offensively, Marcell Ozuna pretended he was in Sandy Springs and MASHED (64 points), Matt Olson rewound time (79 points), and Steven Kwan did some wild shit (63 points, 13-for-22). The 434-point offensive outburst carried the day, as Haddy won 600-550. Haddy travels to Neptune next. 

 

Contenders

  1. Marshall’s Law (9-2, Won 1): In the matchup of the week, Marshall outlasted Brickma 709-596. On the pitching side of things, both teams were deadlocked for most of the week. Brickma actually was able to beat Marshall on this side of things (318-308), with Aaron Nola’s awful outing against Boston (-9.5 points, 3.2 IP, 11 H, 8 ER, 2 BB, 2 K) being the real differentiator here. However, Marshall’s offense did the damn thing. 400 points, with eight different players contributing at least 25 points during the week. Riley Greene was the big bat this week, nabbing 60 points across 28 appearances. Marshall takes on Trash Can this week. 
  2. Better Bombers (8-3, Won 7): Another week, another ho-hum Better Bombers performance. And by ho-hum, I mean an absolute whalloping. 282 offensive points, 337 pitching points, and a 138-point win. Included in that was 5 offensive players with at least 25 points each, and 5 pitchers with over 30 points (including Ronel Blanco, who got 102 points from 13 innings). Bombers takes on Orioles Magic this week.
  3. Flight Deck Yellow Shirts (8-3, Won 1): Before I begin, I have to quickly apologize for a typo that appeared in Elton’s blurb last week. I referred to him as Yellow Jacket Flight Deck rather than Flight Deck Yellow Shirt. It was an oversight made because I was asking to my brother about the Showtime series Yellowjackets while also typing up the blurbs. It was a mistake compounded by poor proofreading. Anyways, onto the blurb… The King of the Ocean was able to have some Shark Fin soup (don’t look it up, that shit is pure evil and whoever got it on their menu is on evil shit) this week. A 550-418 final over Neptune put Flight Deck back in the win column. A 78-point differential on the offensive side and a 54-point differential on the pitching side did enough to keep Neptune at bay. The biggest difference? A 74-point week from Eric Fedde that came across 13 innings and a 54-point outburst from Freddie Freeman.
  4. Brickma’s Revenge (7-4, Lost 1): The Big Dog didn’t get to eat this week. The reason? His offense decided to take the week off. Vladdy produced a poultry 9 points from 22 appearances, Pete Alonso was only able to get 13 points from 26 appearances, and Broce Turang cooled off, bringing only 10 points to the table despite 22 appearances. The kicker, Spencer Horwitz (34 points across 22 appearances) was the second-highest offensive producer (only bested by Willy Adames, 58 points across 26 appearances). This kind of thing can be hidden when you’re going up against a bad or middling team. When you have to take on a hot team in the top half of the table, this is going to hurt. Brickma and Flight Deck take each other on this week. 
  5. Beach Bum (7-4, Lost 1): Tough break for Beach Bum. Ultimately, while both the offense and pitching let him down this week, the pitching was much more devastating. Outside of Seth Lugo (who had 63 points across 13 innings) and two 30-point starts from Grayson Rodriguez and Jose Quintana, the pitching was missing some oomph. A matchup with Stros Bros this week and a matchup with Long Ball in two weeks are two must wins for Beach Bum to keep his tentative lead over the bottom-10 teams that are nipping on his heels. 

 

Dark Horses

  1. Long Ball to LF (6-5, Won 1): Like Sukie Jones, Long Ball is back in the saddle (again). After a bad week, Long Ball decimated HTCP’s opportunity at a 7th win with a Friday and Saturday performance (126-62, 77-51) that really made Sunday moot. Long Ball is still inconsistent (as most of us are), but the highs are usually enough to keep Long Ball in the win column. Pitching was the big differentiator, as Long Ball finished with 305-points across 8 starts and 51.1 innings. Two 50-point pitchers, two 40-point pitchers and an additional 41 from Ranger Suarez was enough to run away with the game. Long Ball takes on the hot Sojo this week.
  2. H-Town Trash Can Punch (6-5, Lost 1): Hanging on to the side of the HIGHWAY OF CONTENTION, Kyle finds himself in peril. This week, even a late surge on Sunday (92-30) could not erase the deficit he came into the weekend with. Specifically, Long Ball’s 126-62 Friday really ended any hopes Kyle had of winning the week. The hits keep coming as Marshall rolls into town to try and keep the regular season title a two-horse race. 
  3. Pine Mountain Podstars (5-6, Won 1): I told you Pine Mountain was a threat. Well that 151-66 Thursday night showing points out what I’m talking about. I know most offenses in the league can have a night like that, but Podstars always seems to catch one of these nights at the most inopportune moment for his opponents. The pitching this week left something to be desired (aside from the Alex Marsh start this week), but 237 isn’t the worst pitching score one could get. The offense is, as advertised, a menace. 7 OFFENSIVE PLAYERS WITH OVER 30 POINTS! AND TATIS WASN’T ONE OF THEM. Podstars takes on Eastbound this week.
  4. Stros Bros (5-6, Lost 1): As mentioned, The Couch Man ran into a buzzsaw of an offense this week. That being said, it wasn’t as if the Stros’ problem this week was keeping up with the Podstar offense. Shit, 64% of Stros’ points came from the offense. The issue this week was that the pitching couldn’t muster enough. 175 points was just not the way. Beach Bum and Stros take each other on this week. 
  5. Neptune Sharks (5-6, Lost 1): Welp, that sucked. NINE GODDAMN PITCHERS ON THE IL. OOF. If Kyle is claiming the gold medal of the pain olympics, Cesar is owed at least a silver. Strider. Down. Schmidt. Down. And now Yamamoto is out till August. I dunno who’s had it worse, the Dodgers or Neptune this weekend. A matchup with league leader Haddy is sure to be another tough matchup for Neptune. Damn pitching clock.

 

Wha’happun?

  1. Sojo Good it’s Scary (2-9, Won 1): AY! BRING THE BUBBLY IN HERE, WE CELEBRATING! FO FO FO. On the real, Sam notched his second win of the year by beating Eastbound and Dowd. The matchup, 536-493, was really tuned in on Saturday night, when Shota Imanaga  (51 points, 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 6 K) and Charlie Morton (41 points, 6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K) buoyed a 117-36 night. Next week, Long Ball and Sojo do battle.
  2. Orioles Magic (2-9, Won 1): Russell finally popped off for a win. I kept thinking one was coming, but didn’t know when it’d happen. This week, powered by Carlos Correa (102 points in 33 appearances) and Andrew Vaughn (54 points in 22 appearances), the Orioles Magic offense went off for 414 points. 414 POINTS! Additionally, a rebound week for Jordan Montgomery (58 points across 10.2 innings) and Marcus Stroman (39 points across 10.2 innings) was enough to keep Wallbangers at bay. Better Bombers awaits.
  3. Wallbangers (2-9, Lost 6): One thing is to lose because you have an off week, it’s another thing to lose when you have a monster offensive week. 335 points from the Wallbanger offense was not enough to keep the Bangers on the winning side of things. Royce Lewis did Royce Lewis things (83 points in 27 appearances, including this monster shot), JJ Bleday (59 points in 32 appearances) and Corbin Carroll (47 points in 27 appearances) both made up for lackluster weeks over the past month. However, between the 335 points falling 79-points shy of Orioles Magic’s offense and the near 100-point deficit on the pitching side of things (248-161), Josh just got plain unlucky. Next week, Wallbangers comes to Suplex City. In the great words of a former mayor of ours, “Hey, Baby!
  4. Eastbound and Dowd (1-10, Lost 9): Eastbound had a tough beat this past week. The aforementioned Saturday where Imanga and Morton went unconscious totally blacked out the fantastic Sunday E&D had (96-29). On the whole, the 42-point loss was mostly off of the backs of a 46-point differential between Sojo’s pitching (290) and Eastbound’s pitching (244). Next week, Eastbound tries to get back in the win column against Podstars.

 

Should I stay, or should I go?

  1. Suplex City Shooters (5-6, Lost 1): What’s so frustrating about this week was that the game was winnable. Haddy had a down week (by his standards) and I decided to play too cautiously on Monday – deciding to not play Harrison or Arrighetti because they were going against each other and had theoretical better matchups on Sunday. The problem was, neither Harrison (ankle sprain) or Arrighetti (idiocy to move him up a day) pitched on Sunday. Bad management by me, in addition to two really bad trades this year, probably has me eliminated from the playoffs. Even still, this was only a 50 point loss, and this was also the third or forth loss this year that was within 50 points. Admittedly, this is in part due to a bad run of decision making on my part. Maybe contention is still there for me. But, there are only 9 weeks left, I count 4 games left I should be able to win and you need 13 to 14 to get in. I don’t know if I can find another 4-5 wins in that group. 

 

Clip of the Week: O-H-I-O! People in the great state of Ohio were on one this week. Peep what this numb-nuts did with his (or her, the video is grainy) opportunity to run on the field. 

 

The Top-10 List of the Week: This week’s top-10 list is centered on Arguments Captured on Film. This is mostly a film-centric list, but some things may seep in. This is inspired by the huge argument my neighbors are currently having on the other side of my bedroom wall. Onto the list:

 

  1. Lily Tomlin vs. David O’Russell, I Heart Huckabees (2007)
  2. Patrick Swayze vs. Marshall Teague, Roadhouse (1989)
  3. “The Real McCoy” LisaRaye vs. Chrystale Wilson, The Players Club (1998)
  4. Pam Grier vs. Linda Haynes, Coffy (1973)
  5. Sigourney Weaver vs. Stan Winston, Aliens (1986)
  6. Michelle Pfeiffer vs. Michael Keaton, Batman Returns (1992)
  7. Hugh Grant vs. Colin Firth, Bridget Jones Diary (2001)
  8. Channel 4 vs. The Evening Team, Anchorman (2004)
  9. Zhang Ziyi vs. Warriors at the Inn, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2001)
  10. Arnold Schwartzenegger vs. Robert Patrick, Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1992)

Honorable Mentions: Roddy Piper vs. Keith David, They Live (1988), Jack Nicholson vs. Lorna Thayer, Five Easy Pieces (1970), Gina Carano vs. Michael Fassbender, Haywire (2011), Uma Thurman vs. Lucy Liu, Kill Bill (2004)

 

Dynasty Grinders ® Match-Up of the Week: The Big Dog is, once again, part of the match-up of the week. This time, the grudge match between Roman Reigns and The King of the Ocean is center stage. This could be a playoff preview, but it could just as easily be the turning point for the winner of this matchup. Two teams that need a win to keep up, both with some offensive issues. I’m taking the under.

 

And, gentlemen, always remember that angels fly high because they take themselves lightly

Shooters Bullets Part 3

 

Disclaimer: The thoughts, views, and opinions expressed in this and any other work I present to the group is made purely for entertainment purposes only. They are not intended to offend, hurt, or anger anyone. If you don’t like adult humor, vulgar verbiage, drug and sex references, the occasional light taunt, or the musing from the life of a filmmaking bum… please stop before crossing into the world of Suplex City. Also, I don’t know shit about fantasy advice, so if you’re here for that, you better walk your ass over to Chris Clegg or someone who gets paid for putting out trash content. Whatever you prefer. 

 

Today, I have a Smith and Wesson M&P Bodyguard 380 and I’m listening to Good Grief by Urban Dance Squad with a bottle of Sparkling Ice Berry Lemonade:

 

  • A Tale of Two Cities

This past week, the Oakland Ballers, a Pioneer League team based in Oakland, had their home opener. I didn’t go, but it looks like it was a fun time. I was sad watching the news footage. Not because the turnout was bad, and not because it looked like it was a raggedy time (it didn’t – and J.T. Snow was there, so you know that shit was all class). I was sad  because Oakland deserves a team, and there’s nothing we can do about it. Growing up, I didn’t really care for Oakland. Most of that was due to all of my East Bay-based cousins and uncles, none of whom I was particularly close with or had good relationships with, hyped up all the Oakland-based teams while shitting all over my San Francisco-based teams. The surface level shit bothered me. Blasphemous claims such as “Barry Bonds? TLong and Jermaine Dye are way better than him.” “Jerry Rice looks better in Silver and Black.” “You like the Warriors? The Kings actually win games.” But the subtext, the “we’re regular, working-class people, and you guys are rich” really bothered me.  I didn’t grow up rich. I grew up in a working-class, union-friendly family. My parents worked tough jobs, trying to give my brother and I every opportunity. This meant that sometimes we couldn’t get the extras. And my extended family made my family feel like shit for it. One of my aunts based out of the East Bay once came to my neighborhood (which I love and credit for helping me become the wild man I am today) and made it a big deal about how she needed to “lock her doors” so that no one stole the car. There were always sly remarks about how our house looked. But then the moment that sports or geographical pride came up, we were recast as the rich and powerful and they were the sisters of the poor living out in the sticks. And I hated the entire East Bay for that growing up, and that made me adopt a “Fuck Oakland” attitude as a teen. But then, I actually visited Oakland and Berkley, Alameda, Hayward, and realized my relatives are just assholes and not indicative of most of the East Bay. Granted, there is a prevailing anti-San Francisco sentiment from Oakland specifically that can get tiresome when you’re a native. But both cities are getting it in the shorts because of gentrification and years of bureaucratic nonsense from leaders who care more about advancing careers than they do about the cities they govern. The point is: I’ve gotten more appreciative of Oakland, the East Bay, and their respective teams. And over the years, I have been disappointed with the manner by which things have gone for Oakland. The loss of the Raiders was outright bullshit, but it’s not surprising given that Mark Davis is a nepo-baby, man-child, punk bitch who will never get out of his father’s shadow and looks like the blond, white version of Park from Hey Arnold. See the resemblance. Maybe I’m being unfair to Park. He’d know how to run a team. The loss of the Warriors is touchy. As a San Franciscan, I must remind Oaklanders that the Warriors were San Francisco’s originally, and moved (in part) due to the inability of government to find a stable home for them (not due to some lack of interest, like some morons will try to claim). There is also the part that Warriors ownership in the 70s wanted to have a majority of the fandom of the state and decided to have games played in two cities (Oakland and San Diego) on some money shit. Or the part where the team’s star (Rick Berry) decided to not play a season due to them not paying him. The point: the team was run poorly, and that doesn’t mean that San Francisco didn’t support it on a local level. And, while not personal, the articles about how coming to The City was bad for the Warriors and shitting all over the people in SF who love sports felt personal. Especially when it was coming from people who aren’t from here. It used to be more, but Tech killed that. Anyways… it’s not personal, but it feels like it. Because I am my city, and I love the Warriors. Not just the Steph Curry Warriors, but the Antawn Jamison/Adonal Foyle “It’s a Great Time Out” Warriors. The Warriors that couldn’t buy a win in San Antonio for DECADES. I’ll admit though: watching a game at Chase Center is not the same as watching a game at Roaracle. Oracle Arena was special. The same way Candlestick was. The same way the Cow Palace can be. And the way the Oakland Coliseum would be if they had a competent owner (more on that in a bit). The A’s – out of the two Oakland teams and The Warriors, I always just assumed they’d be there. The idea of them not being in the Bay Area is heartbreaking. And moreso when you have watched (as I have) decades of inept A’s ownership bungle things. Just a few years ago, Oakland was ready to give the A’s Howard Terminal, but the A’s balks (kinda akin to the 49ers screwing San Francisco when they had the bonds agreed to to build a new Candlestick – John York can go sit and spin). Now, before I get yelled at, some Oaklander will yell about the territorial rights and how SAN FRANCISCO AND THE GIANTS DID THIS TO US! There’s something to that. The San Francisco Giants ownership group absolutely played Oakland and the A’s. But, two things: 1) The continual “San Francisco did this is” is just wrong. Blaming a bunch of million and billionaires is fairplay. Blaming a city, its residents (working class included) and its team’s fans is bullshit. And, 2) San Jose sucks, I’d have totally given them the rights for free. But I also traded 5 draft picks for things I don’t remember a few years ago to prove a point, so what do I know?  The thing is, I don’t get the move. I understood the idea of the Raiders leaving when it was for LA (a bigger market with more media coverage). But when the Raiders, and now the A’s, have picked the number 48 market over the number 4 (or 6 depending on who you ask), it makes no sense. And this isn’t me shitting on Vegas. The D Hotel has a great steak, the fountain at the Bellagio is cool, hookers happiness is easy to find, and Vegas is just cool. But Vegas is a market that likes its shit brand new. Vegas is not the kind of mistress you can just hand your wife’s old minks over to (sorry about the bad quality). Vegas needs new. Hair did, nails did, everything did. Taking the A’s to Vegas will fail. I actually don’t think they get there. They may get stuck in AAA purgatory, (in Sacramento of all places – Vivek Yeshwant, I hope everything in your kingdom crumbles for ever crossing The Bay Area, you province King) because, in addition to being a stupid move, John Fisher is fucking moron. The man is one of the worst owners in the MLS. He, like Davis, is a nepo-baby punk who is watching the empire his father built crumble because he’s a doofus with no business acumen and the face of a hateful version of Kuato. The A’s have been dealt a bum hand. And I’m not just talking about the horrible Dallas Braden broadcasts (though it’s not like Hunter Pence is any better). I’m talking about Major Leaguers getting sent down for siding with the city. I’m talking about players from other teams doing their best Jewel impression and stealing dirt from their homeland. I’m talking about the sexiest mayor in America getting lied to by Fisher and his stooge Dave Kaval (I would love Sheng Tao to be my Zaddy Mayor). I don’t have much more to say, but I hope the Ballers do well. I really wish that Joe Lacob would buy the A’s. And I think with the move to Vegas or Sacramento, this only hurts The Bay Area. Now, with one less option, The Giants’ wack-ass ownership group is going to be even lazier about being good, louder about patting itself on the back and we’re going to have to just sit and deal with… I’ll talk about that next week. I love you, Oakland. I wish things would be better. I’ll miss dollar hot dog days and buying beers from bootleggers outside the Coliseum on the way to BART.

  • London Calling

The big story in baseball this past week was the London Series. It was great. Brycie continued to be dangerous, entertaining and doofy. Starling Marte was being the ultimate Mets ambassador by playing like, well, Starling plays. The stadium looked cool. And even the Brits had some fun with it. As a former season-ticket holder, one who got screwed over numerous times by the Giants ticket department, I always have a weird take on international regular season games. I also always get weirded out by midseason games taking place at neutral venues, but that’s probably more of a reaction to college football’s overreliance on that gimmick to sell tickets. However, I can’t deny that this was cool. The venue was reminiscent of Stade Olympique, Estadio Azteca and La Maracana, and that uniqueness really made the games. So, while watching these games, chewing on a Kiva Peppermint Bar and sipping on a few shots of Fireball mixed in with my hot chocolate (it was hella cold this weekend in The City), I got to thinking. I think we should make the World Series a real world series. Put some expansion teams in Europe and Latin America, include the KBO and NPB, and give us a tournament with the NL, AL, KBO, NPB champs plus a Euro champ and a few champs from Latin America. Fuck it. Let’s do it big. Silly, but also the idea of a baseball game of note with real stakes being played in this place. Or hell, what about this place with this kind of fan after hours of drinking outside and waiting for a playoff game? Well, maybe not. But, either way, why was the pregame show done at Yankee Stadium? 

  • On that note:

I know that in the old, crusty, rich man card-game that is professional sports, there’s a lot of copycat stuff. You see it in things like “City Connect” uniforms, which comes from all the alternative uniforms you see in college athletics, which comes from the Hardwood Classics that the NBA throws out there, which is all just a bastardization of the novel “throwback” craze of the early-2000s. The point here is that everything is just a game of keeping up with the Joneses… It’s just a question of which Jones. It’s almost always Jerry Jones, but right now, the Jones MLB needs to follow is the CPL’s Tri-City Chili Peppers. Born in the midst of the Pandemic, the Chili Peppers play in Colonial Heights, Virginia. Last week they decided to play a game of Cosmic Baseball. I’m not saying that MLB would ever do anything like this. Hell, the NHL and NBA would do something like this before the MLB would dare. I know the thought of this kind of thing happening at a Yankee Stadium or even at The Field of Dreams is daydream at best and a stupid idea at worst. But if we’re doing away with such traditions as league-specific play and rules, timeless games, and acting as if the Dodgers and Padres are an actual rivalry when there is only ONE GODDAMN RIVALRY IN THE NL WEST AND THAT’S BETWEEN US AND THE DODGERS, YOU GOT THAT SAN DIEGO?! WATCH YOUR FUCKING TONE WHEN YOU TALK TO THE BAY. GO KEEP MAKING THOSE SHITTY BURRITOS WITH FRIES IN IT. CALIFORNIA BURRITO, MY ASS. MORE LIKE PRIMANTI BROTHER BURRITOS. YOU BETTER COME CORRECT WHEN YOU SPEAK ABOUT THE MISSION BURRITO. ALSO, Tony Gwynn is still the best hitter to ever do it. Kay, love you. Hugs and kisses. Let’s do lunch next week. Byeee… The thing is, if we’re going to keep ripping away things, can we at least replace them with cool shit? Its America’s pastime, for fuck’s sake. And in the United States of America, when we rip down landmarks, we typically replace them with cool looking malls and condos for yuppies. We already have the condo for Yuppies, let’s get the cool-looking mall. Also, maybe a Man Does Not Hit in the House of Juan Soto Under Armor ad along with the neon-colored night time jerseys and Savannah Banana fuckery will help. An even better video of the Cosmic Baseball game.

  • Am I Okay with Cheating?

Not Usually. But I love Roger Clemens. Yes, I loved him even as an asshole! Of course I love Jose Canseco, the guy was my kind of heel. Pete Rose? Charlie Hustle! The Man Kane murdered in Boston? I love him too. (Note: Barry Bonds hasn’t been caught, so all that shit was natural and fuck you if you don’t like it. #AllHailGregAnderson #ADownAssBitch.) But this whole Tucupita Marcano thing is a little, eh. I dunno if I’m okay with betting on baseball, but I’m not so against it that everyone who does it needs a punishment of a public spanking and a chili up their ass like the dude in Things Fall Apart (unless they like that kind of thing, in which case who am I to yuck someone’s yum?). Does a lifetime ban seem a little crazy? To me it does. But I also don’t know who he bet on. Did he bet on his team to win? Cause that’s the kind of lunatic I want on my team. I’m deadass. Don’t give me a loudmouth “you hate to play him, but love to have him on your team” type. Give me a man who talks shit up front and keeps talking shit. Betting on your team is kinda like that. But if Tupica and the others picked other teams to win, then maybe. I dunno. I’m not Judge Doom (evil bastard), I don’t like being Judge, Jury and Executioner. Granted, I like Judge Dredd (I AM THE LAW!). 

  • Vlady, I need you bad, *Drunk hiccup* baby!

I don’t know if Vladamir Jr. is going to get moved this year. The current news out of the internet streets is that the Chicago Cubs are looking to nab him. I’ve heard other names (usual suspects: Boston, Los Angeles, and New York) but it’s almost immaterial. I think this needs to happen. Vlady is a star. Toronto should be better, but they aren’t (don’t ask me why, I ain’t no master of the speechifying). Maybe this is the perfect time for one of those massive mid-season trades. You remember, the shocking ones that people shit themselves over. We haven’t had a 2008 trade deadline in years. Or how about the wild day that Boston decided to turn death into a fighting chance to live. Remember that shocking Houston trade? Or when the Blue Jays decided to move Roger? WHAT ABOUT THIS BLOCKBUSTER?!?!?1? We need something. Anything! But we need something wild to happen to make this season even more unpredictable. The most unpredictable thing: The Giants redeeming Brian Sabean 21 years after he made the mistake of a lifetime (more on this next week) AND GETTING THE SON OF THE MAN! Vladdy, baby, I need you tonight, because I’m not sleeping and you’re one of my kind!

  • Honestly, Ty Cobb was Booty Butt-Cheeks.

When it comes to old baseball, this is a kinda legit take, even if it’s funny. This why I’m not understanding the big deal about incorporating the Negro League stats atop the MLB record books. The likelihood was that the players in that league (Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson, specifically) were better than the majority of the players in MLB. This feels like a fair thing all around. Why is this a big deal? Disservice? Brother, touch grass. Is it fair for MLB to claim players that they actively kept out of the game? No. But, do I think those guys should have their rightful place above some of the guys who we’ve been lauding for so long? Fuck yes, you mervin! 

 

Wild Man’s Musings: This fucking guy Arson guy is just hot…  Not as hot as Mrs. Ramos’ Baby Boy! This man is so hot, he’s causing fights in Reddit threads. Post Script: The fight got edited, but there’s still remnants there. Seeing these two neckbeards fight in the wild that is The Internet was a trip… I know I’m not supposed to like him, and it goes against my Giants fandom, but IT’S KIKE, BITCHES!Look at this mammoth home-run. Talk about The Natural… I don’t want to dog pile on Alanna Rizzo, but that comment was on some sucka shit… Sac-Town’s fattest asshole, Rowdy Tellez, hit his first home run since March. Congrats, Fat Boy… Speaking of assholes, Agent Zero… I’m not the biggest LeBron fan, but I have to give his docuseries some love. The Glove and The Reign Man were dope!.. Speaking of hoop, this commercial is an absolute abomination. Jordan still looks like Jordan, no need for this… I hate to say this, but Stephen is right… Bro, we got our first review. “Max and Sadie is a…valuable addition to the landscape of independent cinema.” I didn’t pay for that… Fire Farhan! Fire Manfred!

 

My Brother’s Awful Movie Recommendation of the Week: Summer Catch (2001) starring the progeny of the King of Latin Excellence, Freddie Prinz Jr. (professional rival of John Cena), Jessica Biel (who DID NOT major in match), Brittany Murphy (RIP to the only homie worth rolling with), Brian Dennehy (Bro, have you seen A Season on the Brink – wild shit!), Wilmer Valderrama (Mr. Cash-Money himself), John C. McGinley (One of the best parts of the already amazing Wall Street – and yes, I know, he was on Scrubs and a million other awesome things too), and Matthew Lillard (Hackers is easily one of my favorite movies ever).

 

An Alternative Version of that Movie: Bull Durham (1986) is the greatest baseball film ever made. Kevin Coster (Frank Farmer would kill John Wick), Academy Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon ( ), Tim Robbins (The man who crawled through 500 yards of shit-smelling foulness I can’t even imagine, or maybe I just don’t want to), and… Arliss?

 

The Jon Dowd Memorial Power Rankings:

 

Top of the League

  1. Who’s Your Haddy (9-1, Won 3): Like Ric Flair says, to be the man, you’ve got to beat the man. Haddy absolutely trounced Wallbangers this week 623-373. When digging into the matchup a bit more, the offenses were relatively within a reasonable differential to keep Bangers and Haddy competitive. However, Haddy’s pitching staff was headlined by two fantastic Kevin Gausman starts, two good Tarik Skubal starts, a great Nick Lodolo start, and a fantasy gem by Logan Webb this week was the difference. 8 starts, 300 points. That’s how you build a rotation. 

 

Contenders

  1. Marshall’s Law (8-2, Lost 1): Huh? I’m shocked that the Neptune Sharks (sans Spencer Strider, Jung Hoo Lee, Noelvi Marte, Clarke Schmidt, Emmitt Sheehan, and underachieving versions of Randy Arozarena and Thairo Estrada) was able to not only exceed 600 points, but also beat a red-hot Marshall’s Law 633-555. The Gunslinger was hurt by pitching, even with the addition of Hunter Brown (39 points) and good starts from Aaron Nola (57 points), Logan Gilbert (42 points) and Corbin Burnes (42 points), bad looks out of Freddy Peralta (6 points from 3.1 innings), Trevor Megill (11 points from 5 innings) and Jesus Luzardo (0 points from 4.1 innings) left Marshall in a bind on Sunday. This week’s match up between Marshall and Brickma is going to be interesting.
  2. Better Bombers (7-3, Won 6): A near 400-point offensive week and a 300-point pitching week is just not fair. George Kirby’s 78:7 K/BB ratio is stupid and explains why the Mariners are trotting away with the AL West. More importantly, it helps explain why Bombers continues to roll through the rest of the league. The Better Bombers/Beach Bum matchup next week is going to be really interesting.
  3. Brickma’s Revenge (7-3, Won 3): You ever go to a bar intending on one drink and ending up getting shot at by some local fuzz? Me neither. But that’s what happened on Friday night when Long Ball came into the bar looking for a whisky neat and found Brickma’s Revenge. Let the Big Dog Eat! Brickma began the quartering with a nice 63-point start from Framber Valdez, followed that by removing the hands and feet using the piano wire that is a Justin Steele 51-point game, and added his hooks in by sprinkling a 70-point offensive night on top. By the end of the night,  Brickma led the night 184-60 and the game was out of reach. The win streak is on the line against top rival Marshall this week.
  4. Yellow Jacket Flight Deck (7-3, Lost 2): Ooof. The King of the Ocean lost to me? I’m a bit surprised, but maybe I shouldn’t have been. Elton has been pining for weeks about a lack of offense, and this week that was clearly the problem. The anemic performance (213 points, with Freddie Freeman’s 45-point week leading the way) really let down a terrific 346-point pitching performance. The returns of Jasson Dominguez, Jung and WHOMEVER may be able to even out the offense, but those are some late-June returns. Flight Deck is going to beat a surging Neptune Sharks and then, the vaunted Dynasty Darby comes up against Brickma.
  5. Beach Bum (7-3, Won 2): Not to act as if this performance wasn’t good, it was. Anytime you score over 600 points and you win by over 200 points, you had a great week. But the 382 points on the offensive side, and more specifically the 105 point week Aaron Judge had this week are really the shiny object in the room. Dan may need another outburst like that in order to survive this week’s matchup of top teams.
  6. H-Town Trash Can Punch (6-4, Won 1): On the outside looking in of playoff places, but still on the HIGHWAY OF CONTENTION, Trashcan was able to stay alive by escaping Eastbound and Dowd by a mere 48 points. The difference in the matchup came down to a 50-point hitting differential on the week (or one Altuve or one Yandi, one Rooker and half a Dubon). I know we can always say the next four weeks will determine the viability of post-season play for any team, but maybe none more so than here for Kyle. Next week vs. Long Ball, followed up with vs. Marshall, vs. Yellow Decks, and vs. Haddy; that’s the kind of stretch that will put hair on your chest.

 

Dark Horses

  1. Stros Bros (5-5, Won 2): This is the point in the film in which our hero begins the mid-movie montage showing us climbing up the ladder while a fun-but-forgettable 1980s hit plays. The question is: the main character of the montage The Couch Man? I don’t know for sure, but I think it’s possible. The Waldren-Ryan-Pepiot triumvirate that Stros has going up front in his rotation is going to be tough to beat, the addition of Teoscar Hernandez paid dividends this week, and Stros is rolling. However, some show-and-prove matchups over the next two weeks (vs. Podstars, and vs. Beach Bum) are really going to show us if this surge is part of the aforementioned montage.
  2. Neptune Sharks (5-5, Won 1): In 2009, the Giants had a surprisingly successful season that culminated in competitive baseball into the last week of the season for the first time since 2004. The wonderful capitalists in the Giants marketing offices put out  a commercial late that season to emphasize the team’s remarkable run. “We’re in this thing!” shouted an excited Mike Krukow over jazzy corporate music as fans excitedly walked down the 3rd Street Bridge outside of the stadium. That’s kind of like the Neptune Sharks. If any of Matt Shaw, Luis Matos, Sem Robberse or Louis Varland can make a leap up, he may have a way to stay in this. If not, he may just play spoiler over the remaining 10 weeks. Fake limited Mike Krukow says, Hang in there!
  3. Long Ball to LF (5-5, Lost 1): As mentioned, the matchup of the week from last week wasn’t particularly competitive. The pitching was lacking this week – baseball’s freakiest boy, Sonny Gray, wasn’t particularly good and James Paxton actively hurt Long Ball this week. The King of the North also got the absolute worst versions of Miguel Andujar and Rob Redsnyder. Also, no Soto for the weekend didn’t help. All that written, it was a bad week. After two straight wins, this could just be a bump in the road. Unfortunately, Long Ball is now a step behind a logjam of guys while being caught by a logjam of guys. 
  4. Pine Mountain Podstars (4-6, Lost 1): Here’s the thing, while Pine Mountain is the only one in this group under .500, he also had more points than 10 of the other teams in the league – including three of the contenders. And this week, he went up against the hottest team in the league in Better Bombers. The Butcher isn’t done, but the next three weeks (vs. Stros Bros, vs. Eastbound, and vs. Long Ball) will be a big factor in where the Podstars stand at the deadline. My money says he goes 2-1 or 3-0 depending on how the chips fall and he stays in contention. But, as this week tells us, anything can happen.  

 

Wha’happun?

  1. Wallbangers (2-8, Lost 5): I know this may sound shady as hell, but ultimately I don’t mean it to be: you can’t win games in this league with Cory Julks as one of your top consistent performers. Bad weeks out of Colton Cowser, Josh Lowe, Alex Kirilloff and Jose Miranda aren’t helping much. Riding it out seems like where Josh has to be for the remainder of the season. At least he has Royce Lewis and Corbin Carroll to build around. If this remains the foursome vying for the Iosim Cup, seeing an owner with winning experience in that winner-take-all situation would be a lot of fun. 
  2. Sojo Good it’s Scary (1-9, Lost 7): If Long Ball got shot in the back by the fuzz at the bar, Sojo got shot in the tits with some rocksalt by a gun-toating Okie from Muskogee at a camper on Friday. 141 to -6 was the final tally, Jose Siri the only player to score any points (21 points) while all the other players managed -27 for the day. Against a surging team like Stros Bros, that’s just never going to get it done. 
  3. Eastbound and Dowd (1-9, Lost 8): Eastbound lost in a tight matchup where he lost by 48 points, was outscored by 22 points on Sunday, and got -8 from 21 Anthony Rizzo plate appearances (compared to the 46 points Jose Altuve got from his 29 appearances or the 23 points Yandy Diaz got across his 23 plate appearances, players plugged into the 1B and UT spots Rizzo is eligible for). Eastbound was let down this week by the aging Rizzo. Tough sledding.
  4. Orioles Magic (1-9, Lost 2): When your entire pitching staff (65 points total) gets countered by one offensive player (Aaron Judge, 105 points) you’re in for a tough week. Jordan Montgomery’s -24 point week doesn’t help and actively makes the week look worse than what it was, but the pitching was just bad as a whole (65 points from 35 innings). Here’s what I will say: if I’m Russell, I look to trade to get a legit pitcher at the deadline and try to make a run at winning the Iosim Cup this year. The offense is real. 

 

You thought we wouldn’t have any fun. Shame on you! 

  1. Suplex City Shooters (5-5, Won 1): I aint scared of you motherfuckers! I’m going to tell you something straight off the press, I ain’t here for no foolishness! I lie, I’m totally here for foolishness. If Heliot Ramos and Luis Gil are the players I saw this week, then to the league I say: we have such sights to show you! If this is a mirage, then… I don’t know. Probably death or dismemberment by the millions of killers in this league. Maybe the Iosim Cup. Who knows, anything can happen. But the guy who has killed me on trades since the first comes into Suplex City this week to probably kill us. We’ll find out. Welcome to Suplex City, Haddy. Enjoy the bagels!

 

Clip of the Week: This could be late, but this clip of Lars Nootbaar getting into it with Laz Diaz is *chef’s kiss*. I love this shit!

 

The Top-10 List of the Week: This week’s Top 10 list is centered on Kevin Costner, my all–time favorite actor. As a fan, I decided to rank my favorite performances. This is not a ranking of the films, but of the characters. This list does not include John Dutton of Yellowstone, because… well, I don’t really rate the show *GASP*. Anyways, onto the list:

 

  1. Frank Farmer, The Bodyguard
  2. Crash Davis, Bull Durham
  3. Jim Garrison, JFK
  4. John Dunbar, Dances with Wolves
  5. Ray Kinsella, Field of Dreams
  6. Robin Hood, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
  7. Billy Chapel, For Love of the Game
  8. Beau Burrows, Rumor Has It
  9. Sonny Weaver Jr., Draft Day
  10. Alex Marshall, The Big Chill

Honorable Mentions: Charlie Waite, Open Range, Denny Davies, The Upside of Anger, Elliot Ness, The Untouchables, Ringside Fan, Play it to the Bone, Tom Ferrell, No Way Out

 

Dynasty Grinders ® Match-Up of the Week: We have a few matchups this week where you’re getting two contenders, but the Brickma/Marshall matchup is going to be a big one. Possibly a semifinal preview… or maybe a championship final preview. Get your popcorn, I’m taking the over.

 

And, gentlemen, always remember that angels fly high because they take themselves lightly

 

Shooters Bullets Part 2

Disclaimer: The thoughts, views, and opinions expressed in this and any other work I present to the group is made purely for entertainment purposes only. They are not intended to offend, hurt, or anger anyone. If you don’t like adult humor, vulgar verbiage, drug and sex references, the occasional light taunt, or the musing from the life of a filmmaking bum… please stop before crossing into the world of Suplex City. Also, I don’t know shit about fantasy advice, so if you’re here for that, you better walk your ass over to Chris Clegg or someone who gets paid for putting out trash content. Whatever you prefer. 

 

Today, I have a Beretta Tomcat and I’m listening to Fool’s Paradise by Meli’sa Morgan with a can of ice-cold Liquid Death:

 

  • I Stan a King!

Earlier this week, the single greatest character to ever be a part of the wonderful sport of baseball retired. I am not talking about The Babe, The Mick, The Say Hey Kid, The Greatest Broadcaster in sports history (this was the coolest thing ever), the worst manager ever (just kidding, he gave us this gemBevacqua was ass), or even The Clown Prince of Baseball. No, no, no…we lost something much more important to the game than that. I’m talking about the loss of one of the VERY BEST umpires to ever do this. HE CHANGED THE GAME, DAMN YOU! Look, I am only partially joking. In all honesty, the retirement of Angel Hernandez is both a good and a bad thing. The good is obvious; he was terrible at baseball umpiring. His report cards often were the focal point of laughter, his “ump show” tactics were always bothersome, and also he just seems like an asshole of the highest order. However, the game needs characters, and you cannot deny the man was a fantastic character for baseball. A conversation piece. Who else could get Ian Kinsler to run to the local news to write out a promo on an umpire? Angel Hernandez was a king that deserves to be treated as such. Keep in mind, some kings are beheaded. I do think that while we all celebrate and rejoice (rightfully so), we cannot deny that this man added something (even if it wasn’t in-game). Even Sports Illustrated had to hire a real writer to get at this man last year. But what other man would have a burner on Reddit (this is probably not him, but if some people want to believe the Earth is flat, I’m going to believe this)? Who else would sue the league over non-existent discrimination? Only a goddamn ledge! You laugh at this, but who else can make Bryce  this mad

The answer to that last question: EVERYONE! Maybe Angel Hernandez isn’t that special… Last week, I wrote a little about Bryce. Bryce has been a source of contention between my brother and I. He hates his guts almost as much as he hates Miguel Montero. Go ask him, not me. I, on the other hand, don’t like Bryce, but love his spoiled brat gimmick that he’s been rocking since before he got drafted. He was booed as a child in his debut (and that was by a half-empty, half-drunk, partially oblivious LA crowd – you have to be a gifted heel in order to get that kind of heat).  He was voted the most overrated player in the league by his peers in 2014. Hollywood Hamels at the peak of his powers was out here doing Philly-like things (more on that later) to this kid just because. Personally, I didn’t even really mind when Brycie went after Hunter Strickland. Aside from the name reminding me of Hill Valley’s very best educators,  Strickland was ass. (If you’re going to be a Giants closer, you gotta be tough. Strickland was no Shooter, he didn’t have a pitch called “the terminator”, he wasn’t friends with gimps… Strickland was a fake-tough guy. Good riddance to bad rubbish). Anyways, this week, Philly was in town and after going 0-for-6 in his first two games against My Giants, the Phils came into game three ready to fight. My ace, Kyle Harrison, really didn’t have his stuff and got knocked around. However, the moment of the game came when Harper decided to act like a little baby back bitch when he got some sweet chin music (kinda, sorta, not really). Now, I know Harper has gotten cracked in the face before and that sucks (I broke my nose in 6th grade when Shaun Sabaquit threw the ball with all the piss, vinegar and accuracy of 2008 Brandon Backe and haven’t played catch since). But, after 12 seasons in the show, you’d think he’d know that lefty-lefty always has the opportunity to lead to some control issues and missed pitches. No one, especially not a kid with nostrils this big, is going after you. This fool had the nerve to scream “throw the ball down the plate” as if it didn’t make him sound like an entitled little shit. That’s like me yelling at my brother to stop using the “get over here” harpoon on me during our Mortal Kombat II matches (the best fighting game ever made). I was six years younger, so of course, “MOM, HE’S CHEATING!” was the motto. This feels like that. Except worse, because Harrison isn’t 12, Harper isn’t 6, and Reptile didn’t show up after the dust-up to eat some dinner. Last I checked, brushing guys back is part of the game. It’s not like Mike Matheny went and cried after he got hit in the mouth; he didn’t fight Rich Loiselle or tell him to “throw the ball down the plate”. He just took his base. That’s G shit and we know Harp isn’t a G. 

The Cheesesteak Shop is actually awful, but I needed an excuse to laugh at that horribly awkward commercial. Tony Luke’s would probably go into the spot that TCS has currently in the Cold Civil War that currently bubbles beneath the surface of Broad Street: who has the best cheesesteak. It doesn’t really matter. I bring up that caloric beast of a sandwich because, as mentioned, the Philadelphia Phillies came to town this week. A city known for Rocky Balboa, The Iggles, Young Bols, Crabfries, Wawa Iced Tea, meeting cute girls in jackets who say “yooz” and “wooter,” AND GETTING THAT ASS JAWN WHIPPED BY TEAMS FROM THE BAY AREA! BANG BANG NINER GANG! But you see, I didn’t come here to talk about the sorry-ass Eagles. Aside from how annoying it was to hear my college roommate drunkenly scream “FLY EAGLES FLY” after every win at beer pong, I’ve really never thought much about them. I can’t respect an organization who took McNabb’s side over TO’s side. I love me some me! I can’t stand myself! But the Phillies are a different story. A long one, so buckle in… I went to Penn State for college, which is located in beautiful University Park, PA (not a state, but a commonwealth, damnit!). So, with us being located in the middle of PA, and PA being a gateway to both the Northeast and Midwest, there were a lot of different people who went to Penn State. However, the people who had the largest demographic on campus, by far, were the people who came from Philadelphia and the cluster of suburbs around Philly. When I got to Penn State, the Phills were on the rise. My freshman year, the Phillies rallied from 7 games back with 17 to play to get into the playoffs over Willie Randolph’s New York Mets. (Sidenote: they didn’t need to fire Willie like that.) Philly wins the NL East and becomes the team to beat. All of the sudden, all these little pale girls – telling people to “ ‘ava gudwon, dickhead” or asking if I’ve ever been “down shore” – were all wearing Chase F’N Utley shirts under their North Face jackets. The next year, the team was better. Now they had ex-Oakland A Matt Stairs. So, Philly ends up going to the World Series. There are Rollins, Hamels, and Lee Shirzeys everywhere! Playoff mania and Penn State beating down the Little 10 had taken over State College. Penn State is also playing Ohio State (and that mark Terrell Pryor) on the same day as game 3. Both Philly and Penn State win and ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE! And yes, I was out there and there were Jimmies EVERYWHERE. Phils go on to win the World Series, but that years NLCS WAS TASTY AS HELL. TACO BELL!  LIKE JUST SO GODDAMN SWEET! Anyways, I bring this up because, by the time my senior year (2010-11) rolls around, the Phillies are the kings of baseball. They’ve been to the series in back-to-back years, they have Ryan Howard looking like a fat Kevin Mitchell (The Bat Man himself!)… so they couldn’t possibly be touched by a soft-ass West Coast team, could they? NEVER! The East Coast always wins. They play harder cause it’s colder over there, damn you. BROAD STREET BULLIES FEAR NO ONE! The snow makes them love sports more than anyone who lives anywhere west of Philly! So, when October rolls around, and Philly sees a path to the World Series, necessitating a trip to San Francisco, all of their fans in University Park decide to talk their shit to me… a big guy who wears a San Francisco Giants cap, sunglasses and headphones everywhere. I was like a fat, cool Steve Bartman back then. And, as such, these loudmouths were letting me have it. I was like Santa at an Eagles game. “And who are any of these guys anyways,” my ignorant Philadelphian friends would ask. “You don’t recognize Pat Burrell?” “Oh ya, he got fat. He still call himself Pat the Bat?” “Yes.” “My cousin fucked him down at a bar in South.” “Oh, that’s nice.” “That’s right, you have that freaky little ugly girl pitching for you guys, right?” “Yep.” “You think a little girl pitching to the Flyin Hawaiian is going to end well for you? That’s anything.” “I dunno, he’s the best pitcher in baseball right now.” “You’re drawlin, my young bol. He couldn’t lace Kyle Kendrick’s boots.” And then, you know what happened? Lots of PAIN and SCREAMING in the commonwealth. It was like thousands of King of Prussia residents suddenly cried out in drunken terror and were suddenly silenced. I was high with power, talking about how John Bowker died so that Cody Ross could run. I was also drinking cup after cup of  Caribou Lou when I was watching those games. The thing is, every time they come to town, I always remember that time. I remember all the anti-Giants vitriol I got for about a week and the pleasure of watching every Philly fan on campus bow their head in shame as I walked by in all my Giants glory. This shirt was dope though, not as cool as this one, but dope nonetheless. 

  • This is Why I hate the DH

In the days before Manfred, we had things that made this game special: only one wild-card team per league, Houston in the National League, The Expos, Steroids, Characters, and pitchers hitting in at least 15 ballparks around the country. Then it was taken away from us because of people with bad opinions. I was producing a radio show years ago with this guy, and he swore (based on his love of American League Central baseball) that I was wrong for feeling the DH was a bad idea. Why? Because “pitchers can’t hit.” WHAT? HOW DARE YOU BESMIRCH THE GOOD NAME OF MIKE HAMPTON? There are just some people who don’t understand why the DH is bad. They just don’t know good comedy. I want this in my baseball. I don’t need another .222 hitter to hit 9th and be boring, when I could see this . And no, this list means nothing to me.

  • Is MLB Dying, or is that BS?

I don’t know. But, the MLB attendance numbers are out and they look… pretty, pretty good. I don’t know if this means the game is alive and kicking or what. In fact, the numbers probably mean dick. But, I do have to gloat – the (NL) west side is the best side. Three teams in the top ten, four in the top-15. 

  • NBA Finals

Celtics. Mavericks. NBA Finals. I hate to say this, but it’s going to be Celtics in 5. If we could get a Celebrity Deathmatch of Mark Cuban and Red Auerbach, that’d be pretty dope. 

  • Gaming the System…and Failing.

As you woke up this morning, you probably found news of my most recent trade – one I will either fondly look back on as a coup of coups or one which will make me look like a fucking buster. I’m talking, of course, about Hunter Brown for Jett Williams and Mason Adams. Now, before I get to the funny story attached to the deal, I have to get into thoughts. Yes, this could look bad when considering my place in the standings (9th place, 4 games back of first). It also could look bad when considering Hunter Brown has pitched well over the past few starts (27.9 ppg since May 3rd, 39.75 ppg since May 19th) and Jett Williams is probably heading in for season-ending wrist surgery. But I think Jett has more power than believed (his wrist injury may be part of the reason he didn’t show much this season, but he had 14 home runs a season ago), he’s been playing against older competition (he’s 20), he likely slides over to second (which benefits me), and he has elite speed. I also think highly of Mason Adams, and he could be in the majors this season if the season keeps going the way it has been going on the Southside. On the other hand, Hunter Brown is a guy that I always felt more inclined to keep due to his upside than really digging the production I’ve been getting. Don’t get me wrong, the stuff is there and was chubby-inducing when it flashed. The problem is there is a lot of inconsistency. Earlier in the week, I picked up “The Gas Man” Robert Gasser and “The Pride of Mission Viejo” Chandler Champlain – neither of whom are likely to reach where Hunter Brown potentially could be, but are possibly as good as Hunter Brown is going to be for the foreseeable. Granted, this is likely an early preview of a trade sale, so who knows if these moves really matter at all. I know the fat neckbeards doing lines of Cheeto-dust in the discord server all thought it was an awful move. Alas. Anyways, the funny thing is, this deal has been basically agreed upon for a good chunk of the week. However, Hunter Brown was set to go Sunday morning, and with Marshall and I locked into a heated battle I had to play keep away. Asking for an extra day of due diligence here, asking if he’d let me get Josue instead there (which was never going to happen because this guy knows if I get Josue, he gets buried in a Suplex City jersey – never to seen outside of city limits again). And Voila, Sunday comes and Hunter Brown pitches a solid game. I still lost.  CRY! Post-Script: Upon further reflection, I actually should apologize to the league. Without thinking, I made this trade without giving everyone else the opportunity to make a bid. I’m not as high on Hunter Brown as other people, so I didn’t really think too hard about it. Doesn’t matter. I recognize I fucked up and should have put the guy on the block. 

 

Wild Man’s Musings: Alright, so which one of you Brewers fans was at the game on Monday? Come on, you ain’t got to lie… The legend Victor Robles has been DFA’d. Remember when people were moving him as a third piece in a deal in this league? I remember. With highlights like these, who could forget?… I think Sonny Gray has other things on his mind… BEAST!… This Elly kid is just nasty… This Arson guy just keeps taking mean shits on my GiantsKeith Hernandez, Ladies and Gentlemen… Some tennis players are just uncouth… I’m going to give analytics a bullet sometime. But, for now, Talk that Sass, Ozzie… Speaking of Ozzie, DID YOU GUYS SEE THIS CATCH?… I am considering a fire sale. Just so I can spend a whole month straight playing this thing when it comes out… Drake might could have won if he had gone this routeTommy Pham stays trying to cold clock people. He finna fuck you up. Don’t let him in the league… Fire Farhan! Fire Manfried!

 

My Brother’s Awful Movie Recommendation of the Week: Ladybugs (1992) starring Rodney Dangerfield (a Non-Pedo, playing a non-pedo, disguised as a pedo coach – also a source of real contention between Cesar and I’s parents), Emmy Award winning actress Jackee Harry (of 227 and Sister, Sister fame), Ilene Graff (Bob Uecker’s hot ass milf of a wife from Mr. Belvedere) and Jonathan Brandis (RIP the Ledge!). 

 

An Alternative Version of that Movie: Hardball (2001) starring Keanu Reeves (the Man!), Western Heritage Award winning actress Diane Lane (a year before she got that idiot Frenchman killed), and baby Michael B. Jordan (Apollo Creed’s son and Wallace). 

 

The Jon Dowd Memorial Power Rankings:

 

Top of the League

  1. Marshall Law (8-1, Won 2): This week, Marshall was able to outlast that poser Suplex City 655-635 as covered in great deal above. Marshall continues to be one of the top teams in the league and is currently tied atop the league standings. When you have five 50+ point contributors on the offensive side of things, and a 60 point start out of one of your pitchers, you’re going to be a tough out. The addition of Hunter Brown should help bolster an already nasty rotation. Marshall continues his rampage across the great Republic of California this week, as he travels to Neptune to kill some sharks.
  2. Who’s Your Haddy (8-1, Won 1): Haddy was able to just slip by Yellow Jackets this week, despite a Sunday that must have given Haddy the Yoko Ono. A 50-point week from Marcell Ozuna really kept the offensive disparity close, enough to allow Haddy’s rotation of killers eke by. This week, Haddy takes on Wallbangers – in theory, an easier matchup, but you never know in this league.
  3. Yellow Jacket Flight Deck (7-2, Lost 1): It felt our King of the Ocean had Haddy dead-to-rights at certain points this week. The matchup lived up to the billing, as it took a really tough 7-point loss to end Elton’s 6-game win streak. Not much to hang one’s head about, it was the closest matchup this week. Flight Deck should be back on the winning train this coming week, as they take on the snake-bit, two-bit Shooters this week. 

 

Contenders

  1. Better Bombers (6-3, Won 5): You know it’s bad when you have a nearly 200-point win and it feels ho-hum. Bombers is lurking, and probably a win away from really putting himself in that top-of-the-league category. This team is balanced – over 300 offensive points and over 300 pitching points. That’s the kind of stuff that happens when you know how to run a team. This week’s matchup  with the Pine Mountain Podstars is bound to be a high scoring affair. Time to show and prove.
  2. Brickma’s Revenge (6-3, Won 2): So, is this the real Brickma? Probably.But, a few things to worry about if you are Joe: 1) You can’t count on a 60-point performance from David Fry every week, no matter how cool his name is, and 2) 9 points out of Austin Riley and 8 points out of Ozzie Albies has got to be a killer. Brickma is going to have to get some magic this week as he and Long Ball are going to have one of the more pivotal matchups this season. 
  3. Beach Bum (6-3, Won 1): Not a Vorhees-like performance, but it did the job. Dan got just enough out of his pitching and fucking stupid performance from Aaron Judge to get past Wallbangers. Beach Bum is one of the most well-run teams in the league and, akin to my thoughts on Brickma last week, I feel like the Bums are about to be in top form for the remainder of the season. Next week, the murders continue as Beach Bum takes on the beat up Orioles Magic.

 

Dark Horses

  1. Long Ball to LF (5-4, Won 2): The King of the North, Long Ball, dominated the Neptune Sharks this week 724-456. Juan Soto and Jose Ramirez lived up to their price tags; and Lane Thomas was godly for some reason this week. I don’t know if Long Ball is really the team that has kicked my ass and my brother’s ass in consecutive weeks, or is this just a mid-season hot-steak? This week is going to answer a lot of questions.
  2. H-Town Trash Can Punch (5-4, Lost 2): BAD BEAT! HTCP was only down 13 points heading into Sunday, 464 – 451, but no pitching and a human-like performance from Oakland White Boy Brent Rooker did Kyle in. Ultimately, the offense is looking a little light. HTCP is trending dangerously close to falling off of the HIGHWAY OF CONTENTION

 

So, You’re Saying There’s Still a Chance

  1. Pine Mountain Podstars (4-5, Won 2): Here he comes… The Butcher of Pine Mountain has appeared just in time to pluck Orioles Magic’s wings and toss the carcass into a soup. Just brutal stuff. Devers, Schwarber, Lindor, Tatis… when these guys are on, it’s not going to be an easy time. This week shows that. Podstars is a horrible matchup for anyone. If this is the kind of offense output we’re going to see consistently from The Butcher, it may be curtains… meat curtains… for all of us. 
  2. Stros Bros (4-5, Won 1): Couches got a smoking Sunday performance to get past HTCP, but the more important thing to note here is the two deals Matthew made this week. First, he made a win-now move by trading “The Pride of Mission Viejo” Chandler Champlain and “The Gas Man” to me, for Teoscar Hernandez. Additionally, the pickup of the hot-hitting Wenceel Perez for Thomas Harrington adds more to the offense that was lacking on paper. The question is clear, Stros is here to play for keeps this year, fellas. Watch that ass.
  3. Neptune Sharks (4-5, Lost 1): When I was in year two, there seemed to be a moment where I thought I had a shot at the playoffs. Then a run of injuries, poor play and early season hot-streaks cooling to the mean put me in a position to sell. This is probably where Sharks is going to have to start contemplating, as it feels like the pitching issues and the revolving door of green flag guys is catching up to Neptune. The silver lining: The big trade of that 2nd season for me? Trout to Marshall, Harris II (and other pieces I don’t remember) to me.

 

Wha’happun?

  1. Wallbangers (2-7, Lost 4): We are officially at the point in the season where we can put Wallbangers in this portion of the power rankings. The pitching showed up this week; Jake Irvin’s two ace-like starts, two really good Brandon Pfaadt starts, and some really good contributions from Cristopher Sanchez and Michael Lorenzen were enough to keep this week’s matchup against Beach Bum competitive. The offense got dog-walked. Jose Miranda did his thing, JJ Bleday was good, Ryan Jeffers was solid, but when Cory Julks is the next best contributor, you have problems. Royce Lewis is back this week, maybe a run can be had.
  2. Eastbound and Dowd (1-8, Lost 7): Eastbound had to deal with a surging Brickma this week and did as admirably as a team can. The pitching this week kept Eastbound in the game (Paul Skenes is a helluva drug), but the offense was anemic to say the least. Seeing Michale Bush have a good week was a plus. Dowd is going to look to hit a lick this week against Trash Can.
  3. Orioles Magic (1-8, Lost 1): Woof. This was a tough watch. Podstars had the kind of offensive week that is just tough to keep up with in general, let alone when you only get 30ish innings of pitching. The 120 point difference in pitching may not all have been made up had there been more innings thrown, but the overall points would have been closer. Orioles doesn’t have his 1st round pick this year, so the piled-up injuries on this roster sting even more. 
  4. Sojo Good it’s Scary (1-8, Lost 6): A 50-point loss on Tuesday, a 65-point loss on Wednesday and a 90-point loss on Thursday really did Sojo in. The rest of the week against Bombers was hotly contested and really made this an interesting final score. I will keep mentioning, I am really interested in Sojo’s trade deadline and post-season plans.

 

Don’t Hold Your Breath! Don’t Wait for my Love! 

  1. Suplex City Shooters (4-5, Lost 2): Damn! I thought that maybe this was the week to turn it around and get back into the winners circle. Too much inconsistency with the pitching, too many fallen aces. Another heartbreaking Sunday fumble makes me think that we’re just a win away from turning it around. However, if one needs around 13 wins to assure themselves of a playoff appearance, getting there seems like a tall task. White flags are beginning to get unfurled, but this week’s matchup again the King of the Ocean is going to be the determining factor regarding my season.

 

Clip of the Week: Here’s a clip of that time my neighborhood got onto the 6:00 news. These are the rules of engagement if you’re going to be a part of Bay culture. Viva Don Chuy’s! 

 

The Top-10 List of the Week: Recently, Kyle asked a thought-provoking question about the fast-food Mount Rushmore which three deceased artists we’d choose to revive for a concert. A difficult question indeed (I picked Prince, 2Pac and The Notorious BIG). But it got me thinking: what would be my Top-10 Albums of All Time? I have broken them down a bit, with the hopes of hearing youze guys’ top albums. No compilation albums, no soundtracks. Onto the list:

 

  1. Purple Rain – Prince (1984) 
  2. The Chronic – Dr. Dre (1991)
  3. Illmatic – Nas (1994)
  4. Bachata Rosa – Juan Luis Guerra y el 440 (1990)
  5. Lethal Injection – Ice Cube (1993)
  6. Don’t Be Cruel – Bobby Brown (1988)
  7. Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) – The Wu-Tang Clan (1993)
  8. The Don Kiluminati: The 7 Day Theory – Tupac/Makivali (1996)
  9. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy – Kanye West (2010)
  10. (What’s the Story) Morning Glory – Oasis (1995)

Honorable Mentions: KIDS – Mac Miller (2010), The Blueprint – Jay-Z (2001), All Eyez on Me – Tupac (1996), Section.80 – Kendrick Lamar (2011), Doggystyle – Snoop Doggy Dogg (1993), Nothing Was the Same – Drake (2013), The Doors – The Doors (1968), Star Power – Wiz Khalifa (2008), Ooooh On the TLC Tip – TLC (1992), I Am – Earth, Wind and Fire (1979), So Far Gone – Drake (2008), Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City – Kendrick Lamar (2012), Best Day Ever – Mac Miller (2010), Speakerboxxx/The Love Below – Outkast (2003), 1984 – Van Halen (1983)

 

Dynasty Grinders ® Match-Up of the Week: Is Long Ball for real, and who can be his Lane Thomas this week? Is Austin Riley going to finally wake up, or is Brickma going to need to make another move to survive The King of The North? The Long Ball/Brickma matchup this week is going to answer a lot about the trajectory of the season. Get your popcorn, I’m taking the under

 

And, gentlemen, always remember that angels fly high because they take themselves lightly

Shooters Bullets Part 1

An Introduction: I have decided to write a weekly column. Some of it will be specific to the league, some will be about baseball, some will just be me being silly. All of it is made with the intent to have a good time – as has always been my aim. I’m not willing to write trade reviews, because who the fuck am I to comment on anyone’s trades? I’ve made good ones, bad ones, good ones that some of you guys have shit all over, and bad ones no one remembers. Also, some of those trade reviews came with sneak disses, and I’m not for that. I’m not the guy to talk about trades. But I am the guy to write some wild shit to hype you up to start the week… and maybe foster some better relationships in this league. The point is: think of this as a broke-ass version of Herb Caen, but with more pop-culture references.

 

Each week, I will provide you with a few bullets of baseball stuff, some musing about random stuff, and power-rankings. Additionally, I will ask my brother for a bad movie recommendation and give you an alternative recommendation of a similar ilk. The amount of bullets will align with the kind of gun that I have today. Don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of it. Consider all links NSFW. None of the links will be pornographic or lead to naked photos, but language likely won’t be able to be heard at work without some looks. Also, the motif of this column isn’t a weird dog whistle for some political ideology or anything like that. My team is the Suplex City Shooters. Shooters being a pro-wrestling reference to one of my all-time favorite wrestlers, Taz. But when I made the logo for my team before last year’s draft, I figured leaning into the Old West motif was fine. It isn’t like I’m not from a city founded by a bunch of drunks looking for some gold to spend on hookers and blow moonshine. Even Tony Bourdain loved us. 

 

Anyways, enough exposition.

 

Disclaimer: The thoughts, views, and opinions expressed in this and any other work I present to the group is made purely for entertainment purposes only. They are not intended to offend, hurt, or anger anyone. If you don’t like adult humor, vulgar verbiage, drug and sex references, the occasional light taunt, or the musing from the life of a filmmaking bum… please stop before crossing into the world of Suplex City. Also, I don’t know shit about fantasy advice, so if you’re here for that, you better walk your ass over to Chris Clegg or someone who gets paid for putting out trash content. Whatever you prefer. 

 

Today, I have a Six-Shooter and I’m listening to In The Summertime by Mungo Jerry with a cup of homemade Lemonade:

  • Using Discord for fantasy advice is like going to a sex club without a condom.

Saturday Morning, I woke up with a weed hangover. The night before, I decided to celebrate the release of Cesar (Neptune Sharks) and I’s first feature film, Max and Sadie, with these little gummies that swore I would finally get a good night of sleep. I haven’t slept right in forever. But I took them a little late and, boy, did they work. The next morning, I woke up and remembered that I’d put off making the decision of which pitchers to start. Now, normally, the way I calculate innings is to assume every start will lead to 5 innings. Of course, some guys go 7 or 8, some go less, but 5 makes it easy to guess my pitching rotation for the week. I don’t have the magic eye that some of you guys have, where you somehow know how to have that 0 .1 inning left to have a Sunday so you can somehow start that one guy who’s going to wreck my week with a 50 point Sunday gem on the mound. Point is, I wake up Saturday to see that Joshua (Long Ball) has posted a whopper of a Friday night. 198-86. An 86 is usually good enough for a win or a tie on the night, not to be on the shit end of an ass-whipping. Rengifo hit me for 25? I dropped him for a day of Niko Goodrum last year. FML. And Harrison pooped out 10 points across 5 innings for me, so I’m really down bad. Sitting at 29 innings with five pitchers left (three on Saturday, two on Sunday) means I can maybe start all of them (if I catch lighting with that 0.1-innings-left trick), but on the chance that one of the Saturday guys goes over five innings or something crazy like that could screw my Sunday. And I need both of my Sunday guys (Garrett Crochet vs. Baltimore and Casey Mize vs. Toronto) to go in order to have a chance to catch this guy who dropped 200 on me. So, the dilemma was to pick two out of three pitchers to go on Saturday to keep me in the game against Longball. Choices: Spencer Arrighetti at Oakland, Aaron Civale vs.Kansas City, and Tanner Bibee at Anaheim (no, they don’t play in Los Angeles). Well, Tanner is one of my top guys, so he should be a shoe-in, but he’s been hot and cold. Moreover, Oakland is a worse offense, but Civale has a track-record. Arrighetti has command issues, which gives me the Ick almost as bad as people who use that term. Point is, it was 45 minutes to first pitch and I needed help. Did I do the sensible thing and ask one of you guys for help? Of course not, because I don’t trust nan one of you. So, I decided to go into the sex-club of the internet… Discord. I went in, nervous as all get-up about how dark the hallways were. The faint smell of desperation, and know-it-all-ism was everywhere. The sounds of a bunch of neckbeards smacking on their bowls of cheetos was deafening. Exciting… but just a horrible decision. Sometimes your inner freak just takes over. It’s like Dieter’s Dream in that piece. So, in this den of depravity I stood with a simple question for the lurkers: Pick two, Arrighetti vs. Oakland,  Civale vs. Kansas City, or Bibee vs. Anaheim. I got up, made a bagel, had a cup of coffee and watched a nearly finished Giants game. A few minutes before the 1pm games, I returned to find what I got. Arrighetti gets one more vote than Civale and Bibee – who tie. I go to Fantrax, getting ready to put the line-up in.  I turn on the first pitch for the Oakland/Houston game. Let’s see if I got away with it. SINGLE. Okay, no problem, one hit isn’t…WALK…Bro, chill, the advice you got was… DOUBLE. I may have caught something at the club. I better go to Trader Joes to feel better. After picking up some pizza dough and poorly flirting with the dorky manager of the aforementioned Joes, I checked my phone. Maybe he fixed things. Maybe he found the zone. I take a shower and tell myself I’ll be good and never do this again. I’m lying. And worst of all, all that stress meant nothing because I got smashed on all weekend because Casey Mize took it in the shorts and Long Ball had a bunch of innings on Sunday.

  • Too Many Sundays with Lemon-Booty may cause bodily harm.

Before the season, Josh (Wallbangers) wanted to make a deal with me. Of course, he wanted my riches for lotto tickets. Par for the course. No deal. But, we started chit chatting about the lack of deals. I told him, “It’s like we’re in a western and all of us have our hands over our guns, waiting to see what’s up.” Last year, I think it was clear that we finally have a league with a bunch of players (despite what Perennial Yahoo Public League Champion and the runner-up for the 2023 Tri-State Asshole of the Year, Evil Empire, would say about this league). This year, more of the same. In addition to more cautious approach, you’re getting tight finishes. Every week, there are at least three match-ups with differences of 60 points or less. In a lot of cases, we’re talking about finished of 30 points or less. It’s going to continue. This is not to say that the big six (Haddy, Marshall, Wallbangers, Brickma, Beach Bum and Long Ball) don’t have some of the better rosters, but it’s undeniable that there is more parity than there was in my first year. For me, this is now three out of four weeks where I am going to have to clench my cheeks through most (if not all) of Sunday. Two weeks ago, Matthew (Stros Bros) caught me by 22 points. A week before that, Taylor (Better Bombers) caught me by 20. Two weeks before that, Dan (Beach Bum) beat me by THREE GODDAMN POINTS! And I beat Morgan (Pine Mountain Podstars) by 10 the week before. This is just too much. My ass is bound to look like Yoko Ono’s by September at this rate. At least I got a break this week.

  • Yes! I think it’s the pitch-clock.

I don’t think, I know! That’s hyperbole, but still… This weekend, Jose Urquidy (one of my last hopes of a random acquisition becoming an ace I can trade for prospects at the deadline) left the game flexing his hand. Jeffery Springs also had the same thing happen in a rehab start. Cristian Javier also had an issue come up with his forearm yesterday. I’m not a doctor, and neither are all the mervins on Twitter. However, like I told Elton (Yellow Deck, but I prefer to refer to him as Squids) at Panera two weeks ago over some mediocre Mac and Cheese (Fuck Panera, they are awful, I dunno why I picked that place. I’m sorry Elton, we should have gone to Red’s Java House) that I didn’t think the issue was the pitch clock on its own. But throwing harder and faster now, when the pitch clock wasn’t even an idea or in use a few years ago (when most of the current crop of pitchers were in the minors) had something to do with it. The arm wasn’t intended to pitch this fast, this quick and without the right guidance. Remember Darren Dreitfort? Kerry Wood? Jose Rijo? Those guys blew their arms out without the pitch clock. To me, the problem isn’t that there’s a pitch clock – it’s that it got added to the game without much thought about the arms of these guys who are older  and don’t have the background of dealing with this much stress on the arm in such quick succession. Doesn’t mean the pitch clock should go, or anything like that. If anything, the ghost runner needs to go. Fuck that guy. But, the pitch clock is one of the few additions Rob Manfred has made that’s been good. If he had added the Expos back, attempted to help keep the A’s in Oakland, and stopped talking, maybe the ghost runner wouldn’t be as offensive. Anyways, the point is, the pitch clock is going to keep leading to this kind of stuff for the rest of this season and maybe a few more before this becomes less prevalent. Until then, get ready to have an assload of IR stashies. Like a Cherokee D’Ass amount of assload.

  • But, just you wait, it isn’t just the pitchers…

So, I love pitching. My dad was a pitcher, I was a pitcher (for a limited run in grade school before I moved on to football), six of my top 10 favorite players are pitchers (Matt Cain, Jason Schmidt, Madison Bumgarner, El Duque, Pedro Martinez and Russ Ortiz) and the next ten are chalk full of pitchers. Point is, I love the guy on the mound more than most other players. And thus, I understand when pitchers go down how much of an inevitability (especially now) it is. When one of the game’s top hitters goes down, it always strikes me a little harder. Not because I’m personally losing the joy of watching them hit, but because I always feel a little more shocked about it. On Sunday, it got me again. Ronald Acuna Jr. went down with an ACL tear that will sideline him til next season. Plenty of players across all sports have gone down with injuries like this and have come back. I’m not so worried about Acuna coming back. What worries me about this specific injury is that the ACL tear may just take the explosiveness of this player. Maybe it doesn’t. Acuna may be a freak who can come back and play on the same level. But I remember watching Michael Owen tear his ACL in the 2006 World Cup and never really come back and be the goal-scoring freak he was before that injury. More closely, I’ve watched the decline of Klay Thompson’s explosiveness come after his 2019 ACL tear in the NBA Finals. And, in the case of Klay, his game really did rely on explosivity and his ability to put a lot of stress on his ACL. This feels a lot closer to the kind of athlete that Acuna is. Point is, this sucks. The game is in decline from an interest standpoint, losing a superstar like this at this point in time is really painful for the game. 

If I had to rank my personal top-5 of sports teams I can’t stand, the New York Mets are not on the list. I don’t know if they’d even be on the honorable mention/outside looking in, but not likely. But I have to give the Mets this; they did pop my sports-heartbreak cherry. Back in 2000. I still can’t trust anyone from Flushing. Cesar, six years my senior, was working at the Giants Dugout (a time-honored tradition of any high schooler in need of a job) and scored some NLDS tickets. Our dad and grandpa went to Game 1 with our uncle and his co-worker. But game 2 was my time to shine. Bonds was gonna hit a home run, and Shawn Estes was going to be an ace, and we were going to beat the breaks off the Mets. And I got a sandwich from Freds, which doesn’t exist anymore, but that was the kind of sandwich bums fight each other over. Samantha, the cute tomboy at school who I probably should have asked out but didn’t, was mad jealous I had them tickets. But then I thought maybe I’d get tickets for the NLCS and go with her (the mind of a horny 11-year old sixth grader is outrageous). So, we go to the game (me, Cesar, our uncle and aunt) and it was a beautifully cold San Francisco night. Fog and the like. I didn’t even care that I didn’t do my math homework. Estes pitched well in the first inning, but looked shaky in the second. By the time we got to the third, down 2-1, Estes looked like he was back to himself. He comes up to hit and gets on and twists his goddamn ankle running to 2nd, which leads to Kirk Rueter (WOODY!) having to come out of the bullpen and not being available for Game 4 (where Mark Gardner had to replace him). The point is, this game (game 2) was this heartbreaking night because after sitting in the cold for innings upon innings of crap offense my guys were down 4-1. Then J.T. Snow did this and I was sure we were back on track. A half-inning later, Brian Sabean’s poorly- constructed bullpen gave up a run to Jay Payton and Darryl Hamilton and I learned that your team will break your heart sometimes. Ever since, I’ve always taken a bit of pleasure seeing the Mets lose to the Giants. Obviously, my hate isn’t strong enough to care about them when they aren’t playing the Giants, but I care enough that I want them to taste that ass-whipping everytime the 415 rolls into the 718 or vice versa. So, you can imagine my delight to hear punk ass Keith Hernandez and his crew sounding so sad. I only wish it was Jay Payton crying, but you can’t always get what you want… right, Mets? CRY!

  • Okay, one last injury thing…

This is just a little too funny to not mention. It’s not even the first time something like this has happened. Here’s the thing: why are all the baseball-related injuries that happen outside of the foul-lines always a trip? Does the NFL have it worse with freak injuries? Granted, we also have Jeremy Affeldt so… maybe not?

 

Wild Man’s Musings: We need some better logos in this league. The names are okay, I guess, but we need some logos to set this shit off. Like Crash says: “Think classy, you’ll be classy.” I want to be at least as classy as the AFL. Just straight HEAT!… Watching the Reds/Dodgers game, and WHAT ARE THOSE? If you couldn’t see the decal in centerfield, I’m talking about the decal in centerfield. I’m only 34, so I don’t think is coming from a place of “man yells at clouds”, but they need to stop this madness. This is not the kind of stuff that’s going to make the game younger. Ads like this is a better idea. Maybe baseball should start leaning into characters like futbol does nearly every time the World Cup shows up, rather than relying on being “America’s Pastime”. Ken Burns isn’t going to be around forever. The Heisenberg spots this year were okay, but just don’t really give me the hype. Where are the characters? I miss Junior. The backwards cap, the smile, him hitting that fucking rocket off of that poor guy in Minnesota. There is no more Lima Time. What about Benny and the Mets? Fuck those guys though. And, no, even though we have superstars to hype, baseball does it in the worst ways possible. Big difference… Ohtani is Barry, Barry is Ohtani… Dirty Dancing is a fantastic film. But would I rather be Patrick Swayze (RIP Tha God) in Dancing or Patrick Swayze in Roadhouse? Now, he kills Terry Funk and rips a dude’s throat out of his neck in Roadhouse. Hard to beat that. But in Dancing, he gets to bang Jennifer Grey and has some weird but dope sexual chemistry with all the other women in the film (even Jennifer Grey’s sister who can’t sing, and that chick who keeps calling him “lover,” which is off-putting). I know, some of you will instantly yell out, “BUT WHAT ABOUT SWAYZE IN POINT BREAK!” And to you, I say, “while I understand, I’m not willing to get in a pissing contest with John Wick Utah.”… Bro, Bryce Harper has more than double the career ejections (21) than the second most active player (Tim Anderson, 9). My kind of asshole… Speaking of assholes, Greg Maddux had the 10th most strikeouts in baseball history before Justin Verlander took that spot on Saturday. People are surprised Maddux was as high as he was, which is weird to me. Hot Take: Verlander can’t lace Maddux’s boots. Maddux is this. Verlander is this. No contest… Eddie Johnson is a do-nothing bitch with a do-nothing resume… Fire Farhan! Fire Manfried!

 

My Brother’s Awful Movie Recommendation of the Week: Stay Tuned (1992) starring John Ritter, Pam Dawber (Mindy of Mork and Mindy fame), and Famous Pedo Jeffrey Jones (Edward Rooney from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off). 

 

An Alternative Version of that Movie: Pleasantville (1999) starring Jeff Daniels (of the wildest fart-based scene in cinema history), Joan Allen (our first female Vice President), William H. Macy (after that fucked up New Years Eve party), Reese Witherspoon, and The Ace of the Pussy Posse, Tobey Maguire. 

 

The Jon Dowd Memorial Power Rankings:

 

Top of the League

  1. Marshall Law (7-1, Won 1): This week, we had a battle for the top spot in the league as Marshall and Haddy battled it out. Haddy was undefeated to that point, and Marshall was only game behind. The two went back-and-forth all week, with Marshall finding a way to squeak by 655-613. He also happens to have the lead in most points scored this season. It is pretty cool that the first ever Jon Dowd Memorial Power Rankings have our commissioner at the top. Next week, Marshall takes on that asshole from Suplex City. Beat his ass, Marsh!
  2. Yellow Jacket Flight Deck (7-1, Won 6): Firstly, I want Elton to change his team’s name back to Squids. But, the name change may have led to the hottest start in the history of the Flight Deck/Squids organization. Six straight wins, including blowing the doors off of Wallbangers 674-467. Flight Deck has also beaten other former champions Marshall Law and Long Ball. This may be the year the man from Washington finally gets in the playoffs. A season-defining matchup between Flight Deck and Haddy looms this week.
  3. Who’s Your Haddy (7-1, Lost 1): Our defending champion, Who’s Your Haddy, is once again the class of the league. While taking a tough loss to Marshall this week was no fun, Haddy was top of the league heading into the week. With a three-way tie at the top this week, Haddy and Flight Deck will be a matchup to watch for anyone still in the race. Nick Lodolo’s return this week will be key in the matchup.

 

Contenders

  1. Better Bombers (5-3, Won 4): You ever catch an ass-whipping by a wild card type? Someone who you know is good and handing out fades, but on paper you seem to think it’ll be a close when you guys actually start scrapping? But then, once you guys walk out of the bar to have this Thunderdome-esque affair, only for this guy beating you like Kimbo Slice beat down Dada5000. That’s what playing Better Bombers is like. Like thinking you’re going to fight some rando at a bar, only to get cracked by a Kimbo Slice-like punch. Bombers is Kimbo Slice! Unfortunately for Kyle, he was Dada5000 this week. The punch came over the weekend, as Bombers outscored Trashcan 243-175 from Friday-to-Sunday, winning overall 586-501. Kimbo Slice faces Sojo Good it’s Scary this week. 
  2. Brickma’s Revenge (5-3, Won 1): So, Brickma has been hot-and-cold (more hot than cold) this season. I get the feeling that having Brickma on your schedule to this point is probably the best one could hope for. He’s bound to get hot. This week, he dog-walked Stros Bros 701-437, and he’s set up to take on Eastbound and Dowd this week. He also has enough draft and prospect capital to make a few more key moves to get up towards the top of the league. Start planning accordingly if you want to compete.
  3. H-Town Trash Can Punch (5-3, Lost 1): Nine second basemen and a lot of strange poetry later, HTCP sits in one of the last few playoff spots. It’s very difficult to place this team, as Kyle got hit really hard with injuries to this point. The pitching is still solid enough to push through, but one or more injuries on that staff could be a difficult thing to handle. However, the Littell-Olson-Houck top of the rotation is tough to go up against, especially when any (or all) of those guys have multiple starts. Dark horse indeed. Friends, HTCP and Stros Bros take each other on this week. Let the Trial by Stone commence!
  4. Beach Bum (5-3, Lost 1): If Better Bombers is Kimbo Slice, Beach Bum feels like more of a Jason Vorhees-type. I cannot lie, the run of results over the last few weeks, including a 639-562 loss to Podstars. If I look on paper, Dan’s team feels beatable. But, when you are dealing with a mysterious, but very smart owner, you cannot do anything but watch them and take them seriously. Vorhees may indeed still be lurking, keep your eyes open. Vorhees takes on Wallbangers this week, those aren’t bats, their chainsaws. 

 

Dark Horses

  1. Long Ball to LF (4-4, Won 1): This week, if we didn’t have enough excitement with the Marshall/Yellow Decks matchup and Trial by Stone, we have a battle of dark-horses. Long Ball, fresh off kicking the dogshit out of me 804-685, is going into Neptune to take on the Sharks. Long Ball has won in this league before, and after beating a thoroughly mediocre team, they move on to take on… another mediocre team. However, the loss of Acuna Jr., who was heating up (over his last ten games, he scored 55.9 points, good for 5.6 ppg) is going to hurt. Things are going to get very interesting.
  2. Neptune Sharks (4-4, Won 1): Year two of the rebuild is going okay. Neptune is back up to .500, after getting past Eastbound 602-345. The pick up of Jazz Chisholm Jr. and Noelvi Marte over the last few weeks feels like the start of something big (even if the loss of Isaac Paredes is a tough blow). In the short term, I don’t think Neptune is going to have an easy time getting a win. However, a win this week (which without Acuna involved could be possible) and a move or two could put Neptune in a good spot. Granted, a loss this week probably means Neptune falls into the next category of teams.

 

So, You’re Saying There’s Still a Chance

  1. Pine Mountain Podstars (3-5, Won 1): Always tough to put my finger on how to feel about Morgan’s team this year. I always feel that the Pine Mountain Podstars are a tough out, and this year is no exception. However, the record doesn’t reflect that. There are some misses on the team (Colt Keith, Francisco Lindor, and Ian Happ have all been disappointing so far this season), but the team has solid pitching and awesome prospects. This doesn’t even consider the fantastic first third of the season Rafael Devers has had and centerpiece Fernando Tatis Jr. is still Fernando Tatis Jr. Podstars, who outlasted Beach Bum 639-562 last week, takes on Orioles Magic this week.
  2. Stros Bros (3-5, Lost 1): First-year owner Matthew has been very aggressive this season in trying to rebuild his team and has done a pretty good job of it. At this point in time, losing big to an established team like Brickma is expected. However, a rotation of Cease, Ryan, Pepiot, and Singer is formidable. The offense is missing something, but with the prospects that have been acquired over the last few months, moves can be made. The question becomes: does Stros want to make a move up the ladder or wait for next season? The matchup against HTCP may bring some answers.
  3. Wallbangers (2-6, Lost 3): I was the most conflicted about where I wanted to put Josh’s Wallbangers. On one hand, I have to believe owners who have consistently had success in this league will find a way to win. Its the most logical way to look at the landscape. Especially, with how hard it is to make a deal in this league. However, I also look at how bad Wallbangers has been this year and I feel Bangers is closer to the teams below. But, again, savvy people find a way. Pitching is the problem here, the lack of it is really hurting right now. I think that Gasser looks like it may hurt more than help.

 

Wha’happun?

  1. Eastbound and Dowd (1-7, Lost 6): Cory gave me a scare last week, so I know this team is much better than 1-7. Then I looked at how close all of Eastbounds matchups have been, and it makes me wonder if this is a team that is one move away from ascending or is just snakebit. It’s hard to tell. The weakness here is probably the infield, but Josh Smith is a wild card. I like him a lot. A big June and July from Smith could really help Eastbound. Offloading a few of the larger contracts once his minor-leaguers are ready will also help. That PCA-Kjerstad-Manzardo line-up is going to be absolute filth when they come into their own.
  2. Orioles Magic (1-7, Won 1): Orioles Magic is rebuilding, and thus I don’t think it’s fair to really take too much out of the results. But 1-7 is tough. You may be another two years away (assuming no moves are made, which is not likely), but I think next year is really bound to be the coming out party for this team. The offense needs some work (outside of Westburg and Cruz, who are great building blocks), but pitching is way closer to being the kind of scary you need to be to win in this league.
  3. Sojo Good it’s Scary (1-7, Lost 5): Sam Leaf got the toughest roster to fix last year, and to be honest I don’t think last year was really a full season. I mean, known Fantasy Baseball King, Evil Empire left him with a lot of work to do. Not to mention, when you don’t get to draft in the FYPD in your first season and you get put into the league hours before an auction, you really aren’t playing with a full deck. The pitching is fantastic though, so who knows? That’s the way to win a championship in this league. Sam, stick with it. I am really interested to see what you can do long term.

 

Loser

  1. Suplex City Shooters (4-4, Lost 1): What a fucking loser. Fuck this guy. Don’t trade with him, he thinks Barry Bonds is a first ballot hall of famer and that Greg Maddux is better than Justin Verlander. His team is ass, his hitters can’t hit, his pitchers can’t pitch, and he dips his french fries into his Frosty. I hope he loses all the games! Also, not enough pitching, not enough prospect capital, some underachieving offensive players, and a very bad Clarke Schmidt deal have led to the downfall of this once great playoff team. 

 

Clip of the Week: Watch in amazement as AEW pro-wrestler Darby Allin sets “The Scapegoat” Jack Perry (son of 90s Heartthrob and worthless half-brother of Krusty the Klown, Luke Perry – RIP) on fire.

 

Dynasty Grinders ® Match-Up of the Week: Easily, the main event this week goes to Yellow Jacket Flight Deck and Who’s Your Haddy. Winner is going to be tied atop the league with Marshall. I’m taking the over.

And, gentlemen, always remember that angels fly high because they take themselves lightly.

It’s Grind Time. Again. 2024 Week 1 Review

via GIPHY

Dynasty Grinders 2024: Season 8 Week 1

Baseball Season Is Finally Here!  After a boring winter of Scott Boras puns and Ohtani deferring the money he owes his underground bookie, the game we all love is upon us. Welcome to another exciting season of Dynasty Grinders baseball. You all are pre-season Champs in my book, but there can only be one slightly overweight, mediocre fantasy player left standing in October. Who will it be? Well, let’s dive into Week 1 and see who decided to show up, or not.

Marshall Law claims the early Overall Points leader throne with 1091.1 total points in Week 1. The Commish laid down the law with a well-rounded squad to open the season, thanks to Ketel Marte, William Contreras, Corbin Burnes, and Freddy Peralta. Suplex City Shooters dropped his Big Stick on the table with 662.4 Hitting Points, led by the gambling addict Shohei Ohtani and Bobby Witt Jr. H-Town Trash Can Punch had no problem punching out batters with a whopping 528 Pitching Points on the week. His arms, that will all soon have Tommy John, were led by Shane Bieber (RIP) and Tanner Houck.

The individual point leaders on the week were TBD’s Mookie Betts with 157.1 points (thanks a lot Korea) and Suplex City Shooters’ Garrett “My Grandma Taught Me” Crochet with 131.5 points.

via GIPHY

It is early, but a couple players appeared to still be coming off their off-season benders of 12oz curls and Slim Jims. Stros Bro had to endure a -11.4 points week from the Blitzkrieg Wunderkind, Max Kepler. Meanwhile, Eastbound and Dowd, got a coked-up Kenny Powers performance from Bailey Ober totaling -36 points.

via GIPHY

There were a handful of trades to start the season, but they were all shit since none of the good players got traded to me. Moving forward, there will be full trade reviews by yours truly, and anyone else who cares to add their worthless two cents. Remember it’s all fun and games when you read how awful I think your trade is.

Best of luck to all in Week 2! (except you H-Town)

Some parting words of wisdom for all the pitchers out there during this noodle arm pandemic:

“The key to being a big-league pitcher is the 3 R’s: readiness, recuperation, and conditioning! You see, after the game, a lot of guys like to ice up their arm. Still, other fellas think that heat is the way to go. But I have discovered the secret, Henry: hot ice! That’s right: hot ice. I heat up… the ice cubes! It’s the best of both worlds!” – Dr. Phil Brickma

Banger of a move. You Betts!

Well this trade was worthy of a write-up. Its not everyday the top prospect in baseball gets dealt.

WallBangers gets:

Mookie Betts $114 6.91 ppg
Joe Ryan $1 36.8 ppg
J Malloy (prospect)

4th round pick 


Sojo Good It’s Scary gets:

Jackson Holliday
Evan Carter
Samuel Zavala
1st round pick(Marshall Law)

Quite the Trade. What were your first impressions? Feel free to share in the comment section.

Easy to see why Wallbangers was willing to spend some prospect capital. He gets a Joe Ryan at $1 who he will expect to be a top starter at a cheap salary for the next few years. He gets Betts who is still a near elite hitter(11th best in league as of today) with added benefit of positional flexibility . To most teams I think his 2B eligibility would be most desirable but Wallbangers has several good options there, and he looks more useful as an OF on this team. Malloy a 23 yr old in AAA seems to be a possible high OBP hitter with some power , kind of prospect who may be undervalued.
Early returns include a -27 Start for Joe Ryan with his new team. I’m sure his new owner loved it and is confident it will just be a blip on the radar.

Sojo gets the big prize Jackson Holliday. As a 19 year old who has split time between A/A+ OPS .994. Similar to Bo Bichette who at same age mixed those levels to a .988 OPS. Jackson shows a little better OBP than Bichette at the same age with a little less power. A Bo Bichette who can take a walk more consistently is probably a top 5 hitter in the game.
Evan Carter is #7 prospect on MLB’s top 100 and is in AA at 20 years old putting up an .850 OPS.

Really nice trade for both teams IMO. Its so easy to get attached to your prospects and overvalue them. It takes some balls to trade two top 10 prospects, so give Wallbangers props for going for it. I think his team is now a top contender for the rest of the season.

Ryan’s having a career year and his BaBIP is actually higher this year than last so his improvment seems legit. His HR rate is down and his BB rate is down. His HR rate may tick up a bit but even so he should be a top Starter for next few years barring injury. Opinions vary on the value of a player like Betts at his salary.  In my mind his value would be very different to each team. For my team I would be treating him like a rental. A very good rental , but I don’t know that i would be able to make room for his salary.  Regardless of cost this trade makes Wallbangers a good bet to get into the playoffs and a real threat once in. This trade may not age well so if he somehow misses the playoffs this year it may be looked back on with some regret. 

Love this trade for Sojo. If I’m building a team I’m building it with young stud hitters and I think Sojo gets the best of all of them with Holliday. His ceiling and floor both seem incredibly high. Carter is just a step down, but one of the best in the game as evidenced by ranking #7 on MLB pipeline list.  Zavala and Malloy i will say are pretty equal, maybe more ceiling with Zavala and more floor with Malloy. Pitching will break your heart and I think trading a 27 year old Joe Ryan at his peak value has a chance to look very good. Pitchers are more likely to get hurt, or have wild swings in value  so trading them at peak value to start a rebuild is a solid move. 

Good Work you Guys!! I think you both got what you needed here. 

Pine Mountain Podstars | The Evil Empire 2.0

6 Things that Resemble the Death Star | Mental Floss

Pine Mountain Podstars recieves:

C.J. Cron $23

Eloy Jimenez $5cc

The Evil Empire 2.0 recieves:

Blake Snell $31

Ke’Bryan Hayes $1

Rece Hinds $0 (prospect)

Felix Valerio $0 (prospect)

Carlos Duran $0 (prospect)

Maddux Bruns $0 (prospect)

2023 4th round pick (Marshall Law)

2023 4th round pick (The Fantasy Baseball Team)

2023 5th round pick (Longball)

2023 5th round pick (Wallbangers)

Podstars was one of the more unlucky teams last year. First he loses Walker Buehler to Tommy John, then Fernando Tatis gets ringworm, and then he trades for Javier Baez. Horrrrrible things were happening to him left and right. After moving on from Nolan Arenado, it was time to bring some thump back to this lineup. However, lets start with the new guy…

The Evil Empire 2.0: I love this trade for you. This roster has been in desperate need of attention for a long time. I honestly think that if my dog and 4 year old son had co-managed this team last year, it would’ve gone better. Now we get a guy with strong energy, and an excitement about the league, and I couldn’t be happier. And his first trade is a banger. I was actually typing out an offer to Podstars for Snell and Hayes when this trade notification came through. Blake Snell is a great get for a team lacking talent. At only $31 he bring you some veteran stability without the huge price tag. If he gets anywhere close to the 911 points he’s projected for, you’re in great shape. I’m a little leery of the rest of the pitchers. Hopefully you get Flaherty healthy and the Giants can unlock Manaea like they have with so many others. In this deal, I especially love the flyer on Ke’Bryan Hayes. I recently read that he was hurt all of last season, and that led to his poor performance. I think we see a different Hayes this year with a sizeable bounce back. I’m a recovering Rece Hinds believer. There’s alot to like with him, and dreaming about his power in Great American Ballpark is oh so fun. Can he hit. Will he ever hit. I like the flier here as well. Valerio, Duran, and Bruns along with the four late round picks are great for a team that had 33 open minors spots. 33 spots! That’s some managerial malpractice right there. Nice to see things looking up for this roster.

Pine Mountain Podstars: Morgan needed to add some offensive fire power with the loss of Nolan Arenado, and he gets some with C.J. Cron and the oft IL listee Eloy Jimenez. The former is one of the more perplexing mashers in baseball. He’s a reverse splits right handed hitter, demolishes righties, but struggles against lefties. He also does all his damage at Coors. Home games see him scoring 7.4ppg, while on the road he’s just 3.4ppg. Cross your fingers that the Rockies never trade him. Eloy Jimenez is either hitting, or hurting. He played 55 games in 2021 and 84 in 2022. My concern with him is that sooner or later, the White Sox are going to make him a DH to try and keep him healthy. As long as he’s healthy and producing, you don’t mind him being UTL only, but the bat has to be Yordan-esque to feel comfortable having him parked in your UTL full time. At $5, why not take that gamble. Podstars side of the deal has the higher ceiling short term, but Evil Empire made the most of his assets and maximized the return on two mashers with legitimate question marks.

RM

 

Neptune Sharks | Suplex City Shooters

Mark Brown/Getty Images

Neptune Sharks recieves:

Manny Machado $108

Spencer Strider $18

Casey Mize $3cc

Marco Luciano (prospect)

Garrett Cooper $7

Hunter Bishop (prospect)

Trevor McDonald (prospect)

Thairo Estrada $9

Joey Bart $1cc

Suplex City Shooters recieves:

Bobby Witt Jr. $1cc

Jeffrey Springs $8

Tanner Bibee $0 (prospect)

Ceddanne Rafaela $0 (prospect)

Michael Massey $1cc

Daniel Montesino $0 (prospect)

Allow me to use what I remember from high school math to reduce both sides of this equation. Just as I expected. Everything cancels out with a remainder of Garrett Cooper. But like with high school math, gotta show your work::

Neptune Sharks: I always love a new team making an aggressive move to address a team need. Upon taking over, Nestor Cortes was really the only reliable SP on this roster, surrounded by a lot hopes and dreams. I hope Lucas Giolito can return to his pre2021 form, I hope ERod can keep it together off the field, I hope Neptune Sharks decides to fire Patrick Corbin into the sun. You can dream on Trevor Rogers, dude is still only 25. Nate Pearson and Casey Mize were once hyped prospects that are still young enough to be worhtwhile. Adding Strider to this mix, does he give you the stability this rotation requires, or do we have another Trevor Rogers beginners luck scenario on our hands? The guy has started his career unlike many have, but there’s no way of knowing if this two pitch quadzilla can keep it up. Atlanta has gone all in with Strider, already extending him, so this is probably a good gamble for the rebuilding Sharks. Manny Machado fills in for the jettisoned Bobby Witt, and probably doesn’t cost you much production in the short term. Long term, you’re gonna have to have another plan at 3B in a year or two. Now, for brief analysis on the remaining pieces in this trade:

Casey Mize: Dude is hurt more than Mike Soroka

Garrett Cooper: as average as a player can get

Marco Luciano: looks the part, just can’t find the barrell

Trevor McDonald: WHO?

Joey Bart: Hard to believe Neptune aquired the top 2 picks in the 2018 MLB draft in this trade and neither are relevant

Hunter Bishop: He’s tall

Thairo Estrada: I’d like to think he was the final piece that made this deal work. “I’ll do the trade if you throw in Thairo”, pause, pause, pause, “Goddammit you’ve got a deal”

Suplex City Shooters: While I think Neptune Sharks did well on this trade, I think Suplex gets the slight win here. When trades like this go down, I usually favor the team that gets the best asset, and in this deal, it’s Witt. He’s gonna anchor your SS,3B spot for the next 5 years and you wont have to think twice about it. Jeffery Springs is the best pitcher in baseball that nobody has ever heard of. One of the Tampa Bay Rays guys that is suddenly dominating after they found him lifeless on the Red Sox scrap heap. I consider myself a pretty hardcare baseball fan, and I was absolutely shocked to learn that Springs made 25 starts and had an ERA under 2.50. Suplex also comes away with the better prospects. Bibee and Rafaela are sneaky top 100 guys, one gets to develop in the Cleveland pitching lab, and the other is ripening at AA already. I think I’m already to the point that I prefer Rafaela to Luciano?? That would be absurd to say a year ago, but I’m starting to think it’s close.

Michael Massey: Plays for the Royals right?

Daniel Montesino: Only a matter of time before Preller ships him out.

 

RM

 

 

 

 

 

Homestead Grays | Wallbangers

Max Scherzer injury: How long will New York Mets star be out?MLB Rumors: Dodgers' Freddie Freeman to Change Agents After Being 'Angry' About FA | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors | Bleacher Report

Homestead Grays recieves:

Max Scherzer $109

Bobby Dalbec $1cc

Wallbangers recieves:

Freddie Freeman $98

 

A legitimate win for both teams. Wallbangers has pitching for days, but badly needed an impact bat and Homestead Grays bolstered his young up and coming pitching staff with a true ace. Huzzah!

Homestead Grays: Of the new owners, J’Mere was blessed with arguably the best roster of the open teams. This team, had it been managed even a little bit last season, should have been a contender and not a basement dweller. This team enjoyed the breakouts of Dylan Cease, Brady Singer, and Kyle Wright and now adds a horse like Scherzer. No reason this team can’t enter the upper echelon of teams in 2023. I like this even more because he was able to deal from depth. Having Pedro Alonso at 1B made Freddie Freeman expendable and using it to get Mad Max was so smart. Not sure what to make of Bobby Dalbec anymore. Over the last 3 seasons, Dalbec has sported a K% of 42, 34, and 33. This is not going to work. He still hits the piss out of the ball, but he rarely makes contact anymore and was even bannished to the minors last season. Maybe there’s something there, but you’ve really gotta squint to see it.

Wallbangers: There’s still some fun moves to be made this offseason, as his budget sits at a staggering $811 currently, but for this singular move, Josh addressed a major need. Last season when Bryce Harper missed significant time this his broken thumb, Wallbangers offensive output evaporated. With arguably the best pitching staff in the league, the offense just wasn’t enough to compete while Harper was on the shelf. Now, he adds the incredibly consistent Freeman to a young hitting core comprised of MJ Melendez, Andres Gimenez, Jose Miranda, and Corbin Carroll. There’s alot to like here. Maybe we get to see Jarred Kelenic and Jonathan India do something this year too.

RM

 

 

Trades. Trades! TRADES!! Pine Mountain Podstars | The Fantasy Baseball Team

Nolan Arenado Is Staying Put in St. Louis | FanGraphs Baseball

 

Just like that, Dynasty Grinders is alive and kicking again! Five trades were made today. We’ll see how many I can get to. Welcome back everyone, let’s get it started with Russell and Morgan.

Pine Mountain Podstars recieves:

Cade Cavalli (prospect)

2023 4th round pick (FBT)

The Fantasy Baseball Team recieves:

Nolan Arenado $107

Walker Buehler $38

 

Morgan is probably just happy to get something for Arenado at his current cost, but it’s hard to not see this as a win for FBT. Fortune favors those with cap space.

Podstars: At the start of the offseason, Morgan had a team salary around $740 and alot of work to do to get his salary under the $500 threshold. This is probably just the first of a few salary dump trades coming for this team. This is the worst part of having a good team with expense talent, eventually you’ve got to punt them to the auction or try and trade them for crumbs. And I don’t mind the crumbs here. I loved Cade Cavalli coming out of college and had hoped he’d slide to me in the second round. That didn’t happen, but ever since he’s been passed around the league. If memory serves, I think this is his fourth team and dude is still only in AAA. Kudos on getting an SP that most likely debuts this year, and will have plenty of leash in Washington.

FBT: This is a winning move. For so long the league has been plagued with a tanking epidemic and I feel like that is coming to an end. Much appreciation to the teams that have joined recently and immediately tried to win or at least get better. So many times we watched new owners join the league and let their rosters be picked over by the existing teams. In my opinion, the league is stronger now than ever before. But I digress, I love this move for FBT. Giving up a late pick and a pitching prospect for the national league MVP runner up fills an obvious need. Fantrax has Arenado projected for 831 points, but I’d strongly bet the over. You’d be hard pressed to find a more reliable hitter in our format over the last 7-8 years. Not only that but you also get a strong future asset rostering Walker Buehler while he recovers from Tommy John. Yeah you burn up $38 this season, but next offseason you can trade him for something significantly more than you gave up, or keep him around and watch him score 900 points for you.

RM