Bottom of the MLB: 2016

30: Milwaukee Brewers– They’re a rebuilding team in a tough division, outside of their “Watch the Game with Your Dog and Eat a Free Dog” promotion and their mascot Hank,  they don’t have much to look forward to in the immediate future. They have two established stars in Ryan Braun and Jonathan Lucroy, one with a tarnished reputation and one already packing his bags, and basically no one else. This team looks like the discarded extras of the Astros, when they were bottom of the league. It worked out for Detroit, but for every JD Martinez there’s Nameless Player A we don’t hear of ever again. The pitching staff is lead by Matt Garza, not a good thing to say about a rotation in 2016. Wily Peralta clocks in as one of the hardest throwing hurlers in baseball, but he’s still pretty terrible. It’s not all bad, Scooter Gennet is still one of the coolest names in baseball and their logo is still the best as well; but Miller is a bad beer and so is this team.

ryan braun

The lovable Hank juxtaposed with the hatable Braun. Cuteness > Brains> Braun

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Bottom of the MLB 2015

30. Philadelphia Phillies

Jimmy Rollin’s 15 year tenure with the Phillies is over, but it’s only the beginning. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Rollins, a grown man, called himself Jimmy when playing for the city of Philly, he was a poet and he know it. Sources tell us he’s officially going by Jim now that he’s a Dodger. The Phillies are in fire sale mode, everyone is on the chopping block but no one wants to negotiate with Amaro Jr. Chase Utley’s still on the team and wants to retire a Phillie, but so did Rollins and he’s already gone. I don’t think too many fans would be sad to see Ryan Howard leave, but his burdensome contract should keep him in the cheesesteak capital for 2 more years at least. Cole Hamels is still a stud, but my gut tells me he won’t be on the team next year. Behind Hamels in the rotation is Cliff Lee. The Phillies tried rushing him back from injury last year to increase his trade value, but it had the opposite effect. I want to say he’ll bounce back, but I never imagined Halladay would disappear as quick as he did, so I’ll remain skeptical. The Phillies then have…Aaron Harang and 2 starters I don’t know. Maybe Dominic Brown finally puts together sustained success, maybe Ryan Howard finally bounces back to his old self, maybe Jonathan Papelbon stops being terrible. The best scenario for this team would be a bolstered farm system and the first overall pick.

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At least they have the best mascot named the Phanatic

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What Roy Oswalt Meant to Me

astros pitcher roy oswalt pitching

One of my favorite players I watched growing up, Roy Oswalt, retired after 13 seasons. He finishes with 163-102 record, a 3.36 ERA, 1852 Ks, and a 1.21 WHIP. His team always saw him as a leader. They always felt they could win when he came to pitch. Unconventional wisdom started my journey in becoming a fan of his and to better understand this baseball legend and what he meant to me, we have to go back to the beginning.
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The Cole Report: 2 Takes on Cole Hamels

As former interns for the prestigious Cole Hamels Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to “enriching the lives of children through education…” I think my colleague and I know a thing or two about our former boss, Colbert Mike Hamels, that the fantasy community at large may not. Today we’re here to share our knowledge and discuss his fantasy impact this upcoming season. Colbert is currently ranked on ESPN #44 overall and the #10 SP while Yahoo! rankes him #46 overall and the #13 SP.  Make your case.

The Case for Drafting Colbert by Jamie Will


* Edit: Ok, so a day or so after we posted this the news came out about Hamels’ shoulder tendinits. While I don’t think it’ll be a long term thing, it is right to be concerned when you hear “Pitcher” and “shoulder” in an injury report. That definitely hurts my argument a bit, but people out there should keep an eye on Hamels in drafts because he might plummet a bit and, if so, scoop him up because he will be back in a bit.

Good old Cole… Before I get going on the greatness-to-come of Cole Hamels, let me make it clear that I am a Phillies fan.  That said, I think this team is likely to be as bleak as the current icy landscape in Philadelphia.  The experts and casinos agree, with their projected win totals ranging from bad to worse (actually between 70-80..  that’s sad).  I am going to go out on a limb here and say that, even if the Phillies end up as bad overall as is expected, Cole Hamels will win 20 games for the first time.  Yes, you heard me… Colbert will get 20 of the 70-80 wins and here is why.  

Prior to last season, in which the whole ship sank in Philadelphia, Hamels’ increased his strikeout totals, thrown more complete games, and posted ERA’s of 2.79 and 3.05 in back to back seasons, earning All-Star nods and entering the back end of the Cy Young conversation.  While I will admit that last year can’t simply be written off, I think that Hamels is absolutely deserving of his current rankings in ESPN and Yahoo and should be targeted in drafts.  

One reason why is that I believe the ever-swinging pendulum of poor run-support in Philadelphia will swing back to Cliff Lee after returning to Hamels last season.  Yes, I know that there is no statistical backing for an assertion like that, but if you look at the last several seasons, Hamels and Lee have seemingly alternated being the bearers of the bad bats.  This year is Hamels’ turn to get the support and, even though the lineup is hardly filled with world beaters anymore, there is enough pop left in those bats to support a strong pitcher like Hamels.
A second reason is the lowering of expectations surrounding the Phillies could very well take the pressure off of Colbert.  For years, as the team around him has slowly crumbled through mismanagement and age, the public has looked to Hamels to put the team on his back and carry them as the “Ace of Aces.”  It did seem like that may have worn on him a bit over time, culminating in last year’s decline.  This year though?  Everybody has written the Phillies completely off.  I am sure the remaining core of players (Hamels, Howard, Utley, Rollins, Ruiz) are pissed off about that and want to do something about it.  
To sum it all up, you can trust Colbert “Hollywood” Hamels to strongly assert himself against the mass disrespect aimed at him and the Phillies, ultimately giving the proverbial finger to the naysayers by shutting opponents down. Also if Hamels slides a bit during the draft because the perception of the Phillies being ass, grab him and run. 
Don’t Draft Colbert! by Kevin Boyce

*Edit: Okay so Cole Hamels has shoulder tendonitis, so…I guess I win the argument? Not necessarily. Depending on how much Cole falls in the draft and how much more information comes out on his shoulder can change my opinion on him. But things don’t really look as I’m typing this so unless Hamels drops considerably, I’m avoiding him all together.

Did you know that Colbert grew up in San Diego and not Philadelphia? Everyone knows that only true Phillies grow up in Philly. Fact, he’d rather pitch in San Diego.

Did you know that his wife, Heidi Strobel, was a contestant on Survivor? Did you know she lost? How can we expect Cole Hamels to win games when his wife can’t even win? Fact, we can’t.

Colbert Hamels is past his prime and couldn’t throw a strike to save the children he literally saves in his non-profit organization. Fact, he theoretically in this scenario I just made up doesn’t help children in need. 

Okay, maybe I’m being a little overly dramatic (hint: I am) but I’m not as high on Colbert than my colleague is. Let’s make things clear that I am a Mets fan, but that doesn’t mean I’m biased or anything. I mean I worked for the guy’s organization for months and got paid a whopping $0…they didn’t even give me a signed ball, which they had a closet full of. On a slightly more serious note, when I first met Cole Hamels, this tall handsome goofball, I pretty much liked him instantly. We didn’t even talk about baseball, we talked about Australia for 5 minutes. And that’s a longtime considering there were to tons of his friends and donators there. Colbert is genuinely a funny and nice person, he did start a charity organization out of his own pocket…so yeah, pretty cool dude. However, when it comes to fantasy I only see value, and I’m don’t see any value with Hamels this year.

For the price Colbert Hamels is going for this year, you’re drafting him to anchor your fantasy rotation. He’s always had an elite K/BB rate, which keeps his WHIP low and is generally a pretty good thing. He pitched 5 more innings in 2013, but had a dozen less strikeouts than his 2012 totals. He still managed 202 Ks, and he has a K/9 rate above 8, which is what you want in a pitcher, but 27 other pitchers had a K/9 rate over 8, 31 if you count 7.96 and up. Having a K/9 over 8 isn’t rare in the golden age of pitching, HRs are rare. Pre-All Star Break he had 129IP, 4W, 118Ks, 4,05 ERA, and a 1.22 WHIP. He managed to pitch better in the second half, but I just don’t know which Hamels we’re going to see this year. I’d be worried about spending my 4th round pick on him and so should you.

Also in 31 IP against the Mets, Cole gave up 35 hits, 17 ERs, 34 Ks,  .282 batting average against. Let me reiterate, he did this against the METS. Cole Hamels is 30, on a weak team, and pitches in a hitter friendly park. Pitching is deep this year, and unless I’m getting lights out stuff, I’d rather take a bat than an arm. That said, I’ll be rooting for his success this year.   

Scrubs of the MLB: Part 1

24. Colorado Rockies

The Rockies always seem to start the season blazing hot, throwing a puff of smoke infront of their fan’s red eyes and raising their hopes up sky high, only to have their hopes ripped apart well before the All Star break.  If their dank hitting could stop chronically getting injured every year, maybe they can keep their trainwreck of a pitching staff afloat and win their weak division. To be blunt, things could be worse right? At least Rockies fans can get really high…when they go see their games live at Coors Stadium.  I guess it’s better when your high producing offense rolls up and burns in the beginning of the season rather than when it matters most in the Super Bowl…every year. I’m blown away by how good this team can hit, especially at home, but winning is a joint effort and the pitching staff is just…up in smoke. Jhoulys Chacin is no ace… I mean this team was desperate enough to trade for Astros pitcher Jordan Lyles, and he was barely good enough to play for the Astros…THE ASTROS. At least Denver fans can look forward to Peyote Manning and freshly baked cookies…to eat when they’re stoned.

gty_colorado_pot_sales_kb_14010_16x9_992This guy seems really happy for someone who’ll soon be smoking alone in his parent’s basement

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