Mostly MLB Notes

Dalton Del Don

I picked up Colby Rasmus about a month ago in the Yahoo! Friends & Family League only to drop him shortly thereafter. Apparently, that was a big mistake, as he's been on a tear ever since. He entered Sunday with a .306/.359/.612 line in June and has hit 10 homers over his past 25 games. Rasmus remains helpless against left-handers, and there hasn't been a noticeable difference in his plate discipline, so maybe this is just a hot streak. Hitters with his profile – high K% and high FB% – are more prone to running hot and cold. Still, his 21.1 LD% is a career best, and it's worth remembering he's just 25 years old. Expect an average in the .255 range, but Rasmus is primed to set a career high in home runs this season and once again finally resembles the exciting young player he looked like back in 2010.

This maniac who took cops on a high-speed chase for more than an hour sure does give a great interview. Here's more from the man with swag.
While a 3.51 ERA might not reflect it, Colby Lewis is in the midst of a fantastic year, posting a 90:12 K:BB ratio and a 1.08 WHIP over 100.0 innings. Of course, as an extreme fly-ball pitcher who calls one of the most HR friendly parks in all of baseball home, Lewis' current ERA won't necessarily come crashing down. Still, his 7.5 K:BB ratio leads MLB by a wide margin, and pitching for Texas should lead to more wins moving forward. Lewis will continue to be homer prone, but with a strong K rate and a low BABIP thanks to all those fly balls, many will be solo – a combination that will likely continue to produce a strong WHIP. He has a 43:4 K:BB ratio over his last seven starts. If Lewis pitched in the National League, he'd likely be a top-10 fantasy starter.
Epic Shake Weight prank.
This footage of a truck crash caught on a highway is absolutely brutal.
I thought Eric Hosmer was getting drafted too high in March (having said that, I aggressively drafted Desmond Jennings), but I certainly didn't see this coming either. He has three extra-base hits in 74 at-bats versus lefties. With eight homers and six steals, he actually hasn't been a total disaster in fantasy leagues, despite an ugly .213/.281/.360 line. Hosmer's 33:24 K:BB ratio over 253 ABs suggests he hasn't been totally overwhelmed at the plate, which is encouraging. His .216 BABIP is the third lowest in baseball, which is difficult to do when you consider he's hit nearly twice as many ground balls as fly balls (1.97 GB/FB). Hosmer plays in a park that's tough on left-handed hitters, and while it's clear he's suffered some misfortune, so far, he's also likely simply not hitting the ball hard and deserves plenty of blame himself. Still, it's probably best to bet on his talent winning out in the end, and his K% and BB% really do reflect much better things to come. Remain patient (or go try to trade for him).
Crazy drivers: Insane bus drifting dangerously on purpose … Three accidents in less than 50 feet … SUV drives into motorbike … A 64 Impala has got nothing on this van … Ice cream truck wars in the UK.
I bought into the Chris Sale can't last as a starter with his mechanics chatter before the season, owning him in zero leagues, obviously to my detriment. Who knows, maybe that will ultimately prove true, but his arm could fall off tomorrow, and his fantasy owners would still have made a profit from his 2012 season. He has an 89:23 K:BB ratio with a 2.24 ERA and 0.96 WHIP over 88.1 innings (with eight wins to boot). Despite his velocity being down across the board since entering the rotation, his fastball, slider and changeup have all been well above average this season, according to Fangraphs' Pitch Values. Of course, there's some concern he'll be on an innings limit, but the White Sox being right in the middle of a pennant race works in his fantasy owners' favor. Sale has likely been lucky allowing just four homers this season while pitching in the most homer-friendly park in baseball over the past three years, according to The Bill James Handbook, but you don't need me to tell you a 2.24 ERA is unsustainable. Despite my lack of shares, for the sake of the game I hope he can stay healthy, because Sale sure does look special.
These headlines really tell the story: Woman becomes pregnant in the mouth with baby squid after eating calamari … Man claims leprechauns beat him up for dancing.
Jed Lowrie, who leads all shortstops with 13 home runs, has been a fantasy revelation this season. He has shown flashes before, posting a .907 OPS (in 171 ABs) as a rookie in Boston just two years ago, but injuries have previously prevented him from ever reaching his potential. Durability remains a concern, but it's hard to argue with his production at the plate. In fact, Lowrie has by far the lowest GB/FB ratio (0.54) in all of baseball, so there's every bit of reason to think he can hit 25-30 homers if he stays healthy. The switch-hitter struggles against left-handers, plays in a lineup that won't help his counting stats and likely won't hit better than .270, but that kind of power potential from a shortstop is extremely valuable.
Police Blotter: Burglar cuts self on broken window, is found dead on floor … More Zombie attacks: Man gets naked, bites off chunk of man's arm … Pretty insane story about two suspects and a victim (who was brutally beaten yet was wanted on charges of doing the same thing in a separate incident that occurred just weeks earlier) all getting arrested after video of a road rage incident went viral.
Hoops talk: I get that most hate LeBron James, but it's tough not to be impressed with just how good he was during this postseason. His epic Game 6 performance in the Conference Finals in Boston, his rebounding when Chris Bosh was out, his defense in general, his ridiculous passing in the Finals' clincher – so many impressive things to point out. Despite the gaudy numbers (he became just the third player in NBA history to lead his team in ppg, rpg and apg in the Finals, although it's also pretty crazy that Game 5 was his only triple-double of the entire season), I'd argue James is worth more than stats can show. He's easily the most valuable commodity in sports right now (this is acknowledging that basketball is the least "team" sport out there. I'd probably rank five quarterbacks next on my list) … It's Mike Miller's world, and the rest of us are just passing through … I'm not saying the Thunder shouldn't have been favored to win the series with home-court advantage, but I still can't figure out why Vegas consistently had OKC favored a few points higher at home compared to when the Heat were … Congratulations to Eddy Curry and The Fab Five – this first ring was a long time coming! … Pretty cool speech by Scott Brooks.
I'm a big fan of Fiona Apple's new album, her first in seven years. I highly recommend it. This terrific profile of herwill also be this week's long read.
I followed the Jerry Sandusky trial about as closely as possible, and thankfully justice was served. Pretty telling not one of his six adopted kids were willing to testify on his behalf (and another who just recently came forward as a victim was the only reason Jerry didn't testify himself). What a monster (Yahoo! did a tremendous job reporting throughout this case). I hope Jeffrey Dahmer's treatment in prison looks tame in comparison.
Max Scherzer might be the most enigmatic pitcher in the game right now. Hurlers with an 11.42 K/9 rate (best in the American League) aren't supposed to have a 5.12 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. His 3.20 BB/9 ratio isn't great, but it's also not that bad. Part of Scherzer's inconsistency can be blamed on his unorthodox mechanics, and he's mostly at fault for allowing 14 homers already, but it's easy to say he's been unlucky when looking at his MLB-high .366 BABIP. While that's certainly true, and his ERA will come down moving forward, unless he's traded (it's too bad he left the Senior Circuit, as he has a 34:2 K:BB ratio over 21.0 innings against the National League this season), it's not like we shouldn't expect an abnormally high hit rate to continue with such a poor defense behind him. The second highest BABIP in MLB is teammate Rick Porcello, and that's not a coincidence. Unsurprisingly, the Tigers rank dead last in all of baseball with a -32.2 UZR. Their team BABIP is a whopping 24 points higher than the league average in 2012. Scherzer's ERA will no doubt drop, and while he personally has been unlucky, that misfortune should continue (albeit at a lesser level) over the rest of the year considering the defense playing behind him.
Senator Reid is the man.
Crane lifting a crane fail.
Jimmy Kimmel lie detector test.
Quick hits: Zack Greinke hasn't lost a start at home since joining Milwaukee … Over 12 starts, Cliff Lee has a 5.1 K:BB ratio (third best in MLB), pitching at least 6.0 innings in every outing. He has zero wins … Since returning from having his hamate bone removed (he has none left now, so no worries for 2013!), Pablo Sandoval has just one extra-base hit over 51 at-bats … If I'm a Matt Garza owner, despite the poor run support, the only way I'm rooting for a trade is if he stays in the National League … Stephen Strasburg will be a top-five fantasy pick in 2013.
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