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Friday 24th Mar 2017

Tuesday, May 21 – 11:18 AM

Poor Ryan Vogelsong. Just when you think he’s turned the corner, tossing five shutout innings last night vs. the Nationals, he breaks his hand in the sixth inning, while batting no less, and will be sidelined for at least six weeks. The only silver lining for Vogelsong owners, like me, is that he managed to pick up his second win of the season, which happened to be his first win since April 11. Yeah, it’s been that bad. And of course, I had him on my bench for this one. But as they say, “Don’t confuse the outcome with the decision,” and in this case the decision was obvious. At least I was spared of that horrendous road outing against the Blue Jays. The better question would be why in the world is Vogelsong still on my Tout Wars roster? But, before you berate me about this, please understand that in a 15-team mixed league, especially one as competitive as Tout, there are slim pickings on the waiver wire, and well, I always tend to give the guys I draft a long leash, probably too long of a leash. Fortunately, Tout’s unlimited DL setup allows me to stash Vogelsong and pick up an SP replacement, at least someone who can give me a few innings. So get well soon, Ryan. Maybe a little time off will do you some good.

Tuesday, May 21 – 11:32 AM

Actually, rather than using my open SP spot on a waiver wire scrub, why not aim a bit higher? Why not buy a pitcher from someone? After losing the Heath Bell sweepstakes, I have plenty of FAAB left, 89 dollars in fact. I’ll target a low-end yet above waiver wire caliber pitcher, and snag him for a few bucks without losing one of my players. But, would anyone be open to such a swap? Or more importantly, can I find an SP who fits the bill?

Tuesday, May 21 – 12:50 PM

His name is Edwin Jackson. He pitches for the Cubs and has so far looked nothing like the guy who posted a serviceable 4.03 ERA and quality 1.22 WHIP to go along with 168 whiffs in 31 starts for the Nats last season. What’s changed? Well, his walk rate has skyrocketed and he’s allowing way more hits than last year. Other than that, not much. On the bright side, he is striking out just under a batter per inning, and do you really think he’s going to finish the season with a 5.76 ERA? Exactly. And the great thing about all of this is that E-Jax is owned by Derek Van Riper, the same Derek Van Riper who outbid me for Heath Bell a couple weeks back but was forced to pay $38 for him. Surely, Derek would welcome the opportunity to bolster his FAAB account.

Wednesday, May 22 – 1:35 PM

Marlins Manager Mike Redmond said he plans to use everybody at closer.

Great.

My strategy heading into the Mixed Tout Wars Auction this year was to draft two closers with rock solid job security. This way, I wouldn’t have to play that annoying game of FAABing for saves that can quickly deplete your budget and might even net you a negative return if your newfound closer gives the job right back after a few blowups. Steve Cishek seemed like a fine choice to pair with Joe Nathan. Yeah, the Marlins were expected to be cellar dwellers, but I’ve never been of the belief that closers on bad teams should be avoided simply because they will get fewer save chances. Actually, that’s not always the case, as the games these teams do win tend to be of the three runs or less variety. Anyway, Cishek had done a stellar job last season after stepping in for the ineffective Heath Bell as the Marlins’ closer, and I viewed him as a little underrated, thanks to the “closers on bad teams don’t get saves” belief, which is nothing short of ridiculous.

Maybe not. We’re more than one-quarter into the season and Cishek has only been handed six save chances, and despite converting five of them, he just hasn’t been that good. The funny thing is that I had grouped Cishek in the same tier as Jason Grilli, and look how that’s turned out. With Cishek apparently now part of a closer-by-committee, I’m in exactly the same pickle I had hoped to avoid. But, like I said, I refuse to play the FAAB closer game. I’d much rather play the trade for a closer game. It sounds dumb, I know. Why give up a valuable player for something that you can get for FAAB? Because the saves race is ultra-tight and the more time I wait, the less of an impact my closer will have on the final standings. That’s why.

Saturday, May 25 – 4:50 PM

Shh. I’m on the verge of agreeing to a major trade where I’d be getting a closer and more. The price is high, but in a league like Tout, the point isn’t to trick the other owner into making a lopsided deal. We’re too smart for that. The point is to try to piece together something that will help both sides. I’ll keep the details to a minimum just in case a league mate reads this. Allowing another owner unprecedented access into the mind of a madman at such a sensitive time will surely lead to disaster. But, I can tell you that this swap will benefit both of us.

Well, I know it will benefit him.

I hope it will benefit me.

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