Fantasy Baseball Alternative Facts 2017
You’ve read all those bold predictions columns (Gary Sanchez will hit 60 HRs) every spring. That’s easy – you predict 10 wildly successful or disastrous seasons or accomplishments and if you hit one, you act like you have a crystal ball and will be selling today’s lotto numbers for a small fee.
I present you a different type of prognostication: The Truth. Okay, it’s The Truth According to Tom. Or, as an advisor to the leader of the free world refers to them: “Alternate Facts.”
What’s in store for the world of baseball in 2017? Here are the alternative facts you need to know to guide your Fantasy Baseball team to an “Alternative Title” this season:
- Taking advantage of a porch so short that your dog can’t even fit under it, Didi Gregorius hits 30 HRs despite posting one of the worst exit velocities, and owning an average fly ball distance lower than Billy Hamilton. Yankee radio voice John Sterling ignores the sabermetric reality/gift at play and declares the infielder Didi Greg-glorious;
- The Mets starting staff starts Spring Training by each getting a buzz cut. They donate their famed flowing hair to Locks of Love under the condition it is all used to ensure the health of, well, Matt Harvey and David Wright.
- In order to speed up the game, MLB orders umpires to allow the opposing catcher to pick one card from a deck of playing cards every time Chris Carter, Chris Davis, or Mike Napoli comes to bat. Numbered cards are strikeouts; face cards are home runs and aces mean they need to step in the batter’s box for an actual at bat.
- In a similar decree, Rob Manfred dictates that when Dee Gordon, Jonathan Villar, and Trea Turner are on first base, they must play “Rock, Paper, Scissors” with the opposing team’s first baseman. If the runner wins, he’s awarded a steal of second base; if he loses he is out and returns to the dugout.
- The above measures slice an average of 27 minutes off their respective games.
- The Red Sox declare every other Sunday home game “Big Papi Day” and retire his number seven times throughout the season. The alternate Sundays are used to celebrate the Patriots’ Super Bowl win, reminding us that Boston is “the most kick ass sports city in the world.” The Dropkick Murphys and Neil Diamond perform post-game concerts every Sunday.
- Bartolo Colon finally announces his retirement – after the 2018 season. To mark the occasion, Colon releases a 2018 calendar featuring images of himself donning only a jock strap at 12 breathtaking scenes around the globe (Grand Canyon, the Eiffel Tower). The calendar is released in time for Christmas and becomes the number one gift item on Amazon.
- Jon Lester attempts a pick-off throw.
- Pissed off by the reality of living in the North Side shadow of the Cubs for years to come, White Sox fans protest during the team’s first homestand and decide, as a group, to call the awkwardly named Guaranteed Rate Field “The G-Spot.”
- Giancarlo Stanton struggles throughout the first half and during the All-Star break changes his name to Balls Deep. FanGraphs devotes a series to “The Three Mike Stantons” and determines if each new name falls within the standard deviation of historical athlete nomenclature adjustment. BaseballHQ creates the xNC metric, (expected Name Change) assessing the likelihood and predicting the applicable date that each major league player in fact might change their name during the 2018 season and what it means for your Fantasy team. SportsGrid declares “Balls Deep” the Best. Name. Ever. Pat Mayo devotes an entire podcast to best fake sports names in history.
- ESPN, reluctantly covering baseball, decides that all baseball highlights and analysis will be delivered by NFL stars so the ratings don’t tank as low the new Celebrity Apprentice.
- President Trump bounces the First Pitch at a Nationals game, orders Sean Spicer to edit the tape to showcase a 91 mph fastball over the plate, tweets that it was the best first pitch by anyone in the history of arms, and calls out all the networks for purveying “fake sports” every time they show the actual dribble of his First Pitch.
- In an attempt to undo the trend of missing the playoffs every odd-numbered year since 2005, the Giants make a viral video titled “We’re Not Odd, You’re Odd” featuring San Francisco players doing, well, unusual things. Some juggle. Some play Pokemon Go. I won’t even tell you what Hunter Pence does to Joe Panik.
- The Rockies jump out to a 35-5 start under new manager Bud Black, prompting the Colorado PR department to borrow an idea from the Packers and create “Black Heads” for fans to show their loyalty while also keeping their heads warm on cool Colorado evenings. The acne-themed head covering causes immediate outrage and confusion, and the team blames the failed experiment on the legalization of marijuana in their state.
- Mike Trout demands a trade, and is dealt to the A’s, prompting 350 identical “Trout Swims Upstream” headlines. (That’s a geography joke for all you dropouts, or Colorado residents.)
- In a related development, Trevor Story suffers a severe sophomore slump, producing the lazy pun “Horror Story” in a similar number of headlines. At season’s end, President Trump reveals he trademarked “Horror Story” after watching an April Rockies game during a security briefing and sues “the lazy, lying media” for 35 million dollars for its use.
- Pablo Sandoval has a huge bounceback season and declares himself “Little Papi.”
- After a 5-11 season and a very poor spring training, Sonny Gray, attempting to change his fortunes, renames himself “Grandpa Gray.”
- Dylan Bundy wins the Cy Young Award and spends his offseason recording a reboot of “Married…With Children” in which he plays the long-lost athletic son of Al Bundy, prompting the old man to attempt a comeback and try out for the Jets. The Jets sign him at tight end, figuring they can’t do any worse.
- Stephen Piscotty has a 30HR/100RBI season, after which he introduces a brand of baseball bat-shaped pasta named after him. Local commercials show Cardinal fans, dressed in all red, gathered around the table declaring “Every day is Piscotty Day.”
- Trea Turner enjoys huge success in Washington, D.C. and, matching the political environment in that town, inspires high school bullies to troll freshmen in the cafeteria by flipping their lunches on them and declaring themselves….wait for it…..Tray Turners. The infielder is forced to record a Public Service Announcement announcing “Food is feelings and a food fight hurts feelings.”
- ESPN launches “ESPN Boom” featuring only footage of Chris Berman playing catch with athletes in the early1980s. It regularly beats Celebrity Apprentice in the ratings.
- Kyle Schwarber launches 12 HRs in April but develops a slipped disk in his lower back, prompting Joe Maddon, after one too many gin and tonics at a San Diego hotel bar, to whisper to a Bleacher Report writer “Has that fat bastard ever tried a salad? Jesus, we’re building a dynasty and he insists on being Beefsteak Charlie.”
- Bryce Harper and Noah Syndergaard appear in a Massengill commercial together.
- After poor ratings for the first half of the year, Skip Bayless declares “Baseball’s Deader Than Yogi Berra,” prompting record high ratings and attendance in the second half.
- Ian Desmond hits 40 HRs in Colorado, and finishes with a .220 average.
- Mookie Betts signs a sponsorship deal with Draft Kings, but after consultation with Red Sox lawyers, it is decided that Mookie Wilson actually appears in the ads, so as not to give the impression that, well, you know….that….Mookie Betts…..
- Alex Rodriguez becomes a business mogul, launching a company that makes only two things: mirrors and spotlights.
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