Hopeless Joe’s End-of-Year Fantasy Chat

Q. Danny Salazar — should I protect him?

A. Tough to say. Wouldn’t we all like to be protected by someone? But as we grow up, we realize it’s hard enough to protect yourself, and to expect someone else to shield you from all of life’s traumas and disappointments is, frankly, unrealistic. Danny Salazar had a terrible start to the season, but then rebounded quite nicely. Without your protection. So I think he may be more equipped than we realize to handle the ups and downs. He doesn’t need your protection, my protection, or anyone’s protection. Which makes him lucky, in a lot of ways. I think he’ll be just fine. Unless, of course, he gets Ebola.

Q. Any sleeper catchers for 2015?

A. Looking at a typical catcher’s body type, I think they all have pretty decent potential to be sleepers, permanently. Especially as you reach middle age and start to see people around you suffer the misfortune of illness and death, you quickly recognize that even if you want to ascribe it all to active choices and obvious causes — poor diet, alcohol and drugs, etc. — life doesn’t always work that way. There are accidents, there’s fate, there’s random misfortune. And catchers, despite their major league salaries, are just as likely as any of us to find themselves not waking up one morning. I’d keep my eye particularly on Mike Zunino, though. Especially if he gets Ebola.

Q. Rank these pitchers for 2015: Shields, deGrom, Iwakuma, Cashner

What a strange collection of four pitchers with seemingly little in common, except that they are all good at pitching. I rank them all tied for first, since they all have jobs pitching in the major leagues while the rest of us suffer through our lives only wishing we had such fortune. Unless any of them get Ebola, in which case I would move the others ahead in the ranking.

Q. Will Brian McCann rebound?

A. Can any of us ever really rebound from a down year? The trauma inevitably stays with us, implanting itself on all of our memories. McCann might or might not improve his production in 2015, but I don’t think he will ever be the same, mentally. Or physically, if he comes down with Ebola.

Q. Where do you think Lester is likely to sign?

A. Depends on how many airports start screening for Ebola, because, honestly, I’d be too scared to pass through one of those, accidentally fail the test, and get thrown into close quarters with people who really do have it. That’s the biggest fear, I think. Next to actually being in an airport with someone who has Ebola but isn’t getting tested, I guess. So if he moved to Oakland after the trade, I think he should probably just stay there. Travel is scary. Wow.

Jeremy Blachman is the author of Anonymous Lawyer, a satirical novel that should make people who didn't go to law school feel good about their life choices. Read more at McSweeney's or elsewhere. He likes e-mail.

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Burton Cummings
9 years ago

If I’m one of the last humans to get Ebola, I may just win my league next September.

Jason B
9 years ago

Just try to get plenty of rest, wash your hands often, and eat healthy – no sugar tonight in your coffee, no sugar tonight in your tea…

9 years ago
Reply to  Jason B

I laughed out loud and then started wondering if anyone else who reads your comment will actually get that joke.

Paul G.
9 years ago
Reply to  Yirmiyahu

Mama Told Me (Not to Come)?

Paul G.
9 years ago
Reply to  Yirmiyahu

Or is this a Guess Who? reference?

9 years ago
Reply to  Paul G.