It’s April everyone. The weather is warming up, people are ordering cocktails on patios, the ants are starting to crawl over the lid of the garbage can, and the Golden Sombreros/88 Train/McBadBats have kicked off the first week of the 2017 Fantasy Baseball season with yet another rebranding attempt. If this first week is any indication, it just may be the name change they’ve needed all along. The first week of the season saw the freshly minted “Machado Men” eek out a win over the “Benny Bombers.”
It’s no secret that last season, the dismal “Men” were eviscerated by the press corps each week. The Sombrero/88/McBadBats were what their final name implied – bad. They were not good, but the team’s management shit talked with bombast and consistently made unreasonable claims to the press. Their obsession with their own delusional sense of greatness was cultish at times, like when they convinced themselves trading Ian Kinsler, Xander Bogaerts, and Buster Posey for Jake Arrieta in the middle of the season was a good idea. But something has changed about this club and it’s not only the name. “The Machado Men” opted for a fresh start this draft. They cleaned house and entered the draft with no keepers, a move widely criticized by the league’s fellow managers, albeit after the draft had concluded, of course. Now, it’s only week one, and by no means does this indicate how the rest of their season will go – but for the moment, “The Machado Men” can hold their chins up high after a promising Week 1 victory.
Another Week 1 surprise was “Mac’s Smelly Sox” leading the league in scoring. The “Sox” finished 7-12 last season, three spots away from dead last. While they didn’t take as drastic of measures as “The Machado Men,” their focus on adding new blood to the team seems to have paid off. They crushed last year’s championship runner up, “The D-Train,” who finished with Week 1’s lowest point total. While it’s not time to declare the “Sox” or the “Men,” true contenders just yet, if these performances continue, they just might be formidable opponents down the stretch.
The “D-Train’s” first outing can’t be encouraging for anyone involved with the organization. It’s one thing to lose week one. It’s another to score the lowest total points. But after losing in last year’s championship, you’d expect the team to be emboldened and ready to challenge for the throne again. That’s not what this team looks like. This loss must be even more discouraging for the organization in context of the 2016 Fantasy Football season, where their Football analogue, “Charles de Gaulle,” went from the top of the league to dead last in one season. Owner Alex Sniatkowski’s fantasy teams have a suspicious habit of tanking after just the smallest taste of minor success, similar to Icarus’ ill-fated flight pattern, and he’s sure got to be anxious with “The D-Train” after this opening day result.
But the “Train” might find solace in the performance of the reigning champion, “The Mikey Bombers,” who were handed defeat at the hands of “The Credible Hulk.” The “Bombers,” who featured a high powered offense in 2016, uncharacteristically scored under 300. Should the “Bombers” be worried? Probably not, they’re the reigning champions, and a team that can rattle off eight wins in the blink of an eye.
On the other hand, for “The Credible Hulk,” this is a big to win. Last season “The Hulk” struggled to gain footing in the competitive East Division. Mired by a behind the scenes mascot sex scandal, they took the last spot in the playoffs where they lost to “Green Day’s Mookie.” Their week one victory over the “Mikey Bombers,” not only indicates that they’re ready to win in 2017, but it could prove dividends down the stretch, if they’re going to make a run for that Eastern Division title.
“Green Day’s Mookie” also started off the season with a strong win. They finished second in scoring, which, didn’t really matter to the outcome in this game, because they played the team formerly known as the “McGoodbats,” who even as “Piscotty 2 Hotty” still stink. “2 Hotty” starts off 2017 the same as 17 of their 2016 games, with a loss.
Watch out for “Mookie” this year. After missing out on the Championship Game by a hair last season, they have revenge on the mind. They’re angrier than a Michigan Union worker whose wife left him the day before his job got replaced by automation on 11/7/2016.
There’s also good reason to keep an eye on “Piscotty 2 Hotty.” It’ll be interesting to see if they can top their two wins from last season. While we here at Fawkes Culture don’t condone betting, we will set the over/under at three. We’ll take any action, but cash only please.
Rounding out the week’s action was a matchup between “Meat is Murder” and “Tim Tebow is Jesus”(formerly “A-Rod’s Girlfriends). “Meat is Murder” found itself right in the middle of the pack of the Eastern Conference quagmire of 2016. At 11-8, they entered the playoffs as a five seed, where they lost at the hands of their division rival, “The Benny Bombers.” The defeat was crushing, but it’s good to see the team ready to hit 2017 in stride.
“Tim Tebow is Jesus” also dealt with heartbreak at the end of last season, missing out on the playoffs due to a tiebreaker. It was a tough one especially as “Jesus” came on strong at the end of the season. If any team in this league knows that a slow start doesn’t spell doom, it’s “Tim Tebow”(god, how am I supposed to abbreviate this one).
Team to Watch: The Machado Men – Taking a page from Ezra Pound, this team is going to “Make it New.” We’ll see how this plays out for them over the long run.
Matchup of the Week: The D-Train vs. The Mikey Bombers – A rematch from last year’s championship game, but with both teams coming off a Week 1 loss. This early matchup could be key in each team’s trajectory this season.
- The Machado Men (1-0)
- The Credible Hulk (1-0)
- Meat is Murder (1-0)
- Benny Bombers (0-1)
- Mikey Bombers (0-1)
- Mac’s Smelly Sox (1-0)
- Green Day’s Mookie(1-0)
- Tim Tebow is Jesus (0-1)
- Piscotty 2 Hotty (0-1)
- The D-Train (0-1)
Weekly Fun Fact: The East standings are the reverse order of last years regular season standings.
By Alex Sniatkowski