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2012 Fantasy Baseball Round-Up: Hanley Ramirez, A.J. Griffin, Stephen Strasburg and More

Hanley Ramirez was traded to the Dodgers the other day. I wrote about the Hanley/Red Sox rumors kicking off the frantic trading season last week and now the official barometer is no longer. We're all going to be really confused in 2013. That's two paragraphs dedicated to the same dumb joke, spread over two weeks. Good job there, now you'll have to read on in suspense to see if I can shoehorn in a bad Ichiro joke.

I like the Ramirez trade for the Dodgers and for Hanley owners. This is a guy who constantly had attitude and motivation questions circling around him in Boston, all of which seemed to be either overblown or out and out lies for his first four years in Miami, where from 2007-2010 he posted wOBAs of .411, .405, .410 and .373.

Then the 2011 debacle happened, a .317 wOBA and .243/.333/.379. 2012 has been another disappointment with similar .329 wOBA, .246/.322/.428 lines. It's a worthwhile bet from the Dodgers standpoint that a change of scenery can bring forward the prior, top ten, Hanley. With Cole Hamels off the free agent market and a burning desire for the new owners to make a splash, the remaining contract is a secondary concern to the potential of a dynamic bat to pair with Matt Kemp and create a solid middle of the order going forward, also including Andre Ethier. Look for a MannyWoodesque potential awakening from Ramirez in the second half in LA.

Wednesday night Ramirez contributed 2 hits, an RBI and a run in the Dodgers 3-2 loss in St. Louis. Rafael Furcal provided the walk off single for St. Louis, in the 12th inning.

The Oakland A's, another rumored Ramirez destination, decided to show they were fine without his bat, slaughtering the Blue Jays, 16-0. The hits came up and down the A's line-up, the same way they've been doing it all year, with Coco Crisp standing out by virtue of his 4th and 5th homers of the season. All of the A's starters, with the exception of Jemile Weeks, recorded at least 1 RBI on the day. The Jay's Ricky Romero only went 1.1 IP, taking 8 of the runs in that short timespan. Oakland's A.J. Griffin threw 6 innings of shutout baseball, recording 9 Ks in the win.

A quick google search for “don't shutdown Strasburg,” returned nothing, so I'll take it on my own accord to start the campaign. Please Mike Rizzo, don't shut down Stephen Strasburg. Is it probably the safe move for a guy coming off Tommy John surgery? Sure, it probably is. But it's boring as shit and flags fly forever. You can't predict the future and pitching injuries often still look more like a crapshoot than anything. Let the kid pitch into the postseason, so we can all enjoy it and stop being a selfish asshole.

Strasburg pitched 7 innings on Wednesday, on only 94 pitches, ringing up 11 Mets, while only allowing 4 hits and 1 ER. The Nationals 5-2 victory was good for a sweep up the Mets who are now at 1-11 since the All Star game and much more closely resembling the Mets people expected before the season.

Padres' second year player, Jesus Guzman, had himself a day, off of Tim Lincecum in San Francisco. Guzman was 3-4 with 3 HR, 3 R and 3 RBI. The Padres won 6-3, after getting to Lincecum early, who went only 4.2 IP, with 5 ER to go along with 8 Ks. His counterpart across the diamond, Jason Marquis, pitched 7.1 innings, also with 8 Ks, but only 1 ER.

Torii Hunter's 4-5, 3 R, 3 RBI, 1 HR day, keyed the Angels 11-6 beating of the Royals in Anaheim. Mike “Holy PoopBalls This Guy is Insane” Trout, was 2-4 on the day with 3 R, 3 RBI and his 18th dinger of the season. Seriously if this is really a level of play that Trout can maintain in the future, the Angels should have saved some of that Pujols money, to dump on Trout's front lawn instead.

Cole Hamels will remain in Philadelphia, after signing a 6 year, $144 million dollar contract, removing the most interesting trade chip from the market and raising eyebrows in the Phillies' accounting department. Hamels is an ace, with a healthy track record, that got fair market value, so you can't crush the deal from Philly's perspective, but one has to wonder why they rushed to tie up so much more cash in a 45-54 team that already features 3 $20 million/year pitchers and a complete albatross contract in Ryan Howard. With as many offensive holes as the team has, it would have made more sense to flip Hamels for some pieces in the short term and use some of that major cash outlay to shore up multiple spots around the diamond. Unless, Philadelphia is really the new New York and money is suddenly no object. Then by all means, spend away.

Written by Ryan Coombs exclusively for Follow Ryan on Twitter @RMCoombs

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