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An optimist once said, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”  It was so inspiring that no one followed up with the relevant question, “Did life also give me sugar because, otherwise, this lemonade is going to taste like crap?”

There are plenty of lemons in baseball*.  Fantasy Razzball is the sugar that helps make them as satisfying as a cool, refreshing drink.

* There were three players whose last name was lemon – pitcher Bob Lemon and OFs Jim and Chet Lemon – but all three were good to very good players.   As was Hank Sauer.  Harry ‘Stinky’ Davis did stink though.

This post ushers in the 4th annual installment of Fantasy Razzball  – the game where the goal is to manage the  worst fantasy baseball team possible.  We have gone from one ‘blogger’ league in 2008 to 16 leagues in 2010.  At this rate of 16x growth every 2 years, we will have over a million leagues by 2016.   So it’s best to get in now while the competition isn’t as heavy.

League Rules

  • 10 Team Leagues, MLB universe, uses Yahoo! position eligibility
  • Weekly Roster Changes (leaves you time to lavish on your Daily Leagues)
  • C / 1B / 2B / SS / 3B / CI / MI / 5 OF / 9 P / 5 bench
  • 1,250 innings cap.  No minimum IP.  No AB mins/maxes
  • We’ll be commissioner of all leagues and will designate one person per league to help arrange a draft date that works for everyone.
  • Leagues will be filled on a first come, first serve basis.  If you want to play in the same league with a couple friends, no problem.  Just submit the e-mail addresses at the same time.
  • Each league will have four ‘dummy’ teams that merely serve to draft the top players.  This helps minimize the damage for anyone who misses the draft and forgot to update their draft list.
  • 1 team per person.
  • Collusion between teams is grounds for disqualification from winning the grand prize.
  • Blogs/sports sites may have multiple participants but one team per writer.  These blogs will be noted in the standings and during periodic standings posts.  It is expected – but not required – for some quid pro quo mention of Razzball on your site.
  • Hitter Stats
    • AB = +2
    • H = -3
    • R = -4
    • HR = -6
    • RBI =  -4
    • K = +2
  • Pitcher Stats
    • IP =  -1
    • HR = +4
    • L = +8
    • K = -1
    • ER = +1.5
    • H+BB = +1

The point structure makes it so that about 2/3 of the league’s hitters as well as just about every pitcher has positive value.  So leaving a roster spot open or filled by a guy who plays once a week will hurt your team.

Grand Prize

An autographed baseball by Fantasy Razzball All-Star Neifi Perez, Grey Albright, and myself (Rudy Gamble).

How To Sign Up

Click here for our signup page.  Note any requested leaguemates in the 3rd column.

If you are a sports blogger, fill out this form to be part of our Fantasy Razzball blogger leagues.

  1. High Upside says:
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    Whos the projected #1 overall player? :O

  2. Howard says:
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    Hi Rudy, sounds great! Can you show an example of a winning team? It would be easy to draft guys who don’t play but that would be too easy! I would want a team full of schmohawks and brain freezes!

  3. Bas says:
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    @ High Upside: I just plugged the numbers into a spreadsheet and it seems like Michael Bourn should be the #1 overall player.

    Interestingly, even in Fantasy Razzball, Yuneski Betancourt is a below replacement level player.

  4. NewBVick says:
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    @High Upside: Austin Jackson makes a strong case for #1.

  5. theevilempire says:
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    Count me in!

  6. ichirosan says:
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    Signed up… I’m back to avenge my Justin Smoak blunder in the last week of the season

  7. 24hourjack says:
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    I’d like to get as much feedback as possible from everyone on a keeper decision….

    I am taking over a pretty good team from a guy who dropped out of the league.ten team H2H,16 categories including OBP and TB.

    anyway,one spot to fill,I need a 3B….two players I’m deciding between- Sandoval and Prado.Butler is my only 1B,and so I like Sandoval because he’s eligible at 1B as well,but Prado seems less risky.

    thnks.

  8. Eddy says:
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    Looks like I’m going to try this bad boy for the first time.

    For those that have experience, do you draft only SP? Half RP and SP? The majority RP?

  9. Yep, I said it.... says:
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    Just to confirm: you use ESPN to host the other leagues but Yahoo for this one, right?

  10. Frank Rizzo says:
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    Damn. I’ve wanted to take a shot at a Razzball League in the past, and I’d probably at the least commit vehicular homicide for a ball signed by the big 3, but this year is going to be tough. The family and I are going down to Tampa toward the end of March to take in as many ST games as we can in the area. I can justify staying in for my own league’s draft but can’t be in more than 1 this year. Too bad, I’m guessing Razzball Leagues are pretty hotly contested since everyone is using the same draft sheet.

  11. Matt L says:
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    The intro to this post made me think it was going to be a “bad players” version of the post discussing which players in 2010 wound up on winning teams most often, i.e. did drafting Morales kill teams, or were the real team-killers those players who underperformed but most managers couldn’t bear to replace (maybe Berkman?).

    I was wrong, but I thought I’d share in hopes my mistake becomes reality.

  12. Ian says:
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    An autographed baseball by Fantasy Razzball All-Star Neifi Perez, Grey Albright, and myself (Rudy Gamble) >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> a free hot tub!

  13. ichirosan says:
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    @Ian:

    I’m still not sure about that… however, get Gorilla Ponson to sign that baseball and there will be no doubt about it!!!

  14. @High Upside: As other posters mentioned, I have Bourn and Austin Jackson both in the prelim top four.

    @Howard: Here’s a link to one of the leagues last year – http://baseball.fantasysports.yahoo.com/league/razzball13.

    @Matt L: You can find all that out in this post + the linked spreadsheet: http://razzball.com/what-can-we-learn-from-2010-razzball-commenter-league-results/

    @Yep, I said it….: Yes. We spread the love around.

    @Ian: Haven’t heard back from last year’s hot tub sponsor. So for now it’s just the signed ball.

    @Frank Rizzo: It’s really easy to make a draft sheet. Just download a set of player projections (i’d recommend Marcel or ZiPs once it’s available) and add a column for Razzball Points. The formula is pretty simple. I then create some positional adjustments. The leagues are fairly competitive but it is weekly change vs. daily change so not as crazy competitive as RCL.

    @Eddy: Mostly SP. RP isn’t much help. Just have to be judicious on SPs per week so you don’t hit your IP cap too soon.

  15. majortommy says:
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    had a blast doing this league last year and am definitely looking forward to another go around this year

  16. tourinct says:
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    Top of my cheetsheet: Chone Figgins & Randy Wolfe

  17. Mr2Bits says:
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    Rudy : What round draft pick would you give up for Adrian Beltre? I can get him at a keeper value of 24 round which makes him very attractive next year if he does well. Would something in the 8-11th round be worth it with my current keepers as his owner is throwing him back? If I do get him, I’d also have to lose one of these 8 guys, which would you lose if you think I should go after him?

    Robinson Canó (NYY – 2B)- Round 2 Keeper
    Víctor Martínez (Bos – C,1B) – Round 6 Keeper
    Josh Hamilton (Tex – OF) – Round 8 keeper
    Kevin Youkilis (BOS – 1B,3B) – Round 16 Keeper
    Cory Hart (MIL – OF) – FA
    Chris Young (Ari – OF) – FA
    José Bautista (Tor – 3B,OF) – FA
    Neftali Feliz (Tex – RP) – FA

  18. Eddy says:
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    @Rudy Gamble:

    Thanks for the response, Rudy.

    I just created a roster in MS Word using stats from fangraphs and I have come up with the most putrid team ever assembled. I applaud the manager who bests me.

    I do wish, however, the Ryan Rowland-Smith would be playing in the majors this year. He’s a first round pick.

  19. PepeSilvia says:
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    How worried should I be about Chase Utley? Not a question of drafting him or not drafting him, I already have him as a keeper. Just wondering if I should go ahead and start crying myself to sleep at night.

  20. Sean says:
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    What is the rationale behind not penalizing stolen bases in razzball?

  21. @24hourjack: I prefer Prado. Better eligibility and more reliable than Panda.

    @PepeSilvia: Not sure on Utley but doesn’t sound good. Might want to invest in some bedside tissues just in case.

    @Mr2Bits: You’ve got Youk and Bautista. Let Beltre go.

    @Sean: SBs prove too difficult because you’d have to credit for Caught Stealings and penalize for SBs. The two tend to cancel each other out a lot of the time. Found it’s easier just to leave them out all together.

  22. Moonlight's Grahams says:
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    Is it sad that i’m more excited about this than my money league? This grand prize is also way better than last year’s stupid hot tub that wasn’t even a time machine.

  23. Luke Williams says:
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    Pretty sure you mean you’ll have a million leagues by 2018 not 2016.

  24. Matt says:
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    Is there going to be an announcement of any sort for the bloggers’ league? Is it safe to say that if you haven’t been notified by now, you’re not in?

  25. Evan says:
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    When are invites goin out fir the leagues?

  26. Jonathan says:
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    Are we allowed to invite co-managers for our teams?

  27. Willy D. says:
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    I am trying to recreate the scoring on ESPN and I wanted to clarify the scoring system used. For pitches, is it -1 for every total inning pitched, or -1 for every “out” (thus a full inning pitched would give -3 points)?

  28. @Willy D.:

    At Bats (AB) +2
    Runs (R) -4
    Hits (H) -3
    Home Runs (HR) -6
    Runs Batted In (RBI) -4
    Strikeouts (K) +2

    Innings Pitched (IP) -1
    Losses (L) +8
    Hits (H) +1
    Earned Runs (ER) +1.5
    Home Runs (HR) +4
    Walks (BB) +1
    Strikeouts (K) -1

  29. Willy D. says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: Wow, thank you for the quick reply. I tinkered with the scoring on ESPN and found I had to put 0.33 in the IP category to get the pitcher scoring to come out right.

  30. @Willy D.: hmm, 0.33 per out is fine. 0.33 per IP will screw up the balance between hitter and pitcher points…

  31. Winson says:
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    I just signed up for a league on the google spreadsheet. I never caught this post til I realized I didn’t join a Razzball league this year. Are there any drafts soon?

  32. @Winson: I’m making sure the existing 10 leagues are all full (people drop out) before opening up an 11th. Stay tuned!

  33. Evan says:
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    Rudy- Can you change the start time of Yahoo Razzball League 4 to 9:30pm EST? Everyone in the league is down. Also, I think we still need 4 more teams to sign up. Are they there just to take all the good players?

  34. Euroalien says:
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    Is it too late to get into a Razzball League?

  35. @Euroalien: Didn’t I invite you into a league at one point? Luckily, I may start one more league. Not sure how big the waiting list is though.

  36. Euroalien says:
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    Rudy – I don’t remember seeing an email….. I wonder if it might have gone to a different email address……. maybe one I don’t check very often. It’s my own fault if I miss out.

    Thanks

  37. HI ALL – I OPENED UP AN 11TH LEAGUE AND INVITED THE FIRST 20 OR SO ON THE WAITING LIST. FIRST COME FIRST SERVE. DRAFTING ON MONDAY

    @Euroalien: It was a Yahoo address. I switched it to a Hotmail address I have on file. Invites went out 10 minutes ago.

  38. Euroalien says:
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    Thanks Rudy – I’m in!

Comments are closed.