Maybe you’re with me, maybe you’re against me on this one, but the MLB All-Star game is an idea that should be buried alongside B.J. Upton, New Coke, Bic Disposable Underwear, and the XFL. He hate me because I hate the All-Star game. Home field in the World Series, whether it comes down to the Tigers and Cardinals or the Red Sox and the Braves, should not be determined by a matchup between Steve Delabar and Marco Scutaro. Also, it’s fans like this voting guys in, so the teams are not really the “best of the best” to begin with. Yet they are allowed to affect actual teams in real games? Only Bob Costas loves to hear, “Ladies and gentlemen, warming up in the American League bullpen, Brett Cecil!” I look forward to the day when my son tugs on my shirtsleeve and says, “Daddy, tell me the story again how Jason Castro popped up to second in the All-Star game.” And I will turn to him and say, “I have a son? Did your mother work at Applebee’s in 2008?” It’s time we just bury Bud Selig and his “it counts” t-shirt alongside Chris Berman and his Hair in a Can. The All-Star game doesn’t count, it sucks. Bud and Boomer, the people don’t care. Television ratings for the game have been down every year and last year’s game had the worst ever with a 6.8 rating. Know what pulls in those kind of numbers? Sharknado. There must be a way to work that into the Razzball glossary. Erasmo Ramirez sharknado’d my ERA this week!” Not sure, but that phrase may have already jumped the… *now back to our regularly scheduled rant* The first televised All-Star game in 1967 pulled in a 25.6 rating. Keep in mind that in 1967 there was one nationally televised baseball game a week, smoking was good for you and a kid’s favorite toy was Hasbro’s Stick with a Nail in it. Times, they are changin’. Sing it Zimmy.

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Over the past few months we have jammed and crammed our way through players that have added some pop (Adam Lind, Raul Ibanez), some saves (Koji Uehara, Jose Veras) and some steals (Juan Pierre, Peter Bourjos) to our fake baseball rosters. Let’s forget my mention of Jackie Bradley Jr in week one okay? Thanks. But I have not always been a Razzballin’ Guru. In a former life I spent my working hours spinning the radio hits. Think Backstreet Boys and other boy band classics. *BBLLAARRGGHH!!* Just threw up in my mouth a little. The music may have sucked, but the payola was great! i.e. See The Guru’s swimming pool/pool table courtesy of Tower Records. However, most of my time on the dial revolved around rock radio. Think AC/DC, Metallica, Guns ‘n Roses and some occasional Motorhead. The problem was my share of program directors never appreciated my love for Pabst Blue Ribbon drinking, live sheep in the studio, the lesbian dating game or UFO guitar solos. All things I was fired for doing. To paraphrase Hunter S. Thompson, “radio is a shallow money trench where good men die like dogs.” But I’d still argue morning drinking builds character and one of the greatest guitar solos of all-time has to be the plank spanking in UFO’s “Rock Bottom” (check it out around the 3:30 mark). I’m sure Eddie Trunk would agree. This week let’s look at some jammer/crammers stuck to the underside of your waiver wire Chuck Taylor’s. They are the barely owned cast-offs, the red-headed step children, the “Lobster Boy-Alive” fantasy freaks of our baseball world. They will fit perfectly on my team. *cracks another Pabst* We have officially hit rock bottom. Time to jam it or cram it.

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Jump in the Guru’s Hot Tub Time Machine and join me as we take a short spin through the space-time continuum back to the year 2000. *wavy lines wavy lines* Hey, what the hell’s going on? What’s that big balloon thingy? Ooohhhh, its 1937, my bad. Everyone back in the hot tub. Oh, the humanity. *more wavy lines* I want to welcome you all to the year 2000. They promised us Jetson cars and replicant strippers, but all we got was Creed and Battlefield Earth. No wonder crystal meth became so popular. Another popular pharmaceutical was anabolic steroids. And baseball was up to its shrunken testicles in it. At the end of the 2000 season, 46 MLB players had belted 30 or more home runs. 15 players hit 40 or more. And Sammy Sosa hit 50. Lo siento Sammy, pero tienen pechos! Now everyone back in the El Camino hot tub before we hear “Smooth” again. Wait! Year 2000 JayWrong, bet a bundle on the Yankees in 5. Your future self will thank me. *yet more wavy lines* Probably would have been easier to just search all this online, but I was afraid Y2K might mess up all this important data. Taking a look at last year’s numbers only 26 players hit 30 or more home runs and only six hit 40 or more. Miguel Cabrera led the league with 44. Sammy Sosa hit 0. But he did win 205 pesos at a Dominican cock fight. ¡Viva! In 2013, according to ZiPS projections for the rest of the year, only 20 players will hit 30 or more home runs. Two players, Cabrera and Chris Davis, may reach 40. Commissioner Bud has officially pulled the plug on all the long ball fun. We got an official power shortage y’all. So, with homers in short supply, let’s head to the waiver wire and take a look at some potential power hitters. Either that or we can take the hot tub again and kidnap George Foster. Time to jam it or cram it.

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We are halfway through the fantasy season and it’s another week, another closepocalypse. Didn’t Smokey predict this back in March?! Andrew Bailey’s job was outsourced, Jose Valverde was sent packing, Heath Bell is absolutely stuffed and the Mariners closer by committee is as uncertain as a child’s bottom. That’s a straight up Ulysses quote my literate homies. SAGNOF! While in the real baseball world it has become quite obvious that saves are overrated, in our fake baseball world closers are one of those necessary evils. Kind of like root canals and prostate exams. Fortunately, I get both taken care of at the same place. One-stop shopping. Thanks ObamaCare! While closers can be a pain in the fanny perpendicular, I’m not one to punt a category. Even one as frustrating as the save. Who invented this dastardly stat? Apparently the dean of baseball beat writer’s, Jerome Holtzman is to blame. He invented the save in 1959. There wasn’t much to do in the late 50’s except “like Ike” and cower in the bomb shelter with a tin of beans and a deck of nudie cards. According to Razzball historian Paulie Allnuts, the very next year the term “Sagnoff” was first uttered by one Winston Greystone Albright II after drafting Moe Drabowsky with his first pick in the inaugural drunken fantasy draft at The White Horse Tavern in New York’s West Village. An ‘ol fashioned donnybrook soon ensued, but not a mustache was harmed according to reports. Thanks Paulie. This week let’s run down some candidates for saves that just could mean the difference between fantasy glory and fantasy defeat. Time to jam it or cram it. Dr. Pfister, I’m ready for my… Do you really need to wear the dive watch?

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I recently came across the book (remember those) Sixty Feet, Six Inches by Bob Gibson and Reggie Jackson at a yard sale and found my 75 cents well spent. I also picked up Judas Priest’s British Steel on vinyl for a buck. Breakin’ the law, breakin the law. It was a great day all around, but I don’t know what I’m going to do with this. Anywho, back to the book. In the rectangular thing that has words written on paper, the two Hall of Famers discuss a number of topics including gaining an edge. Here’s Reggie and Gibby discussing it on what may or may not have been an appearance on Between Two Ferns. Baseball players are all about getting an edge. Some ways are subtle: peeking back at the catcher, stealing signs, watching for tipped pitches. Some, not so subtle: an arm slathered in Coppertone, a bat full of superballs, some ground up deer antler injected directly into the brain stem. A way to gain an edge in our world of fake baseball (time to toot the Razzball horn) is using the Hitter-Tron, the Stream-o-Nator, and paying attention to lefty/righty splits with Platoony Tunes. Now someone buy Rudy a drink! I spend more time with these tools than I do with my own. Sorry ball-peen hammer. Sorry Dremel. Sorry oscillating bandsaw, but last time I used you it didn’t go so well.

This week let’s look at some jammer crammer platoony types. Streaming the overlooked bat that crushes lefties or righties is a cheap source of power. Personally, I like to have an open roster spot or two and rotate hot hitters depending on matchups. If you’re in a “set it and forget it” weekly league or have a short bench, you probably don’t have the room to carry a guy just to face lefties once or twice a week. However, if your roster’s big enough and managed wisely, going a bit Platoony Tunes is an easy way to pad the stats and gain an edge. Time to jam it or cram it.

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Satchel Paige said, “Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it don’t matter.” Old Satch pitched until he was 90 I think. No? Someone ask Peter Gammons. “He pitched until he was 59.” *answers call with shoe, falls asleep in soup* Thanks, Pete. Last week a man who may or may not be 111 years old visited the Yankees on the field. Joe Girardi was tempted to start him at shortstop before Derek Jeter talked him out it. Jeter then crashed his Rascal down the dugout steps. He’s out another month. Old people are funny. Satch may be dead, but there’s plenty of other old wrinkled ballers still working their magic in the fantasy game. Mariano Rivera anyone? Looking pretty spry for 43. Did he follow Wilford Brimley into the Cocoon pool or something? He won’t get any older and he won’t ever die.

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It was either Kenny Rogers or Pete Rose that said, “Luck comes and goes. Knowledge stays forever.” Or maybe it was from the movie House of Games. I could see Joe Mantegna growling that. Either way, luck is fleeting but good when paired with a smart bet. Rolling the dice on rookies in fantasy baseball is a gamble some are not willing to take. If you’re one of the squeamish then you have already missed out on the likes of Shelby Miller, Jedd Gyorko, Evan Gattis, Jurickson Profar and Michael Wacha. While it’s true not all rookies turn into a Harper or a Trout, the smart Razzballer likes to gamble. That’s why a lot of us live under a bridge. We may not be so good at craps but at least we win our fantasy league. And that’s something to brag about when you’re passing around the bottle of Thunderbird. “To all my friends. Did I tell you guys about the time I drafted Ryan Braun in 2007?” *crickets*

Grabbing a rookie is all about the upside. Sure I could hold onto Mike Moustakas. But with him I know what I’m getting. I’m getting Mike Moustakas. Why not get all Monty Hall and swap him for the rookie behind door #2? He could turn out to be the next Evan Longoria or he could be the next Evan Dando. Coo, coo, kachoo. Time to roll out some rookies. With some Razzball knowledge and a little luck you just might win your league. Time to jam it or cram it.

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If you were one of the Razzball disciples that had dreams of a 20/20 type season from Josh Rutledge please take your head out of the oven. Rutledge may have been sent packing, but things aren’t that bad. It’s not like you’ve been eating snow cones at Minute Maid Park. Besides you own an electric range. Worse thing you’ll do is singe your eyebrows and look like this. Hey, I was a Rutledge believer too. But I hedged my bet and put one of my kidneys on ice for him just in case something went terribly wrong. Damn, the cat’s eaten it. Gareth, bad kitty! At least I have a spare and that has Jedd Gyorko’s name all over it. I really need a middle infielder! If you were a Rutledge owner as well, we are in the same boat. And it’s about to hit an iceberg. Now stay still while I sketch you. The middle infield waiver options are stocked with guys named either Alexi or Alexei. Oh, there’s an Adeiny too. *sticks head in oven*

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Almost two months into the 2013 Major League Baseball season and things have suddenly turned into Bizarro World from the Superman comics. Those not familiar with the term please note what the scholarly website Uncyclopedia says, “Bizarro World is a situation or setting which is weirdly inverted or opposite of expectations.” In Bizarro World, Bizarro Coke tastes like Pepsi, Bizzaro USA is Canada and Bizarro Tom Cruise is a heterosexual, black orthodox Jew.  Please, blog, may I have some more?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Mark Twain wrote there are three types of lies; there’s lies, damned lies and baseball stats. That’s from Huckleberry Finn, Page 84…I think. I’m not entirely sure as I went to an “alternative high school” in Maine which was a flannel-clad cross between Glee and Lord of the Flies. Now everybody sing “Don’t you Forget About Me” while I impale this pig’s head on a spear. Happy Mother’s Day!

*Now back to our regularly scheduled blog*

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