Welcome into the Razzball Lounge, fantasy freaks. Here in the lounge we celebrated Razzball scribes like to kick back, relax, sketch Grey’s mustache, debate Yasiel Puig and lament our fantasy baseball failures over a couple of scotch and sodas as we prepare for some football drafting here. What do you mean it’s too early for scotch? It’s 11 in the morning, Guru. Well, get me a Pop-Tart with it. On this lazy Sunday in the lounge we find Sky in a dark corner trying to decide where to rank Bilal Powell, “Isn’t baseball season over yet? How many games do they play, like a 100?” Dropping his quarters into the jukebox is our resident bear or bull, JayWrong, “You guys should really pick up Jhoulys Chacin. Mind if I play Elvis Costello again?” *bottle smashes above head* Bellying up to the bar is our Podcast host and resident Canadian arguing with the bartender, “Whaddya mean you don’t have Labatts? How am I gonna wash down this pickled egg, eh?” Meanwhile, in the ladies room we find the one and only Tehol mid fondle with a handsome honey he’ll soon discover has an Adam’s apple, “Uh, guys? GUUYYSS?!” And here at the pool table is your humble and almost as manly Guru preparing a list of ballers that are going to deliver you a fantasy baseball championship. *closes eye, takes aim, sinks eight ball in corner pocket, downs scotch* What are we doing here again? Oh yeah, it’s time to jam it or cram it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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Greetings and good cheer, my fellow Razzballians (which sounds like a portmanteau of ‘Razzball Aliens’ but I swear it’s not; the status of your US green card is not knowledge we currently own. Note the word ‘currently’.) and welcome to the end of days. See how if you say it nicely how well it goes over? ‘Huzzah my good and lovely wife of 15 years, I’m here to divorce you!’. Try it, it might work out to where you don’t have to give up 50% of your Furby collection. Hrm, maybe I shouldn’t hand out life advice and stick to fantasy baseball…anywho, our season is winding down and it gets harder and harder to find a good bat on waivers. Trust me I know. If I hadn’t seen some hope for Michael Morse this week, you might’ve been hearing about Bogusevic here. We’re scraping the bottom of the barrel full of monkeys at this point and if you’ve ever cleaned one of those barrels out, you know what the bottom is full of. You haven’t and you don’t, you say? You don’t get the implication, you dully respond? I’m talking about fecal matter here, people, of the primate variety or ‘monkey poo’ if you need it in layman’s terms. By the end of the year, you’re trying to justify any and all pickups since most ownable players are already on teams and the rosters haven’t expanded for some September rookie upside plays yet. So without further ado, let’s discuss the monkey poo that that is Morse for 2013 Fantasy baseball…oops, my boss over at Razzball Football is telling me something via my bluetooth (hint: I am my own boss over there…so yeah, I’m basically talking to myself in this made up scenario). It seems that some of you do play Fantasy Football and for those that do, you can join a Razzball Commenter Leagues for football just like you did for baseball. There’s all the same things you’d expect to find on the baseball side. Good league mates, a grand prize, an image of Grey lying naked on a Polar Bearskin rug with a meerschaum pipe. So hop over there, create/join a league, then hop back over here to finish the story of my great Re-Morse…

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Can I assume that you’re still competitive in your league if you’re reading this article at this point in the year? Or are you simply looking to find solace from a lost fantasy baseball season? Well, I can’t promise that this article will save your team or your spirits but, then again, I can’t promise that it won’t either. After all, Juan Francisco should give you plenty to smile about, and not just for Brewers fans after a rough season. Following his mediocre .685 OPS across limited playing time in Atlanta, he’s thrived with consistent playing time in Milwaukee, posting a .245/.325/.511 line. I’ve always been one big Juan fan and am confident that he will be much closer to his Milwaukee line going forward. He doesn’t have a fantastic OBP, but his slugging will definitely help you, especially if you’re hurting at third base. That he’s largely available means that he can help you in your playoff push. Anyway, here are some other guys who might be able to save your team:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s that time of year. With just a couple of weeks until rosters expand in September, it’s time for players in re-draft leagues to start considering prospect call-ups. Billy Hamilton is by far the best bet for a steals impact in the final month of the season. Entering the weekend, he had 70 stolen bases in just 110 games. Check out what Razzball’s prospect whisperer Scott Evans had to say about him recently: “Need to make a late push in steals before year’s end? Billy Hamilton will soon help in that regard, and he won’t need regular plate appearances to do so.” And Evans knows his shizz. Billy Hamilton is fast. He could enter games as a pinch runner on first base and be on third base before you swallow that sip of stadium suds. In addition to holding the MiLB steals record and posting sick times from base to base, Hamilton chugs through Mountain Dews like Dusty Baker chews through toothpicks. He’s one of the players I’m most excited about watching if he gets the call this September. The fly in the ointment continues to be the Reds’ reluctance to place him on the 40-man roster. As of Friday they were still undecided, and that’s important information to keep an eye on. To be honest, the Reds would be foolish not to use him as a weapon, but I’m not running any major league teams last time I checked. As we’ve done all year long, let’s look at who is out there and ready to contribute now in the steals category:

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So, how’s your season? *connects hose to tailpipe* That good, huh? Well, the end is near my depressed Razzballin’ droogs. Some of us are prepared for the sprint to the finish and others are drinking too much Colt 45, screaming “Ike Davis” at confused strangers and assembling Fantasy Football draft boards in their tighty whities and Ken Stabler throwbacks. Speaking of which, everyone say hello to Sky. He’s our Fantasy Football Czar and would like to meet your acquaintance here. If you’ve enjoyed our weekly jammer crammer sessions, once we wrap up this here baseball season in a pretty little bow, your humble Guru will continue jamming and cramming on Fantasy Football Island. So join a RCL League now. As for our fake baseball teams, how did you do? Taking a look at The Guru’s collection of teams, I’d have to say it’s been a satisfying season. Currently I’m staring at 10 firsts, 5 seconds and a third. 16 teams? Yes, I admit I do have a problem with moderation. Excuse me while I pour another scotch. Good morning. The areas that have been problematic for me this year have been steals and saves. SAGNOF! Injuries to Jason Motte and Joel Hanrahan certainly didn’t help and had me scrambling to the waiver wire early and often for the likes of Koji Uehara and Rex Brothers. When it comes to steals, the early injury to Jose Reyes and now the suspension of Everth Cabrera put me in the SAGNOF hole. Ouch! Stay away from my SAGNOF hole, it’s an exit not an entrance. As we enter the final three weeks of the regular season, here’s hoping your season has been a success and all the credit can be heaped upon your motley crew of Razzballin’ scribes. If you are out of it, damn the fantasy gods, troll Tehol on Twitter and let me pour you a tumbler of Islay. Enjoy and leave a comment below on the state of your season. It’s time to jam it or cram it – SAGNOF! Part II: Red, White and Screwed.

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And just like Lazarus, I’ve come back from the dead. Well not really from death. I was just on vacation but after being gone this long I’m sure you’re all saying ‘you’re dead to me’ upon reading this. I know, it was one of the worst times of the year to leave you. You’re pushing for the playoffs in head to head leagues or trying to wiggle up your standings at the final turn of the season. I left you cold, naked and afraid like that one time the boyfriend came in and you were bumping uglies with his girl and you had to hide in the stand up freezer. I understand no apology will erase this frost-bitten memory for you but hopefully my player of choice this week can put me back into your good graces. To be fair, JB and I and the rest of the Razzball Football crew have been pretty busy trying to get Commissioners for the 2013 Fantasy Football season in our Razzball Commenter Leagues so it’s not like we haven’t still been working hard for you, we just changed the shape of the ball. But with that, I come to you for this fine week 21 with a power crazed man with a sweet home ballpark. So let me give unto you Darin Ruf for week 21 of the 2013 Fantasy Baseball season…

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I’ll admit that I rarely write about pitchers, which may not come as a surprise if you knew my long and troubled past. Many years ago, I had a strong affinity for many pitchers on my favorite team (rhymes with Drew Stubbs). Unfortunately the coach – let’s call him either “D. Baker” or “Dusty B.” – was bent on crushing my hopes. But for you, my favorite readers, I will temporarily set aside my shattered dreams to review how 2013 “OPS against” views different pitching staffs. I’ll also include WHIP and BB/9 because I’m just that generous (don’t forget humble!). Anyway, here is the list of the worst pitching staffs:

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B.J. Upton is having one hell of a bad year and he recently hit bottom with an adductor injury that sidelined him through the All Star Break. There were some whispers during the first half of the season that the Braves were going to send him down to figure things out, but it never happened. The injury may have been a blessing in disguise, though. Maybe it gave him the time and the means to work on issues that he otherwise wouldn’t have gotten to if he had stayed healthy. His ownership dropped to around 40% at one point, but it’s recently surged back up due to a handful of multi -hit efforts since his return and 3 steals. For our purposes here, the steals are what I want to focus on. There’s good news and bad news here. The bad news is that the three stolen bases since his return came against the Phillies and Nationals, two of the worst teams in baseball at controlling the running game. So, before we get too excited and decide that BJ is going to rattle off 20 steals over the last 6 weeks of the season, just keep that in mind. Ready for the good news? He gets the Phillies and Nationals again this week! I wouldn’t be surprised to see him swipe a couple more with those match-ups. Here are some other speedsters I think might help your stolen base numbers this week:

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The 2013 Fantasy Baseball season is heading into its stretch run and the playoffs are right around the corner. My fair Razzballers, it seems like only yesterday we were complimenting Grey’s mustache and singing voice in exchange for roster autopsies, trade advice and grooming tips. We were all so young and naïve with big dreams for Ike Davis and Josh Rutledge back then. Now we are just bitter old men (and four ladies), wondering where it all went wrong and yelling at those kids to get off our lawn. If you’re still in the fantasy hunt *high five/chest bump/headbutt* it’s time to drop any dead weight still rotting on your roster. If you are out of it and still waiting for Josh Hamilton to carry your team, Sky would love to hear from you over on Fantasy Football Island. For the rest of us, we are either trying to hold onto first, grabbing some stats to gain on the leader or getting in position for the playoffs. There is no hope and loyalty left at this point in the season. It’s time to drop the duds and find the studs that may carry you to a fantasy championship. It’s time to jam it or cram it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Your regular Creeper columnist, Sky, is taking the week off as things start to heat up over on the football side of things here at Razzball. I know, I miss him too. Turn that frown upside down, though, because I’ve got a nice Creeper for you this week in Will Venable. When I went to write this post, I looked for four things: nice matchup(s), a player who is widely available, somebody who’s actually hitting right now, and a player who can contribute in multiple categories for your fantasy team. Venable fits the bill this week. He’s always been the poor man’s power/speed combo player, but he’s frustrating to own long term due to a crowded San Diego outfield cutting into his playing time and an inability to really hit for average. Even so, I think he’s a good bet this week for some power and speed. As an added bonus, he’s one of a handful of players that wasn’t accused of taking PED’s by Jack Clark…so there’s that.

Please, blog, may I have some more?