I was jazzed to draft Phil Hughes this year like I was from New Orleans and I was smoking doobs with Kermit Ruffins. Then Hughes hurt his back and someone played the sad trombone. That’s yay upside down, which looks like a fire between two teepees. Hughes is now out with a bulging disk in his back. Hey, Hughes, is that a banana in your spine or you happy to see me? I’m not a doctor (no kidding!), but none of this sounds good for Hughes. I’m lowering my projections on him and dropping him out of my favorable tier. It’s early, and there’s still a lot of time, but I’d be lying if I said I was still drafting him with confidence. I’ll draft some players that are mildly injured, but the injury needs to sound a lot better than “may not be ready for the start of the season.” Then there’s Matt Garza, who will be starting the year on the DL. This news comes just days after we freakin’ drafted him. I will now call him Matt Grrza. Whenever I say his name, I will say it like I’m a frustrated Lisa Simpson. Well, if you wanna ride the Garza Strip, be prepared for some bombshells. I’ve updated the top 40 and top 60 starters to reflect Hughes and Grrza’s inability to keep me happy. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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A baseball historian named Philbus Elbert once said, “The only thing better than baseball in the spring is baseball in the fall.” Philbus was also a diabetic, had a severe drinking problem and died of gonorrhea that he contracted from a horse. Baseball, like a flower, blooms in the spring. They also share equally effusive PR people. Just the other day I read about how a petunia’s branches had gained 15 pounds and were in the best shape of its life. Sure, it’s always good to look at spring training numbers to give you an idea what you can expect from guys during the season — can I draft Jedd Gyorko yet?! Players in spring training are facing the top pitchers who are all displaying their best stuff. No one needs time to get warmed up. No one’s trying new pitches or getting a feel for the ball. They are at the height of their game in March. In fact, I think someone should propose to Bud that the World Series could easily be played in March. Yes, The March Classic. I like how that sounds. Since these spring training numbers mean so much, I decided to look at some players’ stats so far:

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I was trying to insert that catchy Beastie Boys song in your head, so if it worked, hooray for you. Go ahead and try and pat yourself on the back with your baby T-Rex arms. So we come to this, it has been much ballyhooed and asked for frequently. I figured I would take some time away from inoculating babies in third world countries and devout my charity work to you all.

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There is a stupid premium on Jered Weaver. Stupid as in dumb. Not stupid as in, “Yo, Grey your feathered hair is stupid fresh! Farrah Fawcett is prolly jealous in heaven. Flap your wings, Greyseph Hawkins, you are my angel on earth. I love you.” In the top 20 starters for 2013 fantasy baseball, I went over some of this so if you’ve been there, read that, skip ahead until the sentence starting, “Your claim to fame…” Last year, Weaver’s K-rate bottomed out to its lowest since his rookie year with a 6.77 K/9. That ranks 58th for starters. He’s between Masterson, Kuroda, Ervin Santana, Paul Maholm. That’s eeny meeny miny no. To go further with one of the guys there, Kuroda’s K-rate was 6.84, his walk rate was 2.09 and his xFIP was 3.67. Weaver’s walk rate and xFIP were 2.15 and 4.18. Oh, and Kuroda’s fastball velocity sits around 92. Weaver’s is at 88. If you were just looking at those numbers with no names attached, you’d concur Kuroda is headed for a better season in 2013 than Weaver. You, sir, are a darn fine concurrer. Speaking of Weaver’s fastball, he had the 8th worst velocity in the majors. Your grandmother could throw faster. Granted, your grandmother was a receptionist at the Miami-based Biogenesis of America clinic, but still. For xFIP, Weaver was the 27th worst in the majors between Volquez, Arroyo, Buehrle and Nolasco. Those guys couldn’t get into the Who’s Who Among American Baseball Players with $39.95 and a B+ GPA. So why is Jered Weaver overrated for 2013 fantasy baseball?

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Why hello there. This article will look at the position battles in each division. Today’s topic, for the rare reader that ignores the title, is the NL East. By the way, I’m all in on non-Marlins pitchers in the NL East. Do any of those lineups look devastating? Not really. And you’ll probably get a win each time they face the Marlins. Anyway, here’s some of the position battles to keep an eye on in the NL East:

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The other day I went over my 2013 ESPN ranklings. There, I was all fire, brimstone and gangsta rap. Saying eff this, and eff that. I was pissed off like I was Tim Dog right after landing at LAX. I was spitting bullets, y’all needed to wear a vest. Now, I’m looking at Yahoo’s 2013 fantasy baseball rankings and Tim Dog didn’t get enough penicillin on wax and now he’s RIP. BTW, If you were a rapper in the 80’s or early 90’s or a professional wrestler, watch over your shoulder, son, the reaper is comin’ for you. “Multivitamins are better than any alcohol or aphrodisiac…” That’s Tone Loc working on a new song. More people use Yahoo than any other fantasy baseball game provider thing-a-ma-boobie, so more schmohawks are reading their rankings than any other rankings, yet I never take their rankings serious. Quick analogy that may or may not make sense: There’s years of looking up to your father, whether you agree all the time or not. Then, one day, he takes a poop on your couch. He should take him to the hospital; he’s in need of some sort of psychology examination. If the tests come back conclusive that he pooped the couch simply out of laziness, then that’s ESPN. Okay, now, Yahoo is your 8-year-old cousin pooping your couch. You’re annoyed, but you’re not sending the kid for psychology examinations. In other words, I always feel like ESPN should know better, but Yahoo, well, they have The Noise ranking Curtis Granderson 14th overall. Even Jose Canseco knows Granderson may have hit 60 homers in 30,000 BC due to a lack of gravity, but he still would need a ton of luck to hit .240. My apologies to Saltines, but Grandy at 14th overall is crackers (even before the injury).

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As suggested by you (yes, you!), I’m long overdue in covering a batch of “good” OPS values, as Better Than Ezra would say. To be Frank Francisco with you, I’m going to hit you with a chair, if by chair I mean knowledge. I’m not going to restate some players I’ve recently fawned over, like David Ortiz, Josh Willingham, Corey Hart, Ike Davis, Kevin Youkilis, Todd Frazier, and SAGNOFs. I’m also going to stay away from players in the first couple rounds (don’t hate the playa, hate their draft position!) because you don’t need me to tell you that Joey Votto and Giancarlo Stanton are awesome, do you? If so, then please seek medical assistance. Anyway, as I mentioned last week, some of the Razzball writers are participating in a mock draft and you can follow the chaos at #RazzballMock (though Sky conveniently posted a recap). Without further delay, here are some of the players I’m looking forward to drafting in OPS leagues after the first couple rounds:

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Writing these posts where I look at the differences between my 2013 fantasy baseball rankings and ESPN’s fantasy baseball rankings gives me severe agita, but I want to be calm. I don’t want an ulcer. So, for this post, I put on the Dixie Chicks’s cover of Landslide… Children get older, I’m getting older too… Unfortunately, I hunt and peck on my keyboard and it took me that entire song to type up the first sentence of this paragraph and iTunes shuffled to N.W.A. Right about now, N.W.A. court is in full effect.

“Judge Grey presiding in the case of Razzball vs. ESPN.”

“Prosecuting attorneys are MC Grey, Ice Grey and Eazy-mother*******-Grey!”

“Order, order, order… Ice Grey, take the mother******** stand. Do you swear the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help your stupid ass?”

“You goddamn right!”

“Well, won’t you tell everybody what the eff you gotta say?”

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This is a post for the fantasy baseball drafters who use Excel, Google Docs, or some other war room software that automatically totals a drafted team’s stats while in the middle of a draft. Or perhaps for those of you who do mock drafts or simulated drafts.

The below grid represents my projected 75% mark in each stat category across 10/12/14/15/16 team ESPN and Yahoo default roster format leagues.

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