Starling Marte was one of my favorite sleepers last year, Grey’s too.  He looked really good during his 2012 rookie trial, hitting six triples and five homers in under fifty games, while also stealing twelve bags.  The following year, Marte’s first full season, he basically tore it up.  He posted an 83/12/35/.280/41 slash.  Not too shabby.  He is looking to repeat that success, much like Weekend At Bernie’s II improved on the clearly flawed original.

I’m going to run an experiment on how I write these articles, and if it works out, I’ll continue doing it throughout the season.  I’m going to grade players in several areas, and give each area a score.  Scoring 50% of the points in a category is my baseline for repeating the previous year’s performance.  I will combine the scores at the end using a fancy algorithm (I call it, “addition”) to compute a final score.  This score will be standardized out of 100%.  Scores above 100% mean the player does better than the previous year, whereas scores below 100% mean the player regresses.  Please give me your feedback, so I can make your experience on Razzball Airlines as pleasurable as possible.  Shall we begin?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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I’m the new guy here at Razzball, but there’s no need to be stuffing me in lockers or treating me to a lunch time swirly in the men’s room — I’ve been around the block for a while.  Shoot, I was playing fantasy sports before this great thing called the interweb existed.  When I first started I had to fax in my lineups for weekly leagues!  I’m not old, I prefer the term “seasoned”. [Ed. Note — That seasoning comes with an AARP discount, no?] Don’t think of me as the Kathy Bates of the Razzball team, rather I prefer to be thought of as the Helen Mirren of the bunch — you know, “the hot older temptress that if you were slightly buzzed and on vacation you wouldn’t mind…” kinda type.  Nah’msayin???

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The greatest sporting event in the history of mankind takes place tonight (if all of mankind lived in a Louisiana trailer park and were named Mick Foley) – Wrestlemania! I’ll admit I come from the deep south of the far north where the pro rasslin’ rivals lobster wranglin’ and coffee brandy drinkin’ as favorite sports. I’ll also admit I haven’t watched wrestling since I was about 11 when Ivan Putski delivered the “Polish Hammer” upside the head of Superstar Billy Graham at the Lewiston Armory.  Fortunately, my Hulk Hogan costume still fits! You may be asking yourself, “Guru, you got that turban on too tight? What do headlocks, pile drivers and the ‘Camel Clutch’ have to do with fantasy baseball?” Well, my Razzballin’ Rick Rude lovers, they are both fake sports and I have 1500 words to fill. This week’s jam or cram has your handsome-but-nonetheless-figure-four-leglocking Guru comparing those old school wrestlers to fantasy ballers that could crown you king of the ring. We’re not talking Mike Trout here. We all know he’s the Iron Sheik of fantasy ball and he’ll make any team he faces humble. We are digging down into the lower levels of the waiver wire (owned 50% or less in most leagues, although it can vary league to league for reasons only Matthew Berry knows) searching for the players that will knock the competition stone cold – Gimme a hell yea! With us Razzballers just a week into the season, DL spots already filled, Closepocalypse 2 upon us and a number of studs delivering duds we have to make some early season roster shuffling. No, don’t panic yet and trade away Andrew McCutchen for Coco B. Crisp just because the dread pirate is being outperformed by a man and is parrot friend. We’re just looking for some outside interference à la Captain Lou Albano style to keep the fight going. With all that ‘splainin’ out of the way, it’s time for my signature move – it involves your eyes and my scotch. It’s time to jam it or cram it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

See Nate Eovaldi throw 99 MPH! Stop. In a part! Stop. Never before seen! Stop. As he takes on the role! Stop. Of Stanley Fastballski! Stop. He’s got a method fastball! Stop. Adapted from the book! Stop. You Shall Know My Eovelocity! Stop. If you want to park in the underground garage! Stop. No, seriously, stop! Stop. We don’t Eovalidate that garage! I loved what I saw the other day from Eovaldi. As Alicia Keys says, he throws fiiiiiiiiiiire! Fiiiiiiiiiire! Fiiiiiiiiiiire! He averaged over 96 MPH in his first start. That’s really good. That would’ve been the best fastball velocity for any starter for all of last year. Better than Matt Harvey. I don’t think he can maintain 96, but even if it falls to 94 on average, which it has been his entire career, he’s still in the top 1% of all starters. Only seven guys threw that fast last year. The list is a who’s who of guys you want on your team — Strasburg, Jose Fernandez, Samardzija, Homer Bailey, Cashner and the aforementioned Harvey. For his velocity alone, you should pick up Eovaldi in every league. Wins will be hard to come by, but a 3.50 ERA and a 7+ K-rate won’t be. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
I take a look at my life and realize there’s nothin’ left
Cause I’ve been toutin and praisin Domonic so long,
That even Grey and Jay(Wrong) think that my mind is gone
But I ain’t never praised a man that didn’t deserve it
“Sir” Dom or Beddict treated like a punk? you know that’s unheard of
You better watch how you manage and how you baller block.
Or you and your staff  gonna be given your papers to walk
I really hate to trip but I gotta loc
As Mayberry chokes, I see myself in the Payote smoke, fool
I’m the kinda writer/model the little homies wanna be like
On my knees sacrificing goats every night saying prayers to the Elder Gods in the streetlight
Been Speeeeending most my life, livin’ in the Models/strippers/writers Paradise!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

My last post was about a young ace, so I’m following it up with an article on an old vase, Jayson Werth.  Just under two months shy of his 35th birthday, the bearded wonder is entering his 13th season in the bigs.  I find it difficult to predict Werth, as his production doesn’t abide by the “normal rules” of aging.  The pre-2009 Werth was deplorable when compared to the post-2009 version, or Werth 2.0, as I lovingly call him.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As the seminal prog band Emerson, Lake and Laura Palmer once sang: “Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends, we’re so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside.” (The song went on for 45 minutes before ‘Yes’ came out and kicked their ass.) Opening day is here and the Razzball Lounge is open for bid’ness. Have a seat, grab a cold one and a pickled egg, and don’t get hypnotized by my bedazzled turban my fantasy freaks. Here in the lounge we dedicated, often celebrated, and usually acquitted (we have a great legal team) Razzballin’ scribes gather every opening day to bicker and banter, indulge and imbibe and moan and marvel at our fantasy teams and Grey’s magnificent ‘stache. On this last lazy Sunday (before things get serious) we find Sky in a dark corner slowing rocking back and forth muttering his mantra of “Tulo, Tanaka, Trumbo” over and over. Bellying up to the bar is podcasting paladin Nick Capozzi, clad only in his Expos throwback demanding another Labatts, showing off pics of his rolling Razzball ride and asking no one in particular, “Get your 32in32in32 tickets yet, eh?” Dropping quarters in the jukebox we find Jay Wrong demonstrating his “Paradise by the Dashboard Lights” interpretative dance – “Will you love me forever?”  *bottle smashes above head* Stumbling out of the ladies room is the one and only Tehol Beddict casually zipping up his skinny jeans and introducing his new lady friend, “Guys, I’d like to introduce you to my cousin. Ain’t she pretty?” And here at the pool table is your humble-but-nonetheless handsome Guru putting the finishing touches on my 27 rosters. *closes eye, takes aim, sinks eight ball off two rails, drops shot glass into pint, downs boilermaker, lights cigar, sets turban on fireWith the drinks starting to flow let’s run though the jams and crams at each position for Week 1 of the 2014 fantasy baseball season. We’re not talking Miggy, Trout or Goldy here, we’re looking at players owned in less than 50% of most leagues that could help grab you an early lead on your way to fantasy glory. Good luck this season, it’s time to jam it or cram it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Buy/Sell column is back after a long winter break and ready to do this thing better than ever! Let’s hear directly from it. Buy/Sell, “Why are you putting such pressure on me? Better than ever? How about ‘ready to do this hungover’ because it was in Panama City for the last week with James Franco, yelling, ‘Spring…Break…Spring…Break…’ is friggin exhausting! And haunting. I need a nap.” Kolten Wong was named the starting 2nd baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals of the National League Baseball Association, and nary a ‘cracker was lit. Upon his call-up last year, Wong was more wrong than right, but less riiiiiiiight than wrong if you’re sarcastic. He didn’t get enough playing time. David Freese kept playing more often than not and Matt Carpenter didn’t move over to third nearly enough. Even after Allen Craig was hurt, Fatt Adams filled in and Wong sat on the bench. Thankfully, the Cardinals finally moved on from Freese. The Freese has been thawed! What? No good? The Cards froze out that Freese! Still nothing? Now that Kolten Wong gets a full time job, he’ll immediately be mixed league relevant and around a top fifteen option with a chance for more. He’s a clone of Pedroia and not because they both need their tippy-toes to get the sugar from on top of the fridge. Wong can hit 15 homers and steal 20 bases with a solid average. Will he or Wongn’t he? No idea, but definitely worth owning in every mixed league. Anyway, here’s some more players to buy and sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Jay has so kindly asked me to take over this series for him.  He is passing on the metaphorical golden baton onto me.  I’m going to coat this puppy in silver, because gold is tacky.  To start things off, I decided talk about a guy who I think flies under the radar, Madison Bumgarner.  First off, how awesome is his name!?!  That’s reason enough to buy this guy.  Who names their boy Madison anymore?  Awesome parents, that’s who.  If you’re actually curious about baby Madisons, click here.  Don’t ask why I know about that website, all I know is that it’s super interesting…at least to me it is.  Back to our topic now.  On top of Madison, his last name is Bumgarner!  He is literally collecting booty, c’mon.  Oh look, a double entendre, I’ll clarify.  He is married, so I think he is all set on that booty front.  As for Pirate booty (Giants booty?), he is squared away too.  He signed a 5 year, $35 million contract after his second full season, at age 22!  YARGH, that’s a lot of booty!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

J7WzY4N

Most exciting thing to happen at spring training thus far.

Can the season start already? Spring training has all the excitement of watching The Bachelor finale through the holes in a cracker. Basically, your humble-but-nonetheless-superstitious Guru spends spring training lighting candles, arranging antlers True Detective-style and just praying guys I’ve already drafted don’t strain a bursa sac or meet the Yellow King mowing the outfield. With only a handful of RCL drafts completed – including the writers league – the fun is just getting started. Let’s fire up the jammer crammer machine ©, get to the hot corner and take a look at third baseman ranked outside ESPN’s top 100 players. The third base position is a whole lot of Pam Anderson kind of top heavy with the flat girls and their nice personalities stuck in the middle and the cross dressers in the back – sounds like the worst New Orleans strip club ever. If you miss out on the stacked guys like Miguel Cabrera, Evan Longoria or Adrian Beltre don’t panic, just make sure you’re stuffing dollar bills into the g-strings of David Wright, Ryan Zimmerman and or Josh Donaldson’s. Now if you pass on one of those guys too it might be time to take up morning drinking and fantasy NASCAR. Dale Earnhardt Jr. goes left really well – that’s it for my racing analysis. There’s only six third baseman in the top 100 and the guys that immediate follow test the gag reflex in a way that is not at all exciting – Aramis Ramirez *hiccup*, Pedro Alvarez *burp* and Brett Lawrie *gets bucket*. I’m passing on those guys and waiting a little longer like it’s almost last call in the Razzball Lounge – we’re holding out for something better. I’ll risk a late CI pick on a young skank like Todd Frazier that tries hard before I wake up next to the eager lady that looks like Mike Moustakas who rolls over in the morning to say, “Let’s play jam it or cram it.”

Please, blog, may I have some more?