Ah, yes, fall is in the air. *cues up Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer”* As the calendar turns to September, the days get shorter, my seersucker suit returns to its rightful place in the closet, the kids are lovingly shipped off to military school, every tattooed hipster barista in town attempts to sell me something that tastes of pumpkin (I just want coffee flavored coffee dammit) and the fantasy baseball playoffs are set to begin. Our fake baseball season is nearing its completion, its finale, the culmination of 22 weeks of jams and crams that have hopefully led you to the edge of the fantasy glory hole. No more Ike Davis wisecracks, no more Ryan Braun shrunken gonad jokes and no more contact with Heidi Watney per court order. 500 feet, phfffft! So, my dear Razzballin’ gurus, if you’re reading, you’re leading and sprinting to the finish line of this marathon known as the fantasy baseball season. Quick question? Is there a fantasy marathon league? No? Damn, I was going to draft Gebregziabher Gebremariam. Oh well, it’s time to win this baseball thing. Somehow it all feels anticlimactic. Even if we win, if we win, HAH! Even if we win, it just wouldn’t matter because all the really good looking girls would still go out with the guys from Mohawk because they’ve got all the money! Sorry, in an effort to be inspiring I went all Meatballs there for a moment. It’s time to jam it or cram it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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This year was a big year for Christian Yelich. He got his driver’s permit, went to the Junior Prom with a senior (!), his parents got a divorce, went on an adventure with his friends where they discovered a dead body in the forest and stumbled on the killers, solved that murder and got his braces off. Even with all of that, there was one thing that stood out as the most important part of his summer — his call-up to the majors. He’s the Doogie Howser of major league baseball. At the age of sixteen, he shouldn’t be playing this well. He should need some time to adjust. His head should be preoccupied with new responsibilities. Like memorizing emergency phone numbers, writing his last name in all of his tighty-whiteys or getting Jimmy Lunkin to secure him a fake ID so he can sneak into R-rated films. Still, with all of this, he’s managed to hit for a solid average with three homers and six steals in forty games. On top of that, he’s got the hottest bat in the majors right now, hitting near .500 in the last week with three of those steals and one of those dingers. I’d grab him in every league. Hurry before homework from the new school year bogs him down. Anyway, here’s some players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As another baseball season winds down, we have a chance to reflect on our own journey in this wonderful game. Perhaps you, the reader, ponder of such things like — What did I do wrong? What did I do right? Why did I listen to Jaywrong? Or, better yet, why didn’t I listen to Jaywrong? Right? RIGHT! Regardless, we’re here to look back on the first year of the Bear or Bull series, and walk that same line of reflection and get an idea of how everything looks as the 2013 pieces fall into place. How did the process work, and did it do a good job? Are there ways to make the analysis better? Was I Jayright? Was I Jaywrong? More importantly, was I Jaysexy? Trick question, I’m always Jaysexy. Maybe we’ll learn something on the way. Or maybe we’ll just go over to the Football side of Razzball. My question is, why not both?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Heading into the stretch run you are either on the playoff bus or it turned you into roadkill three weeks ago. Somebody get a shovel, please. Imagine the playoff bus looking like the Partridge Family multi-colored ride, fantasy baseball is our family band and I’m your David Cassidy. I think I love you and we’re about to win you your fantasy league. If you lost Carlos Gonzalez or own a hurtin’ Miggy, let your humble Guru find you some late season power. Need some steals, some saves? Let the man in the shiny turban lead you to cheap SAGNOF. Still searching for solid starting pitching? Follow your Goo as we consult the oracle known as the SON. Just don’t interrupt his “private time” with my Roomba. The playoffs are coming, bragging rights are on the line and there’s room on the bus. Just don’t sit next to Danny Bonaduce and keep your filthy paws off Susan Dey. She’s mine! It’s time to jam it or cram it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I remember reading the Cliff Notes for Gustave Flaubert’s masterpiece and thinking, “From the moment Cliff Notes was invented, no one has actually read a classic novel. Therefore, ergo, henceforth, vis-a-vis, if I wrote a Cliff Notes book about a book that doesn’t exist, I could invent a classic novel. I will call it ‘Uncle Fritter’ and have it take place during the 1908 World’s Fair.” These are the thoughts of someone who will one day run a fantasy baseball blog. Matt Dominguez is owned in 26% of ESPN leagues, which is absurd. Absurd, I tell ya! He has 19 homers and a .240 average. Look at Pablo Sandoval’s stats, okay, now look at Dominguez’s — now look at Sandoval — now Dominguez — Sandoval — Dominguez — dizzy yet? Look at Gyorko’s ownership (86%) and his stats vs. Dominguez. Since we’re all about the here and now at the end of the season, it doesn’t really matter what Dominguez has done previously. It’s about what he has done most recently — he has 4 homers in the last ten games and is hitting over .300 in the last week. If you’re struggling for power, I’d absolutely grab him. Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Pirates are having a very fine season. There is no knocking on wood required here, no jinxers, no late-season collapse to ruin the party. They will, at the very least, clinch one of the two wild card spots, and as it stands right now, they have a 95.7% chance to do so. It’s been over 20 years since the last time they were there. As a baseball story, I think we can all appreciate the idea of a good Pirates baseball team. And as such, the journey of this baseball team has, in turn, illuminated several individual performances that have not just come as a surprise in the world of ‘real’ baseball, but that of fantasy as well. In an effort to choose which player to spotlight, and ultimately narrowing my focus to a few performances, I stumbled upon something very interesting. It wasn’t just the fact that both of the players in question had improved substantially from their career norms. And it wasn’t just the fact that both of these players were producing career years or near-career years. It was the fact that both of these players shared the same exact process for these improvements. That is to say, A.J. Burnett and Francisco Liriano changed in the exact same way, and in effect, share the exact same result. Because of this, we’re going to scrap the normal ‘single’ player spotlight and go over both of these guys. And since they’re Pirates, I get to have a little fun. ARRRRRGH you ready?

Booty, booty, booty. I couldn’t help myself. Okay, now I’m ready. Booty.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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?

Because we don’t like to leave anyone out here (yeah, right; I don’t think 80% of the words I use would be made up if I wasn’t trying to exclude anyone. I’m sure everyone that stumbles on the site is like, “Oh, yeah, he’s a SAGNOF hot schmotato that was pulling a Kotchman with The Concusstador.”), the title is referring to Phil Rizzuto commercials from the 80’s. I don’t like to point out where anything comes from, to be honest, but Rudy thought it was necessary for non-NY’ers. I do like pointing out how I don’t like pointing anything out, is that too meta for you? So, with that aside, um, aside, Scooter Gennett is calling a black man White and holy cow he’s hot (hitting near .375 in the last week and over .400 in August with 3 homers). You know what Scooter is doing? He’s playing hard in the dog days of the summer to prove he should have the starting job next year. From a fantasy perspective, I love that. If you can have a whole fantasy team of guys playing for a job, and playing well, you’ll be okay during this time of year. Gennett also has some speed in his gams and won’t hurt you on average. If you have a trouble area in the middle infield, I’d absolutely look at him. Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

For the most part, there is general theme that I try to cover in this series. Usually, I like to concentrate on the heavily owned guys, say, in the top-100. And within that 100-or-so range, I try to focus on ones that scare the shittake mushroom out of us. Or, players who show us something that is unexpected. A new skill or the deterioration of production are prodded, shaken (not stirred) until we find a suitable conclusion. This is what I do. And while Jhoulys Chacin definitely does not fit the former of what I cover, he does fit the latter quite well. And while he won’t get confused as a player in the top-100, there was a time and a place not too long ago when he was considered a guy with potential, and a pitcher, who, if everything came together, could be a lot more. Plus, you know, this is my series, I do what I want.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?