Well, there’s one schmohawk post I don’t have to write, right? Stutterer! Yu Darvish left a game the other day with a tight triceps. That’s what the she-dinosaur said! Huh? Then, this past weekend, it was announced he’s a candidate for Tommy John surgery. Stop sullying the word candidate with your surgery, Tommy John! I wonder if the whole -san suffix for names like Daniel-san gets confusing with Tommy John. Thomson John? Tommy Johnson? Thomson Johnson? It’s no secret that I didn’t like Darvish coming into this year. For my foray into pannin’ Asian, too much risk was attached to his arm for where people were drafting him. His NFBC ADP was 43 prior to this news, so you had to start thinking about him in the 3rd round. No thanks, Yu, I said. Of course, when I told you in my top 40 starters post to avoid him, I was beat up in the comments for losing my way. Yu was the greatest pitcher since sliced bread that had a portrait of Hello Kitty on it! Don’t Yu know, Grey?! Yu can strike out so many something-somethings that you should want to bear his children, then one day shout at him in divorce court, “These are all Yus!” I had Yu in a tier named, “Not touching them with a nine-foot pole that has twelve one-inch straws taped to its end.” One person in the comments on the top 40 starters said, “Phil Hughes ranked above Darvish, I’ve seen everything now.” Then there was someone else arguing for Darvish’s dignity like they fought with Darvish in The Great War. I don’t want to say I told you so, but I’m saying I told you so by saying I don’t want to say I told you so. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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I swear to you, they’re gonna drive me nuts. All of them. Mookie and Rusney and Victorino and Hanley and everyone in that dugout that gets a preseason talk from Schilling about all the good PR you can get from ketchup on a sock. I’m gonna go stand on a street corner with a cardboard sign that reads, “Will work for clarity on the Red Sox outfield situation.” Hey, H&R Block, can I write off clarity on my taxes? The Red Sox said early this week that Mookie Betts and Rusney Castillo will split time in center to see who will win the job. I originally placed Betts at a 10 to 1 long shot to win the job, pun intended and noted. Then Castillo strained his oblique. Oblique with no clarity is just perfect. As I mentioned in our first podcast of the year, the Red Sox are gonna be a mess for fantasy value vs. playing time. There’s so many scenarios that could happen — Hanley can’t play outfield, goes to short and Bogaerts goes to the bench; Rusney and Betts platoon; Betts looks great and Rusney gets benched; Rusney looks great and Betts goes to the minors; Rusney and Betts both look just okay and Nava plays well; Victorino gets hurt and Rusney and Betts both play; Allen Craig looks good and Betts and Rusney are benched. Okay, the last one has no chance, but you get the idea. Rusney’s health should be fine by Opening Day, but the oblique injury obviously puts him behind Mookie now. I’ve lowered Rusney into my top 60 outfielders and changed his projections. I’m sure this will change again by tomorrow. Brucely, I think the only one guaranteed playing time in the outfield is Hanley (assuming he can handle it, and doesn’t Hanley it), unless there’s injuries, which there likely will be. It’s a shituation of Old Testament, swarm of locust proportions. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m not a total ass. Partial? Sure! I have no problem with that. With that said (here comes the ass part!), I have no sympathy for Josh Hamilton. Everywhere you look you hear about how heartbreaking, sad, *searches Thesaurus.com for sympathetic word* it is that happened to Hamilton. Light a candle for the literal manifestation of the prayers that you send out to him. Put on If You’re Gone by Matchbox Twenty and picture Rob Thomas singing directly to Josh. Go to your local package store and protest until they close on Sundays. Do what you want, but you know what’s heartbreaking to me? The fact that spring training starts and the baseball news that people are discussing is Hamilton running down the wrong foul lines. Also, I feel like most of the sad emoticons that go out for him are generated because he believes in God, family and is white, especially the last one. If he were non-white, there would be no sympathy from anyone. A Josh Hamiltonguez would be released by his club and the public’s silence would be deafening. Arizona would even consider building a fence to keep him out. A Josh Hamiltonjackson would be vilified and there would be a criminal case opened with only the Reverend Al Sharpton standing by his side. Torii Hunter would need to say something, because no one else is. My advice for Hamilton is get some help, but stay away from Dr. Drew, because one out of three celebrities never make it out of Celeb Rehab. Maybe at some point Hamilton can get past the crack and back to the crack of the bat, but I don’t have much hope for him this year and have adjusted my top 100 outfielders. Anyway, here’s what else is going in spring training for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The CIA’s plan to work out of a Petco concession stand because the stadium is so quiet is looking far less like a good plan to stay covert. “Did you just ask for two mustard packets with your hot pretzel because you have some information for us or because you simply want an extra mustard packet? If it’s the latter, one per customer.” Probably the worst call for a covert operation’s headquarters since the CIA opened an office in Vegas in the 1940’s. “It’s just a desert, no one’s coming here.” So, the Padres traded for Justin Upton because they are obviously intent on deflating outfielder stats everywhere. At least this outfielder has two hips that don’t resemble Abe Vigoda’s. (Still alive as of this writing, but may not be by the time you read this.) Maybe the Padres can trade Kemp for Pujols to create the Up-My-Pujols lineup. I came down hard on Matt Kemp in the non-sexual way when he went to San Diego, but that had as much to do with him being the first new bat they acquired (no one around him in the lineup yet), his health and his flakiness. As with the Myers trade, I’m less inclined to write off Upton simply due to Petco. Upton’s a guy in his prime that has hit everywhere when healthy. I don’t like to put too much weight on a player’s stats in their new stadium when they were still playing as a visiting player, but Upton has 10 HRs and a .291 average in 172 ABs in Petco in his career. That’s a HR every 17.2 ABs, which is better than his career rate (1 HR every 23 at-bats). Petco played like its usual “Are you sure the fences are out there? I can’t see them” self last year, but in 2013 it wasn’t as bad after they moved in the fences prior to that season, so I think last year’s putrid offense was more the Padres hitters streaming into a confluence of crap. (By the by, Confluence of Crap was my worst selling album, despite Rick Reuben producing it. I should’ve paid the extra money for the non-imposter, Rick Rubin.) Even in Petco, Upton feels like a 25-27 homer guy, which is what he was before. His steals are leaving his game quicker than a rhinoceros with plantar fasciitis, and he’s not a huge average guy, but writing him off due to Petco feels a bit too easy. He’ll be hitting in the middle of a lineup that is at least as good as the Braves last year and in a nearly neutral ballpark. For 2015, I’ll give him 81/27/95/.266/8. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2015 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s beginning to feel like it’s not an offseason without a trade of Wil Myers. In three short years, he’s gone from the Royals to the Rays and now on to the Padres. Only place he can go from the Padres is the Tokyo Yakult Swallows. They would hope Myers could carry them against their most hated rivals, the Yakuza Spits. The Miller Lite-inspired commercials between the Spits and Swallows in Japan are a real crack up. Tastes great!…Spit it out!…Tastes great!…Spit it out! Before Myers is pushing daisies in the NPB, he’ll bide his time in San Diego and try to right this rapidly sinking prospect boat. “Ice-cold sophomore year right ahead!” In all for realliness, I was planning on jumping back in the Myers sinking ship prior to this trade, and I don’t think it kills his value. Would I prefer he went to Coors? Yeah, well, dur. I also don’t think a 24-year-old former top prospect is washed up just because he had one bad year after fracturing his wrist. Takes time to bounce back from that type of injury and one thing we have is time. Well, you with the oxygen mask and cigarette might have less time. In a few years, we’re going to look back at Myers’s 2014 as it should be viewed now, a blip. I’m about as sure of that as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti. Or as sure of it that I’m listening to too much Toto’s Africa. Sure, Petco won’t do him any favors, but if his wrist is at hundred percent there shouldn’t be any problems getting at least 20 homers. Shoot, he could hit 10 homers in just his road games in Coors and Arizona. For 2015, I’ll give him 61/20/72/.277/8. Definitely sleeper material here. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2015 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In Los Angeles, Matt Kemp played for one of the most popular sports franchises in the world in the 2nd largest city in the country. In San Diego, the Padre fans pride themselves not on wins and losses, but how well the Chablis goes with the brie while they watch the game from the picnic area. In Los Angeles, Matt Kemp went to all the hottest nightclubs. In San Diego, he’ll be frequenting places that look like the bar where Jodie Foster was in The Accused. In Los Angeles, Matt Kemp hung out with the hottest celebrities. In San Diego, “Hey, is that Natalie from The Facts of Life?” In Los Angeles, Matt Kemp dated Rihanna. In San Diego, Kemp’s dating Natalie. It’s only a mere two and half hour drive, but the culture shock is going to hit Kemp as soon as he arrives because he’s going to have to surrender his Lamborghini, there’s a town ordinance that everyone must drive a Jeep with no doors that they put plastic bags over when it rains once a year. On the backside of the site, I’m currently churning through rankings that will be coming in January. I nearly ranked Kemp higher than I want to admit to now. I was believing the 150 games played, 25 HR, 8 SB, .287 season he had last year. Whether I believe it or not, going to San Diego is going to hurt his value. From hitting in the middle of an All-Star lineup to hitting in the middle of Yellowstone. Kemp said on his first day in Petco, “It took some time to get my bearings. In other parks, you can set yourself in the batter’s box by using the outfield fences as a guide. Here, you have to assume the outfield fences are out there somewhere.” Kemp has money coming to him either way, so if he became a 20 HR, 5 SB, .270 guy for a few years, it wouldn’t surprise me. For 2015, I’ll give him the projections of 72/22/81/.276/8. Oh, and, yes, I’m cautiously optimistic this means Joc Pederson will now be the starting center fielder in LA. For more, I already went over my Joc Pederson fantasy. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2015 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Hey, Intern, let’s get the Mayans on hold just in case we need them in a hurry. What? Who the hell is Ralph Mayan of the Mayan Empire and Grille in Norwalk? Your blank stare tells me nothing. Go buff out my El Dorado while I write this post!” So, I’ve seen The Theory of Everything, the story of Stephen Hawking and his wife. It touches briefly on his theorems and the universe’s push and pull. Imagine the universe breathes in and out. The in is gravity and the out is energy generated by particles. However, the Cubs would breathe in, but when they exhaled it sounded like a wheeze. For over a hundred years, people thought it was dying. That constant wheeze of death. Then, Theo Epstein came along, kicked the Cubs in the ass and realized it wasn’t a wheeze but there was something stuck in its throat. The Cubs won’t breathe easy until they win a championship again, but the signing of Jon Lester should help. Last year, Lester had a 9 K/9 and a 2 BB/9. I just touched on this with the signing of Samardzija the other day, but a difference of 7 between K/9 and BB/9 is about the most beautifulest thing in the world, Keith Murray. For K-BB, Lester was 11th in the majors last year. Top ten is a who’s who that’s more glamorous than your Who’s Who of American High School Students Who Paid $75 To Be In That Who’s Who Book. I’ll give you a little hint: if you were to just draft based on K-BB, you’d win your league. Why is K-BB so important? It’s so basically basic basically basic it’s silly. If you strikeout hitters and don’t walk them, good things will happen. For 2015, I’ll give Lester the projections of 15-9/2.92/1.08/206, which is number one fantasy SP numbers. Yup, he’s going to be solid once again. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2015 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

*knock, knock* “You almost done in there?” Sorry, I’m just not sure how long this Billy Beane dump is going to last in Oakland. It started last year with Yoenis, then Josh Donaldson and now Brandon Moss. So far this offseason, replacing Donaldson and Moss is Ike Davis, Billy Butler and Brett Lawrie. Beane’s addicted to seeking out bargains. What a Beane counter! He’s like the lady at Ross Dress For Less that is asking the in-store tailor to hem eight tube socks into a sweater. “Ma’am, I can’t alter socks.” Has anyone tried this with a free alterations pledge by a department store? Will someone please? “Free alterations, huh? Okay, alter this $5 white undershirt into a tuxedo. Thank you.” Unlike the Donaldson move, I like this move by the Thrifty One. Moss is returning from hip surgery that obviously was bothering him so badly last year it ripped apart his ability to bat for the better part of the 2nd half (post-ASB 179 ABs 25/4/15/.173 vs. 21 HRs and .268 in the 1st half). After the surgery on October 23rd, it was reported he wouldn’t be able to run for three months. That still puts him in line to be ready for spring training, but one setback and he’s spitting sunflower seeds in the trainer’s room until May. “You think you could spit those in the trash?” That’s the Indians fastidious trainer. The possibility of Moss reverting to his 1st half self is there, but I see little chance of me owning a 31-year-old who is coming off such serious surgery. For 2015 projections, I’ll give him 69/23/84/.238/1. I will say that if he looks good in April, then my fears will be assuaged, assuming I’m using the word assuage correctly, which I doubt. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2015 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You know the guy that was going to draft Nelson Cruz in your league because he just had a career year? The guy that drafted Chris Davis last year, Buster Posey the year before and Mitzi Gaynor in his 50’s pinup league back in 1953? That guy is the Mariners. (In fairness to that doode, Mitzi had a hell of a follow-up in ’54. Va Va Va Va Va Va — How many Va’s is that — Voom!) Nelson Cruz stayed healthy one other year, besides last year. He hit the most home runs of his career last year. He had the most RBIs, runs, strikeouts and will be 35 years old in 2015. So, of course, the Mariners give him a huge deal. Baseball team management is a peculiar thing. (By the by, I can’t say the word ‘peculiar.’ It sounds like I’m trying to pronounce the word for film in Spanish.) What seems obvious to the everyday person must not be obvious to baseball management. It would be fun to test this out in other areas of life. “Okay, baseball management, I’m going to bring you to the corner of the street. When the light turns green, cross the street.” Insert Batman-style sound effect. Only they’re doing it with nearly $60 million dollars. Well, ours isn’t to wonder why, ours is to figure out the fantasy value when a player changes environs. (Environs? Coolest word to write. Least cool word to say aloud.) Up until Cruz actually passed 27 homers last year, I had him pegged for 27 homers, because, well, that’s how many home runs he always hits, give or take a handful. Last year, he had big hands — that’s what she said! Huh? — but that was contingent on one big number that he had never reached before: 678. As in how many ABs he had last year. If a player has a pattern of getting injured and has a healthy year at 34 years old, I don’t buy that his health concerns are a thing of history. Call me a fool! (Not to my face.) In the past two years, his steals have dropped to the five-steal range, so he is essentially power. He has hideous numbers in Safeco for his career, but I don’t buy into that mattering because when he was in Safeco prior he was facing Mariners pitching and he was playing in an away game (sleeping in a hotel, chasing tail amongst visitor hoochie, etc.). Safeco isn’t going to do him any favors, but he can homer anywhere if healthy. That’s the stick in my craw. For 2015, I’ll give him 475 ABs and the projections of 71/26/85/.262/5. Decent, but almost surely overrated for this year, and don’t call me Shirley. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2015 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The A’s traded Josh Donaldson for Brett Lawrie, Kendall Graveman, Sean Nolin and Franklin Barreto. I had this cheap friend who would go to the supermarket and buy things that were on sale. Not because he wanted them, but because he was cheap and it was a good deal. So, he’d come home with groceries of only things that were on sale and for dinner he’d end up having a box of couscous and a Tofutti Fudge Treat. I’d say to him, “Do you even like this stuff you’re buying?” He’d say, “No, but I do like the price.” This is what happened to Billy Beane. He doesn’t like Lawrie, but four players for one? What a deal! There’s one other explanation. Everyone is constantly telling Beane he’s brilliant. He’s so gee-dee brilliant (and handsome!), they cast Brad Pitt to play him. His detractors are nil. So, he thinks he can do no wrong and then does a trade like Friday’s, where no one can check him. If anyone else did this trade besides Beane, people would be saying he got Cosby’d. Since it’s Beane, I’ve heard people say the trade is a bit ‘underwhelming.’ Underwhelming?! The A’s traded away their best hitter, that is only 28 years old, for the Blue Jays worst hitter. If someone did this trade in your fantasy league, you’d quit your league, come into the comments here and say, “I’m done with stupid people.” The A’s five and six-hole hitters now? Ike Davis and Brett Lawrie. Well, lucky they still have Andy Parrino. Andy Parrino will be played by Joe Jonas in the Moneyball sequel. “Coach, it’s Christmas, why are you at my house? Okay, I’ll play for your A’s, but first let me sing a charity concert in Denver.” From a fantasy prospective, nothing really ever was gonna hurt Donaldson, besides maybe a move to Petco, and nothing really was going to help Lawrie, besides Coors. The Blue Jays lineup looks stacked now, but to that I say the Rangers looked stacked going into last year too. Edwin and Bautista aren’t the models of good health, Donaldson, though, has been. The last two years he’s played 158 games, and has hit 24 homers and .301, then 29 homers and .255, while chipping in 5 and 8 steals, respectively. He’s in the prime of his career, as previously mentioned, about to be in a better lineup and in a much better park for home runs, if not offense, in general. Game, set, tennis term! I don’t see him hitting for a great average again, like in 2013, but 27 homers and great counting stats without killing you in average seems not only doable, but likely. For 2015, I’ll give him the projections of 79/27/93/.259/7. The only question in my mind is where he’s batting. My guess is fifth (Reyes, Martin, Bautista, Edwin, Donaldson), assuming everyone is healthy. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2015 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?