He’ll make you feel good and bad and happy and sad. But mostly just sad. And mad. And glad…you don’t own him. I’m talking, of course, of Jose Valverde. Motown just can’t resist the temptations of signing Papa Grande. Smokey just went over all the fantasy baseball closers. There’s $12 Salads. There’s Donkeycorns. There’s Brain Freezes. There should be another category underneath the Brain Freezes for Valverde: Tossed Salad That Gives You Botulism. He seems like a great idea. Why do you need a side of rigatoni when you’re having lasagna for dinner? It makes sense to get the side salad. Go with the tossed salad. Unfortunately, the tossed salad was prepared in 2007 and is piled in the corner of the kitchen holding the employee’s bathroom door open because Brian lost the key. Once in a while Brian also forgets to stock the bathroom with toilet paper, so the iceberg lettuce doubles its duties, so to speak. That’s Valverde. There’s so many reasons to not pick him up, but let’s stick with the two most important ones: 1) He wasn’t good last year when he had the job. 2) Detroit even replaced him when games really mattered. 3) I said let’s stick with two reasons so why would you even mention 3? I wish I could sit here — and I am sitting, in a Barclay Lounger, a matter of fact — and tell you the signing of Valverde means the Detroit shituation has become crystal clear now. That, now, Valverde will close games. Yeah, he might get shoved into the closer role, but closing games is another issue. He was signed to a minor league contract. He’ll now take anywhere from two to four weeks to get ready, then the Tigers will either call him up or release him. I’d put his chances to get saves within a month at 35%. There’s still Benoit, Coke, Dotel and Al Al’etc who could take the job and run with it in the mean’s while. After seeing Dotel enter the game in the 6th yesterday, there’s no telling what will happen. Someone get close to Leyland’s cigarette pack and check to see if there’s a warning that reads, “Caution: May Cause Smoker To Use The Wrong Man In The 9th Inning.” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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It’s a bittersweet yum-yum fest with Matt Harvey*. *Line borrowed from a teenaged Asian girl’s diary. I told you to draft him on every team as a 6th starter. Unfortunately, he was drafted as a number three in most leagues. Fortunately if you still drafted him, he’s the boss of the world. Ask him next time you want to go to the bathroom. He will permission you. He’s a benevolent boss. A benevolent boss that says it’s okay when you forget to wear pants to work. Or a benevolent boss that doesn’t scold you when you stare at the clock for the last four hours on a Friday. It was like he was channeling the Spirit of Doc Gooden, but the Spirit had a more responsible sponsor than Keith Hernandez and wasn’t being offered goofballs off some hooker’s chest that Strawberry just brought into the clubhouse. Ralph Kiner, God Bless his soul if he passes sometime in the next 24 hours, napped through the entire Mets game and still knows how good Harvey was. That’s how good he was! And yesterday’s line of 7 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 10 Ks could just be the beginning. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So nice to see Yu. Saludos, my Darvish. Come on, let’s mingle. You know, my dear, my father used to say to me, Grey, don’t be a schnook. It’s not how Yu feel. It’s how Yu look. And you, Darvish, you look absolutely marvishlous. Cole Hamels — bleh. R.A. Dickey — eh. Yu Darvish — absolutely marvishlous! When a beautiful girl passes or when you see something you know you may never see again, what do you say? I say, oohbeekadoobie like I’m Billy Crystal impersonating Sammy Davis Jr. Nothing else can express the start Darvish had last night. Oohbeekadoobie, baby, oohbeekadoobie. That’s all I have. Sure, it’s a nonsensical word that’s origin of meaning is bupkis, but when one comes face-to-face with wonder, one is left with nothing but oohbeekadoobie. Just like Darvish pulled up just short of a perfect game, I’ll pull up short of saying he’s a number one/top ten starter off of one start in April vs. the Astros. The Astros, mind you, who are put together as a team the same way you used to put together pick up games. If you have a glove and bat, you can play for them. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Mike Trout who?! AL Rookie of the Year last year and runner-up for the MVP. He also had one of the best rookie years ever. I know, Random Italicized voice. I was being facetious to show my excitement for Bryce Harper. Like Bryce Harper is so good I’ve forgotten all about Mike Trout. He’s the Angels center fielder. He’s got a girlfriend, but I bet I could weasel my way in with my slanted words. Forget it, Random Italicized voice. Like you forgot Mike Trout? I hate you! Rudy’s mentioned this before, but there’s very few hitters that have top 20 overall potential. You have to be able to hit 45+ homers (Stanton, Bautista) without killing you in any category or be consistently excellent across four categories (Pujols, Fielder, Votto, Cano) or have the potential for your homers and steals to total 50 (Trout, Braun, McCutchen, CarGo, Jones, Kemp, Upton). It’s slightly early to put Harper in that last group. But the potential is there, as he showed yesterday when Harper touched ’em all once, he touched ’em all Bryce. If you own him, I wouldn’t let him go at any price. Anyway, here’s what I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Before you read this, I want you to go outside and look at the birds chirping. Smell the freshly-cut grass. Look up at the sun that your deity of choice made from a very large matchstick. Pat your kid on the head and tell them, “I don’t love you any more today than I did yesterday, but let’s act like I do because I won’t see you for a good six months because baseball’s back.” One more time with caps lock bringing the enthusiasm, BASEBALL IS BACK. As frequent commenter, Eric W. said, “I keep getting excited for opening night Sunday, then have to remind myself it is the Astros vs the Rangers. It’s kinda like getting to open one present on Xmas Eve and getting socks.” Yay — baseball! It’s the Astros vs. the Rangers. Okay, lowercase yay. But it’s a rivalry that dates back to Sam Houston! Don’t remember that? You should’ve rented a car at Alamo last night. Am I mixing up commercials? Eh, who cares? I’m excited! Texas is the largest state in the 48 contiguous states, it’s just too bad baseball is its third most popular sport behind football and “shootin’ empty Shiner cans.” Whatever. Baseball is back and even Selig’s badly-shorn toupee can’t change that. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

And the Tigerettes sang, “He was talked up as closer, but now he’s sent down… Da Bruce Rondon gone, Da Bruce Rondon… Somebody told me he made Leyland frown… Da Bruce Rondon gone, da Bruce Rondon… Yeah, he sucked in spring… Yes, his stats would sting… But now my team’s saves are boned… Da Bruce Rondon gone, Da Bruce Rondon…” As Randy Jackson would say, we got ourselves a pitchy competition, dawg! *sips from Pepsi cup, looks at Mariah for approval, fixes silver chain, sucks in gut under sweater that he’s wearing with no undershirt which makes it look really itchy, laughs at some Nicki Minaj nonsense, says to Seacrest, “I don’t know, we’ll have to see what America thinks” and smiles* So, Bruce Rondon was sent down and now the Tigers closer job is Hollywood Week. Auditions are down to Al Al’etc, Santa K, New Mexiclosero, Al Al, Coke Is It, Coke Is So 80’s Octavio Dotel Is It, Alquin Cokel, Octaquin BenCokel and Philquin Alburcoke. And that’s only four guys! Hang tight, guys and four girl readers, it’s a closerousel. Lots of possible outcomes here. All four guys could do well in a committee and Leyland utilizes it the whole year. Two guys do well and we get a portmanteau closer, let’s call it a SAGNOFtaur. Three guys could do well, let’s call that, The Three StoogeNOF. Another possibility: as we know from the past with Leyland’s ‘Set it and Forget It’ lineup card management, he likes to stick with one thing. So one guy takes the job by mid-April and holds it for the majority of the year. This is the best possibility for all involved. I think that’s also what happens. Leyland’s got cigarettes to smoke, he doesn’t have time to be walking to the mound to change pitchers! So who from Octavio Dotel, Al Alburquerque, Joaquin Benoit and Phil Coke does he go with? As the prude brothel’s sign announces, therein lies the rub. Al Al’etc is a monster for Ks, he’s my first option because he could provide solid value while the job is being decided. Then, I like Dotel. He reduced his walks last year and kept his Ks. He also has some closer experience. Next up: Joaquin Benoit. He was very successful last year in middle relief, but he can’t go on back-to-back days or stay healthy. Finally, Phil Coke. I wouldn’t grab him outside of AL-Only leagues. Big strike against him: he’s a lefty. In his favor: he closed games in the playoffs last year. It’s a shituation of epicloser proportions. Oh, and I wouldn’t grab more than one guy. I’d take a gamble on one guy, form a prayer rectangular and hope it works out. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Yankees are the movie Family Plot with hot, upcoming stars Bruce Dern, William Devane, and Karen Black. Alfred Hitchcock is the master suspense and this is his greatest movie about a man obsessed with a blonde since ever! The Yankees are Tupac’s last posthumously released album featuring Papoose, Lil’ Scrappy and Big Syke. Hear what Tupac never wanted you to hear in a way he never meant for you to hear it ever! The Yankees are the leftover stuffing from your 2010 Thanksgiving that you ate then pooped into a Tupperware container and decided to see what it would be like in two years in your freezer. They are so done that done called and said, “Nuh-uh, don’t be comparing me to them or we’re done.” Add Derek Jeter to the list of the Yankees MASH unit that are wearing fatigues. It’s now being reported Jeter could miss a big part of April. He won’t appear in a minor league game until next week and Cashman said Jeter needs to play in back-to-back games for nine innings before being activated. Jeter can’t even play in a few innings per week, let alone back-to-back nine-inning games. I think the next guy to come down with an ailment is Cashman, as he tries to move to another team that is on the precipice of greatness. “Arte, I like what you did with Trout, Pujols and Hamilton, have you thought about spending $350 million on Miggy?” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in spring training for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Rick Porcello won the 5th starter spot in Detroit over Smyly. Or Frownly, as the case may now be. Yawn. This is most unexciting news ever. This is like reading a Yelp review for The Cheesecake Factory. They have big portions. Yay. Who even writes Yelp reviews for The Cheesecake Factory? I want some of your free time, Cheesecake Factory reviewer. I don’t like Porcello and wouldn’t draft him in any leagues. He has a 5-ish K/9, which is atrocious. Which II, The Return of Which Mountain, leads Porcello to need good luck on balls hit into play. Though, no matter what I say, Porcello is invariably asked about in the comments for whether or not to pick him up, so y’all ain’t reading this anyway, and, since you’re not reading, I was the one who made heaving noises from the movie theater balcony and dropped cream of corn soup on your head. (Spoiler Alert for Game of Thrones: Was I the only one who was reminded of Chunk from The Goonies when Tyrion was confessing to the weird breastfeeding lady? Any the hoo!) Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in spring training for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

And the Prospect Gods looked down at the Cardinals pitching staff and proclaimed, “And so it Shelby…” But the Gods decided to keep Oscar Taveras for themselves — at least for a little while. Bunch of Federalist-loving pigs. So, the Cardinals make up for starting Jon Jay over Oscar Taveras by giving prospect, Shelby Miller, the 5th starter role over non-descript-in-every-way, Joe Kelly. When I say, boo, you say ya. Boo…ya! Boo…ya! Cherimo…ya! Ah, fooled you. In November, I wrote a Shelby Miller 2013 fantasy. There I said, “The final answer on (whether he makes the rotation) will probably be decided on the last few days of Spring Training. In 2012, he was called up towards the end of the season and gave a 10.54 K-rate and a 1.32 ERA in 13 2/3 innings. If you look up that stat line in the thesaurus, its synonym is “lights out.” Due to a butterfly flapping its wings in Indonesia, Miller also had a 10.54 K-rate in Triple-A through 136 2/3 IP. His ERA wasn’t as purdy, but he “re-committed” himself in the 2nd half of 2012 and had a 2.88 ERA in his last ten starts with a 70/7 K/BB. Weird, cause I had an aunt who was “re-committed” and things didn’t turn out half as well. He can be a number one pitcher. When I say that about a 22-year-old, we’re talking about someone having the possibility at a top ten pitcher in all of baseball. Knowing the way Cardinals turn out young men… Um, I mean, knowing the way the St. Louis Cardinals can turn prospects into solid major league pitchers (the Vatican asked me to specify), I wouldn’t be surprised to see Shelby Miller being a productive member of the Cards rotation in 2013. For 2013, I see 10-4/3.63/1.27/155 in 150 innings and 21 starts. That’s a huge projection for a rookie pitcher. And there’s a chance for more.” And that’s me quoting me! I’m in love. He should be owned in all leagues. Yes, even your eight-person league where you own all eight teams. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in Spring Training for 2013 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If you’re like me, once you finish your fantasy draft, you have a photographer take a picture of you with your team. You pull up your team page on your laptop, and the both of you sit next to a flower bed. The setting is similar to your mother’s yearbook picture. The cameraman even uses the filter that blurs out everything around you. As you wait for the makeup person to dab cover-up on your nose pimple, you reach into the flower bed and pull out a hydrangea. Then you speak directly to the SAGNOF Gods and recite his prayer, “He loves me, he loves me Motte, he loves me, he loves me Motte, he loves….” And the last petal ends on “He loves me Motte.” And you weep. Motte has an elbow strain and you’re stuck with his litigious brother-in-law, Mitchell Boggs. The Cardinals are currently saying all the right things, “Motte will be fine,” “Mitchell will temporarily fill-in,” “We had no idea McGwire was on steroids.” An elbow strain sounds like a thing that’s going to take Motte from his 40-save potential to an eight-save season with a 5.00+ ERA, which will be interrupted by surgery. Grab Boggs in every league, he could easily be a top five closer for this year. If you own Motte, you obviously DL him and hope for the best. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in Spring Training for 2013 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?