As Sam Cooke said when looking at John Axford on my fantasy teams, “Change is gonna come.” Thanks, Sam. Sam also said the same thing after I gave a waiter twenty dollars on a $12 bill. Speaking of paper money, is it me or do people pull out a five dollar bill and also wonder to themselves, “Hey, when did they put Daniel Day Lewis on money?” The Brewers said we need to look at the closing situation with Axford. HAHAHAHAHA *breathe, Grey, breathe* HAHAHAHAHA *inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale* Oh, man, that it is rich. They need to look at it?! Really?! That’s like saying there’s a goiter the size of a cantaloupe growing out of your head and you might want to get it checked out. Hey, you got a goiter growing out of your bullpen, Brewers! Check on it! Obviously, you need to grab The Muppeteer, Jim Henderson. I’d hold Axford for now (on my bench), but he could be out of the mix for saves for a while if he can’t his shizz together when he enters games in the 7th and 8th inning. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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This morning’s rant is for all the owners who took it up the ace on Sunday. It’s one thing when your ace is pitching @TEX or @COL but home against Cleveland where David Price gave up 8 ER and 13 baserunners in 5 IP? Ouch. Home against an Ortiz-less Boston offense (RA Dickey – 4.2 IP, 7 ER, 12 baserunners – the first 5 runs coming before an out was recorded)? Damn. Home against the Kansas City Royals (Cole Hamels – 5.2 IP, 8 ER 13 baserunners)? Oof! Home against a Holliday-less Cardinal team at one of the pitching-friendliest parks in baseball (Matt Cain – 3.2IP, 9 ER, 9 baserunners)? C’mon, that’s just cruel! For those of you in H2H leagues, consider yourselves lucky. At least these starts are expunged from the record. As for Roto players who own these guys, not much you could do now except turn down the perfunctory ‘buy low’ trade offers. Price, Hamels and Cain all have great track records so you have to assume these games were anomalies. Dickey….who the hell knows? Knuckleballs are like snowflakes – I don’t really understand either of them. Why wouldn’t snow fall in balls or, at the very least, in a uniform shape? (Rhetorical – please don’t explain this phenomenon). On to the other events of the weekend….

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We have almost a week of baseball in the books and Yu Darvish‘s Marvishlous 14 K 1-hitter and Chris Davis‘ power surge have been early standouts. Don’t own either? That’s a shame. Feel like quitting? Not yet, Razzball Nation, I am here to help. You may remember me, Dan, or my alter ego Blairtch, from such fantasy Friday roundups as Mike Trout Saved My Season, But Jewel Saved My Soul and Harper: Better, Faster, Stronger, and my popular online fantasy advice guide, Quit Losing Already, You Loser! I will be recapping Friday nights in fantasy baseball, providing plenty of references to The Cure and fantasy advice so Grey can use his weekends to take care of business, i.e. drink all those daiquiris you’ve been buying him and continue travelling across America interviewing players and managers, scouting top prospects, and attending round table discussions featuring only the most prestigious faculty, alumni and council members at the Fantasy Baseball College of Charleston. So do not worry, I’ll be here throughout the season to cover Friday’s full slate of games for the loyal weekend warriors. There are lots of players to cover this week so let’s get right to it.

Here’s what happened Friday night in fantasy baseball [*Opening Week Edition*]:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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?

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?
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