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And just like Lazarus, I’ve come back from the dead.  Well not really from death.  I was just on vacation but after being gone this long I’m sure you’re all saying ‘you’re dead to me’ upon reading this.  I know, it was one of the worst times of the year to leave you.  You’re pushing for the playoffs in head to head leagues or trying to wiggle up your standings at the final turn of the season.  I left you cold, naked and afraid like that one time the boyfriend came in and you were bumping uglies with his girl and you had to hide in the stand up freezer.  I understand no apology will erase this frost-bitten memory for you but hopefully my player of choice this week can put me back into your good graces.  To be fair, JB and I and the rest of the Razzball Football crew have been pretty busy trying to get Commissioners for the 2013 Fantasy Football season in our Razzball Commenter Leagues, so it’s not like we haven’t still been working hard for you, we just changed the shape of the ball.  But with that, I come to you for this fine week 21 with a power crazed man with a sweet home ballpark.  So let me give unto you Darin Ruf for week 21 of the 2013 Fantasy Baseball season…

Firstly and foremostly and let me be clearestly about this: you’re not picking up Ruf for help in your average department.  Though he’s hitting .274 to date and has a very good walk-rate throughout the minors and this year in the majors, his 28.8 K% rate and .353 BABIP screams regression in that department.  But of course, average isn’t the hardest thing to find during this time of year.  Nay, it’s power we seek and power we crave and with Ruf it is power we shall have.  Through 113 ABs this year, Ruf has 7 HRs and a .248 ISO.  Yes, yes, small sample size (obligatory ‘that’s what she said’) but this showing of power is nothing new as Darin hit 38 HRs in AA in 2012.  The kid has a power stroke that even Billy Squier and Mickey Avalon would die for.  The best part of playing Ruf this week is he’s proven to be a bit of a homeschooler so far this year, putting up a .306/.434/.613 slashline with 5 of his 7 bombs coming from those friendly Citizens Bank confines.  Now, this week does have it’s warts, admittedly.  Ruf so far hasn’t really turned it on against LHP this year in the small sample size/that’s what she said frame of mind as well, holding only a dreary 4 hits in 24 at-bats against them and faces 3 this week.  But guess what two of those 4 hits were?  Yup, long dongs.  And given that two of the three are good but not untouchable – Wade Miley and Jorge De La Rosa – there’s no reason to think he can’t keep his home production up and going.  The plus side?  The Rockies have the 8th worst team ERA in the majors and you can blame a lot of it on three of the four pitchers Ruf gets to face with Jeff Manship (7.20 ERA), Juan Nicasio (4.94 ERA), and Chad Bettis (5.06 ERA) slated to start.  Given Darin is only owned in 41.7% of leagues, there’s still time to get in and given he’s a starter from here on out for the out of contention Phils, he might just be a nice bat to pick up for the remainder of the year.  That’s just how Ruf Ryders roll.

  1. Den D says:
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    Ruf bats right-handed

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Den D: Thanks for the catch. Not sure how I missed that. Now I really wanna know why he sucks against LHP so far.

      • Den D says:
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        @Sky: Because he’s part of the contagious black hole known as the Phillies offense :)

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          @Den D: Ha! That must be it. Tell me there’s a cure, Doc!

  2. Den D says:
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    Well getting rid of Charlie isn’t gonna help the hitting…nor does extending over-paid guys who don’t care anymore (see Rollins, Jimmy)…maybe Chase can help him out in a hitting-coach capacity the next couple years, since he won’t be busy playing while on the DL. But Ruf should hit lots of homers in the meantime, and maybe some young (no, not Michael or Delmon), new faces will help energize him

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Den D: Yeah, it’s been a weird year in Philly for sure. This off-season made me turn my head to the side. Not usually the best idea to field a team where half of them get breakfast discounts at Denny’s. They should probably start moving parts this off-season either via trade or just flat out letting them go.

      • Den D says:
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        @Sky: Haha. Yea the Phils are in a tough place right now. I agree they’d have to cut a lot of dead weight to start being competitive again, but we’re also an organization that prides itself on loyalty and treating guys good/doing right by them, even if it comes at the cost of winning. When that all goes wrong, you get a year like this. As much as I want to win, it’d be hard letting go of the core guys like Utley, Howard, Hamels, Ruiz and even J Roll…and good guys like Lee and Halladay. As bad as the Phils are, these are the guys that the fans still go to watch (even as hard as they are to watch these days.)

        BTW, you guys do a great job with these articles. Very informative and entertaining at the same time…not always easy to do. This site has become my top read, especially when it comes to my dynasty leagues…keep up the good work

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          @Den D: Hey man, thanks! I’ll do my best to send around the compliments. Means a lot, really.

          I hear ya about the Phils. Mariners went through a similar – but much smaller version – of that issue with Ichiro. Should’ve sold him higher about 3 years before they did. We’ve been dead in the water since Bavasi sunk our ship. It’s been nice seeing some babysteps this year, though.

          • Den D says:
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            @Sky: With the arms you got coming up, in a few years, your rotation should look like Maddux’ Braves or the Hudson, Mulder, Zito A’s…you have a lot to look forward to. (I’ve been holding Walker on every dynasty team I have for almost 3 years now.) Hell, maybe you can have hope for disappointments like Ackley and Montero too…they might just blossom 3 years later than expected, like Dom Brown here. As for the Phils, I don’t think there’s any quick-fix here…and the contract extensions they’ve made have me scratching my head…they just need to get what they can for the veterans and restock the farm system. Lee is one of my all-time favorite players, but when I heard the rumor they were trying to send him to Boston for Bogaerts, I was ready to camp out at the airport to welcome him…lol

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              @Den D: Haha, that would’ve been sweet for you guys! Agree, there’s no quick fix but Ruf/Brown could be a good start on offense. Just need to redevelop that farm system. Could’ve done that at the trade deadline this year but they went silent.

              Yeah, I think the Mariners have figured out either you homegrow your power hitters or you trade for ones that are considered damaged goods (Morse/Morales) and hope for the best. Really, as much as I love our arms I also know how decent of a team we could be with a Vargas/Saunders type as our SP4 or 5. The ballpark allows for that. We need someone in the lineup that the other pitcher doesn’t want to see. Haven’t had that in years from a power perspective.

  3. Matt P says:
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    Ruf of Smoak ROS?? I had Smoak, then dropped him for Ruf, then dropped him for Smoak… I can’t decide!!

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Matt P: I prefer Ruf there.

  4. Just how bad is DMX’s crack addiction?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      I heard he went full on Bob Saget

  5. Rixo13 says:
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    Drop venable for ruf?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Rixo13: If you’re not needing Venable’s speed, I would.

  6. Jack Full O' Hate says:
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    Glad to have you back on the baseball side. Ruf has been gone in every league I’m in since two weeks ago. Gey do you have any hotel recommendations in the Eugene area?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Jack Full O’ Hate: Yeah, it was either Ruf or Ike whose 22% ownership probably hinges more on abandoned teams from May then anything; wasn’t sure which way to go.

      I’ve never actually stayed at one here. I’d have to ask around for any recommendations. There are plenty close or fairly close to the stadium. Walkable to and from even. Which game are you aiming for?

      • Jack Full O' Hate says:
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        @Sky: I think wazoo makes sense for availability and moneywise. I would like to stay near downtown.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          @Jack Full O’ Hate: You’ve been to Eugene before, right? What part of downtown is downtown to you? I’d think you’d wanna be closer to the campus area but I could be wrong.

          I’ll look into the WSU game as soon as possible. Have a funny feeling I’m coming into a shit storm at work after two weeks of vacation.

          • Jack Full O' Hate says:
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            @Sky: yes, but its’ been about 8 years. I want to be within reasonable distances to the campus and the drinking and food places. So whatever that is, I just don’t want to be in the boonies or at a place where the crackheads go to live

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              @Jack Full O’ Hate: Ah ok cool. Yeah, downtown’s a pit. I’ll ask around for the best hotel nearby. I live about 20 minutes from campus and there’s three or four hotels right along the strip. Just a question of pricing.

              • Jack Full O' Hate says:
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                @Sky: cool, it’s been a long time for me and I have no idea where the good spot to be if I want to be near stuff to do. you live a 20 minute drive from campus

                • Sky

                  Sky says:
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                  @Jack Full O’ Hate: Oops, by 20 minutes I meant via walk. I’m really close by. Probably best to get a hotel on Franklin Blvd. Allows me to stumble up the hill afterwards.

                  • Jack Full O' Hate says:
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                    @Sky: sounds good, but if you come back to my place there will be no spooning

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      You just go straight to the sex is what you mean

                  • Jack Full O' Hate says:
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                    @Sky: what about W. 6th and adams?

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      That’s pretty far away from Autzen. Plus parking is a bitch in Eugene.

                  • Jack Full O' Hate says:
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                    @Sky: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA……I liked to be shampooed first

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      Ha! I couldn’t let that one slide

                  • Jack Full O' Hate says:
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                    @Sky: Yeah that’s what I thought. I recall the bad parking,

                    what about Franklin and Villard? or 11th and Pearl?

                  • Jack Full O' Hate says:
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                    @Sky: but which one do i pick up, Franklin or Villar?

  7. Pete says:
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    Drop Konerko for Ruf ROS in a 12 team h2h points league? I have 11 moves left.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Pete: I would.

  8. y2k says:
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    Would you drop C. Crawford for Ruf ROS?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @y2k: I would

  9. Gob Bluth says:
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    Dude, Venable killed it this week. Good stuff. Grabbing Ruf to help my ailing outfield.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Gob Bluth: Nice work, Gob! Now go back to doing your magic tricks!

  10. Sean says:
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    I put the blame for the Phillies awful season squarely on the shoulders of Rueben Amaro who has made a string of bad personell decisions and signings and then instead of taking the blame himself he fires Charlie Manuel who had little to nothing to do with the Phillies failures

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Sean: I hear ya. In the end, most of the moves over the last 3 years were trying to play off their core group that got old and broken faster then he expected. They were kind of caught in no man’s land so it’s hard for me to fault Rueben too much on that front. If those three stay relatively healthy during that stretch, they have plenty of WS shots to make up for it. It’s always a gamble. Can at least understand trying with what you’ve got when it’s been so good so recently.

  11. Silky says:
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    Rank the following players out of Parra, Ruf, Gyorko or Jay for the short-term? I’m in a 10-team H2H points league. Thanks man

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Silky: Ruf/Gyorko/Parra/Jay

  12. Prezi says:
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    Who let the dogs out!? Ruf.. Ruf.. Ruf, Ruf!

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Prezi: That joke was ruf…ha!

      • Prezi says:
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        @Sky: you are so clever and beautiful!

        • Prezi says:
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          What the hell man i didnt type that! Jack, stop logging on my name!!

          • Sky

            Sky says:
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            Ha!

  13. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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    not defending these guys due to them being terrible, but manship and bettis haven’t been starting for COL long enough to take much blame in their season’s terrible pitching (which is actually a good deal better than last year). Last year didn’t have seasons like chacin or most of chatwood’s.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: Oh I agree but the reality is there’s a lot of guys outside of Chatwood who’ve pitched in those roles and put up some similar stats since the start of the year. You’re right it’s not all them but they’re picking up the baton for sure.

  14. Nathan says:
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    Are you planning on doing a post looking at how well you’ve done with these creeper picks? Best and worst calls on the year? Maybe put together an aggregate of the total stats your creeper picks have accumulated for the weeks in question and see how good of a player you get?

    I always think it’s interesting and informative when fantasy experts take a look in the rearview to see how good their advice actually was.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Nathan: I’m the fulltime editor/writer over on Razzball football. I’d love to but I honestly wouldn’t have the time to do it. Sorry about that.

  15. Jason says:
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    nomination for the creeper of next week: Gerardo Parra (faces 5 so-so righties at home)

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