It’s that time of year again when your humble-but-nonetheless-handsome Guru digs out his star-spangled turban, the seersucker suit, and attempts to pull the ol’ “hotdog” trick on the unsuspecting ladies at the annual Razzball cookout. Johnny Manziel’s got nothin’ on me! Welcome once again to the Razzball Lounge where your favorite fake baseball scribes gather to crunch the numbers, drink the grog, and avoid the Tehol – hey, the kid gets all handsy after a few! We raise our glasses this Memorial Day weekend to all those that served and we pour out a little to all those boys of summer that never made it home. Let’s lower the Razzball flag to half-mast in horror honor of the latest fantasy casualties: Prince Fielder broke his cervix (who knew?), Ryan Braun strained his oblique (‘roids help with healin’, cust kayin’), Nolan Arenado broke a finger sliding (here’s a finger for you Nolan) and Mike Moustakas burned the roof of his mouth on the Hot Pocket Mama Mous made for him. Fielder looks done for the year, Braun was done the minute his medicine cabinet contained nothing but baby aspirin and Ben-Gay, Arenado is down a digit and good ol’ Moosetacos will be spending the summer in Omaha – oh, no, he just fell into the thresher. RIP Moosetacos. Yes, we’re grieving our fake baseball teams in the lounge this long weekend. At the bar we find Sky crying in his Islay, “I’m an organ donor and Arenado can have one of my fingers.” Sky, NO!!!! *raises machete, cuts off pinky* Over at the jukebox is our resident jukebox hero Jay(Wrong) playing “Candle in the Wind” for the 23rd time. “This one’s for you my sweet Prince.” *bottle smashes above head* Sauntering out of the ladies room, zipping up his fly, arm around his latest conquest, is international man of mystery Tehol Beddict, “Why the long faces, gang? I’ve been in last place since April.” *gets punched in the face by J-Foh, breaks nose* Here at the pool table is your humble-but-nonetheless-dejected Guru. *closes eye, takes aim, fires cue ball through window* “All is lost, I’m going to start playing fantasy cricket.” And, with the Razzball crew at an all-time low, who should suddenly grace us all with his presence? The one and only Grey Albright, looking all Gatsby as he exits his convertible amidst a plume of sweet smelling vapor, a coug on each arm, mustache glistening in the summer sun. “Gentleman, don’t lose faith, it’s a long season, and even if we win, if we win, HAH! Even if we win! Even if we play so far above our heads that our noses bleed for a week to ten days; even if God in Heaven above comes down and points his hand at our side of the field; even if every man woman and child held hands together and prayed for us to win, it just wouldn’t matter because all the really good looking girls would still go out with the guys from Yahoo because they’ve got all the money! It just doesn’t matter if we win or we lose. IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER! Now, Guru, fire up your jammer crammer machine and someone get me a goddamn umbrella drink!”
Jam or Cram: Denard Span, OF, Washington Nationals.
2014 Stats: 25 R, 1 HR, 11 RBI, 6 SB, .267 AV.
Availability: 92% Yahoo, 93% ESPN.
FAAB $$$ Value: $1. I pay a buck a homer.
The Gist: Let’s start our jam or cram in the Nation’s Capital. Span was a sleeper pick heading into last season and promptly fell on his face. However, now that no one is looking, Span is quietly putting together a solid season – he has as many runs scored as Andrew McCutchen, Justin Upton and Yasiel Puig. Over the last week, Span has been going all hot schmotato with a 5-for-5 game, his first home run of the season, four runs scored, four RBI and a steal.
Key Stats: Span is 6-for-6 in stolen bases this season.
Jam it or Cram it: Is your outfield hurting? Did you lose Shane Victorino? Do you still own Norichika Aoki? Are you still reading this? How drunk are you? Span is a viable option in standard leagues as he hits leadoff, will give you some runs, some SAGNOF, but not much power. He’s worth a flier while you wait for whoever’s on your DL to come back. JAM.
Jam or Cram: Cody Asche, 3B, Philadelphia Phillies.
2014 Stats: 14 R, 4 HR, 18 RBI, 0 SB, .258 AV.
Availability: 96% Yahoo, 97% ESPN.
FAAB $$$ Value: $0. Will someone give me a dollar for drafting him?
The Gist: Asche was a Grey special heading into the draft and the mustachioed maestro looked like a genius when Asche had a monstrous opening day with four hits, four runs, three RBI and a homer. However, Asche went on to total just eight more hits heading into May with a .200 average. He has picked it up lately though going 19-for-60 (.317) with three dongs, 12 RBI and nearly as many walks as strikeouts.
Key Stats: Asche is hitting .325 with 11 RBI the last two weeks.
Jam it or Cram it: Asche missed his second straight game Saturday with a tender hamstring – someone throw that on the grill – and there’s rumors a circling that the Phils may move Asche to the outfield. Wha?! Am I the only one that thinks Ryne Sandberg makes Charlie Manuel look like a Mensa member? No offense to Senor ‘Stache, but I’m not trusting this Cody Asche Maru Scenario. CRAM.
Jam or Cram: Garrett Jones, 1B/OF, Miami Marlins.
2014 Stats: 26 R, 8 HR, 25 RBI, 0 SB, .286 AV.
Availability: 75% Yahoo, 66% ESPN.
FAAB $$$ Value: $2. I pay .25 cents a homer.
The Gist: Here’s a gooey factoid for ya: Counting Crows wrote “Mr. Jones” about Garrett after the first baseman helped Adam Duritz get Courtney Cox’s hand untangled from his dreadlocks. That’s also where she met David Arquette. Hollywood’s a funny place and fantasy baseball is a frustrating game. Over the last couple years, I think I’ve added and dropped Jones 321 times. Let’s make it 322. Jones has legit power, hits in a homer friendly ballpark and currently has more homers than Miguel Cabrera, Chris Davis and Mike Napoli.
Key Stats: Jones is 14 for his last 30 and hitting .324 for the month of May.
Jam it or Cram it: Jones has power and the two position eligibility is a bonus, but the strikeout rate is up this year to 24% and his average versus lefties is about .200 so he’s kind of a Platoony Tune. However, if you’re mourning the loss of your Prince put on “August and Everything After” and JAM Mr. Jones.
Jam or Cram: Conor Gillaspie, 1B/3B, Chicago White Sox.
2014 Stats: 14 R, 0 HR, 15 RBI, 0 SB, .325 AV.
Availability: 93% Yahoo, 97% ESPN.
FAAB $$$ Value: $0. You get nothing for zero homers.
The Gist: Has our collective fantasy seasons come to this? With Nolan Arenado down and out Dizzy Gillaspie may just be playing tunes on my team. I was also a Ryan Zimmerman owner. Double ouch. Gillaspie would be second in the AL in hitting if he had just a few more at-bats, he hit 14 homers in 130 games last year and I’m really trying to talk myself into this aren’t I? *insert fantasy cliché here*
Key Stats: Since coming off the DL, Gillaspie is hitting .421 with nine hits over his last 10 games.
Jam it or Cram it: Gillaspie has had a nice couple weeks as one of the cover boys of Hot Schmotato Weekly, but he’s a career .257 hitter with moderate power and no speed. There’s little chance he keeps up the .378 BABIP and the regression fairy will be visiting soon. CRAM.
Mitch Moreland, 1B, TEX: Moreland is taking over for Prince and manager Ron Washington even gave him a pretty princess crown. Maybe it’s working, Moreland has five hits and two RBI over his last five games. JAM.
Stephen Drew, SS, BOS: With all the questions the Red Sox have how is a Drew the answer? That was a rhetorical question. CRAM.
James Jones, OF, SEA: JJ is hitting leadoff, scoring runs and has a 12-game hitting streak. It’s a deep league JAM.
Josh Rutledge, INF, COL: We’re not doing this again. CRAM.