Ah, yes, fall is in the air. *cues up Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer”* As the calendar turns to September, the days get shorter, my seersucker suit returns to its rightful place in the closet, the kids are lovingly shipped off to military school, every tattooed hipster barista in town attempts to sell me something that tastes of pumpkin (I just want coffee flavored coffee dammit) and the fantasy baseball playoffs are set to begin. Our fake baseball season is nearing its completion, its finale, the culmination of 22 weeks of jams and crams that have hopefully led you to the edge of the fantasy glory hole. No more Ike Davis wisecracks, no more Ryan Braun shrunken gonad jokes and no more contact with Heidi Watney per court order. 500 feet, phfffft! So, my dear Razzballin’ gurus, if you’re reading, you’re leading and sprinting to the finish line of this marathon known as the fantasy baseball season. Quick question? Is there a fantasy marathon league? No? Damn, I was going to draft Gebregziabher Gebremariam. Oh well, it’s time to win this baseball thing. Somehow it all feels anticlimactic. Even if we win, if we win, HAH! Even if we win, it just wouldn’t matter because all the really good looking girls would still go out with the guys from Mohawk because they’ve got all the money! Sorry, in an effort to be inspiring I went all Meatballs there for a moment. It’s time to jam it or cram it.
Jam or Cram: Chris Colabello, 1B/OF, Minnesota Twins
Availability: 99% Yahoo, 100% ESPN
Last Week: 4 R, 3 HR, 8 RBI, .348 AV
The Gist: With Justin Morneau raising the Jolly Roger in Pittsburgh, the 29-year-old Cola “kid” gets a chance to prove himself in the Twin Cities. Colabello went from playing games in Quebec and for Italy in the WBC to hitting two homers, including a grand slam, in Houston on Tuesday. I’d rather be in Quebec.
Key Stat: Colabello has hit .312 with 43 homers in 219 minor league games over the past two seasons.
X-File: Colabello spent the first eight seasons of his professional career in the independent Can-Am League. That’s a long time to spend in Worcester, or as they say, Woostah.
Jam it or Cram it: I like these underdog stories in a Sweet Polly Purebred kind of way. Like it or not, Colabello is playing for his baseball future and desperation may lead to a fantasy championship. Here he comes to save the day. JAM
Jam or Cram: Brandon Barnes, OF, Houston Astros
Availability: 99% Yahoo, 99% ESPN
Last Week: 2 R, 1 HR, 8 RBI, .409 AV
The Gist: If one more Astro pops up in our jam or cram I’m going to…hello, Brandon. The 27-year-old rookie has 7 homers and 10 stolen bases this season. Barnes could help your playoff team with his power and speed down the stretch.
Key Stat: Barnes has hit as many as 27 homers and stolen as many as 22 bases in a season in the minors.
X-File: Barnes has 107 K’s in 119 games.
Jam it or Cram it: After hitting .375 in April, it’s been mostly downhill for Barnes. His average has dropped to .244. While Barnes’ speed/power combination is intriguing, I’m not touching another Astro. Know what else is intriguing? This. CRAM
Jam or Cram: Emilio Bonifacio, 2B/3B/OF, Kansas City Royals
Availability: 59% Yahoo, 15 % ESPN
Last Week: 7 R, 2 RBI, 4 SB, .300 AV
The Gist: I originally drafted Emilio to play second base way back in April. I dropped him by May and he’s been dead to me. Until now. Since being traded to the Royals two weeks ago, Bonifacio is hitting about .300 with 13 stolen bases.
Key Stat: Emilio had 30 swipes in 64 games last season.
X-File: Three position eligibility? Yes, please.
Jam it or Cram it: This is another example of the difference between the two fantasy leagues. If Emilio is out there, grab him by the SAGNOF and watch him run. JAM
Jam or Cram: Denard Span, OF, Washington Nationals
Availability: 85% Yahoo, 92% ESPN
Last Week: 5 R, 1 RBI, 2 SB, .500 AV
The Gist: There were such high hopes for Span this year and dreams of a 10/20 type of year. He’s been as disappointing as the Nationals season. However, Span has been picking it up lately and is hitting .311 since the All-Star break and .455 this month.
Key Stat: Span has a 17-game hitting streak, the longest streak by a Nat in 3 years.
X-File: Span is a Platoony Tunes poster boy: .307 against righties, .194 against lefties.
Jam it or Cram it: Span tweaked his groin Thursday and ended up on the bench. Keep your eye on Span’s groin. That’s where he keeps his SAGNOF. Don’t stare directly at it, perv. CRAM
Jam or Cram: Josh Rutledge, 2B/SS, Colorado Rockies
Availability: 81% Yahoo, 85% ESPN
Last Week: 5 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 SB, .429 AV
The Gist: Josh Rutledge is like the really hot girl you’ve dated that is also completely psycho. You’ve broken up with her so many times only to let her back for the hot sex. Then she keyed your car, showed up at your office and you swore this time it was really over. Well, she’s calling again.
Key Stat: Rutledge has six hits in five games since being called back up.
X-File: In 38 Triple-A games, Rutledge was hitting over .370.
Jam it or Cram it: Ok, Josh, I’m going to give you one more chance. Don’t do anything crazy like go 1-for-30 or boil my bunny. I need homers and steals, that’s the hot sex of fantasy baseball. JAM
*BONUS TRACKS* Here’s 5 jammer/crammers for the playoffs
Billy Hamilton, SS/OF, CIN: I said jam last week. You’re late to the SAGNOF party. JAM
Scooter Gennett, 2B, MIL: Hitter-Tron is not hot for Scooter ROS, but the Tron also humped my Vespa. CRAM
Cody Asche, 3B, PHI: Ashe hit .467 last week with 2 homers and 5 RBI. Come get some. JAM
Josmil Pinto, C, MIN: Pinto hit .647 last week. Please forward any catcher questions Grey’s way. Consider it a wedding present. CRAM
Yan Gomes, C/1B/3B, CLE: Yan hit .467 with a homer and 5 RBI last week. Why no love for Yani? Oh, you prefer Zamfir. JAM
Thanks for riding the Razzball bus. The Goo is available for all your jammer crammer questions. Follow The Guru on Twitter @TheGuruGS for the daily jam or cram, fantasy roster 411’s and other gooey shenanigans.