Over the past few months we have jammed and crammed our way through players that have added some pop (Adam Lind, Raul Ibanez), some saves (Koji Uehara, Jose Veras) and some steals (Juan Pierre, Peter Bourjos) to our fake baseball rosters. Let’s forget my mention of Jackie Bradley Jr in week one okay? Thanks. But I have not always been a Razzballin’ Guru. In a former life I spent my working hours spinning the radio hits. Think Backstreet Boys and other boy band classics. *BBLLAARRGGHH!!* Just threw up in my mouth a little. The music may have sucked, but the payola was great! i.e. See The Guru’s swimming pool/pool table courtesy of Tower Records. However, most of my time on the dial revolved around rock radio. Think AC/DC, Metallica, Guns ‘n Roses and some occasional Motorhead. The problem was my share of program directors never appreciated my love for Pabst Blue Ribbon drinking, live sheep in the studio, the lesbian dating game or UFO guitar solos. All things I was fired for doing. To paraphrase Hunter S. Thompson, “radio is a shallow money trench where good men die like dogs.” But I’d still argue morning drinking builds character and one of the greatest guitar solos of all-time has to be the plank spanking in UFO’s “Rock Bottom” (check it out around the 3:30 mark). I’m sure Eddie Trunk would agree. This week let’s look at some jammer/crammers stuck to the underside of your waiver wire Chuck Taylor’s. They are the barely owned cast-offs, the red-headed step children, the “Lobster Boy-Alive” fantasy freaks of our baseball world. They will fit perfectly on my team. *cracks another Pabst* We have officially hit rock bottom. Time to jam it or cram it.
Jam or Cram: Ike Davis, 1B, New York Mets
Fantasy Freak Show Name: The Hasidic Hercules
Availability: 68% Yahoo, 79% ESPN
Stats Last Week: Ike’s only been back a game as of this writing, but he went 3-for-5 with three singles, two runs and two RBI.
The Gist: Ike Davis is like the bipolar girlfriend that keys your car, cooks your bunny and just won’t leave you alone. Have you tried Breakup.com? You fell in love early only to toss Davis aside for his unstable ways and affection for standing nine feet away from the plate. Yet, here he is again, promising this time everything will be different. “Remember the great times we had together? Like the time I hit 20 home runs in the second half last year? I’m not scared of home plate anymore. I went to a nice place in Las Vegas for help and hit seven homers in 20 games for you. Oh, and remember when I slugged .543 and had an OPS of .926, ‘member that?” But Ike, that was in 36 games…two years ago. “You shut your mouth you worthless piece of s#*t! Add me now or I’m drinking these four bottles of Drano. I love you! Know how I got these scars?”
Key Stat: Before the messy break-up, Davis was hitting .161 with 66 strikeouts in 55 games.
The X-File: Davis did hit .293 with seven homers and 13 RBI with a .424 on-base percentage in 92 Triple-A plate appearances. So, there’s that.
Jam or Cram: Maybe I’ve been too tough on Ike. He did put up great numbers in the second half last year. The Triple-A numbers were good and the hitch in the swing seems to be fixed. My fantasy team could always use some more power. I told myself I wouldn’t do this ever again. Here I go, violating my own standards before I even have a chance to lower them. What could possibly go wrong? “Hi, Guru. I’m moving in.” Jam.
Jam it or Cram it: Jonny Gomes, OF, Boston Red Sox
Freak Show Name: Indestructo – The man that wouldn’t die.
Availability: 99% Yahoo, 99 % ESPN
Stats Last Week: Gomes hit .412 with a home run, three runs scored and three RBI.
The Gist: Jonny “I lost the ‘H’ somewhere in the birth canal” Gomes may be the Platoony Tunes poster boy. He’s a career .280 hitter vs. lefties, .224 against righties. Gomes also has a flair for the dramatic and helmet punting. Jonny is just a year removed from a .262, 18 home run, 47 RBI, and 46 run season. And that was playing in the black hole of the O.co Coliseum. BTW, whoever came up with the name O.co Coliseum should be introduced to Ike Davis.
Key Stat: Since June 5, Gomes has hit .365 with three home runs and nine RBI. Two of those homers were of the walk-off variety.
The X-File: Gomes is in a platoon with Daniel Nava for playing time in left field. Adult roster supervision is required.
A Guru Factoid: Gomes has almost died six different times. It’s true. I read it on the interweb machine.
Jam or Cram: If you’re in an AL-only league or have the roster depth to carry him, I’d roll the dice on a jam for Gomes, especially against left-handers at Fenway Park. Otherwise, I’m going to pass. Besides, he only has three lives left. Make that two. Jonny’s in the driveway lapping up a puddle of anti-freeze. Cram.
Jam or Cram: Brett Wallace, 1B/3B, Houston Astros
Fantasy Freak Show Name: The Human Cannonball
Availability: 99% Yahoo, 99 % ESPN
The Gist: Grey shared his 60 minute Wallace fantasy last Friday, but let’s jam or cram him into our fantasy freak show. In six minor league seasons, Wallace has hit .309 with a .882 OPS. Wallace was crushing it with at a .326/.398/.554, 11 home run clip at Triple-A Oklahoma City. And remember, what happens in Oklahoma City, well, nothing really happens in Oklahoma City.
Key Stat: Since returning to the Astros lineup last week, Wallace is 8-for-31 with three home runs and nine RBI including a two-homer game against the Rays.
X-File: Wallace is the same guy that went 1-for-24 with 17 strikeouts back in April.
Jam or Cram: A week of hot schmotatoing does not make for waiver wire stampedes. In those AL-only and deeper leagues he’s a solid pickup, but I got a feelin’ the stars are aligning in a big way for Wallace and my power-starved roster. That advice was as good as gold my friends. And solid gold isn’t just a metallurgical purity or hot dancers in tights. It’s also an allusion to thumbs up rectitude. And Wallace is one of those. Jam.
Jam it or Cram it: Manny Ramirez, OF, Oakland Athletics
Fantasy Freak Show Name: Mucho ManBoobs, The Testosterone Tornado, The Incredibly Shrinking Nutz
Availability: 100% everywhere fake ballplayers are sold.
Stats in Taiwan: Màn ní da .352, 8 Zhi quán lei da he, 43 fen dadian.
The Gist: After a short stint in the Far East, the original ManRam is back! My fantasy freak show has a star attraction. The Texas Rangers stepped right up and signed the twice suspended PED consumer last Wednesday to a minor league contract. Manny reported to the Round Rock Express last week and should play Sunday or Monday depending on when his “package” of “vitamins” shows up.
Key Stat: Manny is a lifetime .312 hitter and is ranked 14th on the career home runs list at 555.
X-File: The Rangers say if Manny hits in the minors he will get a legitimate shot to DH against righties. And I have a legitimate shot of nailing Jennifer Aniston up against the wall. Did I tell you my turtle is named Jennifer Aniston?
Jam or Cram: Manny says he’s “invigorated” by his time in Taiwan. Translation: He’s ‘roided to the max on some wicked Taiwanese concoction of HGH and ground up macaque balls. PETA is going to hate this blog. Apologies. Hey, stop throwing blood on my raccoon fur coat! I’d like to say jam. I really really, Seth and Amy really would, but this is going to end in a complete disaster with Emperor Selig stepping in to quell the “great disturbance in the force.” Or Manny goes and plays in Japan. Cram.
*Bonus Tracks* Other possible fantasy freak show attractions:
Juan Uribe, 3B, LA Dodgers: Uribe almost hit for the cycle Friday and drove in a career high-tying seven runs. He hit .375 for the week and .284 over the last month. He’s kinda freaky looking too, like a Dominican Fat Albert. Hey, hey, hey. Jam…if needed.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF, NY Mets: Hitting .471 in the last week and went 4-for-4 with a career-high five RBI Friday. Name is hard to type. Cram. It’s a reason! He’s also hitting .230 on the year.
Juan Francisco, 3B, Milwaukee Brewers: I said cram last week. “I left my heart in Juan Francisco” hit two more homers since then. Let me try again. Jam?
Thanks for the read Razzballer’s. Questions, comments, favorite guitar solos welcomed below. Follow The Guru on Twitter @TheGuruGS for the daily jam or cram and fantasy roster 411?s.