Satchel Paige said, “Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it don’t matter.” Old Satch pitched until he was 90 I think. No? Someone ask Peter Gammons. “He pitched until he was 59.” *answers call with shoe, falls asleep in soup* Thanks, Pete. Last week a man who may or may not be 111 years old visited the Yankees on the field. Joe Girardi was tempted to start him at shortstop before Derek Jeter talked him out it. Jeter then crashed his Rascal down the dugout steps. He’s out another month. Old people are funny. Satch may be dead, but there’s plenty of other old wrinkled ballers still working their magic in the fantasy game. Mariano Rivera anyone? Looking pretty spry for 43. Did he follow Wilford Brimley into the Cocoon pool or something? He won’t get any older and he won’t ever die.
Last week we jammed or crammed the rookies suggesting young guns like Nick Franklin, Marcell Ozuna and we even mentioned that a certain Man Bear Puig was on the verge of a call-up and deserved some attention. *high fives Nana* This week let’s grab the early bird, swallow a handful of Joe Theismann super-beta pills and direct our now improved stream towards the sunshine boys. These players are 35-plus, owned in less than 50% of leagues, ranked top 50 in the Razzball Player Rater last week and may or may not sport Depends beneath their Under Armour. So, wake up Gammons, these gray panthers may still have some mojo left in them. Let’s jam it or cram it. Hey, you kids get off my lawn!
Jam it or Cram it: Bartolo Colon, SP, Oakland Athletics
Sunshine Boy Status: Allegedly 40 years old, 15 years in the league, two-time All-Star, 2005 Cy Young Award.
Availability: 53% Yahoo, 55% ESPN
Last Week: 16 IP, 2 W, 7 K, 0.56 ERA, O.94 WHIP. The Razzball Player Rater has Bartolo ranked in the top 30 pitchers on the year. That’s ahead of Stephen Strasburg, CC Sabathia and Mat Latos. It’s true. I checked twice, refreshed, took a relaxing candlelit bath and then checked again. Razzball don’t lie.
The Gist: Did Bartolo Colon swallow Adam Wainwright when we weren’t looking? Colon looks 30 again. And yes, I’m taking about his head size. Colon is the golden oldie winner this week. In his 15th season Colon is 7-2 with a 3.14 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP. Colon won’t strike out a lot of guys, just 46 in 77 innings, but he’ll provide solid value to a fantasy staff in wins, ERA and WHIP. He’ll get a real test this week against the Yankees.
The X-File: Butterbean Colon is 4-0 with a 0.90 earned-run average in 30 innings pitched over his last four starts. He was also linked to the Biogenesis PED scandal when his alias “Manny Hulkamaniac Alzado” was discovered scribbled on the back of a Twinkies wrapper requesting more “young people juice.”
Jam or Cram: I was bored this week and attempted to put together an “all-roid” team by trading Justin Verlander for Ryan Braun to go along with Everth Cabrera, Melky Cabrera, Jhonny Peralta and Colon. When you have 16 fake baseball teams and you’re under house arrest, it is fun to shake things up sometimes. I’ll keep you updated. Jam.
Jam or Cram: Todd Helton, 1B, Colorado Rockies
Sunshine Boy Status: 39 years old, 16 years in the league, five-time All-Star, four-time Silver Slugger, and three-time Gold Glove Award winner.
Availability: 98% Yahoo, 99% ESPN
Last Week: 3 R, 3 HR, 5 RBI, .333 AV, 1.153 OPS
The Gist: When Helton is not on drunken lottery runs he slathers himself in Icy Hot and dreams of 2004. Sorry Todd, it’s 2013. Helton is only hitting .241, but did raise his average from .217 over the course of a seven game hitting streak. Helton still has some power left in them creaky bones, he has six home runs on the year and 360 in his career. Hall of Famer? Not unless he gets some of what Colon’s having.
X-File: Roster supervision is required. Helton won’t play against left-handed pitchers. He only has four hits off lefties this year. Make sure to use the new Razzball toy: Platoony Toons.
Jam or Cram: Hey, even old guys get hot. It just takes a little longer. And a Cialis/Red Bull cocktail. Check out Helton’s Hitter-Tron projections for the next seven games. All ageism aside, that looks like a jam. For a week. Then cram. Unless Helton has some sort of Dorian Gray portrait stashed somewhere. Youth is but a mockery.
Jam it or Cram it: Marlon Byrd, OF, New York Mets
Sunshine Boy Status: 35 years old, 11 years in the league
Availability: 98% Yahoo, 99% ESPN
Last Week: 4 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI, .400 AV
The Gist: Marlon Byrd is the young whipper snapper of this week’s jammer crammers. Byrd has four home runs in his last seven games, pushing his average back up to .255. In a Mets lineup that struggles (hello Ike Davis) Byrd is providing some needed pop. Since May 1, Byrd is batting .278 with a .597 slugging percentage and a .935 OPS.
A gooey factoid: During batting practice last Wednesday, Byrd joked he was going to hit two home runs. Well, it seems Byrd is some sort of Carnac as he did exactly that. Byrd later predicted Ike Davis would go 0-4. Right again, Marlon. You need to buy some lottery tickets or something. Have Todd Helton drive you.
X-File: Byrd was top 40 for the week on the Razzball 7-day player rater.
Jam or Cram: Look for things to cool down. Marlon’s hot schmotato status has officially ended. I sure hope he had a vision and bet Palace Malice in the Belmont. Cram.
Jam it or Cram it: Willie Bloomquist, 3B/SS, Arizona Diamondbacks
Sunshine Boy Status: 35 years old, 12 years in the league
Availability: 98% Yahoo, 98 % ESPN
Last Week: 6 R, 2 RBI, .611 AV, 1.341 OPS.
The Gist: Utility infielder and bluesman Blind Willie Bloomquist has bounced around the league for years. He’s had 400 at-bats only once in his career. However, with injuries to Eric Chavez and Aaron Hill, Bloomquist will be playing. He should gain 2B eligibility to go along with his other two spots and that adds some value. Bloomquist is only a couple years removed from a 20 steal season in which he hit over .265 in 350 AB’s.
X-File: Groundskeeper Willie is 11-for-18 since coming off the DL and was the #11 ranked middle infielder for the week. Someone buy Willie a sarsaparilla.
Jam or Cram: I suppose you could do worse, but Wet Willie gets Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu in the next three days. That should put an end to that .600 average. Cram. Keep on smilin’.
Other members of the all-geriatric team:
Jason Giambi (43) hit .300 with 2 HR and 4 RBI last week.
Raul Ibanez (41) 2 HR, 7 RBI in his last 7 games.
Ichiro Suzuki (39) hit .350 last week.
Travis Hafner (36) has 10 HR and a .848 OPS on the year.
*Bonus Tracks* Streaming Starters:
Bud Norris vs. SEA: In Norris’ last two starts he’s given up three runs and struck out 13 in 13 innings. Roll him out there against the Mariners Monday. Jam.
Michael Wacha vs. NYM: Wacha allowed six earned runs over 4 2/3 innings last week against the Diamondbacks. He’s not quite in the circle of trust yet. Cram.
Jose Fernandez vs. MIL: Jo-fer is part of my Cuban invasion team along with Yoenis Cespedes, Puig and Jose Iglesias. Fernandez has 67 K’s in 65 innings. He pitched well enough to win Saturday against the Mets giving up one run in six innings. Jam.
Comments, questions, favorite Golden Girl? The Guru is here for you. Look for the daily jam or cram and fantasy roster updates on Twitter @TheGuruGS. You can also join The Guru on Reddit this Tuesday as we talk all things Razzball.