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USA Today might no longer appreciate the insights shared by Larry King in his long-running column but we at Razzball were thrilled when he accepted our invitation to share his thoughts on Fantasy Baseball….

Greetings friends, acquaintances and ex-wives!  Wow, another baseball season is in the books!  I’d like to tip my hat to Joe Girardi.  If I had a son, I’d name him Joegirardi King… I haven’t been this excited for a Yankees win since the Civil War… Don’t worry, Philadelphia – at least you still have that delicious cream cheese….  The last game reminded me of the time I had lunch with Wolf Blitzer.  I fell asleep during both…. I wish there were fjords in Kansas…. The only thing new Cardinal hitting instructor Mark McGwire has to apologize for is his killer smile…. I hope Cole Hamels’ mom teaches him a thing or two about spunk… If I threw a party, I’d invite Carlos Ruiz and ask him how he squats behind the plate.  My knees don’t work so good anymore… I was enchanted by Sandra Bullock’s performance in All About Steve.  When she does an accent, Oscar says, “Yes!”… I don’t think Chone Figgins is going to leave the Angels because it’ll take too long to teach everyone at another stadium to say his name correctly… Why can’t I find my pajamas?  I’m cold…. The best restaurant on the Upper East Side is the alleyway behind Le Cirque where the bus boys hang out and smoke… I’m bucknaked as I type this, and I’m not typing with my fingers… Where has Celine Dion been? I’m dying for a music-inspired soundtrack for James Cameron’s latest, Avatar…  Speaking of which, am I the only one that wants to pronounce it Ava Tar?… If Sean Casey is the Mayor, then Mark Grace is the Comptroller… The player I most identify with in the Major Leagues is Manny Ramirez…We both are from a New York borough…We both use erectile dysfunction pills…We both pee at inappropriate times…. Ah, there’s my pajamas, who put them in the microwave?…. The Pirates fans better get their season tickets early, you got Akinori Iwamura now!  I regretted not buying a baseball team until watching Frank McCourt’s ordeal.  Such a shame as Angela’s Ashes is one of my favorite books of all time.  Let’s just hope that Peter and Maya Angelos stay together…

  1. Josh says:
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    I was just wondering the other day how long it had been since one of these had been written. This is great stuff. I feel like “I’m bucknaked as I type this, and I’m not typing with my fingers” should be thrown around on this site a tad bit more.

  2. peter says:
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    Thank you, Razzball.

  3. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Josh: Probably should put a disclaimer that Larry’s views and nakedness do not reflect the official policy of Razzball.

  4. big o says:
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    just when it was safe to buy usa today …..

  5. Tony says:
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    The New York Daily News is reporting that the Chicago White Sox have acquired Mark Teahen from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for Chris Getz and Josh Fields. Teahen hit .271 with 12 homers and 50 RBI last season.
    Our View: Interesting move here for the Sox, as Teahen is coming off a sub-par year by his standards. He is a career .277 hitter with 12 homers and 41 RBI against the Sox in his career, so maybe they just got sick of facing him. He is expected to replace Jermaine Dye as the everyday right fielder for the Sox.

  6. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Tony: Interesting… The Royals actually might’ve gotten the best of a trade.

  7. Tony says:
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    ya fields getting some PT in KC might be interesting…. i dont know much about getz but fields was supposed to have power correct?

    3b?

  8. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Tony: Fields does have some upside, but so does Alex Gordon. Fields could have 25 homer power, but he’s been failing for a while now. Fields and Gordon might fight it out for 3rd or Gordon might move over to 1st or move out of KC.

  9. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    @Grey: yeah and dont touch the keyboard

  10. Tony says:
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    @Grey: ya you almost forget about gordon since he’s been so BLEH…. wasn’t he in the draft class with braun and zimmerman?

  11. Jif & The Choosy Mothers says:
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    Great stuff.

    On a completely unrelated note, if any of you are fantasy hoops fans, let me know. I’m forming a nice little keeper league of great owners – drafting live at ESPN.com either Saturday night or Sunday night, probably 9:30 or 10 Eastern.

    Thanks.

    I might miss a reply so just send me an e-mail:

    sunriseguy1@hotmail.com

  12. Andrew says:
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    It makes sense. They put Fields at 3rd, Gordon at 1st, and Butler to DH. They can get rid of Mike Jacobs, and STILL not give Kila Ka’ahuie a chance!

  13. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Tony: He was chosen before Braun and Zimmerman.

  14. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Andrew: Ha! Yeah, totally. Or Mike Moustakakakas.

  15. Tony says:
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    @Grey: SICK…. hindsite is 20/20

  16. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Tony: @Grey: Hey, we had a little reparte the other day about the validity of drafting Ellsbury high. Got me to doing a little research amongst the RCL leagues. Ellsbury was drafted 4 or 5 in every league. The top two teams in RCL drafted him. He was drafted by 2 league champs, 2 second place teams, 1 third, 1 fourth. Am still trying to figure out how the teams did so well drafting primarily “steal only” guy so high?

    On an added note, 3 of the top 5 teams (#2 Tijuana Two Step excluded since they seemed to agree to draft by position), had at least 2 pitchers in the top 5 rounds. Exception: #1 Home Plate Security didn’t draft a pitcher until round 8 (and won by a significant margin).

    It looks to me like the teams that passed on pitching got “lucky” with Grienke/Verlander types in lower rounds, and the ones that passed on hitting got “lucky” with Mauer/J-UP/etc.

    Keep in mind, these placings all relative to the total 108 teams that participated in the nine leagues of twelve teams.

  17. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Simply Fred: There’s value for guys at certain draft spots. I liked Ellsbury and Crawford last year. In my top hundred, I had Crawford at 29 saying, I’d take him. Had Ellsbury at 47. This year they’re probably going too high for me. I don’t consider Crawford a straight steals guy and Ellsbury hit 8 homers last year and 9 the year before. He’s close to a straight steals guy, but he’s no Taveras or Rajai. If he can hit 12 homers and steal 55 bases, that’s nice, that’s better than Victorino. In the fourth round, that’s nice value for Ellsbury. Third round is iffy. A straight steal guy is 3 homers and 40 steals.

    re: RCLs — There’s something to the fact that these people were all competing with the best of the best if they were reading Razzball. So if you’re in a league of schnooks, then there’s a chance you could’ve had Bourn, Rajai or someone similar off waivers, since they went undrafted in ESPN leagues.

  18. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Grey: That explains it quite nicely. One of the reasons we keep you around (insert smiling emoticon). Thank you!

    Any thoughts on 3 of the 5 top teams drafting at least 2 SP in the top 5 rounds, without impunity?

  19. Steve says:
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    @Simply Fred: Could be a couple of things.

    1. Razzballers had been eating their BRAN:
    http://razzball.com/the-bran-draft-strategy/

    2. Razzballers have a congeniial aversion to drafting pitching too early, which meant that the likes of Peavy and Haren were sometimes available in the 4th and 5th. (I drafted Peavy in the 4th in the Original Recipe Division)

    Ah – those February days when hope was still fresh in our hearts.

  20. Bob says:
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    Bobby Abreu just enhanced his fantasy value by agreeing to a new contract with the Angels. I predict he will be undervalued in fantasy drafts again next year, and I also predict he will be on several of my fantasy rosters.

  21. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Simply Fred: re: pitchers — Not sure who they drafted. I just looked at the top team’s league and the two teams that took pitching early came in 10th and 11th out of 12 teams. With that said, pitching early isn’t a death knell, just makes things harder.

    @Bob: Thanks for the heads up! I imagine he will be slightly underrated again.

  22. Bob says:
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    @Grey: It’s two years, 19 million, with a vesting option for the third year based on at bats.

    In RCL, I punted pitching, didn’t draft a starter until around the 10th, finished last in ERA and second to last in WHIP, and managed to finish in a first-place tie. I do not punt relief pitching. I was a ho for Broxton, and he rewarded me.

  23. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Bob: Good for BA, much better than last year. Yeah, that strategy’s closer to the one I’d employ (pun noted).

  24. Doug Ault says:
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    I just don’t get it.Larry writes amazing stuff and is as sharp as a tack when guesting on tv programs, but on his own show he seems like he’s on auto pilot.Clearly CNN has Larry on far too short a leash.

  25. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Grey:
    rank-team:(round)pick
    #3(out of 108 teams)-Halie Selassie Lions of Judah: (3)Halladay,(4)Webb,(5)Haren,(6)Lackey
    #4-I Said You Got No Game: (4)Peavy,(5)Papelbon
    #6-A Man Named Brady: (3)Peavy, (5)Haren

    I like the strategy of holding off on starting pitching. Cust Kayin’ these guys did well inspite of drafting pitching early. (Papelbon @ #5?) Again, I think because they got good value in hitters in the mid-to-late rounds.

  26. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Doug Ault: I don’t either. Maybe he’s toying with the public.

    @Simply Fred: I took a cursory look at Halie’s team. They got incredible value from Mauer, Kendry and Bourn. The other two teams, I’d expect similar steals from their draft with hitters. So, yeah, it’s possible, just harder.

  27. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Grey: I like things EEEE ZZZZZ-er! Hitters high; wait on pitching.

  28. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Grey: RE: Closers. Have no intent to target them high up in the draft. Nevertheless, just checking on strategy. It is nice to see big Ks or low ERA and WHIP, but it seems as if those have marginal impact in roto since they get counted with the SP. The difference that they add/delete from the overall categories is pretty low. SAVES the only real value target?

  29. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @big o: oops…

  30. big o says:
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    loved the “another one-hitter for lincecum” comment

  31. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @big o: 3Comm’s hit caught my attention: “The Giants have just issued a press release that says Tim is being treated for glaucoma.”

  32. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Simply Fred: I wouldn’t say saves are the only thing you’re trying to get, but closers are flaky so I wouldn’t pay much for them.

    @big o: One hitter line is nice. They should cut him a break, it’s tough looking like k.d. lang.

  33. Josh says:
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    Hermida to the sox, thinks he starts? Or is at all fantasy relevant if he does?

  34. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: Hahaha, good post………….

    I haven’t L’dOL that much since I met Harry Carey in Chuck-E-Cheez……..

  35. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Josh: Mark my words, A Gonz will be a Red Sock, Bay will leave and they’ll sign Holliday, Sox will spend whatever it takes to get it back.

    They’re pissed………………..and A Gonz will be the next Pujols in Fenway.

  36. big o says:
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    wait a minute !!

    derek jeter had 30 stolen bases ?

    i’ve got to start paying closer attention .
    i would have never thunk it .

  37. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    @big o: and batted .334

  38. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Josh: He seems like a reserve outfielder in Boston. They spend too much to start him. If he gets a starting job, he’ll be someone to look at for his promise, but that won’t be determined until the spring.

    @BigFatHippo: Thanks!

  39. big o says:
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    @Grey:
    i owned curtis granderson in my h2h league last year .
    after the all-star break , i sat him , whenever possible , against left-habded pitchers .
    sometimes i even sat him , and played a man short , rather than have him kill my team’s batting average and obp for the week .

    what should we expect from him in 2010 ?
    can you give me some other outfielders as comparison ?

  40. big o says:
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    *left-habded ….. hehe

  41. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @big o: Click the link on the left-habded side that says 2009 Final Rankings, then go to the Top 40 Outfielder post and read about CG.

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