We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere. To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2014 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2014 White Sox Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of Bill Mahoney from Can I Get A Few Minutes?.Please, blog, may I have some more?
If I am correct on my predictions, the NL pennant race will be a fun one. I see three teams with playoff potential, and a fourth that is just shy of it. Sorry San Diego fans, this isn’t your year. [Ed. Note -- JERK!] Good news though, the Chinese calendar says it is going to be the year of the Tony Gwynn soon. [Ed. Note -- I take it back. Sorta.] (You can check out the AL West Spring Training Preview here, the AL Central Spring Training Preview here and the NL East Spring Training Preview here.)Please, blog, may I have some more?
The name says it all, it’s what everyone keeps asking for, NSVH. It sounds like a spin-off of CSI, or Law and Order. Except with really geeky dudes who shouldn’t really have an actual head-shot of themselves for use as their avatar. We know who they are, and pointing fingers isn’t polite unless it’s the one that I normally get from people at the retirement home I frequent for volunteer duties. Much love Shady Acres. So this week we delve into the numbers game, the ones that mimic me and steal my Nutella sandwich. These projections are highly irregular and tougher than most other stats in the pretend game. The fluctuation of personnel by teams is mind boggling and makes me look goofy. So in the chart below I am giving you the top-60 NSVH chaps with some pertinent stats that help all. During the year, I’ll get into more of the sustaining stats, but since we aren’t there yet, I can’t just make them up. Those tendency stats that I am referring to (Inherited Runners, Inherited Runners Scored, and Appearances with Lead) are my way of determining both closer and set-up guy efficiency. How they are used and when they are used. So those that are looking forward to that, hooray for you. So without further adieu, here are some projections for the top NSVH guys for this year.Please, blog, may I have some more?
As spring training takes off, we, the wonderful people of Razzball, thought it would be a good idea to look into some intra-team rivalries. What positions are a lock? What positions are being fought over? What positions will they hire me to fill-in for (second base Blue Jays, I’m looking at you)? Find out as the second part of this series will focus on AL Central… (You can check out the NL East Spring Training Preview here.)Please, blog, may I have some more?
The closer news is kind of like that pond back in the woods by Me’ma’s house. You know the one where you and your first “girlfriend” from Canada used to meet up and read scripture. Stagnant is the term for all you wordsmith’s out there. Spring training games just literally got started this week and the battles that are going on for unnamed closer spots; Rangers, White Sox and Astros, are still a hmmm situation. So until someone actually gets hurt, assassinated, or decides that baseball is no longer fun for him… we are at a stand still. Updates are always good though, and fun. It’s like Sudoku or the aggravation of doodling little numbers next to each box, stupid little numbers. They make it look all messy like a 4-year-old is doing it and you get all self conscious and hide it form the guy sitting next to you on the plane. It’s okay, admitting it is the hard part. Just say it to yourself and give yourself a wink in the mirror. So here is the slightly adjusted list of closers, the addition of Fernando Rodney not only adds legitimacy and tilte to the lefty’s swagger. So have at the list for this week and hopefully we will have some more news or will make up some stuff that’s more interesting in the upcoming weeks.Please, blog, may I have some more?
To answer your first question, no, I am not dead. Secondly, sorry to disappoint you. As we count down the days to draft and when pitchers/catchers report, it’s a virtual ‘pins and needles’ fest for some of the closer battles that could be looming. Some of these battles are going to be very interesting, ’cause battles are awesome and make fools of everyone. Let’s dive into some of those battles, shall we? The Cubs and their smoke-show of a bullpen is first and foremost. Jose Veras looks to be the guy, until Pedro Strop‘s me-mah gets all free paella for every manager named Sveum. The Orioles still really don’t have a closer, and until free agency is kaput, Tommy Hunter is the guy. And the other one to keep an eye on is Colorado… I mean my name is Smokey… so I am firmly entrenched in the bumper crop going on there. LaTroy Hawkins has been called the “closer” for now. I have a feeling that the Rockies, at some point, get all nepotistic and gives it to Rex Brothers. The last situation I would monitor is the effectiveness and trust level that Pittsburgh has with Grilli, who is getting back into the saddle. Mark Melancon is arguably the first non-definite closer for me that is draft worthy over some guys who are low on this list that have the job. So stay tuned conclusionary fans, it’s early and things are always a changin’. Like last year, I will be doing an off-week Holds post to keep all things relievers up to date.Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s a closerousel! Which is a play on carousel, not arousal. Pick up your pants. Recently, the Cleveland Indians organization talked to the media about moving away from the unfortunate Native American stereotype their team is known for. They said, “We respect the people who came before us. This was their land, and we drove them out. Scalping was a crime on humanity. In other news, we just signed a guy that goes by the Ax Man. Chief Wahoo, can I get a woohoo?!” John Axford should be perfectly competent as the closer in Cleveland, until he’s not. What I mean is he’ll be handed the job and will hold it the whole year unless he reverts to his hideous ways. I was burnt by him in more leagues than I care to remember, but I would still draft him again. SAGNOF, after all. Then Theo Cubstein went out and got Jose Veras to close games. Cubs fans will miss the days when their games went an extra fifty minutes due seven men getting on base in the ninth inning. If you throw out Veras’s first five appearances and start his stats on April 13th of last year, he had a 2.48 ERA. Yeah, that’ll work just fine. Then the Orioles pulled their best Billy Beane impersonation when they let one high-priced closer go and got Grant Balfour back. Oddly enough, Billy Beane was the one that took the high-priced one. I scream, what’s the world coming to?! Then Billy Beane shoots Spider dead. Then Beane turns to me and says, “Not so fast, amigo. Check Balfour’s health. Oh, and amigo is being sarcastic, you dumbass.” I knew that! But not about the health. No one did. Except for the Jedi master. Of course, there was more to it. So, now Balfour’s deal may fall through with the O’s due to health concerns raised in his physical. It’s a developing situation as they say in third world countries about their water and cable TV. Finally, Addison Reed went from the Chicago White Sox to Arizona. Now the Diamondbacks won’t have to worry about what happens when J.J. Putz hurts himself opening a tin of Band-Aids. Irony only takes you so far, Putz. This leaves a vacuum in the South Side of Chicago in the ninth inning, but I guess they don’t plan on winning any games. White Sox GM Rick Hahn named Nate Jones, Matt Lindstrom, Scott Downs and Daniel Webb as possible replacements. Due to Scott Downs’ Syndrome, Downs is out of the mix. Jones will be a favorite by fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!) due to his ability to strike guys out, but I’m guessing Lindstrom will end up with the job due to that hard-to-put-your-finger-on-it closer experience quality. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2014 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Oh, how we are going to miss Mariano Rivera. I’ve never owned him, but always wished I did. Personally, I’m a Yankee hater, but I always enjoyed watching him work his ninth inning magic like a smooth pick up artist. So now we are left without one of the greatest closers to ever play the game and a permanent fixture on the $12 salad menu. But like all things fantasy, we must move on and start prepping for next season by keeping our minds sharp and our cheat sheets easily accessible. The great mix up called free agency and the winter meetings are just a stones throw away and will hopefully give us some clarity into what comes next.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Michael Wacha was within an out of a no-hitter yesterday when Zimmerman hit a bouncer to shortstop, which he barely beat out. Ryan Zimmerman doesn’t want the world to see joy. He’s a joy killer. Every time some 14-year-old writes jk jk jk. They’re not abbreviating ‘just kidding,’ they’re really talking about Ryan Zimmerman joy killing. For a moment, I was on board with The Joy Killer because I don’t need Wacha getting hyped up anymore than necessary for next year. You hear Wacha I’m talking about? You like Wacha I’m working with? Wacha you say to that? Okay, I want to stop replacing what with Wacha, but I can’t. Wacha can I do?! There is gonna be an insane amount of young pitchers next year that I’ll be eyeing, and Wacha is yet another one. In 64 2/3 IP this year, he had a 9+ K/9, 2.61 xFIP and a 2.64 BB/9. Yes, please, come again. I could see this 22-year-old giving you a Shelby Miller-type season next year, maybe even, dare I say it, Matt Harvey. That’s Wacha I’m talking about! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
So the end is Bill Nye the science guy. The last hurrah for the year of 2013 in regards to bullpens. Don’t be upset, you won’t even know that I left, I’ll even make it less awkward and do the Irish goodbye and just sneak off to the bathroom and never come back. So, it has been a fun year from start to finish, it wasn’t as exciting as last year but we still had 19 guys over 30 saves as compared to guess what from last year. The suspense isn’t that awesome because it’s also 19. Crazy how things change but never ever really change, stats are a finicky bunch all muddled with consistency. Damn you numbers and your ever chronologically ordered entanglement. So it saddens me as a Yankee fan to have to write the final time the name of Mariano Rivera. There is nothing else to say about Mo that hasn’t been said by numerous other more famous sites. The stats are crazy and to me he is my Tawny Kitaen crawling across the hood of that car looking all 80′s, but an awesome 80′s. Unfortunately that makes Joe Torre David Coverdale and that just ruins it all. So happy trails GOAT, it’s been real and we appreciate your fantasy aptitude for as long as you have supplied it. So have at the final rankings of the year for the closers and the dudes who wait for injury or next year.Please, blog, may I have some more?