This year we went to 15 teams because Rudy and I had a fight and he hates me and I’m typing this through tears while listening to Peabo Bryson. Nah, Rudy wanted to draft his own team, separate from me. Not sure why — *smells armpits* — can’t be that. To see Rudy’s mixed league draft breakdown, click that link-a-ma-jiggie. He goes over the fact that Pianowski drafted no starters and Dalton Del Don (best ‘pert name after yours truly) drafted, like, ten top starters. It’s probably collusion of some sort, but thinking makes my head hurt, so I’ll just assume they came up with separate strategies, ran said strategies by Funston and Funston nodded very slowly, indicating he either approved Godfather-style or he was on roofies administered by Brad Evans. These questions are not for me to wonder why, just do or die, or whatever that cliche is. Anyway, here’s my 15-team Yahoo fantasy baseball team with some thoughts:

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It’s everyone’s favorite ‘pert with everyone’s favorite self-flagellating exercise — Hey, look at my team! The ‘Hey, look at my team!’ exercise can go one of two ways. We can either agree that my team is awesome. Or you can combat the ‘Hey, look at my team!’ exercise with your own ‘Hey, look at my team!’ exercise. I’m guessing a lot of you will opt for the second, since the ‘Hey, look at my team!’ exercise seems to go over best from the first person. One word about the “Hey, look at my team!” exercise. It works best if you tell me how many teams are in your league and arrange your team as I have done in this post. Now, prior to you looking at my team, besieging your gut with warm cozies, I first should point out this is a 5×5, 15 team league with OBP subbed in for average because fantasy baseball ‘perts like to make things complicated and turn off 85% of their readers. So, before you say Dan Uggla is a terrible pick, he’s more of a so-so pick. So-so there! Anyway, here’s my 2014 Tout Wars team:

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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.)

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You’re gonna find this utterly incredible, but, with these top 100 starters for 2014 fantasy baseball, I’ve put out all of my 2014 fantasy baseball rankings. Tomorrow will be the top 100 overall, then the top 400 overall, but that’s just putting everyone in perspective. I’m going to now soak my finger bunions in pickle juice and read a good book. Anyone read the Charles Nelson Reilly autobiography? I hear it’s a real eye grabber. Oh, guess I should finish this post first. As always, my projections are included and where tiers start and stop. Anyway, here’s the top 100 starters for 2014 fantasy baseball:

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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.

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By now you’ve probably seen Giancarlo Stanton in ESPN’s magazine completely naked. Coincidentally, I looked at the pictures completely naked. Did I say looked? I meant took with a telephoto lens. In all seriousness, I know ESPN loves to copy other people’s successes, but if they’re going to blatantly try to do an equivalent of SI’s swimsuit issue, can they at least do a bikini issue or a thong issue or a Brazilian wax issue? Does the majority of their audience have any interest in seeing guys naked, showing their muscles? If I did, I’d subscribe to Men’s Fitness or Playgirl. I mean, for serious, who do they think is buying their magazine? Wait, a bigger question, who even buys magazines? Any the hoo! So far Giancarlo hasn’t been the hot butter slicing through a fat man’s veins that we’ve come to expect. He had a near-pulling a Kotchman hamstring injury where he went from fundamental crawling to fundamental running to fundamental running away from me as he exited the shower. It was all very tedious, but he’s healthy now and simply slumping. If he can get over the hump with my help, there’s very few players that could have the type of 2nd half Giancarlo is capable of. You can count on one hand the guys capable of a 25+ homer 2nd half. Giancarlo would be the player sitting on my thumb. At this point, a down season seems impossible to avoid, but 30 homers overall wouldn’t surprise me. That means 22 more. 35 homers would surprise me, but it wouldn’t be out of the question. I’d absolutely buy him, and I hear you can get him cheap. What? I’ve been inquiring. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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First, Erasmo returns for our rookie nookie needs, then Adam Eaton is called up to see if owning rookies can be better than Viagra. They can. I asked your grandpa. What? We talk. Adam Eaton has that built in ability to…Ugh, I just started singing Invisible Touch in my head. Phil Collins, wherever you are, you’ve polluted my mind! I love Adam Eaton like a brother I never had and never wanted, but would hang out with if I had time between telling Mom that he was wearing her clothes and doing a runway show in the living room. Eaton has 30-ish steal speed and 10-15 homer power over the course of a full season. Well, that full season went out the window with his injury, and now there’s a Native American crying because someone littered with Adam Eaton’s full season. In a half a season, he could still have a huge one. A Starling Marte-type half wouldn’t completely surprise me. That would be the absolute best case scenario. More likely, he’ll get 4-7 homers and 12-15 steals and be primed for a huge breakout next year. I’d still grab him in every single league because he’s got something you just can’t trust. Something mysterious. And now I’m falling, falling for him! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America

2012 (11) | 2011 (3) | 2010 (1) | 2009 (4) | 2008 (1) | 2007 (1)

2011 Affiliate Records

MLB: [91-71] AL East

AAA: [80-62] International League – Durham

AA: [65-74] Southern League – Montgomery

A+: [64-75] Florida State League – Charlotte

A: [77-63] Midwest League – Bowling Green

A(ss): [37-39] New York-Penn League – Hudson Valley

The Run Down

It’s no secret that the Rays’ player development systems are tremendous.  

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Tampa Bay Rays 2010 Minor League Review
Overall farm rankings via Baseball America (2010)
2010 (1) | 2009 (4) | 2008 (1) | 2007 (1) | 2006 (10) | 2005 (9) | 2004 (9)

Record of Major and Minor League Teams
MLB: [84 – 78] AL East
AAA: [88 – 55] International League – Durham
AA: [72 – 65] Southern League – Montgomery
A+: [80 – 59] Florida League – Charlotte
A: [61 – 78] Midwest League – Bowling Green
A(ss): [39 – 36] New York – Pennsylvania – Hudson Valley

The Run Down
The Rays have enough young, good pitchers that they can just pull one out for a spot start with mild success like Alex Cobb.

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