Hello, Total Fiasco, it’s nice of you to join us. Can I just call you Total? You prefer your full name? Can I get you anything, Total Fiasco? Bullpens scrambling? Real baseball managers pulling their hair out? Fantasy managers wishing they had hair to pull out? How about I just give Jim Johnson the ball and step out of the way? That should be to your liking. While you’re waiting for a meltdown, here’s a hot towel for your face. So, the A’s announced they would move to a closer committee. The only thing ever done better by committee? Spice in jerk seasoning. The A’s have the luxury of a few options: Luke Gregerson, Ryan Cook and Sean Doolittle, which makes things harder for fantasy. Much easier if there’s one great handcuff and then junk behind him. I’d pick up the A’s relievers in the order I listed them. Saves could very well be divvied up with a little Gregerson, a little Cook and a little Doo. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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?

Once again, the top 20 shortstops for 2014 fantasy baseball look a whole lot better than the top 20 2nd basemen for 2014 fantasy baseball. For the first time that I can remember, I want a shortstop from the top tiers. Usually I punt shortstops along with catchers due to how bad they are, but this year it’s pretty clear 2nd basemen are worse than shortstops and I like quite a few shortstops. Hey, you gotta be malleable in this fantasy baseball game. Malleable is also a great name for a baby girl. Feel free to take it for your daughter if you so desire. As with the other top 20 rankings, I point out where I think tiers start and stop and my projections. All the 2014 fantasy baseball rankings can be found under that thing that says 2014 fantasy baseball rankings. Unsuccinct! Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2014 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

That’s right folks, we already have a mock draft in the books. Why? Because ef the off-season, that’s why. I’d like to pass along a special thanks to our very own Grey Albright and Bryan Curley of Baseball Professor for setting up this multi-site super exposition of what fantasy baseball writers can do when there’s no fantasy baseball. Scary. I know. And while there are certain limitations that might arise from a draft that takes place so soon after the 2013 season, I prefer to use it as a litmus test, to see how the 2013 season affected specific player’s draft position and overall value. So there’s something to be gleaned here. And if you are into spoilers and want to see how the entire draft played out, you can check out the results here. Also, if you have an inexplicable yearning to get lost in early 90′s website design, enjoy. Anyhow, let’s get this party started with heavy amounts of gleaning after the jump.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Top 20 catchers, 1st basemen and 2nd basemen are in the books. What a strange, glorious trip it’s been! Though not really. Today, the top 20 shortstops for 2013 fantasy baseball get to shine. Hmm… Actually, most of these won’t shine. They’re cloudy with a chance of crapballs. To be a bit more specific, the top ten shortstops were about equal with the 2nd basemen through the top 10, then they actually go a bit deeper than the 2nd basemen. Yes, shortstops are deeper. Barely. Mike Aviles was 18th overall for 2nd basemen, here he doesn’t even make the list coming in 22nd. Either way, it’s ugly. Okay, enough of the hubbub on the tomfoolery. To recap, this final ranking is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments. The Player Rater allows me to be impartial while looking at how I ranked them in the preseason. Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2013 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Felix Hernandez was scratched from his Wednesday start with an oblique strain. Guys and four girl readers, you can’t be too precious with your guys. That whole credo “dance with the one who brought you” is real cavalier. You’re a real gentleman as you lounge about in sweat pants while your woman cooks you dinner. It’s honorable. Remind me to submit you to the Reader’s Digest Five Humans That Make A Difference contest. It’s also silly for fantasy baseball. Save your loyalty for your kids when they ask you, “Daddy, do you like me more than your automobile?” Or, “Daddy, how come you were hugging the mail lady for ten minutes with your hands on her butt?” Forget your loyalty for your starting pitchers (or hitters). Felix could throw this weekend to see if he can start again this year. If you’re strapped for space, I’d absolutely look elsewhere. What’s the worst thing that happens? You miss two starts from him? His last starts weren’t even great. You could find better starts off of waivers. Look at me having faith in you! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yep, you know me. I only cover Mariners. Though I’m not as much of a homer as JayWrong is with his San Diego Chargers, Padres, Zoos, Comic-Cons, and even Newscasters, I admittedly let my pieces of Pacific Northwest flair get the best of me last week, believing in Michael Morse. What else should I be? All apologies…I wanted to believe Morse was worth at least a HR or two but as of this Saturday morning typing, the lumbering oaf doesn’t even have a double and I’m guessing probably won’t do much the last two days. Maybe I should’ve gone with Bogusevic…but rather than wallow in self-loathing and then project it onto the internet for everyone to see, I’m looking to move on. I’m gonna suggest to you a guy who’s actually been hot over the last few weeks but hasn’t really caught on with the masses like I thought he would at this point given positional scarcity. We’re here to talk about none other than the post-hype sleeper that is Dustin Ackley and why he’ll help you for week 23 of the 2013 Fantasy Baseball season…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In true Halloween spirit, we have a special haunted edition of the Pitcher Profile.  Ok, so it’s not even September yet, but hey, we live in a world of mass consumerism and the Halloween specials and themed sections of department stores are already up.  Don’t believe me?  Ask the um, French Maid, you um… you saw leaving my room last night – it was just someone breaking in the costume!  I’m kidding, I’m not Jude Law.

So about a month ago, I was all set to do a Scott Kazmir Pitcher Profile then his arm died.  Kinda like Jared Leto’s arm in Requiem For A Dream.  After a strong stretch through mid-June to late-July, Kaz gave up 4 to the White Sox, blanked the Marlins (but a slow-pitch softball pitcher could do that), then got rocked vs. the Angels and his arm was murdered.  Murder, I Wrote!  But through the modern world of medicine, he got a Will Smith I, Robot replacement, then struggled with his stuff with the zombie arm in his first game back, giving up a 5 spot and 12 baserunners at Oakland.  So expectations were pretty low heading into his start yesterday against the Twins, but after seeing the stat line and his return to form, I decided to break down his start and see if that velocity is back where it was a few months ago:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You know, picking your fantasy baseball pitchers is surprisingly a lot like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.  At the beginning, you want the old reliable guys – you know – the ones that can barely walk.  Looking at you R.A. Dickey.  You’ve got all this potential for an Oscar-winner/fantasy title.  But as the movie and baseball season progresses, you want younger and younger guys with the upside of their ML debuts and big K potential against hitters who have never seen them before.  Then after a longgggg middle half (and the dog days of summer in the baseball season), you’re in the final act and you’re ready to throw out there any 20-something-year-old just for the hell of it (just ask Kathy Griffin about that).  Or you’ve walked out of the movie because you’re just not into it.

As you well know, Pitcher Profiles usually select a pitcher from Sunday, but with overwhelming questions and requests for a profiling of Danny Salazar, I felt overwhelmed to buck the trend.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Common misconception, the A’s know what they’re doing. As of Thursday night, they didn’t even know who was pitching on Saturday. Billy Beane told me confidentially, “I’ve been winging it for fifteen years. I just have a sex tape of Michael Lewis with a contestant from Flavor of Love, so it was write Moneyball or him and Deelishis would be all over the internet.” A lot of sites are listing A.J. Griffin as Saturday’s starter, but I have it on good authority that that (stutterer!) is incorrect. A’s have Straily looking like a lesser-known Muppet Straggly, Alfredo Jettuccine has been getting creamed, Milone is in Sacramento saying to himself, “What have I done to deserve being sent to the Sacra-Ghetto?” and the whole staff needs a Colon cleanse. So, who’s left? My almost-name-sharer and all-around Bubb Rubb-extraordinaire, Sonny Gray. He has nearly a strikeout an inning in Triple-A and a 2.74 FIP. (Yes, I only use FIP when an ERA doesn’t back up my case as tidily. Leave me alone!) I don’t love a start in Toronto, but if he stays in the rotation, the A’s are about to get a great schedule at home. Even if it’s not Saturday, Gray should be up shortly, and no that’s not a height crack, but Gray is tiny. I will call him Mini Me even though he’s taller than me. What? My photo is actual size. So, grab Gray now, because mother says you should buy Gray Gardens– I mean, Gray’s starting. Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?