First off, I would like to say Eric Sogard should be the Face of the MLB; that vote was rigged in David Wright’s favor.  Baseball needs more nerdy-looking, glasses-touting, Bernie-leanin’, jive-walking players.  But without further ado, here is the AL West Spring Training Showdown. (You can check out the AL Central Spring Training Preview here and NL East Spring Training Preview here.)

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Ryan Zimmerman went Yardo Montalban as he Tattooed the ball three times. Da plane, da plane…is flying right next to Zimmerman’s homers! My dear guests! I am Mr. Albright, your host. Welcome… to Fantasy Baseball! Smiles, everyone, smiles! No, seriously, smile, you paid a lot of money for those caps. Since it was a game between the O’s and Nationals, they shared announcers (since they share channels). So, the O’s announcers said everyone’s crazy for Machado, Jones, Zimmermann and Harper and not Ryan Zimmerman or Nick Markakis much anymore, after they were the stars of their respective clubs. Then the Nationals announcer says, “I can’t say I know much about Markakis myself.” Burn! I’d play that over the clubhouse speakers before every game. Not to motivate Markakis as much to mess with him. Oh, and Zimmerman! Right! Yeah, he had a huge game, and you might remember he goosed me in my nethers last year when I dropped him, because he hit 10 homers in July of 2012. Might be the start of another special run. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Are you familiar with The Legend of Oso Blanco? It’s the very true story behind Evan Gattis, and it’s a must listen if you haven’t yet heard it. Even if you have, it’s still worth another run through. Atlanta sports radio 680 The Fan was on point with this bit, which should have some appeal among us here at Razzball. Thanks to Deadspin for bringing it to our attention. Anyway, two-starters… Week 9 features nearly a full-slate of action, so there are a shizzload of them to choose from. To help guide your two-start perusing, I’ve slapped together our usual tiered worksheet.

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Going into yesterday’s game, Gio Gonzalez had a 5.85 ERA and in three of four starts he only threw five innings. I saw the fear in your eyes. Nervousness was percolating just below the surface. You were like Mr. Coffee when he was about to lose his virginity. You were expecting some grinds and instead you were just overheating. Steaming so hard you needed a cup to catch the water beneath you. (How long you think I could keep the visual of Mr. Coffee about to lose his virginity going? Three more lines? Do I hear four?) Finally, the heat was too much, the water dripping too fast and everything began to steam. Quickly, you grabbed your little creamer. She usually likes to put the cream in herself, but you’re just gonna splash it all over the place to avoid a mess on your pants. And that’s how coffee became Mr. Coffee. So, today Gio threw an eight-inning, one-hitter with 7 Ks; his only blemish a Votto opposite-field blast. Things looked awry, making dyslexics wary. Luckily, it’s still freakin’ April and you shouldn’t worry so much. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Joaquin Andujar once said, “You can sum up in one word the game of baseball: ‘You never know.’”

Well said Joaquin, well said.

You never know how the season will go and what stars will emerge and what stars will fade to black (someone please cue up Metallica here. I’m tired of boy bands). That’s part of the fun and frustration of fantasy sports. But even if you drafted well, with all your players off to a hot start and you are filled to the brim with confidence and trash talk, you just never know when you are going to hear that one word the game of baseball truly despises: The disabled list. *tips cap to Professor Andujar*

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Jered Weaver owners just found another reason to get down on one knee (although shelling out for a ring causes a similar sensation). Weaver will be going to renowned SoCal ‘Doctor of the Skateboarders’ Ollie Ramp. “I usually see these occur when some knucklehead tries to ride a railing and takes a header…or I guess an elbower.” Well, thank God for my Jered Weaver overrated post that helped all of you avoid Weaver in the preseason. Right? *crickets, birds chirping, a little fat kid running through a sprinkler* So, some of you drafted him anyway? Show yourselves for the world to see. You will not be mocked. You will be pointed at derisively. Okay, that’s mocked. The Weaver Drafter, “Everyone was down on Weaver, in the non-sexual way, so he came at such a discount… Besides, you were worried about his decreased velocity, falling K-rate, lucky ERA… You never said anything about him breaking his non-throwing elbow.” Hopefully, kind sir, they have an Excuses For Drafting Weaver category in your league. He’ll be back in 6 weeks. I look forward to others putting him on their DL until then. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

An exciting kickoff to the 2013 MLB season. I’m sure  Ken Burns documented it all with black and white photos, mournful fiddle music and the soothing voice of Doris Kearns Goodwin. But, in case you missed it, here’s…

The good: Yu Darvish nearly perfect, 2-homer opener for Bryce Harper,  Michael Morse pretends he’s Hammerin’ Hank and Heidi Watney’s tight black dress.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Weekly leaguers, Two-Startapalooza is back with a fresh lineup for week two. It’s a weekly feature, so obviously it’s back. I’ll try to come up with more clever ledes in future weeks, but I’m a little busy right now prepping my photog equipment for Tehol’s Playgirl shoot. Speaking of Tehol, he’s gonna be posting on points leagues this season, and I know many of you two-start hoarders are points league participants, so be sure to read his stuff. Anyway, here’s a look at the two-start landscape for week two.

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. And for a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link. The Steam-o-Nator goes live April 8th.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

He’ll make you feel good and bad and happy and sad. But mostly just sad. And mad. And glad…you don’t own him. I’m talking, of course, of Jose Valverde. Motown just can’t resist the temptations of signing Papa Grande. Smokey just went over all the fantasy baseball closers. There’s $12 Salads. There’s Donkeycorns. There’s Brain Freezes. There should be another category underneath the Brain Freezes for Valverde: Tossed Salad That Gives You Botulism. He seems like a great idea. Why do you need a side of rigatoni when you’re having lasagna for dinner? It makes sense to get the side salad. Go with the tossed salad. Unfortunately, the tossed salad was prepared in 2007 and is piled in the corner of the kitchen holding the employee’s bathroom door open because Brian lost the key. Once in a while Brian also forgets to stock the bathroom with toilet paper, so the iceberg lettuce doubles its duties, so to speak. That’s Valverde. There’s so many reasons to not pick him up, but let’s stick with the two most important ones: 1) He wasn’t good last year when he had the job. 2) Detroit even replaced him when games really mattered. 3) I said let’s stick with two reasons so why would you even mention 3? I wish I could sit here — and I am sitting, in a Barclay Lounger, a matter of fact — and tell you the signing of Valverde means the Detroit shituation has become crystal clear now. That, now, Valverde will close games. Yeah, he might get shoved into the closer role, but closing games is another issue. He was signed to a minor league contract. He’ll now take anywhere from two to four weeks to get ready, then the Tigers will either call him up or release him. I’d put his chances to get saves within a month at 35%. There’s still Benoit, Coke, Dotel and Al Al’etc who could take the job and run with it in the mean’s while. After seeing Dotel enter the game in the 6th yesterday, there’s no telling what will happen. Someone get close to Leyland’s cigarette pack and check to see if there’s a warning that reads, “Caution: May Cause Smoker To Use The Wrong Man In The 9th Inning.” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

And the Prospect Gods looked down at the Cardinals pitching staff and proclaimed, “And so it Shelby…” But the Gods decided to keep Oscar Taveras for themselves — at least for a little while. Bunch of Federalist-loving pigs. So, the Cardinals make up for starting Jon Jay over Oscar Taveras by giving prospect, Shelby Miller, the 5th starter role over non-descript-in-every-way, Joe Kelly. When I say, boo, you say ya. Boo…ya! Boo…ya! Cherimo…ya! Ah, fooled you. In November, I wrote a Shelby Miller 2013 fantasy. There I said, “The final answer on (whether he makes the rotation) will probably be decided on the last few days of Spring Training. In 2012, he was called up towards the end of the season and gave a 10.54 K-rate and a 1.32 ERA in 13 2/3 innings. If you look up that stat line in the thesaurus, its synonym is “lights out.” Due to a butterfly flapping its wings in Indonesia, Miller also had a 10.54 K-rate in Triple-A through 136 2/3 IP. His ERA wasn’t as purdy, but he “re-committed” himself in the 2nd half of 2012 and had a 2.88 ERA in his last ten starts with a 70/7 K/BB. Weird, cause I had an aunt who was “re-committed” and things didn’t turn out half as well. He can be a number one pitcher. When I say that about a 22-year-old, we’re talking about someone having the possibility at a top ten pitcher in all of baseball. Knowing the way Cardinals turn out young men… Um, I mean, knowing the way the St. Louis Cardinals can turn prospects into solid major league pitchers (the Vatican asked me to specify), I wouldn’t be surprised to see Shelby Miller being a productive member of the Cards rotation in 2013. For 2013, I see 10-4/3.63/1.27/155 in 150 innings and 21 starts. That’s a huge projection for a rookie pitcher. And there’s a chance for more.” And that’s me quoting me! I’m in love. He should be owned in all leagues. Yes, even your eight-person league where you own all eight teams. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in Spring Training for 2013 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?