The hardest division in the league, which includes last year’s world champs, looks to be just as intense again.  For that matter, it probably will be that way for the foreseeable future.  My favorite team is also being covered here.  I’ll do my best not to be biased about the Yankees, and I think I’m pretty good at keeping my emotions away from the reality of the team.  That being said, I think the Yankees are going to win 120 games this season. (You can check out the NL West Spring Training Preview here, 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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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:

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Sorry, I was just testing out these new three-ply tissues Cougs bought for me. I wasn’t crying. I was cutting onions while watching Manny Machado get hurt. When you think you’ve had too much of this life, hang on. Everyone hurts…sometimes! Michael Stipe, you are my bald little friend that sits in my glove compartment and waits for me to be sad to come out and sing to me. Sit on my lap, Stipe, and tell me it’s going to be okay. Tell me Machado won’t struggle to be healthy again by next year. Alas… Jesus, what a depressing way to start a sentence. Alas? Alas my ass, Machado’s hurt bad. It’s a shame. Not because I own him this year, but I don’t want anything to stand in the way of me liking him in 2014 and a knee injury is the kind of thing that could deflate my enthusiasm. Oh, well, guess we’ll see how he’s doing next February. For right now, feel free to drop him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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The news is good, Allen Craig is in a walking boot and on crutches. Yay! Sorry, I should’ve said the news was good for people who don’t own Allen Craig. *smacks forehead with palm of hand* Geez, I’m such a huckleberry! So, this means the new Cardinals first baseman is… Please, open door number one! Actually, all I see is his elbow. Could you open door number two, as well? Hmm, still missing his right side. Go ahead and open door number three, too. There he is… Matt Adams! I’ve teased Adams a lot about his girth and that ain’t right, even if right and girth are anagrams. Adams isn’t out of shape…if watermelon is a shape! The zaftig Madams will be playing first for as long as Craig can’t and I’d grab Adams in all leagues where I needed power. He could hit five homers the rest of the way if Craig stays sidelined until the playoffs. As of right now, there’s no word on how much time Craig will need. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Sean Connery enjoyed the landing of B-Weezy.

So it’s official. Just in time for your playoffs or late-season run for a title, Matt Cain has joined Jason Heyward and Rafael Betancourt, all recent casualties, on the DL. Even though the X-ray’s came back negative after Cain got hit by a line-drive on Thursday, Bruce Bochy said it was too soon to say whether or not he would make his next start. A mere seven hours later, which I guess was not too soon anymore, it was decided that Cain would not only miss his next start, but at least three. You’d figure with such a big head, Bochy would have a better grasp of time. And, you know, bullpen usage. Granted, this season wasn’t shaping up to be Cain’s finest and was pretty up-and-down (more down) in general. But his second-half ERA of 2.84 and improved walk rate were representing an expected regression. So the timing couldn’t be worse, especially since the Giants are not postseason bound and really have no reason to rush a recovery. Relevant. Here’s what else I noticed yesterday…

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You don’t have to only listen to Brewers games on the radio to be excited about Khris Davis. You also don’t have to only be excited about owning him for the possibility of verbally swindling another owner. “No, you verbally agreed to trade me Kershaw for Khris Davis. I don’t care if you thought it was that other guy. Besides, this Khris Davis has more homers very, very recently.” Same name chicanery is as old as the Bible. In 25 AD, a guy by the name of Jesus Krist showed up drunk to his job, soaking wet, and got a bye when he said he was practicing walking on water. Many years later, the Roman empire invaded Britain because of a prank call by Klaudius Seesir. For three years, Tori Spelling thought she married the guy from The Practice, only recently finding out it wasn’t Dylan McDermott but Dean McDermott, so you see this is nothing new. Neither is Khris Davis’s power. In the minors, he averaged a homer just about every fifth game, a practice he’s maintaining in the majors (makes him around a 30-homer guy). He now has four homers in the last nine games, and, while he’s hitting, I’d absolutely grab him for power in all leagues. Don’t let his name stop you. Yes, Chris with a K looks like a girl’s name, but it’s not his fault his parents let Roger Clemens name him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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To misquote Lucinda Williams, “You don’t have to prove your manhood to me constantly, Jim Johnson.” Maybe prove it once in a while. Maybe once in a blue moon with a slice of orange to tie in your uniform. Yesterday, he blew his third save in a row and his league-leading ninth. As the Orioles vie for a pennant spot, the boo birds are probably out in full force in Baltimore. Or for the big-boned fans in Baltimore, the Boog birds. If it was simply based on performance or the will of my piercing brown eyes, Johnson would be doing mop duty dressed as a pelican and every time someone made a mess they’d point to Johnson and say, “I can’t clean it up, but Peli-can.” The Orioles really should give him a rest and turn it over to Francisco Rodriguez or Tommy Hunter. For those of you hoping to vulture some sweet, sweet saves, it’s not a clear cut case of Johnson about to be removed, Lorena Bobbit-style. He’s built up some goodwill over the last twelve months with 51 saves last year and 39 saves now. Also, the O’s are Confucius non gratis as to who is their set-up man. K-Rod, his goggles and his dyslexic dor-K lifestyle has plenty of experience, but the O’s have gone to Hunter to save a few games this year. I grabbed K-Rod in one league where I’m desperate, but this is a shituation that maybe even Peli-can’t handle. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Last night, one of the most talented young arms in baseball followed up a career high in strikeouts with yet another career high in strikeouts. Jose Fernandez cooled off the Cleveland Indians with 8 shutout innings and 14 Ks. The Tribe entered Crayola Canyon on an 8-game winning streak, but left the game wondering if they should have even bothered to pack their bats for the trip. J-Fer, as the kids call him, has most likely been one of your league’s best waiver pickups since his surprise call-up and is currently sporting a two-fitty ERA and a WHIP around 1.00. Oh, and then there are the strikeouts. 27 Ks over his last 16 innings and now 138 on the year is pretty impressive considering the kid couldn’t even have a drink in the Clevelander until this past Wednesday. Like most rookie pitchers, the dreaded innings cap is looming (word on the street is 170), but for now let’s enjoy the ride and appreciate nights like these when we get to see a future ace show his best stuff. Here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Homer Bailey threw his second career no-hitter, and it was the first time a player who looked identical to Christian Bale has thrown the last two no-hitters in the major leagues. Johnny Vander Meer’s family is currently drawing bat ears on old photos of Johnny to try and contest that record. Nolan Ryan was the last non-Balehead to throw the majors back-to-back no-hitters in 1974 and ’75, but the coincidences don’t end there! Back then the only live action Batman was Adam West, and Nolan was pitching as far West as you can go in California and Joe West called Ryan’s fifth no-hitter and Kanye West wasn’t born yet but Jesus was and that’s who Kanye thinks he is. It’s a small word after all, which is played at Disneyland and that’s in Anaheim where Nolan played. My brain is bugging out! Bailey seems like he’s a one-game-a-year pitcher, but he’s been terrific all year. He’s in the top ten for FIP and has the 4th best K-rate in that group. That’s not a 2nd or third fantasy starter; that’s an ace, over-the-internet friend. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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This post comes to you by the power of Greyskull! I have the power! The power of Greyskull dropped Justin Masterson earlier in the year after one bad start. I have a power outage! Then the power of Greyskull watched as the power of Rudyskull picked him up and has been reaping the rewards ever since, but the power of Rudyskull benched Masterson yesterday, so the power of Greyskull let out a small, fleeting smile. Yesterday, Masterson threw a complete game shutout. He’s been great all year with a 9+ K-rate. Yadda, yadda eff me. Just above him on the K-rate chart is a who’s who of the pitchers you want: F-Her, Sale, Samardzija, Miller, Harvey, Yu, Scherzer, etc. etc. etc. He also has one of the worst walk rates in that group (not bad overall, just in that group), which will hold Masterson out of the top tier of pitchers this year, but will make him ownable in all leagues and why the power of Greyskull failed me. I wonder if Skeletor is hiring. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?