Holy shiitake mushroom Batman… is it safe to come out yet? Bobby Parnell, Jarrod Parker, Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy, Patrick Corbin, Bruce Rondon, Jameson Taillon, Matt Moore, and now Ivan Nova have all fallen slain to some guy named Tommy John. Arrest this guy someone! Isn’t this world tragic enough without some mad man weaponizing UCL’s? Personally, I think this is all a plot by Dr. James Andrews to do what Peyton Manning did in Denver, and that’s put himself into position to control the food supply and then ultimately force us to eat all of our cats. Hunh? In fact, Dr. Andrews recently explained why there is such an uptick in UCL surgeries, but I’m pretty sure this is what was going on in his head as he was talking. Regardless, my expert advice is to just go ahead and hide all of your pitchers on the bench and stock up on canned goods. Spam is my choice. Deal.

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I love the Aussie people; they have goofy words for a barbecue and even goofier animals — koalas and kangaroos? Is Australia animated? Those things are goofy! Why not just get a duck-billed platypus and anteater and call it a day, you wacky-animal-having country! How about baseball there? Did all the fans in attendance win a Bowie knife if a player hit a home run into the big marsupial pouch? Did Crocodile Dundee throw out the first pitch? Did the batters hit with a fraternity hazing paddle? I don’t know, because it was at four in the morning! Selig really needs to stop doing this to Opening Day. The players will be exhausted from traveling and won’t be able to get their usual reps in during the spring. The first pitch of the season should be at a time when 7-year-old North American boys and girls can watch it. Not at 4 AM EST. What if the first game went extra innings or someone got hurt? Can they just call up someone from the minors for the next game? No, so then you’ll have a team playing short. Do these stunts in December as a goodwill trip. Don’t make major league baseball teams into the Harlem Globetrotters for a regular season game. Eh, whatevs, baseball is back, who cares if it comes with a big helping of Vegemite. Anyway, here’s what else I saw for 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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Yesterday, it was the day of the pitcher. Since I started this blog, I can’t remember a more pitcher dominated day. Did anyone get a hit yesterday in any game outside of Coors? Put on your long johns with the flap on the butt, the Dead-ball Era is back. Yesterday reminded me when I was in a heated battle for 1st place in my first fantasy league. The year was nineteen-naught-eight. Skeets Lincoln was a staunch racist, unlike his great-uncle, and I hated him for it, but my Gramsie said, “You’re gonna get polio sitting on the radiator,” and I realized how short life was so I grabbed Skeets and he went 1-for-4 with 4 steals (at that time there were seven bases between first and home). Yesterday, Kyle Lohse threw a gem, but, really, who didn’t. He kept the Braves to two hits with no walks and five Ks. He ends the year with a 3.35 ERA and less Ks than a Klan rally as Skeets would’ve said. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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This is always painful, but it’s also necessary. What follows is a look back at my preseason prospect rankings — a self audit, if you will. To be clear, this isn’t a re-ranking or anything, but it should suffice to remind all of you that I am mostly stupid. Please keep in mind that these guys are very early in their careers, and there is plenty of time for each to either figure it out, or get figured out. Anyway, let’s cut to it. Here’s the list as it appeared back in February:

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Oh there’s a shindig goin down in Miami ya’ll! Part of me feels like I should hop on the next flight down there bringing only my man-kini, penis pump, rabbit-fur coat, white Stacy Adams, one pair of snakeskin pants, and 3 Armani Exchange bro-tops. My manhood has been requested back in Miami now for some time and with my favorite player, LeBron “The High King” James, leading his Miami Heat to back-to-back Championships, I can’t think of an acceptable reason to say no. Especially when I think about the time Pat Riley and I, Chinese finger trapped Chris Bosh’s wife. A$$ for days playas! By the way, Bosh scored 0 points in game 7.

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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:

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So we come to another week of debauchery known as bullpendom. Yeah, I like to make up words, Dr. Seuss did it and he is considered a genius, me will settle for 700 on my SAT’s and just scraping by. What can I say – I’m a settler minus the funny hat and the flashy yet obnoxious buckle on my shoes. The Red Sox seem to be leading the pack of news this week with Joel Hanrahan being pipped by Andrew Bailey. It’s going to be a non-fluid situation when Joe-L returns as I see him setting up and waiting for Bailey to go on the rocks. It’s not a bad thing to have if you’re in Boston, 2 closers that have the ability to close out games with some sort of success, for fantasy it sucks worse then burning your toaster strudel cause it gets stuck in the toaster. Best part is there is still some of that glaze that you can just free base as a non-essential part of your daily vitamin allowance. Lots more in this week’s episode of bullpen report so keep on reading and click that red button, or gray button for our color impaired people.

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Scenario: Jim Leyland has been a part of a clinical trial to prove cigarettes cause mental illness. On off days, Leyland sits in a hotel room with a monkey and a scientist and they all smoke Camels. All three of them wear nothing but tighty-whiteys and they order out to Papa John’s, which always takes longer than anticipated because they have the pizza man put the pie in a mailbox, so no one knows where they are. After a few hours, Leyland is presented with a few different ink blotches that are clearly just innocuous butterflies. The monkey tries to correctly identify the ink blotches, but the scientist shushes the monkey and waits for Leyland. Inevitably, Leyland always says each ink blotch is Jose Valverde. Second scenario: The closer, who was ineffective last year, is given the closer job again because he’s the best arm in the bullpen. Okay, which scenario seems more likely to you? Agreed, Leyland has officially lost his crackers. “Okay, I know I put some Saltines down on the bench. Where are THEY?!” That’s Leyland after losing his crackers. Either way, Valverde will be joining the Tigers this week and Leyland says he’s the Tigers closer. “Are those cracker crumbs on your jersey, Don Kelly?!” When Leyland walks to the mound to change pitchers, he should just signal to the bullpen by twirling his finger by his ear — the universal sign for he’s crazy. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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It’s the first week of the season and there is really only one question as we enter the first week of fantasy SAGNOF-ville. What in the name of Brian Boitano are the Tigers doing with the closer situation. Well I liken it to a drug cartel, 3 Latinos and some coke, with some equal distribution until someone gets too big for their britches and knocks everyone else off. I like a good even mix of Al-Al, Benoit, Dotel and Coke to all get some run based on the situation and it being too early for Leyland to cash in his Marlboro miles for that new kayak. So with the first post of my inauguration, I am starting from scratch and the rankings start with this post so no fancy pluses or minuses until the next post. I will also try and alternate between closers and Holds guys for my weekly posts.

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