First off: Poop joke. Secondly: next poop joke. Good, now is it out of your system? Well if it ain’t, pinch it off we’ve got to keep dropping these DraftKings posts like they’re hot. Alright, alright, we can’t get things moving with you so backed up on this topic. Here, have some yogurt. Better? Good! Now I have to ask you to draft a guy who’s only $6,000 on DK and is pitching in Petco and he’s not a Padre pitcher. In fact, he’s playing for a team that could actually get him a win. You interested? Me too! His name is Rick Porcello. He enjoys going six to seven innings, loves ground ball outs, and can probably K about five or six guys today given that his opponent is the Padres who have scored 20 total runs in nine games to start the year. For you non-math majors, that’s 2.22 runs per game. You don’t even need to look at the Hitter-Tron to know these Padres won’t help your hitting lineup. I would’ve said just 2 runs since you can’t actually score .22 runs but I didn’t wanna make the lovers of San Diego cry more than their team has already made them. But of course, I’m just a man with an idea. What say you, Stream-O-Nator? Only the 11th best pitcher tomorrow? Balderdash! Oh wait, tons of aces on the mound tomorrow. I mean, Jose Fernandez is the 6th best pitcher tomorrow on there? Well that changes things now doesn’t it. Considering he’s about half the price of the big arms taking the mound, you can take him, buy an ace, and still have room in your budget for more Activia. Seriously, go talk with your doctor, you’ve got a problem. But enough about that, let’s do a few more quick DK pimpings and then move on. We’ve mentioned it a few times but there’s a little game we like to call the Sweet Spot on DraftKings. That’s a $400,000 pot. The cool thing about the link I just gave you? You sign up for the first time to DK you get a free ticket which you can turn into a ticket in the Sweet Spot. How often do you get to tell your wife you actually WON money playing fantasy sports (we’re friends here, you don’t need to lie to me). In either case, if you want in on this DK fun, that would be a great way to start. With that, let’s get on with it. Here’s the Razzball slant on the 4/11/2014 slate for your DraftKings lineups…

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We are going to take a break from the closenado news to bring the middle-reliever news and updates for those of you that are in Holds and NSVH leagues. While it’s not as sexy as the closer news that you usually expect, it is still fundamental in forming a well-balanced pitching staff. It has been a bizarre season, as far as Holds go, and no one person is showing their stoutness and running away with being “that guy”.  The usual candidates are lying in the weeds [Ed. Note-- you haven't smoked it all?] waiting to jump out and show you how to make balloon animals. So here are some snippets that I’ve noticed so far this year, though the season is still short ‘n sweet. There’s a long ways to go my friends. So be patient when it comes to the dudes who pitch after the dudes, but before the dudes that really matter.

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So, I took part in one of those 15-team NFBC drafts that Rudy and all the cool kids were talking about-slash-doing. What a snoozefest! I mean, it was fun, but I fell asleep literally 19 times during it. Granted, it lasted for 19 days, so if I didn’t fall asleep 19 times, I would’ve needed trucker speed, but still. Speaking of which, I have much respect for truckers. They’re driving all day and they have to wear the stupidest hats. Any the hoo! This draft was one part fresh, two parts ‘to def’ and some random Razzballers took part, so maybe we can chat in the comments — I have no friends! We can’t talk about trades, because there are none. There’s also no waivers. This was a 15-team league that went 50 rounds deep. What you draft is what you have. No backsies, no foolsies. Anyway, here’s my 15-team NFBC team and some thoughts:

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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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Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (1) | 2012 (12) | 2011 (24) | 2010 (29) | 2009 (8)

2013 Affiliate Records
MLB: [97-65] NL Central
AAA: [69-75] Pacific Coast League – Memphis
AA: [64-74] Texas League – Springfield
A+: [64-71] Florida State League – Palm Beach
A: [68-69] Midwest League – Peoria
A(ss):  [48-27] New York-Penn League — State College

Graduated Prospects
Matt Adams (1B); Shelby Miller (RHP); Trevor Rosenthal (RHP); Michael Wacha (RHP); Kevin Siegrist (LHP); Tyler Lyons (LHP); Seth Maness (RHP)

The Run Down
In the business of talent procurement and development, the Cardinals are the best.  That’s the only way to explain how an organization can graduate prospects like Shelby Miller, Michael Wacha, Trevor Rosenthal, and Matt Adams, and still come back the following year with a top 5 farm.  The Cardinals churning out homegrown fantasy-relevance is something you should be conditioned to expect by now, and it’ll continue this year with Oscar Taveras, Carlos Martinez, and Kolten Wong… and next year with Stephen Piscotty, and Marco Gonzalez… and the following year with [insert awesome prospects].  You get the idea.

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If you want to see the worst video you can imagine, here’s Aroldis getting hit in the face by a line drive. I say it’s the worst video, not because of the graphic content, but because it looks it was shot by a blind man who has really large fingers. Which has me thinking, does braille come in different sizes? Things that make you go hmm… So, Aroldis Chapman got hit in the face by a comebacker off of Salvador Perez’s bat and needed to get carted off the field and taken straight to the hospital. No amount of weird stories about Aroldis coming home to find women tied to his bed, claiming they were kidnapped, makes what happened to Aroldis right. No amount of stories of him doing 150 MPH in a school zone, drag racing against Puig, makes this right. Aroldis can throw puppies in the air and say he’s making it rain for pussycats and it doesn’t make it okay. Though, I did rush to the waiver wire looking for J.J. Hoover just in case Aroldis would be out for a while, then I went looking for Jonathon Broxton. Fantasy baseball, you make me a bad person! I’d add Hoover and Broxton, just in case Aroldis is out for a while. Right now, I’d guess he misses a month with a fractured nose and a fracture above his eye. Anyway, here’s what else I’ve seen in Spring Training for 2014 fantasy baseball:

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It began as a whisper… a promise… the lightest of breezes danced above the cries of  men and women cheering him on in little league. That breeze became a wind. A wind of freedom… a wind of justice… a wind of vengeance. The time has come, my Beddictites, to prepare yourselves for a breakout of epic proportions. I speak not of the Herp, but of the Harp; Bryce Harper to be clear.

Some would argue that Nostradamus’s greatest prophesy was made in the year 1566, mere days before his horrific case of the Gout brought him to his death bed. “What prophesy is this you speak of, oh wise and charming Beddict?” Ask and thou shalt receive. A deep search into the annals of Nostradamus’s journals produced this historic find– “In the year of our Elder Gods, 2014, a breathtakingly handsome young writer will come out of the shadows and change the world forever. He will no doubt be criticized by many a troglodyte [Ed. Note-- Good word usage bro.], but he shall not hold it against them, for they not know better. On March 10, 2014, this debonaire young man, who will be known as the Mark Twain/William Shakespeare of his generation, will make a prediction about another chosen one, another young man I have seen in my dreams, an athlete of sorts.  These overwhelmingly powerful visions of this brutish boy swinging what seems to be a wooden stick at a bloodless round object have seemingly pushed me to the brink of my grave. It’s either these visions or this Mother F’ing gout! Anyway, I know not what this prediction shall be, but whatever it is, it will have an 85 percent chance of coming to fruition. These two young men’s futures will be forever intertwined for better or for worse. Take heed, for it has been written. I can now die in peace knowing my last true vision has been recorded in my leather-bound and padlocked journal. Now, if only this useless peasant, wife of mine would bring me my favorite chocolate sprinkled crepes along with some brie. Tis a virtual certainty she’s yet again, getting bent over in the barn by my stable boy, Mortimer. By the Gods, I despise that whore.” It’s been said those were the last sentences ever written by Damus, as he passed and now resides with Hood in “House Death.”

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Another Cuban has washed ashore, dreaming of American capitalism and getting seriously laid in Miami. The Cardinals signed shortstop, Aledmys Diaz. Let’s give you a comparison that may or may not do it for you. Diaz hit 12 homers and stole 11 bases with a.315 average in his last year in Cuban ball. Recent raftee by the Dodgers, Alexander Guerrero hit 21 homers, stole 2 bases and hit .290. Right now, Guerrero might be losing the starting job to Dee Gordon who can’t hit his weight, and he weighs 143 pounds. It’s nice that another Cuban gets to realize his dreams like Yasiel Puig and Tony Montana, but I’m not even sure if Diaz will make an impact this year, or ever. Despite his name resembling “All Days,” he’s being projected as a bench player. Oh, and I just had a great idea. I’m not sure who can make this happen, but we should get Fidel Castro on the podcast to talk about baseball. Speaking of which, we’re recording the first podcast of the year today and it should be on-site tomorrow. You can hardly wait. No, you! Anyway, here’s what else I’ve seen in Spring Training for 2014 fantasy baseball:

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To begin, I should make it clear that this is not a list of my top overall prospects.  No, this is a 2014-specific list, and it exists only to serve those of us in fantasyland.  The names that follow are, at this moment, the prospects who have the best chance at offering positive fantasy contributions during the 2014 season.  Those of you who follow my Prospect Power Rankings series during the season, understand that time-specific prospect rankings are fluid — it’s a tricky game, weighing potential impact against current opportunity, and outlooks can change drastically overnight.  There are too many variables at work to peg these ETA’s accurately, and that is precisely why we revisit these rankings often throughout the year with the aforementioned power rankings.  Consider this a starting point.  Numbers 26-50 will run next week, but for now, let’s dig into the top-25.

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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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?