Does anyone remember when Vince Vaughn was funny? It was a time long ago in a land far, far away, your wife was still dating guys wearing Armani Exchange shirts, and George W. Bush was using words like strategrey. It was long before the abortion that was True Detective Season 2, or Couples Retreat, and sometime between Swingers, and The Breakup. In that wrinkle in time Vince Vaughn ruled the box office, and the douchy part of our soul where things like Ed Hardy t-shirts, mirror selfies, and Criss Angel performances still roam free. So where am I going with this awkwardly constructed analogy? I’ll hurry up and get to the point, today’s subject Vince Velasquez has much in common with his big screen brother in initials, way beyond his first name and banal use of the word “Bae-be”. He too started his career with a bang, and universal love during his brief stay in Houston, and then the early season dominance in 2016. And much like Mr. Vaughn, Velasquez took on the task of leading man in the drama that is the Philadelphia Phillies 2017, but unfortunately he just hasn’t been able to recapture the magic. Maybe Velasquez’s nightmare seems less like a heroin dream, and more like a string of poor performances. But the effect is still the same, you just don’t view their latest release with the same excitement you used to. So when I was tasked with covering Velasquez this week by our fearless leader Grey Albright, it felt like a choir singing to me. Perhaps it was the angelic voice of Mr. Albright, perhaps it was my paycheck. Either way, when Grey Albright comes to you and asks “Can you see what’s happin’ with this young brother”, you A. wonder when he became a member of 5% Nation, B. you profile Vince Velasquez. So to the God Grey Albright this is for you…

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I can’t believe Aaron Judge was caught stealing yesterday.  I’d be afraid of tagging him.  He should have just put the MI in The Claw, Baron Von Judgeske-style.  You remember The Machines?  They were the most obvious masked wrestlers in the 80’s.  Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan put on a mask, but wore exactly everything else.  Here’s Hulk Machine:

It’s like the Clark Kent of disguises.  It’s like if I wore a Hamburglar disguise but you could see my mustache.  They should do Baseball Machines.   Right now, Judge Machine is my favorite Machine and moving in on my love for Giancarlo Machine, and where the hell is Odor Machine?  He needs to pop Bautista Machine in his big, fat mouth and get crazy like Charlie’s mom, Ma Sheen.  As for Judge Machine, yesterday he went 3-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs with his major league-leading 13th homer as he hits .330.  That last number is the real surprise.  Is he a .300+ hitter?  I’m gonna go unlikely with a side of nuh-uh.  Can he hit 40 HRs and .270?  That’s looking affirmative.  I’m sure he’ll cool off; they all do, but I wouldn’t be against buying him high either.  If someone doesn’t believe the 40-homer, 275-pound love muscle, get him.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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So here’s something ridiculous – I think the Oakland A’s are my least favorite team.  Scratch that, F THE CARDS!  Even if they do have the best fans in baseball…  A’s are my least favorite AL team.  And it’s nothing to do with particular players, trying to be “hipster” and not liking Monyeball (It’s a cool movie!  Love the music.), or residual ire due to the Warriors.  Ugh, NBA with only 2 or 3 competing teams every year – BORING!  It just seems like every year, their offense is lacking, yet they pound on pitchers when you least expect it.  Cough, James Paxton, cough.  It’s so annoying!  It all started when I owned CC Sabathia on some dynos back when he started with the Yankees, and it felt like every April or May the A’s would tag him for 7 or 8 runs every game.  Plus, ya know, I didn’t buy into Josh Donaldson and Khris Davis decided to be a consistent power hitter in a shittier park, but we’ll end this absolutely ludicrous rant here.

Due to the above, I don’t watch a ton of A’s, so I have yet to see Andrew Triggs pitch.  His scouting report is unimpressive: his fastball actually lost velocity to be a sub-90 MPH pitch, he gets groundballs which usually means Ks should be low, is 28 and a converted closer, and it just all feels like smoke and Black Mirrors.  He’s a robot!  But maybe that perception is a reaction to my A’s bias, especially since he went into yesterday with three straight scoreless start wins.  Well, he did allow 2 unearned runs in one of em and 1 in another – yet another reason I think it’s Black Mirrors.  So I decided to watch his start Sunday afternoon to finally get the book out on the guy, and here’s how he looked against the Mariners:

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Me watching Lance McCullers:

The genius thing in that gif is the moment where Tom doesn’t seem like he knows which way to twirl the pool stick, looks about to mess up, and crack a smile, then spins and starts walking away.  Scorsese likely had cleaner takes, but it brilliant that he uses a slightly flubby take because the character Vince is so full of himself even when he shouldn’t be.  There were no such flubs in Lance McCullers’ start yesterday (6 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 7 Ks).  May your God strike me down if this guy isn’t so butter that I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter sees him and says, “You are more butter than I can ever hope to be,” then I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter bows repeatedly, backing out of the room, saying, “Your butterness, I am not worthy.”  As I said repeatedly in the preseason, I was thisclose to putting McCullers in my top 20 starters overall, but his health deterred me.  Well, de-turd this, because he looks healthy and I wish I owned McCullers everywhere.  If he throws 180+ IP, he could be a top ten starter.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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This offseason I’m going to recap sixteen-after-twenty, then I’ll go over the best rookies for next year, then I’ll go into sleepers and, finally, the new rankings.  Holy crap!  We’re already at the new rankings?!  Oh, no, we’re not.  Sorry, I sometimes confuse exposition and reality.  Like, right now, am I explaining I confuse the two or am I really confused?  Any hoo!  I mention some offseason business now as an on-the-nose prelude to what’s to come, but also because I’m excited to talk about Alex Reyes for each one of those upcoming categories.  Best rookies?  Reyes still has eligibility, so check.  Sleepers?  He has a 1.57 ERA, more than a K per inning and averages 97 MPH, so check, check.  Rankings?  I want Reyes on every team next year so where do I rank him?  Check, check, check!  Check pah-vodka-sha!  He trap me with that alligator blood!  Damn, I haven’t seen Rounders in a while, I wonder if it holds up.  *looks to see Rounders DVD holding up crooked bookshelf*  Oh, yeah, baby!  Yesterday, Reyes went 6 IP, 1 ER, 9 baserunners, 6 Ks with the same superb — samperb? — pitching he’s done since he was called up.  I can’t imagine he’s not in the rotation to start 2017, but, as Teddy KGB would say, Cards speak.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, Ivan Nova threw a complete game with one earned run — 9 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 6 Ks — ERA at 3.20 on the Pirates, after having a 4.90 ERA on the Yankees.  This Ray Searage guy can do miracles.  People should travel far and wide to go see him with their ailments, anguish and general malaise.  “So, I was standing in line for a frappuccino and I was thinking, ‘What’s the point?’  So, what is the point, Searage?”  “Sounds like you should use the change more.”  By the way, malaise is not the actress that plays Arya Stark.  Ray Searage is a modern-day miracle worker.  Move over, Anne Sullivan!  This is also exactly what they said about Searage in regards to Juan Nicasio before he flamed out about three weeks into the season, and Gerrit Cole has been pretty gross.  Searage seems totally competent, but to think he can fix all Pirates pitchers seems foolhardy.  No relation to Tom Hardy.  I could see grabbing Nova if the matchups are right, but I’m not running out to grab him in 12 team mixed leagues.  Not simply because my computer’s at home and it makes no sense to run out anywhere.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Twenty-six years after my Lord and Savior, Reggie Jackson, retired from professional baseball to collect cars, full-length fur coats and start a business where you use cocktail franks as cocktail stirrers, I saw a young Mariner by the name of Brad Miller.  To this day, when you Google “Brad Miller sleeper,” you still see archival footage of Grey’s massive excitement — that’s not what she said!  I was jazzed back in 2013 because Miller had hit 20 HRs, stole 11 bases and over .300 between the majors and minors.  Then 2014 and 2015 happened, Miller did nothing, and I retreated into my cubby hole of snack food that I eat out of sight from my Cougar wife.  “I’m snacking on kale, baby doll!”  “Grey, you sound louder than usual.”  I was being amplified due to eating a nacho cheese Bugle.  Finally, this year I was sure not to own Miller anywhere.  So, of course, he breaks out.  Yesterday, Brad Miller went 3-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 25th homer, 5th homer this week, while hitting .265.  On our 30-day Player Rater, Miller is 5th most valuable for hitters.  The top 4 –> Blackmon, Hamilton, Braun, Betts.  Yeah, pretty good company, like Reggie’s cocktail frank stirrers’ company, The Dog That Stirs The Drink, Inc.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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As the season begins to wind down, and the grind of the first four months feeds into the stretch run of the final two months. The contenders begin to rise to the top in Razzball’s own dynasty league the Razznasty. We got a serious race going, with the top spot changing hands multiple times over the last few days. RCL Czar Matt Truss sits atop the mountain, for the next few hours at least. BTW Matt you are a Czar, watch out for Commies old friend. Look at that a Russian history lesson mixed with fantasy baseball. I’m gunning for a Smithsonian gig one day. In the meantime I’ll keep providing you with gushing articles about prospects, dynasty strategy, and PROSPECT PODCASTS!!! I hope everyone is ready for our first episode coming tomorrow!!! We’ll be talking the prospect side of the trade deadline, and some of the recent weeks callups. Benintendi anyone? Yes, I have to mention him twice a post.

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Sometimes you ask and you shall receive and in that vein, I begin this month’s Razznasty update. Now I know the two questions you’re asking, what did you ask for and receive? And which vein? First, it’s the main vein, you know the one in the middle…. Secondly, I asked our very own Hippo in the bush Matt Truss to make a push in the standings over the course of June so I could name the next update “Can’t Truss It”. Done and done. I told Mr. Truss-ah Truss that I’d dress as Flavor Flav from this video while I wrote it. Truss, that I held up my end of the bargain, picture me decked out in white tuxedo with top hat and Batman glasses. Unfortunately I can’t share with all of you due to a shortage on the correct cartridges for my vintage Polaroid Sun 600. Sorry boys, and whatever number of girls are reading this year. I believe we were up to five, but we might have lost a few after the Jose Canseco interview. There’s nothing that upsets the ladies more than invasive question about Madonna’s early 90’s sperm brokering. Enough of the bollocks, onto the Razznasty update for June. Dynasty League Baseball at it’s finest.

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Hey, Razzball Nation, you know it’s your favorite white boy, right?  I owe you this one.  I’ve been patiently waiting for Gregory Polanco to explode on.  You can pfft if you want but his ankles were rolled on.  It feels like Polanco has been hot for so long.  If you thinking he’s gonna fall off, you’re so wrong.  Take some Marte and Polanc and you mix them up in a pot, sprinkle a ‘little Hurdle not knowing who to bat where,’ and what you got?  You got the realest and illest batters, juggernauts of this fantasy shizz like it or not!  Seriously, I’ve been waiting all season to feature Polanco in a lede.  Yesterday, he rained some of his own fireworks on the 4th of who-lie (that’s how I pronounce it), knocking out two home runs (2-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 11th and 12th homers), and you might remember from my preseason rankings, this little beaut, “Two quick things:  Yes, I’m aware that Polanco is ranked insanely high in my rankings vs. other people’s rankings.  And, yes, I’m going to own Polanco on every team.  Confession Alert!  I had Polanco in the top 20 overall prior to seeing where others ranked him and moved him down a round.  I could’ve moved him down six rounds and still had him higher than everyone.  Polanco feels like an Arenado situation from last year.  By that I mean, I will say something to another fantasy baseball ‘pert like, “Do you like Polanco?”  They’ll reply, “Yeah, I love him.” I’ll follow up with, “Then why do you have him ranked 110 overall?”  They’ll answer, “I don’t know.”  Then my head will explode.”  And that’s me mic dropping.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?