Travel back in time with me if you will, to a place where fanny packs, male ponytails, and Jordache jeans were all the rage. A time when Bruce Jenner was a symbol of masculinity, and O.J. Simpson was America’s favorite star! Travel with me to the age of Nintendo, a time when video games had two buttons and you didn’t need a degree in molecular biology to play. That last sentence made me sound very old, oh well. Anyway the theme of this week’s two start pitchers soiree is Nintendo! No not Super Nintendo (which was awesome BTW, #GoldenEye4life) or Wii, just plan old “blow on the console” to clean it NES. If you were anything like me then you played your fair share of Zelda, Super Mario, Duck Hunt, Tecmo Bowl, Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out, RBI Baseball, Double Dribble, Blades Of Steel, the list goes on and on. [Jay’s Note: Where’s Excite Bike and Battle Toads?] Aww the good old days when video games had easily exploitable glitches, like throwing to the outside of the plate with Nolan Ryan. Or pressing the Duck Hunt gun against the screen because that damn pooch kept laughing at you. Don’t look at me swan! Anyway, this week we have one of the deeper rosters of two-start pitchers in recent memory, and arguably the four best arms in the game double dipping. Not to worry if you don’t own one of the four horsemen there’s plenty of other great options in week number 9. So get up off of that thang and take a gander at this week’s two start madness.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Felix Hernandez went 9 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners with 8 Ks, but wasn’t the best pitcher in yesterday’s gaymey. Damn! I wrote the preceding sentence in drool hanging from my mouth while looking at Chris Archer‘s stats, and got to the very end before my drool failed me, sorta like Boxberger failed the Rays. This post will be one part fawning over Archer, two parts awe and three parts peyote. Speaking of peyote, why are there jam bands, but not jelly bands? I put on 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover by Garfunkel’s old partner and fell asleep. When I woke, I started singing, “Chris, there is something you can do to make me smile again. I said I appreciate that and would you please explain the fifty ways you can fix my ratios. You just throw a backdoor curve, swerve! Make a new game plan, man! You don’t need to be coy, 12 Ks — oh, boy! Just get yourself free to pitch every fifth day! Hop on the Nats bus and explain it to Effin Strasburg! You don’t need to discuss much because you are so clutch! Just drop off the key and stay with me! There’s fifty ways I can leave my Cougar!” Yesterday, Archer’s line was 8 IP, 0 ER, 2 baserunners, 12 Ks, lowering his ERA to 2.12. Fancy area code you got there! The crazy thing is his K-rate is 10.9, walk rate is 2.7 and xFIP is 2.59, which means he’s as good as he seems. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Cody Asche was sent down to learn left field (or get lost trying), and the Phils’ GM, Ruin Tomorrow Jr., said they’re calling up Maikel Franco this weekend. Let’s see what October Grey had to say about Franco, “Well, Asche’s opportunity to sneak in and have a surprisingly solid season in 2014 before Franco emerged went swimmingly. If we’re judging swimmingly on a scale established by Natalie Wood getting swimming lessons from Robert Wagner. Too harsh? How about as swimmingly as Whitney Houston in a bathtub? That’s just terrible, why would you force me to give you a second one? Upon his arrival in Philly at the end of last year, Franco’s lack of assault on major league pitching made it seem like he needed more seasoning, i.e., the Franco-American Outside-Of-King-Of-Prussia War on pitching didn’t exactly leave us with shock and awe (.179 in the majors with zero homers in 56 ABs). Shouldn’t have been a surprise, he didn’t exactly look like a breakout waiting to happen last year in Triple-A, where he had 16 homers in 521 ABs, hitting .257. With rookies like that, maybe the Phils are right to invest in more megaphones for the clubhouse, so their veterans can communicate. Franco could be the type that just needs to get comfortable at a new level, which bears itself out when you look at his month-to-month OPS last year in Triple-A (.967, .636 in last two months and .879 this year in Triple-A).” And that’s me quoting me! He’s worth a flyer if you need corner infidel help. I stashed him in one deeper league (15 team) and ignored him in a 12-teamer. He might only have 14-homer power, so, basically, he’s Ryan Zimmerman. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Another week of two-start pitchers and another music focused theme to guide you in your conquests. Wait that sounded sexual, you’re not trying to sleep with two start pitchers right?  I mean it’s fine if you do this is a judgement free zone, but I wanted to be clear about my usage of conquests.  I don’t want to start showing up for searches based around jersey chasing.  Then my comments might be questions like “What’s the best type of underwear to wear when trying to seduce Max Scherzer?”.  Jesus, how did I get here?  I just want to talk a little 90’s grunge and throw a few stats at you.  Stream of conscious writing isn’t for everyone.  Let’s put aside my ramblings for a moment and get into the meat of this sandwich shall we?  Anyone see the Kurt Cobain documentary “Montage of Heck”?  I watched it three times this week and was reminded of how much I loved Nirvana as a 10 year old Ralph.  For anyone that’s a Nirvana fan it’s a worthy take.  So thanks to the film and last week’s spirited music debate in the comments I’ve been inspired to base this week’s tiers on my favorite groups from the Seattle Grunge scene.  Hell it’s probably the last good thing to come out of Seattle. I see you Tehol.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“As Bryce Harper passed home plate after his 2nd home run of the three he hit yesterday, Ian Desmond lifted Harper’s helmet and with a flick of the head, Harper’s hair fell back in place. If you get a base hit, you have to stand on base and the helmet weighs down your hair. That’s why Harper uses the home run.” This message was brought to you by Aqua Net. What? It’s better than the same stupid Major League Baseball highlights over and over again on MLB TV — we get it, Bo Jackson threw out a runner! Get a new highlight! It’s also better than a Hanz and Franz commercial — talk about a sad commentary on baseball fans’ demographic. “Hey, Bill, we have a commercial that appeals to 35 to 60-year-old white males. Any ideas where we should place it?” So, Harper hit three monster-sized badonkadonks like a night out as Gabourey Sidibe’s pants and I told you to draft Harper before just about every fantasy baseball ‘pert, so you’re welcome. Don’t mention it. No, no, it’s okay. Okay, fine, you can hug me. Stop trying to touch my mustache! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Call the Sons of Sam Horn! Get Matt Damon on the line! Someone tweet @RemDawg! Unfreeze Ted the Head! Avengers Assemble! The Red Sox are set to promote their next top super-prospect, Blake Swihart, today to serve as the primary catcher while Ryan Hanigan is on the shelf. If the legends spoke of in ancient Fenway lore are true, he could be the one who will bring balance back to a Red Sox pitching staff that has looked somewhat questionable in the early going. A late first round pick in 2011, Swihart gathered a lot of buzz in spring training this year after slashing .333/.375/.533 with a HR and 8 RBI. In 18 games with AAA Pawtucket this year he’s hit .338/.392/.382 with 3 doubles and 11 RBI. With just 22 home runs in five minor league seasons I wouldn’t expect much power from Swihart, but as a spray hitter the bat certainly seems to be major league ready. Initially, Boston felt Swihart’s defense needed a bit more seasoning in the minors, but there is unquestionably some offensive upside, especially in Boston’s heavy hitting, run scoring line up. Here’s what Razzball’s prospector Mike said last week about Swihart, who was ranked #11 in his Prospect Power Rankings, “With the injuries and such at the catching position right now, folks will be chomping at the bit to add Swihart to their teams when he arrives.” He’s so right, you guyz, if your fantasy catcher situation is anything like mine, you’re cycling out a cast of characters the likes of Nick Hundley, Tucker Barnhart, Crash Davis and Caleb Joseph, some of whom do more harm than good. I’d take a chance on Blake Swihart if you need a catcher, he’s owned in less than 5% of ESPN leagues but as soon as Brandi-Lynn from Southie finds out everyone will know so act quickly. There is potential runs and average here, and like every Sawx prospect, there is all that sweet, sweet upside, so here’s hoping Blake can rake.

Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Last night, Mat Latos looked like he was headed for the Disgraceful List. He didn’t fool anyone. I didn’t say he didn’t fool any hitters because he was facing the Braves, they don’t have any hitters besides Freeman. After giving up seven runs, he didn’t get out of the first inning, replaced by Brad Hand. Here’s some tweets Dallas Latos wanted to write, “Keep pitching like that and Hand will replace me too.” “My third collagen injection blew up less than you.” “I knew I should’ve slept with Cueto.” In the preseason, I should’ve dropped Latos in my rankings when Rudy wrote his warnings. I screwed up. I did mention last week about staying away from him, but it was likely too little, too Latos for most of you. I think you could likely sell very low right now — like for a Brain Freeze closer — and still be happy just to get Latos off your team because he looks like Latoast. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This draft was so slow that I lost half my starting rotation before the draft ended. This draft was so slow that when it started Minnie Minoso was still alive. This draft was so slow when it started Tupac was still dead. I didn’t enjoy my time last year in the 15-team NFBC slow draft. I drafted Mark Trumbo, Prince Fielder, Cliff Lee, Anibal Sanchez and Patrick Corbin and my only chance was a big year from Nadir Bupkis, who gave me just that. See, there’s no waivers and the league is 50 rounds deep, so if you’re hit by injuries, you’re done. So, I was talked into doing the league one more time, but knew I had to draft starters early and often, and, of course, prior to the draft even completing I lost Zack Wheeler and Tony Cingrani. Many will disagree with me, but I’m under the firm belief that it’s a lot harder and more fun to win a league like a Razzball Commenter League, than it is to win a super-deep league. With super-deep leagues, if you’re hit by injuries, you’re done. That’s neither fun nor challenging. That’s just shizzy luck. You can say I should’ve known Wheeler and Cingrani weren’t safe, and I’d say to you that neither are any of the pitchers that are healthy all year. They just happened to stay healthy. It’s not like the guy that drafted Alex Cobb is any smarter than the guy who drafted (insert pitcher that is healthy right now that may not be healthy by the time you read this). How’s dem grapes? Sour! Anyway, here’s my 15-team, 5×5, roto, NFBC slow draft team and thoughts:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You know the guy that was going to draft Nelson Cruz in your league because he just had a career year? The guy that drafted Chris Davis last year, Buster Posey the year before and Mitzi Gaynor in his 50’s pinup league back in 1953? That guy is the Mariners. (In fairness to that doode, Mitzi had a hell of a follow-up in ’54. Va Va Va Va Va Va — How many Va’s is that — Voom!) Nelson Cruz stayed healthy one other year, besides last year. He hit the most home runs of his career last year. He had the most RBIs, runs, strikeouts and will be 35 years old in 2015. So, of course, the Mariners give him a huge deal. Baseball team management is a peculiar thing. (By the by, I can’t say the word ‘peculiar.’ It sounds like I’m trying to pronounce the word for film in Spanish.) What seems obvious to the everyday person must not be obvious to baseball management. It would be fun to test this out in other areas of life. “Okay, baseball management, I’m going to bring you to the corner of the street. When the light turns green, cross the street.” Insert Batman-style sound effect. Only they’re doing it with nearly $60 million dollars. Well, ours isn’t to wonder why, ours is to figure out the fantasy value when a player changes environs. (Environs? Coolest word to write. Least cool word to say aloud.) Up until Cruz actually passed 27 homers last year, I had him pegged for 27 homers, because, well, that’s how many home runs he always hits, give or take a handful. Last year, he had big hands — that’s what she said! Huh? — but that was contingent on one big number that he had never reached before: 678. As in how many ABs he had last year. If a player has a pattern of getting injured and has a healthy year at 34 years old, I don’t buy that his health concerns are a thing of history. Call me a fool! (Not to my face.) In the past two years, his steals have dropped to the five-steal range, so he is essentially power. He has hideous numbers in Safeco for his career, but I don’t buy into that mattering because when he was in Safeco prior he was facing Mariners pitching and he was playing in an away game (sleeping in a hotel, chasing tail amongst visitor hoochie, etc.). Safeco isn’t going to do him any favors, but he can homer anywhere if healthy. That’s the stick in my craw. For 2015, I’ll give him 475 ABs and the projections of 71/26/85/.262/5. Decent, but almost surely overrated for this year, and don’t call me Shirley. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2015 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The rain cooperated to let Derek Jeter play his final game at Yankee Stadium. Thank God, the Yankees needed the tarp for Suzyn Waldman. The Yankees presented Jeter with a replica of the Yankee Stadium on-deck circle. He is going to put it outside his house and instead of pine tar rags and donuts there will be lingerie and gift baskets. I don’t really care for his final lap around Fenway. I do agree with Olbermann that I think he should have bowed out of playing in Fenway. With that said (reversal time!), sometimes stars get grooved pitches on their final retirement jaunt. I grabbed Jeter two days ago in my leagues just in case that happens, and so far, so good. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?