Like a good Jewish boy, Brad Ausmus said to his Bubbie, “Bubbie, I love sulfites, nitrates and pig a**holes, but every time I see a Nathan’s, I get the runs. Bubbie, do you have a remedy?” His Bubbie lowered her knitting and said, “You need to get a goddamn decent closer!” And so it was done. Unfortunately, due to being wracked with guilt (or possibly due to a rather hard knock on the head), Ausmus couldn’t pull the trigger and said Nathan will remain the closer. Oh. WHAT?! The Rangers traded Joakim Soria to the Tigers because Joe Nathan is making Detroit look even lousier. I can’t imagine Soria remains the set-up man for very long, since Nathan owns a 5.89 ERA and has looked completely lost for the better part of the season. For now, I’d hold both of them. Over in Texas, I have a rooting interest in Neal Cotts getting saves, because I own him and not Neftali Feliz. If I had my druthers, and knew what the hell druthers were — hmm, maybe then I do have druthers — I would grab Neftali first. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The issue with writing for a site like Razzball, I’ve learned, is that you expend too much mental energy trying to come up with cute ways of saying everything. At least for those of us whose “written humor” is still somewhat of a work in progress, this is true. Needless to say, in just the past minute alone I’ve thought of so many dumb, unfunny ways of saying “I’m back!” that I’m embarrassed to share a single one, and will proceed as dully as possible. Yes, I’ve returned from my three week European extravaganza. There it is. Now instead of flirting with Australian chicks one year out of Uni in hostel bars, I’m back in the States ready to dispense you with the highest quality fantasy advice this country can offer. (You won’t believe how good German Grey is.)

In case you’ve forgotten or are just joining us here at LM for the first time, my goal is to highlight hitters to add for games on the short-slated days of Monday and Thursday. Filling out your lineup on these days is a basic tenet of fantasy leagues with daily moves and to be quite frank, you probably ain’t winning any titles in a competitive unless you put in the time to do this. Prior to my trip I posted here twice a week but that was before I packed my bags and got a soul-sucking office job, so now I’m going to synthesize those into one article that covers both days.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Money means time. Time is money. I don’t got much of either today, so I’m skipping the silly intro part that I’m convinced no one reads anyway. Don’t worry, my feelings aren’t hurt; I’m what you call a constitutionally strong person. That’s the opposite of a constitutional weakling, you know, the guy who has his night ruined after you tell him his shirt collar has been flipped up the whole time, and the next thing you know, your friendship is on the rocks and you’re sitting on a couch across from Steve Harvey talking about it. That won’t happen with me.

So, as Captain Tenneal would say, LET’S GO!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On Tuesday, the Gods befriended my plans, making the only effect of scattered thunderstorms in the New York area a simple hour rain delay in the Yanks-A’s game. After that, it was a beautiful night for baseball. What began as an unexciting, low-scoring affair, ended in a thrilling come-from-behind, extra-inning A’s victory. Before the game, I was most looking forward to groovin’ to Josh Reddick’s walkup song “Careless Whisper”, and embarrassingly, it wasn’t until I was sitting in my seat and saw the lineups posted on the scoreboard that I remembered he was on the DL. No slow-dancing  for me tonight.

I highly encourage everyone to watch the full MLB video I linked to above about, what was at that time, Reddick’s new walk-up jam. For those of you who need the quick fix, here’s the payoff of the video.

From the professionalism of his attire, you get the sense he’s really letting loose in the moment. And then as soon as the music stops, his demeanor flashes instantly back to his normal stodgy self. This is purely speculation on my part, a modern version of the people-watch-and-invent-stories-of-their-lives game that can make any trip to a metropolitan area more interesting.

Anyhoo! Let’s get down to business with regards to Monday’s games…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It seems like nothing can go wrong for the Blue Jays right now. They’ve won six in a row and eight of their last ten games, and last night rookie Marcus Stroman grabbed his third win in just his second MLB start, pitching six innings, allowing just one run while giving up seven hits, walking two, and striking out seven. Let the Stromania begin! After defeating the Royals last week, Stroman has now given up just two runs in 12 innings, with a 13/2 K/BB ratio. One of Razzball’s top-20 prospects going into 2014, we’ve been mentioning him for a while now. Stroman’s got a mid-nineties fastball, and a filthy slider and cutter in his repertoire. He may have what it takes to hang with the big dogs, and with the way the Jays have been playing he might become a part of something big. (Bring the American League championship back to where it belongs! Canada.) Marcus excelled in the minors this year (35.2 IP, 3.03 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 11.36 K/9) before being called up in early May to serve as bullpen help, where he struggled a bit. However, now that he’s likely to see a considerable look in the rotation all those Ks and Ws and possibly other letters (WHIP? ERA?) could be yours.  He was a BUY this week although he will undoubtedly experience some ups and downs in the perilous AL East, but Marcus has a nice start versus the Twins next week and I’d try to add him in most standard leagues for some serious strikeout upside. And that’s coming from a bonafide Stromaniac.

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You make plans, and the Fantasy Baseball Overlord laughs. I believe that is how the saying goes. Yesterday, Carlos Gonzalez succumbed to his time-honored tradition of hitting the DL. This time it was due to his finger inflammation. I wonder if his finger plumped up like a Ballpark Frank. By the by, you know the secret ingredient that is used for Ballpark Franks to plump up when you cook them, why is that not used in other foods? This seems to be the cure for world hunger. Inject everything and ship it to Africa. “Nice pancake, colonizer, but can you plump it up?” Yes, we can now little African kid! On his trips to Africa, why is Bono not armed with Ballpark Franks? We need some sodium nitrate up in here! On the bright side of things, Corey Dickerson is now definitely going to get everyday looks for at least the next two weeks and I’d guess it’ll be more like three to four weeks. Grab Dickerson! Whew, glad his name isn’t Dick, er, son. On a side note, “precious cargo” is the stupidest Urban Dictionary definition I’ve ever seen. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You ask and you shall receive! I had numerous requests for a Jeff Samardzija Pitcher Profile, and since I’d only seen the fire-baller throw maybe once or twice against my Brewers, I thought it would be a great idea to break him down for Razzball Nation.

I know the big righty features a huge fastball that flirts with the upper 90′s, but off the top of my head I couldn’t remember any specific secondary pitches so I was excited to really analyze one of his starts. Remember when he was the top WR target for Brady Quinn? Seems like ages ago! Remember when he was an erratic fixture in that Cubs bullpen along with Carlos Marmol? I bet some of those innings made even Steve Bartman cringe. But it’s much further down the road with Samardzija a fixture in that rotation (along with your fantasy squad’s staff) and a piece of the Cubs’ rebuilding future. Let’s go through how he hurled against the Diamondbacks on Saturday:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If you were one of the Razzball disciples that had dreams of a 20/20 type season from Josh Rutledge please take your head out of the oven. Rutledge may have been sent packing, but things aren’t that bad. It’s not like you’ve been eating snow cones at Minute Maid Park. Besides you own an electric range. Worse thing you’ll do is singe your eyebrows and look like this. Hey, I was a Rutledge believer too. But I hedged my bet and put one of my kidneys on ice for him just in case something went terribly wrong. Damn, the cat’s eaten it. Gareth, bad kitty! At least I have a spare and that has Jedd Gyorko’s name all over it. I really need a middle infielder! If you were a Rutledge owner as well, we are in the same boat. And it’s about to hit an iceberg. Now stay still while I sketch you. The middle infield waiver options are stocked with guys named either Alexi or Alexei. Oh, there’s an Adeiny too. *sticks head in oven*

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This won’t only be a Buy on Anthony Rendon but also a Sell on Danny Espinosa since he’s used up all my hospitality, and I’m the Florence Nightingale of hospitality if she was known for hospitality and not just being in hospitals. I’m the Sean Penn of hospitality, refusing awards for my hospitality. I Desmond effin’ Tutu of hospitality! Yeoman Albright, my great4 grandfather, invented the word hospitality, and Espinosa is nailing me to the Red Cross of hospitality?! How dare you, sir? How. Dare. You. He’s not a .160-ish player, but he is only a .230-ish player and right now he’s not even hitting homers. The clock is tick-tick-ticking on Rendon being called up to replace him, and I’m officially done with Espinosa (which, of course, will start him up). Depending on your league size, now is the time to stash Rendon. He’s probably 7-10 days away. Here’s what I said recently about him, “Rendon is gonna be a great one…some day. Damn, the fantasy baseball fortune cookie ending! Yeah, I’m not sure he’s ready just yet, but he’s worth a flyer in all leagues. I grabbed him in one league where I have Moustakas, because I’m tired of seeing that gyro-eating-motherfu– Let’s just say I’m tired of Moustakas. Best case scenario, Rendon stays up and hits for a solid average and gives high-teen power with some very light speed. Worst case scenario, Rendon shows up at your house at 3 AM and asks to sleep on your couch, which seems fine at first, then he tells you he has no place to live, stays for months, doesn’t ever flush the toilet or fill up the Tang in the fridge, then starts dating your aunt, eventually marries her, making him your uncle, a title he insists you call him.” And that’s me quoting me! Grab Uncle Rendon now, and move on from Espinosa in most leagues. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Jurickson Profar called up to replace The Ian Kinsler DL Experiment. I’ll wait here while you go add Profar in your league. Okay, back? Good! If you’re not back yet, then you’re not reading this, so let me clear the air, I slept with your sister. Baseballstar Profarlactica is the safest bet from catching the prospect hype virus in the known universe. First (after all those other firsts), let’s see what Scott, our prospect writer, wrote, “Profar brings legit 20-20 potential, along with .300+ AVG, and an OBP north of .350. From shortstop, that sort of production would be enormous. Here’s Grey’s Jurickson Profar fantasy. Also check out my Top 25 Prospects for 2013, where Profar came in at #15. I also slept with your sister.” Damn, hope those other people still aren’t back. I’d grab Profar in every league. Yes, even yours. My guess is he will hit. My 2nd guess is C. Always guess C. That advice can get you into an Ivy League school. I didn’t go to one, ergo, henceforth, vis-à-vis, I had to Google whether or not Ivy League was capitalized. If he hits, Profar could be here to stay with the Rangers saying, “Yo, Profar is hitting so let’s keep him and move Kinsler to the outfield. Or just put a “Hockey sucks” t-shirt on Andrus and drop him off in Winnipeg.” If Profar doesn’t hit, he’ll be sent back down and no one will need to go to Winnipeg. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?