Try not to act so jealous, Frank Thomas. A new superstar has arrived in Chicago. After Evan Longoria hit a go ahead 2-run home run in the ninth inning last night against the Chicago White Sox, most thought the game was all but over. But not Jose Abreu. People have been telling him “No Way, Jose!” all his life. A real defector at heart, he was ready to prove them wrong the only way he knew how– with his bat. The crowd was slowly filtering out, the concessions employees were removing the hot dogs from the rollers and placing them back in the warm stagnant water for the next day, and Adam Dunn was already in the locker room, eating his post-game bucket of oats. But White Sox rookie slugger Abreu aka the Grande Dolor aka or is it el Gran Dolor? aka “I guess it doesn’t really matter, he’s just a monster” Abreu had a different idea. Chicago loaded the bases for the phenom and he promptly sent it into the stands with the grand slam and the walk off win. He finished the day 3-for-5, with two home runs and six RBI. Ay carumba! The final home run was Jose’s league-leading ninth jack of the year, and he also tied for the lead with 27 RBI and his .632 SLG% and .968 OPS are among the league’s best as well. He set the rookie record for April home runs too, and counting. Abreu is making those who gambled on him early in drafts look like geniuses, jacking homers every 10.6 at bats and rocking a sick and a 26.9% HR/FB ratio. That means he’s going to hit more home runs. Like, a lot more. And if he’s as fun to own in fantasy as he is to watch in actual real-life-not- in-a-box score-but-on-the-field baseball, then Abreu could likely find himself in the upper echelon of the fantasy elite as soon as this year.

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

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So, everyone can give a complete exhale that two save-category standard bearers were not shut down with shoulder problems. Craig Kimbrel and Koji Uehara both threw bullpens yesterday, and are all systems go for the rest of the week.  Not like any of you have them, because we don’t and shouldn’t overpay for saves on draft day.  So if either of these guys fell to ya, good on ya and relax, and stop checking the waiver wire for half a tick.  Kimbrel is the tits, regardless of setbacks, his numbers say so, and you should walk around telling people the such as well.  Kenley is nice, has all the check marks: winning team, K’s, and the large drink to boot.  I just can’t, with good faith, de-commit from Kimbrel unless he actually hits the DL.  So with the sighs of relief I hear, let’s touch on some more of this weeks hap’s and slaps.  Shall we?

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Holy hell, what just happened?  This week was supposed to be about all the pomp and circumstance of opening day.  Then a closenado happened, a whirlwind of job loss and fake unemployment questions.  I  mean, before two games ended, two closers were replaced.  That’s just silly stupid, like buying a pack of crayons without the built in sharpener. Useless.  Roenicke and Ventura, I am putting a sfortuna and a pox on both your households. Moves like this usually lead to managerial unemployment, so maybe we aren’t so bad off, as both look well fixated on the Kohl’s managerial program. To make things worse, Bobby P fell down and ‘Papa Grande’ came tumbling after.

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It’s everyone’s favorite ‘pert with everyone’s favorite self-flagellating exercise — Hey, look at my team! The ‘Hey, look at my team!’ exercise can go one of two ways. We can either agree that my team is awesome. Or you can combat the ‘Hey, look at my team!’ exercise with your own ‘Hey, look at my team!’ exercise. I’m guessing a lot of you will opt for the second, since the ‘Hey, look at my team!’ exercise seems to go over best from the first person. One word about the “Hey, look at my team!” exercise. It works best if you tell me how many teams are in your league and arrange your team as I have done in this post. Now, prior to you looking at my team, besieging your gut with warm cozies, I first should point out this is a 5×5, 15 team league with OBP subbed in for average because fantasy baseball ‘perts like to make things complicated and turn off 85% of their readers. So, before you say Dan Uggla is a terrible pick, he’s more of a so-so pick. So-so there! Anyway, here’s my 2014 Tout Wars team:

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Closer news, closer news… We need a musical about fantasy baseball, sorta like Newsies, but with a little Book of Mormon thrown in.  Perhaps a musical adventure of sonnets and mignonettes by Stephen Sondheim.  Come on, everybody loves a musical… he, no.  Okay, it’s just me then.  So drafting season is here, it’s the first and last time you will see over 20% of the guys drafting in your league until… well, never.  Ahh, the internet and its anonymity. So with the games in the land of koala bears and oil cans happening this weekend, baseball is here.  Officially.  I have confirmed with multiple sources and gave them credit for groundbreaking stuff via twitter.  So the week before the fake regular season I have 4 questions that we still need answers to, or was just wondering in my own stoned malaise.

The name says it all, it’s what everyone keeps asking for,  NSVH.  It sounds like a spin-off of CSI, or Law and Order.  Except with really geeky dudes who shouldn’t really have an actual head-shot of themselves for use as their avatar.  We know who they are, and pointing fingers isn’t polite unless it’s the one that I normally get from people at the retirement home I frequent for volunteer duties.  Much love Shady Acres.  So this week we delve into the numbers game, the ones that mimic me and steal my Nutella sandwich.  These projections are highly irregular and tougher than most other stats in the pretend game.  The fluctuation of personnel by teams is mind boggling and makes me look goofy.  So in the chart below I am giving you the top-60 NSVH chaps with some pertinent stats that help all.  During the year, I’ll get into more of the sustaining stats, but since we aren’t there yet, I can’t just make them up.  Those tendency stats that I am referring to (Inherited Runners, Inherited Runners Scored, and Appearances with Lead) are my way of determining both closer and set-up guy efficiency.  How they are used and when they are used.  So those that are looking forward to that, hooray for you.   So without further adieu, here are some projections for the top NSVH guys for this year.

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First off, I would like to say Eric Sogard should be the Face of the MLB; that vote was rigged in David Wright’s favor.  Baseball needs more nerdy-looking, glasses-touting, Bernie-leanin’, jive-walking players.  But without further ado, here is the AL West Spring Training Showdown. (You can check out the AL Central Spring Training Preview here and NL East Spring Training Preview here.)

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The closer news is kind of like that pond back in the woods by Me’ma’s house.  You know the one where you and your first “girlfriend” from Canada used to meet up and read scripture.  Stagnant is the term for all you wordsmith’s out there.  Spring training games just literally got started this week and the battles that are going on for unnamed closer spots; Rangers, White Sox and Astros, are still a hmmm situation.  So until someone actually gets hurt, assassinated, or decides that baseball is no longer fun for him… we are at a stand still.  Updates are always good though, and fun.  It’s like Sudoku or the aggravation of doodling little numbers next to each box, stupid little numbers.  They make it look all messy like a 4-year-old is doing it and you get all self conscious and hide it form the guy sitting next to you on the plane.   It’s okay, admitting it is the hard part.  Just say it to yourself and give yourself a wink in the mirror.  So here is the slightly adjusted list of closers, the addition of Fernando Rodney not only adds legitimacy and tilte to the lefty’s swagger.  So have at the list for this week and hopefully we will have some more news or will make up some stuff that’s more interesting in the upcoming weeks.

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So the title has a bit of superlative in it. What was I gonna say, the most kinda good fantasy baseball team? You’ll get over your scoffing, I have faith in you. This is the best 2014 fantasy baseball team that I can put together when drafting from my top 100 for 2014 fantasy baseball and top 400 for 2014 fantasy baseball. Honestly, I could draft another 25 teams from those lists, and they’d all be different, but equally terrific… Well, one of the twenty-five would only be almost terrific, but it would be really hard to tell which one that is. If I took Adam Jones in the 1st round, everything after would change. For this exercise, I’m taking Mike Trout first, because, well, I have him first overall. Until pick 100, I’m taking one guy somewhere in every twelve picks. It would be nice if I was in a league where someone drafted Darvish and Kershaw in the first round and I was able to take Prince Fielder in the 2nd round (which is likely), but since Trout and him are in my first 10 picks, according to the rules I’ve set up for myself, I can’t take them both. Then, as we all know, once you get into the 100’s, there’s wide gaps between ADP and where players are actually taken. People tend to look at team need over value. So for this exercise, once I get to pick #101, I’m going to pick two players every twenty picks. Finally, because there is so much latitude in the last 200, I gave myself free reign to fill up my team. Throughout the draft, I also gave myself the ability to reach to a lower draft pick, but not reach forward. It should still be my ideal team… Or not. Let’s see, shall we? Bee tee dubya, this team is 5×5, one catcher, 5 OFs, MI, CI, 1 UT, 9 P, 3 bench, just like the Razzball Commenter Leagues that are signing up still. (Yes, we need commissioners. I’m shooting for 70 leagues, but we need your help! Wow, I just sounded like FDR.) Anyway, here’s the best 2014 fantasy baseball team:

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Hey, don’t forget to check out the 2014 Razzball Reader Survey! Help us help you!

We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere. To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2014 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2014 Rays Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of Jason Collette from The Process Report.

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