On today’s podcast, Nick recounts the ups and downs of his journey across ‘Murica. If Nick was doing this journey to collect a Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes, we’d all say he was crazy, Alexander Payne would film it and Bruce Dern would play Nick to great critical acclaim. In reality, Nick’s doing it for a podcast. This isn’t crazier?! Get Payne on the hotline, we got ourselves a sequel to Nebraska! “So, the year is 2014, and flying cars haven’t yet been invented. Instead, our lead, everyman, Nick, is in a van and driving from Canada to Arizona to do a podcast over the phone to save on international calling.” “You know, I was having lunch with James Toback the other day and he was looking for a project. Can we get Neve Campbell to play Nick in drag?” “It’s a new direction, but I like it!” Besides the cross-country shenanigans of Nick and his K-Mart mannequin he dressed up and named Blake, we talk about some players who are off to hot starts — hello, Dee Gordon! — and some players who are currently screwing la pooch — I hate you, Edwin Encarnacion! Also, mentioned are Adam Eaton, Grady Sizemore, Scott Kazmir, and many, many, many more guys (maybe three more). Anyway, here’s the Razzball Podcast (now with tales from the road):

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Most of the league’s top aces took the hill last night, but none were more impressive than the Padres’ Andrew Cashner, who threw a one-hit shutout, tossing 108 pitches against the ferocious Tigers, walking just two and striking out 11. That’s straight Cashner, homey! Randy Moss would be proud. Cashner’s shutout was the first of the season in all of baseball, and just the second of his career. He now holds a 1.29 ERA and 0.81 WHIP with 22 Ks through three starts. It’s gotta be that beard, right? You don’t have to tell Razzball nation about the magic of facial hair, see: Albright, Grey. Mystic whiskers aside, Cashner was money Friday night, surrendering just the one hit to Rajai Davis (breaking up his perfect game in the 6th), and striking out Miguel Cabrera to end the game. Yes, that Miguel Cabrera! I’ve always been high on Cashner, and I owned him everywhere last year, so naturally, I own him no where this year. After last night, I might have to hit the trade market, because if I can’t own him, no one should! “I want a Golden Andrew Cashner Goose now, daddy!” Andrew has had injury issues in the past, but he has always been solid when healthy, and with high a 90′s fastball that can hit the triple digits, doode throws some serious cheese. The key with Cashner remains his aforementioned health; if he stays healthy, I could see 12-14 wins, 160 Ks and some solid ratios. That kind of Cashner can pay off big for your fantasy team.

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

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Ryan Braun hit his first two home runs off Kyle Kendrick — you know, that Kendrick sure sticks out for a sore thumb — and then Braun emancipated a third ball off Lincoln. Three homers a mere two days after saying he was not able to swing normally is quite the 180. It’s like when Mickey Rourke is one of the best actors — in movies like Diner and Angel Heart — only to have a string of flops, terrible plastic surgery and then he reemerges in The Wrestler. Or Travolta’s career is in the toilet after Saturday Night Fever, dealing with whispers about his bedroom predilections and then he does Pulp Fiction. Doing The McConaughey while McConaughey was still ruining his career. A few years later, Mickey Rourke has another string of flops and his face still scares small children; Travolta does Battlefield Earth and now whispers about his religion have joined the other whispers. (Be forewarned, McConaughey.) So, will Braun now reemerge as the top hitter in the game and hold his Pulp Fiction/Wrestler renaissance or will his thumb continue to haunt him while he commits to Wild Hogs II: Where The Wild Hogs Are? All I know is he was complaining about his thumb a full nine months after he first hurt it, so it doesn’t seem likely to disappear that fast. His value may be even higher now, but I’d still be concerned. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Here’s me yesterday looking to pick up the new Yankee closer…. *types Kelly into waivers box, presses Enter* Inner monologue, “Joe Kelly?! No, I don’t want him! Casey Kelly?! Blech! C’mon, this is a 15 team mixed league, I’m not in an NL-Only keeper! Someone beat me to the waiver wire? Really? For the first time in three years, I’m watching a Yankees game because nothing else is on and serendipitously David Robertson is announced with a groin strain, so there’s no way anyone beat me to the waiver wire… I’m here first, I have to be! So where’s Kelly?! Fine, I’ll click the button that shows the players that are owned too. Wait, he’s not even listed there. What in the holy name of Christ Colabello–” And that was around the time I realized his name was spelled Kelley, not Kelly and while I was misspelling it someone else swooped in and grabbed him. This has been the latest installment of Grey Albright: Are You Sure You Want To Listen To This Man? So, Robertson is out for a few weeks with a groin strain — easy on the noodes, doode! — and Shawn Kelley is your new closer in New York, and, even though yesterday was Kelley’s first career save, it doesn’t mean he can’t be successful for the next three weeks. Or unsuccessful, but I’d pick him up either way in any league. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

There really is no place like home if you play for the Rockies. Charlie Blackmon aka Chuck Nazty knows this better than anyone, and helped Colorado drop 12 runs on Arizona last night at Coors. Now slashing .563/.588/.938 on the early season, Blackmon admits his nickname hasn’t caught on quite like he hoped yet, but that’s because it’s a terrible nickname. I ain’t mad at cha, and if you keep having games this this we’ll call you whatever you want! Chuck Nazty was perfect yesterday, going 6-for-6, with 3 doubles, a 2-run home run, 4 runs and 5 RBI as the Rox managed 13 hits in their home opener. Now you know Carlos Gonzalez wasn’t about to get overshadowed on opening day, he’s the real Chuck Nazty, if anyone is. CarGo added 4 RBI and 2 hits, including a 2-run jack and free tacos for the entire state of Colorado! Every-body-gets-a-taco! Something tells me after Colorado’s new legislation, they’re going to be needing all the tacos they can get. Chuck Nazty, legalization, and free tacos? Get in the car, honey, we’re moving! By the way, I call my laptop “Honey.” Anyway, it’s probably not a stretch to say that Rockies fans are pretty high on Blackmon after today. Ha, that’s the title! Well, don’t light up your celebratory doobies just yet, Centennial Staters. Despite the huge day, Blackmon remains in a platoon in a crowded outfield featuring Corey Dickerson, who is a also a fairly exciting prospect, but perhaps Blackmon’s stellar play will force Walt Weiss to play him consistently. For now, C. Nazty could provide decent streaming value, especially when he’s a mile high. He managed a .309 average in 82 games in 2013 and after a strong spring he is a hot little potato right now and could be worth the speculative add while he’s hitting.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Our first full slate of games and two closers lost jobs. Mother Nature and/or Al Gore (if they’re different people), how is climate different than weather if both lead to a closepocalypse? An interested party is curious. It was a bit before concussions were in vogue, but did anyone ever check Robin Ventura for a concussion when he got cantalouped by Nolan Ryan? Cause he just lamebrained up my fantasy teams by naming Matt Lindstrom the closer– Um, Grey? What’s up, Random Italicized Voice? When Addison Reed was traded in December, you said, “White Sox GM Rick Hahn named Nate Jones, Matt Lindstrom, Scott Downs and Daniel Webb as possible replacements. Due to Scott Downs’ Syndrome, Downs is out of the mix. Jones will be a favorite by fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!) due to his ability to strike guys out, but I’m guessing Lindstrom will end up with the job due to that hard-to-put-your-finger-on-it closer experience quality.” And that’s me quoting you! DAH!!! I got wrapped in the allure of a young, sexy closer and forgot where my butter pickles were buttered! I imagine this shituation will get worse before it gets better, so if you have room, I’d hold Jones for now, but you should absolutely pick up Lindstrom in all leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As the seminal prog band Emerson, Lake and Laura Palmer once sang: “Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends, we’re so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside.” (The song went on for 45 minutes before ‘Yes’ came out and kicked their ass.) Opening day is here and the Razzball Lounge is open for bid’ness. Have a seat, grab a cold one and a pickled egg, and don’t get hypnotized by my bedazzled turban my fantasy freaks. Here in the lounge we dedicated, often celebrated, and usually acquitted (we have a great legal team) Razzballin’ scribes gather every opening day to bicker and banter, indulge and imbibe and moan and marvel at our fantasy teams and Grey’s magnificent ‘stache. On this last lazy Sunday (before things get serious) we find Sky in a dark corner slowing rocking back and forth muttering his mantra of “Tulo, Tanaka, Trumbo” over and over. Bellying up to the bar is podcasting paladin Nick Capozzi, clad only in his Expos throwback demanding another Labatts, showing off pics of his rolling Razzball ride and asking no one in particular, “Get your 32in32in32 tickets yet, eh?” Dropping quarters in the jukebox we find Jay Wrong demonstrating his “Paradise by the Dashboard Lights” interpretative dance – “Will you love me forever?”  *bottle smashes above head* Stumbling out of the ladies room is the one and only Tehol Beddict casually zipping up his skinny jeans and introducing his new lady friend, “Guys, I’d like to introduce you to my cousin. Ain’t she pretty?” And here at the pool table is your humble-but-nonetheless handsome Guru putting the finishing touches on my 27 rosters. *closes eye, takes aim, sinks eight ball off two rails, drops shot glass into pint, downs boilermaker, lights cigar, sets turban on fireWith the drinks starting to flow let’s run though the jams and crams at each position for Week 1 of the 2014 fantasy baseball season. We’re not talking Miggy, Trout or Goldy here, we’re looking at players owned in less than 50% of most leagues that could help grab you an early lead on your way to fantasy glory. Good luck this season, it’s time to jam it or cram it.

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The Buy/Sell column is back after a long winter break and ready to do this thing better than ever! Let’s hear directly from it. Buy/Sell, “Why are you putting such pressure on me? Better than ever? How about ‘ready to do this hungover’ because it was in Panama City for the last week with James Franco, yelling, ‘Spring…Break…Spring…Break…’ is friggin exhausting! And haunting. I need a nap.” Kolten Wong was named the starting 2nd baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals of the National League Baseball Association, and nary a ‘cracker was lit. Upon his call-up last year, Wong was more wrong than right, but less riiiiiiiight than wrong if you’re sarcastic. He didn’t get enough playing time. David Freese kept playing more often than not and Matt Carpenter didn’t move over to third nearly enough. Even after Allen Craig was hurt, Fatt Adams filled in and Wong sat on the bench. Thankfully, the Cardinals finally moved on from Freese. The Freese has been thawed! What? No good? The Cards froze out that Freese! Still nothing? Now that Kolten Wong gets a full time job, he’ll immediately be mixed league relevant and around a top fifteen option with a chance for more. He’s a clone of Pedroia and not because they both need their tippy-toes to get the sugar from on top of the fridge. Wong can hit 15 homers and steal 20 bases with a solid average. Will he or Wongn’t he? No idea, but definitely worth owning in every mixed league. Anyway, here’s some more players to buy and sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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*Channeling my inner Hank Williams Jr.* Are you ready for some baseball? *Fireworks, confetti cannon, ‘splosions, dingo attacks* Perhaps only us baseball junkies and fantasy geeks are excited about opening day Down Under. Is there fantasy cricket? Asking for a friend. Sky needs, like, four more fantasy sports to write about and I’m imagining Nick and his Razzball Radio rolling tanker going all Road Warrior across the outback. I’m more excited than a Lipitor snorting Vin Scully, cuddling with a koala he thinks is actually Yasiel Puig. Slather my hot dog in Vegemite, turn up the Men at Work and blow my didgeridoo, baseball is back. With the RCL’s in full swing and the season firing up in Australia, I’m balls deep in 20 teams – RCL’s, H2H leagues, dynasty leagues, auctions leagues, AL-only, NL-only, a pitcher league and an All-Timey fantasy draft that ought to prove interesting – I drafted Shoeless Joe in the round 13, that’s value! If you have yet to draft or are already making moves let’s dig out the ol’ jammer crammer machine© and get to work on the schmotatoes in the outfield. Since we use ESPN for the Razzballin’ leagues, let’s use their rankings and go digging for some jams and crams outside the top-100 players. No use in bickering whether to jam Mike Trout or cram Billy Hamilton – although I would. We are looking for mid-late round upside filled value here. It’s time to jam it or cram it. Hey Nick, I’ll drive that tanker.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In the top 40 starters for 2014 fantasy baseball, Patrick Corbin headlined the tier named, “Taking a number three doesn’t mean a pee and poop combo.” Corbin now has UCL damage, so he actually is a pee and poop combo. Now, as Alfred Einstein once said, “For every negative reaction, there’s a not-negative reaction to it. I’m hungry, anyone have any snacks?” Alfred Einstein also took three years to pass 4th grade, until his teacher finally passed him saying, “I think all the chromosomes went to his brother Albert.” I’m here to defend Alfred; he did have a point. Corbin’s out, but that means Randall Delgado‘s back in. I’ve re-added him to my top 60 starters, top 400, the War Room and have adjusted my pitchers’ pairings. Where Corbin was a solid, if slightly yawnstipating number 3, Delgado is an exciting upside number five or six. You say tomato, I say that’s a one spicy meatball! What does this mean for Archie Bradley? He doesn’t get wet willied by Didi Gregorius anymore? Kirk Gibson stops calling his name like he’s Edith from All in the Family? Bradley starts the year in the rotation? No on all three. Bradley shouldn’t be affected by this Corbin injury. At least not at first. Since Delgado is now in the rotation, Bradley might be one more injury away from joining the Diamondbacks rotation. Anyway, here’s what else I’ve seen in Spring Training for 2014 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?