Confession time! I’m looking at Craigslist’s Missed Connections for a five feet, three inch starting pitcher that I saw last year on TV. I see someone on Missed Connections looking for a man that they ran into who was wearing a striped shirt and a wool hat. Hey, that’s no fair, you have to find Waldo on your own. I don’t see the guy I’m looking for on Missed Connections, so I’m going to fill out my own ad, “Seeking SLM (Sexy Little Man). When I first saw you throwing 100 MPH, I was smitten like a kitten that grabs onto the side of a building on one of those posters that reads, Hang In There. There’s no emoji to express the joy you gave me that day. If you’re interested — no strings attached! — please be available to draft around 220 overall in standard mixed league drafts.” There, now I just have to wait to see if Yordano Ventura is available in my next draft after being officially named to the Royals starting rotation. Since some of youse, have a problem searching the site for what I’ve said about him in the past, allow me to copy and paste me, “Check out these K-rates from Ventura in the minor leagues: 9.91, 9.39, 11.55, 11.55 and 9.47. That’s every year’s K-rate where he had more than 50 IP pitched. Those are eye popping like John Lithgow in The Twilight Zone Movie. I want to sit by a campfire with those K-rates and let them search for firewood on my lap. His walk rates weren’t egregious either. Not elite, not bad. On average around a 3.50. A 9+ K/9 and a 3.50 BB/9 works. He reminds me of Pedro Martinez, which is a huge compliment. Yordano weighs about a buck-forty and he can hit 100 MPH on the speed gun. His stuff is elite. He could be a lights out closer or starter. For now, the Royals think he’ll work as a starter and so far he hasn’t disproved them.” And that’s me quoting me! Ventura is worth owning in every league. Yes, even that one. Anyway, here’s what else I’ve seen in Spring Training for 2014 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Damn, the planets had all lined up for Jacoby Ellsbury to be overrated for 2014 fantasy baseball. 50+ bases and only four times caught (!). Some power (8 homers) and solid counting stats (89 runs; 52 RBIs). Seemingly repeatable numbers for 2014. All he needed to do was get through this season healthy so people would forget how he can’t get through a season healthy. Then, he goes and injuring himself. Now when I say to avoid him next year, people are gonna think I actually have a point rather than being the cracked out of his mind guy who invented something this weekend that I will only share with you. It’s really for our four girl readers, but since guys are likely to buy it for their women, here it is: a Segway vacuum cleaner. Think of it as a ride-along Roomba! Brilliant, I know. So, as of right now, Ellsbury’s in a walking boot. That sounds terrific. Almost as good as Salvador Perez when a loved one is on their death bed. Ellsbury headed off to the Steadman Clinic for a second opinion — ’bout time he started bringing in some money for Oprah! — and Ellsbury was diagnosed with a compression fracture. Ellsbury’s not going to be back until the playoffs, in the best case scenario. I’d absolutely drop him. In his place has been Jackie Bradley Jr., who can walk multiple times in one game! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Yasiel Puig‘s been lighting up the mainframe on the giant computer out of a bad 1950’s sci-fi movie, but he’s not the only Cuban. Leonys Martin also hails from our neighbor to the south that took up residence in Miami. Last night, he hit two homers, is hitting .417 in the last week and has a hit in each of his last ten games with 4 steals during that time. It’s the year of the Cubans, y’all! In all of their pressed hammy, mustardy, cheesy, pickley goodness. Side note: Do pickles seem like something Cubans would put in their food? Maybe Hyman Roth, but he’s not really Cuban or real, for that matter. Somewhere, ex-Cuban pitcher, El Duque, has a little extra hop in his exaggerated leg-kick that he still does, only now he does it before he cleans up tables at Chipotle. “You’re not going to finish your guac?” *leg kick* Leonys Martin should be owned in all leagues while he’s going well, and is the type of player that could have value all year if you’re patient since he could hit 12-15 homers and get 25-ish steals. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Yes, Matt Harvey was terrific, but I’d like to talk on a real baseball note for a second. If you’re a White Sox fan, you should be mad. No one on your team looks like they care. It’s like you have nine Alex Rioses (Rioii? Riii?). I don’t care how pumped Hawk Harrelson gets. You can put it on the board…This team is bored! Your ambition…It gone! The White Sox have more lackadaisical swingers than a Hedonism resort that only has decaf. “Okay, everyone grab the guy next to you, we’re gonna have a tug of war. C’mon, you guys have to stand for this.” That’s the emcee at decaf Hedonism. As for Harvey, he threw a gem even if he was facing the White Sux — 9 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hit, Zero Walks, 12 Ks. I still think you should sell him. It’s not a frantic sell like the roof is on fire and you’re having Sotheby’s over at your place tomorrow to walk through and see your Gregg Jefferies rookie card collection. I wouldn’t take anything less than a number one of something for Harvey, but I’d field offers. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Guru confession #434: My brain is good at sports, but my body isn’t. Watch as I try to steal second running like Laura Ingalls through a field of daisies. Damn, its hard to slide in these bloomers. Thus, instead of preparing my Hall of Fame speech, I am here writing to you, my gooey friends. My brain seems to do its best sports thinking in two places: driving fast to work listening to Kenny Loggins “Danger Zone” and at work… listening to Kenny Loggins “Danger Zone”. The big boss, let’s call him Larry Tate, sent this memo out last week: There is no room for fantasy sports in the workplace. I replied: When is bring your fantasy team to work day? *high fives, chest bumps, Harlem Shake* I didn’t get a response back. Doesn’t he understand there are early games, rainouts, snowouts, trades to accept, trades to reject and Razzball podcasts to listen to? If he can have an inflatable girlfriend, I say I can have 16 fake baseball teams. Hhiigghhwwaayy to the Danger Zone.
*in the event this is being read by Mr. Tate: The Guru is actually Brian in accounting.*

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The Cardinals said Edward Mujica ‘could be tried as closer.’ That’s obviously after everyone else has been tried and found guilty of sucking. Matheny said, “I’d rather kill a possum in front of La Russa, than have a lead in the 9th inning with the crap we have.” Okay, that was me reading between the lines. He actually said, “See what happens next time we get there. Right now, Mujica’s making good pitches and getting the big outs when we need them.” He never referred to Mujica as the closer. Maybe because he was afraid of spooking him. How do you scare the beejesus out of a Cardinals reliever? Call them closer. *rim shot, triangle, kazoo* I don’t think Mujica is the de facto closer, but I don’t know what de facto means. Is that Spanish? Hernando De Facto was the first to cross the Mississippi, right? Yesterday, Boggs came into the 9th inning, but it was a 4-run lead and when he got into trouble the Cards started warming up Mujica. The writing is on the wall, and it says, “Mujica is next.” I’d grab Mujica and continue to hold Boggs (on my bench). It may just turn out that Edward is The Last of the Mujica’s in the Cards’ pen. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I begin with this:

Foul Ball Chug

The scene above is from Wednesday’s Mariners v. Astros game, and I realize that the clip has made the rounds by now. Still, I’m compelled to bring it up because it is truly wonderful. From the leaning grab, to the triumphant hoist and subsequent chug, this man wins the week. It always seems like the most brilliant moments happen at crappy games in empty stadiums, and this is no exception. What a hero.

Oh yeah, two-starters… Week three’s look-ahead is below. As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

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He’ll make you feel good and bad and happy and sad. But mostly just sad. And mad. And glad…you don’t own him. I’m talking, of course, of Jose Valverde. Motown just can’t resist the temptations of signing Papa Grande. Smokey just went over all the fantasy baseball closers. There’s $12 Salads. There’s Donkeycorns. There’s Brain Freezes. There should be another category underneath the Brain Freezes for Valverde: Tossed Salad That Gives You Botulism. He seems like a great idea. Why do you need a side of rigatoni when you’re having lasagna for dinner? It makes sense to get the side salad. Go with the tossed salad. Unfortunately, the tossed salad was prepared in 2007 and is piled in the corner of the kitchen holding the employee’s bathroom door open because Brian lost the key. Once in a while Brian also forgets to stock the bathroom with toilet paper, so the iceberg lettuce doubles its duties, so to speak. That’s Valverde. There’s so many reasons to not pick him up, but let’s stick with the two most important ones: 1) He wasn’t good last year when he had the job. 2) Detroit even replaced him when games really mattered. 3) I said let’s stick with two reasons so why would you even mention 3? I wish I could sit here — and I am sitting, in a Barclay Lounger, a matter of fact — and tell you the signing of Valverde means the Detroit shituation has become crystal clear now. That, now, Valverde will close games. Yeah, he might get shoved into the closer role, but closing games is another issue. He was signed to a minor league contract. He’ll now take anywhere from two to four weeks to get ready, then the Tigers will either call him up or release him. I’d put his chances to get saves within a month at 35%. There’s still Benoit, Coke, Dotel and Al Al’etc who could take the job and run with it in the mean’s while. After seeing Dotel enter the game in the 6th yesterday, there’s no telling what will happen. Someone get close to Leyland’s cigarette pack and check to see if there’s a warning that reads, “Caution: May Cause Smoker To Use The Wrong Man In The 9th Inning.” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday for fantasy baseball:

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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 2013 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2013 Pirates Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy Pat Lackey from Where Have You Gone Andy Van Slyke.

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