Mark Ellis is considered a clubhouse leader. Listen, I’m gonna be real with you, there is no substitute for a leader in the clubhouse. These are real world intangibles you can’t quantify. Unfortch, no one has Clubhouse Leader as a fantasy category in their league, so good riddance as Kolten Wong was recalled. As Pitbull kinda says, “Hey, Mark Ellis, you’re going down, I’m yelling timber! Swing your butt, Mark Ellis is going down, he’s going down. I’m yelling timber!” Hopefully, the Cards give Wong a legit chance to play, but that’s not entirely clear yet. They should, since he could be Pedroia-like. For whatever reason the Cards seem to have a hard time going with a rookie in any kind of substantial role, but I’d still grab him in deeper mixed leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I’m the new guy here at Razzball, but there’s no need to be stuffing me in lockers or treating me to a lunch time swirly in the men’s room — I’ve been around the block for a while.  Shoot, I was playing fantasy sports before this great thing called the interweb existed.  When I first started I had to fax in my lineups for weekly leagues!  I’m not old, I prefer the term “seasoned”. [Ed. Note -- That seasoning comes with an AARP discount, no?] Don’t think of me as the Kathy Bates of the Razzball team, rather I prefer to be thought of as the Helen Mirren of the bunch — you know, “the hot older temptress that if you were slightly buzzed and on vacation you wouldn’t mind…” kinda type.  Nah’msayin???

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Michael Wacha was within an out of a no-hitter yesterday when Zimmerman hit a bouncer to shortstop, which he barely beat out. Ryan Zimmerman doesn’t want the world to see joy. He’s a joy killer. Every time some 14-year-old writes jk jk jk. They’re not abbreviating ‘just kidding,’ they’re really talking about Ryan Zimmerman joy killing. For a moment, I was on board with The Joy Killer because I don’t need Wacha getting hyped up anymore than necessary for next year. You hear Wacha I’m talking about? You like Wacha I’m working with? Wacha you say to that? Okay, I want to stop replacing what with Wacha, but I can’t. Wacha can I do?! There is gonna be an insane amount of young pitchers next year that I’ll be eyeing, and Wacha is yet another one. In 64 2/3 IP this year, he had a 9+ K/9, 2.61 xFIP and a 2.64 BB/9. Yes, please, come again. I could see this 22-year-old giving you a Shelby Miller-type season next year, maybe even, dare I say it, Matt Harvey. That’s Wacha I’m talking about! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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FantasyRazzballFantasy Razzball is the game where the goal is to manage the worst fantasy baseball team possible. You hope to find terrible players who don’t get sent to the minors. As in the RCL, a team’s points are multiplied by the League Competitive Index. The LCI is based on the total points of the top 8 teams per league. The overall standings can be found below. Points are credited as follows:

Hitters (AB = +2, H = -3, R = -4, HR = -6, RBI = -4, K = +2)

Pitchers (IP = -1, HR = +4, L = +8, K = -1, ER = +1.5, H+BB = +1).

You can find links to the six Fantasy Razzball leagues (along with the 64 RCLs) here.

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Yesterday, I was thinking how Miguel Gonzalez, who went 7 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks, is a’ight. Has nominal value in mixed leagues against weaker teams and a solid back-end guy for AL-Only leagues, which could describe the entire O’s staff. With the O’s, you gotta mind your P’s and Q’s. Excuse me, I had Alphabet Soup for lunch and just burped. Those O’s starters are okay, but I crave excitement. I’m an adrenaline junkie. Sometimes I’ll blog with no pants on just for the RUSH I get. While in Starbucks. While holding my dog over my junk so I don’t catch charges. I’m a responsible adrenaline junkie. So, when I heard Kevin Gausman will make his major league debut on Thursday, you can imagine how awkward it was carrying my dog over my junk without any hands, while working my cellular mobile device trying to pick up Gausman. I’ve gone over Gausman as recently as two weeks ago. He was my Wheeler before Wheeler. I lurve Gausman. The O’s staff is iffy at best, so Gausman could definitely stick around. His numbers in the minors this year are insane. In 46 1/3 IP, he has 49 Ks and 5 walks. He could be the best called up pitcher this year. More likely, he’ll have some extreme ups and downs in the AL East. I’d still grab him in all leagues just in case his ups far outnumber his downs. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Yes had a very odd and underrated music career. For years they were this prog rock band that never quite broke out. Sure, people knew of them. They had an abbreviated version of their single Roundabout peak on the billboards at 13 back in 1971 and then their album Close To The Edge broke things wide open for them at #3 in the US billboard charts and #4 in the UK. The future was bright for a band that would go on and become an influence for such acts as Rush, Dream Theatre and even Tool and Mastodon. But then the following album disintegrated any good will they had with their fans. That’s what happens when you put out a pompous sounding album like Tales From Topographic Oceans. Not quite as bad as Chocolate Starfish and the Hotdog Flavored Water – thank you for going away quietly, Limp Bizkit – but it was clear that commercial success was no longer something that was gonna happen for these guys. Or was it? I give you this long and – unless you’re a Yes fan – boring intro to draw parallels to James Loney and his career to date. Ok, I’m stretching things more than Dhalsim here but bear with me, we’re getting to it. What we are currently witnessing in Tampa Bay could be Loney’s out of nowhere hit after a promising start to his career that went flat, then down, then seemingly out. See? See what I did there? Continuity! So tease your metal hair out with some Aqua Net while we tell you why you should be an owner of a Loney start for week six of the 2013 fantasy baseball season…

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We are almost through April and most fantasy baseball owners fall in two categories. There are those owners that have gotten off to a good start and feel pretty comfortable about their teams. Maybe almost too comfortable. Then there are the “OH-MY-GOD-WHAT-HAVE-I-DONE!!!!” owners. You know who you are. I feel ya. I do. Hell, I’ve been there. Something has gone astray. You didn’t draft well or you had a minor Jerry Maguire freak-out moment and then proceeded to make a bad trade. This stuff happens to everyone, so how do you start to right the ship? There are some moves that you can make that to either stop the bleeding or to continue a fast start.

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Gird your loins – we’re going to be navigating positions battles in each division. Last week, I covered the NL East. Today I’m talking about the AL Central, which actually looks fairly interesting this year. At first glance, the Tigers should run away with the division. At a slightly closer glance, the Indians, Royals, and White Sox all appear to be trying to contend. Who knows? Maybe Verlander’s arm will fall off after pitching over 1,000 innings across the past four seasons, while Miggy and Fielder enter a 24/7 all-you-can-eat buffet in Vegas and never return. Anyway, here’s some of the position battles to keep an eye on in the AL Central:

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Unlike the top 20 1st basemen for 2013 fantasy baseball, this post doesn’t need to go to 42. About thirteen will do. We’ll still go to 20-something, but it won’t always be fun on the way. I don’t remember another position any other year like this for the 2nd basemen. There are no upside picks after the top thirteen. I mean, I guess, sorta, possibly Logan Forsythe or Donovan Solano could surprise, but, more likely, they will have a few weeks here and there where they are ownable. This wouldn’t matter if, say, they were catchers. You draft one and you’re done. But you know some doofus in your league is going to draft an early middle infielder and then take two of the top thirteen guys. If you get two doofii in your league, you’re gonna have Brian Roberts as your 2nd baseman and be like, “Yo, Grey, he could bounce back, right? Hello? Echo? Mr. Eko from Lost?” There’s the position eligibility chart for 2013 fantasy baseball. All the 2013 fantasy baseball rankings are under that linkie-ma-whosie. As always, my projections and tiers are included for the low, low price of zero dollars. Anyway, here’s the top 20 2nd basemen for 2013 fantasy baseball:

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Shin-Soo Choo makes the Reds lineup look pretty. No more will they have to search for a lead-off hitter with a solid OBP. I do feel bad for the guy in charge of explaining to Dusty why Choo’s OBP should be coveted and they shouldn’t mourn the loss of Stubbs. “Oh bee pees are fine and dandy…If you’re a dandy. I play a man’s game where hitters swing the bat like they mean it. You ever see George Foster take a walk? He would have preferred someone walk on his face. Hence… His face!” “But, Dusty, if Choo gets on base–” “I get on base by swinging!” “Choo not you.” “How about ‘Choo’ stop confusing me?!” Hitter-wise, this is about as good a fit as I’ve seen from a fantasy and real baseball perspective this offseason. (Pitching-wise, I did like Greinke going to the Dodgers.) I’ve never been excited about Choo (no offense), but never fully against him either. Indifferent, if you’re not trying to use unnecessary words, which is the least succinct way to say succinct. This slight tick up in value for Choo has me excited. It’s a small sample size, but he has four homers in nine games in Great American. So, for 2013, I’ll give him 67 homers? Nope, but a terrific lineup and ballpark sure won’t hurt. For 2013, I’ll give him the line 108/23/79/.296/20. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2013 fantasy baseball:

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