One of the questions from Bernard Pivot by way of James Lipton is, “If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say at the pearly gates?” That’s easy, “Play ball!” Today, butterflies fly north for the summer, birds and bees have sex to John Fogerty’s Centerfield, and Carlos Quentin is already injured. *slowly smells in a flower* Ahh…Shin-Soo Choo! Stupid allergies. With spring in the air and baseballs in mitts, we’re back in the swing of things. Literally. Sadly, it’s not all good news. With Opening Day comes the news that Clayton Kershaw is starting the year on the DL. Aw, that makes me so sad. Wait, that’s not sadness, that’s happiness. Darn, my emotion detector needs recalibration. My first Sell of the year doesn’t look so bad right now. I feel like Ace Ventura right after he shows up all the other cops. Yes, I have exorcised the demons! The Dodgers are saying it was precautionary and Kershaw will be back shortly. If you own him, I wouldn’t sell him for fifty cents on the dollar. I’d take out my rosary beads and pray to the Patron Saint of Baseball, Ryan Church. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Japhet Amador is a giant man, standing at 6-foot-4, weighing in at 315 pounds. In the Mexican League, where he’s played for the last four years, they called him El Gran Burrito. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto once remarked that Amador is welcome at the Presidential Palace anytime, as long as Amador brings his own snacks. When Jose Altuve heard the Astros signed Amador, Altuve was thrilled. No more walking around for Altuve; Amador will just carry him around in a baby bjorn. I watched video of Amador and I’ve never seen such a slow bat through the zone. He looks like a Mexican Meat Loaf in a celebrity softball game. I swear, Amador stopped to eat one of those spicy dried mango candies halfway through his swing. His power is huge, but I’m not sure he’d gonna be able to catch up to anything. Last year in the Mexican League, he hit 36 homers and he’s 27 years old. The Mexican League is supposedly comparable to Triple-A, only instead of buses for transportation, the teams pile into a Toyota Tercel. Right now, he looks pegged for Triple-A, but since the Astros have Robbie Grossman, Marc Krauss, Jesus Guzman and J.D. Martinez vying for everyday ABs, anything could happen. I’d take a flyer on Amador in AL-Only leagues, and wait and see in mixed leagues. Best case scenario, he gets the DH job and hits 25+ homers and .220. The worst case scenario, you draft Altuve and Amador accidentally sits on him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw recently in spring training for 2014 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Welcome to the year end Razzball awards. I’m your host, Grey Albright and I’m joined by Random Italicized Voice, Hey. Also, on the red carpet for everyone’s arrival we have, Comatose Blue Jays Fan, “Hurry up, the Blue Jays are gonna be facing the Yankees tonight on Fox.” And up in the balcony critiquing everyone’s outfits we have Clunky Segue, “As I was saying…” Before the show even begins, we have a very special musical guest, Lighter Shade of Brown! Live from opening for Kanye West! Not playing on stage with him, but literally opening doors for him. They now work as doormen. At hotels. It’s very sad. Anyway, here’s the 2013 Razzball Year End Awards:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We started this thing like boys and four girls (but, let’s be honest, one or two of the girls are kinda manly), and we leave this season as men and four women. In March, we dazzled each other with our drafted lineups in the comments. Today, most of those people are playing fantasy football, fantasy basketball or fantasy hockey and forgetting all about their one-two punch of Ryan Braun and Josh Hamilton, that, in their words, they were just shocked to be able to draft both. Fantasy baseball isn’t made for the water cooler like the Breaking Bad finale — holy crap! — it’s made for the vending machine, because you don’t walk away from your team to talk. You rush away to get snacks and run those snacks back to your team, so you can watch as your team accrues stats or just ‘a-screws’ you. Some of you will sit with your fantasy team’s lineup open on your desktop through November like it has been for the last six months, hoping for one more day to save your season. Some of you will just close that team lineup browser window, ripping off the Band-Aid. But even if the lineup isn’t open, the player’s names will be burned into your screen because you shut off your screensaver six months ago. You should go ahead and turn that back on, or buy a new monitor. If you won your league, the salary hours you put into your teams could’ve saved the economy. Well, eff the economy, you won bragging rights! If you won your league with Henderson Alvarez and his no-hitter, then God bless your foresight, but I wouldn’t be shocked if you were really a witch. Conspiracy Theory Alert! The Tigers are securely in the playoffs and Henderson Alvarez is in the on-deck circle. Bases are juiced with two outs. The Tigers don’t want extra innings right before the playoffs and the Marlins can’t score with a prostitute and a roofie. Leyland sends the pitching coach out and tells Putkonen throw a breaking ball to the backstop and give the kid the no hitter. Either way, what a great way to end the baseball season. A sport that you just can’t ever predict gives a guy no one would’ve predicted a no hitter. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Cardinals are sick of Edward Mujica not playing way over his head like the rest of their entire team. “You see Joe Kelly? He sucks and he’s pitching well. You see Seacrest?” “You mean Siegrist?” “Yeah, him. He’s dynamite! Pitch better than you’ve ever pitched in your life or you’re out.” Mujica couldn’t find the intestinal fortitude (maybe he didn’t eat enough Thai food) and was replaced from the closing role for a few days. The Cards bullpen is solid behind him, which makes it difficult to pinpoint who exactly is his replacement. It could be John Axford, Trevor Rosenthal or Kevin Siegrist. I’d own any of them, but more because of how solid they’ve been. For saves, I’d rank them Rosenthal, Axford then Siegrist. Then there’s Mark Melancon. Like a guy who never flushes his toilet, the crap has caught up to him and the Pirates are now going ‘one day at a time’ for who their closer is, which I believe was Clint Hurdle’s nod to the late-great Bonnie Franklin. Bonnie, we miss you every day and we love your son, Nick, for the man you made him. I’d absolutely own Jason Grilli if I were chasing saves, but I wouldn’t drop Melancon either. Unless you don’t need saves and no one can catch you because you’re more bomb dot com and less bomb dot org. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Chris Davis hit his 51st home run, breaking the Orioles’ home run record of 50 set by Brady Anderson. In a ceremony following the game, Chris Davis sheared Brady Anderson’s sideburns, donating them to a teenager who wants to appear closer in age to his fake ID. Teenager Billy Lutkin said, “I already look like I’m at least 22, these will make me look like I’m like 30! I’m gettin’ drunk!” Davis’s season line is 100/51/132/.293/3, and rightfully sits near the top of our Player Rater. Old news, but I’m thinking about new news (almost stutterer!) and what can he do for 2014 fantasy baseball? In the 2nd half, he hit .255 with 13 homers as his BABIP and HR/FB% came soaring back to his career norms and rather than otherworldly as in the first half. He has a near 30% K-rate and doesn’t look anything close to the guy he was in the first half. Next year, he should still get 35 homers, but will probably hit closer to .265 and with those numbers his counting stats will come back to earth like Andrelton after holiday. Let’s just say someone will be drafting him before me next year. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I did some complaining last week about how the plethora of six-man rotations this time of year dilutes the two-start pool and makes two-start forecasting quite difficult. And while all of that is surely true, it’s also true that at this point of the season is probably the easiest time all year to get your greedy little hands on some quality two-start streamers. If you’re still reading this post midway into September, you’re in the minority. Week 25 is the finals in most H2H formats, the semis just about everywhere else. And if you play in one of the weird no-playoffs H2H leagues, odds are there aren’t more than two teams in serious contention at this juncture. Point is, there just aren’t that many people exploiting the two-start scene anymore. From this point forward, you should be able to snag some usable streamers without much trouble. Of course, if you’ve made it this far, I’d like to think your staff is strong enough to succeed without the help of fringy waiver adds.

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

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I’ve been mentioning him here and there in the blurb sections of the roundups, but I can’t wait until Friday’s Buy, or until the offseason when I’m gonna gush over him in a sleeper post. I love Cody Asche. I love him for everything he is, and for everything he’s not. One thing he’s not is on many, if anyone’s radar. He’s not even owned in 1% of ESPN leagues, though once Matthew Berry picks him up on 24,000 of his teams that number will shoot up to 99% owned. Yesterday, Asche went 3-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 3rd homer in 28 games. Prorate that over a full season and he’s hitting 40 homers– Wait, I had my calculator to Chris Davis math. Okay, so it’s only about 15-20 homers, but he can also steal 10 bases and should hit around .290. He’s like a modern day Eric Hosmer, if Eric Hosmer weren’t already modern day. I remixing The Game for this Outkast and Asche’s to Asche’s, ah ha, don’t make me hush this fuss! Why do I love him for this year, but much more for 2014 fantasy baseball? The Phillies need to move towards the future, and Asche will have a starting job, and get drafted in the late 200′s in most mixed leagues, but have the upside of a 70/17/82/.285/10 player. Yes, I just gave you my first 2014 projection. Cody Asche, you make me excited, let’s cuddle. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Taijuan Walker will start vs. the Astros on Friday. The Mariners’ front office decided if they were going to sell him for ten cents on the dollar this offseason, then it was best to give him some major league experience. Here’s what Prospect Scott had to say in the preseason, “Walker is my #3 overall SP prospect, behind only Dylan Bundy and Jose Fernandez. He brings legit ace potential, and he should be ready for big league ball this year. Still, Taijuan’s greatest asset is his ability to hit Grey in the head with a fastball every time I dream about it.” Hey! That snippet was obviously prior to Bundy’s injury problems. Here’s what I said the other day, “It could be roofie burnout, but I’m not interested in shallower mixed leagues. In deeper leagues, I’d stash Walker to see if you catch a firefly in a bottle, or whatever that yokelism is. He definitely has shown great stuff in the minors (10+ K-rate) if a bit wild (4+ BB/9) in Triple-A. He will be a great pitcher, it probably won’t be this year. Think Wheeler when he was called up.” And that’s me quoting me! Well, I also lied. Kinda. I didn’t intend to lie, but he was just sitting there and I had a free roster spot… Ugh, I’m a glutton for punishment. I need serious help. Why can’t I turn down any high-upside rookie pitcher? Am I an adrenaline junkie like Keanu Reeves in Point Break? Hopefully, Walker doesn’t hang ten earned runs on my pitching line, but I’m expecting him to get Ks and have a relatively unremarkable start on Friday for earned runs and WHIP. For 2014, Taijuan is on the top of the list of guys that could be Matt Harvey 2.0, and I’ll have much more to say about him in the offseason. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Pirates are in it to win it, y’all! Maybe too aggressive. Okay, the Pirates are in it to make it seem like they’re in it to win it, y’all! Yeah, that’s probably a closer approximation. If we’re sitting here in October and saying the Pirates couldn’t have won the World Series without the help of Marlon Byrd, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle and pay for my monkey nephew to go to college, which is a lot of money. Luckily, I think they can win it with or without Byrd, as a Nikki Dinki-hosted show would say. Thankfully, none of this matters for fantasy, so why are we even talking about it? I don’t know, clunky expository question! Byrd will likely prop up the bottom of the Pirates lineup when he plays and prop himself onto the mascot’s shoulder on off days. Byrd gains a tad bit of value with this move since the Mess offense was nothing to write home about unless you were locked up abroad and ran out of things to write on postcards, and ‘Hitters Are Better Outside Of Metco’ is a bumper sticker I don’t own, but endorse. Also, going to the Pittsburgh Bucs is John Buck. Buck will change his New York nickname of “Midnight Cowboy” to “Swash,” and steal some looks behind the plate from Martin. Going the other way is Dilson Herrera and a player to be named later. Unless that player is Andrew McCutchen, there’s not a whole lot to talk about on the Mets receiving end. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?