Slow clap for all the folks who drafted Jean Segura last year and his 44 steals. Now a slower, even more appreciative clap for Grey, who tagged him as a fantasy sleeper heading into 2013. The following list is not meant to find you the 2014 version of Jean Segura, but rather identify the middle infielders who are the essence of SAGNOF (Steals Ain’t Got NO Face). These players will be cheap at the draft or may go undrafted entirely. You probably won’t want any of them as your starting shortstop or second baseman, but you’ll want to stash them away in the dark corners of your mind for when you are desperate for steals and there is a vacancy in your middle infidel slot. How cheaply you can acquire these players has a lot to do with the depth of your league and since not all fantasy leagues are created equal (thank God), you’ll have to take that into consideration when weighing the value of their steals. And hey, you never know, maybe the next Jean Segura is in here somewhere…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When I look at the top 20 2nd basemen from the end of the year rankings, I’m yawnstipated. So after the top guy went to Safeco and with no games played this offseason (that I’m aware of), the top 20 2nd basemen for 2014 fantasy baseball didn’t get better since the last game of the season. Last year, Matt Carpenter and Daniel Murphy buoyed the 2nd basemen, making them seem better than they were due to counting stats. I expect better this year than last year from a few guys, but just as many come with the “Bound For Disappointment” label. Hey, BFD would make a great acronym. I’m surprised no one has used it before. Oh, wait, in the age of the internet, everything is an acronym. Well, SAGNOF to that. There’s the position eligibility chart for 2014 fantasy baseball. All the 2014 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 2014 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If you’re like me, once you finish your fantasy draft, you have a photographer take a picture of you with your team. You pull up your team page on your laptop, and the both of you sit next to a flower bed. The setting is similar to your mother’s yearbook picture. The cameraman even uses the filter that blurs out everything around you. As you wait for the makeup person to dab cover-up on your nose pimple, you reach into the flower bed and pull out a hydrangea. Then you speak directly to the SAGNOF Gods and recite his prayer, “He loves me, he loves me Motte, he loves me, he loves me Motte, he loves….” And the last petal ends on “He loves me Motte.” And you weep. Motte has an elbow strain and you’re stuck with his litigious brother-in-law, Mitchell Boggs. The Cardinals are currently saying all the right things, “Motte will be fine,” “Mitchell will temporarily fill-in,” “We had no idea McGwire was on steroids.” An elbow strain sounds like a thing that’s going to take Motte from his 40-save potential to an eight-save season with a 5.00+ ERA, which will be interrupted by surgery. Grab Boggs in every league, he could easily be a top five closer for this year. If you own Motte, you obviously DL him and hope for the best. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in Spring Training for 2013 fantasy baseball:

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Gird your loins – we’re currently navigating positions battles in each division. Today I’m talking about the AL West, which gains the Astros this year, if anyone considers them something you gain. Every other team in the division should stand to benefit from the move. Maybe I’ve already beat them into the ground, especially with my review of worst pitching staffs in 2012, but they really could have a season for the ages (of a fallen empire). Across the state, the Rangers should continue to be a powerhouse, despite Ron Washington’s “leadership.” Meanwhile, the Angels look like the terminator, although, once their non-Trout core ages a little more, maybe they’ll be merely human. Today’s empires, tomorrow’s ashes – am I right? I don’t want to say anything bad about the Mariners other than this sentence implying that I have something bad to say about them. Ah yes, and I’m required by the union of baseball writers to have a token mention of the A’s. There you go. Anyway, here’s some of the position battles to watch in the AL West:

Please, blog, may I have some more?