Yesterday, on Fifth Avenue, Bud Selig was seen going into a photo shoot. That photoshoot was for him to be dressed as Uncle Sam for posters that will go up around the country. Under Uncle Bud, it will read, “I Want You!” You see, MLB lost a lot of players yesterday to suspensions and now they need people to play baseball. Tryouts will begin early next week and no one will be turned away due to their sex or age. If back in the day your grandma used to don the rawhide in that baseball league of their own, pull up her knee-highs and get her out there! Everyone must do their part to keep baseball together and moving forward. We need some Rosie the Pivoters at middle infield in San Diego and Detroit with the loss of Everth Cabrera and Jhonny Peralta. We need some bombers with the loss of Nelson Cruz in Texas. We’re gonna have some fatherless children on our hands with the troops heading off to battle on the diamond, but ironically Antonio Bastardo‘s kids will have their dad because he’s being sent home. When we’re in the bunkers amongst enemy pitchers, we’ll need someone to believe in with the loss of Jesus Montero. We’ll be without any guys that sound like names from a Harry Potter Name Generator with the loss of Jordany Valdespin, and we won’t have anyone that looks like The Great Gazoo with the loss of Francisco Cervelli. It’ll be a trying time for all of us, but we need to come together as a nation of Razzballers and fight through. Plus, really, for fantasy, we only lost Everth and Cruz, so don’t get so bent out of shape. Logan Forsythe or Alexi Amarista will take over for Everth, probably a bit of both until one emerges. Neither have the value of Everth, but Amarista could have some speed and he knows how to make a great frappuccino. Forsythe has little speed and power, but is dealing with a knee problem, so he may not be at 100%. In Texas, Engel Beltre or Jurickson Profar could see more time, but so far in 49 games Profar has a .244 average and four homers and no steals, so I wouldn’t go dropping anyone great in redraft leagues for him. Rangers also have Berkman coming back at some point in the next few weeks, so they could get crowded again. In Detroit, Jose Iglesias is the Indians’ backup plan, but if I saw him on waivers, I’d back up. In all, a bad day to be a cheater, but a good day to be an American. Now everyone will have a shot to make it to the major leagues. Just don’t be shocked if your grammie tests positive for HGH. She does, after all, take a lot of meds. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I think we can all agree that Two-Startapalooza is pretty much mind-blowingly awesome. But as far as paloozas go, let’s be real: our weekly two-start feature takes a backseat to Lollapalooza music festival. Sure, both paloozas have similarities: each attracts crowds in the hundreds of thousands; each is a celebration of profound creativity; each is best experienced while under the influence of booze and/or mind-expanding chemicals. It’s close, but I must admit, Lolla’ is a slightly better event than this blog post. Anyway, I only bring this up because Lollapalooza is happening right now in Grant Park on Chicago’s lakefront. I’m there today. I was there yesterday. I’ll be there tomorrow. Needless to say, my comment activity will be sparse during the PM hours this weekend, but I’ll be around in the AM to address your inquiries. Also, if any of Razzball Nation is headed to Lolla’, feel free to hit me up on Twitter (@Scott_Razzball) — I’m always down for havin’ a cold one and talkin’ ball. Now for the two-starters.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Looking back on the unofficial first half of the fantasy baseball season can be a lot of fun, unless of course you are in dead last, in which case it’s about as much fun as watching your auntie’s cat play with its new Cat’s Meow toy while you eat stale Circus Peanuts. In any event, the gods of SAGNOF have not been as kind to us thus far in 2013, and it shows in the numbers. The total number of steals in the league, 1524, is the lowest it’s been since 2006. In addition, there are only 21 players with 15 or more steals at this point in the season. That’s also the lowest it’s been since 2006. It feels even lower given that just last year there were 28 players with 15+ steals at the break and 30 the year before that. This all means that players who steal 30 bags or more are a little harder to come by, and it’s no sure thing that each fantasy team will have one or two guys that can carry them in steals like in years past. It also means that having a guy like Ben Revere break his foot and lose his season is a much bigger blow to our fantasy squads (mine included) than it used to be. So what do we do if we lost a guy like Revere or missed out on a Jacoby Ellsbury or Everth Cabrera type? If you read my column regularly, you know I’m a big fan of playing the match-ups when it comes to steals, and seizing the opportunity to eke them out whenever possible against teams that are weak against the run. After all, just because steals are down in general, it doesn’t change the fact that they still make up 20% of our offensive points in most leagues.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Jarred Cosart was fantastical last night in his season debut pitching 8.0 shutout innings, and surrendering just 2 hits and walking three. The rookie carried a no-hitter into the 7th inning before Ben Zobrist spoiled his fun with a 1-out single. The 23-year-old had the longest no-hit bid in a debut since 1972, and he was the first Astro to go eight scoreless in his major league debut. The Astros big get from Philly in their Hunter Pence trade, Cosart has a mid-90′s fastball and a sick curve he used to baffle the TB hitters last night as he shut down the scorching hot Rays who had won eight in a row. The fact that Cosart was facing off with Tampa’s ace David Price, makes his feat even more impressive. Brandon Barnes also impressed, making a circus catch in the outfield to preserve Jarred’s no-no in the sixth, but who cares, that won’t help your fantasy team. Jarred actually had a chance at the complete game shutout in this one and came out for the ninth, but was pulled for Jose Veras after walking the first batter. Naturally, after the game the Astro’s sent him down to AAA, but I imagine after this outing he should be back before the end of the month. If he were to get recalled after the All-Star break, he would likely face the Oakland A’s next week. Grey told you to BUY him yesterday, so obviously he foretold this start (he’s a wiiitch!), but Cosart is certainly worth stashing in deep mixed and all AL-Only leagues. With talented arms like Cosart, Appel, Lyles and Peacock, the Astro’s have assembled an impressive “future stars” pitching staff, and if games like this are any indication, we won’t be making fun of the Houston Lastros for much longer.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Greeting all! Tis I, Tehol Beddict! In Bora Bora I am also known as “El Papino,” but that’s a story for another time. Wait! Hold on a tick. This wondrous tale includes many of the details of how I obtained this nickname and I highly recommend you read it. With that being said, I am here to alert you to the calamity that is being brought forth to opposing managers, keeping them up nights, plotting on how to stop the monstrosity that is Han-Ram. Let me put it to you like this: There’s no stopping what can’t be stopped.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Homer Bailey threw his second career no-hitter, and it was the first time a player who looked identical to Christian Bale has thrown the last two no-hitters in the major leagues. Johnny Vander Meer’s family is currently drawing bat ears on old photos of Johnny to try and contest that record. Nolan Ryan was the last non-Balehead to throw the majors back-to-back no-hitters in 1974 and ’75, but the coincidences don’t end there! Back then the only live action Batman was Adam West, and Nolan was pitching as far West as you can go in California and Joe West called Ryan’s fifth no-hitter and Kanye West wasn’t born yet but Jesus was and that’s who Kanye thinks he is. It’s a small word after all, which is played at Disneyland and that’s in Anaheim where Nolan played. My brain is bugging out! Bailey seems like he’s a one-game-a-year pitcher, but he’s been terrific all year. He’s in the top ten for FIP and has the 4th best K-rate in that group. That’s not a 2nd or third fantasy starter; that’s an ace, over-the-internet friend. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We’ve run into another one of those weeks when it’s probably best to avoid two-start streaming. It’s not as despicable as we’ve gotten this season, but there are really only four or five realistically streamable options in week 14. Meanwhile, there are roughly 1,000 two-start turds for the week ahead. If you’re lucky enough to get your greedy hands on one of the few gems, good for you. But if you’re late to the party, don’t bother. Steer clear of this mess and roll with your core arms.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You wanted to sell R.A. Dickey, but no one was buying. Seeing last year as a fluke. Said he couldn’t do it again. Said you had too much fruit in your tapioca for even drafting him. They told you go fly a kite with Dickey, but not around children or it would be weird. Then Dickey throws a two-hit shutout yesterday with 6 Ks and you showed them that the only good thing that ever came out of being a naysayer is horse whispering. Or did you? Do you know anything more about Dickey than you did two days ago? He says he’s been dealing with cold weather and a sore back and he’s blaming the WBC. Excuses are like Alcides Escobar, everyone has one and they all smell. Did Dickey’s back suddenly clear up? Because he gave up six earned in his last start. Was the weather in his last start cold and Dickey shrunk up? This shutout was against the Rays, who are now 10 for their last 99 against him. They see Dickey and immediately go limp. Finally, your Dickey looks to be pointing in the right direction, but I wouldn’t start writing his name on your underpants just yet. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When I told you to pick up Joaquin Benoit yesterday, I was 85% sure he would close games until the Tigers traded for Papelbon, who will be known in Detroit as a Papelbonneville. Then, because Leyland reads Razzball between smokes, he named Benoit closer by not naming him the closer. He said, “I’m not naming anybody closer. I’m just saying if Benoit was available right now, I would try to close with him.” Thanks for clarifying! Managers deciding on a closer is like debating euthanasia. Valverde’s done, pull the plug! The Yelp reviews for Benoit are through the roof, but there’s a lot of five star reviews from fantasy baseballers with only one other closer. I’d grab Benoit in all leagues and hope he can hold the job and make the thought of trading for Papelbonneville absurd. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The name YoGa conjures peace, calm and sneaking looks at girls in yoga pants. On the mound, YoGa conjures stress. Starting him is like asking him to be your designated driver. You really have no idea what you’re going to get. He’s become more predictable as of late, but not in the good way. Every game this year he’s looked like someone put him in the fridge for an hour, then poured Magic Shell over him, then chiseled him out and left the fake-choco shell on the mound. I was already to drop him. I had hit my brink. So, how does he reward me? Does he pitch terrible and allow me the freedom of dropping him? You think anything’s that easy with YoGa? Yesterday, Yovani Gallardo was regularly hitting 93 MPH, and looking the part of the guy that finished 11th in Cy Young voting two years ago and won 16 games with a 3.66 ERA last year. A guy that has been a solid number two fantasy starter for the last four years. He threw a near-flawless 8 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners (1 BB), 4 Ks game. Of course, it was against the MIA Marlins and only 4 Ks. Still, I can’t drop him after that, but I also can’t start him for his next game in Great American Ballpark. So, for now I’ll hold a guy that I can’t start or bench confidently. Ugh, more stress! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?