First clue I’m human, when I overheard an old woman tell someone she showers while sitting on a stool, I shivered. Second clue, I used to wear Z. Cavariccis. First clue Justin Verlander is human was last night. He had the worst outing of his career with 2 2/3 IP and 8 ER. Verlander looked like Kate Upton, if Kate had Rosie O’Donnell’s head. Sorry, that’s a visual you won’t get out of your head for a long time. It’s like two girls, one shower stool. Can’t you just take a bath? Please tell me this isn’t old age…. Speaking of which (watch how I tie this loosely into fantasy baseball), Verlander is thirty years old and… Still lights out. This was one bad start, don’t panic. C’mere, let me massage your shoulders and… I just pick-pocketed you! You gotta be careful with that. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Kazmir’s career sunk like a lead zeppelin, but get ten Ks against anyone and I sit up and take notice and I’m not just talking above my waist. Hey now! Yesterday, Scott Kazmir‘s line was 6 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners with 10 Ks. Okay, I have to be a cyclops with a monocle for this guy. To refresh everyone, a cyclops only has one eye so it’s particularly sharp. Like how a blind person’s hearing is enhanced. So you put a monocle on a cyclops and you have creature that sees everything. That’ll be me. Let’s see, his fastball speed has returned to his 2008 levels. The last time he was good. His walk rate went to atrocious after that year, but that too has returned and he has a 25:6 K:BB ratio. The only start where he was hit was his first. Maybe that was nerves — or noive if you’re in Brooklyn. Everything else from Kazmir has been like butter, so he’s no longer toast? That’s what I’m seeing. Okay, now for whether or not you should pick him. He gets the Yankees, Mariners and Red Sox next. Two out of three isn’t good. Sorry, Meatloaf. I wanted to pick him up so badly, I counted each start of his for the next two months. It doesn’t get better. He gets the Reds, Yanks again, Tigers then Nats. I like him more than I have in five years, but I’m still not picking him up. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So nice to see Yu. Saludos, my Darvish. Come on, let’s mingle. You know, my dear, my father used to say to me, Grey, don’t be a schnook. It’s not how Yu feel. It’s how Yu look. And you, Darvish, you look absolutely marvishlous. Cole Hamels — bleh. R.A. Dickey — eh. Yu Darvish — absolutely marvishlous! When a beautiful girl passes or when you see something you know you may never see again, what do you say? I say, oohbeekadoobie like I’m Billy Crystal impersonating Sammy Davis Jr. Nothing else can express the start Darvish had last night. Oohbeekadoobie, baby, oohbeekadoobie. That’s all I have. Sure, it’s a nonsensical word that’s origin of meaning is bupkis, but when one comes face-to-face with wonder, one is left with nothing but oohbeekadoobie. Just like Darvish pulled up just short of a perfect game, I’ll pull up short of saying he’s a number one/top ten starter off of one start in April vs. the Astros. The Astros, mind you, who are put together as a team the same way you used to put together pick up games. If you have a glove and bat, you can play for them. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Mike Trout who?! AL Rookie of the Year last year and runner-up for the MVP. He also had one of the best rookie years ever. I know, Random Italicized voice. I was being facetious to show my excitement for Bryce Harper. Like Bryce Harper is so good I’ve forgotten all about Mike Trout. He’s the Angels center fielder. He’s got a girlfriend, but I bet I could weasel my way in with my slanted words. Forget it, Random Italicized voice. Like you forgot Mike Trout? I hate you! Rudy’s mentioned this before, but there’s very few hitters that have top 20 overall potential. You have to be able to hit 45+ homers (Stanton, Bautista) without killing you in any category or be consistently excellent across four categories (Pujols, Fielder, Votto, Cano) or have the potential for your homers and steals to total 50 (Trout, Braun, McCutchen, CarGo, Jones, Kemp, Upton). It’s slightly early to put Harper in that last group. But the potential is there, as he showed yesterday when Harper touched ‘em all once, he touched ‘em all Bryce. If you own him, I wouldn’t let him go at any price. Anyway, here’s what I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

And the Tigerettes sang, “He was talked up as closer, but now he’s sent down… Da Bruce Rondon gone, Da Bruce Rondon… Somebody told me he made Leyland frown… Da Bruce Rondon gone, da Bruce Rondon… Yeah, he sucked in spring… Yes, his stats would sting… But now my team’s saves are boned… Da Bruce Rondon gone, Da Bruce Rondon…” As Randy Jackson would say, we got ourselves a pitchy competition, dawg! *sips from Pepsi cup, looks at Mariah for approval, fixes silver chain, sucks in gut under sweater that he’s wearing with no undershirt which makes it look really itchy, laughs at some Nicki Minaj nonsense, says to Seacrest, “I don’t know, we’ll have to see what America thinks” and smiles* So, Bruce Rondon was sent down and now the Tigers closer job is Hollywood Week. Auditions are down to Al Al’etc, Santa K, New Mexiclosero, Al Al, Coke Is It, Coke Is So 80′s Octavio Dotel Is It, Alquin Cokel, Octaquin BenCokel and Philquin Alburcoke. And that’s only four guys! Hang tight, guys and four girl readers, it’s a closerousel. Lots of possible outcomes here. All four guys could do well in a committee and Leyland utilizes it the whole year. Two guys do well and we get a portmanteau closer, let’s call it a SAGNOFtaur. Three guys could do well, let’s call that, The Three StoogeNOF. Another possibility: as we know from the past with Leyland’s ‘Set it and Forget It’ lineup card management, he likes to stick with one thing. So one guy takes the job by mid-April and holds it for the majority of the year. This is the best possibility for all involved. I think that’s also what happens. Leyland’s got cigarettes to smoke, he doesn’t have time to be walking to the mound to change pitchers! So who from Octavio Dotel, Al Alburquerque, Joaquin Benoit and Phil Coke does he go with? As the prude brothel’s sign announces, therein lies the rub. Al Al’etc is a monster for Ks, he’s my first option because he could provide solid value while the job is being decided. Then, I like Dotel. He reduced his walks last year and kept his Ks. He also has some closer experience. Next up: Joaquin Benoit. He was very successful last year in middle relief, but he can’t go on back-to-back days or stay healthy. Finally, Phil Coke. I wouldn’t grab him outside of AL-Only leagues. Big strike against him: he’s a lefty. In his favor: he closed games in the playoffs last year. It’s a shituation of epicloser proportions. Oh, and I wouldn’t grab more than one guy. I’d take a gamble on one guy, form a prayer rectangular and hope it works out. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Rick Porcello won the 5th starter spot in Detroit over Smyly. Or Frownly, as the case may now be. Yawn. This is most unexciting news ever. This is like reading a Yelp review for The Cheesecake Factory. They have big portions. Yay. Who even writes Yelp reviews for The Cheesecake Factory? I want some of your free time, Cheesecake Factory reviewer. I don’t like Porcello and wouldn’t draft him in any leagues. He has a 5-ish K/9, which is atrocious. Which II, The Return of Which Mountain, leads Porcello to need good luck on balls hit into play. Though, no matter what I say, Porcello is invariably asked about in the comments for whether or not to pick him up, so y’all ain’t reading this anyway, and, since you’re not reading, I was the one who made heaving noises from the movie theater balcony and dropped cream of corn soup on your head. (Spoiler Alert for Game of Thrones: Was I the only one who was reminded of Chunk from The Goonies when Tyrion was confessing to the weird breastfeeding lady? Any the hoo!) Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in spring training for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Chris Perez has been shut down for 3-4 weeks. The Indians are saying it’s due to a shoulder strain. Seems pretty coincidental that Chris Perez rocks a mullet and there’s a guy with a “business on top, party in the back” haircut on The Amazing Race this season. I’m calling BS. “Yeah, what’s up?” Sorry, didn’t mean to actually call BS. “Cool, now you’re wasting my time. I’m gonna call myself on you!” So with Perez out, a giant gaping hole opens in Cleveland, and I don’t mean when Drew Carey is eating. Vinnie Pestano should take over the closer role in the mean’s while. Unfortunately (depending on how you’re looking at it), Perez went down so early that he could return as soon as the first or second week of the season. That means you need to draft Perez and Pestano. My advice is to wait two seconds after someone drafts Perez then take Pestano. This will be real cute in auctions. They’ll either have to spend $15-ish to have both Indian closers or they’ll be stuck without one. If I could only draft one, I’d take a late flyer on Pestano. As with most things SAGNOF-related, there’s no sure thing in the bullpens and the cheaper way to get saves is always the most preferable. Anyway, here’s all the closers for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I was trying to insert that catchy Beastie Boys song in your head, so if it worked, hooray for you. Go ahead and try and pat yourself on the back with your baby T-Rex arms. So we come to this, it has been much ballyhooed and asked for frequently. I figured I would take some time away from inoculating babies in third world countries and devout my charity work to you all.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Unlike other 2013 fantasy baseball rankings posts, I’m just gonna rank all of the closers in the format of every Closer Look I’ve done in the past. Unlike other Closer Looks, I put projections in. The setup men are in order in parentheses, and the relevant ones have projections, as well. Once Brian Wilson and Jose Valverde sign, I’ll add them; neither are much more than end of the staff flyers. You should draft saves first and foremost in all but Holds leagues. Ratios for relievers are very fickle. Ratios for middle men are all over the map. Every year middle men come out of nowhere. Just because Venters is with a top reliever does not make him the number one middle man. David Robertson would be that. When I rank my top 400 on Friday, I’ll have everyone in there. Closers as of right now are listed first even if I think someone else will get more saves; as with the Tigers shituation. The other day Smokey did a top middle relievers for the NL post (AL will be up shortly); Rudy also has all of the Holds projected in the 2013 fantasy baseball projections. My biggest problem with ranking Holds is there’s no rhyme or reason from season to season with closers, then take that fickle fluidity (fickidity?) and multiple it by five when you start to go further into bullpens. Last year, the Holds leaders were Joel Peralta, Pestano, Mitchell Boggs and Dor-K (for our dyslexic readers). The year before, only Pestano made it in the top 20 and he ranked 16th overall. Tyler Clippard was the best in 2011, where was he in 2012? 66th overall after he took May thru August off to captain a ship in America’s Cup. If getting saves is about opportunity, getting Holds is about opportunity plus a coin toss. Anyway, here’s all the closers for 2013 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With the trade deadline in the bag and closers moving, we have a lot to talk about.  Some of it refreshing like a glass of ice cold lemonade on a summer’s day.  Some of it less so like being asked to write something for Lainie Kazan, wondering who Lainie Kazan is and Googling her to find Playboy pics from the 1970′s juxtaposed with her present-day pics.  

Please, blog, may I have some more?