The issue with writing for a site like Razzball, I’ve learned, is that you expend too much mental energy trying to come up with cute ways of saying everything. At least for those of us whose “written humor” is still somewhat of a work in progress, this is true. Needless to say, in just the past minute alone I’ve thought of so many dumb, unfunny ways of saying “I’m back!” that I’m embarrassed to share a single one, and will proceed as dully as possible. Yes, I’ve returned from my three week European extravaganza. There it is. Now instead of flirting with Australian chicks one year out of Uni in hostel bars, I’m back in the States ready to dispense you with the highest quality fantasy advice this country can offer. (You won’t believe how good German Grey is.)

In case you’ve forgotten or are just joining us here at LM for the first time, my goal is to highlight hitters to add for games on the short-slated days of Monday and Thursday. Filling out your lineup on these days is a basic tenet of fantasy leagues with daily moves and to be quite frank, you probably ain’t winning any titles in a competitive unless you put in the time to do this. Prior to my trip I posted here twice a week but that was before I packed my bags and got a soul-sucking office job, so now I’m going to synthesize those into one article that covers both days.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I had a hard time trying to come up with a Creeper of the Week for a week that only has three games and no rotations announced. So in a moment of scotch fueled clarity, I decided to create my own All-Star team. I’m going to highlight some of my favorite Creepers of the “not a real half first half”. There is only one voter, myself, and like any list, there will be bias. Hey, it’s my list and the winners are very obvious. It’s not like if I was to rank some of my favorite movies or songs, then I’m sure we could really get into a discussion. Oooooooh that sounds fun! I’m going to throw some out for you. For my favorite movie, it’s Goodfellas and Apocalypse Now (both these clips are NSFW). The movie in third is a tie of about 20 flicks that all make a strong case. For music, I’m not going to make it easy on you. Here is my top three non-corporate underground independent soul songs of the last 5 years. 1) Lee Fields & The Expressions – You’re the Kind of Girl 2) Charles Bradley – The World (Is Going Up In Flames) 3) Ruby Velle & The Soulphonics – My Dear. Do you have any? Actually, the story of Charles Bradley is a really interesting tale of “it’s never too late”. They even made a documentary movie about him. I highly recommend clicking on that link. Have you done it yet? Okay, good, then let’s move on to my all star team… countdown style!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Tsuyoshi Wada hit the majors leagues yesterday, so let’s talk about the new Yu Darvish! Actually, that’s Masahiro Tanaka. Okay, let’s talk about the new Hiroki Kuroda! That’s Ryu. Uh, the new Cubs pitcher that I’m excited about? That’s Arrieta. The new pitcher that autocorrect tries to change his first name to tsuris? By the by, is my autocorrect anti-Semitic? Why does it suggest tsuris? Because I’m half-Heb? And why did autocorrect just change Jew to Heb. Siri, dial the Anti-Defamation League and apologize. “Dialing your mother now.” Siri, not cool! Any pitcher that does compare to Wada? Yes, the new Bruce Chen. So, Wada is a rookie in name only. He’s 33 years old, and the first rookie with salt and pepper hair to throw five shutout innings since Satchel Paige. He’s also a soft-tossing lefty. Yawn. He might catch some hitters off-balance, but he’s probably around a high-6 K/9 and a 4 ERA pitcher. Yesterday’s line of 5 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 3 Ks is okay, but not much to flap your gums about outside of NL-Only leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I love when I tell you to pick up a player and he comes up days later. It makes me smile, and not one of those weird Japanese emoji smiles, but a full-faced grin. So, Andrew Heaney, you’re already okay in my book, even if that book is called, “Rookie Pitchers Will Fill You With Enthusiasm Until They Actually Pitch For Your Fantasy Team.” If you missed my Andrew Heaney fantasy with Friday’s Buy, where were you? Playing Patty Cake without your hands on the dance floor to Jason Derulo’s Wiggle song? Good story, brah. You should turn that into a novella. I’m giggling with excitement for Heaney like I’m Lisa Simpson, only instead of hehe I’m going HeHeaney. Pitching his home games in Crayola Canyon won’t hurt him, and the NL East is filled with a bunch of sad, sad hitting teams. Didja know the Marlins are the best NL East hitting team, and it’s not close? Fact! The Braves, Phillies, Nats and Mets could hold a two week round robin tournament and score less runs than goals scored in the World Cup. I went over the dangers of rookie pitchers in my Friday Buy, and what Heaney’s been doing this year in the minors. It’s all there. I will say now he should be owned in every league and is capable of winning the NL Rookie of the Year in only a little over a half a season. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“All this time, I had a dead possum on my head and I didn’t even realize it.” That was overheard recently by Selig. There should be a rule that anyone that can’t make the determination that their toupee is obvious to everyone should not be in any high-powered position. Rule number two: They should be able to hear. Or maybe he’s saying to an off-camera female reporter, “Where can I get one earring like that for this ear?” But since Selig can’t figure out the most-basic concepts, I’m going to break it down to him real simple as I did on yesterday’s Razzball TV on the Radio. How do people get excited about a particular day if no one knows when the hell that day is? Super Two status day is, um, well, no one has any idea! It changes for every player. A team could think they’re delaying it now and in two years realize they haven’t delayed it. Major League Baseball should say all rookies keep the extra year of eligibility if they stay down until May 31st. So this way everyone can focus on June 1st as the big day. Or make it June 5th. I don’t care, just make it one day so fans can get excited about a specific day. Like how there is a trading deadline. Any the hoo! For Jon Singleton, it’s irrelevant because the Astros gave him a contract and he will now be their starting 1st baseman. I already gave you my Singleton fantasy, it went like this, “Singleton was suspended for 50 games last year for smoking marijuana. Singleton wasn’t even tested until he kept forgetting the pitch count and called time out to grab some nachos. After his suspension, Singleton said, “I made an error in judgement. I should’ve cleansed by downing a 3-liter jug of cranberry juice rather than Nature’s Way Detox Tea. Damn you, Tommy Chong, for endorsing that inferior product!” Any self-respecting marijuana smoker will tell you that players aren’t suspended for DUIs but marijuana gets them… Then they trail off and their argument becomes less coherent and they’ll ask if they can borrow your Snuggie so they can take a nap. We should throw out his 2013 season. Who knows how long it took for him to return to form after his suspension. He’s still a prospect and only 22 years old. In 2012, Singleton hit 21 homers with 7 steals and a .284 average in 131 games. That’s more like what his minor league season should look like, and he does have 30-homer power, but won’t hit for a huge average. He strikes out too much. Singleton reminds me a lot of fellow Astro, Chris Carter. See, the truth is out there. Maybe Chris Carter and Jon Singleton can get together and make an X-Filez movie. Last year, Carter hit 29 homers and .223 with an insanely terrible 36.2% strikeout percentage. Singleton could do the same. More than likely, he won’t be quite that bad for average. Singleton could hit for the same amount of power and hit for a .260 average. Singleton will give you a line of 32/14/39/.258/4 and be up in June.” And that’s me quoting me! I’d grab him in every league for the chance for some sweet, sweet upside, and have already. Here’s hoping he can fill my giant gaping, Fielder-sized hole at 1st base. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Welcome to the second edition of the Lineup Maximizer! If you’re here as a result of my Reddit AMA, glad to know that that day wasn’t all for naught. Kidding! My motivations for dispensing fantasy advice are purely altruistic.

Before we get under with this week’s streaming picks, let’s recap how we did last week in honor of commenter Simply Fred. Record-keeping and accountability are taken seriously around these parts.

Last Week & Season Results

16 AB, 2 R, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0 SB, .188 AVG.

My first edition’s picks did perform as well as hoped, but if you agree with the process, results should follow over a larger sample. The question should be raised though, what should we expect from these players? Sure, most of them have favorable matchups, that’s why I highlight them in the article. But they are still available in the vast majority of leagues for a reason, that reason being they aren’t good enough to be owned in the vast majority of leagues.

I could try to compute a baseline scientifically, something like the rate at which replacement level hitters score runs, homers, etc. on a per game basis, but let’s instead just do something that feels nice. A .250 average, that feels nice. If the hitters I suggest here end up getting one hit for every four at-bats, I think everyone would agree it was worth our time to do this. Also arbitrary, I’ll aim for .5 runs per game, .5 RBI, .2 HR, and .2 SB. If one of every five players hits a home run (one per article), I think we all go home happy.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

For the 2nd time in two months, Yu Darvish has woken with a stiffy. A stiff neck, that is. Perhaps he should swallow the Viagra pill rather than letting it dissolve in his mouth before bedtime. On the fo’serious, what’s the problem with Texas and necks? I blame the NRA. They insert themselves in national debate, always pointing their finger at people and away from themselves. That’s the Neck Rehab Association. That was clear, right? What does Yu’s bed and pillow arrangement look like? Did he have his favorite Japanese architect of those tiny little cot-beds that are in hotels in Tokyo design his house? Maybe the Hello Kitty pillow is meant more for adornment rather than comfort. Can I have answers, I insist on truthiness. If I were the Rangers, I’d probably take a look at how he’s sleeping, that’s all I’m sayin’. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On this day, I’m reminded of the Imagine Dragons song, Demons. “It’s Prince Fielder‘s curtain’s call, it’s the last of all, when the lights fade out all the other players look like an upgrade. They look like an upgrade! Prince Fielder let us down! He should be hell bound! Though he says it’s all for you, stop hiding the truth! No matter what Cecil Fielder would breed. We are still made of greed, my fantasy team is my kingdom come, when will Prince Fielder’s homers come? When will they come?! When you feel my heat, look into my eyes, it’s where my hate for Fielder hides, it’s where my hate hides. Abreu, don’t get too close, it’s dark inside and Fielder might rub off on you. It’s where my hate for Fielder hides, it’s where my hate hides. They say it’s okay if he hits .280 with 85 RBIs and 20 homers around the pole that is foul. I say it’s up to fate, it’s woven in my soul, Prince Fielder is an a**hole!” Usually I’m like don’t sell so-and-so for a DVD box set of the third season of Punky Brewster, but I’d sell Fielder low. Who knows maybe someone in your league won’t think you’re selling low. I’d explore ALL (yes, capped) offers for him immediately before things get worse. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On Saturday, Jon Lester threw a gem: 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 15 Ks. Such a gem that if that were a blood diamond, diplomats from Monrovia would be lined up in the streets of Liberia for a taste of that. If that were an emerald, friends of Dorothy would stand outside of Ricky Martin’s hotel for weeks just for the chance he forgoes the hotel buffet and wants to eat out. If that were a ruby, it would stand outside a Dallas police station to cover any possible conspiracies and add fuel to other conspiracies. Lester has pitched spectacularly so far, and it’s not a product of luck. His 10.7 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 are elite. Those are fantasy ace numbers. His fastball doesn’t have renewed life, if anything he’s lost something on it. What appears to be the biggest difference is he’s almost completely abandoned his changeup and throwing his cutter a bit more. Since he’s always been good for 200 innings and has had huge success before, I’m willing to say he will hold the improvements to his rates and be an extremely reliable starter. Likely in the top 15 for the year. Yeah, he looks damn good. I want some, purdy puhlease. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

What does Juan Lagares have to do with this title? Not very much, but this day only comes around once a year, and I’m going to honor it by using it as the title of my post. I’m such a nerd that I still have my Star Wars lunch box from when I was a kid, and I ain’t selling it. My inner-Jedi has been searching around to try and find a stop-gap who has the force flowing through them for the next week. Many of us need help in our lineups while we deal with injuries and non-performers. I own Adam Eaton, Billy Hamilton, and Kole Calhoun in one league, and I’m in serious need of a bat right now that won’t kill my team. If you were a diligent reader of the pre-season awesomeness here at Razzball, then you may own some of these players too. It’s a predicament of Sarlaccian proportions and as we dodge asteroids in our Millennium Falcons, we need to find that bat to help us through this mess.

Please, blog, may I have some more?