Of all the teams to predict to sweep their first series, who would have guessed the Mariners as one of those clubs? Well, aside from our resident Mariners fans –Tehol and Sky, and Grey, who put some serious coin on them to win the World Series. Who’s the crazy one now? Ha! I know the M’s weren’t supposed to be that bad this year, so its not all that surprising. It’s more surprising where some of the production is actually coming from. We expected it from Robinson Cano and Felix, and shoot, we even expected some from Miller, Erasmo, and Paxton. But Smoak? Ackley? I sure didn’t. Seems like anyone could put on a Mariners uniform and mash right now. MLB should probably take a further look into what’s going on behind the scenes up there. Maybe they’ve hired Grey as a trainer, a la Barry Bonds, to inject their guys with the special sauce. But wait, clearly that doesn’t work for everyone,  *cough* Jesus Montero *cough*… Or maybe Tehol has actually sacrificed himself to the gods to make such things come true! Who really knows? And with it being such a small sample size (a measly three games), there isn’t much we can draw from any of the numbers, relative to long-term production. But some guys have really started off hot and may be playing themselves into a hot schmotato for the next week or two or three or, well you get the point. Some guys, quite frankly, have not. Let’s take a look at who’s catchin’ my eye in points leagues in the VERY early going.

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As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
I take a look at my life and realize there’s nothin’ left
Cause I’ve been toutin and praisin Domonic so long,
That even Grey and Jay(Wrong) think that my mind is gone
But I ain’t never praised a man that didn’t deserve it
“Sir” Dom or Beddict treated like a punk? you know that’s unheard of
You better watch how you manage and how you baller block.
Or you and your staff  gonna be given your papers to walk
I really hate to trip but I gotta loc
As Mayberry chokes, I see myself in the Payote smoke, fool
I’m the kinda writer/model the little homies wanna be like
On my knees sacrificing goats every night saying prayers to the Elder Gods in the streetlight
Been Speeeeending most my life, livin’ in the Models/strippers/writers Paradise!

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The Reds manager Bryan Price, who I thought was their catcher, has a long way to go to catch up to ex-manager, Dusty Baker, on the Crazy-Meter, but naming Jonathan Broxton the closer a week before he’s even healthy, is a great start. Now Price needs to throw Latos 147 pitches in his first game back and he’ll be running a dead heat. Apparently, Broxton can’t only fill pants, he can fill shoes too. Dumpster Pants isn’t safe by any means, but when a crazy-as-a-fox manager names someone the closer, and he could be the closer for the next two months, I’d pick him up. Not literally, no one can pick up Broxton literally. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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The worst name for a Mexican restaurant is also now the Mets closer. No, not Jose Valverde, but his nickname: Poopie Grande. At Poopie Grande, the meal is solid, but the check comes and immediately the runs. You take off to the bathroom, shouting for your loved one to just pay the bill, then, when you return, you realize you were charged for five earned runs in a third of an inning. Poopie Grande, where you get heartburn and anal seizures simultaneously. So, Bobby Parnell has a partial tear of his right elbow, which is code for ‘he ain’t returning any time soon.’ Seriously, how is it possible that the closepocalypse lay dormant for the entire spring then slams the coast without warning? I’d lose Parnell if I didn’t have DL room and would grab Valverde everywhere and disinfectant. Your team could need it. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Our first full slate of games and two closers lost jobs. Mother Nature and/or Al Gore (if they’re different people), how is climate different than weather if both lead to a closepocalypse? An interested party is curious. It was a bit before concussions were in vogue, but did anyone ever check Robin Ventura for a concussion when he got cantalouped by Nolan Ryan? Cause he just lamebrained up my fantasy teams by naming Matt Lindstrom the closer– Um, Grey? What’s up, Random Italicized Voice? When Addison Reed was traded in December, you said, “White Sox GM Rick Hahn named Nate Jones, Matt Lindstrom, Scott Downs and Daniel Webb as possible replacements. Due to Scott Downs’ Syndrome, Downs is out of the mix. Jones will be a favorite by fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!) due to his ability to strike guys out, but I’m guessing Lindstrom will end up with the job due to that hard-to-put-your-finger-on-it closer experience quality.” And that’s me quoting you! DAH!!! I got wrapped in the allure of a young, sexy closer and forgot where my butter pickles were buttered! I imagine this shituation will get worse before it gets better, so if you have room, I’d hold Jones for now, but you should absolutely pick up Lindstrom in all leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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The Buy/Sell column is back after a long winter break and ready to do this thing better than ever! Let’s hear directly from it. Buy/Sell, “Why are you putting such pressure on me? Better than ever? How about ‘ready to do this hungover’ because it was in Panama City for the last week with James Franco, yelling, ‘Spring…Break…Spring…Break…’ is friggin exhausting! And haunting. I need a nap.” Kolten Wong was named the starting 2nd baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals of the National League Baseball Association, and nary a ‘cracker was lit. Upon his call-up last year, Wong was more wrong than right, but less riiiiiiiight than wrong if you’re sarcastic. He didn’t get enough playing time. David Freese kept playing more often than not and Matt Carpenter didn’t move over to third nearly enough. Even after Allen Craig was hurt, Fatt Adams filled in and Wong sat on the bench. Thankfully, the Cardinals finally moved on from Freese. The Freese has been thawed! What? No good? The Cards froze out that Freese! Still nothing? Now that Kolten Wong gets a full time job, he’ll immediately be mixed league relevant and around a top fifteen option with a chance for more. He’s a clone of Pedroia and not because they both need their tippy-toes to get the sugar from on top of the fridge. Wong can hit 15 homers and steal 20 bases with a solid average. Will he or Wongn’t he? No idea, but definitely worth owning in every mixed league. Anyway, here’s some more players to buy and sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Y’all know why this is happening to Kris Medlen, right? Why he’s preparing for Tommy John surgery? It’s the breeding patterns of the Flat-Billed Pitchypus and their likely extinction. If you iron your hat brim, you are putting yourself and potentially your family in grave danger. Exhibit A: Shawn Chacon now works at a Los Pollos Hermanos, making ‘deliveries.’ SPOILER ALERT! Wait, you need to know what I’m spoiling first. True Detective SPOILER ALERT! The Yellow King’s face looks like that due to ironing the brim of his hat while it was on his head. So, due to climate changes, mating rituals and the long hunting season of the Flat-Billed Pitchypus, the Braves went out and got Ervin Santana. The Baltimore Orioles said, “Aw, shucks, we were gonna sign him for sixteen dollars the day after the season started.” Too bad, O’s. Against me better judgement, I’m gonna talk like a leprechaun and move Ervin Santana up a hair in my top 80 starters and my top 400. Plus, we lost Randall Delgado, Kevin Gausman and Brandon Beachy, so there was room. Oh, have I mentioned I moved Beachy down? Yeah, I don’t like that he has soreness in his biceps. Prediction Alert! In the next few years, Dr. James Andrews is going to reveal to the world a serious gambling problem, and that’s why everyone that goes under his knife needs follow-up surgery and a massive amount of check-ups. Someone’s gonna pay the kitty, ya heard? Anyway, here’s what else I’ve seen in Spring Training for 2014 fantasy baseball:

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This is the year of the pitcher, it’s so deep that people are even naming their kids deep. But that doesn’t mean you need to wait til the end of your draft to fill out your staff. It means don’t waste your top-3 picks on arms and be wise when you grab a pitcher because you might be able to take a bat and then get a pitcher the next round that is on the same tier as the guy you passed on. I drafted with the writers the other day and wow, that turned out to be one big hangover with a side of blurred vision the next day. I still have no idea how I got this cut on my head.  Two things I learned, don’t drink and draft because you might end up with Michael Saunders in your OF and taketh what the draft giveth’s. Yes, I said it, plans are nice, but don’t miss a great opportunity when something beautiful appears and the guy you had penciled in at that round is also on the board. I don’t mind a few stretches here and there but don’t make it a habit. I’m a best player available drafter, I like to punt the middle infield positions and Catchers can go hang out with kickers on the football side of the site… except you Wilin Rosario, you can come sit next to Big Papa. Here is my all Late-Round Flyer Team, LRFT for short. It’s comprised of guys I like and people that Grey and other Razzball writers like. I’m here to serve them and fill their coffee and weird requests. Sky likes his green skittles separated into a wooden bowl, Guru makes me starch his turbans and JayWrong makes me tag everything that belongs to Nick at the Razzquarters… Best Internship Ever! Here are the guidelines, this is written for the default ESPN style format and the players have to be less than 20% owned and drafted after the 20th round, yup that’s it.

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First off, I would like to say Eric Sogard should be the Face of the MLB; that vote was rigged in David Wright’s favor.  Baseball needs more nerdy-looking, glasses-touting, Bernie-leanin’, jive-walking players.  But without further ado, here is the AL West Spring Training Showdown. (You can check out the AL Central Spring Training Preview here and NL East Spring Training Preview here.)

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“Get in a line, and limp.” That’s the master of ceremonies at the latest calfalcade. Chase Headley has a Grade 1 strain of his calf. Grade 2 or higher would be a cow. Semantics, perhaps. He’s supposed to be out for two to (stutterer!) three weeks. I’ve dropped him a couple of spots in my top 20 3rd basemen for 2014 fantasy baseball and my top 400 for 2014 fantasy baseball. Probably if he was in Coors for his home games, coming off a 30-homer season and/or whispered in my ear sweet nothings about Giancarlo, I wouldn’t have moved him in my rankings at all. However, he’s in Petco, coming off a 13 homer season and any reason to not mess with a Padre is good enough for me. You say confirmation bias, I say keep your Psych 101 terms and Headley. To give you a present day example of another player with a calf strain who I’m not currently moving in my rankings: Josh Hamilton. If this were the 2nd week of March, I’d re-rank him, but he’s got time to heal or get injured worse. I’ll be monitoring Hamilton like a cyclops with a monocle. Anyway, here’s what else has been going down in Spring Training for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?