As spring training takes off, we, the wonderful people of Razzball, thought it would be a good idea to look into some intra-team rivalries.  What positions are a lock?  What positions are being fought over?  What positions will they hire me to fill-in for (second base Blue Jays, I’m looking at you)? Find out as the second part of this series will focus on AL Central… (You can check out the NL East Spring Training Preview here.)

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Did someone call Glenn Frey? Cuz the H is O. When the news hit, I was on the toilet, which reminded me of that famous Lawrence Taylor quote when he said, “My life is in the toilet and no one is flushing.” Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez‘s lives are in that same proverbial toilet; hopefully they avoid sleeping with an underage prostitute. “Baby, you ever see me break Theismann’s leg?” “The Theismann Trophy? Wow, isn’t that bronze?” “Joe Theismann, woman!” “Woman? I’m 16.” That’s an audio recording of LT in the hotel room. So, the world is ablaze with ESPN’s report that a suspension is forthcoming for Braun, A-Rod, Yasmani Grandal, Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta and Everth Cabrera, amongst notable fantasy names. Gio Gonzalez isn’t in danger because he makes people write down shizz in invisible ink. “I bought this pen from the back of comic book, forgoing the 3-D glasses.” That’s Gio at the steroid reception desk. By the by, how buff was the lady taking calls at Biogenesis and how bad did A-Rod hit on her? I got questions, y’all! If Ryan Braun is suspended, the repercussions will obviously be huge for your fantasy team. However, Braun looks like he’s already battling something — the Jewish guilt? P to the erhaps. If you’re doing well in your league with the Braun that you have, chances are you can rotate through hot schmotatoes in shallower mixed leagues to give you his production. If A-Rod is suspended? Well, no one cares outside of the buff receptionist. EverCab could also send people scrambling for steals on waivers, while Cruz and Jhonny are replaceable in most mixed leagues. On the bright side, Braun’s lawyers will probably fight this for at least a month or two, and they’ve won before over what mail carrier someone used, so you never know. On the brighter side, the publishers of the Jewish Sports Hero Pamphlet can hold off on an expansion for a while. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Jesus Montero was sent down and the Mariners called up Jesus Sucre. Jesus for Jesus was the original name of Jews for Jesus when it only had one member. The only thing that I pray is that my Brayan Pena don’t fail me now…Jesus sucks! And I don’t think there is nothing Montero can do now to right my wrongs…Jesus Sucks! I want to talk to Yan Gomes, but I’m afraid because we ain’t spoke in so long…Jesus Sucks! To the SAGNOF hustlers, worm burners, lefty murderers, HGH drug dealers especially A-Rod’s cousin… Jesus Sucks for them! To victims of Ron Popeil ‘Set it and Forget It’ catcher management style for we living in hell here hell yeah, Jesus Sucks for them! I.e., good riddance, Montero. With Easter passed, I have no idea when Jesus will be back, but I’d drop him in all leagues. Shoppach will take over full-time now, but this should put Mike Zunino firmly on your radars. On the most recent prospect power rankings, Zunino was honorably mentioned. Last time Scott, our prospect writer, really hooked his chompers into Zunino, he said this, “Zunino will likely surface in Seattle at some point in 2013, but his fantasy value, once up, is tough to gauge. His tools profile suggests he’ll eventually develop into a very nice big league catcher, and one you’ll want in fantasy leagues. But most people around baseball don’t see the Travis D’Arnaud/Jesus Montero/Devin Mesoraco-type ceiling with Zunino. Then again, he’s surpassed expectations at every stop thus far, and it’s within reason to think he could continue to do so at the highest level. A real overachiever, like our very own Grey.” Hey, thanks! A word about that quote. (Actually a few words.) Jesus Montero is mentioned in there, and that’s not a goof by Scott, this just shows you what catcher prospects look like when they come up. Catchers tend to take a while to develop because they’re learning defense as much as offense. They can’t just hit, they need to play defense. Well, except for Mike Piazza. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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The week was going swimmingly, with inflatable swim muscles, I may add, then Kevin Gregg showed up and said “Oh, I thought everyone wore these glasses now.” I don’t trust Kevin for 2 reasons, closers come and closers go (Kyuji is coming back) so add that into your closer entree like a good splash of adobo. The second reason is he has two first names, I’m sorry, it’s a phobia of mine ever since I went to school with a kid named Ferris Ferris. No I didn’t stutter, that’s a true story. Next we move to Boston, where Joe-L is returning from the DL; John Farrell has said what is typical, we will see what happens. My 2 cents is that Bailey keeps it until he falters or Hanrahan whines enough to make a stink. If I could call Joel, this is how the convo would go. Sup Joel. Who is this? Then I would hang up and not answer when he star 69′s me. I do that cause I don’t like people messin’ around on my phone. Lastly this week, I have moved Jim Johnson, minus his cult following, into the top tier. He has shown me enough to warrant a bump up. The games he pitches in are showing the confidence that Buck has in him, like a great illegitimate dad would in his Maury Povich type son. The bump over Papelbon is based purely on stats and accumulation right now, Paps just isn’t seeing the chances that some other closers are seeing and that inevitably hurts my feelings and his stats/value. Enjoy the week as if you were listening to the soundtrack from Rocky 4, what could get better than that.? If you said that talking robot Pauly got, then we are on the same page my friend.

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So we come to another week of debauchery known as bullpendom. Yeah, I like to make up words, Dr. Seuss did it and he is considered a genius, me will settle for 700 on my SAT’s and just scraping by. What can I say – I’m a settler minus the funny hat and the flashy yet obnoxious buckle on my shoes. The Red Sox seem to be leading the pack of news this week with Joel Hanrahan being pipped by Andrew Bailey. It’s going to be a non-fluid situation when Joe-L returns as I see him setting up and waiting for Bailey to go on the rocks. It’s not a bad thing to have if you’re in Boston, 2 closers that have the ability to close out games with some sort of success, for fantasy it sucks worse then burning your toaster strudel cause it gets stuck in the toaster. Best part is there is still some of that glaze that you can just free base as a non-essential part of your daily vitamin allowance. Lots more in this week’s episode of bullpen report so keep on reading and click that red button, or gray button for our color impaired people.

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I wish I was a mathematician or at least had one of those rad looking calculator watches. For now I will remain myself and take random, yet seasoned guesses at this thing that we covet so much, the save. It’s the only position that every person garnering save capability is owned in every league no matter how big or small, which makes it fun. They say all the fun is the chase, I guess that’s why I am bored with so many people tied up in my Gam-Gam’s basement. Digression, segue, punctuation. The Royals, or for better reference, Greg Holland, has figured out his mojo, while all of us hoping for a heated up Kelvin to pounce are reduced to wait for a Holland-days off. I am glad that Holland has shown what we all thought he could be, albeit for one glorious day. Two in a row is a winning streak, so said Lou Brown. So onto the rankings of closers and some of their ‘cuffs. This week’s random weird but true factoid, the Phillies are 13 games into the season and do not have a hold by any pitcher on their team. Put that in your cheese steak and smoke it

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According to Wikipedia, the Dozens is a game of spoken words between two contestants, common in African-American communities, where participants insult each other until one gives up. Yesterday, we got a fantasy baseball version. Felix Hernandez started in on Max Scherzer first, “Your name sounds like a character from a Michael Chabon novel!” Scherzer lobbed back, “You could throw a no-hitter and lose!” F-Her redoubled his efforts, “You need two sets of colored contacts!” Scherzer stepped back and threw, “You’re gonna be traded to the Orioles for Erik Bedard!” F-Her fired back, “Your first baseman is so fat his blood type is Ragu!” “Oh, yeah? Well, your center fielder is The Big FraGu!” F-Her threw 8 shutout innings with 12 Ks against one of the best offenses in the game; Scherzer gave up one run with 12 Ks against one of the worst. Both: Great. Winner: Last night, it was F-Her. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, Yovani Gallardo was arrested for a DUI. So that explains why his pitches are all over the place! He blew a 0.22. That’s six-plus runs better than his ERA. Gallardo’s mugshot looks like a still from a PSA. “More than 79% of Americans feel the most significant social problem facing America is the physical absence of a decent 1st baseman.” “I’m Yovani, and our 1st baseman is Alex Gonzalez some days. Other days, it’s Yuniesky Betancourt. Please stop this needless crime against run support.” I wonder if he was driving home from the Miller Brewery tour, because it’s awesome, but, man, you should not drive after that. “If I draw a mouth on my forehead and stand upside down, then I’d have two mustaches.” That’s me towards the tail end of the Miller tour. Well, Yovani does pitch for the Brewers. What did you expect? Guess we should be happy he doesn’t pitch for the Crack Rockies. For fantasy baseball, this doesn’t mean much. Pray Gallardo returns from a DUI as successfully as Miguel Cabrera. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Now, if Clay wants to be called Buchholz, Imma call him Cassius. Clay Buchholz took a no-hitter into the 8th inning and ended with the line 8 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 11 Ks vs. Tampa. The Jewish Journal’s headline read, “Clay Spins Rays Like A Dreidel.” You know why he’s pitching this well, right? Cause I had nothing positive to say about him in the preseason. That’s spiteful, Clay. Spite is one of the seven deadliest sins. Right after that soup the fat guy ate in Se7en and Paltrow’s career after she stopped sleeping with Harvey Weinstein. “Sleep with the gross, sweaty producer, win an Oscar. Sleep with that guy from Coldplay, do movies with Huey Lewis.” Okay, this is a big step for me, but I’m willing to buy into the new and improved Buchholz with his splitter that he learned at the tail-end of last year. I’m not going out and trading for him, but if you went against my wishes and drafted him, you did good. It looks like you might’ve stole a pitcher late that has number two fantasy starter upside. Though I can’t say that I won’t be rooting against him every step of the way, since I don’t own him. My will vs. your will in a steel cage. My will will rake your will’s eyes. My will fights dirty. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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