Well, it sorta began last week, but there wasn’t really anything to report. We had one day of stats and a whole lot of J-FOH to deal with. Speaking of, I should point out that he did a wonderful job filling in for me last week as I traveled to the Bahamas and had a plethora of little umbrella drinks placed around my general vicinity. Haha, just kidding, I don’t drink anything with umbrellas in them. And the Bahamas are what I call my bar “area”. Which is really just a shelf with several Makers Mark bottles that have varying levels of fullness. I could have said emptiness, but I’m an optimist. And probably an alcoholic. That being said, we’re here now, together, once again, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I mean, I might, but that involves you buying me a steak dinner. Speaking of ways into my heart, Rudy has found a way to become legend to my soul, and you’ll learn what that is after the jump. So let’s start the story of your 2014 RCL Season…

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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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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 start of this series will focus on NL East…

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Hey, don’t forget to check out the 2014 Razzball Reader Survey! Help us help you!

We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere. To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2014 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2014 Rays Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of Jason Collette from The Process Report.

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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:

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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:

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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.  

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Here’s one way baseball could take cues from fantasy baseball.  Yesterday, the Marlins announced that they’d be going to a closer-by-committee, which puts Steve Cishek in line for saves.  If they had a fantasy baseballer (<–my mom’s term!) running their club, things would’ve been different down in South Florida.  

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Grey covered the Andrew Bailey and Frank Francisco situations nicely on Tuesday. However, I had already started putting information together, so I’ll leave you with a few lines from my Francisco write-up:

While Francisco is not expected to miss anytime, we’re talking about a relatively fragile relief pitcher here and a Mets organization that has a hard enough time keeping healthy players off the disabled list.

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