Hey, it’s Memorial Day weekend, so I assume most of you aren’t here. I guess I’ll be chatting with some of our playas’ from Europe and that New Zealander Steve. Damn, that came out like I’m hatin’ on Razzballs good buddy Steve. Sorry Steve, we miss you. With this title you might think I’m going to play a bunch of jazz tunes and that would be the most logical place to go, but not in the stream of confusion of my  mind. Of course I started with Dizzy from one of my favorite jazz albums, but then my mind took an odd turn to Herbie Hancock and how this song changed a lot of musical perspectives for me. After absorbing all of that I fell deeper into the funk and the brilliance of the godfather of soul’s backing band (now there is some dancing I want to see come back). Oh, that sweet sweet soul music from the Baby H to the contemporary Charles Bradley and Lee Fields. Now along the way, I had the local LA underground hiphop scene to deliver rare gems like the Breakestra, and speaking of hip-hop, I have to wonder what the world would be like without Herbie Hancock. Now, you might be asking yourself what this has to do with todays creeper or top 100, and all I can say is my mind is a place and I’m letting you step in it for a few. I also know you guys like talking about music so WTFN.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Rubby de la Rosa threw 9 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners (0 BBs) and 5 Ks, a semiprecious stone of a game. (Maybe I didn’t need to use a thesaurus for the word gem.) Rubby reminded me of Celine Dion and her baby. If I could hold Rubby to my ear, what would his future sound like? *paints Rubby on a seashell for makeshift future-telling device, puts seashell up to ear* I hear Johnny Gill saying, he will Rubby me the right way! That’s amazing! But how can we be sure Johnny Gill isn’t just saying that because no one has asked for his opinion on anything in 25 years? Wait, maybe we haven’t heard from him because he’s been living in a seashell all of these years. Rubby’s K-rate is 8, his walk rate is 2 and, yes, they’re even numbers, unless we’re going to the 2nd decimal, and 2nd decimals are for nerds! Speaking of which, his xFIP is 3.43 and he’s been a tad unlucky to have a 4.08 ERA. I don’t see Rubby as a potential ace breakout candidate, but I own him in multiple leagues, and like him since he throws hard, has solid control, should get cushy matchups and could have a fantasy number three to four year. Now how do we get Johnny Gill out of this seashell?! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The year was 2005 and my buddy kept talking about his fantasy baseball team. I had no idea what he was saying most the time, because I had never played the game before. Actually I had barely watched any baseball at all. I was a jaded strike fan who was as casual as they come with my knowledge of the game. I knew a little about the local teams and that was about it. Any the hoo, he kept going on and on about this Ryan Howard kid until that name was stuck in my head. Fast forward to March of 2006, he talked me into playing with him and “his” friends for fun… and money. I get to the 10th round of the draft and I need a 1B, so I remember the kid that got drilled into my head the year before and I take Ryan Howard with the pick. That year he put up a 104/58/149/0/.313 line and I won that league. Actually I won for lots of reason, I rosterbated before I knew what that was and I streamed like a mofo. I also never gave him a dime, he took my entry out of my winnings, kept some of it for the next season and I played with them for free for the next five seasons. I hearted Howard like Grey hearts Giancarlo. He was my savior that year. I think I drafted Gagne in the 5th and Fatolo in the 4th… I had no idea what I was doing. But I learned the game by doing and picked it up pretty fast, and now you get to see me at least twice a week. If this angers you, then blame occasional commenter the Birdman for me being here. It’s all his fault.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Cody Asche was sent down to learn left field (or get lost trying), and the Phils’ GM, Ruin Tomorrow Jr., said they’re calling up Maikel Franco this weekend. Let’s see what October Grey had to say about Franco, “Well, Asche’s opportunity to sneak in and have a surprisingly solid season in 2014 before Franco emerged went swimmingly. If we’re judging swimmingly on a scale established by Natalie Wood getting swimming lessons from Robert Wagner. Too harsh? How about as swimmingly as Whitney Houston in a bathtub? That’s just terrible, why would you force me to give you a second one? Upon his arrival in Philly at the end of last year, Franco’s lack of assault on major league pitching made it seem like he needed more seasoning, i.e., the Franco-American Outside-Of-King-Of-Prussia War on pitching didn’t exactly leave us with shock and awe (.179 in the majors with zero homers in 56 ABs). Shouldn’t have been a surprise, he didn’t exactly look like a breakout waiting to happen last year in Triple-A, where he had 16 homers in 521 ABs, hitting .257. With rookies like that, maybe the Phils are right to invest in more megaphones for the clubhouse, so their veterans can communicate. Franco could be the type that just needs to get comfortable at a new level, which bears itself out when you look at his month-to-month OPS last year in Triple-A (.967, .636 in last two months and .879 this year in Triple-A).” And that’s me quoting me! He’s worth a flyer if you need corner infidel help. I stashed him in one deeper league (15 team) and ignored him in a 12-teamer. He might only have 14-homer power, so, basically, he’s Ryan Zimmerman. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

What are you all doing here today? It’s Mother’s Day… shouldn’t you be getting out of the basement and going to pick up the pizza for her for once! Go put on your fancy sweatpants, you know, the ones without the hot pocket stains, and put on actual shoes. Slippers or flip flops are not okay today. Seriously, try and do something! Did you remember to write her a Dear Mama letter? What about being mothers little helper and taking out the trash or refilling her bourbon? There are lots of things you can do to help out your Mother. I know they like telling you what to do or what not to do, but sometimes that’s just the way it goes. At least you know mama tried and wasn’t just standing in the shadows… I hope. Let’s be nice to her and  just lay off the yo mama jokes for the day? Cool. Oh, that’s right, you are here for fantasy baseball and not just songs and jokes. Yeah I got jokes.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

OBPwulf opened to lukewarm reviews in the Grandal Opry in 2012. One critic said the country number performed by the girl in Daisy Dukes can only be described as “poon twang” to those sitting in the front rows. Another critic argued that a show dedicated to a catcher, who never topped 15 home runs and had a career .247 average, but was good at OBP, while being delivered in country music songs written in archaic Old English prose, would struggle to find an audience. And struggle it did. Until it moved to Los Angeles and got a cast change to Carrie Underwood and Craig Wayne Boyd. Now the story of OBPwulf is singing! Yesterday, Yasmani Grandal went 4-for-4, 3 runs, 8 RBIs with his 3rd and 4th homers, hitting .301. He’s owned in 39% of ESPN leagues and the Dodgers go to Coors this weekend. I didn’t put Grandal in this afternoon’s Buy column, because he’s here now. You don’t need things repeated. You don’t need things repeated. You don’t need things repeated. Sorry, I’m typing this in a cave. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’ll be honest, picking a creeper early in the year is not an easy task. We have small sample sizes to work with, players under performing and pitchers very hard to predict. I ask myself every week as I prepare these: what angle can I find to make a call? What is a constant that doesn’t change? Where are my pants? Well, the third question is nearly impossible to answer because it’s like trying to figure out where Jimmy Hoffa is buried. The other two are things we always look for, regardless of what point of the season we are at, are park factors, lefty/righty match-ups, Schmotatoness, and batter vs. pitcher history. For example, this week, Brad Miller plays six games and for five of them, he faces right-handers. On the year, he bats .348 against RHP (good thing), but among the five he faces this week, he bats .191 against (not so good), and Hitter-Tron (-$2.5) says he won’t be any good. I’ll pass too. That’s a little snapshot into my process.  This week, I’m going for Schomtatoness and park factors to make my call. Would you like to hear more? Oh c’mon, I’ll give you some Arby’s coupons? Dairy Queen? Fine, then skip to the top 100 and we can fight about that in the comments instead.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Call the Sons of Sam Horn! Get Matt Damon on the line! Someone tweet @RemDawg! Unfreeze Ted the Head! Avengers Assemble! The Red Sox are set to promote their next top super-prospect, Blake Swihart, today to serve as the primary catcher while Ryan Hanigan is on the shelf. If the legends spoke of in ancient Fenway lore are true, he could be the one who will bring balance back to a Red Sox pitching staff that has looked somewhat questionable in the early going. A late first round pick in 2011, Swihart gathered a lot of buzz in spring training this year after slashing .333/.375/.533 with a HR and 8 RBI. In 18 games with AAA Pawtucket this year he’s hit .338/.392/.382 with 3 doubles and 11 RBI. With just 22 home runs in five minor league seasons I wouldn’t expect much power from Swihart, but as a spray hitter the bat certainly seems to be major league ready. Initially, Boston felt Swihart’s defense needed a bit more seasoning in the minors, but there is unquestionably some offensive upside, especially in Boston’s heavy hitting, run scoring line up. Here’s what Razzball’s prospector Mike said last week about Swihart, who was ranked #11 in his Prospect Power Rankings, “With the injuries and such at the catching position right now, folks will be chomping at the bit to add Swihart to their teams when he arrives.” He’s so right, you guyz, if your fantasy catcher situation is anything like mine, you’re cycling out a cast of characters the likes of Nick Hundley, Tucker Barnhart, Crash Davis and Caleb Joseph, some of whom do more harm than good. I’d take a chance on Blake Swihart if you need a catcher, he’s owned in less than 5% of ESPN leagues but as soon as Brandi-Lynn from Southie finds out everyone will know so act quickly. There is potential runs and average here, and like every Sawx prospect, there is all that sweet, sweet upside, so here’s hoping Blake can rake.

Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Chris Davis (1-for-4, 3 RBIs, hitting .268) hit his 5th homer, and the announcers said that it was all Davis since there was no breeze in the stadium. Could there have been no breeze because there were no one in attendance? Is that why they’re called fans? Is the world devoid of wind without people? I feel like Mike Seaver on the Growing Pains episode when he figured out there was TV shows even if he was at school. This is mind blowing! I need to take a schvitz and clear my mind. Maybe Manny Machado (3-for-4, 3 runs and his 4th homer) plays better without a crowd, not taking after his uncle, Randy “Machado Manny” Savage. RIP, you raspy voiced lunatic! But, really, all of this offense was thanks largely to Jeff Samardzija (5 IP, 7 ER, 11 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA up to 4.78). When I type Samardzija in my iPhone, it autocorrects to, “Inseam Arduous.” No truer words were ever autocorrected. If Devon Travis and Arenado were sitting on either of my legs and I had Samardzija pitching for my team, it would still be arduous in my inseam. Way to kill my buzz, you impossible-to-spell, mullet-haired freak! Alphabet Soup’s ERA is worse than his xFIP, that’s the good news. The bad news is everything else. His xFIP is still 4.13 and his K/9 is 6.2. He’s throwing next to no walks, but maybe he should throw some if it means not letting people single you to death. I wouldn’t sell Samardzija low, but I’m also more concerned now than I was in the preseason. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It seems loud and clear that the roof is closing on Adam Wainwright‘s season. If only he had a 3rd Achilles he could sub in! We should be able to have a schadenfreude party since I told everyone not to draft him this year, but there’s always a few people who still draft him against my wishes, so do we ignore these people and still schadenfreude or do we show pity? *thinks for a millisecond* We schadenfreude party! The schadenfreude party is being held in the superiority complex. Put up the pinata of someone’s ego that is smarter, prettier, funnier or richer and we beat it down! Put on some tunes and let’s do the Point and Laugh Dance! That’s not the Point and Laugh Dance, that’s the African Anteater Ritual. So, Wainwright’s done for 2015 and Carlos Villanueva, Tyler Lyons or Tim Cooney could step in at first, but this will likely be Marco Gonzales’s job for the majority of the year once he returns from the minor league DL with a shoulder issue. I like Gonzales for very deep leagues, especially NL-Only ones, so if you have room, I’d grab him. He’s around a 7+ K/9, low-2 BB/9 guy that could have a 3.75 ERA or under with a good WHIP. Now, you’ll have to excuse me, I’m headed back to the schadenfreude party, hungry for self-satisfaction, eager for some prigs in a blanket! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?