Hello, Total Fiasco, it’s nice of you to join us. Can I just call you Total? You prefer your full name? Can I get you anything, Total Fiasco? Bullpens scrambling? Real baseball managers pulling their hair out? Fantasy managers wishing they had hair to pull out? How about I just give Jim Johnson the ball and step out of the way? That should be to your liking. While you’re waiting for a meltdown, here’s a hot towel for your face. So, the A’s announced they would move to a closer committee. The only thing ever done better by committee? Spice in jerk seasoning. The A’s have the luxury of a few options: Luke Gregerson, Ryan Cook and Sean Doolittle, which makes things harder for fantasy. Much easier if there’s one great handcuff and then junk behind him. I’d pick up the A’s relievers in the order I listed them. Saves could very well be divvied up with a little Gregerson, a little Cook and a little Doo. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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There just wasn’t enough time in the preseason for me to show you my RCL team, so I’m putting it in the podcast post. Now, prepare yourself for the most confusing lede paragraph ever. For the podcast, Rudy and I went over some preseason picks for Most Valuable Fantasy Hitter, Pitcher, Rookie of the Year, Fantasy Bust and the player who looks primed to breakout that won’t actually breakout. Finally, Larry Schechter joined Nick to talk about some of his do’s and don’ts to win fantasy leagues. Now, for the RCL league, Rudy and I decided to do something different do this year and have half of our league made up of writers from our site and the other half from friends of other sites. Let’s call it a Family & Friends league; that doesn’t sound derivative of anyone else’s expert fantasy league. (I was gonna call it Friends & Family, but that DID sound derivative.) The Razzball writers joining me were: Rudy, Jay(Wrong), Sky, Tehol, Prospect Scott, Nick the Podcast Host and Scooby. Okay, I made up the Scooby name, but it didn’t sound that out of place, did it? The ‘perts from other sites participating were: Dalton Del Don from Yahoo, Brad Johnson from Fangraphs, Ryan Carey of Mastersball, Paul Singman of Baseball Prospectus and Tim McLeod of RotoRob. The draft went off without a hitch until I opened the draft window and saw Rudy had the first pick. *shakes fist* Ruuuuuudy!!! Anyway, here’s the Razzball Podcast (now with my RCL team recap):

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If I am correct on my predictions, the NL pennant race will be a fun one.  I see three teams with playoff potential, and a fourth that is just shy of it.  Sorry San Diego fans, this isn’t your year. [Ed. Note -- JERK!]  Good news though, the Chinese calendar says it is going to be the year of the Tony Gwynn soon. [Ed. Note -- I take it back. Sorta.] (You can check out the AL West Spring Training Preview here, the AL Central Spring Training Preview here and the NL East Spring Training Preview here.)

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I’ve gone over the top 20 starters for 2014 fantasy baseball, the top 40 starters for 2014 fantasy baseball and the top 60 starters for 2014 fantasy baseball, which brings us to the top 80 starters for 2014 fantasy baseball. Crazy how that worked, huh? Next thing you know, tomorrow will be the top 100. There’s a few names in this post that I’m really gunning for on my teams. In last year’s version of this post, there were a few guys that I also wanted — Matt Harvey, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Chris Tillman, Alex Cobb, Shelby Miller and Andrew Cashner, and they all shot up the rankings this year, except for Harvey for obvious reasons. His star shone too bright! I imagine a lot of you won’t need most of the names on this list, but there will be some great bargains to be had. Who doesn’t love a great bargain, says Jewish Stereotype Man. There’s tiers and projections mentioned for everyone. All of the 2014 fantasy baseball rankings are there. Anyway, here’s the top 80 starters for 2014 fantasy baseball:

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We got starters for days, literally and Urbandictionaryly. The other day I went over our top 20 starters for 2014 fantasy baseball, then I went over my top 40 starters for 2014 fantasy baseball. Today, the title of the post might’ve gave it away, but for those that skipped it, this is the top 60 starters for 2014 fantasy baseball. You could probably get away with waiting until this post to draft your first starter. To put that in perspective, Medlen is ranked 134 in the top 400 (that I’ll post in a few days). So, in a 12 team league, you could have 11 picks prior to your first starter. That’s, oh, I don’t know, five outfielders, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, corner infidel and middle infidel. I’m not saying to do that, but it’s possible. Basically, you can have your whole offense and still put together a pitching staff. If you don’t believe me, you insult Al Gore who invented the internet as a portal for fantasy baseball advice. All the 2014 fantasy baseball rankings are there. As always, I point out where tiers start and stop and my projections. Anyway, here’s the top 60 starters for 2014 fantasy baseball:

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Hunter Pence has the manic energy of a gangly man-bird. On average, Hunter Pence’s home run trots last about 20 seconds. So in the last week, he’s run for about minute and twenty seconds while the rest of the world has watched, thinking, “I wonder if he was raised by a pack of pink flamingos.” One time during a trip to the zoo, Hunter Pence got separated from his human family for two hours. He was eventually found in the aviary section of the zoo chewing popcorn and spitting it into a baby bird’s mouth. Those two hours were wiped from all zoo surveillance cameras so it was never accounted for, but anyone who has seen the gangly man-bird run probably can figure out that Hunter Pence was trying to reproduce with an ostrich or some other tall bird. This week he shedded more than feathers. He lost the OCD tissue boxes he’s worn on his feet most of the season and went power crazy: 6 homers in the last week with two coming on Sunday. Hunter Pence said thank you to his H2H owners for believing in this half-bird creature. For next year, I think he’s bound to disappoint as his speed evaporates and goes back to where it was prior to this season (the 10-12-steal range), but for now enjoy a bird/guy who was an afterthought in drafts and has turned into a top five outfielder, according to our Player Rater. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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We’re almost into mid-September, which means the fantasy season is growing a little long in the tooth. It’s a stressful time for those of us still alive in H2H land — the fantasy baseball playoffs can be a depleting time for both your liquor cabinet and your liver functionality. It doesn’t help, then, that this is the time of the year when managers — especially those of teams out of contention — like to mess around with their starting rotations. I don’t blame them; it makes perfect developmental sense for the White Sox, or any other team, to move to a six-man rotation in order to see what they have in arms like Andre Rienzo or Erik Johnson. But as a weekly leaguer, this sort of rotation shuffling can be maddening if you’re trying to gauge the two-start landscape. This is all to say that now, more than ever, it’s imperative that you check and re-check the probable pitchers prior to locking your weekly lineup. Good luck in the playoffs, my friends.

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

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After Pablo Sandoval hit three homers in a World Series game last year, he sat down with Reggie Jackson for a conversation in December. Reggie wanted to know what the experience was like for him and to tell him his own. By the end of the conversation, Pablo was near tears, he whispered to Reggie, barely able to get the words out, “The fans threw candy bars onto the field?” Pablo Sandoval’s like the condensed milk version of Jay Bruce. It’s not really milk, but it’s real sweet and kinda tastes like milk and frosting and it gets crazy hot for one game a year. Jesus, Pablo (no relation to Jesus Guzman), if I would’ve known all it took to get you hot was to say you’re droppable, I would’ve done it in April. He still cost a lot of people their fantasy seasons, and is probably on a lot of teams that are out of the race, but, if you have him, you gotta hope this is the start of something. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Finally, the Red Sox promoted Nomah’s heir apparent — Zandah Bogats! Johnny Pesky and Ted Williams’s frozen head said, “Allaka Xander!” and poof a direct descendant of Cahl Yahstremski, Nomah and former top prospect, Harvey Jod, who died tragically in a parking lot incident, appeared. Drafting a hard A-voweled hitter makes as much sense for the Sox as drafting soft O’s for the Twins: Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau; they still must rue the day they lost out on Joe Charboneau. But, you know, you can’t spell Xander Bogaerts without Red Sox, and he’s got bat and range, to boot. So, here’s looking at you, Bogaerts! Went there, wrote that — Xander Bogaerts fantasy, that is. Now Xander’s here to Bogaert the Red Sox shortstop job. There’s a chance he simply platoons this year. If he’s only used against lefties, his value will be severely diminished in redraft leagues. My guess is he’ll play shortstop vs. lefties, and play some third base vs. righties with Middlebrooks grabbing pine occasionally. Obviously, it wasn’t a great sign last night that he was benched vs. a righty, but it was just one game. I’d grab him in all leagues because his bat is that good. Think of a Puig-type splash at shortstop. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Did you guys see that Clint Eastwood movie, “Trouble with the Curve”? No? Yeah, me neither. It got a 52% on RottenTomatoes.com, which is pretty awful, so I think it’s safe to assume we didn’t miss much. Anyway, I’m thinking the whole flick would’ve gone over better if it had just looped this clip from the Little League World Series over and over again:

Bhahahahahah. I laugh, but I’m sure my effort wouldn’t have been much better. Your two-starters are below.

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

Please, blog, may I have some more?