Japhet Amador is a giant man, standing at 6-foot-4, weighing in at 315 pounds. In the Mexican League, where he’s played for the last four years, they called him El Gran Burrito. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto once remarked that Amador is welcome at the Presidential Palace anytime, as long as Amador brings his own snacks. When Jose Altuve heard the Astros signed Amador, Altuve was thrilled. No more walking around for Altuve; Amador will just carry him around in a baby bjorn. I watched video of Amador and I’ve never seen such a slow bat through the zone. He looks like a Mexican Meat Loaf in a celebrity softball game. I swear, Amador stopped to eat one of those spicy dried mango candies halfway through his swing. His power is huge, but I’m not sure he’d gonna be able to catch up to anything. Last year in the Mexican League, he hit 36 homers and he’s 27 years old. The Mexican League is supposedly comparable to Triple-A, only instead of buses for transportation, the teams pile into a Toyota Tercel. Right now, he looks pegged for Triple-A, but since the Astros have Robbie Grossman, Marc Krauss, Jesus Guzman and J.D. Martinez vying for everyday ABs, anything could happen. I’d take a flyer on Amador in AL-Only leagues, and wait and see in mixed leagues. Best case scenario, he gets the DH job and hits 25+ homers and .220. The worst case scenario, you draft Altuve and Amador accidentally sits on him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw recently in spring training for 2014 fantasy baseball:

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Josh Rutledge did not play for the third time since last Friday because Walt Weiss is crummy with crackers, then thinking he was a real Weiss guy, Rutledge was sent down to Triple-A. This is the same Rutledge that went into yesterday’s game hitting .259 with a homer, 3 runs and 3 RBIs in the last week. He’d be leading the entire Marlins team with those numbers! On our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater, he was above Starlin Castro, Alcides, Alexei, Rollins, Asdrubal for the year… Seriously. He was doing better than all but 8 shortstops. Yes, I’m on the River Denial and my boat is called, “Dubya Tee Eff?!” and I’m stopping at the Sphinx to riddle him with, “What are the Rockies doing?” Are you seriously going with DJ LeMahieu because he had hits the last two days?! Why not just go with David Guetta? At least he’s had hits I’ve heard of! The problem seems to be that the Rockies are holding Rutledge’s fielding against him. Luckily, Weiss wasn’t managing the Yankees in 1996 or Jeter would’ve been sent down for Luis Sojo. I know, The Art of Fielding, I know Dan Fielding, I do not know of sending Rutledge down for fielding. Stop the madness and bring back Rutledge! I’ll admit when I’m wrong with drafting guys, but Rutledge was not a mistake. It’s stupid teams, playing for stupid things that don’t matter in 5×5 roto. STUPID! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Chris Johnson and Justin Upton made a nice Diamondcomeback last night. To welcome them back, everyone in attendance received a visiting team home run ball. Upton and Johnson went a combined 7-for-9, 3 runs, 5 RBIs with two homers as they both came a triple short of the cycle. Their trade to Atlanta for infielder Martin Prado and four prospects was a trade that Kevin Towers said was done because his team needed a facelift. That facelift looks about as good as Bruce Jenner’s, and right now Justin Upton is Ray J having sex with Kris, Kourtney, Khloe and Kim while making some wack-ass rap video about it. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Welcome folks, to another round of Bear or Bull. The series is so awesome, I am able talk about animals AND baseball(s). And this week, I guess Walmart. Word. And while the best play on words I could think of involves Starling Marte and one of the cornerstones to an eventual Corporatocracy, well, you know something special is brewing around this parts. And it ain’t just the fermenting kim chee. Am I lost? Maybe you’re lost. More rum for everyone! Yes it’s supposed to rhyme, or else, what’s the point? So yeah, see that perfect line of association I just drew? Point A, animals, straight to Point B, rum. Whoooo! Can we talk about baseball now? Never!

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Last week, Jack Morris said Clay Buchholz was cheating. Not surprising that something doesn’t smell right with the fingers of a guy named Buchholz. Morris is probably mad because Clay’s not pitching to the score. I don’t usually subscribe to rumors, innuendos and urban legend…though a Three Wolf Moon t-shirt will get you laid more. However, it did look like he was cheating vs. the Blue Jays. His balls were dancing more than a Chippendale after an eight ball of coke and five Monster Energy drinks. It looked like Gaylord Perry was his personal spitting fountain. Then yesterday vs. the Twins, Buchholz looked human for the first time all season (6 IP, 4 ER, 9 baserunners, 9 Ks). Maybe the Red Sox told him to lay off the Vaseline and if he wants to do something heroic, squirt some ketchup on his ankle between innings. Curt Schilling: The Catsup’d Ankle That Bankrupted The State Of Rhode Island. If Buchholz is filing his balls like Mike Scott and not like an anal retentive dog neuterer, I’d be careful of Clay moving forward. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Wow, assembling this week’s list of players made me dizzy with enthusiasm. No. I’m lying. To help write this post, I have a hired a shadow writer sorta speak. Readership meet my shadow writer — Vodka. Vodka, meet readership. What did you say? Drink more? Silly you. You’re already empty! Let’s get this thing started before I get prescribed anti-depressants.

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Before you read this, I want you to go outside and look at the birds chirping. Smell the freshly-cut grass. Look up at the sun that your deity of choice made from a very large matchstick. Pat your kid on the head and tell them, “I don’t love you any more today than I did yesterday, but let’s act like I do because I won’t see you for a good six months because baseball’s back.” One more time with caps lock bringing the enthusiasm, BASEBALL IS BACK. As frequent commenter, Eric W. said, “I keep getting excited for opening night Sunday, then have to remind myself it is the Astros vs the Rangers. It’s kinda like getting to open one present on Xmas Eve and getting socks.” Yay — baseball! It’s the Astros vs. the Rangers. Okay, lowercase yay. But it’s a rivalry that dates back to Sam Houston! Don’t remember that? You should’ve rented a car at Alamo last night. Am I mixing up commercials? Eh, who cares? I’m excited! Texas is the largest state in the 48 contiguous states, it’s just too bad baseball is its third most popular sport behind football and “shootin’ empty Shiner cans.” Whatever. Baseball is back and even Selig’s badly-shorn toupee can’t change that. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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And the Tigerettes sang, “He was talked up as closer, but now he’s sent down… Da Bruce Rondon gone, Da Bruce Rondon… Somebody told me he made Leyland frown… Da Bruce Rondon gone, da Bruce Rondon… Yeah, he sucked in spring… Yes, his stats would sting… But now my team’s saves are boned… Da Bruce Rondon gone, Da Bruce Rondon…” As Randy Jackson would say, we got ourselves a pitchy competition, dawg! *sips from Pepsi cup, looks at Mariah for approval, fixes silver chain, sucks in gut under sweater that he’s wearing with no undershirt which makes it look really itchy, laughs at some Nicki Minaj nonsense, says to Seacrest, “I don’t know, we’ll have to see what America thinks” and smiles* So, Bruce Rondon was sent down and now the Tigers closer job is Hollywood Week. Auditions are down to Al Al’etc, Santa K, New Mexiclosero, Al Al, Coke Is It, Coke Is So 80′s Octavio Dotel Is It, Alquin Cokel, Octaquin BenCokel and Philquin Alburcoke. And that’s only four guys! Hang tight, guys and four girl readers, it’s a closerousel. Lots of possible outcomes here. All four guys could do well in a committee and Leyland utilizes it the whole year. Two guys do well and we get a portmanteau closer, let’s call it a SAGNOFtaur. Three guys could do well, let’s call that, The Three StoogeNOF. Another possibility: as we know from the past with Leyland’s ‘Set it and Forget It’ lineup card management, he likes to stick with one thing. So one guy takes the job by mid-April and holds it for the majority of the year. This is the best possibility for all involved. I think that’s also what happens. Leyland’s got cigarettes to smoke, he doesn’t have time to be walking to the mound to change pitchers! So who from Octavio Dotel, Al Alburquerque, Joaquin Benoit and Phil Coke does he go with? As the prude brothel’s sign announces, therein lies the rub. Al Al’etc is a monster for Ks, he’s my first option because he could provide solid value while the job is being decided. Then, I like Dotel. He reduced his walks last year and kept his Ks. He also has some closer experience. Next up: Joaquin Benoit. He was very successful last year in middle relief, but he can’t go on back-to-back days or stay healthy. Finally, Phil Coke. I wouldn’t grab him outside of AL-Only leagues. Big strike against him: he’s a lefty. In his favor: he closed games in the playoffs last year. It’s a shituation of epicloser proportions. Oh, and I wouldn’t grab more than one guy. I’d take a gamble on one guy, form a prayer rectangular and hope it works out. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday for fantasy baseball:

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Gird your loins – we’re currently navigating positions battles in each division. Today I’m talking about the AL West, which gains the Astros this year, if anyone considers them something you gain. Every other team in the division should stand to benefit from the move. Maybe I’ve already beat them into the ground, especially with my review of worst pitching staffs in 2012, but they really could have a season for the ages (of a fallen empire). Across the state, the Rangers should continue to be a powerhouse, despite Ron Washington’s “leadership.” Meanwhile, the Angels look like the terminator, although, once their non-Trout core ages a little more, maybe they’ll be merely human. Today’s empires, tomorrow’s ashes – am I right? I don’t want to say anything bad about the Mariners other than this sentence implying that I have something bad to say about them. Ah yes, and I’m required by the union of baseball writers to have a token mention of the A’s. There you go. Anyway, here’s some of the position battles to watch in the AL West:

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