I’m staring out on a prairie in the middle of Palm Springs. Okay, it’s not a prairie. It’s more of a dirt field with a bingo card blowing through it. But let’s pretend it’s a prairie. Why am I standing in a prairie that’s not really a prairie? Because all great baseball moments happen this way. Just one man and rows of corn. Except those aren’t rows of corns, but walkers lined up against the window of a Starbucks. But let’s pretend they are cornfields! I’m pulling off my cap (not wearing a cap; don’t want to mess my hair), staring directly into the sky (wearing sunglasses) and screaming at the Fantasy Baseball Overlord, “Why do you have to make the rest of us suffer for the childhood you never had?!” Okay, I need to move on before the OPP (Old People Police) come after me. We should’ve known a rather pedestrian 7 IP, 4 ER from Masahiro Tanaka was a sign that he was hurt. We should’ve known! Or an even worse 6 2/3 IP, 5 ER start the next time out. We should’ve known! Alas, we didn’t know. So, Tanaka’s going for a variety of tests, and hopefully it’s nothing, but any time there’s something wrong with a pitcher’s elbow it’s something. Are we sure he didn’t inflame his elbow using Hideki’s porn collection? Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You, “So, Grey, I appreciate a well-coiffed mustache as much as the next straight man, but are you trying to tell me Luis Valbuena isn’t a virtual lock at 3rd base?” Crazy shizz, right? The Cubs made the right move and went with Mike Olt to at least platoon at 3rd base. Here’s what I kinda said in the past, “Don’t you love when New Yorkers say the expression, “I got your _____ right here!” Coming out of the right taxi driver’s mouth, it’s like a cello being played by Yo-Yo Ma. Sometimes it can get confusing when you are actually trying to tell someone you’ve located something. Like, “I got your cellphone right here!” Probably sounds like you’re being an a-hole. Well, in that vein, take a a scruffy taxi driver’s voice, throw it through two packs a cigarettes a day for 20 years and give me a little, ‘I got your loyalty to Luis Valbuena right here!’” And that’s me kinda quoting me! I wrote that nonsense in 2012 when he was on the Rangers and behind Michael Young. That’s how long this whole Mike Olt saga has been going on. I received straight C’s in math, but I’m gonna try to count Olt’s post-hype hypeness. Okay, ready? Good. He’s a post-post-post-post-post-post-POST-post-hype prospect. Whew. I hope I didn’t put the italics ‘post’ where the capped ‘post’ was supposed to go. Olt was supposed to break out two years ago. Supposed to be a Chris Davis clone. Last year, Olt was in a backwards spiral of epic proportions. He hit .168 in 152 plate appearances at the Cubs Triple-A affiliate, but he had something wrong with his eyes. His eyes are fixed and he has other strengths. Strength being one of them. He can hit the ball a country mile (which is further than a city mile due to a lack of public transportation). He also has a decent enough glove. It’s a Rawlings. It’s a tanned leather. He will platoon in the early going, but, at this point, there is absolutely no reason to hold him back if he can hit. He won’t put up a great average, but there is a chance here for 30 homers if he can get the at-bats. 30-homer 3rd basemen don’t fall off the wagon every day, unless it’s an overcrowded wagon specifically labeled, “30-Homer 3rd Basemen.” Oh, and I’ve moved him up in my top 400. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in Spring Training for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

First off, I would like to say Eric Sogard should be the Face of the MLB; that vote was rigged in David Wright’s favor.  Baseball needs more nerdy-looking, glasses-touting, Bernie-leanin’, jive-walking players.  But without further ado, here is the AL West Spring Training Showdown. (You can check out the AL Central Spring Training Preview here and NL East Spring Training Preview here.)

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When we started the hitter rankings, we were mere boys. Now, we’re men as we come to the end of the road for hitters and we can’t go on, it’s unnatural, you belong to me, I belong to you. You, “Hey, look at that, I’m in a crazy/stupid/gooftarded deep league and everyone in this league that I’m talking to myself about is well-versed in this fantasy baseball shizz because they are also in this crazy/stupid/gooftarded deep league yet they forgot to draft Matt Holliday. Cool, I’ll take him with my 350th pick.” Yeah, that’s not going to happen. If you’re drafting from guys in the top 100 outfielders for 2014 fantasy baseball, your league is deep and you know you’re not going to get much from these guys. Potatoes to chips, most of these guys will be worth owning at some point in the season. If you’re joining us late, here’s the top 20 outfielders, top 40 outfielders, top 60 outfielders and top 80 outfielders. Next up in our 2014 fantasy baseball rankings will be the pitchers. You can hardly wait. No, you. Anyway, here’s the top 100 outfielders for 2014 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Pirates are in it to win it, y’all! Maybe too aggressive. Okay, the Pirates are in it to make it seem like they’re in it to win it, y’all! Yeah, that’s probably a closer approximation. If we’re sitting here in October and saying the Pirates couldn’t have won the World Series without the help of Marlon Byrd, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle and pay for my monkey nephew to go to college, which is a lot of money. Luckily, I think they can win it with or without Byrd, as a Nikki Dinki-hosted show would say. Thankfully, none of this matters for fantasy, so why are we even talking about it? I don’t know, clunky expository question! Byrd will likely prop up the bottom of the Pirates lineup when he plays and prop himself onto the mascot’s shoulder on off days. Byrd gains a tad bit of value with this move since the Mess offense was nothing to write home about unless you were locked up abroad and ran out of things to write on postcards, and ‘Hitters Are Better Outside Of Metco’ is a bumper sticker I don’t own, but endorse. Also, going to the Pittsburgh Bucs is John Buck. Buck will change his New York nickname of “Midnight Cowboy” to “Swash,” and steal some looks behind the plate from Martin. Going the other way is Dilson Herrera and a player to be named later. Unless that player is Andrew McCutchen, there’s not a whole lot to talk about on the Mets receiving end. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Sean Connery enjoyed the landing of B-Weezy.

So it’s official. Just in time for your playoffs or late-season run for a title, Matt Cain has joined Jason Heyward and Rafael Betancourt, all recent casualties, on the DL. Even though the X-ray’s came back negative after Cain got hit by a line-drive on Thursday, Bruce Bochy said it was too soon to say whether or not he would make his next start. A mere seven hours later, which I guess was not too soon anymore, it was decided that Cain would not only miss his next start, but at least three. You’d figure with such a big head, Bochy would have a better grasp of time. And, you know, bullpen usage. Granted, this season wasn’t shaping up to be Cain’s finest and was pretty up-and-down (more down) in general. But his second-half ERA of 2.84 and improved walk rate were representing an expected regression. So the timing couldn’t be worse, especially since the Giants are not postseason bound and really have no reason to rush a recovery. Relevant. Here’s what else I noticed yesterday…

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Two top ten finishes in a row!  You gotta stop letting me doubling up Razzball Nation!  Now I can leave the roadkill rest in peace and afford to make SPAM or canned sardines gravy on my big biscuits.  SPAM is pretty much good on everything, right?

We’re back with another RAZZBALL EXCLUSIVE CAN YOU BEAT RUDY GAMBLE contest, getting you one step closer to the $100,000 Sweet Spot for a shot at a $20,000 top prize – which is like, two million cans of SPAM.  Tickets to the Sweet Spot are $100 otherwise, so you’re winning a huge value if you can can the Razzball players.  First time I’ve ever said “can can” without meaning the dance, which according to Wikipedia is “physically demanding.”  After years of malnutrition and roadkill dinners, I guess it’s “can’t can’t” for me…  It’s the usual game, $5.00 an entry, up to two per person, and you can only get in through our exclusive link.  Spots 2-10 double up, and get you enough money to start eating healthier…

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Razzball Nation!

The Pitcher Profile corner is back after an off-week of profiling.  If you listen to the Razzball Baseball Contest, I was indeed in Oklahoma but it was the exact opposite of Nick’s rendition.  I think Nick is just mad at my Canadian bashing.  Here is how I would describe his normal weekend:

It’s icy today.  Fishing?

Pail.  Cut hole.

 

Wait.

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B.J. Upton is having one hell of a bad year and he recently hit bottom with an adductor injury that sidelined him through the All Star Break. There were some whispers during the first half of the season that the Braves were going to send him down to figure things out, but it never happened. The injury may have been a blessing in disguise, though. Maybe it gave him the time and the means to work on issues that he otherwise wouldn’t have gotten to if he had stayed healthy. His ownership dropped to around 40% at one point, but it’s recently surged back up due to a handful of multi -hit efforts since his return and 3 steals. For our purposes here, the steals are what I want to focus on. There’s good news and bad news here. The bad news is that the three stolen bases since his return came against the Phillies and Nationals, two of the worst teams in baseball at controlling the running game. So, before we get too excited and decide that BJ is going to rattle off 20 steals over the last 6 weeks of the season, just keep that in mind. Ready for the good news? He gets the Phillies and Nationals again this week! I wouldn’t be surprised to see him swipe a couple more with those match-ups. Here are some other speedsters I think might help your stolen base numbers this week:

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The 2013 Fantasy Baseball season is heading into its stretch run and the playoffs are right around the corner. My fair Razzballers, it seems like only yesterday we were complimenting Grey’s mustache and singing voice in exchange for roster autopsies, trade advice and grooming tips. We were all so young and naïve with big dreams for Ike Davis and Josh Rutledge back then. Now we are just bitter old men (and four ladies), wondering where it all went wrong and yelling at those kids to get off our lawn. If you’re still in the fantasy hunt *high five/chest bump/headbutt* it’s time to drop any dead weight still rotting on your roster. If you are out of it and still waiting for Josh Hamilton to carry your team, Sky would love to hear from you over on Fantasy Football Island. For the rest of us, we are either trying to hold onto first, grabbing some stats to gain on the leader or getting in position for the playoffs. There is no hope and loyalty left at this point in the season. It’s time to drop the duds and find the studs that may carry you to a fantasy championship. It’s time to jam it or cram it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?