“What’s it short for?  Ya know, like Rosstopher?”  “Just Ross!”

I had cautious optimism heading into the year for Tyson Ross, and he looked pretty wild early on.  And not the good kind of wild.  No one in San Diego is wearing Wild Thing-Ross T-Shirts.  I caught most of his debut against the Dodgers, and he didn’t look right.  Hitchy delivery, lower velocity, and terrible control.  Since he was fringy anyway, in the one league I owned him (deeper 10-team), I cut him loose for some scrub closer.  I don’t even know who, probably Matt Lindstrom, who at least vultured a win for me yesterday.

Anyway, I saw Ross was bad again in his second effort, racking up 9 walks to only 9 Ks through two games, somehow escaping with a 4.50 ERA because he piled up 6 unearned runs.  Needless to say, I was pretty content to ignore him, but yesterday he turned it around against the offensively-charged Tigers.  Since it’s still early, maybe he had an early mechanical issue that got worked out, and he’s back to picking up where 2013 left off.  So I decided to break down his start, and see if he needs to be scooped off waivers in leagues where he was dropped or undrafted:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You’re about to get busted. Do you go harder, become more brazen, with the illegal activity or attempt to clean up your act quickly so you don’t get punished more severely? I don’t know. This is where fantasy baseball meets a PBS Frontline special. I think different people react in different ways. Not to get all philosophical on you like your college philosophy prof who would invite you over for lavash and hummus and marijuana, then try to feel up your girlfriend, but last year’s Ryan Braun — 9 homers in 61 games — could be exactly what he is off of PEDs. There’s no way of knowing when he was or wasn’t using. If he knew he was about to get suspended last year, he might’ve laid off of everything and been totally clean for that decent but not spectacular partial season, even while he battled a thumb issue. The same thumb issue that has resurfaced this year. I should’ve been more aggressive in the preseason about pointing that Braun wasn’t healthy last year. The kind of unhealthy that has lingered into this year. He admitted the other day that he was unable to take a normal swing due to battling a nerve issue. Or if you’re reading in your best Curly voice, a noive issue. That’s hella bad with hella having a hashtag that says 2004. I wouldn’t sell him for fifty cents on the dollar, but I’d be interested to see if someone would give me 85 or 90 cents on the dollar. Or if someone would give me the Euro exchange rate. Why are they still making pennies?! Tell me Yahoo! Answers! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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There really is no place like home if you play for the Rockies. Charlie Blackmon aka Chuck Nazty knows this better than anyone, and helped Colorado drop 12 runs on Arizona last night at Coors. Now slashing .563/.588/.938 on the early season, Blackmon admits his nickname hasn’t caught on quite like he hoped yet, but that’s because it’s a terrible nickname. I ain’t mad at cha, and if you keep having games this this we’ll call you whatever you want! Chuck Nazty was perfect yesterday, going 6-for-6, with 3 doubles, a 2-run home run, 4 runs and 5 RBI as the Rox managed 13 hits in their home opener. Now you know Carlos Gonzalez wasn’t about to get overshadowed on opening day, he’s the real Chuck Nazty, if anyone is. CarGo added 4 RBI and 2 hits, including a 2-run jack and free tacos for the entire state of Colorado! Every-body-gets-a-taco! Something tells me after Colorado’s new legislation, they’re going to be needing all the tacos they can get. Chuck Nazty, legalization, and free tacos? Get in the car, honey, we’re moving! By the way, I call my laptop “Honey.” Anyway, it’s probably not a stretch to say that Rockies fans are pretty high on Blackmon after today. Ha, that’s the title! Well, don’t light up your celebratory doobies just yet, Centennial Staters. Despite the huge day, Blackmon remains in a platoon in a crowded outfield featuring Corey Dickerson, who is a also a fairly exciting prospect, but perhaps Blackmon’s stellar play will force Walt Weiss to play him consistently. For now, C. Nazty could provide decent streaming value, especially when he’s a mile high. He managed a .309 average in 82 games in 2013 and after a strong spring he is a hot little potato right now and could be worth the speculative add while he’s hitting.

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s everyone’s favorite ‘pert with everyone’s favorite self-flagellating exercise — Hey, look at my team! The ‘Hey, look at my team!’ exercise can go one of two ways. We can either agree that my team is awesome. Or you can combat the ‘Hey, look at my team!’ exercise with your own ‘Hey, look at my team!’ exercise. I’m guessing a lot of you will opt for the second, since the ‘Hey, look at my team!’ exercise seems to go over best from the first person. One word about the “Hey, look at my team!” exercise. It works best if you tell me how many teams are in your league and arrange your team as I have done in this post. Now, prior to you looking at my team, besieging your gut with warm cozies, I first should point out this is a 5×5, 15 team league with OBP subbed in for average because fantasy baseball ‘perts like to make things complicated and turn off 85% of their readers. So, before you say Dan Uggla is a terrible pick, he’s more of a so-so pick. So-so there! Anyway, here’s my 2014 Tout Wars team:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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 second part of this series will focus on AL Central… (You can check out the NL East Spring Training Preview here.)

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Catcher-rye-full

Get it?

Time to finally hang up the fantasy football helmet, slip into my official Steve Balboni athletic supporter and get ready for some of the base and the balls talk. This nipple hardening February morning finds your humble-but-nonetheless-handsome Guru loading the van up with scouting reports, clean turbans, eye black and my Jenny Dell inflatable doll for that long, lonely road trip to Fort Myers to prepare for spring training. As we cross the days off the calendar until we dive into some actual fake baseball drafting, it’s time to dig out the ol’ jammer crammer machine (available on Adam&Eve.com) and dig through this year’s jams and crams by position for the 2014 fantasy baseball season.

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Yesterday was the top 40 outfielders for 2014 fantasy baseball. In that post, I dazzled your retinas and made your brain say, “This guy is some kind of beautiful. Damn, I wish I were gay like that guy I used to share a bed with in college. Platonically.” Within these twenty outfielders, there’s some guys I’m excited about and some guys I don’t like at all. It’s important to read the whole post, even if you’re not reading this sentence. I think that’s irony, but I’m not sure; you need to ask a British person to be sure. All the 2014 fantasy baseball rankings are there. As always, where my tiers start and stop and my projections are included. Anyway, here’s the top 60 outfielders for 2014 fantasy baseball:

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Went over the catchers, 1st basemen, 2nd basemen and shortstops and top 20 3rd basemen for 2013 fantasy baseball. Guess what’s next! No, not pitchers. Read the title, man. In 2010, there were only 5 outfielders that hit 30 homers, in 2011 there were 9, 14 in 2012 and this year: 3. Someone find a bleached Sammy Sosa so he can stick a needle in some motherf**kers! We are only a few years away from someone leading the league with 25 homers. Steals were still around, though they fell off a bit too. There were 14 outfielders who stole 30 bases in 2012 and this year there were 10. As before, these rankings are from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments. Anyway, here’s the top 20 outfielders for 2013 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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Gerrit Cole has filthy stuff. He can hit 100 MPH with his fastball and make all four of our girl readers go, “Ooh…” Which reminds me of my Walk on the Wild Side remixed chorus, “And the four girl readers go doo do doo do doo do do doo.” There was a whole lot of nonsense, or whole lotta if we stick with the rock theme, when he was first called up that Cole didn’t want to strike people out. Does Alf not want to get back to Melmac?! Does macaroni not mean awesome when Yankee Doodle stuck a feather in his cap and called it macaroni!? Does everyone with glasses not look goofy on a 1980′s baseball card?! Ron Kittle? I rest my case! Of course, Cole wants to strike out guys. You can’t stop that! Yesterday, he struck out 12 of them. In 111 1/3 IP this year, he has a 7.60 K-rate and if you throw out June, when he was saying that nonsense about throwing to contact, his K-rate would be near 9. Oh, bee tee dubya, everything else is purdy, too. His FIP is 2.98, his walk rate is barely over 2, he gets ground balls. For 2014 fantasy baseball, Cole could easily be a top 20 starter for all of baseball and will be someone I’ll get plenty googly about this offseason. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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If you’re reading this, congratulations, you must be in that exclusive club only regarded for winners like you – the Fantasy Baseball playoffs. If you’re reading this and don’t even play fantasy baseball, you must have done a google search on “dustbuster masturbation.” I’m not judging. Perv. To win in the playoffs we have to apply any and all strategies we have learned over the past 150 games: Play the numbers over the names – if Carl Crawford and Torii Hunter are slumping, bench them. Choose the best matchups – Hitter-Tron is your new best friend. Just keep that horny robot away from your toaster oven. Rosterbate daily – you won’t go blind, just do it until you need glasses. Look for players in real life playoff fights – Rays and Royals won’t be getting rests, Tigers and Red Sox will. Shoot dirty pool – grab a player you may not need, but could help your opponent; ethics and “fair play” have no place in our fake baseball world. It’s been a fun jammer crammer kinda season, my dear Razzballers. I feel we have all grown so close over the past six months. You’re like family now and by family I mean we only speak once a week via the internet. We have shared many fond memories of Ike Davis bashing, Xander Bogaerts watching, metal music talking, Twitter stalking and Islay scotch consuming. No, we can’t be blood brothers, but thanks for asking. Let’s complete this mission and bring home the championship. It’s time to jam it or cram it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?