“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:

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Scott White from CBS hosted this AL-Only draft that started at 10 AM PST, but started around 1 PM PST for me because I refused to draft anyone for the price they were going. Instead of drafting, I watched my favorite cooking show, Celebrity Chef Mr. Hamiham. He’s the only one I know that makes a sandwich like my Eastern European nanny, Viktoria. Everyone that knows anything about sandwich preparation knows there’s no sandwich before adding the white cabbage. Rudy was in Tampa (slogan: We’re no San Diego, but just as classy), so I went it alone with this draft. All the mistakes (none!) and acclaim (some!) can fall fully on my shoulders. I drafted this on February 18th, so don’t say so-and-so may not make the rotation/lineup/team or is now injured, why did you draft him? I drafted him because at the time it seemed like a smart move. Okay, okay, at no point does it seem like a smart move to draft Kurt Suzuki. Point taken. It’s a 12-team AL-Only league and I drafted using that thing I linked to under the link-ma-whosie — seamless linking! Anyway, here’s my 2014 fantasy baseball AL-Only team:

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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.)

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This top 20 1st basemen for 2014 fantasy baseball goes to about forty-six. Last year, I said the first base position is going through a transition. Pujols isn’t what he used to be; Howard, Te(i)x and Konerko are washed up; guys like Chris Davis, Hosmer and Trumbo were on the way up. Right, right and yup. The position is still deep in that transition. We’ll come out of the other side this year with a good idea of where we stand. If Pujols continues to fall, if the washed up ones are completely done and if the up-and-comers are still on the move. Hey, that sounds like a commencement speech from a school for porn. Okay, let’s get into it because I can’t count to twenty and this list goes on forever. As always, for each player there’s my projections and where I see tiers starting and ending. There’s the position eligibility chart for 2014 fantasy baseball, and all the 2014 fantasy baseball rankings are under that linkie-ma-whosie. Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2014 fantasy baseball:

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After drudging through an Andy Dufresne-type tunnel for the top 20 catchers for 2013 fantasy baseball, I find myself with a group that actually really hurt or helped your team depending on how you drafted. If you went wrong with your 1st baseman, it could kill your season. Hey, Ike Davis, no hard feelings from me. We are totally fine. Please enjoy these cyanide pills I made special for you. If you went right, you might’ve won your league. For the first time in as long as I’ve been writing this blog, this is the sorriest group of 1st basemen I’ve ever seen at the end of the season, but more about that in the body of the post. To recap, this final ranking is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments. Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2013 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

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It feels like yesterday the baseball regular season started. You wrote “I heart baseball” in permanent marker on your arm, then you met a girl who wrote “I heart guys who heart baseball” on her arm, then, during sex in September, you screamed out “I love you, Chris Davis!” and now you don’t have baseball or a girlfriend, unless your girlfriend was Bill James. C’mon, calendar, make like a soldier and turn to March. The only cure for the post-baseball season blues — recapping the preseason top twenty lists and being hand-fed Doritos. First up, Cool Ranch and our preseason Top 20 Catchers for 2013. It’s important to look back before we look ahead to 2014. To paraphrase the one and only B-Real, “How do you know where you’re at, if you don’t know where you’ve been? Understand where I’m coming from?” It wouldn’t be fair for me to preseason rank the players, then rank them again in the postseason based on my opinion, so these postseason top 20 lists are ranked according to our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. It’s cold hard math, y’all! Please, for the love that all is holy, don’t ask me if this is for next year. Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2013 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

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King Hodor of the House of Hodor. First of his Hodor. Long may he Hodor.

At this point, there appear to be more trades occurring after the July 31st deadline. In fact, just yesterday, Mike Morse was acquired by the Orioles, Jason Kubel was acquired by the Indians, and, as you may or may not have realized yet, John Axford and his, well, what ever you call the things he grows on his face, has been acquired by Ozark nation. Which, if you don’t know the area, is known for abandoned El Caminos and the second highest murder rate in the nation, next to Detroit. Err, Detroit, the RoboCop version. What’s the fantasy impact? I’m sure glad I just asked myself that question. Mike Morse’s situation changes a bit, a better hitting environment and a better lineup could lead to some stat boosting. Jason Kubel, well, he remains the same. Insignificant. Frankly, I don’t even understand the move, since the Indians are already paying for a player (cough, Mark Reynolds, cough) that’s doing better right now, yet plays for the Yankees. Ballsy strategy if you ask me. And then there’s John Axford. I’ll be honest, since I lie all the time I guess, the impact here is not much, if anything. But I do like Axford drinking the same water those other Cardinal pitchers are drinking, and would not be surprised if his situation improves next year. So keep a look out. Here’s what else I noticed yesterday…

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Some players do something so wonderfully fantastic in one game that they force themselves into the lede. Some players do something so terrifically awful that they find themselves in the lede. Other players take on a slow burn of a Neil LaBute movie. They’re just guys hanging out in an office; they’re just messing with a deaf girl, the deaf girl is falling in love and Brandon Moss is killing it like T.J. Lavin would say! Damn, Brandon Moss, you wanna touch my butter so I can dip my lobster in it? I mean, gee-dee-eff-why-zee Brandon Moss’s on fire. (Gee-dee-eff-why-zee is my new exclamation for wonderful, feel free to use it often.) He now has seven homers in the last ten games and yesterday he even threw in a steal because Brandon Moss DON’T TAKE NO MESS THOUGH I DON’T LOVE THAT I FEEL LIKE I HAVE TO SAY HIS WHOLE NAME EVERY TIME RATHER THAN JUST BRANDON OR MOSS; I ALSO DON’T NEED TO BE SCREAMING THIS, PROBABLY! Brandon Moss makes me so crazy I can’t even capitalize properly. All along I’ve been saying you need to platoon Brandon Moss, and you do, but he’s also making it worthwhile that you should absolutely be doing just that with him in every league. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I have a team building exercise for the Mets. Get Kevin Mitchell on the horn. He has at least five baby mamas that are flight attendants. Scrounge up the plane Lenny Dykstra owned for a minute before filing for bankruptcy. You’re going to Hawaii. All you need to do is recover the tiki doll that was lost in Maui and return it to the grave of Vincent Price. Otherwise, your team will remain cursed forever. What a terrible blow to Matt Harvey keeper owners. And not what terrible blow, as was heard around the Mets clubhouse in the 80′s. Harvey’s done for at least 15 months if he needs Tommy John surgery, and that’s what it sounds like, while Tommy John Surgery sounds like, “I don’t want to rob the world of greatness, yet I do. Repeatedly.” Poor Tommy John Surgery. No one wins here! In redraft leagues, you can obviously drop Harvey. His innings count came slightly earlier than expected. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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All the time in Los Angeles I’ll see older women who have had way too much plastic surgery. Trying to hold on to their youth. It’s sad. It’s a never-ending cycle too. One older woman gets her face done, then her friends are pressured to do the same. But never, and I mean never, have I seen someone get plastic surgery then try to rearrange someone else’s face. Yesterday, was the first time I’ve seen it as past nose job recipient (Niese) tried to fix up Jason Heyward‘s schnoz. Jon Niese is a danger to himself and others. What if your proboscis is walking along the street and you run into Niese? If he doesn’t feel it’s worthy of his new nasal perfection, he will punch you in the face. God forbid he ever runs into Barbara Streisand. Heyward ducked at the last second and took the brunt of the pitch off the ear flap and jaw, but he’s still gonna be out for the better part of the season, maybe returning for the last week to tune up for the playoffs. Not your H2H playoffs, the Braves playoffs. In his stead, B.J. Upton, Jordan Schafer and Evan Gattis. Because they’ll all be sharing time, it’s hard to say there’s one guy that gets a boost in value. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?