While there are many good baseball movies I was thinking this weekend about one more, a comedy based on the real life wife swap of Yankee Pitchers Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich, who traded wives and kids in March 1973. You can click on the link to read more about it, but Kekich summed it up best: “Unless people know the full details, it could turn out to be a nasty type thing. Don’t say this was wife-swapping, because it wasn’t. We didn’t swap wives, we swapped lives.”

So now we have the plot and in my mind it has to be a period piece occurring in the late 1970s to early 1980s. I want to see baseball players smoking cigarettes and taking amphetamines while guzzling beers and parties of Quaaludes and a George Steinbrenner-like character who orchestrates the swap. I want a Rickey Henderson-like character that only refers to himself in the third person and knows he’s the greatest player ever.

One of the guys has to pitch on acid like Dock Ellis as Hollywood loves doing trippy scenes (that don’t match the actual experience at all). There needs to be many full-on mustaches and afros and mullets and the uniforms should be based off of the Astros rainbow unis or the baby blues of the Cardinals. The White Sox Disco demolition night has to be referenced, and we need a competing owner (and foil for the Steinbrenner character) like Charlie O. Finley of the A’s; I mean, just look at this picture:

We don’t even need MLB’s sign off and with their level of no-fun who even wants it? Who can’t imagine John C. Reilly and Will Ferrell playing the pitchers? Or pick whomever you want; let’s just find some good comedy writers and let them go to town, right?

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So I was watching the Oakland A’s play the other day and took note of Mark Cahna’s walk up music, “Like a Rolling Stone” by Bob Dylan. You don’t see many major leaguers going with a classic like that, but if I was picking a Dylan song as my walk up song, it’d be this one. That’s my favorite song by him, a nine-minute story that feels straight out of a Mark Twain novel along with being damn catchy. Anyway, that got me thinking about another Dylan song from that same era, “Joey,” which is a song about Crazy Joe Gallo, a mafia hit man back in the 70s, because Joey Gallo (a perennial OPS Leaguers Unite! guy combo-ing power and a lack of average to make him more valuable in OPS leagues than any other) doesn’t have a nickname, and well, Crazy Joe only works if you’re really crazy, and Joey Gallo doesn’t seem so.

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At the Angels-Giants game last weekend I saw something I haven’t seen before. Not in the game, but in the crowd. First off, let me say I am not a fan of the beach balls that I’ve seen way too often at Angels and Dodgers games. This isn’t an outdoor concert. With that being said, baseball can be boring (who knew?) and it keeps the kids entertained and not jumping around ruining my experience, so be it.

Anyway, there’s a Giants fan (and there were a lot of Giants fans at Angels Stadium) sitting a section over by himself, a middle-aged guy in a Posey jersey and backwards hat (when does it become too old to wear a backwards ball cap? 25? 30? Never?); the only thing he was missing was his glove. So the beach ball gets to him, and he just rips it in half and throws it in the aisle. He did it with meaning too. After that, he points two middle fingers up in the air. It drew glares from everyone around him and was truly surreal.

A few minutes later an usher comes and talks to him; I didn’t hear what was said, but they didn’t kick him out (and if they did I would hope it would be for the double middle fingers, because who cares about the beach ball). Then, the next inning, he removes the Posey jersey and hat and meekly leaves. Everything about the experience was hilarious and I won’t judge him much; the beach balls suck and him going full heel was great. So if that guy is reading, first off, way to provide some entertainment; and secondly, be cool, man, it’s only a game.

Now let’s get to our April OPS All-Stars, stinkers and surprises! (All stats & ownership through Wednesday, April 25th)

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So I attended Shohei Ohtani’s start last Sunday and as such this post is going to have some pics that I took along with a quick recap of the experience. But since this is a website about fantasy baseball, we’re also going to talk about Brian Anderson. Let’s get to it!

Sunday April 8th was a sunny day in Anaheim. We’re running late to pick up friends to go to the game; find out we have a flat tire and have to uber it. Just get there in time to see first pitch. Drinking tall boy cans of Modelo, eating hot dogs and peanuts we get to watch Ohtani face the A’s. He then proceeded to made guys look silly. Take Khris Davis in two pictures:

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So I’m the only one who missed both the predictions post and the bold predictions post. I swear it’s not my fault, really (attn: our outstanding editor, Mr. Jay) as it’s tax season, and I’m an accountant so get ready for my predictions. Did you know that tax day is actually April 17th (not the 15th) his year? Well it is, so good for you procrastinators but crappy for me and my fellow accountants; who isn’t looking forward to working two extra 15 hour days? Me, that’s who. But I digress…we’re here to talk about fantasy baseball, not bitch about work (that’s what we have spouses and co-workers for, amirite?)

It’s a weird time right now; I’m excited for the season to start but Spring Training is over so there aren’t any stats to look at that haven’t already been looked at. The best part is that we can look back on it at the end of the season and laugh at how wrong I was. Same goes for you, dear reader. Put your predictions in the comments and we’ll look back and review at end of season. Five internet dollars for the most accurate!

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Spring training is such a good time in the life of a baseballer; everyone is refreshed, excited to see each other, its prime weather, there’s golf outings every other day, the standings reset to zero, or, even better there are no standings as the games don’t count (then why aren’t they free?). Wouldn’t you like to do that at work? Three months off and then its hugs, high fives, welcome breakfasts and happy hours; no one is mad about your TPS reports from last year; it’s all new TPS reports this year! I’m all for it.

Some in fantasyland value spring stats more than others, it’s true. Me? Spring stats are to build a guy up, not tear him down, because he’ll do that all on his own, and literally get sent down to the minors.

So let’s dive in to the top OPS guys this spring:

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Welcome welcome welcome! I have an aunt-in-law that says everything in thirds, and it’s cute the first time, and the second time, but after you’ve heard “Love you love you love you” for the 800th time, it’s gets old. Always like starting with a random tangent, don’t I? Anyway, these are my OPS-only rankings (meaning OPS replaces AVG). I play in 6×6 leagues, and they make some sense to me, but can’t we just kick average to the curb already? I’d rather play in an OBP and OPS league, and if I’m doing that let’s just stick with 5×5, amirite? But I digress.

These are hitter rankings, no pitchers. I don’t like Pitchers, and I’ve even recommended in this space eliminating them from Fantasy Baseball and going to team pitching like they used to do on MLB.com’s fantasy baseball site. They still might, but I’m not playing on their website; I mean, Yahoo! (Ohtani as two players?) and ESPN are bad enough (and CBS I haven’t even checked in on in years). Makes me understand the move to Fantrax for Razzball Commenter Leagues (Join one here!)

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Razzball provides rankings for a whole lot of league types; seriously, it’s overwhelming (my 18 team, 7×5 league on ESPN gets owned using these rankings). Right here, right now, however, these are my OPS rankings (I almost said “Phil B.s’ rankings,” and thought how silly it was to say that, and now I’ve done it anyway…great start). There’s no time to do position by position, so let’s get right to the good stuff, corner infielders. The basis of any good team, in any kind of format, this 2018 season provides many an option to choose from.

Using tiers makes it easier to not get too attached to one player; rather I can like a couple of guys in a group of them. So in honor of the Olympics, we’ll start with the medals and add in some other metals (btw, anyone reading Batman Metal right now? It’s real good and it has a Joker as Batman!) because there’s more than three tiers. So here we go!

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Oakland, while generally being seen as a place where power hitters go to be average, certainly has a few good OPSers hitting there in 2018. First off, there’s Khris Davis, but you already know about him, so let’s talk about two lesser knowns: Matt Chapman and Matt Olson. I googled the two of them and the first article that came up was from last September on Forbes. Until this moment, I had no idea Forbes cared about sports other than to rank the values of the teams and the net worth of their owners. Color me surprised (I like to think of surprised as a day-glo bluish color), so surprised that Forbes has a sportswriter and that they agree with me (or really it is me that agrees with them…great ideas all around)! The Matts will be providing some OPS fantasy goodness this season and lets look at why, shall we?

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