The bomb to right-center, his fourth homer of the year, wasn’t even the most impressive thing Shohei Ohtani (3-for-5, hitting .364) did yesterday. He beat out a single to short with a sprint speed of 29.5 ft/sec. That’s the 5th best Sprint Speed this year, just a bit better than Ronald Acuña Jr. Uh…*looks around for forty-five minutes, looks back*…Is anyone else seeing this? Can Acuña, serious question, also throw 101 MPH and have an under 2.00 ERA? Yo, is Shohei Ohtani really Roy Hobbs? ACKCHYUALLY If you had Roy Hobbs hit a 460-foot homer, beat out a grounder to short and pitch 101 MPH speedballs, you’d be like, “I appreciate the love story, and the friendship he built with the cross-eyed bat boy that he saved from a burning supermarket, but the baseball stuff isn’t believable in this movie.” Ohtani is not believable. That’s it. He’s one of the best baseball players ever, tools-wise. Truly not believable how good he is at each tool. Unfortch for fantasy, the Angels insistence on him pitching is hurting his overall fantasy value. Sorry, I’m not being a giant idiot. I mean, I might be a giant idiot, but not in this case. You miss a game or two each week as a hitter, and your stats are going to suffer. Hopefully, he has three months’ worth of Rich Hill blisters and can’t pitch all year. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With beloved Razzball writer Ralph Lifschitz finally revealing his true identity on Twitter, I realized it came down to me — the pitcher ranker and weekend editor — to unmask the final mystery man of Razzball: Grey Albright himself. So I invited the Fantasy Master Lothario to a fancy brunch that I never showed up to. Instead, I snuck into Razzball HQ…which wasn’t hard to do because Donkey Teeth is there literally every minute of every day searching for shirtless pics of Yusei Kikuchi. Grey never locks his office because he feels that he gives away all of his data for free on the internet; there’s no reason for anybody to break in. Except, for the holy grail: the real identity of the Master Lothario.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Howdy, folks.

Another doozy of a week. I don’t know what it is about this year, but hamstrings and shoulders are DOOMED. Feels like 90% of the injuries I keep getting updates about are “hamstring tightness” or “pulled up lame” or “sore shoulder” or “shoulder inflammation.” Ugh.

If by some stroke of insane luck you’ve managed to avoid injury to this point, no doubt this week the fantasy baseball gods deemed you unworthy after all. I told you in the title that I had bad news. Well, let’s get to it:

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Welcome to my new column in Razzball: The Magazine! Every week I’ll be responding to letters from fans who are in a fantasy crisis. Let’s jump right in and see our first question:

Dear EverywhereBlair, 

I drafted Sixto Sanchez in the first round. I know! I’m a sucker for alliteration. I even named my team, “Sexy Sixto Stacks Stampede.” You told me ADP was a trap and I could draft whomever I want whenever I want! 

Signed, 

Suxto See Sixto Sick

Well, we’ve got ourselves a humdinger for the first mailbag question! Did you hear that Sixto has a sore arm? You really don’t need to be taking pitchers in the first round. But it’s your team, you do you. You can fix your team by drafting Jacob Stallings, and renaming it the Sticky Stallings Smashers. Onwards, to the main event!

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I walked down a dark hallway of Razzball Headquarters, some corner I had never been before. The walls were the color of aquarium gravel. I squinted in the dim light to verify that I had the correct office. I knocked on the door and peeked my head inside, seeing the Fantasy Master Lothario himself, Grey Albright, sitting in an office chair behind of a well-built desk. The image of Don Draper in a sweater-vest.

“Everywhere!” he said, wringing his hands excitedly. He put his hand out for a shake. I reached for it, but he pulled his arm back as if almost touching a hot stove. “Nah-ah!” he smiled and wagged his finger. “Not in the time of Covid!”

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Early on Saturday, I heard the news that Jay Bruce made the Yankees’ Opening Day roster, and I was like, “Cool, if this is 2012.” Then I thought, “Is this 2012? Am I time traveler?” Turned out it was not 2012, and I was not a time traveler. Double bummer there. Somehow, Jay Bruce is still only 33 years old, so he might be a time traveler. After my brief flight of fancy through a time portal that didn’t exist, I thought, “That sucks, keeping Bruce over Tauchman. He can’t catch a break. That’s not the bee’s knees, that’s BS.” Then I thought, “I can just curse in my own head, I don’t need to spell out BS.” Then, out of nowhere, I saw the Yankees were keeping Mike Tauchman on the Opening Day roster too, and things began to peel away from my very logical brain. How were the Yanks keeping three 1st basemen? Was everything fine with Luke Voit? Welp, turned out it wasn’t. The Yankees were watching a triple feature of Luke Skylimper; Luke Cool Hand, But Torn Meniscus and Luke Voit in Meniscus Cowboy. After disowning Angelina Jolie, Voit will be undergoing surgery on his torn meniscus in his knee, and will miss at least April and May. This puts the spotlight on Bruce to reclaim his Glory Days, when every speedball wasn’t thrown right by him. Whereas, Tauchman is interesting in AL-Only leagues, if he can get in the lineup. I’ve added neither to my 2021 fantasy baseball rankings, because they might only be platooning for six to eight weeks. In the top 20 1st basemen, I lowered Luke Voit, taking roughly 200 ABs off his projections. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for 2021 fantasy baseball:

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In Japan, you bond with your coworkers by going to an enkai. You say it like “N-kai,” and the Kai is as in Cobra Kai, not “Kay” as in, “I’m so American I can’t envision speaking any language than N-glysh. The enkai is usually where the office (not the TV show) gets together for some BBQ and beers. Everybody goes to the enkai, even if they don’t like beer and BBQ. Sometimes, Japanese managers conduct official office business at the enkai, which makes it somewhat awkward when they pass out documents to read while you’re navigating grilled meat. Then comes the nijikai, or “second meeting,” when the “cool people” leave the “squares” behind, and they go to a place where there’s more beer, some snacks, and some karaoke. But for the bold — and those who are truly initiated into the office — there’s the sanjikai, or the “third meeting.” This is the event where only the hardened drinkers, the Buddhist teetotalers, and those people trying to forget the horrors of 9-5 hyper-capitalism are found. For the sanjikai, you’re out there not because you have to, but because you want to. Because you’re driven, by some supra-rational urge that verges on the paranormal, to see what’s hidden behind the curtain. You want to suck the marrow out of life and maybe get a bone splinter in your gums. You know the world has made its mark on you, and you want to mark the world before you transit off this plane of existence into the cosmos, awaiting to be reborn on your ascent to Nirvana. You might not get home tonight if you go out to the sanjikai, but that’s OK because you’re willing to sit in the park and watch the stars until first train.

That’s what this third pre-season edition of the Top 100 Starting Pitchers is all about: You want to know what the others don’t know. You’ve probably drafted already, but you’re here to get prepped for who to pick up off the waiver wire and what to do for next year. You, my dear reader, are initiated into my office, and I invite you to the sanjikai of my weekly pitchers series.

This article is probably my greatest contribution to fantasy sports so far, and I hope you enjoy it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

THERE COMES A TIME IN EVERY MAN’S EXISTENCE when he questions his very being. When, through the various comings and goings of the phantoms that call his mind home, he can be heard wondering aloud, in a primal scream, whether any of what he experiences is indeed real.

This is exactly the feeling, dear reader, one gets upon drafting AJ Pollock, as I did, in the 16th round of 42.

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“I did it. It’s done,” Grey said, running his hand through his mustache in splendid celebration. A fire roared in the hearth and cup of sparkling Fresca waited by his side. He pulled on his faux fur thrift store coat, looking every bit the 5’7″ “Legend of Los Angeles” that Fantasy Baseballer Magazine had dubbed him. He moved to his easy chair, reached for the remote, and turned off the National Geographic documentary about the hunting patterns of the Siberian Tiger, which always put him in the mood “to eat the competition” in the draft room. With clear eyes and full heart, he recited his daily mantra, I am the fantasy master lothario. 40 rounds, player upon player upon player upon sleeper. Like a talk show host, he fended off attacks from the left and the right and emerged above the fray, insouciant to what carnage he left in his path.

His mental respite was shattered when Cougs came rushing through the door, home from the grocery store. She whipped off her mask, panting, the twinkle of a tear down her cheek. “Grey, I’m so sorry. Cookie crumbled!” she said.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

What is up everybody? It’s March, which means March Grey has been burrowing out from his hibernation hole (which is what he calls his pantry) and starting to educate you all about your fantasy baseball teams. DRAFT THIS, NOT THAT! The beautiful spring chirp of the March Grey bird resounds through the forest of fantasy baseballers staring at their Fantrax apps. Just as you’re about to draft Dinelson Lamet in the first round, March Grey swoops in and caws, DRAFT CHRIS PADDACK IN THE TENTH! He then lands in the nearest tree and swigs from an abandoned boba container that may or may not have been sitting there all winter serving as a transient’s chaw spittoon. Now, while Grey’s spending the rest of the week sanitizing his mouth with detergent, I’m coming in hot to give you my takes on starting pitchers for your 2021 fantasy baseball season!

Let’s find that free use graphic I made of Zack Greinke in his Royal Blues!

Please, blog, may I have some more?