It’s the 15th Annual Razzballies! Wow! They’re old enough to smoke weed, drink beer, and pretend not to drink beer and smoke weed! Welcome back to our year-end awards show! If there’s any issues with the award ballots, don’t look at me. These were all tabulated at the accounting firm of Fried, Tellez and Bregman. Stop giving them the evil eye, German Marquez! You might be wondering why I’m hosting. Well, at the last minute our other host had to back out. Sadly, Joe Buck couldn’t be hair. I mean here. HAHA…Wait a second! Why is Will Smith, the reliever, coming on stage? *smack* Ow! Saves ain’t got no face, but I do! Now, before we get to our first award, I just want to thank everyone. I appreciate all of you, except Alek Manoah. That guy took it literally when someone told him to get lost! Okay, enough foolery, Tommy boy, now onto the awards, without which you’d have no idea who was the best and worst hitters and pitchers this year, and you’d be left giving out your own awards and no one cares if your “Low sodium tomato soup in a sourdough bowl” won your “Whitest Lunch Of All-Time” award. Stop making up fake awards! Leave that to me! Anyway, here’s the year-end awards for the best and worst of 2023 fantasy baseball:
Fantasy NL Most Valuable Player – The NL Fantasy MVP, like the AL one, doesn’t take into account team wins and “intangibles.” Nope, here at Razzball HQ, we look at tangibles! And those aren’t fungible! This is commonsensible. Uh-oh, I’m stick in an ‘ible loop, what can I do? Listen to the Bible on Audible? What’s this in my pocket? A rookie card of Oddibe McDowell? Okay, I’m done. The winner is… Ronald Acuña Jr. I’ll go over each position recap next, but a pretty cool takeaway this year: If you thought last year’s Aaron Judge season was the greatest of all-time, and it was up until then, each year we somehow have a new greatest season of all-time. Aaron Judge’s season on the Historical Player Rater was topped, and I’m beginning to wonder if they might be making players too good now. It took more than 100 years for a season to crack the best seasons of all-time, and now we have it back-to-back years from two different players? That seems unreal. Well, Tildaddy says it’s real! Acuña’s value minus the 2nd place finisher was worth Pete Alonso. That’s right, the difference between Tildaddy and the next closest guy was 46-homer hitter.
Fantasy AL Most Valuable Player – Before getting to our next award, I’m going to pat my head and rub my stomach at the same time. Damn, I got two pats in and lifted my hand off my tummy, unable to do it. Welp, that’s about the hardest thing anyone’s ever done that takes two separate skills. Okay, on a completely unrelated note, our AL MVP goes to Shohei Ohtani. He had a $56 season when you combine pitching and hitting. Now, maybe you might be saying, “Grey, handsome face, but in my leagues if I chose to use Ohtani as a pitcher, I couldn’t use him as a hitter, and vice versa.” To which I say, why are you bringing up the great Fred Savage/Judge Reinhold movie, Vice Versa? Are you saying that because it’s like a top ten starter entered the body of a top two hitter and they shared the same body? Well, that’s more the Steve Martin/Lily Tomlin classic, All of Me, than Vice Versa. $56 from Ohtani would land around number three on the Historical Player Rater and put him right next to Babe Ruth. Weird, he’s never been compared to him before.
Fantasy AL Cy Young – The Chinese say this is the Year of the Rabbit, but in fantasy we say this is the Year of the Chalk. There were incredibly few disappointments from the first few rounds. Sure, Acuña did better than everyone, ever, and Judge disappointed a bit, but there were no flat-out disasters, and that held true for the starters drafted this year, mostly. Burnes was a small letdown (barely, really), but the next two starters off the board won the Fantasy Cy Youngs. In AL, the first AL pitcher off the board was also its Cy, Gerrit Cole, and the lone bright spot for the Yankees, unless you’re a nihilistic Yankees fan and you’ve been secretly envious of the Mets for years.
Fantasy NL Cy Young – Even though NL Cy Young will be won by Blake Snell in a walk (pun noted and intended), this is about fantasy value, and, not only was this winner the best NL pitcher, but he was better than Gerrit Cole too. A man whose only introduction need be his fantastic mustache, please welcome to the stage, Spencer Strider! Oh, he can’t make it here because he’s pitching every game for the Braves in the postseason. We will ship him the award by putting his address where the return address goes and no postage, because we’re cheap.
Fantasy AL Least Valuable Player – For the sixth year in a row, this could go to Anthony Rendon–Hold on, the accountants are signaling me. I can’t hear you from seven feet away! Walk across my mom’s basement and the beautiful shag carpet, and whisper it to me! It’s not Rendon? Okay, Mike Trout–Not him either? *whispers in ear* Oh, the guy who thinks Shake ‘n Bake chicken is the Shake Weight. No, not Lance Lynn! It’s Alek Manoah. Now let’s never speak of him again until he puts together a Cy Young-type year next year on none of my teams, making me relive this all over again every fifth day.
Fantasy NL Least Valuable Player – I’m giving this award to Oneil Cruz, but it doesn’t feel right, because he was injured through no fault of his. It also doesn’t feel right because I have no real animosity towards him and usually I hate the guts of whoever wins these least valuable awards. The AL was loaded with least valuables, and the NL just had a big ol’ Shizz Happens.
Most Valuable Player Based On Draft Price – Ya know what’s cool to dream about? No, not marrying the partner of your dreams and having kids who don’t hate you. That ship’s sailed! What’s cool to think about is drafting the most valuable player based on value every year in every league. You could do it, but do you? This year you just needed to believe in the bounce back, because that was what Cody Bellinger gave you. From being drafted around pick 100 to ending up in the top 16 overall.
Fantasy POS – Kris Bryant continues to be awful between the months when he’s not even playing. Then you have Tim Anderson, who had one of the worst seasons in history between his performance, playing in possibly a final year of a historically terrible contract, dealing with a very public family drama, and starting a fight where he got knocked out…but also he didn’t get potentially banned for life for multiple sex crimes like Wander Franco. Runner-up: Julio Urias.
Fantasy Hitter You Most Likely Dropped and Picked Up A Dozen Times – “You really think this year’s breakout is gonna be Spencer Steer? Meh, that April was kinda boring, I think I’m dropping him…Wait a second! This May is great! I have to pick him up, right? Wow! What a ride! This guy is great…Welp, the honeymoon’s over, I guess. Good bye, Steer, your batting average is bottoming out…Hold on! Grey, not sure if you noticed but Steer is hitting again. …Hey, Grey, Steer’s stopped hitting and they’re calling up CES…Hey, Grey, is Steer hitting or not hitting? …Hey, Grey, Steer!!! GREY!!! Steer!!! GREY!!! Steer!!!” *smoke rises from your ears*
Player You Had Forever and Most Likely Should’ve Dropped – This year Jose Abreu became the Guy Who Forever Ruined the Myth the Crawford Boxes Could Help. Stand Joses, Abreu and Altuve, next to each and ask someone who doesn’t know baseball, which guy is a power threat. That’s right, Jose Abreu became an answer to stump people on the street. Runner up: Alejandro Kirk.
Player On The Top Of Your Waivers That You Just Couldn’t Bring Yourself to Pick Up – “Who do you want me to pick up? Jake Burger? Did Grey just come up with a new nickname for Carl’s Jr. Jr.?”
Pitcher You Streamed So Much You Ended Up Owning Him – “Okay, I’ll grab Merrill Kelly for his start vs. the Colorado Suckies, but I’m dropping him right afterwards.” *five months later* “Hoping Merrill Kelly starts in my H2H finals, he’s my most reliable starter.”
Player You Were Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop From, But Thankfully It Never Did – “Sure, Grey wrote a sleeper post for Justin Steele but he can’t really be this good, can he?” He can and he was. Runner-up: Lane Thomas.
Player You Were Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop From and It Ended Up Kicking You in the Groin – “Mike Trout is one of the greatest of all-time. He doesn’t have to be injured every year like clockwork.” Oopsie. Lots of honorable mentions, Taylor Ward comes to mind but they can’t be all Angels; Anthony Rizzo, who went from decent to meh to terrible to injured in like three weeks span, and Dylan Cease, who was actually good at one point, I think.
Player You Were Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop From and When It Did You Were Okay With It – Christopher Morel was on pace for a 70-homer season for about a month, which was slightly over his head, but the ride was still fun and he managed to provide a little bit value past his sell-by date.
Player You Traded Away That You Most Regretted – “Gunnar Henderson is never going to be anything so I’m gonna trade him away with CJ Abrams and get back Cedric Mullins. This is such a slam dunk I’m gonna win this year’s Dunk Contest!”
Player You Traded For That You Most Regretted – “Grey, I know you say don’t trade in the preseason, but I just got Jazz Chisholm Jr. for Justin Verlander and Nico Hoerner, a throw-in I don’t need. Just had to do that! I’m to winning what winning is to losing!”
Top SAGNOF – Esteury Ruiz/Tanner Scott – Remember, the essence of SAGNOF is cheap saves and steals. No one came close to cheapness on steals as Ruiz. A rose by any other name would be Rojas, and Johan, while fast, wasn’t close. As for Tanner Scott, he was the most pure, distilled version of SAGNOF for saves. He was the everclear of SAGNOF. Just basically out of nowhere and ended up a top five reliever.
Remember That Feeling You Had When You Walked In On Your Parents Having Sex, This Pitcher Gave You That Feeling Every Fifth Day – “Hey, mom, do you know where the remote control is–OH MY GOD ALEK MANOAH WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO MY TEAM STOP!! GET OFF OF HER!!! THAT’S MY MOMMY!!!” Then Alek Manoah impregnated your mother and left you to raise your sibling.