Yankee Fans Jumping Off Brooklyn Bridge: Derek Jeter to Retire After 2014 Season

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New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter announced Wednesday that the 2014 season will be his last.

Here comes another endlessly nauseating Yankee farewell tour.

The Yankees captain made the announcement via his Facebook page (apparently he couldn’t log into his MySpace account)

“I’ve experienced so many defining moments in my career,” the statement said. “Winning the World Series as a rookie shortstop, being named the Yankees captain, closing the old and opening the new Yankee Stadium. Through it all, I’ve never stopped chasing the next one. I want to finally stop the chase and take in the world.”

This final limping lap around baseball is going to be ten times worse than Mariano Rivera’s. There will be non-stop Jetervision on Sportscenter, tributes from Doris Kearns Goodwin accompanied by mournful fiddle music across every MLB park, Jeter “gift baskets” for sale on QVC  and Yankee fans tossing themselves into the Hudson.

And where will all this Jeter worship finally come to an end? Fenway Park in Boston. Puulleeaassee.

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Fantasy Junkies Top 60 Fantasy Baseball Players for 2014

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With the top 20 and the top 40 fantasy players down, we are almost halfway through our top 100. Hooray, I’m good at math. Thank you underrated abacus. Let’s wander into top 60 territory where the men are separated from the trolls. Which reminds me: Stop trolling me “Baseball Man”, you’re not funny and your hateful words cut deep. We’ve been kinda, sorta, maybe down on the pitchers thus far. Why? Because the pitching is damn deep. If you want to win your league and all the cash and glory holes that come with it, you best be filling up on hitters in the first five rounds. Take the best bats in rounds 1-5 and that brings you to right around this portion of the draft (depending on your league size). Thanks again, dear abacus, you’re sleeping with me tonight. Now let us retire to the boudoir while our fantasy junkies enjoy the top 60 players for 2014.

Top 20 Players

Top 40 Players

41. Jose Fernandez: Don’t disqualify Jose just because he plays on the Marlins. We’re talking legit Cy Young candidate with a 9+ K rate. This might be your last time to own him. Next year everyone will be talking about him like he’s Kershaw and he’ll be too rich for my blood. 2014 Projections: 13/186/3.00/1.15

42. Ian Kinsler: Kinsler’s scoring stats have been down across the board the last three seasons and now he’s hitting in Comerica. Maybe I’m being too generous with his projections or else I’m just stuck in 2009. Excuse me while I listen to the Pussycat Dolls. 2014 Projections: 93/18/68/.265/16

43. Elvis Andruws: If Elvis could just push those homers up. Anyone got some ‘roids, I mean vitamins? 2014 Projections: 85/6/60/.275/31

44. Jose Reyes: Remember the days when Reyes was a top 10 kind of guy? Good times. We were all so young then. Now we’re old and we have a calcium deficiency. Kind of like Reyes. 2014 Projections: 85/13/57/.292/22

45. Madison Bumgarner: This may be the first starter I draft. Most likely I wait another round. But what’s not to like about a young stud named Madison Bumgarner. He was either going to become a pro athlete or a Chippendale’s dancer. 2014 Projections: 14/194/3.12/1.12

46. Wil Myers: Never mind that Wil Myers Fathead on my wall. I’m holding it for a friend.   2014 Projections: 77/24/85/.265/11

47. Eric Hosmer: I’ve had my fingers crossed for a 20/20 season from Hosmer for three years now. This year I cross my toes, too. 2014 Projections: 83/19/86/.285/12

48. Cliff Lee: At some point Lee shows his mortality. Unless he’s a walker. Shoot him, Daryl! 2014 Projections: 14/216/3.02/1.08

49. Matt Holliday: What’s a guy doing here that hit 22 homers and 94 RBI last year you say? This is where he belongs I say. Now how about we go back to my place now that we know each other better? 2014 Projections: 83/21/88/.285/5

50. Starling Marte: Power isn’t what it used to be in the outfield. Quick, name the outfielder with the most home runs last season? If you guessed Alfonso Soriano I owe you a drink. However, there’s plenty of speed in the outfield. Here’s another speed guy. At least I’m not writing about Juan Pierre. 2014 Projections: 75/13/46/.270/31

51. Chris Sale: Ready for a run on pitchers? Hope so.There were two pitchers with a 9+ K-rate and a sub-two walk rate last year. One was Matt Harvey and the other was, you guessed it, Chris Sale. This blurb is about Chris Sale. 2014 Projections: 12/201/3.32/1.15

52. Justin Verlander: 2013 was a down year for Verlander, but things are looking up. He’s back with Kate Hudson and if that doesn’t put some velocity on your fastball I don’t know what will. 2014 Projections: 16/210/3.28/1.20

53. Hunter Pence: Guess who had 27 homers and 22 steals last year? If you guessed Steve Balboni I don’t know if I should slap you or hug you. How about both? 2014 Projections: 82/22/92/12/.272

54. Anibal Sanchez: Scherzer is the weird looking one with a Cy Young, Verlander has the girl, a Cy Young and an MVP, and Sanchez gets to be on my fantasy team. 2014 Projections: 13/188/3.38/1.23

55. Alex Gordon: Finally Gordon gets moved out of the leadoff spot and will be hitting fifth for the Royals this year. Good news for fantasy fans, Royals fans will be drinking fifths come July. 2014 Projections: 84/21/90/.273/10

56: Alex Cobb: The great-great-great-grandnephew of Ty Cobb (thanks, Ancestry.com) is another arm I’m targeting this year. Cobb had a 8.41 K/9 over 22 starts last year and you can expect more of that. Bold prediction: Cobb wins the Cy Young. 2014 Projections: 16/185/3.00/1.11

57.  Hisashi Iwakuma: Last season Hisashi had 14 wins, a 2.06 ERA, a 1.01 WHIP and 185 Ks (good for 3rd in the AL Cy Young voting). Bolder prediction: Iwakuma and Cobb both win the Cy Young and arm wrestle to see who gets the trophy. The match is later made into a film: Over the Top 2.  So much for the boldness. Hisashi is out 4-6 weeks with a strained tendon in his finger. I’d rank him about 20 spots later than this now. *slowly walks away, kicks dirt*  2014 Projections: 12/150/3.46/1.11

58. Buster Posey: Catchers, blah. Not a fan of drafting them, and usually stream catchers throughout the year. Last season I owned Jason Castro, Salty, John Buck and Moe Berg at one point or another and still won my $$$ league. The guy that drafted Posey in the second round? He finished 10th.  2014 Projections: 71/18/82/.298/2

59. David Price: Price’s fastball doesn’t seem to have the same pop since coming back from injury. Draft with caution.  2014 Projections: 15/183/3.23/1.13

60. Matt Kemp: This is a guy just a few years removed from a 39/40 season. There’s injury concerns and lineup questions and who knows when Rihanna shows up again, but I can’t resist that 20/20 potential. Call me crazy. Who said that? 2014 Projections: 76/22/80/.277/18


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Fantasy Junkies Top 40 Fantasy Baseball Players for 2014

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*Meanwhile back in the Guru’s fantasy bunker*  If you missed the top 20, check them out here, just make sure you come back. We’ll wait. *taps foot, looks at watch, it’s 10 a.m., mixes drink anyway* Welcome back to the top 40 countdown, cheers. We’re keeping our feet on the ground, reaching for the stars and might as well just pick the next 20 names out of my turban. *reaches in, selects Mike Carp* DOH! But, I’m dedicated to you, my dear fantasy junkie. However, any “expert” that says they know for sure where any of these guys are going to end up in the fake baseball universe is blowing smoke up your fanny perpendicular and probably hope you buy their book – yeah, I’m looking at you, Mathew Berry. With all that said, I’ve crunched the numbers, ignored most of the pitchers (Wait. On. Pitching. Pitching is deep. Deep I tell ya!)) and stalked Bill James until his mom threatened me with a cease and desist. Will all apologies to Mrs. James (honestly, I didn’t know Bill still lived at home but should have), let’s rundown the top 40 fantasy ballers for 2014.

21. Jose Batista: A healthy Joey Bats could mean 40 homers. Note my projection. 2014 Projections: 84/31/90/.263/3

22. Freddie Freeman: Fab Freddie is ranked a little higher than the other ‘perts have him because I want to hold him close him on every team I own this year. 2014 Projections: 80/25/95/.300/2

23. David Wright: If you don’t end up with Miggy, Longo, Beltre or E5, Wright will be here to skip. 2014 Projections: 77/19/80/.290/17

24. Jay Bruce: Brrruuccceeee! Jay is more “Tunnel of Love” than “Born to Run.”  Good, not great. 2014 Projections: 79/29/90/.257/7

25. Carlos Gomez: 20+ homers? Check. 20+ steals? Check. Drafting him? Damn right. 2014 Projections: 75/21/69/.260/33

26. Giancarlo Stanton: So tempted to rank him higher, dreams of 40+ home runs dancing in my head. Really need to get off these bath salts. 2014 Projections: 75/30/81/.267/4

27. Yu Darvish: Darvish will be long gone by this point. Let someone else be top heavy on pitching. Yu can do better. 2014 Projections: 16/243/3.20/1.19

28. Justin Upton: He’s better than B.J. not better than a…never mind. 2014 Projections: 87/24/77/.272/11

29. Albert Pujols: I’ve seen Pujols ranked as high as 10 and as low as 116. This seems about right because Al wishes he was 29.  2014 Projections: 78/26/90/.272/4

30. Jean Segura: I want Segura on my fake team, my real team and my wiffle ball team. 2014 Projections: 65/10/48/.280/34

31. Alex Rios: Rios was ranked at number 56 last year and he finished as the 25th best player in fantasy. *grabs abacus* 56 – 25 = 31. Hooray math! Here’s some more. 2014 Projections: 75/18/73/.275/22

32. Felix Hernandez: King Felix won’t be ruling my fantasy kingdom this year. It’s tempting, but I’m still waiting on my prince pitching. 2014 Projections: 13/190/3.00/1.15

33. Max Scherzer: Hello,Chief, it’s Max. I won’t be on your team this year. 2014 Projections: 14/216/3.25/1.15

34. Jason Kipnis: Kipnis is a great first half player, not so much in the second. He’s Tony Romo. 2014 Projections: 81/16/74/.263/24

35. Dustin Pedroia: Love Pedroia in real baseball, only like, like him in fantasy. Still solid third round pick. 2014 Projections: 84/12/71.290/14

36. Adam Wainwright: Great season in 2013. *slow clap, looks at calendar* 2014 Projections: 15/189/3.13/1.11

37. Ian Desmond: Personally, I wait on shortstops almost as long as I do catchers. Maybe this year I’ll draft four shortstops and three catchers in the first seven rounds. 2014 Projections: 69/18/70/.272/16

38. Stephen Strasburg: So…tempted…to…draft…pitcher…now… *Drafts Shin-Soo Choo instead* 2014 Projections: 13/185/3.13/1.13

39. Ryan Zimmerman: Stuck inside of Mobile with the third base blues again. 2014 Projections: 75/21/77/.274/4

40. Shin-Soo Choo: Me likey Choo long time. Hey, it’s not racist if I’m Korean. Maybe I’m actually this guy. 2014 Projections: 92/18/64/.280/17

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Fantasy Junkies Top 20 Fantasy Baseball Players for 2014

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In case you haven’t noticed, my fantasy junkies, spring training is about to get sprung. Steve Balboni saw his shadow and that means one week until some official spring baseball begins.

Over the next few weeks, your humble-but-nonetheless-handsome Guru will be sipping fine scotch in nothing but my bedazzled turban preparing for the 2014 fantasy draft. I’ll have your top 200 players, positional rankings, sleepers, draft strategies and more.

For now, we got to start somewhere and that launching point is the top 20 fantasy players for 2014.

1. Mike Trout: No surprise here, flip a coin between Trout and Miggy – just don’t go crazy and select Scooter Gennett number one. 2014 Projections: 107/27/97/.304/30

2. Miguel Cabrera: On every team I owned Miggy last year, I won the title. Unfortunately, I only owned him in my fantasy fantasy league. Someday my dreams will come true. 2014 Projections: 99/37/116/.320/3

3. Paul Goldschmidt: Drafted Goldy everywhere I could last year and was mocked for taking him so early. Who’s laughing now? No really, I hear someone giggling in my closet. Call the cops, it’s Matthew Berry. 2014 Projections: 93/30/105/.290/12

4. Andrew McCutchen: When it comes to drafting your fake baseball team, grab as many of those 20/20 guys as you can and wait on pitching. I repeat: Wait. On. Pitching.  2014 Projections: 91/22/90/.310/24

5. Carlos Gonzalez: Light a candle and pray to Jeebus that CarGo stays out of the nurse’s station. 2014 Projections: 81/25/88/.300/5

6. Adam Jones: I’m seeing Jones go about 5-8 spots later than this in recent mocks. Be a trendsetter, grow out a mullet (it’s coming back in style I tell ya) and grab Jones early. 2014 Projections: 83/27/100/.283/14

7. Robinson Cano: Safeco Park makes me nervous. Know what else makes me nervous? Clowns and not drafting Cano if I can. 2014 Projections: 82/25/95/.305/5

8. Bryce Harper: This is the year it all comes together. Bold prediction: Bryce wins the NL MVP, marries Paulina Gretzky and joins the WWE. 2014 Projection: 90/25/75/.285/20

9. Joey Votto: No love for Joey this year? C’mon, he’s not Joey Lawrence. Bounce back year ahead. 2014 Projections: 87/24/95/.315/5

10. Chris Davis: Yeah, I know, I have Davis lower than most, but there is no way he hits 50 homers again. If he hits 45 I’ll eat my turban with a side of ranch dressing. 2014 Projections: 84/38/93/.260/2

11. Jacoby Ellsbury: Ellsbury bolted the Sox for pinstripes and is now hitting in the House Across the Street From the House That Ruth Built. Bolder prediction: Ells is the AL MVP, replaces Kelly Ripa and is named Jets starting QB.  2014 Projections: 90/20/60/.285/35

12. Adrian Beltre: How old is Beltre now? 47? Doesn’t seem to be aging at the plate. Yet. Maybe he’s the Benjamin Button of baseball. 2014 Projections: 83/28/95/.297/2

13. Evan Longoria: Longo hit 32 homers, was second to Manny Machado in doubles and the only other player at his position to score more runs was Miguel Cabrera. More importantly, he played 160 games. Give us more of that. 2014 Projections: 84/28/93/.266/3

14. Hanley Ramirez: Can HanRam hit 20/20? Can he stay healthy? Can we still be friends if he doesn’t? So many questions and it’s only February. 2014 Projections: 77/23/80/.280/18

15. Ryan Braun: Uh-oh. You knew this name was coming, hope you hid your “protein powder.” There’s risk with drafting the Hebrew Hammer, but he’s got something to prove: Was it the ‘roids or the rugelach. 2014 Projections: 76/25/84/.295/13

16. Prince Fielder: Liking the Prince in that Texas jet stream, just not top 10 kinda like. 2014 Projections: 87/27/95/.283/1

17. Troy Tulowitzki: Tulo sure has some baggage. That baggage includes groin surgery, fractured ribs, a broken wrist, a strained quad and pink eye. 2014 Projections: 80/27/90/.300/3

18. Edwin Encarnacion: E5 has two consecutive 40-homer seasons and has averaged 10 stolen bases the last four years. He’s the poor man’s Goldschmidt. He’s Silverschmidt. 2014 Projections: 84/31/94/.270/10

19. Clayton Kershaw: Guru, you’re crazy listing Kershaw this low. True that, disembodied voice of Steve Balboni, and I’m sipping expensive scotch. No way I draft a pitcher in the first, second or third round this year unless I’m really wasted. 2014 Projections: 17-9/2.68/1.04/220

20. Yasiel Puig: Off the field questions..blah blah…immature…blah blah…wears pink shorts and drives too fast…blah. Just give me the 20/20. 2014 Projections: 90/28/93/.288/20

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5 Best Options for A-Rod Moving Forward

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New York Yankee disgrace Alex Rodriguez dropped his lawsuit against Major League Baseball Friday and will serve his 162-game suspension.

What does this mean for A-Rod going forward? Does he retire, train for 2015 or play somewhere else?

Here are A-Rod’s 5 best options:

AA-ROD1. Play in Japan

Doesn’t look like A-Rod will rise again in Japan or with any other foreign team. According to the MLBPA, any suspended player who is under reserve to a club cannot play for a Japanese team, a Taiwanese team, any independent team, Little League team or organized wiffle ball league.

AAROD42. Ask the Yankees to release him

A-Rod is owed around $60 mil from the Yankees. Perhaps the two sides can agree to a buyout which would allow him to play for the Tokyo Swallows, the Long Island Ducks or maybe an adult softball league in Tijuana.

AABEARS3. Become a coach

Rodriquez won’t be becoming a coach in the majors (à la Mark McGuire) any time soon. A-Rod isn’t allowed in MLB parks to watch a game let alone coach, sell peanuts or share his “gummies.”

AAROD54. Start his own barnstorming team

Following the Black Sox scandal in 1919, Shoeless Joe Jackson and the other 8-men out starting barnstorming and playing baseball against fire departments and high schools in small town across the country. A-Rod could do the same. He could start his own all-roid team with Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Jose Canseco. Make Pete Rose the manager.

aarod65. Just go away

This seems to the best move for A-Fraud. He has no friends left in the league, the fans have had enough and even that centaur painting can’t look at him. A-Roid has made over $300 million in baseball and could just buy a small island somewhere and retire. Hopefully it’s an island used for nuclear testing.

AAHOLE

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Fernando Rodney Signs With Mariners

aahatAccording to multiple reports, the Seattle Mariners have agreed to sign free agent closer Fernando Rodney to a two-year, $14 million deal.

Not a lot of cash for a guy who with 172 career saves that should be effective in late innings.

Rodney was 37 for 45 in saves last season for the Tampa Rays with a 3.38 ERA and 82 strikeouts in 66 2/3 innings.

Reports that the M’s offered to throw in a few extra bucks to get Rodney to put his hat on straight have not been confirmed.

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