Orioles race crabs to determine fantasy football draft order

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To determine the draft order for their fantasy football league Orioles players bought Maryland blue crabs, assigned one to each team, and raced them through a tunnel in Camden Yards.

League commissioner/Orioles closer Jim Johnson and setup man Darren O’Day were in charge, as O’Day explained to Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun:

Jim and I were trying to think of something creative because everybody just does the blind draw. And we wanted to do something big. We were going to do snails, but crabs just seemed better to us. It seemed more apropos. It was more exciting than any other draft order.

Chris Davis’ crab won the race, giving him the first pick in the draft. And then the Orioles turned all 12 racers into crab dip.

As for who Davis is going to select with the No. 1 pick … he’s not sure. Which makes me think he ought to get the Rotoworld online draft guide and do a little research like I did before my draft this week.

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.