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The other day a Razzball reader, Tim L., contacted me about mocking his fantasy baseball keeper league.

Hi,

I just wanted to say I’m a huge fan of your site.  I think you do a fantastic job and have great analysis (as well as it being very funny).  The reason I’m writing you is that my 10 team long time keeper league is looking for a celebrity expert to mock the first 2 rounds of our 2009 draft.  It’s a typical 5 X 5 Roto and all the information (keepers, roster sizes, innings limit) is neatly organized.  We wouldn’t be expecting a write up on each pick, just the picks.  We have been together as a group a long time and everyone is excited about some expert analysis during this long off season.  My league is well aware of your site and are regular visitors.  I understand you are a busy guy but perhaps you would have some time in the next few months.  If you would, please let me know.  Our group would be thrilled.

Thanks,

Tim L.

Look what asking nice and the appropriate flattery will get you…  Actually, Rudy and I discussed whether or not to go ahead with this. As gracious as Tim L. is, I’m not trying to alienate all of our other readers just because some dooode said I was “very funny.” No, the clincher was when he said I was a “celebrity expert.”  Now that’s appropriate flattery.  Also, I felt the rest of youse might be able to take something away from this exercise.  If you think this is stewpid like kewpid bizzlenitch then scroll down, I’m sure there’s some other fantasy baseball nonsense to entertain you.

Tim L.’s Final 2008 league standings were:

2008 FINAL STANDINGS
1.  Axles                            75.5
2. Blazin Ballz                  73.5
3. Zak Dream Team          60.0
4. Bombadils                     57.0
5. Explosive Renteria        54.5
6. Levitra Nights               54.0
7. Canuckaroos                 53.5
8. Wildhack Old Sox        50.0
9. D Town Troubadours   50.0
10. Norfolk Shipriders     22.0

So a big belated congrats to Axles, way to stay on top of those Blazin Ballz. I tell you the standings because as Cypress Hill once said, “How do you know where you’re going, if you don’t know where ya been?  Understand where I’m comin’ from?”  We do, B-Real.  We do.  I also tell you this so you know who’s fantasy deficient cough Shipriders cough and might have the least to work with for 2009. Then we also have a long list of keepers; these teams keep 16 players a piece, so you can imagine there’s not many players to be drafted. (For the mathematically challenged, the first pick is a bit like pick #161.) The top ranked hitter is Chipper Jones.  So, it’s not exactly the cream of the crop, but it’s not the cream of the crap either.  Tim L. asked me to mock the first 2 rounds of this keeper league draft without commentary.  I’m doing the first round with commentary:

1st pick overall – JJ Hardy by Explosive Renteria (cute). Their team has one of the strongest offensives (Wright, Utley, Victorino, McCann, Adrian Gonzalez, Brandon Phillips and Furcal) and a very decent staff (Beckett, Haren, Lester, Jar-Jar Jurrjens and potentially Morrow).  Since this team is dealing with Utley’s injury and Furcal’s penchant for pulling a Kotchman, Hardy’s the choice. It’ll give them a strong UT and a very solid MI backup for when Phillips fills in for Utley in the beginning of the season or if/when Furcal goes down. This team is my preseason choice for 1st in 2009 as long as they pick up some speed later in the draft.

2nd and 3rd picks — Javier Vazquez and Ricky Nolasco by the Canuckaroos. This team has no starters and its entire offense is filled, so a bat isn’t even an option.  They also have three top ten picks from trades. Vazquez and Nolasco are the picks here because if you have no starters, you need to make sure you get a horse that will give you 200 IP and 30 starts; that’s Vazquez.  Then Nolasco was flatout genius last year. He posted a incredible K:BB rate at the end of 2008; a rate that should have him on your radar.  FYI, some of the other top pitching options available were Brett Myers, Harang and Carmona.  I contemplated Derek Lowe briefly over Nolasco, but with no starters he needs Ks and I think Lowe will be there for their 7th overall pick. Finally, I don’t want Myers or Harang as my first starter in 2009. This team needs steady and upside and that’s what I’ve given it.  You’re welcome.

4th pick — Chipper Jones by the Wildhack Old Sox. This is a bit of a no-brainer with their team. They have outfielders like Jolie’s got orphans (Holliday, Mags, Grady, Votto, Hart) and they have decent enough pitching for a ten team league (Wainwright, F-Her, Kazmir and Gallardo). Yet they have no 3rd baseman or Corner Infidel.  Guess what they have now?  Chipper…. Jones…

5th pick — Derek Lowe by the D Town Troubadours and the Canuckaroos suck their teeth as they are mock scooped by the Troubadours.  I choose Lowe here because their top starter is Verlander.  There’s always 2010, Troubadours.

6th pick — Carlos Delgado by the Blazin Ballz.  Blazin Ballz had one of those dream seasons in 2008 where everything goes right.  And they still came in 2nd.  They had Harden, Pedroia, Halladay, Ervin, Kerry Wood, Manny and Josh Hamilton.  Since they kept them all, their 2009 relies on most of those players duplicating their 2008 successes.  I think they’re in for a “Ravishing” Rick Rude Awakening.  Too many outliers worries me.  As for the Delgado pick, it’s between him Peralta, Burrell, Hawpe and Abreu.  I went with Delgado because this team doesn’t have a 3rd baseman or a corner man, so they can fill outfield and MI later, while 3rd and corner will get tight.  They also have the team average that can handle Delgado’s .265 average.

7th pick — Ted Lilly by the Canuckaroos. See my description of their team’s weaknesses above at the 2nd pick.  Ted Lilly is the most reliable pitcher on the board.  I still don’t want Myers, Harang and I’m not a fan of Carmona.  Also, as aforementioned, I would’ve went with Lowe if he wasn’t scooped.

8th pick — Brett Myers by the Bombadils. Their pitching staff is Ben Sheets, Jobacum, Phil Hughes, Brian “The Brain” Fuentes and Joseph Jason Putz (not sure if they had to keep on keeping Putz, but he was in the literature I was given). As an amateur porn star somewhere in the San Fernando Valley once said, “Excuse me for vomiting on your staff.”  I took Myers because I want him over Harang and Carmona for 2009.

9th pick — Jorge Cantu by Axeles. This team has no 1st baseman, 3rd baseman or corner man (obviously). Their pitching is sick as in healthy not sick as in sick (Johan, Lincecum, Peavy, Hamels, Joba, Liriano, K-Rod, Papelbon and Kershaw).  The offense they do have is Jose Reyes, Alexei, The Upton Bros., Maybin, Carlos Gomez and Kemp.  So now they just need Johan and Lincecum to hit 80 home runs apiece. I choose Cantu for them because he’s the biggest power threat left at a corner spot.

10th pick — Jhonny Peralta by the Blazin Ballz.  I explained this team’s weakness up at the 6th pick.  Again, this team has the team average to sustain Peralta’s .265 average and they have the oddly placed steals of Mauer to offset Peralta’s lack of steals.  This team will need to think about SAGNOF later in the draft and grab some steals.

  1. big o says:
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    shipriders don’t even get a top 10 pick ?
    where’s the humanity !!?

    i’d like to see his roster .
    he’s averaging just slightly better than 9th place in every statistical category .
    a hard thing to do in a 10 team league , assuming he’s active .

  2. Baron Von Vulturewins

    BaronVonVulturewins says:
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    First of all: Fun! Just like those Celebrity Roasts on Comedy Central. Like that one of Flavor Flav where that one guy said to Flav: What happened to you? You look like you just got back from a two-week crack bender on the Sun.

    Second: Grey, you are a mensch.

    Third: I’ve always secretly wanted to be in a keeper league, because I like the dimension it adds late in the year (i.e. trading talent for promise). That said, the prospect of prepping for a draft in which JJ HARDY IS THE NUMBER ONE PICK makes me want to throw myself off a building, while watching Fool’s Gold on my iPod Touch. HOLY HELL PEOPLE. HOW DO YOU SLEEP AT NIGHT? This is like attending a garage sale where the only items available are varieties of human feces.

  3. Shogun says:
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    Grey, did I just see you on E!? Was that you I read about snorting coke off of Paris Hilton’s stomach at one of the Kardashians’ parties? Sheesh. You celeb, you. Just kidding. That was just my jealousy talking, both on account of you getting called a “celebrity expert” and Tim L.’s league getting your mock instead of my ten steamer. Good synopses on each player, btw.

  4. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    I like this entry today. Reading it is like hot apple cider. Too friggin sweet.

    The best team name goes to Zak Dream Team, who could have done one notch better only if he had named them the Bayside Zak Attack!

    @BaronVonVulturewins: First of all, how did Baron go about losing all his thousands of comments? (Too many Kazmir love child fart jokes, that’s how… one’s enough man, really, had to throw the penalty flag.)

    I think if a keeper league is to really survive, there should probably be an auction with a salary cap and values placed on players, so that you can’t keep David Wright without suffering the $40 value penalty of keeping him. It makes keeper league auction day more interesting if you can have a shot at Pujols and Hanley and such. It also makes you decide on keepers based on projected value and draft based on future prospects. I have Votto, Bruce, Gallardo, Braun and Marmol for a total of $14 from an NL only auction going back to 2007. It would make sense to take a $4 flier on Gamel, for example and hold on to him on your roster for a year until he pays off. (I’m not giving up on you Dallas McPherson!!)

  5. Baron Von Vulturewins

    Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @IowaCubs: It was my own fault. Once upon a time I accidentally wiped my cache clean. Then I had to re-register, and I forget which of my thousands of offshore email accounts I’d used to sign up for Razzball. I used a different email, and was busted back to newb status.

    Either that, or I killed the real Baron and ate his soul. Hey, what’s that I smell? I think Scott Kamir’s love child just farted.*

    Apologies for the long and sporadic absences. But this is the time of year when I remember how boring and arcane the NFL playoff structure is, and a boy’s thoughts drift back to Fantasy Bizzball. You know, I’m actually thinking of taking next summer off.** I blame Ollie Perez. Talk me out of it, boys!

    *No, I didn’t get the reference either, honestly, but I figured I’d just go with it.

    **Actually, I was thinking of taking up Fantasy Arena Football. Then they canceled the 2009 season. Damn you, Recession. Damn. You.

  6. Baron Von Vulturewins

    Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: Hey! Look! My comments are back! It’s a Christmas* Miracle!

    (Please note: In the Baron’s baronial home country, we do not celebrate Christmas. We celebrate Holdsmas, a holiday honoring the statistical category of holds. We don’t light candles. We just stand around looking at them for awhile, making sure they stay unlit, until someone else comes in and lights them.)

  7. Baron Von Vulturewins

    Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: And look how many more comments I have than Iowa Cubs! Even after months of silence and absence! Holy crap.

    Maybe it’s because I have the habit of posting three.

    Comments.

    In a row.

  8. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @big o: I gotta think he’s active, otherwise you kick someone out of a keeper league who is not. Here’s their keepers:

    C Pablo Sandoval
    1B Aubrey Huff
    2B Robinson Cano
    SS Derek Jeter
    3B Aramis Ramirez
    MI
    CI Chone Figgins
    OF Carlos Beltran
    OF Delmon Young
    OF Denard Span
    OF
    UTIL
    P Cliff Lee
    P Roy Oswalt
    P Edison Volquez
    P Chin Mieng Wang
    P Matt Garza
    P Brad Ziegler
    P B.J. Ryan

    @BaronVonVulturewins: Baron! These comments would be Comment ‘O Week if Rudy didn’t make that extinct. Speaking of Rudy, he thought this post was a real dud. That shows you Rudy! I’m number #1! Now what’s this talk about taking the summer off? You getting married? Meningitis? Marrying a girl with meningitis? You will not do any such thing.

    @IowaCubs: You know who’s getting their very own fantasy sleeper post? McPherson!

  9. Jimmy ray says:
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    @ Grey: I want to make you humble the old country way! another cheap shot of my boy verlander. Besides the much hated verlander, what kind of team did D town Have? Nice work on the draft Pal! some of those player make me want to puke in my mouth a little, delgado and myers. those two could both have great years but they always look better on someones else’s team in my book.

  10. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Jimmy ray: “I want to make you humble the old country way!” — Ha!

    I was in Detroit last Autumn. Went to The Booby Trap, it’s on 8 Mile and it’s motto is, “It’s Like Cheers, but Topless.” Sums up my trip to Detroit.

  11. Shogun says:
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    @Grey: “It’s like Cheers, but Topless.” Genius! A simple yet appealing idea. I’m surprised that isn’t a nationwide chain.

  12. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Shogun: I would think it would do better than Jollibee.

  13. Tim L says:
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    @BaronVonVulturewins: You’d be surprised how much more interesting it is when JJ Hardy is the first pick. When Nolasco becomes a top 10 pitcher or Nelson Cruz busts out to 30/100, it’s a lot more rewarding. It just emphasizes trading, free agency, and utilizing the advice of a great site like this one in grabbing the next big player. I think for a long time keeper to be successful, there needs to be lots of rules to keep the players interested. We have compensation picks, minors keepers, etc., and it keeps league parity minus the rebuilding Shipriders of ’08.
    @Grey: I want to give a huge thanks to Grey for mocking our 1st round. Though, you’ve now given our biggest talker (renteria) a reason to open his mouth again. I enjoy watching him ruin a perfectly good team every season. Though, my boy D Town has his windows shut and his head in the oven….ouch…..”see you in 2010″….We’ve been together for a while now and this already has really got the guys thinking. As the proud owner of the pitching and speed heavy Axles, I can honestly now proclaim Grey a GENIUS celebrity expert. Cantu carried the Axles in ’08 and we’d welcome him back in ’09 at pick #9. No chance for the Axles repeating as champions???
    @big o: The Shipriders are a very active organization and had a bit of an injury filled and then entirely rebuilding season. Though as you can see in his keepers, he should be much improved in ’09.
    @IowaCubs: No love for Levitra Nights???

  14. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Tim L: Thanks for chiming in. It was fun to go over what I would do if I had everyone’s pick. Now don’t lurk so much and start commenting!

  15. Jimmy ray says:
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    @ Tim L: My head isnt in the oven (its electric anway) I know Grey was making a funny. with my roster I wont be giving up on 2009 just yet!
    .Martin, Russell C LA
    2.Morneau, Justin 1B MIN
    3.Cabrera, Miguel 1B DET
    4.Rollins, Jimmy SS PHI
    5.Zimmerman, Ryan 3B WAS
    6.Braun, Ryan J. LF MIL
    7.Ellsbury, Jacoby CF BOS
    8.Rios, Alex RF TOR
    9.Nathan, Joe RP MIN
    10.Broxton, Jonathan RP LA
    11.Weaver, Jered SP ANA
    12.Verlander, Justin SP DET
    13.Greinke, Zack SP KC
    14.Stewart, Ian 2B COL
    15.Snider, Travis OF TOR
    16.Slowey, Kevin SP MIN
    BAM!

  16. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Jimmy ray: Oh, I had no idea you were the Troubadours. Ha! I figured everyone from this league was Razzball lurkers. Guess I should’ve known since it’s the *D-Town* Troubadours.

  17. Steve says:
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    @Shogun: @Grey: The thought of a topless Norm makes me feel slightly unwell.

    “What’s up Norm?”

    “My nipples. It’s freezing out there.”

  18. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Norm’s better than Carla.

  19. Steve says:
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    @Grey: No argument there. But Norm couldn’t hold a candle to early Kirstie Alley.

  20. Jimmy ray says:
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    @grey: I added your link to my yahoo page a few weeks ago. I check it most everyday. Razzball and lenny Melnicks podcast with a cup of coffee starts my day!

  21. Shogun says:
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    @Grey: @Steve: I bet it wouldn’t take much to get Woody into those places.

  22. Baron Von Vulturewins

    Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Tim L: Yeah, I understand there’s a different kind of satisfaction in a long-standing keeper league. Like meticulously building a dynasty over many years. Like nabbing the young superstar a year before he’s on anyone else’s radar. Like plundering the same hapless owner with lopsided trades again and again. And for all that, having to utter the words, “And with the first pick, I select… JJ Hardy” is a fair price to pay.

    You have to understand. Hardy and I have history. Bad history.

    @Grey: I had ill-fated ideas about getting a life. But forget that.

    If you’re doing a sleeper post on Dallas McPherson, then who’s next? Another round of Casey Kotchman love? That Todd Van Poppel post we’ve been clamoring for? Maybe a deep sleeper post on Kevin Maas?

    When you hit 77 HRs (or whatever) in AAA and the big team STILL doesn’t call you up, I have to believe that there is something impeding your ability to flourish at the Major League Level. Then again, I was dead wrong about Ryan Ludwick. Dead wrong.

    No takers on Fantasy Arena Football for 2010? We can make it a keeper league. I got dibs on… okay, I can’t name a single player.

  23. Baron Von Vulturewins

    Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Grey: I remember going out with my pa to cut down our first Holdmas tree. We didn’t bring an axe. We just stood around and watched the tree until someone else showed up to chop it down.

  24. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: This comment’s only purpose is to boost my comment rating.

    Carry on.

  25. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: 1st Pick… Kurt Warner of the Iowa Barnstormers. He used to read stories to my mom’s 2nd grade class when he was in Des Moines, but often refused to sing along in the Holdsmas Carroling this time of year.

    “Oh Carlos M., Oh Carlos M… How lovely are your sliders.”

    I’m done, I promise.

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