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Yesterday, Luis Ayala was acquired by Mets. You know that thing about the girl you don’t know is better than the one you’re with? The grass is greener thing. Yeah, the Mets just got themselves a new girl. Why? Wagner’s old and he just had a setback (of course) so he’s not coming back as soon as thought. I’d peg mid-September as a fair timetable his for return. For now, it’s still anyone’s game for saves. Heilman, Kunz, Feliciano, Orosco, Mr. Met, Ralph Kiner, et al. They might all be better options than Ayala, but they’re not the new girl. The only reason why we’re concerned with this is because the Mets will win a lot of games. If someone can separate themselves from the pack, they could get a decent amount of saves while Wagner’s on the mend. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Hideki Matsui – Set to return on Tuesday. I’d prefer a hot hand, then a vet who’s just returning from injury. Especially a vet that has averaged a HR every 25 at-bats for his career. Not sure what the excitement is, but I guess it’s a Yankee thing. How’s Jeter treating you, Yankee fans?

Clayton Kershaw – 6 IP, 6 Ks, 1 ER. Should’ve had a win, but Braun took Chan Ho out of the Park.

Chris Dickerson – Hit a homer the other day. Went 3-for-5 yesterday. I think I’ve officially beat Dickerson into the ground.

Chris Davis – About to get third base eligibility if Hank Blalock can return and stay healthy at first. Yes, it’s an if the size of the Grand Canyon.

Andre Ethier – 2 HRs yesterday. He’s been starting over Juan Pierre on most days and has 4 HRs in his last four starts.  Torre sits him against lefties, which makes your job easy for when to start him.

Carlos Pena – HR yesterday. Four HRs last week. When I ranked him 46th in the top 100 for fantasy baseball’s 2nd half, here’s what I said, “For those looking for someone who can hit 20 HRs in the 2nd half. Here’s one.” And that’s me cutting and pasting me!

Javier Vazquez – 8 IP, 1 ER, 8 Ks. June, 7.48 ERA; July, 5.65; August, you dropped him. Hey, Vazquez, how about you buy me dinner first?

Melvin Mora – 5-for-6 with 2 HRs. As I mentioned, in this week’s Buy/Sell, Mora’s feces has been smelling like Reese’s Pieces.

Edinson Volquez – 7 IP, 0 ER. This doesn’t mean he’ll go on another run like in the beginning of the year, he’s just trying to find his way to a 3.50 ERA. He’s currently at 2.73.

Rickie Weeks – Left with a thumb injury. Nomar, “I feel ya, man!” If Weeks is hitting the DL is the point, you play the Pass Line.

Alexis Rios – 5-for-6, there will be a point during this offseason when I’ll write a post making a case for Rios being a sleeper for next year. Just comment, “No.”

Roy Oswalt – Threw a one hitter over 8 IP. Looks like he put his hip injury behind him (or beside him).

Ty Wiggington – Accounted for all three of the Astros’s runs yesterday and this week he went 9/3/9/.560. There was a bit of a Wiggington Fan Club forming yesterday in the comments. I’m assuming future meetings of the WFC will be taking place in the octagon.

B.J. Upton – HR yesterday. May all your pitchers pitch at Petco and all your hitters hit at Arlington. Amen.

Jensen Lewis – Got the save yesterday as Perez entered the game in the seventh. Lewis is being viewed as the closer, whether he’s the best guy for the job is irrelevant. If you’re holding Perez for saves, you’re only going to get the very rare situational ones.

Adam Lind – HR, 3-for-6. Averaging a HR in just over five games since his recall and hitting .330.

Todd Jones – Went back to the DL, but it looks like Rodney is the closer now anyway. (Rodney is now sure to give up five runs just because I wrote he’s the closer.)

Brandon Moss – Left the game with an ankle injury. Now he may gather some moss.

Dan Wheeler – Got the save on Sunday when Balfour couldn’t get the job done. (Balfour did intentionally walk Hamilton with the bases loaded. This is the only time this has happened to anyone, except Barry Bonds in the last 60 years, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Actually, they didn’t say it, but they could’ve. Here’s some other things Elias Sports Bureau could’ve said this week around the office, “Tuesday was the first time Jim in Accounting didn’t call his wife three times before noon,” “Thursday marked the seventeenth time since March that Sally, Burt’s secretary, dropped a call” and “Fridays will no longer be Casual Fridays for Peter because he can’t tell the difference between pants and sweatpants.”

  1. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    I would like to say that not trading Damaso Marte for Carlos Pena a month ago is officially the dumbest thing I’ve ever done in fantasy baseball, now surpassing dropping Soria for Dave Roberts a year ago. And I defied Grey’s wishes! Let this be a warning to you kids. I think he said, “I’d do that trade yesterday.” I wish I had a time machine, so I could.

    Yesterday was the trade deadline in my league and here’s the result: Being last in HRs, I ended up trading Guardado and Gra-Bow! to a guy who needs saves for Pat Burrell. Then I swapped Matt Cain and Pence (who I would have dropped today if I couldn’t trade him) for Derrek Lee. (In a sidenote, Rios goes 5 for 6 and suddenly everyone wanted him, after I’d been offering him around for months.)

    All in all, Lee and Burrell seems a satisfactory haul for Cain (my 3rd best starter) and three spare parts.

    My question: Do I start Burrell, or Lind, who I picked up yesterday? I like Lindy. But Burrell’s got a couple homers this week, and looks like he might be ready for one of this Burrellian streaks. (I grabbed him for this very reason. He could suck for a month, or he could hit 10 HRs. He’s Burrell!)

  2. wassup says:
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    This is crazy!! Yesterday was the best day ever for my fantasy baseball team. 12 Team league and my totals were 19-36, 13 runs, 4HR, 14 RBI, .528 batting average. I can thank this day to Alex Rios and Mora both going 5 for 6. Anybody else have a better day?

  3. SaltyBiscuits says:
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    So, I am trying to rationalize my pick for my utility spot this week.

    Looking at Michael Cameron… who has been on fiyah.. but..

    He plays 6 home games this week, where he is hitting .185 with .285 obp and .355 slg. Grey, should I pay attention to this pretty stark home/road split? Or ignore it because he is hot right now?

  4. Martin says:
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    so u dont think picking up matsui is a good idea?

  5. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: I don’t remember the Marte for Pena trade, but I don’t think anyone would admit that if it wasn’t true. Why wouldn’t you do that trade? Especially being the save vulture you are.

    Lots of fans and players look at Burrell and see a guy who can’t play defense and strikes out a lot. Lind looks at Burrell and sees what could be. You have to start Burrell at home. Too bad you can’t fit them both though because Lind is hot, as well.

    @wassup: I feel like a lot of times I talk about hot players and people don’t listen until it’s too late. Cool, that you actually grabbed Mora.

    @SaltyBiscuits: Well, I don’t know your other choices, but Cameron has been hot and over his career he has batted okay at Miller Park.

    @Martin: Most times I look at an aging vet as being in the mindset of “I have to make up for lost time and hit three months worth of dingers in a month” or “I want to make up for lost time and hit three months worth of dingers in a month, but I’m going to end up being rusty and the next month is going to be my spring training.” I think Matsui can be the former and hit well, but even his hitting well isn’t really that impressive. It’s not like he’s going to go on a tear and hit 10 HRs in a month. But as is the case with most pickups, it depends on who you are dropping. If you’re dropping Austin Kearns, by all means, grab Matsui.

  6. SaltyBiscuits says:
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    @Grey: At this point basically trying to decide between Cameron and Delmon. Delmon in the active lineup at the moment.

  7. BSA says:
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    Alright my season is heading into the last week and I want to play the two start game, though I do like playing with two closers. I have Billinsley, Harang, Guthrie, Liriano, Myers, and Shields. My closers are Broxton and Fuentes. I am in a 10 team league.

    Now of those starters who would you throw into free agency to try and pick up some two start pitchers? Off the top of my head aside from Billingsley and Liriano I don’t see anyone lights out over a two start pitcher.

    Opinion/Input?

  8. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BSA: I could see playing a two start pitcher over Harang and Myers.

  9. BSA says:
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    I just peaked ahead and realized that Myers would be a two start pitcher against LA and chicago. Guthrie and Harang end up being my only one start pitchers.

  10. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BSA: Yeah, I saw that and wasn’t crazy about the matchups.

  11. BSA says:
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    Cueto even has some tough matchups coming this week. Thanks for the heads up. I feel like a vulture waiting on the two start stat page for other two start pitchers with CBS.

  12. BSA says:
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    Just flipping through Stark’s article on Manny and am enjoying the last points/paragraphs on some of the background stuff on other trades around the league. Livan’s and Dusty’s articles gave me a chuckle.

  13. wassup says:
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    When Matt Capps returns around Friday will he take the closer role back from Grabow? Im just wondering if he will have to earn it back or they will hand him the job back

  14. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BSA: What’s the link?

  15. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @wassup: I’m thinking it will be handed right back to him.

  16. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BSA: He hit .347 in July for the Sox.

  17. BSA says:
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    The Manny thing is one of those things in baseball that was more about what goes on behind closed doors than anything else. Think about it, Theo has had Manny’s ass on his radar since he arrived. Someone will write a book about it someday. Papelbon recently broke the clubhouse silence on some of the things going on. I’m searching for it now.

    At the end of the day I am not one of those fans that will say the season lived or died on Manny Ramirez.

    From a fantasy perspective it sucks to see a team in my league Ramirez, Bay, and ARod on the same team.

  18. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BSA: “… about what goes on behind closed doors…” What about the Bronx Bombers of the 70s? They were complete head cases. What about Dennis Rodman being on the best Bulls team? I don’t buy the whole “clubhouse chemistry was off” thing.

  19. BSA says:
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    how else do you explain it? Pro sports is riddled with head cases. I am sure if Babe Ruth’s contemporaries were available he had some doozies. Would he have been traded? Oh yeah, dur bad example. HA!
    Chalk it up to Boston being Boston! I don’t know but either way he isn’t here.

    I’ve been listening to people still talking about the curse in Boston. The best conversations are ended with the radio personalities telling the caller to shut up and look at Boston’s attitude toward african american ballplayers during Jackie’s going to the Dodgers. Ignorance and stupidity will drive a “Curse” over karma.

    Lets hope Theo and the front office aren’t bitten out of spite and inability to manage a disgruntled employee.

  20. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BSA: Wasn’t Manny a big part of two World Championships? Suddenly he became a head case? He’s been off his rocker for many years, but suddenly he was just too much to handle. I haven’t talked to one Sox fan that wasn’t happy by this move to get rid of Manny so the Sox have either been able to spin it exactly right in the media or everyone was really unhappy with Manny. Either way, I don’t get it and I think any team would be better with Manny.

  21. BSA says:
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    What’s your Southie’s take? Sounds like we’re on the same page – I am not happy about it but I also am not crying in my beer or bitching when he hits a homer and Bay goes down with three Ks.

    I am at Peace – Isn’t that what Manny wanted?

  22. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BSA: She hates Manny’s guts.

  23. BSA says:
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    Now when does CBS or another site update two start pitchers for week 22? My wings are getting tired of circling.

  24. BSA says:
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    @Grey: See that is too much emotion for me about something that I don’t have control over. I look at him like every other SPED kid I have known who won’t do his work when he doesn’t want to, is belligerent toward authority, gets labeled ED, gets angry, and quits because he/she wasn’t treated fairly or with respect. The only difference is Manny can hit and is gettin’ paid millions to do it.

  25. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BSA: You can piece together the 2 start pitchers for next week like you did with Myers.

  26. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BSA: Manny’s too goofy for me to hate on him, especially since I don’t really have any team allegiances anyway.

  27. BSA says:
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    C’est La Vie de Manny. Hey, gotta go finish a paper! Been good chattin between coasts. Now others can chime in because I am sure some are lurking and snoring. Until tonight…EST!

  28. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Grey: Temporary insanity. At the time, Morneau was driving in 3 runs a game and Chris Davis went donk every other night, so I had no room for Pena. And I figured Davis had a decent chance to match Pena’s production over the last 10 weeks. Plus, I was down to three closers and worried a bit about saves.

    Of course, since then Pena’s hit 10 HRs and I’ve picked up Jensen Lewis, picked up and traded Guardado and Grabow, picked up and dropped Ziegler and Chris Perez. i.e. replaced Marte’s value 4-5 times over. Plus, Marte has no value now.

    Like I said: Stupid. I need to go write this in my personal fantasy rulebook in blood: (in Alec Baldwin’s voice): ATC — Always. Trade. Closers. A-Always, T-Trade, C-Closers.

  29. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: Especially a Pirate closer for someone who could obviously go on a tear. Oh, Baron.

  30. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Grey: This hasn’t been my best season.

  31. yak says:
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    Bedard or Joba for the rest of this year?

  32. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @yak: Probably Joba, but I wouldn’t hold my breath on getting too much from either.

  33. JR says:
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    @BSA

    CBS updates two-start pitchers when the lineups lock. If you want to get a jump on the competition, check the first day of the next scoring period (in this case, 8/25) and then go look up 8/25 on the “Probable pitchers” link, which is updated every morning. You can find 2/3 of the 2-start pitchers available.

    You have to put a limit on it, though, or you’ll wind up like me, who goes to team web pages and counts out the starts weeks in advance. OCD!

  34. BSA says:
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    Alright it isn’t evening in the East but two start pitchers in FA are shaky to say the least – Moehler, Waters, Balester, Braden, smith, Snell, francis, Millwood, Dickey, Baker, Olsen, Padilla, Wandy, ZJackson.

    Anything in that pile look better than Myers or Harang?

  35. Denys says:
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    A little love for Adam LaRoche?

    Dude came back, hit a homer the next game, then hit one more today. That reminds me – it’s the 2nd half of the season…

  36. JR says:
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    Who’s more productive over the next 4 weeks?

    Cameron or Wigginton?

  37. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Grey: As part of my Ron Popeille, patented set-it-and-forget-it lineup strategy for the next six weeks, please rank the following players, who are fighting it out for playing time:

    Burrell
    Lind
    D. Lee
    Dickerson
    Konerko
    C. Davis

    Any of these I shut punt now for bullpen help? I want to pick up a Buchholz type (the good one, not the bad one) to juice my ratios.

    Right now my plan is to play Burrell and Lind, and sit the rest, or at least wait until D-Lee starts hitting again to put him in the lineup. If C. Davis gets 3B eligibility, that would help, with Longo gonzo.

  38. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: Shut? Should say “should.”

    Though “shut punt” is a good expression for something.

  39. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @JR: :”OCD” — Ha!

    @BSA: I think I like Wandy and Baker better than Harang, but I don’t have their schedules in front of me.

    @Denys: Ok, I’ll look at him for tonight’s roundup.

    @JR: Cameron.

    @Baron Von Vulturewins: As you probably know, now more than ever you shouldn’t set it and forget it. (Great reference, btw. And I do own one.) Also, how did I know you would have Dickerson? You need a 12 step program for rookies. None of them shout punt, but Davis has been pretty unusable as he goes through the rookie doldrums. But Burrell, Lind and Konerko are all the same player, just wearing different uniforms. You’re going to drive yourself nuts with one of these guys on your bench every day sonavabenching you.

  40. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Grey: Well, the theory behind my trades — and the reality of my situation — is that I’m currently in 4th, my offense is at the bottom in most categories, and no one is hitting right now.

    If Rios and/or Upton and/or Morneau and/or Holliday and/or Derrek Lee gets hot over the home stretch (probably three need to be), I have a chance. (When Morneau, Holliday and Longo were all hot, I was up near first.) If they don’t, I won’t. But this isn’t a situation where a plugged-in situational guy here are there is going to take me over the top, so I don’t want to hover over the waiver wire for the next six weeks.

    I basically wanted to get the best offensive talent I could and put it out there and see what happens. If luck goes my way, I might get a useful Longo and Furcal (!?!?) for September. I’m not counting on it. Dickerson I grabbed because he was available and I wasn’t sure which trades would happen or not. I’ll probably bounce him.

    You’re right, though — I don’t want to be swapping people in and out. I’ve been doing that for a month with Pence and Bruce and Rios and I’ve missed about 5 HRs that way, including the day I sat Pence v. Lincecum to let Bruce face Karstens. Guess which one went yard.

  41. cruisinkc says:
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    Anyone heard the latest injury news on Kinsler?

  42. knighttown says:
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    Roster tightening time as I’m entrenched in 2nd after the deadline:

    1. Schmo-hawks. Rank these hitters assuming HR’s don’t matter (RBI’s certainly do) as my lead in that category is insurmountable:
    Dunn, Bruce, Aviles, Tatis, Butler, Rivera, H. Matsui.

    Now for SP’s:
    Volquez, Campillo, Parra, Meche, Lilly. In this case, I’m unlikely to be caught in K’s but need to stop the bleeding in WHIP and am in a four way battle for first in wins and ERA.

    And finally, I’m looking to help my ratios but my RP slots are all filled with closers. I’d like to sneak a nasty MR in an SP slot so I’m looking for the best reliever with SP eligibility. Currently, I’m using Kuo. Holds don’t count.

  43. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @cruisinkc: Day to day is last I heard.

    @knighttown: Dunn, Rivera, Matsui, Butler, Bruce then Aviles.

    Volquez, Lilly, Parra, Meche, punt.

    Howell, Durbin or Buchholz are some names off the top of my head, but I need options.

  44. cruisinkc says:
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    @Grey:
    Latest from rotoworld…
    The Dallas News reports that Ian Kinsler (groint) will be placed on the 15-day disabled list.
    Joaquin Arias is reportedly with the team, and Kinsler got an MRI on Monday, neither of which are very good signs. There are reports that he could miss the rest of the season.

  45. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @cruisinkc: Ugh. Thanks for the heads up.

  46. Dumbmutt says:
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    Making me read that again! That one hurts. Picked up Ty but maybe Kent or Polanco? Just when he gets hot again too

  47. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Dumbmutt: I’d grab Wiggington, Kent then Polanco, in that order.

  48. BigFatHippo says:
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    @cruisinkc:

    What the heck’s a Joaquin Arias? “One tough Dominican Air Freshener?”

    Hope you don’t have Kinsler in the RCL.

  49. Dumbmutt says:
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    Thank ya I’ll hold onto Ty

  50. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Of course you hope she does. You hope everyone has Kinsler but you. You’re probably wishing you could trade your Wiggington.

    Why, Kinsler, why?! Sorry, a bit frustrated.

  51. wassup says:
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    Good thing I listened to that guy yesterday to pick up Wigginton. He faces Ben Sheets tommorrow and he has abosolutely destroyed him in his career! If your not sure who to pick up and Wiggintn is available at least play him for tommorrow. Here are his career stats against Sheets: 12-28, 2 homers, 7 ribbies, 2 doubles, 5 walks, .515 obp. Holy shit! We can probably expect a 3-5, 2 runs, 1 hr, 3-5 RBI

  52. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey:

    Ha

    I said I hope she doesn’t. And she doesn’t, just checked.

    And no, you’re not gettin my Wiggy.

    I seriously want her to hold on and beat all these guys that I can’t beat so when they say ‘Hippo, you got beat by 10 other guys” I can say “yeah, but you got beat by a girl.”

    Get it, got it, good.

  53. BigFatHippo says:
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    @wassup:

    Great, now you just jinxed him.

  54. wassup says:
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    Those are one of the top batter vs. pitcher stats i have seen before. There’s a few that can top wigginton’s though but wigginton’s is pretty good because it is against a pretty elite pitcher. Which baseball games are you guys going to mainly watch tonight?

  55. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @wassup: I have Guthrie and Lester on multiple teams so I’m watching the Sox game.

  56. wassup says:
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    Im watching Houston-Mil probably. Two pretty good teams

  57. p0rk burn says:
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    @BigFatHippo: p0rk is doing his best to put on a late season charge. After picking up 5 games on KC yesterday the lead is down to 15 even, 147.5 to 132.5. This might be the closest margin since she established the crazy 40 game lead in week 1 or 2. p0rk has faith. On that note I’m hoping one of you RCLers with one of those fancy computer things you got going over there feels like posting an update. Remember: people come for p0rk burn, not your team of schmoes. Give them p0rk burn and they will give you their ears/eyes.

    Fuck about Kinsler though. Sitting comfortably in 1st in another league and now I’m down to Uggla and (more) scraps at 2nd. Just lost Sanchez to the injury monster not to mention something else about something else – see? I didn’t mention it. This whole vacation thing might screw me because I’m not around enough to keep up on injuries and who is doing what around the league as far as replacements; shit I can’t even keep abreast (boobs!) of my own team on a day to day basis.

    Don’t worry, p0rk is indomitable except when he has been domitabled.

  58. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey:

    Check out her lineup in the RCL.

    Soto, Tex, Theriot, Atkins, Cesar Izturis, Delgado, Kendrick, Headley, Ibanez, Hart, Zimmerman

    How the Hell?

    Just goes to show you it doesn’t take much offense in a 16 team league.

  59. BigFatHippo says:
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    @p0rk burn:

    Good to hear from ya p0rk. How long are these lawyerly vacays anyway?

    Geez, I get 3 weeks and I’m lucky if I take 2 days.

    Looking for MI help? Look no further my man (I’m about to convert another Grey).

    Three words, TY FUCKIN WIGGINTON.

  60. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: There’s been very few guys hotter than Ibanez and Izturis, aye, aye. Then she has a bunch of solid guys. Then she has Zimmerman.

  61. BigFatHippo says:
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    @p0rk burn:

    Is this the same p0rk burn that has Get Back Loretta at corner infield?

    Once again, just goes to show ya.

    @Grey:

    She lost Longoria which hurt.

  62. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Yeah, I went into the forums and looked at her team.

  63. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: @p0rk burn:

    Just posted an abbreviated update on the RCL. Check it out.

    Mostly a dig at p0rk, my apologies in advance.

  64. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Thanks, Hippo. I’ll go look at it now.

  65. SaltyBiscuits says:
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    I have Kinsler on the RCL. And in my big money league.

    He was my hero. Literally last night, I needed 2 points to win and Kinsler was my only player left that week and he came through with a double for the win. He was the most consistent player on my fantasy squad all year.

    Po’ some out :(

    Snagged Kent where he was available if anyone is interested.

    I feel like my first pet hampster just died.

  66. cruisinkc says:
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    @BigFatHippo: @Grey: Dang, my RCL team is a popular subject tonight! Haha. Glad I don’t have Kinsler in the RCL, I have enough injury problems to worry about…

  67. cruisinkc says:
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    Will BJ ever learn to hustle?
    From rotoworld:
    B.J. Upton was tagged out while jogging on the basepaths again on Monday.
    Awesome. He’s like the Chuck Knoblauch of baserunning: he just can’t hustle! Upton hit a ball that he thought was a homer, and trotted out of the box. The ball hit the wall, though, and Upton jogged to second. Mark Teixeira followed him and caught the relay throw, tagging Upton out before he got to the base. Upton was left in the game on Monday, and finished 2-for-5.

  68. JR says:
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    True or False: Jeff Francis is a better play right now than Aaron Harang.

    @cruisinkc

    Gotta love that walk rate, though; maybe he’s just being “patient” around the basepaths… P.S. I love the Beej.

  69. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @cruisinkc: Everyone’s talking about the Queen of the RCL.

    re: Upton — “Like the the Chuck Knoblauch of baserunning?” I know the reference point but I’m not sure I get the joke. Usually Rotoworld has better.

  70. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @JR: True

  71. JR says:
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    @Grey

    Quite a timely title to this piece… Well done…

  72. Steve says:
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    @Grey: I hate to sound like the Hippo (no offence big fella), but would you stick the red-hot Wiggy in your Util spot tomorrow ahead of Hawpe or Pena?

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