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We continue our 2010 fantasy baseball keeper posts with B.J. Upton.  At first, I was going to write about Justin Upton, but I figured he was such a no-brainer that I didn’t need to dedicate a keeper post to him.  Of course he’s a keeper.  B.J.’s much more interesting.  In his short major league career, he’s shown all the tools that once had the scouts drooling over him.  B.J., tools, drooling, you do the math.  Unfortunately, he hasn’t shown them all the tools at the same time.  A B.J. hasn’t had this many ups and downs since Chloe Sevigny in The Brown Bunny.  The closest B.J., um, came was at the age of 22 in 2007 when he hit 24 homers and stole 22 bases while batting .300 in 474 at-bats.  That season led everyone to the assumption Upton was a sure 30/30 threat.  Unlimited potential.  He was like Hal Ashby before the 80′s.  Then Upton’s age 23 season came and his power disappeared.  Hrmph.  Reports came out that he was playing with a torn labrum in his left shoulder.  It zapped his power.  We excused him.  The 44 steals made the medicine go down.  In 2009, it was more of the same and this time the average bottomed out, too.  So where’s the power?  Is it ever returning?  What’s up with the average?  Is he steals and nothing else?  To the point, is B.J. Upton a solid fantasy baseball keeper for 2010?

Let’s tackle average first.  In 2009, his line drive rate fell (15.4% from 18.9% in 2008) and his walks plummeted (9.2% from 15.4% in 2008).  Meantime, his fly ball rate went through the roof (for him) from 30.6% in 2008 to 40.3% in 2009.  His K-rate also went up.  This leads me to think he was swinging at balls he didn’t used to swing at and trying to do too much with them.  This isn’t much of a limb, the numbers bear this out with him swinging at nearly 5% more pitches outside the strike zone.  This might sound Tim McCarverish, but he needs to relax, wait for his pitch and his average should turn around.  I’d bet on a .270 average from him in 2010.  As for the evaporated power, it’s a bit trickier.  His home run per fly ball ratio in 2007 was 19.8%.  That seems to be an outlier.  He’s probably closer to a 10-12% home run to fly ball hitter.  That still puts him in the 15 homer range.  The steals are there, obviously.  So if a 15/40 hitter with a .270 average is a keeper for your team, I’d keep B.J. Upton.

145 Responses

  1. Byrone says:
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    request for a keeper post on quentin or ethier! much appreciation for this piece and the beckham one!

  2. Tony says:
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    sounds like a 4th rounder that goes about 1-2 rounds too early…. i guess the potential for him to go 30-30 is still there, but i’ll be passing….

  3. Cain Fan says:
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    Can you do a keeper post on strategy? For instance keeping certain positions over others (like C, MI, OF, P) and if WAR applies to fantasy or if you should just focus on stats and predictability? One example is keeping a Top tier catcher not named Mauer over a solid pitcher (say my name sake). Or keeping a 20-30ish OFer even though the OF pool is deep. This is always a problem I run into come declaration time, thanks!

  4. big o says:
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    unless your league limits the number of keepers , bj is an obvious keeper .
    the position is just too weak , and with 60 needed (barring injury) ,
    almost anyone with a full-time job is worth keeping .
    (certain age restrictions do exist) .

    @Simply Fred:
    thanks for that !

  5. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @big o: You’re welcome. Glad you found it of interest. Had fun putting it together!

  6. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Byrone: Cool… Yeah, I can probably do both of those posts.

    @Tony: Not sure if he’ll be drafted too early, he’s been pretty hit or miss.

    @Cain Fan: WAR indirectly applies, but I’d focus on stats and predictability. Keeper post on strategy would work. I’ll do it in the near future.

  7. peter says:
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    Ha! Vincent Gallo and Hal Ashby in the same paragraph.

    @Byrone: I’m curious about how a guy like Ethier compares to a guy like Markakis for next year. They were almost identical in 2008, then went in very different directions in 2009. 3rd straight year of declined production for Markakis, 3rd straight of increased production from Ethier.

  8. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    Not to say that one could count on him to keep it up for a full year, but BJ did have a 50-game stretch in May & June where he had 7 HR, 24 SB, and a .275 ERA. Cust Kayin’.

  9. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Simply Fred: ERA to AVG

  10. Principal Blackman says:
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    I second the request for a keeper post on strategy. That would be especially handy for people who have only ever played in one-year leagues, like myself.
    Does the conventional wisdom of drafting hitting before pitching apply to keeper strategy? Are you more willing to gamble on youth, tools, & upside? Does the potential upside of a Tommy Hanson or Jay Bruce outweigh the near certainty of another 40HRs from Carlos Pena or 200Ks from AJ Burnet?

  11. papasmurf says:
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    who’d name their kids bj anyway. austin powers?

  12. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @papasmurf: Ha! Technically, it’s Bossman Junior.

  13. brad says:
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    I’m in a league where I have to choose between keeping Bossman with a 3rd round pick and CQ with a 4th rounder. B.J. seems like the pretty obvious choice to me. Any opinions?

  14. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @brad: I’d take the Bossman.

  15. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Simply Fred: Whole lotta what have you done for me last year.

  16. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Grey: ???

  17. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Grey: If I catch your drift, they did have BJ as a 4th rounder, which one might not have expected at last year’s performance.

    McCutchen as a 13th round and G, Jones at 16 seem like pretty good values. Yes? Or, about right?

  18. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Simply Fred: What I meant was the draft looked like people weighing last year’s numbers very heavily. I didn’t analyze the whole thing though. McCutchen and Jones seem like fair value there.

  19. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Grey: Yea, the last one had Reynolds at #5 overall, though. At least this one has him 3rd ranked 3B in the 2nd.

  20. brad says:
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    @Grey: thanks.

    @Simply Fred: bj went at pick 48 there. that seems about right to me. does mauer at 6 seem off the map to anyone else?

  21. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @brad: Yeah, Mauer was what I was looking at when I said it looked like they were focusing on what players did last year.

  22. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @brad: I’ve been working with trying to rank players. Maurer came out #8 overall if one weighs Runs and Average equal to HR, RBI, and SB–which isn’t right. You are correct–they have him overrated.

  23. Principal Blackman says:
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    Is Kemp underrated there at 18?
    How about Sizemore at 36? That seems way outta line to me.

  24. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Principal Blackman: Kemp’s a 1st rounder, Sizemore’s a bit low there, but not by much.

  25. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Grey: Guys, thanks for coming out to play. This just an early, early mock, but having some fun now.

    That placing puts G.Jones as 46th ranked OF. Hope he goes there. I’ve got him higher.

  26. GopherDay says:
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    I saw that Wieters wen in the 8th round of that draft. Is this about where we should expect him to fall?

  27. big o says:
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    @Grey:
    lot’s of people chomping at the bit , here .
    when are you going to announce the launch date of your pod-cast ?
    can we expect mid-january ??

  28. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @big o: I think you’re the only one chomping.

  29. Steve says:
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    @Grey: I still treasure the memory of your internet radio debut.

  30. big o says:
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    @Steve:
    that’s two of us .

    @ ALL :
    are there any other “followers of Grey” who would tune into a weekly or bi-weekly (?) / (monthly ??) podcast on Blog-Talk Radio , to hear Grey’s opinions on a live simul-cast – type set-up ??
    for those unfamiliar with BTR , it features live inter-active chatrooms , and , call-in phone numbers .

    i , for one , would gladly suffer through your questions and comments on lousy music and dumb movies …. just to hear what the man would have to say about baseball .

    let’s log in today , and try and motivate Grey to move towards this goal .

  31. GopherDay says:
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    @big o: I would tune in! Sounds like a great idea!

  32. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Thanks for reminding me about my voice.

  33. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Grey: Once again looking for your advice. I am conflicted regarding Hunter and BJ. In this latest Mock, BJ went 4th round, #48; Hunter 9th round, #101. In your Keeperanos, you give BJ an upside of 15 HR, 40 SB. Hunter looks to be about 30 HR, 20 SB (give or take a couple). It seems to me that would give Hunter the nod in roto. BJ hasn’t topped 145 GP yet. Of course Hunter injured last year, but 3 years prior 146 to 160. What’s a preliminary projection for Hunter’s HR and SB and where does that put him relative to BJ?

  34. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Simply Fred: Maybe 20/15 for Hunter. I’d take BJ Upton before Hunter in most drafts.

  35. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Grey: I can buy into that. Thank you!

  36. big o says:
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    @Grey:
    home now .
    make the rain stop .

  37. big o says:
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    gotta make that play , a-rod

  38. Steve says:
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    I haven’t seen much baseball, but I haven’t seen many guys who make hitting one out look easier than Jason Werth.

    The bat looks like a satay stick in his hands.

  39. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Steve: This is not the Cole Hamels I remember, where’s this guy been all year?

  40. Steve says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Hiding behind a bush, only showing his face long enough to poke his tongue out at you.

  41. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Steve: No shit, I think he hates me.

    Getting ready to move in?

  42. big o says:
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    camera shot

  43. Steve says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Only to move out, unfortunately. Out of here on the 12th, can’t get into the new place until December 18th.

  44. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Steve: Wow, long process. Can’t you shoot somebody?

  45. BigFatHippo says:
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    Try poison………………

  46. big o says:
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    tim mccarver … fanning the flames

  47. Steve says:
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    @BigFatHippo: The people in our new house aren’t the vendors – they’re tenants, so they’re entitled to a certain length of time before they have to vacate.

    We may be able to get in sooner, but even if they find somewhere else to live (they’re looking for somewhere to buy), I doubt they’d settle on their new place before the 18th. I’ve almost forgotten what it looks like.

  48. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Steve: Ahhhh, occupancy permit or something like that.

    Used to be called squatters rights back when I was growing up in the 1908 era………………

    Guessin you don’t really wanna poison the water supply?

  49. big o says:
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    @Steve:
    sounds like they have plenty of time , to leave it clean for you .

  50. Steve says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Not unless I absolutely have to.

  51. Steve says:
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    @big o: That’s my expectation!

  52. BigFatHippo says:
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    Hamels has no curveball………….wtf?

  53. BigFatHippo says:
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    Nice play, stumblin hawiian…………….

  54. Steve says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Looks like the Hamels you know is back in town.

  55. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Steve: Man, I had high hopes for this postseason. Get him back on track to be dominant next year. Now not so sure I’ll keep the bum…………

  56. Steve says:
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    @BigFatHippo: It’s a pity you can’t knock $5 off his price if he sucks in the playoffs.

  57. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Satay stick – ha!

  58. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey:@Steve: @big o: Hay Gray………….

    We watchin the game tonight???????????

  59. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Yup, I’m watching. Just waiting for Bradshaw to stop blabbing his dentures.

  60. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: Hehe

    Good for Brett Favre though, GB fans can suck it. The guy gave you everything and the Packers ran him off.

  61. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: So is Favre actually still been good this year? Or is it a matter to how you judge good, i.e., he’s won but it’s been everyone but him that’s good.

  62. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: He’s been spectacular, 4 td’s today in Lambeau against the Pack. Nuff said but he’s done that all year.

  63. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Wow, cuz from not following football I thought he was washed up. Thought that was what everyone was saying. Guess the consensus was wrong.

  64. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: What the fudge are those schmohawks doing in Afghanistan? I could see going to Iraq, but Afghanistan? They gonna broadcast from a cave?

  65. Steve says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Never fear, Steve is here. Not sure I agree on Favre. Needs to be called out for the repeated retiring, un-retiring crap.

    He was happy enough to bad-mouth them too. Can’t have a player who’s bigger than the franchise. Great player though – shame he’s more likely to be remembered for all the nonsense over the last couple of years.

    Wouldn’t have happened in Vince’s day ;-)

  66. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Bin Laden does it all the time.

  67. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: He can’t move around as much as he used to but I think it’s made him a better QB. The arm is still as good as anyone’s and he’s making better decisions.

    I’m an Elway guy, but still glad to see the old guy step up.

  68. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Yeah, they should have al-Jazeera sponsor it.

  69. Steve says:
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    Ryan Howard has picked a VERY bad time to get into one of the those weekly-h2h-matchup-destroying funks.

  70. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: Afghans where all the troops are shipping out to these days. I see em go, tell em good luck. Good for those guys.

    @Steve: Packers wanted him out, wasn’t Brett’s decision. Besides, the commercials are funnier with all the waffling………..

  71. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Ah… I thought it was Iraq. I’m as ignorant as the day is long. Nice commercial. BTW, Steve gotcha with the link!

  72. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Steve: In my defense that was before the season started with the Jets last year. Looked like he always did through the first 6 weeks then got injured. Surgery in the offseason and he’s the 6 million dollar man now.

    I’m just happy an old dude like him can show that love for the game still plays a big part in performance.

  73. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Yeah – let’s see what the bottom of the rotation guys are made off. Was looking forward to seeing Chad Gaudin clinch the championship.

  74. BigFatHippo says:
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    Hell of a scoop by Utley, too bad he slipped.

  75. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Yeah, kinda scary that a $200 million payroll only has three starters, but they could give Joba one start to get everyone back on proper rest.

  76. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: Would you rather have Joe Blanton?

  77. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Then again Blanton’s starting. Blah.

    @BigFatHippo: Utley is the man.

  78. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: So rather than walking A-Rod on four pitches, they’re saving their arms with hitting him. I like it.

  79. BigFatHippo says:
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    F’in umps…………….

    Do they really think he tried to hit him??????????

  80. Steve says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Oh – no argument over the quality of his play or his passion for the game – all very much in line with what the Packers legend is built on.

    I’m just calling him out for being a bit of a dick. I was right with him when he retired from the Packers (the crying at the press conference etc), but then it all came apart – and he had a big part to play in that.

    BTW – weren’t you and I polite to each other back then?

  81. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Makes no sense. 1st inning of a must win game he’s hitting him on purpose? Stoopid.

  82. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Steve: Ha, that we were asshole……….

  83. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Hopefully the umps don’t get really dumb and eject CC for hitting someone.

  84. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: This postseason has probably been the worst umpiring I’ve seen since Denkinger.

    Can’t wait to see The Men Who Stare at Goats……….*

    * Tim McLellan couldn’t even see a goat if it bit him in the ass.

  85. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Ha… Yeah, Clooney’s made a career for himself like Beatty in the 70s. You think he’s nothing but a pretty boy then he does great films.

  86. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: And this is the problem with sending your guys on short rest. If they get hit, they’re done for at least three days.

  87. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Aha – I see. I don’t get enough of this actual baseball strategy!

  88. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: You’re right about Howard, he looks lost like he does for stretches of the season.

  89. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Steve: You got it right with Howard’s slumps.

  90. BigFatHippo says:
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    @BigFatHippo: What Grey said…….

  91. Steve says:
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    Just seeing the replays of Werth’s “satay stick” home runs yesterday. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s a heckuva golfer.

  92. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: He’s a good wrestler. Google images of Edge.

  93. Steve says:
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    @Grey: That’s awesome!

    Werth does need to losed that silly lower-lip patch, though. Apologies if you have one.

  94. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: The lip landing strip? Yeah, he’s a doofus. Do they celebrate Halloween in New Zealand?

  95. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Yeah – yet another example of American commercial imperialism.

    Kidding. Mainly consists of kids dressing up and knocking on the door asking for candy. Some people have parties and bars have theme nights.

    Or so I’m told. Not my thing, really.

  96. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Ah… Wasn’t sure. When my grandmother came to this country in the 40s, she landed on Ellis Island and was greeted by people in costume. It was Halloween, she was totally freaked out.

  97. Steve says:
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    @Grey: It has got more popular as we have become more exposed to American culture. Back in the 40s here, almost no one wold have been aware of it.

    Apart from the US servicemen that were here during WWII shagging our women ;-)

  98. big o says:
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    late to the party …. but here

  99. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Yeah, I could see that. You guys have electricity now! Right?

  100. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Yeah – and it’s awesome.

  101. Steve says:
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    @Steve: The things it can do!

  102. big o says:
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    damon throws like a pansy

  103. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @big o: Big time.

  104. Steve says:
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    I’m not convinced Howard actually touched home plate there.

  105. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Didn’t look like he did, but I can’t fault the home plate umpire there, looked like he did in regular motion.

  106. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Yeah – that one was fair enough.

    Utley needs to lose his strip, too. He’s better than that. Although, given his hair, I’m not sure…

  107. big o says:
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    @Grey:
    regular motion …. ??
    you sound like adrian monk ====> “play go fast , natalie , play go fast”
    hehe .

    anywho , this jason werth reminds me of corey hart
    before i drafted him .
    any theories on why hart crapped out this year ?
    did i just over-estimate ??

  108. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Steve: You guys have indoor plumbing now too right?

  109. big o says:
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    @Steve:
    it’s a trick , steve .
    don’t let him use your bathroom !!

  110. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Steve: We actually had to use an outhouse when we visited Grandpa in the late 60′s-early 70′s. I can’t make this shit up…………

  111. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @big o: Corey Hart can bounce back in 2010, he’s just a big time hacker who needs to lay off the first pitch, sliders specifically.

  112. BigFatHippo says:
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    @big o:

    A Hippo
    with indoor plumbing

    is not a pretty sight

  113. Steve says:
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    @BigFatHippo: That’s an interesting choice of words.

  114. big o says:
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    if the umps continue to blow every other call ,
    wouldn’t that actually IMPROVE posada ‘s %age of base-runners thrown out ?

  115. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: He’d see the pitch much better if he’d take his fricken sunglasses off………at night.

  116. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Steve: Hehe, it is isn’t it?

  117. big o says:
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    @BigFatHippo:
    nicely done
    hip

  118. Steve says:
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    Stating the truly obvious, but man the Phils really need to win this one don’t they?

    Heat would be really back on the Yanks – Burnett’s no lock to repeat his showing of the other night and CC can’t pitch every day.

  119. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: The Yankees are in the driving seat since they won yesterday. Heat’s on the Phils until they win the series now.

  120. big o says:
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    burnett’s contract will prove to be the better one , imo

  121. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Steve: True that, but it ain’t lookin good.

    Need this to win my bet…………………….

  122. royce! says:
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    Most combined weight for two SPs in a WS game? Are we witnessing history? I’m not very good at the google, apparently…all I could find of interest involved a 1725 lb. pumpkin on ohio.com.

  123. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: In 1918, Babe Ruth pitching on the Red Sox vs. Fat Ass Tinkerson.

  124. royce! says:
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    @Grey: I knew Razzball was the right place for such information!

  125. Steve says:
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    Ha! Throw that bastard back!

  126. big o says:
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    nothing even remotely satisfying about this world series ,
    unless you count the rain , soaking the yahoos in the stands .

    and , i do .

  127. BigFatHippo says:
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    @big o: come on big o………..

    this is a classic

  128. Steve says:
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    @Steve: And that one!

  129. big o says:
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    so , the crack baby gets the win ??

  130. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    Strasburg went in 19th round in that CBS mock. Just ahead of Harden and Harang.

  131. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Grey: Ya’ think?!

  132. Jareth Cutestory says:
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    I really didn’t have the patience to read every comment to see if there was anybody else who got it, but the Chloe Sevigny remark was comedy gold. Now if you’ll excuse me I am off to redtube to watch the clip for the 100th time.

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