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Is there another pitcher that tantalizes more than Chad Billingsley? 13Ks in 7 IP against the Marlins to earn his 9th win. His 135 K’s are tied with Lincecum for the major league lead – a couple more than guys like Volquez and Sabathia. Why is someone so unhittable not an elite pitcher yet? Because he’s still hanging out too much with Motley Crue on the Sunset Strip – as in he likes to take a ride on the Wild Side w/ his 4+ BB per 9 IP. Yes, we’ve managed a hip-hop and hair band music references in one post. We’re well-rounded like that. (If we were celebrities, we’d so beat Reege on Celebrity Jeopardy! and give all the money to anyone who lives in a bubble. Cause really is there anything worse? You’re in a freakin’ bubble! How is this not the number one charity on every celebrity gameshow? BTW, if you live in a bubble, do you have to dust? We have to know!) While Rudy is still patting himself on the back for getting him a couple starts back for a still healthy Matt Capps, the window is near closed to pick up as good a dark horse for NL 2nd half Cy Young as you’re going to find. Anyway, here’s what else we saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Takashi Saito – Came out of Saturday’s game with elbow pain. Time for some math, ya’ll — Pitcher + elbow pain = Broxton closer for at least two weeks as Saito hits the DL.

Jhonny Peralta – He was so insulted by our lumping him in with fellow extraneous H Khalil Greene that he finishes the half with a flourish — 11-for-30 / 7R / 4 HR / 12 RBI in his last 7 games.

A.J. Burnett – The #1 crazy hot chick in baseball. Today against the Yanks, hot. Next start, pretending to be pregnant so you can’t watch football. Worth the gamble if you need K’s or agita.

Kevin Youlikis – Left the game after being hit by a Daniel Cabrera fastball. Youch. The tragic part. Cabrera was trying to throw a pitchout.

Hanley Ramirez/Carl Crawford – Sat because of a sore shoulder and a sore hamstring respectively. Don’t be too concerned; this is like Senior Day in the majors. I hear they’re all meeting at The Max then going to TP Mr. Beldings’.

Mike Gonzalez – Kazaam!

Jorge Campillo – On my cursed ‘pert team (Rich Hill, Harang and Wainwright), I had Campillo. He pitched well then fouled a ball off his foot in the sixth. Hopefully he’ll be all right. Otherwise, I’m going for Charlie Morton. You’ve been warned.

CC Sabathia – CG, 9Ks, 2 ER. Seems to be a good fit in Milwaukee. Schmiel, Schmazzle, Hossenfeffer Incorporated…ba pa ba pa ba ba pa…they’re gonna do it….CC and Prince sharing a carefree ride on a tandem bicycle, CC blowing a bubble with sausage casing at a bratwurst factory and sticking it on top of a brat….

Tim Lincecum – 8 IP, 1 ER, 9 Ks, now has a 11-2 record. Somehow the Giants are ahead of both the Padres and Rockies right now. Wow. I’m not sure if that’s more a compliment to Lincecum or a kick in the nuts to the Padres and Rockies. (BTW, Does a kick in the nuts hurt more or less when you’re a mile high?)

Justin Verlander – Since June 1, 8 starts, 5 Wins, 55 IP, 52 Ks, ERA/WHIP in the 2.70/1.10 area. When Rudy predicted him to win Cy Young, he assumed that Verlander was going to pitch like this and not take April off. Kudos to anyone who picked him up on the cheap.

Jeff Clement – HR yesterday. His .165 AVG shows that Seattle can get the same production from young players that they normally get from high-salaried guys like Sexson, Kenji, and Vidro. Clement’s got upside though…keep him around if you’re in a 2 catcher league. Otherwise, throw him back into the FA pool.

Daisuke Matsuzaka – Dice-K’s now 10-1. I say smoke. You say mirrors. I say smoke. You say mirrors. If you think a .257 BABIP and 5.68 BB/9 IP is unsustainable, say “Regression”….

Jerry Hairston Jr. – Left the game with a right hamstring pull. 1800 miles away, Scott Hairston yelped in pain.

Matt Joyce – 4 HR in 5 games for Detroit. Guess Marcus Thames gave him the HR conch shell. His minor league stats point to power with no speed or great average. Ride him while he’s high, drop him when he starts falling.

Mike Aviles – Three hit game yesterday. He’s at 21/4/21/.310/3 over 58 games. If I’m not wrong, aren’t these numbers pretty yawnstipating? I get more questions about this schmohawk. People got rookie nookie on the brain. Aviles is fine, but he’s not F-I-N-E or winning you any league, unless you’re playing in the “Most Mediocre SS League,” but then you’re probably going to lose to the team with Renteria anyway.

Pat Burrell – HR yesterday. Goes into the All-Star break with 23/57/.275. Is it me or does he run like he’s on a mop pony? It’s like he’s accompanying King Arthur to find the Holy Grail. The 1B coach should have to hit coconuts together when he runs. I’m sure Victorino can supply the coconuts.

  1. Steve says:
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    Not so fast. Anyone in the Mediocre SS league is eating my dust. I drafted Renteria. Have also used Keppinger and the Bringer of Deer Meet and recently traded for Y Escobar – acquired from my sister, now that there is some context around that remark ;-)

  2. Denys says:
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    Yeah I’m sold on Matsuzaka’s “regression”. Being active during the ASB and trying to shop him around – now’s as good time as any. I’m gonna look to grab an upgrade in the outfield but what’s a nice 2nd half pitcher I could target as a package deal?

    Something like – Matsuzaka/Willingham for (better OF than Willingham)/(pitcher owners are down on but will be nice in the 2nd half).

  3. Denys says:
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    Also – Grey do you think you’d have the time to do mid-season ’08 rankings? I’d like to see where people stack up for the 2nd half.

  4. SaltyBiscuits says:
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    Thinking of offering Duchsherer and Giambi for Prince. Am I stupid? Would he even consider this?

  5. SaltyBiscuits says:
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    Or maybe Duchsherer and Giambi for Morneau and Jered Weaver?

  6. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @SaltyBiscuits: I don’t think this first one is out of the question. It’s at least offerable. Then again, I just offered a guy in my league Longoria and Damaso Marte for Miggy Cabrera. Mostly just to bug him, though.

  7. scott says:
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    Yeah, i’m thinking of offering Duchscherer around over the break too. Can his value get any higher? I need to make some moves for the second half and upgrade my staff. I’m thinking of targeting guys like D. Lowe and possibly A. Wainwright or Campillo. Anyone have any ideas on some less than obvious guys primed for a big second half? Despite drafting Hafner, Chris Young (P), Posada, B. Myers, R. Hill and Ian Snell I’m somehow in first place at the ASB (thanks Razzball!). BTW Grey, the Holy Grail and coconut comment was the funniest thing I’ve read in a while.

  8. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Denys: What about Bills?

    I’m hoping to have a top 100 for the second half rankings by Wednesday.

    @SaltyBiscuits: It’s actually not a bad trade for the other guy if he believes in the other two.

    Also, I don’t like Weaver.

    @scott: Thought you’d appreciate the post title, as well.

  9. Mike says:
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    @SaltyBiscuits: Take a look at Weavers schedule after the all-star break, he gets the Yanks and redsox a ton. I dont know if Id be looking to aquire him at this point.

  10. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @scott: One word of caution on offering Dookie: I wouldn’t start shopping him straight up. He’s such an obvious sell-high candidate that I think any offers would be received with suspicion.

    Instead, I’d target a team that needs pitching, then ask for a player and ask what they want in return. Hopefully, they mention the Dookster, or you can at least slip him in “reluctantly” to the conversation.

    Sorry to be all Trade Strategy 101, but I do think a lot of deals get quashed not because they’re not fair (lots of not-fair deals get done) but because people approach them wrong. You want the other guy to think he’s outsmarting you, not vice versa.

  11. Denys says:
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    @Grey: Already got him :P

  12. cruisinkc says:
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    Trade i’m thinking about proposing…
    I give: Soria
    I get: Verlander

    This would only leave me with two closers but I think I should be able to get one off the wire around the trade deadline hopefully. Decent deal?

  13. scott says:
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    @Grey: Jay-Z reference from the Black Album?
    @Baron Von Vulturewins: thanks Baron…How about Dook and Garza for Verlander? Or maybe Garza and Kiroda for Lowe?

  14. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @scott: Audio Two, Top Billin’. I’m disappointed.

  15. Frank Rizzo says:
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    I have an offer in similar to SaltyBiscuits, but I’m potentially exploiting an impatient owner.

    Offering Giambi and Garza for either P Fielder or A Gonz.

    Giambi and Fielder have the exact same stats right now and A Gonz isn’t as highly ranked initially as Fielder. Meanwhile the guy I’m trading to has mentioned he wants/needs pitching. Losing Garza wouldn’t mean much to me but I believe either A Gonz or Fielder is going to be a better option in the 2nd half than Giambi. I guess I could be wrong as Giambi actually has better numbers than Fielder in the 1st half, especially when you consider how many fewer AB’s he’s had.

  16. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Frank Rizzo: I agree on Fielder. I think Giambi could have better power numbers than Gonz. Not that he will, I just think there’s more of a likelihood.

  17. scott says:
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    @Grey: I got you now…it’s been awhile since I heard that def jam….I didn’t think the “top billingsley” part fit with Jay-Z but I just kept hearing that “What More Can I Say” chorus in my head…please forgive, i’m a little distracted today, work intrudes on fun…again.

  18. @Grey: Man, Scott didn’t get the Top Billin’ reference (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igAS5-276wU&feature=related)…told ya we should’ve went with the Billingsley Beat Up The Marlins Like Scott Farkus line.

    @cruisinkc: @scott:
    If you can snag Verlander for those guys, more power to ya.

    @Frank Rizzo: I don’t think Giambi + pitcher nets those 1Bs unless you offer a top 25 pitcher. Even then it’s tough b/c Giambi could go to shit in the 2H and no one would be surprised…

  19. Frank Rizzo says:
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    @Rudy: I agree that with most owners that trade would not work. But, this is not the savviest of owners and he’ll be thinking team and current stats over future. He could have interest in Giambi based on the lineup he’s in and he could have interest in Garza based on a pretty decent 1st half.

    @Grey: Seriously? You think Giambi vs A Gonz is close powerwise in the 2nd half huh? I was under the impression that old man Giambi would run out of magic in the 2nd half even with golden non-mentionables and the stache.

  20. cruisinkc says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: Already got the deal done. I’m hoping my rotation of King Felix, James Shields, Verlander, and Billingsley takes me to the top of all my pitching categories in the 2nd half.

  21. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Frank Rizzo: Maybe I have a soft spot for Giambi, but I think Gonz selling high time is slowly fading as he’s been .175 in his last 17 games with one home run and 6 RBIs.

  22. BSA says:
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    Gotta love the All Star break – ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!
    I have actually gone into fishing mode. I liked BVV’s comment earlier about fishing a trade out there to see if he could get lucky or piss off the leaguemate. I have posted some polls to inadvertantly see what my leaguemates’ interests are:
    where do you want to improve your team?
    do you like trades, fa pickups, etc.?

    I then went shopping for Miggy, Billingsley, and Pujols. I consider this big game fishing.
    Need something to make the next few days exciting.
    Especially since Yahoo is updating and RCL is shut down.

  23. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BSA: What is the latest on the RCL? Any changes on top?

  24. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Grey: Funny, I was just going to post this:

    After going 0-for-4 Sunday, Adrian Gonzalez heads into the All-Star break in the midst of an 11-for-63 (.175) slump.

    Manager Bud Black suggested Sunday that Gonzalez has been seeing fewer quality pitches to hit because “he’s now recognized as a force” and “they’re not going to want to be beaten by Adrian, given our situation.” Gonzalez has one homer and six RBI over the past 17 games.

    But your encyclopedic mind beat me again!

    Needless to say, I am glad I traded Gonzo for Lackey a month ago.

    @scott: Usually, two lesser pitchers for one better pitcher rarely works. Why would anyone do a two-fer like that unless their staff is a total disaster?

    I think you’re right that Lowe is a good target, and his price shouldn’t be too high. You must have some spare part that would get him. I’m not entirely sold on the idea that he’s better going forward, however, than either Garza or Kiroda. They all seem fairly equal to me, i.e. decent back-end 4th or 5th starters.

  25. scott says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: yeah, well it’s the last place club and his staff is kinda a disaster. He just lost Oswalt and he’s way behind in IP. The waiver wire is offering nothing these days. The best SP out there is Meche…eccch!

  26. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Grey: I’d also be very interested in a rankings going forth.

    As evidenced by my frequent DUMP JOSH HAMILTON posts, I’m a firm believer in the “Worry about who’s going to drive in 95 runs in the second half, not who drove in 95 in the first” school of fantasy baseball. It’s a very small school, with an obvious mission, and a very long name.

    Gambler’s fallacy be damned. I’m going to start a movement around the idea of the Gambler’s Fallacy Fallacy: The idea that the Gambler’s Fallacy (that past events are predictors of future events), as applied to Fantasy Baseball, is itself a fallacy.

  27. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey, BVV, Denys

    Dig the idea of post ASB rankings.

    While we’re seeking advice through Razzball Rankings everybody else will go by Funstons Big Board on Yahoo and get crushed.

  28. BigFatHippo says:
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    Brief RCL update.

    I’m sure p0rk will have more when he takes a break from the books.

    Cruisin KC
    She Said Fukudome
    Cockys Ballas
    Indifferent Fielders
    Dr Suess
    Dogs of Summer
    The JOB Squad
    Bacon Bits
    Salty Biscuits
    Sandlots Finest
    The Schmohawks
    No Glove No Love
    Im Your Huckleberry
    Chicagos Dick Harden
    Rustic Trumpets
    Rod Becks Beer Farts

    Whew, thats enough.

  29. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Thanks! Looks pretty much the same up top then, huh?

  30. knighttown says:
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    I’m drinking your Kool-Aid (but not your milkshake) BVV. And I’m thinking Placido Polanco is good for 85-90 RBI’s the rest of the way. No? And there’s the rub. How in hell am I supposed to know who’s going to go all Edinson Volquez the rest of the way. Maybe you guys need one of those summaries that captures all those undervauled guys who have a BABIP of .167 etc.

    By the way, I think Adam Dunn has to be one. How can a guy hit 26 HR before the all-star break and still be hitting under .230? Mix in a fucking single.

  31. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Grey: Not really. Not to preach to the choir, but when someone’s expected ERA is around 3.00, every time he throws a shutout, that means a 6 IP 5 R start is coming down the line. (I know that’s not exactly 3.00, math nerds! Begone!)

    Law of averages, baby. I didn’t figure Lackey to end the year at 1.74.

    @knighttown: It’s true, it’s much harder to predict sleepers midway through the season than at the beginning, because there’s no “typical” sleepers, i.e. touted rookies, bounce-back injuries, good peripherals guys, to mix in. The Kinslers of the world have revealed themselves.

    But a very general rule of thumb is: a) Who is reasonably capable of 120 RBIs? and b) Who isn’t halfway there yet?

    This is why I keep touting (and drooling over) people like Miggy C (though he’s come on of late). If someone told you he’d get to 125 RBIs this year at the beginning of the season, you wouldn’t have blinked. Well, he’s only at 57 now. Is 70 in the second half out of the question?

    Of course, this also can mean taking risks and going after guys who’ve, well, sucked so far this year. I usually do this around now, but unfortunately a lot of buy-low type guys are ALREADY ON MY TEAM. See: Frenchy, Rios, even B.J. Upton, who some had hitting 30 HRs this year but is only at 6. To my mind, it would be MORE surprising if Upton ended the year with only 12 HRs than if he ended with 25 (a reasonable forecast pre-season). Which is why I think he’s got a good chance of hitting 12-15 HRs second half.

    Then again, A-Rod had 86 RBIs pre All-Star Break last year — and 70 afterwards. So maybe this is all bunk. Magglio had 70 pre-, and 69 post.

    I still don’t see Hamilton getting to 190 RBIs, though. 160 seems like the imaginable max.

    Here’s an interesting list of most RBIs at the break, followed be the season total:

    103 — Hank Greenberg, Det., 1935, 76 games, 170 RBIs.

    101 — Juan Gonzalez, Texas, 1998, 87, 157.

    97 — Carlos Delgado, Tor., 2003, 95, 145.

    96 — Manny Ramirez, Cle., 1999, 78, 165.

    95 — Josh Hamilton, Tex., 2008, 90, ?.

    91 — Preston Wilson, Col., 2003, 97, 141.

    91 — Harmon Killebrew, Min., 1969, 96, 140.

    So as you can see, no one matched the pre-ASB total, and a few barely managed half (Delgado, Juan Gone, Preston Wilson).

    I tried looking up the record for most second-half RBIs, but it’s harder to find (in fifteen seconds of Googling).

    p.s. “Mix in a fucking single” is my favorite comment in awhile.

  32. Zebo says:
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    @everyone: so Yahoo is down today, so not much traffic anywhere. As this is my first year at fantasy baseball, I have a general question for you all. Is it true that if you don’t get one of the elite SS, as in top 6 or 7, that you are gonna pretty much be stuck with SS by committee all season long, checking the waiver wire once every two hours? Cuz I feel like this is what happened to me. I got the 5th overall pick, so missed out on the top 3 SS, then I figure, picking any SS in the next 3 rounds is a reach, and lo behold, they are all gone by the 5th round. Then I got OCab in the 11th or something, and started my season long search for SS.

  33. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @knighttown: Mix in a fucking single is great. Ha!

    @Baron Von Vulturewins: I enjoy when a pitcher gets to a 3.00 ERA by giving up 2 or 4 runs. Five or more in back to back and five against Toronto… Hopefully it’s nothing more than a blip.

    As for the RBIs, there’s almost 20 less games. Hamilton’s not going to get 95 after the break. I tried to get the most RBIs after the break from MLB.com and they said “There was a problem retrieving your requested stats. Please try again later.” They do cater to their fans.

    @Zebo: Sometimes you get lucky and grab someone like Yunel and they pay off. Or you grab someone like Yunel and trade him after a hot two weeks in the beginning of the season for someone actually worthwhile. Or you don’t. I just dropped Yunel in one league. He sucked for three months, but I’m still within striking distance of winning the league. SS isn’t that bad a spot to have someone unproductive because very few have someone worthwhile and chances are the ones that have someone good, they’re hurting somewhere else. It’s a lot better to be hurting at SS than at 1B.

  34. BKK says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: I am glad I traded A-Gonz for Fielder a couple months ago too.

  35. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: This isn’t exactly the 1/2 way point, per se… Most teams have fewer than 69 games remaining. It would make sense that someone who has 103 rbi would end up with 170.

  36. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    @BKK: @Grey: I guess Grey beat me to that whole fewer games thing.

    What more can I say?
    Are you not entertained?
    Are..you..not..entertained?
    Is this not why you’re here?

  37. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Grey: @IowaCubs: Point taken about the games. However, this is all the more reason to think you’ve gotten the best of someone’s season already. On the list above, you can see that a lot of people who had 90+ RBIs pre-break had about 50 post-break.

    That said, I don’t see a real obvious “buy low” candidate out there, as there’s been in previous seasons. Everyone who’s sucking is hurt (besides Rios and Upton and Frenchy, oh my!). Plus, I do think that after May the “buy low” window more or less closes — it just seems, anecdotally, that great players can slump for six weeks or so, but great players don’t slump for three months. Can anyone recall an example contrary to this — of a name-brand player who sucked for the whole first half, then took off like a rocket?

    Frenchy’s been mentioned here as a target and I think that’s smart — right now you can get him for a song and he’s a decent bet to drive in 50+ RBIs between now and the end. The overall season will be disappointing but not the part that you got.

    Another guy is Victor Martinez, who is streaky as hell, and I could see him having a torrid six weeks when he gets back. Maybe Gordon too… though I hopped off that faltering train months ago.

    Just as unlikely as someone driving in, say, 190 runs is the likelihood of someone good (who’s not hurt) totally sucking for six months. Even disappointing seasons usually have a few good months where the player makes up some of the lost ground.

    All of this is in service of me trying to figure out how the hell to crawl out of 10th place in HRs. Boy oh boy, I have every non-HR-hitting mofo around. (Again, this time just the ladies: Upton and Rios and Frenchy!) I keep looking for guys to target but, beyond Prince Fielder, I feel like there’s no obvious this-guy-will-go-off-in-the-second-half power hitter. Maybe Chris Davis? Somebody? Please?

    The good news is that I’m in first and my pitching is pretty set. My offense has been carried the last month or so by one or two guys getting hot (Longoria, Morneau, Holliday). I look at my team and think nearly every player could/should hit better in the second-half than the first. Still, I would love one Clubber Lang. If only I had traded Smoltz for Dunn ONE DAY EARLIER.*

    *This will haunt me to my grave.

  38. scott says:
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    Thanks Iowa Cubs…I’m not the only one thinking Jay-Z … although I have to admit that the old school jam referenced by Grey is much better. BTW, y’all, I just had my offer of Greinke and Garza for Verlander thrown back in my face. Do I offer Greinke, Garza and Kuroda?

  39. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @scott: I don’t think the Quantity for Quality approach is going to work here.

  40. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Do you think Dunn is a good second half target? My league counts OBP, so obviously he would be a help there.

    Unfortunately we count AVE too…

    Also do you have a projection for Juan Rivera in the 2nd, assuming he gets regular playing time?

  41. scott says:
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    I dunno….I’m thinking Miggy C can go off, Rollins has much work to do to get where he is supposed to be, Soriano could have a big second half, Hawpe has been quiet, Swisher has not done half of what was expected of him in Chi-town, what about Konerko, Vladdie? Those are some brand names…

  42. BKK says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: Grabbed Martinez yesterday off waivers. He had been sitting there for 4 weeks. Hoping for something big to end the season. He’s probably another 4 weeks away though.

  43. BKK says:
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    @scott: I agree, although Miggy is staring to pick it up already. I had been eyeing the Rollins owner in my League thinking, he’s go to be better. I traded for Soriano recently. Hawpe has been quiet all year.

    Ortiz may be another only because he has been hurt and concern over how conservative the R-sox will be with him. Maybe Carlos Pena…if we are looking for HR’s.

  44. scott says:
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    Yeah, I was thinking about Pena too…how about Glaus? He had something like 38 or 39 taters two years ago, banged up last year, slowish start this year and heating up recently, he could go all Ryan Ludwick in the second half. Likewise, Thome.

  45. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: I think that a guy like Teixeira (or is it Tiexiera?) is someone I’m targeting, though I believe I missed that boat about a month ago. Prince is the best buy low.

    I’d say that if you can get two top 30 guys for Ryan Howard, I’d do that. Last week I traded Howard for David Wright and Jason Bay.

  46. Steve says:
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    @IowaCubs: Howard for Rollins + Braun?

  47. Steve says:
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    @IowaCubs: Howard for Rollins + Braun? Would be moving Tex from Util to 1B.

  48. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    @Steve: I’m sour on Rollins, which is why I traded him early this season, though if you could get those two for Howard, there’s never been a better time to sell high on him or buy low on JRoll.

    Howard could go into a funk like he did early in the season and you’d lose the opportunity to move on all that value. I think it’s risky, but a nice haul if you can pull it off.

  49. Steve says:
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    @IowaCubs: Sorry for duplicate post! Yeah, I have Atkins at 3B, so would use Braun at LF where he has eligibility. What about Howard straight up for A-Rod?

  50. cruisinkc says:
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    @Grey: Do you see Chris B Young picking it up in the 2nd half. Right now he is just burning a hole in my bench so I was thinking about trading him to get a closer.

  51. Denys says:
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    What kind of spike in value does Teixeira get when he becomes a Red Sox?

  52. knighttown says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins:

    I was in that spot about 4 weeks ago with 11/11 across the board in pitching and 1’s in hitting, sitting at 6th overall. I unloaded big name arm after big name arm and a Red Sock (therefore overrated) darling and over 4 weeks turned King Felix, Hamels, Haren, Tim Hudson and Ellsbury into Prince, Howard, Dunn, Oswalt and Rollins. In 4 weeks I have shot up to 4th in HR and 6th in RBI and have climbed into second overall. I’m not saying I’ve won all those trades in fact the guy that got Haren and F-Her (for Prince and Dunn) has nearly perfect scores for the past month, but I’m still 11’s accross the board in pitching and now middle of the pack in hitting.

    It’s time for you to parlay some of that pitching into hitting because by hard work you can find some pitching matchups that can keep you in front. In the end, isn’t Zito vs. the Padres just as good as Hamels vs. the Brewers? No? Well, you get the point.

    On an unrelated note, my spot starting expiriment of targeting whichever mediocre (and therefore undrafted) pitcher was starting at home against the Nationals was cancelled after stupid Baltimore failed to provide any run support to Guthrie or Cabrera but I got two quality starts and I think there’s something there.

  53. Scott says:
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    I traded Cliff Lee for Verlander after Lee had his 1st rough start. Verlander had 1 win at the time of the trade and has pitched great since, but unfortunately Lee hasn’t completely imploded like I’ve been hoping… Oh well, there’s still a 2nd half of the season to root against him.

  54. Scott says:
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    @Denys: Seeing as how the Red Sox won’t give up Youkilis and Hansen for him, it’s not going to happen. Teix is more likely to go to the Angels.

  55. wakeNbake says:
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    LANCE BERKMAN WINS THE HR DERBY!!!! MARK IT DOWN!!

  56. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @cruisinkc: I kind of like Krispie as a buy-low. This is a guy Baseball Prospectus was all over this year. And he hit 19 HRs in the second half last season.

    His value is down because he’s not running, and that doesn’t look to change, but I could see him putting together a nice second half: something like .270 with 18+ HR.

    @knighttown: I like your thinking. The irony is, my staff has been a shambles all year, and it’s taken a lot of sleight of hand to rebuild it. I lost both Smoltz and Gallardo, my 2nd/3rd starters and Cain’s been up and down. (Hamels is my ace.) Luckily I nabbed Volquez, but with my pitiful offense, I had to move him to get a bat. (Traded him for Morneau.) Then I sold high on AGonzo to get Lackey. I like my fivesome now (Hamels, Lackey, Cain, Baker, Rejuvenated Cueto) but how I am doing well in ERA and WHIP is an absolute mystery to me.

    I”ve been thinking of moving Hamels if it would bring back a big bat. Maybe now’s the time to make (yet) another play for Prince Fielder. (I’ve been after that guy all year, dagnamit.)

    @Steve: I agree with IowaCubs — I’d do that trade. I’m also not huge on Rollins — don’t expect a repeat of last year, and I think he got drafted two rounds too early — but that’s good return for one player.

    @IowaCubs: That’s a sweet trade, dude. Kudos.

    @scott: I like all these suggestions — thanks. In fact, I picked up Swish awhile ago and he’s been pretty good, and I think he has a decent shot to put up good second half HR numbers. Soriano’s another good target, although don’t expect SBs — his days of 30+ steals are in the past, I fear. And Tex is good too — too bad the guy who owns him in my league hates me, and vice versa. The chances of us making a trade are roughly equal to the chances of the Mariners winning the pennant.

    @Steve: I’d do that too.

    @BKK: I’ve avoided Pena like the plague this year but maybe I have to hold my nose and make a play for him. Sometimes my prejudices against certain kinds of players (e.g. the elderly) actually cost me, since I never give guys like Berkman etc. their due. I’m too busy with the sweet, sweet rookie nookie.

    Speaking of which, if Longoria f’s up his swing in the Home Run Derby, I will kill someone. This thing should be called the Fantasy Killer Contest. I’ve hated it ever since it kiboshed David Wright a few years back. Plus, it’s idiotic.

  57. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    p.s. The guy in my league who has Prince is last in HRs. So… reluctant to part with Prince. DAMNIT.

  58. wakeNbake says:
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    I think the whole philosophy with the HR Derby messing up guys swings is all in players heads. I checked out some of the past HR Derby participants and alot of them actually hit more HR in the second half than the first half. The first time Berkman was in it he had a monster second half the same year. I think its all mental.

  59. Steve says:
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    @wakeNbake: Just watching the lead-up to the HR Derby. I like the way Berkman always puts his bat down really carefully when he hits a dinger. Doesn’t fling it away so that it nearly kills the batboy – just places it gently on the ground.

    None of my guys are in this stupid contest, thank goodness.

  60. BigFatHippo says:
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    @wakeNbake

    90 percent of hitting is half mental.

    On a related note, 96.4 percent of all stats are made up right there on the spot.

    I pick Hamilton, he dreamed it.

  61. knighttown says:
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    The day after Hideki Matsui shows up on waivers here comes Takashi Saito prancing along the waiver wire today. I guess that’s to be expected when I join a fantasy league with Chairman Mao, Michael Richards and whomever is running GM these days. Since, like Stephen Colbert, I can’t see color, this is another obvious waiver wire pickup eh?

  62. Steve says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: The guy with A-Rod also has Carlos Lee and Uggla. Would you do Howard for them two?

  63. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @knighttown: I think you have to grab Saito, but you wanna make sure he’s not out for the season when the MRI results come back.

  64. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Steve: Lee and Uggla? Uh… less enthusiastic about that unless you have a huge hole at 2B. I don’t see Uggla having a great second half. Then again, I turned him down in a trade offer about 15 HRs ago.

    Lee plus something tasty seems doable. I undervalue Lee too much — witness the fact that I recently traded him away for BJ Upton.

    @Grey: Bite your tongue, man. That’s half my RCL bullpen your talking about there.

  65. Steve says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: I have Kelly J at 2nd – so not exactly a small hole. Uggla is the probably the tastiest he has outside of A-Rod and Lee. I’m relievers-only so don’t need starting pitching.

  66. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Steve: I’d say it’s doable but I’d be curious to get some other opinions here….

  67. Chet says:
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    I got this offer in my NL only league. Pujols and McClung for Peavy and Victorino. I just picked up Sabathia and have Volquez and Billingsley so I could lose Peavy. I don’t care much for McClung. He may not stay in the rotation, but he has been pitching well. I really see it as Peavy and Victorino for Pujols.

  68. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Uggla and Howard’s average equal each other, Lee is a plus 15/40/.310 in the 2nd half. Uggla is a plus over Johnson. No idea who is replacing Howard but if it’s Lee at Utility, you can take that hit. You do the trade.

  69. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Chet: I like it for Pujols, but I don’t love it. I think you’re giving away a bit too much. It’s fair though.

  70. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Chet

    Sabathia, Volquez, Bills, I’d say that’s a powder keg in NL only.

    You get Pujols? Nuff said.

    Pull the trigger.

  71. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Sorry. Should have given a bit more context. I’d be ginving up Howard. I’d shift Tex to 1B, slot Lee into LF and man the Util spot with Hawpe or Juan Rivera (as my roster currently stands).

    The other possible trade I’ve identified is Howard for braun + Rollins. Thoughts? Yunel is currently my No1 SS and I’d put Braun at LF where I currently have Rivera.

  72. cruisinkc says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: Yeah I saw baseball prospectous was high on Krispie. I think I will hold on to him for now and hope his value goes up.

  73. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Well, I like Rollins + Braun even better, but that’s not to say I don’t like the first one.

  74. BSA says:
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    Well, nighttime in CT and I am wondering about my team that is due to come off the DL or sitting ready to go on it.
    Saito: I read this from LA, “The discomfort is such that Saito said he had to hold his toothbrush with his left hand on Sunday morning when brushing his teeth.

    Jonathan Broxton would be the Dodgers’ closer in Saito’s absence, Torre said.”

    Any word on Tulo?

    I am thinking of moving/letting go of Bruce for Chris B. Young. My outfield is setting up nicely now that I feel I have some pop coming from my infield. Going around the horn and then to the outfield the team looks like this – Iannetta, Fielder, Utley, Alexei Ramirez, Wright, Markakis, Grandy, Pence, Konerko at utility.
    I like CBS describing Krispie by saying, Young is a consistent swing away from being an elite Fantasy OF.”
    Someone just dropped Krispie for David Murphy.

  75. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BSA: “Well, nighttime in CT and I am wondering about my team that is due to come off the DL or sitting ready to go on it.” Sounds like you were about to start a fantasy baseball novel. The frost lifted and all that we could think of was Seth McClung’s fly ball rate.

    I’d go with Krispie over Bruce.

    EDIT: Added verb, boyz!

  76. BSA says:
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    I would be sure to start with,
    Dedicated To Grey for his tireless support.

    Also, I am in the middle of writing a grad paper so I’m feeling scholarly.

  77. Grey

    Grey says:
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    BTW, is it me or is the home run derby feel like it’s 5 hours long? Can’t they do it like that old-timey show that lasted a half-hour?

  78. cruisinkc says:
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    Josh Hamilton is putting on quite the show!

  79. BigFatHippo says:
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    Holy shit.

    I ain’t seen anything this crazy since Granny’s uterus fell out.

  80. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @cruisinkc: Okay, even I’m rooting for him now. 95 more RBIs! Break every record, Golden Boy!

  81. Chet says:
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    28 jacks in the first round!

  82. Grey

    Grey says:
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    You know what goes well with 28 home runs? Crack.

  83. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Grey: Damn you, cynic!

    Though a “crack of the bat” joke seems appropriate here.

    I also enjoyed how one of the ESPN commentators said, “He’s found a new way to get high!”

    I’m guessing most people will stick with the old way.

  84. BSA says:
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    @Grey: WEEI out of Boston was just talking about how crack kills.

  85. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BSA: It does.

    I love Reggie. Is that weird?

  86. Steve says:
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    Is that Erin Andrews doing the interviews?

  87. p0rk burn says:
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    RCL week in review is up.

    I’ll be on the couch drinking if you need me.

  88. BSA says:
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    @Grey: Only if he is showing up in your dreams on a white horse like the one Mentkewitz was drawn on with the Racing Sausages chasing him. Now that would be weird!

  89. p0rk burn says:
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    @wakeNbake: “LANCE BERKMAN WINS THE HR DERBY!!!! MARK IT DOWN!!” I vote this for comment of the week. But you need a timestamp and then a comment of how much time elapsed before Hamilton hit his 25th.

  90. Steve says:
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    @Grey: The guy with Lee and Uggla just offered me Nady + S Drew + Jenks for Howard.

    Ah – no.

  91. cruisinkc says:
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    Does Joe Morgan have any useful baseball knowledge? Why do they let him talk?

  92. Steve says:
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    Followed shorty thereafter by Drew + Dook-sher!

    Jesus.

  93. wakeNbake says:
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    JOSH HAMILTON IS FUCKIN AMAZING!!!! it looked like he almost hit one out of the stadium in the space where you can see the train pass by in the outfield

  94. wakeNbake says:
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    @Steve: yes it is and she is bangin

  95. wakeNbake says:
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    @cruisinkc: agreed… that guy is an idiot

  96. Chet says:
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    Who’s the dunce that keeps saying awkward shiz about Hamilton. Yes he was doped up; we ain’t dense.

    Morgan is a douche nozzle.

  97. wakeNbake says:
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    @p0rk burn: haha… guess I was a little off on that one huh. I should have never went against Joshy boy. Crack kills?? I say crack hits homeruns. 28 to be exact.

  98. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Steve: Nothing makes me hate fantasy baseball more than an absolutely retarded trade offer. It just makes my heart sad.

    @Steve: If he throws in Jesus, I’d do that trade.

  99. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    HA! The Canadian craps all over the story of Crack Baby and the Magic Yankee Stadium Redemption.

    Screw wrecking his swing; I doubt Morneau makes it back to Minnesota alive.

  100. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    I assume you’ve also heard the Tex to Boston for Yook and Craig Hansen rumors.

    I’m no Theo Epstein, but if I’m the Sox, I do that trade.

    I’m just talking to myself at this point, aren’t I?

  101. Steve says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: When I said it would take something like Lee + Uggla he said he would pass. He’s hoping for a Pronk revival.

    Oh well, time to call on the Braun/Rollins owner…

  102. Denys says:
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    what’s Fred Lewis’ value in a 16 team league (3 OFs each) over the likes of Willingham and Rivera?

  103. is it crazy to trade berkman away? say something like:

    atkins and reyes for berkman, bj upton and dookie

  104. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Steve: The upside of this kind of negotiation is, worst case scenario, you keep Ryan Howard.

    @danimal35: You’re giving Berkman, Upton and Dookie and getting Atkins and Reyes?

    Don’t do that trade. There’s nothing wrong with trading Berkman for the right return, but you’re giving up way too much there.

  105. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Denys: I’d place Lewis between those two. Say Willingham, Lewis, Rivera, but I could see LEwis moving to first on that list or third depending on needs. If you need steals, he moves up. If you don’t, he falls.

    @danimal35: I agree with the Baron.

  106. Denys says:
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    @Grey: steals i’m not worried about. it’s his runs that intrigue me. dude has 60 through the break – that’s top 25 territory. and, most of the time, first year players get better as the year progresses. i think a 110 Run 10 HR 50 RBI 40 Steal .280 Avg line is not out of the question…

  107. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Denys: That line you’re saying is exciting and possible, but it’s the absolute ceiling. If you look at his splits, his numbers have been awful in some months.

    ****Bring followups to the new post or the forums.

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