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Brandon Morrow is out indefinitely due to forearm soreness.  Punt!  I really liked Morrow going into this season.  There’s something to a reliever being converted to a starter in their first year.  They just get up for the challenge or something.  Whatever the case may be, Brandon doesn’t seem up for the challenge any morrow.  You don’t want to deal with this meshugas.  If it’s Ervin Santana, then you draft him later and hold out some hope.  If it’s a 4th to 5th starter (Morrow), why bother?  You wanna give to charity, the March of Dimes could use your help.  Or Jerry Lewis.  Anyway, here’s some other things I’ve seen so far in spring training regarding fantasy baseball:

Joe Mauer – He’s injured.  If I were a spiteful person, I would say it serves you right for drafting Mauer.  Not sure why anyone drafts this guy, but he’s struggling with a bulging disk — no, that’s not like when you tried to jam a CD into your radio and one was already there.  He’s not going to steal any bases this year, so you’re basically drafting a no-speed Polanco at catcher in the first 8 rounds.  Eh, you do what you do.  I’m done getting aggravated.

Manny Corpas – Would it surprise you to hear Huston Street is struggling with injuries and Corpas now can take over the closer’s role?  If it would surprise you, welcome to baseball.  See Wikipedia for further information.

Ryan Spilborghs – He’s pulling away in the race for the Rockies leadoff spot.

Tyler Walker – Might still be the answer for, “Who will get more than 15 saves this year for the Mariners?”

Jose Reyes – Will again be batting leadoff.  And this is the number one reason why I don’t put too much stock into spring training news.

Gaby Sanchez – He (she?) is doing nothing to win the 1st base job.  Bodes well for McPherson.

Chris Duncan – He’s winning an OF job for Saint Louie.  Now if he can just avoid his brother’s high-fives.

J.R. Towles – He took my vote of confidence in the catchers to target post last week and spat in its face.  He’s doing everything to lose the job.

Chipper Jones – Injured himself in the WBC.  And taco diarrhea still burns.

  1. Pops says:
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    I developed a major man crush on Morrow last year. I hope that the arm problems that he’s experiencing are only temporary.

  2. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Pops: I think you’re looking at a guy that could be a great pickup in April, but isn’t necessary to draft.

  3. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    I know I mentioned this in the forums, but I’m warming to Fukudome again now that he’ll bat 2nd in Lou’s RLRLRLRLRP obsessed offense.

    Let’s just call him the foreign exchange student girlfriend that I fell for but had to dump because of her funny neck hair and obsession with mustard flavored pretzels. A year later I was drunk and lonely and drunk-texted her something in Korean like “your breath smells like peaches” and she was back in my life for a few weeks.

    I’m confused, too, Lou.

  4. Pops says:
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    @Grey: Too late, that ship has sailed.

  5. Hardcore Midget says:
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    Is Duncan really winning a job in the St Louis OF? I thought Rasmus was having a pretty decent spring, and that he had the upper hand.

    Not to worry, I’m sure Duncan will end up hurting himself again.

  6. Freak says:
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    @IowaCubs: You deserve a medal or something.

    Re: Spilbourghs. I was laughed at when I said he was my sleeper OF at the RB sloooooooooooooooooooooooow mock draft. Eat it haters.

  7. Kevin says:
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    Did you see Pujols on the cover of SI? Seems to have lost a lot of weight. Hmmm.

  8. 101 M.P.H. says:
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    @Grey: Your projection for Spilborghs was 55/12/65/.300/12. A couple of questions for you in that regard:

    1) How many at-bats was that projection based on? and

    2) If he emerges from spring training with the lead-off spot for the Rockies, would you be inclined to adjust your projection?

    I’m assuming that a full season of at bats in the lead-off spot would yield a higher return than 55 runs. With that said, I also recognize that the competition in the Rockies’ outfield could substantially limit his plate appearances.

  9. Frank Rizzo says:
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    Look at 3rd base. It’s a hell of a lot more scarce than SS or 2B I’m starting to believe.

    A-Rod – Won’t own him now.
    Wright – yep
    Longoria – yep
    Aramis – yep
    Chipper – probably not
    Youkilis – yep
    Atkins – pretty good
    Davis – could be pretty good
    Zimmerman – dicey
    Everyone else – yikes

    1 will go too early, 4 you feel good about, 2 should be good, 1 is dicey, and the rest are mostly crap.

    Good year to reach for a 3b? I’ve got to consider Wright now in the top 3….I’d probably take him 2nd, right after Hanley.

    **Actually, I play in a Yahoo league so Miggy is now squarely at #5 in my rankings**

    What’s the thought about Cantu? Cantu do it again in 2009 or not?

  10. peter says:
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    @Frank Rizzo: Cantu? Can do!

  11. gleeksquad says:
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    so with Spilbououskdnbskjd winning the CF job does my secret lover DexFowl start in the minors?

  12. peter says:
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    @peter: EDIT: I wouldn’t expect him to IMPROVE on last year’s performance… but something similar? Sure.

  13. Colin says:
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    Grey…with the following lineup, am I better off having Manny or Victorino in our NL only league? I’m thinking Victorino balances it better since I am bit power heavy. Agree?

    C – Doumit
    1B – Gonzalez
    2B -
    3B –
    SS – Tulowitzki
    CI – Sandoval
    MI –
    U – Beltran
    OF – Braun
    OF – Upton
    OF – Kemp
    OF – Bruce
    OF -

  14. peter says:
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    @Colin: I think you go w/ Manny. You can never have TOO MUCH power (as well as the R and RBI that come with it). You can pick up some speed from some MI schmohawk if you need it. Butt you’ve already got decent speed from Kemp and Beltran, double digit SB from Braun and Bruce. I take it that’s Justin Upton and not BJ?

  15. Frank Rizzo says:
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    @Colin: I’d take Manny if I were you. Where’s your overwhelming power to speed with this lineup? I’d go with Manny since he has more potential for a big impact. You could get other guys who are mini-Victorino’s later. jmo

  16. Colin says:
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    @peter: Pete ya it’s a NL only league, I am hoping for a solid year from Upton. You make a good, point. I can pick up Lopez or Matsui in the later rounds and get 20+ steals from them. I just want to compete with the guy taking Reyes this year and the one that has Taveras. But all I need to do is win the HR and RBI category by 1. I don’t need to kill everyone by 20 homers and 100 RBI. As it stands now even without Manny my offense will dominate I believe. Shane will give me that extra speed to make some noise in the SB category. Plus he’s a free agent this year, maybe he hits 18-20 bombs which ain’t too bad!

  17. emporers monkey says:
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    Uhg, Mauer. Ive done so many drafts that my eyes are actually trained to not even see his name on the board at this point. I just find whatever squad he is on after the draft and cross them off the list of teams that I need to worry about.

  18. gleeksquad says:
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    @Colin: i’d also say Manny. The biggest reason i like Vic is the value you can get compared to other guys where u draft him. But compared to Manny heads up you go Manny.

    You’ve got a lot of upside, but Braun is your only lock for big power. A.Gonz is certainly 30/100 capable but otherwise you’re hoping those upside guys take big leaps. Take the safe power route and grab steals later.

  19. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    @Frank Rizzo: Cantu is 28 and he has a track record of doing this before with Tampa Bay. My vote is yes, he can do this again.

  20. Colin says:
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    @Frank Rizzo: Frank maybe you’re right. Manny is the better player in the deal for sure. But I’m also getting Cueto (I should have specified) and I’m pretty high on him. I have no keeper pitchers, so he would be a nice addition to my squad as well. Remember this is NL only, not mixed.

  21. JPH says:
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    Will Seth Smith get demoted or do you think the Rockies will platoon those OFs?

    Also, what do you think of me giving up CC/Zambrano for Beltran/Carlos Lee…I need bats…Would you be more inclined to give up Volquez than Zambrano?

  22. Brandow Morrow wasn’t good statistically in 2007, so this is no major hardache. I read your catcher article not too long ago and it opened my eyes to not drafting a catcher. That being said when would you draft Mauer if everyone in the league was carrying that same strategy?

  23. Colin says:
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    @gleeksquad: Gleek you make a good point. I’ll be honest, I love my players…maybe a bit too much. I expect big things from Kemp, Bruce and Upton. Being so young, maybe having Manny is good insurance for them. Manny average and OBP is very important as well in our league so that’s another reason. Wow I could have made a huge mistake. Thanks for the kick in the ass guys.

  24. I like Cantu and think he is kind of an indication of how 3B is…going to have to kind of build that position out of some ragtag dudes if you don’t get one of the top ones. Definitely need to take some cover if Cantu is involved.

  25. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @IowaCubs: Two things:

    1) Fukudome hitting second is akin to Reyes batting third. Okay in theory, it’s not happening/sticking.

    2) Mustard-flavored pretzels are wonderful.

    @Hardcore Midget: Duncan might hurt himself again, but I think right now he’s got the lead. Don’t worry, we’ll be keeping our hardcore midget eyes on it.

    @Freak: The haters are eating it. Not mustard-flavored pretzels apparently.

    @Frank Rizzo: SS is the most scarce at this point, but the loss of A-Rod didn’t help 3rd basemen, for sure.

    re: Cantu — From my top 1st basemen post, “16. Jorge Cantu – He’s showed that he can be absolutely worthless for entire seasons so I’d be careful about making Cantu your 1st baseman, but, as a corner man, you can do much worse. He’s also going to be the magical 27-years-old in 2009. (An age when hitters supposedly peak and porn stars hopefully retire.) 2009 Projections: 80/25/90/.270/5″

    @gleeksquad: I’m afraid it might mean that, yeah. I’m bummed too.

    @Colin: I think Manny’s a fine option for you. But it’s close. It’s just you have Beltran, Kemp and Upton already so you’re actually carrying a lot of speed in your outfield already.

    @emporers monkey: Yup.

    @JPH: Smith’s a wildcard. I love the trade of Zambrano.

    @Schruender: Sometime in the 120s is about the earliest I’m drafting any catcher.

    @Maitland: Agreed.

  26. Frank Rizzo says:
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    @Colin: You need to clarify on this. At first it was just a Manny/Victorino straight up decision. Now it sounds like it’s a trade for sure and Cueto is involved. Is that it? Cueto/Victorino straight up for Manny. Now I’m not sure what to think about this trade.

  27. Eric W says:
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    Screw Morrow Jobacum is throwing Diesel feeling good and ready to go.

  28. papasmurf says:
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    Good old Chipper. Might as well change his name to “Chipped.”

  29. emporers monkey says:
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    @JPH: I would jump at that trade in a nanosecond. That much offense for a good pitcher and a questionable pitcher, money in the bank.

  30. Pops says:
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    @Schruender: Brandon Morrow wasn’t good statistically last year?

    2008 statistics:
    64.2 Innings
    75 K’s
    10 Saves
    1.14 WHIP
    3.34 ERA

    His walk rate is a bit high but he gave up only 40 hits in a little over 64 innings of work.

  31. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @GasTheObese: Yes, he’s forked. You’re brilliant.

  32. Bob says:
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    In a vacuum – Corpas or John Maine?

  33. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Bob: Corpas

  34. James says:
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    Zimmerman is having a strong spring, I am starting to get cold feet with Davis.

  35. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @James: Way too early to panic on Davis.

  36. James says:
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    @Grey – I am not worried because of his spring numbers. I was nervous about taking him before spring training. I never like taking guys with little to no track record, but I do like what I have read thus far…

  37. Bob says:
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    @Grey – Thanks.

  38. James says:
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    by read thus far I mean’t his

  39. James says:
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    accolades – I need some rest!

  40. Zimmerman seemed solid when he came back from the injury, I am definitely tempted by his solid spring as well. Only, I am like 90% certain going into drafting him that I’d be making a mistake. Gotta get the regret out of the way early and before he hits .240 in the first month.

  41. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @James Legade: Wow, never heard of them before. From my brief research, it was shown on The Ha! Network. Ha!

  42. James Legade says:
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    If you look close you can see that “Bill Nye the Science Guy” is a high fiving white guy.

  43. Baron Von Vulturewins

    Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Frank Rizzo: I wholeheartedly agree on the 3B thing. Right now, Miggy is my dream first rounder. You can take him early, then gamble on Davis in the 6th, knowing if he doesn’t pan out, Miggy fits at third.

    Otherwise, A-Ram and Wright are the only guys I’d feel 100% comfortable with. I had Zim last year and he was poop salad.

  44. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Any news on Wieters?

  45. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Yeah, he’s doing well. He’s still going to the minors. Rudy talks about this in the Roundtable comments.

  46. Steve says:
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    @Grey: No need to draft him tomorrow, then.

    17 hours to go…

  47. Christopher says:
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    @Steve: Some cowbell, a gong, several minutes of Mean Gene the Dancing Machine, slide whistle and more cowbell for Figgy’s tier-tracker thingy (a thingy compatible with both Mac and PC)!!!

    All hail Figgy’s thingy…no, wait, that didn’t come out right…

  48. Steve says:
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    @Christopher: Thiggy’s Fingy?

  49. Colin says:
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    @Frank Rizzo: Frank sorry about that…it was basically Manny and Sandoval for Victorino and Cueto. I only mentioned Manny and Shane because they were the relevant players of the deal for the most part. If I do this deal I could draft Fielder/Beltran, Beltran/Tulo or Fielder/Beltran. My strategy this year (like has been every year) is to go hitter heavy and get solid undervalued pitchers. I finished first 3 times out of the last 5 years and 2nd the other two, so it’s been pretty effective at least for me. Now that I think about it while Victorino is solid, Manny average and OBP are much higher which will help my teams average and OBP. You throw in the fact that he’s happy and looking for another big contract after this year means this guy could explode. If I finish 3rd or 4th in steals than so be it. I’ll gun for top 2 in the other 5 categories.

    On a lesser note, Sandoval might prove to be a nice surprise. He’s a switch hitter with a nice stroke whom I believe can hit .300 with 20 homers. Cueto while talented and a bargain at $1 for the next 2 years in our league (8 keepers with a $140 cap), young pitchers tend to be volatile and I could always draft someone with similar output. After thinking about and listening to what you guys have to say, I think I am going to stand pat. I appreciate all the advice guys.

  50. Colin says:
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    Now with that being said…with 8 keepers all being hitters, would you still grab:

    Fielder/Tulo or
    Fielder/Beltran or
    Beltran/Tulo

    I’m grabbing Tulo because I think he will bounce back nicely and I would like to get decent products from of my middle positions. I thin he can get back to 25 homers and 90 rbi.

    Or would you go with one of these hitters along with the Billingsley, the best pitcher available.

    I am thinking of grabbing the two hitters and taking the best SP’s I can with the next 4 picks. There will be some undervalued gems I think like Gallardo, Jimenez, Lilly, Parra, Kuroda, Harang, Randy J, Carpenter, Myers and Zambrano (don’t laugh I think the last 2 bounce back nicely). The SP is much deeper than the hitters, so I think by gobbling up solid hitters at all positions, I could lock up most hitting points and be middle of the pack in pitching. Thoughts?

  51. Colin says:
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    Please forgive the typos…work and a baby doesn’t let me sleep much :o

  52. wiudavis says:
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    I am in a auction keeper league. What is your feeling on E. Santana’s status for 2009? I currently have Shields and Pelfrey as keepers into this year. Pitching is shallow in this league because we sign our guys to contracts prior to the start of the season (1-5 yrs). Johan is available, but I like to steer my ship towards value in the SP position. I am looking at E. Santana, Oswalt, Vazquez, and Scherzer. Any thoughts on these yahoos?

  53. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Colin: I’d go Beltran and Fielder, and I wouldn’t count on Myers and Zambrano bouncing back.

    @wiudavis: I like them Oswalt, Santana, Vazquez then Scherzer. Oswalt’s way above, then Ervin and Javier are close then Scherzer. I wouldn’t keep Pelfrey, but I’m not completely sure on your situation.

  54. Colin says:
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    @Grey: Grey I know you guys put up convincing stats on Myers, but I just have this hunch that he will put together his best season yet just to get that big fat contract.

    As for Big Z, I know his declining K rate is a red flag, but I still think he can keep his ERA under 4 and his whip under 1.3 and still get over 15 wins on that team. I know the days of 190-200 k’s are probably behind him but I think he’s still an decent pitcher. I’m eying him closely in Spring Training and he looks decent. His ERA is 2.25 I think and I know it’s spring training, but it still better than a ERA in double digits.

  55. Steve says:
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    @Grey: More last-minute (well kind of) draft cramming. I think you got Phillips at 24 or so. Does this necessarily mean you’re taking him at the end of the second in a 12-teamer? Or are you hoping he falls into the third?
    I’d feel hesitant taking him without two quality studs in the bank.

  56. cubbies299 says:
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    Hey Grey, I got a question about a trade. In that crazy keeper league I’m in, my friend offered me to move up 4 slots in the 5, 6, 7, and 10th rounds in exchange for letting him move up 5 in the 2nd. Now, moving up in those late rounds positions me for a nice choice of brox, chrisby, etc. in the 5th, vazquez in the 6th (I can’t help but think vazquez might be the biggest steal in the draft), beltre, agord lowe in the 7th, and our favorite tubby lumpkins sandoval in the 10th (and cueto, qualls, etc.). My positioning in those rounds isn’t very good, so I think it’s a pretty good deal for me. In the 2nd round, I drop basically from morneau/sabathia/ichiro to adrian gonz/halladay/chipper. And I can’t help but feel that a combination of Chipper and Reynolds (Chippark Jonolds) goes .290, 40/15/100/100 (I almost typed Ryan Reynolds…). I’m also picking 8th, which means I’m probably gonna have RyHow locked up in the first. Anyways, should I do it?

  57. sean says:
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    @grey: M’s signed Chad Cordero on Thursday. SAGNOF?

  58. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Colin: In the end, it’s your team you have to draft.

    @Steve: 3rd round. I don’t want Phillips and one other guy as my first two guys.

    @cubbies299: “Chippark Jonolds” — Ha!

    I like the trade for you. Do it!

    @sean: He’s going to be the closer, so I’d definitely own him. Just not yet. He’s not starting the season in Seattle. I’d pick him up when he gets to full health. Think end of June.

  59. Juice says:
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    Grey, hook an unemployed brother up…Points League. Who would you rather have? Adrian Gonzalez or Alfonso Soriano. (6 pts for HRs, -1 Ks, 2 pts SBs, 1 pt per H)

    Also, do you like Gavin Floyd if I miss out on Danks?

  60. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Juice: Soriano, barely. I don’t like Floyd at all. Now get a job!

  61. Juice says:
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    @Grey: Wow you love yourself some Soriano, they should make a Breakfast cereal out of him, you would eat it up. You aren’t worried about injuries with him?

  62. Juice says:
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    @Grey: Hey Mom, did you get me some Soriano’s?

  63. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Juice: “Hey, Grey, it’s your Mom calling from the supermarket.”

    “Just don’t forget the Soriano’s.”

    “Well… That’s why I called.”

    “What?”

    “I don’t see it, but they do have Boo Berry, FrankenBerry, Count–.”

    “Then go somewhere ELSE!!!”

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