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Schadenfreude has me tuned to The Pickup Artist every Sunday night. C’mon, Simeon, neg the target! Schadenfreude had me floating on a cloud for two days last week after I saw pictures from an old high school buddy’s wedding. He got fat and bald! Ha! I’m in shape and I have my hair!  So schadenfreude should have me thrilled to see Utley with an injury. Unfortunately, Chase Utley is different. Chase’s injury leaves me with no joy. You know how you use words when you’re writing that you would never say in real life? Well, I’m unabashedly a fan of Chase Utley, and I don’t think I’ve ever said “unabashedly” in real life. This Buick is unabashedly economical! But that’s how much I like Utley, I can’t express my love for him in words I normally use.  Is this because I know Utley loves him some hookers? That can’t hurt, but it’s more than that. It’s more than his slicked-back, I’m-Tom-Cruise-in-The-Color-of-Money douchebag hair and his cooler-than-Eckstein hustle.  It’s… Maybe it’s his love for hookers. Either way, his injury could have him out until June of 2009. If you’re keeping him with a price tag higher than $25, you really need to reevaluate your Chase Utley keeper situation, right? Well, when he broke his hand in 2007, he bounced back quicker than anyone thought was possible. Can he do the same with this hip injury? He’s got the mettle. (There I go again using a word I would never use in everyday conversation.)

Hey, yo, Bo knows this and Bo knows that, but Bo don’t know Jack because Bo don’t know when Utley’s going to be back… So yo, yo, what’s the best case scenario? Everyone seems to think the injury to Chase’s hip will keep him out of any baseball-related activities until at least mid- to late-March aka the end of 2009 Spring Training. Let’s give him two weeks later to be safe. Then he needs at least two weeks to get up to speed. That means we’ll see Utley at the beginning of May at the earliest. This wouldn’t kill Utley’s production for 2009, but it might hurt the perception of his value in 2009. So, for the first time in a while, Utley could actually come as a bargain. I imagine he’ll fall to the late second or third rounds of early 2009 drafts. If you’re not drafting until March, then there’s a good chance we’ll have a better idea when exactly Utley will return and his value will either rise or fall. Right now, I want Utley in the second round.  Remember in the preseason of 2008 when ‘perts were comparing Pujols to Jim Abbott? Remember what that did to his draft value? Yeah, and he just won the NL MVP. For keepers, it depends on your situation, but I’d still look to hold onto Utley for 2009. He’ll still give you more than 99% of the other 2nd basemen, even if he misses a month. Anyway, here’s some more keepers or players to not keep for your fantasy baseball team in 2009:

KEEP

Carlos Marmol – When I went over the Gregg trade for fantasy, I mentioned that I thought Gregg might become the closer because Piniella might pull some boneheaded “experience matters” maneuver. That’s not to say Marmol won’t have value or won’t get plenty of saves, whether he has the job officially or not. Don’t forget, Gregg is garbage.  Even with Wood admirably holding down the closer job in Chicago last year, Marmol still came in 13th on the list of top 20 closers for 2008.

DON’T KEEP

Joe Saunders – If keeping Saunders causes you to have an erection longer than thirty seconds, you should see a doctor.

  1. Doug Ault says:
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    This is one guy who bought into the ” ‘perts were comparing Pujols to Jim Abbott? scenario.I panicked and peddled his tushy for Morneau.

  2. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    Very nice Tribe Called Quest Bo reference. You win three Razzball points for this. “Well Chase knows this and Chase knows that, well Chase knows jack, cuz Chase can’t hack.” Zow.

    I wouldn’t keep Marmol unless he was valued at under $8 or so. I play a keeper league with Cubs fans, so one guy has him at a rediculous $19. NL-Only he might be a good keeper, but keep in mind how many appearances he had this year… 87 innings of Marmol White Castles (sliders, but that’s what Cubs fans call his slider)… I’ve heard that the Cubs aren’t done looking for closer-types. I wouldn’t rule them out of grabbing Flat-Billed Cordero from free agency.

  3. big o says:
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    @ grey : hip surgery on a 2nd baseman ? the fatalist in me says that he’s out till june …. i’m moving on to greener pastures .
    @ iowacubs : how does pinella feel about huston street ?

  4. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    @big o: I don’t think that the Cubs are deep enough to make many impactful trades like that.

  5. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Doug Ault: Maybe you can talk to @big o: about bailing on Utley.

    @IowaCubs: Yeah, it’s all within reason, but Marmol under $10 in an NL-Only is a solid keeper.

    @big o: See comment to @Doug Ault:

  6. Shogun says:
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    Hip surgery? Has he been hanging out with my grandma? Did he catch the hip virus while hanging out at the nursing home? Wtf?

    Grey, great story about Chase’s “proposition” – I hadn’t seen that when you first published it. Was this the same friend who saw Lasorda naked? If so, that guy has some stories to tell. Next it’ll probably leak out that Chipper Jones burned a cross in the Braves locker room or Manny Ramirez ritually sacrifices a cat before each game because he thinks it’s funny.

  7. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Shogun: Utley will be playing Bingo with your Grandmomz until May.

    It is the same guy.

  8. Shogun says:
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    @Grey: Weird. Utley does seem like a major tool. This has to bump Ricky Weeks’ stock, no? ;)

  9. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Shogun: I believe Rickie Weeks was delisted.

  10. Shogun says:
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    I like B. Phillips for a bounceback year. He plays in a great hitter’s park and should have some nice opportunities with Votto, Bruce, and others around him in the lineup. I might consider taking him before Pedroia. It’d be a gamble, but I think Phillips’ upside is higher.

  11. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Shogun: A bounceback from what? His injury? He’ll be fine. His crap OBP? He’s not going to get better in that department. He’ll hit more home runs than Pedroia and steal more bases, but his average and Runs will be lower. So it depends what you want/need. Personally, I don’t like Phillips but he will be (or should be) drafted a bit above Pedroia anyway. A 25/20 guy, with the potential for 30/25 is more valuable than Scrappy Doo.

  12. Shogun says:
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    @Grey: Nice finish on the Saunders bullet. I hadn’t scrolled down to that when I made my initial comment.

    I have a feeling that Pedroia will be overvalued hugely (I like to write “hugely” – it’s a great adverb) because he won the MVP, plays at a weak position, and plays for the BoSox. Their fans are second only to Yankees fans in inflating their players’ values.

    As for Phillips, I’ve been reading some bloggers who think that he had a very down year and that we should be concerned. That’s why I said he could have a bounceback year. I agree that his numbers weren’t that bad, but I think he’ll do significantly better next year. He’s a better ballplayer than what his 2008 numbers suggested.

  13. Shogun says:
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    @Shogun: Another question: does Upton lose a lot of value now that he loses 2B eligibility? Or does a BJ have value wherever it comes from?

  14. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Shogun: Pedroia is a strange case. I think because he’s like 5′ 1″ people don’t overrate him like an MVP/Sox player would normally be overrated. I wrote about this somewhere in the 2008 preseason. Pedroia was a sleeper who I liked a lot coming into this past year because of his position, Runs, modest power and speed and he didn’t disappoint. In 2009, Pedroia will bring exactly what he brought in 2008, but he could hit the downside of his projections, rather than the upside of them. Think 105/12/75/.300/17 — So still solid numbers for a 2nd baseman just not 3rd round material. More like 6th or 7th round.

    re: Phillips — I didn’t like him coming into the 2008 season as you can read on this site and I’m not really a fan going into 2009. He is what he is, he just doesn’t have the best peripheral numbers. He’s a potential 25/25 man but it comes at a price.

    re: Upton — He has dazzling talent. He will be good no matter where he’s eligible.

    And now I just wrote another post in these comments. (If I were the type to do an emoticon, I’d put a winking eye face right here.)

  15. Shogun says:
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    @Grey: Sorry to bombard you like that, but thanks for the responses. I guess that’s what contributing to the pina colada fund can get you ;) (I’m an emoticon kind of guy, unabashedly. Embrace it, Grey, embrace it!). Anyway, I’m always curious about how to project second basemen because it seems like such a weird (or just weak, I’m not sure which) position.

  16. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Shogun: It’s a good position to discuss because a top 2nd basemen can help you win a championship. Think about the difference between Pedroia and Robinson Cano in 2008. According to Point Shares, that’s a 4 to -3 difference. Or 7 points in the standings.

  17. big o says:
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    @ grey
    if pedroia shits the bed this season , will you call him scrappy poo ?

  18. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @big o: Or I’ll just call him Kelly Johnson.

  19. With Utley and Upton out of the 2B pool, I’ve got one word for you…

    PUNT!!!!!!!!!

    Unless a 2B is a good shot for 50 HR + SB or 200+ R + RBI, I don’t see a reason to draft them in the first, say, 7 rounds. Those guys like Cano and Pedroia that could deliver solid stats across the board have no margin for error. I’d just draft low and if you’re bet doesn’t pan out, just play the FA wire to find that year’s Mark Ellis or Mark DeRosa…

  20. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: Finally figured out what Schadenfreude is. I’m German, you’d think I’d know that.

  21. BSA says:
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    OK I have to tag in on Scrappy Doo and Utley.

    I stayed away from Scrappy this year, stupid!
    I fell in love with Utley this year and with this surgery I hope he is a late round DL stash.

    I look at Utley as an opportunity to focus elsewhere in my early rounds.

  22. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Yeah, unless you’re a happy German… Wait, not sure there is a happy German. Well… There is a drunk German, so I guess that’s sorta the same ballpark.

    @BSA: Late round DL stash? If you consider the 2nd or third round, a late round.

  23. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: Ain’t you got me figured out yet Grey? Fat, drunk and happy is how I roll.

    Schadenfreude taught me this, drink all you can now, cause dead guys can’t drink.

  24. BSA says:
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    OK – My morning news was hearing about Billingsley slipping on the ice and breaking his leg.

    How is it that some of these athletes that trip, fall, and other daily occurences seem to come up with major injuries whereas I just keep on going?

  25. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BSA: Yeah, I stubbed my toe this morning. If I were a major league pitcher, I would’ve broke my fibula.

    Sounds like Billingsley’ll be fine by spring training.

  26. Steve says:
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    What up fellaz?

    New Zealand are the Rugby League World Champions!

    Recognise!

  27. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Congrats! Did all 100 hundred fans make a pact to get the word out?

  28. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Ha!

    Best part is, we beat Australia in the World Cup final.

    Do you even know what I’m talking about?

  29. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Sure! Rugby’s like my second favorite sport. I almost started Rugzball.

  30. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: BTW, I’m doing a mock draft right now. Well, I’ll be starting in 7 minutes.

  31. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Steve: This just in from AP wire……….

    News Of The Wierd

    You Can’t Take My Critter

    “A woman, 21, was arrested in Hamilton, New Zealand last month after she allegedly kicked in the door of her ex-boyfriends home, then assaulted him because of a custody dispute between the couple over their pet possum.”

    Please tell me that was you, Steve. Make my day.

  32. Steve says:
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    @Grey: You’re close.

    Rugby League is a different sport to Rugby. Rugby League is huge in Australia and very popular here. Australia have won the rugby league World Cup every time it has been held so it’s kind of a big deal that we won.

    Thing is, there’s really only NZ, Australia and Great Britain who are any good.

    Rugby, on the other hand, is by far and away the No.1 sport here. We love our All Blacks – except when they lose…

  33. Steve says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Sorry to disappoint, but t’was not I.

    No surprise something like that went down in Hamilton, though.

  34. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Braun? Johan? I dunno.

  35. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Okay, Hamilton it is!

  36. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Steve: Is Hamilton like the bootheel of New Zealand? We eat em here, or some do, not me.

    @Grey: Take Barry Bonds, it’s a mock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  37. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: You got Braun in the 11th? What’s wrong with these people? I want in that league.

  38. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Nice pick!
    I’m a rugby man BTW, although league is not so bad.

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