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Before we look at all the potential closers going into the 2009 season, let me say this, “None of these schmohawks may be a closer by the time we get to May.” Sure, barring injury, some are sure things like Nathan, Lidge and Papelbon. I’m just saying that it’s very early to be looking at 2009 closers, but some people need to get their 2009 keepers in, so I figured I’d do a quick closer look. Anyway, here’s all of the guys that could be a closer in 2009:

$12 Salads

You know that restaurant your girlfriend/wife/what-have-you likes to go to that charges, like, $12 for a salad? Every time you go there, you have a thoroughly solid meal. No complaints, except you just paid $12 for a salad when you could’ve went to McDonald’s and stuffed you and your woman for $10 schmools and had $2 in quarters left over to make the hotel bed vibrate. These closers are $12 salads.

1. Joe Nathan, MIN (Jesse Crain)
2. Jonathan Papelbon, BOS (Hideki Okajima)
3. Brad Lidge, PHI (Ryan Madson)
4. Mariano Rivera, NYY (Damaso Marte)
5. Francisco Rodriguez, FA

Donkey-corns

Imagine you’re following a donkey, who’s wearing a wool cap, through a desert for 1700 miles. Why are you following a donkey? Because he promises you something wonderful and you just need to trust him. Does the donkey talk? Yes. Yes, he does talk. So when you and the donkey in the wool cap arrive at his destination he removes his the wool cap to reveal a horn. The donkey is a unicorn and his gift to you for your trust is saves. These closers are Donkey-corns.

6. Joakim Soria, KAN (Joel Peralta)
7. Francisco Cordero, CIN (Jared Burton)
8. Jose Valverde, HOU (LaTroy Hawkins)
9. Bobby Jenks, CHW (Octavio Dotel, Matt Thornton)
10. Joey Devine/Brad Zielger (Santiago Casilla)
11. Jonathan Broxton/Takashi Saito, LAD (Hong-Chih Kuo)
12. Carlos Marmol/Kevin Gregg, CHI (Jeff Samardzija…. If it’s Marmol alone, he moves up these rankings. If it’s Gregg, he moves down.)
13. Brian Fuentes, FA
14. Brian Wilson, SAN (Jeremy Affeldt)
15. B.J. Ryan, TOR (Jesse Carlson)
16. J.J. Putz, SEA (Roy Corcoran)
17. Jose Arrendondo/Scot Shields, LAA
18. Matt Capps, PIT (John Grabow)
19. Heath Bell, SDG (Mike Adams)
20. Kerry Wood, FA
21. Mike Gonzalez, ATL (Rafael Soriano)
22. George Sherrill, BAL (Chris Ray)

BRAIN FREEZE

I’m going to a picnic and I’m bringing apples, bananas and Troy Percival– Wait, he just gave up 12 earned runs and hit Pena in the head with a pickoff throw. Brain freeze! Make it stop! Use the following closers at your own risk.

23. Chad Qualls, ARI (Jon Rauch, Tony Pena)
24. David Riske, MIL (Carlos Villanueva)
25. Manny Corpas/Huston Street, COL (Taylor Buchholz)
26. Trevor Hoffman, FA
27. Matt Lindstrom, FLA (Joe Nelson)
28. Troy Percival, TAM (Dan Wheeler, Grant Balfour)
29. Fernando Rodney, DET (Joel Zumaya, Kyle Farnsworth)
30. Chris Perez, STL (Jason Motte)
31. Joel Hanrahan, WAS (Saul Rivera)
32. C.J. Wilson/Frank Francisco, TEX
33. Jensen Lewis/Rafael Perez, CLE (Rafael Betancourt)
34. Eddie Kunz/Luis Ayala/The Arepa Lady, NYM

  1. Shogun says:
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    No way Rodney gets the ball in the ninth next year, is there? That’d be ugly. I had just assumed that they were grooming Zumaya. Neither looks like a great option to me.

  2. big o says:
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    i’ll have two donkey-corns and a brain freeze to go , please .

    are you telling me that’s salty cheese ? hold the salty cheese . HOLD the salty cheese !

  3. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Shogun: Hoffman, Fuentes, Wood, etc. will probably find places to close, so there’s a chance neither Rodney or Zumaya close.

    @big o: That sounds like a well-balanced ulcer.

  4. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    Kerry Wood is going to be offered arbitration by the Cubs today, and he’s expected to accept it… Gregg becomes Howry, Marmol becomes Marmol and Wood closes…

  5. BSA says:
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    Oh gawd, thinking about closers right now is like getting hit in the face with a snowball packed with ice chips in the middle. OUCH!

  6. Doug Ault says:
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    Brandon League is the Jays closer of the future,maybe as soon as this year.

  7. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    @BSA: Or like waking up this morning to start the car and having to break in to your own car because the doors were frozen shut.

  8. sweet sweet arepa lady of queens….

  9. BSA says:
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    @IowaCubs: Add to that pounding the top of the car door with your fist till you realized it hurts, your bleeding, and now there is a dent in your car. Ah, winter and closer talk.

  10. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @IowaCubs: @BSA: And then realizing it’s not your car.

  11. BSA says:
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    @Grey: That’s what sucks about all these monochromatic autos. Been there to the point of putting in the key in the door and wondering why it wouldn’t work. Geez, I hated that Light Blue Malibu (sounds like a country song).

    Oh Lord why did you
    send me this light blue malibu?

    Man I am tired – too much demographics research tonight.

  12. BigFatHippo says:
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    @IowaCubs: @BSA: @Grey: Or like waking up in Iowa, slapping self in head and proclaiming,……..

    “Damm, I’m in Iowa.”

    How’s that for a wakeup call?

  13. BSA says:
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    @Steve: Summer is always nice! Talk to me in July. On that note I am done for the night and I would imagine you steve are done with a day of work.

  14. Steve says:
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    @BSA: 4.30pm here so another hour should do it.

  15. BSA says:
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    @Steve: 5:00 somewhere.

  16. big o says:
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    @ steve …. my summer , here in connecticut , just got a little closer .
    the flight to miami ‘s a done deal and tomorrow i secure my tickets to the 2nd round of the wbc games (mid-march) .
    though not in my division , i was wondering if any of your boyz snuck onto the australian team for this year’s event .
    hope you at least get all the games on your cable , cuz this dominican team could rival as the best team ever assembled .

  17. Steve says:
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    @big o: Nope – you won’t find any New Zealanders on the Australian baseball team.

    However, there is a New Zealander called Scott Campbell (he’s in the Blue Jays system) who might make the Canadian team – his grandfather is Canadian or something.

    He played in the All Star Futures Game this year.

  18. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    @BigFatHippo: And then waking up in hell only to realize that Albert Pujols is satan and Busch stadium is, you know, hell.

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