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On the heels of the top 20 closers for 2012 fantasy baseball — or heals if you’re talking strictly about Huston Street and Andrew Bailey — comes every closer for 2012 fantasy baseball.  This is the post you’ve all been waiting for since earlier this morning!  Sorry to put you through that hour and a half of anguish/anticipation or anguishipation.  You were a melancholy soul.  But now you’re happy — yay.  It’s still Monday funday!  There were quite a few moves this offseason with closers relocating to greener pastures, or in some case, just different pastures.  Maybe that’s best expressed through the cliché mash-up — the grass isn’t always greener pastures.  Andrew Bailey moved, Mark Melancon moved, Ryan Madson moved, Huston Street moved, Heath Bell moved, Rafael Betancourt moved into the closer role, Sergio Santos moved and Joe Nathan moved.  A regular ol’ closerousel that we haven’t see the likes of since Tony La Russa retired (technically, that’s correct; though not exactly that long ago).  Anyway, here’s all the closers for 2012 fantasy baseball:

$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 ten schmools and had $2 in quarters left over to make the hotel bed vibrate. These closers are $12 salads.

1. Craig Kimbrel (Jonny Venters)
2. John Axford (Francisco Rodriguez)
3. Drew Storen
(Tyler Clippard, Brad Lidge)
4. Mariano Rivera (David Robertson, Rafael Soriano)
5. Jonathon Papelbon (Antonio Bastardo)

Donkeycorns

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 Donkeycorns.

6. Jose Valverde (Joaquin Benoit, Octavio Dotel)
7. Brian Wilson (Sergio Romo, Santiago Casilla)
8. J.J. Putz (David Hernandez, Takashi Saito)
9. Heath Bell (Juan Leo Carlos Nunez Oviedo, Mike Dunn)
10. Carlos Marmol (Kerry Wood, Jeff Samardzija)
11. Joakim Soria (Jonathon Broxton, Greg Holland)
12. Joel Hanrahan (Evan Meek)
13. Ryan Madson (Sean Marshall, Nick Masset)
14. Kenley Jansen (Javy Guerra, Todd Coffey)
15. Jason Motte (Eduardo Sanchez)
16. Huston Street (Luke Gregerson)
17. Andrew Bailey
(Mark Melancon, Bobby Jenks)
18. Sergio Santos (Francisco Cordero)
19. Jordan Walden (Scott Downs, LaTroy Hawkins)
20. Kyle Farnsworth (Joel Peralta, Jake McGee)

Brain Freeze

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

21. Frank Francisco (Jon Rauch, Ramon Ramirez)
22.
Rafael Betancourt (Rex Brothers)
23. Matt Thornton (Jesse Crain, Addison Reed)
24. Joe Nathan (Mike Adams, Alexi Ogando)
25.
Brandon League (Shawn Kelley, Hong-Chih Kuo)
26. Chris Perez (Vinnie Pestano, Tony Sipp)
27. Jim Johnson (Kevin Gregg, Matt Lindstrom)
28. Matt Capps (Joel Zumaya, Glen Perkins)
29. Brian Fuentes (Grant Balfour, Joey Devine)
30. Juan Abreu (Wilton Lopez, David Carpenter, Fernando Rodriguez, The Ghost of Ed Wade’s Toupee)

From Around The Web

  1. OaktownSteve says:
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    add Matt Lindstrom to the Jim Johnson in waiting group.

    What’s keeping League out of the Donkeycorn tier? Trade possibility?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @OaktownSteve, True on Lindstrom. Trade, hideous team, bleh K-rate…

      • OaktownSteve says:
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        @Grey,

        The hideous team thing doesn’t matter. Actually, the fact that he plays in good park helps them play in a lot of close games. He doesn’t give up home runs with that power sinker, so that kind of offsets the K rate. It’s the trade thing that scares me, but it’s unlikely he gets moved pre-all star break as teams usually wait until they know they’re in contention before they add that 8th inning guy…plus he’s a very likely replacement trade candidate if a team decides they need a closer due to injury or non-performance.

        I like him if the price is right. He’s pretty nasty by the way. His stuff is impressive live.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          @OaktownSteve, I took a glance at last year’s Closer Look’s and he was at the bottom of the Donkeycorns for the better part of the summer. Sounds about right for his ceiling, but he’s gotta earn that again.

          • OaktownSteve says:
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            @Grey,

            Yeah that’s about how I feel. I’m looking to get the cheapest of the servicable.

            Speaking of Jim Johnson, I kind of like him too.

  2. mgeoffriau

    Mark Geoffriau says:
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    Is it only Rex Brothers’ presence that’s pushing Betancourt into the brain freeze section? Betancourt’s had elite rates for 3 years now, which in the land of relievers is about all the consistency one can hope for (Rivera excluded, of course).

    Is it wrong that I’m hoping for a great year from him (and maybe an impressive string of hitless innings) so that I can break out my “No-no Betancourt” nickname I’ve been saving? It would take more than words to describe how much I want this to happen…

    • Ian says:
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      @Mark Geoffriau, Betancourt looks very enticing to me too. That K/BB ratio is sick. He’s an extreme flyball pitcher playing his home games in Coors, so he’s got his warts.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Mark Geoffriau, Nah, it’s Betancourt’s Cuddle Boy label that’s pushing him into the Brain Freeze section.

      • mgeoffriau

        Mark Geoffriau says:
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        @Grey, Bah, Betancourt had 3 BS’s as the setup guy…and only 1 BS in 9 chances after he took the closer job. I’ll take that risk.

  3. Ian says:
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    I kind of hope LAD keeps Guerra in the closers role to open the season. It will be much easier to draft Jansen if he’s to open the season as the set up man. Guerra went 21/23 in save opps. last season with a 2.31 ERA, and I would bet it would take a terrible Spring showing from Guerra for the young Jansen to pass him.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Ian, You could be right, and it might be easier to get Jansen in drafts if he’s not the closer.

    • OaktownSteve says:
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      @Ian,

      I’m interested to see where Guerra goes if he comes out of the spring with the closer job. It’s possible/likely he still gets drafted after Jansen. Makes him kind of interesting.

  4. Eddy says:
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    Grey, for the past couple of seasons I’ve had a tendency to target my first closer in the 10th round.

    In the few mocks I’ve done, Mo has usually been there. Kind of hard seeing him as a $12 salad at that round, no?

    Also, do you have a round where you target your first closer?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Eddy, Mo’s going on average 97 according to MDC, so that’s about the 8th round in 12 team leagues. If he’s there in the 10th, you can take him. I probably wouldn’t. I wouldn’t draft a closer until about 5 or 6 are off the board, unless they’re sitting there really late.

  5. Beardawg says:
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    I’m cunfuzzled Mr. Albright (and not just by the fact that “grey” and “all bright” are contradictions). Why is Walden 19 on this list (a donkeycorn no less! not even a brain freeze) but unranked in your top 20 for 2012?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Beardawg, Cause the top 20 ended with guys I wouldn’t draft.

  6. MH says:
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    Add Kuo to the guys behind League, though I’m a bit higher on League than you. He’s not a cuddle-boy, and while he won’t help your strikeouts, he has much better command than the high octane, double-digit K/9 closers and will have a positive effect on WHIP. Plus, Seattle may be a bad team, but its the the kind of bad-team situation you’d want your closer to be in–decent pitching, crappy offense, big park means a lot of their wins will be low-scoring, close games. At the very least, I have him ahead of Nathan and Thornton, who have better pitchers behind them than League and at least one additional knock (Cuddle boy for Thornton, crappy year last year and bad ballpark for Nathan), and probably Francisco too, since he’s a near lock to get hurt at some point and the Mets don’t look like a great situation for a fantasy closer (crappy team with a decent offense and godawful pitching, could mean quite a few lopsided games, both the wins and losses, and while the guys behind him are nothing special, there are at least more compotent and/or experienced and/or hard-throwing relievers there if you add Parnell and Acosta to that mix, both of whom are actually better than Rauch). I’m really worried about Nathan though….I’ll be pretty seriously avoiding him, and doubt I’ll have much trouble considering he’s going ahead of Motte, Betancourt, and Farnsworth. I could be wrong, but I’d take any of those three plus League over Nathan every time.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @MH, Yeah, Nathan has me concerned too. Yeah, I’ll add in Kuo.

  7. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:
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    What a terrible Super Bowl for us non-football fans. What were there… about two or three funny commercials? And I remembered someone telling me Madonna married Guy Ritchie. But it must have been that she got married, became a guy, and now likes to be called Ritchie… and I just condensed it. Old men aren’t supposed to be that ripped, Mado… err, Ritchie.

    Finally, Ferris Bueller selling cars is cute… Matthew Broderick selling cars is disturbing. Or am I the only one who remembers that he killed two people with a car (http://bit.ly/zrxJWb)? “The new Honda CR-V, drives great on the wrong side of the road… and by wrong, I mean right!”

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Awesomus Maximus, Yeah, I remembered Matthew Broderick killed two people. It wasn’t with a CR-V though, so it’s all right. Madonna should be Padonna — get it?! Pa! Yeah, she’s ripped. I watched the last episode of Runway, bleh — it’s not even worth discussing.

      • Awesomus Maximus

        Awesomus Maximus says:
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        @Grey, Not a CR-V, and he had to pay a whole $175 fine. So I think he’s paid his debt, let’s move on.

        Caught up on the Runway… good, now I can be specific. I opined at this iteration’s onset that it seemed to be all about giving a small group of fan favorites a second chance at 1st prize (well, that and cashing in on some easy advertising dollars). Now I’m sure of it.

        Those few would be Austin, Mondo, Rami, and Mila. Most of the others are there to be voted off (I’ve been calling them “bottom fodder”). Those would be all the people who have been sent home, plus Michael and Kara. Kenley and Jerell are there to either surprise or disappoint, but they aren’t pre-approved to make the final round by the producers.

        All this artificiality, along with the terrible group of judges, makes this a low point for the series. And I’m with you… if they crowbar any of these new faces into the real show, I don’t think I can take it.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          @Awesomus Maximus, I agree with the top Austin, Mondo, Rami, and Mila. I think Kara and Kenley are there to be sent home. Michael and Jerell are there to surprise or disappoint. These other four are definitely there just to not be there any more though, either way. It almost feels like Austin (wasn’t he judge on regular Runway in a past season?) is there with it expressly written into his contract that he can’t go home until the finals. I think Mondo or Rami are gonna win, but I thought they should’ve won their seasons, so I’ve been wrong before. Kenley, Kara and Jerell seem like a total waste.

          • Awesomus Maximus

            Awesomus Maximus says:
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            @Grey, Yes, Austin has been a judge and treated like royalty since his season. And remember that he only missed the finals because they had the dumb challenge immediately before where the woman from Entertainment Tonight got to pick the winner, and Wendy Pepper got to show instead of him (Jay and Kara Saun had already cemented their spots). I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if Austin was guaranteed a spot in the finals to be a part of the cast.

            I have Kenley out of the bottom fodder because she, Rami, Mila, and Mondo are the only ones in the entire cast who made it to their season’s finale… but not in the top group because she’s not very well-liked (by fans or the judges).

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              @Awesomus Maximus, Yeah, now I think Michael’s there to surprise. When the season started, I thought he’d be out early but then he won those two challenges. They keep talking about his craftsmanship and how fast he works and he told Coles that he had been sewing since he’s 4, but in his season wasn’t he the one that no one wanted around because he couldn’t sew?

              • Awesomus Maximus

                Awesomus Maximus says:
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                @Grey, Honestly don’t remember. I just recall hating him and his work. No other designer was in the bottom more than him in his season (4 times), but they kept him around for some reason.

  8. Curt says:
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    14 team keeper league—–Keep Putz as an 8th rounder or Kipnis @ 12??

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Curt, Kipnis

  9. Curt says:
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    I was offered Asdrubal Cabrera(7th round) for Pineda(23rd round)……pull the trigger or no??……..

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Curt, Hold

  10. Steve says:
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    Erm – shouldn’t it be Sergio Romo as next in line to Brian Wilson?

    Unless, of course, Sergio Ramos is giving up playing fullback for the Real Madrid soccer team for a career in baseball.

    • TheNewGuy says:
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      @Steve, haha true, a rare unintended soccer (football) reference on here!

      • Steve says:
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        @TheNewGuy, I think I’d prefer trying to get 3 outs in the 9th to trying to take the ball off Leo Messi.

        • TheNewGuy says:
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          @Steve, Hehe yeah, thought Grey had mistaken Leo Messi above as the Marlins set up man then too ha.

          Im a big soccer fan (or as we call it here in Britain, football).

          • Steve says:
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            A@TheNewGuy, Ha. I’m in New Zealand and would have preferred to use ‘football’ but didn’t want 10 guys telling me that Real Madrid aren’t in the NFL ;-)

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Steve, Oopsie

      • Steve says:
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        @Grey, Oh – and Todd Coffey signed with the Dodgers over the weekend. Probably not going to close anytime soon, but he’s a solid MR so you could maybe add him to the Dodgers queue.

        Or not. It’s your blog (emoticon).

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          @Steve, Ha, thanks!

  11. Wilsonian says:
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    I’m baaaaaaaack! First of all, I’d like to welcome everyone (at least those who love football) back into thinking about baseball 24/7. Second on the agenda are some keeper questions for you, Grey.

    8 Team H2H – I know it’s small, which is how I ended up with these 5 guys who could be my keepers: Fielder, Longo, Tulo, Kemp, J. Upton (the non-fellatio type). Would you stick with those five, or would you dump one to hang on to Verlander?

    16 Team H2H – pickins get a little slimmer, but who you keeping (I can keep 5 again): Tulo, Stanton, Konerko, Lawrie, Mustakas, Kimbrel, Lester, Kennedy? We can keep anyone for as long as they are still alive and playing baseball. Tulo and Stanton are obviously locks.

    Third of all…definitely digging the new reply theme here. It’s been awhile so I haven’t seen it implemented, but it looks like it would make discussion even better here. Well done!

    Thanks again, as I’m sure you’ll help me not make a complete ass out of myself in my leagues yet again in 2012!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Wilsonian, Ha, chata was saying you’d be back soon. 8 team — Hold. 16 – Tulo, Stanton, Lawrie, Kennedy, Lester… I could see the case for Moose over Kennedy. Good to see you again!

      • Wilsonian says:
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        @Grey, Re: 8 Team – after looking at your top 10 for 2012, I kinda figured I had to keep those 5 (being they were all in your top 10). Re: 16 Team – I was leaning Moose over Kennedy, but it’s a tough call. You think Kennedy makes the full leap into top 10 SP status this year?

        Thanks! It’s good to be back. After all my baseball and football leagues last year I had to take a mental break (and quit ignoring the wife). I’m pretty impressed that I’m famous enough on these boards to be remembered by chata!

          • Wilsonian says:
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            @Grey, ha. Chata made me feel special! Well after reading that it looks like I should keep Moose over Kennedy!

            I did get it. I swore to myself I was sticking to 2 leagues this year, but I definitely need to think about it. The Commenter league was definitely a good time.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              @Wilsonian, Okay, let me know.

        • chata says:
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          @Wilsonian,

          football ?
          so that’s where you’ve been .

          i’ve never even met your wife , but i’m choosing her over football .
          football ??
          i’m guessing that she’s the smart one in the family .

          we’ve had days , here , where they were almost no comments .
          you could have had Grey all to yourself !

          so , welcome back .

          but now that you’re here , i prolly ain’t got time for you .

          • Wilsonian says:
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            @chata, hahaha! Very well played! At least I didn’t say I’d been playing fantasy basketball, or something like that. I knew the Chata love could only go so far!

            • chata says:
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              @Wilsonian,

              aometimes i don’t read so well ,
              but i think the biggest argument around here is :

              “what’s your opinion of gio gonzalez , this year ?”

              pretty divided camp .

              not too late for you to “log in” .

              • chata says:
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                @chata,
                edit * = S ometimes

                guess that goes for my typing , as well .

              • Wilsonian says:
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                @chata, based on my experience with him last season, I’m rather undecided on him. He’s gotta get his control in order. If he can cut a good chunk of his walks off, he really could be a sneaky #2 (heh, kinda sounds like a sneaky #2 could be pretty messy). If he keeps his walks in the same area as he did last year, it’s going to be another roller coaster year and I’m going to exorcise him from my teams.

                I read on twitter (Buster Olney, I believe, was quoting someone else) that WAS has the 8th best rotation in the Bigs.

  12. weas says:
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    Hey Grey, how many closers do you suggest owning in a 10 team H2H league?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @weas, 3

      • weas says:
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        @Grey, Thanks man, love the new comments format btw.

      • Shin-Soo Choo Choo says:
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        @Grey, I’m also in a 10 team h2h with 3 SP, 3 RP and 3 P. Do you recommend starters or relievers for the Ps?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          @Shin-Soo Choo Choo, You’re gonna rotate them all year depending on what you need. Probably 4 RPs to start.

  13. TheNewGuy says:
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    I guess the plan for all us fantasy owners should be to try and get 3 donkeycorns in our drafts then.

    Grey I know you’re a Matt Wieters fan this year, and so presumably would take him over Avila (at equal prices – $6) even in an OBP league. My question then is do you his his price, if so how many years would you keep him, 1 yr ($9) or 2 yrs ($12)? Or would you rather not keep him and head into the auction looking to get whoever else is available… take the safer bet?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @TheNewGuy, I’d take him at $6 or $9.

      • TheNewGuy says:
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        @Grey, Ok, he’s currently $6, so will be $9 with a 1 year deal. Seen he’s going for around $12-13 according to most sites so should be a small discount this year anyway.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          @TheNewGuy, Yup

  14. the grate one says:
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    hey grey. ive read the rankings and understand what youre saying on most of the guys…but on gut feeling alone – your instincts tell you that:

    a. its a good thing for me to own alex gordon with the expectation that outside of average he will give me the same of what i saw last year or better

    b. will disappoint me greatly

    c. there is no C

    thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @the grate one, A

  15. The Talented Mr. Dope Man says:
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    Few guys that stick out to me on this list, sanchez, pestano, reed, brothers, ogando, and lindstrom.

    A lot of people forget lindstrom had 20+ saves a few years ago. Sanchez saw a few saves last year in larussa’s closerousel, and although Motte really turned it on at the end of last year, he’s been inconsistent in his past. Pestano, Reed, and Brothers all have better stuff then the guy who’s in the closer role. And i just don’t think old man Nathan has it in him to pitch in that heat, Ogando is a GREAT arm, and would be like a neftali feliz part deux in the closers role.

    thoughts?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @The Talented Mr. Dope Man, Pestano and Reed will be closers at some point this year, Rockies could be a mess and Motte will be fine. Nathan will too if he stays healthy, which is no guarantee.

      • The Talented Mr. Dope Man says:
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        @Grey, I feel ya, as always. there’ll be a few closerousel’s spinnin this year… regardless of La Russa

  16. Steve says:
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    Does Guthrie now become slightly interesting now that he gets to pitch in the NL West (putting aside his starts at Coors, obviously)?

    Or is he destined to remain a streaming, match-ups guy?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Steve, Yeah, he could be useful vs. the Dodgers, Padres and Giants in Away games.

  17. Wilsonian says:
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    Does anyone have any idea when Yahoo is opening up the baseball leagues? I haven’t seen anything yet, and for some reason I thought it was before pitchers and catchers report.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Wilsonian, Tomorrow, I believe.

      • Wilsonian says:
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        @Grey, thanks for the quick response. Good timing for me to get back in the game!

        • Mic says:
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          @Wilsonian, I believe they postponed until Thursday…

  18. Yeah, I Remember When says:
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    wow. new slick look of razzball.

  19. Sol says:
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    Javy Guerra
    Grant Balfour
    Brett Myers

    So far indications show that these guys are the closers as opposed to jansen, fuentes, and Abreu..thoughts? by the end of spring training do you believe anyone of these will change?

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