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It’s time to take our beginning of the month look at all the fantasy baseball closers.  Here at Razzball we are always evolving like Saaphyri’s alliance on I Love Money 2, so I’ve added pluses and minuses in parenthesis for the movement a closer has had since the last time I went over them.  For example, if B.J. Ryan fell twelve spots from 10 to 25, he has a parenthetical negative fifteen next to his name.  If there was no change, no parenthetical.  I also removed the team they close for, because if you don’t know that, I’m not sure how much I can help you.  More than anything else, the closer list is constantly changing.  So you kinda need to follow along to my daily roundups, but if you like to have things all in one place, here ya go.  Anyway, here’s all of the closers for your fantasy baseball team, as of right now:

$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. Joe Nathan (+1) (Jesse Crain)
2. Jonathan Papelbon (-1) (Takashi Saito, Hideki Okajima)
3. Brad Lidge (Ryan Madson)
4. Mariano Rivera (Damaso Marte)
5. Francisco Rodriguez (J.J. Putz)
6. Joakim Soria (Joel Peralta, Kyle Farnsworth)

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.

7. Jonathan Broxton (Hong-Chih Kuo, Cory Wade)
8. Bobby Jenks (+1) (Octavio Dotel, Matt Thornton, Scott Linebrink)
9. Kerry Wood (+3) (Jensen Lewis, Rafael Perez, Rafael Betancourt)
10. Jose Valverde (+3) (LaTroy Hawkins)
11. Chad Qualls (+3) (Jon Rauch, Tony Pena)
12. Heath Bell (+4) (Mike Adams)
13. Brian Fuentes (-2) (Jose Arredondo, Scot Shields)
14. Kevin Gregg (+1) (Carlos Marmol)
15. Frank Francisco (+6) (C.J. Wilson)
16. Matt Capps (+2) (John Grabow)
17. Francisco Cordero (-9) (David Weathers, Jared Burton)
18. Mike Gonzalez (+2) (Rafael Soriano)
19. Brad Zielger (Santiago Casilla, Joey Devine)
20. Brian Wilson (-3) (Jeremy Affeldt, Bob Howry)
21. Joel Hanrahan (Saul Rivera, Steven Shell)

Brain Freeze

I’m going on 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.

22. Matt Lindstrom (+2) (Leo Nunez, Scott Proctor)
23. Huston Street (+6) (Manny Corpas, Taylor Buchholz)
24. Troy Percival (+4) (Dan Wheeler, Grant Balfour)
25. B.J. Ryan (-15) (Scott Downs, Jeremy Accardo, Jesse Carlson)
26. Jason Motte (-1) (Ryan Franklin, Kyle McClellan)
27. George Sherrill (-1) (Chris Ray)
28. Brandon Morrow (+2) (Miguel Batista, Chad Cordero, Roy Corcoran, Mark Lowe)
29. Carlos Villanueva (-2) (Trevor Hoffman, Todd Coffey, David Riske)
30. Fernando Rodney/Brandon Lyon (-6) (Ryan Perry, Joel Zumaya, Axel Foley)

From Around The Web

  1. I love Jason Motte this season and think very soon he will be a $12 salad. The kid can strikeout 13+ batters every 9 innings. Knowing LaRussa they might be slow to trust him, but with Perez in the minors will they really choose Franklin over him?

  2. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    What are the odds that Axel Foley takes over in Detroit? I thought he was on assignment in Beverly Hills!

    Also, is now the time to drop Lyon for Judge Reinhold?

  3. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Troy Patterson: Yeah, he can move up if LaRussa would just commit.

    @IowaCubs: Assignment in LA was only a temp thing. Think he’s back in Detroit.

  4. Jon says:
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    Gregg over Capps? Really? Capps is over his injury problems, right? And has no competition to speak of.

  5. Jon says:
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    Also, who’s your pick between: Weathers, Saul Rivera, Shell, & Grabow?

  6. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Jon: I’m presuming Capps will get less save chances than Gregg.

    @Jon: Weathers

  7. Pops says:
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    @Jon: Capps doesn’t strike out many ninjas. He doesn’t walk too many, either.

  8. Jon says:
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    @Grey: Ok, I assume that’s because Cordero is the least stable. How about Weathers vs. Burton? The guy who has done it before or the better pitcher?

  9. Joe S. says:
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    @Grey So is it worth while to drop m. gonzalez for h. bell? or is the difference negligible

  10. PWNightmare says:
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    I’m not sure if Leyland is gonna fall for the banana-in-the-tailpipe.

    I’m hot for Burton as I’ve already expressed in the previous entry. Do you really think F-Cord isn’t gonna turn it around?

  11. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @PWNightmare: I never said he wouldn’t turn it around. He’s not that low right now in the rankings. I think he’ll be fine unless he’s hiding an injury.

  12. Doug Ault says:
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    @Grey: I think everyone inmy leagues are drinking your kool-aid.I can’t give away Dempster or Lee for a closer,and we’re talking Cyrus Young Lee!

  13. PWNightmare says:
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    That’s what makes the RCL such a challenge, your secret weapon is everyone’s secret weapon.

  14. PWNightmare says:
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    @Doug: Then again, I look around my league & there are some rosters filled with every closer Grey mentions. Something tells me that that strategy may backfire.

  15. cubbies299 says:
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    Well, my relief squad just received the final donkey punch today. Lyon, Corpas, Devine. Need. I. Say. More.

  16. Baron Von Vulturewins

    Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @cubbies299: Ouch. You’re like the guy in my league last year who drafted Putz, Rafael Soriano, and Gagne as his bullpen. Bing. Bang. Boom.

    If it’s any consolation, that guy won the league, even though he finished dead last in saves. (I was already at the bottom of Davy Jones Locker by then, with Jeff Francouer wrapped round my neck.)

  17. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: @IowaCubs: Axel Foley, Ha! Nice catch Iowa.

    Just started my vacation/fantasy baseballin weekend right about…………..Now.

    Been out of the loop for about a month, no time for research, keep the names coming from now till Sat morn.

  18. Doug Ault says:
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    @PWNightmare:Closers are such an unstable comodity.I guess I’m fated to be chasing the Rodney and Villanueva’s of baseball.If Gagne was still in play, I’d be considered a “chubby chaser”

  19. BigFatHippo says:
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    BTW, perfect timing for a Closer Look, Grey.

  20. Emporers Monkey says:
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    Morneau, Braun, Baker, BJ Ryan, good god my cash team is already falling apart. How much stock should we put in Morneau’s latest back tightening? Is it the same injury that screwed him up a few years ago?

  21. SP says:
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    Pick two or three from the following list for holds and overall goodness:

    Jensen Lewis, Santiago Casilla, Weathers, Rafael Soriano, Betancourt, Crain, Samardzija, Howry, Grabow.

    I’m in an 18 team league so these are the only setup guys available.

  22. jsp2014 says:
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    what concerns you most about Morrow that he’s so low? Injuries, chance he starts again, both, neither?

  23. peter says:
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    @jsp2014: My guess is that there’s still a little bit of a question mark around Morrow’s health… plus there hasn’t been an “official” announcement that he’s the closer. My feelings are that as soon as we see him a game or two in a row, we can move him up the menu quite a bit.

  24. jsp2014 says:
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    @peter: True. I think that makes a lot of sense.

  25. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @cubbies299: Eh, you’ll probably have two closers from those three by May.

    @Emporers Monkey: Hopefully he’s fine. I’m not a big Morneau fan as it is, so, well…. ya know.

    @SP: Soriano, Casilla, Weathers, Lewis, in that order.

  26. Doc says:
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    @BFH: Arod has been on fire this spring. Schilling looks like a solid sleeper.

  27. john says:
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    I think my friend Charlton said it best: “You Maniac, Leyland! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell for not closing with Lyon”

  28. john says:
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    On a related note, hows Thome (a bench hitter for me) for Ziegler?

  29. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @john: Get Ziegler.

  30. B.J. says:
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    Hey guys, I’m in a 10 team yahoo 5×5 h2h league and Brett Myers just passed through waivers. My SP looks like this as of right now: J. Santana, Haren, Gallardo, Greinke, Josh Johnson, Randy Johnson, Johnny Cueto with Jenks, Capps, Hanrahan and Motte as my RP. We start 2 SP, 2 RP, and 3 P.

    What I’m asking is would you drop any of those guys for Myers. I think the most likely to go would be Randy Johnson, he’s always hurt but had a great 2nd half of ’08, or should I let that wife beater sit on the wire some more.

  31. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Doc: Hehe, not that out of the loop, although I did just draft Tino Martinez in a mock at ESPN.

    @john: Release the apes!

  32. Josh says:
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    I do not like Cliff Lee… his spring stats suck, and I sold on him last year for a sweet haul. But would it be ignorant to pass up getting Lee for Weeks and either Jimenez or Vasquez?

  33. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Doc: Holy crap, Cutler went to your Bears.

  34. i got one open roster spot and will have another when BJ finally gets added…I don’t have much offensive depth so I wanna add a couple of guys there. I was looking at ed encarnacion and dan murphy but they both got snaked today before the DL spots opened up so I am looking at these guys being available: Ian Stewart, Jose Guillen, Hermida (yahoo thinks he is gonna break out this year), Lind, Jacobs, Teahen, Fred Lewis, Andrus, Dickerson, Emilio, Dexter Fowler, and Ben Francisco oh and of course Freese…I feel particularly weak at 3B with Pablo starting there

    are there any pitchers that should be left unguarded? I have a lot of depth at pitching but I also have Guthrie who we all have been uninspired by lately…if I have to sit him against half his own division…what is the point with pitchers like Gavin Floyd, Pelfrey, Clay Buch, Jair, Ubaldo, J. Sanchez, and Marshall out there? Do I need to get one of these guys? I know you guys have been dissing tweaks already but I got roster spots to fill (at least 2 and maybe 3 if I can’t stomach a Guthrie.

    I also have broxton, Bell and Hanrahan closing…do I use a spot for rodney?

    I guess it would help to know my lineup: Ianneta, Fielder, Roberts, HanRam, Pablo, Kemp, Rios, Votto, Ankiel, A. Jones, BJ when he gets back and Felipe Lopez for now…Thanks for any advice!!!

  35. Doc says:
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    @BFH: Not MY Bears!! Steelers fan here. That’s crazy. They gave up two #1 and a #3 pick. They have no wide receivers! Cutler screwed himself. Marshall and Eddie Royal vs. Hester and another scrub isn’t even a choice.

  36. john says:
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    @BigFatHippo: those damn dirty apes

  37. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Doc: Hehe, yeah I know. If you hear a knock on your door that’s Ditka with a club in his hand, hunting Steeler fans who live in the windy city. I just twittered him.

  38. Doc says:
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    @BFH: If Ditka shows up at my door I’m going to hit him over the head with one of his merlots and ask him why he gave the Fridge a TD over Payton. Twitter that!

  39. BigFatHippo says:
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    @danimal35: Stewart, Lind, Francisco, Emilio, punt.

    Pitchers, I like Floyd.

    And finally, A. Jones: I hope that’s Adam and not the fat A. Jones in Texas.

  40. Frank Rizzo says:
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    gay cutler goes to the windy city. the bears were obviously bullish on him because they mortgaged their future. earl bennett is a wr in chicago and he was cutler’s #1 wr in college for a year. just sayin.

  41. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Josh: I want Weeks and one of those pitchers over Lee.

    @danimal35: Jair, Ubaldo, Marshall, punt.

    Yes, you should own Rodney.

  42. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Frank Rizzo: As a Bronco fan this is now my favorite term, “gay cutler”.

    And that’s Cust Kayin by the way, keeping it in Razzball terms.

  43. Frank Rizzo says:
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    @BigFatHippo: If that’s your new name for Cutler, then I can’t even imagine what your new name is for McDaniel, your 32 year old punkazz coach who thinks his shizz don’t stank cuz he coached under Belichick.

    What’re Joshy’s pet names nowadays?

  44. vinko says:
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    How long will it take before Ryan Perry gets a shot at the title? Worth a bench spot in a 14 team league?

  45. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Frank Rizzo: Your new name not mine, unless that was a typo. Either way, I like it.

    Don’t have a pet name for Josh yet, “Little Buddy” comes to mind. Gilligan, perhaps? Pat Bowlen is obviously the Skipper.

  46. @BigFatHippo: def the Adam version

    I dropped Guthrie and picked up Stewart and Rodney and as soon as BJ hits the DL I will pick up one more at least for the short term

    Thanks guys

  47. papasmurf says:
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    why has affeldt moved ahead of howry on the depth charts?

  48. Donald says:
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    You would take Villanueva over Hoffman?

  49. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @vinko: If you have room, sure. I wouldn’t be rushing just yet to add him for a chance at saves.

    @papasmurf: Word on the street says he’d grab saves if Wilson’s finger doesn’t get better.

    @Donald: Nah, Hoffman’s still the closer when he returns. I’d want both, but wouldn’t drop Hoffman for Villanueva.

  50. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Ha! I have four of the bottom-ranked nine! If Sherrill loses his job, he’s probably not getting it back, is he?

  51. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Not without an injury to Ray.

  52. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Yeah. He’ll be toast. Not even a trustworthy Holds guy.

  53. The Dude says:
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    Just got offered this deal:

    I get: Quentin, E. Santana and Ubaldo
    I give: Kemp and Greinke and would have to drop someone – probably Jonathan Sanchez

    I should also note that use OBP and TB instead of AVG and HR – otherwise standard 5×5

  54. Martin says:
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    The Dude- yes that is a close trade but personally i prefer kemp and grienke. Plus its always nice to have a open spot on your team for waiver pickups.

    Grey- just wanted to know if the angels are ever going to put kelvim escobar on the DL so i can also do so on my team

  55. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Martin: I think they all wait until just about opening day for that, so soon.

  56. Martin says:
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    also who would u rather have paul maholm or pettite and JD drew?

  57. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Martin: Can I say neither? I’d take Drew and punt Pettitte.

  58. Den says:
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    I have Corpas and Lyon. Do I drop both of them for Villanueva and Rodney?

  59. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Den: Drop Corpas for Rodney.

  60. BSA says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Hey Hippo I got some names for ya. Can Saturday get here fast enough?

    Steve, better sleep Friday night – 3 AM comes quick!

  61. Steve says:
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    @BSA: Will be Saturday night for me, big guy.

    Planning to sleep on the couch in the living room so as not to disturb the household.

  62. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: What’s Saturday? RCL draft?

  63. Steve says:
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    @Grey: You know it, baby.

    Then I stagger from that to Hippo and Al K’s auction keeper.

    With a family birthday in between…

  64. Doc says:
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    @Steve: Don’t hit your head in that Hobbit hole. Wouldn’t want you to be incapacitated during the draft.

    So has everyone copy and pasted Grey’s top 300? Will we be fighting over VICTORINO!!!? He’ll probably go 7th.

  65. B.J. says:
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    Hey guys, I’m in a 10 team yahoo 5×5 h2h league and Brett Myers just passed through waivers. My SP looks like this as of right now: J. Santana, Haren, Gallardo, Greinke, Josh Johnson, Randy Johnson, Johnny Cueto with Jenks, Capps, Hanrahan and Motte as my RP. We start 2 SP, 2 RP, and 3 P.

    What I’m asking is would you drop any of those guys for Myers. I think the most likely to go would be Randy Johnson, he’s always hurt but had a great 2nd half of ‘08, or should I let that wife beater sit on the wire some more.

  66. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @B.J.: I’d drop Johnson for him.

  67. fireorlime says:
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    @B.J.: I would not drop any of those guys for Myers.

  68. B.J. says:
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    @ Grey- which Johnson? Randy or Josh? I’m assuming Randy, correct

  69. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @B.J.: Yeah, Randy.

  70. B.J. says:
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    @ Grey- Thank you, sir. I was leaning towards dropping the Unit just needed someone to push me lol

  71. cockyphoenix says:
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    Ugh. Ryan and Devine are on way too many of my teams. This will not end well.

    In other news,
    Maholm had his worst start of the spring on Wednesday, allowing three runs on six hits in four innings against the Red Sox

    That’s the kind of stuff I like to see on the razzteam.

    In a bit of an ironic development, Sidney Ponson’s rotation spot has caused the management of Sidney Ponson’s Right Hook (I waited too long to draft him and he got ganked) to pray for his failure sooner than later to make room for Hochevar. Hmmph

    Hopefully my early-season sleeper Cody Ransom will pan out; where’s Girardi got him slotted anyway? 8? 9?

  72. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @cockyphoenix: 10th? You better hope A-Rod has a setback.

  73. cockyphoenix says:
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    @Grey: what he’s ok? I’m mega busy with school did something happen

  74. cockyphoenix says:
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    @Grey: and Alex Gordon is his backup, so there

  75. cockyphoenix says:
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    @Grey: I picked up Ransom in like the last round. I fully intend to drop him within the next two months

  76. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @cockyphoenix: He’s good value for the last round. You did good, CP.

  77. cockyphoenix says:
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    @Grey: word.

    And I just read your B Lyon post, too. It helped said Razzball team recover from its pitchers oversucking their way to the minors. Thanks

    Richmond makes strikeouts. Holy control. No thanks.

    Outman: “His K rate belies the quality of his stuff.” Wow, that’s a really euphemistic way to put it, ESPN. Welcome to the club buddy

    Porcello: 5 K/9 and jumping straight up from High-A. Wow, sign me up

  78. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @cockyphoenix: Oh, yeah. They’re all terrifically awful. You’re getting the hang of how to read the daily roundups. If I say bad things, it registers bad as in good.

  79. Emporers Monkey says:
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    I have a better nickname for Cutler. It involves putting a ‘N’ between the U & T in his last name.

  80. RGP says:
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    If Ray gets the job, is he a Donkey Corn?

  81. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @RGP: Definitely.

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