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Until we go over the top 20 closers of the 2009 fantasy baseball season, this is our last closer ranking.  Too bad, so sad.  For those in very deep leagues, I give you the name Matt Lindstrom.  Not so your friends now call you that.  No, I give it to you as an example of what can be found in September closers.  Teams who fall out of the race (Indians), or teams that can’t afford to lose a lot of games (Phils) sometimes flip the script in September.  With the Indians, for instance, they may realize watching Wood be meh isn’t as exciting as giving the ball to a potential closer of the future (Chris Perez).  Now during the daily roundups and Buy/Sells, I’m sure I’ll mention closers to watch, but keep in mind guys that don’t have the job, but may get the audition.  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) (Matt Guerrier, Jon Rauch)
2. Mariano Rivera (+2) (Phil Hughes)
3. Jonathan Papelbon (-1) (Takashi Saito, Hideki Okajima, Manny Delcarmen)
4. Jonathan Broxton (+1) (George Sherrill, Ramon Troncoso)
5. Francisco Rodriguez (-2) (Pedro Feliciano, Sean Green)

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. Ryan Franklin (+4) (Kyle McClellan, Dennys Reyes)
7. Heath Bell (-1) (Luke Gregerson)
8. Brian Fuentes (+11) (Jason Bulger, Kevin Jepsen)
9. David Aardsma (+10) (Sean White, Mark Lowe)
10. Huston Street (+1) (Rafael Betancourt, Matt Daley)
11. Joakim Soria (-4) (Jamey Wright, John Bale)
12. Brian Wilson (+1) (Jeremy Affeldt, Bob Howry)
13. Jose Valverde (-4) (LaTroy Hawkins)
14. Trevor Hoffman (Todd Coffey, Mitch Stetter)
15. Andrew Bailey (+8) (Michael Wuertz, Brad Ziegler)
16. Francisco Cordero (-8) (Arthur Rhodes, Nick Masset)
17. Fernando Rodney (-1) (Bobby Seay, Brandon Lyon)
18. Carlos Marmol (-3) (Angel Guzman, John Grabow)
19. Bobby Jenks (+8) (Matt Thornton, Octavio Dotel, Scott Linebrink)
20. Rafael Soriano (-3) (Mike Gonzalez, Peter Moylan)
21. J.P. Howell (-3) (Dan Wheeler, Grant Balfour)

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. Leo Nunez (+7) (Matt Lindstrom, Kiko Calero, Dan Meyer)
23. Frank Francisco (+3) (C.J. Wilson, Darren O’Day)
24. Mike MacDougal (Jason Bergmann)
25. Kerry Wood (-2) (Chris Perez, Rafael Perez, Joe Smith)
26. Jim Johnson (+4) (Danys Baez)
27. Matt Capps (-5) (Jesse Chavez)
28. Brad Lidge (-7) (Ryan Madson, Scott Eyre, Random Fan Who Wins A Contest)
29. Jason Frasor/Scott Downs (-1) (Brandon League)
30. Chad Qualls (-10) (Juan Gutierrez, Clay Zavada, Esmerling Vasquez, Daniel Schlereth, Blaine Boyer, Ken Patera.)

  1. spencer says:
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    Davis over Wieters? Which do u drop if I have Napoli and Konerko/Helton that could fill in.

  2. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @spencer: I’d drop Wieters.

  3. airlifting says:
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    really? ryan franklin over bell, wilson, street, and soria? i don’t own him anywhere, so maybe i don’t realize how good he’s been…but doesn’t that just show how volatile relievers are?

  4. Josh says:
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    Remember the days when Lidge was a $12 salad? Good thing I don’t own any in that class except Broxton in one league. Maybe Lidge can be a bargain closer for next year?

  5. Critter Nagurski says:
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    how about middle relievers? i’ve gotten more mileage out of middle relievers because hardly anyone plays that game. they help a ton with ratio stats and k totals

  6. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @airlifting: Yeah, Franklin’s been really good.

    @Josh: He might be. I wouldn’t be opposed to drafting him late.

  7. airlifting says:
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    sure, but what future gains can you honestly expect from a dude who has averaged 91.2 on his fastball this year, has a 93% strand rate, and a BABIP over 40 points below his career avg? i just don’t see a lot going forward, as opposed to guys like andrew bailey and brian wilson who have done nothing but improve on previous seasons and have highly comparable numbers (and bring a lot more Ks than franklin)

  8. Jeff says:
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    Ryan Zimmerman – 7
    Adam Jones – 9
    J. Vazquez – 11
    Votto – 13
    McLouth – 16
    McCutchen – 21

    Your choices – Zimmerman, Votto, McCutchen
    big o’s choices – Jones, Vaz, Votto

    My initial thoughts were McCutchen, Votto, Vaz

    Curious on your thoughts of taking a better player in a lower round, i.e. Zimmerman, vs a more unproven commodity or pitcher in a later round? I keep tossing around if I should take the best players or 4th best player but in a later round, especially if he could improve greatly in later years and you could keep him longer.

  9. Steve says:
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    Mmmmm. Is anyone else enjoying the Votto-Gomes combination special?

    And that’s after a fatty Shields entree.

  10. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @airlifting: This about what he’s done so far and what he can do for the next month. Will he be above those two next year, maybe not, but for right now, I’d take Franklin.

    @Jeff: I wouldn’t take a pitcher with three choices. So Vazquez is out. Jones is a possibility, but you can get him back in the draft if you want him, McCutchen you’re not getting in the 21st round and he has the ability to jump more rounds than Jones between 2010 and 2011. Say Jones makes good on his promise, he becomes a 3 to 4th rounder, you’ll have him in the 6th, McCutchen can become a 8 to 9th rounder and you’ll have him at 18.

  11. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: I wish I was enjoying any of them.

  12. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Both dishes are off. An 0-8 and a win that actually doesn’t help much but included 4 earned.
    Should have ordered the steak.

  13. mr baseball says:
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    Kendry Morales – 2-for-4 with his 30th homer yesterday. He hits .311 on the year as he nears 100 RBIs. Still, I get the feeling he might be underrated next year.

    Not By Me

  14. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Oh, I went by context clues in your comment and misread them. Glad I’m missing dinner then. Shields has been benched indefinitely in away games for me.

  15. airlifting says:
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    i’m really enjoying the votto/rolen/mccutchen bento box today. a delicious 1/12. i can’t wait for dinner. sadly, i didn’t order a carlos pena away vs a LHP today appetizer. heard it wasn’t too good.

  16. Royo says:
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    @Jeff: Fun fact – Ryan Zimmerman has been (very slightly) more valuable than Mark Teixeira this year in my league. If you buy into his performance this year, it’s hard not to like him in the 7th round for you next year. The guy only turned 25 a couple of days ago. Personally, I go Zimmerman, Votto, McCutchen. Assuming the D. Pirate stays atop the lineup, you just don’t get 90 runs from the 21st round that often.

  17. Matt K says:
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    Is wondering about Vincent Padilla a dodger, or Brad Penny now a giant….or Pedro now a philly….

  18. Doug Ault says:
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    @Grey: I think Cito is about to put Downs back in as closer,he seems to be back on track.

  19. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @airlifting: Mmm… Bento box.

    @Royo: Yup

    @Matt K: Penny, but be careful.

    @Doug Ault: I kinda hope not because I own Frasor, but no one’s been getting saves for the Jays anyway.

  20. TYY says:
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    so drop qualls do i even wanna snatch up JUAN GUTIE? ughhhhh

    all i have is frasor, cordero, and marmol for the playoffs coming up…

    good thing i’ve secured the $500 pot for first place regular season huh? I always choke in the playoffs/finals!

  21. TYY says:
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    and never mind since guit is gone….

    f me and having a job

    i guess grabbing downs to handcuff frasor wouldn’t be horrible….

    F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F

  22. TYY says:
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    i’ll roll the dice with Chris Perez and hope kerry woods arm falls off!

  23. Matt K says:
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    Cueto activated…wonder if he’s gunna at least get k’s now. Might like him better than penny. Sonnanstine could put up some wins too. Lotta options for 6th starter in 19 team league.

  24. Doug Ault says:
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    @Grey: Agreed,the Jays are a mess….I just finished watching 6 innings of “BASEBALL” by Ken Burns,in two days,I needed some fresh air :-)

  25. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Matt K: Cueto’s worth grabbing in a 19 team league, but I wouldn’t start him out of the gate, unless you really need the start.

    @Doug Ault: Never saw it, might watch it in the offseason.

  26. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Had pork bento for lunch yesterday. G-O-O-D.

  27. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: I had a bacon-wrapped hot dog. B-E-T-T-E-R? Maybe.

  28. Steve says:
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    @Grey: No argument there. Bacon is king.

  29. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Bacon’s King, and I’m a Queen for bacon? Huh? Good? Might need to rethink.

  30. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Sorry – not feeling it. Feel free to violate the never-explain rule if you want.

    Should actually broaden my previous proclamation to say that meat of the pig is king.

    With apologies to anyone for whom it’s not, of course.

  31. Tom_Emanski says:
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    Playoffs starting in my league. Should I start Derek Holland vs. Toronto today?

  32. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: I find the less obvious the origin of a meat, the more tasty. You’re not getting by on your looks when you’re a mystery meat. It’s all about the taste.

  33. Razzin says:
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    Need HR and RBI. Who should I pick up for my Util spot?
    CarGo, Cust, Quentin, Votto, Thome

  34. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Tom_Emanski: He was just clobbered vs. the Yanks, but the Jays haven’t been good. Without knowing more of the circumstances, nope.

  35. Steve says:
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    @Grey: You know it. The slow-cooked cheap stuff always turnes out the best.

  36. Steve says:
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    @Razzin: Votto’s on waivers?

  37. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Do you get Top Chef in New Zealand?

  38. Razzin says:
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    @Steve: Yeah, Votto was on waivers. How crazy is that?? I picked him up before Grey came back with his answer. I thought there must be some injury I hadn’t heard about. Maybe dizzy spells again… but it looks good! Dumb luck.

  39. Steve says:
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    @Grey: What is this – the offseason already?

    Re: Top Chef – No – I don’t think so. There is a food channel on our pay tv service here that has a whole bunch of stuff like Iron Chef America (just seems like a bunch of people shouting to me) and a programme called Celebrity Masterchef (from the UK) is pretty popular, but no Top Chef I don’t think.

    Probably only a matter of time, though.

    Did you ever see Oasis, BTW?

  40. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: The band? Not in concert.

  41. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Yeah. I’m guessing you got to know them during your English sojourn.

    Would have been pretty difficult to avoid I imagine.

  42. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Never really liked them. Seemed like pompous douchetards. Musically, I liked that one album — the popular one.

  43. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Yeah – they weren’t that likable – although I guess you don’t have to have them round for dinner, as they say.

    They were kings of the world for 3-4 years there, though.

  44. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Yeah, likability doesn’t really matter. But they haven’t had an album in ten years, have they? What makes you bring them up? They just release something new?

  45. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Nah – just a throwback to the reference in yesterday’s round-up.

    They’ve released albums pretty regularly over the years, but nothing that’s been worth much more than a hill of beans in comparison to Definitely Maybe or (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?

    It’s kind of topical tho as Noel’s just stomped off out of the band (again) – and looks like it might be for good, this time.

  46. Steve says:
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    @airlifting: The Gomes leftovers are not too bad once they’ve been left in the fridge for a while.

  47. Steve says:
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    @Grey: OK – enough of the food analogies.

    You gotta stock up on the doubleheader guys, but I’m having a hard time remembering if it’s ever really worked out for me in a big way.

  48. Steve says:
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    Sweet, I’m a combined 2-39 today.

  49. airlifting says:
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    @Steve: i’m enjoying my mccutchen/votto leftovers, right now. leave me the hell alone. 0/13 on the day.

    if another one of those god damned amstel light, black eyed peas/billy butler/bob dylan, geico caveman three doors down commercials comes on i swear to god i’ll paint the walls with my brain.

    this while being a white sox fan and watching nick blackburn accumulate three strikeouts in 1.2ip. please end my life.

  50. airlifting says:
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    and i benched carlos pena! awesome!

  51. Martin says:
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    Would you start correia vs. WAS, lannan @ SD or tomko vs. KC?

  52. Steve says:
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    @airlifting: I think it’s fair to say that the Votto has gone cold.

  53. big o says:
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    @airlifting:
    you’re a white sox fan ?

    then you’re the guy i wanna bitch to ,
    about that dimweed announcer , who keeps yelling :
    “and you can …. putitontheboard .. yeah ” .

    that shizz has got to stop .

  54. airlifting says:
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    @big o: dudes been an announcer for like 30 years…can’t imagine i’m the *first* white sox fan you’ve ever come across.

  55. big o says:
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    @Jeff:
    @Grey:

    not to beat a dead horse , and i’m certainly NO expert , but ,
    re: vazquez :
    a) not my favorite SP
    b) locking up 180 + K’s in the 8th round (repeat …. 8th round ??)
    c) no “c”
    d) yep , this time , there’s a “d” ….
    if you don’t take vazquez in the 8th , are you guys selecting a SP earlier ? and who might you be targeting . or expect to be available ?

    e) ‘member that shizz about adam jones running ??
    (he meant NEXT year) .

  56. Martin says:
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    should i drop joba now? I imagine the yanks will increase the pitch count by 20 pitches each start to get him ready for the playoffs.

  57. Steve says:
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    Man, I came within a mouse click of picking Barajas up for today’s game. But he’s had so little playing time lately, I couldn’t be sure he’d get the start.

    That said Suzuki has fit right into my team, his 0-3 cnotributing handily to a 3-25 day.

  58. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @big o: Pitching is volatile and when only keeping three guys it doesn’t seem like you need to keep a pitcher. But Vazquez is solid and probably will go in at least the 8th round next year. Probably earlier, but it still doesn’t make Vazquez safer than a hitter.

    @Martin: I would drop him, yup.

  59. Steve says:
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    And somewhere a Wolfman howls at the moon.

  60. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Such BS. I can’t believe his luck.

  61. Steve says:
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    @Grey: I own Upton in one league so there’s that. Really wanted that win in the RCL though.

    Got Sanchez @ Philly and Pineiro v Brewers to choose from tomorrow. The latter? Or is Sanchez worth a shot against all those left-hand bats?

  62. DrEasy says:
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    Some fool has dropped Podsednik. Should I drop Snider or Eric Young to pick him up?

    (PS: Lind is God)

  63. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: If you need the Ks, Sanchez is worth starting there.

  64. JPH says:
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    @Grey: I own Arroyo and Smoltz and am looking to drop one of them so I can grab Nunez…I’m leaning towards keeping Smoltz only because I have more faith in the Cards helping Smoltz get wins…is my logic correct?

  65. DrEasy says:
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    @Grey: Done! Thanks!

  66. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @JPH: Arroyo for Nunez makes sense.

  67. DrEasy says:
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    @DrEasy: (answering my own question) He probably will be used for pinch-hitting purposes. I don’t see him being used at 1B. He’s probably safe to drop then, right?

  68. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @DrEasy: Yup, safe to drop.

  69. Steve says:
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    @Grey: H2H, would you start Hudson or Carrasco over Richard?

    Solid day today with Wolf, Bailey, Guttierez, Wuertz and Mijares so ratios good.

  70. Jay says:
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    Is Marmol the main closer for the Cubs now? Also, how long do you think Matt Diaz is going to stay hot for?

  71. spencer says:
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    are you taking Porcello on weds?

    or maybe Homer Bailey…he’s facing the Pirates.

    Bannister?

  72. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: I wouldn’t start any of them for ratio help. They’re all risky. But Richard, Hudson then Carrasco, in that order.

    @Jay: Diaz could stay hot through the end of the season. Yes, it’s Marmol.

    @spencer: I’d go with Bailey first, but I wouldn’t start any of those guys.

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