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Hey boys and girls, it’s time to look at all of the fantasy baseball closers again. Now is this every closer? Yes, I just said that. Dur. Why aren’t you listening? Or am I being obtuse? Also this is the majority of setup men. Is this all the setup men? Ugh. It’s a majority of the setup men. You’re what we Italians call a stunod. Now don’t get all heated. My grandfather called me a stunod for twenty years of my life. Now I write a blog. Hmm… I need therapy! So we’re going to break the closers up into three tiers as we always do. The first tier, they’re the girls that won’t date your stunod ass. The second tier, they’re the girls that will date your stunod ass. The third tier, they’re the girls that keep calling your house trying to talk to your wife about the affair you had with them while you were in Buffalo for the weekend. If that’s not clear, wait until your tenth year of alimony and you begin to contemplate how much you would’ve saved just by having some crackhead kill your ex. Anyway, here’s all the closers and most of their setup men for fantasy baseball purposes, of course:

NO-BRAINERS

This tier is filled with a bunch of closers that are too good to be true. They seem indispensable, but they’re not. They just have an allure over you that scares you to trade them away. Set them free and if it’s meant to be… Or some shizz. I don’t know, why don’t you read the Hallmark blog if you want girly nursery rhymes? These closers are as safe as closers get, so trade them away.

1. Joe Nathan, MIN (Matt Guerrier, Dennys Reyes, Jesse Crain)
2. Jonathan Papelbon, BOS (Hideki Okajima)
3. Francisco Rodriguez, LAA (Justin Speier, Scot Shields, Jose Arredondo)
4. Mariano Rivera, NYY (Kyle Farnsworth)
5. Brad Lidge, PHI (J.C. Romero, Ryan Madson)
6. Takashi Saito, LAD (Jonathan Broxton)
7. Joakim Soria, KAN (Ramon Ramirez)
8. Kerry Wood, CHI (Carlos Marmol)

BRAINERS

Greed, Gluttony and Envy are three of the seven deadly sins. Then throw in coveting your neighbor’s closers and masturbating three times a day and fantasy baseball is going to send you straight to hell, unless you focus your energies on these closers, the Brainers. These closers seem risky, but end up paying dividends.

9. Jon Rauch, WAS (Luis Ayala)
10. Billy Wagner, NYM (Duaner Sanchez, Aaron Heilman)
11. Francisco Cordero, CIN (Jared Burton, David Weathers)
12. Brandon Lyon, ARI (Tony Pena, Chad Qualls)
13. Brian Wilson, SAN (Tyler Walker)
14. Mike Gonzalez, ATL (Blaine Boyer, Will Ohman, Rafael Soriano)
15. Jose Valverde, HOU (Doug Brocail)
16. George Sherrill, BAL (Bunch of Schmohawks)
17. Damaso Marte, PIT (Tyler Yates)
18. Trevor Hoffman, SDG (Heath Bell)
19. Kevin Gregg, FLA (Renyel Pinto, Matt Lindstrom)
20. Todd Jones, DET (Joel Zumaya, Fernando Rodney)

BRAIN FREEZE

Saves are wonderful. I love saves! I have Fuentes, Morrow, Kobayashi, Wilson and Franklin on one team! They just combined for two-thirds of an inning and 17 earned runs. OW! Brain freeze! Use the following closers at your own risk.

21. Huston Street, OAK (Santiago Casilla, Alan Embree, Keith Foulke, Joey Devine)
22. Salomon Torres, MIL (Eric Gagne, Guillermo Mota)
23. B.J. Ryan, TOR (Scott Downs)
24. Brian Fuentes, COL (Taylor Buchholz, Manny Corpas)
25. C.J. Wilson, TEX (Eddie Guardado, Joaquin Benoit)
26. Brandon Morrow, SEA (Sean Green)
27. Ryan Franklin, STL (Jason Isringhausen, Chris Perez)
28. Masa Kobayashi, CLE (Rafael Perez, Rafael Betancourt)
29. Dan Wheeler, Grant Balfour, J.P. Howell, TAM (Al Reyes, Troy Percival)
30. Octavio Dotel, Scott Linebrink, Matt Thornton, CHW (Bobby Jenks)

  1. Cory says:
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    Morrow #26? Sure theres Putz lurking, but Morrow is currently… well… the best pitcher all of time. Currently.* (i suppose that could change Marmol-style). 3 base runners in 12 innings this past month.

    Putz stunk half the season then went on the DL. Morrow hasn’t given up a run since that time, plus 2 weeks prior. I predict Putz comes back, has a 4.00 era and gets traded or stays in middle relief so they can “make sure hes healthy for next year and can pull him when medically necessary.”

  2. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Cory: Putz is due back after the All-Star break, so while I agree Morrow has been dominant until Seattle officially says Putz is out for the year I can’t recommend people trade for Morrow, moving him up would be recommending just that.

  3. wakeNbake says:
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    @Grey: Hey Paison!!! Yep 100% Italian here. I dont think that a day goes by that after I ask my father a question he doesnt reply… whattaya stunod?! Now here I am posting on your blog… hmm… coincidence?

  4. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @wakeNbake: Hey, paisan, I’m only 50% Italian. Other half is Jewish. Making me a pizza bagel.

    EDIT: For a capitalization, boi!

  5. Cowboy says:
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    @Grey: Speaking of using closers to get a deal done, did I do ok here? I dealt Utley, Ellsbury, Tulo, and Valverde for Kinsler, Morneau and Dunn. I have Rauch to replace Valverde, and I was starting Sheff at Util so Morneau is a nice upgrade and the main purpose of my trade. The guy was waivering on the deal and I added Valverde as the deal cutter.

  6. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Cowboy: It’s obviously not great when you deal away Utley, but it’s solid for you.

  7. Kevin says:
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    Obtuse? Perhaps you need another month in the hole to think about what you just said.

  8. Hank

    Hank says:
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    @Grey: Ok how bout this one: I give Braun and Slowey for Manny and Huff. First things first, I don’t need another 1B or 3B since I have Tex, Morneau, Miggy, and Berkman all with 1B, and Miggy and Braun with 3B. I currently have Morneau in my Utility slot and I was thinking I acquire Huff for the Utility role and trade Morneau plus a Parra type for an ace like Johan, Webb, Peavy, etc.

    Offense: Ianetta, Tex, Phillips, Miggy, Hairston, Braun, Berkman, Dunn, and Morneau

    Bench: Tulo, DeJesus

    My current staff is: Slowey, Volquez, Cueto, Sheets, Wolf, Guthrie, Billingsley, Jurrjens, Parra, Chamberlain, Kershaw (I know), Chris R Young, and Josh Johnson.

    Thoughts?

  9. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Hank: I wouldn’t do that. Why don’t you trade Braun for something you want? Like Peavy or Johan.

  10. Hank

    Hank says:
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    @Grey: Also an option. Occam’s Razor, the simplest of 2 hypothesis is most likely correct, I will see what a Braun can buy.

  11. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Hank: Yes, I believe Keith Hernandez is doing commercials for them, as well.

  12. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Hank: Also, I wouldn’t count on Huff as someone in your Util all season.*

    My rule of thumb in fantasy trades is that April, May and June are for acquiring talent; July and August are for filling holes. So I wouldn’t trade away Morneau and rely on Huff, since Morneau is obviously better. Yes, it’s July, but just barely; I’m still in “talent stockpiling” mode.

    I’m not just saying that b/c my boy Morneau went 5/5 today with a donk. Two days in a row. Canadian-style, snitches!

  13. Cory says:
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    Naturally Morrow blows his first save today. Son of a diddly

  14. willingham, pena, or laroche tonight? please help!

  15. peter says:
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    @Cory: Thank you, Grey, for killing the kid’s confidence. Now he’s thinking of himself as a 26.

  16. sorry, which one do i sit tonight or till the all star break?

  17. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @danimal35: Willingham tonight. I don’t understand your second comment.

  18. wakeNbake says:
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    Well Morrow just blew a save for me. Good news on Harang at least. MRI revealed no major damage.

  19. Zebo says:
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    Laroche (vs. Mussina) or Chris (All he does is hit homeruns) Davis (vs. Lackey) tonight?

  20. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Grey: It’s my new thing. The second half of the apostrophe will appear, but not until later. You won’t know where. You won’t know when. It’s an Apostrophe… in Time!*

    *Actually I just forgot to finish it and now I forgot what I was going to say about Huff.

  21. wakeNbake says:
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    Lackey is tought Id go LaRoche even tho I like Davis

  22. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Zebo: LaRoche

    EDIT: To wrong person.

  23. Zebo says:
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    @Grey: would you drop the following to pick up Scott Hairston?

    1. Chris Davis
    2. Laroche

  24. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Zebo: I wouldn’t drop LaRoche. Davis and Hairston are completely different type players. If you needed Hairston more than Davis, I would.

  25. knighttown says:
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    Not liking what I’m seeing from Jose Guillen lately. Hip issue, yelling match with coach and dropping numbers. However, 64 RBI’s is solid. Is he droppable? What if the only OFers I can find on waivers are Dewayne Wise, Mike Cameron, Juan Rivera and Bill Hall? I guess, also comment if any of them are better than Swisher or Ibanez or Quentin or Bruce.

  26. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @knighttown: I’d want Mike Cameron instead of Ibanez. I’d hold Guillen for now.

  27. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey

    I just asked a very long winded ? in the forums. It’s complicated and I’m thinking of just standing pat but let me know what you think when you get time.

  28. cruisinkc says:
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    Vernon Wells is junk… Out 4-6 weeks with a hamstring strain. Is he really worth holding on to through this DL stint?

  29. Shogun says:
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    @Grey: Thanks for the list. But I agree with Cory’s point about Morrow: notwithstanding Morrow’s blown save today, he has dominated. I read somewhere that Putz isn’t going to be given the closer spot right away upon his return, so I have to think the position is Morrow’s to lose, with Putz becoming trade bait as part of a Seattle fire sale. Given Morrow’s dominance and Putz’s incipient exit, I’d rank Morrow higher.

    What’s your gut on the Detroit situation? Jones blew another save today, and Detroit must be getting mighty tired of his snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Do you think Zumaya will be given the job after the break? I picked him up today with a speculative add in one of my leagues.

  30. BSA says:
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    Go Zumaya take the brass ring for the dogs of summer in the 17th round of the RCL draft. Go figure a closer with 100 mph fastball that low?! Can I be so lucky?

  31. john says:
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    I believe Rudy has been Greinke’d again!…I’ve lost count on the scoring of this matchup, Grey. Anyone been keeping track?

  32. Freak says:
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    * = asterisk, right?

    Or am I missing something?

  33. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @cruisinkc: I’d drop him. He won’t be back until September. Time to look elsewhere.

    @Shogun: I think Zumaya gets 7 to 10 saves, but Jones is never officially taken out. Unless he gets hurt.

    @john: Zoinks!

  34. Alright man, Soria getting some love :-P Although, Ram-Ram hasn’t really been the setup guy for a while now… it has been Mahay who will probably get traded pretty soon. The guy has electric stuff but is pretty old. If he gets traded to a team who needs a closer he’ll pick up some nice saves down the stretch. A sub-2ERA and tons of Ks too.

  35. Oh, forgot to mention, Brewers are looking for a closer and have looked at Mahay and of all people… Greinke! to take the spot… I just doubt they would want to pony up what it takes to grab Greinke, so look for them to get Mahay or another setup guy soon enough.

  36. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Gary R. Hess: Yeah, Mahay is the man, but being a lefty I doubt he would take over and that’s who I listed with the closers, but maybe Mahay would take over. Or maybe he’d get traded as you mentioned. It’s the Royals, ya’ll! Here’s to ’09!

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