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Alright, everyone.  It’s time to whip out your blue Metallica shirt or your black AC/DC one.  We’re about to rock out.  Duh-duh-duh, duh-duh-duh, duh-duh-duh, duh-duh-duh, duh-duh-duh…hrm, intonation is so important with these kinds of things and since you can’t write ‘DUH-DUH-DUH’ as a musical note, I guess I’m just gonna have to give you the source material.  Ok, now you ready?  What?  You don’t get what we’re doing?  Good God, where is your guy’s culture!  We’re doing some Air Guitar, Beavis And Butthead style.  Ok, now are we ready?  What, now you can’t get the timing down?  You need a metronome?  That’s not really gonna help, you gotta feel the rhythm!  I swear this is the worst internet fantasy baseball music class I’ve taught in my life… but while we’re on the topic of odd time signatures, I think now is a good time to segue into our topic du jour: Cream of Scott Kazmir.  What, where are you going!  Oh, my soup pun looks kinda bad in hindsight.  I should’ve called it Kazmir Bisque, I guess.  Just be thankful I didn’t call it Cock-a-leekie.  But nevermind all that, we’re here to talk about your deep league and how to fill your crockpot with the most savoriest of pitcher from the cheapest part of your draft stock… I don’t know where that metaphor is going, it honestly got away from me.  So lets abruptly move on, shall we?  Here’s why I think Kazmir will be the Ricky Martin in your Menudo for deep leagues for the 2014 Fantasy Baseball season…

So I started talking about old-time signatures and Kazmir, and how they correlate in the opening paragraph and then I distracted myself with soups.  I don’t know how or why that happened.  I must be hungry or, probably more likely, just very easily distracted… hey, look bubble wrap!  Let’s pop it!  What I meant to say in that segue was Kazmir has had a very up-and-down career, and for that reason, no one trusts his turnaround.  Heck, some of you may not even know who he is and considering the last time he was fantasy relevant was 2008, I can understand.  Back then, Kazmir was just 24 and seemed to be coming into a very promising career.  He had a drool-worthy K/9, a sub-4 ERA that sat in and/or around 3.50, and still had plenty of time to improve.  But underlying his successful start in Tampa were multiple DL-stints, and eventual velocity loss which slowly chipped away at his K-rate.  You can get away with walking 4.08 BB/9 rate when you’re striking out 10 per 9, not so much when your rate drops closer to around 8 which is where Scott found himself in 2008.

Now I’m not going to drag on about Kazmir’s trials and tribulations but lets just say at one point I’m pretty sure he had a psychedelic Led Zeppelin poster hanging in his room and said things like ‘far out, man’ more than one person ever should.  But as we’re not here to talk about the past, let’s talk about the present, and presently, Kazmir is coming off a season in which he set a career high BB/9 rate of 2.68 in which we saw a second-half where he exhibited a 4.82 K:BB ratio, a 3.38 ERA and a 10.25 K/9 rate.  Or as I like to call it– ‘the Kazmir we all knew and loved with a better walk rate’.  That’s a scary scenario, people.  Wanna know what’s even scarier?  You’d think with this long of a career already that we’re talking about some old and withered goat of a pitcher, but Kazmir is only 29.  In pitcher years, that’s not old at all.  Just ask Cliff Lee.  In fact, it’s been said that good pitchers don’t even get into their prime until their early 30’s, so we may still see some improvement from Scott on the way yet.  Yet even if he replicates his line from last year over more innings, Scott can give you a top 10 or 15 K-rate for a fraction of where others on that list from 2013 would go.  Overall, it may feel like an out of place note in a descending career but I do believe you’re gonna be striking a major chord getting Scott late in drafts this year…and was that enough musical puns to last a lifetime?  Yes?  Agreed.  And with that I’m out!

 

Sky Sperling is a contributor for Razzball Football and Razzball Baseball. He’s also a lover of fine beer, fine women and fine-toothed combs. You can follow him on twitter @Sky_Razzball and in your most sweetest of dreams.

From Around The Web

  1. Jay

    Jay says:
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    Stairway to Heaven’s good, but I was always an Over the Hills guy.

    • Dead Head says:
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      @Jay: I love the intro in both songs, but I tend to agree. Over the Hills was always one my favorites

    • Dead Head says:
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      @Jay: And that whole album is just amazing.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      I’ve always been partial to ‘In My Time of Dying’. The ‘Jesus Gonna make it my dyin, dyin…cough’ is just an awesome flub forever cemented.

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Sky: I’m an Achilles Last Stand guy

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          @J-FOH: Where did music like this go, JFOH? Or should I say J-FOH-GTA

          • J-FOH says:
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            @Sky: iTunes?

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              @J-FOH: Now you’re J-FOH-GTFOA

              • J-FOH says:
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                @Sky: please explain the acronym for the readers

                • Sky

                  Sky says:
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                  @J-FOH: It starts with ‘Get The’ and ends with ‘Outta Here’ but I typed ‘A’ instead of ‘H’ so it’s ‘Here’ with a Maine accent.

                  • J-FOH says:
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                    @Sky: I thought you guys encouraged snark? did I miss a memo?

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      It’s a snark symposium up in here!

                  • J-FOH says:
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                    @Sky: I can’t wait til the key note speaker on snarcasm begins

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      I might miss the first part. I’m always the last one to get in line for the catered coffee and muffins in the back.

                  • J-FOH says:
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                    @Sky: always in the bathroom with your “gas” issues

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      @J-FOH: Eventually if it happens enough it’s no longer an issue, just a part of life.

        • Wake Up says:
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          @J-FOH: Immigrant Song and When the Levee breaks, here…

          • J-FOH says:
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            @Wake Up: you love your Cubans don’t you

            • Wake Up says:
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              @J-FOH: simon cabron…

  2. Dead Head says:
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    I’m loving the trade to Oakland for Kazmir this year. Hopefully some of the hiccups last season will be neutralized in the new home park and he can be even better! Whoa that’s scary. Nice write up, I was thinking the same thing about Kazmir just recently so I’m glad I wasn’t just going crazy.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Thanks! I think part of that can be attributed to being out of baseball for so long. His ERA outside of a really bad August went steadily down throughout the year. I have high hopes for Kaz this year to excel well above his draft price.

  3. Bryce Krispie Treats says:
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    In a dynasty keeper league – would you flip a 4 dollar sano or a 1 dollar ceccini for a 1 dollar Kazmir or would you hold the upside and see what bargains come out of the draft. Also would you flip a 10 dollar Profar for a 6 dollar sonny gray?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      I’d do the Profar one but I’m not a big Profar believer. I’d hold elsewhere. Pitching abundant enough in most drafts/FA pools to not make that move.

  4. Prez says:
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    Why is the sky blue, but you are so golden?

    • J-FOH says:
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      @Prez: it’s the pee

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Prez: @J-FOH: That’s the last time I let R. Kelly invite me to the home of the Golden Arches…I thought we were going to McD, not McP.

      • Prez says:
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        Gotta be da pee!

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Shoulda known to never trust a man who sings about being trapped in a closet.

          • J-FOH says:
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            @Sky: that was a crazy night in LA

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              @J-FOH: So crazy, it was a two-parter!

              • J-FOH says:
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                @Sky: before the drugs and after the drugs

              • Sky

                Sky says:
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                Err, 22-parter..

                • J-FOH says:
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                  @Sky: you thought you went home the next Monday, it was really the monday the next week

                  • Sky

                    Sky says:
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                    I still remember the midget in the cabinet

                    • J-FOH says:
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                      @Sky: BTW, Gary says “Hi”

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      The Snail?

                    • J-FOH says:
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                      @Sky: the midget

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      Ah, you went Diff’rent Strokes on me. You know, I never understood the apostrophe in that title. Was that supposed to denote Ebonics?

  5. The Ghost of the Disappeared says:
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    Kazmir or Colon is the question or at least the comparison that should be made for the A’s in real BB. I like him for the A’s more than an ageing Colon.

    In fantasy shallow league, I could see him as a swing-man puddle-picked-up pitcher in Yahoo or ESPN as an add-on in selected starts. If he stays successful, then keep him. In general for me, low end SPing is not important at draft. That said, I regretted passing up Iwakuma (available late in all drafts) as I was high on him. A real mistake.

    Kazmir is not worthy of a draft pick even as a bench player. You are better off with a demi-closer who has a shot at the full time gig (that’s rock’n roll talk – isn’t it??) or better yet, an offensive player to pump up your ABs totals IMO

    In shallow leagues, SP is best back loaded from slow start dropped SPs and young arrivals. There is always time to get your GS or IP in later.

    Pitchers like Kazmir even if successful are a dime a dozen come end draft and after.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @The Ghost of the Disappeared: Well, I think most of your comment is pretty muted by the fact that I specifically said ‘deep league’ in the title but I hear ya. But that kind of stance could be said about…oh a million pitchers. The process of finding someone who’ll play above his draft – or in your suggested scenario – non-drafted status is pretty important. Grey has Cobb ranked 13th this year. I put a sleeper post on him last year when he blew up. Those guys aren’t just ‘FA fodder’ if you know what you’re looking for. They’re draftable so no one else gets them.

      • The Ghost of the Disappeared says:
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        Sky: In an 12 team AL Only Ultra league, I follow, Kazmir will go for around $10 -or + depending on where in the auction he is put forth for bid this year. His spring will be interesting to follow.

        I did not mean to denigrate him. I like him as a potenial comer – for his last year’s 2nd half alone. Is he one who has learned his craft – as you pointed out in the Lee comment. Maybe, this is the time of his 3 to 4 good years.

        Problem with A’s SPing is they have to have runs scored for them to get wins during the innings they’re out there. Kazmir’s match ups will be extremely important. IMO He looks to be slated as their #2 guy right now. (Is Parker healthy??) Meaning, he may have early tough match ups.

        The A’s may be a low run producing team this year (I’m worried about that – but, I worry about that every year for them and when they are scoring runs in bunches too).

        Milone’s 2013 in 26 starts win record points to this. He was able to win games through good match-ups and run support last year. They still demoted him from the rotation at one point and word is he is not slotted for the rotation this year. I like him. If I was another team in MLB, I’d be sniffing awfully hard for Milone via a trade. He’s a work horse.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          I took no ill will from your comments, trust me. Was simply saying to overlook pitchers with these peripherals late either requires you to fight for them on the FA pool or someone like me will take them. I’d be very surprised if Kazmir goes for that price, personally, unless we’re talking about a league that typically spends high on pitchers at that end. There’s usuallly a bucket of pitchers I hold in high regard late in drafts due to peripherals. Too many people focus on ERA/W’s and miss the key stats of successful pitchers. Happens every year. I’m more than willing to aim for this bucket at the end, see what I get and THEN go FA diving if it doesn’t work out. Similar concept, but not quite the same path as you had mentioned.

          Wins is a cat that’s hard to predict year to year. I’d rather draft the good pitcher and worry about wins along the way via streaming if I have to. If I get 6 IP, 2 ER, 9 K from Kaz and a ND, I’d rather have that than a 5 IP, 4 ER, 2 K outing from the winning Yankees pitcher for the day.

          A’s have enough pop in their lineup I’m not overly concerned. I think it’s that they have so few big names that people think they can’t do anything. They had 4 20+ HR hitters in the middle of their lineup last year and solid contact hitter types to balance them out. It’s just not a sexy lineup, but it gets the job done. Kinda like our Razzball writers.

          Milone had good matchups but he also didn’t give you much besides wins unless you started him at home and even then, opponent was pretty important. Milone makes me think of a Mark Buerhle type. A good enough pitcher who stays healthy who’ll get you 200 innings but will always have a middling K rate and probably pitch to league average. I just don’t see the upside in him in fantasy but for real baseball, he’s definitely a solid pitcher.

          • The Ghost of the Disappeared says:
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            Sky: Yes, Kazmir price will be in the range of $8 (low) to $14 (high) in my keeper ultra AL Only league. He is held at $15 now from a first round selection in the reserve last year (he will be tossed back most likely)

            Inflation and the player universe available at auctioned sees to this.

            Not to mention, the recent A’s successes and their seemingly always above average in pitching numbers is attracting more interest and pricing premiums.

            Other wild cards for creating inflation; the lowered salaries that the newwave of young players in the AL and MLB in general has created, PLUS, the recent years closer-eggedons have placed many of the new Closers on rosters at traditionally low low salaries and that has also dropped the prices of Closers in general too – because of their risk of replacement. These have created windfalls of extra F-dollars available at auction.

            That Howie Kendrick went for $29 last year – really paints the picture of insanity and the meaninglessness of standard auction values – yes, plus a bit of over amp-ed stupidity – no doubt.

            I agree with you on the not emphasizing Wins or at least, I once did… I’m a bitter SP fitter now..

            After about 3 years of not being able to buy a win. It had got so bad, I doing ancient Driud small animal sacrifices and smearing my body with their blood every morning last year for wins – It didn’t work – I’m getting a new incantation tome specifically for Fantasy Sports for this season .. I think, the Lidless Eye sells a Kabbalah based one .

            I had Price last year on a few teams – that is how bad it has gotten. I’ve also been on the wrong side of far to many Come Back wins… I hate Come Back wins now.

            Oops…. Ranting – Sorry

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              Yeah, I don’t like wins as a cat. Prefer QS. At least it has more to do with the pitcher than a win does. Again, not perfect but better than playing for wins. Too fickle, rarely has to do with talent of pitcher. Max Scherzer was great but he and Anibal Sanchez were separated very little by the numbers but one has 7 more wins than the other. They’re fluky and not in line with how good or bad a guy is.

              Closers should’ve always been a low cost investment in real baseball. The fact that teams still overpay for it is ridiculous. Don’t necessarily agree with your assessment still on Kaz, though, and why he’ll go at a certain price. He’s still back-end rotation material by most standards. Then again, I don’t play AL-only so not my area of expertise. If he’s in the FA pickup, barely draftable tier in your eyes for a regular league setup, that’s a hefty price change for cutting the pitching in half.

  6. costaricanchata says:
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    with the depth of that A ‘s bullpen ,
    Kazmir will only be going 5 innings on most starts .
    of course , in roto the adage is ‘never chase wins’
    but in h2h leagues with QS as a category , Kazmir could leave you wanting .
    even with 30 starts , he might only rack up 160 innings .
    but , your guess is as good as mine .
    for now .

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @costaricanchata: So we’re projecting the bullpen to pitch about 640 IP because they’re good and stacked? I don’t think the ‘if/then’ process on that line of thought really works, personally. You put your starting pitchers out there to pitch. Maybe he doesn’t stay in when he hits 98 pitches by 5 innings here and there but that seems like a very large logic leap to me.

  7. Cram It says:
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    What the hell? No stat projections? No end of season line? No telling us exactly where to draft him? People are gonna have questions yo! ;)

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Cram It: Ha, I’d project but then Grey would be all mad when I’m right and he’s wrong. I try not to make my boss jealous when I can. It’s why I don’t send him too many selfies. Makes him self-conscious.

      • Cram It says:
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        @Sky: I figured it was some sort of dynamic involving Grey.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          @Cram It: Haha, Jay does it but I don’t get overly specific when I do my personal stats. I typically say he’s either 160/180/200 IP and then give a K rate. ERA can go Eff itself and so can wins. Too many factors not really tied to the pitcher. I think he can get 180 IP this year which means I think he’ll hit around 170K minimum but I might be a bit smitten. 170/155 might be better

  8. oaktownsteve says:
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    baseball is some crazy shit, ain’t it? A guy who threw 1.2 MLB innings over three seasons and not only does he rematerialize out of the MFing blue, he chops like 1.5 BB/9 off his career rate.

    The lesson is not draft Kazmir. The lesson is, draft Mark Mulder. As Oaktown Jay said to me the other day, who would have seen that Mark Mulder would get a contract before Barry Zito (and quite possibly a better one than the one BZ is likely to get). Baseball is some crazy shit.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Ha, true. At the very least, Zito has proven to be a reliable 5. I’d put him in the Buerhle camp of ‘eh, ok, at least he’ll give us 200 IP, let’s sign him’.

      Mulder coming back at 36…I trust your intelligence Oaktown but something tells me you’re suffering from endowment effect here. You still have him in a 30 team dynasty, don’t you.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Czernobog: Ha!

      I got a One Direction add on my AC/DC video…I has a sad…

      I didn’t think of doing deep league on RP. So rare even in the deepest of leagues that there aren’t an abundance of RP to draft. But he’s definitely a closer stud in the making.

      • Czernobog says:
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        @Sky: He was just the first name I could link to acca dacca. Definitely a target in my deep keeper league.

        There should be more quality music linked to in razzball. I demand the Angels preview & prospect posts contain a link to the band. Who most readers won’t have heard of, not being Australian. I can definitely see singing this to some of my former high draft picks. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_py6WbMV1k

        Also a post about HR distance entitled ‘take a long line (drive)’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0ZKuqy1Pro

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Ha! I have a decent musical vocabulary, as does J-FOH. I can’t speak for others on here. Grey didn’t know who Joy Division was. I’m not a big JD fan but hey…I at least knew who they were…

          • Czernobog says:
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            @Sky: If Ian Curtis had a moustache, Grey would know who they were.

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              It’s possible but Grey loves pop music. Anything with a minor chord and he tunes it out.

  9. Wake Up says:
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    I have Victor Zambrano still…any hope for a turn around from him?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      I hear he’s tearing up the Venezuelan team, has added ‘Jr’ to his name and has Benjamin Button’ed back to being 22. ETA: 2015

      • Wake Up says:
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        @Sky: I think that trade might still work out for the Mets…

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Ha!

          This joke gets your foggot’s seal of approval.

      • Wake Up says:
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        @Sky: Carlos on the other hand, is punching holes right through that whole league…

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          I hear they fixed him by having him watch Water Boy and said for him to picture every batter as Michael Barrett.

          • Wake Up says:
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            @Sky: I still like Barrett to this day for that right cross to AJ!

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              If there’s anyone in life that deserves to be punched, it’s AJ.

    • Prez says:
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      @Wake Up: are we combining old players to make young ones again? Yes!

      Ill take Chase Ortiz for 400, Wake..

      • Wake Up says:
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        @Prez: Answer…What is the sexiest right side of the infield on the eastern seaboard? Alex…

        • Prez says:
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          @Wake Up: ohhh im sorry, the correct answer was Matt Adams and Kolten Wong…

          • Prez says:
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            Matt Wong!

            • Wake Up says:
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              @Prez: Isn’t Matwong the newest writer here at Razzball?

              • Prez says:
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                @Wake Up: Yeah, its JayWongs cousin…

  10. Justin says:
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    Sky, glad to see you back on the baseball side of the site. I appreciated the help on the football side of things. I asked you a keeper baseball question back in December, and you refused to answer due to it being a baseball question during football season, which I understand. If you don’t mind, real quick who would you keep? 12 team h2h 6×6 ops and QS are extra cats.

    Matt Adams
    Taveras
    Kinsler
    Yelich
    A.Garcia
    Rizzo
    S.Castro
    Granderson
    Jennings
    Cobb
    A.Sanchez
    Iwakuma.

    Thanks again man, and I am looking forward to some more deep league thoughts. Playing in an 18 team league for the second season this year.. shit is no joke. Thanks again!!

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      I refused to? Hrm, maybe I just missed it or did I just say no? Either way, sorry about that. Before I answer, how many can you keep? What’s the roster size?

      Glad you like the deep league approach! I’m in a 12 team keeper but 30 per roster and 2 at every IF position. I get excited about guys like Jed Lowrie last year and Greys like ‘ehhhh, ok’. Haha

      • Justin says:
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        @Sky: you had said to re ask during baseball season. It was the playoffs so you were swamped its all good we play 1 util 1 IF 2 sp 2 rp and 1 pitcher slot. Standard roster sizes

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          @Justin: Gotcha. Just to clarify, though, how many can you keep?

          • Justin says:
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            @Sky: haha seven sorry.

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              No worries, Adams/Garcia/Rizzo/Iwakuma/Cobb/Anibal and…eh, prolly Kinsler. You have a lot of unknown upside for hitting that may or may not even start for their team right now.

  11. Carnac says:
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    I read this post out loud and it lined up perfectly with The Wizard of Oz.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Carnac: I can taste colors!

Comments are closed.