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Sometimes getting to the World Series takes more than just talent.  Sometimes it takes a little psychological machinations to make it happen.  Sabathia brings the Brewers a talented co-ace with Sheets (bit of advice:  Sabathia was gassed at the end of the year – let him pitch a few 6 inning starts).  Durham provides them a motivational cattle prod for Rickie Weeks to step it up. The Brewers can say this was all about improving their depth but, really, do they make this trade if Weeks wasn’t hitting .216?  And it’s not like the Brewers are unafraid to make midseason adjustments.  Remember when they traded for F-Cord after Turnbow started to Turnbad? For his sake (and his FLB owners), Weeks better get hitting. When you think you can win the pennant, you put egos and reputations on ice. Remember the 1996 Yanks?  They were starting Charlie Hayes and Cecil Fielder over Wade Boggs and Tino Martinez at times. It’s all about production. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Heath Bell – Coughed up 3 ER in 1 IP. The other day 4 ER in 1 IP. Bud Black realizes the pain felt by San Diego that comes with every Trevor Hoffman 9th inning blown save so he’s now taught Heath Bell how to blow saves in the 7th or 8th.

St. Louis Cardinals – Glaus is hitting .284 and hits HRs every day.  Aaron Miles just went 3-for-5 with 3 runs and 4 RBI.  Let’s put it this way – if Larussa had the dice in his hand at a Craps table, I’m putting all my chips on the Come line.

Tim Lincecum – 6 IP, 5 ER. When walking outside in SF make sure you keep an eye on the sky, Lincecum’s falling to earth. And there’s nothing worse than getting Lincecum falling in your face. (And that’s a different Come line.)

Aaron Cook – Notched his 12th victory with 7 IP, 3 ER and an under one WHIP. I cannot believe I still have this schmohawk on my team in a ten team league, but he’s been better than I expected. I think the way he pitched in the All-Star game really showcased what he does best — get guys to groundout.

Kelly Shoppach – Now with 8 HRs…one for every million unhappy V-Mart fantasy baseball drafters.

Brian Wilson – A one inning Kazaam outing with 2 ER.  Wilson owners do not smile.  Some even make pet sounds.

Jaime Garcia – Gave up a home run to Cha Seung Baek. Cha Seung Baek you’ve just won a new Hyundai! Garcia is high on walks, decent Ks, very young. Deep league flier and matchups — like yesterday against the Padres, which didn’t turn out that swell. See first sentence of this entry.

Jose Guillen – Out of the starting lineup since the All-Star break with back spasms but contributed on Sunday with a SB and run in a pinch-hitting gig.  Assuming he doesn’t throw a tantrum and hurt himself, he should be a go in the next day or so.  Given he only has 1 RBI in his last 8 starts, keep him on the bench if you have a safer option.

Brandon Lyon – Two straight bad outings. This time, he spared Haren and took out his wrath on Webb.  Who misses Valverde?

Austin Kearns – 3-for-5 and scored 5 times in the rout against Atlanta, finally giving fantasy owners (all 16 of them) the right type of runs.

Mark Teixeira – 2 HRs in a losing cause.  Speak of losing causes, when are the Braves going to trade him?  Maybe the White Sox?

Jacoby Ellsbury – 0-for-5. The law firm of Jacoby Ellsbury just got served (you’re on your own figuring out that mixed metaphor). About .250 over the last two months, which I’d accept if he were stealing bags. He has one in July and it came on the first day of the month.

Edinson Volquez – 5 IP, 4 ER and he actually got lucky or there would’ve been more earned runs. You can’t say I didn’t warn you that the end of the brilliance was near.

Scott Baker – 8 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 8 Ks and was outpitched by Vicente Padilla who moved to 11-5. When a reporter asked Padilla if he thought he had a shot at 20, Padilla began to cackle at the absurdity of the thought. Latest reports confirm that he is still cackling.

Erik Bedard – Bedard out until August. Glass is half full, that’s only ten days away. Half empty, soon he’ll be out for the season.

Roy Oswalt – To the 15-day DL with a hip abductor strain. I wanted someone to take us through this to better understand how quickly Oswalt could return, so I asked the one person I know with hip problems. Grey’s Grandma, “A hip abductor strain? I think that’s the same thing Milldred got when she shouted Bingo. Supposedly, she didn’t even really have Bingo. She thought the Father said B-4, but he said “before.” Real shame to get something like a hip injury on a falsie. Have you seen my reading glasses? I put them next to the TV Guide and now I can’t find them. I wanted to do the crossword.”

  1. I wanna do Michelle Wie.

  2. @J-Bone: Are you a big dumb 7-foot oaf…might improve your chances

  3. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    Interesting to see predicted trends come to fruition: Volquez, Oswalt, etc.

    Left three HRs on my bench in the last three days, playing Musical OF/Util. First Bruce, then Davis, then, yesterday, Rios. (Thankfully, had 3 donks in the lineup yesterday — Swish, Longo, Holliday.)

    So of this crew of 6– Holliday, Rios, Swisher, Pence, Davis, Bruce — which 4 get the automatic playing time? I don’t want to play matchups. Playing matchups is giving me heart burn.

    I think for now Pence/Bruce are the odd men out. Or Bruce Pence. Sounds like a self-made millionaire who tries to sell you shwizz on latenight TV.

    NB: If you are not already on the Scott Baker Train, you need to get on the Scott Baker Train.

  4. Denys says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: Holliday, Rios, Pence, Davis. Whoa.

    Scott Baker Train has left the station in all of my leagues. I’m waiting for the Gio Gonzalez bus… whenever you’re ready Billy Boy (Beane). *impatiently tapping foot*

  5. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    This is a stroke of pure genius…

    “Brian Wilson – A one inning Kazaam outing with 2 ER. Wilson owners do not smile. Some even make pet sounds.” All two of us who got it are snap, cackling and popping.

    On the topic of Pet Sounds, I was doing some gardening yesterday. Along with squeeling like pigs, this is what we do in Iowa. I had my iPod set on shuffle and got three Beach Boys songs in a row. I am not ashamed of this.

    Waiver wire pickup quesion:
    Frank Thomas, yay or nay?

  6. Denys says:
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    @IowaCubs: Chris Davis > Frank Thomas… even Adam LaRoche > Frank Thomas… dude will be back on DL in 2 weeks time, they don’t give out nick-names just for the hell of it.

  7. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    @Denys: I’m thinking of Thomas as a Utility spot, not as a 1B or CI. I’m currently using Marcus Thames in that spot and I’ll probably just leave it that way until he stops hitting.

  8. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @IowaCubs: I agree with a) you on the Pet Sounds and b) Denys on Frank Thomas. Unless it’s a Nemo-deep league, who needs the aggravation?

    @Denys: Whoa? I can’t tell if that means “Whoa” like “Whoa, Dude, look at this awesome assemblage of talent you have through your genius collected,” or “Whoa! Pull back the ‘reins’ on this ‘horse’ before Swisher ‘spits the bit’ or some other more appropriate bridle-metaphor.”

    And no love for the Swish? He donked last night against KC — in fact, his:

    2/4 2 1 3 0

    made me feel better about leaving Rios’s:

    3/5 2 1 3 1

    on the bench.

    Since I picked up Swish he’s given me 20 R, 5 donks and 21 RBI in about 100 ABs — not terrible!

    Pence meanwhile is the master of the 1/3 1 1 1 0 night. Useful but uninspiring.

  9. Denys says:
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    @IowaCubs: Last time I checked you can put 1B in the UTIL spot. Thames, in my opinion, offers about the same amount of leverage as Thomas (upon closer inspection their last names are almost resembling of each other… anyway). I like Chris Davis’ upside, and Adam LaRoche’s 2nd half stats over Big Hurt, but that’s just me.

    @Baron Von Vulturewins: “Whoa!” like the Fonz. And I got love for Swisher, but you better bring some Advil along for the ride. Pence might yawnstipate, Swisher will make you vomit blood with his random weeks of 2-for-23 and a run scored. Are you really willing to sit through that before he hits his next HR?

  10. RT says:
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    *** Kerry Woods is going on the DL

  11. Cory says:
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    Billy Wagner is getting an MRI today on his shoulder.

    Do *****s mean a joke, or is that to draw attention to it. No Wood to DL info anywhere on the net

  12. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    Here’s why I never get past third place in my hyper-competetive 12 team roto league. I’m never satisfied with my team…

    We have five OF slots and I dropped Cody Ross for Ryan Sweeney. (Hey, the kid’s from Iowa, so I’m Sweeney biased). I could have just kept Ross and moved him into the Util slot. I heart Cody Ross and there’s nothing you can do to pull us apart, so I just picked him back up.

    Also… Guess which 2B has 7 homers in the last 18 games he’s started? If you guessed Mike Fontenot, then you deserve a kick in the nuts, cuz you’d be right. For a two month stretch last year, Fontenot had a .375 BA and 4hr. He’s worth owning and starting against righties in deeper leagues.

  13. RT says:
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    @Cory: No joke. Check Rotoworld.

  14. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @J-Bone: Yup.

    @danimal35: True. Damn.

    @IowaCubs: http://forums.razzball.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=646

    Did you hear from him?

    re: Thomas — Eh for now.

    Fontenot – What team’s he on again?

    re: Wilson — You like Smile, as well?

    @Baron Von Vulturewins: Holliday, Rios, Swisher, Pence or Davis when in Arlington and not against lefties.

    Bruce should’ve been traded a month ago for someone like Broxton.

    @RT: Hmmm…. Seriously? Link please.

    @Cory: Yeah, he’s not long for the closing world. Back in March, I didn’t think he’d make it to the All-Star break, and he almost didn’t. Duaner and Heilman look to close. Probably Duaner right now.

  15. Grey

    Grey says:
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    From Rotoworld, “The Chicago Sun Times reports that Kerry Wood (blister) may be placed on the disabled list as soon as Monday.
    A blister on his right index finger continues to be a problem for Wood after keeping him out of last week’s All-Star game. He hasn’t pitched since July 11 and won’t be available until Wednesday at the earliest even if he avoids the DL. ”We’re coming to the point where we’re going to have to come to a conclusion on this thing,” manager Lou Piniella said. ”We wanted to wait till we got to Arizona, but if he’s not going to be able to pitch Monday night or Tuesday, maybe even Wednesday … we’ll see.” If the Cubs backdate Wood’s stint on the DL, he’ll be eligible to return Sunday.”

  16. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    @Grey: Lou Piniella said. ”You mean I get to abuse Marmol some more? This is awesome! His slider is WhiteCastle-tastic!” I’m not buying it. I’d like to wager that Marmol is used sparingly until September or so and that Bobby Howry gets 2 saves during the Arizona series.

    I just picked up Howry in the RCL.

  17. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    @Grey: Yup… I replied to him… I recommended the billy goat tavern, the cubbie bear and for tourists Harry Carry’s. Also, shagging homerun balls during BP on Waveland is fun.

  18. James says:
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    Lincecum Jokes = the new Rusty Kuntz jokes.

  19. BSA says:
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    Ok- My time is limited for a few days but wanted to tag in on a couple of issue:
    1. not psyched to see that Bedard and Lincee were pooped on in today’s bolg. Also can’t understand why Giant’s manager would say we’re going to watch his work load and let him throw 6+ with 120 pitches and cough up 5 runs. Clearly wasn’t on his game and should never have gone out there. Was Dusty back in SanFran for a guest managing opportunity?
    2. nothing much to laugh or get giddy about at SS lately but this was nice to read this morning at CBS – “Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki (lacerated right hand) is scheduled to be activated from the 15-day disabled list Monday. Tulowitzki is 7-for-15 (.438) with two homers, three RBI, five runs and three walks in four rehab games with Double-A Tulsa.”
    3. Wakefield never should have gone back out. What does that tell you about Terry’s confidence in middle relief? That cost me a save op from Pap and a loss in the H2H league by 3 F’in points.

    Thanks for the extra space and now back to fatherin’ stuff.

  20. p0rk burn says:
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    @BSA: “Thanks for the extra space and now back to fatherin’ stuff.” Hmmm, I definitely read that to mean you are out there trying to knock something up. Based on the “stuff” part I’m not sure its human-human relations either. Good luck with that and make sure the blinds are drawn.

  21. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BSA: “Excuse me, sweetie, I know we just had a kid but I wanna check Razzball real quick.

    Lincecum’s way above his IP count. I pointed this out in the top 100 for the 2nd half.

    Yeah, I’m excited to get Keppinger out of SS, then again I might not be excited next week to have Tulo in SS slot.

  22. BSA says:
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    PB- background info – just had our third child. So as far as “knocking something up” Been there done that nine months ago. Now it is no blind drawing for the next month or so.
    Grey – she would kill me if she knew I had to “check in” with Razzball and my teams. I’m hoping Lincee puts together a couple of good wins and might try and move him. Also, I’m sure we’ll all be crying over Tulo again soon. Hopefully it doesn’t get to a point where we wish him back to the DL so we don’t feel bad for cutting him loose.

  23. Nick says:
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    Baker train has not left my league yet…but will very soon, so who do I drop…

    Guthrie, Carmona, Marcum ? I really want to give Marcum a shot when he comes back because he was solid for me prior to injury. I’d also like to see how Carmona does…I know I can drop Guthrie and nobody will pick him up because it’s an 8-team league and he really is not that good for an 8-team league.

  24. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Nick: Yeah, I’d also drop Guthrie.

  25. Denys says:
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    @IowaCubs: I agree, Howry is the pick-up. Marmol, especially with his latest struggles, will continue to be a situational/jam guy.

  26. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Denys: I hope you’re right, Denys. I hope your right.

    Just dropped Nomah to pick up Howry. Almost dropped Bruce but just… couldn’t… hit… the… button.

    Oh, and guess who I dropped to pick up Nomah two days ago?

    Frenchy.

    Au revoir.

  27. @IowaCubs: @Baron Von Vulturewins: Nice on Brian Wilson. Saw him perform a year or two ago for the ‘Pet Sounds’ tour. He had a 12-person band behind him and they played the whole album as well as Beach Boys hits. Pretty awesome even though he seems to suffer the same “drug-induced autism” that Ozzy Osbourn has.

    You realize, of course, our next reference of Brian Wilson is likely to be more biographically tasteless cuz we like to push boundaries…

  28. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: Rudy! A pleasure to see you here again. Nice to know you are a closet Beach Boys fan. I’m not a fan, I swear. I have no idea how that got on my iPod. I have no idea how that surfboard with the initials “B.W.” got tattooed on my neck.

    I swear I have no idea how that “4” and “9” got tattoed on my left and right buttcheek, but when I’m naked and bend over it says “4-0-9.” Weird.

    Boundaries? What Boundaries?

  29. Denys says:
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    My love affair is about to end.

    I get: Harang, I give up: Zimmerman.

    Do it?… I’m tempted.

  30. Denys says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: I dropped Bruce to pick up Willingham (I guess you could say I’m willing to ham it (I don’t even know what that means)).

  31. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Denys: The love affair ends as the agita begin. Yeah, I’d do that trade.

  32. Denys says:
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    @Grey: Done and done. Now hoping that the Disgraceful List stint helped out the cause.

  33. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Denys: Oh, yeah, I’d do that in a second. I wish I could trade Zimmerman to someone, for something.

    My feeling? You endure 4 more weeks of weak-hitting Zim and then he shuts it down for the year and goes under the knife.

    My knife.*

    *Took a dark turn at the end there.

  34. Denys says:
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    What about Bedard, should I try and push him for a lower ranked SP?

  35. jimmyz says:
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    I’ve been offered Jered Weaver & Brandon Morrow for Joba C. Thoughts? Any ideas on what else I could get for him?

  36. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Denys: No, I feel like Bedard’s injury is less a Disgraceful List stint and more an actual injury.

    @jimmyz: I don’t want those two schmohawks for Joba. Maybe Fuentes or Hoffman if you need saves. In other words, a guy that could lose his closing job to trade or who is old as dog balls but will still get some saves. Or someone like Billingsley, a pitcher whose club should let him pitch more innings with less babying.

  37. Denys says:
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    @Grey: Hmm, so be worried and trade him away, or keep him around until he comes back?

  38. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Denys: I don’t think you should trade him away right now. I think you’re stuck with him until he at least returns and pitches one decent game. Because of trade deadlines, you may get stuck with him. Unless there’s someone you can trade him to in your league that values him highly. Like if Bill Bavasi was in your league.

  39. Denys says:
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    @Grey: Yeah, trade deadline is August 10th. So I got 1 start if he comes back in time, MAYBE 2. The above mentioned Harang trade makes me feel a little better about it all, but it would seriously suck for Bedard to go down for the season. I bet a lot of owners that missed out on the Santana/Peavy/Webb/Sabathia sweepstakes in the first couple of rounds were banking on Bedard to anchor their rotation.

  40. Zebo says:
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    @Grey: do you drop Guthrie in 11 team mixed league? I gave up Trevor Hoffman for him 2 weeks ago, and he got embarassed in his last start.

  41. Frank Rizzo says:
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    I’ve carried Bedard’s dead butt all season. He’s never had value because he’s was either average, sucky, or hurt. He’s a hold because there’s absolutely no value in him. I did not sit around waiting for him to get better. I built a team without him and now my pitching staff doesn’t need him.

  42. jimmyz says:
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    @Grey: Thanks. I was leaning that way, but nice to get confirmation (I’m in 10th in a 12-team leauge – my confidence is shot). I’m off to try and get me an ‘old as dog balls’ pitcher!

  43. Chet says:
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    @BVV “Since I picked up Swish he’s given me 20 R, 5 donks and 21 RBI in about 100 ABs”

    Is a “donk” similar to a donkey punch?

  44. Zebo says:
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    @Grey: should I trade Cordero + Guthrie to acquire Dempster or Ducherer?

  45. Denys says:
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    @Frank Rizzo: I traded away my pitching to have a pretty sizable hitters collection.
    My staff now is – CC Sabathia/Billingsley/Maddux/Slowey/Harang (DL)/Bedard (DL). 16 team league – mind you.

  46. Steve says:
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    George to the DL with his gimpy shoulder. Is he done?

  47. knighttown says:
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    Using the “Grey’s method of trading closers” to try and target the guy with Kerry Wood (and Izzy). Offering Dunn and BJ Ryan for his Johan. Ya? No?

  48. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Steve
    ESPN said if the MRI is positive, George wants to shut it down for the year.

    @Knighttown

    If you don’t need Dunns power in the OF yeah.

  49. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey

    St. Louis Post Dispatch said today Jaime (that’s Hi-Mee BTW) Garcia probably will return to minors.

  50. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Zebo: I’d take Dempster for those two.

    @Steve: I think he’s been done.

    @knighttown: I’d want Johan.

    @BigFatHippo: Well, that was quick. I didn’t have much hope in him right now anyway.

  51. p0rk burn says:
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    Re: George

    I’m feeling much better about trading George away for Street. I was hurting for closers in that league – never quite recovered from Chad Cordero wanting the season off – so a gimp-likely Street was a move in the right direction in exchange for George. I was lucky to grab Bengie Molina at the beginning of the season before he went hot. 1/2 a closer is better than a nothing of a catcher. I’d say this was zigging where Grey zagged (as far as trading closers away to acquire pieces) but I doubt too many people were on the “Get Posada while you can buy-low” train.

  52. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @p0rk burn: Yeah, I don’t think Posada was a hot buy. I said to sell him every time I mentioned him. Last time I mentioned him in June, “Posada — 8-for-22 and two home runs since returning. Eh, Doumit did that in one game. If you need a piece, trade Posada and don’t feel guilty about it. As Oskar Schindler said, I pardon you.”

  53. Steve says:
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    @Grey: I drafted him in the 9th and then couldn’t trade him to any bastard. I came THIS close to getting Kinsler and Brian Wilson for him, K Johnson and Mariano, but alas.

    At least I grabbed Doumit way back when.

  54. p0rk burn says:
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    @Grey: I definitely knew your position on the man. I t was one of those situations where I was contradicting two different pieces of Grey advice while following another. You need to draw up a hierarchy of supremacy:

    advice about injured players > general trade advice > advice about closers > Harang.

    Or we could use common sense, but lets not turn this into a personal accountability thing.

  55. RT says:
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    Kotchman or Davis for the rest of the season?

    Kotchman is batting 2nd or 7th… Davis seems to be stuck in 7th….

  56. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey

  57. Kip Wells has taken off his shoes and one of his socks . . . actually, I think he’s crying.

  58. BigFatHippo says:
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    The previous comment has been censored by the FCC. What the fuck?

    @Grey

    My Kazmir, Loney for Morneau hasn’t been accepted yet.

    I think he was waiting to see how Kaz did tonight. I may back out as Loney puts up #’s I need (avg, obp, rbi).

    Still think I should deal Kaz?

  59. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @RT: I’d want Davis against righties in Artlington and Kotchman all other times. Can you swing that?

    @VanHammersly: Ugh, I forget to move Kip Wells into my lineup for Razzball. I think I’m crying. That’s like having a no-hitter on your bench.

    @BigFatHippo: I still want Morneau.

  60. RT says:
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    @Grey:
    Nope. I have Carmona and Marcum coming off the DL this week.. Two of the following has to go:

    Thames
    Davis
    Kotchman
    Matsui
    Pelfry
    Masterson
    Arrendondo

    Thames/Davis/Kotchman are kinda the same and in a deep league, I need Thames for his LF eligibility (even though he is so streaky). I need Matsui for SB and Masterson/Arrendondo for holds.

    I was thinking Pelfry and Kotchman.

  61. RT says:
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    Grey:
    Also, the Rangers have about 75% of their remaining games at home. Or something silly like that.

  62. BSA says:
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    He may hurt me any day now but, I love Harden —
    Not in a weird way or that there is anything wrong with that but,
    Damn I like those numbers tonight and I am hoping that due to the physical he must have head he checked out OK for the rest of the foreseeable future, in other words no hidden injuries or weaknesses.

  63. BSA says:
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    Too bad the offense can’t scrath up one run. Talk about tough luck loser.

    Also, pretty good welcome back for Tulo tonight.

  64. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @RT: I’d agree with Pelfrey and Kotchman.

    @BSA: Harden did look pretty tremendous tonight.

  65. Denys says:
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    Welp! If no one bought “low” on Cabrera so far… it’s too late.

  66. Denys says:
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    Also LaRoche with a homer. Good pick-up for me tonight! (too bad it’s after the fact but still)

  67. Steve says:
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    Carlos pena just hit the wire in my league. I already have Howard and Tex, but is he worth grabbing if he gets through waivers. Or should I just use my fantastic #6 pick and go for it anyway?

  68. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Yeah, I’d definitely grab him.

  69. Steve says:
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    @Grey: I’d be surprised if I get him, but could his 2nd half numbers be roughly comparable to Howard’s?

  70. Nick says:
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    My relief pitching has been taking a beating and I think it’s hurting my WHIP/ERA…
    Rauch, Torres, B. Wilson, Hoffman

    Should any of those guys be flat out dropped or used for any of these waivers…

    -Kobayaski(3K’s against the Angels tonight)
    -Wheeler
    -Gonzalez (2 rough last outings…)

  71. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Hmm… Nah. But still good and if not, you drop him. He is free.

    @Nick: Think you just gotta ride it out. If Rauch gets traded, be ready to grab Kobayashi. Or Ayala.

  72. Steve says:
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    @Grey: One more quick one – Nady or J Rivera?

  73. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: I’d take Rivera just cause of lineup. That might change if those idiots trade Nady already like they should.

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