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A little insider info, I wrote all of the pitcher profiles for one fantasy baseball preview magazine.  (And here I didn’t even know they made magazines anymore!)  Felix Doubront didn’t make the top 100 for that magazine.  Did I shortchange them and their readers so I would give more to you Razzball readers?  Um, well, I wouldn’t say I shortchanged anyone.  I just, you know, had selective fantasy ‘pertness for those outside of Razzball’s universe.  Last year, the Po’ Sawx looked like they were a dozen eggs short of an ostrich egg.  Ellsbury, Ortiz, Pedroia were hit with injuries and that wasn’t even the big problem.  Their pitching looked like one of those fake vomit plastic discs where the factory in China accidentally put real vomit into one.  “That’ll teach those stupid Americans to scare people with uncontrollable indigestion problems.”  That’s a fake vomit factory worker in China.  His name is Wei-Spray.  He hates his job.  He used to work at a fake doody factory, but felt like it was below him.  He didn’t catch the irony of that.  For starters with at least 160 innings, Doubront had the 4th best K-rate.  Right behind, Scherzer, Darvish and Gio.  That’s elite company.  There’s not a drafter out there that doesn’t know to look at those three.  Doubront’s BB-rate wasn’t great, in fact, it wasn’t good.  But of those four he didn’t have the worst walk rate, that honor goes to Darvish.  If you asked a hundred fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term), who will have a better season, Darvish or Doubront?  I guarantee you that a majority, if not all of them will say Darvish.  I’m not sure it’s that obvious.  So, what can we expect of Felix Doubront for 2013 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

His Home/Away splits weren’t pretty.  A 5.33 ERA vs. 4.37 in and out of Fenway.  The 5.37 ERA in Boston was aided (hindered?) by a .332 home BABIP.  His xFIP at home was 3.64.   Of course, Fenway has a higher BABIP on average than most parks.  One way there’s the Pesky Pole, the other way there’s a giant wall that was built to block the odor of the Cask ‘n Flagon (unsubstantiated rumor).  Doubront could get lucky and have a sub-.300 BABIP, but I doubt it (or Doubront it, if you like symmetry).  His other glaring red flag is his innings jump from 2011 to 2012.  He could go down with an arm injury in 2013.  No way of knowing that, so we’ll ignore it because of where you’re gonna be able to draft him.  His K-rate should work fine with his walk rate.  If he makes any gains — not just some gains, but any gains — on his walk rate and strikeout rate, he’s going to be a huge sleeper.  Think a 3.50 ERA and 200 Ks-type sleeper.  More than likely, he’s going to struggle at home and put up an ERA around four.  For 2013, I’ll give him the line of 12-12/3.92/1.33/185.  Definitely worth a late-round flyer.  (BTW, when I Googled if it was spelled fake doodie or fake doody, one of the search results was a Yahoo Answer, “Is it okay to put fake doody in the work refrigerator?”)

From Around The Web

  1. Terrence Mann says:
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    mdc pulled some crazy shizz this week. They basically reranked everybody and the new rankings came out of nowhere – certainly not mdc mock results. Probably the most unexplainable change in rank is Goldschmidt. I did five mocks at mdc over the past month and the earliest he went was pick #62. During December, his mdc adp listing was around 80. The new rankings have him at 23! A lot of the new adp rankings seem to be in line with nfbc, but even they have Goldschmidt at 51. If anyone can explain this to me, I would love to hear how and why mdc’s rankings strangely shifted in one fell swoop. I’m perplexed.

  2. Birdmann says:
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    Mdc rankings have always changed based on current draft results and as more of us get geared up and start flooding the site they, have in the past, change them based on that. I agree that is a pretty big jump though.

    • Terrence Mann says:
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      @Birdmann: I just checked the Bill James 2013 progno. 104 27 109 .283 15

      Bill James is behind this, somehow.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        @Terrence Mann: They might’ve waited until they had a a larger set of data for mocks and then just updated it, rather than updating it after every single mock as they lead to believe…

        • Terrence Mann says:
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          @Grey: I know they only update when they feel like. Im about positive that their adp rankings aren’t based on adp from their drafts, as crazy as that may sound. There is no adp reasoning for Goldschmidt making the jump he did. I seriously think they may have plugged in Bill James projections and reranked everybody.

  3. Birdmann says:
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    Felix’s ERA and whip scare me.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Birdmann: Come down from the tree, Birdmann, and give him a shot…

  4. Tom says:
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    Grey – what are your feelings on Travis d’arnuad. There’s talks that he will be up in the majors in may.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Tom: I like him, rankings come out next week…

  5. Pops says:
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    When can said magazine be found on bookshelves? I usually grab a hard copy of something to reference in a pinch.

    • Wallpaper Paterson says:
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      @Pops: I don’t know which one he wrote for, but some may be available already. I saw Lindy’s fantasy baseball magazine in Barnes & Noble last week.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Pops: Not sure when it’s on bookshelves (magazine shelves?)…

    • jason batteiger says:
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      I don’t know which mag Grey wrote for, but Baseball Forecaster, one of the best out there, is out, mine’s in the mail.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Nah, wasn’t that one…

  6. mauledbypandas says:
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    how is January Grey feeling about Adrian Gonzalez? I am seeing him round 40 many places. Very enticing!

      • mauledbypandas says:
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        @Grey: yeah late third to late 4th. Granted the rankings I see are early ones and subject to change. Not that impressed with what he did in his stint with the Dodgers last year, but I think there is some real value to be had if he stays near the 4th round.

  7. fri-guy says:
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    in a keeper league where they would both cost the same (to keep), do i want scherzer or gallardo and why?

    • fri-guy says:
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      @fri-guy: i can keep either for the next 4 years, to add to the question. tx.

      • alldayLT says:
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        @fri-guy: id want scherzer because while they are both very similar at this point, if scherzer can reel in his control some his strikeouts will increase and whip decrease with potential for era decrease. for this yr maybe gallardo but long term scherzer

  8. alldayLT says:
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    can’t wait for your rankings to begin grey. as a fantasy baseball nut i look everywhere but here is the place to go and let’s face it, most of these ‘perts’ don’t have a clue. one guy said because of position scarcity that buster posey is the #1 first baseman….good lord….i hope that guy isnt disappointed in his last place finish

    • alldayLT says:
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      @grey: quick on keepers, starling marte for $5, trevor bauer for $2 or Mike Moustakas for $4? $360 budget play obp in addition to typical 5 categories. moose and starling both suck in obp unfortunately

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @alldayLT: Maybe he’s got a postseason award category in his league…

  9. OaktownSteve says:
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    I had him circled going into the off-season as a guy to look at because of the K rate of course (thank you Fangraphs leaderboard!). One thing that has me worried is the second half splits. The BB rate went from 3.28/9 to 4.98/9. His walk rate has actually trended up as he has moved through the minors, so I don’t necessarily see signs that improvement is to be expected. I’ve also looked at some video of him. Here’s a pretty good sample of him at his best:

    http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=25206875&c_id=mlb

    He’s listed at 6’2″ 165, which is kind of slight, so I wanted to look at if he’s got one of those really high effort deliveries to generate that much velocity out of that frame. In looking at video he actaully doesn’t look that skinny and the fastball motion is fairly relaxed. However, the mechanics are a little funky. He seems to open up a bit and pitch across his body especially with the fastball and it sails, whereas with the breaking ball he’s driving the front shoulder and those pitches are down (there are some nasty backfoot sliders in the highlight reel). It seems like most of the delivery and the arm slot are fairly well repeated until the end where it seems like he’s a little variable with his landing foot (which goes back to the opening up early).

    Just to play amatuer scout then, I’d say he’s got to be really careful to lock in that delivery if he wants to be more consistent. Some of the scouting reports have him as a guy who can go from locked in to walking the bases loaded in the span of a couple of innings. I’m still very interested because of the K rate, but I’d say I’m a little more down on the possibility of a breakout. I’d expect an ERA of 4+ and a WHIP above 1.30.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @OaktownSteve: That was the first time I watched baseball since October and it got me so jazzed… It was like I was watching a unicorn dancing to Gangnam Style… His mechanics being funky: Probably why he can’t locate pitches… Someone being drafted as late as Doubront is worth a draft pick for his Ks alone… He’s around Matt Harvey and other late round K flyers for me… I honestly don’t know if he can control his mechanics, probably not… But if he does… It could be a thing of beauty…

      • OaktownSteve says:
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        @Grey:

        ain’t baseball just the greatest?

        A guy like Doubront is always draftable. Even with all the stats and scouting available, it’s impossible to know if a guy will breakthrough. He might be sitting somewhere right now eating a big bowl of Captain Crunch and watching Charmed re-runs. Or he might be working on his mechanics. I would say that a breakout isn’t going to happen just based on the talent level alone; there will need to be real improvement in his game. But you just never know.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I thought the Red Sox eat fried chicken and drink beer? Hopefully he’s working on his mechanics…

          • OaktownSteve says:
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            @Grey:

            Chicken and beer during the season, Capt. Crunch and Charmed are the offseason routine. Alyssa Milano, huge baseball fan so it all makes sense.

            Speaking of chicken and beer, I like Josh Beckett this year. LA park bench sleeper…hiding in plain sight.

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @OaktownSteve: I get all of the Sox games and have seen him quite a bit. You’re pretty much right on the money. He has good stuff and can breeze through three or four innings, but then gets wild, walks two or three guys and gets hammered when he throws a “get-it-over” pitch to stop the bleeding. He seemed to do this in almost every start last year. I wouldn’t touch him unless he fixes his mechanics cause when he gets rattled, he seems to lose focus and has no clue where the next pitch is going. ERA in the mid-high fours and a WHIP of 1.35 sounds about right.

      • OaktownSteve says:
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        @Big Magoo: @Big Magoo:

        good to know. I love the hometown fan perspective. I was thinking it would be cool if Razzball put like a “homer” page on the forums where you could basically share stuff about your favorite team for the benefit of the Razzball readers/posters.

        Go back to the video and watch in particular the strike out at about 44 seconds in on a high outside fastball. You can really see that right shoulder whip open and then he gets a little bit under the ball. That’s the kind of thing where once the league has seen him a few times, they start making him throw more strikes. Of the 10 Ks in the hightlights the majority are swing strikes on pitches way out of the zone.

        • Big Magoo

          Big Magoo says:
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          @OaktownSteve: Exactly. He has value as a spot-starter when facing free-swinging teams, but don’t even think about starting him against veteran teams who exhibit good plate discipline. He’s a ratio killer in those situations.

        • Wallpaper Paterson says:
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          @OaktownSteve: I could do some Mets homer stuff, but then that would mean I would have to watch the Mets.

        • beardcrabs says:
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          @OaktownSteve: now that is a good idea for a forum section…

          • mauledbypandas says:
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            @beardcrabs: This sounds like Derek Holland from a few years ago. Shame he never turned the corner

          • OaktownSteve says:
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            @beardcrabs:

            I know that would be sweet right? I always think that really good fans who follow and watch their teams carefully and who aren’t idiots are a great source of information for fantasy purposes. Problem is knowing if the info source is a good egg like you excellent commenters or some yahoo.

  10. Jon says:
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    What kind of a year are you expecting from Casey Kelly?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      He’s not in the rotation right now… He could have a 7-ish K-rate and a mid-3 ERA… Will be good for home games when he’s in the rotation…

  11. Reno 911 says:
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    Happy new year Grey. Question for you. I’m thinking of trading Cargo for Max Scherzer. Important to note that this is for a H2H weekly points league, and their points projections are pretty much the same for 2013. They both have one year left, and Scherzer is just a little cheaper. I’ve had Cargo for the last three years. His production has declined, and when he’s got an entire week on the road, I may as well start David Murphy (IMHO also a bit of a sleeper this year). I think Scherzer has broken through and will outperform his #25 SP ranking, making this a decent move. What do you think? Gracias amigo.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I wouldn’t make that trade…

      • Reno 911 says:
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        Don’t trust Scherzer, think Cargo is going to truly be a top-10 OF, or both? Of note: I have E5, Yadier, Zobrist and Joey Bats as keepers (hitters), and zero SPs (I do have Kimbrel and Rodney who I’ll be keeping–cheap), so I’m deep w/ hitters and shallow/non-existent w/ SPs in a 12-man league. Gracias again.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          CarGo is a top 10 OF… If he stays healthy, he could be top 5… I like Scherzer… But Scherzer and CarGo aren’t close…

          • Reno 911 says:
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            Guess I’ll be drafting some SPs! Thanks for the advice.

  12. DKohn says:
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    Grey,

    I read your website every morning with a religious devotion. Mid season last year my friend made the mistake of telling me about the hilarity and genius that is Razzball. I went on to claim 2nd place (from the 6th seed) and my fantasy baseball world was forever changed.

    I’m writing to you though, because of an inner struggle with my conscience. There’s nothing I would like to see more than for Razzball to reach its greatest potential, as I know the joy and happiness it could bring to even the most casual of baseball fans. But are other people’s happiness, and Razzball’s success worth the money I could be costing myself?? How will I win my fantasy championship without my ace in the hole?

    I guess my question is what do I do? Do I bury the secret deep down, knowing full well the disservice I am doing to baseball, or spread the gospel, and get the world (or at least my friends) asking, “Who is Grey Albright?”

    • beardcrabs says:
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      @DKohn: depends whether or not you’re selfish… I myself am selfish…

      or tell everyone, except your league mates of coarse…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Put yourself at peace and tell everyone about us… You’ll sleep better at night, after you stay up to 12:15 AM to read the newest post before your competitors…

      • DKohn says:
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        @Grey: Ha, as always probably good advice

  13. Jon says:
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    How close are Stanton and Harper in value in a keeper league? Who do you prefer long-term and would you deal one for the other? (I own Stanton.)

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      They’re pretty close… I’d want Stanton…

      • OaktownSteve says:
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        @Grey:

        For me I could see Harper overtaking Stanton when I feel more comfortable with the track record (more than one year) because of the speed.

        • Jon says:
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          @OaktownSteve: yeah, that’s what I was thinking, too. Harper will (probably) never match Stanton’s power but might bring more overall to the table.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, people were flippin’ crazy for Lawrie last year too… We’ll see how he does this year…

  14. The Vaporizers says:
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    What’ s up Grey, hope you have been enjoying the winter.

    In my keeper league, I get to keep 8 of the following. Its a 12 team league, H2H roto that includes hits, OPS, holds and QS and we get one utility spot.

    I intend to keep:

    Butler
    Headley
    Braun
    Trout
    Harper
    Verlander

    and then get to keep two of the following as well:
    Kipnis
    I. Desmond
    Sandoval
    Bumgarner

    I have been leaning toward Bumgarner and Desmond because Kipnis holds extra value since he was a rookie and has a lot of trade value. I can get a top 2 overall pick in the prospects draft for him but probably wouldn’t even find a trade partner for Desmond…

    Who is Grey keeping in this situation? Kipnis and Desmond and worry about pitching in the draft?

    • The Vaporizers says:
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      @The Vaporizers:

      oh, and fyi, this league really leans towards keeping bats. There will only be about 10 – 15 pitchers being kept.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Desmond and Bumgarner…

      • The Vaporizers says:
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        @Grey: Thanks homie!

  15. TheNewGuy says:
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    Hola the Greyt one, got some keeper contract decisions to be made during the offseason. Will throw them at you in small chunks, first guy:

    Jose Altuve- think he’s a definate keeper at his price. Either $6 (1 year) $9 (2 years) $12 (3 years), or $9 (renewable year). Which do you like sir?

    Not sure on his power upside for a guy so small, but maybe he can be a Craig Biggio and hit 10-15 homers in his prime, so im thinking either 1 or 2 years.

    • TheNewGuy says:
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      @TheNewGuy:

      And its an OBP league not AVG, make any difference?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Hola! 2 years… $9

  16. Steve says:
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    Just call me the washed-up players correspondent, but Kelvim Escobar has just signed with the Brewers.

    He’s been throwing well in winter ball and is – wait for it – in the best shape of his life!

    They plan to use him as a reliever…

    • Steve says:
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      @Steve: Er, he’s a non-roster invitee to spring training. As you were, all you MR. Bs.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I wonder if he went out of his way for the last few years to be out of shape to make it easier to get into the best shape of his career…

  17. GTS says:
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    10 team H2H roto 6×5 (standard cats + OPS) mixed auction league ($260 cap). Which 7 keepers would you keep:

    Fielder, Prince(1B) DET $34
    Kinsler, Ian(2B) TEX $30
    Longoria, Evan(3B) TB $19
    Craig, Allen(1B,OF) STL $8
    Gordon, Alex(OF) KC $11
    Jennings, Desmond(OF) TB $4
    Rios, Alex(OF) CHW $7
    Stanton, Giancarlo(OF) MIA $7
    Lawrie, Brett(3B) TOR $4
    Profar, Jurickson(SS,2B) TEX $1
    Zimmermann, Jordan(SP) WAS $16
    Greinke, Zack(SP) LAD $26
    Samardzija, Jeff(SP) CHC $8

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Stanton, Lawrie, Longoria, Jennings, Zimmermann, Fielder, Greinke…

      • GTS says:
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        @Grey: Would you rather own Longo or Votto? I have 2 at 3B and this guy has Trumbo and Votto and no 3B. It’d be beneficial to both of us to trade.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Votto

  18. Paddyman says:
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    Hey Grey,
    I’m in a keeper league. H2H, points, 9 hitting and 9 pitching categories. We keep 5 guys. I tend to try and keep hitters mostly but would like to hear who you would keep from this bunch.
    Hitters:Reyes (ss), Beltre (3b) Willingham (of) Rios (of) Jackson (of)
    Pitchers: Sale, Bumgarner, Scherzer, Jordan Zimmerman

    Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Reyes, Beltre, Bum, Zimmermann, Scherzer…

      • Paddyman says:
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        Thanks for the reply. Are you staying away from Sale due to injury concerns or you think this will just be a sophomore slump for him? I would’ve thought you’d be ranking him higher than scherzer and zimm due to his k rate and whip.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Injury concerns…

  19. Schwab says:
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    Hey Grey,
    Keeper League that’s H2H and points based. Pitchers get 8 points for a win and 1.5 points for K’s. Would you Trade Adam Jones for Cueto? I do need some pitching help..
    Thanks.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I wouldn’t…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Hahahahaha… He looks like he’d plan a character on Mad Men that is trying to pretend he’s just a really tan white man…

    • royce! says:
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      @Steve: That’s awesome. It’s nice to know that we have so much in common- I also like leaning on things!

      Also, just wanted to check in and make sure that you have been doing the most with your freedom: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10858183

      Do people who are being jerks in NZ defend themselves by saying, “hey, it’s a free country, if you don’t like it, move to America”?

      • Steve says:
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        @royce!: Er, it’s not unknown for people to say that.

        We’re No.1! Yeah! All quite worthy, but a little bit of small country syndrome going on there. Even if the Fraser Institute was two guys in a van that sold tacos out of the back on weekends, we’d make some noise about being No.1.

        I’ve just utilised my freedom by walking to a bar unmolested by the secret police to have a steak sandwich and a couple of beers for lunch.

        • royce! says:
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          @Steve: Nicely done! That’s what freedom is all about.

    • Jack Full of Hate says:
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      @Steve: that made my year, thats better than no one getting elected to the hall

  20. Ronkonkoma says:
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    Help me keep 2 of these in H2H points league. Points structure values hitters and pitchers very closely (like real life!). Players can be kept for Unlimited number of years with draft round penalties. Who are the best 2 keepers?

    Jay Bruce in 3rd round
    Desmond Jennings in 4th
    Gio Gonzalez in 7th
    Brett Lawrie in 21st
    Manny Machado in 26th
    Allen Craig in 26th

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Craig, Lawrie…

  21. Jack Full of Hate says:
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    as i suffer through the winter and wonder why I even play this game, I realize if it wasn’t for razzball, i would just find a better hobby like clown punching or gambling. Seriously, I would go on sabaticle for a couple of years if i wasnt afraid I would miss out on any this. Funny, my therapist says i have attachment issues but what does he care, I see him twice a week and basically pay for his frequent vacations to vegas. Sorry too much about me, how’s the stauche, the cougar and the off season TV time? did you see that Barter Kings is back on, bah-Bam!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I didn’t want to say anything until it’s official, but we have a clownpunching.razzball.com coming soon… I didn’t see Barter Kings was back, but I will now Tivo it… Offseason TV right now is more or less me watching screeners of movies that are in theaters… I saw this past week: Perks of Wallflower (not good), Flight (terrible), This Is 40 (really bad), The Impossible (so bad) and Django (good, but long)….

      • Jack Full of Hate says:
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        @Grey: perks of wallflower, the title alone says crappy teen movie about being the cool anit-hero uncool cool guy for teens flick, flight, well i have a little fear of flying so that was a nope, this is 40, any movie you market as the follow up to knocked up, which really sucked alot, i mean really bad, is not a winner in my book, I don’t even know what Impossible is and with Django, well I will watch anything tarantino does once.

        I got caught up on DVD’s, finally got that Blue ray player for christmas, watched the dark knight rises, decent, trouble with curve, I liked it, but I also have a daughter and a heart, looper, not bad, probably wont see it again, and Ted, which i really liked, but in my defense I have a weird Flash Gordon fetish and that movie makes me not feel so alone anymore.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Forgot, I also saw Looper… I liked it a lot… But could see how people would be less excited when it turned into a farm house romance halfway through… Ted was decent, but I had low expectations, not sure if that played into it…

          • Steve says:
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            @Grey: Someone made a film about Braden Looper?

            • Jack Full of Hate says:
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              @Steve: steve, turn off the baseball switch for a minute…junkie

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Lot better than the film about how great it is being Jakob Dylan…

          • Jack Full of Hate says:
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            @Grey: yeah, I hear you on Looper, it just lost its way a little. the end was great. what was the last great movie you saw or last few?

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              I loved Argo…

              • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                @Grey: is that because it took place when the stauche was fashionable and not retro cool…no offense ala dangerfield

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Ha, exactly…

  22. JoeT says:
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    Grey,

    Please choose between Anibal, Niese and Burnett.

    Thanks

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Niese

  23. JoeC says:
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    I’ve got a fever that only January Grey can cure… gettin’ closer!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Ha… Yup…

  24. Jon says:
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    Any of these OF stand out above the rest? Gomez, Aoki, Cain, Fowler, Saunders, Leonys Martin, Jay, Eaton, Bourjos

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, a few of them…

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