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I can picture Tim Kurkjian’s voice cracking, Is this a Great Game, or What?!. Joe Morgan won’t be invited. Bill James will throw out the first pitch. A nickname like Baseball Crank will be worn as a badge of honor. Someone will argue that Pat Burrell isn’t really that bad of a baseball player and make a perfectly logical argument. Everyone will be wearing a lazy frown yet be completely happy. So why does Santana start the All-Star Game in our world instead of in The Real World where he wasn’t even invited? (Not The Real World: Hollywood, which lost two key members of its cast, and now sputters towards a reunion.) Quality Starts this year: Haren, Hudson and Lincecum are tied for first with 15. Santana (it’s safe to say Santana would’ve got another QS last night if not for rain) is #2 with 14. Webb and Volquez win the bronze with 13. Yet, Haren and Santana are tied for 15th in wins with 8. Listen to some with 10 wins — Lohse, Nolasco, Cook, Padilla, Floyd (not Bannister) and, of course, Andy Sonnanstine. Okay, but what does this have to do with fantasy baseball? Everything, you schmohawk! If any potential trade partner thinks any of those guys gets to twenty wins, then you politely agree and rob them blind. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Dustin McGowan – Placed on the McDL. I’d look McElsewhere. He’ll be an interesting sleeper (as they say in the biz, whatever biz this is) next spring.

Scott Linebrink – It was annonced he would fill-in for closer. So, of course, Dotel got the save. Yeah, that works. Thanks. If I was looking for a few saves, Dotel would now be the man I’d target.

Ryan Spilborghs – To the DL with an oblique strain. Doctor, I have an oblique problem. Well, Ryan, why don’t you just be more specific? Oofa!

Derek Lowe – Almost pitched a perfect game. Sounds like Alyssa Milano’s giving herpes to someone tonight.

Scott Hairston – HR yesterday. Guess how many he has. Go ahead. I’ll wait. Wrong! 14. You ready for a double dose of brain freeze? You would’ve got better production if you drafted the Hairstons instead of the Uptons. Ow, my temples hurt! Wait, here comes the knuckler — ESPN: The Magazine should’ve featured the Hairston brothers on their baseball issue instead of the Uptons. Stop, Grey, my eyes are bleeding from these sentences that make no sense!

Moises Alou – Still battling nicks and crannies. Probably has something to do with him being 84-years-old and older than his father.

Nick Markakis – I am Sparkakis!

Jonathan Sanchez – Got a tough break when the rain came and forced his start to get cut short. He could’ve went another two innings. Or not! What am I, psychic?

Carlos Quentin – 2 HRs. I see no reason why he can’t hit 5 home runs a month from now until the end of the year aka 35 HRs total also also known as 14 more HRs.

Garrett Atkins – 2 HRs. Now has 14 on the year, I say he ends with 27. That’s less than most think, making him a Buy Low of Moderate Proportions.

Mark Mulder – In the forums, Peter had this to say, “Mulder recorded one out in the top of the 1st, walked 2, then left the game with an injury…. On the bright side, neither of the runners scored… so it is arguably Mulder’s most effective start since May 17, 2006.” It’s funny, because it’s true.

Josh Hamilton – He gets high on K-Rod’s supply.

Juan Rivera – Hit his third home run and this is officially the last time I will mention him. Some other guys I officially stopped talking about this season are Carlos Quentin, Josh Hamilton, Dioner Navarro, Shane Victorino, Eugenio Velez… Okay, they weren’t all gems. (BTW, Velez just got recalled and Bochy said something like this (I don’t feel like looking up the exact quote), “Velez might get to pinch run, but that’s about it.” Seriously, he said something like that. Ouch, right? What? Without the actual quote it loses its oomph? You look it up then.)

Lance Berkman – 2 steals, now 14 on the year. Berkman is making a strong case for Fantasy MVP, if they gave out an award for that shizz. His numbers so far 76/22/70/.348/14. He will absolutely kill some fantasy owners next year when he’s drafted too early.

Jeff Francoeur – You ride out Player A for three months through the worst slump of their career, then you drop Player A on Friday when they are demoted to the minors. Now Player A returns three days later and, in his second game back, he hits a home run. Do you pick up Player A again? Or do you risk watching Player A perform well on someone else’s team? Within the answer to this question is your very existence. If you pick up Player A again, you’re the type to give people lots of chances, including girlfriends. Sure, she slept with my best friend, but she was thinking about me. Sometimes this leads to people walking all over you. You’ll think you’re happy, but you won’t actually be for your entire life. Now if you’re the type that doesn’t pick up Player A, you’re tough as nails, and no one walks over you. You also distance yourself from people and don’t cut people enough slack. We broke up because she talked during the opening fifteen minutes of Goodfellas. NOBODY’S allowed to talk during that. You’ll probably find yourself cold and alone for the rest of your life. And that my friends is the Intro to the Tao of Frenchy. You’re welcome.

  1. Steve says:
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    Boring I know, but K Johnson or Figgy? I have KJ but a guy in my league has Figgy parked on his bench and I need steals since I traded Crawford away for Tex.

  2. Al Bundy says:
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    David Wright or Berkman has a bigger second half? I have Berkman and Im thinking of moving him for Wright. Ive been thinking about Pro’s and Con’s for each…. Berkman better ballpark, usually has better second half (which would be insane if he did) and Berkman is running for now anyway. While Wright is younger with less injury risk, he isnt having such a great first half which makes me think a big second half could be on the way, Wright always runs a little, not as good of a ballpark as Berkmans to hit in tho. I dunno this ones a toughy for me. Any other year Id go Wright but Id hate to trade away Berkman in what probably will be the best year he will ever have.

  3. p0rk burn says:
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    A gem of a post, Grey. Its almost as effective as coffee at making me forget I’m not a morning person.

  4. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    Excellent round-up today. This is my favorite headline ever. The idea of a Magical Sabermetric All-Star Game is brilliant. They can play it at Dave Bush Stadium. I imagine the AL would score more runs, but the NL would be ruled the winners based on their peripherals and the fact that the AL’s BABIP is obviously due for a correction.

    And the Uptons v. Hairstons entry was hilarious. Mattingly-stache (aka mattstache) or no, you’re a hell of a writer, sir.

    Your Frenchy entry was very instructive as well. I’ve stood by Frenchy all year*. I didn’t even drop him when he went to the minors. I hope this will be the start of a streak for him. Right now, my OF is Holliday (locked in); Rios (still no power but at least providing a bit of everything else, mostly SBs); and Swisher (still usable!).

    On my bench: The Sub-Mendoza Men’s Choir of Bruce (keep the faith!); Pence (the poor man’s Sparkakis) and Frenchy. I only need one of these schnooks to heat up for an extended period of time, ideally around the same time Swisher falls back into the Deep Spartan Well of Uselessness. (“This… Is.. SWISHER!!!”)

    Instead, this is my life: two nights ago, Pence hits a homer on the bench. Last night, Frenchy does, while Pence goes 0/6. Rinse. Repeat.

    Going forward, who do I start in Slot # 3: Swish, Pence or French?

    *My two secret sleepers this year were Zimmerman and Frenchy, picked in the 7th and 10th rounds**, respectively. Do you see now that I am a genius? One is lame, then gets lame; the other gets sent to Double A. Talk about sleepers! Wake up, boys!

    **Other lucky picks this year: Rios (3) bust; Furcal (5) AWOL; Smoltz (6) DOA; Gallardo (9) missing presumed dead.

    @Steve: Figgy. K Johnson would never make the Sabermetric All-Stars, even if each team was required to carry at least one Johnson.

  5. Joe says:
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    It’s tough to be an O’s fan right now.

    Yet another one run loss.

  6. jph says:
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    Is Maine a safe bet today against ZITO?Perhaps an obvious answer awaits me but I read Maine thinks he strained something yet felt ok after a bullpen session Monday….

  7. Jim says:
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    MLB *should* give a fantasy MVP award. The fantasy angle brings a lot of people to the game (or keeps them into it on a daily basis). All the players would think it’s kind of a BS award and the guy who won would probably get mocked by his friends for not being good enough to win a fantasy award outside of 2nd Life, but the guy would get a Tahoe out of it so what does he care.

  8. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    Excellent round-up this morning. This is my favorite headline yet. I love the idea of a Magical Sabermetric All-Star Game. They can play at Dave Bush Field. The AL would score more runs, but the NL would be awarded the victory based on their superior peripherals and the fact that the AL’s BABIP is obviously due for a correction.

    And the Upton/Hairstons post was hilarious. All this and a first-15-minutes-of-Goodfellas nod. (“You know I’d go from raaaaaags to riches!”)

    Mattingly-mustache (aka Mattstache) or no, you are a hell of a writer, sir.

    As for Frenchy, I have stood by him all year*. I didn’t even drop him when he got sent to Double A. So I sincerely hope he gets on some sort of streak, other than the brown streak he’s been sitting on so far.

    My current OF is Holliday (locked in); Rios (useful despite the power outage, especially for SBs); and Swisher (still usable! Five weeks and counting!). My bench is the Sub-Mendoza-Over-the-Last-Month Men’s Choir: Bruce (keep the faith!); Pence, and Frenchy.

    If just one of those three would get hot, I’d be happy — preferably if he gets hot right around the time Swisher gets kicked back into the Deep Spartan Well of Uselessness. (“This… is…. SWISHER!!” Boot. Fall.)

    I’d ask you to rank Swish, Pence and Frenchy going forward, but I think I know the answer already — basically, reverse-order of how I just wrote them.

    *My two top-secret sleepers coming into the year were Frenchy and Zimmerman. (Yes, I loves me the doubles as a predictor of future power.) How did that turn out? One gets sent to Double A, the other is lame, then comes up lame. Do you see now what a genius I am? I can’t wait for Zim to come off the DL so I can dump his I’ll-fix-my-torn-shoulder-through-rest ass.

  9. Nick says:
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    do u start greinke tonight against the white sox considering he got raped last time around allowing 8 ER’s!?!? I also have Guthrie going against Toronto & he will be starting on my team.

  10. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    @Nick: I’m starting both of them in different leagues, but remember that I’ve had BALLS OF STEEL lately. I started Cueto last night and asked my neighbors to take turns kicking me in the nuts. Absolutely no pain… amazing.

  11. Tony B. says:
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    For a 4th/5th OF do you go with Juan Rivera or Hammer Willingham?

    Also, do you start Guthrie @ TOR and Lackey @ TEX tonight?

  12. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    @Tony B.: Balls of Steel…

  13. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    Sorry for posting twice — the first one didn’t seem to go up forever, so I rewrote the damn thing from memory. English majors, compare and contrast.

  14. Zebo says:
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    @everyone: is Juan Rivera an everyday starter?

  15. Zebo says:
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    @Grey: which would you spot start? Jojo Reyes at Petco or Manny Parra at home vs. Reds?

  16. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Figgy.

    @Al Bundy: By a hair, I’d go with Wright because of third base eligibility. But this isn’t a move I’d make.

    @p0rk burn: Thanks.

    @Baron Von Vulturewins: Thanks and sorry for the double post. The spam filter caught you the first time. Not sure why. Maybe because you said Swisher was still usable. (BTW, I think I’d go Swisher… Yes!) I like the upgrade to Goodfellas’s song in the 2nd comment. Interesting how you said “or no” in both instead of upgrading to “or not” for the 2nd. Also, thought it was a wise move to explain why you had Frenchy and Zimmerman. I’m keeping cred here! Finally, I’d let it ride with Frenchy for a few days to see if he has returned pissed off and ready to mash. Put aside match-ups and give him to the All-Star break to see if he get that betrayal out of his system.

    @Joe: It’s going on ten years or so that it’s been tough, no?

    @jph: Start him

    @Jim: A Tahoe! Ha.

    @Nick: I start Greinke every time out until further notice. I start Guthrie, as well.

    @Tony B.: Start both. Willingham.

    @Zebo: No, on Rivera, you have to slot him in when he’s starting. But you might reap the bennies if you do that. If I can only start one, Petco is too alluring. I go with Jo-Jo.

  17. Tony B. says:
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    I can pick up Corpas today and stash him. My current “earners” in the saves category are Soria, Brian Wilson, Torres, Wheeler, and Fuentes. Do you think Corpas has overcame his early season struggles?

  18. Tony B. says:
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    I’d have to pick him up at the expense of dropping Willingham but I think my outfield can take the hit:

    Holliday, Hamilton, Quentin, Rios, and Delmon

  19. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @IowaCubs: Against all advice, I sat Cueto last night. (I’m up on IPs anyway.) Didn’t like the park, the matchup, or the fact he was facing Zambrano.

    For 5 innings, I looked dumb. Then, suddenly, I looked smart. That, in a nutshell, is fantasy baseball.

  20. wakeNbake says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: exactly, I was going back and forth with Weaver @ Texas all day yesterday…. I decided to sit him. I was regretting my decision a little until Hamilton hit the walk off HR and took Weaver’s victory away, then suddenly it wasnt bad that I sat him. He pitched good but not great and he didnt get the win… so no biggie.

  21. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Tony B.: Guess it depends on how aggressive your league is for saves. Though I’d prefer Buchholz.

  22. cruisinkc says:
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    If Huston Street does get traded, who is most likely take over as closer for the A’s?

  23. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @cruisinkc: I’d guess Casilla gets a shot.

  24. wakeNbake says:
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    Casilla hasnt been anything close to what he was before he got hurt earlier in the season but I think hed close by default anyway

  25. JR says:
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    Love the “oblique injury.”

    McGowan is down (no, I didn’t listen). I need a starter, and I am perusing this poo-poo platter:

    Big Unit, Snell, Volstad, Ian K, Jo-Jo, Wandy, Josh Johnson, Edwin Jackson

  26. Tony B. says:
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    I prefer Bucholz as well but O’Dowd in today’s Denver Post said when Fuentes is traded, Corpas will slide back into the closer’s role and Bucholz will remain in the set-up role. O’Dowd explained it that Taylor started the year a 7th inning guy and they don’t want to rush him along so quickly. I explain it as the Rox gave Corpas too much fucking cheddar too fast and want to justify it by giving him back his 9th inning duties.

  27. BSA says:
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    @IowaCubs: HA! Both Becket and Cueto bit me in the RCL yesterday.

    Alright, now I am in the Harang conundrum – He just showed up on the waiver wire.

  28. JR says:
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    @cruisinkc

    I don’t like the Oakland situation. There is little interest in Street and no clear successor. Foulke is a former closer, and Embree filled in last year. Devine is probably the future closer anyway… Too many bases to cover when the trade isn’t even that probable. Why not just go Brocail and hope Valverde gets traded. At least there’s some clarity there…

  29. JR says:
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    @Tony B.

    I’m starting to agree with the Corpas thing. Although John Perotta of BP said that Rockies sources said that Buchholtz would close. Granted, that was before Corpas started to turn it around and there are too “saids” in that sentence.

  30. Tony B. says:
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    Corpas, before last nite:

    His last 24 or so innings…

    2.92 ERA
    1.16 ERA
    21 Strikeouts
    4 Walks
    2 HR’s Allowed

    He has obviously gotten better

  31. Joe says:
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    @Grey: Yeah, but i was enjoying this season up until recently. Expectations were in the gutter so a +.500 season was a pleasant surprise. Pitching is horrible though. I’m hoping Huff and Sherrill are traded soon.

    What’s your thoughts on this deal, i’m leaning towards reject but it’s close, i have Swish/Davis at 1B, and M-Cab can play there, and is heating up…
    I deal Swisher, Holliday, Cano and Harang
    FOR
    Cabrera, Hawpe, Alex Ramirez and Verlander

  32. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Joe: Don’t like this. Cabrera/Holliday are more or less a wash. Hawpe is better than Swisher. Ramirez is worse than Cano. Verlander is better than Harang.

    Wait! I do like it! Kind of!

    A plus to you if you think Holliday’s getting shipped out of Roxland.

  33. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @cruisinkc: Casilla

    @JR: Wandy, Jackson, Jo-Jo, Big Unit, punt

    @Tony B.: I agree with the cheddar comment and do believe Corpas will probably move back in, but I still want Buchholz right now.

    @Joe: I take that trade.

  34. Hank

    Hank says:
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    @Grey: You’re not the only one who thinks Matt Kemp may be overrated:

    Dave Cameron at FanGraphs posted about it today.

    Justin Upton might hit DL with an oblique injury! Maybe between Upton and Spilborghs they can be more specific.

  35. p0rk burn says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: I don’t see it as a double-post. Its a “Highlights” spot-the-differences test!

    Re: A’s Closer Post-Street
    I’m not sold on Casilla because of his problems since his return. Embree was respectable last year and has the experience under his belt. Casilla obviously is the better choice *if* he pitches like he did before the injury. I see it playing out in Embree’s favor whether it happens initially or after Casilla gives up a few bombs after taking over. Now lets hope it stays a hypothetical so we can all pretend we are correct (and so Street stays a closer and doesn’t screw me in 2 leagues).

  36. Steve says:
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    Guy in my league with Tulo wants a CF. Rios is probably too much, right? What about Bruce + Yunel?

  37. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: I’d get Tulo for Bruce. I’d throw in Yunel if I had someone to step in immediately to fill-in for Yunel.

  38. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Yunel is my SS so Tulo would slot straight in. I know you said you wouldn’t mention J Rivera again, but when he starts is he a better option than Willingham?

  39. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Okay, I could see doing that trade. I’d prefer Rivera than Willingham if both were starting, but would also look at match ups.

  40. Freak says:
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    Ryan Sexson got cut. All three of you out there that still had him need to see if you can pick up Neifi Perez to compensate for the loss of production.

  41. Joe says:
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    Grey, how dare you say the O’s bullpen after Sherrill are a bunch of schmohawks. Jim Johnson’s been very good, better than Sherrill even.

  42. Prior to today, Justin Morneau was something like 2 for 15 against Kenny Rogers Roasters. So, he was benched in favor of Votto and BaLoney in my leagues. He proceeds to go 4 for 4 as further proof that I think he could have a nice 2nd half like in 2006. Who would you rather trade for a SP or OF–Morneau or Atkins? Both seem to be at or near full value right now.

  43. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Joe: Is this Proposition Joe?

  44. Joe says:
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    Oh and i offered Ervin Santana for Alex Rios just as a feeler and it got accepted, YES!!

  45. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @VanHammersly: I want Morneau, but they’re very close.

  46. Joe says:
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    That earlier trade offer involving Cabrera-Holliday was rescinded, he took out Hawpe and added Quentin and Hideki Matsui, and added Hart on my side. I countered with the original offer. Right or wrong?

  47. Joe says:
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    Now the offer is

    My Holliday, Swisher, Cano and Parra
    FOR
    Cabrera, Hawpe, Ramirez and Verlander

  48. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Joe: Pass.

  49. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Joe: And Joe tell’m that Holliday is better than Cabrera, Swisher could be better than Hawpe and Cano is better than Ramirez. So ask them why you would do it.

  50. Joe says:
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    So you think the Harang/Parra part makes the trade from a go to a pass?

  51. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Joe: Yup. Harang’s crizzap, Parra’s usable. I don’t do the trade anymore.

  52. Joe says:
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    Damn, you’ve really given up on Harang, haven’t ya? I traded for him two starts ago, i had his good one and sat him against the Cubs, which worked out well.

    If he’s really hurt and not gonna do anything the rest of the way, even though Sparkakis has been awesome on my team, my trade of Kemp and Haren for Markakis and Harang may not turn out too great…

  53. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Joe: To expand on “crizzap,” Harang may come around, but you don’t go trade for him now that MRIs are happening. I still have hope and have him on a few teams, but I’m not actively seeking him right now.

  54. Joe says:
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    His latest offer is

    Cabrera, A Ramirez, Quentin, H Matsui and Verlander

    for

    Holliday, Cano, Swisher, Parra and Kobayashi

    ???

    I like Quentin and Matsui over Hawpe and Kobayashi, so it’s an improvement…

  55. Joe says:
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    One problem here—I already have Rios, Markakis and Hart, so i’d only have one spot for Q and Matsui…

  56. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Joe: That’s solid. I’d do that trade.

  57. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Joe: Put Matsui on your DL then trade him before he comes off for a closer or some other piece.

  58. wakeNbake says:
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    @Grey: did you see what Dave Bush did today? limiting the Rockies to 4 hits with 13 k’s… Im thinking of adding this guy and just using him for his home starts. His numbers at home are great.

  59. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @wakeNbake: I think you’re stoned. — Actually I could see it working at home. His splits are massive.

  60. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Joe: Even if Harang’s Hadone, that’s not a washout trade for you. Kemp and Haren straight up for Sparkakis is fair enough, especially if Sparky gets his spark on second half.

  61. wakeNbake says:
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    @Grey: damn!, what gave me away? The red eyes or the sudden belief in Bush…

  62. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @VanHammersly: Don’t forget Morneau hit 24 HRs last year in the first half alone. That’s a whole season for Atkins (who I like).

    Morneau’s like microwave popcorn: He can get very hot, very fast.

  63. Steve says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: Worth considering he can also disappear without trace in a hurry.
    Like he did in the second half lasy year.
    When I owned him.
    I should probably let some of that bitterness go…

  64. Shogun says:
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    @BVV: Morneau looks legit this year. His swing looks better and his numbers are more consistent across the board. In the past he has been streaky, but this year I expect him to produce at a high rate throughout. Unless you need 3B eligibility, I think Morneau’s upside and production will be better than Atkins’ (who is streaky himself).

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