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Reports say Mark Kotsay is headed to the Sawx. If he lands there, he’ll start over Coco Crisp and will have some slight fantasy value. Think AL-Only leagues. More importantly, this would free up the Braves outfield for Brandon Jones to start then Jordan Schafer, the (HGH-aided) five-tooler, to get the call come September 1st.  Jordan Schafer is the most interesting name here, which isn’t that hard when you’re surrounded by schmohawks. Schafer was the top 13-year-old in the country according to Baseball America and Teen Beat. He could be patrolling centerfield for the Braves on a regular basis as soon as ’09 and, if so, he will be an early Rookie of the Year candidate, so those in keeper leagues should make sure he’s on their team. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Brian Fuentes – On bereavement leave, will be gone for up to 7 days. If you’re desperate for saves, grab Corpas and pray Fuentes’s bereaved gets better, but hope it’s touch and go for a week. Also, the Rockies are still trying to move Fuentes, so it’s not a bad idea to grab Corpas anyway.

Jimmy Rollins – 3 steals, HR and 8-for-10 in the last two games. About time.

Brandon Morrow – Set to make season debut as a starter on September 5th vs. the Yankees. In almost 13 innings in Tacoma, he’s struckout 18 and carries a decent WHIP, but he’s given up 7 runs. I’m going to let him stretch himself out on someone else’s team.

Jorge De La Rosa – 6 IP, 2 ER. In a few deeper leagues, I spotted him in for this start and I will for his next start when he gets the Giants again.

Vladimir Guerrero – Was announced he’d be sitting out some games to recharge. Presumably for the Angels playoff games, or maybe Vlad’s signed on to Dancing With The Stars. Fingers crossed!

Dioner Navarro – Left the game with leg cramps. Aw, must be that time of the month.

Wandy Rodriguez – Almost two weeks ago, I told you to pickup Wandy with absolutely no reason given. You want a reason? Yesterday’s line, 7 IP, 3 hits, 1 ER, 10 Ks. That’s magic, Wandy!

Zach Greinke – 6 IP, 5 Ks, 0 ER. I dropped him about month or so ago so I guess I was Greinke’d by this start. Then again, prior to last night’s start he had over a 5.00 ERA since the All-Star break. Then Again, Part 2:  He has been solid for the last three starts. Then Again, The Reckoning:  His innings are high for the year and the Royals provide little opportunity for wins. Let’s just say, I’m not picking him back up.

Carlos Zambrano – 4.1 IP, 6 ER to outfunk Ian Snell.

Luis Ayala – Blown save yesterday. Wasn’t fully his fault and he could bounce back to get the next five saves or Manuel might look elsewhere. The Mets bullpen aka “As The Turd Turns…”

Jair Jurrjens – 3 IP, 6 ER. Mesa tinks yousa drop me. I agree, Jar-Jar.

Cody Ross – 3-for-5 with a HR. When this sumbitch gets hot, he gets real hot. You’ve been served (with info)!

Bronson Arroyo – CG, 5 hits, 1 ER. If you had him in your lineup, you got balls. If you think you should hold him, you’re nuts.

Geovany Soto – 3-for-5, HR and 7 RBIs. Making a case for the first catcher off the board next year. I won’t be taking him, but someone will.

Cliff Lee – 19th win as he heads towards the Cy Young. Will be real interesting to see where he’s drafted next year. Again, won’t be by me. The Indians fan, who just woke up from a season long slumber, is met by a 30/30 Sizemore and the eventual Cy Young, Cliff Lee. So we’re winning the division? Wild Card? You’ve been Pronk’d!

Ben Francisco – 2 HRs yesterday. Instant replay showed he actually grabbed the pitches and threw both balls over the fence.

  1. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    Thank Rebus I didn’t start Pat Burrell and his 0-for-7, game-and-a-half’s worth of schneid last night.

    Go Nelson Cruz!

    Warmed my cockles to see Pronk’d in the round-up. I have to feel sorry for all the Tribe fans who got Pronk’d this year. And the sad news is, next year won’t be much better. Pronk’s best days are, alas, behind him, and Cliff Lee will see this kind of year again when Brady Anderson hits another 50 HR. Fausto and V-Mart should bounce back, but that’s a tough division.

    The Rays, on the other hand…. Add David Price to this rotation, and another year of maturity for Longoria and Upton? (Okay, Longoria.) I think we could see 105 plus wins next year. The Yankees might not sniff the playoffs again for five seasons. Huzzah!

  2. Frank Rizzo says:
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    Amen, and amen about J-Roll. I honestly think it was just the other day when I replied here about how crappy he was that lit the fire. Maybe J-Roll is an avid Razzball reader. If he gets hot now he will justify my trade for him. Right at playoff time. Loving it right now.

    And, even better, another owner needed pitching so he dropped Aviles so I was able to pick him up and drop Tulo at the same time. Aviles is decent backup for 2b/SS who will, at the very least, hit for average. I’m glad to get rid of Tulo after reading that he’s not going to be 100% the rest of this year.

  3. Jon says:
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    I spot started De La Rosa too. Think he’s as good a bet at home? Maybe only if he’s against Palmer again (my main reason for starting him)? Not that it means anything, but he’s actually been better at home…

    I’m desperate for wins but also in the middle of a dogfight for ERA/WHIP. This is a 4X4 league. What do you think?

  4. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: Think you’re right about the Rays the only thing I could see happening is the Florida air allows them to win the World Series in their first ever trip to the playoffs then they trade away Longoria and Upton for rookies that will take four more years to mature as they begin rebuilding.

    @Frank Rizzo: Nice play.

    @Jon: How deep is the league? I wouldn’t in anything less than 12 teams. And probably wouldn’t in a ten team league where ERA and WHIP were crucial.

  5. Jon says:
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    @Grey (in response to my question in #3):

    12 teams. He’s better than all of the alternatives too. Tough to answer I know, but what would you put his odds of A) getting a win, and B) making, say, a quality start are?

  6. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Jon: In 12 teams, I’d go for the win and hope for 6 IP, 3 ER and decent WHIP. I’d say do it.

  7. martin says:
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    who would u rather have chris dickerson or cody ross

  8. martin says:
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    Baron Von Vulturewins: im a yankee fan but without prejudice, i believe the red sox are going to be the team falling down in the near future. I called the rays before the year started, not leading the division but i believed they would certainly be a playoff contender. The rays got young talent, even the 1st pick in last years draft i think…. the yankees have money and with that they will never have a dry spell for to long. I even see manny wearing pinstripes soon. The bo sox are then the team left out. Papelbon is still great but buckholtz and ellsbury have done nothing to impress me and the sox lineup is getting older. Plus i dont believe in bay and drew i feel like they wont have as good years in the future as they have had this year.

  9. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @martin: Depends what you’re doing with them. If you want a high upside flier that you need speed from, I’d go Dickerson. If you want a guy that should be usable, but might become unexciting then Ross. If you’re looking at those two, I’d suggest Dickerson.

    BTW, did you get my apology email about the spam filter eating your comments the other day? Sorry about that.

  10. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Grey: The Rays organization seems to be doing everything right. I don’t know much about local situation, but last I heard people are finally coming out to the Trop, no small feat given its dungeon-like atmosphere… it’s like watching a game inside the balloon-part of the Hindenburg, with 5000 people on death row.

    Now they’ve got a fancy new stadium lined up, and they sure showed no signs of selling the farm at the trade deadline (i.e. no Wade Davis for John Grabow fiascos.) I don’t think we’ll see a Marlins Redux situation here….

    @martin: I disagree about the Yanks and Sox. Adding Manny would be exactly the kind of dumb move that has got the Yanks were they are now — i.e. a lineup packed with superstars roughly five seasons past their prime. The fact that they have so many similarly broken-down players is just embarrassing. Every time one gets hot, two others hit the DL.

    The Sox (and I’m no Sox fan) have a young nucleus to build around — Pedroia, Youk, Papelbon, Lester. Damn, even Bucky threw a no-hitter. He’s a mile ahead of Hughes and Kennedy. And who else do the Yankees have? Joba, Cano and…? Melky? Money? People have been using the don’t-worry-they’ll-buy-themselves-out-of-trouble argument since 2000, with the same results: failure. The Yankees are institutionally broken, and won’t be fixed in the near future, not with a Steinbrenner dauphin* at the helm.

    As for Cashman, the team can blame injuries all they want, but when 3/5 of your rotation in September in a year you’re supposed to be contending is Ponson, Pavano, and Rasner, that’s a firing offense in my books. The difference between the Sox and Yanks is that, when Mike Lowell or Dice-K goes down, there are capable spare parts to step in. Cashman has never been able to build a 25-man team; he’s too busy keeping Miguel Cairo employed.

    Sorry Yankees fans: The spell will be long, and it will be dry.

    *word o’ the day!

  11. Jon says:
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    @Baron: You gotta play the odds. Nobody – NOBODY – not a single GM would have predicted that Hughes and Kennedy would fail so horribly, Hughes would be hurt, and Joba would be hurt. Then there’s the freak injury to Wang.

    Yes, you’ve got to have backups, but no team has backups for 3.5/5 of its rotation.

    Can’t blame Cashman at all for anything but the Posada deal.

  12. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Jon: It’s true the Yanks pitching has been hobbled, but this is a recurring problem for them. Injuries in sports aren’t just the product of random flukes. Old players are injured more often. And a team can’t simply cross their fingers and pray that everything goes right. (See also: Blue Jays, Toronto).

    The Yankees have been built over the last 5 years on the philosophy that they can field the best nine-man lineup in baseball on any given night. And, about eight times a season, when everyone is healthy, they can. But this isn’t a 9 man sport, not over 162-game season. Cashman’s like a guy standing next to a dike fill of holes, who just shrugs and says, “Leaks! What are ya gonna do?!”

    Cashman’s also proved to be tonedeaf to team chemistry. Do you think he’d have the stones to jettison A-Rod the way the Sox dumped Manny? The Yanks aren’t just mediocre this year; they’re lifeless.

  13. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: I agree on the Rays, I was half-kidding. If anything, the Rays will hold off on bringing Price up until 2011 just so they don’t lose him.

  14. Jon says:
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    @Baron:

    I don’t know. The major problems with the offense are:

    – Cano (not an old player, and again, one who everyone would have killed to have)
    – Cabrera (not old, but it seems it was wrong to assume he could be an everyday player – this you can blame them for)
    – Posada/Matsui (agree with you)

    But them you have Damon (better than expected), Nady (a good trade, young, hitting very well), etc.

    They’ve also been a bit unlucky in terms of clutch hitting and all that.

    The main problem is of course the pitching. And that was my point, that Wang’s injury was a freak thing, and the chances of Joba, Hughes, and Kennedy combining for 4 wins (a horrible metric, I know, but here it proves the point) would probably be about a fraction of a percent.

    Obviously there are random variances and freak injuries, but my point is that the Yankees have been relatively unlucky, both in terms of health and performance. They’re not a great team by any stretch, but they could easily be, say, 1 or 2 back in the WC race, if not better.

  15. SaltyBiscuits says:
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    Jimmy Rollins is a worthless, lazy bastard who has had a career full of mediocre seasons and last year was his outlier. He is the definitition of overrated and he also has herpes.

    I hope his entire family is kidnapped by Venezualan terrorists.

  16. knighttown says:
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    With a +33IP going on I should sit Parra on the road vs. the Cardinals right?

  17. BigFatHippo says:
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    @SaltyBiscuits:

    Ha

    Tell us how you really feel. Wanna know how I feel, scroll up and to the right of the page and read Cardinal Diaspora, that ‘s how I feel.

  18. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey:

    De LaRosa worked out well for me in the RCL too.

    My next great experiment is Matt Harrison @ KC tonight and Lannan vs. LAD tomorrow. Hang on to your puke buckets it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

  19. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Rangers pitcher? Hope that bucket’s super-sized.

  20. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey:

    Same size as my bucket of chicken from KFC. Hippo buckets are all supersized.

  21. SaltyBiscuits says:
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    @Grey: I take that as a compliment somehow.

    Listen, when the defending MVP doesn’t run out pop ups, plays without hustle, goes 4-48 during one slump… but then after he plays brilliantly against the Mets claims “The other team gives you some inspiration, let’s put it that way. You’re able to take that and keep yourself motivated”

    Are you fucking kidding me? Playing in the majors isn’t enough to keep you motivated? Winning an MVP? Still not enough?

    But somehow Reyes celebrating (just like every god damned MLB player does) brings out the motivation?

    Whatever. Jimmy, you are a fucking assbag.

    The losingest player on the losingest franchise in the losingest city in the world. Yes, losingest is a word. It was invented by wordsmiths solely as an adjective for anything Jimmy Rollins involves himself with.

    … Sorry, I am very easily baited into Phillie bashing rants. In dreams, where some people float on fluffy clouds and eat sunshine candy, I am piloting the Philadelphia Phillies chartered jet into the mountains. Laughing maniacally, chanting Giuseppe Franco quotes while humming Meet the Mets backwards all wearing my vintage ’86 Mex jersey.

  22. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @SaltyBiscuits: Wow, that is about as solid as a rant as I’ve heard in a while. Watch your feet, gentlemen. The gauntlet has been thrown down.

  23. Freak says:
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    “I won’t be taking him, but someone will.”

    That would be me.

  24. Joe says:
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    Grey, with a -28 IP, same question about Parra?

    And i’ve also got Verlander against the Tribe, he finally had a good start last time out, but his season and career stats against the Indians are horrible…What’s your call?

  25. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Joe: I don’t start Parra. I start Verlander.

  26. Steve says:
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    Why wouldn’t the DBacks have brought Pena into the game in the 8th? That idiot Qualls just handed my opponent this week a Save.

  27. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: I don’t know. It’s very frustrating. I could’ve used that Johnson win too.

  28. Steve says:
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    @Grey: All I wanted was a Hold. Sounds like you need a hug. Boom-tish!

  29. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey:

    Remember the trade we discussed the beginning of August? I don’t expect you to remember all of them but you might remember this.

    A guy who wasn’t in contention traded Pujols, Pedroia and Verlander to 4th place team for a package of cheap keepers including Lince, Votto.

    Well, that guy is now in 2nd making up 15 pts in less than a month, riding a hot Pujols (did I just say that?)

    I’m still 11 pts ahead but looking over my shoulder, should I be worried?

    11 pts seems like a lotta ground to make up in the last month.

  30. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Hehe

    @BigFatHippo: Well, you shouldn’t be asleep behind the wheel, but I wouldn’t be too worried. His team has to not only play extremely well but your team needs to collapse.

  31. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey:

    Fair enough, think I need to play it conservative.

    I’m plus 29 IP, thinking of sitting Hamels @ Wrigley tomorrow.

    Dumb move?

  32. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: I don’t think it’s necessarily dumb. Maybe a bit too cautious, but it’s better to be a bit overly cautious at this time of the year in the position you’re in.

  33. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey:

    I’m trying to do the math but obviously I’m not Mensa material.

    5 SP, Webb, Halladay, Hamels, Bills, Shields. 1 Closer-K Rod, I’m sitting the rest with a +29.

    If I stick with these 6, innings shouldn’t be a problem right?

    I’m 15 saves up, with 10 pts in KS, 9 in ERA, 9.5 in WHIP. 10 team league.

    I can see ending with 10 in each category.

  34. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Yeah, you should be fine. Man, that is a kickass pitching staff.

  35. Steve says:
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    Forgive my ignorance, but what is the basis on which Mike Napoli sits/starts? I need a sub catcher for tomorrow and he’s available. Angels are at home facing McCarthy.

  36. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Starts against lefties. May not play tomorrow.

  37. royce! says:
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    I’m projecting a bit to get some 2 start pitchers for the week starting the 8th. How would you rank: Anibal Sanchez (@PHI and WAS), Harang (@MIL and @ARI), Yusmeiro Petit (@SF and CIN) and Kershaw (@SD and @COL)?

  38. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: Anibal, Petit, Harang then Kershaw.

  39. Nick says:
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    Grey, Wiggington is obviously not hot anymore, 0 for 2 today so far. Do you pickup Cameron for him? Other options include: Winn, Ross, Gutierrez, Span, Swisher, Francisco…list goes on in an 8 team league.

  40. SaltyBiscuits says:
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    Looking ahead at next week:

    In a weekly format, which one starter do you take?

    Dempster vs HOU (12-2, 2.66 ERA at Home) vs Backe
    Peavy @ MIL (4-5 4.52 ERA on Road) vs Suppan

    I feel like this is a very obvious choice, but want some reassurance for this critical playoff decision.

  41. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Nick: Yeah, I’d grab Cameron.

  42. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @SaltyBiscuits: You can’t start both? I’d go with Dempster if I could only start one.

  43. SaltyBiscuits says:
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    One more, do you think any of these two starters will have POOR starts in both of the following two dates. Simply, who don’t you trust even as a two-start option.

    Pedro: @ MIL (Sheets) vs PHI (Kendrick)
    Josh Johnson: vs ATL (Hampton) @ STL (Wainwright)
    Parra: vs NYM (Santana) vs SD (Baek)
    Wainwright: @ ARI (Randy) vs FLA (Josh Johnson)
    Maddux: vs SD (Reineke) vs ARI (Randy)

  44. SaltyBiscuits says:
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    @Grey: As you see in my post above I feel like I have 5 good 2-start options. That plus Dempster leaves one for my best closer Nathan who is valuable in this format. I would even sit Dempster for Valverde but the Astros have crap matchups at the Cubs and at the Rockies.

    7 spots total for pitchers.

  45. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @SaltyBiscuits: No, I think they’ll be fine, but I do trust Pedro the least. (<–not saying that just to piss you off.)

  46. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @SaltyBiscuits: Yeah, I see what you mean in regards to Peavy.

  47. SaltyBiscuits says:
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    @Grey: Haha its cool I also trust Pedro the least. However I always have faith that he can still pitch a good game here or there. And he hasn’t been that bad lately. He has been getting hurt by big innings but showing he can adjust and get outs.

    Again, I still trust him the least.

  48. SaltyBiscuits says:
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    I am suffering a bit with Nate McLouth here, a big dropoff in production along with stomach virus. He has a somewhat favorable matchup for playoff week at Cincy and at San Fran. Would you be opposed to benching him in place of someone hopefully in the middle of a hot streak?

    Cameron, Dickerson, Winn, Werth, Swisher, Lind, LaRoche, lots of options.

  49. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @SaltyBiscuits: I hate to bench top guys, but to play devil’s advocate does he get Volquez, Harang, Cain and Lincecum?

  50. SaltyBiscuits says:
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    @Grey: No Lince. Gets the other three. Hits Volquez .500 so far. Also gets Fogg who he has 3 bombs off. Cain & Harang givin him fits in small samples.

  51. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @SaltyBiscuits: Think you have to go with the guys that got you there then. So start him.

  52. JR says:
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    Carlos Delgado. Wow. And a socialist to boot… Love the guy…

  53. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @JR: Ha!

  54. wassup says:
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    Damn it!!! Right after I cut Wigginton for Hardy, Ty drills a 2 run blast but hardy’s doing pretty good 2.

  55. Steve says:
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    Zimmerman (v LAD), EE (@ Houston) or Blake (@ Wash) as a 3B sub tomorrow?

  56. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Punt? I’d go Zimmerman.

  57. Steve says:
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    Any love for Joaquin Arias? Again just a filler. Went 0-5 today…

  58. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Any love in what way? He’s got some speed, but it looks like Kinsler’s rushing back in the next week so he’ll lose most of his time.

  59. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Sorry – have you seen anything in him that suggests he’s worth a pickup for a day or so? Got a gap to fill at 2B tomorrow as well. Ellis, Iwamura and Willioe Harris are other possibles.

  60. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Grab Harris.

  61. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Thanks. Is Dusty back managing the Giants, BTW? 132 pitches for Lincecum. Crikey.

  62. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Crikey! That’s awesome. Do people actually say that in NZ?

  63. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Only me. Don’t think for a minute, though, that I’m referencing The Crocodile Hunter. Sad that he died and all, but a bit of pain in the arse IMHO.

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