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For all major league starters named Francisco Liriano and not named Francisco Liriano, he only ranked 37th overall in ERA, behind Anibal Sanchez, Chad Billingsley and The Wandwagon.  Liriano only won 14 games, which ranked 25th overall, tied with Jon Garland, Lackey and Brett Myers, amongst other yawnstipating names.  So on first glance, you may not realize how good he was last year.  He had the fifth best K/9 for major league starters last year.  Above him, Lincecum, Lester, Yovani and Filthy Sanchez.  Of those five, guess which one had the best xFIP at 3.06.  Go ahead, I’ll wait.  *taps finger, scratches head, flosses*  It was Liriano!  C’mon, that was a gimme.  Okay, of those five, who had the best BB/9?  *takes out garbage, wipes dandruff off shoulder, uses dandruff to add ambiance to fake Christmas tree*  It was Liriano again!  Now for the next fifteen minutes, I’m also going to throw in that Francisco Liriano was drafted on average around 200th overall.  That alone makes him a keeper for 2011 fantasy baseball but let’s see what we can expect from him in 2011 fantasy baseball?

People may still be scared off of Liriano from his bout with TJ surgery, but the gender reassignment–wait, that’s Tijuana surgery.  I mean, the Tommy John surgery was a success.  He looked like dog’s vomit in 2009 because he wasn’t full back yet.  A common issue with TJ recipients is their control is all over the place (literally!).  That happened to Liriano.  In 2009, he posted his worst BB/9 at 4.28.  As briefly mentioned by Mr. Intro Paragraph, his BB/9 was excellent last year at 2.72.  Even if he loses a bit of that control and goes closer to his career mark of 3.18, it’s still solid.  The Ks are not going anywhere.  The home park, Hubert H. Homerfree Retrodome, plays just as it sounds.  I’ll give him a line of 16-10/3.40/1.22/200, which is conservative.  Finally, it feels like Liriano has been in the game longer than Dr. Dre but he’ll still only be 27-years-old for the 2011 season.  In 200 innings, you’re looking at a guy that could be in the running for the Cy Young.  Assuming Murray Chass doesn’t register under multiple names and vote for Jim Bunning.

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  1. Terrence Mann says:
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    Nice writeup. Liriano should be a sneaky pick this year. The ballpark certainly helps. So do the Royals, Indians, and Tigers lineups. One question. How in the world were Slowey and Baker so bad this year? Especially Slowey. You expect bounce back seasons for them?

  2. big o says:
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    in my keeper league , this guy traded nick markakis , to me ,
    for francisco liriano .

    was i tricked ?

    after reading this post , am thinking about seeking out some sort of revenge.

  3. big o says:
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    holy crap .

    heyman (espn) reports that a-gon’s shoulder is still in a sling .

    he could have a slow start to the season , and may not fully recover
    until next off-season (my take) .

  4. Matt Crapps says:
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    isn’t Liriano a known quantity? i owned him and will own him next year in a keeper and can’t quite remember but wasn’t his spring fairly dominant? the overall numbers recessed but i’d have to imagine he is going to be a sub-100 pick next year or at least ranked that way by Yahoo and ESPN.

  5. Stephen

    Stephen says:
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    @Terrence Mann: Baker and Slowey are flyball pitchers and the Twins outfield logged serious innings with Delmon Young in Left and Jason Kubel in Right. Also, Baker was like herpes, you never knew when he was going to show up to pitch.

  6. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Terrence Mann: Slowey had surgery on his wrist and I think it hurt his control which he relied heavily on. If he’s past that, then it could mean a bounce back, but there was no sign of that. Baker was bafflingly bad and I’d be nervous about giving him another shot.

    @big o: You were tricked.

    @Matt Crapps: I think he is a known quantity, but this isn’t a sleeper post.

  7. Dingo says:
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    @big o: Think of it as risk management. There’s a chance that Liriano’s arm falls off again, and Markakis is only 27, so he could start hitting HRs again. But yeah – as things stand now, it doesn’t look great for you.

  8. Orange says:
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    @big o: Ummm… research? can’t blame anyone else for a trade you lost. bwah ha ha ha you got tricked!

  9. Joe says:
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    What do people think?

    you need both positions but can only have one of these players, would you rather have Jay Bruce or Casey McGehee?

  10. Stephen

    Stephen says:
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    @Joe: Bruce. By about four years.

  11. Seph says:
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    would Ricky Romero’s high end be those projections for Liriano…Anyone think he would be capable of that?

  12. Elijah says:
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    @Grey:

    Speaking of TJ Surgery, what do you think of Hudson next year? Seems to me he was super lucky and is likely to have an ERA somewhere a bit over 3.50 rather than what he sported last year?

  13. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Joe: Bruce

    @Seph: Sure, it’s possible. But with Liriano you’re getting Liriano, with Romero you may, if you get lucky, get Liriano.

  14. Joe says:
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    Casey McGehee or Colby Rasmus?

    is McGehee the best 3B out of: mcgehee/reynolds/aramis/prado/sandoval/polanco

  15. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Elijah: I think his luck will catch up to him.

  16. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Joe: Rasmus… No….

  17. Joe says:
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    thanks I appreciate your help!

  18. bill says:
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    considering both ceiling and chance they reach that ceiling, how would you rank rasmus, pence, and granderson for 2011 only?

  19. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Tom Emanski: Don’t have time right now to read it, but guys get faster as they get older?

    @bill: Pence, Grandy…

  20. Spartacus says:
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    Hey Grey,

    Got a trade offer in my keeper league:

    Hamels at $27 for Ian Stewart at $2

    Already have Sabathia ($25), Lester at $11 and Haren at $24 ( I think Haren will bounce back to a top 10 next year)

    What do you think?

    Regards,

    Sparty

  21. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Spartacus: That’s too much for Hamels and Haren. Take Stewart if that’s the best you can do.

  22. Steve says:
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    @big o: @Grey: Hey, you never know – Markakis could bounce back…

  23. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Were you the one who traded him Markakis?

  24. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Shhhhh!

  25. Stephen

    Stephen says:
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    @Tom Emanski: I think commentor #17 and #18 had some valid points. The philosophy of a player who has speed is inherently a better athletic and subsequently more valuable has its flaws too.

    Tango’s brief study of the link is based upon this basic premise, “If I limit the players from my original study to those players who derive a great deal of their value from SB, CS (total SB runs of at least +20 over the preceding 4 seasons).” Players speed isn’t always translated to the base paths, or a players ability to read pitchers well doesn’t make them fast (i.e. Pujols ability to steall 10 to 15 bases doesn’t make him any faster than the years he has seven steals; look at Lance Berkman’s 2009 season as another anecdote). Another thing to note about this study was the fact that the added value of a Steal is incorporated into WAR, subsequently, the players with steal will have more value and a higher WAR, thus they start off having more value, which is why having all 5-Tool potential makes a prospect rise to the top of the rankings, a la Jay Bruce, A-Rod, etc.

    Crawford: 6’2″ 220 lbs born 1981
    Krispie Young: 6’2″ 200 lbs born 1983

    If you look at Chris B. Young’s 2010 season you see a 27/28 (Hr/SB) with seven (7) times being caught stealing (80% success rate), but his Speed Score according to Fan Graphs is 4.8 during the 2010. This is because according to the formula (The Speed Score on Fan Graphs (via Bill James) formula is: Stolen Base Percentage, Frequency of Stolen Base Attempts, Percentage of Triples, and Runs Scored Percentage), he is penalized for not hitting triples or playing on a team that scores many runs. For comparisons sakes, Crawford had 110 runs and 13 triples during the 2010 season with a speed score of 8.5. Young had 94 runs and 0 triples for the aftforementioned 4.5 Speed score. Crawford had 19 more steals (47 steals with 10 CS) than Young with a 2.8% better successful too. So merging the two ratings (Tango’s article and the Speed Score), Young would also be included in Tangos study of Speed players based upon the steals alone. So is Young fast because he has a lot of steals, or is he slow because he didn’t hit any triples? I mean, c’mon, even Jim Thome had two (2) triples in 2010 and Paul Konerko hit one too.

    I am not saying this is a flawed formula, however, this doesn’t mean an athletic build from a player who has plus-speed according to scouts will age well. I think Jimmy Rollins is the perfect Cautionary Tale. Just look at his stats (http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=971&position=SS) and Crawfords.

    *This is by no means accurate or right, but I’m hesitating to think the justification of Speed or vast totals of Steals solely makes player age well.

  26. Earl Battey says:
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    In reading about Bruce’s new $51 million, the author reminded me that he’s only 23 years old. He’ll be one of my trickier keeper decisions. He spent last year alternating between stinking up my starting lineup and blowing up on my bench (I guess I need to take some of the blame for that). Any chance he progresses enough to justify a 10-14 dollar price tag next year (the range depends on whether I keep him for 1, 2 or 3 years)?

  27. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Earl Battey: Yeah, he’s going to be a great one at some point.

  28. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Not to say that I didn’t allow myself a little smile when I saw this post last night.

  29. big o says:
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    @Grey:

    the thought occurred to me that this thread’s headline might elicit traffic from those searching gay porn .

    not that you would know about such things ,
    “nor , is there anything wrong with those who pursue such endeavors ” .

    cust ayin’ .

  30. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @big o: Nice video.

  31. Terrence Mann says:
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    @Grey: Since we’re posting videos, how does this video affect Kershaw’s roto value?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5QC0mn5MqU

    Also, as a blogger I know you don’t like the Rockies additions of Lopez and Wiggington. But from a standpoint of a team that’s trying to get back to the World Series would you say the additions are solid ones, seeing the fact that EY, Helton, and Stewart were anything but reliable in 2010?

    I mean, Lopez and Wigg have to be viewed as upgrades over Barmes, Mora, and Giambi, right?

  32. big o says:
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    @Terrence Mann:

    she looks like the better athlete in that video .

  33. Terrence Mann says:
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    @big o: Agreed. Apparently, Kemp was at the reception and had an easy shot to catch the garter that fell right in front of him. As expected, he made little effort and lost out on the garter to the ringbearer who outhustled him for it.

  34. Wilsonian says:
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    I haven’t been on here enough lately due to me trying to dominate football, so I haven’t read through every post…

    So apologies in advance if this has been said 8 million times but, when are you going to post your rankings for 2011? I’ve got a draft starting after the first of the year (takes a month or so) so I’d obviously like your infinite wisdom to guide me through. Thanks dood!

  35. Bob says:
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    @Steve: A couple of threads ago, I read a thread between you and a couple of frequent commenters about getting a separate frequent commenters league going.

    I suggest rather than doing that, why don’t you invite them into our “Originals” league, and drop a couple of teams from the bottom who were inactive. I think we’ve got a pretty good top-end already, and if we add two or three active managers, we could have a truly awesome league.

    And remember, we are the ORIGINAL commenters league. That stands for something.

  36. big o says:
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    @Bob:
    @Steve:

    i’d be interested .

  37. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Terrence Mann: Wow re: video. Just wow. I think they’re good additions for the team. None of those guys are worthy of every day ABs so they’ll have to be juggled.

    @Wilsonian: Rankings come around mid-January.

  38. Terrence Mann says:
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    @Bob: I want in! I was talking about a razz league but I need in a decent commenters league.

  39. Wilsonian says:
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    @Grey: thank you Grey, sir. I think my draft starts around the 11th o’ January.

  40. mr baseball says:
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    Yanks to go hard after Russell Martin

    That only means one thing to me – Jesus Montero will be package away for some pitching

  41. big o says:
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    secretly hoping the lerners “buy” cliff lee .

    trouble is :
    if his wife disapproves of yankee fans spitting on her ,
    how’s she going to deal with getting shot at , in dc ?

  42. Tony says:
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    @big o: i’ll like cliff lee anywhere but in pin stripes…

  43. GopherDay says:
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    @Bob: Interested if y’all have a slot open.

  44. Elijah says:
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    If anyone else tends to insomnia, or just lives someplace silly like New Zealand (jk, if anything Im envious), this article is rather interesting for a late nite read. For starters it vindicates the feeling I had last year that Holliday is one of the surest bets in fantasy.

  45. Steve says:
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    @Elijah: Not as silly as big-upping an article and then not including the link ;-)

  46. Terrence Mann says:
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    @Grey: Any chance for a hot tub prize in Razz again this year?

    Also, I’m guessing that you’re going to include Aaron Hill in your list of draftable second basemen this year (about round 10 or so). Correct?

  47. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Terrence Mann: I can’t promise a hot tub, depends if the company that donated it wishes to again. I like Hill this year.

  48. GopherDay says:
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    @Grey: What about a portrait of the ‘Stache? Some would pay good money for that…

  49. Terrence Mann says:
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    @Grey: Figured you’d like Hill. I’ve been following your blog less than a year and I know how you think, Grey! I know how you think!

    I need to get a life.

  50. Elijah says:
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    @Steve:

    DOH! Well its at fangraphs…check out his compilated chart.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/crawford-and-gonzalez/

    I’ve been plagued with cluster headaches last 4-5 days, barely getting any sleep, its a nightmare so Im kinda punchy….also forgive me anyone if I’ve been crabby. Iif you’ve never heard of cluster headaches…well, I wouldn’t wish these on anyone.

  51. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Elijah: That sucks, feel better!

  52. Elijah says:
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    @Grey:

    Yeah its been 2 years since I had an episode, just when I think they are never coming back here they are. I will say I’ve had a lot worse series than this one, they are ‘relatively’ mild so far but they still come every few hours, especially at nght, and leave me spent. Thanks for the kind words tho!

  53. Al Swedgin says:
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    Wow, I just ran some numbers, and from what I can tell, Bill James is saying that the #1 fantasy baseball pitcher for 2011 is, wait for it:

    Chris Carpenter

  54. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Elijah: No problem.

    @Al Swedgin: Wow, hadn’t looked at his projections for Carp before, that’s crazy.

  55. big o says:
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    @Grey:

    what are your projections for morneau ?

    too soon to tell ?

  56. ThE sHiT says:
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    @Grey: Just wanted to drop by and say hello. I’ve been keeping up with your posts, trying to stay jazzed through the off-season.

  57. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @big o: Projections will come in January. He says his head is fine if that’s your concern.

    @ThE sHiT: Hey, man! How’s things?

  58. big o says:
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    @Grey:

    more concerned about how this out-door park is killing the home run .

    twins ‘ batters will have to rely on “away” venues for 70-80 % of their
    home run totals , or so it seems .

  59. ThE sHiT says:
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    @Grey: Well, since you asked…I broke up with the girlfriend and moved back in with my mom and brothers. Taking it ok, trying to stay busy. Work is good and busy, going to apply for a promotion on Tuesday. My fantasy basketball team is barely treading water, too many injuries. Other than that, great! Thanks for asking.

  60. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @big o: Yeah, the park doesn’t help, it’s true.

    @ThE sHiT: Sucks about the girl, but I’m sure it’s for the best in the end run. Good luck with the promotion!

  61. ThE sHiT says:
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    @Grey: Thanks a lot!

  62. Steve says:
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    @Grey: @ThE sHiT: Women – can’t live with ‘em, can’t leave ‘em by the side of the road.

    This just in – hot as dog balls here and it’s not even really summer yet.

  63. Alex says:
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    Is Uggla for Morales a good deal? It’s a 20 team GM league and i have Aaron Hill to put at second if i deal Uggla

  64. YourMom'sBoyfriend says:
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    @Steve: I’m not gonna ask how you know if dogs’ balls are hot. Oh, wait, I just did.

  65. big o says:
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    was there a razzball mock draft yesterday ?

  66. big o says:
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    if someone were to organize a mock draft to be held on a thursday
    or a friday , i would participate .

    also , any night , starting 10 pm or later …. east coast time .

  67. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Enjoy the weather, baseball is right around the corner and then it’s fall (for you).

    @Alex: Eh

    @big o: I think Eddy was suppose to organize it, no?

  68. Al Swedgin says:
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    Hey Grey et al,

    Help me narrow my keepers down. We keep 5 of any type but at this point we are only narrowing it down to 8.

    It’s kind of a wonky, too-many-cats, H2H league (it’s also not my primary one.) Anyway,

    Offensive cats: standard 5 + hits, BB, and offensive Ks.
    Pitching cats: standard 5+ Losses, Holds, and Innings Pitched. I know.

    Anyway, here’s my suspects:

    Teixeira
    Kemp
    Heyward
    McCutchen
    Pence
    R. Zimmerman
    Rollins
    Wieters

    Caprpenter
    Billingsley
    Neftali Feliz
    P. Hughes

    For the 8 I’m thinking the top 7 + Carp. What say thee?

  69. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Yeah. I guess out of respect for our Minny readers, I should just quit my damn whining.

    And let’s face it, months of BBQ/grilling to look forward to…

  70. Tony says:
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    @Steve: ohio weather sucks too steve…. we’re getting dumped on right now, you can put “dumped” into whatever context you’d like….

  71. Steve says:
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    @Tony: Yeah, we’ve been seeing the US weather on the news here the last few days. Unbelievable stuff.

  72. Elijah says:
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    @Grey:

    Heh its probably 85 degrees F, he’s just whining ;)

  73. Elijah says:
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    @Steve:

    Where the frick are you at? My weather report says high of 75 in Aukland, 69 in Wellington? Are you really complaining about that?!?!?!

  74. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Al Swedgin: I agree with your 8.

    @Steve: It’s 80-something here today.

  75. Elijah says:
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    @Grey:

    That was me sorry heh. Bad arrow.

  76. Steve says:
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    @Elijah: You need to look at the timestamp for Comment #66 ;-)

    Was about 85 YESTERDAY, which is hot for us. Bit cooler today.

  77. Elijah says:
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    You’re as bad as a swede! All winter long its complaints, then when it finally does warm up its too hot!

  78. Elijah says:
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    @Steve:

    And I was right too, it was 85 muhahaha! ;)

  79. Elijah says:
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    Anyways, back to baseball, I got a hunch Lee stays in Texas now. Something tells me he’s been playing the Yanks all along and much prefers to stay near home, but just wanted to make sure Texas’ offer was comparable.

  80. Steve says:
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    @Elijah: Too hot in Texas.

  81. Elijah says:
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    @Steve:

    Ahem. I’m just gonna let that one go.

  82. Steve says:
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    @Elijah: Go on – you would have been disappointed if I didn’t.

    Hope he does stay in Texas – would be good to see a decision that wasn’t ALL about the money (assuming what you say is right about him wanting to be closer to home).

  83. Elijah says:
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    @Steve:

    How to pick out a Kiwi: he’s nice and soft. As for the money thing, does ithe extra 2 million a year really mean anything when you are making 20 mil already in terms of your quality of life?

  84. Steve says:
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    @Elijah: Just trying to take the rounded view ;-)

  85. GopherDay says:
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    @Elijah: @Steve: FYI, I live in Texas…Not Dallas, but Houston, and…Yeah, it’s too hot. But that is why AC was invented, no? I’ve got a hunch he stays in Texas as well, hopefully I’m right. I read somewhere that because of the income tax in NY (Texas doesn’t have an income tax) Texas’ offer may be lower, but turn out around the same when you take into account the income tax in NY.

  86. Elijah says:
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    @Steve:
    @GopherDay:

    There ya go! In all honesty, if I were to live in another country, NZ would certainly be at the top of my list.

    Yeah the tax thing is significant, 8% of 150 m is 12 million dollars! Thats likely about the gap between the two offers.

  87. Eddy says:
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    Still planning on doing a mock draft fellas. These last few days have been hectic with family coming over and whatnot.

    I’m thinking that Wednesday around 4pm EST will be the first razzball mock draft time.

    I’ll repost this in Monday’s post.

  88. Elijah says:
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    @Eddy:

    I should be able to pitch in, Im assuming 12 teams.

  89. big o says:
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    @Grey:

    beltre or aramis ?

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