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If you read this fantasy baseball web-blog when it still looked like a Geocities site, you know all about Mike Fiers.  Bee tee dubya, I like the new site design and I think we’ve addressed all issues with mobile devices.  If there’s still problems — besides, can you change the font to Wingdings? — tell us and we’ll look at it.  Things are evolving.  We have something coming in March that necessitated the site changes.  We had simply outgrown the old site.  I’ll always have a special place in my heart for those wild orange flames that caused every fifteenth viewer to suddenly have a seizure.  Maybe we can still get seizures…Together…With this new design.  Last year, Fiers burst on the scene.  Or rather, Fiers spontaneously combusted on the scene like he was a nine-year-old Drew Barrymore.  (I’m referring to her role in Firestarter, not to her lighting up a crackpipe.)  In Triple-A, he had a K and walk-rate of 8.02 and 2.95, respectively, then bested both marks in the majors with 9.52 and 2.54 rates.  His pre-All-Break numbers were a thing of beauty (2.31 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and a 5.56 K/BB rate in 46 2/3 IP).  To speak to only the K/BB, a 5.56 K/BB is incredible and would’ve been the 2nd best rate in all of the major leagues behind only Cliff Lee.  None of those numbers are sustainable for Fiers and his 2nd half failed to live up to the 1st.  Tiring in his first nearly full year probably played a role, but I don’t think a guy should be considered a lock to beat his Triple-A numbers in the majors.  So what can we expect of Mike Fiers for 2013 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Well, I embroidered my comments in realism in the intro paragraph (or couched my comments; stupid, thesaurus!).  Tis true, Fiers won’t be the pitcher we saw last year.  Signs are pointing to him still being very valuable.  Even with the solid numbers last year in the majors, he was dealing with some poor BABIP luck.  His full-season ERA of 3.74 actually translates to a 3.47 xFIP.  There’s still some concerns.  The biggest thing that stands out to me is the walk rate cutting in the majors.  My Blink reaction to this is hitters were swinging at pitches outside the strike zone when he was called up, then they learned to become more patient as scouting reports came back on him.  Well, Malcolm Gladwell can throw that out his Broken Window Theory.  It wasn’t until September his walk rate really fell apart (when his ERA also ballooned from 2.85 to 3.74).  His 4.39 BB/9 in September is a terrible mark, but he didn’t throw more pitches outside the strike zone or get less first pitch strikes.  In this month, he also had a .419 BABIP and a .330 BAA.  Basically, everything he threw was hit, but only on September 25th was he hit hard (giving up a 72.7% line drive percentage).  In that game, he went 4 1/3 and gave up four earned.   So that brought my conclusion to:  in September he was tired, and very unlucky.  To further confuse, I looked at his fastball velocity (which isn’t great overall for a 9+ K-rate).  In May, he averaged 88.6 MPH.  In the last game of the season, he averaged 89.4 MPH and threw it more than in his first major league start.  That doesn’t seem like someone who was tired.  So, he was just unlucky?  That seems too easy.  Basically, Fiers is a conundrum wrapped inside a burrito with the wrapper labeled, “Open in the late rounds because there could be something excellent here.”  His fastball velocity leads me to think he fall around a 8 K-rate, and I can’t ignore his minor league walk rate, so for 2013 I’ll give him the line:  11-8/3.89/1.29/167 in 185 innings.  He’ll probably have some hype in the preseason, but he should be a solid sleeper.  But, if you wait too long to draft him, you won’t be getting Michael Fiers even if you were f**king Michael Fiers!

  1. Terrence Mann says:
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    Estrada > Fiers > Peralta but they’re all worth owning late (except on the same team).

    Right?

    • MAOooohLaLa says:
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      @Terrence Mann: I like Estrada a lot, and he seems to be flying under the radar…excellent K rate..143K in 138.1 innings w/ 3.64 ERA and 1.14 WHIP…tasty

    • scott says:
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      Can only keep 5. Who would you keep
      Stanton 3rd rd
      Mccutchen 8th
      Craig 10th
      Cespedes 11th
      Melky 12th
      Morse 12th
      Peavy 16th
      Thanks!

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Stanton 3rd rd
        Mccutchen 8th
        Craig 10th
        Cespedes 11th
        Peavy

  2. beardcrabs says:
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    how did you come up with “you won’t be getting Michael Fiers even if you were f**king Michael Fiers!”… i wanted to ask you all last season…

  3. Commish Cauda says:
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    In the middle of negotiations…can’t wait for the rankings

    Mat Latos or Ian Kennedy for 2013 and an option for 2014?

    • Chris says:
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      Latos, by a lot. Or a Lat.

  4. SUMO KING says:
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    On the topic of website changes:

    It looks very good, very slick. However, I come here for the fantastic content, not the presentation. I may be a minority, but I love the simplicity of the old geocities style… it gets straight down to business.

    Anyway– Since you made each post require a click-through, I’ve become disappointed that the full post doesn’t show up in the RSS feed anymore. In order to read the full post I need to click through, which means I can’t surf at work with this fancy new site. I realize you need the clicks for ad $$, but I’m still disappointed.

    Anyway, as long as you keep the good posts coming I won’t mind too much, but I thought I’d mention the RSS since you asked…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @SUMO KING: You can’t click through at work?

      • SUMO KING says:
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        @Grey: I prefer my browsing to be text-only when I’m on the clock, for which RSS feeds are perfect.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Ah… Gotcha… Sorry about that…

    • beardcrabs says:
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      @Jon: usuall@Jon:
      @SUMO KING: use your phone…

  5. GT says:
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    He sure looked tired at the end of the season. Having only thrown 130 IP (2010) and 120 IP (2011) the prior years before hitting 180 IP last year, he was bound to slow down. His September fastball stats could be deceiving as a tired pitcher may shy away from the more “complicated” pitches as his cutter and curve were less and less effective, so he just chucked it over the plate.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @GT: Yeah, that’s true…

  6. royce! says:
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    You watch the latest episode of Top Chef?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, I watched it… You?

      • royce! says:
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        @Grey: Yeah, absolutely stunned that Josie didn’t get eliminated…They liked her concept — which was basically any Cuban restaurant in Miami — but she couldn’t properly cook pork?!! I thought Micah failed, but jeebus, not that badly. I think they opted to keep Josie because everyone else just seemed to be relatively stable and getting along, though I suppose it doesn’t matter in the end, since I don’t think that Micah was going to be a finalist.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I wonder what Micah did… Kuniko cut the and Micah placed it on a dish… He made a vinaigrette? Well, that’s pretty terrible… Josie said she never made restaurant wars in her season and I was like, “Then what the hell are you doing on this season?” This is who they found to come back? WTF, TC?! Josie has singlehandedly ruined this season… How many times is she going to say she played professional football? I don’t know much about football, but I’m taking a wild guess she did not play professional football… Unless she used to be a man. I hope she dies in a kitchen fire while she’s playing professional football… I did like having restaurant wars split into two challenges, didn’t mind that…

          • Dan Pants

            Blairtch says:
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            @Grey: stefan for the win or gtfo

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              I think it’s gonna be a GTFO, cause I don’t think he’s winning… Brooke or the Asian girl are gonna win…

              • Dan Pants

                Blairtch says:
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                @Grey: yeah. the hawaiian dude should make the final four, too, but i’ll stick with 1/2 of team europe

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Yeah, Sheldon… They’re long overdue for a woman winning…

  7. Murph says:
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    My rookie year for Fantasy Baseball brought over from Razzball Football by Sky. Look forward to the articles I’m going to need all the help I can get. Haha

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Welcome!

      • Murph says:
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        @Grey:

        Thank you and I now have a full year of loss of sanity instead of just 16 weeks.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Ha…Exactly… We’ll leave you bleary-eyed by October…

  8. OneHung Lo says:
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    12 team (5 x 5) Keep up to 6, only 2 new ones. 3 year contracts, keeper round starts 8 round.
    As of now: Grandy (1 year left) Hosmer (2 Yrs) Ian Kennedy (2 Yrs) Bumgarner (last year)
    New Keepers: Cespedes
    Undecided: Altuve, Rizzo, Moose-tacos, Harvey, Lucroy

    Who would be the wisest choice? Leaning towards Altuve, but boucing back and forth with Moose as well. Came across website a few years back, first time email though. Thanks

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I’d keep Rizzo…

  9. Westly says:
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    Hey Grey i love the new format for the site. Jeff Samardjza is getting mad love everywhere, am i crazy for not clicking accept already on a JS/Marmol for Greg Holland Alex Myer in my 16 team dynasty? Other starters are Brett Anderson, Verlander, Waino, Kershaw. Other relievers are Nathan and Joaquin Benoit.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Click accept…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      That is to get Samardzija…

  10. Brian says:
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    Grey, Speaking of mad love is Medlen for real or a 1 year wonder………I read he the next Greg Maddux. Huh?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I’ve loved him for a few years so I’m saying for real…

  11. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    Did I miss a post? Tillman looks like a bargain to me at MDC’s earliest draft #257.

    If I were drafting SP, my targeted core (thanks Grey) would be:
    Medlen, Rd 5
    Samardzija, R d9
    Harvey, Rd 12
    Tillman, Rd 20
    Draft ‘em early if you want them. They will be worth it.
    Of course, I won’t draft a SP…be streaming with SON!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, doesn’t look terrible… Medlen won’t be as early for me…

  12. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    Eh, just checked Tillman’s periphs, Last years’s 2.93 ERA looks lucky with BABIP of 2.21 and FIP at 4.25.

  13. Jon says:
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    Looking forward to your rankings next week! How quickly does it all come out? Will we have your top 300 by this time next week or does it take a little longer for you to post everything?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Takes longer than a week…

  14. Big AL says:
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    H2H 12 man 5×5 league. Need to keep 2. Gio, Greinke, Yu, Hamels, Bumgartner, CC, or Weaver.
    Thanks Grey.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Hamels, Greinke

      • beardcrabs says:
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        @Grey: Hamels is having shoulder soreness, hes been shutdown for the time being…

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Thanks for the heads up! Still early, hopefully it’s nothing…

  15. Jon says:
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    Do like Parker more than Anderson for 2013?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yup

  16. Carlos says:
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    Howdy Grey–Keep Braun ($44), T. Hudson ($2), or Utley ($4) in a 9-Hitter (1UTIL), 9-Pitcher keeper league? Notably re: Utley, I’m already keeping Aaron Hill.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Braun

  17. Wallpaper Paterson says:
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    What is MDC?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Mock Draft Central

  18. prezii says:
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    GREY! Whats more likely in 2013? The astros becoming somewhat relevant or matty adams losing 30 pounds? Sorry for the tough question but i need to know! Haha

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I like the Astros chances there…

      • prezii says:
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        @Grey: possibly the first time you have ever uttered those words.. man all these sleepers got me all juiced for baseball… I been playin mlb the show 12 cuz im that much of a fiend!! Hurry up already!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Can’t get behind Fatt losing weight… Do they have him in MLB, The Show or not enough pixels?

          • prezii says:
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            @Grey: haha yeah he takes up both batters boxes and hes considered a switch hitter! Naw they have him but he sucks… I guess just like real life! Hes overly fat tho on there tho.. its kinda hilarious, like they did it on purpose for us?? Ha

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              They should have Aroldis come out from the dugout after tying up his girlfriend and calling the cops…

  19. Tarasco's Secret Stash says:
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    How would you rank as keeper options between Fiers, Lance Lynn, and Minor? Can keep one for sure, possibly two.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Minor, Fiers…

  20. PaulyOH says:
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    In an NL-only 10 team H2H points, please rank these pitchers, and would any be worth taking in the eighth round (1st round after 7 keepers)?

    Niese, Fiers, Cahill, Minor, T. Hudson, E Jackson, Beckett, Garcia.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I like Niese a lot…

      • PaulyOH says:
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        @Grey: Thanks! I figured he was a cut above the others as well. I have the 4th pick, and I figured the guys that came from the American League (Choo, BJ Upton, and Haren) will all go in the top 3.

  21. Jack Full of Hate says:
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    I think Friers is a nice arm for this coming year, I like him alot more than Doubrant and harvey, my concern with harvey is with the awesomeness to come the sophmoric slump could be his downfall. He might be one of those guys that gets drafted too high, starts out crappy then gets dropped and goes on a post break holy terror. Where I think friers has that solid arm we like to see that never makes us want to cry in the closet after three straight starts of 6+ runs in 4 innings, you know like Burrnett when he was with the Yanks. The other part of him i like is he is not a fireballer and that always make me sleep easier knowing his arm won’t fall off, or at least take a vacation to Dr. Freeze’s place.

    Thought of a term while on the “good” cough medicine, inspired by all these sleeper posts. SLEEPER HOLD – when you hold onto that “sleeper” far longer than you should and it literally bores you to sleep waiting for him to not make you look like a jackass for drafting him.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, you could be right about Fiers since he doesn’t rely on gas… Harvey doesn’t have enough IP_ for a sophomore slump, but I do think he’ll be a lot rockier than Fiers… Fiers is about 20 spots above him in my rankings, so both sleepers, but not on the same level… Not feeling that term…

      • Jack Full of Hate says:
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        @Grey: you would if you were on the cough syrup i am

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          See, there’s the disconnect…

          • Jack Full of Hate says:
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            @Grey: with me and reality, thats what happens when you have been home since christmas sick…literally

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Oh, man… Not to be a Jewish grandmother, but you should go to a doctor… You shouldn’t be sick that long…

              • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                @Grey: I have, had really bad bronchitis then got the flu really bad right after. Its been great, lost ten pounds.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Ah… A Paris runway model flu… That’s still a long time to be sick… You should go see a doctor…

                  • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                    @Grey: oh bubbee goldstein….I just need to finnish my anti-biotics and some roids they gave me. I’m also recetly diabetic so my immune system is as strong as the Astros upper management.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      The Astros are hoping to turn around their team… Here’s hoping the same for you…

  22. MAOooohLaLa says:
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    G….

    just want to put something out there…unrelated and I know you already wrote about him…

    Billy Hamilton: 152 games, 576 ABs, .288 average with 115 steals in 148 attempts according to Bill James’ projection for 2013. I know he underestimated Trout’s value last year (who didn’t), but that’s ludicrous…am I wrong? Either way he’s a late round flyer in my keeper league…but still. WTF mate?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Ha! Yeah, one of the more ludicrous ones… He (really it’s a prgram he uses) doesn’t judge minor leaguers properly… If you go through and look at random rookies they’re all crazy…

  23. The Talented Mr. Dope Man says:
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    the almighty grey – AL only dynasty league, i have bautista for $20 in the last year of his contract. I’m trying to get machado who is $2 and can be kept for up to 4 years. Would you do a straight swap? Ther rest of the team is pretty stacked on power.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I would…

  24. yian says:
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    Hi Grey, looking for a bit of trade advice, I’d get an OF

    $16 Cespedes (or $14 Beltran)

    for

    $5 Lucroy

    Is either one worth it? Both?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I’d want Cespedes

  25. Steve says:
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    Overly general question perhaps, but what positions do (the royal) we want to have covered with our first two picks this year?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      OF and a corner man…

    • Jack Full of Hate says:
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      @Steve: just out of curiosity, who are you playing with? I ask because if you know your opponents and you know how they play then that may help. Where is your draft position. hell you might be in a spot where both corners are filled in your first 2 picks and then go buck wild on OF with your next two rounds. I have seen alot of good outfielders get passed for arms by some pitcher happy owners. also is this roto or that bastard H2H style?

      • Steve says:
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        @Jack Full of Hate: It’s a 16 team mock-and-lock (regular commenters vinko and big o are doing it too).

        Pretty standard 5×5 roto, I’ve got the 16th pick…

        • Jack Full of Hate says:
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          @Steve: hmmm 16 teams, that like a gigantic buffett with only 2 good dishes. you better make those two picks count and hope they don’t suck, or get hurt, or suspended for PED’s, or visa issues or gets traded to a bad stadium. good luck

        • Jack Full of Hate says:
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          @Steve: whats a mock and lock?

          • Steve says:
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            @Jack Full of Hate: It’s a mock draft, but the rosters get locked and we play the season out.

            • Jack Full of Hate says:
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              @Steve: then isn’t that just like drafting a team regular and playing a season?

              • Steve says:
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                @Jack Full of Hate: Sorta, but there are no adds, drops or trades.

                • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                  @Steve: I would assume that the rosters are large and you can move players from your bench into your line-up?

                    • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                      @Steve: it sounds like you draft injury history as much as performance

  26. Jack Full of Hate says:
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    with the world baseball classic this year, i always felt you should draft after because injuries seem to happen every year. what do you think?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Jack Full of Hate: I agree… I think it’s a recipe for unnecessary injuries… I suggest people draft as late as possible…

      • Jack Full of Hate says:
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        @Grey: you should write an article about the curse of the classic, or at least be brought in some way in an article

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I don’t know if the Classic does cause unnecessary injuries, I’m just worried it might…

          • Jack Full of Hate says:
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            @Grey: the strain on the arms can be a problem. didn’t some big star get hurt one year?

            i meant bringing up having drafts post classic, not necessarily a curse

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Ah… Not that I remember, but any time guys are going pre-season there’s a chance for injury…

              • costaricanchata says:
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                @Grey:

                i find that whole “WBC causes injuries” theory to be poppycock .

                maybe they should dis-band the mexican leagues , or the dominican leagues , or the venezuelan leagues due to the :
                drug-dealing gang wars / economically deprived haitian thugs ,
                or those machete-wielding kidnappers outside of caracas .

                cust kayin’

                • costaricanchata says:
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                  @costaricanchata:

                  and what about those japanese leagues ?
                  those sneaky little bastards bombed pearl harbor !!
                  (too soon ??)

                  thanking you , in advance , for allowing my WBC rant .
                  it only happens every 3 years , or so .

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Those machete-wielding kidnappers outside of Caracas are actually a vital training element in any young Central American’s career…

  27. Sul says:
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    Long time listener, first time caller. Kenley Jansen will eventually be the closer this year for the dodgers, righttt? Also, thoughts on Salvador Perez for the upcoming season?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Jansen will be the closer… Rankings are coming Monday with thoughts on Perez…

  28. Tom says:
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    What is tomorrow’s rankings categorie? Top 20 catchers … Top 10 overall?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Top 10 overall…

  29. Jay29 says:
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    I know I’m a week late to the party on this, but I’d like it if the site had “Newer Post” and “Older Post” links at the top and/or bottom of each post. That way, when I’m catching up on your stuff after a week away from the site, I could just click once for the next-newest post instead of going back to my RSS reader for the link (or worse, going to your home page and scrolling all over for the post).

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Okay, will look into it…

Comments are closed.