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The Brewers signed Aramis Ramirez to a deal worth between $34-37 million.  Wouldn’t you love to make so much money that there’s a gap of three million between what you might make?  “Hey, Aramis, you got a second?”  “I was just rolling up hundred dollar bills to make kindling.”  “Just wanted to see if you’ll take a deal for somewhere between $34-37 million.”  “There’s a three million dollar gap there.  That gap is more money than some people make in their lives.  Yeah, I guess I’ll take it.  If I make $37 million, I’ll be able to light more fires.”  I make between three and four dollars daily from Razzball.  I have a one dollar gap!  I want a three million dollar gap!  Inner monologue, “Breath, Grey, breath.”  Okay, sorry, my chakras need alignment.  So Aramis goes to the land of cheap beer and Laverne & Shirley on the heels of the Brewers about to lose their two best hitters — Prince Fielder and Craig Counsell.  Sorry, their two best non-cheating hitters.  Eh, the Cubs last year looked like they couldn’t hit soup if they fell out of a boat that was floating on top of a giant vat of soup, and Aramis hit just as well as he usually does.  At 34, he’s not going to be less injury-prone and there’s no way he’s ever hitting 30 homers again.  He is, however, a professional hitter when healthy.  (Don’t you love when I interrupt sentences with “however?”  Makes me sound so smart!  Even when “however” is interrupting a trite claim like someone’s a professional hitter.)  I’d give Aramis a line of 75/25/95/.295.  Anyway, here’s some other offseason moves for 2012 fantasy baseball:

Casey McGehee – Traded to the Pirates or as I like to call it, “Make room for Mat Gamel!”  The camera pans to Gamel for his reaction and he’s fumbling his drink.  What a klutz.  McGehee was always utility man-ish before his breakout in 2010, then he went right back to crizzap in 2011.  I’m not buying into McGehee in 2012 in Pittsburgh either.  Maybe he can go to the plate while the remix plays, “Blech and Yellow.”

Mat Gamel -  No one likes Mat Gamel.   The Brewers wanted to try Gamel in Spring Training last year and he was 30 pounds overweight.  Lay off the mayonnaise, doode.  His Triple-A manager said he’s “hard-headed.”  (No one ever said that of Justin Morneau.)  I get this feeling with a beat provided by will.i.am that Gamel is gonna go the way of Matt Murton.  I hope he doesn’t.  I hope he gets a real shot at 1st base in Spring Training.  I think now that McGehee is gone he will.  Even if all Gamel does is hit homers and make errors.  In 2007, Milwaukeeans called that The Braun Exacta.  I propose the Brewers correct Gamel’s defensive problems similar to how the Rockies went to the humidor.  They should put The Vacuum in Miller Park.  Whenever the visiting team is hitting, you turn The Vacuum to suck and watch as everything is hit to the left side.  The Vacuum sucks so Gamel doesn’t blow.  He had another great year at Triple-A — 28 homers, .310.  He looks like he’s more than ready with the bat.  Definitely will be someone I’ll look at late in drafts for my corner infidel spot.  Could get a cheap 25 homers and a .290 average.

Trevor Cahill – Heads to the Diamondbacks.  Even if his new ballpark is slightly more favorable for hitters, he’s got a solid sinker and he’s going to be facing the Giants, Padres and Dodgers, the Moe, Larry and Curly of lineups. I didn’t like Cahill at all the last two years, but I’m willing to reevaluate.  I’m not stubborn.  *through clenched teeth*  Fine, he looks draftable now!  Are you happy?  I’ll give him a line of 12-10/3.60/1.35/160.  It’s not exactly Lincecum numbers, but a solid fantasy number three.

Jarrod Parker – Went to the A’s.  Our prospect writer, Scott, recently said, “After missing 2010 to Tommy John surgery, Parker threw 131 innings with Mobile in 2011, plus one start with the big club.  With a plus slider and a plus change to compliment a fastball that touches 100, I’m surprised that Parker’s 2011 K% (20.4%) wasn’t more impressive.  Solid mechanics and ace-type stuff should help Parker get back on track and earn a starting role in 2012.  Or at least that’s what Joy Behar told me when she came to me in a dream.”  Hmm… Didn’t remember reading that last part before.  I agree with Scott about the K-rate and his arrival.  Both things also have me perplexed.  His K-rate is okay, but not great, yet everyone’s saying he’s going to be a number one and be in the A’s rotation this spring.  When everyone says something with such conviction about a prospect, but I’m not seeing it in the stats, the first thing I think is it’s all about the scouting reports.  With Parker, this holds true.  But I thought Billy Beane didn’t listen to scouts?  You lied to me Hollywood!  People who have watched Parker pitch extensively think he’s back even if the numbers don’t tell the same story.  The biggest concern right now for him is his health.  He’s even cut back on using his slider that was once a nasty pitch.  Nasty as in good, not nasty as in bad.  The positive news, and reason why I’ll be drafting him very late, Tommy John recipients usually take about a year and a half to get back to full strength, which is where Parker will be in 2012.  In that huge park in Oakland, I could see a line of 10-8/3.80/1.28/140 in 160 innings.  Unless the actor playing Scott Hatteberg and Royce Clayton sign on to coach Parker, then he can win the Cy Young, cure world famine and get Lindsay Lohan’s career back on track.  If Parker starts the year in the minors, then I’ll just look at him in keepers.

Tony Gwynn Jr. – Dodgers signed him to a two million dollar deal.  Dodgers are answering their offseason question marks emphatically with ellipses.

69 Responses

  1. chata says:
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    “… That gap is more money than some people make in their lives.”

    edit* some = most

  2. Tony says:
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    and you said yesterday when braun comes back you were worried about who would protect him! ARAMIS! duh….

  3. chata says:
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    i thought that the pirates had made some real strides last year ,
    and looked forward to them allowing their core of youngsters to play and mature as a group .
    this off-season , it seems , they have made moves to undermine the
    development of their team .
    barmes to replace cedeno … ok … but if he cuts into walker’s playing time
    that would not be good .
    mcgehee ? … does that me that they’ve given up on alvarez ?
    mclouth ? … why not sign johnny damon and bury tabata even further ?

    seems like the only chance they have to improve is to sign fielder .
    don’t see that happening .

  4. Remember back when Mat(t)s Gamel and LaPorta were two of the best prospects out there? Good times… Both will be 27 this year and The Tribe look to be ready to move on from LaPorta (at least the Brewers got the CC rental out of him). This could be Gamel’s last shot at relevancy too. Hopefully he makes something of it.

  5. OaktownSteve says:
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    Aramis is reputed to be one of the worst clubhouse guys around. Easy to imagine this year going off the rails for the Brewers with Braun shelved, Fielder gone. Won’t really affect Ramirez himself though. He seems to just kind of go selfishly along an put up his numbers.

  6. Tony says:
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    One thing about the brew crew, even minus braun, they have some decent pitching up there…. if they can compete til brauny gets back, and aramis can stay healthy, they’ll be alright.

    @chata: great points about the pirates, what are they doinggg?

  7. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @OaktownSteve: I could see that.

    @Tony: Yeah, their pitching should keep them in games.

  8. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    Saw these stats yesterday for Aramis last year:

    Home (271 AB): 39/14/49/.332/1
    Away (294 AB): 41/12/44/.282/0
    @mil (37 AB): 3/1/6/.216/0

    small sample size @mil. not sure if a factor of facing tough MIL pitching or difficulty with the yard. don’t see anything to jump all over him.

  9. JeffFromTallahassee says:
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    The Brewers were already weak at fielding and now with Aramis Ramirez and Mat Gamel at the corners, they should be even worse.. I think this hurts the value of Brewers pitchers.. I would rather have someone like Haren or Shields instead of Greinke or Gallardo..

  10. @chata: @Tony: Pirates’ signing of Bedard has been pretty quiet. Isn’t a bad risk/reward move for $5MM at most.

  11. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @simply fred: Yeah, that’s against the Brewers pitching.

    @JeffFromTallahassee: It doesn’t help them, but these guys are 200 K pitchers. Doesn’t matter about the fielders for that.

  12. JeffFromTallahassee says:
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    I still like them a lot.. I just like them a little less..

  13. stumanji says:
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    Grey, who do you like better as a keeper: Rickie Weeks or Brandon Phillips? I have BP but was offered Weeks for Josh Johnson, who I’m on the fence about keeping (keep 6, other SPs I’m keeping/considering are Felix, Kennedy, and Romero). Obviously I’d only then keep 1 of RW or BP so wondering how much of an upgrade the former is (if any). I’m concerned about that Brewers lineup sans Prince and Braun.

  14. Neidecker says:
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    Anyone know of any new dynasty leagues with an ASAP draft?

  15. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Neidecker: You got a hankering that needs to be filled pronto, huh? I don’t know of any.

  16. Neidecker says:
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    @Grey: Oh yeah…

  17. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:
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    Did Rosenthal’s more detailed article (re: Braun) that was supposed to come on Sunday never hit the shelves? Forgive me if I missed it, I’ve been busy with consultations… guess who’s getting spinal surgery for Christmas!

  18. Marqo says:
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    Hey Grey,
    I LOVE THIS PART!
    “When everyone says something with such conviction about a prospect, but I’m not seeing it in the stats, the first thing I think is it’s all about the scouting reports”

    which leads to my question:
    I’m probably the greatest Yankees Fan outside America. I wasn’t high on Jesus Montero. Not because I thought he couldn’t hit, but because there is just no room for him and he can’t catch. 1st is covered with Teix, and in 2-3 years A-Rod will be a full-time DH. Jeter also will get some days at DH. Will he develop as a Catcher? In my eyes, not even an average one if so.
    So what are you thoughts on Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances? Both of them are always rumoured in packages to be traded and so on.
    IMO, both of them are overrated. I’d trade them in a hurry. Maybe not for Gio Gonzalez or Danks, but I don’t think it’s impossible to work out a deal with another club.

    Starting Pitchers doesn’t want to get Free Agents anymore. The deal Jered Weaver signed with the Angels is a joke. He’d have got 30-40 Mil more on the open market.

    Ian Kennedy had way better Minor League Numbers than Betances und Banuelos and it didn’t work out for him in NY. I mean there is no doubt he is a Top-15 Pitcher in the MLB right now, but would he become that good if he stayed with the Yankees? I don’t think so.

    Well, a lot bla bla, what do you think of Banuelos and Betances?

  19. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Awesomus Maximus: Ken Rosenthal never came out with anything other than he detests PED use. Spinal surgery? Yikes. For what?

    @Marqo: Manny Banuelos is tiny and I think the Yankees are scared durability is gonna be a concern. He’s still young and I think they want to flip him before he breaks down. Betances looks like the opposite. Huge guy with control problems. Reminds me a lot of Daniel Cabrera.

  20. royce! says:
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    Willingham’s value takes a hit going to Target Field, right? I know Oakland is not a hitters park, but it’s around 10 ft shorter throughout left field, and every one of Willingham’s homers last year were to left or left-center. 10 of those HR were hittracker “just enoughs”.

  21. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:
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    @Grey: Thanks for the confirmation; I can stop searching now.

    Nothing terribly exciting, just a laminectomy in two spots and a discectomy in one spot. Pretty routine stuff, as spinal surgery goes. I’ll be happy to be rid of 4+ months of sciatic nerve pain… stuff is no joke.

  22. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: Without looking at anything, I assume everyone’s losing value in Target Field. But, yeah, looking at the Home Run Tracker it looks like you’re right. Another guy that can’t stay healthy on the Twins. Yay.

  23. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Awesomus Maximus: Have you tried a chiropractor? I go twice a week and it helps. Had shock wave therapy on my back on Monday, another thing that helped.

  24. Steve says:
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    @Awesomus Maximus: But Aaron Rodgers came out and said he supported Braun, so everything is going to be OK.

    This is not a knock on Aaron Rodgers, BTW – he is quite clearly awesome.

    @Grey: Aaron Rogers is the quarterback for the Green Bay Packers (emoticon)

  25. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:
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    @Grey: This issue is from a car accident in 2007, so I’ve been managing two burst discs, bone spurs, and arthritis in my lumbar spine for four years now (had a lot of success with a combination of acupuncture, yoga, and meditation for a while). This recent sciatic nerve issue came about from a severe deviation of one of those discs, and I’ve tried many things over the last four months (including three sets of epidural steroid injections at the site) to no avail. This surgery is actually the least invasive option to me right now… believe me, I was in no rush to get under the knife.

    @Steve: Could be naiveté on my part, or just a strong internal desire to have baseball stay clean, but whatever the reason I feel like Braun is going to be cleared (perhaps not of the 50 game suspension, but of the public “guilty” verdict).

  26. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Ha… I thought he was a sports reporter before I read the last line.

    @Awesomus Maximus: Shoot, that sucks. Good luck with the surgery! Hope it fixes the problem…

  27. Steve says:
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    @Awesomus Maximus: Maybe it’s because I’m not steeped in baseball culture, but I’m having a hard time feeling sorry for him, or even worrying about whether he’ll be cleared.

    This is probably totally unfair, but I feel like he’s either a cheating bastard, or a complete idiot for putting something into his body without checking it was safe to do so. With all the medical support staff crawling all over pro sports teams these days, there’s NO excuse IMHO for taking something without knowing what’s in it.

    If that’s what he did of course.

    @Grey: I’m here for you.

  28. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:
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    @Grey: Thanks.

    @Steve: I don’t really feel bad for Braun, but with the “insane” level of testosterone found in his body, I think it does leave room for a third option… that the test was whack for some reason. Who knows, and who really cares… I’m not staying awake nights thinking about it.

  29. Steve says:
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    @Awesomus Maximus: Hmmm. Upon re-reading, it might have come off as if I was reacting to your opinion. Certainly *not* my intention.

    Was just spouting on my own behalf (emoticon)

  30. chata says:
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    @Grey:

    thought i’d be late with this , but , melancon now closing for the sawx ,
    is pretty big news , imo .
    figure it adds prolly 10-15 projected saves onto his total for 2012 .

    you ?

  31. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Thanks!

    @chata: I don’t think he’s definitely the closer. I think the Sawx will either sign someone else (most likely) or Bard will go back into that role.

  32. chata says:
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    @Grey:

    are you thinking madson ?

    they won’t go old … (cordero)
    and i’m thinking they’ll go cheap .

    melancon’s the guy …. and it’s not even outlandish enough to post
    in the forum .

    will “april” Grey give me props ?
    (not on the 1st , please)

  33. chata says:
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    @Grey:

    just saw survivor
    comments ??

  34. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:
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    Ugh… fell asleep during Survivor and woke up in the middle of the always lame “Goodbye” episode of Real World. Now I have to avoid this site until I catch the last half of Survivor.

  35. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @chata: Melancon’s not going to close for the Red Sox. Bard will before him… Madson or Bailey are next and they’re not on the team. **Survivor spoiler* Brandon’s off his rocker.

    @Awesomus Maximus: Get on it!

  36. chata says:
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    @chata:

    yeah .
    gammons saying bailey .

    good thing that i don’t own the sawx .
    would love to blow up that team .
    how long ago was it , that lackey thought he was switching to a
    world series contender ?

  37. chata says:
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    @Grey:

    brandon about to go all uggie urbina .

  38. chata says:
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    next rewards challenge will be for 5 gallons of gasolina .
    assuming he upsets ozzie .

    next week’s promo ==> “things are heating up on survivor” .

  39. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @chata: Yeah, I could see Bailey happening. I don’t see the point of bringing a person (Ozzy) back into the mix when they are clearly outnumbered.

  40. chata says:
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    @Grey:

    you’re the mr. hollywood guy around here , but it’s probably a combination of
    “absence makes the heart grow fonder” and “after 2 days , company
    and fish …”
    sad part is , if ozzy can swing a vote with the jury , these guys will
    probably deem redemption island an over-whelming success and we’ll
    be stuck with this twist for future seasons .

  41. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    @chata: @Grey: What do you think of Sophie’s assessment that Ozzie may be currying favor with those going to the jury?

  42. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @chata: I don’t see the show losing Redemption Island. It gives them a reason to bring back old players like Ozzy and Coach so the audience has people to identify with immediately, and it gives them at worse an extra episode with a good new character like a Cochran.

    @simply fred: Doesn’t seem like a leap to think Ozzy’s a huge threat. He was on a tribe with a lot of the jury and he didn’t vote out anyone.

  43. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:
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    @Grey: Just finished up Survivor. Brandon is certifiable, no reason to point out the obvious. What I cannot believe is that we’re going into the final episode and BOTH of the players who’ve already had a chance to play this game are still in it. Did these people learn nothing from last season, or have they never watched the show? I was yelling at my TV every week they didn’t vote Rob out last season, but that looks genius compared to what’s going on this season. To me there are three cardinal rules in Survivor:

    1. If two players get romantic, vote one or both of them out immediately (Rob & Amber anyone?)

    2. If there’s a “reunion” season, anyone who has already won gets voted out immediately (Sandra anyone?)

    3. If there is a returning player on a regular season, vote them out immediately (Rob anyone?)

  44. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Awesomus Maximus: It’s gonna come down to whether or not people want to vote for the guy who played the inside game (Coach) or the outside, Redemption game (Ozzy). I think Ozzy’s gonna win, which kinda sucks because I think at his core he’s not a nice person (the way he treated Cochran) but everyone loves him. I much prefer a player who is unlikable to both people in the game and at home (Russell). Feels more honest. As for your points, I would’ve backstabbed Coach five tribals ago. I lost all respect for Albert (my pick) when he was like I want to be at the final tribal with Coach. Um, why? Coach will kill Albert in a vote. The fact that he can’t see that is mind boggling.

  45. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    @Grey: Given that there has been zero talk about dumping coach, I am believing that the others all agreed early on that in the end they would not vote for coach (not wanting a repeat of boston rob)…?

  46. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:
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    @Grey: I think you’re right, unfortunately. I’ll stick with my pick of Sophie, but Coach has “Outplayed” everyone and Ozzy has “Outlasted” everyone. Sophie would have to present a pretty strong case that she has “Outwitted” everyone, and hope the jury roasts Coach for not really having any integrity… and roasts Ozzie for… I dunno’… something.

    It’s unreal though. Friggin’ Coach is sitting there, having played the game TWICE, and he doesn’t even have to give any thought to playing the hidden immunity idol. Morons…

  47. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    @Awesomus Maximus: Guess that idol would account for why they haven’t made a move…still.

  48. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    @Grey: Don’t understand why Darvish wouldn’t just turn down any offers, wait the one year to be a true free agent (no posting money required), and keep that bonus for himself…?

  49. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @simply fred: Not sure why they would agree to that.

    @Awesomus Maximus: I think there’s a psychological aspect that is at play that people aren’t talking about. The celebrity of having a former player. Lots of these people are Survivor fans, even if only Cochran was forthright about it. So they don’t want to vote out Coach or Ozzie because they want to be friends with them.

    @simply fred: They never talked of flushing the idol out.

    @simply fred: Wants to play in the only baseball league that matters — the MLB. Just guessing…

  50. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:
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    @Grey: Yeah, no doubt… but you’d expect that to wear off for people playing as strategically as Sophie and Albert have done.

    @simply fred: The idol doesn’t grant you immunity for the entire game… and it only works if you play it. He should have been blindsided a dozen times already. Hell, he should have been the first one voted out, before he even had the idol.

  51. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:
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    The blonde who rocked Redemption until Ozzie got there was the only one with her head screwed on straight. On day one she said something like, “Coach is a temporary player.”

  52. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Awesomus Maximus: Yeah, she was the only one who even thought of getting rid of him which is odd. People seem like they play for 2nd through 5th place.

    @chata: Would probably be a hymnal if he won.

  53. royce! says:
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    Actually makes me think he’s a dedicated Cubs fan…

  54. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: “7 days seems optimistic to me”– ha! He is a Cubs fan, maybe reading something about that before.

  55. Steve says:
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    RIP Christopher Hitchens.

  56. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: That’s a shame, I enjoyed his books. Though I feel like he’s one person who wouldn’t want us to mourn for him.

  57. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Quite so. Soaking up some more of his writing feels like a far more appropriate thing to do.

    Far too young to be going, though. Not right.

  58. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Lost the owner of Shakespeare and Company last night. Another shame, and he was like 117 years old.

  59. Steve says:
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    It’s not been a good week death-wise. People die all the time of course and I hate to be morbid, but a well-known NZ race-car driver died today too. He’d had cancer – he was 35.

    35! Wife, kids etc.

    Be glad for what you have, y’all.

  60. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: That’s very sad. Yeah, very true. On another topic, whatever happened with Skinner’s newest?

  61. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Oh yeah – I’d kinda forgotten. Haven’t heard anything from our provider. I’ll chase it up.

    On another musical note – a few of us at work have been given test accounts by Spotify (it’s not available here but will be next year). Pretty awesome service. Could see myself never buying another CD – or even anything from iTunes.

  62. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Cool, no worries. Spotify was great, but they lost a lot of the music that was on there. Seems like record labels pulled some of their stuff. I also never really devoted the time it seems to need to make playlists.

  63. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Oh, and I don’t know if it’s on there (I own the album), but you should check out Marvins Room by Drake. Listen to it with headphones though, it’s a little racy.

  64. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Hehe. New Zealand must be the slightly uncool kid that discovers something just after the cool kids have moved on to the next thing.

    Though I didn’t have too much trouble assembling my “Look – I grew up in the 70s, OK?” playlist (emoticon).

    Marvins Room is there – I’ll gives it a listen.

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