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Matt Holliday signed with the Cardinals after it became clear that no one else was signing him.  Other than going to the Padres or A’s (again) or some other terrible team/park, I didn’t think it mattered much where Holliday signed.  He is in the prime of his career and is what he is.  A .315, 15 steal, 25-30 home run hitter.  His absurd 28 steals in 2008 looks to be an outlier.  As does his 36 homer season in 2007.  He’s not signing on for Coors II, The Humidor Breaks.  Currently, I have Matt Holliday ranked in my top 20 for 2010.  (The rankings begin next Monday.  You can hardly wait!  No, you!)  I ranked him there knowing he was probably staying in The Bootheel.  Anyway, here’s other signings and trades and what they mean for 2010 fantasy baseball:

Casey Kotchman – Off to the Mariners.  When your career is five years in and your defining moment is an eight month bout with mono as immortalized by Pulling a Kotchman, you got problems.  A junket to Safeco ain’t helping the cause.  Sorta gives you a good idea about imbalance when Kotchman was a back-up’s back-up on the Sawx and is now the starting first baseman for the M’s.  Conor Jackson looks at Kotchman’s power upside and laughs (then coughs from Valley Fever as he pulled his own Kotchman last year.)  I.e. Ignore Kotchman in mixed leagues unless he’s showing signs in Spring Training or the first weeks of the season.

Adrian Beltre – The Red Sox seem to be intent on making sure the only Lowell in Massachusetts next year is the one 40 minutes NE of Boston.  Our hopes that they’d replace him with a Freddie Saugus or Nick Framingham didn’t work out.  The Red Sox keep signing bleh hitters (Cameron, Beltre) because of their defensive prowess.  Whatever.  We’re a fantasy baseball site.  That doesn’t excite us.  There’s only one good fielder in baseball….and his name is Prince.  Because of his fielding, Beltre should help the Sox pitchers (and their opponents with his hitting).  I keed.  Of course leaving Safeco will help Beltre.  Two things will happen now that Beltre is on the Red Sox.  1) He will be more valuable as a hitter.  Hey, a 315 left field wall can’t hurt.  Unless you’re Mike Cameron and you run into it with your head.  2) Beltre will now be drafted much higher.  So you have to weigh how much 1 warrants 2.  Beltre has been a bit of a hacking mess the past few years.  Last year, he ranked 6th in all of baseball for swinging at pitches outside the strike zone.  Two players worse than Jeff Francouer.  Other than his off-the-charts 2004, Beltre has never cleared the fences more than 26 times in a season.  The Red Sox don’t need production from him so that will either mean he’s more relaxed and hit better or he’ll grow disinterested.  I could see the latter happening.  But that should be offset by Fenway’s favorable conditions.  Either way, he’s a fair bet for 24 homers, a .275 average and 10 steals.  There’s value in that at 3rd base.  Just don’t let his newfound home cause you to push him too far up draft boards.  He did, after all, hit 8 homers last year.  Sure, that was because of a shoulder injury, but what makes anyone think shoulder injuries just go away?  After his shoulder surgery, Mariners medical director said, “(The procedure was) very successful.  We expect a rehabilitation timeline of approximately three to four months.”  That was after his first shoulder surgery back in September of 2008.  He then needed to have a similar surgery in late June of 2009.  I.e., Beltre’s better now, but not without flaws.

70 Responses

  1. eltoo says:
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    No need to worry about mike banging his head on the left field wall. Word is they are already committing him to the triangle buffer zone out in center field. It makes sense to start him in center and move ellsbury, but considering it has little fantasy relevance I suppose it’s a moot point.

  2. Antrim Warriors says:
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    Fangraphs went bonkers over Beltre saying 30 to even 40 homers! I say wha?! even saying could be best defensive 3rd basemen in history? someone’s drinking the Beltre coolaid.

  3. BSA says:
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    Paul Revere just arrived out of Boston with the package of Red Sox pickups and intro letter written by Theo Epstein outlining the philosophy change of DEFENSE and PITCHING wins both 95+ games and a World Series. The Nation tends to disagree, rolled over, pulled up the covers, and told Paul to come back with a big bat.
    We see what that did for the Rays two years ago – what are we becoming the Buffalo Bills of baseball.

    Other than pitchers, I will be staying away from Boston on my fantasy team. You hear that Steve, Iowa, Doc, and Hippo. Those Boston bats are all yours in the RCL.

  4. BSA says:
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    @Antrim Warriors:
    Beltre may just bust another nut to stay in play – not hit 48 homers since his contract is written to reward durability not power.

  5. Baron Von Vulturewins

    Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    The only good Fielder is Prince. Nice!

    The “Adrian Beltre was actually worth his huge contract in Seattle because he’s so good defensively and he gets on base a lot or something” is in my Top Five Most Irritating Stat-Head Arguments of All Time.

  6. 101 M.P.H. says:
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    The short term of Beltre’s contract (one year with a $5 mil player option) is intriguing. He strikes me as the sort of guy who would overachieve in a contract year, dupe some sucker G.M. (which I guess is the baseball equivalent of a sucker M.C.) into signing him long term for $12-15 mil per year, and then mail it in for the next 5 seasons.

    I’m predicting strong offensive numbers for him in 2009. With that said, I’m also predicting that the Red Sox marks in my fantasy baseball auction league will drive up his price to the point where he can no longer yield a profit.

  7. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    Beltre at Fenway over the past 3 years (yes, a very small sample size, but enough to temper my “enthusiasm”), 6 games:

    .105/.308/.158 (AVG/OBP/SLG)

    0 HR

  8. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Simply Fred: Actually, Grey had me at: “Last year, he ranked 6th in all of baseball for swinging at pitches outside the strike zone.” Not the type of player that warrants taking the risk.

  9. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @eltoo: Yeah, I knew that, was just goofing on him.

    @Antrim Warriors: They’re very pro-Mariners — past, future or present.

    @BSA: Yeah, you usually hear people say they fear so-and-so’s bat, not their glove. Also, not too many people buying tickets to see Beltre’s range.

    @Baron Von Vulturewins: Amen! I’d like to read a stat breaking down stat head articles. Maybe a graph. On the X axis, you’d have the number of people who got on board with Blyleven’s HOF bid. On the Y axis, you’d have the amount of irritating, irrational arguments by stat-heads. I believe the line would move straight up.

    @101 M.P.H.: He was playing for a contract last year when he hit 8 homers.

    @Simply Fred: Yeah, pretty small.

  10. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Grey: Expanded Beltre to the last 5 years at Fenway, 13 games:

    .205/.333/.273

    0 HR

  11. BSA says:
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    @Grey: So what is the over/under going into a $10mil deal?

  12. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    What would you rather have… Beltre in the 12th round or Zimmerman in the 7th?

  13. bill says:
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    What are your thoughts on Carlos Beltran this year?

  14. Nate Marcum says:
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    Zimmerman for sure…I am not so sure you could get Zimmerman in the 7th. I think his stock is exponentionally on the rise. The question I might ask is…..David Wright in the first round?

  15. Joe C says:
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    2nd for Wright, huh? I was contemplating taking him in the 1st (5th pick, 13 teams). The logic being, he was a first round pick (at least in value) the last few years (excepting, of course, the disaster of last year) and 3B is awful thin… I know, I know, don’t pay attention to position scarcity in the 1st round. But really, have you looked at third base? Mike Lowell is actually draftable. That’s how bad it is.

    I would expect a bounce-back of his own from Mr. Right, instead of the bounced check that he was last year (too much?). Delgado should be healthy (wait, has he signed with the Metropolitans yet?) and Beltran too and they got Bay as well… Reyes getting on base and not being dead will help. The stars just seem aligned.

    Exit question: am I insane?

  16. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Joe C: Not insane to take a guy one round early. There’s about 15 draftable 3rd baseman. If you play with a CI, then things do get tight.

  17. Tony says:
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    @Joe C: better line up, just not first round worthy til he proves it in that park… I love wright as much as the next guy, he didn’t just fall off a cliff and wake up a 10 HR hitting player, but that park is going to play a major factor in his value. All in all he should still be able to hit 20HR, get 20-25SB’s and he’ll hit .300….. solid but with the #5 pick overall i’d be looking at Braun, Kemp, Or Utley…. wright is a question mark, they are locks.

    @IowaCubs: Ryan Zimmerman? He’ll go in the 3rd to 4th rounds. If thats who we’re talking about. If you’re talking keeper league and you can keep him as a 7th rounder then I’d STILL rather have him over Beltre.

    @bill: could be a steal as late as he’s been going in mocks, could be a dud once his knees start aching… getting older, should be well rested tho!

  18. Tom Emanski says:
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    Wait, you guys still post regularly in the dead of the off-season? Dedication, Holmes. Now I have to go back and read through the archives.

  19. Jo says:
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    Give us a little preview of your rankings… is holiday in the top 5? Personally, I have him at #2. I want the reliable ab’s, power/sb potential, and good avg in the first rounds of my draft.

  20. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Jo: I wrote in the post above Holliday’s in the top 20.

  21. Tony says:
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    @Jo: top 5 OF’er or top 5 overall jo?

  22. Tony says:
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    @Jo: bc he’s not top 5 in either…

  23. Paul Wilson says:
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    Grey, is 2010 Jayson Werth closer to Jason Bay or Jason Kendall? OK, I kid. But can I expect 2009 numbers from him?

  24. BSA says:
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    @Grey: Yeah I just reread my “Huh?” comment
    If ’09 was a contract year and he hit 8 HRs, how many will he hit if he has $10mil in his pocket for yet another “Contract Year”

    I feel as though it is time to get out my notebook for Draft Day.

  25. Nate M says:
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    Holliday is not a top 5 pick. I would love to get him in the mid to late 2nd round, being from StL and a huge Cardinals fan, but I just can’t see him replicating the #’s he put up here over a full season. If the CHONE projections are close, he would be a good value anywhere outside of top 12. Expect 20-25 hr’s, close to a .300 BA, 100 rbi’s, but not sure the SB’s will be there, maybe 10? Any way you put it, hitting after Pujols will only make him a more reliable pick (forget the Oakland debacle!)

    This is Really far off topic, but in my dynasty league, I think I have my OF already set, but I have been waiting on the 15/40 potential out of Fred Lewis, and he has been playing more like Huey Lewis, without the good news. What gives this year?

  26. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Paul Wilson: Bay

    @BSA: Ah… Yeah, it wouldn’t shock me to see 15 homers or less.

    @Nate M: Ha! Nice Huey tie-in. I’d forget Fred Lewis. 2008 looks like a career year.

  27. Jo says:
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    Top 5 OF. If we went by where he was last year we’d all be idiots. I like his 2nd half numbers, and that he’s batting behind pujols. Oak was just a bad spot for him, I see potential of getting pretty close to his Col #’s next year. So for potential and reliable AB’s, I put him in my top 5.

  28. Jo says:
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    Top 5 OF. If we went by where every player ranked last year then fantasy sports would be no fun. I like his 2nd half numbers, and that he’s batting behind pujols. Oak was just a bad spot for him, I see potential of getting pretty close to his Col #’s next year. So for potential and reliable AB’s, I put him in my top 5.

  29. Jo says:
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    Top 5 OF. If we went by where every player ranked last year then fantasy sports would be no fun. I like his 2nd half numbers, and that he’s batting behind pujols. Oak was just a bad spot for him, I see potential of getting pretty close to his Col #’s next year. So for potential, proven talent, and reliable AB’s, I put him in my top 5. And it’s the reliability that puts him above others on my list.

  30. Nate M says:
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    Grey,

    Any thoughts on having a commenter mock draft in the coming weeks? I would be game.

  31. Antrim Warriors says:
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    3rd time makes me a believer

  32. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Nate M: Any time you guys want to put it together. Go for it. No reason why you can’t do one every couple of weeks.

    @Antrim Warriors: Hehe

  33. sean says:
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    Holliday’s speed all but disappeared when he moved to STL last season. In 235 ABs as a Card, he was 2-for-6 in stolen base attempts. In 346 ABs as an A, he was 12-for-15.

    Is this a LaRussa thing, a freak thing, or more of what to expect out of an aging slugger-ish guy thing?

  34. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @sean: Holliday falls into that category of player who doesn’t make his living with the steal but can steal. Think Berkman, Longoria, etc. He can steal 15 bases or 7. Depends on want and need.

  35. Joe C says:
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    @Bill
    I understand your hesitation on Wright after his performance last year. But I think a large part of his bad year was having Delgado, Beltran and Reyes out for the majority of the season, not to mention Wright’s missing almost 20 games due to his beaning/concussion. I don’t think the park had that much to do with it, since he split the 10 home runs he did hit at home and on the road. The guy has averaged about 25 home runs and 100+ RBIs over his career, as well as 20+ SBs. Throw in a near-certain .300 average and getting him at 3B seems like a no-brainer (and yes, we do have a CI in my league, which means around 18 third basemen will be drafted, making it even more important to have a solid starter at the hot corner).

    I would take Braun over Wright, but he should be gone by the time it gets to me, assuming my leaguemates aren’t idiots (I’m predicting the first four picks as 1. Pujols 2. HRam 3. ARod 4. Braun… which means the choice for me is between Wright, Kemp and Utley). I love Kemp (had him last year) and Utley is a stud, but the clincher for me is position, position, position.

    All that said, I will acknowledge it is a bit of a risk. But even in the 1st round, there is always the chance that your pick won’t pan out (witness such stellar first round picks in my league last year such as Reyes, Sizemore, Rollins and, um… David Wright! All quite justified at the time, of course…). There are no guarantees in baseball or pregnancies, so I’m gonna swallow my fear and bet on Wright (disclaimer: said statement/pick likely to be revised multiple times between now and draft day).

  36. Joe C says:
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    Um, I mean @Tony… who’s Bill? :)

  37. sean says:
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    @Grey: True. Absent first-round delirium, Holliday seems like a guy who can only help across the board. I’d much rather grab him in the second round than some less predictable types.

  38. Baron Von Vulturewins

    Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Jo: The only way Holliday approaches his Colorado numbers is if he’s traded back to Colorado.

    This is a terrible contract, by the way. Really, the Cards spent about $80 million on Holliday, and the rest is a downpayment on trying to keep Pujols.

  39. big o says:
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    i was really looking to see what carp could do with regular AB ‘s .
    now his sleeper value is diminished .
    kotchman ??

  40. Tony says:
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    @Joe C: i agree with your “there’s no guarantees” stand, but I would still take Utley over Wright there and if Braun falls I’d take him as well…. Kemp is kind of the guy I’d love to have but at 5 in that deep a league might be tough, 30/30 .300 potential…. hard to pass. You can always take Zimmerman in the second? I dont know if he’d be there tho that late.

    @Jo: Holliday is most defly a top 5 OF’er, I wouldnt put him at #2 tho…. #1 Braun #2 Kemp…..

  41. Jo says:
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    @ Baron Von Vulturewins: I don’t think he’ll get the same #’s as his big year in Col. but he can definitely approach close to his typical level of performance.

    And if you look at his WAR ratings, he is paid adequately for his performance. No doubt about it.

  42. Charlie says:
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    Rumor has it the Sox were going to sign Frank Allston but didn’t because of hip(ster) problems.

  43. Jo says:
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    @grey: is it just me or is Brandon phillips becoming an underrated player? what round is he worthy of being drafted?

  44. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Jo: Might be underrated by some. I like him though. He’s a 3rd to 4th rounder.

  45. Jo says:
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    @grey: that’s where i’m thinking of taking him as well, but with zobrist, cano & hill’s last seasons stats, I think a lot of people are forgetting about him. Lets pray that theory holds true :)

  46. Nate M says:
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    Buy or Sell…..

    1. Kelly Shoppach
    2. Chad Qualls
    3. Dunn’s ave. over .270
    4. Mini-Donkey’s SB over 20
    5. Crap-o-lanco being good value with 2B elig. in Philly?

  47. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Nate M: Buy, Buy, Sell, Sell, Sell…

  48. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: A Holliday in The Bootheel, Ha!

    They don’t shoot their guns in the air down there, they aim them at people who are “differnt”……………

  49. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: That ain’t how they say it in the bootheel, come to think of it, it’s boothill too……………….

  50. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Ha… I like when people say, “Differ-rent.”

  51. Steve says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Pity about that football team he has to put up with in the winter.

  52. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Steve: Hey, at least they got the #1 pick.

  53. Steve says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Shouldn’t that “they” be “we”?

    Oh, of course, you’re a Broncs fan…

    Who will that #1 pick be?

  54. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Steve: King Kong Suh baby!!!!

  55. Steve says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Oh. Had to google him, but looks like he might provide some defensive help, which, I’d say, would be a priority…
    /pretending-to-know-football

  56. BigFatHippo says:
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    When Google became a verb, Steve became vastly more intelligent………….

  57. Eddy says:
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    Grey which projection site do you prefer (if any), CHONE or Fangraphs? B/c they have some DRASTIC differences for player projections and I actually refer to those to give me an idea for late round picks.

  58. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Eddy: Fangraphs has CHONE and Bill James. I rely on my own projections that will roll out on Monday.

  59. Eddy says:
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    @Grey:
    so in other words, your shizz is the best ;)

  60. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Eddy: Yeah, of course. Wouldn’t bother to do my own otherwise.

  61. GopherDay says:
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    @Steve: King Suh absolutely KILLED Colt McCoy! He pretty much guarenteed himself a top draft spot.

  62. BigFatHippo says:
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    OK, Razzball Nation, time to make a difference in something more important than fantasy baseball. Our friend BSA, aka Summerdog, aka Brian needs our help and he’s too modest to ask for it……………

    So I’ll do it for him, I’m not shy. Here’s the deal, everybody give 5 bucks to his foundation. It’s easy, go here and check out the website. I was sincerely moved, I hope you will be too. Brian was one of the original commenters on Grey and Rudy’s site. One of the guys who made this message board what it is.

    http://www.connectwithsynergy.com/

    I’ll get it started and hope you guys follow, 5 bucks apiece is nothing but it could be everything collectively. Rally your friends on Myface, spacebook, tweeter, whatever……………it’s 5 bucks, make a difference, keep your New Year’s resolution on the cheap!

    I know you resolved to be more charitable………….;)

  63. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Where do you donate? I don’t see the link.

  64. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: Go to Foundation at the top right.

  65. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Ah, you have to send the money in? Okay, thanks for the heads up.

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