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George Sherrill gave you a whole lot more than you should’ve expected. In fact, he gave you more than you should’ve expected by May. The rest? Icing. But that kind of rational and perspective-laden thinking can get you in trouble. Assuming you had him and need saves, you’ll need someone.  Grab Jim Johnson. (Yes, he does sound like a guy that would hold 30 people hostage and organize a mass suicide.) If you’re set on saves, you still pick up the closer to spite your league! Anyway, here’s what else we saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Billy Wagner – Out indefinitely.  Ayala, Feliciano, Heilman, Sanchez then Smith, that’s not the order I see them getting saves. That’s alphabetical order. As far as Manuel’s concerned, that might be the order they get saves. What’s the difference between Jesus and the Mets’ current bullpen? At least some people have faith that Jesus saves.

Rich Harden – Forever injured in Oakland, Harden has been amazing for the Cubs (and fantasy owners).  Another 10K game.  I wonder if Cubs fans accidentally call him Mark Prior during their masturbatory fantasies.  Billy Beane should sign Mark Prior and hope it is a lucky break in the DL/time continuum.

Ian Kinsler – Might come back from a slight hernia to play the last week or two of the season. Texas ain’t making the playoffs. Don’t strain yourself, Ian!

Kevin Youkilis – HR yesterday. Youuuuuuuk’s been on fire. .414/6/16 in August.

Josh Beckett – Will have his start pushed as he reported tingling in his arm after sleeping on it wrong.  The way the Blue Jays hit him last outing, that’s probably not the only part of his body that’s tingling right now.

Braden Looper – 7 IP, 1 ER. I told you two weeks ago Looper would be lights out in August. So far, he has a 1.93 ERA. Are you waiting until September to pick him up when he’s not good anymore?

Kevin Slowey – Snow White’s K-challenged dwarf somehow struck out 12 A’s in a rout.  As Billy Beane considers whether to trade some of his young prospects for some promising zygotes.

Brandon Lyon – Came into a 4 run game and gave up 3 earned in a third of an inning. Kazaam!

Ricky Nolasco – Two hit shutout with 11 Ks. Against the Giants, but still. This dooode’s been money. N to the Izz-O, L to the Izz-A.  Fo shizzle, my Nolasco.

Clayton Richard – 6 shutout innings against the Mariners.  The only pitchers I wouldn’t spot start against the Mariners pitch for the Mariners.

Aaron Harang – Start pushed back with neck spasms. “He couldn’t turn his head,” said Reds pitching coach Dick Pole. Funny that’s the coach’s name, cause this year Harang’s been a Cock Punch.

Adam Lind – HR yesterday. 4 homers in the last 6 games. Fans up Toronto probably missed it as they were off celebrating Carol Huynh’s Freestyle Wrestling Gold Medal. Okay, but let’s see her take on the Farmer’s Daughter from GLOW.

  1. Steve says:
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    If you’d watched as many balls leave the yard as Harang has lately, your neck would be sore too.
    Which begs the question, if he knows where they’re going, why does he need to turn his head?

  2. BSA says:
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    Cock Punch – The whole RCL has been a cock punch this year, with Harang at the top of the list. Fortunately I listened and rolled out Nolasco and Looper last night to finally scrape up a couple of points. Hey Iowa, thanks for not wanting Nolasco!

  3. SaltyBiscuits says:
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    Adam Lind or Vernon Wells? I could also go with Michael Cam-Ron.

    Should I bother picking up Looper now? Think he can carry it into September or is he solely an August Avenger?

  4. yak says:
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    Are there leagues out there that count pitcher’s hitting statistics? As a tigers fan, I am trying to find out if Dontrelle Willis will ever have any sort of value to anyone again. Ever. Even just a little bit…

  5. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Yeah, I was thinking that too. Harang can’t even get sucking right. So say Dick Pole.

    @BSA: Nolasco and Looper were on waivers in the RCL this late in the year?

    @SaltyBiscuits: I’d grab Looper until he shows first sign of pumpkin-ness. Mike Cameron.

    @yak: Yeah, Dontrelle’s peaked and collapsed at a really young age.

  6. Shogun says:
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    @Grey: Do you think Sheff is going to put up solid/good numbers the rest of the way, or has this past week-or-so been a mirage? He’s a free agent in two of my leagues, and I’m thinking of dropping H. Matsui for him in one of those. I doubt either would give me much, but it would be a speculative add for a bench position.

    Great job with the column, as always. I liked the Jim Johnson one-liner…

  7. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Shogun: I’d drop Matsui for Sheff, fer sure. Matsui may take some time to get up to snuff with pitching after being out for so long.

  8. Shogun says:
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    @Grey: Thanks. Will do. I got swept up in the Godzilla hype, and I’m already sick of owning him after one day.

    Picked up Slowey before yesterday in both of my leagues for a speculative start. Nice payoff. I’m thinking he could be a good sleeper next year.

  9. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Shogun: I’ve liked Slowey since last year. His HRs allowed have been an issue, but other that he has solid stuff. Not to mention, the Twins develop pitchers well.

  10. Shogun says:
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    @Grey: Yeah, I’m a Twins fan, so I keep close tabs on their pitchers. Liriano’s been a pleasant surprise since he came back, but his velocity is still way down on his fastball and slider. His change is a little better than it was, and he’s mixing pitches now that he has to actually pitch instead of just miss bats. Baker should develop into a solid #2 or 3, and so should Slowey. Blackburn and Perkins are yawnstipating but very solid back of the rotation guys who have fantasy value as relatively reliable spot starters – in fantasy terms, not too many Cleveland Streamers for anyone who picks up Twinkies (ooh! that sounds gross!).

  11. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Shogun: …”not too many Cleveland Streamers for anyone who picks up Twinkies” — Ha!

    Are there minor league pitching coaches the reason behind their effectiveness or their scouts? It’s been going on a bunch of years now where their pitching development is top notch.

  12. Shogun says:
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    @Grey: While I don’t doubt that there are good minor league coaches who bring along the talent, for almost 15 years the Twins have spent almost all of their high draft choices on pitchers. (Mauer, Cuddyer, and Torii Hunter were exceptions.) Basically, they’ve neglected hitting in favor of pitching, and it appears to be working. So while the minor league pitching coaches at least aren’t screwing up too many pitchers, I think the secret is simply that they’ve been stockpiling more pitching talent than other teams. This whole pattern goes a long way to explaining why we consistently have so few guys hitting for power; yes, it’s partly organizational philosophy that guys should go the other way (zoinks!), but also they’ve spent so few high draft picks on hitters that they’ve passed on a lot of power in favor of pitching. Fans were getting restless about this last year when we weren’t in contention, but everyone’s happy now.

  13. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Shogun: I think it’s pretty clear that small market teams compete when they focus on pitching. How big market teams don’t see this is beyond me. Let’s go get Pudge Rodriguez! Awesome! Hey, we need Nady! Brilliant.

  14. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Shogun: BTW, thanks for the comment. Really well said.

  15. Frank Rizzo says:
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    WTH? I just benched Thome b/c Yahoo showed him as a late scratch with Griffey Jr. taking the DH today, Swisher in RF, and Wise in CF. However, CBS is showing Thome as the DH, Jr. in RF, and Swisher in CF.

  16. wassup says:
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    I got Oliver Perez right now but I’m thinkin bout droppin him fo Slowey. I know Slowey got a start comin up against the angels so should I pick him up now or should I wait til da sunday start? Who has better value for the rest of the season and which one is better? Can ne one answer all those 3 or 4 questions i stated above? thanks in advance

  17. Shogun says:
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    @Grey: Yeah, no dig. I guess big market teams with deep pockets don’t have the patience to develop pitching because they feel like they can throw money at problems whenever they come up. But in my opinion, given teams like the Yankees’ amount of resources, that kind of patchwork solution has been profoundly ineffective at producing World Series titles.

  18. Frank Rizzo says:
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    I’m waiting to see who’s wrong. Neither has changed it yet and Chicago is up to bat.

  19. wassup says:
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    Wassup wit all the hype with this Looper dude?? I mean, is this dude really that good?? He’s in my 12 team h2h league and he’s available… i checked his stats and he has half the k’s as innings. What makes him so special because im not sure if i should pick him up. You guys are acting like this the second coming

  20. Frank Rizzo says:
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    Holy crap! Yahoo has Jr up to bat right now and CBS has Thome. Who the hell is hitting for Chicago in the cleanup spot right now. I feel like I’m on crazy pills or something.

  21. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @wassup: I’d let the Sunday start happen then make the switch to Slowey.

    re: Looper, He has a 1.93 ERA this month.

    @Shogun: The 90s Yankees teams were home grown. This is obvious to everyone but the Yankees, apparently.

    @Frank Rizzo: I was waiting for them to show who was on 2nd base, but I couldn’t see. I only have the Mariners feed on Direct TV.

    ***Alexei Ramirez hit one out with very little effort. Wow.

  22. Frank Rizzo says:
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    Yes!!!! Yahoo actually got it right. CBS is backing up their play by play to change Thome’s single and RBI into Junior’s single and RBI. Thome is now on the bench in CBS too.

  23. Steve says:
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    @Grey: I doubt that George ever looked as good in a bikini as Cheryl did…

  24. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Definitely debatable for certain people. I’ll agree with you though.

  25. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Just relieved to get the reference. Could have looked like the guy at McDonalds who sits quietly by himself and then yells something random and then goes back to his burger.

  26. wassup says:
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    Who’s better?
    Oliver Perez, Slowey, Looper for rest of the season?

  27. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: I think you were the only one to get the reference, though I think BigFatHippo might. He’s old from what he says.

    @wassup: Slowey or Perez. Perez is much riskier, but could pay better dividends. Looper’s only good for the month of August. Don’t touch him in September.

  28. Steve says:
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    @Grey: You saying I’m old?
    Sigh.
    I probably am.

  29. Doug Ault says:
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    Lind hit 4 in 6?
    I guess I got too hammered doing jello shots celebrating Carol Huynh Day……was that Doug Flutie interviewing the wench in the ring/

  30. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Doug Ault: If you attend the Carol Huynh’s the Greatest and Now We’re Having The Greatest Parade For Her Parade, get some wrestling headgear signed for me.

  31. Doug Ault says:
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    @Grey:I’m sure I have a limited edition Carol Huynh camel toe jock laying around somewhere

  32. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Doug Ault: You should make a mold and mass produce them. Put em on eBay!

  33. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: @Steve:

    Hey, you guys can’t be talking about me when I’m not here to defend myself. I’m not old, we prefer the term used.

    You talking about Cheryl Teigs? I remember that fine filly, had her poster on my wall.

    I remember one time………….

    what were we talkin about again?

    Speak up, I can’t hear you.

    “You kids get off my lawn!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

  34. BigFatHippo says:
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    Wainwright starting Friday.

    Tony just announced it.

    Went to add Reyes in the RCL but Iowa beat me to it. Damn Iowans, I can’t even think of a classic Nickname to use like Damn Cornhuskers or Damn Okie’s. Damn!

    Think he’ll get save chances? Dumb question I know, who doesn’t get save chances for the Mets? Maybe Betty Grable but that’s about it.

  35. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: As I said in that forum thread, he’ll get some save opps. Iowa’s quick, huh? Who’s the quickest in the RCL?

  36. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey:

    Apparently Iowa is.

    It’s usually a different guy (or gal) every time. Real competitive so everybody knows what they’re doing.

    Just a half year so there really wasn’t a make or break pickup to make. We’ll have a better idea next year.

  37. BSA says:
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    I’m the slowest and I got Looper off FA. Baron is pretty quick. Hippo has also pissed me off at times.

    Myers CG shutout!

    Why isn’t/hasn’t McLouth been playing this week?

  38. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BSA: McLouth has the flu.

  39. BSA says:
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    Damn flu – I put him in over Ankiel this week – Sonovabench

  40. Freak says:
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    Stupid Hairston. You ripped my heart out and stomped on it.

    Who should be my rebound backup SS?

    Guzman, Renteria, Scutaro, the Izturis brothers, Barmes, Miles, Harris, Felipe Lopez, Erick Aybar, Betancourt, Crosby, Infante, Aurilia, Bartlett, Carroll, Punto, Keppinger?

    I honestly have no clue where to turn.

  41. Freak says:
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    Or I could just hope The Riot doesn’t fall off in September again and just pick up the best available.

    From the likes of Lind, Ian Stewart, Sheff, Krispie, Cameron.

  42. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BSA: Hehe

    @Freak: Um, punt? Honestly, I’d go with the hot hand from now until the end. Right now, Renteria or Lopez. But your 2nd plan sounds better. Take best available option. I like them Cameron, Lind, Sheff, Krispie then Stewart.

  43. BigFatHippo says:
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    @BSA:

    Pissed myself off as well.

    I was first to jump on Rodney and then Farnsworth, who promptly conspired to give my WHIP a plate job……………………

  44. BSA says:
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    @BigFatHippo: RCL is like a bad drug. I don’t get it enough to figure out how to get out of the basement. My team won’t hit or they won’t pitch. Either way I lose points. I know I am losing and the team sucks yet I can’t stop tweaking and watching the scores. Sucks!

    As to pitchers – look at my freakin’ DL stash! Ha!!

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