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Yesterday, James Shields yields 15 Ks, 1 run, but a win ain’t won.  Murray Chass just bid a penny on the world’s smallest violin on eBay so he can play it just for Shields.  Murray had this to say, “When men were gristled, and ladies were more gristled, we had a name for yellow-bellies like James Shields.  That name was ‘Can’t do what needs to be done for a win.’  It may not have been the most succinct of names, but before Al Gore went and invented the Internet, we didn’t need succinct.  We needed appropriate.  Now you only have 140 characters to say something and it’s never appropriate!”  I’ll say this for Murray.  He sure has ornery in spades.  “Now kids are playing spades on their phones.  When I was a kid, we’d play spades with fallen blisters from our feet!”  All right, Murray, that’s enough.  “What’s the matter, over 140 characters?! Bah humbug!”  So, Shields went out and threw his best game of the season when it all didn’t matter except your fantasy championship.  Who loves you, Kojak?  James Shields does.  In 2013, I’m gonna be back in James Shields like a cow in Sizzler.  Hmm, I’m not sure what that means, but I’m hankering for some of it!  His K-rate is slightly up this year, his walk rate slightly down and his xFIP is about where it was when he had his 2.82 ERA season in 2011.  Yes, please and gristle me some of that.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Ben Sheets – Will start today then retire.  And that’s Sheets folding.  In honor of his retirement, we go into the Razzball vault for this blurb about him from a few years ago, “Because he’s so injury-prone, I wonder if Sheets’s family is constantly trying to get him out of harm’s way.  His wife, “Let Ben Jr. go get you some more flapjacks from the buffet.  There’s a lot of sharp objects up there.”  Sheets replies, “No, I got this,” and then he goes for flapjacks, knocks into a heat lamp, burns the IHOP down to the ground and pulls his oblique.  A few starts ago, he complained of groin tightness.  That was obviously bull–Sheets and is now complaining of elbow pain.”  And that’s me quoting me!  Fairly well, Sheets.  May your obliques remain vaguely bothersome.

Manny Banuelos – Will have Tommy John surgery on Thursday, and hopes to stay on track for a 2014 return, so he can follow in the footsteps of other great Yankee pitching prospects like Joba and Phil Hughes.

Edwin Encarnacion – Out again yesterday with an injured trapezius.  Remember, getting on the rope is the easy part, walking across it carrying the pole is the tough part.

Yovani Gallardo – Will not start the final game of the season so he can keep his .300 average…Or make that so he can get an extra five days of offseason.  Luckily, the Brewers didn’t make the playoffs.  He would’ve need to change his vacation plans.

Dustin Pedroia – 2-for-5, run and RBI.  I give a lot of players crap for not playing through smaller injuries, so it’s only natural I’ll give a player a break for playing through a bigger injury, right?  Yeah, that would be a wrong assumption.  The Po’ Sawx are playing for nothing, so you gotta wonder the logic of letting Pedroia play with a broken finger.  What if he were to injure himself worse while favoring the finger in a totally meaningless game?  Really dopey move.  Oh, no, Murray’s rubbing off on me.

Andrew Bailey – Blew the save with 1/3 IP and 2 ER. I mentioned this in the comments yesterday, but anyone who trades for a closer whether it’s in real baseball or fantasy deserves what the Red Sox got from Bailey this year.  SAGNOF or SAUGNOF, if you want to go all non-rhotic (Word of the Day!).

Garrett Jones – Hit his 27th HR and tied his career high in RBIs with 86.  Garret is now a near shoo-in for the ‘Two Last Name HOF,’ joining Brooks Robinson, Brady Anderson, and Murphy Fitzpatrick of the Federal League’s South Boston Potato Blights.

Starling Marte – 3-for-5, 2 runs and 2 steals.  For the past four years, I’ve fallen in love with an upside Pirate outfielder, and next year is shaping up to be more of the same.  Maybe I should name my next e-book, “Many Lives, Many Pirates.”

Adam LaRoche – 2-for-3, 2 runs and his 33rd homer.  I have two real baseball notes.  I can’t wait to root for the Nationals in the playoffs.  Second note:  I geek out on this afternoon’s podcast because we have an ex-major league player, who has Hall of Fame credentials, and once won the MVP.  This is an Easter egg for the diligent people who read the whole roundup.  Finding typos are also Easter eggs.  Yeah, that’s the ticker.

Miguel Gonzalez – 6 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks.  You know how I’m gonna have to look at Gonzalez this offseason?  Like I’m a cyclops with a monocle.

Chris Davis – 1-for-3 and his 7th homer in the last six days.  Right now, Bill James is a nerd in a 1980’s movie and Chris Davis is Kim Cattrall.  Young Cattrall.  Or old Cattrall, I guess.  What, she’s the original cougar.

Jose Reyes – 3-for-5, 2 runs and stole his 39th base.  I guarantee he steals his 40th base today.  How much can we wager on this?  Does Vegas take this bet?  FanDuel?  Pete Rose?  Give me someone to bet with.

R.A. Dickey – 6 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 8 Ks vs. the Marlins.  You think when MLB had Reyes and the Marlins take on the Mets in the final series they envisioned “Would R.A. Dickey boost his Cy Young case?” being the main attraction?  Ah, baseball, you befuddle me and that’s why I love you.  Now come here and let’s snuggle!  Oh, and Dickey revealed he had an abdominal tear since May and will have surgery to correct it, but will be fine for Spring Training.  Dickey and a torn abdomen?  Wasn’t that a Rod Stewart rumor?

Scott Hairston – 4-for-5, 1 RBI.  Good thing the Mets never played Valdespin.  They found a real gem in Hairston to build the club around next year.

C.J. Wilson – Will have minor elbow surgery to remove bone spurs and compete with Chris Carpenter for the BBWAA’s Cy Spurling award.  On a side note, my mechanic’s name is Cy, which is absolutely perfect to express audibly my feelings with him.  “I went in for a tune up and walked out with a $500 bill… Cy…”  “Hey, can you do my smog check?”  “Can’t today, Grey.”  “Cy….”

Alcides Escobar – 3-for-4, 2 RBIs and a slam (5) and legs (34), to raise his average to .292.  I’m gonna go out on a pretty sturdy limb and say you probably should’ve held onto him when you drafted him.

Paul Konerko – Will have offseason wrist surgery and should be good to go for Spring Training.  He’ll be 37 years old to start next season and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s never the same.  I’ve also said that about him every year, except this one when he actually wasn’t the same.  Dah!

Dayan Viciedo – Hit a homer yesterday because I said yesterday that he never hits only one homer and would hit a homer on Tuesday.  Viciedo = he came, he saw, he homered.

Jake Peavy – His last start was the perfect microcosm of his season.  8 innings of dominant pitching (3 hits, 1 walk, 8 Ks) and a no-decision because he gave up 3 runs on 2 HRs, including a 2-run HR in the 9th.  Finishes at 11-12 despite a 3.37 ERA and 1.12 WHIP (Chris Sale was 17-8 with a 3.05 ERA and 1.14 WHIP).   Even worse, the woman he loves was killed in an accident while trying to flee her father who raped his granddaughter just like he raped his daughter.  Ah, forget it Jake….

Darin Ruf – 2 homers as he shows some of that minor league homer champ power that the Phillies will somehow find a way to only start two or three games a week next year.  Wonder if we can convince Ruf to grow afro puffs?  Prolly not.

B.J. Rosenberg – 4 IP, 1 ER, and now officially qualifies for the pamphlet about famous Jewish athletes.

Buster Posey – 2-for-4 with his 24th homer as the Giants eliminated the Dodgers from playoff contention much to the chagrin of Magic Johnson who thought 8 teams from each league made the playoffs.  Give Selig a few years and he’ll get there.

Mat Latos – 5 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 4 Ks as he ended the year with a 3.48 ERA after having a 5.20 ERA on June 18th.  Oh, and, yeah, June 19th would be the day that I dropped him. Hello, maiden of the Renaissance Faire, would you mind sharpening this sword for me?  I want to fall on it.

Everth Cabrera – 3-for-5 and no steals.  Zoinks!  With three hits you should’ve had 12 steals.  C’mon, EverCab, you need an EverAbacus?

Aaron Hill – 3-for-5, 3 RBIs and a two-out, 9th inning, game-winning homer guaranteeing the Diamondbacks finish with at least a .500 record!  That sounds like something Ervin Burrell would get excited about after juking the stats.  We have a non-losing season, yay!

Bud Norris – 6 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 4 Ks as the 106 loss-Astros took on the 101-loss Cubs.  You know what would be really cool in the non-cool but really geeky way?  If both teams’ records were tied and they were trying to lose on the last day of the year for the best pick in the draft.  “Ooh…the ball gets passed Jason Castro and the runner from third is coming home…And the runner from 2nd is going to take 3rd… No, wait, the runner from third and 2nd are going back to their original bases…”

Max Scherzer – Having his last start skipped because he twisted his ankle.  Is it really necessary to make up an injury when you’re obviously skipping your starter because you’re headed to the playoffs?  Are MLB teams so accustomed to lying to reporters that they can’t even tell the truth when it’s okay?  “We regret to inform our fans that Prince Fielder will not be attending our Tigers Father-Son softball game.  He hurt his hamstring on, uh, treadmill.”

Miguel Cabrera – 2-for-3, 2 RBIs, but no homer which will leave room for Hamilton to steal homers and deny Miggy the Triple Crown.  Miggy, “As long as no one denies me my Crown Royal.”

From Around The Web

  1. letsgobravos says:
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    Alright man. Last day of the season. My 10-2 lead is still intact. Still lead every offensive cat. The only ones that are in reach for him are ERA and OPS which I lead by .25 and .108 respectively. I lead 9-8 on Ws, 104-91 on Ks, trail 2.88-2.30 on ERA, lead 1.00-1.13 on WHIP. He has Weaver, Gallardo and Diamond going today. Should I start Wood or sit on my WHIP lead?

    • letsgobravos says:
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      @letsgobravos, Gallardo is scratched so that leaves him with 2 starters.

      • TheNewGuy says:
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        @letsgobravos, Aww geez that sucks, hope I’ve got enough pitching in the bank without YoGa.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @letsgobravos, I’d start Wood…

  2. TheNewGuy says:
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    Now Tulo won’t return this season…well duh. Why the friggin hell couldnt ESPN have said that in the first place! Every time it’s he’s playing some exhbition game and could be back with the team by the (insert day).

    Anyway I shouldn’t be ranting as my H2H finals is going well, now up 7-1 after a great pitching day yesterday. I can smell the victory money now!

    Only question is do I bench my closers as I’ve no more starters going and no moves left (Kenley, Holland, Cishek)? Up .8 in ERA and .06 in WHIP, 2 saves behind so not realistically gonna catch him now, and killing him in K’s 73 to 41. Thinking might just hold with what I have pitching wise and avoid a reliever blowup killing my ratios.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @TheNewGuy, Yeah, I hear ya… Congrats! Yeah, sit relievers…

  3. Schlitzy says:
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    Peavy cost me $1000 last night. I hate jake peavy.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Schlitzy, Him, Kluber and Lester cost us $6,000… I hate them too…

  4. AP says:
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    Just a general strategery question- Currently winning 5-4-1 in the final day of my H2H championship. I am losing K’s, we are tied in W’s, I have the slimmest of leads in ERA, and I should probably hang onto WHIP and Saves. On offense, I should win SB’s and everything else is super close.

    The 5 offensive categories will play out how they do, but I basically have nobody pitching for me today. He is starting Kershaw, and dual AJ’s (Burnett & Griffin). So he probablt takes W’s, which makes the score 5-5, which still gives me the tiebreaker win as the #1 seed. My long-winded question is, should I resort to streaming a few guys to try to stay competitive (I have benched J. Francis and could activate, fwiw), or just close my eyes and hope to God that his three starters combine for less than a 2.70 ERA and 1.15’ish WHIP today? WHAT SAY YOU, RAZZBALLERS!?!?!? (Congrats on a fine season of playing everyone, and a great season of posting great info to Rudy and Grey!)

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @AP, No problem, glad to help…. I’d play the Do Not Pass Line and hope his starters combine for a less than 2.70 ERA… I.e., don’t start any pitchers…

      • AP says:
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        @Grey, Well, I lost my h2h league (no HR’s for my team today sadly), but I won my roto so that’s good. That’s a gold and silver this year, to go with my gold and silver from last year……and I owe it all to you guys. You guys are great….many thanks, and I just sent over a virtual daiquiri or two as my gratitude.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Thanks so much, congrats!

  5. Alyssa Milano's Boyfriend says:
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    I’m riding Bud Norris next year like the drunk chick on a mechanical bull.

    Inconsistent is the new black. YOLO.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Alyssa Milano’s Boyfriend, YOLO!

  6. ichirosan says:
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    Last day of the season, RCL (tied in 2nd place, can’t reach 1st) and Dynasy League (cruising through 3rd place game) decided.

    However, my Razzball League (No. 1) is probably the most competitive ever. I still enter the last day with a reasonable chance of reaching 1st place (30 points behind, none of us has any innings left). All of this would have been avoided if I had benched… pretty much any starter at any point in the year (I was already loaded on this Monday’s starters, but reached the cap Sunday).

    It’s been a wild ride.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @ichirosan, Nice! Was that the league in the forums that’s gonna come down to Luis Valbuena?

  7. Mets Mess says:
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    hey Grey, I’m in a roto league that’s coming down to the last day, I need to start at least two guys going today, who should I throw out there out of these guys:

    Travis Wood, Jeremy Hefner, Edwin Jackson, David Huff, Edgar Gonzalez, Scott Diamond, Ben Sheets

    Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Mets Mess, Wood, Sheets…

      • Mets Mess says:
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        @Grey, thanks Grey, wish me luck!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Good luck, brother!

  8. Randy BoBandy says:
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    Gallardo benching shouldn’t burn me. I’m up 6-3 but runs & RBI’s are really close. Here’s to hoping all of his regulars get benched with nothing left to play for.

    And as always, been a great season following this blog once again. Now if you could talk Bettman into resolving the labour dispute, I’ll be even more happy.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Randy BoBandy, Thanks for the kind words! I’ll do my best! Wait, who?

      • Randy BoBandy says:
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        @Grey, MLB season seamlessly ran into the NHL in fantasy years past, not this season! Fantasy basketball just sucks.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Ah… Gotcha… Yeah, I don’t play either of those…

  9. Swaz says:
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    H2H pts league. Keep 3: Longoria, Medlen, Cueto, Shields, Wainwright, Peavy

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Swaz, Longoria, Cueto…Tough choice… I’d say Shields…

  10. Dynamite Dan says:
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    Grey! GREEEEEEEEEEEEY! I WON IT ALL!

    No question today. Just a sincere thank you for all of the posts, posted, questions answered, league won.

    ‘I couldn’t have done it without you!’ is what people say at a time like this. I definitly could have…but it would have been a lot more difficult and a lot less humourous.

    So cheers to you good sir.

    My only question would be is there any way to donate to the site toi help pay for operating costs or anything like that? Or are you guys too badass to accept money from strangers that share their nickname with Trevor Plouffe?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Dynamite Dan, Nice! Congrats! Nah, we’re not too bad ass… If you go to Razzball.com and look under the first post it says Buy Grey a daiquiri… That’s the Donate button… Anyway, well played!

  11. Lob Ball says:
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    Looking for a Win today but don’t want to jeopardize WHIP. Should I start Griffin or Tillman, both, or neither?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Lob Ball, Neither

  12. Eddy says:
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    Grey, my opponent put the pressure on me by picking up four speedsters. for today’s matchup to catch my one-SB lead.

    I was originally going to go for OBP and bench Dyson and CarGo-lite, but now I’m forced to play one.

    Of the two, who has the best shot at a SB?

    Dyson is 2 for his last 10, .333 OBP, one SB, and is facing Luis Marte. Marte hasn’t started a game this year and has seven walks in 19 innings with 17 Ks. Avila at 30% CS

    CarGo-lite is 7 for his last 19 with 3 HR and 1 SB. He faces Andrew Werner (4.78 ERA) @MIL. Werner has 13 BB in 37 IP with 33 Ks. Grandal at 24% CS.

    MY SEASON HANGS IN THE BALANCE, GREY

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Dyson

  13. herschel says:
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    @Grey: long time listener, first time daiquiri giver. if ever there was a season to give, this would be it. ive lost the likes of votto, tulo, cargo and johncarlo for large chunks of the season and your words of wisdom and sound counsel currently have me in a one point lead heading into the final day of the season. a hr by the team in second and its all tied up…a .0003 swing in avg, and its all tied up. needless to say, i probably wont be getting much done at work today. i was going to wait to see if i can hang on to first before buying a round, but i figured doing it before is kind of like tipping the dealer in blackjack before a big hand. anyway, win or lose, thanks as always and hope you and the cougar enjoy the offseason….

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      No problem… And thank you! Appreciate it…

  14. Big Magoo

    Big Magoo says:
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    In one of my money leagues in which I entered Monday with a 3.5 pt lead and have been in first place since around the all-star break, I am now sitting one pt behind the first place team on the last day of the season. So here’s my question – what type of sacrifice do you think the fantasy gods would favor most today? I’m trying to avoid a ’11 Red Sox collapse.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Drink goat’s blood, can get it at any of the better Ethiopian restaurants…

      • Big Magoo

        Big Magoo says:
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        @Grey, Does it need to involve blood? My wife has an awful dvd collection of which I could burn a few. Of course, that would open up a whole new world of misery for me…

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yes, needs to be blood… Or drink up someone’s milkshake while beating them up in a bowling alley…

  15. Mets Mess says:
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    Grey, with Sheets getting pulled, pick one please:

    Jeremy Hefner, David Huff, Edgar Gonzalez, Scott Diamond

    Thanks for all the help this season!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      What do you mean pulled? He’s starting his last game today, no? Hefner would be the choice otherwise…

      • Mets Mess says:
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        @Grey, he just came out of the game after 1 inning, i’m in the office so idk why yet

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Ah… Maybe they were just letting him start for the ceremony of it and he is injured…

      • Mets Mess says:
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        @Grey, maybe they wanted his last batter to be a SO? thanks again though!

  16. Carnac says:
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    The Marlins let Adam Greenberg pinch hit last night but didn’t let him stay in the game. What, they were worried about him underperforming?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      He can’t be worse than Adam Goldberg in everything he’s ever been in…

      • Carnac says:
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        @Grey, The Hebrew Hammer could’ve been a solid 4 min sketch.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, and his Saving Private Ryan scenes were a solid 4 minutes you could use to go to the bathroom in an otherwise great movie…

  17. Lines says:
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    Nuts to you, Grey. NUTS! There, I said it. Do you know why?

    It’s because Dustin Pedroia (aka Pedey, aka The Laser Show, aka Sparky Anklebiter, aka The Little Engine That Won An MVP Award) was about the only thing that kept my team from going 0-for-the-evening yesterday. Okay, Moss and A-Gon helped, but Pedey was clutch for a team he doesn’t even know he’s on.

    But, as a Sox fan, I agree with you. It’s ridiculous to let your best player go out there with a jacked-up hand in a meaningless game. Oh well. Also, your line yesterday about how he needs a “sturdier crate” was great.

    PS, I’m tied going into the last day of my H2H finals. He streamed, I didn’t, and here we are now.

    PPS, Sadly, I’m more nervous about today’s matchup than I was about my actual, real, live baseball playoffs last month.

    PPPS, Mike Trout.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Ha… Thanks! PS, Good luck, could the streaming really hurt you? Is he close in pitching cats?

      • Lines says:
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        @Grey, yeah, his streaming has done its work. He’s winning K’s and IP going away (don’t ask me why IP is a category; it won’t be next year). I’ve got ERA, WHIP, and one more QS than he has.

        It’s been an unwritten rule in out league for years that streaming is taboo, but he’s new this year and never got the memo. We ended up having a big ol’ back-and-forth about it on the league boards, and he pledged not to stream keepers for the finals. That’s almost an exact quote… but I guess he forgot, ’cause he started picking up starters a couple hours later. Whatever. I’m still gonna win. For honor. For decency. For the glory of SAGNOF!

        I’ve got Morrow and Kershaw going today, he’s got Tillman. Here’s hoping the O’s win, but Tillman gets torched… and Mike Trout steals just one more bag.

  18. Grey

    Grey says:
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    *****THERE’S A NEW POST FOR FOLLOWUPS*****

    • Lines says:
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      @Grey, OH COME ON. You posted that while I was typing.

      Also, Steve Garvey. Neat!

  19. Hondo says:
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    Injuries killed me this year in my 12 team 10×10 H2H.Lost my entire infield and most of my power.At least Matt Garza was my only dead pitcher.

    Me-Giancarlo,LaRoche,Keppinger,Ibanez and (name your schmotatos).

    Him-Miggy,Trout,Prince,Desmond,Harper,Morse,Prado,Moss,Molina(yeah you read that right)

    I was actually ahead for awhile and would have won during a normal week but the house of cards collapsed.I was hoping my pitching would carry me if I won a couple offensive categories but my waiver wire scrubs couldn’t hang with his All Star team.

    Thanks for the help this season, daiquiris sent a few weeks ago.

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