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Your man, Grey, loves a piece of cheap tail like Ice Cube loves a nappy dugout. (In fact, I might love cheap tail more. This is totally debatable between Ice Cube and I. Anytime you want to grab a podium, Cube, and go word for word. Bring. It.) If you’re in a keeper league (or any league for that matter), you probably got Shoppach for the price of a Capri Sun with a missing straw, but you’re probably thinking, “Well, this year was nice. How about I dunk him back into the free agent pool cause he’s a catcher and a fluky one at that?” Yo, check yo’self before ya wreck yo’self, fool.  “So you’re saying Shoppach’s a dream keeper?” Nah, this shizz is neither black nor white. It’s Grey, son. This year isn’t as fluky as you might think. In his last full year of Triple-A, Shoppach showed power hitting 26 home runs. His current .270 average is a bit fluky though. That will come down a bit and with Victor Martinez lurking on the team, Shoppach could be the recipient of a quick hook in ’09. All of this portends to less value for Shoppach. Not to mention, keeping catchers is a risky and not usually a fruitful exercise. So why keep Shoppach? Because a $1 catcher who could easily hit 20 HRs is a bargain, no matter how you slice your keeper pie. Anyway, here’s some more keepers to keep and not keep for next season:

KEEP

Nate McLouth – Was not a Hirame (that’s a whitefish in a sushi bar, usually fluke). McLouth is a solid bet next year for 20/20/.270. We shall call him, Lastings McHunter.

Chad Billingsley – (<–Early 2009 Cy Young pick. Then again I picked Bedard and Peavy for this year. Hmmm… Anyway!) Billingsley has about a K/IP, he’s cut his walks, he plays in a cavernous caverny cavern thing, he plays a majority of his games against the Padres, Giants and the Diamondhacks, his team should provide offense for wins, he’s going into his third year in ’09 which is usually the time starters come into their own and he’s only going to be 24 at the start of 2009. Holy heffin’ hey! I will be gushing further this offseason, but right now I have to change my sock.

DON’T KEEP

Jose Valverde – As with anything in fantasy baseball, there’s a time and a place for anything. Is there a time and a place to keep Valverde? Perhaps. I’m having a hard time deciding when that time and place would be. If your other choices are Willy Aybar and Freddy Sanchez? Then, yeah, I keep this schmohawk. If you think keeping a closer who could explode at any moment is a good move, then I got a $400 million dollar bridge to sell you.

James Loney – In the preseason, I was briefly excited about this schmohawk. Why? I haven’t the foggiest. Maybe when I go over my 2009 predictions in the offseason someone can say, “Hey, Grey, Mark Grace looks at Loney and says Loney looks a lot like me, but with less power. And that’s me reminding you!” (BTW, The Hardball Times took a look back at first basemen and used our rankings to compare and contrast. Color me awesome. We will also be taking a look back in the offseason to compare and contrast ourselves against ourselves. Will the mirror be kind? Stay tuned…)

  1. Shogun says:
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    @Grey: I thought Giambi gets to more like six balls a month, not a game.

    Saito lost Kershaw’s victory, the bastard. I wonder why Torre hooked Kershaw after only 86 pitches when he was rolling.

  2. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Shogun: Ugh, I really needed that win too.

    re: Why? — Cause Kershaw’s probably on a rookie pitch count

  3. Shogun says:
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    @Grey: You’re probably right re: the pitch count. That’s going to hurt his streamer value the rest of the way.

  4. Shogun says:
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    @Grey: Arrgh. Wade cost Saito a vulture win. No luck for the Shogun today.

  5. Crafty35a says:
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    I had streamed Kershaw. Nice of Torre to pull him after 86 pitches so Saito could blow the win. If Capps gets a save out of this, I’ll be doubly pissed, as my opponent has him. At least I have McLouth and Kemp.

  6. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Shogun: I’d hope for a Broxton vulture win but doesn’t seem that likely since the Pirates are the home team.

  7. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Crafty35a: Kemp just made an awful call by trying to steal third with two outs and a pinch hitter up to bat.

  8. Shogun says:
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    @Grey@Crafty35a: What was it my little league coach told me? Never make the third out at third base? Yeah, that was it. Sheesh.

  9. Crafty35a says:
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    @Gray:Just what I needed — another excuse for Torre to play Juan Pierre.

  10. Shogun says:
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    On fantasy related stuff, I dropped Ludwick today for Winn. I’d had Ludwick on my bench since he got cold and was getting frustrated by his lack of production. He’s streaky, but I expect to get more from Winn the rest of the year. Too reactionary?

  11. Shogun says:
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    Aviles with a three run jack! He’s gotten hot again at just the right time.

  12. Crafty35a says:
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    @Shogun: Unbelievable — He’s against me this week.

  13. Shogun says:
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    @Crafty35a: Rough. He had been having a very rough stretch until the past week or so.

  14. Crafty35a says:
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    @Shogun: Yea, I actually owned him for a while. Dropped him because I was in need of more power. Ha!

  15. Shogun says:
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    @Crafty35a: Damn. I didn’t expect this hot streak either. I thought he was in the process of regressing. Who did you pick up?

  16. royce! says:
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    Despite his being limited to 86 pitches this week, Kershaw’s one start next week at home against the Padres should yield excellent results, right? I figure he’ll walk Giles once or twice, give up a few singles, maybe a double, and strike out at least 7. Man it’s a great time to be a Padres fan!

  17. Shogun says:
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    Pickup Josh Johnson for Kazmir?

  18. Crafty35a says:
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    @Shogun: I’ve been alternating between Drew and Tulowitzki with decent results. B. Wood for the last two days, back to Tulo tomorrow.

  19. Shogun says:
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    @Crafty35a: Has Tulo picked it up? Admittedly I had written him off a while back and stopped following his numbers. But he seems like a sleeper candidate for 2009.

  20. Crafty35a says:
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    Have I mentioned how terrible it is to have your opponent get two steals from his catcher in the first four days of a finals matchup? Thankfully I led the league in steals all year, but I have some catching up to do.

  21. Crafty35a says:
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    @Shogun: .317/.385/.360 since the break. He’s at the top of my sleeper list — 21 walks against just 27 strikeouts in that time.

  22. Shogun says:
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    Wow, not bad. I’m definitely going to consider him next year. And I’m not going to overvalue Phillips and BJ Upton at 2B (if Upton is even 2B eligible) like I did this year. I overpaid for mediocre results from both those guys.

  23. royce! says:
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    @Crafty35a: I concur re: Tulo. His struggles early on seemed to be luck based. In March/April he had a LD% over 18 but his BABIP was an anemic .172. I went to a few games that month (LAD and SD) and every time he hit the ball hard it seemed to be directly at a fielder. Also, his HR/FB rate was really low (I’m too lazy to go back to the fangraphs page, but believe me). That chunk of crappy luck should cause him to be available later in the draft than he should be.

  24. Shogun says:
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    Greinke threw a helluva game today. He’s been a lot better than I had expected during the second half. He’s another possible sleeper next year, though I don’t know whether his “breakout” upside is as high as some other sleepers.

  25. cubbies299 says:
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    In my keeper league, we get a certain number of players above 100 in the detestable Y! ranks. My above 100 guys of interest right now are Crawf, Kazmir, Harang, Tulo, Gallardo, Marmol (it’s a holds league), Capps (bounceback?), Pence, Shoppach, Dukes, and Krispy (I don’t know why I love him so much, as he’s done nothing but spurn me… but my mancrush forces me to include him in this sentence). I’m ranking them Crawf, Kaz, Harang, Tulo, Shoppach, Gallardo, Capps, Pence, Krispy, Marmol, Dukes. I think going by Y! ranks is stupid stupid, but I feel like with Kaz and Crawf above 100, they probably benefit me the most.

  26. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Nice late-night call on Teahen. 3/3 with a Run, an RBI and an SB.

  27. Steve says:
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    Torii Hunter stole home. WTF?

  28. Crafty says:
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    Salomon Torres is just absolutely murdering me. Four runs in a non-save situation.

  29. Steve says:
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    Screw you, K-Rod. Gets a save for my opponent, while blowing out my Arredondo’s ERA.

    Sheesh.

  30. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Steve: Just came from my local bookstore. No James Ellroy sad to say.

    They did have some interesting tomes on frog-gigging and how to build monster trucks.

  31. Grey

    Grey says:
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    ********First, sorry, I was out at some meetings today. Sorry, if I missed anything. I’m glad you guys were able to amuse yourselves though. Well done.

    @Shogun: I don’t think dropping Ludwick is too reactionary. I’m benching him in one league for CarGo.

    re: Aviles – Yeah, he’s been money.

    @royce!: I’m going with Kershaw in a few leagues for next week. Fo’shaw!

    @Shogun: I’d go with Johnson over Kazmir. The Rays will be thinking about the playoffs next week.

    re: that pic — I wish they had the Chicken in panties too.

    @cubbies299: I’d rank them — Crawf, Kaz, Harang, Tulo, Krispy, Gallardo (health is a big issue, but he’s supposed to be back any day now), Pence, Shoppach, Capps, Marmol (if he gets the closer job, this changes), Dukes.

    @Steve: Nice on Teahen.

    Gary Coleman’s making headlines in NZ? Is he a big celebrity there still? Also, weren’t we just talking about bowling? Ha!

    @royce!: Papelbon thing is great.

    @BigFatHippo: Do they not Amazon.com in The Bootheel?

    ***If I missed anyone, just repost your question. Word.

  32. Steve says:
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    @Grey: I don’t think Gary Coleman is a big celebrity anywhere!

    Boom-tish!

  33. Shogun says:
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    @Grey: Thanks.

    @royce!: Hilarious! I knew Pap was a cross-dresser!

  34. Steve says:
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    @Grey: I couldn’t type it fast enough.

  35. royce! says:
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    Maybin’s 4-4 so far tonight, though all are singles. Think he’ll stick around in center, or will Amezaga just move back there when Hanley returns?

    Interesting fact re: Maybin- had his first hit, homer, stolen base, and HBP all against Clemens. Not interesting for fantasy purposes, but still.

  36. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: I say he gets maybe four to five starts the rest of the way. I think the real exciting thing will be for keeper leagues, if the Marlins go with him next year.

    That is interesting.

    EDIT: Typo, boyz!

  37. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: Damn Skippy they Amazon.com in the bootheel.

    But you have to climb that pole and call Margaret. I ain’t climbin that pole again.

  38. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Can’t Margaret just put some masking tape on her Solo cup so the ‘phone’ is working again.

  39. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: Come on man, don’t you know we fix EVERYTHING with duct tape down here?

    Masking tape is for sissies.

  40. Grey

    Grey says:
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    *****Lincecum just took a fastball off his fingers as he was trying to bunt. Hopefully, he’s okay.

  41. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Grey: Chill, Grey!

    ***It looks like he’s okay. There will be more on this, I’m sure.

  42. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: Probably for a combined 275 pitches in those two starts. They’re going to need Sandoval to carry his arm to spring training next year.

  43. sam says:
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    Torres just slayed me tonight. is now the time to drop every Milwaukee player? No Octoberfest for Brewers this year, methinks

  44. Martin says:
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    grey, cameron maybin 4-4 today to bolster his average to .833. Best of his career. Now not only does the d train trade look bad but for the first time in baseball if he doesnt become a stud, people can ask “what may have been” with his talent. Pun

  45. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: “Northwest exceptionalism” — I think I dated a girl that suffered from that.

    @sam: Yeah, they should put him and Corey Hart on a slow boat to China.

    @Martin: Hehe

  46. royce! says:
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    @Grey: Yeah, I think having lived elsewhere for 9 of the last 10 years has mostly cured me of it, fortunately. But every time Lincecum takes the mound it rears its ugly head! Somehow it manages to remain tame when the Mariners take the field…

  47. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: I imagine Zito does nothing for you either.

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