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Yu Darvish is on his way to the States to pitch for the Rangers.  Erik wrote a Yu Darvish 2012 fantasy post already.  To pull some quotes from that article, “Darvish was once involved in a “major scandal” in Japan, where he was caught smoking,” “He also goes by the Persian name Farid, meaning ‘glorious,'” and “He mixes in a cutter.”  He sounds like he’s in the Yakuza.  I don’t want to draft Yu; I wanna hang out with him in illegal gambling halls and pick up coquettish girls.  I’m gonna be honest with you (for the first time ever!) and tell you I don’t know what to make of Darvish’s Japanese numbers.  Dice-K came to the States with some serious bells and whistles.  In his first year, he had a 4.40 ERA.  The Ks did, for lack of a better word, translate to the States early on for Dice-K and I think they will too for Yu (hey, sounds like there’s a haiku in there).  His stuff looks filthy and batters will not be familiar with him at all.  Last year, he had 276/36 K/BB in over 232 innings.  That’s off the charts then making a new chart and going off that one too.  For fantasy, I could see him giving fantasy #2 starter type numbers, say, around a 3.50-3.75 and 200 Ks.  He could basically be the same as what the Rangers just lost in C.J. Wilson.  There’s the chance for more, but Yu’re gonna have to draft him high so there’s gonna be very little room for error.   Depending on his price tag, I’ll probably sit out the fantasy Yu-stakes.  Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2012 fantasy baseball:

Jed Lowrie – Heads to the Astros to become their new shortstop.  On one hand, Lowrie has never hit more than 13 homers in any professional season (2007 when he split time between Double- and Triple-A).  On the other hand, he hasn’t played too many full seasons since then.  On the third lesser known hand that is actually a blown-up rubber glove, he hasn’t played too many full seasons because he’s always injured.  People seem to love Lowrie’s potential.  He’s gonna be 28 years old this year, it would be nice to finally see said potential.  If he hits 12 homers and steals 5 bases, it would be a huge season for him.  In other words, I don’t know any reason why people love him.

Mark Melancon – Goes to the Sawx.  The GM over in Beantown says Melancon is “capable of closing.”  In big market speak, that means he won’t be the closer.  Melancon is the stereotypical small market closer, big market set-up man.

Daniel Bard – The Sawx are toying with the idea that Daniel Bard should be in the rotation rather than as the closer.  To incorrectly quote Gordon Gekko, “That’s a toy with fleas.”  As a starter in the minor leagues, his ERA was 7.08 and walked 78 hitters in 75 innings.  Granted, this was early on in his minor league career, but I don’t see the Sawx taking a pitcher that is actually succeeding as a reliever and stretching him out to fail.  Then again, their rotation isn’t exactly five deep.  I think Bard’s the closer before Melancon, but it might not be decided until the spring.  Hopefully he doesn’t stay *pinkie to mouth* Bard from the bullpen.  Or should I say bullpun.

Tsuyoshi Wada – Signed with the O’s.  I agree with Scott, our prospect writer, when he says he’s not impressed with Wada.  He looks like a fourth starter on a bad team with a side of belch.

Michael Cuddyer – Gets away from Hubert H. Homerfree Dome and goes to Coors.  Boom goes the dynamite!  Or does it?  Cuddyer just had a solid season, and terrific when compared to the team around him.  Jack Wilson would’ve looked good in that Minnesota mucky muck last year.  Cuddyer hits a ton of ground balls and he’s not a huge homer threat.  I’d say if he repeats his 2011, it’s a win for him and his fantasy owners, especially since he has 2nd base eligibility.  This isn’t great news for fans of the sexy 3rd base prospect, Nolan Arenado.  Cuddyer, you’re such a prospblocker!

Kelly Shoppach – Signed with Sawx to be the weak side of a platoon with Saltymochachino.  It doesn’t take a genius to know that when you get a situational hitter for half of a platoon when you have a switch hitter (Salty), it’s not a great sign.  This does a lot more for real baseball than it does for fantasy baseball.  Bummer, that’s no fun.  In two catcher leagues, Saltymochachino will still have some value, but the reduced ABs will make it hard to own him in most leagues.

Josh Willingham – The Other White Meat is headed to the land of lakes — butter!  Conventional wisdom says Willingham is a decent 25-homer, .250 hitter.  Conventional wisdom also says middle-aged men pretend to go to conventions but really have another family in a different state, so don’t always trust conventional wisdom.  Instead of Willingham, I’d prefer a fifth fantasy outfielder in a hitter’s park with upside (say Chris Heisey).

Mike Cameron – Signed a deal with the Nats.  Deal is full of performance-based incentives.  Stop eating the contract, Mike!  It’s performance-based, not performance-enhancing.

Allen Craig – Might be ready for Opening Day.  Craig said, “I asked the doctor directly, when he thought I’d be playing and he said in 4-to-5 months I should be playing, which is right around Opening Day.  Then I asked him for another lollipop and he said no.  A real day of ups and downs!”

Jason Kubel – Signed with the Diamondbacks.  Before this signing, Kubel was most well known for his mention in Ben Zobrist’s wife, a Christian singer, song, “Here’s The Church, Here’s The Steeple, God’s Fifth Outfielder Is Jason Kubel.”  God plays in pretty deep leagues though (omniscience can’t hurt, right?).  Kubel is one of those solid picks for NL-Only leagues — not flashy, gets some stats (20/80/.270), but a yawnstipating pick for mixed leagues for having the same attributes.

Nick Punto – Signed with the Sawx for bench depth.  This is the equivalent to you going into the doctor to electively have an appendix inserted into your body.

  1. Tony says:
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    i’d steer clear of Darvish.

    just no indicators of how he’ll do, for where he’ll go probably not worth it.

  2. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:
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    I have a movie recommendation for you, Grey… In Time with Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried. I am in no way, shape, or form suggesting that this is a good movie. However, I know how you love puns, and this movie is worth watching for how many of them are crammed into this future where time is used as currency.

    For example, the phrase “You got a minute?” is used the way a bum might ask you for change. “I’m going to clean your clock.” doesn’t mean you’re going to beat someone up, it means you’re going to rob them. I don’t want to spoil too many. Again, this movie is not good… not at all. But this makes it sort of worth watching… it at least doesn’t make watching the movie feel like… wait for it… pun-ishment!

  3. KeeblerMN says:
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    Yeah, the Punto signing seems irrelevant, but if you play in an AL only league that has “Scrappiness” and “Hits by head first slides into first base” as categories, this could be HUGE!

  4. Big Magoo says:
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    Hey Grey. Hope the offseason is treating you well (I understand you’re not much of a football guy). Quick question, completely off-topic and relatively boring but potentially relevant in two-catcher leagues: Do you expect a platoon in Cincinnati or for Hanigan or Mesoraco to start the bulk of the time? I like the potential there for a cheap, productive #2. Thanks.

  5. OaktownSteve says:
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    I think this is former pitcher CJ Nitkowski’s blog. Some interesting stuff here on Japanese pitching: http://www.cjbaseball.com/. Kind of a funky blog too.

    I heard that Darvish gets the Michael Jordan treatment over there strikezone-wise. Heard somebody suggest that Dice go the same and that explains why he’s such a nibbler in MLB. Those used to all be strikes.

    I also heard that Darvish’s change up and other 3rd pitch candidates are not so hot. He’s basically a two pitch power guy. I think it was Nitkowski on the radio I heard say he’d project him as a great closer candidate in MLB but was not so sure about him as a starter.

    It’s possible Yu has a great first season while the league catches up to his stuff, but I’m sure he’s going to go crazy early. Doubt I’ll be owning him.

  6. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Tony: Yup

    @Awesomus Maximus: That sounds like a great movie for the plane ride back east. Sounds a bit like that movie that was terrible with Darth Vader and he was jumping around the world. Think it was actually called Jumper.

    @KeeblerMN: Ha!

    @Big Magoo: Hoping for Mesoraco…

    @OaktownSteve: That’s interesting and wouldn’t surprise me. Yup, even if he comes down to earth in the majors, he’s still gonna catch people by surprise for a bunch of Ks.

  7. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @OaktownSteve: Meant that he gets the Jordan treatment is interesting.

  8. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    Cuddyer: don’t think he gets 2B eligibility in ESPN (and RCL) since he played 17 games at 2B last year. 20 is the minimum for eligibility.

  9. chata says:
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    @Grey:

    nice article .
    thanks .

    bummed about yu not joining the blue jays .
    would have made the a.l. east more interesting .

    too bad lowrie didn’t go to seattle .
    could have looked forward to some good lowrie salt humor .
    that shizz just never gets old .

    just got new reading glasses .
    all this time i thought it was jason kugel .

  10. Ed Nugent says:
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    Hey Grey – What do you think of James Shields for the upcoming season? I know his numbers won’t translate exactly from last year, but should I be worried that he’ll regress to his abominable rations?

    I’m thinking 3.50 with 190 ks or so. Seem reasonable?

  11. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:
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    @Grey: Definitely a good plane ride movie… you won’t be missing much seeing it on the tiny screen.

    Is Fail-Fail really going to be closing (or “attempting to close”) for the Mutts? Right when they’re moving the fences in (or is that still another season away)? I think they may be the first team to operate as if it were in a Fantasy Razzball League.

  12. Ed Nugent says:
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    @Grey: Shields or Price going forward?

  13. Ed Nugent says:
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    The trade I was approached to do was Nelson Cruz for Shields and a pick upgrade in this years draft. My keepers are:

    Teix
    Kinsler
    Aramis
    Votto
    Andrus
    CGon
    Cruz
    Pence
    Lee
    Weaver

    Think i can take the hit on offense? Would it be worth it to trade for a guy like Shields even though I could pick up a guy like Romero in the draft?

  14. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Awesomus Maximus: Fences are going in for 2012. I think Fail-Fail is a place holder until the Mess decide they want to field a competitive team. Might not be for a few years, think they’re still hurting from Madoff.

    @Ed Nugent: Price

  15. Ed Nugent says:
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    Thanks as always Grey. Happy offseason!

  16. Ed Nugent says:
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    Oh actually, would you swap Price for Cruz in my shoes?

  17. Terrence Mann says:
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    Frigging clown college Colorado Rockies announced on their facebook page that they had a press conference scheduled this afternoon to announce a “major signing”. They come out half an hour ago to announce Cuddyer – who we all knew about last week.

    The only good thing to come of it is the fans are letting the Rocks have it on the fb page.

  18. Terrence Mann says:
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    @Grey: O’Dowd threw the Blake signing in at the end so that the local reporters would leave him alone on twitter.

  19. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Terrence Mann: Ah… So they only got Blake to save face? Nice!

  20. chata says:
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    @Grey:

    so , what’s the deal with yu ?
    if he doesn’t like the ranger organization , or doesn’t want to live
    in texas , is he free to negotiate with another team ?
    do the ham fighters return texas’ money and accept the blue jays’
    money , for instance ?
    if not , this seems like some sort of indenture servitude .
    (wasn’t this issue addressed by the curt flood court case , years ago ?)
    and considering the dollars involved , it’s likely to be a pretty long
    sentence .

  21. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @chata: Not sure why he wouldn’t want to play for a team that just came within an out of the championship.

  22. chata says:
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    @Grey:

    he might have his reasons .
    did you ever work for someone that you didn’t like ?
    maybe it’s the climate , or the crime rate .
    or maybe the sushi is just better in toronto .
    could be a multitude of factors .

  23. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @chata: The Rangers won the right to negotiate with Darvish so he’s not going to Toronto.

  24. chata says:
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    as i see it , yu is not a free agent unless he has some other option
    than either playing for the rangers or returning to his old team .

    pujol’s , for instance , could have signed with the marlins , the angels ,
    the cardinals … anyone with enough cash that wanted to enter into
    negotiations with him .

    yu , it seems , is being treated like a piece of property .
    unless he has the option to negotiate with other teams ,
    this smacks of curt flood .

  25. VinWins

    VinWins says:
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    @chata: True. Yu is not a free agent. Just like any college player that gets drafted is not a free agent.

  26. chata says:
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    @VinWins:

    so , you’re saying that he doesn’t have the right to go to the ham fighters
    and say “i’d rather negotiate with another team” ?

  27. VinWins

    VinWins says:
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    @chata: No, the system allows 1 team to have this right. Apparently, the Japaneses team is not even told which team has made the highest bid, just the highest amount bid, and they can choose to accept it or not.

  28. chata says:
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    @VinWins:

    the rangers must forfeit that posting fee , otherwise what would prevent
    them from low-balling yu … for instance , 6 years @ 2 mil per ?

    still , unless the option exists for the ham fighters to return the money
    to the rangers , and accept toronto’s posting bid , that yu , himself is
    just a piece of property .
    there’s no free will , here .

    surprised , given the anti-trust considerations afforded mlb , that this
    system has not be challenged … though i’m not sure who would
    challenge it , as clearly yu is not yet under the umbrella of the players’
    union .

  29. chata says:
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    @chata:

    i’m not of the options afforded the college kids that get drafted ,
    but don’t they have the option of sitting out a year and then re-entering
    the draft ?
    but , even so , their not obligated to play for a previous owner , as is
    yu , i assume .

    can you sit out a year , and come in as a free agent ?
    his contract is ‘up’ with the ham fighters’ , is it not ?

    this whole thing just seems like a “property” issue .

  30. VinWins

    VinWins says:
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    @chata: If the Rangers don’t sign him, they don’t have to pay the $51 million.

    Major league players don’t automatically become free agents when their contract is up. College players don’t become free agents if they don’t sign. And international players don’t become free agents when they don’t sign. In fact, Yu is probably still under contract in Japan, and is just being allowed to explore this option.

  31. chata says:
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    @chata:

    edit *
    not = not sure

    edit *
    their = they’re

  32. chata says:
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    @VinWins:

    @chata: “If the Rangers don’t sign him, they don’t have to pay the $51 million.”
    thanks for that bit of info … and clearing that up .

    “Major league players don’t automatically become free agents when their contract is up.”
    really ?
    (as you can see , i’m not “up” on the process nor on some of the legal matters) …. but i assumed they were automatically free agents , once
    their contract was up .

  33. VinWins

    VinWins says:
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    True, college players can re-enter the draft. I’m really not sure what happens after Yu plays another year in Japan. Maybe he becomes a free agent, maybe the bidding process happens again.

    But no doubt there are different rules in sports as compared to other jobs. For the most part, whether you are coming from Japan, or already in the majors, you are not usually free to play wherever you want.

  34. VinWins

    VinWins says:
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    @chata: I’m not an expert on this stuff either. I was referring to younger players that do not have the same free agency options as an older player.

  35. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @chata: From Wikipedia, “Since its implementation in late 1998 the posting system has been heavily criticized. Ichiro Suzuki’s agent remarked that “the player literally gets zero advantage from [the posting system]… the Japanese teams benefit by holding the players hostage”. Don Nomura called the process a “slave auction”.[13] Much of the criticism of the system stems from its forcing NPB players to negotiate their contracts solely with the MLB team that submitted the highest bid. The Japan Times columnist Marty Kuehnert believes that since no other team is allowed to submit competitive counter-offers, negotiations result in salaries below the player’s market value. Kuehnert also believes the system fosters a “take-it-or-leave-it” situation; if the team and the player have not finalized contract negotiations by the end of a 30-day period, the team can make a low offer knowing that the player’s only other option is to play in Japan for another year.[67] It has been suggested that this is a violation of the Anti-Monopoly Act, a Japanese antitrust law that prohibits parties from signing “an international agreement or international contract which contains such matters as constitute an unreasonable restraint of trade or unfair business practices”.[68]

    The Japanese Professional Baseball Players Association (JPBPA) was not consulted before the system was implemented by NPB club owners, and did not subsequently ratify it.[69] Since its introduction JPBPA has expressed many concerns, likening the process to “human trafficking”.[70] Agreeing that the system takes unfair advantage of NPB players, the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) offered to help JPBPA fight the posting system in court. However, according to one JPBPA official, the Japanese court process is too long and involved; therefore, the “problem can’t be helped”.[69]

    Yomiuri Giants club representative Hidetoshi Kiyotake has expressed dislike of the system, because it enables Major League Baseball to poach players from Japan. By using the posting system, he says, Japanese teams make a profit in the short term, but by allowing Japan’s best players to be sold to MLB, NPB teams and Japanese baseball suffer in the longer term.[71] When Giants pitcher Koji Uehara asked to be posted in 2005, Kiyotake denied his request, saying: “We don’t recognize the posting system. I’ve said from the beginning that this is out of the question.””

  36. chata says:
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    @Grey:

    thanks for that .
    exactly my sentiments/concern .
    it does appear as slavery .

    surprised that the U.S. legal system hasn’t addressed the issue .

    according to what i’m reading here , it appears that yu actually has one
    more year left on his contract with the ham fighters.
    is that how you read it ?

  37. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @chata: Yeah, he’d go back to the Ham Fighters if he can’t find an agreement with the Rangers then next year he can try again to come over here. Seems highly unlikely that no agreement would be reached.

  38. VinWins

    VinWins says:
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    @chata: I understand what you are saying. I’m just not sure why this is worse than the draft in general. Why shouldn’t a college player coming to the majors be able to choose where he wants to play?

  39. Jay says:
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    @Grey, despite the home park upgrade, I’d have to worry a bit about Kubel’s fantasy prospects with the Snakes, since there’s no DH to fall back into. Maybe his salary dictates that he gets a super long leash, but I’d worry about his defense knocking him to a platoon player or bench bat by mid-season.

  40. chata says:
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    @Grey:

    well , if i was a greedy , money-grubbing , operator-for-hire , i’d figure
    out a way to time my entrance into the big leaues … maybe even take a year’s vacation , and try and capitalize on the mutual wind-fall , between me and any prospective employer , that would be afforded us by skipping out on the whole posting process .

    but , i am not .
    instead i’m just a guy that loves to pitch ,
    with no control over where i play or for whom i play .
    i do not choose my employer , and am , instead , treated like a
    commodity that is bought and sold .
    even if i wanted , i could not get up and go play for someone else .
    because somebody owns me .
    just like somebody owns the bats and balls and stadiums where i play .
    if i was to try and become “that guy” (see 1st paragraph) , i would
    most surely be unsuccessful at it , as i would undoubtedly be
    black-balled by every major league team , as they scramble for protection .

    and it is this protection ,
    this collusion ,
    that makes it slavery .

  41. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Jay: He’s not much more than a 5th outfielder so he could easily become a bench player, sure.

    @chata: Hard for me to sympathize too much with someone who’s about to make $50 million.

  42. chata says:
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    @Grey:

    hear that .
    but there are others .
    it’s the institution that should be condemned .

  43. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:
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    @Grey: The Mess… heheh. I like that better, since “The Mutts” implies disdain, which I don’t have for the organization. I’m a Yankee fan, there’s only one team we’re charged with actively disliking.

    You’re coming back east for the holidays? If you happen to be in the Monticello area, drop by for a couple brews and you can hear my daughter perform her greatest hits (“Trevor Plouffe” and “Pete Incaviglia”) live!

    http://www.kevinkwalter.com/plouffe.wav

    http://www.kevinkwalter.com/pete.wav

  44. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    If Darvish doesn’t agree to a deal, he spends one more year in Japan. Next year he would not have to go through the posting process. He would literally be a free agent and land whatever contract he could (again, the mlb team would not have to pay any posting fee).

  45. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Awesomus Maximus: Heading back in like 5 hours. Only gonna be there for a week so probably no time to head to Monticello (where is that?) Love those wavs!

  46. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:
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    About an hour and a half west of NYC, at the bottom of the Catskills. I live in Jeffersonville, about 10 minutes from Bethel Woods, where the original Woodstock took place. Where are you headed?

  47. VinWins

    VinWins says:
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    @chata: “even if i wanted , i could not get up and go play for someone else .
    because somebody owns me .”

    Just like every other player in all sports. Eric Lindros (NHL) didn’t want to play for les Nordiques, so he sat out until he was traded to the Flyers. John Elway and Eli Manning(NFL) didn’t want to play for the teams that drafted them (Colts and Chargers respectively), so they refused to report until they were traded.

    These situations are not quite the same; since they hadn’t signed any contracts they were free to join other leagues, but there are no leagues quite like the NHL and NFL.

    And European soccer teams regularly pay huge “transfer fees” to acquire players from around the world.

    And I agree it is all unfair to players, but those who have signed contracts at least presumably knew the rules going in.

  48. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Awesomus Maximus: That might be a bit out of the way. Going to LI mostly but will be in Jersey and, unfortunately, Delaware.

  49. @Grey: Checking out Dogfish Head brews while in DE?

  50. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:
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    @Grey: Oh yeah, it’s totally out of the way. I was just joking about stopping by. I mean, you’d be welcome, but I didn’t expect you’d be coming near my neck of the backwoods. If I wasn’t laid up, I might make a trip out to NYC (or Jersey… my old stomping grounds), but my back says, “No, thank you.” Some other time when I’m healed.

    Party safely! Oh, and try to get out of DE as quickly as possible… the smell of that state sticks to you.

  51. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    @Grey: man,you want to hear a bum deal? In my espn football lague we had 12 teams,2 6 team divisions,i finished tied for best record overall at 10-4,2nd in my div due to points scored tie breaker.I played the other div leader who was 9-5 in the playoffs and we tied with 111 points each,espn,s tie breaker in the playoffs is highest seed wins,isnt that about retarted.No wander im ready for baseball.Atleast all the other football leagues im in have fractional points which nearly eliminate ties

  52. chata says:
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    that’s hilarious .

  53. chata says:
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    @AL KOHOLIC:

    football’s all about parity , AL .

  54. The Talented Mr. Dope Man says:
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    @Grey:
    Pick one as a keeper: 12tm NL only

    Reyes $35
    Greinke $27
    Oswalt $18
    John Buck $13
    Niese $10
    Fernando Salas $9

  55. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @centralohguy: Nope, will only be there for a few hours on Xmas.

    @Awesomus Maximus: I want to make a bumper sticker that says, ‘Anywhere but Delaware.’ How’s the back?

    @AL KOHOLIC: That’s very frustrating.

    @The Talented Mr. Dope Man: Reyes as of right now…

  56. Wake Up says:
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    I believe Yu volunteered to leave early to the MLB to help the Ham Fighters get that $51 mil posting fee. When, in two years he would have been a free agent able to deal with any team that he wanted to, without a posting fee having to be paid.

    Interestingly enough, Cuban defectors immediately become free agents, like Cespedes.

  57. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:
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    @Grey: Nice… you could only sell it on the east coast, though. Back is terrible, that’s why I’m getting surgery in January. Hopefully by the end of the January I will finally be rid of this damn sciatic nerve pain.

  58. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    @Awesomus Maximus: injuries suck but it does give you unlimited time for fantasy baseball

  59. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Wake Up: Yeah, guess MLB teams can’t negotiate with Cuban teams and they just defect so there’s no one really to negotiate with.

    @Awesomus Maximus: Ah… Thought you might’ve went under the knife already. Early January surgery?

  60. chata says:
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    @Grey:

    the natinals are in the hunt for the A’s gio gonzalez .

    here’s what the cbs guy had to say about it :
    “If he were to join Washington’s staff, Gonzalez would be the ace.”

    as a life-long A’s fan , i must admit that i’ve never been too high on gio .
    maybe it’s just because he whines too much on balls and strikes .
    or maybe it’s because i judge all A’s lefties vs vida blue .
    mulder was ok .
    but , even just for 2012 (forget about keeper leagues) , are you drafting
    gio before the stras ?
    who’s really the ace , here ??

  61. Wake Up says:
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    @Grey: I know. But, at a glance, it seems odd that the modern society has the antiquated system, while the antiquated society has the…well I guess they do have the great sandwiches and mojitos…

  62. chata says:
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    @Grey:

    ok .
    so strasburg might be limited to 170 innings , for 2012 .
    but , in my well-worn mind , K’s/BB is a better gauge of ace-ness
    than K’s .

  63. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:
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    @Grey: @AL KOHOLIC: Yeah, January 9th. Coincidentally, there is another regular here who is undergoing a similar procedure on December 26th, though they’re not crying about it like I am (I’m not going to say who it is… it’s their private business). Rough off-season for the Razzballers, though the front office is doing well (Rudy had a baby! Well, his wife did, but y’know). I’m our crew’s Glass Chipper… I predict baby Gamble will be our Mike Stanton.

    Extra time for FBB would be a good thing, if I wasn’t the poster boy for paralysis by analysis. My teams rock when I make decisions based on good research… not so much when I’ve got pondering time. Besides, I’m a freelance writer/editor, and my restrictions will be a limit on my movement and how much I can lift (no more than 5 lbs.). Since my MacBook Air weighs just over 2 lbs. and doesn’t require I move from the couch, I’ve got no excuses to get out of work. Livia Soprano, “Pooor you.”

  64. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:
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    @chata: Love me some K/BB. If I had my druthers, I’d replace K with that ratio in the standard five cats… and OPS over AVG on the batting side.

  65. chata says:
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    whoa .
    bill conlin .

  66. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @chata: I think all Nats fans would disagree with the CBS guy.

    @Wake Up: *Excellent* sandwiches.

    @Awesomus Maximus: Really? Someone else here is having surgery? Why am I the last to know about everything? What’s the recovery time like for your surgery?

  67. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:
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    @Grey: Yeah, two of us going under the knife in a span of two weeks. We’re each getting two things done… one of them is the same, the other is different for each of us, so I can’t speak to their recovery time.

    For me, it’s a mandatory overnight stay in the hospital. I’ve been told to expect soreness and pain for a week or two… but it probably won’t be worse than the sciatic nerve pain has been for almost 5 months, so it’ll be less pain in a different spot (I’ll take it). I believe I am then restricted to walking or sitting for no more than a half hour at a time, and not lifting more than 5 lbs. for 1-2 months (can’t pick up my daughter… total suck). The recovery to get back to baseline is going to be about six months… slowly and gradually doing a bit more each day. Once I’m back to baseline, I should be able to start exercising again as I was doing before, building up my core to compensate for the two lost discs.

  68. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:
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    @chata: That is a really cool read. Thanks for sharing.

  69. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Awesomus Maximus: Imagine it was the same doctor, say, a special Razzball doctor. And this special Razzball doctor would enter and exit each operating room in a ball of flames. Hmm, I sound drunk. And I haven’t drank in over a week. Soreness in a different spot sounds like it’s something that would be welcomed compared to what you’re dealing with. Sending good vibes your back’s way.

  70. Steve says:
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    Busy couple of days coming up, so may not be around all that much. That being the case, Merry Christmas one and all – to you and to yours.

    Wherever you may be.

  71. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Have a great holiday!

  72. chata says:
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    @Awesomus Maximus:

    hope your operation goes well and that you’re up and walking
    around , pain-free , in no time .

    how about when you get better , you let me pitch to you old-school style ?

    we’ll go back to the rules used in 1885 .
    since it will take you 6 balls to be issued 1st base on a walk , that will
    give me plenty of time to play a little “chin music” .
    for added emphasis , i’ll be throwing at you … er , TO you , from a
    distance of 50 feet .

    sound good ??

  73. chata says:
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    @Steve:

    thanks Plucky .
    and a very merry Christmas to you and your family .
    hope you have a safe and joyous new year .

    p.s. since you’ll be seeing St. Nick “ahead” of time ,
    can you put in a good word for me ?

  74. royce! says:
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    I just got the title reference–only took two days! “Hurling Darvish” would’ve been great too, though I just googled it and the Calgary Sun already used it.

    @Steve: You guys have Christmas too?!! Kidding. When I was 18 I worked at the Gap and during the holidays, which sucked for us, one of my coworkers said that she wanted to move to Canada because she thought that they didn’t have Christmas. Apparently it doesn’t take much brainpower to ask, “do you want socks with that?”

    Anyhoo, have a safe and happy time.

  75. Steve says:
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    @royce!: And you.

    Presumably if she was working at Gap, she would at least have been smoking hot.

  76. chata says:
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    @Grey:

    that gio deal went through .

    according to cbs … “As for the A’s, they are clearly rebuiling, just as we’ve known all winter. (sic)” .

    all winter ?

    the next time that you speak to Oaktown , ask him when was the last
    year that we weren’t rebuilding ??

    am liking this trade .
    things should start to shape up by the time michel ynoa makes the club .

  77. royce! says:
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    @Steve: I vaguely remember that….it was a long time ago, and I was 18, so I probably thought almost anything was hot.

  78. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: Hmm… Hurling Darvish is a bit better. Damn…

    @chata: I saw that. What’s the (sic) for?

  79. chata says:
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    @Grey:

    (sic) is used when quoting someone who has incorrectly spelled a word ,
    so as not alter their context .
    in this case , the author has misspelled the word ‘rebuilding’ .

  80. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @chata: Oh, yeah, I know what (sic) is for, didn’t see the word spelled wrong. Usually (sic) is put right after the error.

  81. chata says:
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    @Grey:

    you’re prolly correct .

  82. chata says:
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    @Grey:

    i hadn’t seen it , either .
    not until i had copied , pasted , and had directed it towards your attention .
    had i seen it , i probably would have chosen to avoid the conversation .
    the (sic) kind of “gives it away” , that the author has limited knwldg .
    (barring typos) .

  83. royce! says:
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    @Steve: Hope everyone’s safe in NZ…can’t remember which city you are in. I’ve read that the quake was pretty violent.

  84. Steve says:
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    @royce!: Fine here. Quake was in Christchurch, I’m in Auckland. Sounded like a pretty solid shake.

  85. royce! says:
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    @Steve: Glad to hear it. I hope your Christmas goes well. I imagine that it’s a hell of a lot more fun (and stressful) with kids.

  86. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @chata: Gotcha…

    @Steve: Good to hear you’re fine.

  87. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:
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    @Grey: As I drift off on the fragrant fumes of diethyl ether (they still use that, right?), I hope the vision of a flaming Razzball doctor takes residence in the deepest recesses of my subconscious, allowing such a procedure to take place in my mind, at the very least.

    @chata: I skimmed and just picked up “6 balls” and “chin music.” I’m not sure what you and your two buddies have planned, but I think it’s gonna’ be a merry Christmas!

  88. chata says:
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    @Grey:

    just got done reading an article by a former member of the BBWAA .
    he was chastising the BBWAA for not calling for a re-vote on the mvp
    that ryan braun just received .

    not sure of how you , or your readers , feel about this issue .

    he’s calling for braun to be stripped of the award , and thinks that it
    should be awarded to matt kemp .

    i tried to remind him that hall-of-famer bill conlin is a member in good standing of the BBWAA .

  89. chata says:
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    @Awesomus Maximus:

    that’s funny !

    (i had to do the math)

  90. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Awesomus Maximus: I think they just use whiskey and a mallet.

    @chata: Ridiculous to strip anyone of anything. Half the league is probably taking things that can’t be tested for.

  91. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:
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    This is the first off season in a while where I’m proud of the Yankees. Sure, it was easy to stay away from Pujols and Fielder, but bowing out of dick-measuring-esque bidding wars (especially with Darvish) or throwing away prospects (especially with Gio) was downright delightful to watch/hear/read.

  92. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:
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    @Grey: And probably more ridiculous to take your group’s award so seriously. You’re awarding grown men for doing a good job of playing a kid’s game while they get paid millions upon millions to do so. Let’s not pat everyone on the back too hard, fellas.

  93. Pabs says:
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    @Tony: I been waiting 2 years for Nippon to Post Yu but now don’t think he will be of any significant value in US

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