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It feels like yesterday the baseball regular season started.  You wrote “I heart baseball” in permanent marker on your arm, then you met a girl who wrote “I heart guys who heart baseball” on her arm, then, during sex in September, you screamed out “I love you, Tulo!” and now you don’t have baseball or your girlfriend.  C’mon, calender, make like a soldier and turn to March.  The only cure for the post-baseball season blues — recapping the preseason top twenty lists and being hand-fed Doritos.  First up, Cool Ranch and our preseason Top 20 Catchers for 2010.   It’s important to look back before we look ahead to 2011.  To paraphrase the one and only B-Real, “How do you know where you’re at, if you don’t know where you’ve been?  Understand where I’m coming from?”  It wouldn’t be fair for me to preseason rank the players then rank them again in the postseason based on my opinion, so these postseason top 20 lists are ranked according to ESPN’s Player Rater.  It may not be wholly accurate, but it’s wholly unbiased.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2010 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

1. Joe Mauer – I predicted the homers would come down.  Literally.  Only I didn’t think they’d fall as far as they did.  It was the Hubert H. Homerfree Retrodome factor that I just couldn’t fully know back in January.  Mauer ended up number one and I’d contend he was still overrated and will be so again next March.  Certain guys just get a pass from the fantasy community because they seem likable or have can’t-put-your-finger-on-it-ness. Preseason Rank #1, 2010 Projections:  100/20/85/.330/3, Final Numbers:  88/9/75/.327/1

2. Victor Martinez – V-Mart’s age still hasn’t caught up with him (sorta pun!), but I think, in retrospect, we’re going to look back at this season as the beginning of the end for him.  Preseason Rank #3, 2010 Projections:  85/25/110/.300, Final Numbers:  64/20/79/.302/1

3. Buster Posey – I ranked him 16th in the preseason and here he is 3rd.  The scary thing is, besides the average, I was pretty right on with his projections.  That means it was another yawnstipating year from catchers.  Preseason Rank #16, 2010 Projections:  55/14/65/.290/3, Final Numbers:  58/18/67/.305

4. Brian McCann – I love McCann, there I said it.  He gives you what I want from a catcher.  Good homers, decent RBIs and doesn’t hurt you elsewhere.  Much prefer that to Mauer’s MI-type catcher output.  Preseason Rank #2, 2010 Projections:  80/28/105/.295/3, Final Numbers:  63/21/77/.269/5

5. John Buck – This was the most bang from your Buck since Midnight Cowboy.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  53/20/66/.281

6. Mike Napoli – I Ron Popeil’d him in a few leagues and I’m glad I did.  Even it wasn’t for the Sciosciapath, he probably would’ve hit 30+ homers. Sure, the average wasn’t great, but, as I’ve said many times, since there’s fewer ABs from catchers, you’re fine with a guy like Napoli.  Preseason Rank #6, 2010 Projections:  60/19/70/.260/5, Final Numbers:  60/26/68/.238/4

7. Miguel Olivo – Well, I ranked Iannetta around here in the preseason and I told you to grab Olivo in April so I wasn’t completely Mr. Bungle on Olivo, but, considering his post-All-Star break numbers were egregious, I’d say his high ranking here is more about the state of catchers.  They’re really bad, ya’ll.  Preseason Unranked, 2010 Projections:  30/16/45/.245, Final Numbers:  55/14/58/.269/7

8. Geovany Soto – Member when I told everyone to draft him?  Good times.  Or, more appropriately, okay times.  For a catcher, not bad times.  Here’s what I said at the Geovany Soto sleeper post last January, “Soto’s 2009 was off the charts unlucky.  His BABIP went from .337 in 2008 to .251 last year.  I.e. His average should come up to .270 levels.  His power was zapped because of a shoulder injury.  When he started to get healthy in June, he hit 6 homers that month.  Then an oblique injury sidelined him.  Bad luck followed by terrible luck.”  And that’s me quoting me!  Preseason Rank #7, 2010 Projections:  65/18/80/.280, Final Numbers:  47/17/53/.280

9. Carlos Ruiz – Honestly, if you jumped out of DeLorean and told me in the preseason Ruiz would be ranked this high and told me his final stats, I still wouldn’t have drafted him.  8 homers and no steals?  Who are you, Willy Aybar?  Ruiz was unranked, but he made the preseason catchers to target post.  Preseason Unranked, 2010 Projections:  45/14/65/.260/3, Final Numbers:  43/8/53/.302

10. Jorge Posada – About two years ago, I jumped off the “Ever drafting Posada again” bandwagon and I’m never going back.  Too old, too tired, too effin’ blind.  Okay, maybe not the last one.  Preseason Rank #9, 2010 Projections:  50/17/75/.280, Final Numbers:  49/18/57/.248/3

11. A.J. Pierzynski – Looking back on these catchers makes me feel like Creighton on a New Orleans ferry.  A.J. was in the don’t draft tier along with Yadier and Suzuki and, looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing.  Preseason Rank #14, 2010 Projections:  55/12/65/.280, Final Numbers:  43/9/56/.270/3

12. Kurt Suzuki – I’d go as far to say Suzuki was actually better than A.J. because he was injured and you were getting stats from someone else while Suzuki was hurt, or, if you were really lucky, you just dropped him.  Preseason Rank #12, 2010 Projections: 65/12/65/.270/6, Final Numbers:  55/13/71/.242/3

13. Yadier Molina – His numbers are even more yawnstipating than Crapolanco.  Preseason Rank #13, 2010 Projections:  40/7/55/.285/5, Final Numbers:  34/6/62/.262/8

14. Ramon Hernandez – Do you see a theme here?  Catchers were so bad, a guy who didn’t even play in 100 games or crack 10 homers is ranked this high.  If you take nothing else away from this post, please punt catchers next year.  Please.  Preseason Rank #20, 2010 Projections:  55/17/65/.265, Final Numbers:  30/7/48/.297

15. John Jaso – I’ve been looking at Jaso as a potential sleeper for next year, but I just don’t think his power or speed upside is great enough.  He might be “The Old Russell Martin (Or Maybe That’s A Young Russell Martin)” at best.  You know, the Martin that actually had value.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  57/5/44/.263/4

16. Yorvit Torrealba – If you owned Torrealba for longer than two months, you didn’t win your league.  There’s just no way.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  31/7/37/.271/7

17. Ryan Doumit – Chew on this:  If Yuniesky Betancourt were a catcher, he’d be ranked in the top ten.  Preseason Rank #15, 2010 Projections: 50/16/60/.280/3, Final Numbers:  42/13/45/.251/1

18. Rod Barajas – Ladies and gentlemen, I bring to you your 2010 fantasy baseball catchers.  They are the new blech.  2010 Projections:  Please/Don’t/Draft/Him, Final Numbers:  Do/You/Really/Care?

19. Miguel Montero – I’d say Wieters was the much, much bigger bust than Montero simply because Montero was injured for an extended stretch so you had a chance to get someone else’s numbers from him.  But, don’t get me wrong, Montero was a rather supersized disappointment too.  Preseason Rank #5, 2010 Projections:  65/17/80/.280, Final Numbers:  36/9/43/.266

20. Matt Wieters – Finally, the Billy Butler-sized bust.  As I practice my Saberhagenmetrics, Wieters will be on quite a few teams of mine next year.  Sucks if you got caught in the crossfire of his down year, but one bad season at 24-years-old doesn’t take his future shine off.  The Orioles could surprise next year.  Yeah, I said it!  And kinda mean it.  Though they’ll still only land in third or fourth place.  Preseason Rank #4, 2010 Projections:  70/18/85/.305, Final Numbers:  37/11/55/.249

87 Responses

  1. Greg Gallagher says:
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    It’s truly terrifying that these were the best guys.

    On a side not, I went to yahoo and typed in ‘Jaso’ (I wanted to see how often Maddon batted him lead-off) and was greeted by a peculiar sight. There were a lot of catchers named Jason in the Majors this year. LaRue, Jaramillo, Varitek, Kendall, Castro…….utter garbage, all of ‘em.

    Crazy: Kendall’s .318 OBP paced the group.

    Crazier: The Royals gave him 434 at-bats in 118 games.

    Craziest: He was batted second 70 times – 267 at-bats.

    Seriously: He racked up a .298 OBP from those games.

    I want to get behind the Royals as a sleeper team next year.

    But talented young players are no barrier to Sciosciapathic sabotage…..

  2. Gambler says:
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    Carlos Santana?

  3. GopherDay says:
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    Wow…What a crappy year for catchers!

    I had Ianetta for about 41 ABs, he gave me 2 homers and a crappy average, then I flipped through Jaso, Buck, Fox (When he was playing), and Ramos. I got a total of 0 home runs from them with a REALLY terrible average. Then my main man Buster Posey got called up. My catcher slot is now redeemed.

  4. Matt Tweeters says:
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    this is some garbage math but i looked on baseball reference anD was surprised to see Napoli had 510 plate appearances.. he did come in late in many games for a swing. the junk math is if he had 600 PAs like Mauer last year, he may well have hit the 30hr plateau. SEND HIM TO THE RED SOX ALREADY

  5. BDC says:
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    Goddamn you both, Wieters and Montero! I was so confident I had 2 near surefire top 5 catchers…

    Who do you think will have the lowest ADP next year of Wieters, Montero, and Santana? I’ll just take the latest of the bunch, pray to the upside gods, and be happy that I didn’t waste a mid pick on probable failure.

  6. Rabbit says:
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    God help those of us in two catcher leagues with that group as the top 20 catchers. My only hope is that I got Carlos Santana as a $1 keeper for next year so hopefully he’ll stay healthy. I feel unclean after reading that post. Please quickly post up the top 20 1B for 2010 so we can feel right agains.

  7. Chuckles Tiddlesworth says:
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    @Rabbit, I will hide my eyes from that 1B list … I had Derek Lee.

  8. Nando says:
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    Where’s the love for JPA? Buck will be gone soon enough…

  9. Jif & The Choosy Mothers says:
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    Does anyone want to join a stellar 20-team dynasty league for next year that needs 2 replacements now? Or the SF Giants in another 20-team dynasty?

    Grey: Thanks for the post. Looking forward to these greatly – and all other updates – in the long off-season.

  10. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Greg Gallagher: Very true. Jason was the most popular name in the mid-70s and now it rears its ugly head in the world of catching. It’s like the blob slowly taking over cities.

    @Gambler: What about him?

    @GopherDay: Yeah, lucky you got off the train when you did.

    @Matt Tweeters: Preaching to the choir here.

    @BDC: Montero…

    @Rabbit: Ha! It does make you feel dirty, right?

    @Chuckles Tiddlesworth: Ha

    @Nando: Not sure what you mean. He had 35 ABS last year.

    @Jif & The Choosy Mothers: No problem.

  11. Eddy says:
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    @Nando: @Gambler:

    Remember these are 2010 ranks fellas, not 2011. Since neither Oye Como Va or JPA finished in the top 20 catchers (due to injuries or almost no PA), they weren’t mentioned here. Grey will do his 2011 rankings in January, so grab some sweaters and some hot cocoa because it’s going to be a loooong wait.
    @Grey:
    I’m going to try and follow your footsteps in drafting Wieters again but it’s going to leave just a terrible after taste in my mouth. What’s the highest you’d draft him? 15th round?

  12. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Eddy: 10th in 12 team. So around 120 overall. Probably shoot for closer to 140.

  13. Greg Gallagher says:
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    @Grey: 16 Jasons and 5 of them catch. It is sorta creepy.

    @Eddie: The good thing about this list is the knock-on for 2011. In writing draft guides, every expert will lead with what a black hole catcher was in 2010 and that will lead to scrambles for Mauer, McCann, Posey and – if he’s healthy – Santana. You’ve heard of closer runs – here come catcher runs!

    Personally, I’ll have mid-round or late round picks on every team – Wieters, Montero, Arencibia or – health willing – Soto.

  14. MKEeast says:
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    How did Molina (Yadier) steal 8 bases?

    No, really.

  15. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Greg Gallagher: Jason and the Catchernaughts.

    @MKEeast: He got a 59 foot lead from first 8 times?

  16. Nando says:
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    @Grey My mistake. I guess I’m a little *too* gung-ho for 2011 rankings :)

  17. Buddo Chezuski says:
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    Grey, where do you see Posey going in 2011 drafts?

  18. James says:
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    Love the constant bashing of Mauer. He gets a pass because he hits 330 and had 54 extra base hits and more R/RBI than McCann. That’s MI production? Try again.

  19. Eddy says:
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    @James:
    With the exception of AVG, Ben Zobrist pretty much matched Mauer.

    Mauer: 88/9/75
    Zobrist: 77/10/75

    The small gap in runs and the AVG difference is made up by Zobrist’s 24 steals.

    So, yea, MI numbers.

  20. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    Santana will have hype (justified by his talent) and hyper-hype just because the rest of the schmos are, well, schmos.

    It doesn’t work into my strategy to draft high-risk, which is clearly the case given this list, catchers early. (Yes, I will pass on Santana.)

    I’ll live with whatever I get late in the draft. And, TRY not to bombard Grey with pointless catcher add/drop questions.

  21. NoonTime says:
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    @Jif & The Choosy Mothers: Shoot me an email about the 20 teamer. This is BVC from last years Big Blue Marble.

  22. big o says:
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    @Grey:

    this is your sushi day , ain’t it ?

  23. sizzurp says:
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    i <3 roy halladay, not catchers.

  24. big o says:
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    is anyone watching the rangers/rays game ?

  25. Greg Gallagher says:
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    Yep. Wilson’s dealing. Shields has been good too in fairness.

  26. Greg Gallagher says:
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    Wow.

    Next pitch, Kinsler hits one out.

    If the Soviets had gotten hold of me during the Cold War, boy oh boy……

  27. Rabbit says:
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    Hey Grey,
    Can I finally drop Napoli?

    (What’s that? I am too late for pointless catcher add/drop questions? Dang it.)

  28. big o says:
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    @Greg Gallagher:

    at 1st , i was a little worried about the ump’s strike zone ,
    but it seems fair enough .

    c.j. reminds me a bit of bedard , only healthier .
    perhaps he doesn’t come inside , as much , to right-handed hitters .

  29. Greg Gallagher says:
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    @Big O: Agreed, the ump is okay. Bedard’s a good comparison for Wilson. The movement on Wilson’s breaking stuff also reminds me of the guy who pitched for Texas yesterday. And as a Yankee fan, that’s worrying!

  30. big o says:
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    @Greg Gallagher:

    funniest line of the tele-cast , so far ,
    delivered by announcer , after shields plunks treanor for the 2nd time and borbon at the plate ,
    (contemplating whether borbon will bunt , or hit and run , like the 1st time)

    “we know ron washington will try anything” .

  31. big o says:
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    qualls can’t be a good choice , here .

  32. Greg Gallagher says:
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    @Big O: Ha ha ha!

    Even better: “It’s Ron Washington@s speed that’s been the determining factor in this game so far.’

    !!!

  33. Greg Gallagher says:
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    He went around…….

  34. Greg Gallagher says:
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    That feels like the game-changer.

    @ Big O: Good call on Qualls.

    @ Joe Maddon: Bad call on Qualls.

  35. Eddy says:
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    Is it considered an upset if the Rangers win the series? I mean, these guys haven’t even played at home yet where they dominate and they’re a ridiculous team as it is.

    If anything, the Rays winning the series would now be an upset.

  36. Steve says:
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    @big o: It seems not.

  37. Greg Gallagher says:
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    @ Eddy: I agree. The Rangers will beat the Yankees, too, for my money.

  38. big o says:
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    the fact remains , i believe , that even with josh hamilton @ less than
    100% , his mere presence in the line-up makes this ranger offense
    considerably more formidable .
    he , clearly , makes those around him better .

    @Greg Gallagher:
    yep .
    i think young got a “do-over” .

  39. big o says:
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    was that Grey that i saw down by the rays pool ?
    i thought he said he didn’t like sushi buffets ?

  40. big o says:
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    @Greg Gallagher:

    for the old-schoolers among us :

    i think that had the phillies managed to keep cliff lee ,
    we’d be hearing comparisons to koufax-drysdale .

  41. Greg Gallagher says:
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    @Big O: Tom Verducci was comparing Halladay to Koufax today, good call!

    As someone who watched the Rays a lot this year, I’m not surprised to watch this unfold. Take their budget out of the argument and it’s as over-rated a club as I can remember.

  42. Greg Gallagher says:
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    @ Big O: Got to go – have a good one!

  43. big o says:
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    @Greg Gallagher:

    nice talking with you .
    hope you’ll be back for the later games .

  44. Buddo Chezuski says:
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    @Grey: so borderline top 100 approximately?

  45. big o says:
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    @Grey:
    ah ,
    i thought i had seen you at tropicana park .
    down by the “catch your own” pool .

  46. big o says:
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    ok , i admit , i rooting for pavano and the twins , tonight .

    i’m particularly impressed with valencia’s plate presence , thus far .
    he doesn’t appear to have the anxious mind-set you might expect
    of a rookie ballplayer .

  47. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Buddo Chezuski: Yeah, I’d say that’s a fair estimate.

    @big o: Nope, wasn’t me.

    @big o: Valencia has looked good, but his eye in the minors was wonky at times.

  48. Buddo Chezuski says:
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    @big o: true but he is 26 yrs old…

  49. Greg Gallagher says:
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    Just back in – looks like Andy Pettitte is pitching like Andy Pettitte.

    Nothing but love for the man. ;)

  50. big o says:
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    pavano’s done .
    take him out .

    every time you look up , the yanks have baserunners on the corners .

  51. Steve says:
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    @big o: And you think I’m a jinxer?

  52. Greg Gallagher says:
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    @Big O:

    LOL. Yeah.

    Grey’s prediction for Granderson – huge post-season, over-rated in ’11 drafts – feels on the money…..

  53. big o says:
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    @Steve:

    no .

    i think you’re a DRJ
    double-reverse jinxer .

  54. big o says:
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    @Steve:

    bordering on voodoo

  55. big o says:
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    these announcers keep talking about the andy pettitte confidence factor ,
    when in reality , the only mistake girardi can make is
    believing this guy can last 7 innings .

    those days are over .

  56. Steve says:
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    @big o: You’re better than you think.

  57. big o says:
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    @Steve:

    if you’re rooting for the twins , you should say something now ,
    to counter-act my pettitte comment .

  58. big o says:
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    posada just scored from 1st ?
    unacceptable .

    the time for gardenhire to get tossed was
    BEFORE the home run pitch .
    (same mistake magoo made in tampa) .
    you have to give your pitcher time to collect himself .

  59. Steve says:
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    Not watching the game, but according to Twitterland, the umps are not doing their best work…

  60. Steve says:
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    Oh Grandy, you played like a knave without raking, and then I sent you away, oh Grandy.

  61. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Still annoyed with him, though.

  62. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: I know, I’m just a sucker for Manilow.

  63. Steve says:
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    His name was Rico, he wore a diamond…

  64. Jay says:
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    The thing that I think people often forget about Mauer is that he plays a LOT more games than most catchers. He nearly always leads in ABs. Combine that with the best BA (and usually a .850+ OPS) at the catcher position means that he, almost by default, is going to be 1st or 2nd in R, RBI, and BA/OBP/OPS, the latter not necessarily because his percentages are necessarily the best, but that he’ll usually lead (or come very close to leading) all catchers in H, BB, and TB. (Despite the 9 HR, Mauer was 2nd in catcher TB this year, just 5 behind V-Mart.)

    So I’m not worried about Mauer’s power too much. If he continues to play 6 or 7 games per week and hits over .320, he’ll still be the #1 catcher. He’s just not a first rounder.

  65. big o says:
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    who’s older ? …. derrek lee or bobby cox ??

    (posey was out , on that steal of 2nd base)

  66. big o says:
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    this waving of hankies at sporting events , be they red , white , or orange ,
    is just too gay for me .

    admittedly , it’s less annoying than having someone ring a damn cow-bell
    in your ear all night .

    i guess if you feel the urge , go for it .

  67. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Jay: He’s great, for sure. He’s just not great compared to great players at other positions. And the difference between a great catcher and a so-so catcher isn’t as big as a great 1st baseman and a so-so 1st baseman.

    @big o: Oh, O. You missed a good sushi dinner.

  68. big o says:
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    @Grey:

    other than your old stand-by …. spicy tuna roll …. what was
    on tonight’s menu ?

  69. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @big o: Sockeye Salmon, Yellowtail belly, crap, shrimp and shisito peppers… The place I went was the best. The best, Jerry!

  70. Steve says:
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    Oh man. That sounds goooood.

  71. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: You don’t know the half of it. No, really you don’t cause I didn’t even mention it. Lots of stuff that is specific to this restaurant and hard to explain. There’s this one thing, spicy tuna on crispy rice. It might be the best sushi in the states. Here’s a glimpse via Yelp:

    http://www.yelp.com/biz/katsu-ya-studio-city

  72. big o says:
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    @Grey:

    nice .
    it’s 2am and i’m starving .

    not sure about the jalapeno’s on the yellow-tail , though .
    to tell you the truth , i eat my yellow-tail separate from the rice , itself ….
    no soy , no nothing .
    sure , i’ll wash it down with the rice it’s sitting on (dipped in sauce) ,
    but , 1st , i want to enjoy the fish , unimpeded .

  73. Greg Gallagher says:
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    Take that, Carl Pavano.

  74. big o says:
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    @Grey:

    oh , btw , while you were out ,
    MADD called .

    maybe you should change to :

    BUY GREY A SUSHI ROLL .

  75. big o says:
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    @Greg Gallagher:

    relax , son .
    anything less than a sweep of the twinkies , again this year ,
    and the bookies will have you yanks as the under-dogs .

  76. Greg Gallagher says:
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    @Big O: I know it.

    I really dislike that guy though.

  77. big o says:
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    is it the money issue ,
    or yankee pride ?

    ‘cuz even yogi forgave george .

  78. Greg Gallagher says:
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    @Big O: Both. Yogi and George had common ground in the first place! This guy pitched more innings this year than in four years in New York. He had a couple of injuries, but he was a disgrace.

  79. Futureman says:
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    I’m curious as to what people believe Posey’s ceiling is for 2011. I have him in my keeper league and love the guy but as The Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase once said “Everybody has his price.” Just trying to get a read on what level of player would be too good to turn down in a Posey deal.

  80. Matt says:
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    I just traded Jose Bautista for Carlos Santana in my 12 team mixed keeper league. Bautista was essentially my 3rd OF and back up 3B but looking at the state of catcher I felt that Carlos Santana was the right guy to target, especially in a league that counts walks.

  81. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Futureman: Ha… I’d say what we saw this year is fair to expect from him over more ABs. Doubt he gives much more. Remember Wieters looked great in 2009 too and not so much in 2010. In the end, he’s a catcher and if you can get something worthwhile, go for it.

    @Matt: Don’t love Bautista by any stretch, but not crazy about that trade either.

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