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With the the top 20 closers for 2009 fantasy baseball, we’ve finished our recap of the 2009 fantasy baseball rankings.  This is our final look back.  This is still a look back.  It is not how I’d rank them for 2010 aka next year.  As with the other rankings, the final rankings come from ESPN’s Player Rater.  I did this so I could objectively critique MY preseason rankings to THEIR end season ones.  Their rankings for closers weigh wins and Ks very heavily, but whatevs.  At least it’s unbiased.  There’s a theme in the top 20 closers for 2009 fantasy baseball we need to address.  There’s more unranked players in this post than any of the previous ones.  With 8 of 20 closers being unranked.  This is why you never pay for closers.  They’re unpredictable.  The ones that you think will do good disappoint (K-Rod) or flat-out suck (Lidge).  Then there’s the ones that just come out of nowhere.  It all comes back to SAGNOF!  Anyway, here’s the top 20 closers for 2009 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

1. Joe Nathan – Has an unprecedented streak of 24 consecutive months being a $12 salad.  As soon as he gives me his address, I’ll send him the green, leafy ribbon.  Preseason Rank #2, 2009 Projections:  2-3/1.90/1.00/75, 42 saves, Final Numbers:  2-2/2.10/.93/89, 47 saves

2. Jonathan Broxton – Didn’t lead the league in saves, wasn’t that dominant with ERA, but 114 Ks for a reliever will get them ranked pretty high.  Throw in 7 vulture wins and you have the number two ranked closer.  Preseason Rank #7, 2009 Projections:  3-3/3.00/1.15/80, 35 saves, Final Numbers:  7-2/2.61/.96/114, 36 saves

3. Mariano Rivera – Some year he will not live up to his standard.  When that year will be is anyone’s guess. Preseason Rank #4, 2009 Projections:  4-3/2.75/1.00/60, 40 saves, Final Numbers:  3-3/1.76/.90/72, 44 saves

4. Andrew Bailey – If you take the best middle reliever year and throw in 26 saves, you have Bailey.  Definitely one of those guys that you were probably waiting for the bottom to fall out at any moment and it never happened.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  6-3/1.84/.88/91, 26 saves

5. Heath Bell – I owned Bell in quite a few leagues since people seem to shun guys who had never closed before even though pitchers have shown over and over again closer experience usually means little.  Had his best save and worst ERA month in September with 9 saves and a 5.14 ERA.  Preseason Rank #16 2009 Projections:  4-1/3.75/1.20/65, 30 saves, Final Numbers:  6-4/2.71/1.12/79, 42 saves

6. Brian Wilson – Because I’m on the West Coast, I always find myself watching the tail end of Giants games.  What I (think) I notice is Wilson is rarely a guy that seems like a sure thing.  I say (think) because it might just be the games I watch.  So this sent me looking at all of the games he closed in 2009.  What I found is my (thought) was correct.  He only recorded 11 three up, three down saves out of 38.  To give you some perspective, Franklin had 14.  Though Wilson was flat-out dominate in the 2nd half (1.64 ERA).  Preseason Rank #18, 2009 Projections:  3-4/4.00/1.32/65, 32 saves, Final Numbers:  5-6/2.74/1.20/83, 38 saves

7. Trevor Hoffman – Old is as old continues to do.  Next year, he’ll be entering to the Hells Belles Comedy Cabaret album. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  2-2/2.10/.93/89, 47 saves

8. David Aardsma – Bailey’s probably the epitome of SAGNOF, so what’s right under epitome?  Example of?  Embodiment?  “Eh, same thing?”  That was Aardsma.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  3-6/2.52/1.16/80, 38 saves

9. Huston Street – In the preseason, I said, “Yes, he’s injury prone. Yes, he lost the A’s closer job last year.  If he’s the Rox closer, none of that should matter to you.  As I’ve repeatedly repeated… If someone’s getting saves, you should be drafting him.”  Yup.  Preseason Rank #21, 2009 Projections:  1-4/3.75/1.10/17 saves, Final Numbers:  4-1/3.06/.91/70, 35 saves

10. Jonathan Papelbon – Here’s a place their Player Rater fails big time.  Papelbon is this low because he recorded only one vulture win.  It’s nice, but you can’t really rely on closers to get vulture wins.  The rest of his numbers are fine for a closer.  Preseason Rank #1, 2009 Projections:  6-2/1.75/.95/80, 45 saves, Final Numbers:  1-1/1.85/1.15/76, 38 saves

11. Ryan Franklin – I’m pretty sure La Russa and Duncan could make Brendan Ryan a serviceable closer.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  4-3/1.92/1.20/44, 38 saves

12. Francisco Cordero – By taking the last letters of his first name and the first letters of his last name, he has one of my favorite nicknames, CoCo.  Who’s some other players this would work with?  Ben Zobrist with EnZo…  Zobrist sounds Jewish and he gets an Italian nickname?  What’s he, a pizza bagel?  Doesn’t work.  How about Ryan Howard?  AnHo?  Eh..  Wait, I got one!  Miguel Montero.  Now we just need Daron Sutton to say something like, “The Count’s in Elmo’s favor…”  Preseason Rank #8, 2009 Projections:  6-4/3.75/1.32/75, 35 saves, Final Numbers:  2-6/2.16/1.32/58, 39 saves

13. Rafael Soriano – See what I said regarding Bailey.  Go ahead, scan your eyes up a little.  There ya go!  Soriano did basically the same thing.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  1-6/2.97/1.06/102, 27 saves

14. Joakim Soria – Soria dealt with some injury issues this year and still put together a good season.  Soria blamed the WBC; I blamed Selig.  Preseason Rank #6, 2009 Projections:  3-4/2.00/.95/60, 35 saves, Final Numbers:  3-2/2.21/1.13/69, 30 saves

15. Brian Fuentes – Knock on the door.  *opening door*  A red flag stands there.  What’s up, red flag? Fuentes had more saves than Ks.  Red Flag out.  Preseason Rank #11, 2009 Projections:  3-1/3.75/1.14/70, 40 saves, Final Numbers:  1-5/3.93/1.40/46, 48 saves

16. Francisco Rodriguez – Wasn’t a great season, but you were foolish if you thought he was going to save another 62 games.  Actually, wasn’t as bad when you consider he gave up 5 runs in his next to last appearance.  Right before that, he had a 3.09 ERA.  Preseason Rank #5, 2009 Projections:  3-2/2.85/1.30/80, 42 saves, Final Numbers:  3-6/3.71/1.31/73, 35 saves

17. Jose Valverde – Hopefully you were able to grab LaTroy Hawkins when he filled in for Valverde, so your JoTroy Valkins got you 36 saves.  Preseason Rank #13, 2009 Projections:  3-5/3.75/1.20/80, 40 saves, Final Numbers:  4-2/2.33/1.13/56, 25 saves

18. George Sherrill – From Donkeycorn to a middle man but still retained his value, especially for MR. B’s, as Sherrill only gave up 2 earned runs in 27 2/3 innings in LaLa Land.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  1-1/1.70/1.12/61, 21 saves

19. Michael Wuertz – Wuertz comes in as our first and last true middle reliever to make the top 20 closer list.  If you owned, say, James Shields (11-12/4.14/1.32/167) and Wuertz the entire season, your combined numbers would’ve been 17-13/3.74/1.23/269; that looks like vintage Nolan Ryan.  In other words, you could’ve done *pinkie to mouth* Wuertz.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  6-1/2.63/.95/102, 4 saves

20. J.P. Howell – Whatever Beane is feeding his bullpen up in Oakland, Tampa could use some of it as Howell was a whole lot better before he started closing.  Thurston and Lovey expected more.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  7-5/2.84/1.20/79, 17 saves

  1. Steve says:
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    One – one schmohawk closer! Two – two schmohawk closers! Three – three schmohawk closers! AH AH AH AH AH! (thunder and lightning up).

    The Count is right up there, but for sheer Sesame Street coolness, it’s hard to beat this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6G6lwkb9lQs

    Baseball-wise (and this probably speaks to my inability to just let it go) but I’d be willing to bet a decent sum of Hippo’s money that at least one of Broxton’s win came as a result of him blowing a lead for the Wolfman.

  2. Stephen says:
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    Loved the Miguel Montero and Sesame Street reference. Straight legit!

  3. Quintero says:
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    Bobby Jenks is not on the list…shouldn’t keep him tall season long…shouldn’t draft him…should just insert Bailey/Wuertz, be a Mr.B and dock.

  4. GopherDay says:
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    Who gets the better end of this deal? K-Rod for Broxton?

    Out of the blue, someone offered me this in my dnyasty league and I accepted it. Good or bad move?

  5. GopherDay says:
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    I got Broxton btw

  6. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: That video is terrific. I’ll admit to watching it three times. I did go to the Capitol I one and not the Capitol I but it’s really an S one. Probably true about Broxton.

    @Stephen: Thanks!

    @Quintero: Yup

    @GopherDay: I’d want Broxton.

  7. Atomic says:
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    Saves were very tight in my league this year. 11 saves separated 2nd from 9th in the saves ranking. I got 3rd in the category, won the league by 4 points, 8 less saves and I would have been in 2nd overall. Guys like Franklin, LaTroy, MacDougal, Frasor, Madson and Juan Gutierrez are what won it for me. I traded away Broxton midway through the season, and no other reliever I drafted lasted very long on my roster. Gotta stay diligent and read your razzball daily!

  8. papasmurf says:
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    B Wilson was one guy I actually got right this year. I liked him a lot before the year started. I figured he’d get 35 saves with an ERA in the mid-3’s which isn’t bad for being drafted among the bottom 1/3 of closers. Turned out his ERA was better than I gave him credit for. Next year, I would avoid him unless he slips as far as he did this year (for my league anyhoo). He held down the pen (was the only RP to last the whole year in fact) and was a huge reason for my team’s success.

  9. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Atomic: To bastardize Glengarry Glen Ross, always be grabbing saves.

    @papasmurf: Look at Papa Smurf having some good fortune.

  10. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Grey: Grey, just trying to validate roto scoring. RE: Papelbon and, “Here’s a place their Player Rater fails big time.” Since Roto scores Ws, isn’t the rater reflecting true impact on the scoring? Or, are you saying the Ws are not predictable and therefore not valid?

  11. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Yeah – the “pure and original” Capital I clip was the one I thought I was linking to.

    The Count is a legend though. “Why do they call me the Count? Because I love to count! AH AH AH AH AH!”

  12. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Simply Fred: I’m saying the 2nd thing. You don’t draft closers for wins, they’re just a bonus. Shouldn’t knock a guy just because he didn’t give you a bonus.

    @Steve: Ha!

  13. cws05nuts says:
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    @Quintero: It will be interesting to see if Bobby has eaten himself off the Sox. Kenny definitely ain’t paying him so I think his services will be tendered elsewhere for 2010.

    And a side. Good lord was that a great performance by Lee last night! I don’t think things will pan out that well Pedro tonight.

  14. big o says:
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    @Grey:
    this has nothing to do with that , but ,
    your boy , larussa , taking flack for hiring big mac .
    (notice how larussa stopped being “my” boy , once he left the A ‘s)

    isn’t there a commentor who’d like to weigh in (heavily) on this story ??

  15. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @big o: He should take flak. Surprised McGwire even accepted the position. He seemed done with baseball.

  16. big o says:
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    @Grey:
    sorry , i always get those confused . so , it’s not roberta flak ??

    anywho , wasn’t mcgwire most recently employed to work with a couple of young west coast hitters ?
    maybe san diego , or , j-up ??
    thought i read a blurb .

    be interesting to see if his skin condition has cleared up .

  17. cws05nuts says:
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    @Grey: @ big o: I’ve been hearing from the sports radio guys here in Chicago that that was the carrot to retain Larussa. Tony wanted mac back in a different capacity to help hall of fame considerations and the like. Also why the other two big whigs in the organization came out in line with the move.

    I think the move is weird because he has never had any coaching capacity before in his life and all of a sudden he gets a gig back the show. What can he surmise about pitching tendencies when he hasn’t seen any of the current pitchers?

  18. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @big o: @cws05nuts: Supposedly he helped Skip Schumaker. Oh. Okay.

  19. big o says:
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    i’m skeptical about pee-dro’s effectiveness in 50-55 degree weather .
    is this a throw-away game for the phillies ?

  20. Steve says:
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    @big o: @Grey: Even allowing for all the home runs, I don’t see how McGwire has much credibility left in baseball, and a bit of that has to rub off on anyone that associates with him now – in a baseball sense, that is.

  21. big o says:
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    maybe larussa plans to get his “drunk” on , this year ,
    and figures mcgwire might help to take the heat “off” .

  22. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Coach doesn’t usually matter if the hitter was good, but I have to think a guy who hit like McGwire doesn’t really have much to impart. What’s he gonna say? Swing hard?

  23. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Watch the ball.

    I’ll be a late joiner for Game 2 – out for lunch. Level of drinking uncertain, but Japanese so some beer on the cards…

  24. big o says:
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    over 9 runs

  25. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @big o: Could get ugly early in this one.

  26. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Mmmmm. That was good. And so was the beer.

  27. @Grey:

    Funny about McGwire, I was thinking the same thing…whats he gonna teach anyone…

  28. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Nah – taking it easy today.

  29. Steve says:
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    I hope Tex has a good series (altho I still want the Phillies to win). Homered in his first at at-bat on my team after I picked him up in 03 and I’ve liked him ever since.

  30. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Misty water-colored memories…

  31. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Simpler times, to be sure.

    Hey – I know you’re more of a vote-em-off reality show kind of guy, but have you ever watched The Deadliest Catch?

  32. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Do we have that show? (Obviously haven’t seen it) What is it?

  33. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Guys are killed? Seriously? Wow, might have to check that out. I’ve been watching a lot of HGTV, apparently I’m a 50 year old woman.

  34. Steve says:
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    @Grey: It’s never too early to take up quilting.

    What’s the appeal?

  35. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Rudy actually turned me onto it. Real Estate Invention is a great show. Basically, a real estate expert goes into homes and tells people who want to sell they’re going to lose $50,000.

  36. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Ah gotcha. Sounds good. We get those real estate/property development shows here.

    They never end badly and I wish more of them did because some of the people in them are very annoying.

  37. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Ha! Rudy also tried to get me into Meerkat Manor, but I couldn’t handle it. Google it to see what it is.

  38. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Yeah – I’ve heard of that one. Never seen it though – not sure I could handle it either.

  39. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: I think you need to be stoned, but Rudy doesn’t smoke, so I’m going to guess he’s sniffing glue.

  40. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Ha!

    Burnett doing a nice job of getting over-rated for next year.

  41. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: I’ll tell ya, Burnett had this stuff all year, he’d win the Cy Young. His stuff is cutting right over the outside part of the plate on every pitch.

  42. Steve says:
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    @Grey: You tweeter, you.

  43. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Ha! I was trying it out. The problem I find is everyone talks to themselves.

  44. big o says:
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    @Grey:
    doesn’t surprise me that these announcers think that
    “dj hero” was a good thing .

    it’s getting tougher , all the time , to find good things in baseball .

  45. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @big o: Let the kids have their toys and let the networks sell the toys to the kids.

  46. big o says:
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    should be some way to turn off the sound on my tv ,
    and listen to a better broadcast .

  47. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Follow me and Doc – we’ll talk to you.

    Have to say, I’ve never been a big Twitter user, but I’ve just got my hands on a Google phone and that makes doing things on the web so much easier and the Twitter apps for Android are pretty good – so I’ve found myself using it (Twitter) a lot more.

  48. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: I also don’t like the 140 character rule and it feels like a popularity contest. The celebrity culture that took it over in the last six months… Not that I ever liked it.

  49. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Yeah – agreed, that whole celeb thing pissed me off too. I’ll be over it in a week or two, probably.

  50. big o says:
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    if the infield wasn’t so watered down and manicured ,
    the dust would have made that call easier .
    dust kayin’ .

  51. Greg says:
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    Haha… nice DP there by the Phillies. (Howard “catching” the short hop.)

  52. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Odd Howard threw to 2nd if he caught it. Idiots!

  53. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Greg: Yeah, seriously. Who throws it to 2nd if they think they caught it?

  54. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @big o: Dust kayin’ — ha!

  55. Steve says:
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    @Grey: @big o: Dust sprayin’ even.

  56. Greg says:
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    I’m so rooting for Rivera to cough up this lead…

  57. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Greg: It’s hard to argue with Rivera, but I don’t know why Burnett was lifted other than to get Posada in the game.

  58. big o says:
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    we should run a poll .
    which is worse , the managing or the officiatiing ?
    too close to call ??

  59. big o says:
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    lol …. that’s the missing “i” from the 1st video !!

  60. Greg says:
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    @big o: Good question.

  61. Shmorgie S. Board says:
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    Closers are like girls at a college party and you’re the lazy dude in the corner. Just wait until one falls to you and enjoy your evening. Odds are she’s as much fun as the hottie across the room you’d have to work three times as hard to bed.

    “I banged Jenny Broxton!”
    “Duuuuude, how was she?”
    “You know, kinda like Suzie Sherrill, really, but more of a hassle to get where I wanted. Plus, Suzie seems to really enjoy giving head and doggone it, that counts for something!”

  62. big o says:
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    @Shmorgie S. Board:
    there you go .
    lazy dudes don’t score as much .

  63. Michael Deuser says:
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    “Dominate” (see: Jonathan Broxton) is a VERB. It’s a verb! A verb, a thousand times a verb, and only a verb! If you are attempting to describe one who does not “dominate”, you might say he is not “DOMINANT”. Grey, you’re the older one, we expect more from you.

  64. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Michael Deuser: Sorry, sometimes when you write 1000 words a day with no editor, your proofreading fails you.

  65. Shmorgie S. Board says:
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    @Michael Deuser: Grey really needs more consitency in his grammar and syntax to write at a high level. — Joe Morgan

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