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With the the top 20 closers for 2011 fantasy baseball, we’ve finished our recap of the 2011 fantasy baseball rankings.  Some will feel like it came too soon, others will think let’s get 2012 under way already!  Whichever camp you fall in, don’t eat cherimoya seeds, they are poisonous.  This is our final look back.  This is still a look back.  It is not how I’d rank them for 2012 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 THEIRS.  Their rankings for closers weigh wins when I’d just want saves, but whatevs.  At least it’s unbiased.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 closers for 2011 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

1. Craig Kimbrel – There’s a theme in the top 20 closers we need to address.  Where I ranked them (or didn’t rank them at all) compared to where they ended up is all over the place.  Now you can either think I’m a jerkoff or you can realize how unpredictable closers are.  This is why you never pay for closers.  The ones that you think will be fine end up disappointing (Soria) or flat-out sucking (Broxton).  Then there’s the ones that just come out of nowhere.  It all comes back to SAGNOF!  In my defense, I told you to draft from a tier that included Putz, Axford, Kimbrel, Storen and Chris Perez.  For Kimbrel, I said, “Want a closer that can go from “Who’s Craig Kimbrel?” to “I don’t know who Craig Kimbrel is but I’m glad I drafted him?”  Then you’re in luck; Craig Kimbrel is just the guy to do it.”  And that’s me quoting me!  Preseason Rank #16, 2011 Projections:  3-3/2.95/1.18/80, 30 saves, Final Numbers:  4-3/2.10/1.04/127, 46 saves

2. Drew Storen – It’s pretty cool how many new names are at the top of the closer year-end list.  I mean, not cool like it’ll help you get laid unless you’re actually one of these closers, but cool nevertheless.  Storen bumped his K-rate up to 8.84 and lowered his walk rate from 3.58 to 2.39.  Not a bad season for a guy who was never named the closer.  Preseason Rank #17, 2011 Projections:  2-5/3.00/1.25/60, 30 saves, Final Numbers:  6-3/2.75/1.02/74, 43 saves

3. John Axford – Member when K-Rod was traded to the Brewers and you started crying because Axford was going to lose his closer job?  Think of all those tissues you wasted.  In the preseason, I said, “I almost put Axford in my top five overall but I would like to see him do it one more year.  Correction:  I want to see him do it another year on all of my fantasy teams.  Go after him aggressively.  Could be a huge fantasy year.”  Can’t make this shizz up.  Well, you can, but it would be pretty easy to double check.  Preseason Rank #14, 2011 Projections:  3-1/3.00/1.22/80, 32 saves, Final Numbers: 2-2/1.95/1.14/86, 46 saves

4. Mariano Rivera – Yet another year that Mo did what Mo does and I said he wouldn’t do it.  I also said to avoid Bailey and Street, so I wasn’t totally crummy from being crackers.  One interesting thing to note on Mariano’s line is the 1-2 record on a team that won 97 games.  Shows you how predictable wins are, i.e., they’re not.  Preseason Rank #10, 2011 Projections:  5-4/3.10/1.00/50, 30 saves, Final Numbers: 1-2/1.91/0.90/60, 44 saves

5. J.J. Putz – This was one of the easier calls of the preseason.  As long as Putz didn’t go down to injury (ouch), he was going to have a good year.  On a side note, Putz has an orange curtain on his bottom lip.  You expect Carrot Top to come out from his chin and do some prop comedy.  Maybe it’s just me.  Preseason Rank #13, 2011 Projections:  2-4/2.70/1.15/60, 30 saves, Final Numbers:  2-2/2.17/0.91/61, 45 saves

6. Jose Valverde – Do they still give out a Rolaids Relief Man of the Year?  If they do, Valverde won it this year.  If they don’t give out that award anymore, they should give out a Sunglasses and Advil, Last Year Was Mad Real award.  That’s what Kanye and I would name it.  Preseason Rank #8, 2011 Projections:  5-2/3.00/1.18/70, 35 saves, Final Numbers:  2-4/2.24/1.19/69, 49 saves

7. Joel Hanrahan – I can tell people to draft closers from lousy teams, but I don’t know if anyone really listens that isn’t already prone to do it anyway.  Hey, choir, hear me preach.  Hanrahananananan was actually a bit disappointing with his Ks and was a tad lucky with his ERA and, in turn, his WHIP, but he still did more than you could’ve wanted, so you’re welcome.  Preseason Rank #21, 2011 Projections:  2-4/3.95/1.25/80, 30 saves, Final Numbers:  1-4/1.83/1.05/61, 40 saves

8. Francisco Cordero – I could be yelling fire before the match is even lit here, but I feel like Cordero is becoming a wickmen though not quite a FEMA.  Preseason Rank #19, 2011 Projections:  4-5/3.50/1.35/60, 40 saves, Final Numbers: 5-3/2.45/1.02/42, 37 saves

9. Heath Bell – Modifying clause, Bell has been the safest closer that has given you the most stress over the past two years.  He’s not getting traded… Yes, he is!… No, he’s not!… Is too!… Is not!… I stole the cookie from the cookie jar!  Preseason Rank #4, 2011 Projections:  3-4/2.90/1.18/85, 40 saves, Final Numbers:  3-4/2.44/1.15/51, 43 saves

10. Jonathan Papelbon – I owned Papelbon on a few teams last year so it wasn’t like I wasn’t aware of the huge WHIP and Ks season he was having.  Yet, I didn’t realize he had so few saves.  Only 31 saves?  I know there’s no accounting for saves, but how is that even possible for a 90 win team?  Without having my crack team of 100 monkeys look it up (so going off the top of my head), I have to think that’s the lowest save total for a 90 win team for a closer who had the job for the whole year.  Preseason Rank #6, 2011 Projections:  5-3/2.75/1.18/75, 38 saves, Final Numbers:  4-1/2.94/0.93/87, 31 saves

11. Fernando Salas – Not only did he put together a fantastic season, but he also dealt with a dozen closer role changes depending on which way La Russa’s feathered hair blew.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 5-6/2.28/0.95/75, 24 saves

12. Ryan Madson – This from the Phils GM for 2012, “I don’t feel comfortable with the guys we have internally,” Amaro said. “If Ryan does not sign, we might have to go outside the organization. There are some people in our system who think [Justin] DeFratus or [Phillippe] Aumont can [close]; I am not convinced of that yet.”  Since the Phils also said Madson can’t close to start the 2011 season, I guess Aumont or DeFratus will close in 2012.  Preseason Rank #7 for Middle Relievers, 2011 Projections:  3-3/3.25/1.28/60, 18 Holds, 7 Saves, Final Numbers:  4-2/2.37/1.15/62, 32 saves

13. Kyle Farnsworth – Hmm… Only 25 saves?  Maybe I do need my crack team of 100 monkeys to look up the lowest save total for a closer on a 90 win team.  Then again, Farnsworth had some injuries this year and ceded to Peralta for a stretch.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  5-1/2.18/0.99/51, 25 saves

14. Brandon League – Someone should see if there’s a mathematical formula for the likelihood of saves for a losing team vs. a winning team.  If someone hasn’t done this already.  My monkeys have their hands full.  Masturbating.  Hey, it’s the offseason.  Cut them some slack.  Preseason Rank #5 for Middle Relievers, 2011 Projections:  4-4/4.25/1.28/60, 10 Holds, 12 Saves, Final Numbers: 1-5/2.79/1.08/45, 37 saves

15. Sergio Santos – Had a terrible September (9 ER in 8 2/3 IP), wasn’t the closer for stretches of the season (or was but wasn’t official) and had to deal with Ozzie.  Still, his K-rate — I’m putting my fingers together at my mouth and blowing air kisses — muah, muah!  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  4-5/3.55/1.11/92, 30 saves

16. Jordan Walden – Well, he was no Fernando Rodney.  Thankfully.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  5-5/2.98/1.24/67, 32 saves

17. Mike Adams – I contemplated leaving the Holds guys off this list and just going a little deeper on the closers.  Then I contemplated changing the title to the top 20 relievers.  Then I decided to do nothing and just tell you I contemplated that other shizz.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  5-4/1.47/0.79/74, 2 saves

18. Tyler Clippard – If you would’ve blindfolded me before writing this and asked who was more valuable Venters or Clippard, I would’ve said why are you blindfolding me?  Can’t you just ask me?  I mean, the blindfold makes it kinda weird.  Are you going to tickle my feet with a feather?  Oh, and I would’ve said Venters.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  3-0/1.83/0.84/104

19. Chris Perez – You could put his stat line next to the definition of a donkeycorn.  Nothing spectacular, just good old fashioned valuable closing games with closer-style old fashioned stuff… Wow, I got totally lost in that sentence and didn’t know how to finish it.  Preseason Rank #15, 2011 Projections:  1-4/3.10/1.16/70, 30 saves, Final Numbers:  4-7/3.32/1.21/39, 36 saves

20. Neftali Feliz – Honestly (unlike the rest of the post where I was lying), no closers really disappoint as long as they keep the job and get saves.  Though if you’re one of those types with high expectations, Feliz disappointed.  And I’m not just talking in the World Series.  There’s always next year, Rangers! (Assuming Washington doesn’t blow the team’s salary in Vegas.  With the key word being blow.)  Preseason Rank #2, 2011 Projections:  5-2/2.75/1.00/90, 40 saves, Final Numbers:  2-3/2.74/1.16/54, 32 saves

  1. chata says:
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    this must have been your worst season for closer projections .
    am too lazy to look it up to support it with actual numbers , but
    remember having the impression that your closer rankings ,
    throughout the season , were too inflexible and didn’t seem to accurately reflect what was happening on the field .

    you’re the ‘pert and i often ask your opinion when i’m unsure ,
    but to this dummy it seems that the most valuable closers are the ones
    racking up the most saves … since their contribution to my over-all
    era and whip categories are negligible in comparison to the havoc
    caused by my front-line sp’s .

  2. chata says:
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    as long as we’re playing in standard 5×5′s , where saves are
    over-valued (imo) , then it should be the only criteria by which closers
    should be evaluated .

  3. papasmurf says:
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    League was one of my better picks this year, which isn’t saying much, but he did get me 5 really quick saves. At the time I had 5 closers (in a league that counts holds too) and I needed help in my offense with Morales and Stanton out (and Hill and Aramis and just about everyone on my team sucking) to start the year. I traded him for Morse… who then sucked for a couple of weeks on my roster before I dropped him for I don’t remember who. The rest, as they say, is history. What could have been a great trade turned into shit.

    The only solace I have is that in the large scheme of things, it didn’t matter. I ended up with 4 keepers in the OF already and Hosmer at 1B. Not my proudest moment, not counting the time I accidentally walked in on Smurfette and Handy Smurf.

  4. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @chata: 3 closers rake up over 200 innings on your team the WHIP and ERA start to factor in.

    @HldOnMgnolia: I didn’t see it officially. Hopefully that godforsaken park’s dimensions get out of Wright’s head.

    @papasmurf: Yikes… Ha, that Smurfette.

    @royce!: Yeah, seems pretty obvious. Go for the good closer over the good team.

  5. royce! says:
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    @Grey: It might also be worthwhile to go for the good closer that did not see a lot of save opportunities in the year or two prior, which is essentially a justification for not drafting high on closers.

    For example, in 2011 the top 5 teams in save opps were: ATL, WAS, STL, ARI, NYM

    The bottom 5 were: TB, HOU, BAL, MIN, BOS

    Remarkably, TB and BOS were #2 and #3 in save opps in 2010, and BAL was #9, so it seems that save opps are fairly random.

    In our RCL, I drafted Valverde in the 12th round, but otherwise did not draft any RP that ended up being a closer, yet I ended up with 8 points in saves. I picked up Melancon but traded him in a deal that yielded me V-Mart after Posey went down. The rest of my saves came from Guerra, David Hernandez, Betancourt, Casilla, and 10 other schmoes that gave me 4 or less saves each.

  6. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: Yeah, that seems totally random. Some good teams got a lot of save opps and some not so good teams, and vice versa for the flip side. Melancon for V-Mart sounds great.

  7. royce! says:
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    @Grey: Oh, it wasn’t just Melancon- I had to send Shields as well, and also received Charlie Morton, whom I promptly cut. So it was essentially Shields plus Melancon for V-Mart, which I would have regretted had I not had the top pitching numbers for everything but saves, making Shields (and Lester) expendable. Verlander, CJ Wilson, Bumgarner and Hellickson were very good to me.

  8. OaktownSteve says:
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    Of the top 10 teams in save opportunities, only 2 were in the bottom half of the league in ERA (Mets Cubs). The rest (Atl, Wash, St.L, Zona, Mil, SF, Pitt, LAAs) were all top 15 in ERA. Buncha pitchers parks in there too (Atl, Wash, StL, SF, Pitt, LAAs).

    Point being I think low scoring correlates (though somewhat weakly) to more save opportunities. Stands to reason that the lower the total number of runs, the higher the probability (mathematically speaking) of a game finishing within 3 runs.

    How many days to pitchers and catchers? You should get a little clock on the home page that counts down to Opening Day.

  9. OaktownSteve says:
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    Oops…Pittsburgh also out of top half of ERA. Still…you get my drift.

  10. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: Ah… Yeah, more fair with Shields, still good for you, obviously.

    @OaktownSteve: I wonder if that holds for a larger sample size over numerous years.

  11. OaktownSteve says:
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    More thoughts on the topic.

    Any game in which 1, 2, or three total runs are scored is a potential save game.

    For games with 4-7 runs total, it’s equal chances (3-1, 4-1, 3-2, 4-2, 5-2, 4-3) saves and (4-0, 5-0, 6-0, 5-1, 7-0, 6-1) non-saves. For every run total of 8+, there are more non-save than save final score possibilities.

    As a quick and dirty check, I looked at save opportunities in the NL and the AL on average for the last 10 years knowing that more runs per game are scored in the AL. The average NL team has 61.2 save opportunities per year, the average AL team 59. Not a huge number but basically a number.

    At an average save conversion rate of 68% you’re looking at boost of 1.5 saves per season by taking a National League closer over an American. The question is whether or not the difference is because of runs scored or some other factor that distinguishes NL from AL when it comes to saves, but I’m willing to bet if you crunch all the numbers, run total is the reason

    If that is the case, then you could, in theory add saves by choosing from low run scoring/allowing teams. The thing is, from a probability standpoint, just looking at runs scored, you can look at each final run total and predict how often it will be a game in which a save was awarded. And whenever you have probability and non-infinite sample size, you get a bunch of outliers (i.e. low run teams that get few chances in a year, high run teams that get many).

    Given the small boost and the unpredictability of year to year distribution, probably not significant from a fantasy standpoint.

  12. OaktownSteve says:
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    I guess I should also include the fact that those run total probabilities vis a vis saves are really the total at any point in the 7th, 8th or 9th inning and not at the end of the game, but that doesn’t really make any difference in my analysis…I don’t think. Feel free to poke holes.

  13. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @OaktownSteve: That’s an awesome comment! Yeah, it all makes sense, then it all goes out the window with unpredictability. But if I remember next year, I’ll definitely throw that into a post about closers.

  14. royce! says:
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    @OaktownSteve: Damn, that is interesting. Seems that over a ten year period that you would have a large enough sample size, which makes me wonder why there would be more save opps in the NL. Could the disparity between the haves (NYY, BOS, etc.) and the have nots be more pronounced in the AL over the last 10 years, such that there was a significant enough amount of scores with a 3+ run difference in the AL?

    Also great because it gives me just about the most obscure justification ever for liking NL baseball over AL baseball.

    Well done.

  15. OaktownSteve says:
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    @Royce: You know what’s funny is the guy in that article misses the forest for the trees. He does runs scored and runs allowed but never runs scored AND runs allowed, despite the fact that margin of victory is one of the requirements for a save. Teams that score a lot and allow few are going to skew the runs allowed number and teams that score few and allow a lot are going to skew the runs scored number.

  16. Howard says:
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    @Grey What do you think about closers as keepers? I have Valverde, Soria, Oviedo (Nunez!), FF and Guerra. Am leaning to keeping Valverde but he may not have much longevity. Any of the others stand out?

  17. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Howard: Closers aren’t good keepers. Valverde is the best out of those though…

  18. chata says:
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    @Grey: @OaktownSteve:

    not absolutely sure , but didn’t game 6 of the world series
    feature 3 blown saves ?

  19. chata says:
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    @Grey:

    weei reporting that bodog came out with 2012 world series odds .
    phillies … 4 to 1
    yankees … 11/2
    sawx ……. 8 to 1
    are the 3 pre-season favorites .

  20. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @chata: Makes sense. Big market clubs with money will be favorites in November.

  21. royce! says:
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    @OaktownSteve: I think what you’re getting at is that a team with roughly equal offense and defense will see more save opps, which is pretty clear. (Or better, that a team with slightly more offense than pitching will have more save opportunities). So the difference between runs scored per game and ERA would predict save opps, which makes sense, intuitively.

    I can’t pretend to understand how to runs the numbers, but it is odd that MIL had a team ERA of 3.63 and TB had one of 3.58, yet MIL had 66 to TB’s 44 save opps, despite their difference in runs scored per game to be a mere .09 (4.45 for MIL, 4.36 for TB).

    Another oddity- PIT and DET had the same team ERA (4.04). DET scored nearly a run more per game, yet they only had 3 less save opps.

    Obviously this anecdotal evidence doesn’t prove anything, but it does make me think that it is either more complicated or random than I want to admit. And if it is random, all I can take from the info is that a team’s save opportunities are likely to regress to the mean of something like 60.

    When is the season starting again?!!!

  22. royce! says:
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    @OaktownSteve: Another oddity: TB scored 5.04 runs per game in 2010, and 4.36 in 2011. Their team ERA was 3.78 in 2010 and 3.58 in 2011. So the difference between their runs scored per game and ERA was 1.26 in 2010, and .78 in 2011. Yet they had 23 more save opps in 2010.

  23. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: It makes sense on the surface to think a team that scores relatively the same amount of runs as it gives up would get a lot of saves, but a team can score 7 runs in one game and win while giving up 7 runs and scoring none in the next game and lose. Neither scenario has them getting a save but their runs scored and runs allowed is the same.

  24. royce! says:
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    @OaktownSteve: I’m sorry, but one more. The Dodgers and Braves ERA were roughly equal (3.54 and 3.48, respectively). As were their runs scored (644, 641). The Braves had 24 more save opps.

    Which made me think that the quality of the set up men could skew the results, but LAD had 13 blown saves to ATL’s 25.

  25. OaktownSteve says:
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    @royce!: run differential is just a side note. My real point is that fewer runs scored means more save opportunities just because of mathematical probability rather than anything on field. I was just surprised that the guy who ran the numbers in Hardball times didn’t look to see if run differential correlated.

  26. OaktownSteve says:
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    oh, and, like I said, year to year results are going to vary because we’re talking about probability ranges.

  27. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @OaktownSteve: I do agree with that. If there’s less than three runs, there’s gonna be a save or a complete game, and we know how few complete games there are.

  28. SwaggerJackers says:
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    The Morel (Brent?) of the story is I shouldn’t have wasted high draft picks on Soria and The Beard last season so I won’t next season.

  29. OaktownSteve says:
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    @grey: you’re welcome to use it any time!

  30. chata says:
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    mlb-tv … showing an all-star game vs taiwan …. now .

  31. Steve says:
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    No Gold Glove for Jeter. What are they going to talk about at Fangraphs for the next month?

  32. royce! says:
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    @Steve: Ha!

    Kemp. Chris Young’s UZR was 14.1. Kemp’s was -4.6.

  33. Steve says:
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    @royce!: Crikey.

    But Kemp does have a nice smile.

  34. royce! says:
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    @royce!: There are three pages of NL CF fielding stats on fangraphs. Organized by UZR, Kemp is on the third.

    Chris Young had the highest NL UZR and Fld.

    Ladies and gentlemen, meet your new Jeter!

  35. royce! says:
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    @Steve: Better than Jeter’s, apparently.

    Chris Young was robbed!

  36. Steve says:
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    @royce!: Ha! I agree with the point you are making.

    I do wonder, however, if it isn’t time that the Keith Laws of this world just accepted the Gold Gloves for what they are and stopped rushing to the internet with the same stuff they’ve been rushing to the internet with at this time of the year, for the last god knows how many years.

  37. royce! says:
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    @Steve: Yeah, I know you were making fun, and I was also. You’d think that after so many undeserved gold gloves people would just give up.

    I am surprised that I couldn’t find any “Chris Young was robbed” or “Matt Kemp is overrated” sort of articles, at least yet. I’m sure if Kemp was a Yankee people would be flipping out, both for and against, by now.

    Kemp did have the most OF assists, though. Maybe they just give it to the person with the most “web gems.”

  38. Steve says:
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    @royce!: Don’t think it hurt that he nearly went 40/40 either.

  39. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: Chris Young was robbed!

  40. VinWins

    VinWins says:
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    From Bill McClellan (Post-Dispatch)

    The anti-fan club known as “Tony Haters” meets the first Tuesday of every month.

    August: Our speaker addressed the topic, “A Failed Season.” He said the baseball team was an embarrassment to the city. He laid the blame at the manager’s feet.

    September: “Thinking About Next Year.” The speaker was outraged that Tony La Russa was continuing to play veterans even though the team had no chance of catching the Braves. It was clearly time to play youngsters and see what they could do. Why was La Russa being so stubborn?

    October: Hardly anybody showed up. The speaker raised the question, “Are We Supposed to Be Happy with a Wild Card?”

    November: There were only a couple of us. I was the speaker. My speech was titled, “It Shouldn’t Have Taken Seven Games to Beat the Rangers.”

    http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/columns/bill-mcclellan/article_ca660f1c-f199-57ff-8df7-9c7cd880c8c3.html

  41. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @VinWins: That was a solid piece, thanks for sharing!

    @royce!: On a side note, Neyer is in Siberia over there. Wonder if regrets the trade to the small market blog.

  42. Wake Up says:
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    Gardner was robbed! Easily the best LF in MLB (fielding-wise).

  43. royce! says:
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    @Wake Up: Hmm…I totally agree, but am seeing a pattern here. Gordon had by far the best arm in LF. Gordon had 20 OF assists to Gardner’s 7. Gardner has a lot better range. So Gordon probably made “exciting” catches where Gardner would have just caught the ball, and when Gordon could not get to the ball but had a chance to record an out some other way, he was more likely to do it. This doesn’t make him more valuable, but it does make him more entertaining.

    And Kemp dated Rhianna, so that must tip the scales in his direction.

  44. royce! says:
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    @Grey: But at least he’s the King of Siberia!

  45. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: Certainly is. Big fish, tiny aquarium.

  46. Wake Up says:
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    @royce!: Good points. At least Gordon had a good year, unlike Kemp(again, in the field). In addition, Gardner plays much more shallow(because of his great range and ability to go back on the ball, so anything at him or that he goes in on, the runner really has no chance to advance. Another word on OF assists, once it gets around that a player has a cannon-arm, less players run on him, thusly(most likely the first time I’ve ever used this word) reducing his assist chances.

  47. royce! says:
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    @Grey: And it’s very cold there so the aquarium is probably frozen…what a bummer.

  48. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: Well, that’s just depressing. You ready for the new season of Top Chef?

  49. royce! says:
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    @Grey: As ready as I’ll ever be! I’ve been wondering, do they even have Whole Foods in TX? Or will every challenge be limited to ingredients used at Sonic and Waffle House? Will they have to build a meal that appears to be vegetables, but is really made out of smoked meats? Mmm…broccoli ribe..

    I actually will be playing poker tonight. Sometimes we’ll watch a game at the same time, but I don’t think I’ll be able to talk the guys into watching Top Chef. So I’ll have to lose all my money fast to get home. Usually isn’t very hard for me, though recently I’ve been on a killer luck streak. $20 buy in, .50 blinds, yet I came home with well over $100 the last two games.

  50. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: Whole Foods started in Austin. Their Whole Foods is the size of three K-Marts, they have every product that any Whole Foods carries in the whole country. I like that smoked meat challenge! I call this Aspara(pork)guts…

  51. royce! says:
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    @Grey: Wow, I did not know that. Though now that I think about it, I might have known that 10+ years ago when I was living in Santa Fe and the local hippie mart got bought out by Whole Foods or something…I vaguely recall some controversy, but it probably was just based in New Mexicans’ loathing of Texans.

    I was gonna add asbearagus. Be best if it was made with a bear’s hind quarters, because it could also be known as bearassagus.

  52. Steve says:
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    @Grey: @royce!: You guys are making me hungry. Could kill for some BBQ.

    Might have to be Asian noodles though.

  53. royce! says:
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    @Steve: You should smoke the noodles. Call it “fusion.”

  54. Steve says:
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    @royce!: Pho-sion?

  55. royce! says:
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    @Steve: Ha! That works too.

    A while back, I was delighted to find a pho place by our house called “Pho King.” I did an image search for it and also discovered “What the Pho,” “Pho Shizzle,” and “Pho Kim Long.” Seems like it might be the end of the road for this joke.

  56. Steve says:
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    @royce!: Yeah. There’s always someone who takes things one step too pho.

  57. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: Bearassagus sounds delicious! Pair it with spignach.

    @Steve: Mmm…

    @royce!: Reviewers say, “Pho King — Brilliant!”

  58. royce! says:
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    @Grey: Spignach sounds awesome. And I think you could probably make it. Pulled pork, some green coloring…steamed spinach looks like a pile of mush anyway.

    @Steve: @Grey: Alright, fine…you both convinced me that the joke is a strong as ever.

  59. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: This joke and smoked meat both have legs!

  60. chata says:
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    top chef : texas
    29 contestants

    pick a winner

  61. chata says:
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    group one … nyeesha

  62. chata says:
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    wife picks chuy from group two .

  63. chata says:
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    nyeesha makes it into top 16 .

  64. chata says:
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    chuy’s in also .

    game on !

  65. Steve says:
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    @Grey: So, there I was walking back from Subway (I know, I know – but I just went out for lunch and as it turned out I didn’t order the right thing) and I see McNulty staring out from a billboard at me promoting a show called The Hour.

    Ever see it? Any good?

  66. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @chata: I’m picking the little chubby girl who works in Chicago and made the ravioli. She’s mentored by a Master.

    @Steve: Subway? Blech! Nah, don’t know that show.

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