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All the final 2012 fantasy baseball rankings for hitters are done. For those that skipped today’s title, this starts the top 20 starters for 2012 fantasy baseball.  This is NOT for 2013 (caps for those still wearing their Frankenweenie 3-D glasses).  This is a recap.  Will these affect next year’s rankings?  Sure.  But not entirely.  To recapitulate, these rankings are from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.  We’re (me) using it to fairly gauge our (my) preseason rankings.  In the general sense of things, I’m much better at ranking and projecting pitchers.  I’m not entirely sure why this is.  I’m just being real with you.  Am I complete crap at hitters?  Nah, but pitchers just seem to stick more to the program.  If someone’s supposed to strike out 200, they usually come close.  If someone is supposed have a 2 walk rate and a 7 K-rate, they don’t hit only three homers in the first two and a half months, then hit 22 in the 2nd half.  Damn you, Zimmerman!  Though, Latos did come close.  I don’t say that I projected pitching better this year arrogantly, Rudy’s projections tests bears it out.  Or is that bares it out?  Rudy, you exhibitionist!  That test will be coming on Thursday.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 starters for 2012 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

Psyche!  Before we get into the top 20 starters for last year, just wanted to quickly say our fantasy basketball leagues are filling up.  Go there; sign up.  Anyway II, the top 20 starters for 2012 fantasy baseball:

1. R.A. Dickey – Speaking of being able to predict pitchers, Dickey was nowhere on my GPS.  In fact, when I put R.A. Dickey into my GPS, it said, “I’m not going to play this game, Grey.  You are a Dickey, not me.”  I will say that at no point did I tell you to sell him high, unlike the ESPN Hindsighter.  Once Dickey was going hard, I just put another quarter into the machine, let the curtain open, sat back and watched.  Preseason Rank #77, 2012 Projections:  10-9/3.75/1.27/130, Final Numbers:  20-6/2.73/1.05/230

2. Justin Verlander – Had exactly the type of season I expected him to, and will again next year but I still won’t go near him.  For those wondering why, I point to my 57 out of a possible 60 pitching points in a 12 team league where I had four starters with over 100 IP (Gio, Bumgarner, Anibal and Vogelsong) and three pitchers over 50 IP (Latos, Medlen and Lynn), two closers over 50 IP (Valverde and Wilhelmsen) and about 30 other pitchers with at least 5 innings.  I dropped Peavy before one start and Latos prior to his turn around and still had pitching to spare.  As I’ve said 5,000 times before, in 12 team leagues and shallower, there’s more than enough pitching to go around.  And that’s me paraphrasing me for the 5,001st time!  Preseason Rank #4, 2012 Projections:  18-7/2.75/1.08/240, Final Numbers:  17-8/2.64/1.06/239

3. David Price – For a little insight into projecting pitchers, WHIP and Ks should be the most predictable.  If the pitcher’s BABIP is unlucky, then his WHIP can go up and it might cost him some Ks, but they’re a bit more reliable than ERA, and a lot more reliable than Wins.  Win-loss record is nonsense to predict.  You’re basically expecting an ace to get between 15 and 20 wins on a good team, and who the hell knows which teams will be good?  Again, just telling you as it is.  Price’s FIP was 3.05; he got a tad lucky.  In the end, he was still better than I expected, and I expected him to be great.  Preseason Rank #12, 2012 Projections:  15-10/3.20/1.18/200, Final Numbers:  20-5/2.56/1.10/205

4. Clayton Kershaw – My preseason projections for him are the closest projections to final stats you’re gonna find anywhere for Kershaw.  Maybe I’ll write a Grey’s Sports Almanac.  Preseason Rank #2, 2012 Projections:  17-7/2.55/1.05/230, Final Numbers:  14-9/2.53/1.02/229

5. Gio Gonzalez – Me pushing everyone and their mother’s uncle into Gio in the preseason is owned completely to my raging boner for strikeouts.  Here’s what I said in December of last year, “How about the Nats looking like they’re gonna be contenders?  Hopefully they get some new announcers so it’s not as wretched watching them.  Get back Dibble so he can call into question a guy headed for Tommy John surgery!  I love that kind of manic enthusiasm.  Anyway, Gonzalez wasn’t nearly the pitcher his 3.12 ERA showed last year, but he has far exceeded his xFIP the last two years while posting solid K numbers.  I’m willing to get on the Gio aeroplane in twelve past twenty.  A guy that is moving to the NL with a 8.78 K-rate is plenty all right, even with the wonky walks.”  And that’s me quoting me!  Preseason Rank #17, 2012 Projections:  15-8/3.50/1.28/200, Final Numbers:  21-8/2.89/1.13/207

6. Matt Cain – Fool me once with your FIP, shame on you.  Fool me twice with your FIP, I’m a bit slow on the uptake.  Fool me three times with your FIP, not happening Cain.  Finally, after years of me avoiding Cain because of his ERA to FIP difference, I decided to get in on him this year.  And he did it again (2.79 ERA, 3.40 FIP, 3.82 xFIP), but he did it again for the good of the people this time.  Preseason Rank #18, 2012 Projections:  14-10/3.10/1.10/180, Final Numbers:  16-5/2.79/1.04/193

7. Cole HamelsCliff Lee won 6 games (that’s so ridunkulous), while Roy Halladay is in arbitration trying to get 2012 removed from his stats, yet Hamels kept on trucking when he wasn’t teaching rooks lessons.  Hamels was able to not only add a strikeout to his rate from 2011, but he also kept his walks in check.  Right now, he looks like the best thing the Phils have going for them, so of course the Phils will lose him this offseason.  Preseason Rank #9, 2012 Projections:  15-10/2.95/1.10/200, Final Numbers:  17-6/3.05/1.12/216

8. Jered Weaver – He was one of the luckiest pitchers last year.  Not only did his ERA outperform his xFIP by a silly amount (2.81 to 4.18), but his Ks fell for the 2nd year in a row.  His K-rate was right there in the high 6′s with other stalwarts like Justin Masterson, Hochevar, Maholm and Ervin Santana.  If you owned Weaver as your ace last year, someone upstairs is looking out for you.  Maybe Sherman Hemsley.  I bet he’s got some pull.  Preseason Rank #15, 2012 Projections:  16-10/3.35/1.12/200, Final Numbers:  20-5/2.81/1.02/142

9. Johnny Cueto – I call this tier, pitchers who stepped in crap.  The best kind of crap, that is.  The damn, son, you got lucky there-type crap.   Cueto seems to be the new Matt Cain outperforming his peripherals every year.  Cain and Cueto also sounds like a WWE tag team with the finishing move, The FIP Off.  Preseason Rank #40, 2012 Projections:  11-6/3.80/1.25/130, Final Numbers:  19-9/2.78/1.17/170

10. Chris Sale – To go all opposite world Mark McGwire on you, “But I’m not here to talk about next year.”  Yet, I have to say the White Sox done messed up putting so many innings on Sale’s arm.  Sure, I was the one that kept telling you to get rid of him because he was going to get shut down, but how was I supposed to know the White Sox would go all Dusty Baker on him?  Preseason Rank #82, 2012 Projections:  8-8/3.50/1.24/130, Final Numbers: 17-8/3.05/1.14/192

11. Felix Hernandez – He struggled vs. the Angels this year (posting a 6.25 ERA; 2.56 ERA vs. everyone else).  F-Her just couldn’t go near Pujols when it came to the Big A.  *double entendre grand prize balloons falling in my office*  What did I win?  What did I win?  *a piñata-shaped toilet lowers*  Ooh, now it’s a potty!  Preseason Rank #6, 2012 Projections:  15-12/2.80/1.14/220, Final Numbers: 13-9/3.06/1.14/223

12. Madison Bumgarner – Mad-Bum glad you showed up, we’re having a potty!  Okay, I’m done.  Preseason Rank #10, 2012 Projections:  15-8/2.90/1.18/200, Final Numbers: 16-11/3.37/1.11/191

13. James Shields – He definitely came with the strikeouts this year, which is nice.  He provided a nice enough ERA and WHIP too.  But what’s bothering me is he’s ranked 13th overall and his numbers weren’t that amazing.  Hey, guys, if we’re not going to have a steroid-fueled offense in the major leagues, you think we could have solid pitching?  Please.  In fairness, solid pitching (though not great) goes on for days.  Preseason Rank #30, 2012 Projections:  13-11/3.70/1.25/190, Final Numbers: 15-10/3.52/1.17/223

14. Kyle Lohse – First guy to come completely out of nowhere in the rankings.  Sure, Sale was ranked much lower than he ended up, but I liked Sale as a late round flyer and knew he had potential.  Lohse?  Blech.  I just vomited in Dave Duncan’s mouth.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 16-3/2.86/1.09/143

15. CC Sabathia – Eh, you know CC, but on a related note, I was waiting for him to face Prince Fielder in the postseason to see if everyone in the back of the stadium had to lean back to stop them from tilting over the stadium.  Preseason Rank #7, 2012 Projections:  20-7/3.10/1.20/210, Final Numbers: 15-6/3.38/1.14/197

16. Stephen Strasburg – Not sure how much Strasburg’s innings cap hurt the Nats’ playoff chances, but I’ll tell you this, I’m sure glad they did it for next year’s fantasy baseball season.  (I’m sure they did it for the same reason too.)  Can you say a 2013 with 20 wins, 250 Ks and a sub-3 ERA?  If you can’t say that, you might need a speech therapist.  Preseason Rank #20, 2012 Projections:  12-5/2.90/1.10/165 in 160 innings, Final Numbers: 15-6/3.16/1.15/197 in 159 1/3 IP

17. Max Scherzer – When someone has a 3.74 ERA and they’re ranked in the top twenty, they were doing something else right.  Well, hello, beautiful, this are some lovely Ks you got there.  Bee tee dubya, he had 231 Ks in 187 2/3 innings.  Give him 220 innings and you have 270 Ks.  I typed the previous sentence without my hands while wearing no pants.  Preseason Rank #33, 2012 Projections:  14-8/3.70/1.30/195, Final Numbers: 16-7/3.74/1.27/231

18. Zack Greinke – Bit of an all-over-map season for Greinke last year.  Not good in April, July and August, better in the NL, great at home in the NL, just okay at home in the AL, terrible in day games, solid in night games, exactly .249 vs. lefties and righties and amazing in June and September.  In other words, draw your own conclusions.  Preseason Rank #8, 2012 Projections:  15-8/2.90/1.18/220, Final Numbers: 15-5/3.48/1.20/200

19. Hiroki Kuroda – Here’s the 2nd pitcher after Lohse to come out of nowhere.  Sure, everyone’s heard of Kuroda, but to think he’d do exactly what he did in Yankee Stadium in the AL East that he was doing in Dodger Stadium in the NL West is remarkable.  Remarkurodable even.  Preseason Rank #72, 2012 Projections:  12-9/3.90/1.24/150, Final Numbers: 16-11/3.32/1.17/167

20. Jake Peavy – I figured he still had some gas in the tank, but la de da on this comeback season.  His strikeouts were a bit off from where they used to be in his prime (9+ K-rate vs. 7.97) and he had a bit of luck…Well, he had a lot of luck if you consider he stayed healthy.  Will be fun to see him get a ton of money in the free agent market from the Red Sox and then get hurt in April.  It’s The Curse of Bobby Valentine!  Preseason Rank #65, 2012 Projections:  10-8/3.75/1.21/130, Final Numbers: 11-12/3.37/1.10/194

  1. TJ says:
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    Thinking about making a move in my keeper league, trying to deal away Kemp, since I can only own him for one more year.

    In a H2H, OPS league, please rank in order of preference:

    Kemp (1 year)
    Cano (3 years)
    Fielder (3 years)
    Jose Reyes (3 years)
    Felix Hernandez (3 years)

    My other four keepers are Verlander (2 years), Justin Upton (2 years), Allan Craig (4 years) and Jose Bautista (4 years).
    Trying to move Kemp as I feel like I have too many OF already.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Fielder, Cano, Kemp…

  2. JashFath

    JashFath says:
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    I think Ventura may be the new Dusty. It wasn’t just Sale, I remember on multiple occasions that he would bring Peavy back out for the 7th or 8th despite his pitch count being 120+. I’m not one who buys into yanking a pitcher at pitch #101, but I wouldn’t run a guy coming off an injured-shortened season into the ground.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, I wonder if that goes to them not developing a minor league system either… Maybe the organization’s motto is to win now at all costs every year…

  3. Schmohawks Bob says:
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    Stoner Lincecum and Dan Haren were my Razzball aces. I picked up Dickey and Vogelsong from the undrafted pool. I am a bitter man Stoner, and to some extent Dan. At least Dan was injured. What was your excuse Stoner?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, Rudy did have Haren on his risky pitcher post this year as a guy that would get injured though… The bong of life fell on Lincecum and left dirty bong water all over his carpet…

  4. Schmohawks Bob says:
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    @Grey: Rudy was certainly right about that.

  5. Jack Full of Hate says:
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    I owned Mad Max all year and he didn’t feel like a top 20 pitcher. Was this not the year of the pitcher? It’s hard to tell because it’s difficult to call it the year of the hitter. I guess its the year of living yawnstipatingly
    ….ha, i just realized I made two Mel Gibson references. Better watch my back.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      As long as your not Jewish, you’re okay… Yeah, Max doesn’t look anything like a top 20 pitcher except the Ks, those are glorious…

      • Jack Full of Hate says:
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        @Grey, does that mean you are half in danger?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yup! The half Italian side of me picks fights, the half Jewish side of me gets beat up…

          • Jack Full of Hate says:
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            @Grey, Its an egotistical self deprecating monster. And you have to deal with mustache and his craziness on top of that. I feel for you.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Italian side of me wants spicy food, but the Jewish side of me’s belly can’t handle it… Italian side of me has a full of hair, but the Jewish side of me worries every day it’s falling out… I’m an anomaly-covered pizza bagel…

              • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                @Grey, I’m so glad my ethnic backgrounds have such non-dominant charchteristics. The only thing I have to deal with is being kinda white but not really

  6. zombie says:
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    “Raging Boner for Strikeouts.”. If that’s not worthy of a T-shirt, I would be shocked. “Life is Good”s got nothing on that! Getting to work on the graphic.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Graphic, indeed… Ha!

  7. Nick says:
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    I’m a bit shocked that medlen didn’t sneak in there at the 19th or 20th spots.

    I understand that he had a shorter season, but the impact when he did pitch was greater than the season-long impact of some on this list IMHO.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      There’s no sneaking in anywhere… This is the top 20 for last year… It’s a recap post…

  8. Phil says:
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    How could you leave out your Atanta wonder boy?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Not sure how I could’ve put him in since this is a recap of 2012…

  9. TheNewGuy says:
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    Clayton Kershaw:

    Preseason Rank #2, 2012 Projections: 17-7/2.55/1.05/230, Final Numbers: 14-9/2.53/1.02/229

    Hows that for accuracy? You da man Grey!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Thanks, NG!

  10. Jon says:
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    What do people not get about a recap post? Haha. Cracks me up.

    • Vacation says:
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      @Jon, In fairness, I think Nick (#7) honestly expected Medlen to crack the top 20 player rater for 2012. I thought he had a shot too, and can’t wait to see where Grey projects him for next year, and if it will be higher than Minor, who is going to be awesome. That said, yeah, its super annoying that so many people don’t comprehend that its a recap.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, I’m not sure what I can do to clarify, but maybe Nick thought what Vacation said, not sure… Starting next week, there won’t be any confusion b/c it will be all about 2013 until next October…

  11. TheNewGuy says:
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    Lohse vs Cain…what a game 7 we have in store tonight.

    My money’s on the Giants, got their horse Cain on the mound, think he’ll really deliver tonight.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I like Cain and Giants too for tonight, and in the series (or the Cards)… I think it’s tough when a team stops playing for a few days to get back into the swing of things…

      • TheNewGuy says:
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        @Grey, Yep been a great series, 2 teams playing with heart and fight.

        Take note Yankees…

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, I think sometimes all it takes is a team to fight through a playoff series to be pumped up to win the World Series…

  12. royce! says:
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    A large asteroid just hit Hodgepadre Island…The Padres announced Monday that they’d bring the right field wall in 11 feet and shorten the distances from home plate to right center from 402 feet to 391 and from home to left-center from 402 feet to 390.

    Could be nice for Grandal and Yonder.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Long doubles just became off the top of the wall doubles! Seriously, aren’t those still really deep dimensions? Was there any comparison done where you read that?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I just went to this site:

          http://www.baseballfielddimensions.net/nl-stadium-dimensions/dodger-stadium-dimensions/

          If that site is accurate, Petco is now similarly sized to Dodger Stadium and Safeco, so it’s still a huge park… Now maybe the ball travels better in Petco than those other stadiums and those changes will make a big difference… Can’t hurt, that’s for sure… But I just don’t think it’ll suddenly be a huge difference… The Hodgepadre may not go the way of the dodo…

          • Jack Full of Hate says:
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            @Grey, I think it might help road hitters more than actual Padres. There really aren’t any power type hitters for the Padres so i think it’s still a wash. we would like to believe alonso was, but he never showed it on the road this year and Cincy as a sample is weak. Hodgepadre may not be as automatic, but is still going to be the norm. it’s not like these guys are garbage pitchers outside of Petco, they just aren’t sub 2.50 arms.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              From your first sentence, I thought you were gonna argue the Stockholm Syndrome is affecting the Padres hitters, which would be awesome… But, yeah, you might be right with what you said…. Metco moved in their fences and it did nothing really..Citi Field ranked 23rd overall this year for offense…

              • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                @Grey, I think you might be right, being a captive hitter for the padres is similar to stockholm syndrome. Knowing they only love the arms down there in bordertown and the trapped feeling that must overcome them knowing that no one wants you because baseball is ruled by numbers and as a rule, Padres hitters have no numbers. Abusive season after abusive season they stay around until some teams needs a utility bench bat and then you get a career of Puntoism. Gonzo being the obvious exception and headley not getting to breakout this year at the deadline, because he loves sub mediocre seasons. No, because he suffers from San Diego Syndrome a close relative to Stockholm syndrome.

                at least in Houston they let them free on a yearly basis.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Ha! Yeah, pretty much… All kidding aside, it’s gotta get in your head when your park plays like Yellowstone… Even if it’s not conscious… I like that, San Diego Syndrome… Padre hitters start to think they’re bad even when they’re not because of their surroundings… Carlos Quentin was overtaken by San Diego Syndrome last year…

                  • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                    @Grey, glad I could contribute

                  • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                    @Grey, could hitters defect from San Diego, like former Soviets. I can see the headline, Headly defects from San Diego on road trip to Colorado.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Ha… He put a mannequin in his hotel room bed and then the next time anyone saw him was in the morning staying on a different floor of the same hotel…

                    • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                      @Grey, I’m feeling a short film coming on, kinda like Moscow on the Hudson meets the baseball part of Bull Durham with the San Diego Syndrome as main theme going on throughout the 27 minutes.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Hahaha… Can Gene Hackman played the manager like a 70s thriller?

                    • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                      @Grey, only if he yell’s every line of dialogue

          • royce! says:
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            @Grey, Yeah, but I wouldn’t just start whatever mediocre pitcher that was pitching at Chavez Ravine.

            I do think that this could benefit the Padres, or at least the Padres designed it in a way that could benefit them. At least versus righties, the Padres have Headley, Alonso, Grandal, and Venable batting lefty, and the reduction should benefit lefties.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Yeah, I hear ya… Dodger Stadium is always a pitcher’s park though… I like what I saw from Alonso, Grandal and Headley last year, if it helps them, I’m all for it… Really no pitching in San Diego to get excited about anyway…

              • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                @Grey, Lubeke? Cashner?

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  You’re right, due to injuries I forgot about them… They didn’t have any pitching last year, but they could have it in 2013, you’re right…

                  • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                    @Grey, I see 14th round and back gold….potentially

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Definitely Cashner, Luebke might not be right until August…

                    • Steve says:
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                      @Grey, Maybe the Padres could try and turn Daniel Cabrera around.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Imagine Volquez and Cabrera on the same staff… The bullpen would close their factory under the stadium for good…

                    • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                      @Grey, I thought he was may

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      He’s due back around the ASB, so August conservatively…

                    • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                      @Grey, ah ha, i was wrong, so then its Lubeke for 2014 sleeper post

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Ha… Yup…

                    • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                      @Grey, when a player is a sleeper two seasons from now he can be a January-January Grey Sleeper Post. So next season when Chris Sale makes a visit to Dr. Andrews and won’t be relevant on draft day until 2015 then he will be a January- January Post.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Yeah, totally… Sale’s a pre-post-post sleeper…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Why are Zubaz so wonderful? Is it their playfulness? Their atrocious patterns? Their comfort?

      • Steve says:
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        @Grey, Not sure, for ‘wonderful’ is not a word I have previously associated with Zubaz pants.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Zubaz pants elastic waistband and oversized legs have plenty of room for many different adjectives…

          • Steve says:
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            @Grey, This is true. Lovers or haters, there’s something for everybody.

            The perfect pants!

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              I just had a once in a lifetime vision… Customizable Zubaz pants… Hmm, maybe they have these already… I want Razzbaz pants!

              • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                @Grey, would the sparky anklebiters leave an exposed ankle? like high waters

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Sparky Anklebiters could share one leg of a pant… Like a clown car, but with pants…

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Ha! So good… I agree with the article, they should’ve had a righty and lefty…

                    • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                      @Grey, I think I figured out broxtons problem, he’s so big that the strikezone seems small to him.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Need a Zubaz-sponsored strike zone…

                    • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                      @Grey, I’d be fine with a standard strikezone because these umps SUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Brandon Belt!

                    • Steve says:
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                      @Grey, Sure, now he does it. When it has zero fantasy relevance.

                      Round these parts we call that a flat-track bully.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      What’s the etymology behind that?

                    • Steve says:
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                      @Grey, Cricket. ‘Track’ is slang for pitch, which is the mown strip in the middle of the field that the game is played on.

                      When the ‘track’ is said to be ‘flat’ it is supposedly at its easiest for the batsman to bat on (the ball does not deviate off the pitch and comes through at a nice even height and pace – like a constant diet of fat ones down the middle I suppose) – but these are the only conditions under which certain players can dominate.

                      When conditions are tough, or when it really counts – they don’t.

                    • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                      @Steve, that is awesome! Glossary term

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Ah, very cool.. Gonna have to work that in somewhere…

  13. norbs says:
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    Finally getting around to reading the recaps – damn work getting in the way of life… Just want to say that after only drafting one SP in the first ten rounds of a 12 team weekly H2H last season, I managed to have four of these SP on my squad. Huge thanks for your wisdom (and wit) – while my offense seemed to take every other week off, your impact on my pitching staff carried me into the playoffs once again.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, there was a ton of pitching you could’ve grabbed off of waivers, which is the case every year….

  14. beardcrabs says:
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    You sir, are nasty… But i like your style SoN…

Comments are closed.