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How’s everyone holding up without baseball every day?  I don’t know what to do with myself!  Yesterday, I wandered into a Starbucks and told the coffeerista about Billy Butler for 2010.  She told me where to find Manic Panic hair dye so I could dye my roots blue (which is a great gospel group, but stick to My Roots Blue’s first two albums).  We’ve gone over the final 2009 fantasy baseball rankings for hitters and the top 20 starters.  Anyway, here’s the top 40 starters for 2009 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

21. Jered Weaver – Is it me or does he look like a guy whose talent should be blowing snot rockets further than anyone else? Weaver struggled a bit vs. lefties last year (.276 BAA) and in the latter half of the year (Post-All-Star Break 4.47 ERA).  Preseason Rank #37, 2009 Projections:  14-9/3.75/1.25/160, Final Numbers:  16-8/3.75/1.24/174

22. Joel Pineiro – Unranked in 2009 and will probably be unranked again in 2010.  105 Ks; blech!  I’m sure I can think of at least 40 starters I’d prefer over a thirty-one year old pitcher with around a 4 K/9 who was entering their walk year.  He should donate a third of his next year’s salary to Dave Duncan’s favorite charity, Feed The Children, Namely Chris and Shelley.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  15-12/3.49/1.14/105

23. Clayton Kershaw – There’s nothing I love more than a pitcher who might be undervalued because of bad Win Karma.  He only won 8 games, bleh! Bleh, yourself.  Don’t worry about wins.  Almost as exciting as watching people avoid pitchers based on a low win total is watching people draft starters because they won a lot of games.  Pitfall, Harry!  Preseason Rank #47, 2009 Projections:  11-6/4.20/1.40/140, Final Numbers:  8-8/2.79/1.23/185

24. Johan Santana – Some may write it off as just one of those years for the Mets.  Saying they had the inverse Midas touch like anyone from a reality show in anything other than a reality show.  Unfortunately, Johan’s K/9 continued to fall in 2009, his walks rose, his BAA and WHIP went up.  Preseason Rank #1, 2009 Projections:  18-6/2.95/1.12/210, Final Numbers:  13-9/3.13/1.21/146

25. Edwin Jackson – A 2.52 ERA before the All-Star Game vs. a 5.07 ERA after.  February Grey is going to have to put on his aluminum foil hat to figure out if Jackson was simply a fluke in the first half or if he finally reached his potential only to then lose it again.  Preseason Rank #70, 2009 Projections:  11-9/4.50/1.50/120, Final Numbers:  13-9/3.62/1.26/161

26. Yovani Gallardo – Here’s another guy that had some ugly first and 2nd half splits.  On July 30th, Gallardo had an ERA of 3.13.  That was followed by August and September ERAs of 5.24 and 5.51 respectively.  The Brewers tried to limit his innings towards the end of the year, obviously they should’ve shut him down on July 30th.  By the time they did shut him down, I think it might have been just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.  I’m pretty sure I’m avoiding him next year.  Preseason Rank #33, 2009 Projections:  12-6/3.50/1.25/150, Final Numbers:  13-12/3.73/1.31/204

27. J.A. Happ – Happ confounded me.  Confounded I tell ya!  He really didn’t seem like he should’ve been as good as he was.  Remember, Rudy said he dropped Happ in his NL-Only league?  That wasn’t just Rudy coming off an all night bender or reading misinformed tea leaves.  Happ just doesn’t seem like he should’ve been as good as he was.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  12-4/2.93/1.23/119

28. Scott Baker – Here’s someone who actually got their shizz together as the season progressed, dropping his ERA by over two full runs in the 2nd half.  He did get hit pretty soundly by righties, which, frankly, is not terrific.  Preseason Rank #52, 2009 Projections:  12-6/3.95/1.22/150, Final Numbers:  15-9/4.37/1.19/162

29. Bronson Arroyo – Talking about someone who got their act together in the 2nd half, Arroyo wasn’t ownable in the 1st half (5.38 ERA).  In the last three years, he now has a pre-All-Star Break ERA of 5.39 and a post-All-Star Break of 3.06.  Guess who’s going to be a buy on July 1st, 2010.  Preseason Rank #63, 2009 Projections:  12-10/4.25/1.40/150, Final Numbers:  15-13/3.84/1.27/127

30. Tommy Hanson – For fear of a roofie, I didn’t own Hanson in any league.  Turned out Hanson was not only ready to make the jump t0 the big leagues, but he was ready to dominate.  He didn’t even tire as the season went on, putting up a great month of September and a solid final start of the season.  For Hanson, it was mmmbop, indeed.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  11-4/2.89/1.18/116

31. John Danks – At 41, I ranked Danks a lot higher in the preseason than most ‘perts because I saw something in Danks.  What I didn’t see was a pitcher whose homers, walks and luck would go up.  It was a mirage of a season in 2009. Preseason Rank #41, 2009 Projections:  14-10/3.90/1.28/160, Final Numbers:  13-11/3.77/1.28/149

32. Ryan Dempster – I just hate pitchers two years after they go from relieving to starting.  My rationale is they’re rested the year after relieving so they’ll pitch better than expected, while two years after they’ll pitch tired from being stretched out the previous year.  Didn’t seem to bother Dempster, but it still hasn’t swayed me otherwise.  Preseason Rank #45, 2009 Projections:  9-7/4.50/1.35/120, Final Numbers:  11-9/3.65/1.31/172

33. Randy Wells – Unlike what we saw with Hanson, here’s a rookie pitcher that did seem to tire as the season progressed.  Not to the point where he was unusable, but it was still there.  His WHIP (1.65 in September) started to move towards his minor league numbers with his BAA at .311.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  12-10/3.05/1.28/104

34. Gavin Floyd – Last year, I was wrong about Floyd as I said in the preseason, “Everything from last year points to him having more luck than stuff.  In fact, CHONE’s projections for 2009 has Floyd at a 5.05 ERA.”  And that’s me quoting me quoting CHONE!  Yeah, CHONE wasn’t the only one.  Wasn’t much to get excited about with Floyd.  His 2008 looked like an outlier.  In 2008, his FIP was 4.77 to a 3.84 ERA. Then, this year, his FIP was 3.77 to a 4.06 ERA.  What do you know, Floyd’s playing with us.  Preseason Rank #56, 2009 Projections:  12-11/4.50/1.32/140, Final Numbers:  11-11/4.06/1.23/163

35. Scott Feldman – There wasn’t any point this season when I would’ve picked up Feldman.  His value is coming mostly from great Win Karma.  Commenter, “Grey you said you needed wins in a few of your leagues, so shouldn’t you have picked up Feldman?”  Grey, “Um, yeah, I guess, technically, durrrrrrr.”  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  17-8/4.08/1.28/113

36. Matt Garza – I liked Garza in the preseason but didn’t end up with him on any team, because as is my wont — it’s my wont, ya’ll! — when choosing between two pitchers, I take the NL one first.  So Garza got passed up for the likes of Cain, Josh Johnson and/or The Wandwagon. Preseason Rank #38, 2009 Projections:  14-10/3.50/1.25/140, Final Numbers:  8-12/3.95/1.26/189

37. Chad Billingsley – Bust!  I saw a much better season coming from this schmohawk.  Guess this teaches us a very valuable lesson, don’t ignore Verducci.  I will love Billingsley again next year.  Major bounce back coming.  Preseason Rank #13, 2009 Projections:  16-6/3.35/1.33/200, Final Numbers:  12-11/4.03/1.32/179

38. Jorge de la Rosa – I may not have ranked him the preseason, but, as it turned out, you didn’t want to draft him in March anyway (5.21 ERA pre-All-Star Break).  I did plead with you like a bittie in the BK Lounge to pick him up in the middle of the season when you should’ve picked him up, so we’re good.   Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  16-9/4.38/1.38/193

39. Mark Buehrle – Hmm… Even the month he pitched his perfect game, he only had an ERA of 3.92.  Usual shizz with Buehrle, not great, not terrible.  Preseason Rank #82, 2009 Projections:  13-10/4.00/1.35/120, Final Numbers:  13-10/3.84/1.25/105

40. A.J. Burnett – I had serious doubts about Burnett putting together back-to-back seasons of 200 innings since he had never done it before in his career.  Congrats, Burnett, now go tug on your ear.  Preseason Rank #26, 2009 Projections:  13-9/4.15/1.30/140, Final Numbers:  13-9/4.04/1.40/195

  1. Tony says:
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    in my fantasy world JOHAN is done, his name is still going to command AT LEAST a 3rd round pick, but his value is no where near. Sure he could bounce back, but do you wanna bet your 3rd round pick on it? I’d much rather take some kershaws and hansons in the 8th is round on and maybe one solid guy in the 7th and work my staff that way, JOHAN IS DEAD TO ME…. so now i am sure johan goes about 21-3 next year and has his best season ever….

  2. big o says:
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    one of these bums was on a re-hab assignment in lowell , making 4 million / year .
    walked up to a 10 $$ crap game , and whined ,
    when the supervisor wouldn’t let him play for 5 $$ .

  3. Critter Nagurski says:
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    1) Colleen Haskell worked wonders for The Animal. Only redeeming part of that movie.

    2) As a Phillies fan I want to see JA Happ do well but he just doesn’t have it. I hope the organization sees that and doesn’t try to make him a #3 starter. .158 BAA with runners in scoring position and .212 with runners on. Un. Sustainable. Wheels started to come off in September and luckily for his stats the season ran out. I’ll be happy to pass on him next year.

    3) I paid money for two starters this year and one was Billingsley. So disconcerted by his 2nd half. Scary that his control actually got a little worse after last year. I was expecting significant improvement this year and it never came… blech

  4. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Tony: Ha, could happen, but I wouldn’t risk a pick on the chances.

    @Critter Nagurski: Totally agree with your three points, not sure where the first one came from. Because of Bills’ 2nd half this year, he’ll have a better year next year.

  5. Scott says:
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    Ian Stewart (qualifies at 2B and 3B) or Manny for next year only? Thanks.

  6. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Scott: I’d go with Manny, if nothing else then to just trade him.

  7. Tony says:
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    are some of you guys that high on ian stewart? i mean i see the eligibility, i see the power, but such a low average…. we’re not talking mark reynolds ish type guy are we?

  8. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Tony: I like Stewart. 25/7 at the age of 24 with 2nd base eligibility is hard to argue with. If he can hit as high as .260, he could be very valuable and .260 isn’t that big of a stretch.

  9. Andrew says:
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    Grey walks into a coffee shop-

    Barrista: what can I get for you?

    Grey: don’t know, but if you get me something tasty, i’ll tell you about my Big Donkey fantasy!

    Barrista: uhhhh, big donkey???

    Grey: oh. uh. sorry. just this kid i’ve got a thing for. he’s got a big bat!

    Barrista: (inaudible)

    Grey: gospel songs? awesome!

    Barrista: sir, you’re wasting time. either order or leave.

    Grey: but i’m not done talking about fantasy!

    Barrista: please leave

    Grey: mannnn, you’re worse than being roofied and tied to the WHIPping post

    eh…. C-

    i just wanted to use the phrase [grey's] big donkey fantasy

  10. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Andrew: Everyone should use that phrase at least once in life.

  11. Andrew says:
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    agreed

    as far as ian stewart goes,

    hardball times’ qxbabip tool has his 2009 expected babip at .330, whereas his actual 2009 babip was only .275

    if we use this number to adjust his 2009 average, it comes out to a .262 average. so no, .260 isn’t that big of a stretch at all.

    i could see his HR/FB% dropping, but even if it does, i’d expect him to get more than 491 PAs next year. otherwise, i don’t really see anything in his statistical profile that suggests negative regression.

    even if you think the .330 babip looks too high to you, his value will very likely go up over his 2009 stats.

    further, none of these stats account for the possibility that stewart further develops his skills in his age 25 season.

    i wouldn’t be surprised if, at some point in the future, stewart is christened the mini-mini-donkey, or something along those lines.

    and damn… i’m pretty sure i just convinced myself to go out and trade for him in my dynasty league

  12. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Andrew: Yup, agreed. He’ll be on my sleeper list next year, then probably he’ll be an avoid in 2011.

  13. Steve says:
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    Just shows how important timing is when adding and dropping. Pineiro is a great example – if you got it right with him, you got some great numbers out of him while you had him.

  14. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: True, but you were probably a relative of Pineiro if you owned him from April to June. By the time people were starting to come around on him, he wasn’t pitching well anymore.

  15. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Indeed – was the middle of July before I got around to grabbing him. Had some good times, but he was definitely coming down the other side by then.

  16. Bob says:
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    No John Lackey in the Top 40? I think I’d take Lackey before a lot of the pitchers in your Top 40. He looked pretty dominating in the W.S. until he got squeezed by that crappy ump.

    Based on that, I’m guessing that you think it would be a bad idea for the Angels to re-sign him.

  17. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Bob: This is the top 40 for last year, not 2010. This is a recap.

  18. Bob says:
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    @Grey: Sorry, still jet-lagged from my European nightmare vacation. Got sick, missed connections, etc. Anyway, I enjoyed reading all of what I now understand as your recaps by position for 2009.

    Finally, you really are on top of it. A four-minute response time off-season. You are so totally the man. I won every league (except one) I was in this year and I totally owe it to you. (I went to town on Adam Wainwright, for example, thanks to you). I am so gay for you (in the fantasy baseball sense only) I can’t believe it.

    I can’t wait for next season to start already.

  19. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Bob: No worries, glad you did well in (almost) all of your leagues. Sorry to hear about your nightmare vacation. Teach you to not be a xenophobe.

  20. big o says:
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    @Grey:
    so , i’m flippin’ thru the channels
    and i land upon “the bare midriff” episode of curb your enthusiasm .
    right before the guy gets bludgeoned to death with a tire iron ,
    he uses the term schmohawk .

    is this where your glossary term originated ??

  21. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @big o: Yeah, he yells it at people when he’s driving.

  22. big o says:
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    am going to work this morning ,
    fully confident , that when i return ,
    i will witness c.c getting torched
    for 4 runs , in the 1st inning !!

    after the initial loss ,
    the yankees will go on to capture the world series title ,
    but not before many fans from both cities
    make complete fools of themselves ,
    leaving taxpayers to cover the costs .

  23. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @big o: Yankee and Phillies fans acting the fool? No way!

  24. big o says:
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    @Grey:
    i wish i could provide the link (you tube ?).
    a few days ago , when phillies clinched the pennant ,
    guys climbing up onto the street lights ,
    and the crowd below , throwing cans of beer at them ,
    and trying to hit them with bottle rockets / roman candles

  25. Andrew says:
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    @big o

    i saw something about that, and how the police were greasing the streetlights so that they’d be difficult to climb

  26. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Andrew: I believe Yogi Berra might be under three feet tall.

  27. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: They had to shorten the fences in new Yankee Stadium…………….what with Yogi getting smaller all the time…………………

  28. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Hehe… I might’ve saw it wrong, but I could’ve sworn I saw Yogi hop out of Michelle Obama’s pocket.

  29. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: I got the Phils in 6, Margarita on it?

  30. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: Yanks win, I send you a Margarita the same size as the Pina Colada.

    Phils win you send me a housewarming gift of the same size.

    Deal?

  31. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Deal, a gift the size of Yogi Berra. How’s the new house? You still a wacky, lady killer roommate?

  32. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: Ha!

    No roomie, the old roomie, Donnie, was up last weekend, we got hammered at a local bar and he brought a 40 year old hairdresser with MS home and well, you know the rest…………..

    The more things change, the more they stay the same!

  33. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: If I had a dollar for every time I brought home a 40 year old hairdresser with MS, I’d be flat broke. So you move into a house or new apartment?

  34. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: Bought a condo in the French Quarter, I’m too lazy to take care of a house………..

    Pretty sweet life, 100 bucks a month for the association fee covers insurance, groundskeeping and outside building maintenance. I don’t have to do shit but take the trash out…………..(might pay some kid $5 to do that on a regular basis).

  35. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Nice! Congrats! Pardon my ignorance, is the French Quarter in Louie anything like the French Quarter in Orleans?

  36. Lee looks great.

  37. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Elijah: Yeah, but when are they gonna do Accordion Hero?

  38. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: Thanks!

    French Quarter in Belleville. Just across the river on the Illinois side. Nothing like Nah’leans, sad to say, but downtown is cool. Drank Jamison and Irish car bombs all night at an Irish pub the other night………

    Needless to say……..100% better than The Bootheel!

  39. BigFatHippo says:
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    Utley!!!!!

    My man!

  40. BigFatHippo says:
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    Mind if we dance wit your dates?…………..

  41. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Elijah: Haha!

  42. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Cool… Anything’s gotta be better than The Boot, right? My team is obviously the Yanks, but I love Utley. Probably my favorite player.

  43. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Elijah: Ha! That’s one way to turn a polka party out.

  44. @Grey:

    I like the included sticker package. Nothing pimps out your toy accordion like a couple of flaming skull decals.

  45. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Elijah: I would’ve went with an old lady’s housedress sticker.

  46. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: Tijuana might not be better, nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there……………..

    re; Utley…..better at his position than any other player by leaps and bounds………

  47. Utley’s one of the few guys from my Fantasy team I’m still gunning for just beacause he roools. You might even say I’m kinda gay for him.

  48. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: True. Are you closer to work in the new place?

  49. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Elijah: You like the way he greases his hair, it’s cool.

  50. @Grey:

    Dapper Dan special.

  51. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Elijah: Easy now, you might have to turn in your man-card………….

  52. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Elijah: @BigFatHippo: I know what you’re thinking, too bad it’s not an ad with Chris Farley and a dead David Spade.

  53. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: 10 miles from work, takes me 20 minutes in the morning cause I’m the only one on the road. Not much stirring at 4:30, I beat all the Air Force guys to the base!

  54. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: Ha!

    Man, I miss that guy!

  55. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: I was casting this thing and his brother came in. Was the saddest thing I ever saw. Trying to be funny, looking just like his dead brother. Just sad.

  56. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: Not a good actor?

    Didn’t know he had a brother, but that’s gotta be a tough gig huh?

  57. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Google Kevin Farley and look at images. Very tough gig for him.

  58. Critter Nagurski says:
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    haha. I was responding to this: “Saying they had the inverse Midas touch like anyone from a reality show in anything other than a reality show.”

  59. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: Sad indeed……..

    I look just like my brother James Dean, that’s been really tough to live up to……..the Cougars are wearing me out!

  60. Steve says:
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    @BigFatHippo: How’s the game look on that new TV, big fella?

    @Grey: @Elijah: There are two definitions of a gentleman.

    1. A man who knows how to play the accordiion.

    2. A man who knows how to play the accordion. But doesn’t.

    Sorry I’m late – been out joining a golf club.

  61. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: The breakfast sausage guy?

    @Steve: Take off the plaid pants and settle in.

  62. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: Seriously though, my buddy from San Diego used to live in Chicago. Told me he met Farley in a bar doing coke with a Blackhawks player (I won’t say who) in Chris Chelios’ bar at 3 am.

    Said he was a cool guy, but really wasted………

  63. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: That’ll get you five minutes for high sticking.

  64. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Steve: Sweet and congrats!

    I’d join the St. Clair CC myself but it’s 10 grand a year………no thanks.

  65. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: Nice!

    Steve just got a new house too by the way, think it’s made out of sticks and mud in Zealand though………..

  66. Steve says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Pity – it looks pretty nice. Now we know why.

    I pay $430 (USD) and I can play as often as I like after 3.30pm any day except Saturday. If I want to play before 3.30 I just pay a little extra fee.

  67. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Steve: That’s awesome, we need a place around here like that.

  68. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: I think I heard you got a new house, congrats either way. $430 for what? The year? That’s insane.

  69. BigFatHippo says:
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    Utleyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  70. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: He must feel at home in Yankee Stadium. Flick of the wrist, homer.

  71. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Steve: The reef tank is lookin sweet, got a huge carpet amemone today, several crabs, shrimps, lots of snails, a clownfish and mushroom coral.

    Can’t put anymore fish in for a week or so, but then I’ll get a Mandarin Dragonet and a blue tang…………..

  72. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: Sadly, he’ll be a Yankee in 3 years………..

  73. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Yeah, it’s $430 for the year. New Zealand is a very cheap place to play golf. Full membership of this course is $375 to join and just over $1100 per year so still pretty good.

    Elsewhere, I don’t see Rollins in that Hammer vid.

    @BigFatHippo: Most of the contents of that tank sound like a delicious dinner to me.

  74. Steve says:
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    Don’t know if you’re seeing what I’m seeing, but what the hell were those guys doing on the infield?

  75. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Guess when you figure it costs so much to fly to New Zealand the price doesn’t seem as affordable. Yeah, I never saw him either, but that Addams video is supposedly the one.

  76. Steve says:
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    What does a return flight LA-Auckland cost, out of interest? And, no, the ‘New Zealand Airways’ you saw in the series finale of Entourage this season doesn’t actually exist, so don’t check with them.

  77. @Steve:

    Eh, about $1000 US, give or take.

  78. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: About $1500.

  79. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Steve: Trust me, you do not want to eat my big crab. His claws are an inch wide…………..okay, you could boil him and eat him with a nice sauce, but that would just be wrong……………..

    How bout Cliff Lee??????????

  80. Steve says:
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    @Grey: @Elijah: 1670 USD return to LA for me if I left tomorrow.

  81. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: What’s the money exchange like?

  82. Steve says:
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    @BigFatHippo: The correction, when it does come, is going to be MAJOR.

  83. @Steve:

    Depends on the season of course. It’s much more during your summer/our winter.

  84. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: I think that chick that was singing just flew into Scott AFB and bought tires off me the other day.

  85. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Ha! And your old roommate tried to sleep with her.

  86. I let Lee go the distance here. Getting game 1 is just too valuable to risk that bullpen coming in.

  87. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Elijah: I hope you just jinxed him.

  88. Steve says:
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    @Grey: We get 72 of your cents for one of our dollars, you get about 1.42 of ours for one of yours. Pretty good for both of us I guess.

    @Elijah: Indeed.

  89. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Is that recent because of our economy or has it been like that for a while?

  90. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: If he wanted to he would, it’s unreal.

    He should go to Hollywood and hit on the flavor of the month. Guarantee he’d sleep with em all……….

  91. Steve says:
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    @Grey: I don’t understand this shizz at all, but I think it’s a combination of the US dollar being relatively weak recently (Fed’s been pumping more money into the economy and there’s a bit of uncertainty over the USD’s status as the world’s top reserve currency) and the NZ dollar being in quite high demand.

    Or so my five minutes’ of research tells me.

  92. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: A+ work. Pick up your take home exam on the way out. Yeah, I was just wondering if NZ’s been that high for a while. No big deal, was just curious.

  93. Steve says:
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    @Grey: No worries – I find that stuff interesting, I just wish I understood it a bit better!

    We’re a high-risk, high reward currency I think.

  94. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: I don’t claim to understand it fully, but it’s interesting a small nation like NZ has such a high exchange. You’re like Luxembourg of the South Seas! <– You should totally get that bumper sticker made.

  95. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: Ha!

    “The house was a disaster” sounds familiar…………

    His bedroom hasn’t been cleaned in years, yet they still sleep with him no matter how classy they are. Black or white, Hispanic, asian, married, divorced, separated, whatever, it matters none.

    If you know those guys who do the Pickup Artist thing on MTV, send me an e-mail, they’d love Donnie, he’d make their show……………

  96. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Donnie is such a perfect name too. Donnie Broads Co.

  97. The general economic-political situation in the East pacific is getting rather interesting, with Japan showing strong signs of wanting to shed its long lapdog status with regards to the US and pushing towards an East Asian Economic Union that doesn’t include the US but does include longtime enemy China. Its not a new idea for them but before WWII they envisioned themselves as the ruling elite, now clearly it would be a more equal spread. A Chinese-Indian-Japan alliance, perhaps with Indonesia and a few other smaller countries could soon be the biggest economic power bloc in the world.

  98. Wow. Its just the Phillies nite tonite.

  99. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Elijah: It makes sense that Japan would want to go that route. They might not be the ruling elite in regards to China anymore, but I feel like they would still be the front man in the equation.

  100. Steve says:
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    @Elijah: That would be a heavyweight collection of economies, to be sure.

    @Grey: We are one of the 12 most-traded currencies, apparently. We also generally have interest rates that are attarctive to offshore investors. The official cash rate (is set by our Reserve Bank and is the main yardstick) is currently 2.5% in the wake of the recession, but it normally bounces around between 5 and 9 percent.

    I’ll stop now as I’m espousing stuff I don’t know enough about!

  101. @Grey:

    Which I imagine is the primary reason (other than our economic instability due to massive debt) they don’t want the US involved, raises their status and the all-important “face”. Then you have countries like Australia and Singapore that would prefer a full Pacific Rim Union with US at the head.

  102. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Interesting, I had no idea.

    @Elijah: Be fascinating if it were Japan and China working together like that. In some ways China would still be 2nd fiddle. Can’t get out of the shadow. Even if it dwarfs the others.

  103. @Grey:

    China has an advantage over the democracies in that it can really envision and implement long term strategic plans. If they have a plan, and their experts come back and say, “Yes we can do that, but it will take 20 years.” its not a problem, if anything they prefer to wait quietly until all their plans come to fruit, its part of the culture. Those sorts of missions are almost impossible in the US, there’s no short-term political gain, and the architects would of course be long gone before the plan could be completed, not to mention long term plans are not as well suited to our general psychology.

  104. They let Lee go the distance, someone’s listening to me, heh.

  105. Sounds odd to say it at the time, but that was a potentially legendary start for Lee, to shut down the Empire in their house Game 1.

  106. Steve says:
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    @Elijah: I think most of us here were happy to go along with Grey’s pre-season assessment that Lee’s season last year was something of an outlier and he was due for a correction, but credit where credit’s due, he’s putting on a pretty impressive show.

  107. @Steve:

    Its an odd ‘career arc’ but some lefties seem to ‘zone in’ much later than the typical starting pitchers arc. Jamie Moyer, late bloomer. Randy Johnson, late bloomer. Sandy Koufax, late bloomer…maybe Cliff Lee, late bloomer?!

  108. @Steve:

    Roaming over to Baseball.reference to see what happened to Grey, I notice Lee ‘broke out’ in his 5th full season, Koufax about the same, Johnson about the same, Moyer somewhat later. Lee didnt make the majors til later, but otherwise theres some correlation there.

  109. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Elijah: @Steve: Lee did garner Cy Young votes back in ’05. So it’s not completely uncharted territory. He still seems like a 3.50 ERA pitcher to me more than a 2.50 like he was in his Cy Young year. A very good pitcher, but not a great one.

    @big o: Nice.

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