$12 Salads

You know that restaurant your girlfriend/wife/what-have-you likes to go to that charges, like, $12 for a salad? Every time you go there, you have a thoroughly solid meal. No complaints, except you just paid $12 for a salad when you could’ve went to McDonald’s and stuffed you and your woman for $10 schmools and had $2 in quarters left over to make the hotel bed vibrate. These closers are $12 salads.

1. Joe Nathan, MIN (Matt Guerrier, Dennys Reyes, Jesse Crain)
2. Jonathan Papelbon, BOS (Hideki Okajima)
3. Francisco Rodriguez, LAA (Scot Shields, Jose Arredondo, Justin Speier)
4. Mariano Rivera, NYY (Jose Veras, Damaso Marte)
5. Brad Lidge, PHI (Chad Durbin, Ryan Madson)
6. Joakim Soria, KAN (Ramon Ramirez)


Imagine you’re following a donkey, who’s wearing a wool cap, through a desert for 1700 miles. Why are you following a donkey? Because he promises you something wonderful and you just need to trust him. Does the donkey talk? Yes. Yes, he does talk. So when you and the donkey in the wool cap arrive at his destination he removes his the wool cap to reveal a horn. The donkey is a unicorn and his gift to you for your trust is saves. These closers are Donkey-corns.

7. Kevin Gregg, FLA (Renyel Pinto, Matt Lindstrom)
8. Francisco Cordero, CIN (Jared Burton, David Weathers)
9. Salomon Torres, MIL (Eric Gagne, Guillermo Mota)
10. Brian Wilson, SAN (Tyler Walker)
11. Brandon Lyon, ARI (Jon Rauch, Tony Pena, Chad Qualls)
12. Jonathan Broxton, LAD (Hong-Chih Kuo)
13. Jose Valverde, HOU (Doug Brocail)
14. George Sherrill, BAL (Fernando Cabrera/Jamie Walker/Jim Johnson)
15. Brian Fuentes, COL (Manny Corpas, Taylor Buchholz)
16. B.J. Ryan, TOR (Scott Downs)
17. Bobby Jenks, CHW (Octavio Dotel, Scott Linebrink, Matt Thornton)
18. Trevor Hoffman, SDG (Heath Bell)


I’m going to a picnic and I’m bringing apples, bananas and C.J. Wilson– Wait, he just gave up 12 earned runs and hit Kinsler in the head with a pickoff throw. Brain freeze! Make it stop! Use the following closers at your own risk.

19. Carlos Marmol/Kerry Wood, CHI (Bob Howry, Jeff Samardzija)
20. Billy Wagner, NYM (Eddie Kunz, Aaron Heilman, Duaner Sanchez)
21. Huston Street, OAK (Santiago Casilla, Brad Ziegler, Alan Embree, Joey Devine)
22. Troy Percival, TAM (Dan Wheeler, Grant Balfour, J.P. Howell, Al Reyes)
23. Mike Gonzalez, ATL (Rafael Soriano, Blaine Boyer, Will Ohman)
24. Brandon Morrow/J.J. Putz, SEA (Sean Green)
25. Fernando Rodney, DET (Kyle Farnsworth, Joel Zumaya)
26. Masa Kobayashi/Rafael Perez, CLE (Rafael Betancourt)
27. Chris Perez, STL (Kyle McClellan, Ryan Franklin)
28. Joel Hanrahan, WAS (Luis Ayala, Saul Rivera)
29. C.J. Wilson/Eddie Guardado, TEX (Joaquin Benoit)
30. Tyler Yates/John Grabow/Denny Bautista/Corky Thatcher, PIT

  1. BigFatHippo says:

    $12 salads indeed.

    I have one of each.

    Good stuff Grey but I’m thinkin you woke up with wakeNbake

  2. Baron Von Vulturewins says:

    re: Autodraft. IT WAS AN EXPERIMENT!

    re: Brain Freeze. Boy, it’s true, numbers 25 through the end really are barf salad. In a related story, I’m now carrying Izzy, Rodney and Guardado. This has been a weird year for closers.

    Thankfully, Soria has sped his way into the top tier — of my heart!

    I was just reading about the “controversy” over his nickname in the New York Freaking Times. The nickname: The Mexecutioner, which Soria apparently likes, and why not? Because IT’S AWESOME.

    Also, the name was coined by a KC blogger. There’s hope for PABST yet! Soon they’ll be selling damned stuffed rally monkeys in tiny jerseys with PABST on the back at Anaheim. Sponsored by the beer, of course. That’s synergy, kids!

    Also: Can I have Salamon Torres back now please? Hardy’s gone into one of his patented 0h-fer-138 slumps. Now riding my bench in favor of Jed Lowrie.

  3. royce! says:

    Man, what a strangely entertaining way to get your point across. I will forever think of Big Bad Jonathan Broxton as a unicorn. Did you know one traditional method of hunting unicorns involved entrapment by a virgin?

    Oops, just made it stranger.

  4. cruisinkc says:

    From Rotoworld:
    The Mets are planning on placing Billy Wagner on the disabled list with a strained left forearm.
    They’re trying to spin it as good news after an MRI showed no elbow damage, but the pain is obviously pretty close to the elbow and it’s bad enough to put Wagner on the DL when he’s been pitching through various ailments all year. Duaner Sanchez, Pedro Feliciano, Scott Schoeneweis, Aaron Heilman and maybe even Eddie Kunz will be candidates for saves with Wagner out. Sanchez is likely the best bet.


    According to the New York Daily News, Mets manager Jerry Manuel said Aaron Heilman will lead the Mets’ closer-by-committee while Billy Wagner is out.
    This even though Heilman has allowed seven runs and taken three losses in his last four appearances. He was pitching pretty well before that, but he’s still a hard guy to trust right now. Of course, he has to be picked up in NL-only leagues anyway.

  5. Steve says:

    @Grey: What’s happened to Leo Nunez in KC? Is he just not as good since coming back from injury. Guess I need to drop him for Ramirez…

  6. BigFatHippo says:


    Guess that makes Heilman a brain freeze. Or you might have to start a whole new category for Mets closers.

    I suggest Taco Farts

  7. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Steve: I wouldn’t drop him just because he didn’t make this list. The setup men are most likely to take over, you never know who steps in.

  8. Grey

    Grey says:

    @BigFatHippo: Taco Farts isn’t (aren’t?) bad. Maybe next time. This is an ever evolving methodology.

  9. JR says:

    ***Gio just got the call.

    Per San Francisco Chronicle

  10. Grey

    Grey says:

    @JR: Sweet! Thanks for the heads up.

  11. JR says:

    Rookie Nookie! Who’s got the Baron’s cell?

  12. Steve says:

    @Grey: Should have mentioned, I’m chasing Holds as well as potential closers and it seems that lately Ramirez and Mahay have got the call more often than Nunez.

  13. Grey

    Grey says:

    @JR: Just remember it’s a lot easier to take an 0-for-20 from a rookie hitter than a 8 ER pounding. Not saying I didn’t just pickup Gio, just use caution. There’s some leagues he’s available in and I didn’t pick him up.

    @Steve: Ah, gotcha.

  14. Joe Mauer (Min – C)
    Albert Pujols (StL – 1B)
    Garrett Atkins (Col – 1B,3B)
    Ryan Braun (Mil – 3B,OF)
    Matt Kemp (LAD – OF)
    Joel Hanrahan (Was – SP,RP)
    Scott Baker (Min – SP)
    A.J. Burnett (Tor – SP)
    Matt Cain (SF – SP)


    Iván Rodríguez (NYY – C)
    Adrián Béltre (Sea – 3B)
    Jermaine Dye (CWS – OF)
    Corey Hart (Mil – OF)
    J.J. Hardy (Mil – SS)
    Tim Lincecum (SF – SP)
    Ben Sheets (Mil – SP)
    Oliver Pérez (NYM – SP)

    who got the better of this trade?

  15. JR says:

    @Grey. Bien entendu.

  16. Grey

    Grey says:

    @kbrod187: Why didn’t you guys just swap log in names and passwords? The first team raped the 2nd team.

  17. @Grey: just to be sure i am getting this right…you would want the lincecum side of this trade?

    and would you trade lincecum and berkman for adrian gonzalez and jose reyes?

  18. Grey

    Grey says:

    @kbrod187: No, I want to be on the Pujols side of the trade and it’s not that close.

    I would trade Lincecum and Berkman for Adrian Gonzalez and Jose Reyes.

  19. Baron Von Vulturewins says:

    @Grey: I’m kind of lukewarm on Gio. He walks everyone in sight. Is he worth dropping Cueto for?

    @kbrod187: I think he means he wants the first package. I hope that’s what he means since it’s ten times better than the second package. If you started listing all these players in order of how good they are, you’d have about four players from the first list before you got to anyone from the second list.

    Pardon me for saying so, but any trade that involves more than six players in total (i.e. three-for-three) is a little goofy.

    ALSO: Razzeratti, what do you think of:

    Cole Hamels/Soria/Pence for Carlos Lee/Useful Schmo

    Basically it’s Hamels/Soria for Lee ’cause Lee takes Pence’s spot. I love the Mexecutioner but kind of figure, I’m second in saves, and I can limp to the finish riding the back of the four-legged barf dog that is Everydayeddieizzyrodneyheilman. No? You disagree? I’m going to murder my ratios, you say?

    I hears you.

  20. wakeNbake says:

    @Grey: Best bet for saves for the next couple of weeks…. Heilman ( Manuel indicated he would lead a closer by commitee), Rafael Perez or Kobayashi??

  21. BSA says:

    Braun or BJ UPton an upgrade over Markakis, Grandy, or Pence?

    If Bran or Upton can be had what caliber pitcher is a good value?

  22. Baron Von Vulturewins says:

    @Grey: I’m glad I was right about MegaTrade3000, because otherwise I’d worry that during the earthquake a piano fell on your head.

  23. BSA says:

    friggin typos – Braun not Bran

  24. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Baron Von Vulturewins: Nope, no piano. That trade’s pretty bad, hence my referring to it as a raping. I hope he hasn’t completed the trade yet.

    And it is a little goofy, that’s why I asked if log-in names were exchanged.

    ***Guys, don’t trade more than 6 players total ever.

    @Baron Von Vulturewins: Does Carlos Lee really put you over the top that much? I’d say a Lee for Hamels trade straight up would be fair.

    @wakeNbake: Kobayashi, Heilman, Perez, in that order. BTW, you were mentioned in the first comment on this post.

    @BSA: They’re both upgrades. Braun nets you CC, Peavy, etc. Upton nets you Hamels, Verlander, etc.

  25. BSA says:

    Sorry- mis-spoke
    I would be getting Upton or Braun. He wants a pitcher from me.
    The other guy offered Braun for Harden. Told him to chill because I am fishing for Alfonso with Harden.
    I am thinking of offering Alexei, Markakis and Harden for Braun and Upton.
    Then go to FA where he just dropped Nolasco.

  26. cool…i’m on the pujols side but the other guy wanted lincecum real bad for some reason and then as soon as the trade went through he traded lince/berk for reyes/gonzo trade…getting reyes from the #1 team and i wasn’t sure if he was selling his team to me to help out the #1 team

  27. wakeNbake says:

    @Grey: haha… missed that. You can join me in my morning “activities” anytime Grey.

    I got offered Pujols and Mike Lowell for Kinsler and Aramis… I think im losing a bit but I really want Albert. Kinsler is also slumping a little and what scares me about him is that he fell off late last year also. Also do you think Berkman breaks out of his slump because he is pissin me off.

  28. it was a little confusing to me too but i had to accept…thought the league would veto it for sure but it went through and now my team is absolutely stacked

  29. Grey

    Grey says:

    @BSA: Yeah, I’d want Braun and Upton there.

    @kbrod187: Phew. The 2nd trade seems okay. Yeah, I could see how your team would be stacked now. Also, I don’t believe in vetos, but for that walloper I would’ve made an exception. But you got the good end so can’t fault you.

    @wakeNbake: I figured you missed it. I want Kinsler/Aramis.

  30. Mike says:

    Berkman or Howard the rest of the way?

  31. C Joe Mauer
    1B Justin Morneau
    2B Robinson Canó
    3B Garrett Atkins
    SS Hanley Ramírez
    OF Ryan Braun
    OF Alfonso Soriano
    OF Carlos Beltrán
    Util Albert Pujols
    BN Nick Swisher
    BN Víctor Martínez
    BN Matt Kemp

    SP A.J. Burnett
    SP Scott Baker
    RP Huston Street
    RP Mariano Rivera
    P Joe Nathan
    P Brad Lidge
    P Joel Hanrahan
    P Matt Cain
    BN Brad Ziegler
    DL John Maine

    Now I have more starters on offense than I can start…what pieces should I move and what should I target (and I’m dropping swisher)

  32. yak says:

    Give Howard, B. Wilson, Torres..Get PABST,”Swervin Ervin”. My other pitchers are Hamels,Danks,MGonz,Rauch,Morrow,Baker,Bedard,Rodney. I need wins and periphs.

  33. Grey

    Grey says:

    @yak: Nah, I don’t like that. You can get better than Ervin.

  34. BigFatHippo says:

    @Grey: @wakeNbake:

    I didn’t miss it, can my alter ego (1985 Hippo) join you?

    Great post Grey, unicorns masquerading as donkeys, apples, bananas and CJ Wilsons.

    All we need now are stripeless zebras, the bearded man and huge midgets and we got ourselves Fred’s Circus, on the parking lot of the Piggly Wiggley.


    Wow, never seen that done before. What place are you in?

  35. I’m in 4th right now…plan on moving up…however, i recently received a message bitching me out for accepting that trade…the guy that offered it said it was a joke and that he was pissed that the first place guy f’ed him in another trade so he was trying to make a point (not sure what it is) and he is pissed that the league didn’t veto it and has since pulled all his players and put them on the bench in protest (he is in second place)

  36. BigFatHippo says:


    Then why would he offer it in the first place?

    If he’s trying to make a point, offer you something akin to the other side for all of your best players.

    He just cost himself 2nd place trying to make a stupid point.

    Call Bingo.

  37. Grey

    Grey says:

    @kbrod187: Sounds like a person you shouldn’t be playing with next year.

  38. Grey

    Grey says:

    *****This just in: Rodney’s out – Zumaya’s in. “If we have a lead in the ninth inning, that’s who will pitch,” Jim Leyland says.

  39. Baron Von Vulturewins says:

    @Grey: Thanks!

    Adios, Rodney. May we never meet again.

  40. Steve says:

    @Grey: As a Zumaya owner, I’ve gotta say I feel more nervous than excited.

  41. Baron Von Vulturewins says:

    @kbrod187: a) That guy should never be allowed in your league again, ever.

    b) That’s kind of hilarious. Great way to make a point. Too bad you just traded away your whole team.

    c) If I was commissioner of that league I’d seize his team immediately and redistribute the players to the rest of the league through a dispersal draft. Then I would make that guy sit on a red ant hill with honey all over his nads.

  42. Baron Von Vulturewins says:

    @Steve: Zumaya is Mariano Goose Rollie Sutter Fingers Smith compared to Rodney.

  43. Mike says:

    what looks like the better lineup to you guys?




  44. Denys says:

    So do I start Gio tomorrow. Or give him a ride on my bench and see how he flies?

  45. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Denys: Depends how much you need to watch your ratios. I’m starting him in a 15 team league. It’s the Jays, for crissakes.

  46. BigFatHippo says:


    I wouldn’t start him, better see how wild he is first.

    What do you think, start Lowe tomorrow @ STL?

    I’m leaning towards no.

  47. Steve says:

    @Grey: If Leo Nunez is on in the 6th with KC down 3-1, I think we can assume he’s not the setup guy anymore.

  48. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Steve: It’s the time difference from KC to New Zealand. Just looks like the sixth.

  49. Steve says:

    @Grey: Maybe so, but the two runs he gave up are the same wherever you are. I’m dropping him as of now.

    And that’s 2.12pm NZ time.

  50. Denys says:

    @Grey: @BigFatHippo: I’m gonna give him a roll of the dice only because I like his Ks potential and the guy I’m playing this week has a good total in that category on the season. I wouldn’t mind 7-9 Ks but I think 5 is a pretty reasonable expectation.

    Plus Grey you know my starters situation. Everyone’s hurt. I better use him at least this week.

  51. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Steve: He hurt one of my teams too. Happy now?

  52. Steve says:

    @Grey: Your misfortune never makes me happy, Grey. However, the pain I feel at your distress is eased somewhat by my having Leo sitting on my bench.

  53. BigFatHippo says:


    I can understand your reasoning, but remember this.

    Major league hitters lay off a breaking ball out of the zone, minor leaguers swing at everything.

    That being said, don’t know how many Major League hitters are in that Jays lineup. 6 of one, half a dozen of the other.

    Again I ask, start Lowe tomorrow @ STL?

  54. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Steve: Bastage!

    @BigFatHippo: Gio’s stuff is better than Lowe, the Cards are better than the Cards, do you see where this is going? Honestly, I would start both of them. Unless, of course, it was an 8 team league.

  55. Denys says:

    @BigFatHippo: Billingsley seems to be doing alright against them so far. But I have no idea about Lowe…

  56. BigFatHippo says:


    10 team league and I’m +22, trying to weed some of these innings out. I’ll go with my gut and say the Cards rip Lowe tomorrow.

    Couple of rain delays in St Louis tonight so don’t know how Bills vs. Carp would have worked out. They’re both out of the game.

    I hate rain delays.

    Gio? Hmmmm

    Don’t say I didn’t warn you.*

    * Fearless prediction on my part.

  57. Steve says:

    Interesting (OK it’s not but you know what I mean). Corpas on in the 8th in a tied game…

    Has he overtaken Buchholz?

  58. Baron Von Vulturewins says:

    @BSA: That trade offer still sucked bone.

    I’m tempted to post it here, but I won’t, as a gentlemanly gesture to you.

  59. BigFatHippo says:

    @Baron Von Vulturewins:

    Let us be the judge of that.

    Summerdog, make your case.

    BVV, tell us how bad it was.

  60. Baron Von Vulturewins says:

    @BigFatHippo: No seriously, I can’t. What happens in the email inboxes of the RCL stays in the blah blah blah.

    I will say it involved BJ Upton. For Joel Zumaya. And another player in addition to Zumaya.

    See if you can guess the identity of Player X. (No, suckier. No, suckier. Even suckier.)

  61. Baron Von Vulturewins says:

    Ye gods! Guardado is going for a save against the Yankees AS WE SPEAK! And Izzy’s coming in for the 9th!

    I can’t look! I can’t look!

  62. Steve says:

    Anyone picking up Raul Ibanez?

  63. BSA says:

    @Baron Von Vulturewins: HA! I knew. I also know Zumaya will work out to be pretty valuable.
    Plus I know Upton has struggled, just didn’t get his value until I posted earlier and Grey told me what he should be worth.

    Wolf and Carmona have me scratching my head. I’d rather move ’em then keep wondering what to do with them.

    Ah shut up – I just read your feeble attempt at “what happens in RCL, blah, blah, blah….

    Wolf/Zumaya for Upton
    BVV wants Billingsley or Beckett plus
    I responded I would think Beckett plus my ass.

    No need for input because as BVV so eloquently put it, “What happens in the email inboxes of the RCL stays in the blah blah blah.”

    and Hippo, put that pot stirring stick back in the corner with my team’s bats. They haven’t used them all night and you don’t need to start now.

  64. BSA says:

    Different league, different note.
    Hey, what type of pitcher is McLouth worth?

  65. Love the read! $12 salads…has to be my new favorite term!

  66. Grey

    Grey says:

    @BSA: Hamels, Verlander, etc.

    Everyone else, if I missed someone, just point me to the comment number. I’m writing tomorrow’s roundup. Thank you.

  67. Mike says:

    @Grey: what 2B/3B combo do you like more for the rest of the season… Phillips/Mark Reynolds or Kendrick/Chipper Jones ?

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