It started with a simple email.  Hey Grey and Rudy, wouldn’t it be cool if someone wrote about the top pitchers broken down by month?  And within those months, to evaluate with and without wins to ascertain who pitched well and gave good value vs. who pitched for a 90 win club and had a 4-0 month?  Response was a resounding yes, of course.  And of course, it was my own damn fault for having such a good idea because now I’m here giving you offseason content prior to January.  Clearly the time that everyone is reading about fantasy baseball.  Oh well, let’s get to it.  Here’s a look back at April’s pitching to see if it holds any keys going forward to 2015 fantasy baseball:

Overview:

So what the heck am I looking at, you might ask yourself.  Well, unfortunately, the names I gave those secondary columns just won’t cut through so I gotta give you some breakdown.  The first column labelled simply ‘$’ is Rudy’s formula for evaluating streamers.  I can’t share the secret formula, though I have been told if used in the kitchen it makes some great baked beans.  The column to its immediate right is what I simply called ‘Minus Wins.’  It’s Rudy’s numbers minus the impact of wins on their value.  Clearly it knocks a few bucks off the top for everyone, but it does go to show whether a guy pitched well or if it was the wins that pushed them through the gate.  The third and final column is ‘Win Value Difference.’  This is simply to show the separation between their value when counting wins vs their inherent value without them.  Some are drastic, some are not and some may be misleading.  Also notice the spreadsheet itself has two different tabs to peruse: ‘April With Wins’ and ‘April W/out Wins.’  I don’t think this needs further explanation.  If it does, please refer to Appendix I-IV.  Hint:  there is no appendix.

First Impressions:

Preseason Top 20 Pitchers for 2014 Fantasy Baseball in the top 25 for April with wins: Adam Wainwright, Zack Greinke, Jose Fernandez, Max Scherzer, Julio Teheran, Felix Hernandez – Six Total

Preseason Top 20 Pitchers for 2014 Fantasy Baseball in the top 25 for April without wins: Adam Wainwright, Zack Greinke, Jose Fernandez, Max Scherzer, Julio Teheran, Felix Hernandez, Cliff Lee – Seven Total

Largest Positive Win Value Difference: Zack Greinke (15.7)

Largest Negative Win Value Difference: Jason Vargas (-6.8)

Pitchers outside top 25 without win category: Collin McHugh, Dan Haren, Lance Lynn, Ervin Santana, Sonny Gray

Pitchers inside top 25 without win category: Nate Eovaldi, Jason Vargas, Cliff Lee, Alex Wood, Michael Wacha, Ian Kennedy

Not overly obvious free agent pitching pickups from the lists: Nathan Eovaldi, Jason Vargas, Collin McHugh, Kyle Lohse, Jesse Chavez, Aaron Harang, Alfredo Simon, Jason Hammel, Martin Perez – 9 total

Second Impressions:

Collin McHugh – Actually gained value from wins.  Pretty much the only month that happened.

Zack Greinke – How dramatic his drop was without wins; Greinke dropped from second best to 12th best pitcher based on core stats.

Stephen Strasburg & Madison Bumgarner – Ummmm…where the frick are these guys?

Jason Hammel – Well, that was fun.

Injuries – Clayton Kershaw and Yu Darvish both missed significant time to injury to start the year.  I’m not holding this for or against the pitching debate in the same way I’m not bringing up Matt Moore.  On the one hand, pitchers do hold a larger injury risk than most top hitters in the league as their minimal start count of 30 to 35 limits their upside to begin with.  On the other hand, factoring injuries into the evaluation process hampers the biggest part of the argument: the FA pool provides plenty of pitching if you’re searching correctly.

26% – The amount of the top 20 pitchers in the top 25 for the month of April.  Yes, that’s the median between the wins/no wins debate.  Note I’m giving a five spot window.  We’ll see if this trend holds for the year.

Aftermath:

We’re just getting started.  This is by no means a clear-cut ‘win’ in the #PitchingIsSoDeep argument but it’s definitely a start.  We have proven that – for at least the month of April – you could’ve drafted or streamed between seventeen and eighteen different pitchers that were not ranked in the top 20 who gave top 25 performances.  Some of the arms listed were guys on many people’s radars.  Johnny Cueto didn’t surprise too many, nor did Michael Wacha or Masahiro Tanaka.  But getting Tim Hudson late or from free agency and getting his April production?  If you predicted it…well, you probably held him too long and suffered the consequences.  That’s what you get for bragging.  Tune in next time as we explore May and see if any trends emerge.

 
  1. Ante GALIC says:
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    Sky!

    This is fantastic stuff. Truly grateful. Can’t wait to see what the whole year shapes up to be. I guess being aware the whole year round would be one lesson learned. Another as you put it well on the Huddy reference is never to be too pig-headed into thinking a guy has to maintain his April stats all year.

    You are what Dino Bravo is to WWE or what Dino Bravo is to early-2000 porn. Simply wonderful!

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Thanks Ante! Being quick to respond to pitching trends could’ve netted you reasonable value in April. I would not have assumed so as I try not to stream in April/May but as long as you’re holding a particular guy, it makes sense. I would’ve thought Eovaldi would’ve been higher. I remember April going better for him than this, somehow.

      Dino Bravo has had a long and storied porn career, it looks like. I’m honored! He doesn’t have much twitter followers, though…weird.

  2. de nachos says:
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    Rudy’s ‘$’ formula uses brown sugar and bacon? I knew it! *drool*

    One could look at weather on early picks/streams no? The top six represents SoFlo, LA, a roof, a 67.4 AVG temp in St. Louis, Hotlanta. Detroit is the outlier at 60.1 this past April. Of course you’d have to break down the locations of each start to see if there were actually reliable numbers. To say nothing of the argument that cold weather might benefit some pitchers since the ball isn’t traveling as far.

    ugh. This is why I can’t dabble in data. I’m like a monkey wearing a Sherlock Holmes costume. But not you, sir. You’re good. Excellent first article.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Oooh, that’s definitely a worthy consideration. Might have to add it to the drill down for next year if I can swing it. Man, the things I would do if I didn’t have a day job…this is the kind of stuff I love to look back on. I mean, we said all year that ‘pitching was deep’ but it’s an old wives’ tale unless you actually support it with a little bit of evidence.

      To be fair, you’d be the cutest monkey I’ve ever seen if you truly dressed like that. And I’d make you the Marcel to my Ross if it was so.

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Sky: the weather factor? Is this where DFS and Roto cross streams?

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          crossing jet streams

  3. seph meier says:
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    Pitching is so deep that there are over 10 sps with solid names coming back from tj surgery

    • seph meier says:
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      @seph meier: 7

      Such as Patrick Corbin, Dan Hudson, Jarrod parker, beachy, Jo fer, medlen

      There’s more can’t think of them all but some may be worth risk and others could be nice deep sleepers will be interesting to see where they land for 2015

      • Sky

        Sky says:
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        Dan Hudson has been on the DL for about 3 years at this point. I think you can safely say he’s a bullpen guy if he comes back at all. Would be happy for him if that weren’t the case, though.

        That said, yep plenty coming back who could contribute for fantasy in 2015

      • RandomItalicizedVoice says:
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        @seph meier:

        Erm, Matt Harvey, anyone?

        • Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
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          @RandomItalicizedVoice: and matt harvey won’t have just came off his surgery either.

  4. Grey

    Grey says:
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    Pitching is so deep you need Rudy to understand this post!

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      I hear he’s at a Mensa gathering or he’d be your decoder ring. I def don’t get it and I wrote it!

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        No, he’s the decoder ring at a Mensa meeting

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          That’s deep! Still not as deep as pitching, though.

          • JeF With 1 F says:
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            @Sky: thats what she said

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              haha

          • de nachos says:
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            @Sky: By the very pants I was returning! I just figure out the two tabs, it’s the second column sorted. My contacts were turning into sandpaper as I was trying to crack the complex mathematical code that puts Cueto from 6th to 1st without his $ numbers changing. Math is hard. Where’s my fantasy football team? Injured bad. Healthy good.

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              Haha, I thought I spelled it out alright, mayhap I didn’t. Football does = health. Much more luck orientated. So frustrating.

              • de nachos says:
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                @Sky: you explained it fine, it’s my poor reading comp, lack of left-brainedness.

                • Sky

                  Sky says:
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                  I’m left-handed so I was already handi-capped coming into this. I feel your pain.

          • de nachos says:
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            @Sky: PS my google chrome is hating on whatever fancy Shockwave is powering your magic tabs.

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              Funny google chrome hates google docs. Though color me not surprised.

  5. Swfcdan says:
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    Terrible, terrible pitch by Nishek last night. Ruined all of Waino’s great work, yet MIs always seem to avoid criticism.

    You know you need to bust Morse inside, yet Nishek floated over a fat juicy one that got crushed. Really don’t see why Waino could have gone 8, he was totally dealing and that was their win or die game! Bad management by Matheny, you cant be cautious with your horse in a game which means that much.

    Giants are kinda annoying to watch as they have few stars yet just play winning ball. Hoping the Royals win it all but wouldn’t be suprised if Posey shuts down their running game.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      I told a friend of mine after the wildcard games it would be Giants and Royals in the WS. Needless to say, color me not surprised. Giants with their experience/continuity and the Royals were an extremely streaky team all year who had two things going for them: good top 3 starters and a ridiculously good bullpen. Whichever team hits more than 2 HRs the entire series wins!

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Royals got hot at the right time, anyone have any ideas what their preseason odds were to win the series? Wanna kick myself real hard for betting on the M’s….

        • royce! says:
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          @Grey: 50-1. How much did you bet on the M’s?

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Damn, that was so much better than the odds I got on the M’s (20-1)… My hindsight is so much better than my foresight… I bet only $50

            • JeF With 1 F says:
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              @Grey: Im taking the Mets next season…the Royals proved that a small market team like the Mets can win it all…theres hope!!!

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                You’re drinking the Sandy Alderson Kool-Aid…

                • JeF With 1 F says:
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                  @Grey: And it tastes good

                  • Sky

                    Sky says:
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                    Mets with a full season of deGrom, Harvey, Niese, Gee…not to mention if Syndergaard comes around I could actually see it. Couple it with the fact that the NL East is actually a very weak division overall, a strong pitching staff could propel them at least into Wild Card contention.

                    • JeF With 1 F says:
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                      @Sky: Dont forget wheeler…i think syndergaard gets traded though…to me they are two bats away from being a playoff team…they need a SS and a Left Fielder

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      They need Flores in their lineup. Is Wright gone? They also need a good platoon partner for Duda. He shouldn’t be seeing ABs against lefties ever again.

                    • JeF With 1 F says:
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                      @Sky: Dont you talk that way about Wet Tail…and they are moving in the fences again this offseason for wright.

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      He’s mildew tail against LHP though…Ah, about Wright. Didn’t realize, for some reason I thought he was gone after this season. Writing football moves me off of a lot of off-season baseball stuff.

                    • J-FOH says:
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                      @Sky: I like a Noah to the Cubs kinda thing. It makes sense.

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      I could see that. Addison Russell on the move again, maybe?

                    • J-FOH says:
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                      @Sky: Actually, on second…or is it third thought, Wheeler getting dealt makes more sense now in their win now prediction

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      I think the price for Wheeler – since he’s shouldered MLB action – would be higher than Noah. I couldn’t see it for that reason but could be wrong.

                    • J-FOH says:
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                      @Sky: epstein rambled about making playoffs in 2015, just thinking a move for wheeler might not be a bad thing. Has the stockpile to pull it off

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      Wow, that’s a little crazy. The offense could get there but still too young in my book. If Straily turns a corner and they bring in another strong arm, I could see it but right now, it’s Arrieta and nothing else. Adding Wheeler makes a nice 1/2 but doesn’t make them a contender with how young the hitters are in my book.

            • nick the dick says:
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              @Grey: my buddy bet 50 bucks on royals giants in the world series at 70-1 and nabbed a cool 3500

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                Wow, that’s awesome… I wish I were your buddy… You see the link I gave to JFoH above?

                • nick the dick says:
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                  @Grey: i didnt, ill check it out

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          I don’t know the odds but the M’s and KC are in many ways the same team. Your guesstimation wasn’t that bad in hindsight. But the Mariners guesstimating Kendrys Morales, Austin Jackson and Chris Denorfia would save their offense down the stretch definitely was.

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Yeah, wasn’t awful, I guess… I needed Taijuan to step up Yordano-like, which the M’s messed up since they never gave him the chance… Actually I needed Taijuan in fantasy, not sure if he had real world implications…

            • J-FOH says:
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              @Grey: I would never bet on a team to win it all in baseball. You have to master the mediocrity x hotness potential and then divide that by potential managerial blunders. I just don’t see a way to measure the luck factor, like winning two games on opposing teams errors….Remember the days when teams were good

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                Nah, of course, it’s a sucker bet, but it’s fun to do in the preseason as a goof…

                • J-FOH says:
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                  @Grey: fair enough. If I was in vegas and wasted I would try to work some absurd formula out in my head and do a quick quantity of schmotato’s vs off season bullpen improvements x minor league gas throwers with control thingy. Then poll every large breasted woman within a 120 foot radius on what team color she likes best to get my answer. I hear all those vortexes are in deep canyons.

            • royce! says:
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              @Grey: One would think having a good SP would have some implications, but the M’s couldn’t even score when Felix was pitching, so I guess it didn’t matter…

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                Yeah, they really had Seager and Cano and nothing else…

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              Considering how he pitched for them down the stretch, I think he could’ve/should’ve helped in both

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                Prolly true… Not really sure what they were thinking with him all year… Oh well, he’ll be a discount again next year

                • Sky

                  Sky says:
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                  He still has control issues is what I’ve heard. Clearly the K/BB ratio doesn’t say that but that’s the word on the street. Will have to show he’s got it down in spring training, I’d think.

                  • Grey

                    Grey says:
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                    Yeah, I’m sure the M’s have their reasons, but at some point you have to take the training wheels off and let him ride or die…

                  • JeF With 1 F says:
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                    @Sky: I NEED THE RIGHT TO EMBEDDDDDD

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      You have the right to get embed wit me, Tiger. RAWR!

                    • JeF With 1 F says:
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                      @JeF With 1 F: Woa easy Tiger

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      Don’t be so PHAT. It’s your fault.

                    • de nachos says:
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                      @JeF With 1 F: I like a lot that embedding is extremely limited. When I see a pic on the comments page I know it’s from a writer. They do it well and don’t overdo it. Like Howard on Sirius. On his first show after about an hour of Baba Booey and Sal dropping extraneous F bombs he made the rule that only Artie could swear.

                      In your RCL you can embed to your heart’s delight. Master of your Domain.

                    • JeF With 1 F says:
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                      @JeF With 1 F: Yea im kidding about the embedding…if everyone could do it, it would go overboard

  6. J-FOH says:
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    Collim McHugh is such a fun WTFer. He cut his HR/FB in half this year, that is totally going to hold up.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      For a guy coming into the year with 47.1 IP to his name and 19 of those with the Rockies where he gave up 4, that’s not much of a stat to hang your hat on.

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Sky: fair enough, he also pitched for the Mets, I’m not drafting him…are you? a .259 BABIP repeatable? He might of turned a corner but I don’t think he repeats this year. Steamers went really conservative and put him down for a 4.07 ERA, what do you think of that? A K-rate to walk rate difference of 5…thoughts?

  7. jef with 1 f says:
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    Harvin to the jets…there goes my DK line up

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Yup, I had a couple of SEA DEF/Harvin stacks out there. Seemed almost destined for a big week/return TD. Now so much now…

      • jef with 1 f says:
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        @Sky: I may just put in Beckham in the spots that I had Harvin

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Sounds reasonable.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Matt Harvin? Jets have Mets envy?

      • Sky

        Sky says:
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        Oh Grey…I’ll let you borrow access to NFL rewind. You can watch at your leisure.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          As long as Chris Berman isn’t announcing it…

          • Sky

            Sky says:
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            You mean you don’t like hearing ‘WOP!’ in a chalkboard scrapingly loud and annoying way?

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Haha… Rumblin’ stumblin’ bumblin’ bubba gumpin’…

              • Sky

                Sky says:
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                It was bad when he did football. It gets even worse when he covers baseball. I never get why they let him do it.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Cause ESPN sucks

                  • Sky

                    Sky says:
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                    Oh THAT…you could’ve gif’d the ‘and you know this, MAN!’ back at me for that one.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Ha, true

              • jef with 1 f says:
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                @Grey: back back back back back back ….gone

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Ugh

      • jef with 1 f says:
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        @Grey: Ha ha

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      But on the flip side, Marshawn Lynch at mid-tier RB price just got juicier than juicy fruit.

      • jef with 1 f says:
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        @Sky: yea I already liked lynch this [email protected]Sky: yeah I already liked Lynch this week he just got that much better

  8. J-FOH says:
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    I see there is a Phish concert in Eugene tonight. How many hippies have tried to set up camp outside of your house?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Since there are no dead bodies by my hand on my property, I’ll put that at zero

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Sky: you can always run out in your underwear and yell at them to get off your lawn

    • nick the dick says:
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      @J-FOH: yo not sure if ive seen all the newest Always Sunnys but yeah ive seen the bulk and for the most part theyre all spot on. As far as Louie, not sure where you can watch it, i have the dvd set, but you definitely should. Its probably my favorite comedy based show next to Curb Your Enthusiam, its just perfect.

      • de nachos says:
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        @nick the dick: Sunny went from must-see to something I enjoy binge watching when I remember it. but yes some of their stuff was brilliant. My wife hated Louie until the Afghanistan baby ducky episode, now she is in love with him.

        • J-FOH says:
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          @nick the dick: @de nachos: I agree with Nacho, Sunny brought us something new and great, but for me certain lull’s made me not want to tune in every week. Binge watching will occur from time to time. Tough part of comedies. Now Seinfeld, I will never grow tired of.

          • nick the dick says:
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            @J-FOH: yup spot on Foh…Seinfeld of course never gets old, i could watch it every day if the week and know every word and still enjoy it. Same thing with Curb for me. Seinfeld trivia Sundays??

          • nick the dick says:
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            @J-FOH: *Saturdays, obviously Sunday is hip hop

            • J-FOH says:
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              @nick the dick: Seinfeld is always getting worked in around here…not that there is anything wrong with that

Comments are closed.