Go big or go home.  That’s not just what a casting agent says to men trying to break into porn, but it’s also how we have to attack these overrated for fantasy baseball posts.  I could’ve went Jacob deGrom, but he’s too easy to ignore.  He had kelp noodles implanted in his elbow this offseason for tendons, but can any man subsist on sea greens?  Nope, so you know a diet of meatballs is coming this summer.  You can’t only go kelp noodles; you’re setting yourself up to yo-yo; Oprah would’ve told him that; semi-colons are fun.  Jake Arrieta feels far less obvious of a CTRL-ALT-DELETE from draft sheets.  At least according to ESPN, where they have him ranked in the top 30 overall.  Coincidentally, as of the writing of this post, ESPN has Arrieta ranked right next to our other favorite battering ram boy (he’d love that nickname), Daniel Murphy.  But this isn’t about deGrom or Murphy or deGromurphy.  This is about Arrieta.  Oh, double negatives be damned, this isn’t about not drafting any starter as early as Arrieta is going.  I would not draft a pitcher in the top 30, but this is about Jake Arrieta.  Anyway, why is Jake Arrieta overrated for 2017 fantasy baseball?

He’s a guy that can throw a no hitter this year, that’s right, I said it.  I wouldn’t be shocked if he has some outrageously great games in 2017, but we’re not looking for some great games if we’re drafting him top 30 overall.  We’re looking for a top five starter.  That he won’t be.  Last year his stats were:  18-8/3.10/1.08/190 in 197 1/3 IP.  To lay the cards on the table, that was the 12th best starter last year or 50th overall, and, because I’m feeling especially fair, if he were to finish that high again this year, I’d consider this post a bust for recognizing a bust.  Other than pointing out his postseason stats:  3.63 ERA in 22 1/3 IP, I won’t dwell on those either, other than saying extra innings and an extra month of pitching is never a good thing.  What I want to drill down to like Boyd Crowder looking for coal, Arrieta threw his fastball 65.4% of the time last year and lost a full mile off the velocity.  I.e., Velocity is not at full capacity without the electricity, and this sentence is citywide.  His fastball is mostly a sinker, and it’s a pitch that still works for him and why he’s a top starter.  Unfortunately, a lot of what made him one of the best pitchers in the game abandoned him last year:  the slider that Arrieta calls a cutter (a slutter?).  He stopped throwing it at one point, saying he lost the feel for it.  That would account for why he upped his fastball usage from 50.7% to 65.4% last year, which was 11th most in the majors.  When you throw one pitch that much, you get into a situation where hitters know what to expect.  Is it a good enough pitch that hitters can expect it but still not hit it?  I’d say a 3.69 ERA in the 2nd half with a 7.5 K/9 would say otherwise.  For those wondering about luck, he had a .219 BABIP in the 2nd half with a 4.11 xFIP.  He was getting hit hard and it wasn’t a matter of a few donks and a blast, which I believe is an Insane Clown Posse song too.  If you throw out his April of last year, his season ERA was 3.57.  NRA may like that ERA, but I don’t.  Peripheral-wise, I see comparisons to Kevin Gausman, Aaron Sanchez and teammate, John Lackey.  All solid pitchers, but not top five pitchers, just as Arrieta isn’t either.  In summation, Arrietain’ta.

2020 Draft Kit
 
  1. TimmyGoods says:
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    Yeah but…contract year for the one and only payday of his career. I’m all in on Jake this year.

    • swaggerjackers says:
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      @TimmyGoods: Are there stats to back up the contract year theory or is it just an empty narrative with no facts to back it up? I genuinely don’t know but I’m skeptical.

      • Mantis Toboggan MD says:
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        @swaggerjackers: facts say people actually DON’T improve in a year where they are about to get paid, but DO underperform in year AFTER they just got paid. shandler’s book has years of data to back this up.

  2. Cuthbert Allgood says:
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    I agree…but he is $9 in my league. Worth a pick at that price early?

    • Malicious Phenoms says:
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      @Cuthbert Allgood:
      Depends on how early you want to draft him. I would not pass up on an elite bat for him.

      • Cuthbert Allgood says:
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        @Malicious Phenoms: In a keeper league with contracts as well. With that being said, we start in round 5 of a draft really. I have to decide between taking a SP with my first pick, #8 or the best available hitter. I do not have a 2nd round pick…so I am making a pick based on who I think will be there in round 3. I know the hitter, I want Odor, will not last that long, but I am not sure if the value of Arrieta outweighs Odor.

        • JohnnyBeGood says:
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          @Cuthbert Allgood: great question..wondering same thing as well. In a keeper league where 40 guys already kept, picking 11 overall , with so many pitchers being kept. Go Odor or value in Arrieta??

    • Cram It says:
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      @Cuthbert Allgood: What do you mean early? Is this an auction? $9 is chump change, he’s worth that price but I don’t know what “early” means.

      • JeF WiTh 1 F says:
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        @Cram It: Was wondering that myself

  3. Malicious Phenoms says:
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    NICE, a slutter! gotta love it!

  4. Jensen says:
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    Grey, question about SAGNOF. Do you care at all about how many steals you have leaving a draft? I tend to only do moderately in steals but always very well in saves. Maybe it’s because I have almost no patience for pitchers and will drop them on a whim but I hate dropping hitters I drafted and still think can turn things around (Yeah, I held Justin Upton all year last year). Do you just force yourself to keep a roster spot reserved for streaming steals or what? I have trouble in a 10 team league dropping Devon Travis or Jonathon Schoop just to add a guy who can get me steals but is that what I need to do if they are my worst hitters?

    • Cram It says:
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      @Jensen: You should have steals leaving the draft. SAGNOF essentially means not PAYING for steals at the draft and instead drafting lower cost guys to fill that category. If you’re doing moderately in steals while excelling in the other offensive categories, you should generally be fine. Schoop and Travis are borderline 10 team ownable depending on the roster depth.

      • The Grand Poppy says:
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        @Cram It: How is Schoop borderline ownable? He’s barely outside top 100 …

        • Cram It says:
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          @The Grand Poppy: Depends on depth. He’s ranked as the 11th 2B, so if there’s 10 teams…

          • The Grand Poppy says:
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            @Cram It: I guess I was assuming there was an MI slot, which would make him a starter everywhere, much less ownable.

            • Cram It says:
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              @[email protected]The Grand Poppy: True. It depends how his team is constructed really, rather than a general rule. A 10 teamer desperate for steals, one of those guys could be droppable still at MI for a Peraza say.

              • JoeG414 says:
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                @Cram It:
                Just saw a 12 team mixed BARF League were Schoop went pick 289. Wow.

                • The Grand Poppy says:
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                  @JoeG414: That is absolutely outrageous.

              • The Grand Poppy says:
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                @Cram It: I wish I played in more leagues where guys would drop 2B with 270/85/25/85 for Jose Peraza!!!

                • Cram It says:
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                  @The Grand Poppy: It’s a 10 teamer! And you’re giving Schoop a favorable line IMO.

                  • The Grand Poppy says:
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                    @Cram It: Lol. That was his line last year.

                    • Cram It says:
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                      @The Grand Poppy: Almost! If you’re rounding up. Steamer and Zips have him getting less than 70/25/75/.265, which I agree with more.

          • Big Odio says:
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            @Cram It: well that makes sense nonsense. So what if the 11th guy fits better for your team than the 10th?

            • Cram It says:
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              @Big Odio: I’m saying, where he is ranked, just outside the top 100, it’s MATHEMATICALLY plausible that those guys aren’t starting on your team in a 10 teamer, so it’s not ridiculous to call Travis and Schoop borderline. OBVIOUSLY those guys further down the list may fit your needs better.

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                Schoop won’t be at 100% in April, there’s shallow leagues out there

                • Cram It says:
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                  @Grey: That’s all I was trying to say.

                  • Grey

                    Grey says:
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                    This Odio guy likes to troll, I think

                    • Cram It says:
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                      @Grey: Odious

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Indeed

              • The Grand Poppy says:
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                @Cram It: I thought your initial post said ownable, which is different from starting. 10 team league has roughly 100 starting batters, roughly 200 rostered players (in shallow formats).

                • Cram It says:
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                  @The Grand Poppy: In that case, my bad. I was framing his worth in the context of his question. Sure, he could be bench bat. So if he’s a bench bat for you and you’re desperate for steals, still you could drop one of those guys for a need.

              • Big Odio says:
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                @Cram It: I was just working through the logic of this statement made by you

                “Depends on depth. He’s ranked as the 11th 2B, so if there’s 10 teams”

                • Cram It says:
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                  @Big Odio: My logic was based on math, and the math there puts him on the border.

            • Cram It says:
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              @Big Odio: In THIS case, the team need is steals, so a 25 HR .260 guy may NOT fit your team needs.

              • Mantis Toboggan MD says:
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                @Cram It: when troll tries to cross a troll’s bridge.

    • Malicious Phenoms says:
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      @Jensen:
      agree with Cram

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Jensen: In a ten team league, you can stream multiple spots in your lineup… In my leagues, I don’t leave the draft with no steals, I just don’t pay for them

      • Jensen says:
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        @Grey: I snagged Jankowski late. I just always feel I run into the same problem of not wanting to drop a guy just so I can stream for steals when the guy I am dropping is overall much more valuable. Maybe I am leaving my drafts with too few steals if that is the case. EX: Schoop vs Andrus.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, I like Jankowski late for that reason…. Andrus will be available on waivers in a 10 team league too

  5. Roger Podacter says:
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    Back in 2015 Jakey slid into place,
    Slutter, slutter, slutter, all up in your face,
    A lot of hitters trying to hit it but they had no grace,
    Some said he’ll be the best, but now is that the case?

    I have a quest of drafting right with a plan,
    Without that, you’ll think Kevin Pillar is superman,
    So Albright come and hit us with the funky Hawks,
    and show us how these guys are overrated like the fuckin’ Sawx,

    Not total shit, but their draft positions ploppy,
    You’re doomed for 12th place if ESPN is your copy,
    So be top notch baby, believe in the razz,
    and you have all the fake points coming right out ya azz.

    • Lincecuminmypants says:
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      @Roger Podacter: Well played. I wish your team more hits than the Braves or the Yankees.

      • Roger Podacter says:
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        @Grey: NOLA with a nice outing today. Mardi-Gras baby.

        *salivates*

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Haha… Skin to win!

  6. AntBanks says:
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    Good stuff, I’m down on Arrieta as well. I’ve read your rankings, so don’t accuse me of laziness, but I was curious how you might rank guys in a Points League, where volume matters.

    I have a tier of Verlander, Cueto, Yu, Price, and Arrieta. In points leagues are you as down on Price and Arrieta? Are you as high on Yu?

    • AntBanks says:
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      Go ahead and drop Price from that tier. Let the fun begin…

      • peacecoast says:
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        @AntBanks: boom

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @AntBanks: If you read my rankings, you know I don’t like Price

      • peacecoast says:
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        @Grey: I think he meant the MRI and the visit to Dr. Doom

        • peacecoast says:
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          @peacecoast: I meant antbanks of course!

  7. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Great piece that I hope none of my leaguemates see, Grey!

    Speaking of SPs, would you feel perfectly fine having the trio of Duffy / Salazar or Lackey / Hill as the top of your rotation in a 12 team H2H categories league?

    Auction draft but unlimited waiver grabs (capped at 3 per week), so I’d love to focus my auction budget even more heavily than usual on hitters, spending only $60 or so (out of $260) on pitching, then stream a-plenty.

    Thanks!

    Thanks!

      • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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        @Cram It: The way I typed that was misleading . . . meant the trio of (1) Duffy, (2) Salazar or Lackey, and (3) Hill.

        Totally forget about the pairing tool! And yes, you’re completely right (in fact, the pairing tool would bump me to the next tier before grabbing the third guy of that group).

        Thanks!

  8. Five -On-One says:
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    So – Had my first draft last night (12-team, 5×5). I’ve posted my team below (with the round in parens). Appreciate any thoughts/evaluations. I know drafting Kershaw in the first round is frowned upon in these parts, but appreciate all feedback nonetheless. Thanks.

    C – Tom Murphy (20)
    1B – Freeman (2)
    2B – Odor (5)
    3B – Rendon (9)
    SS – Story (3)
    CI – Franco (14)
    MI – Travis (18)
    OF – Desmond (4)
    OF – Trumbo (6)
    OF – Benintendi (10)
    OF – Buxton (12)
    OF – Mazara (17)
    U – Peralta (22)
    SP – Kershaw (1)
    SP – Maeda (8)
    SP – Paxton (13)
    SP – Manaea (15)
    SP – Snell (21)
    RP – Melancon (7)
    RP – Colome (11)
    RP – Watson (16)
    BE – Glasnow (23)
    BE – Haninger (24)
    BE – Street (25)

    • JoeG414 says:
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      @Five -On-One: what was your pick number ? Snake draft ? Oder went around 60th overall ?

      • Five-On-One says:
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        @JoeG414: Snake Draft. Second Pick. So Odor was 50th overall.

    • Darek says:
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      @Five -On-One:

      I was in that draft (fistful of yen) and felt pretty good, considering I don’t like the end of the first round slots this year. I think it puts one at a disadvantage. Prob best value pick was Odor at 34. Wasn’t planning on another MI but couldn’t pass him up. Sanchez is an odd pick for me- I never draft catchers early. But Steamer values him at $26 so I went for him. Kinda messed me up and some catchers I like late were hanging around forever, so I kinda regretted it.

      First RCL draft but I’ve looked at others and knew RP would have increased demand, but one guy went all RP for his staff, so that made them even more scarce.

      C Sanchez (7)
      1B C Davis (8)
      2b Turner (1)
      SS Correa (2)
      3b Franco (12)
      MI Odor (3)
      CI Cron (19)
      OF Cruz (4)
      OF Herrera (11)
      OF Tomas (17)
      OF Pence (18)
      OF Pillar (23)
      Ut Suarez (22)

      BN Gardner (25)

      P Cueto (5)
      P Chapman (6)
      P Hamels (9)
      P Giles (10)
      P Nola (13)
      P Paxton (14)
      P Rodriquez (15)
      P Fulmer (16)
      P Madsen (20)

      BN Lorenzen- RP (21)
      BN Dull- RP (24)

      • Darek says:
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        @Darek:

        Meant to put this in the Great Knocke’s comment- that was the draft I was in.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Five -On-One: Your hitting looks decent, especially with Kershaw on pitching… Your outfield a little upsidey, but not bad…I’d take that team

  9. Mad Beach Bums says:
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    Yes! Slutter is easily the word of the day, now hopefully the rest of my day is as awesome as that word!

  10. The Grand Poppy says:
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    Your projection of 38 saves for Shawn Kelley looks like you think he’ll be the closer all year (they won’t trade for Papelbon 2.0 in July). Has anything changed for better or for worse on Kelley’s job security?

  11. The Great Knoche says:
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    First RCL last night. Picked 11th. Not to bad, got some decent values and late upside guys. However, Check out the ambulance Chasers that will be lining up for this one.

    C R. Martin (24)
    1B Rizzo (1)
    2B Cano (3)
    SS Peraza (12)
    3B Frazier (6)
    CI Healy (16)
    MI Swanson (15)
    OF Blackmon (2)
    OF Braun (4)
    OF Krush Davis (7)
    OF Eaton (9)
    OF Joc (14)
    U Renfroe (19)

    P Degrom (5)
    P Oh (8)
    P Rich Hill (10)
    P Familia (11)
    P Ramos (13)
    P Street (17)
    P Moore (18)
    P Jim Johnson (20)
    P Cotton (25)

    Bench Dickerson (21)
    Bench Gyorko (22)
    Bench Drury (23)

    Long live Gyorko.

    • Malicious Phenoms says:
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      @The Great Knoche:
      I like your bats, not so sure about your SP’s, better hope Hill stays healthy and Moore and Cotton produce for you.

      • The Great Knoche says:
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        @Malicious Phenoms: Yeah, Moore and Cotton are likely streamer spots anyway, but yes I am worried about health of Degrom and Hill.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @The Great Knoche: Ha, you might get 250 IP total from your starters… Hitting looks okay, little light on power

  12. Jason P. says:
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    In my 12-tm 5×5 keeper league, $260 in-season cap. I was offered Josh Bell ($3) for Aaron Sanchez, ($2). My league is gaga over pitching, to the tune of an historic 59/41 hit/pitch split. My other pitching keepers are likely James Paxton ($3), Cam Bedrosian ($3), Jon Gray ($6) and Mark Melancon ($12).

    • Malicious Phenoms says:
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      @Jason P.:
      I’d keep Sanchez.

    • Cram It says:
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      @Jason P.: Agree with MP

      • Jason P. says:
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        @Grey:

        I stood pat. Thanks for the feedback everyone!

  13. dhouse42 says:
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    Do you think deGrom is worth it in the 6th round of a 12-teamer? I’m seeing him there and I just take him, elbow concerns be damned because that’s a hell of a value if he’s healthy

    • Malicious Phenoms says:
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      @dhouse42:
      Take Degrom and pray.

    • JeF WiTh 1 F says:
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      @dhouse42: I’d take him…Every pitcher is a ticking time bomb for the most part anyway

      • JeF WiTh 1 F says:
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        @Grey: Stop already

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          You gotta be real with the Mets

          • JeF WiTh 1 F says:
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            @Grey: I am, not worried about deGrom any more than anyone else

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Nope, I’d say you’re worrying a bit less than most

              • JeF WiTh 1 F says:
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                @Grey: LOL…im not a worrier

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  You’re all “Mets news and chill”

  14. The Great Knoche says:
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    David Price going to see Dr. Freeze???

    • Malicious Phenoms says:
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      @The Great Knoche:
      Just saw that..Great news for us Yankees fans! HAHAHAHA

      • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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        @Malicious Phenoms: Huzzah! Jose Quintana (and Todd Frazier?) to the Red Sox in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . .

    • dhouse42 says:
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      @The Great Knoche:

      says he’s going for “second opinion” – but what was first opinion?

      • Malicious Phenoms says:
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        @dhouse42:
        MRI done first by team Doc.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        @dhouse42: 1st opinion was “You’re so f*cked”

        • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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          @Grey: HAH