Takes a long inhale…Ah, is that baseball I’m smelling? It is, isn’t it? It is, it is! Honestly, I think it’s starting to smell like baseball. Sadly, MLB has a long list of regulations they’re going to institute in order to play games this year. Will it still be baseball even without the spitting and tobacco and clubhouse showering and towel-ass-slaps and celebrations involving hugging and touching and extended wet willies where players giggle then slap away their teammates’ hand and–Wait, did MLB ban baseball-related activities or reenacting the pool scenes from Y Tu Mama Tambien? So hard to say! “Hey, Skip, I was wondering if I could snap my towel on my teammate’s butt.”  “Not this year, kid.”  “Hmm…Can I watch the Oscar-winning film Moonlight?” “I will have to check the rules and regulations on that one.” Any hoo! Baseball sounds like it’s getting close, as I’ve been saying for the last six weeks. I’m not in the business of predictions but the world can only shut down completely for so long before the powers that be start exerting their, uh, power that, uh, be. Last year in 121 games and 376 ABs across two levels (Triple-A and MLB), Kevin Cron hit 44 homers. *smiles wide* Don’t mind if I do! On our Prospectonator, Cron is projected for 33 homers. Yelled like Fat Bastard, “Get in my lineup!” He has legitimately no chance of playing without the universal DH, but that seems a foregone conclusion now, so giddy + up = giddy up. It’s simple math, tee bee aitch. So, what can we expect from Kevin Cron for 2020 fantasy baseball and what makes him a great dart throw?

Kevin Cron is the greatest power hitter in the modern era. Cron makes his brother, Ceej, look like a slap hitter. Have you seen Kevin Cron hit bombs? He looks like a throwback to a bygone era. When hitters hit homers and fans screamed, “Dong!” without sounding alarms in the Human Resources’ office. A HR that didn’t wake HR, as a man just as pithy as me once said because I was that man. I salute your dong, Kevin Cron. From at least six feet away, though. “I know how to social distance,” is what I write on my LinkedIn profile’s Special Skills section. I’m really starting to dig guys who previously had no chance of playing. Not just guys like Cron with terrible gloves, though with the DH, that helps. Nope, I mean guys who previously had no place to play in their lineup. My enthusiasm is compounded when I see a guy who not only had no room to play but also would’ve been shoved into the minor leagues. With no minor leagues this year, this year is gonna be fun with random guys getting a long look. The Diamondbacks might first try Jake Lamb at the DH spot, but his one proven ability is not being able to hit lefties. Career mark of .169 in 379 ABs. His track record vs. righties isn’t exactly stellar either. If Lamb is baaahd out of the gate, the Diamondbacks will quickly shepherd in Cron, who hits bombs vs. everyone. If nothing else, Cron and Lamb will platoon to start, but once we see Lamb of old, who is tough to own and gamey, Cron will take over DH duties. Admittedly, Cron isn’t exactly a great bet for a good average. Steamer does project him for a .247 average, and he hit .331 in Triple-A, but, yeah, he’s not going to hit for a good average with neutral luck. Oddly enough, Kevin Cron and C.J. Cron’s projections are practically identical if they both have the same number of at-bats. (If you type ‘Cron’ into Name filter on the Steamer projections page, you can see what I mean.) Either way, and again with a little stank, EITHER WAY! Cron is great dart throw late for power.

 
  1. galica says:
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    Grey!!

    Very nice dart throw report!

    a. Cron sounds very tasty. My teams are essentially all power and little average so I can’t afford any more batting average depression. The kid has the power though, no question.

    b. MLB quote of the day for May 8, 1984

    ‘I was told I would never make it because I’m too short. Well I’m still too short. It doesn’t matter what your height is, it’s what’s in your heart.’

    Kirby Puckett, RIP. Leads the Twins in hits, runs and total bases. Also holds the best average by a RH batter (.318) since Joe DiMaggio. David Ortiz took uniform number 34 when he joined the Red Sox in honor of Puckett and their friendship when he was a Twin.

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • Coolwhip

      Coolwhip says:
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      B. hahaha and then there’s Altuve. “…It doesn’t matter what your height is, it’s the buzzer right above your heart.” #bangbangneverforget

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Haha, Altuve’s hearing is amazing tho, to hear trash can bangs in a stadium of 55,000 people

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      A. Thanks!

      B. Damn, from Jim Crow’s quote yesterday to today, member when things were all cheery with Abbott & Costello?

      • galica says:
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        Grey!!!

        I remember, man! Abbott and Costello quotes and the translation into Swahili! Sorry to go from Jim Rice to Jim Crow and then to Kirby Puckett. You’d think I was raycest or something.

        Cheers,
        Ante

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Haha, nah, it’s a roller coaster of emotions — you need to delicately bring sadness too

  2. Fister Furbush says:
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    Random comment, but I called out someone on Twitter when they said Ketal Marte is a superstar because he hit .330 with 32 home runs last season.

    Does one great season automatically give you the “Superstar” label now?

    I thought that label was meant for baseball’s elite tier of consistent performances over a stretch of time.

    Anyways, they guy on Twitter won’t back down and I wanted to know what y’all thought.

    Cheers

    • Matty says:
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      I don’t think you’ll ever win an argument on Twitter.
      But I do agree that one good season a superstar does not make. So take solace in the fact that you have at least one over the internet person who does agree with you.

      • lennydykstraisjustkmisunderstood says:
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        true fact……….you are not going change alot of minds on twitter or facebook

      • baby seal says:
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        +100 on this comment — couldn’t have said it better myself (and likely w/ 500x as many words :-)

      • Coolwhip

        Coolwhip says:
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        Twitter, you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villiany.

    • IntendedSteb says:
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      So Acuna – not superstar?

      • baby seal says:
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        If we had to get more specific… difference is Ketel had a few seasons of not performing at even a high level. If you come into the league on fire, and you’re a previous #1 prospect… then I think the “superstar” qualifications are slightly different…

        Could even quibble and say that he’s just a “star” and I wouldn’t have any issues w/ that — if one’s definition of superstar is that they’ve done it for at least 3 years (picking a random number), which I think would be fair.

        • baby seal says:
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          And FTR, this is highly subjective, obviously, which is why it’s such a great debate topic. No one can be right!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Haha, Matty nailed it — tell him: “Go howl at the moon, ya two-bit bluenose” — from the Joe Biden Insult generator

  3. LOLmets says:
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    The MLB proposal laid out is laughable. You either have to play or not play. Live or hide in fear. I think it’s so unlikely there’s a baseball season because nobody’s thinking rationally anymore. The death rate for people under 30 is like .0001%. life is a calculated risk and always has been. Every single aspect of it. We forgot how to appropriately weight out risks it seems amongst this virus scare. Ugh. Guess I’ll just play some more online poker :/

    • Cram It says:
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      OMG could you guys PLEASE stop with this. I beg of you!

      • LOLmets says:
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        ?

        • Cram It says:
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          This living-in-fear, what-about-our-freedom, people-die-everyday, Covid overreaction narrative, you and Diamond & Silk (David D and 181314) keep bringing to the table. It’s nauseating.

    • baby seal says:
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      States are literally in the process of slowly reopening now, no?

      I get the sentiment… not sure your thought process is very rational, either.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      States are reopening now — California said June 1st they can play — we’re getting closer

    • 183414 says:
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      Best comment since our country was shut down !!!!
      Bravo LOL Mets !!! Hold onto your 1st amendment and besides you are 100% correct. Manfred is a woke weak commissioner, and overpaid ball players are free to sit out this season and every season in which there is a virus which kills people.
      No fans…… give me a break !!!

  4. Big Red says:
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    If you could guarantee that those people would only interact with others that have a low probability of being infected, then fine although some people might believe that even that risk is too high.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      They need to figure out something — and it might entail some top players not playing this year, but others are already going to camp again

  5. NUX says:
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    Likely a delay on starting up the next draft, hopefully will have all 11 in there within the next few hours. Stay tuned!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      What else do people have to do?

      • The Great Knoche says:
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        Zoom co-workers, email co-workers, pick nose.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          The triple crown of quarantine!

          • The Great Knoche says:
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            Just have to remember to turn off the Zoom camera before you pick nose.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              That ended around Day 17 of Quarantine

            • Great comment Knoche. We’re always sure of a laugh here on RB.

  6. Coolwhip

    Coolwhip says:
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    Hooked on Cronics worked for me!

    • lennydykstraisjustkmisunderstood says:
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      Nicely Done!…………….I prefer the EvelenwoodHead Sped Redding Course.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        HA

    • baby seal says:
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      +1 comment

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Haha, nice

  7. Coolwhip

    Coolwhip says:
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    Grey: “I’m not in the business of predictions”

    Also Grey: “Here’s my Top 500 projections for the 2020 season”

    MJ: “…and that was all the motivation I needed to drop a double nickle on him.”

    • Cram It says:
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      Haha.

    • baby seal says:
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      lolol, good one!

    • Lennydykstraisjustmisunderstood says:
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      On a roll today Kew-L-Whip

      • Coolwhip

        Coolwhip says:
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        haha… I didn’t sleep a lot last night so I guess I have woke AF comedic stream of consciousness today

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Haha, predictions about covid that is, but that’s fair

      • Lennydykstraisjustmisunderstood says:
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        Call me freakin Keskin , but I predicted you would say that

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          HAHA

  8. baby seal says:
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    FYI, just got a random server error. But seemed to work again right away.

    • baby seal says:
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      Fair warning: My comment below is not for everyone.

      Allow me to introduce you to the concept of ignoring / scrolling by comments you don’t want to read. You’re welcome. :-)

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Thanks for letting me know!

  9. baby seal says:
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    This was my favorite line from yesterday’s Bohm post: “He is taking so long to get challenged by MLB pitchers, that I worry he could struggle at the MLB level.” DEEEEEEP!

    I like Cron too. Cyclops kinda guy. Especially on any team w/ Walker on it. Really depends on how they roll out the expanded rosters, though.

    The rest of this comment is not necessarily related to your posts… fair warning to any complainers out there.


    (**anyone not named Grey, who doesn’t want to read my boring thoughts on the economy and jobs, should probably just skip this section… don’t @ me**)

    FYI, work has gotten real busy recently. We’re in earning’s season, and the analyst under me just got a new job doing data science at Facebook… so yeah, I’m busy af nowadays.

    Funny, (but not in an actually funny way), the dichotomy in my group vs the rest of the world is something. Headlines everywhere: “Millions File for Unemployment” … My group: 3 people left *voluntarily* in the last month; meanwhile, we’re hiring and have had a couple new joiners. Our fund is still crushing the S&P this year. BTW, yesterday was my 7-year anniversary at the firm! Pretty wild – our hedge fund is known for chewing people up and spitting them out… let’s just say my resume is rock solid.

    Just goes to show you – job security – like pretty much everything in life: It’s all relative. This isn’t to say I am callous to what’s going on in the rest of the country—quite the opposite. I’m very much on the side of: 1) Needed to do some initial loans so that otherwise good companies didn’t need to unnecessarily default on a bond payments; 2) Retain as many employees as possible; 3) Make sure there is *an income stream* for folks; 4) Try to keep the economy from coming to a halt. Jobs really are the most important thing. It’s what keeps everything circular. I know a few people who have either lost their job or got furloughed. Mostly my gf’s friends – think most if not all my friends still have their jobs, and no one seems too worried about it.

    However, we cannot just continue to pay people to sit around and do nothing. That is disastrous long-term. Businesses need to slow reopen, as we’re finally starting to see. I’m very pro: Move forward, slowly, calculated — don’t rush it — but don’t be afraid, either.

    We can draw a parallel to the MLB situation. Those guys are all supremely talented. People pay a LOT of money to watch them play “a kid’s game” – like it or not – that’s the reality of the situation. Whether it’s on TV or at the park—same shit. The product will NOT be the same if, in theory, you were to switch all the MLB players with MiLB players. Same thing with anyone’s job today – some were adversely exposed to this situation, and for no particularly good reason, so not everything can be analyzed with the same hammer (my favorite Munger line: “To the man with only a hammer, every problem looks like a nail”) – there’s nuance don’t get me wrong. But high level and wayyyyy overgeneralizing: If you have the right skills and experience, you’re in the right job, and you perform at a high level… you’re going to be fine. OK, now we can move on from this convo.


    (Editor’s note: We’ve returned from the depths of the strange seal brain. Not sure how we’re still here. But we made it.)

    Was working until about 1:30am last night, so was able to get away with writing this morning, woot! FYI, I took tomorrow off work. First personal day since quarantine started. Really looking forward to it! So, I’ll be around. :-)

    I’m pretty much spending all my free time these days reading “deep research” fantasy baseball articles and taking notes. There are a ton of people in the space testing the reliability of metrics, correlations, building models, figuring out stickiness, stabilization rates, testing collinearity, etc. Golden Age of Fantasy Baseball Analysis! There’s a lot of evergreen content out there too.

    Here’s my 2 cents all the new data out there. 1) It’s awesome and really fun. 2) I could write a really long comment on how this is analogous to the hedge fund industry. I’ll save ya the headache. This is all going to come down to *how* you use the data. There’s SO MUCH misuse of it that I see out there… which is AWESOME. This means we are entering a period of confusion for those unwilling to invest the time, where the breadth of data should provide GREAT market inefficiencies to take advantage of and has already, IMO.

    Bieber is one of my favorite examples. As you know, my love for him knows no bounds. We know that K-BB% is BY FAR the best predictor of future success for a pitcher. I have pages of notes and studies to back this up. We know contact allowed is one of the WORST predictors. The new xERA stat is beautiful. 1) It’s very descriptive and is useful IN-SEASON to know if a pitcher is getting lucky or not; aka, is their ERA earned? 2) It’s a HORRIBLE predictor. There are going to be many, many people using it incorrectly. Love it!

    xERA, for the uninitiated, is basically just xwOBA allowed scaled to ERA. Pretty simple. Again, this is one of the worst predictors of future success that we have. Better off just using SIERA or xFIP. (FIP and xERA are the best in-season ERA estimators.) Still, K-BB% is king. And it’s beautifully simple. We can veryyy slightly improve the prediction by including barrels allowed (or the component inputs of avg EV and avg LA allowed).

    Back to Bieber. His xERA is no bueno. This makes many people afraid of him. Nice! His K-BB% was 5th among qualified starters last year. Here was the order: Cole, Verlander, Sherzer, deGrom, Bieber (then Giolito, Buehler). End of list!

    I could write another thousand words on Bieber, but let’s not do that. Hopefully I’ve proved my point! The Bieber discount is beautiful and I’m here for it. Math says if you really want to compete in an overall, then you pretty much need to take a top starter. It increases your risk, obviously, but really does dramatically increase your chances to compete for the top prize. In leagues w/o an overall, your strategy works great and I still use it, as you know. There, lowering your risk at the top of the draft is worth the tradeoff of losing “upside.”

    OK, that’s enough for today. I’m officially way behind on work now, obviously. Will stop by later!

    • Coolwhip

      Coolwhip says:
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      This some BS. (bullish seal) wacka wacka wacka.

      Okay real commentary now :-) …digesting wall of text… waiting…. waiting…

      HOT TAKE ALERT:
      I find it interesting seeing some push hard on giving out endless amounts of money to people for “free” when its a oneway transaction. But those same people have issues with supporting businesses… businesses are made of people and those businesses = their livelihood. Do we just hand out fish indefinitely, or do we help people to keep fishing? That seems like the wiser course.
      More on the stimulus bills, my wife’s g-ma is on a fixed income via SS etc and qualified for this stimulus… lol… WUT. On a fixed income she never stopped recieving her income, whats she gonna spend money on when she can’t leave the house and everything was still shutdown. Seemed silly to me. I digress

      I totally agree that the jobs and streams of earned income are the most important thing. I know an older dude that has a barbershop here, awesome guy, he’s bordering on closing and for some reason he didn’t qualify for the biz loan money etc. Well, if the govt forcing him and others to close caused his halt in business shouldn’t he get what he needs from said govt to stay in business? I’d say so. Love the munger line too.
      HOT TAKE CONCLUSION

      Yeah i think the biggest misuse of data is using xStats for predicting future, xStats are descriptive of what is/was happening. What coulda/shoulda/might have happened. *IF* situation is recreated the xStat is more likely to occur, but the exact situation almost never repeats so their ability to tell the future is quite limited. Doesn’t account for league/player/manager adjustments, lack of vacuum, lack of controlled environment, and so on.

      To me the key with “top starters” is identifying the value plays rather paying the inflated sticker price, so I agree guys like Biebs are the prime targets. Bieber, Gio, Castillo, Morton (age a little eek) yadda yadda seem like the best value relative to their peers. Tin’s series on value has been great exercise in this concept.

    • Sure but could Chuck surf?

      The line is from Folk/traditional music which is basically oral wisdom which was the name of the otter house in college.

      Thumbs up emoji*

      • lennydykstraisjustkmisunderstood says:
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        Wake up “Charlie doe’nst surf” is from Apocolypse Now

        • ding ding!

          And IF is the middle word in life.

          And Charlie don’t get to take the credit…

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Haha

    • krazyivan says:
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      The narrative that most Americans are in the non essential working category and are sitting around doing nothing is misleading.

  10. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    Backwards front: I’ve loved Bieber for a while bc of K-BB%, been saying a long time now that if you can’t look at anything else, just look at K-BB and you can only go so wrong…It just makes perfect sense, if a guy strikes out, say, 10 guys per nine and only walks one, there’s very little chance he will get burned with guys on base — I don’t mind FIP and xFIP still, I know some have moved away from it…Really just opening new cans of worms, afaic

    Some players are gonna sit out — I wouldn’t be surprised if Trout does — but players are already returning to camp, they’re coming back, but it could be a weird season

    I love that Munger line

  11. Llango211 says:
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    Grey, 12 team keeper H2H deal –
    Trade Abreu Snell for Jimenez
    Which side is better?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Snell/Abreu

  12. krazyivan says:
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    1.Pick one :Eaven White vs Cron?
    2. Pick two: Renato Nunez, Yandy Diaz, or Cron
    3.Pick one: Miggy Andujar vs Cron

    I love the Cron pick. When I first thought of NL DH he was one of the guys I was most excited about seeing. Lamb has this Greg Bird act going on where the org believes that the 2016 break out was better then it actually was. He can still play a role in offering Walker and Escobar days off.

    Cron is a Miguel Sano type of hitter that has less plate discipline and contact issues then he showed last season. He needed more then 78 abs last year to put it all together. The D’Backs want to win now- just as much as the Reds-Gallen, Starling Marte and MadBum were all brought it to push them into the playoffs. Cron is their best DH option now.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      1. White

      2. Not Yandy

      3. Hmm…Tough, I think Miggy still

      Yeah, I think Cron is their best bet and most interesting for fantasy — Lamb is so whatever

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Ha, I thought you were linking to the on-the-field brawl that happened the other day in South Korean baseball

          • krazyivan says:
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            No-what?! I didn’t know about that one. Good to hear that Puig got signed though!

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Wait, Puig got signed?

  13. Yep it is starting to smell like baseball alright. I’m hoping that if players are going to sit out, they come out early so we Rotisserieans? can have an accurate account of who is out. Trout, Snell, whoever else, step up and say it.
    K. Cron at 6’5″ 250 pounds the ball, especially low and inside. Dude drops the head and drives balls a long way. Think you’re right with him and Lamb sharing DH to start, but like Cron way better.
    Note to Cram: careful over Memorial Day, lots of emotion and patriotism in remembrance of our fallen. Be well people – Peace out

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      As Ivan mentioned above, Cron reminds me of Sano with his absolute ‘bomb-power’

    • Cram It says:
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      Ha. I’m good! I find it ironic that those saying people died in war for our freedoms to do what we want and that it’s just old people dying, don’t seem to realize that those old people dying from this are the very people that were fighting for those freedoms.

  14. Mark says:
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    In a short season, where pitchers may not have enough time to figure out new hitters, I an see Cron, who is in his prime, smash. I think he still qualifies for the ROY?

    The low average will be bothersome. I still cannot figure out the juiced ball and it’s impact, or if they will re-introduce the old baseball. It’s a perfect time to do so imo, since we are in a transition phase.
    But I doubt the MLB wants to see someone finish with less than 20 homers as their homerun champ this year, so my logic maybe poor.

    In a short season, dart throws are just that. I am loaded up with darts thanks to Razzball, with Tyler O’Neil, Riley and Kron. Plus pushing hard for Tapia, and Brinson to do anything.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Nice! Yeah, I doubt the ball is NOT juiced…MLB wants offense, especially in this season — and I agree with you, pitchers won’t be figuring out anyone, Cron is going to mash

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Leave it to MLB pitchers to need arm procedures when there’s no games going on

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Aw sookie

      • NUX says:
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        Lucky on landing Belly there, weren’t you

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I know, I wish I knew how these leagues worked to feel even happier about it

          Is this winner takes all again or top 3 get paid?

          • NUX says:
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            Top 3, so if you win you get $75

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Give me that $$$!

  15. Stat Man says:
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    Who do you want for this year only – Springer or JD Martinez? As a side note, Mookie accounted for 19 of his RBI last year.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      JD

      • Stat Man says:
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        Is a straight up deal for these two lopsided in favor of JD in your opinion.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Nope

  16. Troy says:
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    Thinking of a shortened season, with condensed games, how would the effect your auction strategy? Do you think its warranted to spend more on stars and end up with more $1 guys? Seems to me the stars are even more valuable.

Comments are closed.