This happened during the holiday season in my house:  Me, “Do you know what not winning the Cy Young did to your mother?  I don’t care, personally, if you throw your life away being an ace while never bringing home the postseason hardware, but your mother, she told all of her friends at her Wally Lamb book club for three straight months that you were going to win the Cy Young.  She even made me go to Costco, on a Sunday during their busiest time, and buy burgers and buns for a Sonny Gray Cy Young party.  Then you only receive one 2nd place vote and no first place votes.  I’m disappointed, and you giving your mother and I Billy Butler BBQ sauce for Christmas doesn’t really make up for it.”  Sonny, “Sorry, Pops.”  “Did you even buy this or did you get it free?”  I then threw Billy Butler’s BBQ into the fireplace and screamed, “Did you?!”  It was an ugly scene.  He’s my boy, Sonny Gray, and I love him very much, but it’s time we look at him through a non-familial gaze.  Last year, he had a 2.73 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in 208 IP while breaking out as a number one fantasy starter.  Or did he?!  Ah, Reversal Question, you are quick…Or are you?!  I am!…Or am I?!  Anyway, what can we expect from Sonny Gray for 2016 fantasy baseball and what makes him overrated?

Right from the jump, I can say he’s overrated because of how goofy high people are ranking him.  He’s in the top 60 overall for almost everyone and a top 15 starter for some ‘perts.  Man, I wish I could’ve seen how people ranked Brady Anderson that one year after he hit 50 homers.  I, of course, was only five years old in the 1990s (during the whole decade) because I’m barely a millennial, but people sure do overrate the previous year.  What’s weird (not weird) I swear to Allah or whoever you stop three times a day to pray to that the same people who rank my boy, Sonny, that high also think he’s overrated.  That’s confusing, right?  People rank someone high, then say out the other side of their mouth that they don’t like him.  It’s almost like the entire fantasy baseball ‘pert community is scared of what others will think of them, so they rank how they think you want them to rank rather than how they really want to rank.   This shouldn’t be that surprising since most of the fantasy baseball community spent somewhere from five to six hours of their life trapped in a locker in gym class.  Perhaps I’m just so damn cool that I never experienced bullying like that so I don’t succumb to how others want me to rank.  You think I’m kidding, but I’m dead serious.  There’s some serious psychological stuff going on with fantasy rankings.  Last year, I said something to Tristan Cockcroft like, “Don’t you like Nolan Arenado?”  He replied, “Yeah, I do.”  So, I followed with, “Then why do you rank him down in the 80s?”  And he says because that’s where he’s going.  Why do people rank players where they are going rather than ranking players where they should be going?  Seriously.  This drives me crazy every year.  So, with that psychological scarred thinking in mind, remembering that half of the ‘perts are ranking because they are afraid of bullying, people are only ranking Sonny Gray as high as they have him because they think YOU want him there.  Everyone knows Sonny Gray is overrated.  His K/9 fell last year to 7.3 from 7.5 and his xFIP was 3.69.  He has a low BABIP, which is somewhat understood due to his home park, but not entirely.  Gray is perfectly acceptable as a number two fantasy starter, but he’s being drafted as a number one, which he is not.  Contrary to what the media wants you to believe, the A’s aren’t a good team.  Their lineup of Lowrie, Reddick, Khris Davis, Vogt, Valencia, Moobsy Butler, Yonder, has real problems.  Steamer projects Gray for a stat line of 12-12/3.74/1.30/174.  That’s a little harsh, but it’s not far from where it could be.  Last year was a terrific year, but you’re not drafting for last year, even if most ‘perts want you to believe you are.  You’re drafting for this year.

 
  1. Krinks says:
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    I put Sonny Gray in the same category as the Cleveland Indians Pitching. Anything less than a Cy Young performance will yield a 3-1 or 4-2 loss due to horrific offense. I’ll never forgive Cleveland for Kluber’s 16 losses that ruined my season last year.

  2. Nick says:
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    last year when Gray was Hot !! got offered Goldschmidt,,,
    straight up !
    Piña colada & margueritas for everyone ^^

  3. Don says:
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    Not related to Sonny, but to your point about, again, about the lunacy of ESPN rankings…here is part of their blurb about Neil Walker:

    SEASON PROJECTION
    As everyone suspected, Walker’s 2014 home run total was an outlier. His 23 home runs were a career high after four years ranging from 12 to 16. A career-best 14 percent HR/FB rate wasn’t so far outside of his range that it couldn’t sustain it, but the safe bet was to regress him back toward his 10 percent career mark — and that’s exactly where he landed, which yielded another 16-homer season. The move to the Mets is probably neutral…

    And then, of course, they project him to hit 23 bombs (2nd most among all 2B behind Dozier). I think they just like messing with people’s heads.

    And in a dynasty league I can keep two of these guys at no cost difference: McCutchen, Posey, Springer, Seager, Lindor. Who do you keep?

    • Don says:
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      @Don:

      Corey Seager

      • I'mgettingsomeHeadley says:
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        @Don: Springer and Seager.

    • Sam says:
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      @Don: Hard not to go McCutch, Posey.. but I could see going Posey, Springer

    • Malicious Phenom says:
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      @Don: I’d go Cutch and Springer, gives you 2 of the best OF’s and overall players.

      • knucks says:
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        @Malicious Phenom: I could see someone making the argument to leave seager out if you were only able to choose one, but to be able to choose 2 and one of them is NOT seager. Did you see J-FOH’s article last night or ask him about it? I know he ranked Seager lower than a few of these guys but I’d agree with Headley here myself, Springer/Seager for me. Good luck!

        • J-FOH says:
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          @knucks: those were keeper ranks. In a dynasty I’d go seager springer

          • knucks says:
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            @J-FOH: My b J-Foh never done either keeper/dynasty so I guess I just consider them the same thing… Just for clarity, what makes it different? Dynasty has more keepers and cements a timetable for how long you can keep them? I see now he noted “cost difference” but just thought that was in reference to rounds.

            • J-FOH says:
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              @knucks: keeper can be anything from from 1 year and one player to about 7 years and 10 players. Keeper leagues in my book has an end date to when you can keep them. Dynasty is forever and generally will include a minor league component to it.

              • knucks says:
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                @J-FOH: Good stuff, thanks for that knowledge brudda.

        • Malicious Phenom says:
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          @knucks: I agree with you, Springer/Seager is the way to go. I missed the part about, dynasty league,,lol

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Don: Springer, Seager

    • Steve Elliott says:
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      @Don: Seager and Cutch!

  4. Let Us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves says:
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    yikes, cockraft actually said that? wow, those people really are hacks. $10 handjobers hanging out at the same parties as $400 an hour model-looking call girls up in here.

  5. Z says:
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    Hey Grey! Loving these schmohawk posts and looking for some advice.

    Was looking over your overall rankings where you have Rizzo at #4. You seem to be high on him this year. I have the number two pick in my league and have decided to draft a 1B due to the plethora of OF.

    Could you make the case to draft Rizzo over Goldschmidt? Or is that too risky? Thanks as always!

    • Let Us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves says:
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      @Z: not risky with either one but au rizz is lower than au shizz, but 2 spots.

    • I'mgettingsomeHeadley says:
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      @Z: The question will be if the #1 pick is not Trout. It could be Goldschimidt. Now do you Draft Trout or Rizzo? You can’t go wrong with Trout and get a 1bm in round 2.

      • Z says:
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        @I’mgettingsomeHeadley: Assuming Trout goes 1, I’m choosing between Goldy and Rizzo. If Trout falls, no brainer.

        • Let Us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves says:
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          @Z: i know, are you asking if Grey changes his goldy vs rizzo rankings?

          • Z says:
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            @Let Us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves: Was curious because in his rankings he mentions Goldy had a career year, while Rizzo had an off year. So I’m wondering if they’re fairly interchangeable

            • knucks says:
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              @Z: Yea along with what dwarves is saying… the answer is def goldy or trout here. I think the only way you go rizzo is if you had the #3 and want him over harper. Which I might do myself. He puts a lot of thought into his rankings, so to think that he would say that he changed his mind and tell you to go rizzo over goldy is not gonna happen. Good luck either way, I think the burden of the #2 pick isn’t about ending up with trout/goldy/rizzo. Its wondering who you get at the end of the second round. Which prob needs to be a 1B if you arent getting one at #2. But that means you have trout….

    • Malicious Phenom says:
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      @Z: Golddy

    • J-FOH says:
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      @Z: why don’t you take trout or harper and then grab abreu/davis/EE at the turn. Positional scarcity is way over rated.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Z: Nah, go Goldy

  6. The great Knoche says:
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    No Billy Butler Shirt diagram of BBQ stains after the party?

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Grey: only if the shirt comes with moobs for the moobless

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Shirt feels like it should have sleeves, and belly covered but no chest covering

          • J-FOH says:
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            @Grey: that sounds like the shirt I have after a failed incredible hulk moment

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Haha

  7. Kiss a bum says:
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    who would replace Billy Hamilton if he fails? Thanks!!!

    • Malicious Phenom says:
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      @Kiss a bum: B-Ham will have a long leash this year on a rebuilding team.

      • knucks says:
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        @Grey: This is prob a dumb Q, but K-Bum, you mean for your team or the reds? I get Grey’s response for the reds, but if you are talking about your fantasy team… I’d be all over drafting deshields rather than billy.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I thought he meant for the Reds

          • knucks says:
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            @Grey: Yea I think he did hah, I am just babbling and spewing regurgitated Grey knowledge where applicable (or possible applicable?) Thanks for the article Grey.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              No problem

        • knucks says:
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          @knucks: And then building off the idea that you were talking about your team… i’m taking ketel marte and pillar at the right price for decently cheap speed

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            I like Ketel a lot

  8. Scott says:
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    12 team, 7×6 (hits, OPS, QS the extra categories) keeper league. We only play 3 OF and don’t have MI/CI slots. 1 UTIL slot.

    Already have Correa and Abreu, keep 3 of the following:

    Heyward
    Cespedes
    Bogaerts
    Corey Seager
    Schwarber
    Price

    • Sam says:
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      @Scott: I’d go Price, Seager, Schwarber.. OFs are replaceable and not upper tier, and I’m not sold on Bogy (Grey will disagree!)

    • FKA Ralph says:
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      @Scott: any way you can trade? Maybe do a 3:1 for Harper/Springer/Betts? You have three top SS and no real use for them.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Scott: Seager, Price, Schwarber, tough call on last one

  9. #BlackmonMatters says:
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    Hey Grey,

    Quick question. Why are you so down on Yasmani? He had a 282 average, 14 HRs and a 920 ops in the first half of the season before getting hurt last year? He also walks a ton which is great for ops leagues.

    Thanks!

      • knucks says:
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        @Grey: hmm… shoulder surgery/catcher/AJ Ellis might all factor as to why I personally don’t really care about him. Too bad Catcher doesn’t start with an ‘S’ because when I look at Grandal I see no face!

        I dunno what exactly Dave Roberts’ plan for PT is between Yaz/AJ. As Yaz is clearly the better bat… anyways like you said, maybe in an OPS situation #Yasmanimatters more, i dunno. I am just coming from a place where I pretend Catchers don’t exist all that much until Round 23 or the day after draft. Good luck Blackmon!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          CAGNOF! Yeah, I hear ya… Grandal will prolly catch about 120 games

          • #BlackmonMatters says:
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            So its more about playing time than anything.
            Thanks Guys

  10. ichirosan says:
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    16 man H2H dynasty league.

    I give:
    Stephen Strasburg
    Steve Matz
    8th round pick (think someone like Michael Pineda or Randal Grichuk)

    I get:
    Jacob de Grom
    Justin Upton
    16th round pick (still far, but I’m considering someone like Marco Estrada or Avisaíl García, or a faller)

    Yay or nay?

    • FKA Ralph says:
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      @ichirosan: do it. 1,000,000%

    • Malicious Phenom says:
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      @ichirosan: yay

  11. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Couldn’t agree more on this one. I’m so out on Gray, I honestly don’t remember even seeing his name in any mock draft…

    I have a surplus of AVG/SB in my keepers, so I’m looking to try moving Hosmer ($14) in my keeper league for a little more power. No one wants to trade their shiny young prospects for him, so it seems like the best power bats around his ranking, who are also available at not bad prices in my league are guys like the following:

    Braun ($27 – probably too pricey)
    Khris Davis ($9)
    Belt ($9)
    CarGonzalez ($16)
    CarGomez ($14)

    Would you want any one of these guys over your $14 Hosmer if you need HR, or better to hold and just draft for power (Schoop, etc.)?

    • FKA Ralph says:
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      @Duda Want to Build a Snowman?: belt and Gomez aren’t likely to provide much more power than Hosmer. Hard to say much more without seeing your other keepers.

      • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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        @FKA Ralph: Agreed, though I think Belt could finally have that power emergence (unlike Hosmer).

        Other keepers are Abreu, Betts, Blackmon, Buxton, Stras, Rodon.

  12. Ryan741 says:
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    Grey, would you trade Scherzer for Noah in a H2H points league? I would be gaining Noah as an 11th round keeper for next year. It’s a great offer, my only hesitation is once we announce our keepers like we already have, then we don’t get that draft spot back. So I kept Max as my 2nd round pick, if I trade him for Noah, I don’t get my pick back. I’m essentially keeping Noah as my 2nd this year and won’t get his true value until next year. Would you still do the trade?

  13. That's What Speed Do says:
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    Love the write up. Just makes me wonder… Is Grey only playing mind games with us like the rest of the experts??? Hmmmmmmmmm

    On an unrelated note, I just got offered a trade that has a lot of working parts, hang with me..

    My Abreu for his (pick one pitcher and one hitter) Springer, Gomez, Joc, Harvey, Sale, Kluber.

    It’s a 5 keeper league, currently keeping Abreu, Arenado, Dee, J Upton, and DeGrom.

    So, the only way doing a 2 for 1 helps me is if I could turn around and package some guys up for better keeper. We draft on March 27th and I don’t know if I’d be able to pull that off or not, but Springer is enticing. He wants an answer by this afternoon. Thoughts?

    • That's What Speed Do says:
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      @That’s What Speed Do: So now I’m hearing from him that he and another guy in my league are trying to make a huge deal involving him trading away Goldschmidt which is why he wants my Abreu… So it might make more sense for me to wait and see what he gets from the other guy

  14. StarlingArcher says:
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    In a keeper league I get Lindor and Vizcaino he gets Liriano and Familia. Currently have Starlin penciled in at SS. Thoughts?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I’d want Lindor, it’s fair

  15. JoeG414 says:
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    25 Games for Chapman

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Ouch, sucks for him

    • GhostTownSteve says:
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      @JoeG414:

      Wow. And he wasn’t even charged. Doesn’t bode well at all for Reyes.

      • GhostTownSteve says:
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        @GhostTownSteve:

        not seeing it on the webz

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Agreed, see it nowhere

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Where are we seeing this?

    • Crapshoot Kershaw says:
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      @JoeG414: after years of actually covering this stuff up (at least for sure in NFL) these leagues have flipped the other way, full on Nazi regime suspensions just for being suspected of things. Guilty until proven innocent. Worst part is these players associations allow this in their agreements.

  16. GhostTownSteve says:
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    I agree he’s overrated for fantasy, but he’s going to bury those Steamer rate numbers. I guarandamntee it.

    I kind of like the A’s this year. Sleeper team. Reminds me of the 2012 team in a way. Bullpen has a chance to be really really good if things come together and still ok even with a couple of misses. Decent depth of rotation arms. Wash will for sure improve them defensively.

    And I don’t know what media you’re looking at rating the A’s as not too bad. I haven’t seen a single person pick them anywhere but last in the AL West and I think just about everybody has them as the worst team in the AL.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      You’re wearing green and gold blinders, that A’s team looks about as bad as it’s looked in a while… Media loves Beane, always finds something to say, even if it’s, “The A’s don’t look good on paper, but they always find a way.” Are you in Arizona this weekend?

      • GhostTownSteve says:
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        @Grey:

        Nope. I have my kiddoes. Really, really wanted to make it. I’d be on a plane in a heartbeat.

        I try to be a little bit neutral on the A’s. I’m not a total fanboy. I think this year they have a few of the same elements that let to success in their 3 year run. They have a lot of competition and guys playing for their next contract or their MLB life. They stocked the ‘pen. They went for volume on SPs and have some interesting arms down there. They can give you decent AB from every position on the field so the line up is unspectacular but could be pretty long. Wash is going to coach up that defense, that’s for sure. His track record with that is too good to ignore. I think they are better than Seattle and LAA and can push Tejas. Houston’s slightly vulnerable in their rotation but they look like a gorilla anyway.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Ugh, I thought for sure you’d be there with Magoo in the house… I like Jesse Hahn to surprise, love Semien (ew!), Burns is solid, I like Davis….Then I’m having a hard time figuring out what else they can do… Lowrie will be hurt, Butler’s garbage, Yonder’s terrible, Valencia is so bad, Vogt is not very good, Bassitt oofa, Graveman yikes, Rich Hill meh, we’ll see if he pitches longer than 40 IP

          • peacecoast says:
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            @Grey: you love semien and go down on grandal BOOM

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Not Grandal’s Semien though, not that!

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Grey: the Royals look like crap on paper every year, Giants too but they both win. That Royals staff couldn’t even get me to half mast….cust kayin

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          That’s not true

          • J-FOH says:
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            @Grey: oh, it is true. The Royals in 2014 looked like nothing special on paper, didnt really last year. Small ball teams are not sexy and never look appealing. Same as Giants, at least Giants have Bum and Posey, what two sexy players do the royals have…cain and Ventura? sal perez and davis? PAAAAALEASE

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Royals player much better than A’s player playing same position….Every one except maybe Infante

              • J-FOH says:
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                @Grey: that was never the disareement, the Royals are not sexy was the disagreement. The A’s are not sexy either. They’re both not sexy

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Sexy is eye of the beholder, you’re backtracking now