With the top 40 outfielders for 2015 fantasy baseball, we’ve finished all the hitter recaps.  We meaning me, but I’ll include you.  No, that’s not a cue to try to hold my hand.  Why are you now patting my butt?  Don’t muss my hair!  The pitching recap will begin on Monday.  You can hardly wait.  No, you!  To recap, the end of the season rankings are based on our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.  I felt the easiest way to keep it objective would to go this route.  This way when I say someone finished 30th and I ranked them 23rd in the preseason, it carries more weight like Jesse Plemons on Fargo.  Anyway, here’s the top 40 outfielders for 2015 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

21. Michael Brantley – He actually had a fairly similar season to his breakout 2014 season, just minus 20 games worth of counting stats.  I used those clunky modifiers, actually and fairly, because this felt surprising to me.  He wasn’t that off from where I thought he’d be, but it took a 10 HR, 6-steal, .335 2nd half to get there.  Because I was surprised by his end value, I think he could be underrated going into next year.  Let’s call that a tease for what’s to come.  Yes, I’m a fantasy flirt!  Preseason Rank #12, 2015 Projections:  87/17/92/.301/19, Final Numbers:  68/15/84/.310/15

22. Shin-Soo Choo – Sometimes contributor/commenter, Simply Fred, emailed me the other day and said in my RCL draft (my team that ended up in the top ten out of 1200 teams), I didn’t draft one player over the age of 29.  I mention this now, because Choo is 33 years old and his steals the past three years are 20, 3, 4.  It’s a young man’s game, and no young man would ever type that sentence.  Now get off my lawn!  Preseason Rank #52, 2015 Projections:  77/15/49/.271/10, Final Numbers:  94/22/82/.276/4

23. Adam Eaton – I guarantee no one will rank Eaton this high next year, which is funny (not funny) because he ended up this high this year and he didn’t even ‘breakout.’  This will be a case of where people are thinking about two years ago rather than next year.  Here’s an illustration of that, I bet Adam Jones is ranked above Eaton everywhere in 2016.  That bet was not made at FanDuel or DraftKings, by the way.  In case the FBI is reading this.  Preseason Rank #79, 2015 Projections:  80/5/38/.281/20, Final Numbers: 98/14/56/.287/18

24. Brett Gardner – Looking at Gardner’s end of the season numbers tell me…Nothing actually, and my ear is pressed against the screen.  Looking at his end of the season numbers tells me that if a guy gets 15 HRs and 20 SBs, he’s valuable for every fantasy league.  The days of needing someone to go 25/15 or even 20/20 are over.  A guy goes 15/20 and he’s a top 25 outfielder.  That’s hashtag truth.  Preseason Rank #32, 2015 Projections:  78/11/49/.257/25, Final Numbers: 94/16/66/.259/20

25. Jason Heyward – Not sure how many of you are old enough to remember Heyward’s first at-bat in the majors when he hit an absolute rocket into the outfield seats, but if you’re not old enough, it means you’re like five years old, so kudos to your reading comprehension skills.  Also, thanks for lowering our mean demographics age into the coveted millennials.  So, my point (there is one!), how did the guy that hit that bomb, become a 13-homer hitter in 610 plate appearances?  Preseason Rank #21, 2015 Projections:  91/20/75/.274/15, Final Numbers:  79/13/60/.293/23

26. Adam Jones – This was the year Adam Jones got old.  Happens to everyone (I’m told; call me Dorian Grey, snitches!).  Since Jones got old this year, not sure what the song Me and Mrs. Jones means when he sings it to his wife.  That they’re both seniors?  A December/December romance is so not hot.  Preseason Rank #4, 2015 Projections:  90/28/101/.280/10, Final Numbers:  74/27/82/.269/3

27. Ben Revere – Conspiracy Theory Alert!  I’ve long said Revere and Denard Span are the same player.  The only thing that separated them was Span would hit four homers and Revere would hit none.  What if they split the difference and melded into one person?  That would mean Revere would hit two homers.  This year…he hit two homers!  Preseason Rank #68, 2015 Projections:  68/1/31/.298/35, Final Numbers:  84/2/45/.306/31

28. Kole Calhoun – I look at my preseason projections for Calhoun’s steals (10) and I have no idea what I was thinking.  I’m flummoxed, ya’ll!  Maybe it’s because he stole 20 bases in High-A, but that seems like a stretch.  January Grey has some esplaining to do!  Preseason Rank #27, 2015 Projections:  98/22/53/.269/10, Final Numbers:  78/26/83/.256/4

29. David Peralta – This is about the point where I was picking up and dropping players to waivers in a 12-team-league.  That is crazy.  The 29th best outfielder in all of baseball was droppable at times.  Shouldn’t be, but there it is.  Damn, that sounds like an uber-intelligent fortune cookie.  Preseason Rank #97, 2015 Projections:  46/11/39/.281/7, Final Numbers: 61/17/78/.312/9

30. Kevin Pillar – This guy was well named because you could always count on him being in the lineup (played 159 games) and holding up his end of the bargain and/or an old building.  Okay, so that metaphor didn’t hold up as well as Pillar.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  76/12/56/.278/25

31. Dexter Fowler – Sometime in May, I told you to buy Fowler because he was hitting leadoff on a good team and anyone hitting leadoff should be owned.  Now look at how many runs he scored, now look at how many guys had more runs than him in the majors (only six). Preseason Rank #65, 2015 Projections:  89/13/48/.252/15, Final Numbers: 102/17/46/.250/20

32. Josh Reddick – Honestly, I’m shocked by how high he ended up in this rankings.  Even more honestly, if I’m going to be shocked by a Reddick, this is how I want it to happen.  Preseason Rank #80, 2015 Projections:  67/17/72/.238/4, Final Numbers:  67/20/77/.272/10

33. Jay Bruce – Totally nailed his projections.  Like nailed nailed.  On a related note, if it was revealed that Bruce was actually 34 years old, I wouldn’t be surprised at all.  It would finally explain how a guy enters his prime and gets worse.  Preseason Rank #23, 2015 Projections:  77/27/89/.235/9, Final Numbers: 72/26/87/.226/9

34. Stephen Vogt – Went over him in the top 20 catchers.

35. Gerardo Parra – This kinda goes for Peralta, Inciarte and Maybin, too.  Okay, it definitely goes for them in one respect, I owned them all in a 15-team league (Tout Wars, where I finished third, barely losing).  They were underrated, and my outfield wasn’t as bad at it would seem if you just saw those guys, but — and this is a J. Lo-sized but — I’d argue (as I’m doing) that they weren’t as valuable in weekly leagues.  There were so many times I’d cringe when I’d see them benched for no reason or pulled late in the game for a pinch hitter and no one owned and started them every day to accumulate all of their stats.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  61/17/78/.312/9

36. Brandon Belt – Wow, from Bruce to Belt, back-to-back guys I completely nailed now on projections.  Well, back-to-back if you eliminate Vogt, who is a catcher, and Parra, who I totally missed.  Preseason ranked #26 for 1st basemen, 2015 Projections:  74/18/79/.278/5, Final Numbers:  73/18/68/.280/9

37. Gregory Polanco – Marte is kinda McCutchen Jr. and Polanco is kinda Marte Jr., so what does that make Travis Snider?  Michael Morse Jr.?  It does actually.  Preseason Rank #38, 2015 Projections:  68/14/59/.267/25, Final Numbers:  83/9/52/.256/27

38.  Ender Inciarte – It’s just too bad the D-Backs didn’t have four outfield slots.  “And free ice cream between innings!”  That’s Yasmany Tomas.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 73/6/45/.303/21

39. Cameron Maybin – As I mentioned a few blurbs ago, I owned Maybin in one league (picking him up after about a month of play) and he was solid, but top 40 overall for outfielders?  As Oasis would tell you, “Maybin, ain’t gonna be the one to save me.  And after all, the only thing you have in common with Bryce Harper is you might run into a wall.”  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 65/10/59/.267/23

40. Billy Burns – Unlike Parra, Ender, Maybin, Peralta and a few others, Burns was more valuable because he wasn’t in the majors to start the year and then, when he was called up, he performed well and played every day.  Was he, as Burns would say, egggggscellent?  No, but solid.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 70/5/42/.294/26

 
  1. The Theory says:
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    The only perk to outfield getting ugly, quick, is that every damned team in your league is going to be in the same OF boat. Except that crazy guy who started the draft with 3 OFs–what a nut, he probably won his league.

    • Zeus says:
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      @The Theory: I knew OF would be weak that’s why I targeted it in all of my drafts and auctions. Ended up winning 3 out of 4 leagues and 3rd in the other

      • Baezaworldseries says:
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        @Zeus: So how did you know OF would be weak?

        • Zeus says:
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          @Baezaworldseries: fairly easy, if you play in a 12 team league a minimum of 60 OFs would be rostered and 70 in a 14 teamer. If you looked at the bottom of those lists in 2014 the dregs were pretty weak and weren’t better than a crappy middle infidel. You can win by losing a few positions but you’re most likely going to be able to survive with a stacked OF and usable middles than the other way around. At least in today’s environment.

      • Baezaworldseries says:
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        @Zeus: Something like 15 of the top 25 hitters were OF.

        • Zeus says:
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          @Baezaworldseries: right so shouldn’t you try to get as many of them as possible? If some of the safe plays are undervalued you can have a lot of top 25 hitters.

      • DisEnfranchised says:
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        @Zeus: I took 2nd in my auction league with McCutcheon, Cespedes, and Betts in the OF. Not really because I knew OF would be weak but more that I got them at good values in a points league where managers are over valuing pitching. My offense was stacked because I kept Rizzo and also drafted Altuve. Hosmer was a good buy too; and Santana didn’t cost much so his production waswas worth the modest price I paid trying to get someone else to spend on him. Due to move limits I sat on A-Rod and Andrus as starters all season. I barely lost the championship due to Shields not getting the quality start. I got into next season planning to keep Rizzo, Betts, and Kluber well below what I think they’re worth.

        Anyway, I hope I don’t sound like I’m bragging because what I really wanted to say is that it’s more about value in your draft and auction than necessarily who you. That’s how I ended up stacked in the OF and hitting in general. Every time you reach or overspend there’s a chance that you might miss out on guys that will really impact your team. It’s not necessarily good or bad to be weak in the OF because the position is deep with opportunity but at the right price it’s good to load up too.

        • Zeus says:
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          @DisEnfranchised: don’t disagree with you but OF depth in a 5of 14 team league is garbage once you get to a certain level. Having 5 top 30 guys is a nice swing in your favor and you can still pick up valuable corners and decent MI.

      • What's a Drexl? says:
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        @Zeus: top end OF’ers weren’t weak at all, besides suddenly stealing yet again after not doing it for 2.5 years upton, projected by Grey as OF #8, actually got OF #19, all his other stats Grey had about exactly right, so many guys were very good in the top 20 OF’ers.

  2. blahblahblah says:
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    Calhoun got me too. I’ve expected big things from him the past few years in the power/speed combo but mostly received “meh.”
    Looking at his body type, I think the days of expecting steals from him are toast. On the other hand, and I would not have guessed this when he came up from the minors, I do think he could one day be a 30 HR player.

    I the first half, Eaton had me questioning why I wasted a pick on him, even if it was in the 18th round. Post ASB, he made all those tears go away. I see him as a big potential sleeper next year.

    Final outfield thoughts-I’ll never again draft my binky, Dickerson. And Ender is going to be a fine player and a fantasy asset for years to come. The NL version of Yellich is my bet/hope.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @blahblahblah: Yeah, he’s not exactly a fast guy, but he does have power…Yeah, Dickerson’s heel still concerns me

      • james says:
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        @Grey:

        crazy thing is in a dynasty league I offered Heyward for Dickerson (really deep in RF, needed a LF and he was is the opposite boat), and he basically told me it was way off… Crazy how some people view players coming off long injuries.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, I don’t think he’s necessarily wrong either

  3. Ra'zbahl Al Ghul says:
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    Yeah Brantley’s 45 doubles in 2015 is very encouraging that 2014 wasn’t a fluke

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Ra’zbahl Al Ghul: Less of a fluke than someone would’ve thought in June, that’s for sure

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Grey: that wonky back killed any back to back mojo he had

        • Ra'zbahl Al Ghul says:
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          @J-FOH: it was a wonky back to back

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, but not sure it’ll just disappear, back issues tend to linger for careers — see Mattingly

          • Ra'zbahl Al Ghul says:
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            @Grey: prayer rhombus!

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              @Ra’zbahl Al Ghul: It may already be too late for that… Though in 15 years we can complain about Brantley’s lackluster managing

              • Ra'zbahl Al Ghul says:
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                @Grey: oh geez… the 2030 WS: Pirates managed by Brantley, Yankees managed by Swisher, with Tony Plush Jr. as league MVP

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  HA!

  4. ScreechOwl says:
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    I don’t think I owned a single player on this list, the second base list (wait, I think I started that one Dodger guy with the orange hair for a week or two), or the catcher list.

    At least with this one, I can be happy with the fact that two of my outfielders made a different list, and I don’t mean that in a Joe McCarthy way.

    Wait, I just ruined my comment by remembering that I started Shin-Soo Choo in my #3 outfield spot for a few days before switching to Khris Davis. Big hitter. So, I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Haha…Yeah, I had Davis all over the place, which was a good thing, but showed the problems my outfield had in general

  5. dude says:
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    What do you make of Pillar’s season? Seems like if he moves to the top of the lineup, he has Marte like upside?

    Pillar – 76/12/56/.278/25

    Marte – 84/19/81/.287/30

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I think we just saw his best season

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Grey: I think that goes for both guys

  6. J-FOH says:
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    I just did a BB profile search. Among outfielders with a groundball rate north of 50% and a flyball rate below 25% we get a list of Yelich, Heyward, Revere, Maybin, Holt, A-Jax and one other player. Can you name that player without looking?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Span? No idea really

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Grey: Marte

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Ah, yeah, forgot about him, not completely surprising

          • J-FOH says:
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            @Grey: did we just see his career year? HR/FB also a career high

            • GhostTownSteve says:
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              @J-FOH:

              I think he can kind of be right around there most years. I think he’s got a limited ceiling until he starts to hit the ball in the air. But it’s also the kind of thing where he might have a break out that you don’t see coming and he starts to drive it. He’s a pretty big kid.

              • J-FOH says:
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                @GhostTownSteve: agreed, he falls into that head scratching category for me where you think he will be better but its hard to predict what player will show up. In my limited viewing of him he looks like a hack that wont age well. Is he a Hanley type that does it when he wants then doesn’t. Over June/July/August he hit 5 HR’s then 14 among the other three months. Frustrating guy for sure with that 4.3% walk rate.

                • Fungazi says:
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                  @J-FOH: I had him on my team the past couple of years and watched a lot of Pirates games when Cole pitched. I don’t think Marte has an attitude problem, he just is really streaky. He might not do anything for a couple of weeks, then it seems like every game is a multi-hit game. I agree he is a big whiffer, he doesn’t walk ever.

              • J-FOH says:
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                @GhostTownSteve: and could we translate the drop in K rate and walk rate with him trying to make more contact and putting the ball on the ground?

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              I think he’ll fall into the 15-homer area, and not hit this many next year

    • GhostTownSteve says:
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      @J-FOH:

      If you don’t hit a lot of fly balls, you better be fast

  7. GhostTownSteve says:
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    I think you’d have to characterize Eaton’s 14 homers as breakout. He’d never hit that much at any level and he 1 in 538 PAs the year before. He added 13 feet to his avg fly ball and only 3 of his homers were just enoughs. I saw the White Sox down in spring training this year and I was pretty impressed by Eaton’s athleticism. He’s real short. Listed at 5’8″, might not even be that tall, but he’s 185. There is that well known correspondence between the age curve and the power curve. Or in Lloyd McClendon terms, getting your man muscles. I think the teams who end up with Eaton are the ones who believe in the power spike.

    • GhostTownSteve says:
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      @GhostTownSteve:

      Brantley is one of those guys that might not be a good value pick. Guys like Rudy who love the high floor are going to be high on him.

      • I wouldn’t say I’m a high floor guy. I could see Brantley being a good fit for the team that drafts Stanton though…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I could see believing, I was just saying I bet a lot of people will be saying he’s about to breakout, when he already broke out

    • Zeus says:
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      @GhostTownSteve: honestly I think a 100/12/55/305/20 year is possible. He positively stunk in the beginning of the year. The year before he was hurt. If and its a big if he could put a full season together those numbers are believable for a guy with his walk rate

  8. LastPlace says:
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    I know it’s early, an the rankings will eventually be out, but right now, who would you rather own in 2016: Addison Russel or Corey Seager?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Seager

  9. Cohen says:
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    Grey,great stuff,who do u like tonight,Jays or KC?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Gotta go Royals at this point

      • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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        @Grey: with “homers” like that one, they sure better win by more than 1. man 1985 win a WS from utter b.s. at first base and now might make a WS from it. I really hope they just lose or win in regulation by more than 1 just to avoid this kind of shit.

        • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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          @Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo: funniest part would be if the call from 1985 would’ve been correctly by today’s replay, but maybe that “homer” would’ve been called right in 1985 (probably not, but it’d be funny)

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Ha, true

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          They should just let the fans on the field

          • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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            @Grey: why not, might get the sport more popular, and for once show the naked fans that run around sometimes, if they can claim copyright infringement on taping of a national TV game, we should have the right to what’s going on in the game when we watch it on TV.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Member the days of Morganna? They always showed her

              • J-FOH says:
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                @Grey: she was the best

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  The best, right? I saw her at a game once, they didn’t even throw her out… Now they’d jail her

                  • J-FOH says:
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                    @Grey: I never saw her in person but like Elvira, I always loved seeing her on TV

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      I was thinking about Elvira last night, what happened to that fine cougar?

                    • J-FOH says:
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                      she was counting cars a couple of seasons ago. Her, Linda Carter, Daisy Duke, Charlie’s Angels….first wood makers in my life

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Me and my moms went to the Counting Cars show room in Vegas, it was pretty solid, good touristy shizz off the strip

              • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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                @Grey: i don’t, what city was that in?

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  She was all over, in NY I saw her

                  • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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                    @Grey: wow, she was doing that since she was young too. long time.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      A pro, for sure

  10. Cohen says:
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    I agree thanks

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      No problem

  11. J-FOH says:
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    Really glad we have instant replay

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      So we can see the Amish kid steal a homer and then review it and still get it wrong? Yeah, they are so clueless…They need review umps for review umps

      • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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        @Grey: ump union should fight for that, it would continue to make them seem needed at all (which they aren’t), and would create more jobs, thus more money.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Then umps to review the umps that review the umps

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Grey: haha, review ups for the review umps. They should just net in the whole field

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          An infinity chain of review umps

  12. Jon boba says:
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    AL only keeper league but next yr only; keep 3: Springer, Gomez (Astros), Calhoun, Eaton

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Springer, Calhoun, Eaton… Tough though…

      • SwaggerJackers says:
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        @Grey: Calhoun and Eaton over Gomez? Man, you must really be down on him for 2016. Think he’s a 15/20 guy going forward?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Those are all tough calls… As of right now, but I haven’t done my rankings yet

          • Jon boba says:
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            @Grey: rumour is Eaton is on the block. Not a good clubhouse guy.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Hopefully he goes to the Rockies… Hopefully Weiss doesn’t then platoon him

  13. J-FOH says:
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    I blame you all here that prodded me into watching the playoffs. I was very happy with my ignorance and making funny of “modern” baseball. At least all the stupid wildcard teams are gone.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Haha, sorry!

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Grey: its not your fault, I gave into peer pressure, D.A.R.E. failed me again

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I always blame my peer group

        • What's a Drexl? says:
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          @J-FOH: you’ve seen the guys that wear that shirt, right. Betting those guys let down a lot of people who aren’t their dealers.

  14. SteveNZ says:
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    Only problem with having Davis as your closer is that it takes an inning longer to get to him than it used to.

    • J-FOH says:
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      @SteveNZ: well said

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Agreed

      • SteveNZ says:
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        @Grey: But oh my, it is worth the wait to get to him.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          He is special

  15. SteveNZ says:
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    The internet just told me that on this night 5 years ago, Madson gave up a dinger in an NLCS game.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Poor Madson

  16. SteveNZ says:
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    We have got the Fox coverage here – I thought for a moment that Don Rickles was part of their studio team. Turns out it was just Pete Rose.

    • J-FOH says:
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      @SteveNZ: Boom goes the kiwi!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      HA

  17. Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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    yep, so instead of being ahead which they should be from a lack of homer they lose by 1 run. just awful.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, felt like the Jays got gypped

      • SteveNZ says:
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        @Grey: Didn’t see the incident but they had every opportunity to put things right in the 9th…

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, they ample opportunities tonight

          • J-FOH says:
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            @Grey: I prefer they got gypped response

            • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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              @J-FOH: well i mean, a run that didn’t exist for KC, so instead of it being tied TOR would’ve been winning post break. if everything breaks the same game is tied post osuna.

              a ball that wasn’t a homer (since fan reached over wall fence and grabbed a ball that was set to be ground rule double) was ruled a homer, even after review. Price got out of inning with two str K’s after that.

              • SteveNZ says:
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                @Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo: I think it’s always tough to assume that ‘everything breaks the same’ – and that goes for any sport when this happens, not just this game. That said, it does sound like the Jays got the rough end of the call.

                They should have at least tied it in the 9th though, so I’m not sure they can blame the blown call entirely.

                • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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                  @SteveNZ: i agree everything might not have been the same, maybe with lead TOR pitches better though, or hits more, that could go either way. All we DO know is a non-existent run showed up on scoreboard for KC much earlier in game than 9th inning. Reason i even assume “if things break the same” is we have no reason to assume they’d do differently. Maybe Price doesn’t get 2 str K’s after the “homer” that was really a double, and KC gets a run that way. then nothing changed.

                  • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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                    @Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo: it’s not close to as bad as the 1985 KC guy called safe by Dekinger at first when if KC lost they were out. KC could’ve obviously won game 7 here anyway, or even did better later in the game and won anyway.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Yeah

  18. SteveNZ says:
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    But on to more important stuff – how are you guys enjoying the Rugby World Cup?

    • J-FOH says:
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      @SteveNZ: what’s a cup?