May 2, 2008

Hudson Makes Statement, Leads Braves to Victory

Maybe Tim Hudson was embarrassed or frustrated by only going 3 innings in 2 of his last three starts. Maybe he was responding to being the unquestioned ace with Smoltz's move to the bullpen. Or maybe, just maybe, he read this blog and got mad that I said Jurrjens is the Braves' best starter.

Today, Hudson had his best performance of the year, throwing a complete game three-hitter and shutting out the Reds. He allowed no walks and threw a staggering 81 strikes of 110 pitches. Add in 10 K's and that the Reds could not muster a single extra-base hit, and you have the best outing by a Brave all year. Way to go, Tim! Maybe I should write derogatory articles more often.

In other NL East news, John Lannan had been riding a scoreless innings streak, but got lit up by the Pirates.

May 1, 2008

Kentucky Derby Picks

Brien's Picks
I was pretty successful with last year's picks in both the Derby and the Preakness, so let's hope that I have as much success this year.

A brief note about my methodology: I go through the field once at first, giving each horse a yes, no, or maybe score. After that, I evaluate all the yes and maybe horses to determine what to bet. Exactas are the bet of choice.

As always, there is one key rule to keep in mind when betting the Derby: look for distance. This is by far the longest race any of these horses has run, so we need to find a horse that performed well at 8 or 9 furlongs and still has a little bit more in the tank.

  1. Cool Coal Man - "flattened out" in his last race, no thanks
  2. Tale of Ekati - good performance in the Wood, maybe
  3. Anak Nakal - Hasn't finished in the money all year, that would be a no
  4. Court Vision - Not enough here to warrant much attention, cool name though
  5. Eight Belles - Performed well against weak competition, maybe
  6. Z Fortune - Nothing there
  7. Big Truck - Tired in the Bluegrass, doesn't belong in the Derby
  8. Visionaire - "lacked late kick" won't win the Derby
  9. Pyro - We can look past the bad Bluegrass, he warrants a maybe
  10. Colonel John - Looks good, he'll be in our exacta bets
  11. Z Humor - Apparently Ahmed Zayat likes names that start with Z. Too bad his horses suck
  12. Smooth Air - Not a great finisher
  13. Bob Black Jack - Likes to be on the inside, and that's not going to happen in this race
  14. Monba - Appears to have some distance in him, maybe
  15. Adriano - Weak speed figures, no G1 races. No
  16. Denis of Cork - In the field based on one good race, everything else looks pretty weak.
  17. Cowboy Cal - Looks good, a couple of close calls, has some distance. Yes
  18. Recapturetheglory - Came out of nowhere to win the Illinois Derby. I'd be scared to leave him off my ticket.
  19. Gayego - Strong speed figures, in the top 2 every race, put him on the ticket
  20. Big Brown - 3 wins in 3 lifetime starts, looks good but I hate to be the favorite. Maybe.
After one pass through the field, here's where we stand:
  • Yes: Colonel John, Cowboy Cal, Recapturetheglory, Gayego
  • Maybe: Tale of Ekati, Eight Belles, Pyro, Monba, Big Brown
What next? There's a lot of value in the Derby if anyone but Big Brown or Colonel John wins, so we'll leave them off the top of the ticket. My bet is:
$2 Exacta
Win: Cowboy Cal, Recapturetheglory, Gayego
Place: Cowboy Cal, Recapturetheglory, Gayego, Colonel John, Big Brown

That's a $24 bet that should pay off very nicely if it wins, especially if it hits with anyone but Colonel John or Big Brown in 2nd. For those that are taking this to the track, the numbers are
17,18,19 10, 17, 18, 19, 20 (ouch, that's a lot of money on the outside pole).

Russell's Picks
Only three horses come in under 10-1 on the morning line, so here are my thoughts on those 3 and the others worth watching.

Big Brown is the morning line favorite at 3-1, but there are reasons to be wary. The horse has only run twice this year and likes a fast pace with or near the lead. Considering the relatively bad odds, there are lots of things that could go wrong. Starting from the far outside, getting to the early lead takes some extra energy. How will Big Brown react to having the mud of 19 other horses in his face? What if it rains (chance of T-Storms in the forecast) and keeping a sub-46 pace early isn't possible? Not worth the money, in my opinion.

Colonel John is next best based on the line, and is my favorite. His victory in the Santa Anita Derby was very impressive, and he had plenty to spare for the extra 1/8 of a mile. The Beyer speed number isn't great, but the time is the same as Big Brown's victory. People are making a lot of fuss about the new surface, but I think the workout of 57-4 at CD should put that to rest. This is a legit contender.

Pyro's third at 6-1, but I'm just not impressed. Even ignoring the debacle in his last outing, the speed just doesn't appear to be enough based on finishing times of the two wins this year and the last workout. In a field with 20 horses, this is not a good value.

So which other horses are worth some money?
Gayego appears to be a mirror image of Big Brown, but at a much better price. All of the concerns about front-running and the outside post still apply, and the last workout was slow in the mud, but he seems to be ramping up at the right time.

Recapturetheglory has a legitimate shot as a frontrunner that could slow the pace early and pull away late, as the closers get slowed down by all the other horses in the field. I'm thinking War Emblem here. At 20-1, it's worth a couple bucks.

Eight Belles, the filly, certainly has the speed to compete and has been one of the most consistent horses so far, other than the favorites. Plus she likes to win, four straight coming in. The big question is whether she can hang with the boys and G1 competition.

Z Fortune could pull it off with a good trip on the rail, but that will be tough to find in such a big field. If the odds climb from 15-1, he should be considered as a long shot.

How I would bet:
$2 Exacta: Colonel John 1st, all others mentioned here 2nd (6 bets, $12 total)
$5 Win: Gayego, Recapturetheglory, Eight Belles, Z Fortune (4 bets, $20 total)
$8 Win: Colonel John (unless odds fall to 3-1 or lower)
Total $40

Final Thought: Horses that like to win and are used to winning are more likely to win. 11 of the last 12 Derby winners finished 1st or 2nd in their previous race.

J-Red's Picks

Ok, amateur hour is over. I'll start by splitting the 20 into three categories - vanity entries, outside chances and strong entries.

Vanity Entries

(1) Cool Coal Man - If you're tempted to throw out the Bluegrass you have to explain to yourself why Desormeaux was willing to bail on him too.

(2) Tale of Ekati, (3) Anak Nakal, (4) Court Vision - These are the three Wood Memorial Horses. At the second turn, Anak Nakal and Court Vision were in the same pack that made a five-wide move. Tale of Ekati stayed near the pace setters for the entire trip, winning. That means Tale of Ekati had a pretty clean trip around and posted a 93. The other two had a wider trip, posting 87 and 90. I don't see any of the three suddenly jumping into the high 90's or low 100's for this race. In fact, only Tale of Ekati has cracked 90 before of these three.

(7) Big Truck - There's nothing to be excited about here. The most impressive showing, an off-the-pace 93 in the Grade 3 Tampa Derby included no other serious Derby contenders. He was entered in the Bluegrass, only to embarass himself with a distant 11th. Now Barclay Tagg thinks he can win in this field? Huh? Workouts were impressive, but not since Bluegrass.

(8) Visionaire - Only impressive run is a 98 in a Grade 3 Gotham Stakes so foggy that the PP only includes the first call and the order of finish. Workouts are middling. Jockey is average. Trainer is below average.

(15) Adriano - Prado has been on a few of these horses, all in this category. He'll mount up on Adriano which has the unfortunate distinction of running two decent races (90 in an allowance, 92 in a Grade 2) among a handful of uninspiring 70s, including a 70 in the only race he's run on dirt.

(16) Denis of Cork - Of this tier, this is the only horse that could shock people, only because his first race was in November 2007, he has only run on dirt, and his first three races were showing a possible impressive trend. If you're going very deep in trifectas or fooling around with supers, this might warrant a look.

Outside Chances

(5) Eight Belles - This is the filly. The owner/trainer were unsure whether they would run her in this race, waiting to see where she drew. Since she got a decent post, they decided to green light her. It's not impossible for her to win, but she has been racing against vastly inferior competition (look at her odds in the past three races) and the extra five pounds just doesn't make up for that.

(10) Colonel John - Are we seriously making this horse the second favorite based on the presumption that his workouts will translate to actual race performance on a dirt track? Ok, so he's won 4 of 6 and placed in the other two, but, as Mike Watchmaker said, "the only chink in his armor is he hasn't run fast yet. Um, yeah. That's a requirement here. I just can't imagine taking this little value with this little to get me excited.

(11) Z Humor - One of my favorite things to see, especially in younger horses, is a Beyer climb approaching a big race. Z Humor has a good starting spot, and the races in 2008 show a 79-84-94 climb with a graded 97 and 96 in his past. Might he pop a 100+ Saturday? Can't put him in the top tier with comments like "mild bid", "empty" and "flattened".

(12) Smooth Air - One of the more consistent horses in the field, Smooth Air compares well with Colonel John. Has never been out of the money, but has recently been fighting an illness. Distance might be an issue too.

(13) Bob Black Jack - A lot of questions here, including a lifetime of synthetic racing. Also, he has just recently been tried at distance, with okay results. The dirt workouts aren't impressive, and if we're using that to prop up Colonel John I guess we had better be using it to knock down this fellow.

(14) Monba - This one almost made my top tier. If you throw out the Fountain of Youth, where Monba was injured, he has been building a decent resume. The only real concern again is that he hasn't really run fast yet. This could be the race, or he could just post another 92-95 and be in the middle somewhere.

(17) Cowboy Cal - Interesting Pletcher entry here. After four turf routes, he was taken to Keeneland's synthetic Bluegrass G1. He seems to have a nose for the front, with his biggest defeat since breaking his maiden coming by 1.5 lengths. I just don't see enough to pop him into the top tier.

(18) Recapturetheglory - This is the only true speed horse in the mix, save Gayego, and he's coming from way outside in the auxiliary gate. I just can't see him getting cleanly to the front here, but if he does he might hold on to a share of the podium.

(19) Gayego - Came to the dirt for the Arkansas Derby and ran the best race of his life, albeit from the front the whole way. I think if you compare Gayego's run in the Ark. Derby to Z Fortune's, you'd get the impression that Z Fortune is the better horse. Still, include in exotics. If he can get clear by the half-mile mark, might have a shot.

The Big Boys

Ok, now we've got three left. I think the winner will come from this trio.

(6) Z Fortune - This horse is not getting any love. Z Fortune got a bad trip at the Arkansas Derby, four wide on both turns. Despite that, he got within 3/4 of a length to Gayego running a fast-for-this-Derby 102. Add in a good post position and this might be the hidden gem at 15-1.

(9) Pyro - The oddsmakers have him as the third favorite. His total disaster in the Bluegrass was also his only trip in synthetic. My major concern here is that there seems to be some regression since turning three and leaving the NJ-NY circuit. Workouts are also not inspiring. Still, in this field you have to include him.

(20) Big Brown - This horse is the class of the race, but unfortunately he's hanging out in the 20th spot. Lightly raced, Big Brown could be this year's Curlin, just a race or two from being a superstud. That being said, if Big Brown can get over cleanly and quickly, Desormeaux has the horse to beat. Of major concern, Louisville is the home of UPS. UPS is beloved there. I suspect Big Brown will go off at worse than easy money (from the 20th spot in a 20 horse field in his fourth race, etc. etc. etc.) It's too bad we won't be able to bet Big Brown to win.

How I'll Bet It

$20 win - (6) Z Fortune
$20 place - (6) Z Fortune
$20 show - (6) Z Fortune

$2 ex - 6, 9, 20 OVER 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 14, 18, 19, 20 (=$48)

$1 tri box - 5, 6, 20
- 6, 20, 9 (=$12)

Total wagered = $120 (you can of course cut that in half and only use one tri box and get it down to a more manageable $60)

What I Actually Bet

Of course I had some second thoughts before I actually went to the window. I cut out the WPS bets and trifecta and went with a more conservative exacta approach, focusing on Z Fortune, Pyro and Colonel John on top. Basically I honed in on the probably exactas that would pay $100 to $400.

$2 ex 6, 9, 10/2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 20 ($66)

and to round it up to an even $70

$2 ex box 6-10

Obviously, 6-10 is probably ideal for me.

April 30, 2008

Jair Jurrjens is the Braves Best Pitcher

Slated as the Braves 5th starter, Jair Jurrjens has blossomed into an awesome pitcher, filling a huge hole in the Atlanta rotation and far exceeding expectations. His lines from his six starts so far:

4/2 PIT 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 1 BB
4/8 @COL 7 IP, 4 ER, 2 BB
4/15 @FLA 6 IP, 2 ER, 3 BB
4/20 LAD 7 IP, 1 ER, 3 BB
4/25 @NYM 6 IP, 3 ER, 4 BB
4/30 @WAS 7 IP, 1 ER, 0 BB

For those of you scoring at home, that's at ERA of 3.05, WHIP 1.04, K/BB of 28/13 and a 3-2 record. With any decent run support, he could be 6-0. His 38.1 innings pitched are easily more than anyone else on the team and he leads in innings per start as well. He has gone at least 5 innings in every start, unlike Hudson who has only lasted three in 2 of his last 3 starts. Other than Hudson, he's the only starter who has not spent time on the DL already (Smoltz, Glavine, Hampton). While other starters might have a better ERA, his consistency and innings have saved the beleaguered Braves bullpen and provided much needed rest. Further, he has the best ERA of any Brave starter this year who is not a guaranteed future Hall of Famer (Smoltz, Glavine).

I think he should be NL Rookie of the Month, ahead of others who have gotten more attention like Johnny Cueto and Fukudome. More importantly, the Braves were terrible last year when anyone but Smoltz or Hudson started. Jurrjens has been great supporting the back end of the rotation, and it's been even more important with all the injuries. Not only have 3 starters been on the DL, but the Braves' two best relievers are on the DL right now as well (Soriano, Moylan). Hopefully, Jurrjens can keep it up.

Also for those keeping score at home, the Braves acquired Jurrjens in a deal with the Tigers for Renteria. Escobar, starting at SS in place of Renteria, is hitting .300 and is outstanding defensively, and you know what I think of Jurrjens. Renteria is having a good year too hitting .311, but don't you think the Tigers wish they had a good starter right now?

A Misconception of Sportsmanship

My mother sent me this story, finding it inspirational. I think it's ridiculous.

Here's the short version, courtesy of NBC Sports. A Western Oregon University softball player hit a three-run homer, giving her team the lead against Central Washington. Rounding first, she had a freak knee injury. If she doesn't cross the plate, her run doesn't count. Her choices were to be called out or to stop at first, taking a single, and then having a pinch runner take her place. Adding to the sissy Oprah drama, the girl is a senior who had never hit a home run and this is the last regular season game.

blahblahblah These girls would have waited for Japan to get the bomb too

So what do the Central Washington girls do? If they lose they don't make the playoffs. Their season is over, and their own seniors have played their last game. Two of the CWU girls pick the injured girl up and carry her around the bases, allowing her to touch each base and score. Central Washington loses.

First question: Why didn't the girl crawl around the bases? That's the kind of gritty bad-assery we can understand. The ball cleared the fence. She had unlimited time.

Second question: How is helping your opponent beat you fair to the eight girls on the field who DID NOT participate in their own demise?

Third question: Could you EVER imagine this happening in a men's game at the college level or above? If Wes Welker, generally considered a good guy, were streaking down the sideline with no one able to catch him, but he trips and falls or catches a cleat, could you imagine an NFL player explaining after the game that he didn't touch him down because he "deserved" the touchdown? When Larry Walker handed the ball to a fan with only two outs, can you imagine an opposing player explaining that he didn't score the game-winning run because it wouldn't be fair?

Case in point: the above image is the a sportsmanship monument on the campus of Florida State University (insert joke here). What can we learn from this statue? The player standing is saying "Sorry I ripped your helmet off, but the play is over so I will help you up and return your helmet." THE PLAY IS OVER. Sportsmanship is not charity within the play of the game. It's treating your opponent with respect. There's a huge difference. It is NOT sportsmanlike to let someone score. It's degrading to the recipient of your mercy.

One thing I know for sure is that sportsmanship does not mean you correct instances of bad luck that affect the other team. "Oh, Tom Brady slipped in the shower and got hurt this morning so we're going to bench Peyton too. It's only fair." Whatever happened to "tough shit"? Aren't sports supposed to teach us life lessons? Is there a more important life lesson to learn than that sometimes we all get screwed?

The obvious answer is that these girls weren't playing with the ultimate goal of winning the game. That's acceptable at a children's level, when there are other concerns such as making sure all the kids get to play and teaching lessons about life and sports. That's not really understandable at a collegiate level. It's less understandable to me because I've been around some female collegiate athletes at Maryland. The girls I knew wanted nothing more than to win their volleyball match, lacrosse game or basketball game. So it's not just a male-female thing. Is it a big-time college v. small-time college thing? Can someone help me understand this?

Which Former Sports Star has a Hidden Sex Tape?

After news came out this week that Vivid Entertainment will release a Jimi Hendrix sex tape (link is SFW), I started wondering which old sports stars are most likely to have a grainy sex tape discovered.

Most Likely

  1. Joe Namath - Come on, between the pantyhose ad and the Suzy Kolber thing, is there really any doubt that a sex tape featuring a drunken Broadway Joe is out there somewhere
  2. Joe DiMaggio - Since we already know that Marilyn Monroe had a thing for being filmed in the act, there's a good chance Joltin' Joe was caught on camera.
  3. Wilt Chamberlain - If he really did have sex with 20,000 women, it seems likely that a camera was present at least one of those times.
Least Likely
  1. Pat Summerall - I love Pat Summerall, but if there is a sex tape out there with him in it, I hope I never see it.
  2. Shawn Bradley - I'm not sure any woman would ever have sex with him, much less allow it to be recorded for posterity. Plus he's a Mormon.
  3. John Amaechi - If you're that far in the closet, you probably aren't leaving video evidence of your homosexuality laying around (although he's apparently an attention

April 29, 2008

Idol Recap 4/29

You know how Ryan Seacrest talked on tonight's show about growing up riding in the back of his mother's big station wagon and listening to Neil Diamond? Well that was me too. I grew up listening to Neil Diamond's Greatest Hits on tape over and over on trips to New York to visit the grandparents sitting in the back of my parents' 1986 Ford Crown Vic station wagon. I bought Saving Silverman pretty much solely due to Neil Diamond's cameo (although the movie does have its moments). And I knew that I would take tonight's performance very, very, very personally, knowing much of the history and the meaning behind the songs, appreciating said history and meaning, and having a sinking suspicion that some of the contestants would not. Some proved me right. And Neil, unfortunately, was one of the most vanilla guest mentors we've ever had on the show. Maybe next year they can get Ozzie or Mick Jagger.

I'll rank the PERFORMERS overall performance from best to worst:

1) David Cook
He is quite simply the total package. He's got range. He made another Neil Diamond song completely his own. And I mean completely. Not by changing the word "New York" to "Arizona" and then referring to the shore of Arizona. If we did forced song selection, I would've forced David to take on Holly Holy because I think it's the perfect Neil Diamond song for him in its original form. Anyway, he's going to sell thousands of records. He's a frontman and a great musician. He's reasonably charismatic. I hope for his sake he finishes in second place because he doesn't deserve to be a slave to Clive Davis and BMG. Can we have Pearl Jam night just for David Cook to sing Black?

2) Syesha Mercado
She did a great job on Hello although she dumbed it down from the Neil Diamond version, taking advantage of the shorter set to skip quite a few of the complex octave changes in the original. Nonetheless, she showed a very controlled voice and wasn't belting for the sake of belting. On Thank the Lord for the Nighttime, Syesha did a fantastic job of convincing viewers who had never heard the song that it was originally a Motown song. She's a talented girl but she's a better performer/actress than singer. Which isn't a bad thing.

3) David Archuleta
He's just consistent. But talk about cherrypicking the Neil Diamond songbook. Sweet Caroline and America???? That'd be like picking I Alone and Lightning Crashes on Live week. Sweet Caroline was decent but I again didn't like how he simplified the range of it because he's better than that and could've pulled off the low register followed by the joyous chorus in the original version. And for those who don't know, David is as guilty of pandering as Kristy Lee Cook was in God Bless the USA. When he ended his version of America with a very loud chorus of "Let freedom ring!!!!" I defy any of you to tell me where in the original song that is. It's pandering enough to choose that song. But wow... add in that last line and next thing we know he's going to be landing on the deck of an aircraft carrier in George Bush's lap with a giant "Mission Accomplished" sign unveiled as the plane lands.

4) Brooke White
I should've put money on her to do a piss-poor version of I'm a Believer before the week even began. I knew it would be her or Jason. Brooke's version of the song was nothing special at all and not worthy of the Top 5. Her other performance, I Am I Said, was a stunning performance of one of Neil Diamond's most heartfelt, autobiographical, emotional songs. While I didn't like her little wordplay, that was Neil's suggestion, so whatever. I was hoping that nobody would sing this song actually because I like it too much. However, Brooke did it justice.

894) Jason Castro
Jason is content right now to mail it in. Last week proved to him that he can totally tank and he's charmed enough voters that he'll skate through regardless. He forgets one thing. Each week that a new contestant is eliminated, that giant pool of people who voted for that prior contestant votes for another contestant. Just like the electoral primaries. And I have news for Jason... not a single person who voted for Carly is voting for him. Those votes are going largely to Syesha, Brooke, and David Cook. Jason is in a very precarious position this week.

Predicted Bottom Two:
This is very tough and I've been horrible at this the past few weeks. I'm tempted to say Syesha because she's been in harm's way so much. But going last should help her out. Also, Simon made his usual reverse psychology ploy to keep her by making a big deal out of how she's in danger to get people to vote for her. Both Davids are definitely safe. I'm thinking it'll be Brooke and Jason this week. The version of I'm a Believer is going to be what people remember about Brooke. Jason got called out by the judges for being a one-trick pony and he's just not talented enough to be a top-4 Idolist. So there... Brooke and Jason.

April 27, 2008

Know Your Defunct Pro Teams

So you have the ESPN Almanac on top of your crapper. You read the box scores everyday. But do you know the teams your grandfather used to not care about? How about the teams your father used to give away his tickets to avoid seeing? Well here you go. Good luck... you'll need it. Unless you're these guys.

NFL Referee Quiz

You watch a lot of football, but do you really know it? Do you know the officials' hand signals? Do you know which referee is which? Real fans won't have any trouble with this quiz. The rest of you will be in the dark if the stadium PA system cuts out or if the bar refuses to turn up the volume on your crappy Niners-Browns game.

Ravens/Redskins Excel on First Day

Will Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, Devin Thomas, Fred Davis and Malcolm Kelly make the Pro Bowl? We won't know for a while, but we can say today that the Ravens and Redskins both handled a mediocre first draft day perfectly.

After the first seven players came off the board in the predicted order, with none of the predicted trades, the poor Ravens sat just outside the first tier with the 8th pick. Their primary needs were CB and QB, but anyone they would have picked at 8th would be available later on for a smaller cap hit. Surely no one would allow them to trade out of the spot, but Jacksonville came along with the first head scratcher of the day. To move up from 25th to 8th in order to select DE Derrick Harvey of Florida, the Jags gave the Ravens two third rounders and a fourth, all in this year's draft. The Ravens later traded back to the middle of the first round, sending a third rounder and a sixth rounder to Houston to get into the 18th spot, where they took Joe Flacco.

NET: Plus a third, a fourth, 10 slots in salary cap; minus a sixth. Umm, that's pretty awesome.

In the second round the Ravens again traded down, this time partnering with Seattle, swapping the 38th overall selection for Seattle's second and third rounders. With the second round selection they took Rutgers RB and Heisman Candidate Ray Rice.
The Redskins had made a push to vacate their draft picks earlier this week, offering two firsts and a third for disgruntled Bengals receiver Chad Johnson. The Bengals turned them down, and the Redskins entered the draft with most of their picks intact for the first time in a while. Sitting at 21, the Redskins apparently felt they could get their target later, so they traded their first, third and fifth round picks for Atlanta's high second, mid-round second and high fourth round picks. With the 34th overall pick, the Skins selected Devin Thomas, WR from Michigan State. Thomas was widely considered to be the best WR in the draft, though the draft is weak for top-tier WRs this year. With the other Falcons' second rounder, the Skins took USC TE Fred Davis. They took receiver Malcolm Kelly out of Oklahoma with their third second round selection.

The Ravens and Redskins handled the first day beautifully. This draft had a very tight 7-man top tier, then 15 or so first-round guys, then literally 120 guys who were 2nd/3rd/4th round talents. Someone has to pay some of those guys 1st round money, but the Baltimore/Washington-area teams got value and won't be forced to overpay for unproven talent. The Redskins have five picks in the 2nd/3rd/4th rounds, and the Ravens have seven. Time will tell how many starters are produced by all those valuable picks.

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