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auri

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why not strive for balance? 

I like having 3 to 4 relievers and using my three bench spots on starting pitchers. Best of both worlds, and I compete in saves nearly every week, and they help polish ratios and K's, too. 

 

fun fact:

in 2016, according to ESPN's Player Rater, the #13, #17, and #28 overall players were Kenley Jansen, Zach Britton, and Mark Melancon.

Dominant relievers are super impactful. They aren't top 30 overall players in real baseball, but in fantasy, where 'saves' count as a category just as much as anything else, they are good to have. 

 

Normally I punt saves and work the carousel, but you can only handle so much Shawn Tolleson and post-prime-Papalbon before you decide to pay up. This year I gnabbed Britton :( , Osuna, and Herrera, then took a flier on Greg Holland in round 24. The Britton thing is just bad luck... so I stand by the draft pick. Trust the process! 

 

good night 

 

 

 

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Last year by second half I owned David Robertson, Francisco Rodriguez, Jeanmar Gomez, Ryan Madison and Will Harris.  Go check their second halves.  I think they all rotated daily thrashings throughout every week in the second half.  My liver hurt by end of September.  So this year I spent $50 of my Auction budget on closers.  I decided lll never own another horrific loser again.  I got Chapman, Herrera, Britton, Familia, Kimbrel and Melancon.  I figured with hitter value in auctions being ridiculous I'll trade a few to get what I need and keep 4.  I've dealt Kimbrel for Longo and Nola and Britton for Brantley.  My take in roto is either get good closers, or punt.  It isn't fun owning horrific losers.  There's usually a few risers each year as well.  Pay attention to stuff and makeup.  I always try to find one steal from closer through wire.  The thing with closers is they at worst usually make great trade chips.  By punting you eliminate the ability to have that extra piece to get something you may want.  

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It really depends on format.

 

In a typical 5X5 Roto league, It's not good to punt any categories.  You may be able to punt and finish 2nd or 3rd but rare is the team that punts saves and gets the top spot.

 

Now if there is a 6th unrelated to relievers category - like QS, it makes a lot more sense to punt saves and focus on starters.

 

I think it's generally a good idea not to target closers if you are in a less competitive league and think you can hunt the waiver wire or do a good job speculating.

 

I think the failures sink in and loom in people's minds...but remember the success stories of a good closer pickup, OH and Diaz last year are just two examples.

 

Elite closers popping out of nowhere happen more often then a lot of people think and when you can get one for free..as opposed to spending 15-20 auction dollars on one, it goes a long way towards winning a fantasy championship.

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5 hours ago, happymedium11 said:

Is this a viable option in fantasy? just punt the saves category? or not smart?

Is the downside that my WHIP gonna rise?

I was thinking of focusing on W, K, and Starting pitching in a 5x5 H2H

can't seem to buy a save at all right now despite having 4 "closers".

 

And everybody is talking Roto.

Anyway... In H2H you can punt 1 category.

The only sure thing is that you will have 0 Saves.

The nearly sure thing is that 4 Starters will have more strikeouts, more Wins, and probably worse WHIP and ERA than 4 relievers in the long run. Nearly because things happen like Devenski pitches 3 innings with 7 Ks + gets a vulture Win against you, while your Graveman gets ZERO Ks and no Wins etc...

Anyway, you need luck to win pitching, since your opponent probably wins Saves, WHIP and ERA, because the more starters you use, the bigger the chance is to blow up the ERA and WHIP, and the more your innings pile up, the harder it gets to effect WHIP and ERA.

Especially if the inning limit is low, like 10 IP like in Yahoo Default, your opponent only need to get ONE very good start early in the week, and get one save with a couple of relief innings. Or a good and an OK start plusz good relief pitching.

On the up side with a NO CLOSER tactic, you probably never will lose all 5 cats, and with lucky managing it is possible to win 4 cats, if your starters pitch great, while your opponent's starters struggle.

But sometimes your or your opponents mediocre pitchers turn into Bob Gibson overnight, and It is impossible to do anything against it. Then the only sure thing is Saves. You don't have a closer you lose 1 of 5 and the rest is down to luck.

Or many starters pitch bad, on both sides, in which case you lose Saves again, and the rest is down to luck.

But even Chapman can give up 4 runs from time to time.

 

On the other hand you can load up on Closers, and still lose week in week out. Happened to me (too) many times. I can't even win with 5 closers sometime. And I even lost with 4 good closers to a team that had only one, but that guy had 4 saves that week, while my guys had only 3.

 

So what is the sure answer?

Nobody knows.

You just do what makes you more comfortable, and in every single matchup you try to work one of these scenarios to your adventage, and hope that it works out for you.

Personally I do not punt Saves because having closers gives me more options to work with, more hope to salvage the week, or to destroy my opponent.

 

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It's a dated strategy imo, one talked up in 2008 when real-life managers and fantasy managers didn't know what they were doing.

 

"Don't pay for saves", they'd say. That made more sense when the prices were out of whack--we're now more cognizant of peripherals and can more accurately assess which closers are likely to go pop and which ones are the best bet to land the role.

 

To be sure, the position is still inherently volatile. And saves are a rare commodity. There is only a finite supply every year (ie, one save per game, max). At the end of the say, I think the best strategy is to just race to the top of the saves category as quickly as possible while maintaining a focus on yield.

 

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2 hours ago, JCD said:

 

And everybody is talking Roto.

Anyway... In H2H you can punt 1 category.

The only sure thing is that you will have 0 Saves.

The nearly sure thing is that 4 Starters will have more strikeouts, more Wins, and probably worse WHIP and ERA than 4 relievers in the long run. Nearly because things happen like Devenski pitches 3 innings with 7 Ks + gets a vulture Win against you, while your Graveman gets ZERO Ks and no Wins etc...

Anyway, you need luck to win pitching, since your opponent probably wins Saves, WHIP and ERA, because the more starters you use, the bigger the chance is to blow up the ERA and WHIP, and the more your innings pile up, the harder it gets to effect WHIP and ERA.

Especially if the inning limit is low, like 10 IP like in Yahoo Default, your opponent only need to get ONE very good start early in the week, and get one save with a couple of relief innings. Or a good and an OK start plusz good relief pitching.

On the up side with a NO CLOSER tactic, you probably never will lose all 5 cats, and with lucky managing it is possible to win 4 cats, if your starters pitch great, while your opponent's starters struggle.

But sometimes your or your opponents mediocre pitchers turn into Bob Gibson overnight, and It is impossible to do anything against it. Then the only sure thing is Saves. You don't have a closer you lose 1 of 5 and the rest is down to luck.

Or many starters pitch bad, on both sides, in which case you lose Saves again, and the rest is down to luck.

But even Chapman can give up 4 runs from time to time.

 

On the other hand you can load up on Closers, and still lose week in week out. Happened to me (too) many times. I can't even win with 5 closers sometime. And I even lost with 4 good closers to a team that had only one, but that guy had 4 saves that week, while my guys had only 3.

 

So what is the sure answer?

Nobody knows.

You just do what makes you more comfortable, and in every single matchup you try to work one of these scenarios to your adventage, and hope that it works out for you.

Personally I do not punt Saves because having closers gives me more options to work with, more hope to salvage the week, or to destroy my opponent.

 


I've done the 'no closer' thing in head to head leagues before and astute managers just play a single closer against you that week.  If your league affords a deep enough bench or managers are willing to use streamers(especially going 2x) you could have a challenging week. If everyone does it against you then I think it wouldn't be worth it.  If the managers don't pay attention to your setup then I think it's viable.  My league has about 6 out of the 12 managers who figured out what to do so I dropped the idea to punt saves (and holds) for wins and K's instead.   

As far as loading up on relievers, yes you can lose in those categories occasionally. However, at the end of the year my record will be like 18-2 in those categories.  Of course I'll have a poor record in the wins (won last week) and k's but that's ok as I am shooting for whip and era categories for my pitching edge.  Last year my weekly record in those was something like 14-6.   This week my era is 0.66 and whip 0.67 so I am dominating.  When a couple of relievers get torched I am in trouble but since I loaded up on hitters I just hope they have a good week.

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I punted saves in one H2H 5x5 last season, not really 'on purpose', but because closers were going so absurdly early in the draft that I didn't care to take any.  Through the year I picked up a couple decent closers (Oh is one that comes to mind) that I ended up trading for decent value to teams fighting the saves fight.

 

My overall impressions from living it with this team is that it's not the best strategy.  As others have said, it's not really one category you're punting, because you put yourself in a hole with ERA and WHIP as well.  To compete in those categories with only SP's you really have to only use higher-end starters, but then if you're not streaming SPs you're also not guaranteeing yourself wins in K or QS/W.  So essentially without any closers my weekly strategy was to start the "sure thing SPs" early in the week, and then about mid-week assess the matchup.  If my opponent was killing me in ERA/WHIP then I'd say screw it and stream a bunch of nobody's for K's and QS's.  If I was competing in ERA/WHIP then I'd try to keep the balance the rest of the week of staying ahead in those categories, while hopefully getting enough starts to compete in K and QS.

 

I guess what I'm saying is that it's a strategy that requires a lot of daily management, and in most weeks you're punting 3 of 5 pitching categories, unless you get lucky.  You can guarantee yourself 2 pitching categories, but that also leaves the margin for error in hitting razor thin.   That's not to say it can't be done, but it just makes it that much more difficult.  My team went to the playoffs but lost in the first round, and was never a strong contender.

 

The "alternative punting saves" strategy I would try if I was desperate is just using high-end middle relievers instead of closers.  If you really found yourself in a pinch mid-season and weren't winning saves any weeks anyways, you could leverage any closers that were decent for trade value, and then try to pick up 3-4 MR's in their places.  In that case you are basically just punting saves, because in theory you'd be getting similar ratio and K help from them as you would closers, just without the saves.    

 

 

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for owners who had dyson and Gomez, among a handful of other closers so far, the argument of loading up on closers to keep your whip/era low hasnt yielded much fruit although at least with Gomez you got some saves. there's a guy in one of my leagues who didn't draft a single starting pitcher, aiming to take 3/5 pitching cats, and is currently 6-14(and active). I beat him week1 8-2 and swept the pitching cats. every year its a rotating door of closers and it can be a nightmare to keep up with if you don't have any of the elite ones.

 

I think if you decide from the beginning of your draft to go heavy on SP and get 3 of the top SPs, which I have done in a few of my leagues, your era/whip will be competitive while also doing well in W and Ks.

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Well if you were going to punt saves, you should've done it on draft day to max your category juice elsewhere. Now you'll be stuck trying to trade them all off to fit some strategy. Welcome to h2h baseball, where 4 cl sometimes nets you 1 sv. Chill, you'll win the category more than you'll lose it. 

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7 minutes ago, AndTheWhiffs said:

for owners who had dyson and Gomez, among a handful of other closers so far, the argument of loading up on closers to keep your whip/era low hasnt yielded much fruit although at least with Gomez you got some saves. there's a guy in one of my leagues who didn't draft a single starting pitcher, aiming to take 3/5 pitching cats, and is currently 6-14(and active). I beat him week1 8-2 and swept the pitching cats. every year its a rotating door of closers and it can be a nightmare to keep up with if you don't have any of the elite ones.

 

I think if you decide from the beginning of your draft to go heavy on SP and get 3 of the top SPs, which I have done in a few of my leagues, your era/whip will be competitive while also doing well in W and Ks.


Good point.  You can't use this strategy by not making sure you have outstanding closers.  In my saves/holds league every guy I own has a very high k/ip ratio with low whip.  Otherwise forget it...

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1 hour ago, AndTheWhiffs said:

for owners who had dyson and Gomez, among a handful of other closers so far, the argument of loading up on closers to keep your whip/era low hasnt yielded much fruit although at least with Gomez you got some saves. there's a guy in one of my leagues who didn't draft a single starting pitcher, aiming to take 3/5 pitching cats, and is currently 6-14(and active). I beat him week1 8-2 and swept the pitching cats. every year its a rotating door of closers and it can be a nightmare to keep up with if you don't have any of the elite ones.

 

I think if you decide from the beginning of your draft to go heavy on SP and get 3 of the top SPs, which I have done in a few of my leagues, your era/whip will be competitive while also doing well in W and Ks.

 

I would say anyone that waited on closers until Dyson and Gomez shouldn't have expected any help in the ERA/WHIP categories . . . it's definitely a position you want to get at least some mid-tier guys in.  

 

How do you find you do in the hitting categories when you go SP heavy at the start of the draft?  On the team I dumped closers on last season I went heavy on SPs early, but then found I had issues keeping up in the batting categories.  Probably over half the teams go very bat-heavy early, and it's hard to compete with them with lesser bats and also punting saves.  

 

Overall, no matter what strategy you employ, if you're punting categories you're giving yourself much less margin for error.  Obviously it's hard to do, but the balanced teams are always the ones at the top of H2H standings.  The gimmicky strategies like "pitching-runs-steals" always result in barely above-.500 teams where you need the chips to fall just right in the playoffs.  You give yourself a decent floor of winning some categories every week, but you're also handicapping your ceiling substantially.  

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Chasing saves is half the fun of fantasy baseball.  If you play the wire and monitor the closer's thread, you can easily end the season with some top closers and/or lots of saves.  The in-season turnover is crazy and there's always guys coming out of nowhere.

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2 hours ago, handyandy86 said:

 

I would say anyone that waited on closers until Dyson and Gomez shouldn't have expected any help in the ERA/WHIP categories . . . it's definitely a position you want to get at least some mid-tier guys in.  

 

How do you find you do in the hitting categories when you go SP heavy at the start of the draft?  On the team I dumped closers on last season I went heavy on SPs early, but then found I had issues keeping up in the batting categories.  Probably over half the teams go very bat-heavy early, and it's hard to compete with them with lesser bats and also punting saves.  

 

Overall, no matter what strategy you employ, if you're punting categories you're giving yourself much less margin for error.  Obviously it's hard to do, but the balanced teams are always the ones at the top of H2H standings.  The gimmicky strategies like "pitching-runs-steals" always result in barely above-.500 teams where you need the chips to fall just right in the playoffs.  You give yourself a decent floor of winning some categories every week, but you're also handicapping your ceiling substantially.  

 

Yeah, I don't like that strategy either, but this year I'm trying one in which I actually punt steals and batting average.

 

It's the first team on my signature. I had Kershaw as a keeper and focused on grabbing top relievers to anchor my team (reached for Chapman and Jansen on rounds 4 and 5). As for the hitting, focused on high HR guys, some of which can be picked really late or even from the wire.

 

Working fine so far as I'm currently 1st with 18-6, where I had a fluky first week in which I actually won SB and AVG, but lost in saves (7 to 8) and wins. Ended 10-2. 

 

My second week went 8-4, in which I lost AVG and OPS (another fluky SB win, but OPS loss I also consider fluky). And lost QS and K/9 this time, 'cause I tried streaming some SPs to get QS and W, and ended up lowering my K/9 in the process, starting Koehler and Richard.

 

It was a CSB, but the bottom line is that, in this strategy, drafting the top closers was one of the most important things to do for me to have a strong foundation in 4 of the 6 pitching stats, not just saves.

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4 minutes ago, VitorSH said:

 

Yeah, I don't like that strategy either, but this year I'm trying one in which I actually punt steals and batting average.

 

It's the first team on my signature. I had Kershaw as a keeper and focused on grabbing top relievers to anchor my team (reached for Chapman and Jansen on rounds 4 and 5). As for the hitting, focused on high HR guys, some of which can be picked really late or even from the wire.

 

Working fine so far as I'm currently 1st with 18-6, where I had a fluky first week in which I actually won SB and AVG, but lost in saves (7 to 8) and wins. Ended 10-2. 

 

My second week went 8-4, in which I lost AVG and OPS (another fluky SB win, but OPS loss I also consider fluky). And lost QS and K/9 this time, 'cause I tried streaming some SPs to get QS and W, and ended up lowering my K/9 in the process, starting Koehler and Richard.

 

It was a CSB, but the bottom line is that, in this strategy, drafting the top closers was one of the most important things to do for me to have a strong foundation in 4 of the 6 pitching stats, not just saves.

 

Punting categories and strategies really is dependent on league settings, but in general I'd agree that I think a team built around many top closers is actually more viable than one punting saves.  Like you said, depending on settings, closers actually help in more categories than starters.  If your league uses K/9, ERA, WHIP, and SV, that's ripe for taking advantage of with closers.

 

Also it makes more sense to punt categories the more you use.  In standard 5x5 (which the OP plays) you're punting 1 out of 10 categories, where obviously 6x6 punting a category is less of a hit.  

 

Punting can definitely work, I just think in general it's risky to draft to punt.  

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I never punt saves. But I do wait until almost all the projected closers are drafted before I start drafting the last few who are leftover. That usually means I'm drafting them similarly to kickers in football. 

During the season I try to make sure I have 3-5 rostered whether it's roto or h2h. With a pure SAGNOF approach in roto and adjusting week to week in h2h as I can depending on opponent. 

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Ok I have been thinking about this..

 

let's say you focus on closers.  You spend the big money and get the 4 best closers in the game.  This year it would have been Kenley, Chapman, OH and Britton.  Of course Oh has been bad and Britton is hurt.   But that could happen to anybody.  Let's say they are all healthy and good.

 

You then pickup two of the best middle relievers on the cheap.  Since it's a saves league, it won't cost more than a buck or 2 so you get Betances and Neris or something like that.  Of course Miller and Devenski are better but Miller would not be cheap and Devenski is someone nobody really targeted.  4 Closers and 2 middle relievers will probably average around 400 innings.  

 

So you have 4 Ace RP and 2 amazing middle relievers.  They typical Yahoo league has 2 RP slots and 4 P spots.  With 4 Bench spots and a 1400 innings cap.  We need 5 starters to make up the 1000 innings we are short or else we lose Wins and K's through a war of attrition.  You stick 2 Starters in SP slots and use 3-4 on the bench.

 

Now we have spent most of our money on RPs, leaving 1-2 dollars on SPs of the likes of Estrada, Happ, Liriano, Shoemaker, Odorizzi, Eickhoff and the like. What can we assume we will be getting?  An ERA around 3.80 and K/9 around 7-8, call it 7.5.  Meanw hile, our relievers are elite and we can get a 13 k/9 from them, call it 12 k/9 just to be safe.

 

So 1000 innings with a k/9 of 7.5 = 833 Strikeouts and 400 innings with a k/9 of 12 = 533 Strikeouts.  We can expect something along the lines of 1366 K's in 1400 innings which isn't bad. It's a roughly overall 8.8 K/9.  It may not be Number 1 but it's pretty solid.

 

You auto win saves and finish top 3-4 in ERA, K's and WHIP.  You don't automatically lose Wins because closers and mid relievers pick up wins and wins is a lucky stat that the JA Happs can easily get as well.  But you do have 5 Starters as opposed to 6.  So you probably don't finish any higher than 6th in wins unless you get lucky.

 

The big problems with this strategy that I see are

 

a)  You don't have any bench.  so there is no room to bench any hitters when they get nasty matchups against Kershaw Sherzer Sale and the rest or they are given rest days.  This will put a small drain on offense.  We used to be able to count on closers on the cheap and funneling SP money into Offense but not so anymore.

 

Bee) There's no telling for sure what you get from your starters, you could get some with bad years and might not have the elite innings to make up for it.

  

 

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Last year I was punting saves in a 6x6 h2h league (the 6th pitching categories being holds), and the idea was that everyone was focusing on closers, they could only carry 1-2 middle relievers. I used 3 middle relievers, no closers, and loaded up on SPs for the rest of the lineup, so I would guarantee holds, wins, and Ks, lose saves, and ERA and WHIP were up for grabs depending on the week. Well the craziest part about that is I had way more SPs than anybody, most of which were on good teams including 3 from the Cubs, and I still kept losing the Wins category. So even with SPs, it can be just as bad of luck as having closers not getting saves.

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How do those of you in weekly/biweekly continuous waiver leagues value waiver priority throughout the season?  This is my first year playing where there weren't first-come first-served free agent pickups available, so I'm finding that waiver priority is cycling faster, but there still seem to be some managers who are avoiding making any moves to reserve their priority.  Anyone have any strategies for how to manage this?  One guy was able to get Thames because he didn't make any other moves early in the season, which looks like it worked out.  And now I have the #1 priority, so I'm looking at some of the possible call-ups and volatile closer situations and thinking I should hold onto it for something special, even if it means going light at a position for a few days, letting Blake Treinen sit on my bench instead of dropping him for Rosenthal, etc.  I already have Bellinger and Albies in my NA slots so I'm thinking it'd have to be some other call-up or maybe an off-the-radar closer change.  Am I over-valuing the #1 waiver pick here?

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At the very end of my draft last year, I hadn't drafted a C or a RP yet. Just no good values to be had (auction league).

 

I decided to stream both Catcher and Closers (daily lineups with no move limit). It was a Roto league.

 

It ended up working out GREAT, but was a lot of work. Every day, I would browse the wire for the top ranked catcher who was scheduled to play that day, and I would pick up a fill-in reliever for the chance at a save. On average, there is a closer or two each day who has pitched in 2-3 straight and rests. I would pick up the next in line for that day and get a potential save that way. A couple of the one-day RPs that I picked up ended up becoming the new closer due to injury so I kept them on my roster.

 

At the end of the season, I was middle of the pack in saves and my catcher position was well above average, despite spending $0 on both positions. The rotating catcher idea was particularly effective as I had like 30 more GP at the position that most teams...my rent-a-catcher never rested!

 

Note: this took a lot of time, but I didn't mind because it was a fun little hunt every day. Almost like a fantasy baseball mini-game.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Seems like it might be advantageous to have a H2H strategy thread, unless it already exists and I missed it.  Hoping it doesn't turn into a pissing match of whose combination of punted categories is superior!

 

To start off the thread, just wondering what everyone's strategy is to starting pitchers, and when to play them?  My 'strategy' (if you can call it that) has been to basically run out any of my SP's the first few days of each week, and if I'm getting blasted in ERA/WHIP then I go full yolo and stream, and if I'm winning I might try to protect that league by sitting some borderline starters.  This hasn't been going well for me lol.

 

Do you sit guys early in the week?  What kind of decision making process do you use to decide who to start and who to sit?  

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1 hour ago, handyandy86 said:

Seems like it might be advantageous to have a H2H strategy thread, unless it already exists and I missed it.  Hoping it doesn't turn into a pissing match of whose combination of punted categories is superior!

 

To start off the thread, just wondering what everyone's strategy is to starting pitchers, and when to play them?  My 'strategy' (if you can call it that) has been to basically run out any of my SP's the first few days of each week, and if I'm getting blasted in ERA/WHIP then I go full yolo and stream, and if I'm winning I might try to protect that league by sitting some borderline starters.  This hasn't been going well for me lol.

 

Do you sit guys early in the week?  What kind of decision making process do you use to decide who to start and who to sit?  

I start my sp and roll them all outta the garage. If I don't have confidence in putting you out there, you need to gtfo. Simple as that.

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