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Things Read in Other Moms' Basements - Around the NL East 06.19.10


Howdy everyone, welcome to another week's edition of Things Read in Other Moms' Basements. It's funny, given my recent influx of work assignments that put me in places where internet access is sporadic or null, a Braves road trip that pretty much had them gone for like ever, and simply daily living nuances, I've hardly had the time to really sit down and enjoy some baseball this summer. My close friends have called me out some on it, considering the Braves are enjoying a fine season in their own right, but y'know how it goes.

Anyway, this week has been real slow in the NL East news front. With Interleague June in full swing, I'm pleased to see that the Braves aren't getting obliterated by the American League, like they had been for the better part of the last three years, when I'm paying attention to the scores at night. But otherwise, it's been a fairly quiet, and easy week for me, and slim pickin' for the rest of you this week.


Jesus is the NL Player of the Week - WaPo
2-0, three runs on six hits with 22 strikeouts and five walks in 12.1 IP.

Strasburg: "I'm not the face of the franchise" - WaPo
Tony Gwynn has groomed this boy right - despite the monumental hype, Strasburg still has a good head on his shoulders, and deflects all the praise he's being heaped with to the guys that have anchored this team all season, Ryan Zimmerman and Pudge Rodriguez.

This week's comparison - Dwight Gooden - MLB
Previously, his stuff has been compared to that of John Smoltz - pretty much any Caucasian pitcher with a big fastball and biting slider is compared to Smoltzy, but this week, Stephen Strasburg's hype and drawing power is being compared to that of Dwight Gooden.

Should Strasburg tone down the strikeouts to prolong his career? - WaPo
Is it really a matter of personal preference, or would you prefer to see a pitcher allow more contact, but go deeper with fewer pitches, than outright prevent any contact at all?

Never heard this before: Nats plan to instill pitch count on Jesus - MLB
"Around 100-pitches," is the concensus. Isn't that pretty much everyone's "general" area, unless you're like Livan Hernandez or C.C. Sabathia?

Never seen this before: Cleveland Indians peddling legit Strasburg gear - WaPo
This is common practice for all the bootleg peddlers outside the ballparks, to sell apparel of opposing team/anyone popular, but never have I seen this practice done inside an opposing ballpark. Progressive Field and the Cleveland Indians take full advantage of Strasburgmania and sell official gear of the opponents.

And just because - the hype - Nationals Daily News
It's actually not that bad. I applaud the designer who executed it.

But remember what happens to guys who end up on the cover of SI - WaPo
That's right, Jesus is going to be gracing the covers of SI - expect career L #1 shortly afterward.

Inevitable - Stras-Burgers - WaPo
I remember Glory Days grills, and I'm kind of disappointed to see that they were one of the first places to jump all over the phenomenon first. But regardless, I disagree with their interpretations of Strasburgers; originally a native of Southern California, I would've loved to have seen burgers with beef served carne-asada style, with the crispies in the middle, with some Mexican style spices.

And in other Nationals news...

Nationals Park to host All-Star game in 2015? - Nationals Daily News
By this time, the Nationals will have pretty good players in Stephen Strasburg, Ryan Zimmerman, and maybe, just maybe, this Bryce Harper will be pretty good by then too.

Leyland: Pudge on a mission - WaPo
Former manager while on the Tigers applauds Pudge and his quest for 3,000 hits.

Guide for Nationals bandwagon hoppers - Nationals Daily News
Well played, NDN.


Mets threatening the NL East - NY Daily News
At the time of me writing this, the Mets have won 10 out of their last 11, and are 0.5GB us, the Braves. Sure, it's essential to beat the teams you're supposed to be beating, but come on - I'll applaud the ability to beat the Marlins, because they always scare the snot out of me, but drawing the Orioles and Indians in Interleague this year, is the equivalent of playing Super Mario Kart and getting the blue turtle shell and the invincibility star.

Jason Bay has a bruise - MetsBlog
I'm immediately taken back to Herb Brooks' speech in Miracle where he's chastizing a player for loafing it due to "a bruise," only for him to get pissed off and get back on the ice in pain. Somehow, I don't see Jerry Manual and Jason Bay exerting the effort to replicate.

Mets relievers have been extremely lucky - Amazin' Avenue
I understand FIP, but it's a good thing that on every single pitch, there are actual fielders playing the position. Sure, FIP in short gives a numeric statement to how much a pitcher uses the defense, and the notion that balls put in play can make magic happen, but I think it's funny to imagine a fantasy world where pitchers were tested on FIP, where they pitched to batters without a defense behind them, and how any batted ball is suddenly a homer. Long story short, the Mets bullpen has been effective in this run, but they're "lucky" because their FIP is so high.

Ike Davis to practice bunts to counter the shift - MLB
Apparently once you get to the bigs, people more or less stop preaching at you to "go the other way," and the subsequent practicing to hit opposite field, because Ike Davis, growing frustrated with fielders applying the shift on his pull-happy swing has decided to take the easy way out - learn to drop bunts the other way and leg out singles.

Jenrry Mejia wasting away, apparently - Amazin' Avenue
Once the cock of the walk of the Mets farm, Jenrry Mejia is essentially wasting away in the Mets bullpen, instead of getting regular work and potentially dominating in the minor leagues. How quickly things change from week to week, and month to month.

Why Heath, why? - MetsBlog
One of my personal favorites, Heath Bell, once a former Met, but really blossomed and grew into a high-caliber pitcher out in San Diego, voiced his opinion about his willingness to come back to New York. He's also a very, very high candidate to be moved at the trade deadline, and a lot of it has to do with the fate of the Padres - the only thing to keep him in SD is wins, but if the Pads fall out of contention by the deadline, Bell, and Adrian Gonzalez are likely to get moved fast.

Weekly Carlos Beltran update - still not ready for Rehab assignments yet - MLB
Back in February, people were pegging Beltran back in mid-May. How different reality is versus the real-life time table of human recovery. Not yet ready for any rehab starts yet, Beltran was last spotted playing two innings in the field at a time, with a noticeable limp, versus DHing the rest of the way.

Ever wonder what an Extended Spring Training game was like? - MetsBlog
Honestly, I didn't really know either. Interesting to get a glimpse of what it's really like.

Gary Matthews, Jr., released - MLB
I can't help but wonder how much of this eventual occurrence happened due to Oliver Perez's stubborness at accepting his demotion, then hitting the DL, making the Mets DFA Matthews, and then stop and think "y'know, we probably didn't really need him anyway."

Johan Santana to bowl for melanoma - MLB
How fun would it be to see these guys bowling? Tip of the hat to Johan, whom despite being a "hated Met," still has always struck me as a very likeable guy, as he hosts a charity event along with several Mets teammates which will likely consist of Jeff Francoeur and David Wright as they bowl to raise awareness for melanoma. Perhaps that's why Frenchy's growing the awful facial hair, so he can get in the spirit of the Dude. Had to work the Lebowski reference in there, naturally.


Renyel Pinto DFA'd, blood pressure of all four Marlins fans goes down - Fish Stripes
Pinto is a perfect example of why ERA is a dated stat. He's sub 3.00ERA, which is pretty decent for a reliever, but he's often wild, walks a lot of guys, and despite being a LHP, can't get lefties out.

FIU batter has hit in 56 consecutive games, will have to wait until next year to tackle Robin Ventura's record - Miami Herald
Robin Ventura, most famous for getting his head pounded in by Nolan Ryan, also has some notoriety for having the NCAA record hitting streak, of 58 games. Garrett Wittels, an infielder for FIU ended the season having hit in the last 56 straight games, and was honored as a guest at SunLiphinShark Stadium earlier this week, and claims that he won't cut his hair until the streak ends. So next March, look for a guy that probably looks like Prince Adam making a little bit of SportsCenter splash.

Cody Ross thinks trade will happen if Fish stay within striking distance - Miami Herald
The irony in this is, Ross himself could potentially be trade bait, what with the youth movement occurring in South Florida, and an outfield of Stanton, Maybin and Coghlin could be the future that the Fish are looking towards.

PETA also objects to subjecting aquariums to backstop - Fish Stripes
Normally, PETA is a joke to me. There's a photograph of me somewhere out there standing in front of PETA's headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia with a Burger King crown on, eating a Whopper. But for once, I agree with the organization, as they too, object to the notion of subjecting beautiful aquatic life to 81 home games of baseball, even if it is likely going to be in front of the smallest crowds in the game.

Josh Johnson applauds father for teaching him to play "the right way." - MLB
Not only is Johnson among the top pitchers in baseball these days, he's also a very admirable player. No fist pumping, no celebrating, just quiet, dignified dominance. And it's all credit to dad.


"Domonic Brown will stay in the minors" -
Among many things said by Phillies GM Ruben Amaro, who basically tells fans and baseball heads alike to not expect any drastic moves by the Phillies this year.

Antonio Bastardo down, Scott Mathieson up - The Good Phight
It's been almost five years since Scott Mathieson has seen the big leagues, and with an elbow injury to Bastardo, Mathieson has his shot. Welcome back.

Carlos Ruiz banged up, Jimmy Rollins update -
Catcher Ruiz now has a bad ankle to go with his bad shoulder, and he'll eventually hit a point where he's simply going to have to rest, and meanwhile, Jimmy Rollins is still in Florida, playing in rehab starts. Hard to say what the Phils will do with J-Roll considering how easy he re-injured the calf muscle the last time he "returned."

A Phillies fan tries to instruct fan ettiquette, with surprising results - Phillies Nation
When I stopped on this link, I thought to myself "this ought to be good." Upon reading it, I found it severely mild, and a bit too over-the-top. Maybe it's my personal preference, but I think I'm more than allowed to be a little loud and boisterous when the Braves show glimpses of brilliance before ultimately failing every time I go out of town to see them.

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