Okay, I'm a day early, sitting down and writing this column. I just left the launch party of SBNation Atlanta, where I had a few drinks, and now I'm writing my column at the Highlander pub, while having a few more drinks. I don't know why I'm sharing this information with you, other than to boast the places I've been, the places I'm at, and the cool things I've done. I share no information to my current sobriety. But I have won some sweet Braves tickets from the event.
We're fresh off being swept by the White Sox, where we were essentially singled to death, and Carlos Quentin'd. But we're hanging onto a thread with our lead of the NL East. I'm going to be in Baltimore this weekend instead of Atlanta watching the Nationals fight the Battle of the Beltway, and likely getting trashed at Pickle's, instead of seeing the home team defend the Ted, but I'm looking forward to the conclusion of Interleague regardless. But anyway, on with the links - welcome back to another week of Things Read in Other Moms' Basements.
Fredi Gonzalez fired by the Marlins - Miami Herald
Fess up, all we Braves fans - just how many of us, first thoughts were "AWESOME, now we have our successor to Bobby!" I did. The speculation is flying around, with accusations of the Hanley incident, on top of a brief history fo not getting along with Jeffrey Loria leading to Fredi's dismissal, but most people just don't care - they're all wrapped up in the idea that Fredi's going to be the Braves' next manager. Personally, I'd be ecstatic. And as always, Fredi leaves with his head held high, as the class act we're all expecting to come home. In a funny scenario, my friend brought up an interesting one - with the O's also in a managerial scramble, there was a perfect opportunity for Fredi to quickly sign with them, and take the field against his former team, the very next day.
Bobby Valentine "95 percent chance" of succeeding the Marlins - New York Daily News
Joe Girardi was a hardass, but the Marlins still played well, just missing the playoffs. Fredi Gonzalez was more of a players' manager, but the Marlins still played well, just missing the playoffs. Now that Fredi's gone, speculation is rampant that Bobby Valentine, a hardass, will be the Fish's next skipper. My prediction, regardless of who takes the job - the Marlins just miss the playoffs.
The worst closer of all time signs with the Marlins - Miami Herald
I'll let you all think about it for a second . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . it's Armando Benitez.
Logan Morrison being groomed for the outfield - Fish Stripes
Morrison was the opposition for Gaby Sanchez in Spring Training for the starting first baseman job, but instead of continuing to use him at first, the Marlins are now grooming him for the outfield. With Coghlin, Maybin and Stanton being the future, this could spell the end for one of them, and likely mean Cody Ross is gone after this year.
Ron Jeremy Stan Van Gundy goes off on Loria and Marlins brass - Miami Herald
Fat Van Gundy, whom is a close personal friend with Fredi Gonzalez, had a lot of choice words for the Marlins organization at their decision to axe his friend in preference of whom he thought was overhyped, Bobby Valentine.
O.A.R. to headline SunLiPhinShark Stadium - MLB
You know the band that sings "This Town" after every single Braves televised game? Yeah, they'll be appearing live for the Marlins on June 26th.
Johan Santana accused of rape in Florida last year - New York Daily News
Ironic, considering how much I've been trying to tell everyone that he seems like such a nice guy. But I don't buy it one bit - seems way too much like the typical 'groupie trying to sue their way to a small fortune' thing that has happened so often in the past. For starters, this article contains too few relevant baseball statistics; in fact, it has none at all. I also like the ironic line at the very end about how he's married with three children. I say take the Kobe Bryant defense - bring up so much sexual history of the accuser that the people stop looking at Johan and start looking at her instead.
Nevermind, he did cheat on his wife, but claims it was consensual - New York Daily News
I take back everything about I said about Johan Santana. He's a pig. And yes, the same goes for our own darling, Chipper Jones, for his own indiscretion, years ago, before anyone can accuse me of hypocrisy to the homers.
Carlos Beltran to make first rehab start in single-A - MLB
The simulated games are done, and it's time to get moving. With the recent aches and ails of Angel Pagan, it's time for Carlos Beltran to get off his rump and get on the wagon back to the show.
Jenrry Mejia back in Double-A - MetsBlog
After his lack of use in the bigs, Mejia is mercifully sent back down to Double-A where he's allowed to develop and hone is actual skills.
John Maine has shoulder tendinitis - MetsBlog
But the good news for Maine is that there is no structural damage. But he will likely be out for significant time at this rate.
R.A. Dickey's renaissance continues in record-setting fashion - MLB
I love the records that are made up on a whim to justify a player's success - R.A. Dickey is the first Mets pitcher to win his six starts without any losses in his first seven starts of the season. Impressive enough on its own to say that he won his first six straight starts of the season without the fluff.
Ramon Ortiz signs with Mets - MetsBlog
With Maine shelved, the Mets have a need for some additional pitching - after a two year vacation from baseball, Ramon Ortiz finds himself employed again, this time, by the Mets. A former National, he likely brings "Knowledge of the NL East," including Jeff Francoeur, whom he has plunked twice, and now happens to be a teammate.
Josh Thole called up from Buffalo - MLB
Since Rod Barajas is shelved with
sucking back tightness, Josh Thole has been called up to fill in at backup catcher.
Mets take energy-saving intiative - MLB
After beating Tigers, Mets players Ike Davis, Jason Bay, Ryota Igarashi and Jonathon Niese donated their time to the city and went around and painted rooftops white. Supposedly this action helps reduce the temperatures of the buildings as a whole, thus limiting how much energy is used to cool it down this miserably hot summer.
I love fake records - MLB
"Most strikeouts in first four starts, ever" now belongs to Stephen Strasburg with 41Ks in his first four starts. Yes, it's impressive, and yes, it sets him up to possibly be the guy to have the most strikeouts in first five starts, ever. Which happens to be against the Atlanta Braves. He'll need 11Ks to surpass the fake record, which is 51 strikeouts in five starts. I had a dream about Strasburg first encounter with Jason Heyward - it resulted in a double to LF, but there were two outs and Yunel Escobar was thrown out at third to end the inning.
No happy medium - WaPo
Groundball pitchers don't strike out enough guys. Flyball pitchers don't keep the ball on the ground enough. And in the case of Stephen Strasburg, is he striking out too many guys to go deeper into games?
Inevitable - should Jesus be an All-Star? - WaPo
It's a good thing that the fans don't choose the pitchers, otherwise this would be a lock.
Counterpoint - Why he shouldn't be an All-Star - Nationals Daily News
There's always a counter point, which I can Twelve Angry Men about.
Jordan ZimmermanN back in extended spring training - MLB
The forgotten second potential ace of the staff, Jordan Zimmermann (with two N's) is back in Florida for extended spring training. He could potentially return to the rotation by August.
Josh Willingham reaches 100 HRs - MLBlogs
A personal milestone by the guy everyone compared to Jason Bay with a smirk in their tones, but don't really have a whole lot to snicker about these days.
3-4-5 are B-F-F's - WaPo
Not only are Ryan Zimmerman, OPS guy, and Josh Willingham the heart of the Nationals lineup, they're also good friends off the field too. Their initial connection? College football.
OPS guy doesn't like to talk about trades - MLB
He apparently doesn't like having to sign two year deals, which is exactly what he's playing out right now.
Mark Lerner confident that Nationals will sign Bryce Harper - WaPo
It'll be easy to sign the kid as long as the monetary demands are met, because he rushed through everything else, why stunt his development soon? I'm curious to see how he adapts to the rookie leagues though; everyone he's playing there will have been the best players in their town/city/county/region/state.
Domonic Brown promoted to Triple-A - MLB
After more or less tearing up Double-A, Brown has earned his ticket to Triple-A, where he's legitimately a phone call away from seeing the big leagues. But with a crowded outfield as it stands right now with Ibanez, Victorino and Werth, it seems unlikely that he'll get anything other than a cup of coffee in September, barring any major injuries.
Chad Durbin latest Philly to visit the DL - Phillies Nation
Yet the Phillies are always within striking distance. Says something about their organzational depth. Oh yeah, Durbin's out with hamstring issues.
Chase Utley to appear on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - MLB
He might be a top-5 player in all of baseball, but I personally think Utley's kind of an emotionless, jerky kind of person. Cussing in front of the city to the cold, calculated way he'll take out the catcher during plays at the plate, I'm in awe of his baseball talents, but not very fond of him the person. Maybe my opinion will change a little when I see how he shows on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which is a show that I do enjoy.
Jamie Moyer is something special - Phillies Nation
Stop and read this article, and just remember the two complete games, all the innings, and in a rotation with Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels, here is a pitcher that pretty much nobody had any faith in prior to the season, and it took an injury to Joe Blanton to really give Moyer a shot to be the fifth starter ahead of Kyle Kendrick.
Phillies kind of surprised that Werth is playing so well lately - MLB
As if they've never heard of a player playing out of his ass during a contract year.
That didn't last long - Mathieson DFA'd - Phillies Nation
After waiting an eternity in between major league work, Scott Mathieson is allowed one appearance before being sent back down to the minors for Dane Sardinha. Likely due to how banged up Carlos Ruiz has been as of late.
Doc preparing for BS "road" series in Philadelphia - MLB
I still think it's a crock, but I'm glad the Phillies aren't in first place when this is happening. It doesn't matter that the Blue Jays will bat last, and the DH will be in effect, it's still rubbish that the Blue Jays and Phillies aren't playing on neutral ground but instead Philadelphia for their "away" series.
I think he got off early - Beerleaguer
Considering the fact that he got tased and knocked out cold, the Phillies fan who stormed the field kind of got off early, with just six months probation from Citizens Bank Park - the first-ever field runner at iti Field received a life-time ban, and incurred significant jail time. Shows the differences in Philadelphia and New York.
Former Brave sighting - Oscar Villarreal - Beerleaguer
With all the injuries to the team, it could be time for former Brave, the last real Vulture the league had seen, and whom National vulture, Tyler Clippard is currently tied with at nine wins, Oscar Villarreal, to maybe get a call-up to the big club, to bolster both the bullpen and maybe the rotation.