Well, this is it - the home stretch. Eight games left, and still most certainly alive in the hunt for the playoffs. I refrain from saying anything in regards to the division and how we came to such present times, because it's all already been said. I wish I were in D.C. like I had originally planned, to watch the Braves on the road, but given my W-L history of seeing the Braves in Washington, maybe it's for the best that I'm not there.
Otherwise, I don't really have much to say this week, except a whole bunch of things that might be construed as "preachy" or "lecturing," so instead, welcome back to another week of Things Read in Other Moms' Basements.
METS ELIMINATION CHAMPIONSHIP APPAREL - The Apple
When it comes to the Mets, the most charming and appealing thing about their fan base is simply how humble and self-depricating they are capable of being when the chips are down. That being said, I can't say I've ever laughed harder this season until I saw this post about METS ELIMINATION CHAMPIONSHIP apparel. If these were real, I would get a shirt without any hesitation, and I'm really hurting in the wallet these days.
The Proven Winner charged with criminal contempt - MetsBlog
Seven counts of criminal contempt for his 56 text messages to baby's mama, and a new restraing order. Kind of sad too, because I remember in 2002 and 2005 being very supportive and rooting for K-Rod when he was dominating the Giants, and closing out the Yankees in the NLDS, in older times, many moons ago.
David Wright expected to be Mets all-time RBI leader in 2011 - MLB
733? That's it? Darryl Strawberry is the all-time Mets RBI leader with just 733? Wow. At the time of this being written, David Wright stands at 655, and should very likely pass that mark next year. I mean, given all the crap the Mets have put up with the last two years, I guess you have to look for the bright spots. But 733 just doesn't sound that impressive, especially when the bar in Atlanta is set at 2,202 RBI by Hank Aaron.
The thoughts of moving David Wright - WSJ
Leave it to the WSJ to look at the economics of moving David Wright. He could return a boatload of young talent, and he's still reasonably priced for three more years. And doesn't hit free agency until 31, when a lot of players are supposed to just be on the cusp of decline.
R.A. Dickey's story of redemption - MLB
Arguably, the brightest spot for the maligned Mets of 2010, I'm actually not ashamed to say that I rooted for the guy (when not playing against Atlanta). My favorite Dickey story of the year was probably when he was starting the season in AAA, when he gave up a hit to the first Durham Bull he faced, but then proceeded to retire 27 in a row there afterward, the worst kind of one-hitter to ever throw. I actually admired Dickey enough, to where I clandestinely participated in Amazin' Avenue's R.A. Dickeyface contest; I submitted the end scene from the Goonies, and it's a shame it wasn't based on recs or anything, because I thought I commanded a good amount of favor, but I guess it didn't help that 1) I'm a Braves fan, 2) the Braves swept the Mets days later, and 3) too much Photoshop, not enough MSPaint, but it's all good.
Oh yeah, remember him? - MetsBlog
The Daniel Murphy conversion continues, as he's still working on becoming a second baseman, since it's more dire than ever to rid Luis Castillo, and will even play off-season ball in the Dominican Republic to work it out.
Joe Torre says my bad to insinuating taking over for Jerry Manual next year - MLB
Since Los Angeles has (crapped) the bed, Joe Torre has stated that he's not coming back to manage the Dodgers next year. Naturally with Joe Girardi free of contract next year, the speculation is wild that Torre could return to New York. But for the Yankees or the Mets? Despite what he says, don't count it out until he's signed elsewhere, or declared retirement.
This is almost Mad-Lib worthy - MLB
"(Insert first-year imported Japanese relief pitcher) a pleasant surprise for (insert MLB team)"
Applicable to: Akinori Otsuka, Takashi Saito, Mac Suzuki, Hideki Okajima, Kaz Sasaki, Ken Takahashi, and now Hisanori Takahashi.
NOBODY IS SAFE FROM PREVENTION & RECOVERY - MetsBlog
First is Luis Hernandez, who foul-tipped a ball off his toe, and then homered on the next pitch, only to find out that he had broken his toe in the process. And then, Bobby Parnell who has pitched in all of maybe 35 innings this year is going to be shut down due to elbow inflammation.
They should put this on a shirt, too - MetsBlog
With a win on Wednesday, the Marlins mathematically eliminated the Mets from any playoff contention. This is the third time in four years that the Marlins have done such to the Mets.
Stan Kasten resigns as Nationals team president - MLB
If you don't know the story of Stan Kasten, in short, he used to be the Braves president way back when, and was responsible for (re-)hiring Bobby Cox before 14 straight division titles, became the Nationals president with a plan to do it all over again with a new team; build from within, and restock the farm, which obviously would require time, but four years later, with the Nationals still mired in slightly less mediocrity than prior years, he's stepping down as president. Naturally, there's plenty of speculation if it was genuinely voluntary, which I also question, and here's an example of why it's a little fishy.
Nationals expected to keep Jim Riggleman through 2011 - MLB
At currently 63 wins, the Nationals have zero chance of losing 100 games for the third straight year. Apparently, that's justification enough for the Nationals to likely retain Jim Riggleman for his non-guaranteed 2011.
Stephen Strasburg the recluse - WaPo
You know what I really enjoy seeing? Chipper Jones and Kris Medlen, in the dugout of every single game, despite the fact that they're medically incapable of jumping in. But there's always something to learn while on the bench, and watching the game, from different perspectives. And despite the lifetime gap between Chipper and Medlen's careers, both could be better off from some inactivity, and interaction with their mobile teammates. Yeah well, Stephen Strasburg who is also adapting to life post TJS like Medlen is, is instead back in San Diego hiding in his brand new house, and barely responding to check-ins and status updates, while hiding himself on Facebook on top of everything else.
Nyjer Morgan enjoying suspension in the GM's booth - MLB
While serving his eight-game suspension, Morgan has been sitting with GM Mike Rizzo, watching the games from a different perspective and shooting the (crap). He's also trying to repair his PR image, as he treats the fan that accused him of beaning him in the stands to a free game, sweet seats, a tour of the clubhouse, and autographs. Despite the fact that he was proven innocent of that charge, I wonder if he'd be willing to do anything for Chris Volstad?
Speculation over Ryan Zimmerman's health - MLB
Must be a slow news week in DC when two awkward infield throws is reason to wonder whether or not Ryan Zimmerman might be ailing.
More speculation of Zim, and now OPS guy - MLB
Both are day-to-day, and could miss out in the Atlanta series. Dunn now has elbow pain, numbness in left hand, and hamstring tenderness.
And Atlanta gets a bad rep for crappy attendance - WaPo
I thought about writing another tirade about Atlanta's poor attendance, but I'm just tired of doing it. Every team gets this way, especially when records are abysmal. Jim Riggleman acknowledges this fact and implores the fans to come out.
Nationals reach agreement to join NY-Penn short-season low-A Auburn Doubledays - MLB
Seems like there's a lot more minor league affiliate shuffling going on this year - severing their ties with low-A Vermont, the Nationals move their low-A operations into Auburn, New York, taking over the Auburn Doubledays of the NY-Penn developmental league. This puts their low-A cozily close to AAA-Syracuse.
Bryce Harper's favorite sports teams - The Bog
I always said that baseball really needed a villain for everyone to dislike, especially now that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are gone. Well, if we could make snap judgments based on favorite teams, then Bryce Harper's heading down that path: NFL: Cowboys, NBA: Lakers, MLB: Yankees, NCAAB: Duke, NCAAF: Texas. Maybe just a little bit of a front-runner?
"When you haven't seen pitching for five months, it's a little hard," Harper said after an 0-for-2 game that saw him start in right field
That sounds kind of like an excuse.
Hanley Ramirez potentially could be shut down - Miami Herald
Elbow woes have knocked Hanley out of the lineup now, and there's question to whether or not they should bother bringing him back in a dismal season. This Braves fans is hoping that he sits out and weakens the Fish from spoiling any more wins that we desperately need.
Offseason concerns arising for Marlins - Miami Herald
It's early, but, surprise, the monetary requests to retain Dan Uggla aren't close to being met right now. Uggla wants $11-12M for five years, Fish only want to pay him $8M per year for three. Also, they have no manager, closer, or catcher projected for 2011 yet.
Potential catcher targets for 2011 - Marlin Maniac
None of these guys really seem at all that plausible, and it's hard to imagine Jeffrey Loria opening up the wallet for a guy like Victor Martinez.
New ballpark aspires to make the sky friendlier - MLB
Apparently, it's really easy to lose the ball in the dusk period of the day, and the football-configured lighting doesn't help at SunLiphinRobbieShark Stadium. The new park attempts to assure that such won't be the case at the new Marlins Park, with a ceiling painted neutral gray, and lacking the catwalks and obstructions that the cross-state Trop has.
Concerns over Anibal Sanchez's innings - Miami Herald
He of the mythical 2006 rookie no-hitter, Sanchez has unfortunately been hampered with lots of injuries throughout the last year. Currently at 170-ish innings, it marks a new career high for a guy who has been around for over four years. Provided he can remain healthy, there's no saying how good of a pitcher he's still going to be when he may be relied upon to deliver 210+ IP a season?
Chris Volstad must have had a hot date or something - MLB
I'm generally awestruck whenever I can leave the park or turn off the TV and the hour still says "10." Fresh off his suspension for involvement in the Nyjer Morgan brawl, Volstad makes up for lost time in a literal hurry, as he only needed 112 minutes and 118 pitches to throw a complete game shutout against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Conspiracy theory on Marlins ownership - Fish Stripes
Loria lies to get the new stadium cheap, stadium will bring in revenue and make team worth more, Loria will then sell high in 2012 or 2013. Eh, I've heard of stranger things, but not implausible.
Emilio Bonifacio also hurt - Miami Herald
Now Hanley's replacement is hurt with a left hamstring strain.
Nobody is safe from injury - MLB
Marlins hitting coach John Mallee, scrwed up his left bicep tendon, when attempting to lift the portable BP mound during batting practice. Allegedly, the bicep tendon ripped clean off the bone . . . ouch!
Fish immediately raid AA champion Jacksonville Suns - MLB
No rest for the wicked - Chris Hatcher (C), Ozzie Martinez (SS), Sandy Rosario (RP), and Steve Cishek (RP) were immediately placed on the Marlins roster after barely getting a chance to revel in a Southern League championship. A good story of perseverance for Ozzie, who just a year ago was victim of mistaken identity and subsequent multiple gunshot wounds, but made a quick recovery, contributed well in AA (.302/.372/.401), and now is getting a cup of coffee to cap the season. And things were so bad with the injuries that E-Rod almost called upon Hatcher to relief pitch in a bad situation.
No Phillies links this week. Not because I'm bitter about the Braves getting swept and not because I'm being lazy about doing it (well, it does make it a little easier). I'm more or less tired of the commenting communities of Phillies blogs and sites that I've linked to in the past coming here in troves to make asses out of themselves and making our lives miserable with their ironic sore winning ways, so at least this week, maybe next, I'm simply not going to give them any acknowledgment. And, what the hell, I'm lazy, and I don't feel like reading the media suckling off the Phillies teat for a little bit.
Note: This is not an open invitation to start trolling TGP; they may not think highly of us, but (most of) their users who have come over here have conducted themselves well enough to be spared of such childish retribution. Remember, going to other MLB teams' SBN pages, and making an ass out of yourself, which makes asses out of all of us, doesn't just get you banned by them, it gets you banned/warned by us.