It’s that magical time of the week again, where we lean forward and see what everybody else in the division got on the midterm.
The Mets seem to have given up on this sport and are begrudgingly moving on to another one. Terry Collins plans to liven up Spring Training with weekly bowling nights for his team of hyper active adolescents grown men. As the former captain of a high school bowling team, I can tell you that this plan is flawless. Nothing makes someone more likable and skilled then the sight of them crashing a turkey in the pocket and heroically fist pumping in the opposing coach’s face while his kids look on. I’ve learned.
But no time for that now; there are smallish, intriguingly minute details to fondle! For instance, there’s Chris R. Young, the young reliever who comes cheap to New York because his top’s already been popped. He’s exactly what they’re looking for–somebody. But that’s mostly because Johan Santana has clocked out until the All-Star break and they are even more starved for pitching depth than we have been in the bullpen.
Also newly signed is the precocious Willie Harris, who has spent his tenure in the NL East slapping the pride out of the Mets’ smile. But with all the trash talking–and then in novel concept, backing it up–the Jets are doing, it’s probably hard to focus on any of these seemingly unimportant matters. Thankfully, the Mets hired Angel Pagan to head up their “baseless predictions fro success” this off season.
And I know what you’re thinking; that it’s always not just bad news for the Mets, and that I purposefully give anything they do a negative spin just because I hate them.
Stephen Strasburg is doing it all these days! He’s hosting charity events. He’s throwing off mounds. He’s watching his dog take a shit during a 5K marathon.
Yes, you read that right: mounds. In all honesty, he’s only doing two of those things I mentioned, and the 5K was the charity event, so it’s really more like one thing. Am I saying he’s slothful and lazy? Of course not. But he is. (EDITOR’S NOTE: This from a guy who’s currently using a yard stick to try and turn off a microwave timer that’s been going off for the last 25 minutes).
Strasburg is actually still weeks from throwing off a mound for the first time since getting Tommy John-ed, but if my wild assumptions are correct, his adamantium body is most likely already healing itself faster than modern science would allow. In what will feel like no time, he will be out there transforming baseballs into heat-seeking deathspheres once more as Mike Rizzo stands nearby with a group of top scientists, nodding and giving each other handshakes.
As the slow-moving behemoths chuckle patronizingly from above, the Nationals move manically, adding pieces to their Ultimate Plan with unkillable fervor and grace. Adam LaRoche and Alex Cora are both in, Willie Harris is out, and John Lannan’s been extended. Now, their screams for a fresh starting pitcher have finally been [sort of] answered in the form of Tom Gorzelanny, increasing the number of former Pirates on this team to a noticeable figure; a strategy which the Washington Post describes as “…a bad omen, but who knows how things will play out.”
WHO KNOWS INDEED.
Last week, Ricky Nolasco announced how pissed off it made him when the Marlins’ starting rotation was not being included in the discussion of baseball’s best starting rotations. He makes a strong argument, but one that will require physical evidence to really get some legs. Except for Josh Johnson. I’m not sure what else he has to prove.
Like anybody in this division, except us, the Marlins are making sure they are not accused of idol indifference during the off season (The Mets continue their collection of NL East players with the cloak-and-dagger shadow conspiracy they just signed with Taylor Tankersley away). But the real issue is that people refuse to believe the Marlins exist.
Most of the people in question work for ESPN, and most of them are in charge of putting together the schedule for Sunday Night Baseball broadcasts. Once more, the Fish have been jipped out of any appearances thus far, while their NL East rivals are making a combined six before the All-Star break alone. But let’s not pretend that seeing your team’s name is a true mark of validation or something–it’s mainly just confirmation that you are a big market team. Because ESPN doesn’t do anything small! Am I right, fellas?!
**Sound of a dog throwing up, then silence**
Meanwhile, recognized or not, Marlins fans continue to be there, considering radical new options and pelting Gaby Sanchez with inquiring tweets. Someday, the bigwigs at ESPN will deem them worthy to appear on their mighty network. Until then, the Marlins will keep on playing and ESPN will keep on having big wigs.
The terror-stricken northerners being endlessly assaulted by serene snow fall are no match for the south, where snow, ice, and winter jackets are far more alien. The Braves released a video of Turner Field, silently gripped in the frigid jaws of a deep freeze. The image is epic enough, but the Coen-esque pacing and audio of slow-moving foot steps crunching on the snow create an ambiance of suspense, as if something terrible is about to happen; like a shrieking yeti barreling straight through the outfield wall, or Brooks Conrad showing up for infield practice (EDITOR’S NOTE: I’m going to go ahead and file that under “jokes that never get old.”)
Meanwhile, in real life, people felt that Bobby Cox was undergoing a serious honor-shortage, and looked to honor him once more at the 7th Annual Hot Stove Banquet. The event has heralded many former Braves in the past, including the stoic, selfless career of Dale Murphy and the whiny, off-putting diatribes of Jeff Francoeur.
And you know, I love how its just not enough for the Braves to sit there and have the fourth best farm system in baseball; suddenly, they have to try and make their prospects even better. They have to get all “Inaugural Rookie Development Week” and shit, and it’s like, enough already. 26 of their best homegrown crops will be shown how to play baseball a little sharper, but also receive a crash course on how life works in and around Turner Field which is, again, a barren, frozen wasteland at the moment. They get the full Atlanta treatment–a Georgia Tech basketball game, a Hawks game, and a Thrashers game.
When the Phillies tried something similar, their prospects all quit professional sports forever after witnessing the Sixers go 0-for-6 on dunk attempts in the first half (EDITOR’S NOTE: Dude, the Sixers are talking playoffs. Lay off. Nothing wrong with being a .425 squad when you play in a league where 95% of the teams make the post season.)