NL East Infection: The Future is Then

Florida Marlins

Matt Dominguez has one hit in his last 28 Spring Training at bats.  “I know that game!” shouted Dom Brown, offering Matt a high-five and re-breaking his hamlate bone.

If there is one thing Spring Training teaches us, it is that one month of watching a young guy play, accompanied by the occasional stomach virus, is enough to judge his entire career.  This is the end for Matt Dominguez, and he knows it.  He’ll spend the rest of his days in a soggy South Florida apartment, staring up at the cracks in the ceiling that the roaches call home.  The place will be littered with increasingly cheap liquor and women.  As he walks down the street one day, a stray ball from a neighborhood pickup game will roll into his path and instead of tossing it back to the children, he’ll make an obscene gesture with the hand that isn’t carrying a black plastic bag with the only pounder he could find for under a dollar, and chuck the ball into the nearest marsh.

A sad tale for a guy Edwin Rodriguez once compared to Brooks Robinson.

Why the Marlins didn’t just send him back down to the minors to develop and make his glorious debut at a later date in the above scenario is beyond me.  Just seems like common sense.  Huh.  Oh well, their loss.  Dominguez was given a chance to start his future today, but seems of have run out of time.  Sure, he may have plenty of chances in the future to explode onto major league baseball, but at least he has this web site to consult if he ever needs to know what his future outside of baseball will look like.

Did I just scare Matt Dominguez into becoming the greatest third baseman of all time?

Yes.

Now.  Be a good Floridan and hand over your money to fix the Marlins’ house.

Atlanta Braves

Bobby Cox was an incredible manager, and now the Braves are punishing their own organization for it by never letting anyone wear the number 6 again.  Yes, the grossly unfair move will take place on August 12, shortly before the Braves make raw hamburger meat out of the Cubs (though it will all be for naught as the Phillies win as well, maintaining their 14.5 game lead over second place Atlanta).

April 7, Bobby goes to Gwinnett (Home of Brian McCann’s sickeningly perfect life) to throw out the first pitch of a Braves minor league game.  The Gwinnett Braves are so enthused at the evening’s plans, they had their general manager North Johnson read aloud from an index card.

“We are honored to have Bobby Cox represent our team on Opening Night.  It will be exciting to see the baseball legend take the field instead of his usual post in the dugout. Our fans will get a real treat to come out and witness Bobby’s first pitch as well as all of the other great things we have planned for Opening Night and the 2011 season.”

“And don’t forget, these Gwinnett Braves styrofoam tomahawks are priced to be going… going… gone,” he added in an eerie monotone before immediately getting in his car and flooring it out of the stadium parking lot.

Speaking of honors, the Braves have bestowed the honor of “closer” to both Craig Kimbrel and Jonny Venters.  “Two closers?!  That’s ridiculous!” said Brad Lidge, watching Ryan Madson throw harder and faster than him out of the corner of his eye.

Washington Nationals

Like an emotionally fragile preteen, the Nationals have been lashing out lately.  This may have to do with the fact that their parents are thinking about uprooting them from all their friends near the Space Coast and forcing them to play with some other kids in a less desolate part of Florida.

Space Coast Stadium, as you can see here, is no tire fire (At least, the left side of it isn’t).  It just happens to create a great divide between the Nationals and prospective opponents.

But no matter what the reason for their acting out, their attitude continued into Monday.  Technically, the Nationals and Cardinals have “history” because of the brawl that started thanks to Nyjer Morgan slamming into Bryan Anderson at the plate last year, despite there being no play there.  But Nyjer Morgan doesn’t really play for the Nationals, he seems to play for the Nyjer Morgans, a team that exists solely to shout and wave its arms in the air and generally overreact to a situation until it breeds something stupid or terrible.

So who would have thought that the exact same thing, but done to Albert Pujols and not a backup catcher, would’ve cheesed off the Cardinals dugout?  Everyone; because it was followed by a series of attempted and successful beanings, as well as Tony La Russa trying to bait Jim Riggleman into a staring contest, until the inevitable happened.  Riggleman and La Russa were the central fireworks, and also Nyjer Morgan was screaming at like three people but no one noticed because he was probably doing that before he got out of the parking lot earlier that morning.

New York Mets

Well, they did it.  They finally pooped out Luis Castillo and Ollie Perez, which may be the beginning of a big, group toilet flush of the New York Metropolitan baseball franchise.  The move turned the Phillies into a temporary sewage treatment plant, as they fished Castillo out of the mess and dropped him in the middle of a 10-day contract in which he will either make the team or be crammed back down the drain pipe without so much as a minor league contract.

Then the Mets took a deep, satisfied sigh, threw on their keenest dinner jacket, and stepped outside, where they were immediately sued for a billion dollars.

I have a friend who is a Mets fan, but not even I will bring up baseball in front of him, especially now that he’s back from Iraq and all.


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