NL East Infection: The Best Infection in Baseball

New York Mets

As always with the Mets, there’s good news, and there’s bad news.  Just kidding.  But there is good news.  No, you’re not getting any money back.  No one is.  That money’s gone now, just… just forget about it.  In fact, the Mets aren’t even interested in your money anymore.  They actually want your blood now.  But more on that later.

Why don’t I steal the opening line of every official Mets newsletter and say, “Let’s start with the bad news.”

Port St. Lucie is a quiet Florida town, where the air is warm, the sun shines generously, and every spring, they welcome the New York Mets to town, so the team can pretend it doesn’t play in a stadium constantly terrorized by wild dogs.  The Met’s preseason locale is a charming destination for any lost tourist, full of people and things that wouldn’t hurt a fly.

The Mets recently called up their Gulf Coast Class A team, located in the enchanting little burg, and after the locals finished celebrating that they’d been called by the big club up north, they all gathered around the phone and hushed up so that everyone could hear what the Mets had to say.

It was something along the lines of, “You no longer exist.”

Yes, the Mets–owner of a league-leading nine minor league affiliates–turned the power off for one of their lower level teams, saving themselves a cool $800,000.  Why, that could buy them 1/24 of Carlos Beltran!  Hur-rah!

The good news is, the Mets are also holding a blood drive at Citi Field!  They’re probably not taking your blood just so they can sell it to some critically ill evil billionaire, but at this point, honestly, who knows.

Miami Marlins

Okay, Marlin, you go ahead and put Ozzie Guillen, Hanley Ramirez, and Carlos Zambrano in the same locker room.  Let’s see how well those egos mesh after a disappointing loss.  Guillen’s only going to have to call them “horse shit” one time for people to become inconsolably furious.

And it’s not like Guillen could then step out of the spotlight, like some sort of White Sox manager.  This South Florida, where the eyes of baseball nation rarely turn away.

But, apparently, Guillen and Big Z are already best friends, so maybe their relationship is a special one.  Maybe Zambrano would have a fostering environment, able to cushion his rage in the form of Guillen’s clubhouse.

One thing’s for sure, though.  They better all watch out when the spurned Chris Volstad comes back into town in a Cubs’ uniform.  Lord knows his wrath outdoes them all.

What does he look like again.

Washington Nationals

Are the Nationals going to sign Prince Fielder and make the NL East the most powerhoused division in all of baseball?!  What an honor!  Until the season starts and we have to play a team with Prince Fielder on it all the time.  Then the honor turns into squinty-eyed rage.

Even Washington’s former president–of the Nationals, not the… not the real one–couldn’t give an answer as to why Fielder would sign with them for a reason other than money.

“The answer will always be money no matter where he goes, that’s just inevitable and there’s nothing wrong with that.”

–Former Nats president Stan Kasten

As always, we need to consider how this will affect us, and it does.  The Marlins are thicker and tougher, the Braves are young and upstart, and the Nationals are gradually repairing their image.  A Fielder signing, to replace the offensive dynamo of Adam LaRoche, would be a lightning shock of development for their system.  Suddenly, they’ve got Fielder at first, Werth in the outfield, Strasburg on the mound, and Harper in the clubhouse, brooding and removing his makeup because he just got tossed for arguing over which base was second base.

**Shudder**

Atlanta Braves

While the other two teams remain focused on a glorious future, the Braves prefer to turn around and stare longingly at the past.  Well, that’s not completely true.  They talked about trading for Seth Smith.  Mmmmmmm?  Seth Smith?  He plays for the Rockies.  He probably will continue to because Frank Wren just finished stenciling his “I <3 Martin Prado” t-shirts.

But the past will always be there for the Braves.  And it will be there again in the form of Bobby Cox and less appreciated form of Fredi Gonzalez.

Just listen to the Rome News-Tribune describe both managers’ respective accolades:

“The venerable Cox, who ranks fourth in all-time wins in major league history, led the Braves to 14 straight division titles from 1991-2005, and his club won the World Series in 1995.

He was named the National League’s Manager of the Year three times, and his No. 6 jersey has been retired by the Braves.

Later this month, on Jan. 30, Gonzalez is scheduled to attend the Rome Braves’ annual Hot Stove Gathering at The Forum.”

–Rome News-Tribune

You know how most people will be unavailable for autographs that day?  Well, Fredi’s doing the opposite.  Also Bobby Cox has done some worthwhile things too I guess.

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