Divisional Recourse: Drug Deals and Home Invasions


Washington Nationals

This division would be so much easier to win if everybody else would stop trying to win it, too.  Some people, however, want to win a little too much.  The fourth minor leaguer to be busted for drugs is finally here!  His name is Adrian Nieto, and he was selected in the fifth round of the 2008 draft by the Nationals.  So he’s their responsibility, and clearly indicative of how they run that whole organization, unlike when that Phillies minor leaguer got busted for the exact same thing just several weeks ago.  You’re going to expect a reason for me saying that in this next sentence, but there won’t be one.  Sometimes life is like that.

But nothing cures a PED-laced hangover like a hot cup of Coffey.  Todd Coffey, that is! Ha, ha.  It doesn’t get much funnier than that, folks, so just stop reading now if you’re not already puking with laughter.

Just kidding, stay here.  Please.

Coffey, formerly of the Brewers (and I’m not even going to repeat the hangover-themed jokes of yesterparagraph), is now a one-year member of the Washington Nationals as they restructure their bullpen to have pitchers in it.

Florida Marlins

Spring Training must be tough for the Marlins.  It is that intrusive time of year when everyone stampedes into their home, suffering through the boiling bog, makes a bunch of statements for the media, plays a few games that don’t count, and then leaves.  Meanwhile, the Fish get to stay put, where for the last few seasons, things have been less than optimal, or in some cases, less than .500.

But next season, the Marlins will be doing it somewhere else! Somewhere else still in Florida, that is.  Yes, 2011 will be the final year under the sun before they pack up and head on over to their new digs in Little Havana.  And nobody could be more excited than Chris Coghlan who, after preparing to make the switch from left field to third base, will be playing center field.

Also making preparations is reliever Clay Hensley, who has spent the remainder of his off season toying with high school students.

Atlanta Braves

If there’s one thing Bobby Cox’s life is missing, its awards.  Sure, he stood at the helm of the most heart-stoppingly dominant division-winning for a time.  And this year, his final visits to opposing stadiums turned into a traveling carnival of classy gifts just for being himself.  But how often does he get handed real, rock solid, American awards?  “Very often”?  Well, I already wrote the lead-in.

Bobby has been achieving lifetime for a while, but now there’s an award to prove it.  The Atlanta Sports Council plans on having a ceremony to present their love on March 7.  It is about time Bobby clutched this award to his chest, especially after such unexpected Atlanta-area celebrities like Ted Turner have had their fingers all over it first.

Things are finally looking up for the man, while on the other side, a young pitcher he’s never heard of is suffering because of improper touching.  Well, a thesaurus will tell you that “contact” and “touching” can mean the same thing, but I guess in this case, it doesn’t work.  The Braves and an adviser at Wichita State University apparently had some shifty dealings concerning the future of pitcher Albert Minnis, who claims to be in the dark about the whole thing.  See what getting drafted in the 33rd round by the Braves gets you?  Banned from baseball for half a season.  And when you play on a team called “The Shockers,” you want to wear that jersey as often as you can.

I would anyway.

New York Mets

"“The Mets right now are in a dark, uncharted area.”—Peter Gammons"

Whoa, whoa, whoa.  The Mets aren’t even playing baseball yet, it might be a bit unfair to start classifying just how deep in the pit of despair these folks should be, Pete.  Let’s take a breather here from all the unhinged cruelty.  For starters, they ditched John Maine.  That’s always a good idea.  Next, Mark Cuban won’t be buying them.  That’s got to feel nice.  Now Stuart Sternberg’s stepping up to the plate, who, even as the majority owner of the Tampa Bay Rays, has held onto his Mets season tickets.

Plus, they’ve got Brad Emaus, who just did an interview with Rising Apple.  So it’s not all bad.

Just check out this Mets writer, who had to dig deep, deep down–perhaps shaving the very core of the earth–to bring back some kind words to say about the Mets.

"“In addition to general manager Sandy Alderson’s stable of low-risk, potentially high-reward offseason signings, the Mets will return a core of veterans that, at least on paper, appears formidable.”"

Phrases like “potentially high-reward” and “at least on paper” and “appears” never bode tremendously well, especially when you consider that you can say that about pretty much any team before the season starts.