NL East Infection: Don’t Come in Here


Florida Marlins

Sun Life Stadium just got a whole lot easier to fill to capacity, and not because they’ve replaced the Marlins with a one-man band playing the theme song from “Miami Vice.”  They haven’t. I’m saying that if they did, he’d attract a larger crowd than the Marlins do. He’d just have to play every position.

Yes, the Fish have decided that if they can’t get people to come out to the stadium, they’d have to bring the stadium to the people. And that stadium won’t open until 2012, so why not get a head start on closing down the old one? Who cares if the Marlins still play inside of it? Seriously, who? Nobody. And that’s why the upper deck of Sun Life Stadium is now forbidden territory.

Strange, I… now I want to go there more than ever. I’ve never had the slightest inkling to do so before. But now its… its all I can think about.


Atlanta Braves

Brian McCann couldn’t even muster a game-winning hit in this year’s All-Star Game. The Atlanta Braves are clearly in a tailspin. According to Philadelphia area newspapers, the Phillies “pounded,” “smashed,” and “exploded” past the Braves in the first half finale. The Atlanta region was a bit more gentle with their verbiage.

Words That Could Fit Better Than ‘Fall’ Here

  • “crumble”
  • “implode”
  • “run shrieking into the night”
  • “whimper”
  • “sputter”
  • “faceplant”
  • “sprint into wall of nails”
  • “cry quietly at public restaurant table while Phillies subtly ask for the check”
  • “wither”
  • “wilt”

New York Mets

You roll out of bed, you down most of the coffee, you drag the folding table out of the garage, you set up the lawn chairs, you wipe the sweat off your brow as the sun comes up, you put your worthless crap out with little price stickers on all of it.  But when the first thing gets sold at your garage sale, there can be a twinge of sadness as you realize maybe you’re a bit more attached to that blender missing four buttons or that Rubik’s Cube board game than you thought.  A flood of nostalgia unexpectedly drowns your thoughts as you recall those three or four memories you have with the blood-and-coffee-stained Twister mat you just sold for $2.75.

And then its gone and you look down at the money in your hand and you’re like “Well, at least I have this money.”

K-Rod to the Brewers.  And the Big, Sweaty, Blood-stained, Inevitable Mets Fire Sale of 2011 begins.

Washington Nationals

Tyler Clippard Cleans Up Cliff Lee’s Mess

Cliff Lee left the 2011 All-Star Game having incompetently surrendered a run; cementing his status as the worst pitcher of the past few minutes.  Fans of the NL felt the sting of the crushing blow and collapsed back into their seats.  Phillies fans who were looking forward to saying “Phillies pitchers perfect through four!!!” had to go back to being fat, stupid losers.  And all the NL was left was the bespectacled savior trotting in from the bullpen in a Nationals uniform.

Tyler Clippard to the rescue.

He’s not a loud hero; just modestly sitting in the pen, waiting for the phone to ring.  No one could have predicted how awful Cliff Lee would be, and that Clippard’s heroics would be necessary before the late innings.  But sure enough, those idiot Phillies screwed everything up for everybody.

And so, with two runners on and two outs, Tyler heroically delivered his pitch, and heroically gave up a line drive hit to Hunter Pence, whom he sent positive vibes toward during the entire play.  Pence took those vibes and used them to throw out Jose Bautista at the plate.

It was pretty clear who the hero was; and I hadn’t even over used the word ‘heroically’ at that point:  Tyler Clippard.  For my money, MVP.*

“I had a weird intuition that he was about to hit a line drive,” Pence said. “I was like, ‘OK, well if he hits a line drive, I’m going to try to make a good throw.’”

That ‘weird intuition’ is the fact that the current pitcher was wearing a Nationals uniform.  Welcome to Nationals baseball, Hunter Pence.  Welcome to assuming the worst.

*I do not have a lot of money