NL East Infection: Heath Bell Finds a Duck


New York Mets

You know why the Mets are going to be good this year?  Because the Yankees have 27 World Series rings.  Because the Giants won the Super Bowl.  Because the Rangers are in first place.  Because Jeremy Lin.

And, because sports teams that are geographically close to each other often share the same successes, we conclude that the Mets, despite a gutted bank account and losing almost all of the players you’ve heard of, will be at least average this season, reports’s Terrence Moore in an article that’s been bled dry of most basic logic and coherent examples.

"Six starts for Lin and six wins for the Knicks, with their new point guard doing enough as a playmaker, shooter and defender to make folks say, “Walt Frazier, who?”—Terrence Moore,"

See, people wouldn’t say that because that’s Walt Frazier’s entire name.

They might say “Walt who?” or “Something Frazier!”  but if they were familiar with Knicks basketball, and knew Walt Frazier’s full name, they could probably narrow down the list of possible Walt Fraziers being referred to.  So let’s move to a far more in depth analytic strategy:  rhyming.

"“Thus more hope for the Mets.Which rhymes with Jets, an NFL tease in recent years.Even so, the Jets reached the AFC Championship Game two of the last three seasons after years of looking clueless — you know, like the Mets.”—Terrence Moore,"

Washington Nationals

The Nationals sure seem content to say who should and shouldn’t be coming into their park, so how do they like it when somebody asks them to please get the hell out?  This is the quandary undoubtedly keeping each member of the team up at night, as an angry lady from the internet has sparked what is definitely going to be an intense nationally covered debate in the Nats’ Spring Training home of Viera, FL.

"“They’re raising the spring-training ticket prices to pay for their players.  Hope the door doesn’t hit the Nationals on the way out. Good riddance.”–Debbie Reid"

As the sweet sting of rejection penetrates the Washington clubhouse, maybe they’ve learned their lesson about treating everyone fairly.  About how everyone deserves a shot to check out the illustrious, star-studded world of Nationals baseball, except for Debbie, who doesn’t want one.  About how perspective changes everything.

Isn’t that what this country was founded on?  So accept us, Nationals, or we–Phillies fans, Debbie, everybody–will go start our own country and you won’t be allowed in.

Atlanta Braves

Braves camp is apparently in full swing already, with players indeed showing up and being excited, having put last season’s shocking implosion out of their heads.  Many speculated it would take nearly a decade to gloss over such wretched failure, but the Braves seem quite easily over it.  Good for them!  Repression is the key to progress, therapists always say.  Hey, does anybody else taste blood?

So the Braves, like anybody else, have some questions to answer this preseason.  That’s why they hired Greg Walker as the hitting coach, based primarily on the notion that he could fix Jason Heyward.  Heyward has apparently dropped 20 pounds and is going to try and stop missing the ball when he swings.  And interesting approach brought about by a revolutionary new hitting coach, no doubt.

But what will really be important is Heyward’s confidence levels, so Walker will most likely be spending the majority of Spring Training telling Jason how wonderful he is as he drifts off to sleep.

Miami Marlins

I saw a guy wearing a Miami Marlins hat in person for the first time last week, which is already more times than I ever saw somebody wearing a Florida Marlins hat.  The brand is clearly exploding.

Despite this good news, the Marlins were forced to digest some bad news this week:  They couldn’t sign another player they wanted.  This has happened so many times during the offseason, it is hard to imagine they can recover emotionally.  However, it is the risk you take when pursuing every available big name.  Yoenis Cespedes opted to play in Oakland, which is like, okay; whatever, but it leaves the Fish behind to pick up the pieces.

Fortunately, they do in fact have other players, and some of them are on Twitter.  Hanley Ramirez snapped a photo of him and some friends during which he, according to the tweet accompanying it, was asleep.  Also, Heath Bell saw a duck!  Fascinating.

These and other events are sure to enthrall you on this season of Showtime’s ‘The Franchise,’ a program which chronicles the adventures of a single baseball team each season.  Last year, they followed the world champion San Francisco Giants on their quest to finish somewhere relevant.  They failed.  The Marlins, however, are a team full of new, famous players with a pretty stadium and a fresh outlook and a ton of pressure and attention.  What could possibly go wrong?