NL East Infection: The All-Star Strain


Washington Nationals

Bryce Harper

So, there’s a teenager in the All-Star Game.  Let’s hope he doesn’t miss a fly ball because he’s out there sexting or robo-tripping or not knowing how good he has it because in my day ballplayers had to walk 50 miles to school in a blizzard.

Seemed pretty inevitable that the kid was going to be on the team, whether by rabid, cackling Nationals fans stuffing the ballot box or via the removal of all necessary parties and the correct sequence of events occurring to allow it in some kind of Illuminati plot.

So congratulations, guy.  I’m sure everything will go perfectly for you.

Gio Gonzalez

You know what’s great is not the formidable rotation Gonzalez has helped form in D.C. alongside their organic talent, but rather the best friendship that has formed between him and Strasburg.  You see, one of them’s messy, the other one’s clean; one is quiet and intense, the other one is clownish and noisy.  Remember that one when Strasburg’s parents were coming to visit and then Gonzalez drew a line down the middle of their apartment and then their differences turned out to be their strengths.

This is the first time two varying personalities have ever occupied the same pitching rotation, so naturally, it’s a refreshing turn of events, especially when all of baseball’s other teams are made up of vile, criminal perverts who all hate each other.

Stephen Strasburg

There’s not a lot to dislike about the homegrown, naturally unhittable, prolific, intense, early twenties starting pitcher that the Nationals were terrible enough to acquire.  So the best we can hope for is a stoic representation of National League pitching for the next few years before a terribly personal, public divorce during his first contract negotiation that fractures his relationship with the franchise and the city forever.

New York Mets

David Wright

Oh, David.  I remember when your big dumb helmet and dumb stupid face were my least favorite things in the world.  Now I actually feel like you have been wronged and would use my words to defend you.  Look at you, on the bench.  What a ridiculous series of events.  Look at the slash line.  Look at it.

And you’re getting shoved out of the way because Giants fans get to vote?  Well, at least that clears the question of whether the Giants’ fanbase thinks they’re going to the World Series in 2012 or not, because if they wanted a better chance at home field field advantage, they’d have the guy with the 4.9 WAR start at third instead of their 240 pound plush toy.

R.A. Dickey

Dickey is the second Met to be ousted by a Giant, this time, though, it’s Matt Cain and his perfect game, which as we all know is he baseball equivalent of a license to kill.  Who Matt Cain is planning to kill is still up in the air, but in the mean time, he’s just going to go ahead and take the starting role for the NL, while Dickey the knuckleballer will make an appearance by the fourth or fifth inning, most likely with Chooch as a battery mate.

For once, seeing Dickey will be a good thing, as his twisted reverse back-ass-wards pitching magic is one of the few advantages the NL has.

Miami Marlins

Giancarlo Stanton

Could have used Stanton in the Home Run Derby.

Could have used him in the All-Star lineup.

Could have used a well-placed splashdown dinger that lands in the fountain of a public park in Omaha to ruin C.C. Sabathia’s feelings.

But, Stanton, the sole Fish on the roster, had to go and get himself ruined and will not be playing.  In his stead, the Marlins will have the complaints of Miami owner David Samson, who suggested Tony La Russa should have selected Justin Ruggiano.  But tangibly, the Marlins will have no one.  Hey, you get what you pay for.

Which in this case is $71,750,000 for the contracts of Jose Reyes, Hanley Ramirez, Josh Johnson, Heath Bell, Mark Buehrle, and Carlos Zambrano.

Atlanta Braves

Dan Uggla

When Dan Uggla submits his measurements for his NL All-Star uniform, do the manufacturers look at the numbers like, “Come on, this guy is built like an ice cream truck.  Why does he want a child’s uniform?”  The answer, of course, is no, because Dan Uggla’s garment size illiteracy has been one of baseball’s biggest issues, which I am sure they will address right after even Interleaguer play but before instant replay.

Chipper Jones

Chipper will be serving as the game’s “Aww, isn’t that neat?” moment-provider as the broadcasters apply their nine inning tongue bath to the Braves legend.  Bud Selig has already used him has a bastion for the reverence of keeping things the same forever.

"“I love that.  It’s one of the things that you hope a lot of players will stay where they played, just like George Brett did here in Kansas City, so you like that a lot.”—Bud Selig"

“See, Chipper stayed in one place his whole career and everybody loves it.  Therefore, we can keep being terrified of change and none of you can call me on it.  Thanks.”

Michael Bourn

Righteousness broke through in Bourn’s appointment, as he should have been on the team all along, but sadly, his moment of glory was sandwiched between paragraphs jerking off Harper, so if you didn’t even know Bourn had made the team you can’t really be blamed.  Also you may not have noticed him because he is quite often a mere blur accompanied by a blast of wind.

Craig Kimbrel

Huntsville, Alabama couldn’t be prouder of its native son for his second straight All-Star appearance.  This time, he didn’t even have to replace Matt Cain at the last second.

Kimbrel represents all that is horrifying about the Braves; young, highly skilled, cultivated by their own system, and kept around.  It’s like nobody’s even in their front office, cashing in prospects for midseason pickups that will make all the magazine covers.