NL East Infection: You Tell ‘um, Jeffrey


Washington Nationals

Not only are the Nats a first place team of hot young talent, but they’re also a great bunch of guys with a charming sense of humor.  Which is great news, because now no one will want to talk about them or give them compliments for the next five years.


However, Bryce Harper’s occasional stuff may entangle them in some superfluous drama before he completely matures.  The pine tar incident with Ozzie Guillen, which admittedly was about 90% Ozzie Guillen, allowed for the team to get a peak at what having a teenager as part of your core can get you.  Therefore, Harper’s teammates rallied around him and showed up at Guillen’s house with bats, drunk, and at three in the morning.  They menaced his family for a while, rapping on the windows and ringing the doorbell, before hurling a bat they all signed through the bedroom window, covered in… somebody’s… blood.

See, that’s exactly the kind of thing the Nationals wouldn’t do.  Instead, they got their “good guys” merit badge by getting Harper to sign a bat (without knowing what they were planning), coating it with pine tar, and giving it to Guillen as a gift.

And everybody had a good laugh.  But then it was time to get down to business:  Stephen Strasburg’s babysitters are getting concerned about how close he is to that 160-inning curfew the little fella’s got.  With the Nationals still in first place, and the rest of the rotation performing so well, do they use any one of a number of convoluted plans to keep their young phenom ace from hurting his self?

Atlanta Braves

The Braves created an enjoyable situation last night for people who hate the Nationals, but an awful one for people who hate the Braves and an awkward one for those with common sense who hate both.

In what has been confirmed as the “game of the year” by comment sections all over the internet, the Nationals quickly built up an 8-0 lead off Braves ace Tommy Hanson, then pecked another run off his relief (Luis Avilan) in the fifth inning.  The Nats broadcasters giggled with glee as they prepared their notes for tomorrow’s game, which would include topics such as “The Nationals are great” and “How great are the Nationals?  Pretty great.”

But then the Braves tagged Stephen “Bubble Wrapped” Strasburg for four runs, and then Chinese water tortured their way through the Washington bullpen, dripping runs on Drew Storen, Sean Burnett, and Tyler Clippard on their way to a game tied at 10 (thanks to a Craig Kimbrel  blown save).

At the brink of madness already, the Nationals watched as Tom Gorzelanny surrendered the most hideous RBI single in the history of weak-hitting middle infielders to Paul Janish.  Seriously, it blooped just far enough out of everybody’s glove for Dan Uggla to thunder home with the winning run.

Which, in Philadelphia-area bars, led to a wave of bizarre clapping/booing motions that have left scientists clueless.

Miami Marlins

"“We’re going to be fine. It’s going to be one hell of a run. Obviously, we’d like to see more, but I’m not worried long term about our offence at all.”–Jeffrey Loria"

It’s a good thing the Fish have been so disappointing, because otherwise, we would be the biggest letdown of 2012.  Fortunately, the Phillies’ downward spiral has gone almost completely unnoticed, so let’s all not talk about it and hope that the media just passes us by when the playoffs come and instead of filming post season promos, all the Phillies are tweeting about golf or “gettin’ ‘um next year!”

The Marlins, however, don’t seem to be righting the ship anytime soon, despite owner Jeffrey Loria’s sleep-starved diatribes to the players.  Whether or not he actually gave the heartfelt speech with dark circles under his eyes to his players, or to an arrangement of stuffed animals which in his delusional state looked an awful lot like the Miami Marlins, is yet to be confirmed.

But that was a long time ago, at this point.  The Marlins did not take his words to heart and have continued to have bad things happen to them, including getting their hands accidentally caught in oscillating fans and mistakenly not taking the right medication.  Surprise!  Both of those things have to do with Hanley Ramirez.  Double surprise!  It was less of an accidental graze and more of a totally on purpose punch.

Hanley was mad on July 8 and struck a cooling fan, wounding his hand, but then “forgot” to take the antibiotics necessary for it to heal, and now might be missing playing time due to an infection.

"“How do you forget to take a pill the doctor tells you to take?  Hopefully, the doctor finds exactly the right pills, and I will tell him, open your mouth, like a baby, and put them in his mouth and make sure he takes his pills every night.”–Ozzie Guillen"

And if he knows Hanley, which he has to, because he’s the manager, he knows how receptive he will be to even the insinuation that he is a baby will be treated as such.

New York Mets

One team has gone from being buyers to active sellers before the deadline, and shockingly enough, it is the team in big blue letters that appears just above this text.

The departure of fourth string shortstop Omar Quintanilla will be felt for hours, as he cleans out his locker, leaves, and then comes back because he forgot his iPhone.  The 30-year-old was dropped off in Baltimore for a briefcase full of money, possibly to fund another, better move the Mets are currently wringing their hands over.

Once can assume that David Wright and even R.A. Dickey are off the table, but that leaves a vast opening of potential trade chips in the form of Justin Turner, Lucas Duda, Andres Torres, and the bullpen.  But this sort of speculation pales in comparison to the issues currently facing Dillon Gee.

"“Dillon Gee got scared when team doctors told him they couldn’t feel a pulse in his right arm.”—Sports Illustrated"

Gee’s blood clot disorder, combined with Chris Young’s absence, and a bullpen that is actually worse than the Phillies, puts the Mets in an awkward position.  Namely, whose going to go out there and pitch?  Of course, there isn’t a team out there that’s not looking for bullpen help, except for the Nationals, and when you consider that even a crappy reliever can have relative success for brief stretches after a mere change of scenery, gambles become all the more appealing.  Anybody searching for relievers better be ready to settle.  I’ve heard that Chad Qualls is available.