NL East Infection: Life Begins Today


Washington Nationals

Jennifer Hilderbrand-US PRESSWIRE

The Sporting News has released its annual MLB awards, and while they may not be official, they sure are being said out loud.  And no one needs things to be said louder than Nationals’ manager Davey Johnson, who was informed via megaphone two inches from his shriveled, elderly ear hole that he had won the NL Manager of the Year honors.

“To be recognized by my fellow comrades, a particularly accomplished bunch, makes this award especially meaningful,” Johnson apparently said, finally outing himself as a Communist spy having held meeting after meeting on the Red Porch in our nation’s capital RIGHT UNDER THE PRESIDENT’S NOSE.

There is some skill in turning an absolute train wreck into a train that goes all the way to the NLCS but then gets derailed by a bird landing on the tracks, so Johnson is, in fact, a valid pick.  But his traitorous nature continued to reveal itself as he stealthily forced D.C.’s John A. Wilson Building to take down the flag proudly flown on its roof and replace it with some sort of horrible, squiggly, probably Socialist flag.

Reports are indicating it is actually the flag of the city of St. Louis, which was part of St. Louis mayor Vincent C. Gray’s final revenge on his enemies.  D.C. can take it down today, the Cardinals having lost interest in antagonistic bets after suffering through losing one of their own.  The transition from “baseball” to “normal life things” can be hard.

But Michael Morse has jury duty!  Isn’t that fun and quirky?  It’s the same thing as the World Series.

New York Mets

“Please don’t talk to me, I don’t want to catch ‘Marlins.'” Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

With the New Jersey Nets and New York Islanders both headed to eventually or already inhabiting Brooklyn, the formula in the Empire State seems to be, if you can’t win, move to Brooklyn, where winners are born.  The Mets now find themselves in a pickle, as Brooklyn fills out as a major sports power, and they have no end in sight to the hopeless mediocrity-at-best baseball that has plagued them since consecutive gutwrenching implosions in 2007-08.  Bernie Madoff didn’t help.

One thing the team could do to avoid hitting rock bottom is grabbing onto David Wright with both hands and refusing to let him go, even when he says “Please let me go,” or “You’re hurting me!”  Last year, they watched as one of their faces, Jose Reyes, walked away to the tune of a multimillion dollar Marlins deal; something he wouldn’t dare wish on his friend David.

No, Jose thinks David should stay there, in New York, something he himself wanted to do, until the Mets decided to use their other plan, “Spend so much less money oh my god.”  The Marlins may not be available to inherit anymore Mets contracts anyway,having turned their focus on signing a pushing-40 Alex Rodriguez, which I think we can all agree would solve everything.

Miami Marlins

Speaking of solving everything, Larry Beinfest is invoking the image of the 2003 Marlins again, and boy does he wish they were still around.   Ozzie Guillen is gone, 2012 is gone, and it’s time for a new direction:  the past.

2003 is only getting further and further away, which makes Beinfest’s reintroduction of the franchise’s championships less and less relevant.  But he keeps doing it, in hopes that the fans won’t completely leave him alone with the team.

One way to get better is watching Heath Bell go, which was nice, but they need a few more changes before reinvigorating that vibrant fanbase with a third totally noticed World Series title.  Meanwhile, the famed Marlins Stadium will be used for soccer games.  Which is also nice.

Atlanta Braves


Ron Gant made his “Good Morning, Atlanta,” debut, calling it the “best morning show in the city,” and claiming he’s had “a lot of coffee,” which is just charming.

But it’s not that Braves alumni that is or should be the focus this offseason.  There’s Chipper Jones, who thankfully saw his baseball career end with a blown call in an innovative one-game playoff.  With him gone–presumably, unless he’s got a den to furnish and wants to spend another season being lavished with gifts–someone needs to play third.  And while laying Chipper’s glove in the hot corner and watering it every day might seem like a good plan now, when opening day roles around and Atlanta’s starting third baseman is a wet, ruined glove.

Sure, there are candidates from within like Martin Prado or Juan Francisco.  But apparently, the Braves can see all the potential trades we can, and also think that people like Chase Headley and David Wright would play for them if they gave them enough money.  Which is probably true, but if the Braves sign them, then we can’t have irrational fantasies about doing it ourselves.