NL East Infection: That’s Olt News


Atlanta Braves


You probably remember Mike Olt from the barrage of lustful tweeting Phillies fans did this past July.

“HE IS A YOUNG THIRD BASE PROSPECT,” we deduced, carnally fawning a Google image search of the young infielder.  “WE COULD REALLY USE ONE OF THOSE.”

Talk of a Rangers trade had surfaced because rumors dictated that they had wanted one of our players for some reason, and we of course wanted the best thing in return.  But that, like most things we wanted in 2012, did not happen.

The Braves, however, recently had a chance to take on Olt themselves, and use the acquisition to flaunt him in front of us, posting pictures of them touring the Coca-Cola plant together on Facebook.  However, when the Rangers dangled Olt in front of them, asking for an Andrelton Simmons in return, the Braves said no.  Which is a statement in and of itself, without utilizing the passive aggression of Facebook.

The move leaves us in a state of caution.  Should we be more afraid of Simmons?  Is he housing a bigger power?  Meanwhile, Mike Olt continues his harrowing Dominican Republic adventures.

Miami Marlins

“Rally towels… rally towels for sale. They took all the paper towels out of the bathroom, you’ll probably want one of these.” Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Folks, we make a lot of jokes here about how the Marlins don’t have fans, because at this point it’s a cliche, nationally-recognized stereotype that doesn’t require us to develop actual, original material, and still reach the audience.  But the truth is, sometimes franchises sink so low, it doesn’t matter how many people aren’t watching.  Or, reading.  WE’RE NOT GOING ANYWHERE.

The Marlins’ fire sale this week was a real humdinger to watch, and created a new contender in the AL East in Toronto, shifting the balance while torturing the people of their own community.  The fans have adopted a numbness that leads to less vocalized criticisms and more manic laughter; whereas if something like this happened in Philly, there would mostly be shouting, which would then be difficult to filter over the normal, street-level shouting that makes this city so great and irritating.

With the forced departure of stars like Jose Reyes and Josh Johnson and afterbirth like Mark Buerhle and John Buck, the Marlins have gutted themselves, and not even in some kind of honorable way; in some sort of misguided, cowardly way.  And apparently, they aren’t done, shopping Logan Morrison and Ricky Nolasco as we speak.

In these turbulent times, we have to wonder; how can we benefit from this?  We may not have endless money anymore, and we may have only certain needs to fill, but there’s no reason we can’t capitalize on a desperate, pasty, uninformed, detached ownership having a meltdown.  Like, how about that Giancarlo Stanton?

Friend of the site Michael Jong recent broke down how the Marlins can diplomatically pitch their “plan” for the near future to their moon-touching slugger, who, as a young power hitter,  probably isn’t as lethargic about winning as Jeffrey Loria, and is actually already pissed.  Jong wonders how in the name baseball’s unforgiving gods the Fish will be able to convince Stanton they will build around him, successfully, and compete in the near future, successfully, while also successfully containing Loria from scratching that itch to suddenly disembowel the team.

They probably can’t.

New York Mets

…but can he HIT a knuckleball?! I didn’t think so. TAKE BACK THE CY. Anthony Gruppuso-US PREWIRE

The Mets aren’t delivering the worst news of the week, which is a step in the right direction.  Playing in the NL East, they may have permanently shifted the divisional blister to Miami, as not only did New York not report any horrible news, they also did report some good news.

R.A. Dickey became the third Met and the first knuckleballer to win the NL Cy Young, edging out Cole Hamels, who tied for eighth place.  Dickey had all sorts of stats to support his candidacy, but you can go find them on another web site.  Dickey just never hit that point that all knuckleballers reach, when their confounding, looping, bubbly, unhittable pitch, becomes batting practice for a series of opposing teams.

But Mets fans were barely able to recover from this bombardment of good news before word of David Wright’s contract negotiations steamed up their glasses.  The Mets made their offer, Wright made his counter offer, and with only a mere $20 million separating the two, I think it’s fair to say they’ll be together again in no ti–what?  What was that?  Sorry, I heard a noise and assumed David Wright had accidentally poured bleach on his cereal.  But it seems the cartoonish ineptitude of the Mets may be coming to an end, and if it is clownish tomfoolery from a professional baseball franchise in the future, we may have to sadly turn our focus to South Florida.

It’s a new game.

Washington Nationals

The last time I saw Tony Tarasco, he was wearing an Orioles uniform and screaming at an umpire for allowing a young boy in the audience to catch a fly ball, giving Derek Jeter a “home run” and solidifying the Yankees as the umpires’ favorite team.

He seems to have calmed down enough since 1997 to find gainful employment, which the Nationals have awarded him as a first base coach.  He the natural choice, as he has been a minor league baserunning coordinator for years, and also will hopefully fuel that Beltway Baseball rivalry by infuriating Orioles fans–the Nats love to incorporate backhanded antagonism into anything they do.  Will we soon see Tarasco quotes in the headlines, bashing his former team and swearing he won’t rest until they never celebrate a sports championship in their town again?  Yes we will.

Meanwhile, Davey Johnson used a clothes pin to pull back his loose skin and accept the NL Manager of the Year Award.  Congrats!