It's been a crazy week in baseball, which saw the Winter Meetings come and go, and pretty much the biggest three names on the Free Agent board are (almost) all off, and one of them is sticking around in the NL East. We also get our first proclamation of hinting at some ITBSOHL, but who is it coming from? Also, every now and then, I think about the Braves, what next year's going to be like, and I can't believe that we've got Dan Uggla still.
Welcome to another week of Things Read in Other Moms' Basements.
Jayson Werth signs seven-year deal with Nationals - MLB
The best thing about news happening on a Sunday is that by the following Saturday, most of you guys have beaten the entire thing into the ground, and I don't have to write as much about it. Seven years, $126 million. Say what you want about how he'll be in six, seven years, or bring up the economy, but the truth is, the Nationals are very, very likely to be a better team immediately, with Werth on it.
Nationals PR jumps all over it - The Bog
Well, that didn't take long, as lame as it is. I wonder what they're going to come up if Adam LaRoche signs? Southeast D.C. still has plenty of cockroaches, last time I was there. But will the DUDE KEEP THE BEARD?
Oh yeah, because the Nationals are interested in Adam LaRoche - MLB
With OPS Guy gone, and Carlos Pena signing with the Cubs, the Nationals' focus shifts to the seemingly perennially available Adam LaRoche. It makes sense, and he would no doubt make the team better, and combined with Werth's potential offense, make the D.C. fanbase forget about Dunn's annual 38/100. And for what it's WERTHlol, LaRoche has been absolutely dreadful against Atlanta in his career (.133/.464OPS). How often have we seen LaRoche step into the opposing batters box, only for McCann, Hudson, and/or Chipper to quickly convene on the mound, and then strike him out? I certainly wish Roachy the best, but as far as facing the Braves go, playing for Washington might bite him in the rear.
This is what we call damage control - MLB
But since Carlos Pena is only signed for one year, he needs to keep other teams wet for his potential services, and makes this attempt to cozy up to the runners-up in the Carlos Pena sweepstakes, in the event that they don't secure a legit first baseman this year, Chris Marrero doesn't arrive, and they'll want one next season.
Scott Boras talks about his clients - WaPo
In regards to Stephen Strasburg, his spirits are good, and he hopes to be back by mid-season in 2011. Way earlier than I would have expected, for what it's worth. Bryce Harper: he did very well for himself in the AFL, and the big news is that he will be starting in Spring Training with the major league squad, receiving at-bats against major leaguers. My guess is that no matter what he does, he is going to the minors, for the little things that aren't quite so baseball related, like living the life of a professional.
What's Strasburg's goal this off-season? That's right - ITBSOHL! - MASN
Since he can't throw, or do that much baseball-related activity, he's pretty much gone gonzo with physical therapy and gym work on his legs and core. But his goal is pretty simple, to get ITBSOHL. How else is he going to accomplish it? By sponsoring/running in a 5K for SDSU.
Feel good story of the week - MLB
Hitting coach, Rick Eckstein (yes, related to David) is going to voluntarily put himself on the shelf, as he donates one of his kidneys to his older brother, whom is one of the unfortunate Ecksteins to have the kidney problems that runs in the family. Everything went successfully, too.
The n00bs are going to be the veteran leadership the team always needed - MLB
New starting pitcher Javier Vazquez, and new starting catcher John Buck, who haven't played a single game for the single regime, are already being viewed as the veteran leaders of a young Marlins squad. Personally, I think veteran leadership is kind of overrated, and it's not like Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco, Anibal Sanchez, and Hanley Ramirez are freshly hatched spring chickens, either.
Hanley can be the clubhouse leadership instead - Sun Sentinel
Gotcha - this could be interesting. But maybe with Fredi Gonzalez gone, Hanley might actually decide to grow up, but in all honesty, I'm imagining the worst out of Hanley Ramnirez and his occasional childish hangups.
Marlins gauging interest on Ricky Nolasco, Leo Nunez - Fish Bytes
This isn't the least bit surprising, considering with the acquisition of Vazquez, the Marlins are pretty solid in the starting pitching department, and Nolasco is a solid, reliable arm, and still just arb eligible. And Leo Nunez, well, let's face it, he's just not that good of a relief pitcher, so for a team looking to improve, subtracting Nunez might not be a bad idea.
PSA: Omar Infante is a good baseball player - Marlin Maniac
All twelve Marlins fans must have been furious when "just" Omar Infante was a part of the Dan Uggla deal. But leave it to the stat guru of Marlin Maniac to break it down to the numbers and reveal to the twelve fans, that he's no Dan Uggla, but Omar Infante isn't exactly chum either.
Ozzie Guillen is flattered to be wanted - Miami Herald
I have to imagine it would be really fun jawing with Ozzie Guillen. Regardless of the general opinion of his managing style, I find a great deal of amusement from Guillen, and I admit that it probably would have been very interesting if Ozzie did end up being manager of the Fish, if the White Sox didn't get greedy and ask for a player in return.
One more reason to hate Bono - Fish Bytes
Remember the poor planning scenario in Toronto, which led to the Phillies getting three more home games than everyone else in baseball? Well, the same thing is going to possibly happen in 2011, but this time involving the interleague matchup between the Marlins and the Mariners. Why? A U2 concert, "needs time" to set up SunLiphinShark Robbie Sport Stadium, which encompasses the three days in which the Marlins and Mariners would be playing. So the alternative plan, is to shift the series outright to Seattle instead; so yes, unlike the fairly reasonable distance between Toronto and Philadelphia, the Marlins can expect to go from the southeastern-most tip of the United States, cross three time zones to the very northwestern-most tip to play NL ball.
Sad story of the week - Logan Morrison's dad passes - Sun Sentinel
Victim of lung cancer, but at least he got to see his son get the call up, and play in the big leauges. Condolences to the Morrison family.
Mets owner being sued over involvement in fraud case - Wall Street Journal
Let me be the first person to disclaim that a lot of this information is already over my head, and if anyone wants to comment/summarize in more understandable terms, please do such. But from what I can surmise, Mets principal owner, Fred Wilpon and his real estate investment company, Sterling Equities Associates are being sued for receiving false profits over Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme (fraud). Despite all this, Sterling Equities is promising that nothing is going to change how the Mets operate, although the supposed $5M off-season budget begs to raise some suspicion.
Ronny Paulino signs one-year deal with Mets - Fish Stripes
Viewed to be Josh Thole's eventual backup, the Mets pick up Ronny Paulino for $1.3M for the 2011, which includes him finishing out the remainder of his substance-abuse suspension, all eight games.
And he's already discontent with his projected role - MetsBlog
Gotta love New York, where anything that is said is immediately broadcast to the eyes and ears of the internets, and sounding in typical Mets fashion, Ronny Paulino doesn't want to be anyone's backup, despite the fact that that's what the Mets had in mind for him.
Mets fire strength and conditioning coach - MetsBlog
All I have to say really is "it's about time." Hired in 2003, Rick Slate hasn't exactly done a fine job of contributing to the prevention and recovery of the laundry list of Mets injuries over the last seven seasons. Typically, when a team consistently suffers repeated injuries, the strength and conditioning coach is the first sacrificial lamb to the slaughter. But I guess during the Minaya regime, things were a little different.
Johan Santana supposedly ahead of schedule - MetsBlog
If there's one team that needs some good news for a change, it's the Mets. If the news of Johan Santana being ahead of schedule isn't good news, I don't know what is. Actually, I do, but Oliver Perez is still going to likely be on the Mets in 2011.
Apparently the Mets are the joke of the winter meetings - NY Daily News
Executives of other NL teams are apparently finding amusement out of the Mets' idea to do as much as they can with about $5M over the entire off-season.
Mets try to re-direct ridicule to Jayson Werth deal - NY Daily News
Well that's one way to get people off your back - channel it to somewhere else: The Mets will not "hand out Jayson Werth-money this off-season."
Must be a slow week on MLB - MLB
When it's worth writing about OPS Guy and Mary Reynolds shifting over to the NL, therefore making iti Field a slightly less homer-friendly haven for such sluggers. Although, the day Chipper Jones calls it quits, I would imagine it would be news worthy in Metsland.
Moises Alou rejects first-base coach position for Mets - NY Daily News
[insert joke about Steve Bartman, goofy batting stance, urinating on his hands, LOLMets]
Constructing a bullpen with Manny Acosta in it - MetsBlog
The Mets will supposedly rely on a bullpen to be anchored by guys like Pat Misch, SWALLOWSMAN (Ryota Igarashi), and the anomalous "right-handed lefty specialist," Manny Acosta. My favorite part of the theoretical article:
"left-handed batters hit .163 against the right-handed Acosta – although this is not at all consistent with his career numbers."
Jimmy Rollins' changes workout regime, incorporates yoga - MLB
Soon, he will be able to stretch his limbs to thrice typical human capacity, teleport short distances, and generate massive flaming excretions from the amounts of curry he will likely ingest.