Welcome to a very rainy and miserable edition of Things Read in Other Moms' Basements, news and happenings from around the rest of the National League East. I'll take the blame for those of us who are sitting in inclimate weather this weekend, allow me to absorb the blame; I saw it fit so bathe the dog, and much like washing your car, doing such a task can only result in the ensuing precipitation, in order to ruin your efforts and cleanliness.
Rain or shine, by the time you guys will be reading this, I'll likely be in a sugar-induced coma somewhere in Raleigh, North Carolina, because rain or shine, it's once again that time of the year in which I participate in North Carolina State University's annual Krispy Kreme Challenge, where I'll have run 2.2 miles, downed a dozen original glazed, and run 2.2 miles back, in under 60 minutes.
So hopefully, the rest of you will remain dry, comfortable, and not feeling guilt-ridden and physically ill as I will, so in the meantime, have some links from around the rest of our division.
I figured, I'll give the Nationals a break; they had a rough week, what with Orlando Hudson feigning interest in going to Washington, only to go to a team that a long time ago, was Washington. And to make matters worse, PECOTA said "syke" on their previous projected standings, and tucked the Nationals back to where they were the last two years - last place.
OPS guy: Orlando Hudson leaning towards the Nationals - MLB.com According to Adam Dunn, Orlando Hudson does indeed want to come to Washington. BTW, the other Orlando, Orlando Cabrera, signed with the Cincinnati Reds. You heard it here first - the Reds are playoff bound. BUT, money seems to be a problem - MLB.com, or they'll turn their interest to Adam Kennedy, who is kind of their fallback plan.
O-Dawg has come out and expressed his interest in the Nationals, but they're having some difficulty agreeing on the dollars and cents part of it. He made $3M roughly with incentives that took him close to $7M in 2009 with the Dodgers, but the Nationals are only offering $3M-ish with incentives to get him to $4M. Either the Nationals will bend and give in
Nevermind, O-Dawg signs with the Minnesota Twins - MLB.com
This kind of came out of nowhere, since the Twins were a late edition into the Hudson hunt. And, with that, the Nationals pounce all over Adam Kennedy.
The rest, after the jump.
OPS guy beginning negotiations to stay in Washington beyond 2010 - MLB.com
And speaking of OPS guy, initial talks have been made about him extending with the Nationals. What I like about this article is that it says 2009 was one of his better years, but all I saw was this disappointing year where he failed to knock in 40 homers for the first time, in like ever.
Stephen Strasburg could make opening day roster - Nationals Pride
The difference between Strasburg and Heyward is that Strasburg is already signed - the only way Strasburg doesn't start on the big league roster is if he demonstrates some glaring holes in his game and/or an inability to get major leaguers out.
Nationals monitoring Chien-Ming Wang - MLB.com
I'll save you the guys the indignities of another bad joke in regards to men's genitalia, but the Nationals are looking towards the former Yankees work horse. He's one guy I'd consider to be a darkhorse Comeback Player of the Year - he hurt himself in interleague a few years ago running out a grounder, and then he had some shoulder pain that shelved him. He's allegedly 100% healthy again, but not in the best shape of his life, but he strikes me as a total low-risk, very high-reward player, that would pay dividends for a team needing some strong inning-eaters. He will strike out VERY few, give up a ton of contact and make the infielders earn their money, but he will not walk guys, and he will not give up homers easily. And just to throw it out there, he was 46-15 (.754) before his injuries. Funny thing is that if he weren't a Yankee, I'd imagine he'd have a second chance anywhere else.
PECOTA readjusts NL East rankings - Nats Blog
Lawl. The Baseball Prospectus people must have thought they were delusional or something when they declared the Nationals winning 82 games, and placing third in the division. In this revision, the Nationals drop back down to last place in the division, but hey, they didn't lose 100 games. It's funny too, they basically attribute it to the offense scoring almost 90 runs less than the first tabulation, and the pitching becoming more competent, allowing 20 less runs, but you have to score more than the other guy to win, and suddenly PECOTA doesn't think they can, enough.
Bryce Harper's first JuCo homer - Federal Baseball
17-year old Bryce Harper who got his GED instead of finishing high school to enroll in Junior College to become MLB draft eligible sooner rather than later, seen hitting his first homer for the College of Southern Nevada. If you weren't aware, he's already been given monikers of Roy Hobbs, Jesus, the Savior, etc, etc, much like guys like Jay Bruce, Jeff Francoeur, Rick Ankiel 2.0, and our own Tommy Hanson. But if the Nationals aren't going to lose 100 games in 2010, how are they going to get the first pick again to guarantee the rights to this kid?
ESPN's Tim Kurkjian praises Nationals' going in the right direction - Nationals Pride
You know how many of us complain that the Braves don't get enough praise or notoriety for positive things? Well, Nationals fans can be worse, so it is apparently blog-worthy amongst the Nationals faithful, when a guy as high and mighty as ESPN's Tim Kurkjian actually heaps a little bit of praise on the maligned organization.
Nationals interested in P Kris Benson? - FOXsports
Kris Benson is mentioned to have been feeling 100 percent recently, and the Nationals are among teams interested. After all, they are among the teams looking to amass live arms, but more importantly, they're a team lacking in the hot wives statistic.
Tim Redding calls out Mike Bacsik for serving up 756 - Metstradamus
Tim Redding vs. Mike Bacsik - Redding accuses Bacsik of deliberately giving up Bonds' 756. Bacsik defends himself. In the end, nobody cares, because they both suck. Not sure whether to put this with Mets or Nationals; both were Mets, both were Nationals. Both suck. The event happened with the Nationals, the comments after Redding was with the Mets.
Frank Catalanotto signs minor league deal with the Mets - MLB.com
He can play both corner infield spots, second base, as well as the corner spot. Too much versatility isn't a bad thing, and when you consider the alternatives at the aforementioned positions, Catty might not be a bad pickup.
J.J. Putz never took a real physical before joining Mets - CSNChicago
(hat tip: Amazin' Avenue)
I almost feel bad for the Mets players, being run by such inept staff that overlook such critical procedures, like physicals. It's kind of like not drug testing a junkie for a job at a pharmaceutical company, or overlooking the fact that I'm 562 lbs. before letting me work the kitchen at Abdullah the Butcher's House of Ribs and Chinese Food.
Will David Wright hit homers in 2010? - Big League Stew
(hat tip: Mets Police)
An interesting glance at the effects of Citi Field, a high BABIP, and a concussion, on David Wright's production, and what to feasibly expect in 2010 from him. Spoiler - he's still going to be second-tier compared to Washington's Ryan Zimmerman.
2009 offseason biggest losers - New York Mets thanks jh - SI.com
Since pretty much everything Jon Heyman says is more or less wrong, we have nobody to thank but him, when the Mets make a surprisingly serious threat to the NL East crown this year. He also ranks the Braves 8th biggest losers this off-season, which is no surprise coming from him.
Comparing the New York Mets to the cast of LOST - Mets Police
Mets Police does a humorous comparison between those in the Mets organization, to the cast of LOST.
Baseball's Worst Owner? - Forbes
(hat tip: Mets Police)
So a lot of us here don't like Liberty Media. But we still have a little ways to go before we end up being tagged with the "Worst Owner(ship) in Baseball," since Forbes cites all the money, all the failure, and the lack of player development.
Welcoming the DRAGON SLAYER - Metstradamus
The kind of tongue-in-cheek slapstick that almost reminds me of something I would've posted two years ago, if Fogg were a Brave.
Fredi Gonzalez celebrates 46th birthday while overseas with the troops - John Baker's blog
(hat tip: Fish Stripes)
John Baker's favorite highlight of the birthday of our former 3B skipper:
The highlight of this stop was the first Fredi Gonzalez birthday celebration...we got to watch a Marilyn Monroe like version of "Happy Birthday" by a midriff baring male soldier dressed in a Chase Utley jersey.
First illegal substance-related suspensions of 2010 goes to the Florida Marlins - MLB.com
First suspension for the 2010 season goes to Marlins MiLBer, Adam Kam. Fish Stripes reports it is over use of Boldenone and Boldione. 50 games suspension, he'll probably spent most of it in extended spring training.
Alfredo Amezaga signs with the Dodgers - MLB.com
Well, the Marlins' one long-time season ticket holder's sure to be pissed at this. I for one am not sad to see him go; despite his overall mediocre numbers, he's just one of those guys that always plays well against the Braves (.305 avg, .758OPS (career .652), 13 rbi, 11 bb, 6 sb), and I hate to bring up bad memories, but he was the one who hit the game-winning Luis Gonzalez-like diagonal bloop in that one game a long time ago where Huddy had a no-no through six, and then imploded in the 9th, loaded the bases, and left Bob Wickman out to hang, and everyone hated Bobby Cox afterward.
Marlins interested in Russell Branyan - MLB Trade Rumors
Interesting potential move. This would give the Marlins the ability to shift Cantu back to 3B, drop Bonifacio back to utility guy, and save Wes Helms strictly for the Braves so he can kill us without being fatigued. Branyan is running out of options since our former 1B Casey Kotchman signed with the Mariners earlier in the week, and few teams are interested in a 34-year old slugger with back problems, with names such as Adrian Gonzalez, Prince Fielder, and sooner, Ryan Howard will be on the market.
Seth McClung to sign minor league deal with Marlins - MLB.com
Must be a slow week, if Seth McClung is news. Kind of how I felt whenever I saw Chris Reitsma's name in the headlines during the 06 and 07 off-seasons. Also briefly mentioned is the Marlins' reported interested at brining back former closer, Kevin Gregg, he of the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar glasses and the weird, facing-forward pitching stance whom most Braves fans recall recently him giving up a save-blowing, two-run, game-tying homer to, you guessed it -
Frank Stallone Jeff Francoeur.
BTW, every time I see that clip, my favorite part is this guy in emo glasses with this disgusted expression of disbelief at the Cubs failing. I love the Turner camera guys who capture hot women and dejected opposing fans better than any other camera crew out there.
Marlins stock-piling veteran bullpen arms - MLB.com
And stating the obvious, is the fact that the Marlins are indeed stockpiling arms for their bullpen roles.
SeaQuest predicts that the Marlins win it all in 2010, back in 1993 - Deadspin
Jonathan Brandis from the old show SeaQuest, shown brandishing the foretelling future, of the 2010 World Series Champion Florida Marlins. Wasn't this kind of instance in like iRobot or something, where the movie coincidentally predicted the New York Giants beating the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl?
One of Eight - MLB.com
Apparently the Fish like their 2010 odds about as much as the SeaQuest creators did, as they expect to be fully playoff-capable. But "one of eight," sounds a little contrived; shouldn't it be more like "one of four," since technically the four American League contenders are a moot point until the World Series?
Philly columnist thinks Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz cost the Braves more titles - Philly.com
(hat tip: Amazin' Avenue)
I kind of see what the writer's trying to say, in relation to comparing the current Phillies to the 90's Braves, but it all boils down to one simple belief I have - If you want to score with the prom queen, you have to make it to the dance first. And I don't honestly think the Braves would have seen the postseason as many times as they did without the contributions of Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz.
Ryan Howard in the best shape of his life, prospect arrested, Amaro and Manuel discuss Lee trade - Philadelphia Inquirer
(hat tip: Phillies Nation)
I like how one of the defending points in trading Cliff Lee was "during the Braves' 14-year stretch, they had to deal some key players to remain successful."
Philadelphia looks towards the fans, for means to create Harry Kalas memorial statue - Fightin Phillies Blog
This, is a wonderful idea for the city of Philadelphia to honor the iconic voice of the Phillies. I'm a little jealous, because I'd like to wish that something similar would be done with Skip Caray in Atlanta.
Phillies sign some Japanese pitchers - Phillies Nation
Two NPB minor leaguers sign with the Phillies on minor league deals. Based on the given information (ERA), one is not bad, and one seems pretty mediocre.
Oscar Villarreal signs minor league deal - MLB Trade Rumors
The man once known to the Braves as the Vulture, Oscar Villarreal signs with our rival Phillies, with hopes of making the squad and coming into the game in the 4th inning after an ineffective Jamie Moyer or J.A. Happ squanders a lead, only for Howard and Utley to blast some go-ahead homers while he's on record, so he can finish the season with a W-L record that appears more like a top-end starter's, than a mop-up man's.
Phillies prospect watch: Phillippe Aumont - MLB.com
I remember seeing this guy out when I was in Canada for the World Baseball Classic. It was a huge deal for the Canadians, since he was a very protected prospect on an very strict pitch-count. But he came in a very nasty situation, and had the bases loaded with only one out, and not only did he get out of it, he did so by striking out Chipper Jones to end the threat. A big, big right hander, acquired in the Halladay and Lee transaction, he is one to watch for in coming years.
Mansion littered in beer bottles, dog feces, graffiti, and raw sewage - you too can own Lenny Dykstra's home - Reuters
(hat tip: Amazin' Avenue)
Totally relevant to the subject at hand, is mentioned that Lenny Dykstra was known as "Nails" and "The Dude," and batted .285 in a 12-year career including a ring in 1986 with the Mets, and an NL pennant in 1993 with the Phils. I really hope the condition of the $14.9M house was a result of squatters and not the lifestyle of The Dude.
Have a great weekend, everybody, and thanks for reading. I'd say who I'm rooting for in the Super Bowl, but then they'll lose.