Things Read in Other Moms' Basements - Around the NL East 04.10.10


You know something, I don't think Tim Hudson is ever going to be credited with a win in San Francisco ever again in his entire career. I mean, it's not that big of a surprise when a walrus like Bob Wickman blows the save for Huddy, but I certainly wasn't expecting Billy Wagner to cough it up, especially to, no disrespect, Edgar Renteria, regardless of how hot he was hitting. Either way, enough about that, there are many other threads in which we can discuss the state of our Braves.

Anyway, this is a good week for all of us regardless of the 2-2 start we've got going on, because hey, at least there's baseball at all now! With the first week in the books, we're in that stage of the season where there are a whole lot of skewed statistics, and a lot of people are having fun with the "on pace for" columns that ESPN has been so good about laying out. Like earlier today, I saw that Vernon Wells was on pace for something like 341 HR this year alone, prompting jokes between my friend and I about how he's finally playing up to his egregious contract's actual worth.

The good news is that with the start of actual baseball now, my job becomes slightly easier each week, because most teams are so wrapped up in the day-to-day activities of their organizations, that not a whole lot of news comes out unless it's genuinely important, and I can only scour the blogger wires so much without growing tired of the same rehashed opinions on the same topics. So that leads to the bad news that things may tend to get a little thin around here, but hey, I'll do my best to try and be informative, as well as futily flail at humor.

Welcome back to Things Read in Other Moms' Basements.

Hold the presses, David Wright homered -
The biggest story to come out of Flushing all week was the fact that David Wright has apparently found his power again, and has homered in the first game of the season. After the dismal 10 he put up last season, I guess this is fair game.

Jose Reyes plays in full game -
The slow road to recovery resumes for the electric Reyes, who played in a full nine innings in an extended Spring Training game down in Florida.

And he's back . . . today - New York Daily News
That didn't take long at all.

Mets training staff booed during Opening Day introductions - New York Daily News
Let's see, Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, Daniel Murphy, Francisco Rodriguez, just to name a few of the Mets who have endured some physical ailments or are still ailing now; despite the fact that some of them were out of their control, the fans at iti still saw fit to boo the trainers when they were introduced during Opening Day. Also Oliver Perez, Luis Castillo, and manager Jerry Manuel were booed too. Too soon for Philadelphia comparisons?

Worst Mets cap ever - The Mets Police
At first, I thought it was a mistake hat that you could buy at an outlet mall that sold mistake apparel or something, but unfortunately, it really is done deliberately. MLB logo on the front, NY emblem . . . on the back. So for all Mets fans that like to go the Grand Master B route, and wear their hats backward, they're still showing off their Mets pride.

Mets have a lot of rookies, Fernando Tatis apparently scavenges for gloves - New York Daily News
With four rookies seeing action in Opening Day, the Mets apparently need chaperones, despite the fact that two of them are Japanese and already have an army of handlers to make sure they don't get into teenage shenanegans. Also, upon the departure of Nelson Figueroa, he forgot to take his glove with him. It's okay, because Fernando Tatis quickly put his name on it in white-out, and claimed it as his own.

Hope and Despair - Mets Blog
When it comes to how Mets fans and other people think about, in regards to the Mets pitching rotation, I think this image sums it up perfectly.

How good was the Springfield Power Plant softball team? - Masters of WAR
(hat tip: Amazin' Avenue)
This has absolutely nothing to do with the NL East, but I found it via AA, and it is just too good to not share. Leave it to a bunch of stat geeks to ruin something so good, which was the episode of the Simpsons where Mr. Burns puts together a team of MLB ringers to compete against Shelbyville Power Plant's softball team. Masters of WAR using what else, WAR from 1992 (when the episode aired originally), to deduce the effectiveness (or lack-of) of each and every player that Smithers scouted out - Griffey, Strawberry, Sax, Scioscia, Mattingly, Ozzie, Boggs, Canceco . . .


Phillies claim P Nelson Figueroa off of waivers -
With the loss of Blanton, Lidge and Romero, the Phillies had an obvious need for some live arms to fortify their pitching staff. Looking no further than the guys down the street, the Phillies claim Nelson Figueroa from the Mets after he had a hurky-jerky spring, and barely failed to make the 25-man roster.

1B coach Davey Lopes' brother passes in tragic fire accident -
The brother of the Phillies 1B skipper Davey Lopes, Michael Lopes died in a houes fire in Providence, Rhode Island last week, with the cause of the first not determined. His mother and sister were unharmed. Condolences go out to the Lopes family, and well wishes for Davey's quick return to the field.

Cole Hamels Facts and Fictions - The Good Phight
Okay, allow me to take off my stat-hat here when I say this - Cole Hamels is a good pitcher. A damn good pitcher. And I have to scratch my head at all the people who think he's garbage after his below-par 2009 season, and apparently so do the folks at TGP who assess the actual stats, facts, and myths of a pitcher I'm going to bet is going to have a much improved 2010. Something they didn't really use as a viable (IMO) excuse was that in the championship 2008 season, Hamels pitched a cumulative total of 262.1 IP, which was almost 75 more full innings than he had pitched the previous season.

Howard rapidly climbing the franchise homer list -
With his Opening Day blast off of John Lannan, Ryan Howard has tied Greg Luzinski for fifth on the all-time Phillies home run list, with 223. Next up is Chuck Klein's mark of 243.

The Invasion of Washington D.C. - Multiple Sources
A sizeable number (est. 20,000ish) of Philadelphians got in their cars and made the 2.5 hour trek from Philly to Washington D.C. to cheer for their team. Anyone who is surprised by this should consider that when the Eagles made the Super Bowl in 2004, there was a large spike of second mortgages, cashed in 401Ks, and all sorts of egregious ways to finance tickets and trips to watch their Iggles lose to the Patriots.

Phillies Nation implores Phillies fans to class it up - Phillies Nation
If there was any site to benefit from the publicity, it would be PN; afterall they were the site prominently name-dropped as planning a Phillies-to-DC trip for Opening Day, but it turns out that they're sensible folks too. Supporting your team on the road is good, but being dicks and A-holes to the world while on the road is not what the Phillies should want to see.

Jimmy Rollins is going to cheat -
At a promotional event, not during a baseball game. He's going to be using a loaded bat at an event which will see him challenge the Guinness record for longest batted ball, currently set by none other than the Great Bambino, The Sultan of Swat, Babe Ruth at 576 ft. Someone better keep their eyes on Rollins to make sure he leaves the bat behind when he's done.

Rollins also thinks the Phillies should have kept Cliff Lee - Big League Stew
How many weeks are going to go by where someone says that the Phillies should have kept Cliff Lee?


Just how good are the Marlins at developing talent? - Marlins Maniac
In this day and age, developing talent from within is the chic and smart thing for all organizations to attempt to do. And the Rays and Rockies are examples of what good talent built from within can do. Often times, the Marlins are put up there as one of the better orgs at developing players, but Marlins Maniac takes a better look into just how good they are at building from within, especially considering their franchise was developed by the Red Sox, and had absolutely zero plate appearances in the Marlins minors.

Hanley Ramirez thinks Chris Coghlan is future batting champion -
Using a tiny list of similarities, HanRam thinks that Coghlan can be a future batting champion. They were both ROYs, Hanley was the previous lead-off batter, so naturally Coghlan has to win a batting title to continue following in his footsteps, right?

Dan Uggla on pace to become all-time Marlins homer leader -
It's so funny to think this is actually an honor, considering the Marlins are less than 20 years old, and have barely been able to keep any player on the major league roster for more than maybe four years tops. At 121 jacks currently, Dan Uggla is 22 homers away from becoming the all-time Marlins home run leader, passing names such as Miguel Cabrera, Derrek Lee, and Gary Sheffield along the way.

Say goodbye to the Teal Monster - Miami Herald
The next time the Braves go to Dolphin Robbie Shark Life Stadium, you may or may not notice that the giant teal scoreboard out in left field is no more. And in its place is, of course, more advertising, further making it look like a minor league outfield wall. Complaints were that bulbs kept popping, and it was becoming too cost-effective to maintain for another year, so it's been removed altogether.

Ricky Nolasco's pre-game ritual - Fish Stripes
Apparently, Nolasco likes to stomp around the locker room with a hoodie with the hood draped over his head, like a boxer before each of his starts.

Blogger thinks a gimmicky race is good for the new park - Marlins Diehards
(hat tip: Marlins Maniac)
Personally, I think the sausages, presidents, and Home Depot Tool Race® are lame. I don't care the least bit about any of that. If the Marlins want to draw fans, how about they play winning baseball, market themselves better, and keep some players that local fans can get behind


President Obama can't find the strike zone - Big League Stew
Gotta give him credit for one thing, man does not budge when it comes to his hometown team. Despite wearing a Nationals windbreaker, President Obama whips out his hometown White Sox cap during the ceremonial first pitch. I didn't realize the Prez was a lefty, but it doesn't matter, because the pitch sailed wide outside to Ryan Zimmerman.

Well, that didn't last long - Federal Baseball
After one game, it's decided that the platoon of Willie Harris and Willy Tavarez isn't going to get it done. Time to turn to 29-year old IF/OF journeyman, Mike Morse? And in his first start, he hurts his calf and is pulled immediately. Figures.

Washington D.C. enraged with Philadelphia "invasion" - Washington Post
If you weren't aware of it, there was a large contingent of Phillies fans at Nationals Park for Opening Day in D.C., which is never a good sign for the home team. Nationals fans are upset that so many Phillies fans were able to score premium seating well ahead of many Nationals fans, and Adam Kilgore of the Post takes his beef all the way up to Stan Kasten, who pretty much has nothing to respond aside from insinuating that his own organization, just doesn't have enough fans. Long story short is that group ticket sales allowed Phillies groups to plan and acquire tickets before they went on sale to the general public, and they took full advantage.

Lannan, Zimmerman, noticed - Nationals Daily News
(hat tip: Nationals Pride)
Looks like the fans aren't the only ones critical about the ticketing scandal that led to thousands of Phillies fans infiltrating Nationals Park for Nationals' Opening Day. But I see where they're coming from, I'd be dejected too if everyone in my home park were rooting against me.

Que the knee-jerking - MASN Sports
MASN writer hanging John Lannan out to dry after this poor Opening Day start against a team he is 0-7 against, who happen to be the defending National League champions with a super-high powered offense. Judgment after just one start? Never heard of it.

Sooooo tempting -
With the aberration of the starting pitching in the first two games of the season, naturally the knee-jerk reaction is to QUICK CHANGE THE CHANNEL CALL UP STEPHEN STRASBURG, and it is tempting, especially after the reaction the Braves got with Jason Heyward. But Mike Rizzo is all about the player development aspect of the game, and is pretty much adamant about getting Strasburg acclimated to the professional player's lifestyle before throwing him into the fire, which I can applaud.

Zimmerman trying to get OPS guy paid - Nationals Journal
Considering the criteria the Nationals have laid down in order for Adam Dunn to be rewarded with a fatty contract, the fact that no attention was given to Dunn throughout the first series of the season should be considered a good thing. Furthermore, Ryan Zimmerman is trying to get his teammate paid, by noting that he feels comfortable by having the big body of Dunn manning first, as a big target to throw to, and noting the degree of his throwing errors dropping with Dunn at first.

OPS guy lightens the mood - MLBlogs
Thanks to the mind of Dunn, the Nationals have a tradition where the player of the game of each Nationals win will have to don a silver Elvis Presley wig when they do their post-game interviews with the media. So far, the only guy to have worn it is none other than, Willie Harris. Now the question is will the Nationals garner enough wins for everyone to get a shot to wear it? Or will this be as long of an idea as Clinton Portis's costumed media days?

Nationals pleased with Guzman's professionalism -
Of course he's going to take it well. Now he's got to work a lot less to make his $8M he's due this season. Of course, he's going to say he's willing to play all infield spots, and corner outfield spots, because he's seriously not going be getting into many of those spots, barring some freak injuries or collapses.

Pushing Back the Service Time Clock? - Fangraphs
(hat tip: Federal Baseball)
Fangraphs compares the debut of Jason Heyward to the non-debut of Stephen Strasburg, widely arguably the top one and two prospects in all of baseball in 2010, and how each team's respective decisions impact a club. And the difference a change in service clock starting date would likely change the way the game is played these days

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