Happy Saturday everyone, it's that time of the week again. I've been a little absent from the interwebs lately, but it doesn't mean I'm no longer enjoying baseball. It's actually a great time, because every time I turn on the TV, radio, or sneak inside the bar "to use the bathroom," it almost always seems like Martin Prado is coming through at the plate. No way he has a chance at starting over Chase Utley, but I think he's got a shot to get the more honorable, as chosen by his peers' managers, backup role on the All-Star team this year.
In light of the current series we're having with the Pirates, last week, I took a brief day-trip out to Pittsburgh, and watched the Braves trot out the worst lineup I've seen in my entire life (this year), but enjoyed a brief stay at PNC Park. I made a post about it over at the Pirates' site, Bucs Dugout, which can be seen here. But the reality is also that I'm currently working an uber-busy assignment that actually has me working in excess of eight hours a day (overtime is nice, though), and generally a little burnt out on computers when I get home, so if the links seem a little well . . . scant, this week, well I apologize in advance. But if that seems too much like a lame excuse for you guys, fine - there's a girl in the picture right now. All logic's currently out the window until I scare her off, combined with the heavy workload.
Welcome to another week's edition of Things Read in Other Moms' Basements.
Phillies pretty much on pace to represent the NL in ASG - Philly.com
Fairweathereds love winners, and the Phillies have been doing a lot of it these last few years, and it's showing with the questionable ASG voting, as Utley, Polanco, Rollins, Werth, Ruiz, and Howard are all strong threats to win starting nods, as voted by the "fans." I'm tempted to see how a Phillies lineup, minus Howard, plus Pujols would fare against an American League All-star team in a video game, almost.
Singles hitter - Ryan Howard - Philly.com
Averages is up, power is down. Guy can't get a break, but when he's making $23-25M a year, I don't think anyone's going to sympathize.
But he still is the fan's pick to be in the home run derby - MLB.com
It's funny how what the HR Derby has turned into these days. Ever since Vlad Guererro "ruined his swing" and fell into a tailspin that he just doesn't seem to be really coming out of since he won the derby back in 2007, so many sluggers are so readily willing to pass on the exhibition event. Personally, I think the derby shouldn't necessarily be for the guys with the most homers at the time, but more for the guys that can really simply rake. Guys like Pujols are so much finesse and rely a little bit more on velocity than a guy like Prince Fielder who throws his entire body into his swing. And let us not forget Brandon Inge's pathetic zero-HR appearance back in 2009.
JA Happ "going to take a while" - MLB.com
He hasn't pitched to batters since April 15. He's still rehabbing in Florida from a forearm injury, and will likely take his dear sweet time as he has to build up his arm strength again.
Phillies pretty much don't score at all . . . all week - Beerleaguer
Unless you've been living under a rock, the Phillies have pretty much been blanked all week long, with the exception of a few late-game garbage runs in one game, and getting shut out by the Mets in three straight. Quick, let's find a knuckleballer for our stable.
If his defense sucks now, does that make him still equal to Brian McCann? - Beerleaguer
Phillies fans probably can't wait for Carlos Ruiz to come back. Ruiz is back, but is still bothered by a sore shoulder. Playing through pain is routine for many ballplayers, but is a bum shoulder wise to play through long stretches of time? For the matter, the Phils appear to be nagged by the nagging bug, what with nags to Polanco, Rollins, and their lack of bullpen at the moment.
Which means the Phils are looking to non-contenders for potential stop-gaps - Beerleaguer
Teams like the Chicago White Sox, that are rapidly falling out of contention, but with some intriguing parts, are intriguing the Phils, who are in dire need of BP help with no Madson, and no consistency from Lidge. Bobby Jenks and J.J. Putz are names that could spell relief suddenly.
Coincidence? We wouldn't write it if it we thought it was - Miami Herald
The Herald takes a glance at some of the Phillies' offensive woes, and insinuates that it has to do with the fact that the Phillies were accused of stealing signs with binoculars from the bullpen.
"It's probable he consumed too much alcohol,"
Oh, so that makes it okay. Just like a Mentos commercial.
Stephen Strasburg News:
Steve Philips: I would trade Stephen Strasburg for Roy Oswalt - WaPo
This very much reminds me of when there was debate here of Heyward for Justin Upton straight up. The difference between Justin Upton and Roy Oswalt is that Oswalt is 33 and Jupton is 22.
Maybe I'm not going to see the Strasburg debut - WaPo
Looks like June 4th might not be the debut of Stephen Strasburg. Maybe I should stay home and go see Cheap Trick in concert then . . . Supposedly, he'll get his first start against the Pirates.
Other Nationals News:
Nationals win Battle of the Beltway in dramatic fashion - MLB.com
As a staunch detractor of the state of Maryland, I'm pleased to see the Nationals dispose of the O's, and not just in any boring fashion, but of the walk-off variety, courtsey of Josh Willingham.
And the NL leader in BB and OBP is . . . - MLB.com
Bobby Valentine gushes about Bryce Harper - WaPo
With each successive week, the supposed mentionings of Harper's primadonnaism fade just a little bit more. I love the picture where he's rubbing dirt in his hands, like Gladiator, or Brooks Conrad.
Ryan Zimmerman nails park vendor in the face with foul ball - WaPo
Facing Barry Zito, Ryan Zimmerman fouls a ball into the left field stands, and nails a churro vendor square in the jaw. Guy shrugs it off. Ballsy.
Mike Stanton News:
Didn't I post this last week? - Miami Herald
Mike Stanton will inevitably be on the Marlins sometime very soon. When he arrives, someone is going to be the odd man out, and what with Cody Ross being the only semblance of consistency out there, it's a choice between Chris Coghlan and Cameron Maybin.
Other Marlins News:
Chris Coghlan encouraged to be more patient - MLB.com
Apparently, the Ultimate Warrior approach of listening to the voices in his head just isn't working, since he's barely over Mendoza this year. The organization is encouraging him to be more selective, and to take more walks.
Didn't know he was even still playing ball - Fish @ Bat
Apparently the once 13-3 for the Braves, Jorge Sosa was recently called up by the Marlins after their bullpen in general had a horrendous performance against the Braves. The Herald has a different approach, calling the approach similar to what is being attempted to stop the oil spill - the Junk Shot.
Fredi and the Fish griping about initial All-Star numbers - Miami Herald
"Plus, it's early. I saw Pat Burrell [who was designated for assignment May 15 by the Rays] was fourth in the voting in the American League for the DH. I think that tells you all you need to know about the voting.''
John Baker, calling it like he sees it. Kind of like Magic Johnson retiring before the 1994 NBA season, but he was still on the ballot and everyone voted him in anyway. Except Pat Burrell doesn't have an STD . . . to anyone's knowledge.
Ike Davis News:
I LIKE IKE T-shirts go on sale to support rare cancer research - New York Daily News
It's good to see that the young stud for the Mets knows how to show his charitable side. Ewing's Sarcoma is a rare form of cancer that attacks bone and tissue, and also took the life of a childhood friend, to whom the research is dedicated towards.
Father and son kept together by baseball - North Jersey.com
If you didn't know, Ike Davis's father was a former player in his own right, Ron Davis, one-time all-star formerly of the Yankees, Twins, Cubs, Giants, and Dodgers. A small story about how despite divorce, and custody of the mother, baseball is the one thing that kept Ike and Ron close during his childhood, and into his future career choice.
Other Mets News:
Carlos Beltran likely not to return before break - MLB.com
Still barely doing nothing more than jogging and light BP, it's a long way to go for one of the best CFs of the last decade. I still remember when people thought he would be back by early May. Yeaaah . . .
Darryl Strawberry grills Mets players, Mets players cry - MetsBlog
Two "prominent" Mets players balked about the slightly abrasive words Straw used to attempt to motivate the players, and the guys he spoke with were David Wright, Jose Reyes, Jeff Francoeur, and Jason Bay. They went as far as to try to "ban" Straw from the clubhouse. Real slick.
Jon Niese scheduled to return next week - MLB.com
Beginning his rehab assignments, Niese will be back sometime at the end of next week. Scary that the Mets are winning without him, imagine the success with him back in.
Daniel Murphy done rehabbing, will stay in AAA in the meantime - MetsBlog
Since for all intents and purposes, Ike Davis has taken his job at first, and with Luis Castillo's supposed lack of durability, there is a lot of idea that Murphy will attempt to play second to get back into the Mets lineup.
K-Rod likes making fans sweat and worry - MetsBlog
"Sometimes I’ve got fans out there watching, almost giving them a heart attack because all the stuff I do. But take it easy…I know what I’m doing out there. If anyone gets a heart attack because of this game, I’m sorry. But that’s how I get it done."
Nobody likes cute closers. Slam the door as fast as possible, and the fans are happy.
When he's not not-fighting with bullpen coach, Randy Niemann - NY Times
When teammates have to intervene and separate two guys trying to swing and grab at each other, it sounds like a fight, to me.
News: Jeff Francoeur is not playing well - MetsBlog
Eh, nothing needs to be said here.
Sweep of the Phillies was record-breaking - MLB.com
It has been 36 years since the last time a first-place squad had been swept in a three-game series without a single run crossing the plate. Personally, the lesser of two evils for me is the Mets, and I'm glad to see them knock around the Phillies for a change.