Greetings from Northern Virginia, fellow nerds. I'm currently sitting in the mother of all moms' basements - my own. Yes, the irony of actually staying in my old basement, in my mom's house while I'm visiting is certainly true. But anyway, I just got back from a night of Washington Nationals baseball on what was widely believed to be the much-anticipated debut of Stephen Strasburg, but instead got Livan Hernandez instead with Tyler Clippard vulturing his way to his eigth winning decision, as they just toppled the Cincinnati Reds, 4-2. Umpire Jim West provided the biggest fireworks of the night with some horribly timed controversial umpiring. But anyway, as much as I love me my Atlanta Braves baseball, there's something fun and relaxing about occasionally going out to go watch a game between two teams I have little vested interest in. I recommend others try it from time to time.
But what a week of Braves baseball - sweeping the Pirates, sweeping the Phillies, and taking sole posession of first place in the NL East? Who would've thunk it? My only misfortune is simply the fact that I'm missing out on all of the great banter and sharing of the good times of a wave of success with my fellow basement dwellers, but know that I'm with all of you in e-spirit. But anyway, on with the links - welcome back to another week of Things Read in Other Moms' Basements.
Roy Halladay pitches 20th Perfect Game in MLB history - Philly.com
In case you missed it, the headline says it all. Roy Halladay faced 27 Florida Marlins, and sat each and every single one of them down. Naturally, umpiring was questionable all throughout it, but when is it really ever not? I'm happy for Doc, but disappointed for Josh Johnson, who ended up being the losing pitcher of that game 1-0, on an unearned run.
Aside from the iconic greats, he is the best to throw a perfecto? - Phillies Nation
I actually like this question. With the exception of guys like Cy Young and that caliber, the list of guys that have thrown Perfect Games are typically some mediocre to above-average pitchers who just have had some great days. Where does Doc Halladay rank among them?
Roy Oswalt interested in going to the Phillies - Phillies Nation
I like how statements like this are made, even if those making them have no idea how such an idea could even take place. The Phillies dont' really seem that apt to move prospects for Oswalt, who seems to clearly looking for the quickest and easiest way to get himself to a ring.
Is Chase Utley hurt and not telling anyone? - Philly.com
As much as I don't really care for Chase Utley, I have to agree that it is quite odd to see the usually consistent and reliable Utley not putting up magnificent numbers as he typically often does, which begs the question if he's playing hurt and not really telling anyone about it?
Brad Lidge activated, Nelson Figueroa DFA'd - Beerleaguer
The question is, seriously, which move was the wiser? Lidge just isn't the same this year, and Figgy's been at least adequate in limited capacity.
Injury updates - MLB.com
In short - Rollins, calf, will hopefully begin rehab assignments next weekend. Madson, idiocy, remains on 60-day DL, but arm is in good shape due to constant throwing, and Happ, forearm, has begun rehabbing, and has reportedly been utilizing all of his pitches in rehab starts, but still needs to pick up velocity.
Phillies pick up Willy Taveras - MLB.com
Weeks after being dismissed by the Washington Nationals, the Phils pick up the speedster who can't really hit, to bolster up AAA, and have a contingency plan for their outfield.
Hostile Takeover, part 2? - Phillies Nation
Remember when Phillies fans trolled their way into Washington D.C. and caused a miserable ruckus amongst Nationals fans? Well, they're going to try it again, at the end of July.
Stephen Strasburg to debut on June 8 versus Pirates - MLB.com
Well, it's finally official, and not just hypothesis and hearsay from the local media. Stephen Strasburg will make his much-anticipated MLB debut on the 8th versus the Pittsburgh Pirates. The funny thing is that in games like this, much hype is put onto one team that the other team could have the motivation to get a little chip on their shoulder and play a little harder - I'm sure the Pirates don't like the notion that they're a bunch of lambs to be thrown to the slaughter, and I'd be curious to see how they respond on Tuesday. If the rotation holds true, then Ross Ohlendorf takes the hill opposite of Jesus - I just think back to the hype of Daisuke Matsuzaka's first Fenway Park start, only for Felix Hernandez to steal the show, no-hitting the Red Sox for like eight innings before compleing the 1-hitter shutout. I'm going to laugh my tail off if Strasburg has a good debut, but in the end, it's Tyler Clippard who vultures his way to the winning decision. Oh, and let the price gauging begin.
But will Pudge be the one catching him? - MASNsports
One major theory I've heard several times in regards to Jesus's debut was the fact that the Nats really wanted the sage, leaderly Ivan Rodriguez to be the one catching him in his debut, but with back problems, Pudge has been shelved for a little while, and the time table for his recovery looks to be in jeopardy in sync with the debut. I'd kind of like to see it too, because I often get a kick out of seeing the respectable I-Rod, whenever the pitcher displeases him, hurl a 95mph fastball back to the pitcher to let them know of his disapproval.
Talk about pathetic - WaPo
Okay, so I did some growing up in the Shenandoah Valley, and I have been to Strasburg a few times as a kid. But seriously? This can't possibly be true, but regardless, it gets me a little riled up. Naming the township after a pitcher who has yet to even throw a major league pitch?
Adam Dunn reminsces about Ken Griffey Jr - WaPo
In light of the recent retirement of the Kid, Adam Dunn looks back to his own experiences being a teammate with Junior whilst on the Reds. I can't generalize too much, but if you didn't know, Griffey Jr. pretty much was the face of MLB in the mid-90s with his sweet swing, moonshot homers, and acrobatic, highlight-reel defense, but according to OPS guy, he was just so out-of-this-world good, that he was actually difficult to speak with - high-level baseball performance came so natural and easy to Junior, that he simply couldn't grasp the hardships that young, developing talent endures to become good.
Uhhh, sure? - Federal Baseball
In addition to OPS guy, this interesting link from our neighbors at FB, in regards to the Griffey retirement - an attempt to set a Guiness World Record of most people wearing backward hats, in honor of Ken Griffey Jr? Uh, I guess so. . .
Clearly not a strike - WaPo
Bad umping has been the front line of baseball news this week, this year, and it honestly doesn't seem like it's ever going to get any better. Knee-jerk firing a bunch of umps isn't going to help, because it creates this chain reaction of the promotions of unqualified umps at the Major League level. Lance Berkman benefits at the Nationals' expense of more questionable umpiring, on what should have been a Astros-losing game-ending strike, results in a do-over which led to an Astros win. Oh yeah, it was also Bill Hohn, the fist-bumping, Heap-ejecting headcase we Braves fans all know and love.
A Case against Bryce Harper - Nationals Daily News
In short, Harper is arrogant, and potentially a head case, and pitching is what ultimately wins. Considering the love-fest everyone is giving Bryce Harper, I have to give this guy a little credit for his thoughts, which culminate with the Nats passing over Harper, and pursuing a guy like Drew Pomeranz out of Ole Miss, who would theoretically be ready a whole lot sooner than a Harper would be, and could plug into a theoretic solid staff of pitching with Strasburg, Zimmermann, Lannan, and Detweiler.
Chad Cordero back in the majors, for the Mariners - Nats320
I don't hide the fact that I'm a big fan of former National, Chad Cordero, and after a rash of bad luck with injuries, and ultimately dismissal from the Nationals, the former Rolaids Relief winner from 2005 has clawed and scratched his way back to the bigs, getting the call up from the Seattle Mariners. I'm wishing him only the best, but I do feel a little concerned at his choice of number, 33, because the last guy I can personally recall wearing 33 for the M's, was none other than former Braves "closer," Chris Reitsma.
Oliver Perez DFA'd, refuses, is apparently allowed to - MLB Trade Rumors
Not going to lie here - this situation is very comical to me on many different levels. The Mets' misfortune, especially with Perez is humorous to me, but then on top of the base stuff is the simple fact that the Mets really can't seem to get rid of Perez is funny as well, instead buoyed by his heavy contract. So much for all the fluff about him working out in Arizona over the off-season and getting ITBSOHL.
"Sometimes I'm not sure my message is getting through to him"
Daniel Murphy tears MCL, out for season - MLB.com
Talk about not being able to get a break - first he hurts himself, and then loses his position to Ike Davis, and now he tears his MCL, and is done for the rest of the season. Here's to hoping he'll eventually recover, and be back again next season.
Johan Santana dominated, nothing to show for it - MetsBlog
You guys think it's bad that Kenshin Kawakami can't get any run support? Imagine being one of the best pitchers in baseball and also suffering the same indignities.
LOLMets link - MLB.com
Seriously, I haven't read this much unintentional humor in one MLB link in a while. Gary Matthews, Jr. is DFA'd, Carlos Beltran has finally played in some actual ball, Luis Castillo is hurt and put on the DL, but most humorous to me are all the backhanded jabs at Oliver Perez, basically stating that his reluctance to not accept assignment forces the team to have to option a useful arm (as opposed to) in order to make room for the returning, and useful Jon Niese.
THEY NEVER FOUND THE BALL - Yahoo Sports
Dramatic much? It's only a matter of time before we see the anticipated debut of Mike Stanton for the Marlins, but in the mean time, he's simply making baseballs vanish off the face of the planet with his bat.
Projecting Mike Stanton - Marlins Maniac
Utilizing those pesky computer simulations and projecting methods, Marlins Maniac takes a stab at it.
Marlins selling unused tickets from Halladay's perfect game as "memorabilia" - ESPN
Honestly? This is too easy.
Chris Coghlan changes walk-up music, finds success - MLB.com
I guess the voices in his head told him that his taste in music sucked, and that he desperately needed a change.
Marlins bribing fans to vote for Marlins players for ASG - Fish Stripes
Wow, there really seems to be a whole lot of failure going on in Fish land this week, first with glorifying a Marlins loss, and now the organization bribing their twelve fans to each vote 200 times for nothing but Fish players regardless of their qualifications, in exchange for tickets to an empty park.
Bonus links of interesting stories this week:
Ken Griffey, Jr. retires after 22 seasons of baseball - Yahoo Sports
Nothing really more to say about it other than baseball is saying farewell to one of the most iconic baseball players of my generation.
Armando Gallaraga loses perfect game #21 in the bottom of the 9th - Big League Stew
If you've been living under a rock, here's the summary - four days after Perfecto #20, Perfecto #21 is on the cusp until Jim Joyce calls Jason Donald of the Cleveland Indians safe at a play at first in the bottom of the 9th inning, ending Armando Gallaraga's bid for a perfect game. A whole lot of people are pissed, and controversies are being thrown around like cards at a poker table. But an amazing thing happens - instead of all involved parties making unprofessional, ugly remarks (that's what the internet is for!), a whole lot of class was on display, as Jim Joyce publicly admit his error, and apologized to Gallaraga for costing him his bid for a perfect game, and Gallaraga graciously accepted the apology, and shook over it the following day as he personally delivered the Tigers' lineup card to the umpiring crew.