Things Read in Others Moms' Basements - Around the NL East 08.21.10

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I had a thought this week, that's been resonating in my head every time I watch the scores go by each day, and I've been saying to all my baseball buddies: I've resigned to the fact that we simply cannot rely on anyone else to hold the Phillies at bay, because it's just not going to happen. I stopped bothering to linger in front of any television showing SportsCenter or MLB Network, and seeing if the Phillies lost that night, because they just never do.. It's absolutely inevitable that this season is going to go down to the wire, and will be decided at the conclusion of October 3rd. Bud Selig has to be giddy with the way the scheduling is working out, what with the Braves and Phillies duking it out, the Rays, Red Sox, and Yankees jockeying in their own division, and the upstart Reds fighting with the Cardinals. If the Braves wish to have any hope at making it back into the playoffs, we're going to have to beat the Phillies ourselves, because it's very apparent that nobody else can. Man, baseball is such a beautiful thing. If this were a sitcom, and baseball was a woman, this is where we'd be concluding a fierce debate, and when the words stop, there's nothing left but a violently passionate embrace as the screen fades to black, while the "WOOOO" track echoes.

But anyway, to plug my own adventures, I decided to be spontaneous, and on Monday, I flew out to Portland, Oregon, and I went to go see PGE Park, the home of the Portland Beavers (AAA-San Diego Padres). I was reminded by one of you guys who lives out in Portland that it was the last year of the Beavers, and I really wanted to go see this team, as well as have a legitimate excuse to go visit Portland, Oregon, so I hopped on a plane and went. If you are so interested in my whimsical travel stories, I have shared it with my good buddies over at Gaslamp Ball.

Admittedly, I've been gravitating towards putting some pretty tabloids-type of stuff as the leadoff story each week. Maybe it's because I find it amusing in some demented way, but this week, I wish to start off a little more lighthearted, even if it is at the expense of yet another tabloids-type of story, and a really, really generous stretch.

Welcome back to another week of Things Read in Other Moms' Basements.

MARLINS

Ronny Paulino tests positive for PEDs, immediately suspsended 50 games - MLB
Curious - there are only 40 games left in the season. So does this mean that no matter who he plays for next year, if he plays next year, he has to sit out the first 10 games of the season? But anyway, the doper was caught using diet pills, which apparently contained something illegal. Lazy slug - P90X is clearly the way to go for ball players. It's a stretch, but what the heck:

Diet pills, caffiene pills, it doesn't matter. Drugs are bad for you.

Marlins manage to sign their first round draft pick, Christian Yelich - Miami Herald
It went all the way down to the wire, but the Marlins were able to sign him in the end. Huge, 6'4, 190 lb. 18-year old, who played first all through high school, but projected to be an outfielder for the Fish.

Wes Helms signs 1-year extension with the Marlins - MLB
In a very D-list way, I dread this move. Because this assures that Wes Helms will have one more year of game-changing pinch hits against the Braves, and pretty much nobody else. 1-year, $1 million.

Cody Ross could finally be out of our hair - Miami Herald
The Padres and Giants claimed Ross off of waivers, but since the Giants have the lesser record, they get the claim. Some opinion thinks that the Giants did it to block him from going to San Diego, which I could find believeable, since they went and acquired Jose Guillen, and Andres Torres is having a pretty good year, but maybe they're looking for an upgrade on power over Nate Schierholtz and the cliff-diving Aaron Rowand, but it really wouldn't be for much. Either way, Ross no longer in Florida, is a relief to this Braves fan.

Mike Stanton wins an NL Player of the Week award - Miami Herald
If Martin Prado is any indication, the winners of these awards get like a slick time piece or something. Regardless, Stanton's solid campaign since being called up, predictable has him being thrown into the talks of Rookie of the Year. Regardless of the lock everyone believed it to be, I have to say that it's going to be a very, very interesting watch come december, because this year's rookie class, is surprisingly stacked.

Will Ohman, at it again - Miami Herald
Chad Tracy, hit the deck hard, when a foul ball came careening into the Marlins dugout. Leave it to Will Ohman to notice this, and with unknown accomplices, took the time to make a taped outline of Tracy's corpse right on the floor of the dugout.

 

METS

Francisco Rodriguez has torn ligament from fighting with babysmama's father, will miss remainder of season - NY Daily News
This simply does take the cake. Jeff Francoeur can say whatever he wants for the rest of the year, and Omar Minaya can cut Jose Reyes and let him be picked up by a contender, or whatnot. No Met in the organization will probably do anything as stupid and foolish as K-Rod did, tearing a ligament in his pitching hand while fighting with babymama's father. Understandably so, the Mets put K-Rod on the disqualified list, and plan to void his contract, due to his bonehead actions, and naturally the MLB Players Union files a grievance. I understand why unions exist, and I reserve my opinion on this forum, but come on, even this one shouldn't be contested. The Mets response: "Really? Seriously?"

Manual: Jason Bay might not come back at all this year - MLB
Jason Bay is still not really doing any baseball activities, and with the minor league season ready to come to a close, there's no chance for him to work his way back into playing condition without actually being in games that counted. Jerry Manual thinks it might just be quits for Bay this year.

Mets intend to pick up Jose Reyes' 2011 $11M option - MetsBlog
This is kind of a no-brainer, but the real question is if they'll manage to find a way to lock him up long-term once next year is underway, if not sooner.

Mets sign first round draft pick, Matt Harvey - NY Daily News
Don't bother clicking the link, because New York media doesn't feel the necessity to elaborate on a headline, anyway.

Rod Barajas returns from the DL - MLB
I got nothing for this, really. I guess Josh Thole is going back to the minors?

The Mets are baseball's worst franchise - SI
At first, I thought that this was a bold statement. But if you stop to think about all the ways this team has gone wrong, personally, I can't find much to disagree about. Omar Minaya, Oliver Perez, the Beltran debacle, the K-Rod debacle, Johan Santana cheating on his wife, all the injuries, the slogans to prevent the injuries but failed, etc, etc. But to be nice, I'll say that the Mets are the worst franchise this year, because in the dawn of a new season, comes new trainwrecks . . . for some.

The Good 'ol "What If?" game - Mets360
What if . . . Billy Wagner never got hurt? Something for Mets fans to think about, considering that for another year now, they're suddenly without their expensive closer.

How to NOT score runs - Patrick Flood
Ouch. Numbers don't lie. Suddenly the Braves' LOBster feasts seem more like the 99 cent shrimp cocktails at the California hotel in Las Vegas.

This week's Oliver Perez bashing article is brought to you by - The New York Times
You know, about 2-3 months ago, all the Perez hate was just really funny to me. It's one of those thoughts that makes me snicker and laugh, like a school bus running over a red wagon, Matt Diaz owning Johan Santana from the cleanup spot, and this YouTube clip, but reading this particular article, yeah, I'm still sitting there with this smug look on my face, but it's starting to get really, really sad, and I'm actually kind of feeling sympathetic towards the Mets.

 

NATIONALS

Bryce Harper, officially a National - MLB
Allegedly "seconds before the deadline," the deal was made, which is a new record deal for a position player, five years, $9.9 million, which breaks Mark Teixeira's $9.5M deal back in 2001.

But not without there being some drama, first - WaPo
When asked about the topic on whether Harper will sign or not, Stephen Strasburg had this to say:

"It's his decision. If he wants to play here, he's going to play here. He doesn't need advice from anyone to confirm his views. If he doesn't want to play here, then we don't want him here. That's the bottom line."

And Ryan Zimmerman kind of agrees, or at least sides with Strasburg - WaPo
The Franchise, in a veiled way is saying that Strasburg was entitled to his ability to play the waiting game, since he was pretty much already Jesus for two years before even getting drafted.

Wilson Ramos, called up - MLB
The highly-regarded catcher, received in the Matt Capps trade is called up when Wil Nieves has to leave the team to attend to the birth of a child. Congrats to both of them.

Josh Willingham put on the DL, to undergo surgery and likely miss remainder of the season - MLB
The nagging pain had been going on too long, and Willingham is finally shelved. Who knows what this is going to do to his future, considering he was looking to avoid arbitration and potentially get a long-term deal? With his roster spot freed up, Nyjer Morgan is activated off the DL.

Tourism encourages Washingtonians to reverse invade Philadelphia - The Bog
This is intruiging: after essentially being taken over once or twice by touring Phillies fans, Philly tourism is basically white-wash begging Washingtonians to come "invade" their own city on a weekend when the Nationals make the three-hour trip up to Philadelphia. But if this is anything like the Redskins-Eagles rivalries I watched growing up, it probably won't happen.

Can OPS guy reach 600 homers? - NDN
According to some ESPN Insider article I can't read because I'm poor, there is supposedly a 45% chance that he can. The facts are he's 31, and sitting on 347 rally killers (RKs), and this particular blogger writing this story doesn't think he is going to, and to look no further than Jim Thome.

A comparison between inexperienced Washington baseball players, and the Redskins - The Bog
Long story short, Tyler Villarreal, Drew Storen and Craig Stammen won't see the money that the Redskins' LaRon Landry's left pinky toe makes. And between one of the Nationals pitchers, one of them must really, really, really like ice cream.

Building a team through the draft - NDN
I kinda agree with this article - give it a little bit of time, and hope that things continue to head in the right direction. But the Nationals can become good in a few years, and almost completely done so, the old fashioned way - through the farm.

Rob Dibble apologizes for his overt on-air sexism - WaPo
Sounded kind of theatrically rehearsed, but who couldn't see this coming?

 

PHILLIES

Tyson Gilles arrested for cocaine possession - Philly.com
Gilles is one of the prospects that the Phillies received in the deal that sent Cliff Lee to Seattle, but now he's facing some serious problems. After only two games in AA-Reading, Gilles hurt his hamstring, and was sent down to Florida to rehab, but was found early Friday morning in possession of Sweet and Low. Apparently, there was a prior drug charge that also occurred back in June.

Chase Utley returns to the Phillies - Philly.com
Not a whole lot to really say about it. Sure, he went 0-for-5 in his return game, but there's no doubt in my mind he's going to get it going again; yeah, I hope he doesn't, but that's likely not going to be the case.

Ryan Howard to begin rehab assignment - MLB
His goal is to be back with the Phillies on Monday, when they open up against the Astros. Interestingly enough, the return of Howard is being speculated as sending Domonic Brown back to the minors in order to make room.

Projected Phillies pitching schedule for remainder of the year - Philly.com
Not going to lie, the thought of having to face Halladay, Hamels, and Oswalt in both the final series in Philadelphia as well as Atlanta does make me cringe.

Brad Hawpe was released, and now the Phillies might be interested? - Phillies Nation
Considering the inevitable departure of Jayson Werth, it might not be a bad exploration to bring in a guy like Hawpe, whom despite my disrepsect for him, is still a solid potential everyday outfielder.

Hot babysitter turns generic kid at Phillies game into "local hero" - Barstool Sports
We've all seen it before; cameramen at the ballpark panning to "kids" and "elderly" or "dogs" during bark at the park days, and while they're the focal point, the real reason is that there's a blazing hot girl in the shot. Well, what happens when the patsy in the picture with the hot girl in the backgroudn is doing something somewhat kid-like, and then some late-inning magic actually happens? That's right, the local press drags it out and also tries to get the hot girl on television too. Long story short - kid at Phillies game repeatedly caught on camera doing the "putting a hex on Jonathan Broxton" finger motion multiple times, when it was very obvious that the cameramen were more interested in the daisy dukes and tight tank topped babysitter right next to them. But then the Dodgers actually did blow the game, and so now the kid's a local hero, and FOX Philly is quick to ensure that the hot babysitter gets some more face time.

Carlos Ruiz, leadoff hitter? - Phillies Nation
Hahaha, this reminds me of the days when Justin thought OPS guy would be a great leadoff guy, because of his OBP, before Kelly Johnson was traded.

I don't forget the silly stuff - UPN Philly
The Shane Victorino Foundation that was a really, really long acronym had the Fashion Show I linked to a few months ago. Featuring pretty much all the Phillies players in questionable wear. Most ridiculous outfit, would have to go to Shane Victorino himself, for his woolen/pea coat that appears to be lined with like Goretex or something, but easily the most dapper of them all is the grandpa of the group, Jamie Moyer, looking every bit the part of the old guy that has a lot of tricks up his sleeve. Very European.

BURL, a poem - The Good Phight
Words, cannot express. Look, I know I use this expression at least once a week, but seriously, (try and) read this poem. If you actually manage to finish it, take a picture of yourself, because you probably won't make that face again in a long time.

 

This has nothing to do with Braves baseball, or even baseball at all:

But I'm a graphics nerd, so deal with it: Alabama mayoral candidate uses Photoshop to gain Nick Saban's endorsement - Deadspin
Words can NOT express. This is the kind of (crap) kids did in high school to win the student government associations, by Photoshopping themselves with like Britney Spears or NSYNC. Whoops, I'm showing my age; I mean Lady GaGa and Justin Bieber.

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