Things Read in Others Moms' Basements - Around the NL East 09.11.10

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You guys know what concerns me? The Braves getting into the playoffs via Wild Card. Yes, I'm sure some of you pessimistic folks are thinking "THAT IS IF WE EVEN MAKE THE PLAYOFFS WITH THIS CRAP TEAM," but that's besides the point in my line of thinking. My fear of the Wild Card isn't the fact that we'd have to play the #1 seed (unless #1 is Philadelphia, in which we play the #2 seed), starting on the road, but something completely different: how would an Atlanta Wild Card berth be commemorated? Nothing screams lowered expectations than all the times you see Wild Card t-shirts (like and such), but the worst is when some parks are so ecstatic for any sort of playoff berth, that they make permanent banners to commemorate being second place!

It's hard to say that it should be outright ignored, and I doubt it would be, but it just scares me of what the Braves organization would do if the Wild Card was the outcome of the season. The line of banners on the wall of the 755 Club is for Division Titles (or better). Not no stinkin' Wild Card banners. Yellow with blue text for DIVISION titles, Yellow with red text for PENNANTS/WORLD SERIES appearances, and the beautiful red banner to signify WORLD CHAMPIONS. WTF would they even attempt to use for a piddly Wild Card? Would they make an ugly blue banner with yellow text if they were dismissed in the NLDS? Would they make an ugly blue banner with red text if they lost in the World Series? The only acceptable outcome with the Wild Card, is to go all the way, so that we skip the concern, and just get another red banner!

But that sounds too difficult. I'd rather miss the playoffs altogether, than find out what the Braves do with a Wild Card berth!!!!

I'm kidding.

I'll take the playoffs no matter what. And with the wild win on Friday night, some of the disheartening feelings from the events of the rest of the week seem a little bit alleviated. Welcome back to another week of Things Read in Other Moms' Basements.

METS

Johan Santana to have shoulder surgery, ending 2010 season - MLB
Three seasons in New York, three surgeries. Prevention and recovery. The injury is a rare one, a torn shoulder capsule. Specifics are way over my head, but here's one thing I do understand - two guys who have had similar problem, haven't pitched in a major league game since they went down for them - Chien-Ming Wang, and Mark Prior.

Jason Bay, too - MetsBlog
Ending his 2010 season, as he was placed on the 60-day DL to make room for someone else. That someone would be Dillon Gee, who pitched a two-hitter in seven innings after being perfect through five, in his major league debut. Pretty spiffy.

Mets visit Walter Reed Memorial Hospital. Except Beltran, Perez and Castillo - Star Ledger
It wasn't mandatory, but one of those "we really hope you'll do it anyway, because it's a good thing to do," that apparently flew way over the heads of the three biggest money suckers on the squad. Beltran was busy, Castillo is too sissy, and Perez is just a jerk.

AA's take on the whole situation - Amazin' Avenue
Well, it is true.

Omar Minaya "extremely likely" to be "re-assigned" - SI
Consider the source thanks jh

Mets' Roberto Clemente candidate: Angel Pagan - MLB
Good to see that despite having an outstanding season on the field, Angel Pagan is being an outstanding person off of it. At first blush, his contributions to society seem small, compared to the buildings, donations, and foundations that other candidates are doing, but when you stop and think about it, it's no less of an easy task. Pagan has put a lot of energy into making sure the homeless and hungry are fed - in New York City.

Jose Reyes is only fifth fastest in MLB, according to peers - MetsBlog
So does that mean he's still the most electrifying player in baseball? Or does the speed factor automatically mean it's Carl Crawford?

Take my word for it - Yahoo Japan
The Mets are one of six teams who actively have scouts in Japan, watching pitching sensation, Yu Darvish. But guess who else is one of those six teams? The Atlanta Braves. Also included were the Yankees, Rangers, Rays, and O's.

Oliver Perez will pitch for tomatoes - MetsBlog
That is, the Culiacan Tomatillos, a winter league team in Mexico, where Perez might actually get some consistent work, and hope to regain some potential trade value, if he performs well.

 

NATIONALS

Nyjer Morgan still not suspended - WaPo
League officials can't make up their mind; maybe it's the two rulings at the same time that are muddling things up, but regardless, Nyjer Morgan is still allowed to play baseball while other guys from both teams have begun serving their suspensions.

Looks like there might be another middle-infield battle next season - MLB
But it might be a little harder, considering Ian Desmond and Danny Espinoza are both young and team controlled. But the way I see it, despite Espinoza's nuclear start during his cup of coffee (9-for-22, 3HR, 10RBI 1.389 OPS at the time of this), he'll probably start next year in the minors for service time control, before bringing him up, where he may push Desmond to 2B if he has managed to get his errors down, or will be the 2B himself, pushing Kennedy to more of a utility role.

Chien-Ming Wang to sit out remainder of year, likely to pitch Fall/Winter ball - MLB
Count on him to work hard this fall, because he'll literally be auditioning for work, because there's no guarantee that he'll have a job with the Nationals next year. But speaking of Fall/Winter ball, Nyjer Morgan has politely declined to get some extra work in this off-season.

Speaking of Nyjer Morgan - reason for his aggression: hockey - MLB
Apparently, as a kid growing up in NorCal, Nyjer Morgan was quite the ice hockey prodigy. And naturally, given the demographic breakdown, it was unusual for a little black kid to be playing ice hockey, which led to a little bit of a chip on his shoulder. After quite a good bit of time of where he kept his cool, it all came snowball this past week, and now we're all left to wonder why he's so damn aggressive. Well, apparently there's a reason now.

Willie Harris pulls a Bump Bailey - MLB
If you don't know what that means, you probably don't read enough. You also probably have no idea who Roy Hobbs is. And that in the book, Bump Bailey died from crashing into the outfield wall, but Willie Harris is okay, but day-to-day.

Must have been a hard bump - MLB
Because Willie Harris is being vocal about wanting to stay in Washington. I spoke with Willie briefly in 2008, and (tongue-in-cheek) told him that Atlanta wanted him back. He looked at me with glassy eyes, and mouthed the words "me too." Earlier this year, when in Milwaukee, I saw Willie again and (this time I meant it) I said that Atlanta still wanted him back, because they need someone to play center field. That time, he pointed at his W hat, and patted his chest, smirked, and went back into the dugout.

Nationals' Roberto Clemente Nominee: Josh Willingham - WaPo
Aside from all the charities he involves himself with in his hometown in Alabama, Willingham is also a very generous soul when it comes to supporting the troops.

Nationals affiliate AA-Harrisburg make playoffs - WaPo
If there is any reason to imagine that the Nationals will be good sooner rather than later, look no further than the fact that two of their four minor league affiliates are post-season bound, and have a lot of legitimate talent seasoning away down the ranks.

Nationals affiliate A+Potomac make playoffs - MiLB
What I find amusing about this is that the Pfitz is offering their playoff tickets with an all-you-can-eat package. I attended one of their belly buster nights last season, and I ate five burritos. They will be taking on the Frederick Keys. And because cbtits is such a nerd, I imagine he'll be at one of the Woodbridge games.

Systematically dismantling a Bryce Harper interivew - Deadspin
In spite of the fact that he's seemingly been incapable of feeling failure, leave it to Deadspin to find ways to knock him down a peg or two, even if Bryce Harper never ever sees this in his entire life.

 

MARLINS

There is a very good chance Josh Johnson will be shut down - Miami Herald
As if the Marlins need to hear about any more of their players getting hurt, this one hurts on several accounts, because it's Josh Johnson, one of the legitimate Cy Young candidates this year. He has a back strain as well as shoulder inflammation in his pitching arm, but there is no structural damage. Shutting Johnson down would essentially be the white flag for the Marlins, who are at the time of this writing, nine games out of first. It also is a double-edged sword, because it means he might not be around to punish the Phillies, but it also means that he might not be around to punish us either.

Gaby Sanchez drops appeal, will serve suspension - during the course of Nationals series - Miami Herald
For clotheslining the hell out of Nyjer Morgan last week, Gaby Sanchez dropped his appeal, and begun serving his three-game suspension. Coincidentally, he is going to miss all three games of the Nationals series.

Dan Uggla; on the cusp of offensive glory - MLB
At the very time I'm writing this, Dan Uggla is at 29 homers on the season. One more gives him 30, and this will be the fourth consecutive year in which the Popeye-armed second baseman will have done so. It will also be the first time in MLB history, that a second baseman will have put up four 30HR seasons, let alone consecutively.

Dan Uggla, however his defense is still seen as offensive to some - Marlin Maniac
Dan Uggla seems to believe that his reputation as a poor defender are based on his performance in the 2008 ASG, where he committed three crucial errors on top of putting up an 0-fer. Not quite, Uggs, it's because you're a below-average defensive second baseman.

The power of perseverence - Miami Herald
It only took nine years, but Adalberto Mendez has made it to the big leagues. And in his debut, he topples the mighty Philadelphia Phillies in the first game of a double-header. But apparently all that seasoning in the minors has made him a little too tender, because during his first big league start, he made his first big league hit, but then suffered his first big league injury, as he pulled up lame to first, supposedly suffering a strain in his quad.

Logan Morrison is not pretty, but still okay - Miami Herald
Despite the fact that we lost the game literally four pitches later, the good news to come out of it is that Logan Morrison, who took a frightening foul ball to the left eye, is apparently okay. Remember, this is the kind of scenario that ended Juan Encarnacion's career, and it would have been a legitimate tragedy if it were to happen to a kid just beginning to get comfortable in the big leagues.

Jeffrey Loria makes the Marlins snub Bobby - Miami Herald
In a great demonstration of sportsmanship and respect, every venue that the Braves have traveled to this year has taken the time to at least tip their cap, mention him on the scoreboard, or give some elaborate gifts to Bobby Cox, who shows just how universally well-liked and respected by everyone in Major League Baseball. That is, until his last and final series in SunLiphinSharkRobbie Stadium. The obvious answer is that Bobby apparently soured Marlins owner, Jeffrey Loria, after voicing his opinion on Fredi Gonzalez's dismissal, and Loria apparently holds grudges, and we know how cheap he is, and not a single kind gesture was made for Bobby in his final appearance in Florida.

Except for Wes Helms - MLB
Despite the fact that he pretty much owns the Braves, Wes Helms doesn't forget who gave him his start as a major leaguer. Helms praises Bobby respectfully and credits him for teaching him to become the player he is today - hard working, and classy.

Marlins' Roberto Clemente Nominee: John Baker - MLB
Even if Tommy John Surgery was a procedure performed on the heart, it's hard to believe that it would have any effect on John Baker's, who was the Marlins nominee for the award which best exemplifies good citizenship and humanitarianism. Baker spent a good part of his off-season traveling to assist Haiti after the earthquakes, as well as took part in the Marlins trip to Kuwait to support off-shore troops.

 

PHILLIES

NL's best record also gets scheduling flexibility - Beerleaguer
One more reason why the Phillies need to be stopped - in short, the best record gets to pick to play five games in seven days, or five games in eight, which has an extra day off. Which means the Phillies would likely pick the latter, which affords them the ability to pitch a three-man rotation of Halladay, Oswalt, Hamels, with normal rest if necessary.

Uh oh, Brad Lidge has hyperextended elbow - MLB
Not that I wish any harm to anyone else, but this could be a little good news for Braves fans, to know that the Phillies closer isn't exactly 100% these days. But as the guys over at The Good Phight point out, whether it's accidental or completely deliberate, despite being the closer, Lidge might not be the most effective bullpen option.

But Placido Polanco's elbow is broken . . . and he's still playing - Philly.com
It's just a small break, and he's going to play through it, and get it operated on in the off-season. True grit, mental toughness, or a risky endeavor?

Jayson Werth to hire Scott Boras? - Phillies Nation
I'm not to keen with Werth's character to begin with, so this is kind of a no-brainer.

Nope, hasn't changed at all - Philly.com
The way the projected pitching matchups go, we still get to look forward to seeing the three-headed beast of Halladay, Oswalt, and Hamels in both the series in Philly as well as the finale in Atlanta.

Jimmy Rollins is now sixth on the all-time Phillies hit list - MLB
With hit number #1,706, Jimmy Rollins passes Chuck Klein to be sole posession of #6 on the all-time hits list for the Phillies.

Kyle Kendrick angers pitching coach Dubee by pitching to Fielder - Comcast Philly
There were two outs, and first base was open, with Prince Fielder coming up to bat. To some, this is a no-brainer, but Kyle Kendrick isn't exactly MENSA material. Despite Carlos Ruiz setting up on the outside, Kendrick still lobs it down the middle, and is tagged hard for a three-run blast, which the Phils never recovered from. This apparently made Rich Dubee furious, and there is even speculation that Kendrick might be out of a job subsequently. Tough love.

Phillies' Roberto Clemente Nominee: Shane Victorino - MLB
Wouldn't have really thought it would be Shane Victorino, but good for him. Apparently, large monetary donations, and hosting gaudy fashion shows constitute humanitarianism.

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