Around the NL East - Mets analyzing budget, National baserunning, Placido Polanco isn't that bad, Fish would move HanRam

Out of 21 MLB ballparks visited, St. Louis still ranks as my favorite in the National League.

Have you guys been watching much postseason baseball? I haven't. And man, do I feel kind of liberated. I'm still paying attention to the scores, notable performances, and the standings, but hell if I'm actually watching. After watching the Phillies fall out, I haven't really watched much, nor have I really cared. I guess I'm glad that the Cardinals are doing so well, because despite them overtaking the Braves, I've never had a problem with the Cardinals or their fans, and I really really enjoyed visiting Busch Stadium III earlier this season. Not that I'll be paying that much attention, but I guess this is a tiny vote of favoring the Cards from this guy.

Published a day early this week, because instead of watching baseball, I'll be up in Maryland participating in RUN FOR YOUR LIVES, which is to say, in short, is a zombie-themed 5K run/obstacle course. And I hope I'll succeed! Welcome back to the basement.

METS

The state of the Mets' 2012 budget - Amazin' Avenue
Estimated $18.5-28.5M to spend for 2012. If on the low end of the spectrum, it makes it difficult to sign Jose Reyes, but there are still several positions of need that need to be addressed additionally.

How does Carl Crawford's deal impact Jose Reyes? - MetsBlog
The argument is that Crawford tanked in his first year in Boston due to putting too much expectation on himself, as well as underestimating the magnitude of the Boston media train on a regular basis. But Jose Reyes who played in New York, shouldn't have such problems.

Wally Backman decides to stay with the Mets - NY Post
Despite consideration of joining the Nationals organization, Uncle Wally decides to stay with the team he's always been a part of. But he lost me at the part where he thought the Mets were headed in the right direction, especially over the Nationals.

Yay, the retroactive regret machine! - NY Daily News
Because of course the Mets knew that Nelson Cruz was going to some day blossom into an ALCS MVP, eleven years ago.

One hell of a drug ruined Dwight Gooden's career - ESPN NY
After the Mets won the 1986 World Series, where was Dwight Gooden, instead of being with his teammates in the Canyon of Heroes?

...in a drug dealer's apartment with guys I don't even know, with drugs in the house, watching it

Probably my most favorite Dickeyface ever - Amazin' Avenue
I refuse to acknowledge the 2-3 "new" He-Man cartoons that were created, because none of them come close to the magic and nostalgia of the original MOTU cartoon. Thank goodness for NetFlix.

Lenny Dykstra faces up to four years in prison if sentenced - LA Times
The most incredible thing about this article is that nowhere in it is mentioned his career .285 batting average or three time all-star appearances.

 

NATIONALS

The 2011 Nationals and baserunning - MASN
An often overlooked aspect of the game, the Nationals went in a slightly different direction, with some conflicting results. They stole a little less, and took the extra base more often, both of which resulted in more batters ending up on third base than previously, but the woeful RISP hitting by the team still led to all of this resulting in fewer runs than in 2010, with a lower percentage of these baserunners actually making it home.

Nationals prospects in the AFL so far underwhelming - Nats Insider
Even Bryce Harper, whom at the time of me writing this is 3-for-27, batting .111, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K.

Speaking of Bryce Harper, if a picture is worth a thousand words - Nats NQ
Bryce Harper with a Dora the Explorer coloring book. Cue tasteless age jokes?

Jesus Flores on the other hand - MASN
If Flores proves to become legit again, he could serve to become a valuable trade chip, or the Nationals would have a very talented backup on their hands. Either way, it's a win-win for the Nats if Flores parlays this Winter Ball raking into 2012.

Chien-Ming Wang hopes to stay in Washington - MLB
How about that, for a refreshing sense of loyalty here? Wang feels he owes it to the Nationals to stick around if he's offered a fair deal, due to all the time and good will they showed him while he rehabbed the better part of two years without actually pitching for the Nats.

Red Sox coming to D.C. for pre-season exhibition - Nationals Journal
Great way for the Nationals to get a cheap gate against Pink Hat Nation before the official season even goes underway.

 

PHILLIES

Despite age, regression, and cost, Placido Polanco is still good - The Good Phight
Last week, there was much made about Polanco's poor NLDS showing, and his age, and how he's kind of a financial ballast. taco pal over at TGP breaks it down with comparatives to show that despite all the factors, Polanco is still valuable, and that the Phillies would be better suited concerning their finances elsewhere other than third.

Jayson Werth chirping Nationals to free-agent to be Ryan Madson - Phillies Nation
Interesting and all, but I'm not quite sure the Nationals even need a guy like Ryan Madson. They've already got a pretty cheap and effective bullpen in place with Henry Rodriguez, Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard and Sean Burnett, and an expensive piece like Madson just wouldn't fit.

Regardless, the Phillies should stick to the cheap for a bullpen - Crashburn Alley
Considering the Phillies bullpen pitched the least among all NL teams, I can agree with this. Halladay and Lee and Hamels are still going to eat a giant chunk of the innings, and it's probably best to not have so much money locked into guys that won't get in that many games.

Raul Ibanez's Philadelphia tenure - TGP
He didn't play to the value of his contract, but it's far from a Mike Hampton or Chan Ho Park result. And compared to other 39-year olds, Ibanez compared well to some pretty impressive names.

Well, I guess Pete Orr is unemployed again - Beerleaguer
At the time of writing this, it's not official yet, but Pete Orr, along with Brandon Moss were both removed from the Phillies' 40-man roster. He could very well accept his assignment, but for a career utility guy, the Atlanta Braves Connect Four champion might probably be able to find a bench job elsewhere.

 

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Marlins beat reporter basically says Hanley isn't as good as Reyes or Rollins - Sun Sentinel
Ozzie Guillen is wasting little time at creating news, as it's implied that if the Marlins were to acquire a guy like Jose Reyes or Jimmy Rollins, then Hanley Ramirez would have to move to a different position to accomodate it.

Logan Morrison thinks Cardinals will win World Series - MLB
For no other reason than the Cardinals beat the Phillies and by proxy, are the new automatic World Series champions.

O's seek Marlins assistant-GM for General Manager position, Loria says no - Marlins Diehards
I can't help but feel like Loria didn't deny it because he values assistant GM Dan Jennings, but denied it solely for the fact that he doesn't want someone else having what's his right now.

COOLEST BALLPARK EVER - MLB
Seriously, it's in the Marlins official website's header. If you have to boast it, it's probably not going to be true.

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