Around the NL East - Phillies fail, Cards fan thanks Nats, Mets shaking up coaching, Marlins putting contraceptives on ballpark, Phillies flop out of playoffs

Friday was the first games I actually watched this postseason, with Nyjer Morgan dropping about 20 f-bombs on national television, but more importantly the first round defeat of the Phillies by the Cardinals. Chris Carpenter was an absolute monster on the mound, and it was a fantastic game, with an even more fantastic finish. The Phillies had a phenomenal season, but further prove the old adage of the rigors of the short series, with their impression of the 2001 Mariners.

I could say more words of reconciliation that no Phillies fans want to hear right now, especially from a Braves fan. But in spite of that, this smug grin on my face? That's not going anywhere for a while, as long as we're talking baseball; and no rebuttal of the Braves' own failures changes the fact that the Phillies too, are done for the year as well.  Welcome back to the basement.


Says it all - Beerleaguer

Jimmy Rollins wants a five-year deal - Beerleaguer
Naturally, the cocky swag of J-Roll leads to him to also insinuate that despite his entire Philly career, he has no qualms if he had to leave.

Kinda reminds me of Justice - CSN Philadelphia
J-Roll called out the fans for being too quiet during the game 2 loss. You know this is what made them louder and more obnoxious than ever in the clincher.

I have to admit this is awesome - The Good Phight
Even if it's Philly themed with pee on it, it's still some impressive craftsmanship.

At first I was pleased - Phillies Nation
But then I saw that the red dots were hits too. I've kind of been curious about Rocky Mountain Pizza after discovering where it is, but now that I know it's a Phillies joint, I now no longer have any reason to try the place out.



Cardinals fan sends Mike Rizzo gift basket for Nationals beating the Braves - The Bog
Wow, just wow. I wonder if this guy sent one to Omar Infante, or maybe Chipper Jones for losing the ball in the lights, or Larry Parrish too?

Jesus Flores is not content where is now - Nationals Journal
Given the tumultuous trek of his recovery from a rotator cuff injury, the fact that Flores managed to stay healthy throughout all of 2011 should be more than enough to be thankful for. But the 27-year old catcher has a little bit of angst about not being viewed as the number one guy, and is making some suggestive remarks that might not help his cause, what with a catching prospect like Derek Norris waiting in the wings.

Nationals still want a leadoff hitter - MASN
Ian Desmond supposedly fared well in the final month, but a .318 OBP isn't something to call home about.

How about B.J. Upton? - The Nats Blog
It kind of makes sense for both sides. The Rays will inevitably try to unload Upton, with Desmond Jennings proving his worth, and the proposed idea of Ian Desmond and Roger Bernadina sounds good initially, although the Rays will obviously want something more, but from the Nats' standpoint, both can be expendable with the SS options in the minors, not to mention Danny Espinosa's position was shortstop before coming up.

Mike Morse named nominee for Hank Aaron award - WaPo
I still can't get over just how much of a statistical explosion Mike Morse was throughout 2011, to where this once Mariners-washout is now getting nominated for awards like the Hank Aaron.

Nationals have the fewest TV viewers in baseball - The Nats Blog
And to think of all the trouble that went into appeasing Peter Angelos in creation of the MASN networks.



Mets will "attempt" to keep Jose Reyes, despite reducing payroll - NY Daily News
It's funny how they talk about "reducing" to "just" $100-110M is like some kind of fire sale. The Braves haven't had a nine-figure payroll since 2008, and even that deserves an asterisk next to Mike Hampton's name. I remember when Chan Ho Park made more than the Marlins' entire payroll one year.

Johan Santana is still pitching, albeit not for much longer - NY Post
Down in the instructional league, Johan Santana has still been pitching. He'll stop on Saturday, and hope for the best going into 2012.

Jimmy Rollins on Jose Reyes' last game - NY Daily News

"I probably wouldn't have come out of the game, though . . . That's me, though."

Yeah right. I'd really like to see what happened if Rollins were chasing the batting title.

Mets to make coaching changes for 2012 - NY Times
Terry Collins will be kept for 2012, but the rest of his coaching staff is going to look pretty different. Base coaches Chip Hale and Mookie Wilson won't be back, nor will bench coach Keb Oberkfell, and bullpen coach Jon Debus. Mookie, Hale, and Debus were offered alternative jobs, but so far only Hale has decline, and since gone to the Oakland A's to be their bench coach.

Mets lowering cost of season tickets, introducing dynamic pricing for individual tickets - Amazin' Avenue
Dynamic pricing is a little bit of a catch-22. Personally, I like the way the Braves have their pricing; pretty static, and I have a general understanding of what I'm going to pay if I pre-buy, or buy at the gate. Weekdays are cheaper than weekends, and series like the Yankees will get gauged. For the Mets, dynamic pricing pretty much means that versus the Nationals tickets will be really economical, unless the team is suddenly contending, or maybe Stephen Strasburg is pitching. Sometimes it will be pleasantly cheap, other times it will be kind of obnoxiously pricey.

Citi Field attendance dropped another 8% in 2011 - ESPN NY
Compared to the final year at Shea Stadium, attendance has fallen almost 40% since then in the three following years.

Television viewership too - The Mets Police

In all, 39,000 fewer homes per game watched the Mets this past season.

Merchandise that actually exists - NotGraphs
It kind of looks like Tony the Tiger is in the process of being flushed, to be honest.

Atlanta Braves, wild card champions of Nicaragua - The Apple
Well played, Randy. It's probably true, unfortunately. 


Javier Vazquez named NL Pitcher of the Month - Fish Stripes
5-0, 0.71 ERA, 38.0 IP, 36K/3BB. Man, reading this line really makes me shed a tear back at when this was pretty much Derek Lowe in September last year.

The Marlins should be getting on their hands and knees - Fish Bytes
And begging Javy to come back for another year, but he remains adamant that this is it. Personally, I always admire athletes that retire on a high note, and after the way Javy finished 2011, I'd say he'd be leaving on as high of a note as he'll get anymore these days.

But if not, apparently Ozzie Guillen has a lot of numbers in his pocket - Palm Beach Post
Most notably Carlos Zambrano, who pretty much ditched the Cubs after Dan Uggla killed his career. He's still friends with Ozzie, and is definitely looking for work now. Also mentioned is Mark Buehrle.

This can't be real, can it? - Miami New Times
A rubber membrane designed to reduce glare off the bulbous metal roof. Eventually, the whole stadium will be covered by it.

Call it the Condome.


Not sure if this is better or worse - SBNation
Considering the Condome might not be permanent, this might actually be worse until Mike Stanton breaks it with a homer.

Nice crowd, Marlins finale - YouTube
User vsilvacoto might want to thank me for bringing his video inevitably more than three views, but for a "grand finale" at Sun Life Sharkphin Robbie Stadium, there are still like, maybe 400 fans, tops, for this ceremony.

Nobody watching Marlins games, either - Sun Sentinel
Continuing in the trend of NL East teams going unwatched, the Marlins join the Mets and Nats as teams with reduced followings, with the Fish dropping an "alarming 27.8%" from the prior season.

A boatload of fascinating Marlins quotes from Fish Stripes

Then, Guillen's attention was drawn to OF Bryan Petersen, who was wearing reindeer antlers as part of a rookie hazing ritual.

"You must be LoMo," Guillen quipped, mistaking Petersen for Morrison.

"I never had an argument with Jeffrey. We will. I expect that because that's part of the game," said Guillen. "I'm not afraid of Jeffrey. I'm not afraid of anyone."

Loria said he isn't worried about Guillen ruffling his feathers.

"I could care less about feathers. I don't have any feathers and I don't care about him ruffling anybody," Loria said. "Ozzie has his opinions and he is entitled to them. Ozzie comes with a great pedigree."

"Basically what Jeffrey has instructed all of us is that no stone will be left unturned in order to make this year a memory and make next year unforgettable," Samson said.

"He said, 'I want people to forget about '11, forget about Sun Life Stadium, forget about the Florida Marlins, and I want the Miami Marlins have their franchise start by making history.' "

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