Kevin C. Cox - Getty Images
A whole bunch of links pertaining to other teams in the NL East, that most Braves fans aren't really going to care about this weekend.
I can accept defeat, and I can deal with losing. But the way that the Braves' season came to an end, was completely unacceptable. The infield fly rule is an inauspicious one to begin with, and no matter how much fancy vernacular they use in the definition, the nature of it is, was, and always will be, subjective to the eye of the beholder. I'm not going to say too much on the matter, because frankly we're all soaking it in at the moment, and there will be facts and opinions flying all over the place like so much trash in the skies of Turner Field.
Thankfully I wasn't actually at the game, because of a work conflict, so I didn't have to witness that scene in person. Unfortunately, that meant I sat at home and listened to our very own broadcaster, Joe Simpson, go off on his high horse and lambast fans for being emotional and acting out at what was clearly a bad call that had some pretty severe repercussions. That being said, I would very much like to verbalize to Joe Simpson, to go ____ ___self. If I can help it, I'm watching 2013 games muted, and with the radio on.
I occasionally watch and fully understand professional football, but being a baseball fan first, I shrugged off the whole NFL controversy of scab referees, but for the first time, I really now feel like I can relate to the anger and emotional discouragement that they felt while the scabs were still in power. The difference is, these umps are all seasoned veterans, as TBS made so very sure to inform us of, and they blew it on a much more critical stage.
All I know is that for now, I don't really care about any baseball at the moment and frankly, I question if I'm going to bother watching any more of the playoffs. Sure, the Braves put themselves in their own grave with the sloppy defense and fielding, but due to a bad call that regardless of the outcome of the protest, isn't going to change anything; nobody will ever know if the Braves could have made a comeback that appeared very possible. An official apology, a blame, firing of an umpire, or any result doesn't change the fact that the Cardinals move on to play the Nationals, and not the Braves.
This, is not how it was supposed to end. This, is now how Chipper Jones' career should have come to an end. But it did, and I don't know how to feel about it.
Nationals clinch the NL East in the most Nationals way - Citizens of Natstown
Where's the fun in winning with the magic number being one? Amidst getting beaten by the Phillies, by virtue of the Barves rolling into Pittsburgh and getting shut down by the Pirates, the Nationals back their way into becoming the 2012 NL East champions. There are countless analogies that could be made for this scenario, but my friend's pro-wrestling analogy sticks the best: it's like winning a match via countout.
Some in Montreal still mourn - Nats Enquirer
Eight years removed from their last game as the Montreal Expos, those in Montreal watch with a twinge of sadness as the now-Nationals storm into the playoffs for first time under their new monikers. I didn't even know they still even cared up there?
This is where the good teams are.
I guess after having absorbed over 550 losses over the span of the last six years has something to do with this kind of revelation for Zimmerman, but what the hell, I'll chalk it up to that UVA education.
Mike Morse declares the NL East theirs for the future - The Bog
The ironic thing is that Morse himself might not fit into the future's plans, given the Nationals' cerebral operating and the fact that they're completely unafraid to unload wildly-popular sluggers (Adam Dunn), especially with the minor league depth the franchise already has, but for what it's worth, Morse is signed through 2013, so I guess one year is future enough.
Regardless of whom they get, Nats set starters - MASN
Game one will be started by Gio Gonzalez, and game two will be started by Jordan Zimmermann. Game three, completely does depends on whom they get between the Braves and Cardinals, because...
If it's the Braves, the Nationals are considering using Satchel Paige John Lannan for Game Three - Nationals Journal
This is about as legitimate of a troll maneuver as it gets in professional sports, and all but guarantees that the Braves have no chance of sweeping the Nationals if they were to match up. But even still, in the playoffs where lots of convention and gut instincts take effect for a lot of teams, say the Braves are up 2-0 going into game three, would anyone in NatsTown really feel comfortable with John Lannan going in a potential clincher?
Gio Gonzalez wins the 2012 Warren Spahn Award - Nationals Journal
The impressive part about this feat is that this does not differentiate between leagues; so Gio Gonzalez was anointed the top lefty pitcher over incredible competition as David Price and Clayton Kershaw. It'll be a great consolation prize for when he doesn't win the Cy Young over R.A. Dickey or heaven forbid, a relief pitcher.
Bryce Harper takes September NL Rookie of the Month - MASN
For the second time this season, Bryce Harper has taken home the honor of rookie of the month. After struggling through July and most of August, Harper re-adjusted to those who had adjusted on him, and found a little bit of success, hitting .330 with 17 XBH and a .651 slugging percentage.
Teddy Roosevelt finally wins a Presidents Race - Nats Enquirer
This is kind of cool and all, but I can't help but having this feeling that this monumentous occasion was kind of, well, wasted. Every park these days has a daily race, but none of them have had the consistency that Nats Park had with their reoccurring joke of Teddy never winning. But I guess in the end it's kind of the like Turner Field Tool Race sponsored by Home Depot letting Two-Bit (the drill) win on final home games of playoff seasons, but for what it's worth, I agree with Nats NQ - the Presidents Race is pretty much dead. And I can think of at least two Nats blogs that should probably shut their doors now, due to their names unfortunately no longer being valid.
Philadelphia can't stand Nationals success, writes sad criticisms - The Bog
It's sad, because I typically like David Murphy's Phillies coverage, but this comes off as really kind of sore-loserish. What's ironic is that the points he makes about Nats Park's actually can apply a lot to Citizens Bank Park, and making fun of Nationals fans for cheering Teddy Roosevelt is the pot calling the kettle black, considering how many Phillies fans go bonkers over the Philly Phanatic.
Jimmy Rollins can't stand it either, plays the "if game" - Nats Enquirer
With us healthy, they’re a second-place team. But we weren’t.
Um, how should we do this? "Jimmy RoLOLins?" "J-LOL?" But seriously, I would have figured Rollins to have been smarter, and maybe a little bit more gracious than this, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised.
By that logic then if the Nationals remained healthy all season, they would have still beat you and won over one hundred games.
Sick burn, n00bs. Uninstall, pls
Ryne Sandberg officially named (not-necessarily "just") third-base coach - Beerleaguer
The way this move was set up, it almost sounds like the Phillies are grooming up Charlie Manuel's successor, since Cholly looks like he's 103 years old, because the team doesn't necessarily want to label him as the third-base coach despite it being his official position, and takes the time to explain what his obvious duties would be. Oh yeah, this is happening because the Phillies axed three coaches earlier this week.
Chase Utley will no longer be considered an option for third base - Phillies Zone
Did you guys know that Chase Utley had played some innings at first base as recently as 2008? This is news to me, but then again, I don't regularly follow the Phillies to know this. But I was about to say something about how all-time great players look more impressive when they play at one position, but upon doing some precursory fact-checking saw how many times Chase Utley took first base throughout his career. But whatever, Chipper Jones in left happened too.
In case you missed it Ryan Howard's season-ending injury is fairly representative to the Phillies' 2012 - Beerleaguer
He dropped his lead weight bat on his foot in the on-deck circle and broke his toe. I try not to laugh at others' misfortunes too often, but that's a little too poignant to not be amusing in some way.
Phillies Nation tries to be gracious, readership fails at following suite - Phillies Nation
See, this is kind of the reason why it's hard for people like me to take Phillies sports sheep seriously. Even when one tries to be gracious and earnest, a hundred others rear their ugly heads and say contrarian (crap) for no other reason than it's a team not from Philadelphia.
Mike Schmidt complains about the illegibility of today's players' autographs - Crossing Broad
Schmidt does have a good point - today's athletes treat signatures more like trademark scribbles, and not necessarily potentially legible text. I look at all the autographed baseballs in my collection, and somewhere throughout the generation gap, players decided signatures didn't actually have to be text, as long as they were the only one swishing their pen in a particular pattern. John Smoltz probably has the most articulant autograph, but Jason Heyward's looks more like "S Hyde"
Locking up David Wright and R.A. Dickey needs to be the Mets' priority in 2013 - NY Post
What's funny is that the Post's first thought is that they're necessary not for the team's success, but in order to sell tickets. I understand that selling tickets is definitely a high priority, but I always figure that you know, winning was top priority.
Mets announce absolutely no changes will be made to coaching staff in 2013 - AA
If this were announced prior to the All-Star break, I'd have not given it a second thought, but clearly either they forgot that there was a second half, they weren't looking big picture, or there was some sort of unspoken player mutiny that led to nobody listening. Either way, whatever, honestly.
Bionic R.A. Dickey pitched most of 2013 with abdominal tear - NY Post
So let's get this straight; R.A. Dickey has no UCL in his right elbow, and also had a tear in his abdominal muscle that he simply played through all season, threw back-to-back one-hitters, and still won twenty games? What could a fully healthy Dickey have done?
Sandy Alderson has been speaking with David Wright's agents, desires to resolve quickly - MetsBlog
He also makes some amusing remarks about how he wants to upgrade at particular positions, siting them currently "not championship caliber." But how the team doesn't want to spend a lot, or trade away valuable prospects, and still expected to actually get "championship caliber" in return from somewhere?
For a change, Jose Reyes isn’t playing for a fourth-place team.
Because now, he's playing for a fifth-place team. But one that's paying him a boatload of money, so of course he's glad he left New York.
Citi Field ranked in bottom third of worst bathrooms in MLB - Mets Police
From a cursory glance, with the Cubs being the worst bathrooms in baseball, I'd assume that all old ballparks probably ranked low; but Fenway Park, probably due to the fact that they have probably the smallest facility-to-attendance ratio, scores well, because with the lines they have there, everyone can see every perpitrator, but Citi Field, just four years old now, makes the bottom third of the list. Atlanta? Dead red center at #15.
This is the high point of the season? - Marlin Maniac
I know the Adam Greenberg story is heart-warming and a great baseball story, but to declare it the high-point of the season? Eehhhh, I think that's more relative to simply just how bad the Marlins season really was. Anyway, Greenberg whiffed on three straight R.A. Dickey knuckleballs, but was still met with ovations, before and after his long awaited one at-bat.
Ozzie Guillen expects to be the Marlins' manager in 2013 - Palm Beach Post
Given what the next few links are going to be, maybe he shouldn't specify to what part of the Marlins he thinks he'll be manager of.
Marlins team executives are pressuring Jeffrey Loria to fire Ozzie Guillen - Fish Stripes
Loria himself isn't in any rush to fire Ozzie Guillen, but a lot of his executives are certainly hoping he gets in one. Citing the toxic environment that he fostered at the helm of the Marlins, they all want him gone, as if they thought Ozzie's departure would make their jobs safer under Loria's erratic eye.
And despite Ozzie's expecations, the Marlins are "aggressively" pursuing a replacement manager - Marlins Diehards
How much does that suck? Ozzie isn't even fired yet, but the team is already looking for a replacement. It's like your siginificant other chatting up other dudes right in front of you, knowing that you're gone the second an adequate replacement comes along.
Mark Buerhle pitches 200 innings for the 12th consecutive season - Sun Sentinel
In a testament to how consistently good Mark Buerhle is, for the 12th consecutive season, he has pitched past the 200 inning mark. He also forfeited under 65 walks for the same time frame. The only other guy in the history of the game to do that? Some schlub named "Cy Young."