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Things Read in Other Moms' Basements - Around the NL East 02.27.10

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Yo-yo-yo-yo-yo, this week's Things Read in Other Moms' Basements goes out to my boy Frankie Rodriguez down in St. Pimp Lucie, wishing him a speedy recovery from . . . pinkeye.

Welcome to an extra-fluffy week of TROMB, fresh after the first week of official Spring Training.  Optimism is rampantly high, realism is unreasonably low, and if the season panned out like everyone gushes how great it's going to be, then there will be five teams in the NL East with 90+ wins, and somewhere in the NL Central and NL West will have five teams with 100 losses.

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In honor of this link, we're going to change things up a little bit. Instead of using Dark Helmet to represent our respective division rivals, we're going to get a more personal look at them by dedicating each team's week of links with one of their players wearing lame cliche poseur dbag shirts.

The New York Mets' centerfielder, Carlos Beltran, shown rehabbing in style with dbag shirt, white studded belt, huge watch, and faux trucker cap.

K-Rod has pink eye - MLB.com
I wonder which one of his teammates bare-ass farted on his pillow? Otherwise, this is another ST fluff piece that has no substantial information, but a lot for me to criticise. Alex Cora calls this squad the "New Mets." Any fan of professional wrestling throughout the 90s knows that tagging anything with "New" is the equivalent of the kiss of death, and destined to fail. Also, is it just me, or is perhaps the biggest blabbermouth in the clubhouse Jeff Francoeur? It seems like every article has at least 2-3 quotes from him, pegging him as the wide-eyed, big-mouthed country boy in the city with all these failed attempts at optimism.

Rod Barajas signs with the Mets - Amazin' Avenue
It looks like the Mets now have a starting catcher, in Rod Barajas. Formerly of the Blue Jays, and coming off a season in which he hit .226/.258/.403 with 19 dingers, 20 walks, and 76 punchouts. Base salary of a million, with another million in incentives

The other Carlos apparently had off-season surgery as well - FOX Sports
Wow, imagine if the Mets had shown some good faith and re-signed Delgado after all. It's bad enough the Beltran situation, but to lose both Carloses, the 3rd and 4th hitters to off-season surgeries? I don't know if even I could laugh at the Mets at that one, because that would have really sucked.

David Wright is stronger, possibly IBSOHL - Mets Blog
The question is if being in the best shape of his life will bring the homers back to his game? Also, Jeff Francoeur agrees with the notion that he's in great shape:

David has really worked hard. He looks in great shape…I noticed that when he took his shirt off the other day he looked more cut, he looked leaner. I put David up there with the top 10 players in the game. A guy like that, if he’s challenged, you’ve got to believe that he is going to come back the next year and put a good year together.

Nice round number - Jeff Francoeur thinks he'll hit 27 taters - NYPost
(hat tip: Amazin Avenue)
He also thinks Wright will hit 35. He also is being reported as being more consistent and explosive. He also says he'll be a better hitter this year. He also has new approaches and advice given to him that he'll bank his entire 2010 season on and also probably collapse after all the pitchers adapt. Spring training optimism based on practice is fun - all pitchers throw no-hitters, and every hitter looks like Mark McGwire.

The mileage on Pedro Feliciano's arm - Mets Blog
Jerry Manuel has his own Peter Moylan in Pedro Feliciano, whom the three-quarter delivering filthy lefty has appeared in more than 85 games in two consecutive seasons, and now must actually be questioned, by no fault of his own. The Mets are looking for more LHP relief, and two names mentioned are Joe Beimel, and former Brave, Will Ohman, who missed significant time in 2009 with shoulder troubles.

Did you guys say knuckleball? - MLB.com
There've been lots of mention about knucklers this week, and it turns out that the Mets have one of the rare knuckle-tossers competing for a spot down on Port St. Lucie. R.A. Dickey, 35, who has been around the majors for a while, previously seen with the Mariners and Twins recently, is working with the Mets right now.

Apparently, Jushin Thunder Liger is on the Mets - Ryota Igarashi's personal website (Japanese)
(hat tip: Amazin Avenue)
Not that I expect any of you other than likely just DragonsFan to be capable of reading of reading this site, apparently new Mets import pitcher Ryota Igarashi had a baseball-playing alter-ego named SWALLOWMAN for when he pitched for NPB's Yakult Swallows. Sigh - WANG jokes, here we go again.

Mets hoping Johan Santana rubs off on Oliver Perez - NJ.com
(hat tip: Amazin Avenue)
Much like Santana rubbed off in a positive way on former Twins teammate, Francisco Liriano, the Mets are forcing Perez down Johan's throat, making them take same bullpen sessions, hitting practice, and any other exercise where the two can be active simultaneously. What would be ironic, is if it worked out the other way, and Santana becomes inconsistent, wild, and only good against the Yankees and Braves throughout 2010.

 

 

 

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Next up, we have right-fielder for the Washington Nationals, Elijah Dukes.  Now I still think he's going to have a great year, am rooting for his success, and don't think of any less of him as a person, but I'll be honest here - Ryan Zimmerman doesn't wear anything but collared shirts, Adam Dunn is never seen outside of the ballpark, and the hierarchy of players to pick on led me to Dukes, who is seen doing good in the world supporting little leaguers, but is no less still wearing a dbaggy t-shirt.

Rodriguez: "No. (stuff isn't like Verlander) It's like Ryan's." - Washington Post
Okay, lookit. Nats fans are going gaga over Stephen Strasburg, just as many of us here are going gaga over Heyward. I'm not the type to jump the gun, and thusly remind everyone that it's been one week prior to any actual Grapefruit League scrimmages, which isn't even real baseball. I know we're all excited for baseball to be coming back, but I personally think it's a little much for Pudge to be comparing Strasburg to Nolan Ryan, and Bobby to be comparing the sound of Heyward's bat to Hank Aaron. FYI, did you know it took Hank Aaron five years and 25 ABs to get his first homer off of Nolan Ryan?

Nyjer Morgan calling Stephen Strasburg "Jesus" - Federal Baseball
Uh, until he actually pitches professionally, he hasn't accomplished anything yet. At least Tommy Hanson mowed down the AFL before being anointed Jesus, and continued to mow through AAA and into the Majors.

"Jesus" to debut against big leaguers March 9th - MLB.com
Stephen Strasburg faces MLB hitters for the first time on March 9th, as the Tigers bring their act to Viera for Grapefruit League action. All eyes will be on him, as he throws two innings or 30-40 pitches, whichever comes first.

Nats fans fear Riggleman might 2.0 on Stephen Strasburg - Washington Post
What a lot of people don't remember is that Nats manager, Jim Riggleman was the same guy who managed the Cubs in former phenom, Kerry Wood's rookie season. Most people remember Wood's incredible 20 strikeout game, but the big picture was that he threw 2,840 pitches in 26 starts, averaging roughly 123 pitches in 6.2 innings per start, a pretty hefty workload for a 20-year old rookie, which many believe didn't help him become the DL all-star who has been relegated to single-inning bullpen work these days. Yeah, well the media is afraid he might do the same with Strasburg too, regardless of if he says he regrets the Wood debacle.

It's official, Livan Hernandez a National for third time - MLB.com
He's back, and now everyone from 2005-2006 who had Hernandez jerseys and shirts can rejoice that their stuff is now current again.

OPS guy knows kung-fu jiu-jitsu - MLB.com
In an attempt to improve footwork and stamina, OPS guy has taken jiu-jitsu classes over the off-season. Honestly? I think they're just trying to spin it so he took jiu-jitsu for the team when he probably got caught up in the MMA craze like a billion other people, and started taking it. I really don't know how this improves his footwork by any significant matter, because jiu-jitsu is a very physical art, and more grappling related, than needing dexterity with the feet. I mean, if I were Dunn's jiu-jitsu sparring partner, I'd be scared, because he's like eight feet tall and five hundred pounds, but if he really wanted to improve his footwork and stamina, dance classes or ballet would have been more adequate.

Jim Bowden explains it all - Nationals Pride
This is a wealth of entertainment here. A video round table featuring GMs, stat-nerds, and Justin Upton. JUpton doesn't care about the statistical greatness he's showered with. GMs shovel fluff about how they're using sabermetrics. The guy who runs Fangraphs is everything you would expect to see and hear from, and they take shots at Nate McLouth, telling most us what we already know - He's not as great of a CF as his one Gold Glove tells us he is.

Looking for more starting pitching - MLBlogs.com
With all the questions marks surrounding Wang's health, Strasburg's starting location, and Olsen's health, the Nationals are still looking for more SP help. Two of the only names that remain since both Chan Ho Park and Braden Looper rejected the Nationals' offers, are still, you guessed it - Frank Stallone John Smoltz, and Pedro Martinez.

Will hurting players please speak up? - Nats320
The news of Ross Detwiler's injury is nothing new, except for the fact that he knew it was a problem, and apparently didn't say anything about it. There's a blurry line that separates playing through pain, being a man about it, or being stubborn of fear of losing one's position and hurting the team.

 

 


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Centerfielder for the Phillies, Shane Victorino shows us how they bag it up in Hawaii with his own personal line of poser clothing, SilverStar or something like that.  Isn't that name already trademarked by the Sylvania lighting company already?  Or was it a Microsoft video plug-in?

Rollins thinks '10 squad is better than '09 - MLB.com
Is this like some kind of annual NL East tradition now? Rollins thinks the Phils are the team to beat. Beltran thinks the Mets are the team to beat. Santana thinks he's the best. All these guys do is run their mouths, and all we can really do is hope that the Braves quietly post winning records against them again throughout 2010 like we did last year.

Moyer vs. Kendrick for 5th starter? - MLB.com
Funny how things work out. Just two weeks ago, I posted a link where GM Ruben Amaro is quoted saying that Moyer is the 5th starter, and it's his spot to lose. And now beat writers are speculating that the 5th starter spot belongs to nobody now, and that it's a toss between Jamie Moyer and Kyle Kendrick. And speaking of Kendrick, here's an interesting story of how he's latching on to newcomer Roy Halladay, and I guess trying to usurp some actual talent out of him, going even as far as to grow a ginger beard like Doc has. Hopefully this doesn't turn out like Francisco Liriano benefitting from latching onto Johan Santana, but more like NBA player Tyronn Lue trying to act and play like Allen Iverson but then realizing that he still kind of sucked.

Ryan Howard: In order to hit .300 again, "find grass ... hit the ball to where they're not" - MLB.com
Easier said than done; there's a reason why 90% of MLB employs the shift on Howard. He pulls 300% of his non-homer hits to the right side than he does going the other way.

How important is the fifth starter? - Phillies Nation
Phillies Nation takes a glance at the last three WS champions, and their reliance on the fifth starter. An interesting read, considering so many here thought the lack of a fifth starter (read: Tommy Hanson) is what really cost the Braves last year. My take was that it wasn't the lack of a fifth starter that hurt us, it was the lack of offense when the fourth and fifth games rolled around that cost the Braves, regardless of whom was pitching that day.

The Dude is manning right-field for the Phillies - The Good Phight
Take away our team affiliations, and I could probably be BFFs with the guys that operate TGP. Huge kudos for working in a Jayson Werth/The Big Lebowski reference. I'm kind of jealous that no Brave works this kind of Matisyahu-like facial hair. Oh yeah, Werth is aware of the situation, and would like to stay in Philly but understands that testing the waters might be in his best interests. Where've I heard that before?

Brad Wilkerson signs with Phillies - The Good Phight
If anything, here's a guy who can spell Ryan Howard at first to strikeout a ton to keep Howard's K numbers in check this year, if he even makes the squad.

Ryan Vogelsong chasing the dream - MLB.com
A former pitching prospect who verged on the Four-A label, before taking his act to Japan where he found moderate success and great pay, but was never fully happy. His hometown team, the Phillies came calling and signed him to a minor league deal with an ST invitation, and now he's in Clearwater fighting as the distant longshot for the fifth starter's role against Jamie Moyer and Kyle Kendrick.

Chad Durbin's mission beyond baseball - The Good Phight
Phillie or not, these are the stories that I can get behind - Chad Durbin, and former career minor leaguer, Jake Chapman are proprietors of ShowcaseU.com, an online networking site for aspiring athletes to economically network the proper way, and to make connections necessary to get a good education, and find success if the whole sports thing doesn't pan out, because let's face it, becoming a pro is still defying the odds.

Toronto Journalism, at its best - Toronto Star
(Hat tip: Fightin Phillies blog)
It's kind of sad when the former team is still making the former Ace/Face of the franchise their top story, but then again coming from a city where the local ESPN SportsCentRE has top-10 John McDonald defensive plays, I guess they don't have a whole lot to talk about. I really like the part in the article where they take a cheap pot-shot at another former Blue Jay, A.J. Burnett, by calling him Halladay's "less-talented protege," which is true, but kind of uncalled for.

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em - Chan Ho Park signs with the Yankees - Philly.com
In 2007 and 2008, Chan Ho Park was on teams that were bested by the Phillies (Mets, Dodgers). So he signs with the Phillies in 2009, and is ultimately bested by the New York Yankees. So where does he go next? That's right, Park signs with the Yankees. I'd say, best of luck in getting that elusive ring, but it's kind of difficult when the Braves are going to take it all.

And the first Spring Training law enforcement story goes to... - Beerleaguer
Four-A caliber catcher, Dane Sardinha arrested for DUI on Monday in Clearwater, FL. A new acquisition, he hasn't played a game with the Phillies yet, but is already in the tank. He's been mostly a AAA guy, but has ML experience with the Reds and the Tigers.

If you were a closer, what would your entrance music be? - The Good Phight
A fun one - Hoffman's got AC/DC's Hells Bells, Papelbon's got The Dropkick Murphys' Shipping up to Boston, Soriano was given Prodigy's Firestarter, and both Rivera and Wags come out to Metallica's Enter the Sandman. Your team is up by one, and the other team is sending their 3-4-5 hitters to the plate in the bottom of the 9th. Fans are uneasy and crazy. What music do you want to hit as you bust out of the gate and take the mound? Mine is quite simple.

 

 

 

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Last, and most certainly least, the most boring team in Major League Baseball, the Florida Marlins - superstar shortstop fantasy stud Hanley Ramirez flashes bling and dishonor on his t-shirt.

Hanley Ramirez owns a ranch - MLB.com
When I first read this, I thought "wtf is a guy from the D.R. doing in the midwest?" but then it's explained that the aformentioned ranch is in the D.R. "H2R" Ranch, as he so puts it (and is also his vanity tag on his likely exhorbitantly priced car) is his offseason vacation home where he trains and enjoys the luxury of hot tubs, pools, chickens, goats, and cows.

Become an Honorary Bat Girl for Breast Cancer - MLB.com
(hat tip: Fish Stripes)
Finally, something worthwhile to credit the Marlins sites for finding - MLB, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and Louisville Slugger are Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer for the sixth consecutive year. Ladies, by April 13th, submit your story, and you could be the lucky winner to be invited onto the field and be the honorary Bat Girl for your favorite team on May 9th. But since the Braves are in Philly on that day, you'll be invited to the Ted probably on their next homestand.

Marlins interested in Hank Blalock - Fish Stripes
Looking for more bats to bolster the bench, the Fish are interested in the two-time all-star who is coming off of career lows and some nagging injuries. Pick 'em while they're at their cheapest, hope to ride the chip on their shoulder, that seems to be the Marlins schtick.

Jeffrey Loria shows up to Marlins practice - MLB.com
I guess I would have a (crap) eating grin on my face too, knowing that I made so much money without hardly ever trying to adequately run a baseball team, even with the MLBPA telling me I had to spend some of profit-sharing profits on the team instead of padding my accounts. Also fields questions about Fredi Gonzalez's future versus Bobby Valentine, and the Josh Johnson signing.

Marlins already thinking beyond 2010, and looking forward to Opening Day 2012 - MLB.com
You know what would be funny? Is if Jonathan Brandis's SeaQuest prediction is a year late and the Marlins win it all in 2011 (Because the Braves have to win it all in 2010 . . . for Bobby, of course), and then they open their park in 2012, and go back to stinking after Jeffrey Loria scraps the entire team, and dumps Hanley, Uggla, Johnson, Coughlin, for prospects that would take another seven years to flourish, and Miami treats their new park like Dolphin Landshark Sun Life in the end anyway.

Jose Ceda arrives to camp IBSOHL, also emotionally lighter - Miami Herald
Jose Ceda is a hard-throwing, big (read: almost 300 lbs) reliever that was a part of the deal that sent Kevin Gregg to the Cubs. What wasn't mentioned in the scouting report was that he accidentally shot his friend in the Dominican Republic before the trade occurred, and it put a severe mental block on his psyche, and combined with a shoulder injury, didn't throw a single pitch in 2009. Fast forward one off-season, and the news of his friend's improving condition, and the big Ceda is now down to 273 lbs, in the best shape of his life, feeling physically and mentally better, and ready to move his career forward in the Marlins organization.

Aaron Boone offically announces retirement - MLB.com
Look, I know the last two places he played were Washington and Houston, but I'm desperate here; the Marlins are so devoid of any interesting information, that this saw fit to squeeze its way onto MLB's official Marlins page, so I'm allowed to link to it. Most remember Boone for his 03 ALCS-ending walk-off against Tim Wakefield, but I just remember a guy who tore his ACL playing pickup basketball, and a guy who effectively ruined my first weekend at Nats park with a big go-ahead 3-run blast off Elmer Dessens in 2008.

This is what I'm reduced to - A Marlins player/coach actually drives this - Quest for Championship #3
(hat tip: Fish Stripes)
Marlins news is so scant, this is what I'm reduced to posting here - dredge about what an anonymous Marlins hand drives, in this gaudy, hideous pickup truck, complete with Old English decal, and the flame-designed grille. Naturally, found in their ST home in Jupiter.

 

I was checking out the Marlins site today...

and it has had no activity since Sunday. I could never imagine 3 days going by on Talking Chop with nothing going on.

by dunnytwogloves on Feb 24, 2010 5:27 PM EST

Seriously - the Marlins are the most boring team in baseball.  MLB.com has nothing but fluff pieces, the Miami Herald doesn't really care about anyone not named the Dolphins, Sports Illustrated and ESPN don't cover the Marlins, and Fish Stripes is hardly updated, and has so little user activity to cite from.  I have links to other Marlins blogs, and Marlins sites, but none of them are actually updated with any consistency, and I can only endure so much fluff from the major outlets before realizing that the team is straight up boring.