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Things Read in Other Moms' Basements - Around the NL East 07.03.10

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Wow.  So last night was the first Braves game I'd been to in quite some time, and what an exciting one it was!

With June coming to a close, I'm plesantly pleased to look back at the month that was, and to see that the Braves finished off June with a solid 17-11 record. Furthermore, in Interleague a positive 9-6 record, with the Braves bouncing back strong after getting swept by the White Sox. Who would have thought that after the April that we all endured and suffered through, the Braves would storm through the next two months, winning 37 out fo 56 contests to a tune of a .660 clip?

Anyway, it's a special weekend, as it is Independence Day. I hope everyone has a solid weekend of good food, fireworks, and fun times, whether it's indoors, outdoors, and hey, the Braves are home this year, so maybe at the ballpark? Personally, I'm hitting up three parties this weekend, as well as waking up at Crap O'Clock on Sunday so I can run in the Peachtree Road Race for another year, before enjoying an evening of fireworks that I traveled to South Carolina to get.

But anyhow, welcome back to another week of Things Read in Other Moms' Basements.

Chase Utley, Placido Polanco placed on DL - MLB
Not that I am applauding any player for being hurt and getting out of our hair, but if there was ever a time to capitalize it would be now, to hopefully build a little bit of a lead over the Phillies, because inevitably, Utley and Polanco will come back, and inevitably, the Phillies will turn into the .625-winning ball club in September as they seem to become every year. Utley out with sprained thumb, Polanco with left elbow problems that may require off-season surgery. And Chase Utley is going to be out 6-8 weeks after undergoing surgery. Build a lead!

Now is where Ruben Amaro, Jr. must earn his money -
With his All-Star 2B and 3B on the DL, his SS fresh off the DL, a shaky closer, and an All-Star catcher concussed and all banged up, all eyes are on Amaro, and what move he will make (or not make) that will or won't, keep the Phillies in contention this year.

Charlie Manuel fined and suspended for doing his best Bobby Cox impression - MLB
In the span of the last week, Charlie Manuel has been tossed three times. But in his latest infraction, the bill of his cap dared to grace the shiny forehead of C.B. Bucknor, and now faces a game's suspension for such a travesty. For shame.

Phillies seeking for "not an ace" - MLB
The Phils want another starter, but Ruben Amaro states that an "ace" is not necessary. I guess they don't have a very high opinion of Dan Haren who is pitching like one, and Cliff Lee, whom the Phils had a scout at Yankee Stadium watching him dominate the Bombers again.

Everything Jamie Moyer does now will seemingly be a record - Phillies Nation
This is borderlining Julio Franco territory, but as a pitcher, there are a lot of untouched records for him to encroach upon. In his last start against the Blue Jays, Jamie Moyer eclipsed the 4,000IP mark, as well as 506HRs allowed, passing the late Robin Roberts.

J.A. Happ still rehabbing - MLB
He's now in AAA, and in a taxing 100-pitch outing, Happ recently allowed two runs on six hits in 4+ innings of work. He may potentially work one more rehab start, but has to be off the DL by July 7th.

Ahhh, Philly. 75-year old woman suing Phillie Phanatic -
And people think I'm just being facetious whenever I declare Philly home of the most miserable bitter people in the world. At a Reading Phillies game, the Phanatic performed a stunt where he went through the stands and apparently jostled too hard on a 75-year old woman's knees who is now suing multiple parties for $50,000 for flaring up her arthritis. And this is apparently not an isolated incident - the Phanatic has been sued at least three times in the last ten years alone, once for "hugging too hard."

Not that I'm enjoying seeing them suffer but . . . - Beerleaguer
That was easy.


And just like that, "probably not" going to be Bobby V - MLB
Link cites due to "philosophical differences" and not money, but knowing Jeffrey Loria, one must always speculate that money had something to do with it.

But the courting process by the Fish was "Insulting at times," according to Bobby V - Miami Herald
Honestly, I'm not, and have never really been that big of a fan of Bobby Valentine, and personally, I just get the impression that there is a lot of jockeying agenda behind him. If he really loved the game as much as he claims to, I think he'd already have a job managing by now. So, I don't really know who's side to take on this Valentine vs. Loria debacle.

Edwin Rodriguez will manage the Marlins for the remainder of 2010 - Miami Herald
So after apparently snubbing Bobby Valentine, Jeffrey Loria waited until it was five minutes prior to the first pitch against the Mets to break the news to Rodriguez and the rest of the Fish that E-Rod would be getting the privilege of managing the team for the rest of the year.

The Marlins play well in front of a "home field" that actually has fans in it - MLB
They may have lost the finale, but the Marlins blew out the Mets in the first game, won it in the 9th with a walk-off in the second game before dropping the last. But the significance was that the entire series was played in Puerto Rico, and despite the fact that the fans there were more pro-Mets than Marlins, the Fish were still the designated home team and actually got to play at a home that actually had fans in attendance. They enjoyed it so much, they want to come back again in 2011.

Chris Coghlan: "It's [HRs] the one stat I care the least about." - MLB
Apparently his summer frolicking with Jeff Francoeur hasn't changed his outlook on hitting, and slumps be darned this season, he hasn't really panicked.

"What I care about is on-base percentage, batting average and scoring runs. That's my job."

Little Havana and surrounding Miami area still waiting for payoff of new park - Miami Herald
When St. Louis and San Diego were in the midst of building their new ballparks, the surrounding area flourished and benefitted from all the funds circulating the immediate vicinity. Residents and businesses of the South Florida area near where the new Marlins' ballpark is being built have yet to really see a similar monetary push in their direction just yet, and are concerned about the overall planning.

The Sanchez - Morrison Dilemma - Marlins Maniac
Last week, there was mention of possibly converting AAA 1B prospect Logan Morrison to left field since Gaby Sanchez won the 1B position. But Morrison is apparently a butcher out in LF, so the Maniac thinks of alternative solutions, most notably, suggesting Sanchez ultimately be shifted to 3B. I can actually see this happening, what with Cantu getting up in age and cost to keep, letting Cody Ross walk, and ultimately fielding a team of mostly-cheap controllable talent, like Coghlin, Stanton, Maybin, Sanchez and Morrison.

An example that other teams' blogs have some pretty horrendous FanPosts, too - Fish Stripes
But hey, at least he managed to finagle out 75 words instead of saying "GO BRAVES" seventy-two times.


Bobby Cox's take on Strasburg being an All-Star - MLB
Good old Bobby tells it like it needs to be told - he'd love to see him in it, but it's not fair to the guys that are borderline, and most importantly, those players who have financial bonuses and clauses who would be directly affected by a product of a hype machine at this point.

Charlie Manuel's take on Strasburg being an All-Star -
Considering managers and coaches pick the pitchers, and that as the defending NL Champion's manager, Charlie Manuel has the final say, his opinion actually matters.

Mike Capps's empty seat - MLB
Often times we lose sight of baseball players as solely rivals, enemies, and opposition that we forget that they're actual human beings too. That being said, to those who don't realize it, Matt Capps, the closer for the Nationals has Atlanta roots, being from the suburb of Douglasville, and he and his father attended numerous Braves games growing up, and Mike Capps would always be there when the Pirates were in town in his previous stint. But last October, Mike Capps was lost to a freak accident, and for the first time in Matt's career, dad wasn't in the stands of Turner Field as he took the mound.

Jordan Zimmermann and Chien-Ming Wang updates - MLB
Zimmermann will be beginning rehab starts, while Wang is a little bit behind, having yet to throw live BP yet. But both are expected to be in the starting rotation by the end of the season.

Never seen so much outrage over one fan - WaPo
It's been well-documented here how much everyone hated the white-polo shirt guy in the front row, but apparently Washington sports writers were not able to miss him either. Personally, I just didn't care, and will attest to being mildly amused from time to time. I'll also admit to probably be apt to being pissed if he were rooting against the Braves, but regardless the sad reality is that he does indeed paint a negative picture for all Braves fans, but also included in that reality is that he did pay (or gift) that seat which belonged to him for that night, and if it was his prerogative to act like a Prozac'd chimpanzee all night, he had the right.

The Nationals-Pirates trade, one year later - WaPo
Here's a novel idea - a trade that works almost equally to both parties! A year ago, Nyjer Morgan and reliever Sean Burnett were traded to the Nationals for Lastings Milledge and Joel Hanrahan. A year later, neither has really lit their teams on fire, but it's truly hard to say which team "came out on top," which seems to be a silly important factor to determine trades these days.


Mike Pelfrey and Jerry Manual do not agree about pitching - MLB
Why does it seem that only with the Mets are their such public outcries of player/manager discontent? Manual thinks Pelfrey should pound the sinker on the inner part of the black against righties. Pelfrey takes exception to this. And then pitching coach Dan Warthen jumps on Manual's side. Are they really sure they want to tamper around with the most effective pitcher they have this season?

Weekly Carlos Beltran update - MetsBlog
For the first time in months, Carlos Beltran has played a full nine innings, both as a batter and a fielder, manning center for an entire game.

Francoeur: "Ike Davis has 'Stupid pop'" - MetsBlog
Jeff Francoeur transcribes a sissy fit he was having with David Wright:

"He crushed that one. He’s got stupid pop. I said to David Wright, ‘Mine went farther.’ David said, ‘Mine went out faster.’ Then Ike hit his, and we both shut up."

If the Mets trade for Cliff Lee, they better sign him - NY Daily News
Justification for this opinion is solely based on the fact that after complete gaming the Yankees, he's probably already on their radar to become another hired gun to likely replace the likely-to-retire Andy Pettitte as the lefty in the rotation. The NY Post also reports that if the Mets want to get Lee, that a package built around Jenrry Mejia is the only thing acceptable.

Michael Barrett signs minor league deal with Mets - MetsBlog
The sad thing is that the name "Michael Barrett" has now become synonimous with the guy who's in prison now for taking peep-hole pictures of Erin Andrews nude. But for those of us who remember the baseball player, mark my words, Mets fans: if the Mets bring up Michael Barrett the catcher, consider your season done now. Wherever Michael Barrett goes, so goes tragedy and painful defeat. Barrett was there when Bartman screwed the Cubs. Barrett was there when McClelland screwed the Padres in that 13-inning game 163. Barrett was there when Jeff Francoeur debuted with the Braves.

Oliver Perez makes first rehab start, Manual confusingly unsure what to do with him - MLB
Despite the fact that he gave up four runs on five hits in six innings, with two of them being home runs to a single-A squad, Jerry Manual still had this to say:

"Ollie might be a better match than, say, Takahashi if it's to get those premium outs," Manuel said. "If you think the game is in the balance, Ollie might be the guy."

This is more or less completely false unless the opponent is the cross town Yankees, and further justification why I can't ever really take anything he says seriously.

Jenrry Mejia never mentioned shoulder problems while with big club - MLB
Mejia is fitting in fine in the Mets organization by failing to report any discomfort and pain, and shortly after being send back down to AA, is shelved with a posterior cuff strain.

Mets opinion: on the eve of retirement, should Chipper Jones be put on All-Star team? - MetsBlog
Personally, no. What I think Chipper Jones would say, no. The ASG is already a mockery in itself now, no need to turn it into a place where cowboys can start their rides into the sunset when they didn't deserve to be there in the first place.