To say that this was a perplexing week would be an understatement. Every year, there's always one team in the NL West that the Braves can't break the .500 mark again; in 2007, it was Arizona (2-4), in 2008, it was San Francisco (2-5), in 2009, it was once again San Fran (3-4), with an even .500 against the Padres (3-3), but it goes without saying that the 2010 season plagued by the Colorado Rockies. 1993's perfect 13-0 record against the Rox seems . . . and is such a long time ago, and obviously much has changed since then. From getting no-hit by Ubaldo Jimenez in April to this week's super-sweeping-meltdown, I'll be the first to admit that the Rockies have owned us this year, and I'm quite frankly glad we don't have to see them again. And yes, I understand the implications of possible miracle playoff berth, but I'm mad at the Rockies right now, and don't want to give them that much respect.
But alas, what's this? As the fine folks over at our rivals' site point out, it's a Simon-Says of you win, we win, you lose, we lose, and has been that way, pretty much all month. So while we got swept by the Rockies, the Phillies were doing their best impression of us, getting swept by the Houston Astros, including one soul-sucking, demoralizing 16-inning affair, which saw Howard and WARG both get ejected, Ibanez moving to first, and pitcher Roy Oswalt playing LF. Speaking of which, anyone else notice that pretty much every year, the Astros take at least one poor team, and lock them up into an extra inning affair that exceeds 4-5 hrs? 13 innings in '09 with the Cubs, 17 with US in '08, 17 with the Mets in '07, 18, twice, with the Cubs and Pirates in '06, 14 with the Nationals in '05, and so on, and so on. So yeah . . . uh, thanks Astros. Sorry for uh . . . derailing your playoff push in '06, but that kinda makes us even for derailing us in '05.
But anyway, on with the show. Welcome back to another week of Things Read in Other Moms' Basements.
Stephen Strasburg has torn elbow ligament, likely to undergo Tommy John surgery - MLB
Well now that's quite unfortunate for this year's Jesus. And the timing of this injury pretty much all but ensures that he won't see any time at all during the 2011 season, so it's going to be a long 19 months for the phenom before 2012 Spring Training rolls around.
Stephen Strasburg goes on DL - MLB
"Strained flexor tendon in right forearm" is the diagnosis, but I have to say seeing the highlights were kind of painful to see. It's like you could almost hear a collective gasp of everyone in the world, even through crappy netbook speakers. I don't wish ill-will on anyone (even the Rockies), but I will state that arm troubles are fairly relative; suppose it's "just" the forearm right now, and he gets back to around 90% before getting back on the mound. Somewhere, that 10% is being compensated and over-exerted somewhere else in the arm, which potentially is more risk to those parts. Case in point: May 2007, Anthony Lerew develops forearm problems. June 2007, Anthony Lerew is put on the DL after visiting DJA, and needing TJS.
And who didn't see this coming, as a result? - SBNation
Regardless of what tests show a second, third, or tenth time, there's a good chance that the Nationals are just going to shut down Strasburg. Now I wouldn't be surprised if this were never made official, so that the hope alone, of him coming back at all could sell some extra tickets.
But Rob Dibble thinks he should just suck it up and play through it - Deadspin
And the scariest thing is that it's evident that Dibble's not trying to make the media, but just keeps doing it anyway, for being who he is. Completely unrelated, he's being "given time off" for two games.
Last year's top Nationals pitching prospect to start in place of this year's top Nationals pitching prospect - MLB
How's that for timing? Strasburg, this year's top Nationals pitching prospect hits the DL, clearing the way for last year's top Nationals pitching prospect, Jordan Zimmermann to come off the DL after undergoing TJS, and rehabbing over the last 12 months.
Nyjer Morgan suspended seven games for allegedly throwing baseball at Philadelphia fan - WaPo
As odd as I think he can be, Nyjer Morgan is a pretty nice guy. So I don't really believe it, much less from Philadelphia of all places, when someone is claiming that Morgan deliberately, and maliciously threw a baseball at them. And as this Phillies fan recollects, it's not Nyjer's fault.
Nationals 3B Coach, Pat Listach, to throw name into hat for vacant Cubs manager - MLB
Many aren't aware, but Listach was a long-time manager in the Cubs organization, and reasonably stands to have a good shot at being a fresh new face to the big league team, especially if they're going to be rebuilding. Unlike the big Cubs, Listach has a career .500+ record in the Cubs minors, and is already familiar with current Cubbies such as Geovany Soto, Tyler Colvin, and Carlos Marmol.
Bryce Harper introduced... - WaPo
And reportedly, sporting a mohawk. I know it's a little immature of me to say it, but he looks like a douchebag.
And here we go - WaPo
Let the hype begin - while taking BP at Nationals Park, Bryce Harper was hitting balls into windows of the CIA, hitting balls into the White House lawn, and over Georgetown, over the river, and into Old Town Alexandria, too.
Drew Storen named player reprsentative for Nationals - WaPo
Despite being just 23-years old and a rookie, I guess a Stanford education holds a lot of weight in this kind of decision.
Nats secure homes for AA and AAA minor league clubs - MLB
Harrisburg, PA, and Syracuse, NY will remain auxilary NatsTowns for future years to come with the Nationals renewing their agreements with the two minor league squads.
Wow, Jayson Werth is kind of a dick - SI
In an (attempted) interview with Sports Illustrated, Jayson Werth much agrees to essentially sit down and stare at a reporter, because there's apparently a laundry list of topics that he refused to address. I didn't know this, but would loved to have learned more about Jayson's parents and their parents, because pretty much all his elders were ballplayers and/or professional athletes, but Werth prohibits anyone from interviewing them, either.
And a decent swan song for Werth - Phillies Nation
And the folks at PN do a good job of saying what I'm thinking, basically he's going to make a pretty coin this off-season for someone else, and as much as I'd love his production, I don't think I'd be fond of his brooding ways, psychotic appearance, and as a Braves kind of guy I like to pretend to be, don't really consider Jayson Werth a good guy to have in a locker room, for chemistry's sake.
You know a season's been plagued with injury, when it's newsworthy to fill in your lineup card - MLB
Less than ten times. That's how few times out of 125+ games that Charlie Manuel has been able to fill out the lineup card with the projected starting lineup of Rollins, Polanco, Utley, Howard, Werth, Ibanez, Victorino, Ruiz, pitcher. I don't know what's worse - the fact that the Phillies are endlessly in the rear view mirror despite going through most of the year with a band-aid roster, or the fact that I knew that lineup off the top of my head without any hesitation.
Nate Robertson signs with the Phillies for the stretch run - MLB
After getting DFA'd in Florida, and not being able to stick in the St. Louis system, the bespeckled lefty signs with the Phillies, who in all likelihood, use him out of the 'pen as a lefty, since J.C. Romero is all they have in that department.
Roy Oswalt fantasizes about gunning a runner down at the plate - Philly.com
Despite the fact that he's a Phillie, I kinda like Oswalt. He admits to not having as much adrenaline all year, than he did taking the outfield in the 16th inning loss to his former team, but I think it's kinda funny that he was kind of hoping to have a chance to gun someone down at the plate. Pitching is one thing, but an outfield cannon is widely a different beast.
Haven't heard that excuse before - MLB
Ryan Howard and Chase Utley think they might be a little rusty from all their time on the DL. The best part about this is the footnote that states the obvious factoid that we all knew, a day after the guys at TGP posted their analysis on it.
Danys Baez to the DL with back spasms - Beerleaguer
The skepticism with this move is that Antonio Bastardo is recalled for the 88th time, and with good reason; by having him on the roster prior to August 31 allows the commodity lefty to be on the post season roster ... if they make it.
Glad to see it happen to other teams once in a while - Philly.com
Former player, traded away, comes home to bite them in the ass. J.A. Happ, after being included in the deal that brought Roy Oswalt to the Phils, returned to Philadelphia to oppose Roy Halladay, throw 6.2 IP of 2-run ball, and beat the Phillies. As low-key as he appears to the media, you know there's a little bit of a chip on that shoulder when coming back to those who traded you.
Didn't realize it happened twice - Beerleaguer
Y'see, I wasn't really kidding last week when I said that I'd prefer not to live lock-step with what the Phillies are doing during this stretch, so I had no idea that it was Brett Myers that beat the Phillies in the opener like he beat his-yeah, okay, I'll give it a rest with the domestic abuse jokes, lest people start pointing out Bobby Cox's own indiscretions again.
Cody Ross traded to San Francisco Giants - Marlins Homeplate
In spite of the already very crowded outfield already, and the necessity to make a move that Bruce Bochy has no idea what it is going to be, in order to accomodate him on the 25-man roster. Ross was shocked by the transaction, and he and Uggla were in tears at their separation. And Cameron Maybin returns to the big club to take his spot in the outfield.
Ricky Nolasco has a torn meniscus - MLB
According to E-Rod, he's only going to plan to miss one start, and then re-evaluate how the knee feels before his next scheduled start. I know a meniscus isn't that huge of a deal, but the act of pitching still relies heavily on the legs, and a steady, consistent motion. More time off can only be healthier.
The Marlins are more profitable than they let on - Miami Herald
Between the 2008 and 2009 seasons, the Fish made close to $49M in profit. Yet they claimed confidentiality on that information and then proceeded to claim that they couldn't afford guys like Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis (Maybe not that big of a loss in Willis in hindsight), and that the funds are necessary in the development of the new ballpark for 2012. Despite the fact that the league did order the Marlins to spend more money, that pertained mostly to the funds received from the profit-sharing agreements, not team generated profits. And naturally, the people are pissed.
When all else sucks, play for individual achievement - MLB
Dan Uggla is determined to win the NL 2B Silver Slugger this year, and stands a pretty good chance of doing so, over Chase Utley's four-year reign over it. It's not going to happen, but it would be funny if it went to Martin Prado, much like the big hub-bub over Derek Jeter winning a Hank Aaron award a few years ago for nothing but high batting average, no power, and a decent amount of RBI.
Hanley Ramirez attempting to mimic Yunel Escobar, or Simon Phoenix - Miami Herald
The Franchise of the Fish has decided that he's going to start dying his hair for some reason, and as of now, it's apparently "rust-colored." I'd make jokes about this, but between the ages of 15-23, I used to dye my hair some strange colors.
R.A. Dickey a better human than he is a pitcher - NY Daily News
I know that Dickey was a pretty decent human being, but I didn't know this much about his story as a whole. A good read about an inspirational underdog to winner story, with a side of heart-warming as the knuckleballer is also travels annually to Cuba and Venezuela for humanitarian efforts.
Fate of the Mets Opening Day Lineup - MetsBlog courtsey of our own BenDuronio
And the last man standing, is David Wright!
Jose Reyes strains oblique, day to day - MLB
The frequency in which Reyes has been dealing with injuries and ailments this season has almost been Chipper Jones-esque. Prevention and Recovery, prevention and recovery, folks.
And he really, really wants to stay in New York - MetsBlog
And you guys know my theory, the more they want to stay, the more ironic it is when they're finding work elsewhere. But in the case of Reyes, I think he's worth an exception from the norm.
Rod Barajas claimed off waivers by Dodgers - MetsBlog
I just remember prior to the season, the scrambling the Mets did in order to try to get Bengie Molina, but eventually went with Rod Barajas, to be their offensive savior at the catching position. Now Barajas is claimed off waivers not long after coming off the DL, and the Mets are settling to use the slap-hitting, choking up on the bat six inches Josh Thole as the every day man. An "anonymous" Mets player "joking" wishes "he could go too."
Awesome: Johan Santana has pitched three-straight complete games
Mets: But the last two were losses, anyway - MLB
After a nine-inning complete game victory against the Rockies, Johan has pitched two eight-inning losses to the Astros and Pirates. Ouch.
Fernando Martinez has a knee injury - MetsBlog
The details are unknown at this time, but it doesn't seem like it's that big of a deal. But given the wake of all the knee injuries in the NL East lately, and with the Mets slowly falling out of it, it might be wise for this prospect to have some time to recover.
Exorcising the demons - NY Daily News
Because it will obviously make the team play better, Francisco Rodriguez's vacant locker is cleaned of all its personal effects.
Jason Bay still not cleared for baseball activities - MLB
At this point, throw up the white flag, and hope that he has a big second year, like Carlos Beltran did after putting up a mediocre debut season with the Mets. But as my personal deadline looms, he's cleared!
Spending vs. efficiency compared to New York vs. Florida - NY Times
In the wake of the monetary scandal unearthed in Florida, the Times takes a glance at the period of time the Marlins were hoarding money, compared to the Mets.
"The Marlins have spent about $396 million on player salaries from 2000 through 2010, with 873 victories and a World Series title to show," Tyler Kepner explains.
"The Mets have spent about $1.212 billion on salaries in those seasons, with 878 victories and no championships."
I guess this is one of those "money can't buy championships" kind of arguments all over again.
Should the Mets be put on reality TV? - NBC
Not necessarily because the down-the-street Jets have their own reality show, but more for the simple fact that more than us baseball nerds would probably get a huge kick out of watching the trainwreck that is the New York Mets.
Last for least - Weekly Oliver Perez mention: Jerry Manual thinks Perez can bounce back - MetsBlog
I would almost bet money that Michael Jordan could make another comeback before Oliver Perez could come back to moderate success.