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That?s it. I can?t deny it anymore.
The Orioles are real; to deny it at this point is to deny math, logic and reality.
The Birds did get beaten up by the Rangers a bit, but who hasn?t. The Orioles still have the second-best record in the American League, lead the league in homers, are getting solid starting pitching and shut down bullpen work.
This is not a fluke. Repeat, this is not a fluke.
I am completely comfortable making this declaration, I am not worried about jinxing anything or anyone. The Orioles are just good.
Fact: The Orioles have won 13 of their last 14 games. That includes series wins against New York, Oakland, Chicago and Toronto. It includes a series sweep in Boston, despite Boston?s woes the Orioles made a real statement that weekend.
Fact: The Orioles went on the road through New York and Boston and won five of six. In addition, the one game they lost the Birds lost by a score of 2-1.
Fact: This is not a function of a weak schedule. The Orioles have the second-highest RPI in baseball behind only the Texas Rangers. Not good enough? The Orioles have played the third toughest schedule in the American League, behind the Mariners and White Sox.
The current Orioles renaissance is not due to a weak schedule, even if the Red Sox have collapsed early-on.
Opinion: The Orioles aren?t doing anything that seems drastically unsustainable.
The Orioles are simply playing very solid baseball. The bullpen is starting to give up a couple runs, but they are still playing very well. The Orioles have hit a hiccup with some rotation issues, but Dana Eveland was more than serviceable and the Birds have played some roster roulette the past week but it all seems to be working.
Take the Washington Nationals, their pitching is out of its mind right now, but it is ultimately unsustainable. Their offense isn?t scoring runs reliably and currently have scored the fourth fewest runs in the National League. Their pitching staff will continue to be good, but unless they stat getting their offense in line they will be vulnerable as the year rolls on. The Orioles are scoring runs, but not at an eye-popping rate, the rotation and bullpen have been great, but not historically great.
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With the Twins having a severe need for pitching in the organization as well as six picks among the top 100, it is certain that more than one of those picks (and probably the second overall pick) will be used to draft a pitcher. To this respect, I[...]
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I don't know how many other people out there actually pay attention to stuff like this, but ROOT Sports' promos for Rockies games are absolutely atrocious. I'm sure you know which ones I'm talking about; the voice-over guy plays the part of an extreme homer, saying stuff like "WE TOOK THE SERIES FROM 'EEM LAST TIME AT HOME, NOW WE'RE GOING FOR THE SWEEP IN THEIR PARK" over highlights of Troy Tulowitzki making a routine play look spectacular, Jonathan Herrera laying down a sac bunt, and Jason Giambi hitting a ball 975 feet.
Look, I get that 95% of the Rockies' (and probably every other professional sports team's) fan base is of the casual nature. I also get that within that 95%, 95% are homers, at least to some degree. But still, it doesn't make those promos any less irritating.
So, with that, here are a few things that the voice-over guy, assuming he stops being an unreasonable homer, should be saying during the promos:
2. "Come on, guys - what do you say we change the taco rule to three runs on the road? Go get 'em, boys."
3. "Let's see our boys beat the...ah, f*** it - tune back in when the next homestand starts."
You guys should definitely comment with your own, which are 103% likely to be better than mine.
Links after the jump...
Rockies' Drew Pomeranz heads to Triple-A Sky Sox - The Denver Post
This move sparked a bit of controversy, and that is understandable. However, despite the fact that I don't really like the idea of Jamie Moyer pitching for this club much longer, I don't really mind this move in particular. Pomeranz needs to find his velocity and work on commanding his secondary pitches. He still doesn't have a whole hell of a lot of minor league innings under his belt, so I don't mind the Rockies letting him work through some issues at AAA. Pomeranz seems to have the right attitude about the move, as well. Let's hope he shows it on the mound.
Meanwhile, Josh Outman seems to have completed his rehab work and is now with the big club for the first time this season. His activation from the disabled list is the corresponding move to the demotion of Pomeranz. Outman didn't appear in last night's game, but both relievers who did (Carlos Torres and Esmil Rogers) allowed home runs, so hopefully Outman does better work than that.
Rockies' prospect Tyler Matzek on call to step up - The Denver Post
Irv Moss has quotes from Rockies' director of player development Jeff Bridich on Kyle Parker, Tyler Anderson, and Matzek, who is looking to rebound from two horrendous starts after making five pretty good ones.
Following Jeff’s lead from yesterday, we’re going to start with the lower levels and work our way up. No matter how you slice it though, it's four straight wins on what was a great night all the way around.
Low-A Asheville – W 10-3, (21-13, 2nd, 3.0 GB)
Down on the farm last night, there was a buzz surrounding a highly anticipated start by a first round, left handed, pitching prospect in the Rockies organization named Tyler; but for the first time, his last name wasn’t Matzek. Instead, it was 2011 first round pick and #14 PuRP Tyler Anderson making his Rockies organizational debut – And he wasn’t bad. Anderson got the win as he went five innings, gave up two earned runs, scattered seven hits, only stuck out two, but also only walked one. It’s odd, but the biggest thing to take away from this start is that there really is nothing to take away from it. He wasn’t great, but he wasn’t terrible either. It’s exactly the type of outing that leaves you eager to see what he does the next time he takes the mound.
At the plate, the Tourist offense came alive and scored double digit runs for the first time since April 29th. #12 PuRP Trevor Story, Tyler Massey, Harold Riggins, Brian Humphries, and Jared Simon all scored two runs while every Tourist had at least one hit with the exception of #11 PuRP Rosell Herrera. If you had to pick an offensive star from this game, it would be Jared Simon who went 2-3 with a home run and three RBI.
High-A Modesto – W 5-1, (18-18, 3rd, 5.0 GB)
This was supposed to be #7 PuRP Kyle Parker’s night as he returned from a wrist injury to make just his third start of the season, but he went 0-4 with a strikeout and had the spotlight stolen by fellow Nuts outfielder and #15 PuRP Rafael Ortega. The speedy centerfielder had three hits on the night, including a triple to open the game. Ortega now has four multi hit games in a row and has raised his OPS on the season to .863. #19 PuRP Cory Dickerson also had big night at the plate but his season has been so magnificent that it would almost be a bigger story if he didn’t at this point. In this game, he had two hits; a double in the first and a home run in the 4th that would give Modesto the lead for good.
On the mound, Christian Bergman rebounded nicely from his tough outing last time out against Bakersfield. He line on the night: 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 5 K’s, 1 BB. With the win, the Nuts got back to .500 for the second time this week. A win tonight would push them over that mark for the first time all season.
AA Tulsa – W 3-2, (22-12, 1st)
Despite only collecting six hits and not having a single player record a multi hit game, Tulsa was able to squeeze out three runs against the Arkansas pitching staff. The most notable of which came in the first inning off the bat of #2 PuRP Nolan Arenado; a solo shot to left, his second on the season. The rest of the scoring came in the 4th on a Lars Davis double which scored both #26 PuRP Ben Paulsen and Mike Zaunich.
That would be all the offense the Driller pitching staff would need as Parker Frazier turned in another solid outing, only giving up two runs in seven innings. In seven starts this season, Frazier has now gone six innings or more six times, and has surrendered two runs or fewer six times. His ERA currently stands at an impressive 2.45. In addition, Tulsa closer Coty Woods is quietly torturing hitters. He picked up his 7th save of the season last night to keep his season ERA at a sparkling 0.00. The 24 year old from Christiana, Tennessee also has peripherals which suggest it’s not much of a fluke either. He has now racked up 16 strikeouts while walking just one on the season. Not bad for a 33rd round pick.
There’s even more excitement on the pitching front coming from Tulsa tonight as Jorge De La Rosa will make his third rehab start (First for the Drillers). The crafty lefty is scheduled to throw 85 pitches in this game and if he has a good night, it won’t be long before he’s ready to rejoin the Rockies rotation.
AAA Colorado Springs – W 6-2, (17-18, 3rd, 1.5 GB)
Brandon Wood had a pair of RBI’s, Matt McBride had and pair of hits, and Andrew Brown had both. The Sky Sox would draw first blood in the 4th inning on a Brown bases loaded walk and then would score two more times in the 6th on a Brendan Harris single and a Brown double. The scoring was capped in the 8th with a Brandon Wood home run, his third on the season.
On the mound, Edgar Gonzalez turned in his best outing of the season in only his third start, going five shutout innings while striking out five and only walking one.
Odd Fact of the Night: #9 PuRP Josh Rutledge has now gone 91 consecutive plate appearances without drawing a walk.
There's a lot of good things that happened last night in the minor leagues but only one really stands out. I didn't follow the minors last night as it was date night with wife and I was in the middle of a movie when my phone started buzzing with this tweet.
Really?!?! The night I really take off from the minors and Springer goes all Josh Hamilton? And yes, I will say that! I don't care if it was in two games, it was four consecutive at-bats in a double header. I wasn't even going to write this morning, but this is too good not to post and discuss.
Rodney Linares shook up the lineup for yesterdays games, which included dropping Telvin Nash to number five in the order and Springer to number two. I think Springer responded well.
So, lets check in Springer's stats on the season. He's now batting .310 and has hit six doubles, four triples, and an outstanding eight home runs. He's drawn eleven walks and has struck out forty-four times. That makes his triple slash line of .310/.356/.572 which ends up in a .929 OPS. That 27.5 K% is quite bad for the season, but it's his first season (I don't count those eight games last season) in an aggressive placement with a reputation of striking out in college. I think that number will come down over time, but he'll never be a low strikeout guy. It's just not in his profile.
But, he's been much more impressive in his last ten games, so let's see how he's performed in that time. First off, a 1.298 OPS over that period of time is jaw dropping. Although, it's upheld by last night mostly, but his batting average has been good over that time (.415). He's struck out nine times in forty-four plate appearances over those ten games, which is a much better 20% K% (SSS). He also has another HR in that period of time that wasn't last night.
I'm seeing improvement, and that's the goal. It seems like putting Springer in Lancaster wasn't too aggressive after-all.
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Hero of the Game: G Dobbs .359
Goat of the Game: E Mujica -.451
Play of the Game: Greg Dobbs singled to right. Emilio Bonifacio scored.
Friday night started nicely for the Fish. After a quick top of the first, Jose Reyes led off the bottom of the inning with a triple to right center field. Omar Infante was able to drive him in with a bloop single to left. After a Hanley Ramirez strikeout, Austin Kearns took one deep to the Clevelander and made the score 3-0 before the inning would end.
The score remained the same until the top of the fifth. After a Scott Hairston strike out, Ike Davis hit a shot to deep right to make the score 3-1 with his solo home run. Buehrle would surrender a walk (his first of the game), but would get out of the inning without further incident.
In the top of the seventh, Davis grounded out before Ronny Cedeno would line one over Buehrle's head for a one-out single. Mike Nickeas then sent one to the left center gap. It bounced off the wall and Cedeno would easily score. That made the score 3-2 with Nickeas in scoring position at second. Buehrle drew a visit from the dugout but was able to get Justin Turner to fly out to left on the first pitch. With two out, Andres Torres drew a walk on a full count and Buehrle was lifted for Randy Choate to face Daniel Murphy. Choate would get the Fish out of the inning by striking out Murphy.
The Mets kept chiziling away in the eighth. David Wright would lead off the inning with a double off Mujica that hit the right field line. Lucas Duda would follow with a ground out to second, but was able to move Wright to third base with only one out. Kirk Nieuwenhuis then ripped a double down the right field line and tied the game 3-3. The Fish then decided to walk Davis and set up the double play. Cedeno would come to the plate and work a full count before drawing a walk from Mujica, loading the bases.
Ozzie had seen enough and got Webb from the pen to relieve Mujica. Baxter came in to pinch hit and hit a double into left center that easily scored two runs to give to Mets a 5-3 lead. Rob Johnson would then get a shot at Webb but would strike out swinging to give the Mets their second out of the inning. Next up was Torres with runners on second and third. Torres worked the count full and drew a walk to bring up Murphy with the bags juiced. Webb would get Murphy to ground out and end the disastrous half-inning.
Greg Dobbs led off the bottom of the eight with a pinch hit appearance but would line out quickly to left field. Up next was Reyes who was able to reach on an error by Davis when the ball bounced off his glove. Infante, the next better, was able to drive home another run when he sent one in the gap in right center. Reyes would score while Infante rolled in with a double making the score 5-4. Hanley followed the action but would fly out quickly. Tim Byrdak was then brought in to face the left hander Logan Morrison. Lomo worked the count full but struck out swinging, leaving the tying run at second.
Heath Bell came in for the ninth and worked a quick, impressive 1-2-3 to retire the Mets. During the bottom of the inning, Frank Francisco came in to attempt his ninth save in ten attempts. Suprisingly, only blowing one save, Fransisco was sporting a 5.54 ERA and allowing a opponent batting average of .228. Stanton would lead off the inning and quickly fell behind 0-2, but was able to hit a ground ball through the infield so hard, it ended up at the outfield wall, and Stanton ended up at second base. Gaby followed Stanton would a deep fly ball to center, and Stanton would tag up and get to third base without much trouble. Bonifacio was up next with the tying run 90 feet away and only one out. Boni had been struggling with RISP but delivered with a sharp ground ball that found its way into right field, scoring Stanton, and tying the ball game at 5-5.
John Buck then came to plate with the winning run at first, and one out. After a few pitches, Boni stole yet another base and put himself in scoring position. Buck worked the count full before watching himself strike out. Now it was up to Dobbs with two outs and the winning run at second. Dobbs wasted no time. On his first pitch Dobbs send a soft liner to right center. It nestled in, and Boni scored the go ahead run, giving the Marlins the walk-off win!!!
Well, the big topic of this past week has simply been pitchers plunking batters. Cole Hamels plunking Bryce Harper on purpose, Jordan Zimmermann plunking Cole Hamels. Down in Houston, we saw Wilton Lopez plunking Hanley Ramirez and then attempted to subtly mock him on this way back to the dugout. Even in Braves country we saw things getting a little testy with the Cubs when Tommy Hanson plunked Reed Johnson, Jeff Samardzija plunked Jason Heyward, and Eric O'Flaherty plunked David DeJesus.
The eye test spontaneously leads to believe that there have been a lot more plunkings going on this year, or rather the ones we're seeing that are questionable to whether they're deliberate, retaliatory or completely accidental. The bottom line is that we've been seeing a whole lot more plunking going on this year than what may seem normal. However, looking at the numbers, at the time I'm writing this, the National League has had approximately 130 HBPs since the start of the season. Seems like a lot, doesn't it?
In April/March 2011, the National League committed 126 HBPs alone. And then 134 in May. Ouch. Turns out that regardless of the ones that may seem intentional, it appears that the control of pitching in 2012 is vastly superior than it was a year ago.
But anyway, I got nothing else. This weekend is nothing but a hurdle for me to traverse while I wait for next weekend, when I get to do some cool stuff. But at least there's a Brian McCann bobblehead and Julio Teheran pitching in Gwinnett in it for me tonight, since I have DISH Network, and don't get Peachtree TV, meaning I can't watch the Atlanta Braves game in St. Louis. Welcome back to the basement.
"I was trying to hit him," the Philadelphia lefty said. "I'm not going to deny it."
A lot of it has to do with typical rookie "welcoming," some of it trying to bring him back to earth for being who he is, and some probably has to do with the fact that the Nationals took the first two games of the series with the Phillies, before Hamels got the ball. Either way, at the time of this being written, suspension is only theoretical.
Yep, suspended for five games - Phillies Nation
Naturally this means at the very worst nothing really happens except that Hamels might "have to" rest an extra day.
Jim Leyland thinks he should've been suspended way more - Crossing Broad
"I think five games is way too light," Leyland said. "Personally, if I was making that vote, it would be a 15-game suspension — at least.
Pretty much anything pertaining to Jim Leyland, now that's old school.
Charlie Manuel wishes Hamels weren't so honest about it - High Cheese
"What I saw was the next time up Hamels came up to bat they definitely retaliated, he got hit on the calf, and he could have got hurt. If the guy would have hit him hard on the bone part of his leg, that could have hurt. . .I like to think it was dropped right there and the rest of it will be done baseball wise."
In other words, if it were accidental, the matter is a done deal with the one retaliatory plunk, but with Hamels coming out and saying it was deliberate, it could lead to business being unfinished.
Twitter fight!!! - Crossing Broad
Former player, Morgan Ensberg decided to tweet out his disdain for Cole Hamels actions. Former teammate of Ensberg, current teammate of Cole Hamels, Chad Qualls does his best justin impression and rides in on his virtual white horse. And there are no winners but the spectators.
Obviously, Phillies fans still made it into Nationals Park - NY Times
Well duh. It's kind of impossible to keep every single Phillies fan out of the park, when there's money to be made. But the point is kind of missed here - the weekend was moderately successful for the Nationals, as the overall sentiment throughout the weekend was that despite the best efforts of visitors, Nationals fans successfully outnumbered Phillies visitors in all three games. Regardless, if I could get on a soap box for a sec, I don't think Phillies fans quite understand how ugly it looks with these so-called invasions. The Yankees draw busloads of New Yorkers into Baltimore when playing the O's, and although it's acknowledged, it rarely makes the mainstream like this does. During the NFL season, Eagles fans often march into Baltimore or Washington when they play the Ravens or Redskins, and it doesn't make this kind of news. There's something about declaring invasion and giving off the impression that the mission is to ruin the time of the locals and little else, that lots of Phillies fans don't seem to see, is looking really bad.
This guy gets it - Crashburn Alley
And, in case you haven’t checked the trendlines recently, the time to show grace in victory may be running out.
Although I disagree with this notion; it's probably out of time, and probably when people started declaring Washington "CBP South." Locals don't seem to like it when outsiders claim their land.
Non HBPgate/Ballgate or whatever you want to call it stories:
Blue Jays put trade feelers out for Cole Hamels and Shane Victorino - Beerleaguer
With the Phillies currently in last place, the Blue Jays have decided to take the initiative and put their feelers out to gauge some interest if the Phillies were to rent out Cole Hamels and/or Shane Victorino, both of whom are eligible free agents after the 2012 season. Interestingly enough, there has been no cliched mentions of Ruben Amaro laughing at anyone, or hanging up any phones on anyone, either.
How many injuries is it going to take before the Phillies essentially have to forfeit a game or two? - Phillies Zone
Now these aren't dire injuries so much as a lot of precautionary aches and pains, but I actually don't like hearing about these. This all kind of sets up for an amazing Phillies second-half comeback, where they go bonkers in September, and take the division again or something. And this just sets the stage for Phillies fans to gloat about how crappy they were in May.
After getting swept by the Mets at home lol, Charlie Manuel prompts closed-door meeting - CSN Philly
None of us probably has to really think too hard about what this was all about.
Jonathan Papelbon by the book - Phillies Zone
You know the funny thing is that this kind of behavior is exactly how Fredi Gonzalez is utilizing Craig Kimbrel, and to some extent, Jonny Venters, too. The only difference is that the Braves offense has been a little bit better at regaining leads and creating save situations for Kimbrel and Venters to get use, than the Phillies have been so far.
Nationals GM Mike Rizzo livid at Cole Hamels' intentional plunk, calls him all sorts of things - Nationals Journal
"Fake tough," "gutless," and look at that, another organization not the Braves throwing the "class" card at the Phillies. Anger aside, he wants Hamels to face suspension and other things said out of anger.
Then gets fined by MLB for being too candid - Nats Insider
In a way, it's kind of a good thing that Rizzo did it, especially before Harper could have a chance to open his mouth. It's like he set the precedent of saying a whole bunch of dumb and emotionally charged things, and took it all away from Harper, giving him no other choice but to be calm and mature about it. The fine is an undisclosed amount.
THE TRUTH REVEALED; It was Bryce Harper's beard that caused the beaning - The Bog
I wish that headline were more fictional than it actually is, but there are apparently some behavioral anthropologists or something that honestly think Cole Hamels was influenced by Bryce Harper's chin scruff or whatever facial hair he had on Sunday which unconcsiously cause him to bean him on purpose.
"[I'm not mad] at all," Harper said. "He is a great guy, great pitcher, he knows how to pitch, he is an All-Star.
Smart move. Regardless of being the innocent party, nothing good comes out of verbally declaring REVENGEEEE while you're still the wet-behind-the-ears rookie that everyone wants to see fail.
Bryce Harper also took home too - Nats Enquirer
Lost in the HBPgate is the fact that ultimately, Bryce Harper got the last laugh when not only did he score after getting put on base, he did it in the most incredulous manner there really is; stealing home.
Boswell seems to think that getting plunked is going to make Harper make the Phillies his Mets like he were Chipper Jones - WaPo
As nice as a thought that would be, come on through, it's been like what, eleven games?
Charlie Manuel doesn't believe that Jordan Zimmermann's beaning of Hamels wasn't intentional - Nationals Journal
Hard to say, Zimmermann says it wasn't, and when he nailed Hamels, it was in the leg, while he was trying to bunt, while the Nationals were already down. Retaliatory HBPing isn't ever a good idea when you're the team that's down, and I'd imagine Jordan Zimmermann is smart enough to know that, regardless of what Cholly thinks.
Jayson Werth breaks his left wrist - Nats Insider
Also lost in HBPgate is that Jayson Werth broke his left wrist, trying to make a sliding catch in Sunday's game. After having successful surgery, he'll likely be out for at least three months.
Phillies fans cheer for and taunt Werth injury, pisses him off - Nationals Journal
Look, I may root and cheer against the opposition, but I don't really want to see anyone get hurt. But apparently, there were a lot of Phillies fans in D.C. that were cheering and taunting for Werth after he had to be removed from the game from what ended up being the broken wrist. Needless to say, he wasn't happy about it:
"After walking off the field feeling nauseous knowing my wrist was broke and hearing Philly fans yelling ‘You deserve it,’ and, ‘That’s what you get,’ I am motivated to get back quickly and see to it personally those people never walk down Broad Street in celebration again,"
Non HBPgate/Ballgate or whatever you want to call it stories:
Werth injury will not prompt team to seek outfield reinforcements - Nationals Journal
It's funny, because Bryce Harper was called up to fill a void in the outfield from the performances of Roger Bernadina and Xavier Nady. But with Werth out for the next few months, Bryce Harper will take right field, vacating, a void in left field which would be filled by Roger Bernadina and Xavier Nady. The team has no plans to find anyone else.
Except there's discussion about the Nationals eyeing Angels' Peter Bourjos - MASN
It makes sense though, since the Angels have a surplus of outfielders now that Mike Trout is up, and the heavy contracts of Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells are weighing down the corners.
Bryce Harper botches outfield throw, Davey Johnson throws vets under the bus - Nationals Journal
Harper airmails a throw that obviously can't catch the speedy Jose Tabata instead of hitting the cutoff man. The result of the action is that Andrew McCutchen advances to second on the single. Naturally, McCutchen ends up scoring on another base hit, but wouldn't have been the case had he remained at first. Maybe it's because Adam LaRoche doesn't factor to be on the team next year, and possibly the same for Jesus Flores, but Davey Johnson has no qualms with placing the blame on them over Harper.
Former Braves closer Mike Gonzalez signs minor league deal with Nationals - MASN
I want to make a remark about how he'd be writhing and gyrating on the mound for Harrisburg or Syracuse, but I remember he seemed to have dropped such habits like he dropped the Braves a few years ago. Last seen giving up a moonshot to Albert Pujols in the 2011 World Series, I'm still positive that Gonzo will yield better results for the Nats than Chad Durbin is doing for the Braves.
Chien-Ming Wang's rehab still being milked, next stop, Syracuse - Nationals Journal
I can't remember the specific amount of time a player is allowed to be on a rehab tour, but whatever it is, expect the Nationals to milk it to its very last second with Wang.
Despite Ozzie's endorsement, Heath Bell no longer Marlins' closer - Palm Beach Post
Word to the wise, if Ozzie Guillen even talks about you, you're probably under scrutiny, in some way of form. So when he said he was sticking with Bell, it clearly meant "until he blows one more save, and then that m*********** is out."
To no surprise, Bell is being a good sport about it - Fish Bytes
Obviously not happy, Heath Bell is accepting of his fate. He wants his job back, and he'll do whatever it takes to get it:
If he pitches me the first inning, second inning, ninth inning, it doesn't matter. When Ozzie puts me out there to pitch I'm going to go out there and shove it up whoever I'm facing. That's pretty much it.
Is Carlos Zambrano truly back? - Fish Stripes
If you're fans of stats like FIP and SIERA, such results indicate that Big-Z is indeed on pace for a productive season. Zambrano attributes it to rekindling his faith while suspended for most of last season. Seems to work for lots of pro athletes.
Marlins have their best road trip ever - Fish Bytes
Don't look now, but the Marlins just completed an 8-1 road trip, which is the best in franchise history. Also remember, the Marlins won just four games last May. Four.
Hanley Ramirez's transition surprising lots of his critics - Sun Sentinel
In his first 30 games at the hot corner, HanRam has only committed one error out of 71 chances. Now most of us here agree that fielding percentage isn't that important, but I would have bet on a harder transition than this has been.
Marlin antics already getting under the skin of some other teams - Marlins Diehards
If you haven't been paying attention, whenever a Marlin player does something good, they do this motion with their fingers, making a V with their index and middle fingers, and putting it across their eyes, like Uma Thurman dancing in Pulp Fiction or the Bat-Tussi from the 60's Batman show. "Lo viste" is what it symbolizes or rather "did you see that?" As if the Marlins need their own HBPgate, the Astros' Wilton Lopez plunks HanRam, and on his way out, gives the lo viste motion to him, kind of indicating that his actions were deliberate. Oooooo....
Four damn inches - Fish Bytes
That's it. Giancarlo's hands are back four more inches, and then bam, he's hitting moon shots all over the place again. That's all it took. Four damn inches.
Well that was a quick call up - Palm Beach Post
Bryan Petersen and Dan Jennings barely had time to take a sip of their respective coffees before they were sent back to AAA. Due to some pitching woes, Chris Hatcher and Sandy Rosario were called back up.
You guys thought "BARVES" were bad? - Marlins Diehards
Apparently a team in the Mexican winter leagues doesn't really put much effort into lifting an existing MLB identity, but the difference is that these are full on jerseys and hats, and not just some hipster-generated t-shirts.
Brett Hayes has a scary near-encounter with a dangerous criminal - Fish Bytes
Honestly, I don't know what I'd do if I were in Brett Hayes' shoes; basically a gunman that was being pursued by the police ran past Brett Hayes and his wife while they were stopped in traffic. If the police weren't so close in pursuit, who knows what could have happened?
Mets sweep Phillies in Philadelphia for the first time since 2006 - NY Times
I actually wanted the Mets to lose that last game, because it seems like they're a little too close to the top for comfort. But I won't deny that it's always pleasing to see the Phillies losing, regardless of the circumstances either.
Ruben Tejada put on DL for strained quad - Amazin' Avenue
While running to first base, Ruben Tejada took a nasty spill, and ended up straining his quad, as well as banged his eye. Despite being sent down less than two days prior, the Mets recall Jordany Valdespin.
Who promptly hits a game-winning, pinch-hit, mythical three-run homer off of Jonathan Papelbon - MetsBlog
Naturally, the "in" thing now is to take anything that ends, or conveniently contains the letters "IN" and immediately slap "SANITY" onto it.
Andres Torres credits switching to lighter bat for improved numbers - NY Daily News
Apparently the Mets' philosophy sounds completely unique from everyone else's:
being willing to take a base on balls, being willing to work a count, being disciplined and patient enough to get a pitch that you can handle
What is it about Phillies players and running over catchers? - NY Post
Off the top of my head, I remember when Shane Victorino bowled over Brian McCann, resulting in a concussion. And another instance where Chase Utley bowled over Jesus Flores, and broke his ankle. Jose Thole may or may not have a concussion after getting bowled over by Ty Wigginton. Yep, confirmed, concussion, DL'd.
Jason Bay Confounds - and Always Has - Amazin' Avenue
A pretty good read about the history of Jason Bay, and his ups and downs, and a small reminder that as much as people like to criticize his contract and his statistical production, he's kind of a gentleman about it all.
Johan Santana gets his first win of the season - NY Daily News
Sure, it only took an entire month for this to happen, but it's a bigger deal when it also happens to be the first win, in just about two years.
The Apple's David Wright Photoshop Contest - The Apple
I love Photoshop contests. It's a good reprieve from some of the dregs I work on in my day job. And it's always fun to see what ideas spawn in the heads of others. And then compare them to my own ideas.