Strange Bedfellows In NL East
By Seth Everett
The Phillies haven’t played in a little under 3 days. As they get set to battle the upstart Arizona Diamondbacks, the teams they battle an average of 19 times a year have had some of the most bizarre controversies in baseball. The Mets, Nationals, & most recently, the Florida Marlins are involved in some really dark times.
The Mets biggest obstacle is their ownership. The Wilpons are good people, and despite my professional relationship with them, I do not blame them for their involvement in the Bernie Madoff scandal. However, their finances have come under great scrutiny, and for a New York team to be in serious financial trouble, does not bode well for them as a competitor.
The Nationals believe they are on the rise. They do have Stephen Strasberg coming back from Tommy John surgery. I hope they do not bring him up to the big leagues until Spring Training 2012, but I have a feeling they will rush him. Their big controversy took place a month ago when their manager Jim Riggleman walked out on the club because they wouldn’t renegotiate his contract. They then offered the ancient Davey Johnson a multi-year deal. They also have the #1 minor league prospect Bryce Harper, who happens to be an arrogant young man. Throw in Jayson Werth, and it’s easy not to like the Nationals.
Then there are the Marlins. A team moving into a new ballpark in 2012, the Marlins need a new manager after even more ancient Jack McKeon goes back into retirement. Then, there’s the latest controversy involving Logan Morrison. Morrison is a young player who is 2nd on the team in HR (17) & 3rd on the team in RBI (60). He’d been struggling, but after taking the advice of Wes Helms, the teams union representative, he ticked off the Marlins management for skipping a meet-and greet with season ticket holders.
Marlins season ticket holders? Is that like 5 people? That night, the Marlins sent Morrison to AAA, and released Helms. Many believe they did it because Morrison is an avid Twitter person (@LoMoMarlins) & he has been quite outspoken. To send him down because of this is downright ridiculous. The MLBPA is looking into this, and I for one hope they file a grievance against the Marlins.
This is a team that has Hanley Ramirez, one of the laziest players in the league. Ramirez has had run-ins with formers managers, and he’s still on the team. But the hard-working Morrison is sent down because of Twitter and missing a meeting? The Marlins have just crossed the line into absurdity.
The Phillies can just keep on cruising’ with their best record into another division crown. Not that it takes anything away, but let’s face it, the teams in the NL East have a long way to go just to get to respectability.