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Mid-Morning Reading

I believe it was Tony Soprano who said, "I think it's time for you to start to seriously consider salads." That advice was for Bobby Baccalieri, but it could be the same for Oliver Perez. The Mets are in a tizzy because Perez came back from the WBC in less than great shape and had a bad, bad outing on Wednesday. The Mets' lineup Wednesday closely resembled their projected Opening Day lineup (minus David Wright), and Brian Schneider returned from his calf strain.

David Murphy's projected rotation for the start of the Phillies' season has Joe Blanton pitching on April 13 in the Nats' home opener. I know, about one million things can happen to change that, but still fun...

Jeff Moorad is taking over today as Padres' CEO; Sandy Alderson is stepping down.

The combination of the bad economy -- which is worse in southern Michigan than just about anywhere in the country -- coupled with what we'll generously refer to as a poor performance in 2008 has cost the Tigers 12,000 season ticket holders, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Sir Sidney Ponson could earn a spot in the Royals' rotation. Sure, that's not like earning a spot in the Red Sox's rotation but still... he's Sidney Ponson.

The Rays send down David Price.

Finally, former Nats front office employee and -- more to the point -- Reds major leaguer Barry Larkin (University of Michigan) was among 10 players elected to the College Baseball Hall of Fame. Branch Rickey was elected, as was Rafael Palmeiro, who famously wagged his finger at Congress.

By Tracee Hamilton  |  March 26, 2009; 10:21 AM ET
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That was one of my favorite lines from the Soprano's. Thanks for the reminder and the morning laughter.

Being a former Reds fan, Barry Larkin was one of my all-time favorites. Congrats to him, he deserves it, he was a class act.

Posted by: Section505203 | March 26, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

The guy is still alive so, maybe that should be "is" a class act. Sorry Barry.

Posted by: Section505203 | March 26, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for that smorgasbord of baseball news. After reading about Detroit's drop in season tickets, I fear the Nats will be seeing a big drop as well, and they start with a lower base than Detroit.

Posted by: Natsgal | March 26, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Tracee.

Tony Soprano. Gotta love it. A random Bobby quote: "You know, Quasimodo predicted all this."

Attaboy, Barry!

An additional reading item would be the Adam Dunn SI story that had been mentioned at one point (last week?). It's now available on the SI site:

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 26, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

[carrying forward]

... no game today, so I thought I'd prognosticate a bit. I'm doing this in spite of my mother's long-ago admonition that I should not "wish my life away”. But I feel vindicated in doing it since a bishop once called me a ‘prophet’ so it would be rather selfish of me if I didn’t share the future.

... I have no reason to suggest the following except my own intuition, no finely honed expert reading of today’s promises or the future’s tea leaves. Simply a sense of what fate and fairness will bring to bear on the fortunes of the Nats. Or to put it another way - progress this year ... greater success next.

... so as not to keep you in suspense until next September first, here are the National League East standings as of that date. (The race to the flag could change everything):

Florida Marlins --
(improved pen; solid bats and field)
Philadelphia Phillies 0.5
(could repeat but already celebrated their victory)
New York Mets 3.5
(far too many hits and losses to roster)
Washington Nationals 8.5
(why not??)
Atlanta Braves 10.5
(Cox is getting old in the tooth; poor lineup; Kamakazi & Lowe not enough)

Posted by: natscanreduxit | March 26, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

"David Murphy's projected rotation for the start of the Phillies' season has Joe Blanton pitching on April 13 in the Nats' home opener."

Unfortunately, the Nats' projected four-man rotation has #3 starter Daniel Cabrera pitching in the home opener. (As well as in the second game of my 21-game plan. Gaaahhhh!) If Barack chooses not to come to the opener, that well may be why. After all, even though he's the prez it would be bad form for him to throw better that day than the home team's starter, wouldn't it?

Posted by: spamcastin | March 26, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Chances are Barack will get the ball closer to the strike zone than Cabrera will.

Posted by: dclifer | March 26, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Could MLB maybe force Jimmy Rollins to step in against Barack for the first pitch, so as to get one strike on him and level the playing field a bit before Cabrera takes the mound?

Posted by: spamcastin | March 26, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Tracee/Chico, can we get an update on A.Hernandez and his hamstring strain? Thx.

Posted by: FloresFan | March 26, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Barack is what, 6' 4", 6' 5"? I'd imagine he could get a good tilt on his delivery and throw a nice fastball. Thin, whip like action on his arm. More of an athlete than Cabrera due to his hoops routine. I think we may be on to something here.

505203 would say every delivery tilts to the left and far outside, but others might think he is too timid and aiming for the center.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | March 26, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Do we really want to go there?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 26, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

JRoll might be moved to take a hack at it -- imagine the bragging rights. OTOH, Bill Veeck said he told Eddie Gaedel there was a sharpshooter in the scoreboard who would blow Gaedel's head off if he even LOOKED like he was going to swing at a pitch, and any catcher would be remiss if he didn't warn the hitter of the possibility, probably during the windup.
"You do know he can have you killed, right?"

Leno asked Obama the other night if he thought people let him win at basketball now, and he answered no, he didn't think so, but he has wondered about the subliminal effect of having armed Secret Service agents at courtside.

Posted by: CEvansJr | March 26, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse


Nice observation on the new President and his possible delivery. Also, nice job on the subtle work in of politics.

I would say Barack Obama's delivery would be very far outside and to the left, being that he is a lefthanded, with a slight French step on his plant foot.

George W. Bush, who is righthanded, would be so far outside he would actually be a "submariner" if you will, which would be appropriate for his love of war.

See, I can use humor for both sides of the aisle. We Republicans do have a sense of humor, you know.

Posted by: Section505203 | March 26, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

505203 - Great! I only mention you because you seem to have a sense of humor when this comes up.

In fairness to W, he threw a strike in the '01 World Series, the only first pitch that mattered. Even more than opening Nats Park.

Also, the article in Monday's Post about left handers was interesting. Apparently, almost all of the recent Presidents have been southpaws, including Reagan.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | March 26, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

jca-CrystalCity wrote:
Barack is what, 6' 4", 6' 5"?

Try 6'1" 1/2.

Posted by: dabagley | March 26, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

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