Welcome to This Week in Schadenfreude, a new feature here at Phillies Nation where we explore why, no matter what kind of week the Phillies are having, it’s better to root for them than to support the other four teams in the National League East.
It might seem like piling on, but the Marlins’ winningest manager of all time is Fredi Gonzalez. Gonzalez seems like a tactically astute manager who has gotten a lot from a young team these past three seasons and change. But Gonzalez seems intent on running shortstop Hanley Ramirez out of town, first by making him cut his dreads, and now by benching him for not running down a ball he booted. Instead of having his best player in the lineup, Fredo would rather trot out an injured Brian Barden for eight innings. Yes, it’s important to keep your players, even your stars, hungry and disciplined. Now Han-Ram in the process of quitting on his manager, who has made it quite clear that he’s willing to put his players’ health at risk to institute Marine Corps discipline.
Just know, Marlins fans, that Miami is not big enough for the two of them. Han-Ram is the best player in the game not named Pujols, and if this pissing contest with Fredo continues, I bet only one of them is around for the long term. Now batting for the 2013 New York Yankees….
We Philly fans know what it’s like when your teams are constantly upstaging each other. The Phillies trade for Roy Halladay during Eagles season, then the Eagles trade Donovan McNabb the night before Opening Day for the Phils. The Nats are having a good (if not sustainable) season, hovering around .500 and in third place, with the shadows of Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper looming on the horizon. Now that the Caps are out of the playoffs, they might get some attention.
Then, Tuesday night, the Wizards won the draft lottery, entitling them to select John Wall, Tamer of Horses and Destroyer of Worlds, with the first pick in the NBA draft. Suddenly, the Nats are once again the fourth-most important team in the town, and by the time anyone remembers they exist, they’ll be back in the cellar. Poor guys.
If a tree climbs out of last place in the division, and no one’s around to hear it, does it make a sound? It sucks to be a Braves fan because this team, of whom many (including me) expected much this offseason, is so far doing its best to make sure Bobby Cox leaves and never wants to come back. Or at least, it would suck if there were any Braves fans. The Atlanta Braves are like a public service, a way to kill time until UGA football starts up again, something to listen to on the radio while The Bull at 94.9 is on commercial and Jean Shorts Nation is heading to the store for Natty Light and dip.
New York Mets
(cracks knuckles) Where to begin? Well, at least they’ve gotten their precipitous fall from first place out of the way early this year. After the Phillies regained top spot in the division, the Mets have been in a tailspin and have dropped nine of their last 11 games, all but one of which was against a division opponent.
But right now, the Mets are doing less with more than perhaps any other team in baseball. They’re paying more than twice as much per win as the Nats and nearly three times as much per win as the Rays. The worst part is that the team is run by a manager, Jerry Manuel, and a GM, Omar Minaya, who seem to neither have the inclination to turn matters around nor the ability to do so if they wanted to. No one’s mismanaged this much money this badly since the Greek government under George Papandreou, amirite?
Oh, and Rod Barajas is leading the team in home runs. I wonder if LeBron can play second base….