HBT Weekend Wrapup

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Stuff you missed while contemplating a move to the desert southwest:

  • I previewed the upcoming BBWAA Awards. Even made a few predictions: For ROY I like Jeter. AL MVP: Jeter. I also like Jeter for NL MVP, CY Youngs in both leagues and AL Manager of the Year. For NL Manager of the Year, I like Ditka.
  • Sandy Alderson’s father was killed. Served in WWII and Korea and lived 87 years on this terrible Earth, only to be cut down by a 21 year-old driver. Man, I don’t understand the cosmos sometimes.
  • Terry Collins had a DUI in 2002. I love how this was put out by pro-Backman people. They desperately want to believe that people don’t prefer Backman for the job due to his personal issues from ten years ago. At some point I hope they realize that the biggest problem is that “an old video started circulating last summer of you throwing bats around and acting like an ass at a low-A ballgame” is not a key qualification for a major league manager’s job.
  • The Indians are cutting payroll for 2011. I enjoyed the couple of visits I made to the Tribe Social Deck last season. I mean, it was great being invited by the team to sit and watch the team for free and be encouraged to blog about it. But I’m probably going to decline if invited next year. Not because it’s not cool, but because I’ll likely be able to get better seats even cheaper by just hanging around the ballpark before games.
  • Finally, I get that it’s a crime to have drugs sent to you in the mail, but I always wondered about how merely signing for the package is enough to get you busted. I get random stuff sent to me fairly often. Books people want me to promote, t-shirts, various pieces of gear I wasn’t expecting from NBC for my little basement studio. I’m not suggesting anyone do this, but if someone were to just ship me a kilo of coke without my knowledge and I were to sign for it, would I be in deep doo-doo? Isn’t the crime complete in such instances when the order is placed? And if the cops know the order is placed — like they did with Jose Guillen’s wife — why can’t they just make the arrest before the shipment arrives?

As for today, I know you couldn’t freakin’ wait, but the Best and Worst Uniforms of All Time resumes at 11 AM, picking up with the AL Central. There will be Chief Wahoo rage at around 3PM or so. Just thought I’d warn you ahead of time.

Noah Syndergaard scratched with a “tired arm”

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Mets manager Terry Collins says that he has scratched Noah Syndergaard, who was supposed to start this afternoon’s game against the Braves. In his place will go Matt Harvey.

Syndergaard, Collins says, has “tired arm.” But also says he has some discomfort in his right biceps. He will have an MRI, but Syndergaard says it’s not serious and that he could pitch as soon as Sunday. Collins says this is an abundance-of-caution type thing, saying “we can’t take a chance on this guy.” Which is true.

The Mets ace is 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 26 innings. He has walked no one this year. Not a soul.

James Paxton has a fantastic new nickname

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James Paxton of the Mariners is 3-0 with a 1.39 ERA, 39 strikeouts and only six walks in 32.1 innings of work over five starts. Last night he shut the Tigers down, tossing seven shutout innings, striking out nine and allowing only four hits. With Felix Hernandez looking less than king-like lately, Paxton is asserting himself as the new ace of the Seattle staff.

And now the tall Canadian native has a nickname to match his ace-like status:

“Pax was really outstanding and we certainly needed it,” manager Scott Servais said of the Canadian southpaw. “Big Maple is what he was nicknamed tonight and I kind of like that. He was awesome.”

“Big Maple” is a fantastic nickname. That’s the sort of nickname guys used to get back when nicknames were great. Before managers just put “y” at the end of dudes’ names and before the “First Initial-First Three Letters of The Last Name” convention took hold in the wake of A-Rod.

“Big Maple.” That makes me smile. I’m gonna be smiling all dang day because of that.