One of the better developments of the early season has been the return of The Fightins. It’s a great Phillies blog that had gone on hiatus for a while. I missed them because they are one of the few Phillies voices out there that doesn’t obsess about how the world views Philly. Rather, they actually, you know, seem to have a lot of fun watching a great baseball team and don’t cry if someone disrespects the blog’s namesake. What a concept.
Oh, and then they do stuff like unleash The Elusive Citizens Bank Park Dumpster Hippie. Which is pretty much what it sounds like. And be sure to read the second comment.
In other news, the Braves head to Philly for a big series this weekend. If Atlanta is going to at least try to make a race of it it’s pretty important that they do well. If you’re looking for a nice preview of it, you can start at Crashburn Alley, who talks to Braves blogger Peter Hjort about the series.
My personal view: life is always better when the Bravos miss Roy Halladay. Life is always worse when they face Cole Hamels. It’s not like there are a lot of good options in matching up, however. That said, I like the way Atlanta is playing right now a hell of a lot better than they were the last time these two met.
Jon Heyman reports that the Cardinals do not plan to exercise Matt Holliday‘s $17 million option for 2017.
And, not surprisingly, will not extend him a similarly priced qualifying offer, either.
Holliday will be 37 when spring training begins and he is finishing his worst season as a major leaguer, having hit .242/.318/.450 with 19 homers over 424 plate appearances.
Injuries have not helped him — he’s missed the last six weeks with a fractured thumb — but it’s not like guys het healthier the older they get. Holliday will likely be looking at a massive pay cut for next year and a competition to make an Opening Day roster.
The Blue Jays are poised to make the playoffs for the second year in a row and are playing a critical series with the Orioles, the outcome of which will likely determine who gets to play at home for that one-and-done game next week. Big stakes! Must keep focused!
Or, alternatively, maybe it’s time to have a silly, juvenile feud with the press. Here’s Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun, asking why the Jays are doing stuff like this while fighting for the playoffs:
Why, for example, would the leaders on the team allow someone to put up on a wall photos of two Toronto sports writers with an ‘X’ scratched on their face and the a message written on top reading, ‘Do not grant them interviews’ (or words to that effect)? . . . Things like: Someone cranking up the music just when the media arrives to conduct pre-game interviews.
Not that the Jays have been treated wonderfully by the press themselves:
There was an incident the other night when a couple of journalists tried to corral struggling closer Roberto Osuna for an interview, but he kept blowing them off. Finally, one reporter followed him right into a private part of the clubhouse and told him off.
That’s . . . not what you’re supposed to do.
Still, there is zero point to get into silly feuds with the media. If they overstep their bounds, there are a TON of Jays officials and, I suspect, newspaper editors, who will quickly and eagerly discipline the reporter. You don’t have to make wanted posters and act like children. Partially because it’s just a bad look. But also, because it leads to news stories about it like the one in the Toronto Sun.