New York Mets v Washington Nationals - Game One

The Mets totally shellack the Nats in the first game of today’s double header


I don’t guess one game of a doubleheader is usually that notable, but since it was the only day game today the Mets-Nats affair got my attention. And even if it hadn’t beforehand, man, it would have after it got going.

The Mets demolished the Nationals 11-0. Jenrry Mejia got the start for New York and tossed seven shutout innings, striking out seven. Daniel Murphy was a one-man wrecking crew, going 4 for 5 with two homers.  Ike Davis even got in on the act, hitting a three-run homer long after the game was decided.

About that Davis homer: it came off Drew Storen. And why Storen was pitching in the first place is a mystery.  He came down with the flu overnight, and before the game Davey Johnson said that it was most likely that Storen would be unavailable for the day “unless he has a dramatic recovery.” But there he was in the ninth, coming in a game with runners on base. He gave up an RBI single to David Wright on his first pitch. An RBI double on his third pitch. The homer to Davis on his fourth. Davey basically made him wear this one.

Not everyone was happy with it. One of the unhappy ones: Drew Storen’s dad:

I gave half a thought to the Nationals maybe bouncing back after yesterday’s walkoff win. But baseball doesn’t work that way. And the hot, sticky mess that is their 2013 season continues.

Marlins granted permission to interview Larry Bowa

Larry Bowa
Leave a comment

The Miami Marlins, despite not having technically fired Dan Jennings, are actively interviewing for a new manager. Their latest target is a familiar name: Larry Bowa.

Jim Salisbury of reports on the coaching staff shakeup with the Phillies and, in the course of it, notes that the Marlins have asked and have been granted permission to interview Bowa, who is currently the Phillies’ bench coach. He has been offered a contract for 2016 by the Phillies, but he has never made a secret of his desire to manage again and has interviewed a few times over the years. Bowa, of course, managed the Padres in 1987 and 1988 and managed the Phillies from 2001 into the 2004 season.

As recently as a year ago it seemed unlikely that Bowa would get another look for a top job anyplace, what with baseball’s seeming eschewing of the crusty and feisty old managerial types in favor of young, inexperienced managers who had just recently retired from playing. But given how poorly that’s gone for most clubs — the Marlins included with Mike Redmond — this could be a winter in which we see a bunch of those old salty types returning.

Champagne after a loss? Why not?

Astros Wild Card

There was some hockey person last week arguing about how it was silly or untoward for baseball teams to celebrate clinching wild cards or other, less-than-championship-level accomplishments. Calling it bush league or lacking in act-like-you’ve-been-thereness or what have you. I can only imagine what he’d say about the Astros celebrating with champagne following (a) winning a wild card; and (b) losing the game which immediately preceded the celebration.

But screw him. Seriously.

I used to think that way. Indeed, if you search the HBT archives I’m sure there’s a post or two in which I disapprove of teams engaging in multiple champagne celebrations. But I was wrong about that and I’ve changed my mind on the matter over the past year or too. And on some other matters as well, all for the same reason: athletes are people just like us, not some avatars for our machismo and our fantasies. They’re people who have spent their entire lives devoted to their calling and do it under a lot of pressure and in the face of a lot of criticism and expectations from others. Why on Earth would anyone deny them their happiness upon the realization of an accomplishment?

This is even more true if you’re one of those misguided souls who erroneously believe that sports actually is separate from real life and believe them to be supremely and impossibly important. Even if you’re right — and you’re not — wouldn’t that give the athletes an even greater incentive to celebrate accomplishments? Funny how those people who who act as if sports is life and death would deny athletes their joy for defying death, as it were.

My view on the matter now is that if a guy hits a homer he should be able to celebrate it. If a pitcher strikes a guy out, he should be able to celebrate it. If a team makes the playoffs, no matter how low their seed and no matter the manner in which the accomplishment is achieved short of their competitors going down in a plane crash, they should be able to celebrate if they so choose.

So enjoy your hangovers this morning, Houston Astros.