Blunt Group Therapy For Red Sox And Brewers Fans

All Star Game, Draft, Fantasy/Roto, Free Agents, Games, Hall Of Fame, Hot Stove, Management, Media, MiLB, MLB Trade Deadline, Players, Playoffs, Prospects, Trade Rumors

It won’t help, but I know what Red Sox and Brewers fans are going through.

You’re counting the days and games; scouring the schedules of your team and your competitors; calculating the likelihood and magic numbers for a playoff spot you once felt was guaranteed; examining the pitching matchups and acting as if nothing’s wrong when you’re worried, worried, worried.

Each loss; each injury; each day that passes and another piece of the lead is whittled away, you say, “just let us make the playoffs; I don’t care if we lose in the first round; I don’t want to deal with the embarrassment of being called a ‘choker’ and hearing the obnoxious Yankees/Cardinals fans and their smug self-satisfaction at the misery of others”.

I know.

I experienced it with the Mets in 2007 and 2008.

Of course, 2007 was far worse.

And the parallels are unmistakable.

Like the Red Sox of 2011, the 2007 Mets had high expectations after a disappointing prior season. The Mets were short-handed in the starting rotation relying on aging and declining veterans Tom Glavine and Pedro Martinez and inexperienced and tired from a long-season Oliver Perez and John Maine; the Red Sox have lost Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz to injuries and John Lackey has been, um…not good.

The hype surrounding this Red Sox team was exemplified by the idiotic (before the season, during and maybe after) lusty fan piece on NESN by Eric Ortiz proclaiming the Red Sox as a direct challenger to the 1927 Yankees.

After reading that, a large segment of people wanted the Red Sox to lose.

The 2011 Rays, like the 2007 Phillies, have nothing to lose and are playing with the freewheeling “no one expects us to win anyway” attitude that allows them to relax. The Rays are younger and healthier.

Is it likely that the Rays catch the Red Sox? No. But examining their schedules with the Rays having 3 games in Boston next week and 7 games remaining with the Yankees, there’s cause for concern. If the Yankees have the division locked up, is it so farfetched to see the Yankees shun going all out to win in those 3 games in Tampa against the Rays to screw the Red Sox?

The perfect storm is in place because the Red Sox are playing the Yankees in 3 games at Yankee Stadium directly before they travel to play the Rays.

It’s possible that, to make the playoffs, the Red Sox will be rooting for the Yankees.

That’s not where they want to be.

With the Brewers, their arrogance is engendering loathing throughout baseball.

Yesterday I defended Nyjer Morgan for his Tony Plush persona because it’s nothing to get into a twist about—who cares what Morgan says and does? But the one thing a team does not want to do is inspire other teams to want to beat them more and ruin their playoff chances—the 2007 Mets did that with the Marlins and it cost them. And teams like the Brewers—who’ve won nothing—certainly don’t want to make a veteran team with a megastar like Albert Pujols angry.

The Phillies have a right to be arrogant; the Brewers don’t.

The Cardinals are now 6 games behind the Brewers.

Many lower-level teams are playing out the string and trying to get the season over with; for the most part, they want to win, but don’t care all that much which other teams make the playoffs; if they’re made to care because of taunting and narcissism, it’s a motivation that was unnecessary and self-destructive.

Ron Darling said something interesting during the Mets game yesterday. In essence, players who hit 4-5 more homers in September are doing so because they’re looking to pad their stats by the end of the season. This isn’t strategic nor is it done with the interests of team goals in mind. They’re guessing at pitches and hacking. If a player does this against the Cardinals and not the Brewers, that’s not good for the Brewers.

After today, the Brewers remaining schedule is relatively weak; the Cardinals have a few tough games with the Phillies; the Mets are looking to finish above .500; and the Cubs would dearly love to knock out the Cardinals.

Of the two teams that are in danger of a September swoon, the Red Sox are far more vulnerable than the Brewers; if either happens to join the 2007 Mets and 1964 Phillies as members of the exclusive club of inexplicable chokes, they have no one to blame but themselves.

And it could happen.

I know.

Because I saw it happen with the Mets.

Twice.

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Nyjer Morgan vs Albert Pujols: Much Ado About Silliness

Fantasy/Roto, Free Agents, Games, Hall Of Fame, Management, Media, MLB Trade Deadline, Players, Playoffs, Trade Rumors, Umpires

Most of the time, I take the stuff players say as noise.

Who really cares?

But when it becomes a recurring issue of behavior and on-field actions, then it has to be addressed.

The whole story is somewhat silly. Nyjer Morgan‘s issues have come to the forefront in the past while with the Nationals as he had—in a very short timeframe—confrontations with the Marlins and with a fan in Philadelphia; he accumulated some large suspension time from MLB.

Morgan was traded to the Brewers before the season and has played well with a .307 average, speed and defense.

The latest incident occurred after Chris Carpenter of the Cardinals cursed at Morgan; Morgan flung his chewing tobacco at…oh, I’m not going through this; it’s high school stupid. I don’t have to rehash the details; read about this story here.

The bottom line is that Albert Pujols defended his pitcher and Morgan took to Twitter under his alter-ego “TheRealTPlush” to say the following:

Alberta couldn’t see Plush if she had her gloves on!!! Wat was she thinking running afta Plush!!! She never been n tha ring!!!

Morgan is joking around and everyone’s making a big deal out of nothing.

I had an original title for this posting: “Even Nyjer Morgan Thinks The Real Tony Plush Is Acting Like Milton Bradley“; but after reading his tweets, I found that there’s a method to Morgan’s madness.

He’s not stupid nor disturbed and here’s why: look at his twitter account. Even amid all the bluster and slang, he’s using the proper spacing after commas and normal punctuation. This tells me he’s going over-the-top with this “TPlush” persona. You can tell the difference if you know what to look for; in fact, Jose Canseco is a prime example of someone who’s losing touch with reality. Compare Morgan’s account with that of Canseco and you’ll know what I mean.

One has some serious problems that have to be addressed; the other is mucking around.

Why Pujols would even be expected to pay attention to this is beyond me; he should just shake his hand and wave it away because it’s idiotic in any context, not only today’s context of social media and stories like this taking on a life of their own.

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