By Josh Flagner
Bits and Pieces is your weekly More Than a Fan source for all the interesting stories out of the National League East. Whether you want pictures, videos, or just the half news/half bad jokes column you’ve come to expect from me, this is the place to be.
Ozzie Guillen Already Tossed
To Miami Marlins Manager Ozzie Guillen, having a strong argument with an umpire and getting tossed out of a game is like hitting a grand slam or tossing a complete game shut out. Those are the moments that Ozzie lives for, or seems to at least. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not reveling in judgement of Ozzie. Actually, I’m reveling absolute joy that a guy who can get tossed out of a spring game a mere seven days after the schedule started can be a Major League Manager.
This argument happened over a ball called foul by the first base umpire. It doesn’t matter at all if the ball was fair or foul, what matters is that the play was starting back up when Ozzie decided to barge out onto the field to start yelling about the call. In a spring training game. March 12th.
Stephen Strasburg Gives 35 Good Seconds About His Tommy John Surgery Recovery.
The interesting tidbit that can be pulled from this video is that Jordan Zimmerman, a guy that many fans outside the Beltway probably haven’t heard about, might be the most important pitcher on the Washington Nationals staff. Strasburg is going to lean on Zimmerman all season because of his experience recovering from Tommy John surgery. If Zimmerman flakes out during the season, or if he gets carted back and forth to the minors for some reason, Strasburg would lose his sounding board and might start to lose confidence.
Maybe I’m being paranoid, but if I were Nats brass, I’d be reminding Jordan Zimmerman that he’s making $2.3 million this season after only being healthy enough to start 59 games in three years and that he should assume at least half of that salary is to keep the face of the franchise in a positive mindset while that elbow is on the mend. And throw in $50 grand if Strasburg shaves that ridiculous soul patch. That doesn’t even look good on Apollo Ohno, and I’m pretty sure he’s trying to look stupid on purpose.
New York Mets Sluggers Happy to Have the Fences Moved In
Citi Field has already undergone it’s first big change. The Mets brass decided not only to move the walls as much as 15 feet closer to home plate in some areas, but also to lower the left field wall from 16 feet tall to eight feet tall.
While this isn’t exactly new news, it’s definitely an interesting tidbit that didn’t get a lot of attention east of the Liberty Bell. An independent study estimates that Jason Bay and David Wright could each see their home run production increase by as much as 50%. (Their home run numbers should increase by more than 50% if they’re going to earn the $31 million that they’ll make in 2012)
Citi Field will still be slightly pitcher friendly, but eliminating those weird nooks in right field and lowering the wall in left should even the playing field for batters who knew all a pitcher had to do was throw strikes away to dominate a lineup there.