Citi Field’s Animal House; or, the Wreck of the Metsperus

Mishandling Matt Harvey's migraine could prove another huge headache for the Wreck of the Metsperus . . .

Mishandling Matt Harvey’s suspension could prove a big migraine for the Wreck of the Metsperus . . .

What’s next for the New York Mess (er, Mets)? Pitchers coming in from the bullpen in the Deathmobile? Hazing their rookies by sending them on a mass Food King shoplift? A toga party at second base? A food fight in the clubhouse? Welcome to Citi Field’s Animal House.

I’d better amend one of the foregoing. At the rate they’re going, three more Mets would be injured during the food fight, one of the rookies on the mass Food King shoplift would come up with a strained oblique, and another would suffer a shoulder separation firing the pistol at the rampaging horse.

Is Derek Jeter fishing for the Marlins?

Jeter, here hitting the home run that became his 3,000th major league hit, has ideas about becoming a baseball owner . . .

Jeter, here hitting the home run that became his 3,000th major league hit, has ideas about becoming a baseball owner . . .

Three decades ago, when Boys of Summer author Roger Kahn bought the minor league Utica Blue Sox, one of the first people he told was “my cherished Brooklyn Dodgers friend” Carl Furillo. “You? An owner?” Furillo replied in amazement. “You’ll be lucky if you don’t have two ulcers by Opening Day.”

Kahn sold the team after a year. But he was (and is) a writer. Players turning owners is almost as rare. The latest possibility may be Derek Jeter, who’s reported to be interested in becoming a major player in any push to buy the Miami Marlins.

Ding, dong, the Miami witch is dead—but almost had the Orioles

Loria, prepared to sell the Marlins, once bid to buy the Orioles.

Loria, prepared to sell the Marlins, once bid to buy the Orioles.

You may or may not remember this, but the first time baseball heard of Jeffrey Loria in earnest, it had to do with the Orioles, in the early to mid 1990s, when then-owner Eli Jacobs decided he had no choice but to sell the team in order to raise cash. John Helyar in The Lords of The Realm told the unlikely story, worth revisiting in light of the news that Loria wants to sell the Marlins and stands to make billions from the sale, as if to prove failure is profit.

Jose Fernandez, RIP: He knew this game was supposed to be fun

Despair was alien in the baseball kingdome where Jose Fernandez pitched, hit, lived . . .

Despair was alien in the baseball kingdome where Jose Fernandez pitched, hit, lived . . .

When Bryce Harper cracked on baseball needing to loosen up and have more fun, in a magazine profile published during spring training, he had players like Jose Fernandez on his mind as one of those who stood as evidence for the defense. Harper rather admired Fernandez’s ability not to take himself or the game so seriously that it became a job alone, an admiration that came slowly to others.

Some in baseball still try shooting the messengers

Bremer, confronted by a Twins player over (God help us!) truth in broadcasting . . .

Bremer, confronted by a Twins player over (God help us!) truth in broadcasting . . .

Shooting or brushing back the messenger is two things. One is bad form. The second is that, until or unless the message is demonstrably libelous or slanderous, it rarely works to the shooter’s advantage. It doesn’t keep people from trying. And it doesn’t keep those folks from looking foolish. (Donaldus Minimus, call your office. You too, Hilarious Rodent Clinton.)

Tommy, meet Timmy and the Ol’ Redhead

Hutton---too much homer for non-Marlins fans, not enough homer for his Marlins bosses . . .

Hutton—too much homer for non-Marlins fans, not enough homer for his Marlins bosses . . .

For non-Miami Marlins fans, Tommy Hutton sounded too much like a homer. For the Marlins’ thin skinned administration, Hutton wasn’t homer enough. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

But if it makes Hutton feel any better, now that he’s been pinked by the Marlins, even Hall of Fame broadcasters have been fired for calling or reporting games and their atmospheres honestly.¬†Hutton has only to look at Tim McCarver and, well before him, Red Barber. He’s joining some pretty elite company.

There’s just a little ill in these trade winds . . .

Spending at at least a year and a half as the subject of trade speculation, while insisting he really didn’t want to leave Denver, Troy Tulowitzki—swapped to the Blue Jays this week, for former Mets shortstop Jose Reyes—says he was blindsided almost completely by the deal. Apparently, he had a gentleman’s agreement with Rockies owner Dick Monfort that he wouldn’t be dealt without his prior knowledge and approval. Until he didn’t, of course.

Stanton’s wrist and other sorrows, from discharged managers especially . . .

Stanton doubles over in pain as his hamate surrenders.

Stanton doubles over in pain as his hamate surrenders.

One minute Giancarlo Stanton managed to get back ahead of Nori Aoki in the National League All-Star voting. The next, he was gone, for four to six weeks and maybe more, thanks to a hamate bone fracture in his left hand. This is just what the Marlins don’t need in a year in which they were trying to build on 2014′s fifteen-game improvement.

The Marlins’ Unknown Soldier

Jennings---out of the frying pan?

Jennings—out of the frying pan?

After the Brooklyn Dodgers lost the 1953 World Series, manager Charlie Dressen asked for a three-year contract. Owner Walter O’Malley demurred, reminding anyone who would listen, “The Dodgers have paid more men not to manage than any other club.” Egged on by his wife, who was said to have written O’Malley a letter demanding a multi-year deal for her husband, Dressen rejoined, “My wife and I got to have security.”

Miami Vice

Three Fish in the barrel . . .

It it possible to make anything resembling sense of the Miami Marlins’ latest l’affaire d’absurd? It is, though not even Edmund Burke (who conjugated the strategic mischief of the French Revolution), Martin Buber (who conjugated the spiritual foundation of dialogue), or Red Smith (whose conjugation of official baseball mischief in his time was second to none) themselves would find it easy to do without reaching first for their preferred distilled spirits.

Ethically, of course, the deal reeks like the dead Fish conventional wisdom claims it to be, particularly in view of: