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March 18, 2009

Milestone Preview: National League East

As David Letterman used to say, “ladies and gentlemen, wake the kids, phone the neighbors”…because I’m about to pull off an internet first, gang.

Check it out over at Google, surf the Wikipedia…wherever. I guarantee you that this is the first time the names Matt Stairs and Ron Villone are going to make anyone’s season preview. Ever. You see, Stairs and Villone have the chance to do something special…tie Mike Morgan on the list for the most franchises played for.

For the record, I’m giving the edge to Villone. Currently a non-roster invitee of the Mets, he’s played for 11 teams and if he take the bump at Citi Field…he’ll tie Morgan with 12.

And with that…let’s move on to the NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST!

Year in and year out, the Braves always seem to have something to look forward to. In 2007, manager Bobby Cox (currently fourth on the all-time managerial wins list) became the all-time leader in ejections.

Last year, future Hall of Famer Tom Glavine brought his 300 wins back to “Hotlanta” and with 305 under his belt…he enters this season as the active leader in victories. Every time he takes the mound, his strikeout and innings pitched total inches him closer and closer to the greats of the game.

I’m not sure what I can say about Chipper Jones that I didn’t say last week. Chipper is already in Hall of Fame territory based on his accomplishments as one of the game's elite switch hitters. By the time August is here, he should have eclipsed 2400 hits.

Also closing in on 2400 hits (and 500 doubles) is Garret Anderson. Quietly, the newly acquired Anderson has put together a solid career. By this time next season, we’ll be talking about 2600 hits and 300 home runs. As a side note…I’m pretty sure he’s the only player to have played for the California, Anaheim and Los Angeles Angels.

The youngest team in the majors (26.1 years old at the start of the 2009 season) has next to nothing to look forward to on the milestone front. But for those of you who are counting down the games until Wes Helms plays in his 1000th…you’re in luck!

Even though their pitching staff has, in recent years, included Glavine, Pedro Martinez and Billy Wagner, the Mets aren’t giving us anything to watch for out on the hill this year.

That being said…raise your hand if you ever thought Carlos Delgado was going to be a member of the 500 home run club. After Gary Sheffield hits number 500 (which should come in the first week of the season), Delgado is up next. The slugger has 469 home runs and should, barring injury, close out the Mets’ first season at Citi Field with a milestone.

Winning the World Series should be a milestone in itself, but when the Phillies will take the field April 5 for their home opener against the Braves, they’ll be doing so with baseball’s oldest current player…Jamie Moyer. Interestingly enough, Moyer (born November 18, 1962) is the only current player besides Randy Johnson (September 10, 1963) that was alive when John Kennedy was assassinated.

A class act, Moyer is four wins away from 250 for his career and he should surpass Hall of Famer Bob Gibson (251) on the all-time list sometime before Memorial Day. On the flip side, by the end of this season, Moyer will end up second on the all-time list for home runs allowed. Moyer is currently at 464 while the career leader, Robin Roberts, is sitting at 505. Here’s hoping Jamie suits up for 2010!

The Nationals enter their fifth season since re-locating from Montreal with little to no fanfare. For the four Adam Dunn fans out there, you’ll be glad to know that he’s 22 homers away from 300 for his career and if he gets to 40 this season, he’ll have done so for six straight seasons. Only Babe Ruth did it more consistently when he hit 40 out in a record seven straight seasons.

The National League Central is next up on the docket. Feel free to check out the American League East Milestone Preview HERE.

Until then, Viva Ron Villone…I hope the Mets play you, then trade you to your thirteenth franchise!

BallHype: hype it up!

1 comment:

Johnny P said...

Dunn Fan...I are one.