NL East Update: The one where Thole deserves a shot

Mets Blog wonders if Josh Thole is ready to become the team’s number one catcher for 2011.

Depending on how the Mets handle their catching situation for next year will say a lot about their philosophy and if they have learned anything about how to handle free agency the past five years. To me, Thole has proven that he can handle the load and be a productive player in the everyday lineup, but the front office could have other ideas. Chances are, there will probably be an attractive catching free agent during the off-season, the only question is can the Mets resist holding off on the big spending this off-season?

Marlin Maniac conducted a survey asking readers what their ideal Dan Uggla extension would look like.

After looking at the data gathered in the survey, I would have to agree with the results. I would not be looking to give Uggla anything longer than four years but I can understand why he would want Hanley Ramirez type of money. Several people have commented on Uggla’s age being an issue and I still can’t understand why it is a concern to some because he has shown no signs of slowing down.

Talking Chop has noticed a trend the past few seasons with the Atlanta Braves and the timing of their fatigue.

I had never been aware of the Braves struggles in September the past decade because they usually already had the division wrapped up or were already too far out of the race to be competitive. The Braves flamed out quickly then anyone could have expected but I think that has more to do with Philadelphia winning then anything. There will be a lot of question marks surrounding the Braves this off-season, the rapid late season “collapse” paired with the retirement of long time manager Bobby Cox is a lot to overcome.

Naturally, the guys over at Phillies Nation are siding with their team over the hard takeout slide by Chase Utley in last night’s game.

Utley, like several Phillies, are hard-nosed gritty players, there is no doubt about it, and anyone who says they wouldn’t want a player like Utley on their team is lying. That being said, how can you say Utley’s slide into Ruben Tejada clean? He made no effort to slide in front of the base and literally landed on top of second, right where Tejada was standing. That’s baseball though, dirty plays happen, its part of the game. I don’t think the Mets should “retaliate” after being so vocal about something that really isn’t that big of a deal.

Capital Punishment looks back at the “Kasten Years”.

Stan Kasten deserves a lot of credit for where the Washington Nationals are now and where they will be in the future. Unfortunately for Kasten and team owner Ted Lerner, it just didn’t work out. As we all know, baseball is a business, no matter how hard decisions are to make, and the ugly divorce between Kasten and the Nationals seemed to be inevitable as the season wore along. To be fair, we cannot give Kasten a final grade for his tenure with the Nationals until at least five years from now, when we see how his players and team developed.