Al's Ramblings

Monday, May 22, 2017

(5/22/2017 04:00:00 PM) - Al

Not only is it unusual for a journalist to admit they were wrong (he's not old media), the fact Trump opened up China to US beef (in a few months mind you) is great for those who raise cattle.

We buy most of ours from the Rambling in laws, but don't get over to their place often enough. We also buy frozen ground beef patties from Aldi and Wal Mart for the grill, because they are really good and do not fall apart.

I googled up beef futures and found this chart, which shows beef is up 0.5-3% since they opened this morning.

Just for asking. Or, looking at it another way, why didn't anyone ask before?

5/22/2017 04:00:00 PM

(5/22/2017 03:00:00 PM) - Al

I forget who said it, but one of the guys on Outnumbered last week summed it up perfectly:

If President Trump cures cancer this week, they'd say, yeah, what did he do last week?

Pull a Governor Walker, hold your head up, and keep fighting. Negative people are gonna be negative. The hell with them. Don't worry about them making stuff up...they're making stuff up because they know they're losing. Being called Hitler is a compliment...that's all they got.

Never forget, Republicans opposed Obamacare because they knew it wouldn't work. Dems oppose Trump's tax cuts because they know they will work. Same reason Dems loudly opposed Act 10. If they wanted to be fiscally responsible and let people keep the money they earn, they would not be on the left. 

5/22/2017 03:00:00 PM

(5/22/2017 02:00:00 PM) - Al

We also have way too many car lots, sandwich shops, and excuses to take money away from the person who earned it.

But he's right...churches are dropping like flies, because they refuse to imitate the successful ones.

By the way, new churches would be far more successful if they stopped trying to go after the "unchurched" but those that are not completely happy with their current church.

Why? Think about it. You started a movie theater. Who do you try and get to patronize your theater?

1. Those that never go to movies.

2. Those that go to movies regularly.

If you go after #1, I wish you lots of luck. The Rambling parents never went to a movie the last 40 years of their life. They had no interest. They were perfectly happy not going to the movie theater.

Most people that do not go to church are perfectly happy not going to church. The fact people think they are unhappy, or the fact some people think they should go to church are probably much or all of the reason they don't go to church.

The folks to go after are the ones who go to movies, but are not completely happy with the experience. I know I say this often, but you know who does this? Successful, growing churches. The others? Doing the same stuff that made them unsuccessful and stagnant. Doubling down.

Next time, I'm telling you, it'll work.

5/22/2017 02:00:00 PM

(5/22/2017 01:00:00 PM) - Al

Trump in Saudi Arabia, Pence at a US college. One went to foreign turf and spoke to intolerant, dogmatic extremists; other went to Western Asia.--Hale Razor

Granted, the Saudi welcome parade did not have burning USA flags or cursing at the president like the CA Dems convention. 

5/22/2017 01:00:00 PM

(5/22/2017 12:27:00 PM) - Al


I'm adding that to the sidebar. That quote is Reaganesque, my friends.

5/22/2017 12:27:00 PM

(5/22/2017 12:00:00 PM) - Al

It's a Republican president...same as the last Republican president.

In 4 or 8, or 20 years, another Republican will be president, and, mark my words, they will yearn for President Trump.

5/22/2017 12:00:00 PM

(5/22/2017 10:57:00 AM) - Al

I am far from a political expert, but I have been right often in the past 8 years...of course, I just predicted Obama's course of action would be devastating to the Dems and the economy.

That said, watching from afar, nowhere near the northeast USA, being a Midwestern boy, not part of the beltway elite, this past weekend has the potential to be one of the best for Republicans in ages.

1. Trump is still not President Hillary.

2. Pence spoke to a bunch of spoiled millennials at Notre Dame and about 100 of the 2000 graduates got up and left, because they are such incredible wimps they cannot even stand to hear an opinion that differs from their own about anything. This display was called "heroic" and "the resistance" by many in the old media. How will it play in Peoria?

Buncha rich snowflakes walked out on the vice president? The hell with them. Good luck with that first job wussy boys and girls.

3. The left will proudly look at this and insist the sky is falling. Most moderates and independents will look at this and insist it's a good start, and that next time, they should get serious about cutting them.

{For those keeping score, since Election Day, when a hated candidate ran a horrible campaign and lost to a very beatable candidate, this is the 11,475th time we have experienced the end of the world as we know it.

The irony is that we all feel fine.}

4. What the old media claimed the tea party was, the Dems have become.

That's the most accurate summary of the hypocrisy of the left that I have ever read.

Chanting profanities against the president? Burning American flags? Public threats of violence toward politicians?

5/22/2017 10:57:00 AM

(5/22/2017 04:00:00 AM) - Al

I'm telling you, there just isn't anywhere left to cut.

5/22/2017 04:00:00 AM

(5/22/2017 02:30:00 AM) - Al

Here's an even better about New York City pays for their own pork?

Surely they see the irony in begging those in flyover country...who they openly despise as hicks and chip in and pay for their crap.

Too bad they did not have a liberal who would spend money on anything except the military in office for 8 long years to pass this waste.

5/22/2017 02:30:00 AM

(5/22/2017 02:30:00 AM) - Al

It is almost as if Bernie was not being truthful about the utopia of socialism.

5/22/2017 02:30:00 AM

(5/22/2017 01:00:00 AM) - Al

Love this.

The days of being a victim are over.

5/22/2017 01:00:00 AM

Sunday, May 21, 2017

(5/21/2017 08:11:00 PM) - Al

The apology tour is over.

Our president actually said the word "terrorism." Can you imagine? For 8 years, pretending it did not exist is what led us to the chaotic world in which we must clean up from now as the cause collects Monopoly money for telling Wall Street how damn brilliant he was, though the results were all "unlucky."   

5/21/2017 08:11:00 PM

(5/21/2017 05:12:00 PM) - Al

These pics and videos will be used in election ads in the future. Hopefully, often.

I think it's wonderful, and they don't seem to understand why they lose with independents. Only the far, far left accept burning the flag.

5/21/2017 05:12:00 PM

(5/21/2017 01:58:00 PM) - Al


It's easy to change your mind when you don't believe in anything.

Luckily, those jobs building bombs and missiles are good for the USA, and the fact that nothing irritates the left more than jobs and defense is a bonus.

5/21/2017 01:58:00 PM

(5/21/2017 12:57:00 PM) - Al

Brewers manager Craig Counsell on Cubs postponing game Saturday: "First time our players were treated for sunburn after rainout."--JS

For being such a talent laden team, Cubs act as if they are 98 pound weaklings. 

5/21/2017 12:57:00 PM

(5/21/2017 12:42:00 PM) - Al

Cravy back to AAA, Braun activated, starting in LF.

I wonder how wet it is in the OF...of course, since it barely rained yesterday, I guess the answer is not very. 

5/21/2017 12:42:00 PM

(5/21/2017 10:00:00 AM) - Al

Guys, if you're looking for the crazy cat lady of your dreams, set up a folding chair and a cold beverage.

She'll be along soon, my friend. 

5/21/2017 10:00:00 AM

(5/21/2017 08:00:00 AM) - Al

I think this is a classic case of twisting the numbers to prove a point you want to prove.

K's are a negative, but a very tiny one. And, they're being dishonest as far as results.

APR--9.7K per game, 5.4 runs a game.
MAY--8.6K per game, 5.4 runs a game.

At first glance, any improvement is microscopic. And, let's not forget, Thames, Shaw, and Braun have missed time in May. That could well be the reason for fewer K's, as their PA's have mostly been taken by guys who aren't as good, but K less.  Some pitchers do not miss bats as much either, but that would involve far more research than I care to invest.

5/21/2017 08:00:00 AM

(5/21/2017 05:30:00 AM) - Al

Other than that...

5/21/2017 05:30:00 AM

(5/21/2017 04:00:00 AM) - Al

Obama did not believe a relationship was needed with the Saudis, because oil is icky, and foreign policy was so damn hard, all that bowing and apologizing is just exhausting.

5/21/2017 04:00:00 AM

(5/21/2017 03:30:00 AM) - Al

Biden is a clown.

5/21/2017 03:30:00 AM

(5/21/2017 12:30:00 AM) - Al

Excuse me while I put on my surprised face.

Repeat after me, people who break the law to live somewhere are not likely to bother following other laws either. This ain't racism or being mean, this is common sense.

5/21/2017 12:30:00 AM

Saturday, May 20, 2017

(5/20/2017 09:05:00 PM) - Al

As is the case with Arizona, Milwaukee has easily outperformed expectations thus far. The Brewers entered Saturday having posted the same record as Arizona (25-18, with a plus-34 run differential), and their success is a “potential nightmare” for general manager David Stearns, one executive told Rosenthal. It’s doubtful Stearns believes the franchise’s rebuild is complete, yet owner Mark Attanasio might push to add, not subtract, if Milwaukee hangs around the playoff race in the coming months, per Rosenthal. To their credit, the first-place Brewers currently rank among the majors’ top 10 teams in runs scored (second), wRC+ (eighth) and pitching fWAR (eighth).--MLBTR

 I don't think Rosenthal or the other executive understands "nightmare," to say the least. If Stearns feels the team's success is a fluke, he can just continue to build as he has been. If the roster and winning percentage were the same as it is now and the date was AUG 20th, the most obvious additions would be a 2-3 bullpen pieces (a loogy for sure), a bench bat with some pop, and maybe a spot starter/long man. That would cost them nothing of merit, certainly no top 30 pieces in the organization. Or, they could easily just deal guys like Jungmann, Rivera, and Aguilar, players who are out of options anyway. If they would pick up a RH hitting 1B/LF/RF for example, Aguilar would be a duplicate.

As Stearns said a month ago, trimming the 40 man is already damaging, as every time a move is made, it seems, that player is claimed. Next season, they will have 6-7 more youngsters that have to be added. Sure, they'll have a few FA's contracts expire, but those scenarios have already been gone over.

You never hear a crack dealer saying "What am I gonna do with all this crack?" --Chris Rock

Much of the media acts like nothing has ever been planned for. I promise you, there's a list or spreadsheet or some document with a 2018 40 man roster and a 2019 40 man roster. When they traded Jeffress and Lucroy, they happily accepted a couple players who had to be protected on the 40 before the 2017. When they traded for Shaw, they knew they had to have additional kids who did not have to be protected. It doesn't take much to figure out the Crew has far more OF's in the system than they will ever use in MIL. Some of them will wash out and some will be traded. There's no such thing as too much talent. 

5/20/2017 09:05:00 PM

(5/20/2017 08:24:00 PM) - Al

I'm not 100% sure how MLB salary works, but I do know players are credited with "days of service," not games. I assume Espino will receive 2 days (FRI/SAT) but Cravy will receive 3 days (SAT-MON) for just a single game (SUN).

He may well stay up longer, but Cravy could not have wished for a better situation service time and pay wise. 

5/20/2017 08:24:00 PM

(5/20/2017 07:45:00 PM) - Al

If you google up Cubs' game or Cubs' weather (for some reason, it will not link), many complaints from Cubs' fans about why the game was postponed today. It rained 0.13 inches in Chicago today, and was far warmer than yesterday, low 60's all day. They are saying the game was postponed because the Cubs' bullpen is in such bad shape and they were afraid to have delays.

At best, it would appear some gamesmanship was involved, as the makeup date is right before the all star break, so they can play some roster games at that time to have extra pitching on hand.

With the off day MON, the Crew could choose to do any of several things, though the weather looks near perfect for tomorrow. Adam reported the Cubs did not want to play a split doubleheader tomorrow because they could not have broadcast the late game (ESPN exclusivity), so they chose to reschedule it on a THU afternoon in JUL...thousands of fans who paid $40-200 for tickets on a SAT in May will either be unable to attend or have a very tough time doing so.

The Cubs might as well just announce the game was rescheduled because they don't give a monkey's crap about their fans and simply do not want to refund any TV money.

5/20/2017 07:45:00 PM

(5/20/2017 07:16:00 PM) - Al

BUMPED, update near bottom.

Espino down, Cravy up. 

It's a puzzler why this did not happen yesterday after the game. I am surprised they didn't have Paolo and Tyler fly in together on THU with this in mind. Paolo was not going to pitch today or tomorrow regardless. What if they would have played 22 innings today with 3 rain delays? 

By the way, Cravy thinks it is unfair Espino only got 1 start...

ADDED: Adam reports Cravy may have been available for today's game, as the team usually waits until the player "physically arrives" in the city before announcing it. 

That makes more sense. I'm certainly not more alert on roster construction that the braintrust. 

5/20/2017 07:16:00 PM

(5/20/2017 05:29:00 PM) - Al

I was hoping Adams would end up in MIL last offseason before they signed Thames. He hits RHP almost as well as any 1B in the game. He did so well with SL until they started nitpicking on him. He's the perfect case of a guy who does the big things well and the little things not so much. By going to ATL, he'll almost certainly be available next offseason as well.

5/20/2017 05:29:00 PM

(5/20/2017 12:30:00 PM) - Al

Brewers rained out today, game will be made up July 6th, a THU, at 1:15.

Brewers finish a 3 game series with BAL at Miller Park WED night 7/5, play in Chicago THU, and then fly to NY to play a 3 game series before the all star break.

5/20/2017 12:30:00 PM

(5/20/2017 10:00:00 AM) - Al

I found it odd no Brewers were mentioned, and then it occurred to me...they won't be sellers if they continue to win at this pace.

Of course, we do not know if they will. Also, Billy Beane made some trades even when his teams were in the winning part of the success cycle...he would say he could not afford to let a veteran player leave for nothing, and the youngsters he received helped him fill the gaps when he lost the vets.

When you looked closely though, he always dealt from depth, and often traded relief pitchers and bench bats...players other teams tended to overvalue at the time far more than today.

Billy Beane had a lot more success before he had 29 other Billy Beane types as his peers.

5/20/2017 10:00:00 AM

(5/20/2017 08:00:00 AM) - Al

I can understand wanting to give your kids something to do in the summer, but giving them 14 hours of activities a day? Pathetic. Kids should have plenty of time to be kids; whether than means reading, biking, mowing lawns for spending money, whatever.

About five years ago, we asked the Rambling son what he did one June day. The Rambling wife and I were both working full time, and other than occasional swimming trips or bike rides with the neighbor kid his age, and a week at his grandparents, he was on his own. He said he had decided he was going to teach himself how to code. We kind of scoffed at him, asking what he would do when he got stuck. He said he already had been a couple times, but just googled it until he figured it out. Sure enough, while he is not a master, he knows how to code better than almost anyone who is not in IT or has taken actual coding classes. 

5/20/2017 08:00:00 AM

(5/20/2017 06:00:00 AM) - Al

As the Asian American gent I used to work with and myself said a few years ago, in the future, everyone will be brown.

Probably quicker than we think.

5/20/2017 06:00:00 AM

(5/20/2017 03:30:00 AM) - Al

Glenn hits it out of the park.

5/20/2017 03:30:00 AM

(5/20/2017 01:00:00 AM) - Al

I'd be Ariel Winters' friend too.

5/20/2017 01:00:00 AM

Friday, May 19, 2017

(5/19/2017 09:02:00 PM) - Al

Braun eligible to come off DL SUN, but I would assume the Crew will take advantage of the off day MON before activating him TUE. Giving him an extra couple days and avoiding him playing LF on a wet track seems wise.

No word tonight about replacing Espino, though I assume he'd be unavailable until at least TUE, so keeping him around seems like an odd choice. Bringing up someone for the rest of the Cubs series, then replacing that player with Braun, and then activating Guerra before his scheduled start on THU would be the best way to maximize the active roster.

One would think Espino and Franklin would be the bottom men on the totem pole, though as I have pointed out, Franklin long term is better than Sogard long term in my opinion. I believe I read Eric still has an option remaining, so when/if he cools off, he can go down this season...he was not on the 40 and was on a minor league deal this year, so he has not used one yet in 2017.

If they stay in contention, losing Franklin is just one of those things. However, if they go back to where we expected, it's a shame to lose him.

5/19/2017 09:02:00 PM

(5/19/2017 08:38:00 PM) - Al

The offense keeps getting the attention, and at 2nd in runs scored in the NL, it should. However, 5th in runs allowed is impressive too.

Considering 5 teams make the playoffs, 2nd and 5th is almost certainly good enough to be in contention and usually make it. While I doubt they will stay at those levels; their ability to withstand injures to Braun, Shaw, and Thames, plus a longer stretch by Guerra, is pretty impressive.

5/19/2017 08:38:00 PM

(5/19/2017 07:54:00 PM) - Al

Jhan Marinez claimed by Pirates. Won't find out if he has right to be a FA or not.

I hate to lose him, he's good good stuff. They effectively chose the future of Espino over him, as Peralta could have just started today.

5/19/2017 07:54:00 PM

(5/19/2017 05:17:00 PM) - Al

If it was 10-2, we'd probably see Peralta on the mound when the game resumes. Assuming Scahill will not return, we might well see an inning at a time guys; though one could wonder if Barnes and Knebel are available...both have been worked heavily of late...I think Jacob has pitched 5 of 6 days and Corey 4 of 5 (though I could be wrong, I did not look it up).

5/19/2017 05:17:00 PM

(5/19/2017 05:12:00 PM) - Al

Cubs say game will resume at 5:35.

5/19/2017 05:12:00 PM

(5/19/2017 03:40:00 PM) - Al

I'd like someone to explain to me why they allowed play to continue for an inning or two with standing puddles on the infield and pouring rain.


If Schwarber catches that ball, you know they're still playing too. 

Weather Underground has the rain ending between 4:30 and 5 with very little rain accumulation to come. Probably be good to go by 5:30 or so, maybe even earlier...with the prerequisite "unless a storm develops out of nowhere."

5/19/2017 03:40:00 PM

(5/19/2017 03:22:00 PM) - Al

Counsell has no concern at all about trying to get Espino 5 innings for a win.

5/19/2017 03:22:00 PM

(5/19/2017 03:07:00 PM) - Al

Tomorrow's weather actually looks worse than today in Chicago. Steady rain from 11AM-2AM.

5/19/2017 03:07:00 PM

(5/19/2017 03:02:00 PM) - Al

Forgot to mention Brent Suter was sent down to make room for Espino.

Espino takes the final spot on the 40 and 25 man. I would think there is a very, very good chance Espino will return to Colorado Springs after the game and be replaced with a bench player or reliever, likely depending on how good of shape the pen is in after this contest.

No word yet if Tyler Cravy was unhappy that Suter was called up and did not get a chance to pitch.

5/19/2017 03:02:00 PM

(5/19/2017 03:00:00 PM) - Al

This would be really embarrassing for the Dems.

It makes too much sense to be true, however.

5/19/2017 03:00:00 PM

(5/19/2017 02:47:00 PM) - Al

Just like those Wausau folks a few years ago that allowed their child to die of a very treatable ailment because they "believed they knew better" than modern medicine...because stupidity has no limit.

As Jeff Foxworthy correctly pointed out a decade ago, if you did that to your dog, you would be arrested and charged, and deservedly so. The idea we've allowed ourselves to make so many excuses for irresponsibility and despicable behavior has made us far worse off and instead of looking for the gray area, we study the gray until our eyes get blurry, and we see gray everywhere.

The idea these buffoons will probably do less time than someone knowingly writing a few bad checks is a disgrace and an embarrassment.

This is why I shed no tears for those who insist their loved one's sentencing was "unfair" or "too long." If it were up to me, that time in a tiny concrete box would be so lengthy that they'd only have vague memories of a gigantic star that heats the planet. The hell with them.

5/19/2017 02:47:00 PM

(5/19/2017 02:33:00 PM) - Al

So, is Espino using the wind blowing in, or is he just fortunate the wind is blowing in?

It's probably a bit of both, but you rarely see a pitcher try and give up 400 foot fly balls.

5/19/2017 02:33:00 PM

(5/19/2017 02:14:00 PM) - Al

Where do I sign up? Go big or go home.

Cut, cut, cut.

5/19/2017 02:14:00 PM

(5/19/2017 01:50:00 PM) - Al

BA shares than Stearns claims Espino was the #1 target in minor league free agency.

We'll never know, of course, but his AAA numbers were so good and extensive, I'm surprised no one gave him a 40 man spot.

5/19/2017 01:50:00 PM

(5/19/2017 01:41:00 PM) - Al

The Russia thing is already just a footnote, with the Shattered reference that it was just an excuse by a terrible candidate who was out of touch and too lazy to campaign outside the NE USA (or too ill, time will tell).

What's left? I've seen at least a half dozen lefties truly worried in the past 24 hours...what do we do if nothing is proven? How bad will we look?

Funny, not a one has seemed a bit concerned about the country or markets. Drudge mentioned yesterday Soros has been short in US stocks for's almost as if he WANTS things to tank by pushing out hyperbole and gossip...if we did not know what a patriot he is, of course.

5/19/2017 01:41:00 PM

(5/19/2017 01:33:00 PM) - Al

He's right on the first point, incredibly incorrect on the second.

But, the same out of touch, staring into space Biden that we grew accustomed to whenever they would open his cage for him to get some exercise.

5/19/2017 01:33:00 PM

(5/19/2017 01:29:00 PM) - Al

Someone has to look up whenwas the last time the first 4 Brewers batted LH in a game.

My guess? It might be a decade or two. 

5/19/2017 01:29:00 PM

(5/19/2017 01:27:00 PM) - Al

Beckel is protected as a liberal, but apparently forgot that as a white male of European descent, he has no wiggle room for racially insensitive language.

5/19/2017 01:27:00 PM

(5/19/2017 01:24:00 PM) - Al

Just got the groggy one home. I dropped off her scrip, brought her home, and then picked it up, which may or may not have involved a urine specimen, blood sample, and/or a brief quiz about the harm of controlled substances.

Be interesting to see if Espino is sent down right after the game and the Crew uses that spot to get an extra bench player (or reliever) until Guerra is added.

5/19/2017 01:24:00 PM

(5/19/2017 10:32:00 AM) - Al

Rambling wife's surgeon just came out and shook my hand, just like in the movies. Told me surgery went fine, waiting for her to fully wake up.

5/19/2017 10:32:00 AM

(5/19/2017 10:30:00 AM) - Al

Anyone wondering why players fight so hard to get a non roster invite to spring training or will accept a 40 man spot instead of a sizable signing bonus on a minor league deal?

Eric Sogard.

Sometimes, a couple dozen PA's can make all the difference in the world. Even if he's DFA'd or optioned back to the minors, he's garnered so much attention for his hot streak, teams are far more likely to consider him if they need an upgrade to the middle infield or a utility role.

5/19/2017 10:30:00 AM

(5/19/2017 10:29:00 AM) - Al

Sogard in LF today. First time as a pro, though I think he played OF in the spring.

The bat plays.

5/19/2017 10:29:00 AM

(5/19/2017 10:00:00 AM) - Al

I find it difficult to believe a nation that shuts off electricity for the evening is having some sort of hunger problem.

I'm sure Bernie will insist it's simply a misunderstood utopia.

5/19/2017 10:00:00 AM

(5/19/2017 09:30:00 AM) - Al

One thing learned yesterday...if a pitch is meaured at 99.9 mph, the TV/scoreboard display will read 99.

The concept of rounding does not exist in that world.

That may be why I'm often surprised by Fangraphs "average velocity." We are seeing that as 99, when the pitch is 99.0-99.9. In other words, we are seeing the minimum, which over time, will likely average out about 0.5 mph higher than our minds are thinking. 

5/19/2017 09:30:00 AM

(5/19/2017 08:30:00 AM) - Al

Rambling wife is scheduled for knee surgery this morning. Posting may be light.

5/19/2017 08:30:00 AM

(5/19/2017 02:30:00 AM) - Al

Why she lost. She's so easy to hate.

5/19/2017 02:30:00 AM

Whatever strikes me as interesting, and serious Milwaukee Brewers thoughts. If you are a believer in respecting OBP, throwing strikes, and keeping the ball in the park, you may have found the place you've been searching for. I believe in low taxes, small government, and am not afraid to be labeled patriotic. If you are interested in sausage race results, walk up music, or professional wrestling, you may wish to click elsewhere.

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