Al's Ramblings



Sunday, August 31, 2003

(8/31/2003 09:42:00 PM) - Al

The A's have now won 9 in a row to move ahead of the Mariners. The White Sox are a game up on both the Twins and Royals. The Red Sox and Mariners are withing a game of each other for the AL wildcard. 3 teams within a couple games of each other in the NL Central, and would you believe, 7 (or 8, depending on how you look at it) teams in the NL wildcard hunt.

This has the potential to be the greatest September in baseball history, with the possible exception of the Big Mac/Sosa HR race of '98.

Thank goodness the much maligned Bud had the foresight to add the wildcard a decade ago.


8/31/2003 09:42:00 PM



(8/31/2003 09:37:00 PM) - Al

Sounds like the wife and I may attend the Snappers/Rattlers playoff game this Thursday night in Appleton. We were hoping to take in a Brewers game in the afternoon as well (what a DH!), but they have the day off.


8/31/2003 09:37:00 PM



(8/31/2003 09:35:00 PM) - Al

Despite working today, I have enjoyed two wonderful sporting events today. I watched a tape of the Cubs/Brewers game after eating dinner, a well played, 2-0 Bewers' win, highlighted by a sliding, game saving catch by Jason Conti to end it. Doug Davis, released by two pitching poor clubs, lowered his Crew ERA to {ahem} 0.95. The down side of this, however, is it would appear Doug will have to be added to the 40 man roster (or rather kept on it) for the offseason. I was hoping Davis would sign a minor league deal, but if the Crew dropped him, I have to believe 10 teams would offer him a spot on their 40 man right away.

Currently, I'm watching what would appear to be Set 2 of a classic 5 setter at the US Open between Blake/Federer. If there is better tennis played anywhere on the planet than the evening matches in New York City, I have yet to see it.



8/31/2003 09:35:00 PM


Saturday, August 30, 2003

(8/30/2003 08:37:00 PM) - Al

Most all of assumed Anaheim would be far from the dominating team they were in 2002. Not only did they have many players have career type seasons, their offense was heavily dependent on BA. Of course, the Drew Olson simpletons of the world said it was because ANA had "contact" hitters, ignoring their OBP and SLG was near the top of the AL. In 2001, KC had the fewest K's, and they sucked. In 2003, the angels still have the fewest K's, and they suck.

A much longer piece on this exact subject was written by Aaron Gleeman this week, and can be found here.

And if you don't have Aaron's site bookmarked, do so while you're there. Oh, if only Aaron would get Drew's job someday...


8/30/2003 08:37:00 PM



(8/30/2003 08:31:00 PM) - Al

Keith Ginter now has 27 walks in 274 AB's, just under the one every ten AB's standard for players that have good plate discipline. He's looked very solid, and his OPS remains around 800, very good for a 2B. Let's just hope this Brewers' braintrust realizes that is has uncovered an above average, inexpensive 2B.

And anyone who felt Billy Hall would not be able to handle the SS position until JJ Hardy was ready looks like they were unable to figure out Hall was simply overmatched as a 22 year-old playing in AAA. His ceiling isn't that high, but is there any doubt he's better than Clayton? Not in my mind.


8/30/2003 08:31:00 PM



(8/30/2003 08:16:00 PM) - Al

The DevilRays are 53-80, on a pace to win 65 games. Lou Pinella says this team can contend next year with the addition of a couple free agents.

Poor Lou. People used to think he was somewhat intelligent when he had all that talent in Seattle. Sadly, he is apparently a total buffoon.

TB needs to build slowly and smartly...pickups like Julio Lugo, released by the Astros becaused he was accused of a crime, but later found not guilty, is exactly what this team needs, not looking for this year's versions of Vinny Castilla and Greg Vaughn.


8/30/2003 08:16:00 PM



(8/30/2003 08:08:00 PM) - Al

Minor pickup for the Red Sox today, but a nice one. Lou Merloni, a utility IF, came over from SD. The Sox need someone to platoon with Todd Walker at 2B, and an all-around supersub. Lou may not be that, but he's a nice pickup. He had a .362 OBP this year, so he also has the ability not to get out, especially for a middle infielder. Considering BOS tried without success to pick up two former Brewers (Belliard & Loretta), Lou was a nice fallback a day before the deadline.


8/30/2003 08:08:00 PM



(8/30/2003 08:05:00 PM) - Al

Saw the 2nd half of the Brewers game today, and it was pretty much a quiet, uneventful half. Those lovable Cubs' fans booed Shawn Estes as he left, according to AP, and they also booed Alfonseca after a walk. Never mind the fact he never allowed a run. Seems to me the Wrigley "faithful" is far from being even an iota better than any others.

And the idea that the Cubs took down those black tarps out in RF seems like poor judgement to me. There must be 200 folks out there, watching the game for free. Not only is it pitiful, as I can only imagine they have a view that's pathetic, but they are stealing the Cubs' product...and the Cubs don't seem to care.


8/30/2003 08:05:00 PM



(8/30/2003 07:40:00 PM) - Al

Any credibility this dude had went away with this sentence:

If you leave your desk at 5 p.m. -- and that's considered a half-day for most Washingtonians...

Whenever you see one lie, you know there are many, many more. Exactly how many teams does DC have to lose due to lack of support before we stop giving them teams? I know, it's a large market. It's a big, crappy market.

The whole article can be read here.


8/30/2003 07:40:00 PM


Thursday, August 28, 2003

(8/28/2003 10:34:00 PM) - Al

Just flipped it over to watch Seinfeld...and I'm watching the Packers delay. Geesh, why they even pretend these games matter a bit is hilarious. If the team is going to make a single decision based on a half of meaningless action, they deserve what they get.


8/28/2003 10:34:00 PM



(8/28/2003 10:30:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers won their 10th in a row, but lost Geoff Jenkins for the rest of the season, as he broke a thumb. Tough break, no pun intended. Of course, this would be truly disheartening if the Crew was in the wildcard race. But, still way under .500, it's too bad, but not a terrible thing.

The funny thing is, just today, the JS discussed signing Geoff and Richie to long-term extensions. Of course, Geoff has never played over 135 games in a season, and while bad luck would appear to play just as big a part as being injury prone, guys rarely become more sturdy as they age. Richie, while very durable, always looks to be in pain, hobbling around on knees that seem to be much older than the rest of his lean body.

What's so ironic to me is, the question to many casual fans would appear to be if the Brewers should spend the millions to sign them or not. Silly me, I wonder if it would be wise use of financial resources. Even if a Fielder or Nelson is not as productive as Sexson, is it wise to spend 3% of the money for 85-90% of the production? To me, I would say yes it is. There is a good chance that you can use that $7.7 million (or whatever) to strengthen a real weakness, rather than strengthen a mediocre position.

Letting emotions decide how to spend payroll is as ignorant as you can get. Building a club with a 1B and a LF as your high paid cornerstones is silly, not to mention that one is often hurt, and the other has knee trouble.


8/28/2003 10:30:00 PM


Wednesday, August 27, 2003

(8/27/2003 09:50:00 PM) - Al

The Crew picked up Mike Crudale as one of the two PTBNL's from the Cards. He is a middle reliever who pitched very well last year, and has struggled in '03. I would expect the 2nd pitcher to be younger and have a higher ceiling than Crudale, who will get a chance to contribute in Sptember and the opportunity to make the 25 man roster in '04.


8/27/2003 09:50:00 PM



(8/27/2003 09:47:00 PM) - Al

Again, I seem to be the only one who has noticed, but BOS is 3.5 games behind the Yankees again, and seem to be playing pretty well versus some good teams.

By the way, you don't hear many people saying how bad the wildcard is anymore, do you? Short-sighted traditionalists. Heck, they'd still have two divisions and all day games in the playoffs if they could. Change is bad...can't do anything differently...balh, blah, blah. Sorry, time to bravely walk into the 80's...and only be 20some years behind the times.

While you're at it, might be time to pack up and move out of the parent's basement, not to mention to quit pretending RBI's and BA mean a danmn thing.


8/27/2003 09:47:00 PM



(8/27/2003 09:40:00 PM) - Al

Funny, I seem to be the only person who thinks PIT made out pretty well in the trade that sent Giles to SD yesterday. They got a top LH starter in Oliver Perez, and a nice role player who can step right in and play CF, Jason Bay, who has surpassed the .300/.400/.500 standard this year, albeit in the offense friendly PCL. Still, that would seemingly translate to a steady, if unspectacular line of .260/.340/.395...not bad at all for a CF. And, do not forget, though Giles is a great player, he's over 30 and owed a ton of money. Being out from under that behemoth contract alone is worth a ton to the Pirates, who obviously see no value in winning 70 next year with a $30 million payroll, and will aim for rebuilding from scratch, with a payroll likely at or about $20 million.


8/27/2003 09:40:00 PM



(8/27/2003 09:31:00 PM) - Al

9 wins in a row! That might merit a mention on ESPN...my guess, right after highlights of Australian Rules Football ("Can you believe he hooked that easy kick?")


8/27/2003 09:31:00 PM



(8/27/2003 09:29:00 PM) - Al

I know I'm probably on the minority here, but I find it astounding how little media attention the Brewers' 8 game win streak has received. If the Crew was now 8-0 in April, it'd be the lead story on SportsCenter every night. Last I checked, all games count the same. Now granted, the Brewers are not in the hunt for a playoff spot, but to even pretend NFL exhibition games, cuts, and injuries are a fraction as noteworthy is very funny to me.

So nice to see Doug Davis have success. He is exactly the type of fella we should be giving time to, just as Clayton is the antithesis of said person. Davis has been on the cusp of being a serviceable pitcher, but keeps being waived, as he can't be sent down without clearing waivers first. If there's one thing we have, it is patience and available roster room. The difference between Davis and a pretty good #4/5 starter is minimal, in fact, you can probably sum it up in one word, consistency.

And after watching Bill Hall perform so nicely, watching Royce Clayton suck time away from Billy is painful. You know if any of us had the ability to call Billy Beane, or Theo Epstein, and we said, "Hey, what do you think of Royce Clayton", they'd chuckle and say, "He's sucked for several years", though after reading Moneyball, I imagine Billy would manage at least one curse, if not more, in his sentence of description. But, in the same way Dusty Baker sees value in his bench of overpaid veteran mediocrity, so does the Crew with Royce, who is awful at the plate and no better than average at SS.


8/27/2003 09:29:00 PM



(8/27/2003 09:14:00 PM) - Al

Back from Des Moines...my that Iowa is a flat piece of terrain. My kingdom for a hill. Anyway, the Batter's Box, a blog dedicated to the Toronto Blue Jays, sat down for an interview with TOR GM JP Ricciardi. It's lengthy and very good. JP is as on the right track as you can be with a small market club. Read it here.


8/27/2003 09:14:00 PM


Tuesday, August 26, 2003

(8/26/2003 09:57:00 AM) - Al

Off to a conference, be back late tomorrow night or Thursday morning.


8/26/2003 09:57:00 AM


Monday, August 25, 2003

(8/25/2003 10:21:00 PM) - Al

Anyone else think the "minor" injury that seemingly took Ruben Quevedo's velocity down 8-10 mph, is really not a "minor" thing at all? Since Q went on the DL, has he even been able to rehab? I think this has been affecting him since 2002, as his pitch speed dropped then, though Dave Stewart insisted he had his velocity out in the bullpen...though Stewart never carried a radar gun, choosing instead to be grumpy and worthless...my guess is, he was far from honest in his descriptions about Q.


8/25/2003 10:21:00 PM



(8/25/2003 10:11:00 PM) - Al

Dave Burba hasn't pitched since, ahem, August 9th. That's 16 days, for those who are keeping track. Overall, Ned has done an OK job of getting his pitchers work, better since the Crew got with the program and went with a 12 man staff a month or so ago. But, the excuses Yost comes up with to justify letting Burba rot are priceless.

He uses the old "not sure how long the starter will go" argument, basically saying Burba is needed in case the starter gets blasted tomorrow. So, let's say this happens tomorrow night, and Ned would have let Burba pitch the 9th in a blowout tonight.

So, after the starter is able to go only an inning plus tomorrow night, that would have left:

Vizcaino, Estrella, VDS, Rusch, and Kolb, with Brooks only having pitched an inning tonight. So, somehow, those 6 pitchers would have to get us to the 8th inning (unless we came back and tied it or went ahead). Rusch needs the innings to build up his arm, both Luis and Leo could use an inning or two to try and get straightened out, etc. There is no excuse to not keep all of your relievers in game condition in the bullpen. Pretending there is sounds a lot like excuse making to me.

UPDATE: I just thought I'd point out Burba hasn't pitched since before Drew Olson last updated his JS blog. Now that's a long time.


8/25/2003 10:11:00 PM



(8/25/2003 10:05:00 PM) - Al

Just when it looked like BOS & OAK were fighting for the final AL playoff spot, SEA goes into a long slump, and suddenly, the A's could win the AL West, leaving the wildcard to the Red Sox. That sure would be interesting.

By the way, did anyone notice Carlos Guileen has been brought off the 15 day DL...and is now playing 3B, with Rey Sanchez remaining as the starting SS.

That may be the most obvious "lack of confidence" vote for Jeff Cirillo as you can ever imagine seeing. Is this a reason to never sign a free agent over 30 to a long-term contract ever again? No, but it's something to do with extreme caution. It simply is not a sound financial decision. Once in a while, a guy like Bonds or Schilling goes against the norm, but even they tend to suffer from more injuries as they age.

There are plenty of quality 30+ guys out there, but to me, I give 'em a take it or leave it option of one year, maybe two once in a while. I'll let the other teams have the ones that turn me down...and wish them the best of luck.


8/25/2003 10:05:00 PM



(8/25/2003 09:27:00 PM) - Al

Al,

A friend of mine pointed something out to me on the player pages on espn.com. ESPN actually has the nerve to list ESPY AWARDS on each player's profile pages. On Barry Bonds' page, for example, one can find his various ESPY awards listed among his gold gloves and mvps. Just a classic case of ESPN's infatuation with itself. Is there anyone out there who really cares about the ESPY's? Is there anyone out there who thinks ESPN is delivering a better product than it was a couple of years ago? I doubt it.

Bonds' profile

Joe


I had not noticed this, and the term embarassing comes to mind. That said, the Gold Gloves doesn't have a whole lot of credibility left either, and the way they keep giving the AL MVP to the 2nd or 3rd best player, rather than ARod, says plenty as well. All a player can control is how he performs on the field. All the other stuff is pie-in-the-sky.

As long as we have DRew Olson types voting on awards, there will be some horrible decisions made. While I'll be the first to say all awards are all but meaningless, the ESPYs are especially worthless. Giving them credibility by putting them alongside actual baseball awards would seem to destroy the minute amount of credibility ESPN has left.



8/25/2003 09:27:00 PM



(8/25/2003 09:19:00 PM) - Al

Heya Al!

Interesting notes about the Cavs in Eau Claire. Good luck to Jason. I was born in EC and have lived up there for most of my life. They have tried several times to upgrade Carson Park to no avail. They've been offered Northern League teams several times and the City Council has turned it down. So good luck to Jason. :) It's silly because as you probably know, the Cavs have always drawn well when you consider that Carson Park is ancient. :)

Mike


Funny, I was taken to task last year for being critical of Carson Park last year, but there's little doubt it is old. Now, does it need some friendly "tweaking", or an entire remodel? I don't know. I don't think it's a bit worse than Athletic Park in Wausau, but to me, it's sad to settle for just "OK". Eau Claire is plenty large enough to have a high quality place to play, not one you have to preface with "historic".


8/25/2003 09:19:00 PM



(8/25/2003 06:35:00 PM) - Al

Hey there Al-
Let me tell you, it is so depressing to bring up your site and not see an update. Fortunately, that's a rare occurrence. Especially if I live up to my goal and check the site maybe twice a day rather than six.

It's passé (wow--first time I've used that word in a sentence! Worthy of a Pizza Hut celebration tonight!), but I have to say again I totally agree with what you are saying. ESPN needs to just bring us sports. Period. Or, maybe they can start another new network for this crap. I don't think I would even mind it had it not been for the promos coming up every three minutes. At the very least, this should go to ESPN Classic or something. People don't turn to ESPN for anything but sports. Oh, yeah. And Dan Patrick? Please. Is there anyone more overrated in the broadcast industry? Do you listen to his show on the radio? If Dan's there, the only thing he does is name drop and proclaim how cool he is. And teaming him up with Dibble. What ticks me off about Rob is that whenever he gets into a spot that he can't explain his way out of in a circular manner, he throws the "you weren't a player. It's different when you're a player" thing at us. Bad combination being both a jerk AND an idiot.

Two-thirds of my wish list is complete in terms of getting rid of Brewers' players. I'm sure I'm not the only one with that very same wish list. I know I am
overly optimistic, but it sure seems like they are heading in the right direction. I'll take the 10 game improvement this year with glee! Especially considering they are losing these atrocious contracts in the process.

Way far away from what concerns you probably, but WQOW (ABC affiliate in EC) ran a story about the Northwoods League and how much they want to come to Eau Claire. They even had a quick interview with the president of the team and he said that he believes change is needed and would embrace the
NWL. So I'm all fired up--maybe they'll actually do it!! The Cavaliers helped to sell my book "Baseball in Eau Claire" for free at their invitational tournament a few weeks ago. Yep, it's out and is available through borders.com or arcadiapublishing.com. Or through me. If you want to plug it through the website,
great, but I doubt you have my target market. If you do, go ahead and put my home e-mail address (jschris@triwest.net) on there if people have questions.
WQOW did a story on the book two weeks ago, and last Friday I was on WEAU live for their noon show. Pretty exciting, and very cool to see your own book in bookstores!

I think that's everything. It has to be--my fifteen minute break has now expired.

Jason




Jason, thanks for adding to my counter.:) Please, if you have any interest in amateur baseball or the Eau Claire area, either give Jason an e-mail or go to one of the online book sellers he mentioned. I will add one of the links to the right side links, at least until Xmas. What better book to buy for a baseball fan in the Eau Claire area?

Honestly, I know no one who knows less about baseball than Dibble...he may have been one of the biggest underachievers ever to pitch in the big leagues. Classic case of incredible stuff, and not harnessing it whatsoever. Tonight, Dan Patrick and Mark Cuban got into a bit of a shouting match, something about the Kobe case. I've always liked Cuban, he tells it as he sees it, and Dan seemed very "politically correct" about the whole thing. Why was it on SportsCenter? To me, ESPN now has an agenda almost exactly like Keith Olbermann did...instead of covering the games, they want to be bigger than the games.

Interesting notes about the Cavaliers. They'd be a perfect fit in the Northwoods League, to go along with Wausau and Madison, the two cities that support their team incredibly well. The Cavs, for those who do not know, are an indy amateur team that is probably just a small notch below the NWL, but their schedule consists almost entirely of home games against low level competition. The NWL would be a change, as they wouldn't be home every weekend, but it would seem many serious fans want to see the NWL in Eau Claire, if the poll results are any indication.

Best of luck with the book, Jason. If you have an interest, I'd send Jason an e-mail, as maybe he can get you a better deal.



8/25/2003 06:35:00 PM



(8/25/2003 11:55:00 AM) - Al

Rob Dibble said Saturday evening on Baseball Tonight that HOU had one of the three worst OF defenses in the game.

I would consider the Brewers OF about average (Geoff is good, Scott mediocre, VanderWal below average), so let's compare:

Berkman--.838 ZR, 9 assists/3 errors
Biggio-----.842 ZR, 8/0
Hidalgo---.885 ZR, 20/4

Jenkins---.895 ZR, 11/0
Pods------.876 ZR, 2/3
VW--------.881 ZR, 3/2

Looking at zone rating, HOU has an average score of 855, while the Crew has 884. Advantage MIL, but not that decisive. The HOU trio has 37 assists and 8 errors, while MIL has 16/5, advantage Astros.

I will say this...if it is truly one of the worst 3 defensively, it shows how little difference there is in OF defense. However, from this vantage point, it would appear this is just another Dibble ignorant, untrue remark.

Rob, stick with the tired cliches. They make you look like a moron...but not as much as when you try to analyze the game.


8/25/2003 11:55:00 AM



(8/25/2003 11:47:00 AM) - Al

Look what Scooter is doing with some playing time in the Big Apple:

.275/.373/.471, 843 OPS

Granted, it's only in 51 AB's, but it's more than Marcos had coming into the season, so beggars can't be choosers. For the past couple years, Scooter has put together seasons of about .300/.400/.500 in AAA, and it's good to see him getting some time to shine in the bigs. Considering his 2B competition is Joe McEwing, who we all know sucks, he should get a lot of September to show what he can do.


8/25/2003 11:47:00 AM



(8/25/2003 11:38:00 AM) - Al

Anyone think Playmakers on ESPN looks absolutely horrible? Me too. I have no interest in watching a pale imitation of an HBO series.

How 'bout this idea for ESPN...they attempt to add more live broadcasts and leave the "Pete Rose trial" and fiction to networks I never watch.

And, by the way, since when is Dan Patrick a reason to watch SportsCenter?


8/25/2003 11:38:00 AM



(8/25/2003 11:05:00 AM) - Al

An excellent site on Portland's campaign to bring MLB to the city, FYI.


8/25/2003 11:05:00 AM



(8/25/2003 10:59:00 AM) - Al

Do you want proof that Portland is the best option for a MLB team? For me, the proof is the fact BP says it isn't.

It is truly depressing when you see how far downhill that site has gone in a little over a year. Today's "free column" was one describing a "day at the generic ballpark", with an extra "Portland is a horrible place for the Expos" paragraph. Sheehan's idea for the team, you ask...how about DC and 4 places where no one has expressed any interest in owning a team. Do I think another team in the NY metro area might work? Yep. Do I realize that will have to wait because no one wants to put them there, on an ownership level? Yep.

But, the BP guys don't let a little thing like NO OWNER stand in the way, much like Zumsteg's idiotic mantra of "Why don't we build a new park in Montreal"? Because no one with $250 million is stupid enough to do it, that's why. These guys need to come up with an idea of their own once in a while, rather than bashing the best ideas that come forth. Portland is the only entity that seems to value MLB enough to cough up some money for a stadium (take note, Twin Cities). To MLB, and to me, that's enough to have the lead at this point.


8/25/2003 10:59:00 AM


Sunday, August 24, 2003

(8/24/2003 08:28:00 PM) - Al

Portland now has the advantage in the race for the Expos, as they passed a stadium proposal yesterday. Good for them. It is difficult to believe the ultra-liberal state of OR passed such a bill, but they did. Perhaps this is proof that the many festivals and such are a small subculture of the state...the rest of the folks are just regular joes who appreciate MLB and having a big league team. The people and businesses of Portland have supported the TrailBlazers through thick and thin, I hope they get the wayward Expos.

I also wanted to mention they are going to pay for the stadium using private investment dollars, as well as taxing the players that will play in Portland, both home and visitors. I mention this only because I suggested the same thing for the Twins, and it fell on deaf ears. Instead, St. Paul tried a restaurant sales tax, which failed. I'm a big believer in raising revenue the old fashioned way...taxing other people.:) Seriously, everyone goes to restaurants, that's a poor idea. Taxing ballplayers, especially the visitors; and entertainers, concert performers especially; is the epitome of taxing the very rich. Raising the room tax on hotel rooms is also a quiet, yet effective method. We stayed at a Twin Cities hotel last night, in fact, and I think they have a 5-7% "room tax" in addition to the normal sales tax. I'm sure that money goes to the general fund of the state, but is there anything stopping the legislature from adding an extra, nominal 0.5-1.0% "entertainment tax", in the metro area, to help build a new stadium? Just as a ballpark (no pun intended) figure, I would guess there are about 40,000 hotel rooms in the Twin Cities area. A 1% tax on an average room rate of $80 would raise $32,000, if all were full. Estimating 60% capacity for 365 days, I just raised a few pennies over $7 million...almost solely paid for by out of area citizens, and rather painlessly, I might add.

A 50 cent user fee on all tickets sold at a new ballpark would raise about $1 million per season, naming rights should be worth $3-5 million per, etc. That's $12 million a season without including taxing the bejeebers out of visiting athletes. I would also look into raising liquor taxes in exchange for allowing liquor stores (the only place to buy alcohol in MN) to have minimal hours on Sunday. Simply put, it shouldn't be that hard to find the revenue to finance a new place for the Twins to play. My plan, with barely any thought put into it except common sense, would raise $20 million a year, and be paid for by hotel guests, well-to-do athletes, people who can't go without a drink on Sunday, a wealthy corporation that has pride in itself, and baseball fans (season ticket holders would pay about $40).

Downside...well, you might lose a convention or two based on the higher room rates, though it's hard to imagine anyone cancelling out because of 80 cents a room. Other than that, it's all good. Could it be that simple?


8/24/2003 08:28:00 PM



(8/24/2003 07:06:00 PM) - Al

Over 36,000 at the Brewers' win today. After the game, the team was showing Field of Dreams on the juumbo screen above the scoreboard. A Milwaukee win, then watching one of the best, if not the best movie, that deals with baseball as a subject matter...the folks who did that combo are a lucky group.

Probably the last big crowd of the summer, except for the Cubs' games that remain.


8/24/2003 07:06:00 PM



(8/24/2003 03:54:00 PM) - Al

Sad to see the passing of Bobby Bonds, who sadly is most spoken of today due to a meaningless record (most K's in one season). Bobby had a career .353 OBP, and was a very good slugger back in his day. On the bright side, this will allow Barry to mourn and get back long before the playoffs begin.



8/24/2003 03:54:00 PM



(8/24/2003 03:42:00 PM) - Al

Estrella with a couple shaky outings in a row...and it would seem to be more than bad luck when a sinkerballer gives up HR's in back-to-back outings. Leo is a seasoned AAA vet for a reason, as is Danny Kolb. In Kolb's case, he has never been able to harness his velocity with any control. For Leo, his K/IP ratio has never been all that good. With most pitchers, that will mean trouble, eventually.


8/24/2003 03:42:00 PM



(8/24/2003 03:25:00 PM) - Al

Keith Ginter got his knee banged up last night turning a DP. Doesn't appear to be serious, but Billy Hall may pick up some playing time, as he started at 2B today. Nice win last night, scoring in the bottom of the 9th. Wes O pitched nicely again, just one run in 6 innings. He didn't get the win, as the Pirates tied it off the bullpen, but he has pitched nicely in about half his starts, and decently in about 75% of his appearances.

He'll never be a star, but he might fit into the bottom of the rotation just fine in 2004.


8/24/2003 03:25:00 PM


Saturday, August 23, 2003

(8/23/2003 09:11:00 AM) - Al

Off to a wedding, be back tomorrow night.


8/23/2003 09:11:00 AM


Friday, August 22, 2003

(8/22/2003 09:03:00 PM) - Al

Wayne Franklin with a no-hitter through 6 innings. Anytime you make it through 6, you got a shot, as you only need to get 9 more outs without allowing a base knock.

UPDATE: Craig Wilson, of RUTT fame, ends the no-hit bid with a solo HR.


8/22/2003 09:03:00 PM



(8/22/2003 08:52:00 PM) - Al

Scott Podsednik with his 2nd HR tonight. There's something you don't see very often.

Glendon Rusch has been activated to take Dejean's spot. He was to go out for a couple stints of rehab next week in Indy. So, it's likely Glendon will take over the "long man" spot Dave Burba has held. Burba will probably be "piggybacked" with Ben Sheets Sunday, in case Ben can't go. Ben threw tonight on flat ground and reported no pain. However, the fact they didn't allow him to pitch off a mound is a sign they are being extra cautious with him.


8/22/2003 08:52:00 PM



(8/22/2003 07:54:00 PM) - Al

Mike Dejean has been traded to the Cardinals for 2 players to be named later. Good to see the Crew moving veteran spare parts for youth.


8/22/2003 07:54:00 PM



(8/22/2003 03:49:00 PM) - Al

It's official, Janeane Garafolo has gone insane. I've always liked her, as she has stood up against the Hollywood "image" of too thin is wonderful. Today, she's co-hosting Crossfire, and while most folks do seem a bit "scattered" compared to Tucker, she seems nuts. No new ideas, no interesting thoughts, just criticize the President for running the country and not being extremely far left.


8/22/2003 03:49:00 PM



(8/22/2003 02:41:00 PM) - Al

Feelings on the Scott Sullivan trade:

First baseman Sean Casey wondered why the Reds would trade players who were so important to the team's success and its chemistry the last few years.

That's funny, I don't really recall that many superb seasons in Cincy the past few years. Here'e the win totals since 1997:

1997--76
1998--80
1999--96 (2nd place in Central)
2000--85
2001--66
2002--78

Excuse me while I sit down. I am literally overwhelmed by the success of the Reds when Scott Sullivan has been on the team. Scott is a nice complimentary player, but he's hardly the difference between winning and being mediocre.

This would look like an obvious case of overrating the talent you have. I actually really admire what both CIN and PIT are doing. They are starting over from scratch, because what they have now is not even .500, never mind a contender. Pretending you're a pitcher or two away from contention is a good way to delay the rebuilding process.


8/22/2003 02:41:00 PM



(8/22/2003 11:29:00 AM) - Al

I'm still holding out hope that the Brewers trade John VanderWal to make room on the 25 man for Wes Helms. It's not likely, but considering FLA just brought Leny Harris up to sit worthlessly on the bench, I hope someone feels VW is worth more than a nominal prospect.


8/22/2003 11:29:00 AM



(8/22/2003 11:27:00 AM) - Al

Howard Dean:

I will begin by repealing the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, and using the revenues that result from the repeal to address the needs of the average American, invest in the nation's infrastructure and, through tax reform, put money in the hands of those most likely to spend it.

I will raise taxes, taking from the rich to give to the poor.

At least he's honest. Is the "Robin Hood" economic plan a sound one? It seems almost exactly like what they've done in California...and that's hardly a ringing endorsement.


8/22/2003 11:27:00 AM



(8/22/2003 11:11:00 AM) - Al

Rob Dibble, on Baseball Tonight:

94 mph fastball, that isn't good enough if it's high in the zone.

I always thought the high strike was much harder to hit than the low strike...because it is.

Dibble can't even keep his cliches straight.


8/22/2003 11:11:00 AM



(8/22/2003 11:08:00 AM) - Al

I finished Moneyball at about 1:30 last night. Lewis writes so breezily and in a fun style, it's all but impossible to set the book down. I do wish he would have focused more on the June 2002 draft, both the week of preparation and the day itself. That was by far the most interesting and hilarious section of the bnook, and for all the right reasons. Older scouts talk about "tools" and "what a great swing" a young player has, and Billy Beane asks, "Well then, if he has such a good swing, why can't he hit?", and hears silence or doublespeak as responses. Does anyone have any doubt doing things the "Beane way" will garner some momentum in the coming decade? Also, his way of saving money by having good players agree to contracts for far less than slot value, will be copied by teams looking to save money. Beane didn't invent this one, but, to quote the country song, he made it cool.

A few things I noticed, or actually did not notice:

1. Prince Fielder is referred to as "too fat" only by Lewis. I've seen many people attribute that quote to Beane. I would guess Beane had little interest, as he is a HS kid with bargaining power, but we'll never know.

2. I did not see Beane ever say anything bad about HS players in general. I have long thought Beane drifted to college guys because they were closer to being ready, had less room to bicker about money, and were easier to project. If Billy had unlimited funds, I assume he'd take more HS kids.

Also, whoever gets Paul DeProdstera as their GM will have success, I guarantee it. Paul's been waiting for the perfect job, and will find it soon, I have to believe, as someone's going to pay him a lot of money to make thier job "perfect".

Overall, it's a great book.


8/22/2003 11:08:00 AM


Thursday, August 21, 2003

(8/21/2003 09:24:00 PM) - Al

I'm going to spend the rest of my evening reading Moneyball, which as it turns out, wasn't even written by Billy Beane.

Reading the dust jacket, it turns out Michael Lewis, who wrote the book, and is a best selling author, is married to Tabitha Soren. Soren is the former MTV personality who despite being rather thin and petite, always was just intelligent and sexy enough to be appealing.

I'm off to read alone...reminds me of my single days.:)



8/21/2003 09:24:00 PM



(8/21/2003 06:01:00 PM) - Al

From wire services:

Des Moines public school begins today and will dismiss 90 minutes early because of the heat, district spokesman Klark Jessen said.

I'll take Why Has The Public Become Wimpy? for $400, Alex.

Every time I check, it says it was 120 degrees in Baghdad, and you know damn well that Special Forces aren't lounging in AC at night. 90 minutes early, because it's "kinda warm"?

Back in Beaver's day, they wouldn't even have unbuttoned the top button no one has buttoned in 30 years.:)


8/21/2003 06:01:00 PM



(8/21/2003 05:48:00 PM) - Al

From wire services:

Schwarzenegger went to bat for overtaxed Californians. "From the time they get up in the morning and flush the toilet, they are taxed. When they go get a coffee, they are taxed. When they get in their car, they are taxed. When the go to the gas station, they're taxed. When they go to lunch, they're taxed. This goes on all day long. Tax. Tax. Tax. Tax. Tax."

Pardon me, I'll be weeping in the other room. It's just so nice to hear someone tell the truth so plainly. Talks of raising taxes, especially on business, to lower the defecit sounds like Jimmy Carter's economic plan.


8/21/2003 05:48:00 PM



(8/21/2003 05:14:00 PM) - Al

A few days ago, Drew Olson mentioned in his blog he thought the Crew might lose 100 games again, as they had to play a bunch of playoff contenders.

The Crew might still lose 100 games, as they are on pace to lose 96 after their 3 game sweep of the Phillies. However, Drew fails to understand one simple thing: Baseball is a game of inches.

A good team will win 60% of their games, or about 97 in a year. A bad team will win about 40% of their games, about 65 of them. If said good team plays said bad team, on average, the better team will win 6-7 games out of 10. Too many times, people think baseball is like football, where a good team will go 14-2, and a bad team will only win a game or two a year.

The Brewers will probably get beat 2 games of 3 quite a few times the rest of the way, but they've done that versus the Pirates and the Reds as well. But, if you can sweep a team or two, it makes up for a bunch of those lost series. I would say the Crew is likely to win about what you'd expect, 64-67. I'm a lot more concerned with how the Crew is playing than who they're playing.


8/21/2003 05:14:00 PM



(8/21/2003 04:55:00 PM) - Al

Ginter walks 3 times today, hits a homer, and again raises his OPS up to about 800. Since the break, Keith has 11 walks in 94 AB's, finally above the 1 BB per 10 AB's threshold. Keith always takes a ton of pitches, but now has 22 walks in about 250 AB's, still under the 10% goal. Hopefully, he'll finish strong and take a few more BB's. It's all about baserunners, and all about "not getting out".


8/21/2003 04:55:00 PM



(8/21/2003 04:31:00 PM) - Al

Miller Park will end up just about mediocre when ESPN gets done ranking them all. You can see the MP article here. I had expected Miller Park to perform much worse than it did, as even the hated Jim Caple couldn't find anything worthy of less than a 3 of 5. My lone complaint is the "wildcard" category, which is worth 10 points, and basically is only there for the author to rank each stadium based on stupid things like tradition and personal taste.

For instance, Fenway gets 10 of 10 wildcard points, Miller gets 5. So, based on the actual scale, MP got 63 points, Fenway got 61, but after adding in bias for all things old, Fenway magically comes out on top. Talk about ignorant.

Personally, Miller Park is a gorgeous piece of architecture. I can't really believe there are 10 finer places where MLB is played, though I haven't seen many live and in person. But, it will likely take some wins for folks to admit it.


8/21/2003 04:31:00 PM



(8/21/2003 03:54:00 PM) - Al

Jason Conti is 0-3 today, but just threw out the tying run at home to keep the Crew in the lead, for the time being. Jason had a ton of assists in AAA Indy, 19 or 20, and just got his 1st in the bigs this year. Jason struggled to a sub .300 OBP this AAA season, but had better career AAA numbers than Podsednik coming into 2003. As a speedy baserunner and very good defender, I thought he was a better option than Scott back in March. If memory serves, Conti had about a .360 career AAA OBP.

As I said a few days ago, opportunity is a huge part of success, especially for marginal players. Scott went from AAA fodder to Rookie of the Year candidate, while Conti went from 5th OF possibility to AAA weak link...in a timeline of 4 months.

I'm a big fan of Brady Clark as a 5th OF, but Conti is pretty much a LH version of Clark. I'd love to see him return to Indy for depth purposes. 5th OF's aren't worth a lot, but it's nice to have a veteran reserve ready to go.


8/21/2003 03:54:00 PM



(8/21/2003 03:43:00 PM) - Al

From the Journal Sentinel:

Yost's son, Ned Jr., discovered he played the entire 2003 season at the University of Georgia plus the summer Northwoods League in Wausau with a stress fracture in his right wrist. Yost Jr. drove in the winning run in the Northwoods title game for the Woodchucks.

"He sucked it up and played; I'm proud of him," Yost said. "But now he's going to miss the fall season (after transferring to Dallas Baptist)."


I admire young Yost for playing through pain as well, but when your wrist hurts for, let's say two weeks, don't you see a medical provider? Ignoring pain for 3 months is as foolish as it gets.



8/21/2003 03:43:00 PM


Wednesday, August 20, 2003

(8/20/2003 10:35:00 PM) - Al

So, you think 18 year-olds should be getting married? No, they should not.


8/20/2003 10:35:00 PM


Tuesday, August 19, 2003

(8/19/2003 10:27:00 PM) - Al

I've said it a million times...or at least, 10-15. The difference between a veteran AAA starter and a veteran reserve is extremely minimal. Mostly, the difference between a guy like Brady Clark and a Jason Conti is opportunity, luck, "prospect status" (or former prospect status), and a small sample of success here or there.

Tonight, the Brewers sent up PH Mark Smith, a veteran AAA bat because:

1. The best option, John VanderWal, is banged up.

2. The other option, Brooks Kieschnick, would have brought LH Dan Plesac into the game.

Apparently, Yost felt it was better letting Smith face a RH and keeping Brooks on the bench (as a P and a PH) than he did wasting Brooks and letting Smith face a LH. Smith, a career AAA guy who has had a few cups of coffee in the bigs, smacked a 3 run HR to give the Brewers a lead they never relinquished.

Could Smith be on a major league bench? Of course he could, he could even be a platoon LF on a team with a good LF who can't hit lefties, like the Twins' Jacque Jones. But, not to demean Smith's skills, but there are probably a few dozen guys that are all but interchangable with Smith. They bat RH, they play LF/RF, they lack above average OBP and defensive skills. So, they bounce from team to team a lot, looking for a chance to stick in the bigs.

Never give a guy too much credit for being in the bigs, and never look down at a guy who has never got much of a chance in the majors. Odds are, the only thing that separates them is some athleticism and the ability to look busier than they are.


8/19/2003 10:27:00 PM



(8/19/2003 08:42:00 PM) - Al

Peter Gammons continues to pound out interesting columns week after week, year after year. Tidbits about how Sweet Lou thinks TB can contend in 2004 (Lou, don't forget your medication!), how pitchers perform poorly after a high pitch count outing (duh!), and how BOS may well have asked about EY before he was sent to the Bay.

Read it here.


8/19/2003 08:42:00 PM



(8/19/2003 07:40:00 PM) - Al

Greg Bruso was taken in the 2002 draft, or about 14 months ago. He was a high A ball all-star in the Cal League before being promoted to AA. He had 12 wins this year, and a ERA in the 3's at both levels. He walked less than 1.5 men every 9 innings. However, he has thrown 160 inings this year. Hopefully, the Crew will limit him to 5 innings a start the rest of the way.

He is probably a bottom of the rotation starter, as he only throws in the high 80's, but you can never have too many rotation possibilities.

For Eric Young, who SF all but admits is a 2B/LF/CF reserve, as soon as Durham comes back at full strength? Talk about overpaying for mediocrity.


8/19/2003 07:40:00 PM



(8/19/2003 07:25:00 PM) - Al

Ben Sheets is going to be removed from the game tonight after just an inning, as he seems to have some sort of right shoulder stiffness. Thankfully, the Crew isn't going to ask him to "tough it out". Hopefully, it's a minor thing.


8/19/2003 07:25:00 PM



(8/19/2003 03:42:00 PM) - Al

GINTER HAS BEEN FREED!!!!!!!!!

San Francisco Giants Acquired second baseman Eric Young from the Milwaukee Brewers for minor league pitcher Greg Bruso.

Thankfully, we got something for an elderly 2B who was blocking a younger, cheaper option.

If we could just find some team that has no respect for OBP...

*cough*
Cubs
*cough*

...my happiness would be even more undenyable, as we'd find a taker for Clayton.

Thanks to Mike from Cat's House for the info. Check out his blog when you get a chance.




8/19/2003 03:42:00 PM



(8/19/2003 02:47:00 PM) - Al

Al B,

I'm a Phillies fan (now you feel sorry for me, right?)

I started off the season following them closely, but got wrapped up in the book and don't get a chance to see many games anymore.

Do you know anything about Pat Burrell? And if so, I'd love to hear your thoughts on him. People are saying he needs to go back to the minors. I think all the money and publicity he got when he signed screwed up his game.

Also, I like the link for the donations for the police/fire/EMS departments. I was married to the most dedicated cop I know and I have so much respect for him and the guys he works with.

Madison


By the way, Madison runs a fine site called Chicks Dig Books, and is a recently published author. Madison, I hope the servers can handle the extra Ramblings traffic.:)

I've always liked Burrell, but when Philly signed him to that huge deal last year, I shook my head. It seemed to me at the time that they were paying him for his potential, and not for his production, a huge sin for a team.

I am surprised to see him struggling so this year. Look at these numbers:

career, 2002 and prior---.267/.361/.496, 857 OPS, 179 OXS

2003---.204/.316/.405, 721 OPS, 128 OXS

That, my friends, is a total wasted season. While he could be expected to "produce" about 107 runs, he's on a pace for 77 runs...a loss of 30 runs, or 3 wins, using the accepted Rule of 10 estimate. However, Pat is putting up many numbers he should be proud of. He's still walking a lot, and his SLG isn't off much more than his BA, meaning he still has shown good power. Is it possible Pat has just been very unlucky this year?

Let's compare some ratios for 2003 to 2002 and before:

2002<--BB every 6.90 AB's, K every 3.38 AB's, 2B every 16.14 AB's, HR every 18.70 AB's.

2003---BB every 6.38 AB's, K every 3.38 AB's, 2B every 16.75 AB's, HR every 23.65 AB's.

So, in 2003, he was actually walking more (a better eye with more experience, just what you'd expect), striking out at the exact same ratio (even though all you hear is how much he K's), hitting almost the same amount of doubles, and about 25% fewer HR's. Just by taking a glance at these numbers, I would say, for the most part, Pat is suffering from some poor fortune, as well as a dropoff of his power stroke.

While he isn't worth the money he'll be making in 2007 & 2008, it looks like his stats will bounce back sooner rather than later. And sure enough, look at his pre and post midseason break numbers:

Pre---.192./.300/.379, 679 OPS, one walk every 6.47 AB's
Post--.247/.373/.506, 879 OPS, one walk every 5.31 AB's

Now, he's only had 85 AB's in the second half, so it is a small sample. However, it would tell me most of Pat's "problems" are not in his stance or approach, but rather the fact he had a bad stretch early, and his numbers will not recover until given a fresh start in '04.

What's funny to me is that Jimmy Rollins and David Bell have had even weaker offensive campaigns in 2003, but are never mentioned. Maybe it's because of lower expectations, but mostly I would argue it's a simple case of overemphasizing BA and K's, and not respecting OBP.

While it's probably not likely to expect a casual fan to understand...

{overheard at the Brewers/Marlins game I attended} Does a foul ball count as a strike?

...I do tire of the "experts" on Baseball Tonight having little knowledge of OBP.


8/19/2003 02:47:00 PM



(8/19/2003 12:09:00 PM) - Al

Audrey Landers is on MacGyver today.

1. Is she the one that married former reliever Tom Niedenfuer, or was it her sister Judy?

2. It's amazing how much she looks like a young Bernadette Peters.

UPDATE: According to Google, Tom married Judy.


8/19/2003 12:09:00 PM



(8/19/2003 11:51:00 AM) - Al

The Boston mayor has changed his mind...he now thinks Fenway Park is OK to host the Red Sox games for a long time. See the story here.

Now, I have never been to Fenway, but I do know two things:

1. It is routinely described as "cramped" and "ancient".

2. It has the smallest seating capacity of any ballpark in the majors.

The thing I find often occurs is these old, out-of-date eyesores are raised to war memorial status. Fenway does have a lot of history. It is unique, though flawed in my mind, with the short porch in LF and the 37 foot wall. Those seats on top of the Monster are exceedingly cool, but should be looked at as a temporary fix, not a permanent solution. And, in all seriousness, couldn't they incorporate that into a brand new stadium, with luxury boxes, more comfy seats, and added capacity? I would also add in a retractable roof, as it's cold in Boston, and all new stadiums should include one.

Didn't they replace the famed Boston Garden a few years back with the Fleet Center? Time does not stand still in sports. Old and small will be older and smaller in a few years. Does anyone doubt they might set an attendance record in Boston if they'd add enough seats?

I'm sure Fenway is a lovely place. I'm also sure many folks abhor paying $75 for crappy seats that are uncomfortable. Somehow, imagining Fenway still hosting MLB games in 25 years is almost vulgar to me. By then, Camden Yards will be nearly 40 years old, and likely in need of renovation or replacement.

Ignoring the problem doesn't make it go away...and neither does insisting there isn't one.


8/19/2003 11:51:00 AM



(8/19/2003 10:52:00 AM) - Al

JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT THE CUBS' BENCH COULDN'T GET ANY WORSE

They add Tony Womack to the mix. Let's see, demote Choi, and add two guys (coincidentally, two old guys) who struggle to produce a .300 OBP.

Talk about not respecting OBP, the Cubs think it's meaningless.


8/19/2003 10:52:00 AM


Monday, August 18, 2003

(8/18/2003 10:18:00 PM) - Al

There are dozens of very worthy causes and organizations out there. I just wanted to take a minute to make you aware of this one, or to "bump" it to the top of your memory if you had heard of it.

And, keeping with the theme of Ramblings, it was founded in 1985 by Rusty Staub, who spent many years in baseball, mostly as a member of the Mets.

I will be adding this link to the sidebar soon, but for those who admire the job public servants do each and every day, I can think of no better place to send a check at some point.


8/18/2003 10:18:00 PM



(8/18/2003 09:11:00 PM) - Al

Al,

Perhaps the worst offenders holding Keith Ginter hostage are none other than Brady Clark and Royce Clayton.

Look at the OPS numbers (as of Saturday's games):

Helms: .764
Young: .764
Clark: .717
Ginter: .788
Clayton: .618

Helms and Young have both done adequete jobs at third and second base. A better case exists that Royce Clayton and Brady Clark are the ones who
need to sit and free Keith Ginter. Both are horrendous offensively compared to Young and Helms. So, here is my solution to freeing Keith Ginter: Bench
Royce Clayton against right-handed pitchers, and play Ginter at SS, bench Brady Clark against left-handed pitchers, and play Ginter in RF.

Harold


Great to have you reading and writing, Harold. Ginter is a good hitter for a 2B/SS/3B, but won't be even mediocre as a RF. I would simply allow Ginter to play SS everyday, as an audition for 2004. We all know Clayton won't be back, and the idea we have a better chance of winning with him in the lineup is hilarious.

I saw a blurb on Clark playing RF two days in a row, but missed both games this weekend due to work. I would take an educated guess that VanderWal was hurting a bit, and the Crew decided to rest him. I actually feel Brady is a good 5th OF, as he runs well, plays all 3 OF spots, hits enough, and has no future to hinder by sitting him on the bench most of the time. I'll be the first to say that 5th OF's are a dime a dozen, often readily available on the waiver wire. However, Brady has all the tools. There's nothing wrong with having an above average 5th OF...if there is such a thing.

I'd try and convince Clark to sign a minor league deal this offseason, and promise him he'll break spring training with the big club. If we can find someone better in June, so be it.


8/18/2003 09:11:00 PM



(8/18/2003 08:37:00 PM) - Al

There was a lot of talk when the Yankees acquired Aaron Boone that NY had somehow spent their way to another title.

I like Boone, and I drafted him in many of my fantasy leagues. However, I drafted him as a SS, as he was eligible at that position, and the SS spot is very weak, after the "top 5". I remember thinking that Aaron really wasn't much better than average:

Boone career---.269/.331/.446, 777 OPS,
Ave 3B, 2003---.259/.329/.422, 751 OPS

Well, slightly better than mediocre, but not much.

Or, let's take a look at Boone compared to Wes Helms:

Boone career---.269/.331/.446, 777 OPS
Helms, 2003----.251/.325/.439, 764 OPS

I'm certainly not overwhelmed by Wes' production this year, and give or take a ground ball through the hole every other month, that is exactly what you can expect from Aaron Boone.

What's funny is, Russ Branyan, already on the Reds' roster, has a career OPS of 800. Now, he may not be as good a defender as you'd like, but considering a 3B, on average, fields 2 balls a game, that probably wouldn't be a bad risk to take.





8/18/2003 08:37:00 PM



(8/18/2003 08:10:00 PM) - Al

Randall Simon replaces Choi on the Cubs' bench. Yes, Simon is not as good as Choi, but he's older. In Baker's bizarro world, being old is more important than actual talent.

I wonder if anyone has bothered telling Dusty that he probably would have won the World Series last year if he would have had anyone on his bench that didn't really suck.



8/18/2003 08:10:00 PM


Saturday, August 16, 2003

(8/16/2003 09:04:00 PM) - Al

The Crew splits the first two games in Pittsburgh, Doug Davis pitched decently in his first outing today. Mike Lincoln, who has seemed unhittable at times with that big curve ball, has struggled mightily since being installed as PIT's closer. Pods with a 3 run HR in the 9th provided the wining runs today.

Shane Nance must have about a 34 inning scoreless streak going in Indy. He's simply a victim of a manager not setting up his bullpen for success. I just hate seeing Dave Burba on the 25 man roster while Shane wastes away in AAA.

And, on a non-baseball note, anyone else shaking their head about the massive blackout coverage? I grew up in rural Wisconsin, and our lights went out for a couple hours every couple months. I'm sure some were planned service outages, and some were unplanned, stuff wearing out, electrical storms, etc. It was inconvienent, and on the farm, it meant hooking up the tractor to do the milking, which was a huge pain. But, to even pretend that it is a serious catastrophe minimizes true serious events of all types. 9/11 was worthy of all that was written and said about it, as it changed the way we think of security and defending our nation.

But, losing electricity for a few hours? Please. I read in a couple news reports some folks were only without power for 4 hours in parts of NYC...yet when I turned on CNN Friday morning, they were wondering aloud when the lights would start to return to New York. Now, maybe this is a difference in the way New Yorkers look at things, as in NYC (and on Seinfeld), they refer to Manhattan as "the city" and surrounding areas as Queens, Brooklyn, Long Island, etc. It was either a negative spin (by the way, I hear we lost the war on CNN:), or an attempt to mislead...or both.

If this was indeed the worst blackout in US history, which I keep hearing it was, it sure was a minor one. Heck, parts of the Twin Cities lost power for 4 days a few years ago, and it was barely mentioned on the news, as the storm caused some deaths. Electricity wasn't a priority then, but apparently, it was Thursday.


8/16/2003 09:04:00 PM


Friday, August 15, 2003

(8/15/2003 12:20:00 PM) - Al

Bill over at The Daily Brew {link on the right} comments Ginter's OPS is now 800.

Oh to have an entire team that works the count and has plate discipline like Mr. Ginter.


8/15/2003 12:20:00 PM



(8/15/2003 12:18:00 PM) - Al

Aaron tears apart a sloppily written piece in his blog today. This is my favorite thing Aaron does, and he does it extremely well. If he chose to, he could make Rob Dibble and Jeff Brantley look like fools every time they commented on the game, with their inconsistent, random cliches. Make sure you check it out this weekend.

By the way, this is a quote from Brantley yesterday, doing the A's/Red Sox affair:

Most lineups don't have 9 different guys like this in it.


Explain to me why Jeff felt it necessary to put the word "different" in that embarassment of a sentence, and you win a Water Pik.


8/15/2003 12:18:00 PM



(8/15/2003 07:24:00 AM) - Al

JR has this nice story about a moment I also witnessed at Sunday's game. It was every bit as touching as he makes it out to be. It was better than Forrest Gump, and the crowd reaction was priceless. JR isn't exaggerating either, as he wasn't moving a bit faster than my one year-old from 2B to home plate, yet you know in his mind, he was just flying.

That little fella (I think it was a fella) has been around the bases one more time than I have, and most everyone else for that matter. Never hesitate to dream.


8/15/2003 07:24:00 AM



(8/15/2003 07:16:00 AM) - Al

Over 14,000 folks at Miller Park last night, watching the baby Brewers, aka Beloit Snappers, in action, with $5 tickets. Looks to me like this may be an annual event.

It simply amazes me that a veteran who has had a decent career can be so lacking in plate discipline. In the 9th of the real Brewers game, with Podsednik and Kieschnick both on with BB's, EY saw 3 pitches out of the strike zone...but swung at 2 of them, leading to an easy 1-3 putout to end the game. Swinging at pitcher's pitches will lead to an out most every time, yet EY has no idea how to work a count. He's nothing but a hacker, and it shows.

Mrs. Ramblings is under the weather today, so I doubt if there will be any updates to the site. Thanks for checking in.


8/15/2003 07:16:00 AM


Thursday, August 14, 2003

(8/14/2003 01:06:00 PM) - Al

BP has corrected the Maddux/Apodoca mixup, and yet I've received no response from BP, though I assume my e-mail (and maybe others as well) led to the correction.

You're welcome, BP.


8/14/2003 01:06:00 PM


Wednesday, August 13, 2003

(8/13/2003 11:15:00 PM) - Al

Games are indeed quicker this year, an average of 2 hours, 46 minutes. Yet another subtle difference that Bud has spearheaded. Those critical of longer games have kept oddly quiet, as they never give credit where credit is due. Read the story here.


8/13/2003 11:15:00 PM



(8/13/2003 10:58:00 PM) - Al

So, the guy ANA is paying a zillion dollars threw 6 innings of 3 hit ball against a pretty decent Yankees offense.

Hey, I'll be the first to admit the Angels were overpaying Appier, but to release a guy who was still serviceable (5.50 ERA...that's not all that bad) made no sense then, and makes less now.


8/13/2003 10:58:00 PM



(8/13/2003 10:51:00 PM) - Al

FREE KEITH GINTER!!!!!!

Pretty much all season, I've been going on and on how much fun it is watching Keith Ginter hit. Keith takes pitches, works the count, and often drives the ball very hard because of this. And, as a fan who understands that it is important to have a player or two or five making close to the minimum salary, so you can afford to pay for quality, above average personnel at a few spots. I have been plugging Keith as a "value" player since we acquired him from HOU last July. I never felt Keith would be a star, but he always has produced at every level, and his OBP has always been mediocre or better.

There have been some naysayers, mostly folks who don't understand the financial aspect of the game, fail to realize what a small sample is; and more than likely, many who are just casual fans that are just too lazy to learn anything but the bare minimum. Well, thus far, Keith has a career total of over 350 plate appearances, over half a season if he were playing every day. I often use the 80 game/250 AB threshold as a measuring stick for what defines a small sample, so let's compare Ginter's lifetime numbers now that he has passed that mythical barrier:

Ave 2B, 2003---.274/.338/.405, 743 OPS, 137 OXS
Ave 3B, 2003---.259/.329/.422, 751 OPS, 139 OXS
Ginter, career--.264/.349/.419, 768 OPS, 146 OXS

My friends, how 'bout a round of applause for Keith Ginter, inexpensive, yet above average 2B/3B. Not only will he be about average at either position, he will be cheap until the 2006 season begins. By that time, he will also be entering his 30's, which more than likely will see his numbers decline, probably making him a utility player.

Now, will Keith be handed a spot in the starting lineup for the '04 Crew? Well, I hope so, but only time will tell. They have been hesitant to give him more than token playing time, despite the fact he has played as well as their current starters, Eric Young and Wes Helms. EY is, of course, horrible defensively and very old (I'm sorry, experienced). Eric will be a FA after this season. Wes has done OK, but will qualify for arby next year, meaning he will probably make about $2 million to produce at or just below the level Ginter will for $325K.


8/13/2003 10:51:00 PM



(8/13/2003 10:22:00 PM) - Al

Yes, I'm glad to be back.

So, after a few days away, what better opportunity to catch up than with Baseball Prospectus, the baseball site that's so damn good it charges you to see almost all of it's content. For whatever reason, BP chose to make Transaction Analysis free this week, so I chose to skim it. This is the Brewers' entry:

After years of minor league miniondom, Manning got a pair of starts, got rocked, and got replaced. Having picked up Doug Davis, the Brewers are right to take a look at him on the off chance that Davis's great pitching in the minors this season, and flashes of promise in the majors, adds up to a useful Brewer starter. The question is whether Davis can get away from a reputation for annoying his pitching coaches with his stubbornness. If Bob Apodaca can reach him, the Brewers might wind up with a solid fourth or fifth starter. If he can't, well, that's where Davis's familiarity with becoming somebody else's problem becomes an asset again. In life, if you know how to pack quickly and keep people's names straight, odds are, you'll go far, even if it's just in a Willie Loman sort of way.

{bold added for emphasis}

Now, I've probably made a couple mistakes here and there on Ramblings, typed in a wrong name, said Smith rather than Smythe, something. However, Apodoca has not been with the Brewers' organization since 2001...and maybe even earlier. Not only is Mike Maddux the pitching coach now; last year it was Dave "I Should Have Been The TOR GM Because I Used To Pitch" Stewart, then Bill Castro after Grumpy quit.

Hey, mistakes happen every day, but to be 4 pitching coaches behind seems to me to be hellishly out of touch. The funny thing is, BP is one of the many sites that criticizes Bud Selig every chance they get, even if they can't quite agree what he's done wrong.

Tell ya what, BP ought to pay their subscribers. It is nothing but a shell of what it was no more than 2 years ago.





8/13/2003 10:22:00 PM


Tuesday, August 12, 2003

(8/12/2003 10:15:00 PM) - Al

I am back, and regular posts should resume late Wednesday or Thursday.


8/12/2003 10:15:00 PM


Saturday, August 09, 2003

(8/09/2003 09:24:00 PM) - Al

The Crank feels the Mets should finally give Scooter a chance to get some major league playing time.

He seems to be getting a little more playing time of late, but I’m of the view that the Mets might as well give Marco Scutaro a crack at the everyday 2B job for the rest of the season. Scutaro is 27 years old, hit over .290 career in the minor leagues and has shown some ability to get on base for the Mets in the big leagues (two walks last night). I’m not saying he’s a great prospect, but I think it makes sense to give a younger player like him a chance to break into the developing infield, rather than playing Joe McEwing, a hard-working and likeable player, but one with no long-term future with the Mets.

Again, I feel Scooter is a lot like Lou Collier, probably best suited to be a utility guy, but as long as he's able to hit better than most middle infielders, there's no reason he shouldn't be playing regularly somewhere.


8/09/2003 09:24:00 PM



(8/09/2003 10:20:00 AM) - Al

Mike Jones appears as if he will join Ben Diggins needing Tommy John surgery. This is a blow, but realistically, every pitcher is a time bomb waiting to occur when he's 25 and under. Two thoughts spring to my mind:

1. The key to a successful development system is DEPTH. I'd much rather have 10 good prospects than 5 great ones, as it gives you more flameout and injury protection. You could also use this as an argument against huge signing bonuses. Did TOR & OAK have the right idea by taking guys they like and signing them for far less than "slot" value?

2. I don't really agree with the idea of not taking high school players, but taking a high school pitcher in the first five rounds, when the bonuses are in the $200K-$2 million range, has to be one of the worst investments in sports.

Would I completely ban the drafting of HS pitchers in those rounds? No, but I'd avoid it unless the upside and "slot bonus" far outweighs the risk. Mostly, I'd wait out the first few rounds and wait for a solid prospect like Tom Wilhemson drop to the 7th round. Now, would you have to pay Tom more than "slot" money? Most likely yes. Is the risk still there that he'll suffer arm injuries...which he already has...yes. But, the difference is, your system is solidly stocked with 5 good prospects you took in the first 5 rounds. Again, that's a risk I'm willing to take, as my system already has the all important depth necessary, from taking position players and college pitchers in the first five go rounds.

Also, while it didn't occur to me until now, it also makes the $50K Rule 5 price one of the best bargains in sports. Instead of taking an 18 year-old like Matt Ford and paying him $500K, drafting a 22 year-old for $50K not only is sound financially, but you miss over half of the prime "Oops my arm hurts again" years. Not to mention many top prospects never progress in those 4 years. It's like taking a guy that's guaranteed to develop well for a fraction of the price. Sure, it's a shame you have to leave him on the 25 man, but utilized correctly (mop-up man, pinch-runner, defensive replacement), you are able to use that youngster in low leverage situations, but still get some worth from him.



8/09/2003 10:20:00 AM



(8/09/2003 09:57:00 AM) - Al

Luis Martinez has not allowed an earned run in 26+ AAA innings.

Of course, Shane Nance has not given up a run in 29 AAA innings.

Talk about mismanagement, Shane comes up and gets inconsistent work, while Luis Vizcaino keeps getting his 9 ERA called on to "try and get him right". We're going to end the '03 season the same way we ended '02, not really knowing what we have in Shane, other than he is excellent in the minors. Sad, to say the least.


8/09/2003 09:57:00 AM



(8/09/2003 09:50:00 AM) - Al

Found while looking for other things:

Defensive stats for Podsednik and Sanchez, 2003 (Brewers stats only):

Pods----.985 fielding %, 2.50 range factor, .888 zone rating, 3 errors, 1 assist
Alex-----.990 fielding %, 2.96 range factor, .895 zone rating, 1 error, 3 assists

I will be the first to say it certainly appears Scott takes a better path to the ball and looks more comfortable in CF. That said, it does not appear Scott has led to more outs, does it?

Funny how things look different when you look at unbiased numbers, huh? Though I would be irresponsible not to mention that Alex's 36 games is a small sample defensively.


8/09/2003 09:50:00 AM


Wednesday, August 06, 2003

(8/06/2003 10:32:00 AM) - Al

Updates will be rare the next few days. Work tonight and tomorrow, meeting in the Twin Cities Friday, Miller Park Sunday, mass hire in Madison Monday & Tuesday. Whew. Click on some of the links to your right in the meantime.


8/06/2003 10:32:00 AM


Tuesday, August 05, 2003

(8/05/2003 10:21:00 PM) - Al

I haven't seen or heard much of Howard Dean, other than he seems to be the far left's choice to be the Dem nominee. I am seeing him for the first time on The Daily Show, and Jon Stewart is commenting on clips that show Dean waffling on gay marriage and medical marijuana use. I guess he hasn't decided what is the most advantageous position on these issues yet.

And to think, some people think that politicos just "go with their heart". Good one.


8/05/2003 10:21:00 PM



(8/05/2003 09:43:00 PM) - Al

I'm not a big believer in the SAC bunt, with the one exception being if that run gives you a win. However, with Clayton leading off with a double, I'd have the next batter bunt to try and get a two run lead. Instead, as I was typing, Helms walked. Can't bel;ieve EY will bunt, with a LH on the mound, and two LH up.

No, the "veteran leader" did bunt, and popped it up like a simpleton. I'm still unsure how a total idiot like Young manages to find the park every day.


8/05/2003 09:43:00 PM



(8/05/2003 08:55:00 PM) - Al

Ginter with a nice night thus far, a HR and was walked twice. Sadly for us, he chose to swing at one of the ball fours he received, and K'd. The worst AB I've ever seen him have, 3-2 eye-high fastball. Right before the pitch, Don Sutton said that the hitter often gets themselves out, as they get too excited up there. That's exactly what happened.


8/05/2003 08:55:00 PM



(8/05/2003 06:53:00 PM) - Al

I'm a little disappointed that Rob Neyer has turned into such a bandwagon jumper this year. Rob has always been a Royals fan, but a year or two ago, said he was tired of watching them go down the wrong path. Now, suddenly, as if by magic, Neyer is a "loyal" Royals fan, seemingly just because they are above .500 and in a weak division, which puts them in 1st place.

Somehow, you'd think a baseball writer, one of the main "stat guys", would either keep his bandwagon jumping to himself, or hide it a bit better.


8/05/2003 06:53:00 PM



(8/05/2003 06:37:00 PM) - Al

In his last 26 1/3 innings at Indy, Shane Nance has allowed: 0 ER, 9 hits, and 4 walks. That's a 0.49 WHIP. Thank goodness we don't bother giving him regular work in the majors, I'd hate to be able to get a good gauge on him versus MLB hitters.


8/05/2003 06:37:00 PM



(8/05/2003 06:32:00 PM) - Al

Also, the Bucks have hired Terry Porter as their next head coach. I'm not a big fan of hiring former good players, especially those with very little coaching experience. It's just a personal bias, but I always get the feeling a guy like Porter looks at his team and says, "Why aren't you guys better?", as the game was easier for them, due to great ability and most likely a good work ethic. Neither is easy to teach.


8/05/2003 06:32:00 PM



(8/05/2003 06:25:00 PM) - Al

620AM, WTMJ, is reporting Rickie Weeks has signed with the Crew. I will provide links as they become available.

UPDATE: No link yet, but the Brewers have held a press conference announcing the signing of Weeks.


8/05/2003 06:25:00 PM



(8/05/2003 06:10:00 PM) - Al

Al,

A friend and I were really pushing for the Crew to grab Suppan (along with Todd Ritchie) this winter, with the idea that you need bodies to fill into the rotation, they're inexpensive and available, you avoid rushing your young pitchers or risking Neugebauer and you've got the chance to flip one of these guys in July if they are having a good year. Ritchie didn't work, but Suppan did, and its a shame the Brewers didn't grab him last winter and find themselves with Garcia today.

William


Can't argue with that. The difference between Suppan and Ritchie was money and health. We went cheaper, and the Pirates went with mediocre. It worked out well for them, and Garcia is a heckuva player, who'll be inexpensive until 2007. I still think Theo overpaid a tad for Suppan, but I understand the heat is on in Beantown. Thanks for reading and writing, William.



8/05/2003 06:10:00 PM



(8/05/2003 06:05:00 PM) - Al

Al,

The A's problems in the post season has given me some ideas on the value of OPS. I agree that OPS is a great indicator of runs scored and scoring more runs than you allow is the best way to get to the post season. But once you are in the post-season, you are going to face very good pitching. The pitchers that make it to the post season are likely very good at not giving up HR's and BB's. Thus, your team need to be more dependant on batting average (the Angels) to score runs.

I guess I'm trying to find the a way to prove/dis-prove this theory. I don't really know where to find "overall" post season numbers. Do you have any online sources where I can find these numbers. I'm not really sure what to look at once I get the numbers. Any suggestions???? Any sources????

Tim


Tim, thanks for reading and writing. I blame the A's "problems" in the postseason to bad luck and a small sample size. I have heard your theory said before, and rather than looking for a way to prove it, announcers throw it out there, accept it as fact based on about 15 games, and wonder why the A's don't change. I would not say you face "really good" pitching either, but most clubs are better than average, I'll allow that.

ESPN has the numbers for the postseasons of each of the past few years, but I do not know where to find a large database of playoff stats. If anyone does, e-mail it to me.


8/05/2003 06:05:00 PM



(8/05/2003 11:15:00 AM) - Al

The Giants won't miss Rich Aurilla...they have Neifi Perez--Baseball Tonight crew


It's almost as if they don't realize Perez is dreadful. A .269/.295/.350 statline is horrible, no denying that. It's difficult for me to accept getting out 70% of the time. Aurilla isn't God's gift to offense, but at least he supplies some power.


8/05/2003 11:15:00 AM


Monday, August 04, 2003

(8/04/2003 11:17:00 PM) - Al

As part of my normal evening, I often watch the two TBS episodes of Seinfeld, then the syndicated version which airs here at 10:35PM. Tonight, the late version was one of the most underrated episodes of the classic series, in my opinion. Kramer says no less than three of his most memorable lines:

{after finding only health food in Jerry's fridge}Well, I might have to take it, but I don't have to like it!

I'm very responsible...now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go fill up my freezer with my own blood.

I'm taping Canadian Parliament on my TV.


As I say often, it simply astounds me that this show, which ended a half decade ago, is still the best thing on TV almost every night.


8/04/2003 11:17:00 PM



(8/04/2003 10:38:00 PM) - Al

Brewerfan.net is reporting Rickie Weeks will sign soon with the Brewers, a major league contract, which means he'd have to stick in the majors by 2006 (unless it's 2007). I'm on record as saying I'd let Rickie go back in the draft and take the supplemental pick in the '04 draft rather than give him a big league deal, though I admitted I would probably do it if it was the only sticking point.

It goes against everything I believe in, but remember something I always say: Everything you do should be a step in your journey toward your final destination. Hey, it isn't about finishing 5th in 2003, it's about having a nice 5-10 year run, able to win 90 games and be in contention on an annual basis. I want to be the A's, not the Angels.

If that means I'll break a rule of my own, I guess I'd do it. Nice to see us add another solid prospect to the mix. Honestly, this may push us into the Top 10 minor league systems in MLB, Weeks is that good, and will climb the ladder quickly.

Of course, he'll have to now, won't he?


8/04/2003 10:38:00 PM



(8/04/2003 09:10:00 PM) - Al

In a classic, "I got some good news, I got some bad news" scenario, RUTT SS Marcos "Scooter" Scutaro was recalled by the Mets, then Lou Collier was DFA'd by the Red Sox to make room for Jeff Suppan.

Here's hoping Scooter gets some playing time, and Lou finds a team willing to let him use his OBP skills and versatility in the big leagues.

Heck, I know a team with a <.300 OBP man playing SS right off the top of my head...


8/04/2003 09:10:00 PM



(8/04/2003 09:03:00 PM) - Al

It's becoming a complete love fest for Theo Epstein, as Sean McAdam writes how it seems Theo is several steps ahead of everyone else. I would think in the next year or so, Beane assistant Paul DePodestra will likely get a chance. That team will likely be singing his praises as well.

Theo isn't foolproof, as his club lost several in a row right after the deadline deals went down, but there's no doubt he set up his team to win. You just know he'll add a veteran role player or two in August as well.

Don't forget, SEA, OAK, NY, or BOS won't make the postseason, despite little doubt they are the top 4 AL teams, and that they all might win 95 games. This isn't a place for a GM who "plays hunches" or "hopes someone gets hot". Gotta work your plan every day.


8/04/2003 09:03:00 PM



(8/04/2003 05:58:00 PM) - Al

From Peter Gammons:

Somewhere, maybe in halls of the old guard, there is remaining resentment that a 29-year-old Yale graduate could be running the Boston Red Sox. But there is an old guard that seems to resent a lot these days. Wasn't Beane supposed to have trouble making a trade because of "Moneyball" (which some dopes still think he wrote)? Beane got Jose Guillen and was right on the cusp of several other deals. Weren't Cashman and ex-Reds GM Jim Bowden supposed to be too young when they took over, and didn't each turn out to be extremely creative and successful (Tampa Bay: take note)?

When it got to the July 31 deadline, it was the usual players who were in the middle of everything: Brian Sabean, Williams, Cashman, Beane, Epstein.


Ouch. Not only is Peter very into the new breed of GM, unlike some who "don't get it", I believe that may be the first time I've ever seen Joe Morgan called a "dope". Seriously, who else is on record as saying Beane wrote Moneyball?


8/04/2003 05:58:00 PM



(8/04/2003 05:26:00 PM) - Al

ESPN ran a long piece saying how bad each league's Central division is. Still, if you take a look at the standings, a true "goodteam" like the Red Sox has won 6 more games than a "weak team" like the Royals. It's pretty easy for me to see that these teams are really close. It's almost like ESPN is trying to sell the opposite feeling, and I'm not sure why.


8/04/2003 05:26:00 PM


Sunday, August 03, 2003

(8/03/2003 08:44:00 PM) - Al

I still am having a difficult time understanding why Kelvim Escobar is still with TOR. He looked like the best starter available by far to me, and is a free agent after this year, hence, no long-term commitment. I'm not sure if JP simply asked for a couple top prospects or what, but Kelvim could be the difference to a few teams.


8/03/2003 08:44:00 PM



(8/03/2003 08:42:00 PM) - Al

Stick a fork in the Angels, folks, they are done.

4 games under .500, 14 games out, early August...no frickin' way.


8/03/2003 08:42:00 PM



(8/03/2003 05:33:00 PM) - Al

Al,

I was wondering if you would ever write an entry on how you would build a team from scratch, or from nearly nothing (either Pittsburgh or Cincinnati would work right now). I don't know if you saw it, but BP ran an amatuerish piece which adds a lot of money to the payroll, and hopes to be a .500 club. How absurd is that?

Love the blog.

Randy


Randy, thanks for the e-mail. That BP article is as mainstream as you can get, and you're right, seems to aim for a $50 mil payroll and a .500 record. How quaint. Let's dump payroll, get some kids, then go out and sign more mediocre vets to try and not suck.

Good idea.

At least CIN & PIT know exactly what the goal is, to win eventually. If you aren't planing on winning in 2003 or 2004, why have a payroll of $50 million? As I pointed out a few days ago, if the Pirates go with an infield of Wilson, Garcia, Hernandez, and Hill, that's $1.8 mil in 2003, and probably not a whole lot more in 2004. And, it's not an awful alignment. Meanwhile, Doug Melvin said he really didn't want to trade VanderWal because "I don't want to finish last again". Whenever your short term goal outweighs your long-term goal, it better involve winning in the playoffs, not winning 67 games rather than 65.

Doug's goal is silly, while Cincy and PIT have decided to strip down and rebuild. Is it something that will hurt the Crew? Probably not, as VW wouldn't have fetched a prospect likely to ever be more than mediocre.

But, adding another prospect to an ever improving system is surely a better idea than keeping a 37 year-old platoon OF. Whenever emotion becomes a higher priority than having a plan and following it every day, you really don't have a plan anymore.

EDIT: I forgot to add that I intend to give at least a quick rundown of how I would build a team in the near future. What I'd pay for, what I wouldn't.


8/03/2003 05:33:00 PM


Saturday, August 02, 2003

(8/02/2003 09:20:00 PM) - Al

Not going to post about the Brewers today, as my wife and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary with dinner and a movie. Back with regular Ramblings tomorrow evening, hopefully.


8/02/2003 09:20:00 PM


Friday, August 01, 2003

(8/01/2003 10:07:00 PM) - Al

Rey Sanchez, worst hitter in the game, hitting 2nd for SEA tonight.

Hey, I'll be the first to say batting order is almost meaningless. However, the idea of putting Rey anything but 9th is insane.


8/01/2003 10:07:00 PM



(8/01/2003 10:00:00 PM) - Al

Recently, I changed my formatting so I could add a title to my posts if I chose to. However, while they show up on my editing page, they don't seem to be appearing on the actual Ramblings site, at least not all the time. Sorry for any confusion.


8/01/2003 10:00:00 PM



(8/01/2003 12:04:00 PM) - Al

With some awesome quotes:

The only solution to Osama bin Laden is a f***ing 88-millimeter shell through his forehead.

Woods also says that hugs won't help. Almost like my idea that despite views to the contrary, holding hands and singing folk songs won't do a thing to help anyone. Check out the whole thing here.


8/01/2003 12:04:00 PM



(8/01/2003 11:42:00 AM) - Al

Brantley---You never know what you're going to get with a knuckleball pitcher (speaking of Jeff Suppan).

I didn't know Suppan was a knuckleball pitcher. Here's what BA says:

Suppan is a control pitcher whose recent hot streak has coincided with improved fastball command. He has solid average velocity and uses a curveball as an out pitch.

Ba apparently doesn't realize Suppan is a knuckleball pitcher either. However, word is most everyone believes Brantley is a knucklehead.

On Sidney Ponson, Jeff says:

He'll give you 7 or 8 innings every time out.

Ponson has started 21 games, and has went less than 7 innings 8 times...almost 40% of the time.

Tell ya what, Brantley may be the worst ex-player I've ever heard/seen..and that's saying something.


8/01/2003 11:42:00 AM


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