Al's Ramblings

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

(11/30/2004 10:36:00 PM) - Al

It appears very likely my long post discussing Matt Clement, and other FA SP's has been "Bloggered". Check out the Brewers' home page to read of their interest in Clement, and trust me when I say he'd be a dandy addition.

11/30/2004 10:36:00 PM

(11/30/2004 10:36:00 PM) - Al

It appears very likely my long post discussing Matt Clement, and other FA SP's has been "Bloggered". Check out the Brewers' home page to read of their interest in Clement, and trust me when I say he'd be a dandy addition.

11/30/2004 10:36:00 PM

(11/30/2004 11:22:00 AM) - Al

Hi. I write at Barry Zito Forever. I wrote a post about how I was sad to hear that Damian Miller was leaving the A’s. This dude is totally solid. I can’t believe he wants to leave the A’s, even if it is to play in his home state. I am happy about the Kendall deal as long as it doesn’t involve losing any of Hudson, Zito, Mulder or Harden to cut payroll. Miller hits and catches better than I thought he would. Unless he gets injured, he certainly seems viable for another 3 years, even though he is 35. Watching him throw guys out, when Ramon Hernandez couldn’t, was awesome last year.

As far as Jermaine Dye, the A’s are sick of him. They gave him the biggest contract at the time in A’s history and he had one injury after another and never really blossomed into the RBI machine we thought he would be. That said, he is very solid also, when not hurt. His arm is above average, and he has a lot of pop. I expect wherever he ends up he’ll put up 30 bombs and 100 rbi. It could be on Oaktown, but I doubt it, because like I said, they are sick of him here.

Keep the faith.


Thanks for writing, Mike, and we're happy to have Damian in MIL. I expect to see one more 2-3 year deal signed this offseason, but it's doubtful they will help us as much as the Miller signing.

11/30/2004 11:22:00 AM

Monday, November 29, 2004

(11/29/2004 10:02:00 PM) - Al

The Crank does some research on win shares by age. Check it out.

11/29/2004 10:02:00 PM

(11/29/2004 06:38:00 PM) - Al

Damian Miller is now officially a member of the Brewers. One of my personal faves, Chris Magruder, DFA'd to make room on the 40 man.

Miller will be a huge upgrade from '04 if he is able to sustain his career norms at 35. If Chad Moeller is kept around as the backup, he is probably a top 5-7 reserve as well.

11/29/2004 06:38:00 PM

Sunday, November 28, 2004

(11/28/2004 07:30:00 PM) - Al

Check out convicted abuser Wil Cordero's Baseball Reference sponsorship. The delicious smell of irony.

Hat tip to Crank.

11/28/2004 07:30:00 PM

Saturday, November 27, 2004

(11/27/2004 09:08:00 PM) - Al

...I have received a couple e-mails wondering about the Damian Miller situation...I know nothing more than you, but a couple things to remember.

1. How many deals have fallen apart after a physical? Very, very few. Odds are, it'll be completed soon.

2. Do you want to sign a catcher who is more injury-prone than most? I certainly have no interest in signing a 35 year-old time bomb.

...The message boards are full of "who will we sign next?" rumors and speculation. I am certain Melvin wants to add at least one SP to the mix, but I doubt if they will give up another draft pick to do so (however, if Counsell signs before the deadline for offering arby, 12/7 I believe, they would gain a 2nd round pick, thus nullifying the loss of the pick to the A's for Miller, that may change). I feel a second-tier guy (Russ Ortiz?) is possible, while a trade for a higher salary guy is even more likely. If that happens, Miguel Batista of the Blue Jays would seem a likely option. The Brewers pursued Batista last offseason, and TOR is said to be putting together a high dollar offer for Matt Clement. Miguel is a ground-ball pitcher, and would seem to be a perfect fit in Miller Park.

...One reader wrote to ask what free agent would the Crew end up signing, ala Ben Grieve, a role player looking for a chance to play, and willing to sign a relatively inexpensive one-year contract, hoping to make good and cash in next season. Looking at the list, my two guesses would be:

Hideo Nomo
Terry Adams

I have mentioned Adams before, as he is a David Weathers clone, a veteran middle reliever, though Adams had some success as a starter not that long ago.

Nomo, if healthy, certainly is athletic enough to put together a decent campaign again.

11/27/2004 09:08:00 PM

Thursday, November 25, 2004

(11/25/2004 07:43:00 PM) - Al

Blackfive has Marines' e-mails home...I will never complain about my job again.:) Bless our armed forces.

On a related note, it's been days since a Marine shot an apparently unarmed opponent in a mosque. Many were outraged by this, but many were not. I will let the military complete its investigation and I trust those folks to amke a wise decision. I will say this...days without sleep, limited food and water, grazed the day before by enemy fire, knowing the enemy has booby-trapped dead and wounded soldiers in the weapon would have fired every bit as quickly, and probably faster. Last time I checked, war isn't pretty or meant to be played with one hand in the rulebook.

It's a game of survival, and you play to win. The fact almost every military person has answered the question as I did tells me that this is not an unusual event in conflict.

11/25/2004 07:43:00 PM

(11/25/2004 06:50:00 PM) - Al

Instapundit links to several sites that are in existence only to provide comfort to the men and women that defend the greatest nation on the planet. If you are comfortable because of luck, hard work, or a combination of the two, consider these a nice place for some of your good tidings this year.

11/25/2004 06:50:00 PM

(11/25/2004 01:57:00 PM) - Al

Happy Thanksgiving to all. I will be taking the day off and hopefully knocking out the annual Xmas card letter.

Most of all, I'm thankful this holiday that the finest military the world has ever known is defending the greatest nation. To those who have served, or are serving now, my deepest thanks.

11/25/2004 01:57:00 PM

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

(11/24/2004 11:50:00 PM) - Al

Nice article on Seinfeld and sports. Reading it, I find it amazing how many incredible lines were on each and every episode.

11/24/2004 11:50:00 PM

(11/24/2004 11:20:00 AM) - Al

From King Gleeman:

Oh, and here's a little stat I stumbled across while trying to find something to explain this deal: During Castro's 10-year career (1995-2004), no hitter in all of baseball has had a worse on-base percentage (.269) or OPS (.600) in as many plate appearances (1,742). Chew on that for a while, and then think about the fact that he'll make about three times as much as Justin Morneau over the life of his contract.

And, Matt Erickson barely gets a look each spring. It's a pity.

11/24/2004 11:20:00 AM

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

(11/23/2004 06:42:00 PM) - Al

Pending a physical, Damian Miller is now property of the Brewers.

UPDATE: ESPN has a story up as well. Money quote:

The Brewers outbid the Red Sox and Dodgers," Garber (Miller's agent) said. "Maybe the haves and have-nots are bridging the gap."

No doubt in my mind the CBA agreement Selig helped to finalize in 2002 has done exactly this.

I must admit, I find it surprising that the Red Sox and Dodgers were both unwilling to guarantee Miller $8.75M over 3 years. Considering Varitek is looking for more than that per season, and there is absolutely no doubt Miller is the second best catcher on the FA market, I'd say his "value" is somewhere in the $2.5-4M range. I thought we had a chance at Miller because he might choose to play in Milwaukee rather than LA or BOS, for similiar cash. I admit, I never dreamed the Crew would make an offer at or near fair market value and be the only bidder to do so.

When you consider the small market Twins paid $2M for a 32 year-old reserve infielder...who has never been even mediocre. Guys like that are available on the waiver wire in mid-February, and will happily sign a AAA deal, and will jump for joy if they are given a spring training invite. Giving guaranteed money to a no-hit SS who can defend a bit is simply sad.

11/23/2004 06:42:00 PM

(11/23/2004 09:34:00 AM) - Al

Damian Miller is said to be close to signing a contract with the Crew.

We can only hope. While I hope the Crew frontloads the contract of a 35 year-old catcher, a 3y/$9M deal (which is rumored) isn't going to destroy the franchise. We're not talking about giving a sore-armed pitcher $13 million a year (like the Red Sox and Yankees both want to do with Pedro).

As I said here, when I discussed the Brewers' positional players, Miller would shore up the Crew's weakest spot, and to add another thought, would likely make Chad Moeller one of the top reserves in the game.

11/23/2004 09:34:00 AM

Sunday, November 21, 2004

(11/21/2004 08:34:00 PM) - Al

Kris Benson signs with the Mets for a contract that makes you wonder if there's another Kris Benson that isn't injury-prone and not all that good.

Makes Cory Lidle's 2y/$6.3M deal look like a bargain of mammoth proportion.

The JS says that the Crew is looking at Jermaine Dye, Damian Miller, and Corey Koskie. I like the latter two, but Dye is just a stopgap at best. Maybe that's all Melvin wants him for, but the word "covet" was used, which would seem to suggest more.

Finally, word is the Crew will look into charging more for premium games in '05. It's about time. The idea an April evening tilt with the Padres is the same price as a July Cubs' games is frighteningly simple-minded.

Of course, some games (heck, almost all of them in April and May) should be made cheaper as well, at least the seats not populated by many season ticket holders. I recall we went to an early couple games last year and many seats were half-price in a "turn back the clock" promotion, and those seats were close to being sold out, and the crowd was over 30K, a good crowd for that time of year.

Finally, rumor has it Troy Glaus will be visiting Milwaukee this week. It's just nice to see a true premium guy considering his options, and that they include the Brewers.

11/21/2004 08:34:00 PM

(11/21/2004 06:54:00 PM) - Al

Bless David Stern for understanding the game and his fans. Too bad prosecutors can't be convinced too wake up from a nap to bother caring about violence in sports.

11/21/2004 06:54:00 PM

Saturday, November 20, 2004

(11/20/2004 07:02:00 PM) - Al

I don't know much about much, but allow me to say if those three Pacers were on my team, they'd never again wear the mythical Ramblings' uniform. There aren't many players in which I can honestly say I'd rather lose without than win with, but add them to Dennis Rodman, Raul Mondesi, and any NHL player known as an "enforcer".

The city of Detroit didn't exactly do itself proud, mind you, but when you go into the stands, you deserve exactly what you get. The only thing more embarassing than their behavior was the ESPN commentators (other than poker coverage, does ESPN have a single redeeming quality?) that insisted that "any player would have done the same thing". Please. I honestly don't know who they were, other than Greg Anthony, who was a thug (I'm sorry, student-athlete) at UNLV back in the days when the Tark didn't let not going to class affect playing time.

On a final note, this has been a long time coming. Monica Seles almost died years ago, and no one has done a thing to increase security in any sport. To be honest, this won't either, except several players will rightfully be suspended for 10+ games.

11/20/2004 07:02:00 PM

Friday, November 19, 2004

(11/19/2004 10:59:00 PM) - Al

Ah, those Europeans, so much more intelligent than us foolish Americans. More culture, more dignified, and much more willing to yell racial insults.

What a pathetic group.

11/19/2004 10:59:00 PM

(11/19/2004 10:53:00 PM) - Al

The on-field moves have led a paralleled existence with the off-the-field developments regarding the relocation from Montreal. The team began taking $300 deposits for season tickets this week, receiving more than 11,500 deposits by Friday afternoon, even as baseball owners postponed a planned vote to approve the move.

You know, MLB should have just built a new stadium in Montreal...yeah, that would have been the most intelligent thing to do. Every time I see a Jim Caple byline, I will recall what a complete idiot he is for suggesting that little gem. The man simply has no idea that MLB is a huge business, and spending $300 million on a new stadium in a horrible baseball town has no merits.

11/19/2004 10:53:00 PM

Thursday, November 18, 2004

(11/18/2004 11:00:00 PM) - Al

Damian Miller wants a 3 year contract, and has hinted strongly he will sign with the first team that guarantees him a 3 year deal.

I like Miller a lot, and hope he wants to come home to WI and play. That said, there appears to be only a couple above average catchers on the market, and Varitek is in a league of his own. Miller is solid, but not superb, and will be just under 38 when his contract ends, if he signs a 3 year contract. I would frontload heavily if I were the team to give him that 3rd year, as he is unlikely to be squatting behind the plate for 110+ games in 2007. I'm not certain why frontloading is still so uncommon, other than the obvious "maybe we'll have more money in a few years" argument. Miller, at best, may be splitting time in '07, and is all but certain to not have a market value exceeding $2M at age 37. So, it makes sense to me that after reaching a financial arrangement with Miller, the signing team should offer to pay him most of the money in '05 & '06, making him inexpensive for 2007, as he would have more trade value then, and be cheap enough to be a reserve.

UPDATE: Melvin, Ash, and Yost all met with Miller at his WI home yesterday.

11/18/2004 11:00:00 PM

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

(11/17/2004 11:35:00 AM) - Al

The Iraq battles hits close to home for one blogger.

11/17/2004 11:35:00 AM

(11/17/2004 10:47:00 AM) - Al

Found this story on a current MLB player taking legal action against a stalker type.

Money quote:

Ten years ago, Ryan Root was the toast of Chatham Glenbard High, a small-town hero dating a local girl and destined for big things.

But his high school sweetheart went on to marry another Chatham Glenbard star, Jayson Werth, who made it to the big leagues and is a Los Angeles Dodger.

Now the guy who got the girl is suing the guy who didn't, accusing him of spreading vicious lies about him and his wife.

I know just one thing for sure...Jayson Werth's wife is extremely hot. If she wasn't, Root wouldn't care, and neither would Werth.

11/17/2004 10:47:00 AM

(11/17/2004 08:24:00 AM) - Al

After sleeping on it, I sure wish the Crew would have ended up with Lidle. He is coming off a couple "down" years, but is still a quality starter who eats innings, gives you double digits in wins, and is just a couple seasons removed from being a solid #2 starter. Being an extreme ground ball pitcher would have helped him in Miller Park, and despite the fact he would have cost the team a 2nd round pick, would have been a quality addition, with a ceiling much higher than most bottom of the rotation arms.

11/17/2004 08:24:00 AM

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

(11/16/2004 06:51:00 PM) - Al

Cory Lidle signs with Philadelphia, 2y/$6.3M.

Cristian Guzman signs with DC, 4y/$16.8M.

Vinny Castilla signs with DC, 2y/$6.2M.

I have long been a big fan of Lidle, who is an extreme groundball pitcher, who likely would have had success at Miller Park. He signed a good contract, but a fair one. I could easily imagine him getting the same offer from the Brewers. The one thing that jumps out at me is the simple fact Cory was a Type B FA, meaning the Crew would have had to give the Phillies a 2nd round pick. I would have considered it, but especially with the Crew after other free agents, it would have been a tough thing for me to do. No idea if Lidle would have been offered arby or not, though I assume he would have been.

The Guzman signing, to be honest, is the worst I can recall since David Bell, a very mediocre 3B, signed a 4y/$17M contract. The money is almost identical, and Cristian has literally had one above average campaign out of six. ONE OF SIX. The one thing I keep thinking is regardless of how much I rip this signing, Aaron Gleeman will make my critique look like a kitten playing with a ball of yarn.

But, in case Aaron is ill, let's dive into the facts:

Guzman, 2004---.309/.384, 693 OPS, 119 OXS, 72 runs produced
Guzman, career-.303/.382, 685 OPS, 116 OXS, 69 rp
Ave SS, 2004---.326/.408, 734 OPS, 133 OXS, 80 rp

$4.2 million gets you a SS who is almost exactly worth one less win a season than Joe Mediocre. Ouch.

As if that's not bad enough, Guzman is now moving off turf to play almost all his games on grass.

Turf, '02-'04--.321/.396, 717
Grass, '02-'04-.281/.359, 640

If the past 3 seasons are to be believed, DC just paid $17M for Craig Counsell with better speed. Really. They had a better option in house, as Jamey Carroll is a cheap, better option.

Vinny Castilla, at one time, was a pretty good hitter. Let's list his career seasons, leaving out his time spent with Colorado, in Coors Field:

.310/.461, 771
.268/.348, 616
.308/.467, 775
.254/.308, 562

On the bright side, two of the four are better than I'd expect from Guzman. That said, Vinny is older than me, so I wouldn't expect him to suddenly improve. So at best, he's a low OBP man with some good pop in his bat. Considering that even in a "good" season, you can expect him to get out about 70% of the time, I'm not real sure what DC was thinking here either.

Not only is the money out of whack, but so is the length of these two deals. I'm no expert on how players feel about DC, but it certainly is not as hated as Montreal. The urge to overpay may be there, but the need to give Castilla more than a one year contract should have been pacified. Guzman is young and has had success...but this deal screams "paying for potential", which is fine if you're drafting a 18 or 20 year-old, but not for paying a fella with six years of experience.

I admired the work Jim Bowden did in Cincy, where he was handcuffed by a terrible contract given to Barry Larkin by ownership. I can only imagine he was told by MLB to:

A. Try to build help DC win in 2005.

B. Don't be afraid to spend some money.

While he may have accomplished those goals, he overpaid for mediocrity...actually, he overpaid for below mediocrity. That's never a good thing.

11/16/2004 06:51:00 PM

Monday, November 15, 2004

(11/15/2004 08:25:00 PM) - Al

Everybody Loves Raymond is in its final season, and it certainly is going out on a high note. It hasn't lost a thing, and in many ways, it seems better than ever. Frank alone is good for several great lines every episode. There is rarely better TV than the two hour Seinfeld/Raymond block on TBS late each afternoon.

Sadly, it wasn't on last night, but if you aren't watching Desperate Housewives, you have no idea what you're missing. Delightfully dark and humor filled, with characters loaded with flaws; it reminds me a lot of Six Feet Under, before last season, which was mediocre only when it didn't suck. There is no moral at the end of the story, but it's a fun way to spend an hour.

What's really sad is, if one of those two shows aren't on, I'm probably watching the World Series of Poker being rebroadcast for the 15th time on ESPN.

11/15/2004 08:25:00 PM

(11/15/2004 07:47:00 PM) - Al

I'm not sure what's more shocking; eight writers felt Barry Bonds was not the best player in the NL, or that one idiot felt he wasn't one of the top two.

Like him or not, he was by far the best player in the game. To pretend he isn't the MVP is profane.

11/15/2004 07:47:00 PM

(11/15/2004 01:47:00 PM) - Al

An exceptionally newsy Gammons'column. He does mention BOS wants Troy Glaus, and is trying to clear $8 million to bring him aboard.

If only Glaus wasn't coming off an injury, I could make a full fledged endorsementm of him. However, in a league without the DH, it's a tough risk to take.

11/15/2004 01:47:00 PM

Sunday, November 14, 2004

(11/14/2004 08:26:00 PM) - Al

First time I've heard from a reader wondering about my health.:)

All's fine, but work is six days a week now, and to be honest, not a whole lot going on with either the Brewers or MLB.

The most popular names I've heard associated with the Brewers are:

Charles Johnson--Chuck used to be good, but apparently the Rockies are looking for salary relief, and Johnson will make $10 mil in 2005. COL is said to be willing to pay $9M of that, just need to clear a million or so to sign another catcher. CJ is 33, and does have good plate discipline, with 129 walks in 905 AB's, and takes pitches, 4.0 per PA. A solid .325/.423 statline the past three years, but will be hurt by leaving Coors.

Richard Hidalgo and Jermaine Dye--Both would seem to fit in Melvin's often mentioned RH hitter who could fit in the middle of the order. I admit, I'm a bit surprised at Dye's stats since '02, only a 743 OPS. I'd look at him solely as a one year stopgap, as he has had success in the past, and is a fine defender as well. Hidalgo is just 29, and has had some OK seasons, and a couple outstanding ones. Since '02, he has above average corner OF numbers of .336/.482, and despite playing in Minute Maid Park, had a worse OPS there than he did overall. Also, he's a flyball hitter, so he will be aided by Miller Park. I would consider Hidalgo to be a possibility to a 2-3 year deal, but not until the arby deadline passes, as I'd hate to lose a 2nd round pick to sign him. Allow me to say Richard's biggest benefit is his ability to play CF, albeit not at a high level. As a CF, he's a top 10 guy offensively.

11/14/2004 08:26:00 PM

Friday, November 12, 2004

(11/12/2004 11:46:00 PM) - Al


As the guest host of The Late Late Show just said, his mistake was that he did not leave his DNA, bloody footprint, and one glove at the scene.

How exactly has OJ Simpson managed not to have one person not kill him in the last decade?

Allow me to say, I wasn't sure they'd get him. While we know he's guilty, there was a fraction of the evidence as the Simpson trial, and we all know he's golfing and dating women that look exactly like the one he killed.

11/12/2004 11:46:00 PM

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

(11/10/2004 11:43:00 AM) - Al

Cecil Cooper does indeed get the Astros' bench coach position.

Expect Frank Kremblas to move up to AAA to replace him.

11/10/2004 11:43:00 AM

(11/10/2004 11:32:00 AM) - Al

Rumors circulating out of the GM meetings include:

Phillies asking about Podsednik.

Cubs asking about Kolb.

Sexson having a "done deal" with the Mariners.

11/10/2004 11:32:00 AM

Monday, November 08, 2004

(11/08/2004 01:29:00 PM) - Al

Sir Writes A Lot discusses the FA 3B crop. His summary of Troy Glaus goes like this:

The other big name available at third base is Troy Glaus, who came into the 2004 season ready to really cash in, but missed 103 games with injuries. Glaus' career path is basically the opposite of Beltre's, as he had his best season as a 23-year-old, hitting .284/.404/.604 with 47 homers, 37 doubles and 112 walks in 2000, and hasn't been able to come close to those numbers since. This season was the second straight year Glaus missed a huge chunk of playing time and he has played in a total of 147 games since a healthy 2002 season.

When he could play, Glaus was extremely good this year, hitting .251/.355/.575 in 242 plate appearances for his best hitting since that 2000 season. However, he has now batted between .248 and .251 for four straight seasons since hitting .284 as a 23-year-old, he hasn't come close to a .400 on-base percentage again, and he now has some major question marks attached to his name. Glaus started the season at third base, but had to shut things down with a severe shoulder injury that required surgery in May. He returned to the lineup in late August, after being out for nearly four months, but struggled, hitting just .202/.322/.444. Plus, he wasn't able to play third base, instead serving as Anaheim's designated hitter.

Glaus simply staying on the field is obviously a huge part of his overall value, but being able to stay on the field and play third base is also key. Not only is Glaus a very solid defensive third baseman, his offense makes him special at a position where the average hitter batted .272/.344/.453. Moving to first base -- where the average hitter batted .275/.361/.471 -- would not only take away a ton of his defensive value, it would sap him of a share of his offensive value as well. Because of the questions surrounding Glaus (Is he healthy? Can he play third base? How well can he play third base?),
he'll likely be available at a discount this offseason.

Emphasis added. If Doug Melvin is confident Glaus is healthy and can play 3B, he may well be cheaper than you'd expect.

11/08/2004 01:29:00 PM

(11/08/2004 11:00:00 AM) - Al

Melvin discusses having JJ Hardy as the starting SS here.

I have little doubt JJ will be the starter come 2006, but I see little reason to start his clock in April, '05. With JJ's health concerns, the Crew will need to sign a veteran insurance policy, and/or have Billy Hall around. I'd let Hardy get a couple months at Nashville and see how he's doing on June 1st.

11/08/2004 11:00:00 AM

(11/08/2004 10:52:00 AM) - Al

Former Brewers star Cecil Cooper, who is scheduled to return for a third season in the organization as Class AAA manager, is being interviewed for the bench coach position with the Houston Astros under manager Phil Garner. The Astros sought and received permission from the Brewers to conduct the interview.--JS

That would be a great job for Coop, as he still lives in Houston, I do believe.

11/08/2004 10:52:00 AM

(11/08/2004 10:21:00 AM) - Al

Paramount's "Alfie," a remake of a romantic comedy about a roguish womanizer starring Jude Law, opened to a dismal $6.5 million in more than 2,000 theaters, far below expectations. The tepid response was the latest blow to Sherry Lansing, the chairwoman of Paramount who last week announced her plans to leave the job when her contract expires in 2005, and whose movies have performed poorly this summer and fall.

Wayne Llewellyn, the president of distribution at Paramount, said that the conservative ethos reflected in last week's election results might have hurt the film.

"It could be the mood of the country right now," he said. "It seems to be the result of the election. Maybe they didn't want to see a guy that slept around."

I wonder if it's even more possible that this movie looked awful in the ads, and wasn't very good? Talk about not being able to see the forest through the trees. I'm sure this won't last long, but the idea of blaming the public for not being intelligent enough to "get" your product is as idiotic as it gets. I'm too busy pointing fingers at others to be successful is the only message I'm hearing.

11/08/2004 10:21:00 AM

(11/08/2004 08:54:00 AM) - Al

Newsy JS article here.

Highlights include:

Melvin says he's "interested" in Troy Glaus, after saying he needs a bat in the 3/4/5 slots, to go with Jenkins and Overbay.

The team will likely resign Junior Spivey, arby eligible. Doug says there is money in the budget for him.

Ben Sheets is probably the only player who is "can't trade".

Looking for pitching, eyes open for a LH reliever.

Also says if the team signs a LF, he is open to Jenkins moving to RF.

Mentions Helms and Hall by name as players who committed a lot of errors.

I am a big fan of Glaus, of course, but is he able to play 3B every day? I would not hesitate if I were an AL team, but without the DH spot, he's a bit of a risk. A tad surprised about Spivey as well, as Ginter played nicely in his spot, Junior is older, and he is injury prone. Sheets has far more value than he is worth coming off back surgery. It can't bode well for Wes or Billy, being mentioned in the negative like that.

11/08/2004 08:54:00 AM

Sunday, November 07, 2004

(11/07/2004 07:47:00 PM) - Al

Chris Coste signed a minor league contract with the Phillies. I still wish we could have seen him in MIL at some point, as he has simply hit at every level he has ever played.

DC is already trying to change the agreement they had to bring the Expos into their fine city. I'm the first to say they deserve a team much more than Montreal did (so does almost every city in North American city), but the DC era is off to a rocky start to say the least. Of course, when you elect Marion Barry to your city council, your civic pride is very questionable.

11/07/2004 07:47:00 PM

Friday, November 05, 2004

(11/05/2004 10:36:00 AM) - Al

Looks like others hate the Grays nickname as much as I do. It now appears the DC MLB team will be called the Nationals, as they are making the decision quickly in order to get some '04 Xmas sales. Hat tip to Crank.

I can't say I'm a big fan of Nationals either, to be honest. The only other possibility I've heard is Monuments, which is the my choice, if forced to choose one of those mentioned.

11/05/2004 10:36:00 AM

Thursday, November 04, 2004

(11/04/2004 08:38:00 PM) - Al

Correction from my post just below this one. Evan Bayh is from Indiana, not Ohio. I guess I got my big 10 states confused. I have deleted the reference to Bayh, as it makes no sense with the correct info. Hat tip to Ben, who informed me of my error.

11/04/2004 08:38:00 PM

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

(11/03/2004 10:30:00 PM) - Al

A truly astounding map can be found here. It shows how each county voted. The mass of red counties is almost staggering.

The one thing I think about every 4 years is the incredible lead the Republican starts out with, as the entire South usually goes that way. It is not a coincidence that the only Democratic presidents in my lifetime have been Southern governors. Is there a current gov prepping for '08?

Will it be Hillary? Is it possible Rudy Giuliani will meet Hillary in a Senate race in '06, then for president in '08? Wouldn't that be something?

A lot of talk about the election results today, which was expected. As happened after 2002, there has been a lot of talk about the "Republican domination". It's not there folks. Do not forget, it ended 52-48. 52% is not dominating, in any manner. Is 55 senators a huge majority? Well, it's a majority, but not really that big. I grew up in a time period when Dems had a huge majority in the House, thought to be insurmountable. Less than a decade later, the elephant party took over the House. Things change quickly in politics. I'll never forget Bush I had a 80+% approval rating in March '01, and lost the election a year and a half later.

Lots of shaking of the head about the networks complete lack of sense and guts, as no one wanted to call the election first, while in reality, that should be the goal, to be first and correct. Some called OH, some called NV, but no one would call both, as that would have sealed the Bush victory.

I just saw another site (hat tip to Taylor) which said they were happy because Michael Moore was unhappy. I hadn't thought of it that way, but it does bring a smile to my face as well.

I've mentioned before, I never really understood Moore's first film, as it basically says GM shouldn't have moved their auto plant from Flint, MI damaged Flint's economy, as the city was so dependent on the high union wages. Moore seemed to completely forget about the little nugget of info that the only reason GM is in business is to make money for its owners, its stockholders. As long as GM doesn't break the law or cheat on their taxes, they should do everything they possibly can to maximize their profit. Much like the Unabomber, whose gripe seemed to be that the Industrial Revolution took place, Moore's problem would appear to with capitalism.

Luckily for him, there are no fences around the USA. He is free to go anywhere he wishes, but I'm sure he'll want nothing more than to continue to whine, moan, and complain. If he wasn't such a loathsome human being, I'd feel sorry for him. But truthfully, Moore would find himself miserable regardless. Negative people see the bad in everything. While he sees poor Flint, I see a company that doesn't let emotions get in the way of profit, and a potential stock purchase opportunity.

In the end, we live in the greatest country on the planet. In 40 years, it will be an even greater nation, regardless of who the president is. To think otherwise is to ignore history. To those who insist on pointing out the gold on our streets could be a little more shiny, if only we did this and that, pardon me while I stifle a chuckle, yawn, and worry about more important a two year-old boy whose feet seemingly never stop moving and brain never stops working. Forgive me if I have a difficult time even pretending what a horrible place in which we live.

11/03/2004 10:30:00 PM

(11/03/2004 01:34:00 AM) - Al

It looks like 286-262 in the electoral college, and 51-48 in the popular vote.

No one will say it, but President Bush has been given four more years. We'll see you in 2008.:)

11/03/2004 01:34:00 AM

(11/03/2004 01:08:00 AM) - Al

Spent the entire evening watching the election returns. The differences between the networks is astonishing.

Fox News and NBC both called Ohio hours ago. CNN, ABC, and CBS still have not, despite a 100K vote lead with 95% of the polling places reporting.

No one has called Iowa, where Bush leads by 8000; or New Mexico, where Bush leads by 30K, both with 95+% of the votes counted. Either state would give the presidency to GW, yet no one has called either, as if no one wants to be first. Personally, I'd think everyone would want to be first. I'm not sure if it's over caution or what. I will say this, it is 1:15AM, and ABC is still discussing a possible 269-269 tie, which is as likely to happen as alien beings landing in my backyard, handing me a briefcase of cash, and flying away.

I feel a concession speech would have already taken place, if not for 2000. That seems to have removed common sense from the spectrum. If Bush is up by 100K votes in Ohio, and there are 150K provisional ballots, Kerry would have to win 83%, or 125K of said provisionals to catch Bush, which is a mathematical impossibility.

Meanwhile, I've seen the writing on the wall since about 11. The Drudge Report has had a Bush victory up since soon therafter. Common sense tells you that it is over...yet big media seems completely unable to report this.

UPDATE: New Mexico and Iowa, while still not official, both have 97% of the vote in, and both appear to be going to Bush. Nevada is leaning toward Bush as well. The final electoral vote is likely to be 286-252, unless Hawaii goes with the incumbent, which is unlikely. And yes, that means it all came down to Ohio. The Buckeye state decided the election for the rest of the nation, or so it would appear.

11/03/2004 01:08:00 AM

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

(11/02/2004 01:15:00 PM) - Al

King Gleeman discusses the FA 1B today.

11/02/2004 01:15:00 PM

Monday, November 01, 2004

(11/01/2004 09:30:00 PM) - Al

Nice interview with the Northwoods League president here.

I'm sure both my Eau Claire readers will appreciate it:). It is a phenomenon, as attendance has grown tenfold in the past decade.

11/01/2004 09:30:00 PM

(11/01/2004 09:22:00 PM) - Al

Aaron Gleeman discusses the FA catchers available, with many kind things to say about Damian Miller.

11/01/2004 09:22:00 PM

(11/01/2004 08:33:00 PM) - Al

When you consider that, plus all the money major league teams paid out running the Expos the past couple years, wouldn't it have been much easier to have simply used that money to build the Expos a stadium in Montreal and keep them in one of North America's largest markets?---Jim Caple,, 9/29/04

That's right, Caple thinks it would have been a fine idea to spend about $300 million (minimum) to build a stadium so the city of Montreal could not attend games at a spankin' new ballpark. This would have been cheaper than, ahem, selling the team for a profit.

Remind me never to call Caple for investment advice.---Ramblings, 9/29/04

MLB will review all applications and solicit formal bids in early December. After purchasing the club three years ago from current Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria for $120 million, MLB is looking for close to $400 million for the team now that it has been granted a new, economically viable home. This would cover all operating losses and just about double MLB's money on the

Once again, allow me to say Jim Caple may be as uninformed as any sports journalist on the planet.

11/01/2004 08:33:00 PM

(11/01/2004 08:16:00 PM) - Al

As silly as it is, this could swing a close election. I still recall a female friend of mine saying, "I'd never cheat on my husband...except with Brett Favre.".

Hat tip to Crank for the link.

11/01/2004 08:16:00 PM

(11/01/2004 07:48:00 PM) - Al

The NHL season has already lost hundreds of games, and I just noticed it late last week, as I saw a graph in the corner of the USA Today. I'm a casual fan at best, but the fact I was unaware the season should have started is hardly a good sign. If I was a player, I'd be begging to play. Anytime the owners are losing less money by not playing the games, it's a bad sign.

Sorry for the lack of weekend updates, I was enjoying my last weekend off until after the holidays with the family.

11/01/2004 07:48:00 PM

These are the good old days. Some folks are just too busy wishing the streets were paved with gold to enjoy the good times.

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.

The Ramblings' manifesto can be found here.

I'm happy to pay taxes to help the helpless. I don't like paying taxes to help the clueless. Look at the Occupy movement...I'm forced to pay taxes to help those whose plight I delight in.--Dennis Miller

If you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty, and your life will be brief.--President Trump

Never have lives less lived been more chronicled.--Dennis Miller

I’m going to plead with you, do not cross us. Because if you do, the survivors will write about what we do here for 10,000 years.--Mad Dog Mattis

I have never understood why it is "greed" to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else's money.--Thomas Sowell

Ramblings makes me want to poke my eyes out with a sharp stick.--Marxist sympathizer (one of Ramblings' proudest moments)

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