Al's Ramblings



Thursday, June 30, 2005

(6/30/2005 08:45:00 PM) - Al

Speaking of our former GM, here is an interview with him. Taylor did a fine job building the farm system up from a state of suckiness, but shouldn't be allowed within a mile of a major league roster decision.


6/30/2005 08:45:00 PM



(6/30/2005 07:23:00 PM) - Al

Watching the game on ESPN, I am once again reminded of how poorly run the Dean Taylor Brewers were, as they went out and wasted any free agent money they had to Eric Young, while above average 2B options Ronnie Belliard and Mark Loretta wasted away on the bench, because, as Davey Lopes would say, "they no run fast enough".

Lo brought us Keith Ginter, who brought us a couple solid older, lower ceiling prospects at AAA Nashville; while Belly was allowed to leave for nothing. Not exactly a blueprint on how to rebuild.

And if you'll recall, the immortal Eric Young was sent to San Francisco, if memory serves, for a small canvas bag of magic beans.


6/30/2005 07:23:00 PM



(6/30/2005 07:10:00 PM) - Al

Good easy win today, Carlos Lee continues to produce at an astounding clip, and Weeks/Jenkins also with fine offensive efforts as well. Cappy with his eighth victory, he could easily reach 15+ if he stays healthy.

Could well be the last chance the home fans get to see Prince Fielder, barring an injury to Overbay, of course. Looks like Russell Branyan will take his spot on the 25 man roster soon after the weekend is completed.


6/30/2005 07:10:00 PM



(6/30/2005 07:06:00 PM) - Al

If I were to have advised Mike wilkinson to pick out one NBA team, I would have chosen the Utah Jazz, a club who has always had its share of hard working players maybe a bit short on physical ability. Best of luck to Mike, who I still think would be a nice role player on any pro club.


6/30/2005 07:06:00 PM



(6/30/2005 06:45:00 PM) - Al

The lovely and talented Jennifer Tilly won the Ladies No-Limit Hold 'em event at the World Series of Poker.

As anyone who plays or watches the game knows, there's always a few hands that are basically 50/50, and if you expect to win the tournament, you need to win those hands. That said, when I have had success in some online tournaments (which I would consider getting to the money), I have found that without exception, it's when I'm confident and expect to do well. Tilly obviously has picked up a lot of poker knowledge from her boyfriend, who is a top pro.

FYI, I picked out the link with the most pictures of Tilly...who is listed as being 46!!!


6/30/2005 06:45:00 PM


Wednesday, June 29, 2005

(6/29/2005 10:36:00 PM) - Al

A nice article on Brady Clark can be found here.


6/29/2005 10:36:00 PM



(6/29/2005 10:18:00 PM) - Al

A former Marine Corps officer/POW compares his imprisonment to those currently being held.

Dick Durbin, with all due respect, may be the most ignorant human being in the universe.


6/29/2005 10:18:00 PM



(6/29/2005 05:13:00 PM) - Robert R.

Tough loss today. This one is on the players as they had chances but didn't execute. I probably would have pinch hit with Miller instead of Magruder in order to save a player on the bench in case the game went extra innings, but that move by Yost is defensible as there was really only a marginal benefit from using Miller instead.

I do get the feeling is that there's going to be extra bunting practice tomorrow though. Today was certainly a game where a bunt late in the game was justified by the game situation.


6/29/2005 05:13:00 PM



(6/29/2005 01:38:00 PM) - Robert R.

That was a tough loss last night with great defensive play by Corey Patterson being one of the keys. Davis pitched well, but Zambrano pitched better which normally equals a loss.

The decision to bring in Durrington as a pinch hitter to bunt while down by 2 in the 8th inning still puzzles me. Just Saturday, Yost brought in Fielder in a similar situation and we all know how that turned out. While it's rare to use this in connection to Yost, I think he was guilty of overmanaging last night.


6/29/2005 01:38:00 PM


Tuesday, June 28, 2005

(6/28/2005 10:35:00 PM) - Al

Back when I worked for the world's largest toy store, I know we sold an absolute ton of infant formula by the case, much of it to entire families, each buying the maximum of two cases. Often, children as young as 5 or 6 would struggle to place their purchase up on the counter, as they were so small. We sold it at a loss, and rumors had it that there was a huge "gray" market for powdered formula, though no one really knew why. Some said it was shipped overseas, some said it was resold, as our prices were lower than wholesale, and then there was the thought that it was used to "cut" drugs, mixed with the drug to stretch it out.

Today, I noticed this article that says that it is the most shoplifted item, so I guess the demand is still there, for whatever reason.


6/28/2005 10:35:00 PM



(6/28/2005 09:15:00 PM) - Al

Party Gaming, which runs Party Poker, Empire Poker, and many other smaller sites (As far as I know, all their sites are run off the same motherboard, meaning if you're playing at "Party", and I'm at "Empire", we could be at the same table. The table would just have different names.) went public and is simply on fire. I tried to invest in the IPO through my Sharebuilder plan, but could not, due to it being traded on a UK exchamge. One of the little tidbits discovered now that the company is public is that they make over $100K an hour on rake (a small percentage of each pot the house keeps for running the game).

That's just less than $1 BILLION a year...with its only costs being marketing, upkeep on the gigantic server that it must take to run such a behemoth, and the people to do those things. Simply put, as long as they continue luring new players, it's like money in the bank.


6/28/2005 09:15:00 PM



(6/28/2005 09:05:00 PM) - Al

I hate to say it, but Bill Schroeder is absolutely right...Moises Alou wouldn't have caught that ball versus the Marlins in the playoffs regardless of the fan. His glove was a couple feet from the ball, and other fans would have hit it as well, if the one who did would have missed it.

It's a sad legend, as it has no truth behind it.


6/28/2005 09:05:00 PM



(6/28/2005 08:58:00 PM) - Al

I simply cannot believe MLB lets the Cubs have a brick wall for an OF fence, and I am in complete shock that the RF foul line goes uphill by the bullpen, because the the ground crew has built up the mound in fair territory.

At the very least, they need to adhere to the same safety standards as the other 29 parks. A hill on the line is profane. Never mind the fact that it's "historic", so are cars made in 1955. Know what? At least those still aren't being used as if they aren't an embarassment.


6/28/2005 08:58:00 PM



(6/28/2005 08:48:00 PM) - Al

The Red Sox are simply years ahead of the sport, hiring cheap numbers people while the Yankees spend kajillions on 40+ year-old pitchers.

If I was a small market club, I'd be bringing in a stat guy and giving him plenty of budget to have his own team. That's a much better way to spend $500K than you'll find on the desks of most owners.


6/28/2005 08:48:00 PM



(6/28/2005 07:24:00 PM) - Al

Recently, we took our son to a large dairy farm just outside our fine city. Our little guy sits and plays tractors and barn and the like all day long, as he has been inspired by his Papa's farm, which he visits once a month or so. The operation we visited has about 3000 cattle, and is simply huge. It's quite a set-up, complete with fungicide foot baths as they leave the milking parlor, and then they walk through two giant mophead-like things that brush their backs and keeps the bugs off them.

The thing that surprised me most was how cool the giant barn was, as it felt much warmer when we walked outside. You'd think that it would be unbearable without A/C with that much body heat being given off, but the fans and cross ventilation obviously works per design.

I asked Andrew how many cows he thought he saw, and after pondering a few seconds, he replied, "All of them". To a 3 year-old, I bet it's hard to imagine that isn't all the cows in the world.


6/28/2005 07:24:00 PM



(6/28/2005 07:09:00 PM) - Al

Sir Paul McCartney landed the headline spot at Live 8 after threatening not to perform at all.

The 62-year-old former Beatle told organisers he wanted to open Saturday's Hyde Park concert and close it or he would 'think seriously' about taking part.

They have bowed to his demand and Sir Paul will start the show...

In a compromise to clashing egos, he will share the stage for the opening number with Bono and U2.

A Live 8 source said Sir Paul's headline slot had ruffled a few feathers. 'Some of the more fragile egos are upset,' he said. 'Bono, in particular, was quick to demand a share of the opening number and sees what he has done politically over the years as a bit more relevant to Live 8 than what Paul has to offer.


I'm not sure what's funnier, Bob Geldof insisting there be no Bush bashing because he has done more for Africa than any other president, or the behavior of the "talent". Why wouldn't you go out of your way to back the political beliefs of selfish fellas like this?


6/28/2005 07:09:00 PM



(6/28/2005 08:02:00 AM) - Al

This is a bit freaky, but if it works, it may well lower the rate of casualties on the battlefield. Years down the line, it may also assist other gunshot victims.


6/28/2005 08:02:00 AM


Monday, June 27, 2005

(6/27/2005 03:52:00 PM) - Al

Also in NBA news, the two names most mentioned in the Bucks' head coaching sweepstakes are Terry Stotts and Eric Musselman. Musselman did a nice job in the CBA and for Golden State, he would be my choice, as Flip Saunders appears to have priced himself out of the market.


6/27/2005 03:52:00 PM



(6/27/2005 03:43:00 PM) - Al

I am simply amazed Mike Wilkinson will not be chosen in the first round of the NBA draft tomorrow night. Some say he may not be chosen at all, as the NBA draft only has a pair of rounds. I realize Mike probably doen't even project out as a starter, but for my money, he is certainly quite capable of being a top reserve, as he does everything well.

And yet, guards that can't shoot a lick will be taken in the top ten.


6/27/2005 03:43:00 PM



(6/27/2005 09:26:00 AM) - Al

The Brewers had a sellout crowd Saturday night that saw Prince Fielder's game-winning pinch-hit home run, culminating a week of good crowds for the Cubs and rival Twins.

"In years past, I had free agents that I intended to trade near the deadline," says Melvin. "This year, I don't have anyone I'm interested in dealing. Rickie Weeks, J.J. Hardy and our young players have really given us a spark. Carlos Lee has been outstanding. Our starting pitching is [third] in the league [in ERA] and keeping us in games. We're thinking about the wild card, and we're definitely thinking about having a winning season. I think it's important.

"I've had a couple of calls on Lyle Overbay, and I've told them he's not available (Fielder will probably go back to the minors this week). I've had a call on Tomo Ohka. We'll see later on him. I think with a position player, you always can make a better deal during the offseason. With a pitcher, if there's a lot of need, sometimes you can make the good deal during the season. It depends.

"We have a lot of good things going here. Billy Hall works with Hardy and Weeks every day. Jeff Cirillo is great with the young infielders; he's out six weeks, but wants to go on the road with us and lockers next to Weeks. Lee has been a tremendous addition to the clubhouse, as has Damian Miller, and Brady Clark's professionalism rubs off on everyone. We don't want to break it up, and we think we will only get better in the second half. Remember, Ben Sheets missed seven starts."


That's all from Peter Gammons' latest ESPN.com article. I read the trade discussion as you better be willing to overpay for Overbay, as he's cheap and productive, while Prince could probably benefit from time in AAA. As for Ohka (and I would add Santos), it sounds as if the Crew is waiting for someone (Ben Hendrickson?) to step up and say they deserve that spot.

If memory serves, Ben H's ERA is about 4, and after a crappy start, is probably around 3 since late April. At some point, you have to look at his AAA numbers and run him out there every 5th day.


6/27/2005 09:26:00 AM


Sunday, June 26, 2005

(6/26/2005 05:25:00 PM) - Al

One thing lost in the last month or so is how much better JJ Hardy has hit since undergoing his "renaissance", basically saying he was going to go back to hitting like he had his whole career, instead of being a slap hitter.

Since he sat out the series in MIN, JJ has been an average big league SS offensively:

Hardy, after MIN-.354/.389, 743 OPS
Ave SS, 2004-----.326/.408, 734

So, he's been fine, after that disastrous beginning. Granted, a small sample alert should be sounded, as this covers only 65 plate appearances.

I'm still of the belief JJ should be sent to AAA temporarily, for at least a month, to relax, play on a daily basis regardless of the situation, etc. Still, it would seem quite possible JJ is growing as a player, even though few have noticed.


6/26/2005 05:25:00 PM



(6/26/2005 11:08:00 AM) - Robert R.

I was at the game last night with a group from Brewerfan.net. Couldn't have picked a better or more symbolic game. There was a definite excitement at the ballpark after the Weeks home run and the Fielder home run was just icing on the cake.

Truth be told, I was surprised that Fielder got the AB there. Go ahead run on second in the last third of the game and I would have went with Overbay in that situation. Can't argue with the result though.

Yost also did a nice job with the doubleswitch in the top of the 8th to bring in Overbay instead of Helms. Overbay made a nice defensive play in that situation. Yost admitted that he screwed up earlier in the week when Helms misplayed a ball in the 9th that almost came back to haunt them, so at least he can learn.

The one negative to the game was Ohka giving up 3 home runs. You can't do that very often and expect to win. That's the main worry with Ohka coming to Milwaukee, whether he's a good fit for Miller Park.


6/26/2005 11:08:00 AM


Saturday, June 25, 2005

(6/25/2005 10:33:00 PM) - Al

I could almost hear Aaron Gleeman scream last night, seeing Jacque Jones start against a LHP, while Lew Ford and Matt LeCroy both sat on the bench.

I'm not sure if it's funny or pathetic.


6/25/2005 10:33:00 PM



(6/25/2005 09:42:00 PM) - Al

Usually a few times a summer, I tape a game in hopes of watching it on a cold day in January. I'm not sure if I've ever actually watched a game in the winter, but I know I have taped a few and planned to.

Tonight's game would have been a wonderful choice to hang onto. Not just a good, close win, but how often is there a game in which two future stars both hit their first HR?

Actually, the most memorable thing from the game may be that Turnbow had a 1-2-3 save. In 20 years, that might be the thing that is the hardest to believe.

I recall seeing Weeks in Appleton less than two years ago in the Midwest League playoffs, and the things that were most impressive was his knowledge of the strike zone and his speed. Those are things that you really can't teach, and to say the least, he hasn't lost either. It looked to me like his triple could have been an inside-the-park home run if there had been two outs. He can absolutely fly. While the most obvious comparison remains Gary Sheffield, his bat speed makes me think of Paul Molitor. I simply cannot believe that Johan Santana, Cy Young award winner, was afraid to challenge Rickie Weeks with a fastball, and chose to walk him with breaking stuff. I've never seen a rookie get pitched around so many times.

And to think, Rickie Weeks is overrated.:) I'm going to think of that every time I hear talk radio or see a message board the rest of my life. It is simply astounding that no matter how highly thought of a prospect is, one fella will think he's "the one" who can see through the hype, and declare an awesome youngster a failure based on a handful of AAA AB's.

As long as we are on the subject, it wasn't more than a month and a half ago that I saw folks insisting Lyle Overbay was the 1B of the future, and Fielder was destined to be traded. I wonder how much that line of thinking is worth in Milwaukee tonight? On a similiar note, I vaguely recall folks insisting Richie Sexson shuld be signed to a long-term contract...and you know what? I bet this is the first many of you have thought of Sexson since he signed with SEA last winter.

And as long as we're all cheery about the future tonight, that Ryan Braun kid sure is a well spoken one, huh? Looked to have a nice swing as well, and not surprisingly, looked very athletic. I can't see him climbing the ranks as quickly as Rickie, but I see him moving up much like Prince has, quicker than most.

Apparently, Julio Santana has gone from the Japanese minor leagues to being the 8th inning man. Some folks seem to think Julio might be moved at the deadline, but he's cheap and throws 97. Botallico seems a sure thing to be an ex-Brewers' reliever, however.


6/25/2005 09:42:00 PM



(6/25/2005 04:20:00 PM) - Al

Obviously, I missed my true calling as a medical provider.:)

I always hate to see a player injured, but let's be thankful that if the Crew lost a pair of players at the same position, it was 3B. Wes Helms has deserved more playing time for a few weeks, as he has hit the ball well almost every time up of late, and Trent Durrington has had an all-star campaign in AAA, not to mention Bill Hall, who might end up getting the most reps of anyone.


6/25/2005 04:20:00 PM


Friday, June 24, 2005

(6/24/2005 10:27:00 PM) - Al

Anyone else think Cirillo broke a bone in his hand tonight?

Me too.


6/24/2005 10:27:00 PM



(6/24/2005 10:17:00 PM) - Al

I saw the last couple innings, and the highlights. What in the world was Cuddyear thinking on the short fly ball that Jenkins caught? He was out by 30 feet. That's a good risk to take if an IF makes the catch, but there's no way you challenge an OF on a ball hit that shallow.

So, do you think ARI ever regrets that Sexson trade? The ironic thing is, Lyle Overbay made it an uneven deal all by himself. Capuano and de la Rosa, two young and cheap LHP's were the key to the deal. DLR is having a tough time, as he would be greatly served by throwing every 5th day in AAA, but there's no chance he'd clear waivers. Cappy showed potential last season, and if healthy, looks to be an above average major league starting pitcher.

What's kind of frightening is, Turnbow's save tonight can be considered "easy". Has he ever had a 1-2-3 inning?


6/24/2005 10:17:00 PM



(6/24/2005 11:10:00 AM) - Robert R.

I'll admit to being one of those people who were wrong about Bill Hall. Sometimes players, especially rushed players, do develop some discipline. Fernando Vina is always a good example of that phenomenon. A lot of the times they don't. I'm not optimistic that Corey Patterson will ever develop into anything as bad as he is right now.

I still want to see Hall do it over a course of a full season, but he's playing great. He should be the starting everday shortstop right now. And Weeks should be starting everyday at second. I don't begrudge Melvin for giving Hardy a chance to open the season, but he's struggled and the Brewers have a much better option right now. I don't see the point of having Hardy rack up service time while sitting on the bench. Melvin really needs to find a utility infielder and send Hardy to AAA to play.

Overall though, the Brewers have depth and options for once. Considering the faith I have in Doug Melvin as a trader, the Brewers look to have a very promising future even if their record is underwhelming at present. They really do need to get more production out of rightfield though, which is the biggest disappointment for the team.


6/24/2005 11:10:00 AM



(6/24/2005 10:13:00 AM) - Al

SEASON TOTAL (33 dates): 852,738 (25,841 avg.)

LAST YEAR (33 dates): 673,170 (20,399 avg.)


Of course, if the team was down in attendance by 5500 a game, the prince of darkness would include it in every game recap, with a line challenging truth, such as "..in front of a disappointing and quiet crowd."

But, since good news is frowned upon in the JS, this little stat sits quietly, unmentioned. Now, to be truthful, I assume it is partially because the 2nd Cubs' series was later last season. Still, considering the huge jump, I would say it deserves a paragraph.

Last year, the club drew over 2.1 million, an average of about 26K. Now, the team played better in the first half of '04, but they still drew an average of over 30K for the final 48 games at Miller Park. If they were to do that this year, it would give them a total of 2.33M.

Good weather and a team with a chance at .500 might just propel that many ticket buyers into the seats. Time will tell.


6/24/2005 10:13:00 AM



(6/24/2005 10:07:00 AM) - Al

I'm a casual NBA fan, but it's difficult not to enjoy an evenly matched finals series. The last three games were all well played and enjoyable to watch.

A bit surprised about the Bucks dismissing Terry Porter, especially the timing of it all. Announcing that he's your man and then firing him a month later doesn't exactly inspire confidence in the direction of the club. Of course, if this would somehow bring Flip Saunders into the fold, it was a dynamic, intelligent move.:)


6/24/2005 10:07:00 AM



(6/24/2005 09:50:00 AM) - Al

I have been a big fan of many Astros players, having pushed for us to acquire Morgan Ensberg, Tim Redding and Jason Lane the past couple years. Another guy I liked was Kirk Saarloos, a shorter RHP who had a lot of success in college. I saw him as a dominant middle reliever, likely not having the stamina to be a SP in the bigs. Turns out he's having success in the A's rotation, so maybe I misjudged his ceiling.


6/24/2005 09:50:00 AM



(6/24/2005 09:08:00 AM) - Al

Miscellaneous ramblings...

...the Crew released IF Matt Erickson yesterday. Matt reinjured his knee a few days, the same knee that has kept him out of action for all but a handful of AB's. Matt was a LH hitting IF who could play 2B and SS, so he could well have been a major league option, if Hardy is ever sent down to get regular playing time.

...Jim Powell mentioned the other night that the Brewers are sure to get plenty of inquiries about their "surplus" of pitching come the trading deadline. Along with the 12 arms that currently make up the staff, potential major leaguers in AAA include Mike Adams, Jeff Bennett, Rick Helling, and Gary Glover. I would assume veteran Ricky Botallico would be among the first moved, as he is the oldest and has very little ties to the organization.

No offense to him, but I'd be happy to turn Turnbow into something useful as well. While he's got the potential to be a solid closer, his control is all over the place, and he appears likely to implode at any moment. Buy low, sell high.

...Melvin has mentioned he is looking for a LH power bat off the bench on the waiver wire. Any talk of Prince staying up and an Overbay trade happening soon are likely to be silenced by a decent lefty bat being DFA'd.

...One thing that I'd consider is sending Wes O down to get some regular work. He has at least one option (maybe two) left, and with the rotation doing so well, hardly gets any work. For the most part, Yost has went with a 4 man bullpen, with Phelps, DLR, and Wes getting in rarely. Wes could go down and pitch in relief every third day, meaning he'd just be a flight away in case of injury. Not only would that give the Crew an extra bench player, it is tough to be effective pitching once every ten days.

...Along with that LH slugger, I wonder what the braintrust would do if they came across a slick fielding middle IF on the waiver wire. JJ could go down and play daily, with the pickup backing up Hall and Weeks (and maybe being used for defense at 2B late). JJ and Prince are almost certainly part of the future, but need to develop by playing every day.


6/24/2005 09:08:00 AM


Thursday, June 23, 2005

(6/23/2005 07:34:00 PM) - Al

So, while I was eating dinner tonight, we had the news on to ABC, and the evening news led off with a CONTROVERSIAL SUPREME COURT DECISION. Actually, that was ABC's way of introing a yawner, that cities can indeed do what they've already been doing, buying property and turning it into revenue producers; industrial parks, shopping malls, etc. This happens rarely, but has some up in arms because...I dunno, some hate progress?

The second story was on the INCREDIBLY EVIL MILITARY using high school students names and phone numbers to recruit them. This violates "privacy" issues, which apparently means every phone book should be burned, ASAP.

I recall saying on 9/12/01 that I was curious what would have been the top news of the day had 9/11 never occured...I have to believe it would have been as pointless as the crap ABC pretended was newsworthy today.


6/23/2005 07:34:00 PM



(6/23/2005 06:38:00 PM) - Al

I worked during the past couple games, and I guess I will again tomorrow night. Hopefully, the result will be the same.

Last night, I checked in and the score was 8-0, bottom of the 3rd. Today, I heard Lee tie it up 3-3, and then turned it on in the bottom of the 8th to hear Brady Clark get out, apparently, right before Cirillo got on before Hall hit his HR.

Hopefully, a few fans will come in off the ledge once again.:)


6/23/2005 06:38:00 PM


Wednesday, June 22, 2005

(6/22/2005 10:19:00 AM) - Al

As the ball sailed over his head, Jenkins spun, sprinted to the warning track, jumped and saw the ball hit the heel of his glove and squirt away. Official scorer Wayne Franke initially ruled the play an error, but reversed his decision later to the satisfaction of both clubhouses.

The idea Franke first called that an error is plenty enough for me to remove him. There are honest mistakes, and then there are calls that show you are an idiot. I'd ban him from the stadium, just to keep it from spreading to the innocent.


6/22/2005 10:19:00 AM


Tuesday, June 21, 2005

(6/21/2005 08:36:00 PM) - Al

Allow me to say that the 3 base error on Jenkins is quite likely the worst scoring call in the history of the sport. A ball hit over his head, Geoff races back and leaps up, only to have the ball go off his glove.

Whoever is scoring the game this evening should never be allowed to set foot in the press box again. What an ignorant buffoon.

The grounder that Weeks misplayed was a bad hop as well, that I would have ruled a base hit as well, but at least I can see the argument for that.

UPDATE: Weeks with a very good play to get the force at 2B. The trend of making a dandy play for each error continues.


6/21/2005 08:36:00 PM



(6/21/2005 03:38:00 PM) - Al

So, the Reds fired Dave Miley today, pretty much summing up a dictionary definition of "What a team does that has no direction or plan". Thanks for playing.

Most of us saw the writing on the wall when Cincy gave big money to veteran role players last December, and sure enough, they seem shocked Joe Randa and Dave Weathers haven't led them to the promised land.

You never really understand just how good a job Doug Melvin is doing until you see an organization stumbling along, completely lacking a plan/direction.


6/21/2005 03:38:00 PM



(6/21/2005 02:57:00 PM) - Al

ESPN.com with a front page story which talks up the Brewers' farm system, especially the top trio of Weeks, Prince, and Hardy.


Speaking of which, Jim of Brewerfan.net e-mailed me to say that Matt Erickson reinjured his knee the other night, meaning our veteran options at AAA have again dwindled, should we want to send JJ down to play everyday


6/21/2005 02:57:00 PM



(6/21/2005 11:29:00 AM) - Al

Commissioner Bud Selig dropped by the press box and was absolutely thrilled with the latest interleague attendance numbers, which have pushed baseball past the 30 million mark in total attendance already. At that pace, the all-time record of some 73 million last year will be broken with ease.

"We're having a great year; phenomenal," Selig said. "And we've got some really big (interleague) series coming this weekend."

Selig said he got a chuckle from those who insist interleague play is ruining baseball.

"What am I supposed to say to the millions of fans who are watching it and love it?" Selig said. "That they can't have it?"


The MLB attendance record was guaranteed to be broken the second the Expos became the Nationals. The mere fact this comes as a surprise is poor MLB marketing.

While I have come to expect the very least from the JS, I am a bit puzzled by the complete lack of even a mention of the robust ticket sales for this week. Looks like all the Cubs' games are close to sold out, and the Twins' series is pretty much limited to the 4th deck as well. 250+K tickets in a week of games is impressive to say the least. Granted, it's a bit of a "perfect storm" (Cubs in town for 4 weekdays, Twins in for the weekend, few games at home in June), but tickets is tickets.


6/21/2005 11:29:00 AM



(6/21/2005 08:12:00 AM) - Robert R.

While his glove is still a work in progress, Rickie Weeks is certainly doing fine with the bat. After last night's game, Weeks has a higher VORP with the Brewers than Spivey managed this year. Combine that with Ohka and the Brewers are definitely a better team after the trade.

I'd like to know what Cirillo was complaining about at the end of the game. The strike zone looked fine. Now, second base is a whole other story. Still, it's hard to say that those calls definitely lost them the game. It sure didn't help though.


6/21/2005 08:12:00 AM


Monday, June 20, 2005

(6/20/2005 07:48:00 PM) - Al

Remember those folks that said Jeromy Burnitz was "done" about a half-decade ago? He had that one bad season, I believe split between the Mets and Dodgers (note the two horrible hitter's parks), but he has been a force.

And, let's not forget that last year, many felt Bill Hall was a horrible defensive SS. He just made a play that would be replayed daily for infinity if Derek Jeter made it in the playoffs.


6/20/2005 07:48:00 PM



(6/20/2005 07:22:00 PM) - Al

The Yankees are trying to get Oakland's Mark Kotsay, who can be a free agent at the end of the year. But whether or not Brian Cashman will give up the prospects needed to get one of the game's premier center fielders, like right-hander Philip Hughes and perhaps third baseman Eric Duncan, remains to be seen. Cashman has talked to a number of general managers, but isn't offering to break up the team as some have suggested. Getting Kotsay would completely change their outfield defense and give them a solid leadoff hitter as they try to move Tony Womack.---Peter Gammons

I doubt if Doug Melvin has much interest in trading Brady Clark, as Dave Krynzel has not shown he is anywhere near matching Clark's production, as of yet at least. If you do a straight translation of Dave's 500 AAA AB's of .330/.415, it's tough to expect him to compile anything more than .310/.385 in the bigs...even with his superb defense, a 695 OPS is tough to accept from CF.

So, while much of this is just "what if", it's interesting to compare Clark with a respected vet like Kotsay.

Kotsay, '05-----.334/.390, 724 OPS
Kotsay, career--.343/.422, 765
Clark, '05------.391/.463, 854
Clark, career---.362/.407, 769

Notice the top two are Brady this year and career. Now, Kotsay is well respected as a top defender, but if there is a market for 3 months of Kotsay, you have to figure there's quite a market for Clark, who is not a free agent until at least '07.

If only Krynzel was tearing up Nashville like Weeks was...


6/20/2005 07:22:00 PM



(6/20/2005 07:14:00 PM) - Al

For those who detest on-base percentage, the top five scoring AL teams are all in the top five in OBP.---Peter Gammons

Who would be surprised by that? Baserunners equals runs, it's just mathematics.


6/20/2005 07:14:00 PM



(6/20/2005 06:18:00 PM) - Al

I watched yeterday's game on tape after I got done with work yesterday.

Weeks' defense appears to be as advertised, makes the tough play look easy, but he will pick up his errors on the routine.

It's difficult to imagine where this team would be without Brady Clark and Bill Hall. Clark is simply as good of a player of his ability can possibly be. He does whatever it takes to get on base, reaching about 40% of the time. Hall has outproduced any expectation I ever had for him, and I was one of his biggest believers the past couple years. I find it offensive that some want to discuss putting him at 3B, my goodness, he has wonderful range and great athleticism, which allows him to play 2B or SS nicely, and you want to make his bat less above the norm by moving him to an easier position?

At some point tonight, I will compare Mark Kotsay, who is rumored to be on the move before the trading deadline, to our own Brady Clark. I really like Kotsay as a player, but if I want a 3 month rental to get to the playoffs, I want Brady Clark. I wouldn't even consider it.


6/20/2005 06:18:00 PM



(6/20/2005 09:17:00 AM) - Robert R.

It wasn't necessarily pretty yesterday, but I'll take an ugly win. Capuano really struggled with his control at times, but was able to make enough pitches when it counted to work out of jams.

Yesterday was probably a good example of the good and bad of Rickie Weeks in the field. He turned one double play that was a thing of beauty showcasing his quickness and strong arm and then threw away a couple of balls to Overbay. His defense is very much a work in progress, but you can definitely see why it's not unreasonable to think that he could become a defensive plus at the position someday. He just has to concentrate and learn to not rush things.


6/20/2005 09:17:00 AM


Saturday, June 18, 2005

(6/18/2005 10:48:00 PM) - Al

A Tommy Phelps save...that's got "whew" written all over it, huh? To be honest, I'm a bit surprised at the long leash Turnbow's been given, especially considering how brief Adams' was. There is little doubt in my mind that the most effective relief pitcher has been Matt Wise, and he would be the best choice to close games. Turnbow is pretty much showing you what a mediocre reliever will do in that role...be successful for the most part, but far from dominant.

I missed most of the game, but I checked in a few times on the radio. Twice, Bob Uecker said that Rickie Weeks made fine plays in the field, once on a ground ball, and once on the final play of the game, when Hardy threw a bit wide for the force at 2B. Let's see if either one of these are mentioned in the JS tomorrow. Let's be honest, the boys at the JS would delight in reporting Jesus Christ walking on water with the headline SUPPOSED SON OF GOD LACKS ABILITY TO SWIM.

UPDATE: No mention, but they managed to work in that the Crew committed some defensive miscues.

One thing I admit I find amusing is the continued belief by some that Brady Clark will soon "fall back to Earth". The ironic thing is, Brady really isn't topping his career numbers by a whole lot.

2005---.384/.449, 833 OPS
career-.360/.403, 763 OPS

He's hitting for a bit more power, but that's to be expected, as you would think playing every day would make him more comfortable and able to turn doubles into homers (and even more likely, singles into doubles). His OBP is higher, but not by much at all, just a few bloop hits or grounders through the hole. Even as he's playing well, let's compare him to an average CF:

Clark, 2005-.384/.449, 833
Ave CF,'04--.340/.435, 775

Solid, but not dominating. Notice how his career OPS of 763 is so close to CF mediocrity of 775. This ain't rocket science folks. If you're surprised that Clark isn't sucking, you haven't been paying attention.


6/18/2005 10:48:00 PM



(6/18/2005 10:08:00 AM) - Al

A few thoughts before work:

BA lists Ryan Braun as having signed. Best of luck to him, I would assume he will begin his pro career in West Virginia, low A ball. If he moves as quickly as Weeks, he could reach the bigs in 2007, though that is unlikely.

A minor question waiting to be answered is what will become of the roster spot Prince Fielder currently holds? Krynzel cannot be recalled until mid-week, unless there's an injury. Is Miller's injury serious enough to need a 3rd C? Word was that the Crew was considering keeping Prince around for the Cubs' series as a PH option, so that would tell me Krynzel is the choice.

Sports Illustrated put Yost on a list of managers who may not last the season recently. That wouldn't shock me, and will continue to be discussed until Ned receives an extension. A manager in the last year of his contract is looked at to be as good as gone...this is why most successful college coaches' deals renew each year, for the 5th year down the line.

JJ Hardy, while looking better at the plate all the time, is still a very weak link in the lineup. When Branyan returns, it will be all but impossible to get him much playing time, as a Branyan/Cirillo (or Helms) platoon will far outproduce JJ. Hardy was rushed to the bigs, as the team apparently did not consider Hall to be an option. Now that Billy has played his way into the lineup on a daily basis, JJ looks to be sitting on the bench...certainly a disastrous option for a 22 year-old, who needs to play every day somewhere.

Also, Matt Erickson has returned to AAA Nashville, having recovered from a knee injury. For the first time this year, the Crew would appear to have a good utility 2B/SS option in AAA (Trent Durrington, who has put up good numbers all of '05, is unable to play SS, at least, when forced into it by injury last season, Yost put Junior Spivey at SS and had Trent play 2B). As a bonus, Hardy's free agency would be delayed a year, and his arby status may well be as well.

This is exactly why I hate bringing up a player until he has proven himself in the minors, regardless of their potential. Doug Melvin calls it "waiting for them to tell you when they are ready". For whatever reason, Doug broke his own rule, and it has had mixed results.


6/18/2005 10:08:00 AM



(6/18/2005 08:30:00 AM) - Al

The Brewers had a players only meeting last night, all except Chris Magruder, who flew home to be with his wife, who was having a C-section, apparently. I never see much benefit from these, but I see even less after last night. Doug Davis simply didn't have his stuff, which happens to every pitcher a time or two each season. The offense managed to knock the TOR starter out of the game early, and there's nothing wrong with 5 runs.

Won't get easier today against Halladay, that's for sure.


6/18/2005 08:30:00 AM


Thursday, June 16, 2005

(6/16/2005 07:49:00 PM) - Al

Read this fine speech given to the grads at Stanford a few days ago.

I work in retail and I've seen more than my share of managers "pushed out", so it always makes me feel better when I see people who say getting fired was a great thing for them.:)


6/16/2005 07:49:00 PM



(6/16/2005 06:09:00 PM) - Al

Lost in the mix of last night's pair of errors by Weeks was the fact he made one very nice play as well. To be honest, I wouldn't have said the first one was an error, a tough play in which he had to race in, catch the ball, and throw quickly to get the runner. The funny thing is, if Rickie bobbles that ball, it's probably scored a base hit, but after you play the ball cleanly, you're supposed to make the play, I guess. The second one was an easier chance, but the ball bounced very low on the field turf. I would imagine quite few 2B don't make that play.


6/16/2005 06:09:00 PM


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

(6/15/2005 11:52:00 AM) - Al

The JS noticed the Schroeder fiasco.

Maybe this is why Bill and Daron were so easy to watch last night...getting yelled at tends to put you on your best behavior.


6/15/2005 11:52:00 AM



(6/15/2005 11:07:00 AM) - Al

One thing no one has mentioned about Rickie Weeks' defense. For the most part, he has looked very good, making several very nice plays. His turn on the DP was very fast, and his arm was very impressive, likely one of the best in the game, for a 2B. He did lose a pop-up in the roof, but that happens all the time, it still occurs once every 2-3 games in the Metrodome, though I do not know what the roof looks like in Tampa. As a hitter, he sure can pound the fastball. The more breaking balls he sees, the more walks he should be able to take. It's amazing to see a kid up a few games already getting 3-1 and 3-2 junk in the dirt.

Ohka was simply perfection. Pounding the strike zone, he conserved his pitches and was able to throw a CG with less than 100 pitches. I was a bit surprised the Crew didn't bring Turnbow in for the 9th, as he hasn't pitched in a long time.

I noticed a very substantial change in the attitude of Daron and Bill last night. Both seemed as positive as I can ever recall, and often mentioned the youth and potential of Weeks and Hall. I get the feeling they were under direct orders to quit acting as if every 4-3 groundout was a massive failure in the direction the organization was heading, as the change was both abrupt and even a bit "over the top".

As for the painful coverage of the JS...I don't know what to say. The Prince of Darkness must be hellish to be around, he can make any major positive achievement a minor fortunate turn. Almsot daily, I receive an e-mail or three saying Tom H is even worse than Drew Olson, and it's getting tougher to disagree.


6/15/2005 11:07:00 AM



(6/15/2005 10:54:00 AM) - Robert R.

Last night was exactly why getting Tomo Ohka for Junior Spivey was a spectacularly good fit for the club. Weeks contributed with the bat and Ohka showed why he's clearly an upgrade over the likes of Glover and Obermueller by being extremely efficient and shutting out the Devil Rays. Reducing the work load for the bullpen can't do anything but help, especially for the second half to the year.


6/15/2005 10:54:00 AM


Tuesday, June 14, 2005

(6/14/2005 07:38:00 PM) - Al

Hello,

First off I love the blog, it is a must read for me everyday(all day). I just got done watching Bill Schroeder make a complete fool of himself on the pregame show. He was talking to Prince Fielder about getting "The Call" and he kept asking Prince if he had talked to his father, Cecil. "Have you talked to your dad yet, do you plan on asking him about being a DH?" After Prince looks uncomfortable and basically says no to both questions, Bill comes back with "You haven't talked to your father yet?" Prince: "No." Bill: "What do you think your father is gonna say when he finally finds out, does he know, does he know, it's been on the news, I imagine he knows." Prince still looking uncomfortable "He might know now, but, uh, I don't know, I guess he would be proud." Bill: "But he's not gonna get on you for not calling?" Prince(fake smiling): "No, no...I haven't been able to call anybody" I couldn't believe what I was watching. Does Bill not know that Prince doesn't talk to his father. According to Tom Haudricourt's June 4th column Prince "has cut all ties with his father, who no longer comes to watch the hitting prodigy play minor-league games" because Cecil ruined the family by blowing his fortune. I just couldn't believe it, I was uncomfortable watching it because I felt so bad for Prince. Good job Bill, way to get Prince up for the game tonight.

Benjamin



I did not see this, as I think I was walking the dog at the time, but I read about it on a message board. Ben summarized it well, and allow me to say, if there's a person in broadcasting that prepares less than Bill Schroeder, they must be dead.


6/14/2005 07:38:00 PM



(6/14/2005 06:26:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers had a meeting today before the game...obviously, it has worked well, as both Weeks and Overbay hit balls that the LF was not quite able to catch.

I still recall that when Tom Treblehorn was fired as the Cubs' skipper (notice the run of Series' victories the Cubbies have enjoyed since they eliminated the problem:), it was leaked to the press that Ryne Sandberg had gone to the front office and said it was either eliminate the incessant meetings (Treb was said to have one before each series, going over pitchers, hitters, etc. as a team) or trade him. Treb, who always seemed like a good guy, believed this was the best way to prepare his club, but Ryne wasn't a fan, and as often is the case, the star player easily wins out.


6/14/2005 06:26:00 PM



(6/14/2005 06:37:00 AM) - Robert R.

I didn't watch the Brewers last night because I won some passes for a preview screening of BATMAN BEGINS. Given the results of the game, I made the better choice.

Short review follows.

BATMAN BEGINS is the total restart of Batman on the bigscreen and the movie to most get into the head of Batman. In fact, the character study aspects are what director Christopher Nolan most excels at in this version. The focus is on Bruce Wayne, his fears, guilt, drive and righteous anger. Christian Bale gets to be Batman this time and is an excellent choice. His Wayne is troubled and charming in turns and he's really angry as Batman, playing the character all hunched over and coiled and ready to explode at any second.

The rest of the cast is very good as well highlighted by Michael Caine as Alfred who has most of the really funny lines. Gary Oldman as Sgt. Gordon, Cillian Murphy as the creepy Scarecrow, Liam Neeson as Ducard (an ersatz father figure), and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox (the Q of the movie) all play their parts well even if they are a tad one dimensional. Katie Holmes is also in the movie and she's merely o.k. working better as a young, idealistic A.D.A. and Bruce's conscience than as a love interest.

There are a couple of standout action sequences, one featuring Batman taking out a gang in a warehouse which is played more like a horror movie, and a big chase involving the Batmobile. There's also a nicely realized fight at the end of Bruce's training among a group of Ninja's shifting around and recreating the environment every few seconds. Unfortunately, a lot of the other action sequences are shot so tightly that they're little more than a blur and not very exciting. The climax also suffers from blockbuster-itis with a big explosive climax being mandatory even if it doesn't necessarily fit. I don't think people will be disappointed, but the character moments are stronger than the action moments overall, even if the dialogue does spend a little too much time spelling out the theme. Fear is used in practically every other line of dialogue.

Still, overall a very good movie and a cut above your usual big budget blockbuster, even if there are quibbles to be had. Fans of the comics will be comparing the new series to the work of O'Neil and Adams in the early '70s, along with Mller and Mazzuchelli's "Year One" and Loeb and Sale's "The Long Halloween". For the most part, the series is a lot more down to earth than Burton's films which took their inspiration from Englehart and Rogers, Frank Miller's "Dark Knight Returns", Moore and Bollands "The Killing Joke", and the earliest stories by Finger and Kane, as well as mixing in heavy doses of German Expressionism.


6/14/2005 06:37:00 AM


Monday, June 13, 2005

(6/13/2005 03:10:00 PM) - Al

Michael Jackson will soon hear the jury's verdicts. Most seem to be predicting guilty to some lesser charges; with the other, more serious charges seem to be split about 60/40, most predicting acquittal.

I find the entire thing remarkably sad, as it is obvious Mr. Jackson, to use a medical term, is a certifiable loon. I have no idea if he's guilty of anything but astoundingly poor judgement, but the way in which he has thwarted common sense his entire adult life, and been allowed to because of his vast wealth, is appalling.

I am also shocked to see that Jay Leno, who I'm not a big fan of, but is a very good guy from all reports; has been joking about the trial and child molestation in general.

Despite all this, it's almost impossible not to watch. It's reality TV at its finest. And, totally unpredictable. No one who saw the vast amount of evidence against Orenthal James Simpson and then heard a verdict reminiscent of science fiction will ever think they "know" what a jury will come back with.


6/13/2005 03:10:00 PM



(6/13/2005 02:38:00 PM) - Al

Every time I see the "One" ad, in which a bunch of actors tell me they might just be able to create a utopian society that will end poverty throughout the world, if only I go to their website and sign my name to a petition...I cannot help but think of Team America: World Police. Ah, the wise actor will save the world from itself.:)

I always harken back to Seinfeld, when Jerry's beautiful gal o' the week says:

If only we gave up a single meal a week, there would be plenty of food for everyone.

To which Jerry replies:

Yeah, that's gonna happen.

I do not claim to have all the answers, but I do know there will always be poor people, as there will always be people who throw their money away on foolish behaviors and items. Also, never mind the disadvantaged, who are incredibly behind everyone else, due to natural resources, weather, education, etc.


6/13/2005 02:38:00 PM



(6/13/2005 02:06:00 PM) - Al

Yep, Prince Fielder is up and will DH. Looks like either Mosquera back to AAA, or Miller will be DL'd.

UPDATE: Mosquera DFA'd, apparently Miller can catch if necessary.


6/13/2005 02:06:00 PM



(6/13/2005 01:28:00 PM) - Robert R.

However the Brewers handle the roster moves, they really deserve credit for thinking outside of the box in using Fielder as a DH. This looks like a temporary move, so it should have no practical impact on his free agency or arbitration status and it puts the Brewers in a better situation to win in the meantime. Plus, it's exciting for the fans in Milwaukee.

It doesn't look like I'll get a chance to watch the game, but that's what VCRs are for. I may have something else interesting to comment on later instead.


6/13/2005 01:28:00 PM



(6/13/2005 11:03:00 AM) - Al

No further word on whether or not Prince Fielder will DH in the upcoming interleague series versus Tampa and Toronto. If Miller is not able to catch, that would prevent Prince from taking Mosquera's roster spot. Of course, Miller could easily be DL'd, as he's already missed half the time he'd need to sit out. Cirillo also could be, though I doubt his injury will have him out 2 weeks. Or, with the DH being used, the Crew could choose to trim the pitching staff to 11, as they will not have to PH for the P for a week.

Time will tell.


6/13/2005 11:03:00 AM


Sunday, June 12, 2005

(6/12/2005 08:06:00 PM) - Al

A nice story about the 12th man on the basketball team, courtesy of Michelle.

It reminds me of a feature story on a Twin Cities newscast that won numerous awards. It was years ago, but I remember the young man's name was "Downtown" Adam Brown.


6/12/2005 08:06:00 PM



(6/12/2005 02:47:00 PM) - Al

What a nightmare.-Daron Sutton

Actually, Sheets or Weeks writhing in pain, holding a knee would be a much better example of a nightmare to myself. Once again, the Crew runs into a hot club, and a pretty good one as well. Add in some 3 run HR's against, that's a recipe for losing some games.


6/12/2005 02:47:00 PM



(6/12/2005 12:17:00 PM) - Al

Al,

Love the blog. What do you expect from Weeks the rest of this year? I saw him play about 10 games in Beloit and expect him to be good, and then transform into one of the best offensive 2B in the game next season.

Brad



Thanks for reading and writing, Brad. I project Rickie at .370/.460 the rest of 2005. If he stays at 2B, I also feel he'll be a top guy, though I might say 2006 is a bit early to expect it.


6/12/2005 12:17:00 PM


Saturday, June 11, 2005

(6/11/2005 09:49:00 PM) - Al

2-4 with a walk, suffice it to say it was a fine debut for Sir Weeks of Rickie. Davis pitched only so-so, and Botallico came out of the 'pen and warmed up on the first three batters before settling in, and it all adds up to a loss.

And allow me to say I am exhausted of Daron and Bill telling me it was a tough loss. Not every game can be a tough loss.

I was surprised to not see Cirillo in the lineup versus a LHP, as he has hit them very hard this season.

UPDATE: Cirillo was resting a slightly sprained wrist.


6/11/2005 09:49:00 PM



(6/11/2005 02:30:00 AM) - Al

I had to take my dog for an "emergency" walk tonight, and then wasn't sleepy when I got back, so I turned on the TV, and for whatever reason, came to rest on The Jerry Springer Show, which I honestly had no idea was still on. The idea that there are human beings that are still "surprised" that they accepted an invite to Springer...and then there's some kind of twist they weren't expecting...truly makes me wonder about the future of the planet.

Of course, now that Springer ended, I see Tango and Cash is on HBO...it really makes you wonder that with a seemingly infinite amount of films to choose from, how exactly T&C finds airtime.


6/11/2005 02:30:00 AM



(6/11/2005 02:19:00 AM) - Al

Al--

Like any Brewers fan with a pulse I'm excited about Weeks being brought up. And I think your concerns about his size/injury chances are a bit overblown. I met Weeks in person in Jan. 2004 on the Brewers winter tour and while the kid isn't huge (6-0, 195 at the time), he is built like a NFL running back or defensive back. You could tell just by looking at him that he had extremely powerful legs. He was nothing but muscles. I can only imagine that a year in the weight room has helped. I can see where he would look skinny with a baggy uniform on, but the kid is just built.

Craig

P.S. And Daron Sutton is just as annoying in person as he is on TV.



I hope Rickie has added muscle since I saw him, as he looked very thin.


6/11/2005 02:19:00 AM


Friday, June 10, 2005

(6/10/2005 10:20:00 PM) - Al

In addition to Weeks, Brian of Brewerfan.net reports the Crew is considering calling up Prince Fielder next week to DH versus TOR and TB.

Prince is not on the 40 man, but will have to be added after the season. Considering Mosquera can easily be dropped once he is sent back to AAA, or Mike Jones could be put on the 60 day DL (and thus not count toward the 40 man roster), that doesn't seem to be much of a hinderance.

It would be great to see Super Prospect, Part Two; for a week or so. I'm sure if it happens, the Brewers will go out of their way to announce beforehand that it is only for a week, so as not to affect Overbay or Fielder in a negative manner.


6/10/2005 10:20:00 PM



(6/10/2005 10:03:00 PM) - Al

Per the Sounds website, Rickie will replace Dave Krynzel on the 25 man roster. Looks like they gave Clark a night off and let Dave have some AB's before going back down. Best of luck to Dave as he works on his game to get back to MIL for good.


6/10/2005 10:03:00 PM



(6/10/2005 09:32:00 PM) - Al

Robert beat me to it, but the Weeks era looks to begin tomorrow evening.

There was a long thread last night on one message board in which 90% of the posters insisted Junior Spivey would be worth very close to nothing...many said he should be waived in hopes of someone picking up his salary. All he was actually worth was a pitcher that, if you remove 2004, has almost identical career stats to Ben Sheets. I bow to Doug Melvin's ability to get a decent return for a player who had to be moved soon, with Weeks simply tearing up AAA. The JS story on the deal can be found here.

I share Robert's excitement, though I am fearful of injury. I saw Weeks play in Appleton in the Midwest League playoffs in September of '03...and I was shocked to see that Prince Fielder wasn't all that heavy, and that Weeks was as skinny as a rail. Other than C, 2B is the most dangerous spot on the diamond, and Weeks looked to weigh in at about 160. I hope he's added a few pounds, and I hope he is agile around the bag.

I assume Mosquera will be going down to make room...if Miller is still not able to go, it could be Krynzel. I admit, I'd be shocked to see Weeks spend one more day in the minor leagues.


6/10/2005 09:32:00 PM



(6/10/2005 03:47:00 PM) - Robert R.

This could be the biggest day in Brewers history in a long time if the rumors flying around are correct. Reports are that Rickie Weeks may get called up. We know it's going to happen at some point this year, and I'm as excited as anyone to see the Weeks era begin. Certainly, he doesn't have anything left to prove in the minors with his bat, although his defense is a work in progress.

You probably have to go all the way back to Gary Sheffield for a Brewers prospect with the potential of Weeks. If we can get Sheffield, minus the attitude, we're in for a treat through 2011, at least.


6/10/2005 03:47:00 PM



(6/10/2005 02:23:00 PM) - Robert R.

I should add, I can't possibly imagine getting anything more for Spivey than Ohka. Melvin really maximized the return on Spivey by being willing to take a chance on a "character risk". Then again, if Yost's strength is supposed to be managing people, that's a reasonable risk to take.


6/10/2005 02:23:00 PM



(6/10/2005 01:34:00 PM) - Robert R.

I see the J. J. Hardy benching lasted all of a day with Spivey being traded at last for Tomo Ohka.

I'd presume Ohka will take over as 5th starter in the meantime. Ohka has had pretty good results the last couple of years, but his K rate is very low and he's relying on his defense a lot. Going to Miller Park is likely to hurt him a bit and I would count on his ERA rising. Still, he's a better bet than Obermueller as a starter.

This trade is reportedly because of Ohka showing up Frank Robinson in a situation similar to Mike DeJean with Jerry Royster a few years back. So, Ohka is "damaged goods" in a sense. We'll have to see if he has similar problems in Milwaukee or if Maddux and Yost will be able to get his mind where it needs to be.


6/10/2005 01:34:00 PM


Thursday, June 09, 2005

(6/09/2005 10:28:00 PM) - Al

The Phillies finally gave up on Amaury Telemaco, who has long been one of my favorite "talent rich, performance poor" players in the bigs. He throws hard, and I've always felt he had the stuff to be a solid relief arm, but has been up and down literally non-stop in PHIL. He's 31, so he's no prospect anymore, but I bet a team willing to set him up for success as a middle reliever will be rewarded.


6/09/2005 10:28:00 PM



(6/09/2005 08:50:00 PM) - Al

Gary Glover cleared waivers and accepted his asignment to AAA Nashville. I wouldn't have been at all surprised to see him claimed by a club in need of 5-6 innings from their worst starter, so Glover in AAA can only be a good thing.

As soon as they no longer need a 3rd catcher, it would seem as if the road is clear for Mike Adams to rejoin the team.


6/09/2005 08:50:00 PM



(6/09/2005 07:49:00 PM) - Al

Rookie J.J. Hardy, who began the season as the starting shortstop, watched from the bench for the third consecutive game as hot-hitting Bill Hall started at that position. With second baseman Junior Spivey starting to come around at the plate, manager Ned Yost has stopped moving Hall back and forth from short to second.

Although no young player benefits from sitting on the bench, Yost said he thought that Hardy, batting .182, could still make contributions to the team.

"J.J. is a big part of this team," Yost said. "He's learning; he still fits nicely on our club. These things eventually work themselves out. A lot of things go into every decision we make."

For Hardy to go back to playing regularly, one of two things would have to happen: either Hall or Spivey getting injured, or one of them being traded.--JS



This statement created a kind of mini-furor on many message boards today, as some folks feel this is going against the future. Hardy, in all likelihood, will be the starting SS of the team for the better part of the next few campaigns. He is not improving or learning a thing sitting on the bench. Hardy should be playing every day, either in Milwaukee or Nashville.

However, if only it were that simple. Hardy was rushed, and that looks like a questionable decision, one of the few of the Melvin era. Bill Hall has outplayed Hardy in every aspect of the game, and deserves to play instead of him. Finally, Junior Spivey's time in a Brewers' uniform is short. When you have one of the top ten prospects in the game at AAA absolutely tearing the cover off the ball, and a mediocre veteran now holding that spot, the writing is on the wall...rookie will soon be up, vet will soon be dealt. But, as was the case last Summer, while the Crew has other options at 2B, Spivey has little value, far less than he would have if he were playing up to his career numbers. In order to get more than a castoff for Junior, he has to get going, and another team has to find him to be an attractive option. Best case scenario, Junior gets hot, and a contender sees their 2B suffer an injury, and has little help in their system.

Back to Hardy for one last thought...the Crew could easily send him down to AAA, but they have no great options for MIL there...Matt Erickson would be a fine utility IF option, but is unable to play, I believe because of a knee injury. Trent Durrington would likely be the guy, and he can barely play SS. Steve Scarborough would be the only other possibility, and he has done nothing to deserve big league time.

If Spivey is dealt, and Weeks brought up to begin his time in the bigs, one of the things the Crew should look for in return is a younger player with a tad of ceiling (like Hall was thought of a couple months ago), who is able to play SS, and is a fine defensive 2B. This would allow the team to send Hardy down to get AB's, and give the club a solid defensive replacement for Weeks, as he is likely to be below average defensively for a while. I am not a proponent of making moves for defense late in the game, as runs scored in the 8th and 9th don't count any more than those scored early, but in this case, I would hate for a young superstar caliber player like Rickie to let a bad hop or a throw in the dirt in the 9th affect his ability to simply mash the ball like he is capable of.


6/09/2005 07:49:00 PM


Wednesday, June 08, 2005

(6/08/2005 12:00:00 PM) - Al

The JS is having a semi-final in their Blog O' The Week contest.

If you have a few seconds, please click here to vote for Ramblings, sometime before June 8th. Thanks, I will leave this glued to the top until voting is complete.


6/08/2005 12:00:00 PM



(6/08/2005 11:04:00 AM) - Al

I will just say it before anyone else does...it seems Turnbow may well not be a long-term solution as the closer. He has been far from dominating, and has been relying on his breaking stuff far too much for a guy who throws 95+.

He would seem to be a decent reliever who will be able to hold most leads due to pure mathematics...even a 3 ERA will save 2 of 3 one run leads, never mind leads of 2-3 runs going into the 9th. But, I can't see him being much more than a mediocre run-of-the-mill closer.

Remember when I insisted Bill Hall could be an average major league SS? Sure, I said he had little ceiling more than that, but since he had the ability to hit better than the average middle infielder, he could be a bit sub-par in the field.

Sorry I underestimated you, sir. No errors, outstanding range, and power numbers that would make Nomar jealous. I have little doubt JJ Hardy is the future, but it sure is nice to see a rushed kid written off by many developing into a guy likely to have a long career.


6/08/2005 11:04:00 AM



(6/08/2005 10:53:00 AM) - Al

I like Ryan Braun as the Brewers' pick, my only hesitation is that it would appear that need played a part in the pick, which is simply foolish in a draft in which most players won't make the majors for 5 years. Braun is a solid pick if you are a "tools" or a "stats" person, he was both dominating and extremely athletic...I think he was listed in the top 5 in the draft by BA in both foot speed and hitting for power, a rare combination to say the least.

One thing I find a bit odd is that many scouts do not feel he'll be able to play 3B in the majors, yet he was a SS until this season, and was moved to 3B to make the team stronger. I of course have no clue if Ryan will be able to defend at a ML level, but if he was OK at SS, it seems to me he has a good shot at being decent at 3B.


6/08/2005 10:53:00 AM



(6/08/2005 10:05:00 AM) - Al

Before I discuss the game and draft, a brief word about the extended weather forecast...please.

Years ago, I was still living in the Twin Cities, and the popular morning radio show there is on KQ. One day they had a guest on who was some sort of weather expert, and one of his comments was that he could not understand how the TV weather guys could be such idiots when it came to a 5-7 day forecast. He went on to say that they did not know how to predict anything but the next 48 hours or so, and to prove that, he said most of the time the weather people simply took the 48 hours of weather that was upcoming and made it 7 days. For example, he said to notice how often the highs for the next 7 days were something like 81-82-81-83-82-83-84. He said in a weeklong stretch, that is all but impossible, but it is predicted ALL THE TIME. I have been amazed how many times the extended outlook is exactly like that, all but the same prediction every day.

So, as has been the case here lately, last time we had thunderstorms that broke up just before hitting our area, and tornado warnings that never seem to include an actual sighting, and the weather guys pre-empting prime time for hours. While we barely got any rain, we were curious if any more storms were headed our way, so we watched the local 10PM weather. Our next 7 days:

Highs between 80 and 82, thunderstorms every day.

Honest.

Talk about calling it in. What's ironic to me is, millions, and probably billions of dollars, are made and lost in the futures markets each day, and for soybeans, corn, cattle, etc, the main thing that bumps prices up and down is the weather several months down the line.


6/08/2005 10:05:00 AM


Tuesday, June 07, 2005

(6/07/2005 05:27:00 PM) - Al

Ryan Braun is the Crew's first round pick, the best coverage, by far, on the Brewers' draft can be found at Brewerfan.net's draft page.


6/07/2005 05:27:00 PM


Monday, June 06, 2005

(6/06/2005 10:19:00 PM) - Al

There's a reason why folks who complain about Geoff Jenkins never mention his defense.

I have often minimized defense, especially as one who looks for "nuggets", players who have a weakness or two, but still have the ability to contribute in the big leagues. That said, I don't think I would ever sign a player to a long-term megabucks contract unless they were above average defensively.


6/06/2005 10:19:00 PM



(6/06/2005 09:30:00 PM) - Al

I almost forgot that today is the 61st anniversary of D-day. With each passing year, there are fewer and fewer vets that took part in that historic battle that are still with us.

Thankfully, they fought, and as Tom Brokaw is quite fond of saying, saved the world.


6/06/2005 09:30:00 PM



(6/06/2005 09:28:00 PM) - Al

Nice to see Junior Spivey with a HR against the one team that could, without a doubt, use a 2B.


6/06/2005 09:28:00 PM



(6/06/2005 08:18:00 PM) - Al

6 years to life...for shooting his wife in the head. Utah should seriously considering eliminating the first three words from that sentencing guideline.

Can someone explain to me why these women all seem to end up with total losers?


6/06/2005 08:18:00 PM



(6/06/2005 07:13:00 PM) - Al

Gary Glover DFA'd, 3rd string catcher brought up, as Miller will miss a few days with his groin injury. Julio Mosquera hits like your run-of-the-mill AAA catcher, it would appear. Best thing I can see is almost half his hits are for extra bases.


6/06/2005 07:13:00 PM



(6/06/2005 08:27:00 AM) - Robert R.

Some random observations on the season to date.

With Prince Fielder heating up at AAA and Lyle Overbay cooling down at MLB, those calls for the Brewers to trade Fielder and keep Overbay look more and more foolish. Lyle's a quality ballplayer who should heat up again at some point. I expect Overbay will finish with an OPS in the mid-.800s, but he's not the future. He could definitely help a team down the stretch, if the Brewers go that route. I wonder if the Mets are interested. The original plan of Weeks and Fielder being the future in Milwaukee seems as sound as ever.

At some point, Yost needs to figure out that Jeff Cirillo can't hit right-handed pitching anymore. His overall numbers are o.k. for a third baseman and combined with good defense it makes him a surprisingly useful player, but there's a tremendous disparity in his platoon splits. Cirillo is hitting .217/.330/.289 (BA/OBP/SLG) against RHP with his only redeeming factor that he's walked some. Helms is hitting .250/.280/.500 vs. RHP which at least gives you some power. Unfortunately, Hardy and Spivey are hitting even worse than Cirillo against RHP, so that pretty much takes a Hall, Hardy, Spivey and Overbay infield out of the picture. At this point, I'd prefer Helms get the majority of ABs against RHP. Or if Yost isn't willing to do that, could he at least not bat Cirillo #2 vs. right-handed starting pitchers?

I'm not worried about Ben Sheets, his K rate and K:BB ratio are terrific, he just has to cut down on his HRs allowed. That will come. And you really have to like what Victor Santos, Chris Capuano, and Doug Davis are doing. Unlike Al, I can't see Santos being on the trading block just because he's entering his first year of arbitration eligibility. Not if he's pitching like he is. Right now, the Brewers have a solid #1 through #4 staff and you have to think that they'll address #5 before too long, just for the strain it puts on the bullpen. I'm expecting Hendrickson to get a chance to establish himself as the #5 starter soon.

The biggest disappointment to me for the season to date is the offense. Yost not having an alternative to Moeller and having no real option but to watch Hardy struggle through April and much of May is Melvin's fault. And I can't blame anyone other than Spivey and Jenkins for their own struggles, although Yost doesn't have to bat Jenkins #3. I don't really blame Yost or Melvin for the struggles of the two veterans, although I do feel Brewers management really thought that "Spivey was the key to the Brewers" by mistaking correlation for causation. That or they were too stubborn not to be willing to cut their losses after not getting anything of value for Spivey last year. FWIW, only Jenkins is the potential long-term problem, but even I expect he'll hit some at some point during the year. Really, his SLG is the only stat that's really out of line with his career norms.

According to Baseball Prospectus, Damian Miller is 4th in the NL in VORP at 10.3, narrowly trailing Piazza's 10.9 and Lieberthal's 10.4. You have to believe that Miller's defense makes up the gap. Now, having the second best catcher in the NL isn't like having the second best right-fielder, but it sure is a nice change. Year 3 of Miller's contract is obviously the key, but he's definitely not overpaid to date.

If you haven't checked out the draft coverage at Brewerfan.net, you're doing yourself a disservice. Even if you're not a fan of the Brewers.

I'm a bit frustrated by the Brewers record and some of the performances, but I expected the Brewers to win about 75 games. Close but frustrating pretty much sums up what to expect from a 75 win team. But at least there's hope for the future between this squad and what's in the minors.


6/06/2005 08:27:00 AM


Sunday, June 05, 2005

(6/05/2005 07:44:00 PM) - Al

Oooh, celebrity spat.

Brooke says a 16 year gap between Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes is too large...so is 15 OK? 14? 13? I still recall with great fondness listening to a 16 year-old female classmate go on and on (like only a 16 year-old girl can) about her mom being all upset that she was dating a 23 year-old guy.

{The main reason this stuck in my memory is the fact I made a mental note to hit on 16 year-olds several years down the line.}

Anyway, one of the arguments she made was that "When I'm 70, he'll be 77". Of course, the obvious social gap meant nothing to her, while I'm sure her mother understood it perfectly, hence, her terror. Over the years, I have known many couples that had a decade plus age gap, and they are just as miserable as everyone else. And while I do not have a teenage/college age daughter (pause to think how worried I'd be every second of every day if I did), allow me to say I'd push them toward every 30+ male I saw, in order to have them avoid what passes for young men in our society.

{Actually, there are several very nice college age individuals who happen to be male. But unless you are inside a miltary academy, lots of luck finding 'em.}

The fact Ms. Holmes broke off her engagement with a generic 20something actor recently tells me she'd likely agree with that statement, and is simply looking for a mature fella, which led her to Mr. Cruise, whose good looks apparently blinded her to the fact he's a cult member. More power to ya, Katie.


6/05/2005 07:44:00 PM



(6/05/2005 05:18:00 PM) - Al

Disappointing couple days for the Brewers, barring a miraculous comeback in today's game. More than anything else, however, Yost seems to have lost any resemblance of a long-term plan. His decisions today appear short-sighted, and while likely not damaging, taken together, they sure don't make Ned look wise.

1. Pulling Wes after 2 2/3 innings. Granted, Wes did not pitch well again, but removing him with a man on 1B, 2 outs, and the pitcher up smelled of punishment rather than doing what was best for the team. If Wes O gets the pitcher out, he may settle down and get through 4 or 5 frames.

2. After Glover failed to get through the 5th, pitcher #3 was called upon, Tommy Phelps. The off day this coming Thursday will add Obermueller to the 'pen, so the relief corps will get some reinforcement, but using your 3rd pitcher before 5 complete reeks of desperation.

3. Damian Miller is 35, and is playing his 42nd game today. Anyone who thinks hias performance won't suffer in august and September needs to take a gander at Cal Ripken Jr's pathetic final month stats. The irony here is, Moeller got a pair of hits in his last start, and hit the ball hard in one of his outs. Tough to build on that from the bench.

4. Starting Cirillo again, who is 1-12 in the series, with Helms drilling the ball in his spotty appearances, is as head shaking a decision as I've seen Ned make in quite a while. Jeff isn't a youngster either, a day game after a night game is a good time for a break.

5. Magruder and Krynzel are available...as is Helms, who has been hitting doubles of late like Overbay did before the last couple weeks. A day off, even for (gasp) Clark or Lee, isn't a bad thought, given the travel schedule and consecutive days played.


I don't think Ned needs anything but to take a step back and take a deep breath. The Sutton/Schroeder mantra of "we need this game", said daily, to ensure a complete lack of credibility, is not supposed to be uttered by the team leader.

As I typed this, Miller hobbled off and Moeller had to PR. Let's hope trying to steal a game doesn't cost us a couple weeks of Damian.


6/05/2005 05:18:00 PM


Saturday, June 04, 2005

(6/04/2005 10:02:00 PM) - Al

Daron and Bill apparently do not know Jami Gertz's husband is part of the ownership group.


6/04/2005 10:02:00 PM



(6/04/2005 02:53:00 PM) - Al

The main thought I have about last night's game is how exactly the batter can interfere with a thrown ball and it's considered "accidental". Good Lord, get out of the way. That's just common sense, and I am having trouble figuring out how it could be called any other way.

As for the action of the game, I tell you what, many casual fans wrote off Billy Hall years ago, and many considered Chris Capuano a bust. They are exactly why with young players, you can never make a hasty decision. I can only think of the JS discussion between Tom and Drew, in which one of them said how the Crew couldn't keep de la Rosa just because he was out of options "because that never works out". The ironic thing is, half the Brewers' roster has been claimed off waivers, including the entire bullpen.

There has been some discussion on message boards that Mark A has given Melvin permission to add payroll at the trading deadline. I believe Doug has said he would consider doing just that...but only if the player acquired was one who he felt would help the team for the next few seasons, as he is uninterested in a stopgap. But, as far as I'm concerned, I still see the Crew as sellers at the deadline. Teams that have the potential for 90 victories should be the buyers, and I don't see MIL as a 90 win team. I see two players that could have some real value come July 31st, Spivey and Santos.

Junior has been disappointing thus far, but a 7-10 day hot stretch could put him back near his career norms. Victor has pitched brilliantly, much better than I would have ever guessed. But, other options, including my "sleeper" choice for the rotation, Matt Wise; are available, and would seem to be part of the future moreso than Vic. Capellan and Hendrickson do not have stellar AAA numbers, but Ben's ERA is now under 4, and in his last 7-8 outings, is under 3. Meanwhile, Jim Powell dropped this nugget on Jose last night, while his ERA is still about 4.50, he has allowed 2 runs or less in 10 of his 12 starts in 2005.


6/04/2005 02:53:00 PM



(6/04/2005 12:03:00 AM) - Al

Livian Hernandez with 150 pitches, and the analysts are going out of their way to say that it isn't a big deal.

I can tell you it is very short-sighted. Hernandez is a horse to be certain, but anything over 120 is too many...30 over is A LOT.


6/04/2005 12:03:00 AM


Friday, June 03, 2005

(6/03/2005 11:53:00 PM) - Al

Outside The Lines is discussing ads on uniforms tonight, and both panelists agree that MLB made a huge mistake last year by not going ahead with a Spiderman 2 logo on the bases. About time someone sees the forest for the trees. The general feeling is that the fans would have quickly forgot about them, and it would have opened up a huge source of revenue over time, to be shared league wide.

It astounds me how "traditionalists" simply slow down the growth of the game. It's just a matter of time.


6/03/2005 11:53:00 PM


Thursday, June 02, 2005

(6/02/2005 10:22:00 PM) - Al

Mark Cuban doesn't understand why the NBA doesn't allow ads on uniforms, and I don't either. Much was made of MLB wanting to put Spiderman 2 on the bases last season, though most of the dissent was by traditionalists who would still be travelling by train and wearing wool uniforms, had the game not passed them by several score ago.

The time will come, and probably much sooner than most believe. I assume the NHL will be the first, as they have no worries about what their fan base thinks, having lost the entire 2004-5 season.


6/02/2005 10:22:00 PM



(6/02/2005 10:18:00 PM) - Al

The Abercrombie Chick is off for the Summer, and waxes poetic about how Ted Kennedy decides whether or not to vote for a federal judge...they have to agree with him, silly.


6/02/2005 10:18:00 PM



(6/02/2005 09:41:00 PM) - Al

Gillette Co. ads claiming its M3Power razor raises hair up and away from the skin are "unsubstantiated and inaccurate," a federal judge said in siding with Gillette's chief competitor, Schick-Wilkinson Sword.

What? Next thing you know, they'll say that Miller Lite really isn't "less filling".


6/02/2005 09:41:00 PM



(6/02/2005 09:06:00 PM) - Al

Looks like the Eau Claire Express opener went well, though the team website does not mention the opener 24 hours after it was completed. 3800 is a nice crowd, and I would say without much doubt that EC will have some sellouts this Summer, especially on weekend nights. By the end of the inagural campaign, I guarantee you no one will even remember the "controversy" that enveloped the club last year.


6/02/2005 09:06:00 PM



(6/02/2005 08:38:00 PM) - Al

More kind words from the national media about the Crew and the future.

I must admit, I find it very funny that many folks still wonder what the Brewers will do when Prince is ready. I simply cannot believe that Fielder won't spend at least 6-7 years as the 1B in MIL.


6/02/2005 08:38:00 PM



(6/02/2005 06:31:00 PM) - Al

I was completely unaware Russ Branyan had broken his finger until I checked the JS. Dave Krynzel has been recalled from Nashville to take his roster spot, so for the first time this season, the Brewers roster will be "balanced", with 2 reserve OF's. I assume Dave will see action most every game, but likely will only get a token start, probably to give Clark a day off (I'll take 6/15 in the hypothetical pool, as that is before an off day in Tampa Bay, seemingly a perfect time to rest a top bat). But, as a lefty bat, fast runner, and outstanding defensive player, he should appear off the bench nearly every game.


6/02/2005 06:31:00 PM



(6/02/2005 05:59:00 PM) - Al

Quick, how many of you thought that fly ball to the warning track was a home run?

I would have for sure had it not been in Petco, where HR's go to die. I thought it was too much of a line drive, but wouldn't have been surprised to see it go over Jenkins' head for an extra-base hit. Notice how neither of the broadcasters mentioned that the OF was playing too deep.:)

I had gone upstairs and away from the computer for the night, but how 'bout the reaction to the ball Billy Hall missed. It was a rocket, which short-hopped Billy a bit, and he was unable to field it cleanly. Bill Schroeder insisted that should be an error. My feeling is always simple, if in doubt, it's a hit. When the batter hits the ball so hard that the 2B is unable to move to put himself in better fielding position, that's a hit.

I disagree with Robert a bit, as I feel Spivey has more value than he feels. However, not a lot. If he was hitting .300 thus far, there'd be no doubt teams would have interest. Junior is a mediocre 2B having a less than mediocre campaign. He only makes about $2 million, so that isn't much to most teams, MIN being an exception. I don't think Junior is going to bring anything that remotely resembles a top prospect, and maybe not even a 2nd tier one (like a Corey Hart). But, he would seem to be an improvement to what at least 10 teams are currently running out there, one of those being the Yankees. With the Crew being loaded at AAA, I would just look for a solid lower level prospect (or two) in return. While that may be disappointing to those who looked to add a player with uber-potential, it seems to be fair market value for a decent option at 2B.


6/02/2005 05:59:00 PM



(6/02/2005 09:35:00 AM) - Robert R.

Outside of a scary 9th inning, last night was one of the more well played games by the Brewers in a while. Davis is really rounding into form. When Jenkins and Lee produce the Brewers can score enough runs to win on any night, but unfortunately only Lee has really lived up to his end of the bargain consistently.

I know the conventional wisdom is to play Spivey so that he can get going and increase his trade value, but I'm starting to question if there is all that much trade value to be had. The fact that Spivey can only play second makes him of very limited value as a bench player. I suppose the Yankees are still interested, Cano's OBP is poor and Womack is just awful, but the Brewers don't seem to have much leverage. I suppose the Diamondbacks could slide Counsell over to SS and use Spivey at second while benching Clayton. And maybe the Padres could use Spivey as a stopgap until Loretta returns. Even if Spivey heats up, I just don't see a bidding war. I would happily settle for a backup catcher candidate though. At this point, I think Melvin should jump at the first reasonable offer. Holding on to Spivey last year was one of Melvin's few miscalculations as GM.


6/02/2005 09:35:00 AM


Wednesday, June 01, 2005

(6/01/2005 11:23:00 AM) - Al

Scarlett Johannson, star of the sci-fi cloning thriller "The Island," is a big fan of stem-cell research - even, apparently, for curing an illness that vaccines have already pretty much eradicated.

"I mean, if they could eliminate diseases like Alzheimer's and polio," Johannson opines, "that would be incredible."---NY Daily News



Something tells me that reporters should stop asking winners of the genetic lottery how they feel about medical research.


6/01/2005 11:23:00 AM



(6/01/2005 11:18:00 AM) - Al

The JS profiles Prince Fielder.


6/01/2005 11:18:00 AM



(6/01/2005 11:14:00 AM) - Al

I feel Robert is right that Glover's time in MIL may well be short, though even though his ERA is mighty high, he has pitched decently in 7 of his 9 starts...certainly passable for a 5th starter. With pitching at the premium it always is, several teams would be happy to have him for free. Whether or not that means one of them will give us anything of value for him is another story.


6/01/2005 11:14:00 AM



(6/01/2005 10:49:00 AM) - Robert R.

I have the sense that Gary Glover's time in Milwaukee is growing short unless he turns it around quickly. He came in, allowed 2 inherited runners to score, pitched 2 good innings, and then the roof caved in. There are better options on the team and in AAA to fill the role of long man in the bullpen if he doesn't improve quickly. Glover was never part of the team's long term plan and it doesn't appear that he has any short term value either. An ERA over 6 in the NL is flat out bad. I can't see him being flipped for anything either.

I'm going to give Obermueller a bit of a mulligan on the start last night, although it does fit in with his historical pattern. It appears that it's mainly a problem of Wes just trying too hard when he gets a chance to be a starter on more than a temporary basis, although that's playing armchair psychologist without all the information. Given how he's pitched prior to last night, I imagine he'll get a few more starts before the Brewers consider Henderson or other options.

Chad Moeller is probably in trouble too, but the Brewers pretty much dispensed of their in house options with the trades of Johnson and Borders. I think Benito Santiago is done, but even he might be better than Moeller at this point.


6/01/2005 10:49:00 AM



(6/01/2005 12:06:00 AM) - Al

Factcheck.org seems to think a few folks were "stretching the facts" a bit about abortions being up since W stepped into the White House.

Actually, as long as Howard Dean's name came up, I have never seen a human being lose credibility as rapidly as the AAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRGGGGHHHHH man. It was what, 15 months ago that he was the man to beat in the race for the White House, right? Dean and the truth have the same relationship that Teddy Kennedy has with sobriety.

Nothing makes the GOP happier than seeing Dean fib and say all our country needs to be great again is to have folks pay more taxes.


6/01/2005 12:06:00 AM


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