Al's Ramblings

Sunday, April 30, 2006

(4/30/2006 03:45:00 PM) - Al

I chuckle every time I see Jacque Jones in the lineup versus a LH SP. Of course, those of you that read Aaron Gleeman every day know that he has been trying to point out the obvious for several trips around the sun...that Jones simply cannot hit LH's at all. The numbers from the past 3 campaigns point this out beyond much argument:

vs. LHP: .295/.363
vs. RHP: .333/.474

What's especially humorous is that, noted lefty masher Mike Restovich has sat on the bench while Jones has swung haplessly at southpaws Doug Davis yesterday, and Chris Capuano today...just like he sat on the pine while Jones flailed with little success in the Twin Cities.

4/30/2006 03:45:00 PM

(4/30/2006 03:13:00 PM) - Al

At some point, the Brewers will, barring a position change with Weeks (or Braun), have to decide between JJ Hardy and Bill Hall. I've been on the "they'll trade Bill" bandwagon for quite some time, but admittedly, I'm not as set in stone as I once was. I still see JJ having some years with Edgar Renteria type production, with even more power. I prefer JJ's defense, less range, but steadier. That said, watching Hall in the midst of a good run, it makes you question how you could ever trade away a middle infielder that hits like that.

The odd thing is, Bill will probably get you more in return, as he's more athletic, and can play 2B/SS/3B, meaning he'll garner more teams with interest, as if you have a SS, you won't want JJ, but might still need a 2B.

4/30/2006 03:13:00 PM

(4/30/2006 02:13:00 PM) - Al

Capuano has every right to "deke" the runner into diving back into 1B, and there's nothing wrong with it at all. It makes Cedeno expend energy, and also might make it difficult to catch his's the same thing as throwing over constantly, it tires a guy out. If Sarge doesn't like it, he should explain Cappy's move to his runners so they quit getting picked off like trophy elk at a game farm.

Personally, I'm tired of having to listen to the unwritten rules that often seem made up and archaic...especially from horrible ex-players like Schroeder and Brenly.

4/30/2006 02:13:00 PM

(4/30/2006 01:50:00 PM) - Al

While waiting for the game to start at Wrigley {Why don't they just close the roof?}, I was flipping channels and came across a rally against the Darfur genocide from DC (of course, I have yet to see a pro-genocide rally).

What strikes me is the ovewhelming sense of false hope of the participants. They act as if massive progress is being made...which would be great news if true, but by all accounts, is not. Many also seem to be preaching a "peace conquers all" mentality, which is in direct contrast to the years and years of death that has taken place, ignored by the do-nothing UN.

I hope for the best, but I don't think the situation will improve an iota until a massive amount of weapons and soldiers become involved. If a million plus dead isn't enough to pull together a coalition, I doun't think we'll see one anytime soon.

4/30/2006 01:50:00 PM

(4/30/2006 11:15:00 AM) - Al

Good story on injuries and telling the press about it, as both Yost and Baker say it is one of the many tricks of the trade (disregard Dusty's untimely "war" comment) they use.

I recall years ago the Brewers were in an extra-inning affair, and were out of pitchers. The pitcher was due to hit in the inning, and the Crew was afraid the opponents would walk the batter due up to face the they had bullpen coach Bill Castro get up in the bullpen and start "warming up", and whoever was up before the pitcher ended up getting a game winning hit. In a similair situation last week, the Mets might have thought it was Dan Kolb up, had they not known Kolb had a sore elbow.

The Brewers might not win a single game this year by not being "open", but it certainly won't cost them a win either.

4/30/2006 11:15:00 AM

(4/30/2006 11:09:00 AM) - Al

Albert Pujols has 14 home runs thus far in 2006.

The Royals have 13 home runs.


4/30/2006 11:09:00 AM

(4/30/2006 10:46:00 AM) - Al

United 93 is doing much better than many of us expected...looks like a 2nd or 3rd place finish this weekend, on far fewer screens than the others.

Of course, the film RV has looked simply unwatchable from its TV ads, so maybe moviegoers are choosing an emotional historical piece than an unfunny comedy.

I know I linked to the 9/11 facts once before, but the conspiracy nuts just keep throwing lies out, as I've heard a ton about the "fighter planes shooting down 93" in the past couple weeks, which is as ignorant as anything I've ever heard. My favorite is that folks keep insisting a missle hit the Pentagon, not a plane...never mind eyewitnesses, never mind there were people, with family and friends, on the plane that crashed into the Pentagon...I love the fact that many folks expect to see a cartoon like outline of a plane in the concrete, reinforced multiple times to protect against attack Pentagon.

4/30/2006 10:46:00 AM

Saturday, April 29, 2006

(4/29/2006 02:11:00 PM) - Al

You know, I think this Fielder kid might just turn out to be a pretty good hitter.


4/29/2006 02:11:00 PM

(4/29/2006 01:41:00 PM) - Al

Rusch and Davis appear to be having a "who can outsuck the other" contest. I think the advance scouts are finally figuring out that if the batters never swung at a pitch, Doug would walk every single one of them.

4/29/2006 01:41:00 PM

(4/29/2006 01:29:00 PM) - Al

Before the game, I was watching the first few picks of the NFL draft, and though Matt Leinart dropped to the #10 pick, it was mighty tough not seeing it as a perfect place for him to go. ARI has fine "skill" players, and according to the ticker, ranked 8th in both offense and defense last year.

Now, that's a bit misleading, as it measures yards allowed, something a prevent defense allows when you are behind, not to mention the opposing offense runs the clock when ahead and isn't intent on making yards, just keeping the clock moving. Still, it tells me the Cardinals may be pretty close to breaking through, especially coupled with the fact ARI was a "sleeper" pick last year, and those are often a year late to develop.

4/29/2006 01:29:00 PM

(4/29/2006 01:27:00 PM) - Al

It sure is easy to see why the scouts loved Weeks when you see that incredibly fast bat go through the strike zone and hit a pitch on the nose.

4/29/2006 01:27:00 PM

Friday, April 28, 2006

(4/28/2006 11:15:00 PM) - Robert R.

As a digression from baseball, Thursday evening I saw the Milwaukee Rep's final production of the season "Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure". The play is an updating of an 1899 play by Arthur Conan Doyle and William Gillette and mixes in good chunks of "A Scandal in Bohemia" and "The Final Problem" along with original material connecting the two stories. It's somewhat unique in that it's the only work by Conan Doyle that seriously suggests that there could be a romantic side to Sherlock Holmes. Familiar Holmes quotes are given a fresh spin with a romantic element attached.

The production is well done, but it never rises above the realm of a fun adventure story. That's o.k., not every play needs to aspire to be Hamlet, but the Milwaukee Rep's Powerhouse theater series has been a disappointment this year in comparison to the smaller Stiemke theater series. Still, taken on its own merits, the production is a success. Lee Ernst plays Holmes somewhat along the lines of Basil Rathbone, with perhaps more affection for Watson and companions, Watson is presented as a good friend and not a fool, and Moriarty is given a physical presence that adds to the conflict. The play is slightly exagerrated in presentation, again more along the lines of a Rathbone rather than Jeremy Brett type production, but that's appropriate for a theatrical setting. The play runs through May 14th and I certainly can recommend it as a fun time out, although not as anything more than that.

4/28/2006 11:15:00 PM

(4/28/2006 10:31:00 AM) - Al

Ben H indeed will be with the team today, though I admit he has little use. With any luck, he won't get into a game before Helling is able to return.

Time will tell about the Twins' new stadium. As I mentioned, I will not believe it until they begin moving some dirt.

4/28/2006 10:31:00 AM

Thursday, April 27, 2006

(4/27/2006 11:30:00 AM) - Eric

More boneheaded Twins news:

Francisco Liriano is being considered for a bullpen promotion--seems like a good thing, right? He's been pitching well and would certainly be an asset to the Twins in a higher leverage role.

However, the whole reason the Twins have him in the bullpen is to theoretically prepare him for a starting role, and as such he was designated the long man.

He's a lot more valuable to the Twins as a starting pitcher than as a set-up guy, so success in this new, higher-profile role could actually work against him in the long run if the Twins, hesistant to fix something that ain't broke, decide he's better off left as a reliever. And that sounds exactly like something the Twins would do.

Meanwhile, Jason Bartlett is hitting .310/.333/.493 in AAA, while Juan Castro is hitting .278/.304/.315 for thw Twins. Power from a shortstop is not a trifling thing.

Somewhere, Aaron Gleeman is frowning.

4/27/2006 11:30:00 AM

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

(4/26/2006 11:26:00 PM) - Al

Looks like MLB has chosen a DC ownership group, though they are upset the news leaked, much like the news of the Brewers' sale did...through one of the losing bidders.

4/26/2006 11:26:00 PM

(4/26/2006 11:14:00 PM) - Al

The Twins' new ballpark takes a huge step forward (stop me if you've heard this before), but I believe I will quote my favorite baseball writer when asked about this subject:

I'll believe it when I see it.

I can't believe a ballpark without a retractable roof has a pricetag of $522M. I wonder how much of that is for the purchase of the land.

4/26/2006 11:14:00 PM

(4/26/2006 10:41:00 PM) - Al

I guess I called that correctly. Mike Adams goes down, a move will be made Thursday to replace him on the 25 man.

Rotoworld--Brewers optioned RHP Mike Adams to Triple-A Nashville. Adams allowed three runs in 2 1/3 innings. No replacement was immediately announced. Unless Rick Helling is ready to come back Friday, the Brewers may add a hitter for a few days. Brent Abernathy would be one of the top candidates.

Hmmm, if that's the case, Brent might well be coming up to be the designated late-inning defensive replacement at 2B for Rickie. I could have sworn I just read that somewhere.

JS---Yost noted before the game that he could use a long-inning reliever in the bullpen, something he hasn't had since Rick Helling went on the DL with an ailing elbow and knuckleballer Jared Fernandez was sent to Nashville. Fernandez did not allow a run in his first two outings with Nashville, tossing 6 2/3 shutout innings.

Should the Brewers choose not to recall Fernandez, one candidate for a long relief job might be right-hander Ben Hendrickson, who has pitched very well at Nashville. Hendrickson, who failed when given a spot in the Brewers' rotation in 2004 (1-8, 6.22), is 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA in four starts with the Sounds.

A couple funny things, firstly, you really don't need a long man in the NL, as you almost always PH for the pitcher anyway. Secondly, notice Tom "Prince of Darkness" goes clear back to '04 to dig up crappy Ben H numbers, when all you have to do is look at his horrible 5ish ERA in Nashville last year. I've said on many occasions I felt Ben H was best suited for the 'pen, as he has one plus pitch, but to be honest, as good as I feel the rotation is; DLR, Demaria, and Lehr are perfectly capable of not getting enough work without adding another arm.

I think speedster Zach Sorenson has been injured, or he would probably have got his name mentioned somewhere as well.

UPDATE: An "insider" that works in another organization has said Hendrickson has been told to meet the team in MIL. I disagree, but I don't recall anyone asking me.:)

4/26/2006 10:41:00 PM

(4/26/2006 10:14:00 PM) - Al

Just read through the play-by-play of the game, another close win, and I wonder how deep the "deep fly ball" was to McCann with one out in the 9th. Derrick seems to be very mortal when appearing in more than 2 games in a row, so much so it might be a good idea to limit him to a batter or two in game 3. Derrick will be happy to have the day off tomorrow, that's for sure.

I have to wonder if the Crew will soon call up another position player, as right now, the bullpen is pretty much getting regular work for only Turnbow, Kolb, Wise, and Capellan. They certainly don't need 4 others, that's for sure. I dount they'd want to call up Hart or Cruz, as that player will mostly sit, but if nothing else, they could use a Trent Durrington, fast runner type, to PR late.

4/26/2006 10:14:00 PM

(4/26/2006 10:03:00 PM) - Al

ESPN's ticker is reporting Devil Rays' prospect Delmon Young hit an umpire in the chest with a bat in tonight's lucky are we TB took the idiot Young instead of Rickie Weeks a few years back?

4/26/2006 10:03:00 PM

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

(4/25/2006 09:29:00 PM) - Al

How can Turnbow miss on one 3-2 pitch by a couple feet, then hit the black at the knees on the next full count offering? Another win of good fortune, lots of hits fell in tonight, and the Braves hit a couple screamers to Gross in CF.

But, I think we'll take 'em.

4/25/2006 09:29:00 PM

(4/25/2006 08:52:00 PM) - Al

Notice how Andruw Jones just lobbed the ball into the IF on the base hit that scored Hall? It's simply astounds me that he is lauded as a quality defensive player when the numbers and the eyes both say otherwise.

4/25/2006 08:52:00 PM

(4/25/2006 08:45:00 PM) - Al

Mark Cuban's name keeps being associated with the Pirates, if the team is sold in the next decade.

Hat tip to Musings.

4/25/2006 08:45:00 PM

(4/25/2006 08:42:00 PM) - Eric

Sean Marshall watch:

He's pitched 7 strong innings tonight--granted, against the Marlins--with 7 strikeouts, 2 hits allowed, and 2 walks.

I mentioned earlier that I thought he was a pretty legitimate Major League pitcher, and with him allowing 13 hits in 21.1 innings thus far, I feel pretty good about that assessment.

Brewer fans needn't fear, however, as I'm sure Dusty Baker will ruin his arm soon enough.

4/25/2006 08:42:00 PM

(4/25/2006 08:40:00 PM) - Eric

Nothing went wrong, though it now takes considerably longer to open or close the roof. Last night, during the Milwaukee Brewers-Atlanta Braves' game, it took about a half an hour. It used to take about 10 minutes.

Why is that? Is it because it had to be done manually? And when he says "manually," does he really mean that the operators are physically pushing the roof shut?

4/25/2006 08:40:00 PM

(4/25/2006 07:45:00 PM) - Al

The average salary for Triple-A umpires is $15,000, with a per diem of $25.

Funny thing is, the company I work for also limits you to $25 a day for meals. If your receipts total $25.03, they'll make a note on your expense check, $25 meal allowance, and deduct the $.03 from your total. They also limit you to $5 in tolls, more than that, you need a receipt...needless to say, that was a headshaker when I learned that.

4/25/2006 07:45:00 PM

(4/25/2006 07:37:00 PM) - Al

Interesting story about the roof closing last night, courtesy of Don Walker of JS fame.

4/25/2006 07:37:00 PM

(4/25/2006 12:31:00 PM) - Al

I was looking back trying to find my mention of picking up a defensive replacement for Weeks, and I came across this post, in which I chided the market for CAT losing 10% of its value after missing earnings estimates by a dime.

At that point, CAT was at about 50, and I managed to buy a small amount at 51 or so, and today, CAT sits in the 75-77 range...though I sold mine at 67ish, taking my profit and running.

I can only imagine where the market would be if we had $50 oil.

4/25/2006 12:31:00 PM

(4/25/2006 11:51:00 AM) - Al

I'm still torn about Weeks at 2B, as most all of his E's have been those of the "minor" variety, and it's easy for me to see he has the athletic ability to be one of the best 2B in the game. Add to the mix that the Crew has no fewer than 4 OF prospects in AAA, and the incentive to move Rickie to the OF is nil.

That said, Rickie is much less likely to get injured if he were moved to the OF, and he is "slight", to say the least.

I doubt if he's going to make the move this year. It will probably be looked at this offseason, especially if Carlos Lee moves on. Having his bat in the middle infield is one reason I'm so excited about his future.

Another possibility is for the Crew to lose their 13th pitcher on the staff and replace them with a defensive replacement at 2B for the late innings. While common sense tells you an unearned run in the 1st is just as damaging as one in the 8th or 9th, it would minimize the perception. I believe I discussed this over the offseason as well.

4/25/2006 11:51:00 AM

Monday, April 24, 2006

(4/24/2006 11:15:00 PM) - Jason

Rickie Weeks may turn out to be one hell of an offensive player. I wholeheartedly agree with Ned Yost's decision to move him up to the leadoff spot, and it allows the Brewers to use a facet of Weeks' game that they havent really scratched the surface of yet...his running ability.

But, something needs to be done in terms of his defense. He was not supposed to be any defensive whiz for sure, and he certainly makes some fine plays now and again...but the errors he is committing are piling up, and sooner or later they are gonna cost the Brewers some games. I read somewhere today that an error works out to be worth just short of a run for the opposition. After his two errors tonight - on plays that a decent second baseman should have any trouble with - he has seven total. Say Rickie plays in 150 games...his current pace puts him at about 70 errors. Now, he isn't going to have 70 errors, but I AM just merely making a point that perhaps the time has come to seriously start thinking about moving Rickie to the OF, and perhaps sometime this year. The younger the better in terms of position changes, and with Carlos Lee likely no longer a Brewer after this year, getting Rickie in the OF now at least some of the time would provide a smooth transition for 2007.

The man makes some outstanding plays in the field, but because he is so error prone out there, his defense right now is doing nothing but hurt the Brewers.

4/24/2006 11:15:00 PM

(4/24/2006 10:18:00 PM) - Al

I just read that the woman in the unfunny Pepsi ad with Jimmy Fallon is Parker Posey (most widely seen would be You've Got Mail and the hilarious Best In Show)), who did a lot of artsy, critically acclaimed films that never made a penny...and more importantly, used to be very attractive.

I guess if you like your ladies to have that 12 year-old boy look, she still is, but I didn't even recognize her. And she's just a year older than she's still quite young.:)

4/24/2006 10:18:00 PM

(4/24/2006 10:11:00 PM) - Al

I'm in disbelief that not one, but two NBA players were suspended for a playoff game for being idiots. Of course, one of the players is Ron Artest, who never should have been allowed to play another game after his thuggish behavior in the "going into the crowd" fiasco anyway.

Larry Miller, the Jazz owner, once said that there are some players "I'd rather lose without them, than win with them", and for the most part, I think that's a silly thing to say...but Artest is getting really, really close to getting to that level. Talk all you want about his ability to shut down a scorer regardless of the position, he's a selfish clod who'd rather hit someone in the head than help his team.

4/24/2006 10:11:00 PM

(4/24/2006 10:04:00 PM) - Al

Almost a perfect game for the Brewers tonight, marred only by a couple errors on Rickie, though the 2nd, on a bit of a wide throw by Koskie, was a mighty tough one. As fast as Weeks is, it's mighty tough to be racing to the bag and have to stop and reach, I'm sure, though I never ran fast enough to be able to say that with certainty.

Adding onto Robert's thought, Francouer had a great rookie year, but you can almost count on one hand how many hitters have been able to hit for power without walking at all...Kirby Puckett rarely took a BB, at least early in his career, Vlad would be another, though he has also seen his BB rate increase, though probably as a result of being pitched around. I still remember thinking I would taken Geoff Jenkins long before Francouer, and considering how closely Geoff and Carlos Lee's career numbers mirror each other, I feel safe saying that.

4/24/2006 10:04:00 PM

(4/24/2006 07:34:00 PM) - Robert R.

Perhaps an opposite example of Clark and Giambi is the case of Jeff Francoeur. 73 ABs into the season and Francoeur is still without a walk and really struggling. As he has been ever since pitchers figured out last season that they didn't have to throw him strikes to get him out.(Unfortunately for him he doesn't get to face Doug Davis this series.)

Francoeur still has an enormous upside, but he's going to have to learn to adjust his batting approach if he wants to have any type of long term success at the big league level. It's quite possible that he's going to have to return to AAA at some point this year to work on that adjustment process.

4/24/2006 07:34:00 PM

Sunday, April 23, 2006

(4/23/2006 08:59:00 PM) - Al

About a year ago, I commented on Jason Giambi, saying I expected him to be fine, as he had a .380 OBP due to his walks, and that showed me he would be OK.

Even earlier, we're seeing a lot of folks wonder about Brady Clark. I suppose that isn't that much of a surprise, when you factor in how hot Gabe Gross has started off, not to mention that the Crew has no fewer than 4 "true" prospects that can play CF at AAA (Wow, reread that. That could be the first time that has ever been truthfully written.), and two of those prospects (Corey Hart, Nelson Cruz) could probably step in and play tomorrow in the majors, and be decent.

In the games I've watched, Brady hasn't hit a lot of line drives that have been caught, but he hasn't looked awkward or bad at the plate either. Thus far, he's walked 9 times in 61 AB's, and K'd only 4, meaning he's seeing the ball, but for whatever reason, the hits aren't falling in yet. I don't see him having a coming out party like Giambi did, but I have little concern.

4/23/2006 08:59:00 PM

(4/23/2006 05:39:00 PM) - Al

I'm watching my tape of the game today, and Bill Hall just made such a spectacular play, I can almost accept talk of keeping him and dealing JJ.

I will say this without hesitation, anyone who still wonders if Hall is an everyday player hasn't been paying attention. As weak as the SS position is in the NL, you could argue that Hall/Hardy might be the best in the NL for much of the next decade.

4/23/2006 05:39:00 PM

(4/23/2006 01:31:00 PM) - Al

I just thought of something...many message board folks insisted that Prince was too short to play 1B, and there would be many throws over his head.

11% of the season has past, and I have yet to see a single one.

Actually, Prince has been no less than mediocre defensively, and possibly a bit better than that. I don't think he'll be playing there in 10 years, but as of today, all the discussion was much ado about nothing.

4/23/2006 01:31:00 PM

(4/23/2006 01:29:00 PM) - Al

Is it 2006 already?

Thanks for the correction, Eric.

4/23/2006 01:29:00 PM

(4/23/2006 09:07:00 AM) - Eric

I went to the game yesterday and it was truly electric. When Hardy's homer went out, it almost reminded me of being at Lambeau Field when Al Harris returned the interception for a touchdown to beat Seattle in the playoffs a couple years ago--everyone just went nuts.

Dave Bush actually pitched that other shutout in October of 2004, not last year.

4/23/2006 09:07:00 AM

Saturday, April 22, 2006

(4/22/2006 10:43:00 PM) - Al

Too bad today's game wasn't televised, it would have been great to watch. 35K on an April weekend is great to see, especially considering Cincinnati isn't a big draw, and that the team isn't coming off a 7-2 road trip.

Dave Bush with his second shutout in his last 5 starts (he shut out the Yankees last October), and he was dandy in his first start of the season. He's making my kind words before the season look better every day.

4/22/2006 10:43:00 PM

(4/22/2006 10:23:00 PM) - Al

I love Wal Mart beyond words.--Ben Stein

And I love Ben Stein beyond words. I agree with Ben on about 98% of his views. He always makes a simple point of a sentence or two and befuddles his opponents, who usually take several sentences to look foolish as they argue, usually that capitalism is a bad thing.

4/22/2006 10:23:00 PM

Friday, April 21, 2006

(4/21/2006 11:44:00 PM) - Al

I'm all caught up on my God or the Girl viewing, one young man has already chosen a teaching job and his attractive girlfriend. Three left, and common sense tells you at least one will choose the priesthood, and probably two. I am betting the two "older" (25, 28) guys decide to become priests, while the younger (21) one does not...of course, this might be in part that the 21 year-old's former girlfriend (and now "friend") makes the attractive woman mentioned above look like a boy.

The finale is Sunday night on A&E, and they are replaying all 4 episodes Sunday afternoon. It's one of the best shows I've seen in years, my friends.

4/21/2006 11:44:00 PM

(4/21/2006 11:28:00 PM) - Al

As humans were evacuated from the area 20 years ago, animals moved in. Existing populations multiplied and species not seen for decades, such as the lynx and eagle owl, began to return.

There are even tantalising footprints of a bear, an animal that has not trodden this part of Ukraine for centuries....

There is nothing to disturb the wild boar - said to have multiplied eightfold between 1986 and 1988 - except its similarly resurgent predator, the wolf....

[T]he benefits to wildlife of removing people from the zone, have far outweighed any harm from radiation.
Does this story make you ashamed of what human beings have done to the world? For the animals, a nuclear disaster is preferable to life with us.--Ann Althouse

Wild boars and lynx (or is it lynxes)? Wow. I might argue this may prove that radiation...while obviously a bad thing, is not nearly as horrible as people think. Maybe you can compare it to secondhand smoke rather than a death sentence.

Is it possible in 50-100 years, this area of Russia will be known as some sort of paradise...despite the fallout?

Read the entire column here.

4/21/2006 11:28:00 PM

(4/21/2006 09:08:00 PM) - Al

Hopefully, I will be blogging the game tonight, so keep refreshing.

---Dare I say it, that was a mighty impressive first inning by Ben.

---That missed call at 1B was about as blatant as you'll ever see in the big leagues. When it's that noticeable live, you do question how it was missed, as Prince stepped on the bag a good "beat" before the ball got there.

---I believe scouts in attendance might well have made the entry Do not throw Gross a "get me over" fastball. I think my first impression of Gross remains very accurate.

---All I know about Brandon Phillips is that he's been rumored to the Crew a few times the last year or so, the last time when he was DFA'd by the Indians. He can sure run, I'll tell you that. Actually, I also know that Ronnie Belliard is the reason Phillips is no longer in Cleveland.

---Sheets has been very good tonight, but Arroyo has been perfect, except for his first pitch. Games like this, it seems like the Brewers are down several, yet they are really only down one.

---The more I think about it, the more I'm puzzled by the Cirillo PH appearance. With both Clark and Weeks on the bench tonight, Jeff was simply a poor choice, as the man simply cannot hit RH pitchers, or at least, no better than your average AA role player.

---I can't believe that there's anyone still wearing a "rally cap". Of course, I'm still shocked whenever I see someone still doing the wave.

---I remember reading when Arroyo's name kept coming up in trade rumors with the Crew, a message board person insisting that Bronson, a solid big league pitcher for years, mind you, could not get LH hitters out at all. Chalk up another wanna-be scout to simply having no clue.

---While I understand Hall and Gross are far from dropoffs, I have to wonder if taking the two pitch takers out of the same game is a very good idea.

4/21/2006 09:08:00 PM

(4/21/2006 09:03:00 PM) - Al

Silly me, I always thought supermodels should be attractive.

Note to self: Send out portfolio to major agencies.

4/21/2006 09:03:00 PM

(4/21/2006 08:30:00 PM) - Al

A brilliant piece of writing by one of Andrew Sullivan's subs. I can't believe the ridiculous statements I've heard about the price of oil and gasoline...which, of course, are free market goods, and the price is controlled by supply and demand.

Hearing complaints about profits gets you nowhere except dangerously close to socialism, and away from our nation's capitalist harder and smarter than your competitor, and you'll be fine. Besides, when the price comes down and some borderline oil companies start losing money...all that's left is to throw them subsidies, I guess.

A vicious cycle, that government involvement is.

4/21/2006 08:30:00 PM

(4/21/2006 06:13:00 PM) - Al

The Brewrs made a lot of money last season, though I admit, I have little idea how taxes, depreciation, and such affects profits. Mark A right there to say that profits get put right back into the team.

4/21/2006 06:13:00 PM

(4/21/2006 03:44:00 PM) - Al

SI says the Crew is the 26th most valuable team in MLB, though I would argue they have Tampa Bay and Minnesota far too high based on their stadium situation.

The Yankees are worth a billion plus, though it doesn't say if that includes the cable network they own.

4/21/2006 03:44:00 PM

(4/21/2006 03:37:00 PM) - Al

A prospect review of Gary Sheffield, by John Sickels.

It is stunning to look back now at what Sheff did when he was 18 and 19, knowing how rare that is. He dominated high A ball at 18, and was unstoppable in AA and AAA at 19, unheard of, even by bonafide uber-prospects like Prince. There was no doubt he'd be a star, and he had a fine year, hitting .294 with some pop...and then the concerns came about his attitudes and the like.

Unless Sheffield was snorting blow on the team flights, I can sure handle a lot of 'tude, as he was can't-miss for his entire pro career, and we still managed to ship him off for a bag of beans and some pretty beads. In a nutshell, the string of losing campaigns can be directly traced back to not growing and nurturing his unlimited talent, and/or not getting anything of value for such a budding star.

4/21/2006 03:37:00 PM

(4/21/2006 08:41:00 AM) - Al

On the ticker on my local news last night, it was reported that the Dow closed at a 6 year high. While I was surprised I had not heard about it, it's nice to know that we can finally stop saying "post 9/11" and the like when discussing the market.

4/21/2006 08:41:00 AM

(4/21/2006 08:33:00 AM) - Al

Courtesy of Sir Gleeman, this is the famous "Game 6", set to Vin Scully's commentary, on an old school video game. 8 minutes of the bottom of the 10th inning, when the Mets scored 3 runs, and in which Buckner is so unfairly blamed for the loss.

Buckner is as unfairly treated as Steve Bartman, the Cubs' fan who tried to catch the foul ball in the playoff game. I forgot to mention I caught a ESPN classic show about a week ago which looked into it, and pretty much destroyed any inkling that Bartman was to blame.

What's really goofy about it is, I still don't think Alou catches the ball if no one interferes. Secondly, he was one of about 5 people reaching for the ball, so if he doesn't hit it, others do. It's just absurd, a media created event.

4/21/2006 08:33:00 AM

Thursday, April 20, 2006

(4/20/2006 07:13:00 PM) - Al

I can't believe it took a study to figure out that people are leaving the cities and moving to the suburbs.

And why wouldn't they? Crime and housing costs alone are enough for most folks.

4/20/2006 07:13:00 PM

(4/20/2006 06:50:00 PM) - Al

I think having Cirillo play in place of Prince is a no-brainer, especially on the road. Jeff should play against all upper echelon LH SP's, as he is a fine hitter against them.

4/20/2006 06:50:00 PM

(4/20/2006 09:21:00 AM) - Eric

You know, I was considering posting yesterday that Prince Fielder should probably be moved back up to the fifth spot, but held off because arguments about batting order grow so quickly tedious. Nevertheness, the batting order offers a peek into Ned's mind, and the quick drop to the seventh spot plus Fielder sitting yesterday vs. "tough lefty" Andy Pettitte belie somewhat Ned's stated confidence in his young first baseman. Prince is certainly a better fit for the fifth spot than Corey Koskie and certainly a better fit for first base than Jeff Freaking Cirillo.

Cirillo started for Fielder for one of two reasons; either Ned was concerned about Fielder's ability to hit Pettitte or he was trying to work Cirillo into the lineup. If it was the former, then Ned needs to understand that the only way Fielder will improve vs. southpaws is with experience, though he's certainly done fine against them so far. If it was the latter, then Ned needs to get over his Cirillo fetish, and quickly.

EDIT: From today's paper:

It was not an easy decision for Yost to sit down rookie first baseman Prince Fielder for the first time this season, even with veteran lefty Andy Pettitte going for Houston. Fielder had been on fire on the road trip, batting .438 (14 for 32) with a home run and six RBI.

The left-handed-hitting Fielder has not been intimidated by lefty pitchers, batting .286 (4 for 14) with a homer and two RBI. But Yost wanted to get Cirillo a start, and it didn't hurt that Cirillo had ravaged Pettitte (.483, 2 HRs) in the past.

When Fielder stumbled to a 0-for-11 start with seven strikeouts, Yost dropped him from fifth to seventh in the lineup. Now that Fielder is on a roll, Yost said he might return him to the fifth spot soon.

Well, I guess that's a mixed bag. Yost should know better than to put any stock in past batter/pitcher matchups, but at least he's open to moving Fielder back up in the order.

4/20/2006 09:21:00 AM

(4/20/2006 06:36:00 AM) - Al

Duke students are wearing T-shirts that say Innocent Until Proven Guilty.

Wow, talk about a controversial stand to take.:)

As much as I dislike Collin and Reade based solely on their names and upbringing, to say the prosecution has a weak case is offensive to weak cases. I've heard a couple folks throw out the idea that this would have been handled differently had the accused been Duke basketball players, and I can't help but agree. The university has bungled it from the beginning, and has a black eye that will be tough to erase.

4/20/2006 06:36:00 AM

(4/20/2006 06:33:00 AM) - Al

I'm surprised there was even discussion that Kevin Gullickson wouldn't get the scholarship that was available. And another "recruited walk-on" takes his place.

4/20/2006 06:33:00 AM

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

(4/19/2006 10:42:00 PM) - Al

I didn't see much of the game tonight, but if I could only see the Crew hit two innings, the 8th and 9th were a good choice.

Good to see Damian and Rickie getting on base. Hopefully they will return home with the bats red hot and the staff back on track.

4/19/2006 10:42:00 PM

(4/19/2006 02:29:00 PM) - Al

I'm at home for an hour or so as part of my strange "split-shift" day at work, and I come across Aaron Gleeman's news about his dog, and I guess things could be a lot worse.

I have often said that if someone doesn't like dogs, they probably aren't worth knowing. One of the very odd things I found being a parent is I have seen my son catch up to and now surpass my dog as far as intelligence level goes. In spite of this, or maybe because of it, the canine simply has a unique charm.

Best wishes to Sam, and to Aaron as well.

4/19/2006 02:29:00 PM

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

(4/18/2006 10:52:00 PM) - Jason

Man, Daron Sutton makes me want to puke. After the final out of tonight's game:

"Its a loss in the loss column. But is there a moral victory in this?"

After which Bill Schroeder comes back with a great line:

"No. When you score 12 runs, you need to win the game."

Needless to say, Daron shut up and it went to commercial. What a buffoon.

As Al has said time and again, it is one of the worst TV commentators in the business. Listening to these two for the last half of the game after listening to the first half of the game to Bob Uecker and Jim Powell, it is just astounding the separation of talent.

As for the game itself, a loss is a loss. Because of the way the Brewers came back from being down big it perhaps makes it a bit more "painful", but the Brewers still lost.

This trip has to be characterized in no other way but very disappointing. Most of the games on this trip have been very winnable, with the Brewers having the lead at some point in just about all of them. In a lot of the games, it has just been poor fundamentals, either in the field or at the plate, that have cost this team dearly....thats the most disappointing part, especially from a club coached by guys who "preach" the fundamentals.

4/18/2006 10:52:00 PM

(4/18/2006 09:01:00 PM) - Al

God or the Girl is a far too brief 5 part series on A&E, following 4 men in their 20's as they decide whether to be priests or regular joes.

I saw the first 2 episodes Sunday night, and it was just a joy, seeing college age fellas that I don't hate. They are just normal guys who wonder if they are "up to the task" of the priesthood. I would argue they all are plenty qualified, especially considering how low some priests of late (a minority, to be sure) have set the bar.

Check out the link, the final episode is this Sunday at 9 Central.

4/18/2006 09:01:00 PM

(4/18/2006 08:58:00 PM) - Al

If the Bucks would have won, they would have been the #5 seed, but with a loss, they will likely be the #8 seed...what are the odds of that? Astounding.

4/18/2006 08:58:00 PM

(4/18/2006 08:39:00 PM) - Al

DLR hitting for himself, the equivalent of a punt in the 4th quarter down 3 TD's.

There's little doubt in my mind that if Jorge stays healthy, he'll have at least a couple solid years in a rotation, granted, that may be as a 4.50 ERA, bottom o' the rotation guy, but solid nonetheless.

I like all three of the prospects at AAA (Jackson, Eveland, and Sarfate), and I still think Ben Hendrickson can be a steady relief guy. But, I'd rather have DLR's future than any of them, except Zach J...but even that's a close call.

He's putting on a show tonight, to be sure.

By the way, I wonder why Lee or Jenkins didn't get the last 4-5 innings off, as that would have subbed for a full day off for one of them.

4/18/2006 08:39:00 PM

(4/18/2006 07:13:00 PM) - Al

Facing a bullpen crisis just over two weeks into the season, the Brewers recalled relievers Mike Adams and Chris Demaria from Class AAA Nashville today.

To make room on the roster for the relievers, the Brewers sent reserve outfielder Corey Hart and right-hander Jared Fernandez to Nashville. Hart's activity had been restricted to three pinch-hit appearances and Fernandez was ineffective in two mop-up relief outings (13.50 ERA).

The Brewers' bullpen situation worsened in recent days when right-hander Dan Kolb returned to Milwaukee to have an MRI on his ailing elbow. No structural damage was found but Kolb was expected to be unvailable for at least two or three days.

With other relievers such as Jose Capellan (five appearances), Justin Lehr (four) and Matt Wise (six) being used often, manager Ned Yost found himself short of fresh arms entering the second game of a three-game series with Houston tonight.

Demaria, 25, acquired over the winter from Kansas City, was 0-0 with a 3.18 ERA in four outings with Nashville. In 5 2/3 innings, he walked only one and struck out seven.

Adams, 27, the last pitcher cut in spring training, was 0-0 with a 1.80 ERA and one save in five appearances.--JS

The prince of darkness overstates the fact a bit, as even Ned admitted in this morning's paper that much of the problem, with DLR and Lehr at least, is that they've been up in the bullpen too much, which is just poor management. 4 apperances in 13 games is a 50 game pace, hardly a lot for a reliever, unless each one is 2 innings long, unlikely at best.

Too bad for Hart, but he needs to play some anyway. The thing about Fernandez is simple, if you aren't going to stick with a guy through a couple of nondescript games, you didn't like him much to begin with...which I guess was the case, as the Crew tried to find someone on waivers to replace him before the 25 man was announced.

4/18/2006 07:13:00 PM

(4/18/2006 06:45:00 PM) - Al

Fine research, Robert. I used to like to do stuff like that, before I started working 60+ hours a week.:) As I said, I'm just lucky to have a job.

4/18/2006 06:45:00 PM

(4/18/2006 02:39:00 PM) - Eric

Robert of course has a point, but I'd just like to point out that Sean Marshall is a pretty legitimate prospect and that he's only made two starts this season. In those two starts, he's allowed nine hits and two walks in 9.1 innings, which hardly adds up to a 7.71 ERA; he's been unlucky. As long as Prior and/or Wood are out, I expect Marshall to be a capable fourth/fifth starter for the Cubs, with potential for more.

4/18/2006 02:39:00 PM

(4/18/2006 01:02:00 PM) - Robert R.

The myth that spring training stats mean anything, 2006 edition.

Exhibit A: Brandon Watson
Made the Nationals roster over Ryan Church based on a hot spring and the fact that he "looked" like a leadoff hitter. The latest in a series of awful moves by Jim Bowden. Watson then went on to hit .179/.207/.179 with 2 CS vs. 0 SBs. At which point Bowden, in early panic mode, reversed his dumb decision and called up Church while demoting Watson.

Exhibit B: Reggie Abercrombie
Won the Marlins starting center field job based on a hot spring. Certainly didn't carry over to the regular season where Abercrombie has proceeded to "hit" .095/.174/.095. Admittedly Eric Reed has been equally bad, but at least Reed has the excuse of being young.

Exhibit C: Chris Duffy / Nate McLouth
Duffy "won" the job and proceeded to hit .178/.229/.311. McLouth has been getting ABs lately and has hit .250/.250/.417, better but not numbers you'd want out of an alleged leadoff man. The Pirates would have been better off putting Bay in CF and giving Craig Wilson an everyday job to start the season instead of worrying about "prototype leadoff hitters".

Exhibit D: Jared Fernandez
Fernandez won a job based on a hot spring and injuries. His 16.88 ERA certainly doesn't reflect that. My candidate for baseball's Challengers of the Unknown as a prime example of a player living on borrowed time.

Exhibit E: Sean Marshall
Like Fernandez he primarily made the team due to injuries. That said, a 7.71 ERA is a pretty harsh wakeup call.

For counter-examples, I'll bring up Boone Logan and Brian Bannister (although each of their K:BB ratios are worrisome).

Now the point isn't that none of these players will turn it around or not get any better. Certainly some will. It's only to point out the foolishness of giving starting jobs to marginal or non-prospects based on spring stats. Once the games start for real, there's no apparent carryover effect and real skill levels will out. That was especially true this spring when a lot of star players were off in the World Baseball Classic.

4/18/2006 01:02:00 PM

(4/18/2006 11:07:00 AM) - Al

A couple non-baseball comments before work:

I have to wonder at what exact moment Tom Cruise lost it. Note the Brits have no problem calling Scientology a "cult", while the American media is too afraid of offending someone. The kicker is Cruise seems to have no problem telling anyone that will listen what a complete wacko he is.

I have no idea if they are guilty or not, but I swear this Duke lacrosse team case was written by the 90210 team...Collin and Reade, for heavens sake? Seriously? I hate them already, just because they have preppie names and go to a stuck-up private school.

4/18/2006 11:07:00 AM

(4/18/2006 10:31:00 AM) - Eric

Some thoughts on Daron & Bill:

The cheerleading isn't nearly the worst thing they do. Actually, and this will probably ruin my credibility on the subject of announcers, I sort of enjoy Hawk Harrelson. Yeah, he's way over the top, but I want my announcer to be a fan of my team. Daron, though, doesn't have the command in his voice to pull it off; I imagine him with fists clenched, knees knocked together and eyes shut tight hopping up and down going, "I hope, I hope, I hope!" But it's not so bad. What is, in fact, so bad is when he falls in love with the opposing team, usually the pitcher. At times it seems like he's almost rooting for the "bad guys." I would go back and pick through some broadcasts in order to cite specific examples, but I haven't the fortitude.

Bill's biggest sin is his apparent dread of "pesky" guys like David Eckstein and Paul Lo Duca. "You hate to see this guy up in this situation," he intones gravely. Do you, Bill? Do you really? Would you rather see Albert Pujols, Scott Rolen or Jim Edmonds? Or how about Carlos Delgado, David Wright, Carlos Beltran or Cliff Floyd? You know Bill, upon reflection, I think I'd be rather glad to see that pesky guy up.

What a maroon.

4/18/2006 10:31:00 AM

(4/18/2006 09:02:00 AM) - Al

According to the NESN broadcast, the Red Sox are 18-0 in their last 18 one-run games at Fenway.--Musings

Wow. Luck, bullpen, whatever, that's an incredible streak.

And irony of ironies, BOS rarely plays for a single run, and is not a team which is built to bunt and the like. So much for that old fashioned line of thinking.

4/18/2006 09:02:00 AM

(4/18/2006 08:55:00 AM) - Al

Aaron Gleeman discusses the Twins' handling of young players, literally, the anti-Brewers. If the Crew were the Twins, Prince would have went back to Nashville.

You can say nice things about Terry Ryan all you want, and he has had some success in getting a small market team to the playoffs, but he seems to have no plan at all, other than a "throw it at the wall and see what sticks".

To me, the mere fact he doesn't see the need to get Lew Ford into the everyday lineup makes me question his ideas.

4/18/2006 08:55:00 AM

(4/18/2006 07:50:00 AM) - Al

A couple notes:

---I did try to listen to the radio Sunday, but the timing is off...Bob told me what happened about a half second before it came across on the TV, an immediate replay, if you will.

---Some of you insist there are worse announcers, as you have Extra Innings or the MLB package on XM. I used to have the Direct EI set-up, and I found many I liked and some I didn't.

---As for who I enjoy, I despised Matt Vaslonglastname as well. The only guy I recall on TV that has done Brewers' games is Del Crandall, who may have been a substitute, as he wasn't on long. Del was the first, and possibly only, baseball person I've ever heard say that you should have your roster made in your head before spring training, as a few games shouldn't make much of a difference.

---I have always liked the TBS guys, as for the most part, they just talk about the game, and Don Sutton especially.

---What's ironic is, on message boards, you'll find a universal dislike of whoever is doing the WGN Cubs' games, as they are cheerleaders, yet our guys break out the pom-poms after every base hit.

Finally, my favorite e-mail from last night:


I think Daron & Bill are all but impossible to tolerate as well. My friends and I started a drinking game, we take a shot every time Bill says "You just gotta make contact".

Unfortunatly, I still haven't made it out of the 3rd inning. How's the season going so far?

:) What's funny is, the emphasis of their disdain this year has been men left on base. I can all but promise you that even this early, the teams that lead MLB in LOB also lead in runs both are all about baserunners.

UPDATE: LOB is such a vital stat that it isn't even listed on ESPN or THT. THT lists LOB%, and the Brewers are actually one of the lower in the NL, at 67%.

However, the top 4 teams in the NL in runs scored are all over the map in LOB%, which shows me that it is meaningless. ATL leads the NL in runs, and also lead in the most K's, again, it's all about "contact".:)

3 of the top 4 in runs are also in the top 4 in OBP, however, with ATL 7th. The Brewers are 6th, which leads me to believe they'll be fine in the long run. It also lists the Crew as 5-3 in "close games", which tells me they were due for a close loss.

It's a long race, not a sprint. Blowups happen, whether it be Wise, DLR, or Capellan, who after 2 HR's in his first two outings, now looks to be the guy I predicted before the season.

4/18/2006 07:50:00 AM

Monday, April 17, 2006

(4/17/2006 09:31:00 PM) - Al

That did look to be an awful call by the 1B umpire, but the Astros are both hitting the ball hard and finding the holes, a deadly combination.

Why is Cappelan up, who am I forgetting in the bullpen, other than DLR, Fernandez, and Turnbow?

EDIT: Lehr, I wonder why he isn't up? He's been very effective.

I'm sorry, I may soon have to go to the mute button. Bill and Daron may in fact be the most cliched pair of buffoons in the history of time. Neither has had even a sensible thing to say all season, and tonight, have literally been beyond ignorant.

What a pair of overdramatic girlie men. I wasn't jumping up and down after the 3 runs in the top of the inning, and I'm not jumping off a cliff after a 5 run bottom.

DARON: We can't lose this game.

Possibly, the stupidest statement of all time...they certainly can, and probably will, to be honest. What happens if they do...does the world stop spinning? Does the season end?

Bluntly, the worst of all-time.

4/17/2006 09:31:00 PM

(4/17/2006 07:58:00 PM) - Al

Just logged onto Party Poker to work off a bonus, and the little box on the cover page says 95,827 players. About 90 seconds later, after signing up for 3 tables, I go to click off the screen, and it says 96,318.

While there's always the good chance 25K are playing on the play money tables, that's still a huge number. Party is either 1st or 2nd in size, but I doubt they have over 3-4% of the overall market. Needless to say, I don't think the "boom" is over quite yet.

4/17/2006 07:58:00 PM

(4/17/2006 07:46:00 PM) - Al

Daron & Bill trying to make sense of a tiny sample of plate appearances.

They're meaningless, boys, don't waste your time.

4/17/2006 07:46:00 PM

(4/17/2006 07:38:00 PM) - Al

Brewers reliever Dan Kolb returned to Milwaukee for an MRI on his ailing elbow today and did not accompany the team here for their series against the Houston Astros.

Manager Ned Yost revealed that Kolb left the club in New York Sunday to have his elbow examined by team physician William Raasch and undergo the MRI. The club said the MRI was negative and that Kolb had no ligament damage.

"It's just stiffness," said Yost, who did not reveal the injury in New York because he said he did not want the New York Mets to know about it. "He should be OK in two or three days."

Yost said Kolb experienced the elbow stiffness the day after his last outing in St. Louis last Thursday. When the stiffness persisted the decision was made to send him back to Milwaukee to be examined.

With Kolb away from the club and reliever Rick Helling on the disabled list as of Sunday, Yost admitted his bullpen was thin for the three-game series against the Astros.

"We're short," said Yost, who did not rule out having to summon a reliever from the minors.

Heh. Only Ned would worry about "only" having six healthy arms in the bullpen, 5 of them very fresh as well. That said, Kolb hasn't pitched since last week, so a retroactive move would have him miss just an extra week if he were DL'd. Mike Adams would be the obvious choice, though I might lean toward lefty Jason Kerschner, as I don't feel Yost will be using DLR as a loogy anytime soon.

4/17/2006 07:38:00 PM

(4/17/2006 07:29:00 PM) - Al

Jeff with an interview with the Brewers' "stat guy", Dave Lawson.

Good job, sir.

4/17/2006 07:29:00 PM

(4/17/2006 07:18:00 PM) - Al

Weeks with a simply outstanding defensive play, and neither Daron or Bill even seemed to notice. He'll make his share of errors, I'd guess 35, but he saved a run by getting the lead runner at 2B. Too bad our team is still living in 1975 as far as judging D.

4/17/2006 07:18:00 PM

Sunday, April 16, 2006

(4/16/2006 02:42:00 PM) - Al

Massive prep for the outbreak unlikely to ever occur.

4/16/2006 02:42:00 PM

(4/16/2006 01:46:00 PM) - Al

I see one of our neighbors is grilling out for his Easter dinner. That's not a bad idea at all, especially when it's this late.

By the way, I came across this, which tells you when Easter is each year:

Easter Day is the first Sunday after the full moon that occurs after the vernal equinox. Easter cannot be before March 22, or after April 25.

I have had discussions with people about the seemingly random timing of Easter, and no one has known the exact rule. I have heard the equinox mentioned, but I disissed it because I recall years in which Easter was on March 8th or 11th...which I guess is fuzzy memory syndrome, much like those that argue baseball, are proven wrong by facts, then say that doesn't matter.

We are enjoying a quiet holiday at home, this morning my wife went to church, while my son played his new Leapster games that the bunny brought him, while I found plenty of online poker tables to be open, likely a sign of the apocolypse to many.:)

As Jenkins belts his second HR in as many days, I assume this will shut up the "bench Jenkins" movement, which will zenith again the day before another torrid stretch begins.

And Helling is indeed on the DL, elbow soreness. Fernandez lives to pick up a few more days of big league salary.

Nice to see Corey Hart smack the ball around. I will remain mute until on or about June 1st, but we have to get him 250+ PA's this year, and if the OF remians effective and healthy, I'd have no issue sending him down for a 6-8 week stretch to pick up a majority of those in AAA.

4/16/2006 01:46:00 PM

(4/16/2006 09:53:00 AM) - Al

Unconfirmed reports have Rick Helling going on the DL to make room for Sheets' start today.

4/16/2006 09:53:00 AM

Saturday, April 15, 2006

(4/15/2006 10:52:00 PM) - Al

I just finished watching my tape of the game today. Almost a perfect game to watch if you're a Brewers' fan, my minor quibble was why in the world Ned had Wise work a 2nd inning up 6. If that's your biggest complaint, you know things went well.

4/15/2006 10:52:00 PM

Friday, April 14, 2006

(4/14/2006 09:52:00 PM) - Al

I remember Corey Thurman as a Royals prospect. Looking back at his career, he was stolen away by TOR after a 13-5 AA campaign. I'm sure the Crew sees him as a relief prospect, as he's 27 and in AA...but, if he can get healthy, he's as good of roster filler as you can get.

4/14/2006 09:52:00 PM

(4/14/2006 11:02:00 AM) - Eric

The Brewers made the New York Times today with an article you've most likely read several times before.

My favorite part, and something I can't read enough times:

The team still talks, with good reason, about the nine-player trade Melvin made with the Arizona Diamondbacks in December 2003. From what amounted to a trade of one hitter, Richie Sexson, the Brewers have wound up with three-fifths of their starting rotation. In that trade, they acquired Chris Capuano, an 18-game winner last season, and they exchanged two other players from that deal for pitchers who are in their rotation — trading Lyle Overbay for Dave Bush and Junior Spivey for Tomo Ohka.

There's also this:

When Attanasio bought the Brewers from the family of Commissioner Bud Selig, he asked Melvin which clubs the Brewers should model themselves after.

"We said we probably couldn't follow Florida," Melvin said, "because they won two World Series, but they built up their team and tore it down twice. That's not something we felt we could do after 12 losing seasons. We looked at Oakland and Minnesota. Oakland has turned their roster over quite a bit. Minnesota has more stability. Both clubs have benefited from trades and draft choices."

In Minnesota's case, stability has turned into stagnation; you could almost hatch mosquitos in their outfield. Meanwhile, the A's have rebuilt yet again and have a truly awesome team this year. The Terry Ryan Corner Outfielder Acid Test for Melvin will be the Carlos Lee situation. Hopefully he passes.

4/14/2006 11:02:00 AM

(4/14/2006 10:38:00 AM) - Eric

If you're looking for the next minor league retread pitcher signed by Doug Melvin to bust out, I have a candidate for you: Corey Thurman, who was signed as a minor league free agent in January.

He pitched in the majors with Toronto in 2002 and 2003, but I don't remember him. Sounds like he has a pretty good changeup.

Of course, it's been only two games and ten innings, and he is recovering from rotator cuff surgery last year. But it's a rainy day and I'm looking for a ray of sunshine.

4/14/2006 10:38:00 AM

Thursday, April 13, 2006

(4/13/2006 09:42:00 PM) - Al

Larry Kudlow sums up exactly how I feel...the only thing missing from a booming economy is people admitting we have a booming economy.

I am a tiny investor in the sea of investors, but one of my "rules" is I only buy stocks I think could easily double. It is easy to find stocks that look primed to triple. I feel like stocks have been "on sale", or undervalued, for the past couple years at least, dragged down due to fears of terrorism, interest rate hikes (inflation), and mostly oil.

I may be an optimist, but I am sure we'd have a 14K Dow if we had $50 oil. I believe the market should be at around 12.5...which, of course, is worth just a tad less than nothing.:)

I just cannot understand how DOW can have a 5 year chart like this, despite the fact it's a cash machine, pumping out $4.50 a share in earnings and a 4% yield.

Here's WMT's 5 year chart...the capitalist retail giant, with the nerve to just keep getting better, cheaper than it was in 2001, and still opening stores at a brisk pace, here and abroad.

What am I missing here?

4/13/2006 09:42:00 PM

(4/13/2006 07:48:00 PM) - Eric

Hard to believe the Brewers pulled that one out today. I wonder what the odds of winning were when Kolb was 3-0 on Encarnacion with Eckstein on first, no one out, and Murderer's Row coming up.

Kolb has been skating on thin ice this year, allowing almost exclusively long flyouts, which is a far cry from both his days as a power pitcher and a groundball specialist. Unless something is corrected, it's only a matter of time until he implodes.

Apparently, Ned Yost had a meeting with the team, exhorting them to raise the level of their fundamentals to that of the Cardinals. It worked, except perhaps for Jeff Cirillo's ill-fated sac bunt attempt late in the game, but I have another fundamental in mind that I'm pretty sure Ned didn't cover: Never, ever let Chad Moeller hit in a pivotal, late game situation as long as there's another catcher on the bench. Just because he walked doesn't make it the right decision.

4/13/2006 07:48:00 PM

(4/13/2006 07:31:00 PM) - Al

Jim Powell gives a chat at the JS a dozen times better than any Drew Olson ever did...and not a single reference to the local music scene or The did he manage that?

FYI, I have heard Drew is no longer at the JS and is writing elsewhere.

4/13/2006 07:31:00 PM

(4/13/2006 06:47:00 PM) - Al

I certainly have no problem with Yost giving Weeks the day off, but I do wonder why he decided to do it the same day he gave JJ off, as even the best utility guy in the game, Bill Hall, can only play SS or 2B at a time.

Or, if the Cards would have went with a LHP, Jeff is a nice pick, as he hits lefties well...but Cirillo hasn't hit RHP's since the clock struck the 21st century. His 0-5 today isn't that far from his expected output versus northpaws.

Lee's catch today, considering its context, may be the finest OF catch since Yount's diving reception to save Juan Nieves' no hitter...with all due respect to Jason Conti's sliding grab to end a victory against the Cubs 2 or 3 years ago. There have been better grabs, Clark's incredible play running full speed toward the wall comes to mind, as does Krynzel's wall climb a year ago, but they lacked the timing. I've often referred to Lee as a future DH, but that was a beauty.

To be honest, I'm more surprised they called two errors on Edmonds than the fact he made 2 errors. I've seen balls that bounced off the heel of Rolen's glove called hits, so I guess they were both so obvious they couldn't not be called errors.

Jenkins has 3 or 4 E's already this young season, so while errors are certainly a negative, using them to judge OF defense is a bit of a crapshoot.

What's funny is, this team is on a pace to win 108 games, and I've seen as much complaining about them as any, is that proof the opposite of love isn't hate, but ignorance?

4/13/2006 06:47:00 PM

(4/13/2006 01:40:00 PM) - Eric

You know, it's pretty nice to be a Brewer fan.

If I were, say, a Cubs fan, and my team had just lost three straight games, my rookie second baseman was struggling, and my manager sat him down on a hot afternoon and gave a popular bench player the start, I would be worried.

That's just what Ned Yost did today, sitting down Rickie Weeks in favor of Jeff Cirillo. Rickie hasn't been very selective at the plate lately, and Yost gave him the day off. But that's all it is: a day off. He's not being Neifi'd, and it's quite relaxing to have confidence in that.

4/13/2006 01:40:00 PM

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

(4/12/2006 10:26:00 PM) - Al

Nice to see Jose Capellan throw a couple effective innings, 6 up, 6 down. He's actually been OK...'cept for those 2 home runs (and other than that Mrs. Lincoln...) he had allowed.

Surprised to see Bush get hit so hard tonight. SL has incredibly strong 3-5 bats, but I would argue a below average other six hitters. I guess time will tell if this is much better than the 6th/7th best offense in the NL over the course of the campaign.

4/12/2006 10:26:00 PM

(4/12/2006 09:06:00 PM) - Al

I think Jim Powell is allowing his dislike for Barry Bonds to affect his thinking.

Barry Bonds has never tested positive in his life for any illegal drug. You cannot go back in time and test him...and even if you could, thye were never against the rules back then. The only reason MLB has a drug policy at all is that Selig pushed one through, while the union leaders whined, moaned, and bellyached...even though the vast majority of the players seem to have no problem with the testing.

What's ironic is, many Europeans insist Lance Armstrong has been using performance enhancers, even though he has tested negative many, many times...and like Bonds, has never tested positive. I would not be surprised if Armstrong has used "something" over the years...whether it be a sophisticated form of blood doping, legal drugs used in unorthodox ways, or somehow masked his use. However, Armstrong is innocent of any wrongdoing in my eyes, and so is Bonds.

Any other viewpoint strikes me as just being biased.

4/12/2006 09:06:00 PM

(4/12/2006 08:30:00 PM) - Al

Three thoughts about the Pepsi ad I have now seen an infinite number of times.

1. This is why Caucasians should not dance.

2. Jimmy Fallon may be enjoying his life, but let me tell you, eternity is long, long time.

3. I'm a believer in working your way up the ladder, good luck is usually the result of hard work, etc...but the mere fact Tom Green and Jimmy Fallon have careers prove that there are some things you just can't explain.

4/12/2006 08:30:00 PM

(4/12/2006 08:16:00 PM) - Al

Carlos Lee- we need to get rid of him while there is still value-- he is NOT ready for the season to start. Every one of his approaches to each at bat sat/sun was weak...he is not attacking the pitch, he is hitting flat footed, no approach to attack the ball, even on fastballs , im not talking about being fooled by pitches. he is a double play machine..he looks like he just dont me on this..get rid of him...---3/27, message board

Last year, I reminisced fondly about message board blowhards who said stupid things, then they were forgotten soon thereafter...Geoff Jenkins being released/demoted still bring a chuckle to me. So, I decided to save a few until Blogger loses my archives this year.

4/12/2006 08:16:00 PM

(4/12/2006 06:52:00 PM) - Al

The Milwaukee Brewers claimed right-hander Vince Perkins off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays today and sent him to their extended spring training camp in Phoenix for a physical.

Perkins, 24, who was added to the Brewers' 40-man roster, will be assigned to one of the their top minor league clubs, either Class AAA Nashville or Class AA Huntsville. The Brewers' 40-man roster is now full.

Perkins, 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, is a native of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. He was an 18th-round draft pick by the Blue Jays in 2000.

Last season at Class AA New Hampshire, Perkins was 7-7 with a 4.03 ERA in 26 appearances (24 starts). He appeared twice for Toronto during spring training before being designated for assignment on March 31.

Perkins had to clear waivers to be assigned to Toronto's farm system but the Brewers claimed him instead.

With the open 40 man spot, the Crew must have sifted through the waiver wire and finally decided on Perkins, who fits the bill as a "big", athletic pitcher the Crew seem to covet. Vince looks to be a hard thrower, 439 career K's in 440 innings, so I feel safe saying he K's a man an inning. Heavy on walks, and has never been challenged, as he's 25 and never pitched above AA, but if the braintrust feels he's worth a shot, I have no complaints.

4/12/2006 06:52:00 PM

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

(4/11/2006 06:49:00 PM) - Al

St. Louis - Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Ben Sheets turned in a dominating performance today in what likely will be his last minor league rehabilitation outing before being activated from the disabled list.

Pitching for Class AAA Nashville, Sheets tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing three singles and no walks with nine strikeouts in a 4-1 victory over the Iowa Cubs. Sheets threw 75 pitches, 52 for strikes.

It was the second rehab outing for Sheets, who is on the comeback trail from a torn muscle behind his pitching shoulder. Including a stint with Class AA Huntsville last week, Sheets has pitched 8 1/3 innings, allowing seven hits and one earned run (1.08 ERA), with no walks and 14 strikeouts.

If Sheets checks out medically upon rejoining the Brewers, he is expected to be added to their roster and make his first big-league start of the season Sunday in New York against the Mets at Shea Stadium.

Outfield prospect Nelson Cruz did most of the heavy lifting offensively for Nashville, going 3 for 4 with his first home run of the season.

Couldn't have asked for a much better outing to prep for his return to the big leagues for Sheets. Unless someone is injured, I would figure Jared Fernandez will be on waivers in order to go down to AAA on Saturday night.

4/11/2006 06:49:00 PM

Monday, April 10, 2006

(4/10/2006 04:15:00 PM) - Al

I will be blogging most of today's game, so keep refreshing.

---The new Busch Stadium looks lovely. With it sold-out for the entire season, it's tough not to think the ticket prices were far, far too low.

---Clark has been hitting a lot of bad luck lately. He and Hardy both hit the ball well, and Mulder still got a 1-2-3 inning.

---So Taguchi and Juan Encarnacion are the Cards' everyday corner OF's? Oof. At least you can make an argument for Juan, but So has to be the worst in MLB. Granted, Edmonds hits like a LF but plays CF, but they've been so good offensively because they haven't had far below mediocre offensive players in the lineup.

---If the pitch to Rolen would not have been low, Miller would not have moved it up after he caught it. Daron & Bill seeing with their hearts.

---So, SL has Taguchi 6th, then Miles and the C, then the P? That's a horrible bottom of the lineup, as bad as when the Crew trotted out a bottom third of the order with Eddie Perez/Royce Clayton/pitcher.

---So, was Edmonds trying to fake out the runner when he reached for Hall's HR? You could hear the SL crowd gasp when it landed it the stands, as they thought he had it.

---The 3rd will be a key inning for Tomo, as he'll have to face all three of the Cards' good bats.

---I had to chuckle as Bill tried his darndest to defend Aaron Miles as something other than a crappy 2B. Let's see, a sub 700 OPS and he's hit in Coors Field for much of his lackluster career. As Robert has stated many times, it's not a coincidence that scrappy and crappy are a single letter apart.

---Too bad I hit that 3rd inning thing on the head.

---Extremely quiet crowd in St. Louis today.

---Rickie and Prince both missed those curveballs by a foot or more. Wonder if it's getting hard to see, with the shadows between the plate and the mound.

---Mark Mulder was the star of today's game, but SL looks like a lot weaker team than I thought they had. I watched the last few innings with my son today, as we played catch and the like. As is often the case in a close game, a break here and there makes a huge difference. The Mulder HR could well have been the difference in today's game.

4/10/2006 04:15:00 PM

(4/10/2006 03:50:00 PM) - Eric

Just an atrocious broadcast thus far. Perhaps they forgot to build the appropriate camera nooks into the new Busch? I can't think of any other way to explain the awful camerawork thus far by the FSN crew. The shot on Hall's home run made it look like a routine flyball, and the shot of Mulder's bunt was ridiculous. Daron and Bill appear to be both asleep and huge Cardinals fans; Daron notes with wonder that the Cardinals have an infield with big sluggers at the corners and "pesky" little guys in the middle--wow, what a concept!

4/10/2006 03:50:00 PM

(4/10/2006 02:27:00 PM) - Al

Dave Ortiz about to sign an extension with the Red know, he wasn't good enough to play for the Twins.:)

4/10/2006 02:27:00 PM

(4/10/2006 01:34:00 PM) - Al

Yesterday, I had The Sports Reporters on in the backgrounnd while my son and I were playing. I was once again left shaking my head at the way the media portrays Tiger Woods as some sort of super human. He was 3-4 shots behind several players, and the way the talking heads sounded, you would have thought he was ahead by 3-4.

I kept thinking the same thing...if he's so much better than everyone else, why is he behind? He's an outstanding golfer, of course, but this idea he is far better than the field is hilarious to me. I hear this morning that Phil Mickelson won, which is even more ironic, because he was labeled as a "choker" for several years, because he had the nerve to come in 2nd and 3rd (can you imagine?).

In individual sports especilally, the leader sets the bar. Others have a way of finding a way to get to that bar, if only for a short while.

4/10/2006 01:34:00 PM

(4/10/2006 01:27:00 PM) - Al

Aaron Gleeman discusses the difference between the Twins and the Brewers in how they handle their youngsters.

It is difficult to look at what Aaron says and not seriously wonder if Terry Ryan has let the game pass him by. His inability to develop any form of mediocre offense, while not allowing his youngsters the opportunity to play, is simply not going to work in a small market anymore.

4/10/2006 01:27:00 PM

Sunday, April 09, 2006

(4/09/2006 08:41:00 PM) - Al

"He showed he can pitch a little bit. We're willing to give it a shot," Perlozzo said. "He attacked hitters. He didn't show me he was afraid."--Baltimore's manager after calling up a reliever because his bullpen is already weary.

Not exactly a ringing vote of confidence, huh? Reading the story, I can all but promise you the Brewers have a minimum of 5 better pitchers/prospects in AAA...and maybe 7-8. Most people don't even know that depth is there, but it is, waiting for an injury.

4/09/2006 08:41:00 PM

(4/09/2006 08:18:00 PM) - Eric

I wondered what would have occured had I presented him with a credit card, now accepted at all concession stands.

Well hey, let me tell you! It probably would have gone something like this:

After you hand the cashier your credit card, she looks to some other guy to see what to do, as you eye the card-swipe machine affixed to each register anxiously. The other guy, also perplexed, consults the 18-year-old manager, who informs the cashier to "Hit 'Credit' and scan the card!" The receipt would then print out in some unknown location and be delivered to the cashier by the apparent designated-receipt runner. Total time: over a minute.

As Homer Simpson would say, "Urge to kill...rising..."

4/09/2006 08:18:00 PM

(4/09/2006 07:47:00 PM) - Al

Notes from our quick jaunt to Milwaukee for Friday and Saturday's games:

---The hotel was filled with Badgers' hockey fans. Both days, there were several people who apeared to be in town for the Frozen Four at the game as well. Many North Dakota shirts Friday, and they all cheered when in-game host Bill Michaels talked about the Badgers' hockey team. WCHA loyalty, I guess.

---Both games were filled with college students, or at least young people in that age group. Many played the "can you see me" game, talking on their cell phone while standing and waving to someone else in the stadium. One young lady behind us said, "Look, there's Ashley. She's here with Logan." It made me wonder why no one is named George and Jane anymore.

---Saturday, we got tickets from friends of ours that live in Milwaukee. We sat in the loge level bleachers in RF, and were amazed at how good the view was from out there. There were two groups out there that were wearing T-shirts specially made for the occasion, one was a bachelor party and the other was a party a student was throwing for himself and about 30 of his closest friends. Some of the b-day party folks arrived in the 3rd inning and left in the 6th...hmmm, maybe not really big fans, huh? One woman stood and talked to the guy behind her the entire game...not even exaggerating. One bit of irony, Saturday was some sort of sponsored day at Miller Park, about organ donation. The bvachelor party T-shirts all said "RIP, Andy" on the back...somehow, I doubt if that was appreciated if it was noticed by the folks who had lost loved ones and were there to publicize the efforts.

---Dave Bush looked like a classic Doug Melvin nugget, an athletic looking pitcher who throws hard and is right about at his supposed peak age. Even from right behind home plate, you could see the big 10 to 4 break on his curveball, and you wonder how we got this guy without giving up a Weeks/Fielder type.

---I kind of thought the "rock star" thing with Turnbow was just silly, but there is a certain "game over" feeling about it. I never see his ritual on TV, and I don't know if he's doing it for show or whether he's just a nut, but it has some appeal. He comes in, and without looking at it, asks for a new ball. He then wanders behind the mound, picks up the resin bag, takes off his cap, and after about 10-15 seconds, finally throws his first warmup pitch. At some point, I expect an opposing manager to complain, as there's no way he hits the time restrictions. That and I seriously question the guy's ability to handle a whole lot of adversity, I feel it's worth a shot.

---The food is so good at Miller Park, it makes up for the incredibly inept folks at the stands. I made the mistake of going to a Sportservice stand, as opposed to one run by a charitable organization. Of course, the groups get a percentage of their sales, so there is incentive to hustle...which is not the case with the Sportservice, to say the least. My 3 year-old and myself stood and watched one lady order two beers, and while that sounds like an easy enough thing, a 30 second task at most. A couple minutes later, the transaction was finished...SNL skit worthy slowness. Of course, the gent ahead of me had to think about his order after standing in line for 10 minutes in front of the menu board. So, my turn to order, I was ready:

Elderly man: Yeah?

Al: (holding in a chuckle, as this appently means, "Can I help you") Nachos and cheese pizza, please (and yes, I was ordering stuff that the boy might eat).

EM: What kind of pizza?

Al: (sigh) Cheese.

EM: Cheese pizza?

Al: Yes, please.

EM: Just a cheese pizza then?

Al: A cheese pizza, and nachos.

EM: What?

Al: (louder)A cheese pizza, and nachos.

EM: Nachos?

Al: Yep.

EM: Peppers on those?

Al: Nope.

Fella leaves for a bit. Returns to look at register, I guess he had forgotten what he had went to get. Went back to window, yelled "cheese" to the alleged person in back. A person wiping down the rear counter handed him a box, which he grabbed and set down on the counter next to register. He then looked at the register again, as if reading a mystery novel with a twist a few pages from the end. He then grabbed a prefilled plastic thing of chips, and put in 4 scoops of cheese sauce, which filled the space about 3/4th's full. Anyone that takes one look at me knows I enjoy my cheese sauce, but I let it go, sensing this may be enough to put him over the edge from cranky and inefficient to dangerous and worthless.

EM: $10.

Cursing my lack of smaller bills, I handed him a $20.

EM: (looking at bill like it was some sort of one-of-a-kind special promotional item)Uh...out of $20?

Al: (nervous giggle, as I wondered what would have occured had I presented him with a credit card, now accepted at all concession stands).

EM: (pushes buttons on register as if diffusing a bomb, noticeably jumps when it opens, looks perplexed, puts $20 into slot with other similiar notes of legal tender...and I kid you not, stares at register for several seconds, as if waiting for it to reveal the next winner of American Idol.) Uh, $10.

Al: Thanks. (As I was situating my nachos on top of my mini pizza box so I could hold onto Andrew's hand, I heard the familiar refrain of him welcoming the next customer to the fray...)

EM: Yeah?

4/09/2006 07:47:00 PM

(4/09/2006 07:18:00 PM) - Al

I missed the double switch, I thought Miller may have had a minor injury or gotten sick. I agree with Eric, a strange move to say the least, to feel that putting in Moeller to bat is a good move, for any reason.

I thought Yost made an obvious move with his heart rather than his head today, letting an obviously tired Capuano face Tony Clark...then, even a stranger one by leaving him in to face Counsell, as Lehr and DLR were both up and ready to pitch. It turns out it made no difference, as the Crew never scored a run, never mind enough to win. I would argue allowing DLR to warm up was a bit shortsighted, as he went 2 frames yesterday and threw a lot of pitches. April 9th is awful early to go 2 full one day and a batter the next day.

It's just a joy to watch Koskie hit, isn't it? Take, take, take, line drive.

I don't know about anyone else, but I'll settle for 5-1. I'm rooting for a nice 17 inning affair for the Cards at Wrigley tonight.:)

4/09/2006 07:18:00 PM

(4/09/2006 06:05:00 PM) - Eric

Rough game today. Capuano was pitching very well until the Weeks error and then seemed to fall apart. Carlos Lee hit two screamers right at Eric Byrnes in center, and Hardy and Miller both lost hits on line drives right at third baseman Chad Tracy. Meanwhile, Brady Clark continued to hit balls in a less than-authoritative manner, but did take two walks.

One thing that really had me scratching my head was Ned Yost's decision to leave Damian Miller in to hit with runners on second and third and two outs in the bottom of the 7th. Ordinarily I'd be fine with Miller hitting there, but immediately afterward Yost performed a double switch, bringing in Jared Fernandez to pitch and subbing Chad Moeller in for Miller. If he was going to take Miller out anyway, why not send up Gabe Gross? Also, the double switch meant that Moeller, the worst hitter on the team, was then batting ninth and leading off the next inning, whereas a straight substitution would have meant Fernandez pitching only one inning--a good thing, in hindsight--but having a superior hitter leading off in front of the top of the order. Just odd all around.

4/09/2006 06:05:00 PM

Saturday, April 08, 2006

(4/08/2006 11:29:00 PM) - Robert R.

University of Wisconsin

2006 NCAA National Champions, Mens Division 1 Ice Hockey

4/08/2006 11:29:00 PM

(4/08/2006 09:24:00 PM) - Al

Brian at is reporting that Doug Davis and the Crew are currently exchanging numbers for an extension.

Brian has proven to have very reliable sources inside the organization in the past, so I have to assume he is 100% accurate.

4/08/2006 09:24:00 PM

(4/08/2006 08:09:00 PM) - Al

Just got home from Miller Park...even we couldn't jinx the Crew.:)

Back with a trip report later tonight or tomorrow.

4/08/2006 08:09:00 PM

(4/08/2006 07:58:00 AM) - Robert R.

It's stating the obvious to many, but Dave Bush pitched a really nice game yesterday. One mistake to Luis Gonzalez, but other than that he was in complete control and very efficient. With Ben Sheets back soon, this will be the deepest and most talented rotation the Brewers have had since 1992. Four games into the season and the Brewers have had four quality starts from the pitchers and contributions from the bottom of the order and their deep bench that have directly lead to victories. There are a lot of reasons for optimism for this team. A lot of teams would like to be in the position where their biggest problems is their backup catcher and some uncertainty over a middle reliever or two.

BTW, one thing I've noticed. It's a lot easier for a manager to look smart, when he has options that the other manager can't take away. Between Hall/Koskie, Gross, Cirillo, and Hart there's no reason that Yost can't get a matchup he likes late in a game. That will win the Brewers a few games this year.

4/08/2006 07:58:00 AM

Friday, April 07, 2006

(4/07/2006 03:56:00 PM) - Eric

Ben Sheets made his first rehab start last night, and pitched well.

"Everything felt great out there -- the velocity was there, I was throwing strikes, (had a) good curveball," Sheets said.

Sheets entered on a 50-pitch limit and threw 37 of 49 pitches for strikes. His most impressive might've been his seventh pitch of the game -- a 96 mph fastball blown past Martin Prado -- and he routinely reached 93-94 mph.

The article notes that he's eligible to be reactivated on Saturday, and that he'll "perhaps" make another rehab start, but I'd say that's almost guaranteed. 50 pitches isn't a lot and he probably needs another start to "stretch" himself.

4/07/2006 03:56:00 PM

(4/07/2006 11:28:00 AM) - Al

We are heading down to Milwaukee and will hopefully attend tonight's game and tomorrow afternoon's affair as well. Mmmm, brats with onions and stadium sauce.

Barring the unforeseen, I'll be back tomorrow evening.

4/07/2006 11:28:00 AM

Thursday, April 06, 2006

(4/06/2006 09:28:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers are offering free tickets to active and retired military personnel again ths season.

To be honest, I can't believe every team doesn't do this.

4/06/2006 09:28:00 PM

(4/06/2006 08:16:00 PM) - Al

So, why was Corey Hart used as a defensive replacement for Lee in the 9th inning? Is this going to be common? Does Lee have a minor injury, perhaps?

4/06/2006 08:16:00 PM

(4/06/2006 08:09:00 PM) - Al

I was a bit surprised to see Cirillo pop out of the dugout to PH in the 8th, but I do not know who had hit earlier. Jeff hits the bejeebers out of lefties, but hasn't hit righties for half-a-decade--.--Al

Koskie was still on the bench, and I too was quite surprised to see Jeff up there.--Eric

Ned must have figured Cirillo versus a RH was better than Koskie versus a LH. Also, I would assume he did not feel comfortable "wasting" Koskie by having PIT bring on Grabow and then pinch-hitting for him with Cirillo (or Hart).

I would have used Hart long before Cirillo against a RH.

4/06/2006 08:09:00 PM

(4/06/2006 07:58:00 PM) - Al


OHKA: 7 IP, 86 pitches, 1 HR, 5 singles, 3 outfield-fly outs, 1 walk, 1 HBP

pretty da[r]n good for a "4th starter"!

wild card race here we come!


I had to chuckle when Michael Hunt said he was being teased by his fellow JS staffers for picking the Crew to win the wildcard. Tom is hailed as the "Prince of Darkness", as he goes out of his way to find the negative in everything. Drew picked the Mariners to win the AL West, so personally, I wouldn't trust his judgement if he told me the sun would rise in the eastern sky.

I certainly do not know if the Brewers will win 80, 85, or 90 games, but I'm still wondering why I'm the only one who even threw out the possibility that the Crew has the deepest rotation in the sport.

Even though we are doomed to more and more cliched remarks, it sure is nice to see so many casual fans sharing the excitement.

4/06/2006 07:58:00 PM

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

(4/05/2006 10:26:00 PM) - Eric

I was a bit surprised to see Cirillo pop out of the dugout to PH in the 8th, but I do not know who had hit earlier. Jeff hits the bejeebers out of lefties, but hasn't hit righties for half-a-decade.

Koskie was still on the bench, and I too was quite surprised to see Jeff up there.

4/05/2006 10:26:00 PM

(4/05/2006 10:06:00 PM) - Al

I was at work tonight, so I just saw the last couple half-innings. I wonder if Robert was at the game tonight and will be sharing what he saw later possibly.

I wonder if Turnbow ever even threw back-to-back in games down in Arizona? His velocity was down, 93-94 consistently, and he was unable to put a high fastball at the letters to Craig Wilson, any of which would have ended it without the drama.

The last two games would seemingly be one of those telling ones for people who argue that the leadoff hitter doesn't need to hit for any power. Both nights, Derrick looked a bit off his game, and both nights, the game ended when the Pirates' weak leadoff hitter popped out on a fastball right down the middle. Yeah, I would have hated to see a guy with some pop up in that situation.

I was a bit surprised to see Cirillo pop out of the dugout to PH in the 8th, but I do not know who had hit earlier. Jeff hits the bejeebers out of lefties, but hasn't hit righties for half-a-decade.

3 games does not a season make, but 3-0 sure beats 0-3. As Jason said, taking 2 of 3 this weekend would sure be a nice result for the season's first week.

4/05/2006 10:06:00 PM

(4/05/2006 09:54:00 PM) - Jason

Some quick thoughts on the opening series vs. Pittsburgh that just concluded:

- The last two games goes to show just how much luck plays into close baseball games. If not for Derrick Turnbow's glove being in the right place at the right time yesterday, the Brewers very well may have lost that game. Tonight, Prince Fielder drives in the winning run on a pitch that he literally hit off his bat handle that went about 120 feet and found a hole in short left field. That will go down in the baseball stats as a "clutch hit", but it was pure luck, plain and simple...which is why stats like "clutch hitting" are downright useless.

- Speaking of Derrick Turnbow, through three games, he isn't fooling anybody so far. Luck got him out of his jam yesterday, and stupidity on the part of a Pittsburgh hitter got him out of a jam tonight. He needs to continue to develop that breaking ball to continue to be successful. Some of tonight's trouble may be due to fatigue a bit, but the Pirates had many good swings on Derrick in this series, and the Brewers will be facing much better lineups than they have seen so far.

- Tomo Ohka looked fantastic tonight. Cappy and Davis also with solid outings in the previous two games. We'll see how Dave Bush throws on Friday, but if he tosses like he did all spring and Ben Sheets has no trouble tomorrow in rehab, the Brewers rotation looks nice and strong this year...perhaps one of the more underrated staffs in all of baseball.

Overall, can't complain with the start too much. A two-of-three series against Arizona this weekend would get things off to a great start.

4/05/2006 09:54:00 PM

(4/05/2006 07:47:00 PM) - Eric

Calling the corners wide is one thing, but calling them wide only for Zach Duke is making the home plate umpire, Mark Carlson, look pretty ridiculous.

4/05/2006 07:47:00 PM

(4/05/2006 12:34:00 PM) - Eric

I'd just like to point out that, at this moment, the Brewers have the best record in baseball.

4/05/2006 12:34:00 PM

(4/05/2006 08:58:00 AM) - Al

After the game was over last night, my wife went into our laundry room to discover water all over the floor, and after a brief inspection, discovered the culprit was our 7 year-old water heater, which, as fate would have it, was warrantied against such unwanted actions for 6 years.

I am far from a plumbing expert (actually, I'm far from an expert on most everything), but I was able to shut the water off to the water heater, and after consulting a plumber, who echoed the advice I received at a message board (If it's leaking out the side or bottom, it's time for a new water heater), a new one was ordered...though we were a bit unhappy with the gent at the store who volunteered "Water heaters usually last 20-25 years".

Key word in that phrase...usually.

4/05/2006 08:58:00 AM

(4/05/2006 12:35:00 AM) - Eric

Jim Callis, head honcho over at BA, wrote an article a couple days ago comparing Rickie Weeks to Angels prospect Howie Kendrick. If you're not familiar with Kendrick, you will be soon, as he's a hitting machine--just look at those minor league numbers.

Jim concludes, correctly I think, that Weeks has a more varied offensive attack, and will ultimately be more successful:

Basically, Kendrick is capable of some ungodly batting averages, but Weeks has more patience, speed and power. Somewhat surprisingly, Callis projects both players to remain second basemen, which is key to their value; you just don't get hitters like Weeks or Hendrick playing on the left side of the defensive spectrum very often.

In a couple years, the Angels and Brewers could have the best two infields in baseball, with Fielder, Weeks, Hardy and Hall/Braun for Milwaukee and Casey Kotchman/Kendry Morales, Kendrick, Erick Aybar and Brandon Wood for Los Angeles. World Series 2008?

4/05/2006 12:35:00 AM

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

(4/04/2006 08:21:00 PM) - Eric

Not such a great game so far for the rookies. Fielder has yet to put the ball in play this season, and Weeks has made two bad plays in the field already.

EDIT: After that weak grounder to first, I take it all back, Prince. You know I love you, buddy.

Uecker just said that Brady Clark rarely pulls the ball, which is odd considering that he pulled two balls sharply yesterday. It's not that I disagree with him, it just seems lazy. And as I type this Clark lines a single to left-center.

4/04/2006 08:21:00 PM

(4/04/2006 07:05:00 PM) - Al

I think I will be blogging this game as well, and this time, it will actually be "live". Keep checking this post throughout the evening.

---Sean Casey hit that ball an absolute ton. LH hitters are almost always low ball hitters, and that pitch was right at the knees down the middle.

---Am I the only one who chuckled when Brady running on a 3-2 pitch was called a "hit-and-run"? You really can't have a h&r with 2 strikes, as the hitter can't protect the runner anyway.

---Nice recovery by the catcher to gun down Clark. No one really knows how much this team will hit, but I think they're going to hit plenty enough to avoid taking risks on the bases. The team seems to be going out of their way to take the extra base, which is unnecessary with what I would guess is an above average offensive club.

---The key to good offense is bunts and making contact, per Bill and Daron. What color is the sky in their world?

---Damian's hit looked like a 6-4-3 DP to me. 11 innings in, the Crew is ahead of the game with "finding the holes". As I always say at the poker table (like tonight, when I had J/10 and the flop came Q/9/8), I'd much rather be lucky than good.

---Meanwhile, Rickie was saved his first error (I am assuming the ground ball was ruled a single) with a perfect throw by Miller to 2B.

---I had forgotten Santos was a Rule 5 draftee. I wonder why the Pirates just didn't sign him to a major league contract if they liked him so much, as Santos surely would have signed a big league deal rather than a minor league one.

---Rickie Weeks is really, really fast. I remember seeing him at Appleton and remarking that he simply outran the ball, like a running back outruns the angle when it appears a defender will catch him. I seem to recall I thought Tony Gwynn Jr. was faster at the time...either I was wrong or Tony is incredibly speedy.

---I'm downloading my annual anti-virus check, so I'll attempt this. As Gross was up at the plate, I liked the way he took pitches, not being afraid to get a pair of strikes on him. I'm sure that's why he always had a good OBP in the minors. Needless to say, the scouting report should say Gross would look to be a dead red hitter.

---Anyone else think Vogelsong pitched to about 3 or 4 too many guys? Me too.

---Prince will go through normal rookie struggles. Needless to say, he'll be fine. Right now, his swing is just too long, but at least he's not swinging at everything at eye level tonight.

---Capuano with only a handful of bad pitches tonight, 6 full, 2 earned. I'll take that 34 more times.

---Capellan always seems a bit "wild", even when he's throwing strikes. His velocity is all over the place, 92-97 thus far. If he ever finds that "zone", I can see him being as good in the bullpen as anyone.

---I wonder why Burnitz is being booed. I always loved the guy, and wondered if he'd somehow finish up in Milwaukee, especially if the Crew is able to contend the next few years. Jose has to miss in the dirt with his off-speed pitch, not at knee level.

---Did I mention how enjoyable it is to watch Rickie run?

----Another seeing-eye single for Damian. It sure is a tough situation having to play the infield in there, but I s'pose you can't expect to score a pair of runs in 2 innings.

---"Only" 15 seconds to make a decision in poker? My only question is what to do with the 12 seconds I have left.:)

---How did Damian not advance on that passed ball? It got away about 15 feet minimum?
Tough to think that didn't cost a run (of course, there's no way of knowing if they pitch Clark the same way).

---I expected it to be another Wise/Turnbow night. Is Matt not being "challenged" yet to go back-to-back?

---Kolb with a walk, up two. That's just painful.

---Danny had to get Craig Wilson out twice that time. That's at least a half-dozen obvious misses for the home plate ump tonight.

---My 4ish ERA guess for Kolb seems optimistic. That was about as unimpressive of a one walk, no hit inning as you'll see.

---JJ is trying to pull everything. Drive that ball to RF, son.

---As much as I dislike the intentional walk, I think I put Lee on and face Prince, which would set up the DP as well. After 2-0, they do. Prince should look to slap a single to LF.

---Too bad Lee was on 1B there, as that's an IF single for Rickie otherwise.

---Turnbow on. I never feel comfy, despite his success.

---Bill is so results oriented, Randa hits it poorly, but in a perfect spot, that's a great AB. Line drive right at someone, that's great pitching. Um, yeah.

---Joe Randa is thinking his run is meaningless. He should stay glued to 3B.

---Derrick hasn't fooled anyone yet. They are hitting everything hard.

---So, if Koskie drops that, is it a fair ball? Looked foul to me, but I'm not sure.

Chalk up one to getting fortunate, to be sure. That said, it's as effective as a 1-2-3 frame.

4/04/2006 07:05:00 PM

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