Al's Ramblings

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

(5/31/2006 09:22:00 PM) - Al

Home Depot closed today at 38, and Microsoft at 22.

I'm no expert, far from it actually, but those are two outstanding companies, both on the cheap.

I am just posting this so I can look back at it in a couple years and either chuckle or shake my head at my chronic lack of investment capital.

5/31/2006 09:22:00 PM

(5/31/2006 08:23:00 PM) - Al

One of the things I repeat often is you're never as good as you think you are when you're winning and never as bad as you think when you're losing. Of course, that's not saying many don't overreact a great deal in either case.:)

Baseball is a classic marathon, not a sprint. You will suffer some aches and pains along the way, and you will need the reserve to get through that. I'm disappointed at how poorly both the injury replacements (Ben H, Eveland) have been, as well as relievers I thought would be solid, if unspectacular (Lehr). But, I thought the Crew would win about 86 games back in early April, and had I known Ohka and Sheets would be in their current states, I likely would have guessed 82...but I expected that Helling and whoever was pitching best at Nashville would be OK, certainly a notch down, but not terrible. As it stands now, with a fine offense but a 5ish ERA, this is a .500 team, or maybe even below it's no surprise to see them just a tad below the break-even mark.

But, I don't see this club finishing with a 5 ERA. That said, some improvements to the staff is almost assured, as the Crew is not married to any of their pitchers that have performed poorly.

And let me take this moment to dance a virtual jig at the fact the braintrust ignored the casual fan "wisdom" of signing Carlos Lee to a franchise destroying $50M extension back when he was having a hot streak...which just happened to be at the beginning of the campaign. It's one thing to sign Sheets and hope for the best, as top SP's in their prime are risky (as all pitchers are), but why sign an aging corner OF to a huge deal, when you have a pair of replacements that can put up 90% of Lee's production for league minimum?

I like Carlos, and feel he'll be a nice player for a few years...but he's not a franchise guy, not to mention he's likely to be DHing a plenty soon.

5/31/2006 08:23:00 PM

(5/31/2006 07:11:00 PM) - Al

Jason may be 100% correct in his feelings on DLR, but I feel his potential is well worth the momentary pain his first couple outings will likely bring.

Of course, as most know, DLR cannot go down to AAA to build up his stamina, as he is out of options, and would never make it past the Royals on waivers. Those with extreme ability, much like the many times I argued for Bill Hall before 2005, have to be given every chance to succeed. DLR is one of those cases.

5/31/2006 07:11:00 PM

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

(5/30/2006 10:30:00 PM) - Jason

I disagree with Al on his assessment of De La Rosa tonight. The fact is this: if Jorge was gonna run out of gas after two innings tonight (his trouble inning was the third, which he was clearly laboring), he shouldn't have been out there starting this game, period. Carlos Villanueva wouldn't have done any worse, really. As far as Jorge getting another start...why? Yeah, he looked good for one inning, but its a nine inning game - and the Brewers bullpen right now is about as crappy as crappy can get. All JDLR did tonight was reaffirm what most fans have seen from him over the past couple of seasons - wicked stuff at times, but wildly inconsistent and unable to hit his spots. Enough potential to keep throwing him out on the mound, enough success at times to make you keep sticking with him, but, in the end, usually disappointment in some form.

5/30/2006 10:30:00 PM

(5/30/2006 07:44:00 PM) - Al

I switched it over during dinner and watched a few minutes of Mad Money, and as he often does, Jim Cramer mentioned that "stocks are on sale", and just in the few minutes I watched, I saw him discussing XM (down to 14, was at 26-28 a couple months ago), and saw the ticker on Best Buy (50, was 60 a while back).

Stocks are still up for the year, but it sure is easy to find bargains.

5/30/2006 07:44:00 PM

(5/30/2006 07:23:00 PM) - Al

Second night in a row that the starter has only gone 3 innings. DLR looked very good early tonight, and probably just ran out of gas. Barring an acquisition of some sort, I assume he'll get another start, and I certainly hope he does. Gotta build that arm strength up. I feel better with DLR out there than with Eveland, so even if a move is made, the only thing Dana has shown he can do that DLR can't is disappoint over 5 innings rather than 3.

5/30/2006 07:23:00 PM

Monday, May 29, 2006

(5/29/2006 11:59:00 PM) - Al

Never forget that the freedoms we enjoy were earned by those who fought bravely, though some did not return.

This is a picture that barely begins to recognize the sacrifice.

And another.

Happy Memorial Day.

And if you have not yet visited, or perhaps think this day would be as good a time as any to view it again, check out the tribute paid to Milwaukee area soldier Bobby Warns, always available on the sidebar.

5/29/2006 11:59:00 PM

(5/29/2006 08:12:00 PM) - Al

Friend of Ramblings John Strain talks about what this holiday means to him.

5/29/2006 08:12:00 PM

Sunday, May 28, 2006

(5/28/2006 04:28:00 PM) - Al

By the way, as long as we're talking about Weeks being 3rd in OPS among MLB 2B, I should also mention Bill Hall is 2nd among MLB SS.

For years, folks have been saying the Crew needs to go out and sign a big free agent...yet, they've managed to develop a trio of stars (Prince included) that are spectacular at their position...and combined, make about $14M less than that one superstar would.

5/28/2006 04:28:00 PM

(5/28/2006 04:06:00 PM) - Al

By the way, I thought of this earlier, but then forgot...has Rickie Weeks put up some of the quietest outstanding numbers you've ever seen?

Weeks-------.392/.460, 852 OPS, 180 OXS, 108 simple runs created
Ave 2B, '05-.337/.412, 749 OPS, 139 OXS, 83 src

So, right now, using the rule of 10, Rickie is worth 2.5 wins over a mediocre 2B...even given his defense, he's still above normal, without a doubt...and he still hasn't spent a full year in the big leagues.

I may be a tad optimistic when it comes to projecting Sir Weeks, but when you look at his numbers thus far, maybe I'm not.

UPDATE: Take a look at the MLB 2B page, sorted by OPS...Rickie ranks 3rd, behind only Chase Utley and Jose Vidro.

5/28/2006 04:06:00 PM

(5/28/2006 03:57:00 PM) - Al

I went outside to "swim" in our little (8' x 3') inflatable pool with my son a while, but looking at the box score, I didn't miss much except for a couple of Phillies' runs.

I will say, however, that the many blowhards that were calling for the benching of Brady Clark a couple weeks ago would have sat a .400 OBP fella on the pine...hardly a sign of knowing what to do. Next time you see someone discussing making personnel decisions based on a small sample, just shake your head and walk away...putting them out of their misery is, after all, illegal.:)

5/28/2006 03:57:00 PM

(5/28/2006 02:12:00 PM) - Al

As I said last time, Eveland seems to always get results just a notch worse than you'd expect. After using some good defense and good fortune to get a couple outs after a 2nd & 3rd, none out situation, he gives up a double to the pitcher (albeit, a pitcher that can hit) to score a pair of runs.

Granted, if he can get through one more inning, 5 frames and 2 or 3 runs allowed isn't bad at all.

5/28/2006 02:12:00 PM

Saturday, May 27, 2006

(5/27/2006 09:14:00 PM) - Al

Have I mentioned I keep leaning more and more towards Hall over Hardy?

I was wondering how long it would be before someone mentioned Weeks' defense...Daron has a couple times tonight.

I have often complained about guys leaning into pitches, and would have no problem with that being called...but let's get on the same page, every ump needs to be consistent. I am witholding comment on the Brady Clark out of the batter's box incident because it is simply absurd. As pointed out, Clark wasn't a bit further back than the very next batter, Cirillo. Oof.

5/27/2006 09:14:00 PM

(5/27/2006 12:32:00 PM) - Al

After I finished watching my stock shows on Fox this morning, I was flipping around and came across a 1991 Senior PBA event on ESPN Classic. Since we just went bowling the other day, I asked Andrew if he wanted to watch bowling, and he said yes. Sadly, the last time we saw bowling on TV, it was a trick shot contest, where guys bowled balls out of blankets, and one ball in each hand, crisscrossing them on the lanes, and so on. Andrew was bored after about a frame, and wandered downstairs, asking why they weren't doing the "silly shots".

So, I flipped channels for most of the hour, though I was stunned to see that one of the "seniors" left failed to record a strike or spare in the first 3 frames, a mark of futility I am quite familiar with, but had never seen a pro suffer through...I don't believe I had ever saw a pro have more than one open frame in a game.

So, towards the end of the hour, I ended up back on bowling, as the final match ended up going to a 2 frame "rolloff". After converting a somewhat easy split, the bowler whose last name was "Curtis" got all strikes in the 2nd frame, and after Earl Anthony did not strike in his first ball of the 2nd, it was over. The announcer said, "Curtis wins it", to which the following exchange took place:

Andrew: (repeating what he just heard) Curtis wins it!

Al: Yes, he did.

Andrew: He knocked down all the pins!

Al: Yeah, he got several strikes in a row, didn't he?

Andrew: And, he didn't even use the bumpers!

5/27/2006 12:32:00 PM

(5/27/2006 12:11:00 AM) - Al

---Ben Hendrickson and Chris Demaria combined on a two hit shutout Thursday night in AAA...not sure whether to laugh or cry. I'm about as much of a non-emotional guy there is about baseball, it's all about the performance, after all. That said, Ben H is about as close to being a poster boy for "it's all mental" as you can get.

---I really hated to root against Chris Coste tonight, but I'm sure he'd forgive me. Nice swing though.

---Frank Robinson removed Matt LeCroy in the middle of an inning Thursday, as he was 0-6 trying to throw out guys trying to steal...though by the looks of it, no one could have thrown out the runners, as they weren't being held very well. At least a couple throws went into CF, which was probably more why he was taken out. Robinson was weeping after the game, saying how badly he felt embarassing LeCroy, but he had not thought of removing him earlier.

I used to see Matt catch all the time when I lived in the Twin Cities, and while certainly not gifted, he wasn't bad either. I have longed for him to be a reserve catcher for the Crew, or at least a 3rd string catcher and maybe a platoon mate for Prince...course, I didn't think Fielder would hit southpaws like he has.

---Wow, David Wells went down about as badly as I would if I got hit with a line drive. There's unathletic, and then there's Wells.

5/27/2006 12:11:00 AM

(5/27/2006 12:05:00 AM) - Al

Courtesy of Dave Pinto, here's an ad Bronson Arroyo did for an auto dealer in Cincy...I'm not sure if this is an internet only commercial, but it's very funny.

5/27/2006 12:05:00 AM

Friday, May 26, 2006

(5/26/2006 11:28:00 PM) - Al

To be honest, I think the braintrust gave up on Mike Adams ages ago, and kept him on the 40 man because they knew he had value. Adams is a near perfect example of how quickly a reliever can go from solid to mediocre to crappy.

Gonzalez doesn't look to be much more than a long reliever, though the term "live arm" does come to mind. He's 31, so long-term...he looks to be a short-term acquisition.

5/26/2006 11:28:00 PM

(5/26/2006 08:25:00 PM) - Jason

For the first time that I can recall since his hiring, Doug Melvin has finally "given up" on one of his pitching 'prospects', trading AAA reliever Mike Adams to the Mets for Jeremi Gonzalez.

I admit that I don't know a whole lot about Gonzalez, other than the fact that he was a highly rated prospect at one time with the Cubs who has had to battle through a myriad of arm troubles (including Tommy John surgery). In looking at his numbers, he had a pretty decent season with TB back in 2003, but had injury-riddled seasons in '04 and '05 that contributed to poor years. With the Mets this year, Gonzalez had one mediocre start (against the Brewers, no less), one very good start, and one terrible start.

Gonzalez was DFA'd by the Mets, meaning that he would have had to clear waivers before being sent down to the minors. The Brewers obviously felt Gonzalez wouldn't make it through waivers to their spot in the claim order, so they weren't the only team with interest it would seem.

You have to wonder if Adams' attitude may have had something to do with this trade. After seeing the Brewers going a different direction time and again on an injury riddled staff, perhaps Adams voiced his displeasure to the powers-that-be, and this trade came as a result. It was obvious that something was wrong between Adams and the Brewers, because he would have most certainly have been called up by now considering the state of the Brewers staff.

I also fear that this trade means that the Brewers don't think Ben Sheets is progressing that well...or, at least, progressing as well as hoped. One thing Gonzalez does do is provide a stretched-out arm who could fill into the starting rotation somewhere. He'll certainly start in the pen as De la Rosa gets his rotation shot, but this is clearly an insurance move by Milwaukee.

5/26/2006 08:25:00 PM

Thursday, May 25, 2006

(5/25/2006 07:11:00 PM) - Al

For those of us who still feel Justin Lehr will have a few years in a major league bullpen, he did clear waivers and will report to Nashville soon.

And yes, I am shocked the Royals didn't grab him.

5/25/2006 07:11:00 PM

(5/25/2006 10:08:00 AM) - Al


I am home from work today, and I was reading some of your archives and such to pass the time. I clicked on the link on your sidebar, wondering what tribute was there, and I just finished watching a memorial to a young soldier, Bobby Warns. Just wanted to tell you thanks, I never would have come acrossed it.

And on a happier note, go Brewers!


Upon reading Roger's e-mail, I clicked on the link and read the updates from his family. If you haven't been there in a while, there is some new content, including pictures of his daughter Payton, who was born after Warns' death. I doubt if the video is watchable unless you have a hi-speed connection, as it takes several minutes to load even with that, but it's well worth your time if you do. Thanks for the note, Roger.

5/25/2006 10:08:00 AM

(5/25/2006 12:15:00 AM) - Al

The Crew brought Mabeus back, but sent out Demaria, not Carlos Villenueva. Carlos will probably be fine, but I would think the braintrust would rather he get regular work than pitch an inning here and an inning there.

That makes me wonder if another arm might be forthcoming, and Yost said he preferred to keep a long reliever in the meantime.

5/25/2006 12:15:00 AM

(5/25/2006 12:08:00 AM) - Al

If someone would have sat down to their first game in a couple years, they might well say, Wow, that Weeks can really play defense...does he hit at all?

Games like that are enough to make you think Weeks can not just play 2B, but could thrive there.

5/25/2006 12:08:00 AM

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

(5/24/2006 11:58:00 PM) - Al

That was an odd move, keeping Gross in the game and putting the pitcher into the #3 spot, so Hart could PH. Hopefully, Jenkins is OK, as he looked awkward in the field tonight.

5/24/2006 11:58:00 PM

(5/24/2006 10:50:00 PM) - Al

One little note about the devastatingly bad things Katrina brought New Orleans...most of it was simply untrue. Jonah Goldberg recaps, and the fact his is the first column I've seen is embarassing. As I said months ago, doesn't CNN even employ fact checkers?

The ironic thing is, my wife and I were driving to Appleton a couple days after the levees broke, and some news folks were, looking back, simply stating lies, thousands were dead in the Superdome, mayhem in the streets, murdering gangs wandering aimlessly. The show wondered "What is taking so long for help to arrive?", and we chuckled and wondered if the host even considered that roads may be blocked.

5/24/2006 10:50:00 PM

(5/24/2006 10:23:00 PM) - Al

A note about sales not always being sales.

I had a boss once who had worked at Target, and he said they got in trouble for having jewelry "on sale" 50 of 52 weeks of the year, so they paid a fine and changed their policy to "everyday low price"...and sales plummeted 60% in jewelry. They decided to go back to running it on sale all the time and just paying the fines.

5/24/2006 10:23:00 PM

(5/24/2006 10:02:00 PM) - Al

I'm watching the game on tape tonight, as I worked, and I must admit, Bill Schroeder hit it right on the head...there isn't much that's more fun to watch than Rickie Weeks running from 1B to home.

I'm a bit surprised Carlos Lee didn't get a night off, with the day off tomorrow, that would have given him 2 full days...and if you look at body recovery time, almost 72 hours of rest.

5/24/2006 10:02:00 PM

(5/24/2006 08:27:00 PM) - Al

Online Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

This Online Poker Tournament is a No Limit Texas Holdem event exclusive to Bloggers.

Registration code: 7330476

5/24/2006 08:27:00 PM

(5/24/2006 11:28:00 AM) - Al

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the Mets, Brewers and Blue Jays are interested in Kyle Lohse.

The paper says that "the Twins don't seem to be in any hurry to trade Kyle Lohse," but that likely just means they haven't had a decent offer yet. The chances of Lohse pitching for Minnesota again appear slim. May. 24 - 9:54 am et--Rotoworld

That's three pretty good teams interested in Lohse, who seemed primed for a breakout entering the season, but had a poor start, compiling an 8+ plus ERA.

5/24/2006 11:28:00 AM

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

(5/23/2006 11:42:00 PM) - Al

Scarlet Swall traveled from Kansas City to attend her third "Idol" finale and considers Hicks "brilliant."

Next time you hear the US is not filthy rich, remember that quote.

Of course, only about half of the world's population has ever used a telephone as well.

5/23/2006 11:42:00 PM

(5/23/2006 10:47:00 PM) - Al

Colter Bean was DFA'd by the Yankees, and while he's no superstar, his AAA stats, especially the 10.5 K/9, makes him plenty worthy of a look.

Besides, who wouldn't love a 6-6, 255 pound guy coming out of the bullpen named Colter Bean.

5/23/2006 10:47:00 PM

(5/23/2006 10:30:00 PM) - Al

To be honest, I can't believe anyone wants to pay Carlos Lee $12M a year when he's probably only a game or two better offensively than Corey Hart, and maybe Nelson Cruz as well.

That said, if Drew Olson said the world is round, I'd be unsure of my position...

5/23/2006 10:30:00 PM

(5/23/2006 10:02:00 PM) - Al

The Milwaukee Brewers today designated reliever Justin Lehr for assignment. The club has 10 days to trade him, release him or send him to the minors leagues.

Lehr gave up three runs in 1 1/3 innings last night in a 15-5 loss to the Cincinnati Reds. In 16 games this season, Lehr has an 8.62 ERA.

To replace Lehr, the Brewers purchased the contract of right-hander Joe Winkelsas from Class AA Huntsville. Winkelsas, 32, has appeared in 13 games in relief for the Stars this season and has a record of 1-1, with four saves and a 1.72 ERA.

As I said yesterday, I am really surprised how Lehr struggled, I had him and Capellan being a pair of solid middle relievers all season. Justin started off well, then just seemed to lose his breaking ball. I thought he had an option left, but if he did, the Crew decided he wasn't good enough to be on the 40 man roster.

I know nothing about Winkelsas, except to say that while most minor league free agents are nothing but roster filler, enough spend time in the bigs to devote far more scouting, time, and money to them than most clubs do.

5/23/2006 10:02:00 PM

Monday, May 22, 2006

(5/22/2006 10:40:00 PM) - Al

I missed this bit of good news earlier today, Sheets' MRI turns up nothing...just like that time they X-rayed my skull.

5/22/2006 10:40:00 PM

(5/22/2006 09:51:00 PM) - Al

Not a whole lot to say about the Brewers' affair tonight...except that I'm very surprised how Lehr has struggled so. I'm a bit curious if Carlos V was on short rest tonight, as I can't imagine a more stress-free major league debut.

I'm also shocked to see earlier substitutions weren't made, Cirillo could have had half a game at SS, Hart several innings in the field, most likely for Lee, who has played every day, etc. Not stuff that's going to be a huge difference maker, but odd that Ned played it like a playoff game.

Sounds like DLR will be the next pitcher to audition for the #5 spot. I've been hoping for him to get an opportunity like this for a couple years, so that's dandy to hear.

5/22/2006 09:51:00 PM

(5/22/2006 09:49:00 PM) - Al

I forgot all about the Mavs/Spurs Game 7...just went into OT. Possibly, the best series in the past couple decades.

5/22/2006 09:49:00 PM

(5/22/2006 07:14:00 PM) - Al

Aaron Gleeman shares his excitement and also offers up some drawings of how the Twins' ballpark is going to look.

5/22/2006 07:14:00 PM

(5/22/2006 07:00:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers were informed by the commissioner's office that Mabeus was not eligible to pitch for them because he had not spent the required 10 days in the minors after being optioned to Class AAA Nashville. After claiming Mabeus off waivers from Oakland last week, the Brewers placed him on their 40-man roster and optioned him to Nashville.

Because Mabeus was pitching in the minors and not with Oakland, the Brewers did not think Mabeus was subject to the 10-day rule.

"They told us the option clock starts anew even though he never set foot in a major league park," said assistant general manager Gord Ash. "I can tell you that I've never encountered this situation before."

Mabeus had arrived here to join the Brewers before learning of the rules violation. Ash said the Brewers intended to recall Mabeus in three days when he is eligible to come up.

No offense, but I think they misread their own rule, and in the process, are punishing the player and the team who wanted him. I compare it to the tax code being so complex, even H&R Block made errors on their own returns last year. What a goofy ruling.

Carlos Villenueva is called up from Huntsville to hold down the roster spot for a few days, I assume he will not pitch, unless the Crew needs a long man, or an emergency starter.

5/22/2006 07:00:00 PM

(5/22/2006 08:53:00 AM) - Robert R.

I was at the game yesterday. A few thoughts.

Yesterday was a good example of why Miller Park has a retractable roof. A cool May weekend with the wind blowing from the east off Lake Michigan would have made the game a bit uncomfortable, especially in the shade. Instead with the roof closed, it was fairly comfortable.

While I didn't think Capuano was the sharpest he's been this year, he only made one real mistake, leaving a pitch up over the plate for Tony Batista. It helped that the Twins lineup wasn't really scary. Mauer might be the only significantly above average player in that lineup.

Boof Bonser looked good for the Twins. He got into trouble in the first, but a sacrifice fly and a pop up helped him make the inning managable.

I still don't know what switch turned on for Cirillo, but it certainly looks like Seattle and San Diego never happened for him. He wasn't really tested defensively at second base, although maybe Weeks would have gotten to a single up the middle, but he made all the routine plays and knew where he was supposed to be.

Weeks can fly. He made that triple look easy.

Brady Clark is certainly on his way back. Given his age, I think it's reasonable to be concerned that he won't bounce back when he slumps, but I think we can put to rest concerns that he'll have a complete collapse. It would be nice if he hits some doubles though. It looks like we're going to see a bit of a decline this season, mainly attributed to slugging, but he still should be productive.

Corey Koskie made several nice plays at third base. I'm amazed that more teams weren't interested in him for around $2 million a season. Especially teams that play on grass. Third base isn't that deep a position.

5/22/2006 08:53:00 AM

Sunday, May 21, 2006

(5/21/2006 08:48:00 PM) - Al

Congrats to Chris Coste, who at 33, is finally going to get a chance in the big leagues.

5/21/2006 08:48:00 PM

(5/21/2006 05:25:00 PM) - Al

I thought of taping today's game, but decided I had held onto Flightplan, starring the looks better as she gets older Jodie Foster, long enough from Netflix. Would have been a fine game to watch, as the Crew used their pitch taking ability to shorten the fine appearance of Boof Bonser, and got some runs versus the Twins' middle relief...almost a textbook example of why working the count is a key to scoring runs.

One day after right-hander Ben Hendrickson was unable to retire any of the six batters he faced in the first inning of a 16-10 loss to Minnesota, the Brewers optioned him today to Class AAA Nashville.

To replace Hendrickson on the roster, the Brewers called up reliever Chris Mabeus from Nashville. Mabeus was claimed off waivers from Oakland last week and placed on the 40-man roster.

Hendrickson, 0-2 with a 12.00 ERA in four appearances (three starts), put the Brewers in a quick 6-0 hole Saturday and they never recovered. It was the second consecutive first-inning meltdown for Hendrickson, who allowed five quick runs to San Diego in his previous outing.

Hendrickson had been filling in for injured Tomo Ohka (slight rotator cuff tear) in the rotation. The Brewers won't need a fifth starter again until May 30 in Pittsburgh.

I thought Ben might have saved himself a demotion by being able to pitch today in an emergency, but only for a day, it turns out. Mabeus goes from off the A's 40 man to onto the Crew's 25 man...I wonder if that's a bad sign?

5/21/2006 05:25:00 PM

(5/21/2006 08:38:00 AM) - Al

Supposedly, the Twins have their new stadium deal.

I'll believe it when the dirt starts moving.

5/21/2006 08:38:00 AM

Saturday, May 20, 2006

(5/20/2006 10:26:00 PM) - Al

The DaVinci Code did $29.5M on Friday, the 32nd biggest opening day in US cinema history.

Note to self: I sure wish I could be involved in a disaster of moviemaking like this. Just for some perspective, writer/director Kevin Smith, who made Clerks and most recently, Jersey Girl, has NEVER had a movie gross $30M...and is still very wealthy and successful.

UPDATE: To be clear, I haven't seen Code, I've just having fun with the critics who disliked it so.

5/20/2006 10:26:00 PM

(5/20/2006 09:51:00 PM) - Al

So, while I can certainly give Ben Hendrickson a mulligan tonight, I get the feeling the Brewers have no intention of doing so. Strangely, the team may well already have someone on a plane for tomorrow's game, except Ben was so bad, he only threw 19 pitches, so I'm sure he's available for tomorrow's game.

I think it was Uecker who once said, "If you start the game, and the next day, the manager comes up and asks if you can go an inning or know things didn't go too well."

5/20/2006 09:51:00 PM

(5/20/2006 06:14:00 AM) - Al

I worked last night and barely saw any of the game, but when I was in the car before stopping at the Evil Empire to pick up some food, I heard Bob say that Davis was still in, and that Liriano and others had "shut down" the only guess was it was 1-0. I have to agree with Robert, as a wise man once said if you leave your starter in until he has a bad inning, eventually, he'll have a bad inning.

5/20/2006 06:14:00 AM

Friday, May 19, 2006

(5/19/2006 09:47:00 PM) - Robert R.

Managers often get too much blame when a team loses. And it doesn't look like the Brewers are going to score enough runs to really blame Yost, but come on. Why the heck do the Brewers have 8 men in the bullpen if you're not going to use them when Doug Davis has pretty much given you all that can reasonably be expected? Sending Davis out for that extra inning was just dumb and there's no excusing it. Doug Davis deserved better from his manager. Ned Yost has not had a good week managing the bullpen.

5/19/2006 09:47:00 PM

(5/19/2006 08:47:00 AM) - Al

Remember when we read daily that the military was missing recruiting goals?

Now, they are making them, and you only see it on some guy's weblog.

The most interesting thing to me is that the last paragraph seems to indicate the best recruiting is from the soldiers themselves. Hat tip to Glenn.

5/19/2006 08:47:00 AM

Thursday, May 18, 2006

(5/18/2006 11:51:00 PM) - Eric

Wise did warm up today, and in fact I was quite shocked when Yost brought in Turnbow rather than Wise for the ninth.

Not only did Wise feel well enough to pitch, he also gave a discourse on what he considered the funniest lines from Dumb & Dumber. What a guy.

5/18/2006 11:51:00 PM

(5/18/2006 08:49:00 PM) - Al

So, did Matt Wise warm up today? Dan Kolb and Brian Shouse seemed to take his 8th inning duty, but Wise might well have been Shouse's "backup", and just never made it in.

If he did not warm up, the quiet rumblings about Wise not being at full strength would seem to have some merit.

5/18/2006 08:49:00 PM

(5/18/2006 08:21:00 PM) - Al

Brady Clark:

career OBP-.359
2006 OBP---.359

I remember about 6 PA's ago, Clark was having a horrible campaign...heh.

Clark is about 9 total bases away from matching his career norms. Granted, he didn't get off to a fast start, but give him a couple hits on balls hit right at guys, and give him a couple doubles rather than long 40+ games mind you, Brady is all but exactly where he should be.

Anyone looking to judge a player based on a small sample is basically saying the previous <200 plate appearances means more than 1000, 1500, or even 5000...makes no sense at all.

Sadly, for the most part, that's true for all players...except relief pitchers, who pitch half seasons and still don't have enough innings to overcome one or two crappy outings. For the most part, Jared Fernandez is the exact same pitcher he was in late April. The Crew had the opportunity to pick up a loogy, and in some cases, I'm sure the opinions of scouts and the coaching staff were listened to.

5/18/2006 08:21:00 PM

(5/18/2006 07:08:00 PM) - Al

I wouldn't have removed Turnbow when Yost did last night, but I wouldn't have let him face Howard either. The thing that has always bothered me about Derrick is that he has no sense of the situation he is pitching in. There is a bit of irony in that, as to many, that's part of his charm...the fact he appears to be a bit of a simpleton, for years, he just threw the ball as hard as he possibly could. To a point, he likely still does, only bridled in a bit and some consistency added by King Maddux.

For instance, Turnbow still has no clue how to ease up a bit on a 2-0 or 3-0 pitch. Turnbow came in last night with a 3-run lead, and walked the leadoff batter, including a miss on the 2-2 fastball after the batter had stepped out of the box. With a 3-2 count, up by several runs, a HR doesn't hurt you anymore than a walk, you have to be able to take a few mph off your fastball and be able to hit the strike zone, period. His breaking ball is nearly unhittable, especially to RH batters, but some games, he can't throw a strike with it.

All that said, Derrick has been as good the past two years as any closer I've ever seen, though I seem to recall Dan Plesac having a stretch of a couple years where he was nearly automatic...and he even went more than one inning occasionally.

I like Derrick, but I wasn't a big fan of giving him a contract extension, as he looks like he'd be voted the "most likely to blow out his arm" of nearly any reliever I've ever seen, and he would also be way up on the list of "most likely to fall apart". But, as I often say, it's not my money, and even the best relievers struggle at times, my goodness, Brad Lidge is almost impossible to hit when he's on, and he's going through a bad stretch right now.

Shouse's error last night, and Miller's to a point as well, was letting Brian get beat with his second best pitch, giving up both hits on his mediocre at best two LH bats that would struggle with that big breaking ball. I can see the argument for trying to sneak it past Abreu on 3 and 2 (though I disagree), but to give Howard a fastball on the first pitch...oof.

5/18/2006 07:08:00 PM

(5/18/2006 07:05:00 PM) - Al

Turnbow gets Bobby Abreu looking with some wicked offspeed stuff to end the game. The Brewers have now one five out of six. No walk-off heroics were needed today.--JS Online blog

Emphasis added by me. I think the JS might use some sort of "voice blogging system", but c'mon, they don't have monkeys running the online version.

5/18/2006 07:05:00 PM

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

(5/17/2006 09:54:00 PM) - Jason

The ninth inning of tonights game is a perfect example of how I really have no time for Ned Yost and many of his managerial decisions. Tonight, Yost pulled Derrick Turnbow with two outs in the ninth with a two-run lead, after the Phillies came up with two seeing-eye singles after a walk to manufacture a run.

Yost talks all the time about letting his players hit out of slumps, letting his pitchers pitch out of jams, ect. He'll let Doug Davis stand out on the mound and walk 9 guys in 5 innings and work through his jams because "he's earned it". He'll let Chris Capuano throw 120 pitches in a game. But, he won't let his closer (whom the Brewers just spend a boatload of money on, I might add) try to get one LH batter out to end a game the Brewers need to win. Instead, he trots out his new bullpen "toy", Brian Shouse, who proceeds to give up a pair of hits that nearly took off his head. Wha-la, tie game. And the guy whom Yost pulled Turnbow to bring in his new favorite LOOGY for, Ryan Howard, bats a whopping 10 points lower vs. lefties as righties. Good grief.

If we get beat with Derrick Turnbow on the mound, so be it. He's your closer for a reason.

If you ever want to see the textbook definition for "over-managing", just look at the ninth inning of this contest.

5/17/2006 09:54:00 PM

(5/17/2006 08:00:00 PM) - Al

Kyle Lohse...sent to AAA?

I would have loved to have seen the Crew pick up Lohse last offseason, and while I was one of the few, I'd love to see us get Kyle for a song. Of course, given his early results, I don't think I want to pay him $4M. Maybe the Twins could throw in that crappy Jason Bartlett, who is dominating AAA yet again, while MIN keeps running Juan Castro and Nick Punto out there.

While that would be a dream, as it would fill a couple needs, I don't see the Twins eating any of Lohse's salary, and once again, with the exception of the 2005 version of Wes Helms, the Crew has no overpaid salary to shed.

And of course, we can't do a deal with MIN without picking up RUTT favorite Lew Ford.:)

5/17/2006 08:00:00 PM

(5/17/2006 07:47:00 PM) - Al

Not like the days when Jim Sundberg would catch 160 games in Arlington, or Ted Simmons would do the same in St. Louis.---Bill Schroeder

Sundberg did actually appear in 155 games once as a catcher; for Simmons, 153 was his top. Both staggeringly high, but Bill's "good ol' days" mantra plays fast and loose with the facts.

5/17/2006 07:47:00 PM

(5/17/2006 07:05:00 PM) - Al

My posts may be less frequent and shorter, as I injured my finger today at work...first stitches in my life. I found out while doing "learning time" with my son that almost any activity will result in my wound bleeding, so I guess this means I'll be playing poker left-handed tonight.:)

5/17/2006 07:05:00 PM

(5/17/2006 07:00:00 PM) - Al

The Milwaukee Brewers placed shortstop J.J. Hardy on the 15-day disabled list today with a severe ankle sprain suffered on a play at the plate Tuesday night in the game against Philadelphia at Miller Park.

To replace Hardy on their roster, the Brewers recalled outfielder Corey Hart from Class AAA Nashville. Hart began the season with the Brewers but was sent down after a couple of weeks because of lack of playing time.

Hardy suffered a severe sprain of the distal ligament in his right ankle when he slid hard into Philadelphia catcher Sal Fasano, trying to score from second base on a base hit in the eighth inning. Hardy is expected to miss two to six weeks with the injury.

In Hardy's absence, utility player Bill Hall will settle in as the everyday shortstop for the Brewers.

Hart coming up to replace JJ means that, I would assume, that Jeff Cirillo is the reserve SS...which means Hall will play everyday.:) Obviously, if Hall goes down with an injury, a replacement would be available by the next game (could be a problem if Hall got hurt in the 9th inning Saturday night, I s'pose), but it is an OK situation if JJ is out for 14 days.

A daily result of the injury could be that Cirillo will be "held back" as a PH, much like Moeller is. That would mean Hart and Gross would be used earlier, which is fine with me anyway.

5/17/2006 07:00:00 PM

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

(5/16/2006 11:01:00 PM) - Robert R.

My brother was involved in almost exactly the same kind of collision as J. J. Hardy back in little league days. End result was sprained ligaments in the ankle. I'd be unsurprised to see the same kind of diagnosis.

This is where the Brewers depth shows itself. Bill Hall becomes the everyday SS if Hardy is out and the Brewers likely don't miss a beat. They might even improve.

5/16/2006 11:01:00 PM

(5/16/2006 09:46:00 PM) - Al

That's how you win close games...lay down a mediocre bunt and let the pitcher throw the ball away. Grit, determination, etc.

Better lucky than good, I always say.

Reminds me of that classic Whitey Herzog quote, asked after the game why he gave the "steal" sign to his runner on 2B with 2 outs:

The way we been hitting, I thought our best chance to score was to hope the catcher threw it away.

5/16/2006 09:46:00 PM

(5/16/2006 09:25:00 PM) - Al

Pat Burrell has been known as a terrible defender since he entered the league...certainly didn't show it there, perfect pick-up and throw to get Hardy at home. Have to see if JJ is OK.

On a short-term basis, not many teams can bring in a reserve the quality of Bill Hall.

5/16/2006 09:25:00 PM

(5/16/2006 08:47:00 PM) - Al

Andrew Sullivan is fascinated by the fact that many intelligent political junkies feel Al Gore will be the nominee in '08. I agree Hillary is a polarizing figure (on one of his DVD's, Jeff Foxworthy sums up how many feel, "If you can't say something nice about must be talking about Hillary Clinton."), but Clinton has been planning this run for the past 15 years, and in typical Clinton fashion, rarely fails to straddle the line between Democrat and middle-of-the-road.

I have her as my favorite, but even if you don't think so...Gore? Al Gore?

I'd sure have John Edwards and several others before him.

5/16/2006 08:47:00 PM

(5/16/2006 07:33:00 PM) - Al

How can Prince not take a shot at a bunt up the 3B line in that situation (big shift, 3B playing over towards SS, 2 outs, man on 3B)?

That's a run scoring single if it's anywhere near a good bunt, and it's only a foul ball unless it's a horrible bunt.

5/16/2006 07:33:00 PM

(5/16/2006 07:08:00 PM) - Al

The Milwaukee Brewers today claimed RHP Chris Mabeus off waivers from the Oakland Athletics. Mabeus has been added to the 40-man roster and optioned to Triple-A Nashville. To make room on the roster, RHP Jared Fernandez was designated for assignment.

Mabeus, 27, went 0-1 with a 4.58 ERA in 12 relief appearances at Triple-A Sacramento this season. He held opponents to a .219 batting average (19.2ip, 16h, 11r, 10er, 10bb, 20k, 1hr, 2wp). Selected by Oakland in the 13th round of the 2001 First-Year Player Draft, Mabeus has spent his entire six-year professional career in the Athletics' minor-league system, making 210 of his 219 appearances in relief.

Fernandez had a pair of stints with the Brewers this season (Opening Day-April 18 and May 5-May 14) and posted a 9.95 ERA in four relief appearances (6.1ip, 11h, 7r, 7er, 1bb, 1k, 2hr). The Brewers have 10 days to trade, release or outright Fernandez.

Mabeus has allowed less than half a HR per 9 innings, and has a career 3-1 K/BB ratio in the minors. As with most relievers, his ceiling is a bit limited, but I like him more than Fernandez.

5/16/2006 07:08:00 PM

(5/16/2006 11:53:00 AM) - Al

Wal Mart and Home Depot each report excellent quarters.

By the way, note that WMT made $2.6 billion in the last 3 months...jeepers.

5/16/2006 11:53:00 AM

Monday, May 15, 2006

(5/15/2006 11:15:00 PM) - Al

BrewCrewBall points out that the Crew will face two of the best young pitchers in the game on consecutive days. Both lefties as well, I'm almost sure.

5/15/2006 11:15:00 PM

(5/15/2006 10:12:00 PM) - Al

I forgot to mention that while I certainly think Nelson Cruz could be an everyday CF, I'm much more bullish on Corey Hart. Heck, I don't even know if Cruz can play CF, though it would seem possible he could, as he runs decently and has a fine arm.

5/15/2006 10:12:00 PM

(5/15/2006 09:41:00 PM) - Al

I wanted to link the Gleeman column this morning, so I didn't even read Jason's Clark post until now. While Jason may be correct in his belief Hall will outproduce Clark, I would not even think about replacing Brady. He has struggled a bit early (though not nearly as much as people that follow BA would have you believe). Hall is a very good player who seems to be proving 2005 was no fluke. Much of his value is his ability to play several positions, and another is his ability to play toward the left of the defensive spectrum and not suck at the plate.

Can Hall get plenty of playing time platooning at 3B, as well as filling in at 2B, SS, and CF? Yeah. If this team is on pace to win 85+ games come the end of July, it might be time to see what is the best option in the last 55 games. Heck, I recall one year Mike Piazza was hitting .220 in mid-May and I picked him up in a fantasy league, and he hit about .320 the rest of the way, finishing just under .300 for the year. Making long-term decisions based on less than 40 games is a recipe for confusion and putting far too much stock into a small sample.

5/15/2006 09:41:00 PM

(5/15/2006 10:07:00 AM) - Al

Aaron Gleeman writes on the passing of his beloved dog.

5/15/2006 10:07:00 AM

(5/15/2006 08:08:00 AM) - Jason

I know Al has a special appreciation for Brady Clark, and I myself think he is a solid player. Not worth the $7 million or so the Brewers are paying him for this year and next, but solid nonetheless. Still, I think its time Bill Hall sees more and more time in CF. While Al is correct in that Billy's best contributions would come on the infield, its clear that Rickie Weeks and JJ Hardy aren't going anywhere. Billy is on pace to hit 30+ home runs this year, and thats just at his current rate of AB, which is right now on pace to be 400-450. I shudder to think the kind of power numbers Hall could put up should he get 600 PA. Whether it be at second base, shortstop, or centerfield, those would be darn good numbers.

As I said previous, Brady is a solid player...he's knowledgable at the plate, and a good defender that can play all three spots in a pinch. That being said, it should be pointed out that Brady is now 33 years old, and his current start to this season could be just from him starting to decline. I truly believe that there are only two reasons Nelson Cruz isn't the current CF for the Brewers: first, the Brewers have $7 million invested in Clark thru 2007. Second, Billy Hall has shown that he can play CF, and play it above average.

I am in full support of keeping Brady around, no question; Geoff Jenkins has proven that he can't stay healthy a full season, Carlos Lee may not be around past mid-season, and an injury to Weeks/Hardy/Koskie pushes Billy Hall back into the infield. Still, I think its time Billy see full-time starting action in CF. The Brewers can't let his power potential sit on the bench any more.

5/15/2006 08:08:00 AM

Sunday, May 14, 2006

(5/14/2006 09:37:00 PM) - Al

Adam Sandler's movie looks hilarious. Who hasn't wished they could move the clock forward, or the mute button during an unenjoyable time?

5/14/2006 09:37:00 PM

(5/14/2006 08:27:00 PM) - Al

I believe the "Cuban is buying the Pirates rumor" more than any other, except of course, the "Cheney is going to resign" one.

I'm not sure if Mark would be able to energize the Pirates like he has the Mavs, but I'd just as soon not find out.

5/14/2006 08:27:00 PM

(5/14/2006 04:45:00 PM) - Al

Two of the more entertaining, back and forth games you'll ever see the past couple days.

No one remembers Billy struck out his first 3 times up today, do they? That almost great play that would have ended the game tells me Hall's versatility is dandy, but the place to maximize his worth is SS, where guys put up a 650 OPS and get $20M contracts.

The irony here is, lots of people gave up on Hall ages ago, after being rushed by the previous regime and struggling early in his career. Almost without exception, those same folks have called for DLR's dismissal, despite similiar massive talent.

One thing that is clear, however, is that despite the best efforts of Doug Melvin, the Crew has built a bullpen of one inning relievers, and they have now been joined by a 1-2 batter reliever in Shouse, who probably shouldn't face a RH in anything but a blowout. Turnbow, Wise, and Kolb all lose effectiveness after they get 3 outs, and rarely are pushed longer than that anyway.

Capellan, DLR, and Lehr would seem to be plenty stretched out, as well as Demaria...who I would still consider to be unnecessary, though in a long stretch of consecutive games, could come in handy. Considering Wise hadn't pitched in over a week before today, it seems obvious 8 relievers are not needed.

5/14/2006 04:45:00 PM

Saturday, May 13, 2006

(5/13/2006 09:25:00 PM) - Al

As usual, winning close games comes down to good fortune (Koskie's line drive landing just foul) as much as anything. I'll have to go back and take a look at the Crew's record with anyone besides the projected opening day starting rotation on the mound. Eveland and Hendrickson are better than almost anyone's AAA depth, but as of yet, results have not followed, small sample alert.

5/13/2006 09:25:00 PM

(5/13/2006 09:05:00 PM) - Al

You realize if Turnbow gives up a run or two, we may see lots of bobbleheads on the field.

5/13/2006 09:05:00 PM

(5/13/2006 08:07:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers have traded Enrique Cruz to the Rangers for loogy Brian Shouse.

Shouse is certainly not a savior, but has been effective versus LH hitters, holding them to a .209 BA last season. Looking at his career numbers, he has K'd twice as many men as he's walked, and only has given up about 3 BB's per 9 innings, good for a LHP. According to the Crew's AAA team's website, Shouse will be added to the 25 man roster after tonight's game. A spot on the 40 has been cleared by putting former Blue Jays' hard thrower Vance Perkins on the 60 day DL.

Obviously, Shouse will take the spot of a pitcher. Barring injury, you would certainly think Hendrickson or Fernandez would be the odd man it possible the team is going to let DLR start when a 5th guy is needed?

As I typed that, DLR came into pitch the 7th tonight, in what would seem to be a short relief outing, not a "prep to move into the rotation" outing.

UPDATE: Jim Powell states the Crew also included a PTBNL, while saying it wouldn't take much for DLR to move up on the staff.

5/13/2006 08:07:00 PM

(5/13/2006 07:48:00 PM) - Al

Dana leaves, 6 runs in 5+...yet again, he pitches just a bit worse than you'd expect. Walks the pitcher to lead off the 3rd, gets ahead of Beltran, then after letting it get back to a full count, gives up a long blast, far more damaging than it should have been due to the walk. It's really tough for me to get excited about Eveland, as he simply manages to underachieve at every opportunity. He seems to be a bit of an enigma, doesn't care to stay in shape, despite being just 22, and gave up as many runs tonight as he did in a half dozen AAA outings.

5/13/2006 07:48:00 PM

(5/13/2006 07:20:00 PM) - Al

I was clicking on the links at the right this morning, checking to see if tickets were going for very high prices, and two things surprised me.

1. There were very few tickets available at the brokers, only 15 sets, and all sets were either 1 or 2 tiks.

2. Every single company had the exact same set of 15 tickets for sale...I wonder how that works? I can only guess a local agency has the tickets on site, and they allow any and all brokers to list those tickets and pay them a commision.

5/13/2006 07:20:00 PM

(5/13/2006 06:46:00 PM) - Al


With the Padres falling out of contention, they are calling teams and letting them know some veteran members of the rotation may be available, reports Art Vandelay of the San Diego Free Press. You may recall Peter Gammons said the other day that he expected several teams to bid on Maddux should he land on the market.

Today in his blog, Tom Haudricourt of the Journal-Sentinel said he spoke to Brewers' GM Doug Melvin, who said he has talked to several teams about adding a veteran starting pitcher. Melvin, who is notoriously tight-lipped regarding trades or discussions before an official announcement is made, would say he has talked to Padres' GM Kevin Towers, but would not say who had been discussed. "We talked about what we were looking for and Kevin told me what he had in mind", Melvin said. "We agreed to get back in touch in a week or so". Doug then added that he had spoken to a dozen teams in the last few days, just to get a feel for the way the winds are blowing. "I expect there to be quite a few arms on the market at the July 31st deadline, we just have to see if we feel any of them are what we consider an upgrade. We like who we have, but we'd love to have a veteran to step in and give us some depth", Melvin said.

The Brewers have resisted trading top prospects, but with Maddux pitching well and sure to be on many buying lists, it is likely at least one player going to the Padres would have to be either proven or a top tier prospect. The Crew has discussed Tony Gwynn Jr. with the Padres on a couple occasions, so he might be part of an exchange, but would not be the center piece.

Very unlikely Melvin would consider trading a key member of the major league team, or a prospect penciled to be a regular in the next year or two, such as Matt Laporta or Alcides Escobar. However, the Brewers' GM has said when the team is close that he feels an obligation to go for it, and traded three mid-level pitchers for Scott Linebrink just a year ago, so he likes adding arms and has a history with the Friars.

One name to keep in mind is Michael Brantley, who has done a nice job with the bat despite always being one of the younger players in his league. He looks blocked in the MIL OF, and has the ability to play CF, or he may develop some power as he ages and end up in one of the corner spots. Brantley is only 21 and may end up in AAA before the end of '08, so his ceiling is very high.

5/13/2006 06:46:00 PM

Friday, May 12, 2006

(5/12/2006 11:29:00 PM) - Al

For the handful of you that enjoy online poker, I just experienced an amazing trifecta...on my 3 tables I'm playing tonight, I had AA, KK, and QQ simultaneously. As often happens in the game of skill, influenced by plenty of luck; I won a huge pot with QQ, after getting a 3rd Q on the river, won a small pot with the aces, and lost to JJ with the kings, when the turn brought another jack.

5/12/2006 11:29:00 PM

(5/12/2006 11:14:00 PM) - Al

I worked tonight, so I did not see much of the game, but the HR Prince hit is almost hard to believe even after you see where it hit. I turned on the radio when I took a break about 7:30, and I heard Bush get out of a bases loaded, none out jam allowing only a run in the 2nd. Considering that the Mets could have easily jumped out to a 4 or 5-0 lead, and it's rare teams score 6+ in a could have been all but over in the top of the 2nd.

5/12/2006 11:14:00 PM

(5/12/2006 10:52:00 AM) - Al

I would have to agree that the Crew needs 8 relievers like I need extra cheese on my pizza. That said, Lehr has pitched well except for one bad game, if memory serves. I don't see much of a use for Fernandez either, as "long men" are all but worthless in the NL, when you almost always pinch-hit for the pitcher anyway.

We've probably spend more time on this than it's worth, as the 24th and 25th men make very little difference as far as wins and losses go. That said, and small sample alert well in force, Mike Rivera is hitting so well thus far at AAA, he'd be valuable as a PH, never mind the added benefit of a 3rd catcher (able to PH for Moeller in the 6th inning, able to PR for a C without being at risk of an injury forcing Lehr to catch). And, I still think a utility man who runs fast would be a nice fit for a specialized role.

5/12/2006 10:52:00 AM

(5/12/2006 09:04:00 AM) - Robert R.

I'm not going to get too upset over a bad road trip. The Brewers can make up for that with a winning streak against weaker teams at some point in the season.

The thing that does irk me about the team though is that I can't for the life of me figure out what the plan is for the bullpen. And why you need so many pitchers there.

Right now the bullpen consists of

De La Rosa

To this point, Turnbow, Wise and Kolb have been very good, Capellan and Demaria have been adequate, De La Rosa hasn't been good, but is out of options, and Fernandez and Lehr haven't been good.

Demaria, De La Rosa, Fernandez, and Lehr have all gotten inconsistent time and don't seem to have any set roles and I don't think it's doing them any good. De La Rosa is on the team because he's out of options but has too much potential to just give up on. The problem is how do you develop him when you can't figure out a role to give him regular work? Fernandez is strictly a mop up guy. Demaria and Lehr seem to have no set role. Whey do you need 8 men in the bullpen when half of them have no set roles and are getting inconsistent work?

The bench has been a strength of the team, but it is shallow. The plan so far for the bottom half of the bullpen seems to be to try to find out who's hot. I don't think that's working and I think there needs to be a reassessment. Who's more useful for the team, Jared Fernandez, who only pitches when games are out of hand, or someone like Corey Hart or Mike Rivera who could offer a bat or greater bench flexibility? Given Brady Clark's struggles, I wouldn't be against giving Hart an opportunity in centerfield to claim the job.

5/12/2006 09:04:00 AM

Thursday, May 11, 2006

(5/11/2006 09:45:00 PM) - Al

I've been busy and still suffering from my cold...I remember a day when I would destroy a cold in a couple days, not a couple weeks.

Let's hope the return to Miller Park is enough to turn the Crew's fortunes around. Right now, the much talked about depth (at least, I talked about it a lot) is leading to a top offensive club, but even though we have not yet seen the ides of May, the rotation's reserves have been a bit depleted. Luckily, Ben H will not have to start much the rest of the month, as the days off are in the team's favor. I've said it before, and I'll repeat it now...I'd much rather see DLR used in place of Little Ben.

To be honest though, most every team's 8th best SP isn't likely to be an average big league starter. With Helling, Ohka, and Sheets unable to go, Eveland is probably as good of a 7th best option as anyone has. Things could be a lot worse.

5/11/2006 09:45:00 PM

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

(5/10/2006 11:17:00 PM) - Al

Aaron Gleeman wonders aloud how anyone could possibly think Juan Castro is anything but awful, while I'm far too busy shaking my head over the fact that Lew Ford sits on the bench even though he's superior to both Shannon Stewart and Torri Hunter to get too emotional about Jason Bartlett.

5/10/2006 11:17:00 PM

(5/10/2006 11:11:00 PM) - Al

I had no idea Ryan Braun was Jewish, but he is, and apparently, the top Jewish prospect in the game.

5/10/2006 11:11:00 PM

(5/10/2006 10:12:00 PM) - Al

How many HR's have the Crew hit in Miller Park in thse two games at Petco? Prince tonight, seems like one other one already tonight; and last night, JJ and Geoff in the late innings for sure.

Petco is where the long ball goes to die.

Anyone else a bit surprised they let Dana go 70 pitches and 5 innings last night? I was thinking no more than 50 pitches myself.

5/10/2006 10:12:00 PM

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

(5/09/2006 09:33:00 PM) - Al

Sheets to the DL, Eveland up to go Saturday.

You got the feeling Doug wasn't going to let things go on long, as he mentioned Sunday that "they had to get the pitching staff in order".

5/09/2006 09:33:00 PM

(5/09/2006 07:57:00 PM) - Al

Jason Kendall can't seem to figure out that if you charge the mound, you're going to be suspended.

The ironic thing is, they don't even seem to realize it's just like any other job. You can't fight your competitor anywhere.

5/09/2006 07:57:00 PM

(5/09/2006 07:53:00 PM) - Al

Sheets will not pitch Thursday...his status seems unsure to say the least.

5/09/2006 07:53:00 PM

Monday, May 08, 2006

(5/08/2006 09:52:00 PM) - Al

I'm on record as saying he's gone bonkers, but I sure wish I could "suffer a downfall" like poor Mr. Cruise...let's see, winner of the genetic lottery good looks; Katie Holmes, who is gorgeous and years younger; and, oh yeah, I hear he's wealthy.

5/08/2006 09:52:00 PM

(5/08/2006 08:39:00 PM) - Al


I was cleaning up my blog after a long absence (6 months!), and came
these emails I exchanged with Tom Haudricourt last season. Rather funny
looking back on it. Enjoy....


I can't believe that a sportswriter such as yourself would continue to
judge a baseball team's offense by their collective batting average. In
today's piece on Ned Yost you stated and I quote, "After winning their last two
games against Atlanta, the Brewers are 42-46 at the break this season.
An inconsistent offense, ranked 15th in the National League, and a shaky
defense (14th) undermined a solid pitching performance (3.92 earned run
average) and prevented the club from climbing above .500."

I follow the Brewers closely, and my gut told me that something was
and in fact there was. The Brewers are 9th in the NL in runs scored and
in OPS. To judge an offense by anyother measure is beyond
Batting average is important, but not accounting for a walk does
damage to its effecitveness when assessing the team's offense. Please
into the 21st century and use accurate measures when anaylzing the

Thanks for your time,

His response

Way more important than the stuff you think is so important is on-base
percentage and hitting with runners in scoring position. The Brewers are near
the bottom in the first category and at the bottom in the last category. I do
not consider batting average to be the primary criteria for judging an offense.
If you will go across the board in every NL category, you will see that the
Brewers are ranked at or near the bottom in each department. I watch this team
nearly every day and believe me, their offense is what kills them most of the
time. "Runs scored" is not an accurate measure because you would win a handful
of games by 10 runs and lost twice as many by one run. Look at the Washington
Nationals. Last time I checked, they had been outscored for the season yet were
far over .500. That's because they score runs when they need to -- when games
are on the line. So what if the Brewers are 9th in runs scored. They are about
15 games under .500 in games decided by one or two runs, because they lack
clutch hitting. As for moving into the 21st century, I refuse to be a slave to
stats or a stats geek who wants to overanlyze every number. I do rely on what I
see on a daily basis and what those in the know tell me, and I can assure you
the Brewers offense was subpar in nearly every aspect in the first half. And the
defense wasn't too spiffy either.


My response on my blog:

TH: Way more important than the stuff you think is so important is on-base
percentage and hitting with runners in scoring position.

Okay, we all know that on base is part of OPS, so his first comment is just
flat out dumb. And as Chad noted on the side, the on base percentage is not "near" the bottom. Hitting with runners in scoring position is a curious measure of an offense. Here is a list of players and averages with runners in scoring position:

Lee .327 104 AB
Branyan .321 28 AB
Hardy .294 51 AB
Weeks .286 21 AB
Overbay .284 67 AB
Clark .276 58 AB
Helms .250 24 AB
Magruder .250 20 AB
Hall .231 65 AB
Moeller .211 38 AB
Cirillo .207 29 AB
Jenkins .189 74 AB
Miller .185 54 AB

Now as a team they are hitting .244 with RISP (NL rank last) . Overall they are hitting .255 (NL rank 15th). With none on they hit .247 (15th). With runners on they hit .266 (11th). Despite these numbers the Brewers managed to be 9th in the NL in Runs and OPS, proving there is more to offense than batting average.

TH: "Runs scored" is not an accurate measure because you would win a handful of games by 10 runs and lost twice as many by one run.

Yes it is an accurate measure of an offense. What in the hell is an offense
supposed to do if it isn't supposed to score runs? Runs scored doesn't equate to
.500 or better record because you don't account for pitching and defense, but over 162 games I want to be the team that scores more runs than it allows, which the Brewers have done to this point.

TH: Look at the Washington Nationals. Last time I checked, they had been outscored for the season yet were far over .500.

Let's watch this one play out shall we...I'll bet the Nats have a rough second half. BTW, the Nats are hitting .259 overall (.004 better than the Crew) and .261 with RISP.

TH: So what if the Brewers are 9th in runs scored. They are about 15 games under .500 in games decided by one or two runs, because they lack clutch hitting.

At 42-46 they are only 4 games under. That with Ben Sheets missing nearly an
entire month. It doesn't matter if you win by 1 or by 8, a win is a win. The same goes for losing. If the Brewers can continue to score more runs than they allow they will do just fine.


Nationals 2005 record 81-81
Brewers 2005 record 81-81

BTW thanks for linking my blog, Cheesehead Sports (sidebar) to your blog.

FYI, Jason doesn't even bother noting that "statheads" said DC would even out in the second half, and they did. Tom H fails to even realize that clutch does not exist, and he chooses to look at tiny samples instead of the big picture.

5/08/2006 08:39:00 PM

(5/08/2006 08:22:00 PM) - Al


You asked on 4/13: "the only thing missing from a booming economy is people admitting we have a booming economy . . . What am I missing here?"

Booming for whom? Maybe for some stock market investors. But not everyone can afford that. You must have heard things like:

*real median household income - the income of households in the middle of the income distribution, adjusted for inflation - fell for the fifth year in a row in 2004, the last year for which we have data

Maybe Larry Kudlow skips over stuff like that.

All the best,

Joe R

Coutesy of the Pundit, this little nugget from the CBO...I still have to agree with Kudlow, this is a boom that no one is bothering to report.

5/08/2006 08:22:00 PM

(5/08/2006 08:13:00 PM) - Al

All this talk about Ricky got me thinking ...

I can see them sticking with him this season there, hoping things work out. I see Yost sticking to his guns about this.

The Brewers already have an excellent option that can play 2B, Bill Hall. Maybe looking into the future a bit, if Lee leaves or Brady gets traded, Weeks slides into the outfield, Hall takes 2B, and Koskie/Cirillo/FA/Ryan Braun at 3B. Sure, Braun has the same defensive woes as Weeks, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. It's easier to find a slugging or good fielding 3B than a decent 2B, I would love Hall to be in the lineup each day.

I think it's too early to seriously consider this, I hope Ricky gets over these mental lapses (or at least calls up Steve Sax to see what he did).


Hall's arm is all but wasted at 2B though. I admit, in March, I would have said trade Bill, keep JJ. As of today, I'd do the opposite. I might change my mind a few more times, so stay tuned.

5/08/2006 08:13:00 PM

(5/08/2006 07:59:00 PM) - Al

I hear very little criticism of his ESPN poker work, but I know there are some who cannot stand Norman Chad...personally, I think he's hilarious, and 99% dead on correct, his criticism of Josh Arieh in 2004 was accurate, as was his portrayal of Dan Harrington's back-to-back final tables and Greg Raymer's win in '04, followed by his top 25 finish in '05, were 2 of the greatest feats in poker history.

From his column:

Q. I read that some 4-year-old kid in India ran 40 miles. How is this possible? (Tom Metcalfe; East Chicago, Ind.)

A. It's my understanding he was trying to outrun Tim McCarver's voice.

Heh. That might be the only thing that could make me run 40 miles.

5/08/2006 07:59:00 PM

(5/08/2006 07:47:00 PM) - Al


I just read your post from yesterday where you attempted to put the "myth" about strikeouts being bad to bed. What about a high strikeout team being more prone to failing to drive in a runner from third with less than 2 outs, whether it be through a sac fly, ground out, etc? I would think in this instance putting a ball in play is almost always more desirable outcome than striking out. I just think it would be common sense that you would rather have a team with an OBP of .380 that struck out very little than a team with an equal OBP that led the league in strikeouts. I suppose one possible positive aspect of being a high strikeout team would be fewer double plays, but do you think that this is enough to overcome more frequent failures to drive in runners from third?


Joe is 100% correct, to be honest, a strikeout is slightly worse than any other out...but by such a small margin, it's pointless to worry about...the difference between 1st and 16th place in the NL is less than 3 K's a game, not even worth a fraction of the concern the media places on "contact".

5/08/2006 07:47:00 PM

(5/08/2006 07:39:00 PM) - Al


Just wondering what the over/under is for time before Moussaoui is killed or at least injured (if they fail once, they'll get to him eventually). I have a hard time thinking that prisoners will let him live long, considering his statements. I have to think they're all lining up for the honor to kill him, as someone serving a life sentence with no parole can be assured of thousands of letters of gratitude, and celebrity status for the act.


Well, I doubt it, as at Supermax, he'll be in his cell 23 hours a day, and alone in an exercise room for the other hour...though I guess stranger things have happened.

5/08/2006 07:39:00 PM

(5/08/2006 07:32:00 PM) - Al

Hey, Al --

One of the problems with being a baseball fan with cable (instead of satellite) is I'm forced to listen to Joe Morgan several times a week --- and it's like fingernails on a chalkboard. What a behind-the-times "analyst"!

Tonight he commented that the reason Barry Bonds isn't smiling is "because of his .242 average." He said Bonds just couldn't stand having such a "bad" season.

As of the first pitch tonight, the 41-year-old Bonds had a 1.016 OPS in 94 plate apperances (compared to career 1.053 OPS!). That's not enough PA's to "qualify" for legitimate ranking so far, but among NL batters with 94 or more PA's, Bonds ranked 9th in OPS. In effect, except for missing a few early games, at age 41 he's the 9th most valuable batter in the NL --- but Morgan says Bonds is frowning because of that bad, bad batting average.

This is the guy who thought Billy Beane wrote "Moneyball." But we're stuck with him, because there's no way ESPN does anything about it.


I will say this...I think Joe has forgotten more about the game than Harold Reynolds ever knew. That said, I know of many bloggers that could do infinite times better than any of the ex-players ESPN fills the airwaves with nightly.

5/08/2006 07:32:00 PM

(5/08/2006 06:31:00 PM) - Robert R.

Mark Attanasio and the Milwaukee Brewers are sponsoring the Masters of American Comics exhibit at the Milwaukee Art Museum which runs through August 13, 2006.

I visited the exhibit this weekend and it's a great setup. It's a museum within the museum with dozens of examples from fifteen groundbreaking artists. It's divided between comic strip artists, generally from the first half of the 20th century, Winsor McCay, George Herriman, Lyonel Feininger, E.C. Segar, Frank King, Milton Caniff, Chester Gould, and Charles Schulz, and comic book artists from 1940 to present including Jack Kirby, Will Eisner, Harvey Kurtzman, Robert Crumb, Art Spiegelman, Gary Panter, and Chris Ware. It's arranged in chronological order which is really useful as you move through the exhibit and see variations and homages to what has been done before. An example is a Will Eisner Spirit story with a mystery among cartoonists where Chester Gould's Dick Tracy is given an homage within the story while the original Chester Gould strips sit on another wall in the exhibit. Pages from Art Spiegelman's In the Shadow of No Towers reference Little Nemo in Slumberland which is at the beginning of the exhibit.

There are plenty of examples demonstrating just how groundbreaking these artists were and examples of their work from early to latest. Showing the uneveness of Charles Schulz's pencils in later years really brings out how smooth and confident his line work was in earlier years. And the background information given for each artist is enough to put it in context.

The exhibit runs through August 13th and I highly recommend it. Only two caveats, the work by Robert Crumb, Harvey Kurtzman and others in the latter portion of the exhibit isn't always appropriate to all ages. And you should give yourself plenty of time as the exhibit is quite extensive. There's a Meet the Brewers event planned for museum members on May 13th and for non-members on June 3 from 11 am to 1 pm.

This exhibit is by no means all inclusive and cries out for a sequel at some point. It's very easy to contemplate an exhibit featuring the work of Al Williamson, Burne Hogarth, Hal Foster, Walt Kelly, Al Capp, Bill Watterson, Jack Cole, Steve Ditko, Alex Toth, Jim Steranko, Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez, and many others.

5/08/2006 06:31:00 PM

Sunday, May 07, 2006

(5/07/2006 06:57:00 PM) - Al

Not only did the Crew lose all 3 games, but more importantly, injuries kept Sheets from pitching and Fielder had to leave today's game with a problem as well. It's too bad the team got unfortunate in the 2 losses Friday and Saturday evening, but if either Ben or Prince miss significant time, losing a game on a fluke grounder up the 1B line will look trivial in comparison.

As I said earlier this year, this team has by far the most depth on the bench and at AAA as any team I've witnessed as a fan of the Crew. I just hoped we wouldn't need it.

I caught the tail end of Doug Melvin talking to Daron and Bill, he sounded as if Dana Eveland will be up sooner rather than later, couldn't say enough good things about him.

5/07/2006 06:57:00 PM

(5/07/2006 02:02:00 PM) - Al

Ben Sheets will miss Sunday's start with stiffness in his pitching shoulder, according to the AP. "It's stiffness in the front of his shoulder, which is not a serious thing. So instead of battling through what we battled through last time, we thought we'd give him an extra day, hoping that the five days would make him feel better," manager Ned Yost said. "Guys play sore and they play hurt. If it jeopardizes their career, they don't play. But Ben's career is not being jeopardized in the least." David Bush was moved up in the rotation to start for Sheets. Sheets will likely just switch turns in the roation with Bush, which mean's he would make his next start on Thursday.

Sheets' pain must have been determined to not be related to his previous problems, but it's still troubling, to be sure. Ben has been a horse for much of his still young career, he's due to suffer some minor injuries. Let's hope that's all this is.

5/07/2006 02:02:00 PM

Saturday, May 06, 2006

(5/06/2006 10:45:00 PM) - Al

I think that sound you heard was Ben Hendrickson's career righting itself.

I still think he could be a very good reliever, with a 90 mph fastball and that big curveball, but if you can go out there every 5th day and keep your ERA under 5, you'll make a lot of money before they tell you to go home. Ben certainly doesn't look to have a high ceiling like the 2 LHSP's at Nashville, Dana Eveland and Zach Jackson, but he could be a 4th or 5th starter in the big leagues for a half-decade.

5/06/2006 10:45:00 PM

Friday, May 05, 2006

(5/05/2006 10:33:00 PM) - Al

While the media fawns over another Kennedy with, ahem, issues; here's a story about a Marine that is so amazing, I'm still shaking my head 10 minutes later.

Hat tip to Freeman Hunt.

5/05/2006 10:33:00 PM

(5/05/2006 10:20:00 PM) - Al

Robin Yount is admitted to the hospital, hopefully for a short stay. Best wishes for a quick recovery to Mr. Yount.

5/05/2006 10:20:00 PM

(5/05/2006 06:40:00 PM) - Robert R.

Jeff Franceour still hasn't walked after 114 ABs. Considering how much we've been hearing about the importance of OBP for the last decade, I find that amazing from a corner outfielder on a perennial contender.

It doesn't seem to be the Braves year. However, the biggest problem spots in their lineup LF, RF and 1B are theoretically the easiest to improve. I wouldn't write them off quite yet, but it seems clear that they're going to have to go outside the organization shortly to address their needs.

5/05/2006 06:40:00 PM

Thursday, May 04, 2006

(5/04/2006 09:35:00 PM) - Al

In France, Moussaoui's mother, Aicha El Wafi, said, "Now he is going to die in little doses. He is going to live like a rat in a hole. What for? They are so cruel."

It is difficult for me to believe one statement can be so ignorant, but this one is beyond measure. What for, she asks? Did she not see the papers on 9/12?

And, France is noted for having one of the most backward prison systems in a non-third world Catch Me If You Can. The supermax will consist of 3 aquares and plenty of time for quiet reflection.

5/04/2006 09:35:00 PM

(5/04/2006 08:04:00 PM) - Al

I guess we made it official, we're going to Kansas City in late June to see the Brewers take on the Royals. I plan to see all 3 games, with my traveling companions seeing the Friday and Sunday affairs.

If anyone has any suggestions, emphasis on BBQ and/or steak, shoot me an e-mail when you get a chance.

5/04/2006 08:04:00 PM

(5/04/2006 07:45:00 PM) - Al

I am miserable with a cold today, and unless it's some bug I've never had before, my allergies are horrible, as my eyes have been watering nonstop all day long.

So, this morning I took some Sudafed, which my wife bought last time she had a cold. If I was in a test study, I would have bet my life I took the placebo, as it literally did nothing.

So, after lunch, we stopped at Wal Mart to buy some Actifed, long my choice of cold remedy. On our way there, I sneezed a couple times, and I must have looked like some lab experiement; nose running, eyes watering, barely able to keep my eyes open, breathing loudly through my mouth. But, I only could find the brand name, so I bought another allergy/cold medicine, all the same, right? All it did was keep me awake all afternoon, as I tried to nap. So, my wife picked me up some generic Actifed tonight...after she could not find it at Target, she went to Shopko, and actually found a clearance generic version, $1.79 for 48 glorious tablets. So, after taking it at 5, and a couple hours later, I'm fine, except for a raspy cough now and then.

I know Actifed has been labeled a "bad drug" in the past, as it combines an upper and a downer...but it sure works...even if you do have to get it from the pharmacy, due to its meth making ingredients.

5/04/2006 07:45:00 PM

(5/04/2006 07:20:00 PM) - Al

Jared Fernandez is a bit of a surprise choice to join the Crew, taking Tomo's spot.

Ned is also coy about who is starting Saturday...I would imagine it could be Hendrickson, Fernandez, Lehr...or possibly even DLR, but that would seem a longshot after working in back-to-back games. I would guess it is Ben H, with Jared being recalled to be the "long man".

5/04/2006 07:20:00 PM

(5/04/2006 04:58:00 PM) - Al

Though DLR's could have easily had a 1-2-3 inning today, as he had a walk (after just missing on 2-3 pitches), a grounder down the 3B line (could have easily gone foul), and a high hopper that snuck up the middle; my Jason Kershner to the bigs prediction may not be so far-fetched.

5/04/2006 04:58:00 PM

(5/04/2006 04:57:00 PM) - Al

My K post from a few days ago was mentioned as part of this discussion.

5/04/2006 04:57:00 PM

(5/04/2006 09:36:00 AM) - Al

FYI, Doug Melvin was on WTMJ radio this morning, and supposedly said Eveland will not be brought up, and mentioned Ben H by name as to who will "probably" start Saturday.

While I cannot verify this, hat tip to Eric for the scoop.

5/04/2006 09:36:00 AM

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

(5/03/2006 06:26:00 PM) - Al

FYI, Evelnad is scheduled to start tomorrow night in AAA. So, that would become his day to pitch on the side, and he'd be ready to start Saturday.

Dana would appear to be the man; pitching well, and a near perfect match timing wise.

Ding, ding, ding, I'd say we have a winner.

5/03/2006 06:26:00 PM

(5/03/2006 06:19:00 PM) - Al


Brewers right-hander Tomo Ohka was diagnosed this afternoon with a partially torn rotator cuff and capsular injury in his pitching shoulder, putting the remainder of his season in jeopardy.

The Brewers placed Ohka on the 15-day disabled list after getting results of an MRI. They said a corresponding player move would be made later in the evening to replace Ohka on the roster.

Ohka was removed from his start Monday night against Houston after five innings when he complained of stiffness in the back of his shoulder. In six starts this season, he is 2-1 with a 3.18 earned run average.

The Brewers will need to call up a pitcher to fit in Ohka's spot in the rotation Saturday in Los Angeles. Left-hander Dana Eveland, who is off to a strong start at Class AAA Nashville, is a logical candidate.

Damn. What's that old saying, about never having enough pitching?

Eveland would be my guess as well, though Ben H starting with a reliever (loogy Jason Kershner?) remains a possibility. Thank goodness we have minor league depth, as our major league depth (Rick Helling) is also on the DL.

If the Crew is truly in the race come late July or August, Brad Radke is in the last year of his contract with the Twins...I'm just saying.

5/03/2006 06:19:00 PM

(5/03/2006 06:04:00 PM) - Al

I cannot find one iota of evidence that suggests the Seligs will get the Crew's sahre of the sale proceeds, so I will assume Mark A gets the $15M or so until I hear otherwise. I do believe this was speculated at the time, as Mark A's announced purchase and the Expos sale to a DC buyer were both discussed in late Sep/early Oct of 2004. The JS actually announced the sale price was estimated at $180M, but later turned out to be $223M...part of that increase was likely the $20M Mark A paid the Seligs as part of this deal, first, paying them back for the $4Mish they paid for 1/29th of the Expos, and then a large part of the $15.5M they would eventually get when an owner was found.

While others have grand plans for spending money on a player or idea, I am much more boring, I'd either plow into scouting and development over the next few years, or more than likely, give it to my financial advisor to find me 10-12% guaranteed, low risk return for infinity, and then plow that estimated $1.65M (minus taxes I s'pose, about $1Mish) into scouting and development.

5/03/2006 06:04:00 PM

(5/03/2006 05:40:00 PM) - Al

Article about Mark A from the Brown alumni magazine.

Too bad the school of part-time retail doesn't have an alumni newsletter.:)

To be honest, I've been digging trying to find out if Mark a keeps the money from the Nationals' sale or if it goes to the Seligs, out of curiousity. I haven't found it yet, but seeing that Mark paid $223M (minus the team's debt), I think he already paid Bud and the old ownership group their share.

5/03/2006 05:40:00 PM

(5/03/2006 09:44:00 AM) - Robert R.

That certainly was a disappointing outing by Sheets last night. It does make you wonder if the scar tissue in his shoulder is still giving him problems. Given 5 runs of support, I'd have expected a win with Sheets on the mound. It certainly is disconcerting to get an outing like that from Sheets after Ohka had to leave a game early the previous night.

Still, looking at positives, Hall did a decent job in centerfield. And Ben Hendrickson got work in an ideal situation and performed well. Those two developments may well be more important than a loss in early May.

5/03/2006 09:44:00 AM

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

(5/02/2006 09:52:00 AM) - Al

---I just saw Bill Paxton's DIRECT TV ad, using footage from the film Twister. I wonder if Helen Hunt gets a piece of that, as she is indirectly promoting the satellite service. Of course, on my list of concerns, Hunt's financial security falls far down the list.

---They showed Jerry Seinfeld at the Mets' game, and his friend, comedian George Wallace (George Costanza was pretty much based on Larry David, but named after Wallace) was sitting right behind him. For much of its run, Seinfeld was criticized for being "too white", especially considering it was set in New York city, the most diverse melting pot of a city in the world.

It just seems like delicious irony that Jerry took some heat for his show being too Caucasian, yet one of his closest pals is African-American.

5/02/2006 09:52:00 AM

(5/02/2006 09:36:00 AM) - Al

While looking up other things, I came across this nugget of info...I believe we can put the "strikeouts are bad" myth to bed.

Reds, 1st in runs scored (155), 1st in OBP (.363), 4th most K's (188).

Brewers, 2nd in runs scored (137), 2nd in OBP (.354), 2nd most K's (199).

Funny, I haven't heard much "the key to scoring runs is making contact" arguments of late, have you? That's because they are not related.

The secret of scoring runs isn't magical, it's as simple as getting men on base. If you told me that Team A got 14 runners, while Team B had 8 men reach safely, there's no doubt who I'm going to predict won the game. Despite this, many folks pretend there's a formula involved that includes veteran leadership, team chemistry, and hustling to 1B on a pop-up. Those things are wonderful mind you, but that and 50 cents will buy you a paper.

5/02/2006 09:36:00 AM

Monday, May 01, 2006

(5/01/2006 10:45:00 PM) - Al

Hey, Al --

I have a riddle for you and your contributors. Seriously.

2006 AL league average OBP is .338.

Here are the Kansas City Royals players with 25 or more plate appearances (listed in order of total AB's), followed by their OBP.

Berroa .275
Grudzielanek .329
Brown .315
Sanders .260
Mientkiewicz .316
Sweeney .325
Teahen .271
Costa .333
Buck .280
Graffanino .206
DeJesus .231

(Granted, DeJesus was out early with an injury --- but, STILL ...!)

So: How can an entire team fail to have a single hitter with an OBP at league average? I'm serious: how is it even possible? What does it say about the organization's failings in general? Is there anything the manager or coaches or front office could do about it? Like maybe say "start taking more pitches"? Or just bring up everybody in AAA who's able to get on base?



PS: I note you picked KC to have the least wins in the majors this year --- could you have predicted them not being able to field somebody with a league-average OBP?!

I've discussed how pitiful the Royals would be on a couple occasions in the offseason, and the basis of my feelings remain consistent...if you're going to rebuild, don't be afraid to tear it all down and build it from scratch.

As for their OBP, you could easily compile those kind of numbers with a compilation of minor league free agents and players claimed off the waiver wire who are out of options...and they'd have a chance to still be with the team when they next hit .500.

5/01/2006 10:45:00 PM

(5/01/2006 10:21:00 PM) - Al

With Ohka out with shoulder soreness (a kiss of death for a pitcher if there ever was one), I thought I'd link to the Nashville 2006 stats and see who was pitching well:

To be honest, the debate pretty much begins and ends with the top name on that list...Dana Eveland has an 8-1 K/BB ratio and a 0.75 ERA. I might be tempted to throw out the possibility of DLR getting a look, with Jason Kershner getting an opportunity to come up and be a loogy; but it's tough to argue with numbers like Eveland has put on the board.

5/01/2006 10:21:00 PM

(5/01/2006 10:11:00 PM) - Eric

Great game tonight. I attended, along with about 10,000 other soggy people, and went home quite happy.

Weeks made a couple outstanding defensive plays, the Jenkins relay throw to nail Biggio at third (a pea is right, what an arm he's got) and ranging far to his left to nab a Preston Wilson grounder. Fielder also made a nice diving stop on a Willy Taveras smash down the line while he was playing in against the bunt, and of course Clark made a ridiculous catch. We won't mention the Lee clank in the ninth.

Bill Hall continues to hit the snot out of the ball; I wouldn't be surprised to see him get a few starts in center against RHP this month. Cirillo was happily used in a discerning matter, against a lefty, though that may well have been luck as it was the first pinch-hitting opportunity of the game.

One thing I would have liked to have seen was Bill Hall try to steal third in the fourth inning after he led off with a single and Miller moved him over to second with a grounder. With Clark and then Ohka coming up, I think a sac fly is your best run-scoring option there.

5/01/2006 10:11:00 PM

(5/01/2006 09:51:00 PM) - Al

Not only did Weeks make that perfect throw, he also made a very nice play ranging far to his left that very few 2B would have made. I've said Rickie might win a Gold Glove if he remains at 2B (let's pretend that Gold Gloves are actually given to the best defender for a moment), and tonight proves he has the physical tools necessary to do so.

Also of note, Weeks had to take a couple steps toward the Rf line just before he caught the throw from Jenkins, and still managed to fire a pea to Hall at 3B. That's the equivalent of a jump shooter having to reach for a poor pass, and still draining the 3.

Yesterday I suggested I might be slowly moving into the "keep Bill Hall, trade JJ Hardy" camp. To be honest, I might be jumping the gun immensely, as Weeks may not be a career infielder, and Ryan Braun may not be able to make the transition to the big leagues. That said, I'm glad we don't have to make that decision for a while.

5/01/2006 09:51:00 PM

(5/01/2006 08:41:00 PM) - Al

Finally, it is worth noting that, though the situation in Darfur is horrendous, there are many other civil wars in Africa. As far as deaths go, the worst is probably the civil war in the Congo, where three million may have died, according to common estimates.

That's far more than the US has lost in all our wars put together.---Boston Globe

Emphasis added...and simply all but impossible to believe.

5/01/2006 08:41:00 PM

(5/01/2006 08:00:00 PM) - Al

Brady Clark with his second outstanding catch in as many days. Now I know why all those scouts say he's so good.

5/01/2006 08:00:00 PM

(5/01/2006 11:04:00 AM) - Robert R.

One month into the season, a quick look at NL Rookie of the year candidates (position players).

The Front Runners
Prince Fielder .344/.400/.552 (BA/OBP/SLG) 9.1 VORP
Hanley Ramirez .304/.379/.489 (BA/OBP/SLG) 9.1 VORP
Josh Willingham .299/.391/.597 (BA/OBP/SLG) 9.8 VORP

Other Candidates
Jeremy Hermida .250/.407/.300 (BA/OBP/SLG) -0.1 VORP
Mike Jacobs .192/.310/.370 (BA/OBP/SLG) -2.6 VORP
Dan Uggla .253/.312/.410(BA/OBP/SLG) 2.5 VORP
Josh Barfield .256/.290/.372 (BA/OBP/SLG) 2.6 VORP
Ryan Zimmerman .242/.324/.411 (BA/OBP/SLG) -0.1 VORP

It's too early to write off the second group completely. In particular, Hermida, Jacobs and Zimmerman have fine walk rates and should be expected to hit for a higher average and more power. One great month could get them right back into the race.

5/01/2006 11:04:00 AM

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

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

The Ramblings' manifesto can be found here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you would like to advertise on Ramblings, pen a guest article, have a comment on a post, or have a media request.

Al is @suitedconnect on Twitter

Al's WTMJ appearance from July, 2015 with Justin

Al's postseason WTMJ appearance with Justin


MLB Trade Rumors

MLB Trade Rumors

2018 stats by position


Any Soldier
Website that gives info on how to send comfort to our military overseas

Tribute to Robert Warns II
Never forget the sacrifice of our military, and why we enjoy the freedoms we have.

June 2002 July 2002 August 2002 September 2002 October 2002 November 2002 December 2002 January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018 August 2018 September 2018 October 2018 November 2018 December 2018 January 2019 February 2019 March 2019 April 2019 May 2019 June 2019 July 2019 August 2019 September 2019 October 2019 November 2019 December 2019 January 2020 February 2020 March 2020 April 2020 May 2020 June 2020 July 2020