Al's Ramblings

Thursday, May 31, 2007

(5/31/2007 10:50:00 PM) - Al

With the Counsell/Graffy platoon moving to 2B, I may well be in the vast minority, but I'm more worried about Braun in the short-term than I am Craig and Tony. Hardly anyone has noticed, but Counsell has one of the highest OBP's on the team.

I wondered aloud a few times if Corey Hart was healthy, and his performance and playing time the past four days makes me wonder it even moreso. Suddenly, he's the same spark plug we saw in 2006, a speedster with gap power, seemingly just like that.

Do you remember last July when many fans thought the Brewers did not get enough for 60 days of Carlos Lee? Heh.

5/31/2007 10:50:00 PM

(5/31/2007 09:35:00 PM) - Al

Rickie Weeks goes on the DL, with wrist pain. No word yet on his replacement.

UPDATE: Jose Capellan called up from Nashville, I assume Jose will work mid-long relief.

5/31/2007 09:35:00 PM

(5/31/2007 08:58:00 PM) - Al

John at the Brewers sent me this ticket deal to post for all of Ramblings' readers.

Get $15 terrace reserved seats for games versus the Cubs Monday 6/4 and/or Tuesday 6/5, just enter in the password "ticketdeal" when asked to do so.

5/31/2007 08:58:00 PM

(5/31/2007 08:40:00 PM) - Al

I was a bit surprised to see Vargas come out to pitch the 6th, as his pitch count was high back in the 3rd. But, if he can make it through the inning, versus the bottom of the order, it will help save the 'pen.

UPDATE: I guess Vargas made the last out in the 5th, I was out making popcorn.

Also was a bit taken aback to hear there are plenty of tiks remaining for tomorrow's game, but then I saw Prince has a bobble on Sunday, which is expected to sell out.

5/31/2007 08:40:00 PM

(5/31/2007 08:19:00 PM) - Al

Ryan Braun seems to go up to the plate with an 0-2 count. He needs to quit swinging at the 1st and/or 2nd pitch every time up. He has shown nearly no plate discipline since coming up, and not surprisingly, he hasn't seen many good pitches, as he swings at everything.

I'm not sure if he needs to be dropped down to 8th to lessen the pressure, or what, but you will never have success in the big leagues never taking a walk. With Weeks struggling with scar tissue pain, he's going to be in the lineup nearly every day, but he is surprisingly having a difficult time adjusting to the pressure of being in the bigs. From a #1 pick who went to a major college, you wouldn't think that would be the case.

5/31/2007 08:19:00 PM

(5/31/2007 08:12:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers have signed centerfielder Lee Haydel, a 19th round draft pick in 2006, for $624,000, according to Baseball America magazine.

The Brewers signed Haydel via the draft-and-follow process, where a high school pick goes to junior college for a year to increase his value and add to his experience.

Haydel also grew two inches and added 20 pounds, and is now 6-foot-1 and 190.

Haydel is the second significant draft-and-follow signing for the Brewers this month. Earlier, they signed right-hander Chad Robinson, a 12th round pick, to a $500,000 deal. Robinson was drafted out of Silverado High School in Las Vegas but played for the Community College of Southern Nevada this year.

Nice to see the Brewers continue to spend money on scouting and development, as they have more money available on "strange" methods, as they lost their 2nd round pick when they signed Suppan, and the plethora of supplemental choices between the 2nd and 3rd rounds, the Brewers have the 7th pick, and not another until the 97th pick.

Hopefully, they'll spend some 11th round picks and down on guys who are considered tough signs, and bring a couple of them in at 2nd/3rd round money.

5/31/2007 08:12:00 PM

(5/31/2007 05:43:00 PM) - Robert R.

I'm not too much in panic about yesterdays game, but a game blown late by middle relief sure is frustrating. Villanueva in long relief and Cordero as the closer have been terrific at their jobs. It's in between those two where the problems are.

Part of the problem is that I think Wise, who has trouble going on back to back days, and Shouse, who is a LOOGY, simply don't rack up enough innings. That puts more burden on Turnbow and Spurling. It's obvious to me that the possible return of Dessens isn't going to significantly affect that workload since he only pitched in games that were out of hand anyways.

Capellan getting himself out of Doug Melvin's doghouse would be a nice lift for the bullpen. Certainly that seems more likely to help than the return of a pitcher with a 6.60 ERA.

5/31/2007 05:43:00 PM

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

(5/30/2007 08:20:00 PM) - Al

I was just flipping channels and came across the Cubs, who are trailing, and they reported the Pirates are also down 7-0.

I wonder how many teams would happily switch spots with the Crew, 29-24 and likely to be 5.5 games up after tonight.

I may be a tad optimistic, but I think I'll stay off the ledge for now.:)

5/30/2007 08:20:00 PM

(5/30/2007 07:48:00 PM) - Al

Well, it was a very well played and pitched game until the 8th, when Derrick forgot how to throw strikes, and the roof caved in from there. Turnbow, for the most part, never has the other team beat him, but does beat himself from time to time. I wrote a while back I felt that there was a good chance by the end of the season the Brewers late inning tandem would be Yo, Carlos V, and Frankie; and with each passing day, that seems like it might be a prediction that might be brought up again in a few months.

Good to see Dave Bush have a nice outing today, hopefully the first of many.

5/30/2007 07:48:00 PM

(5/30/2007 06:36:00 PM) - Al

I am waiting to watch the Brewers on Squeeze Play tonight, as I was unaware they were on TBS today, or I would have taped it myself and done my own version of it.

The bad part about this is not only does it affect my normal internet surfing, I also am forced to alter my TV habits, as few stations are safe. Luckily, TBS has Raymond on, and unless they start a ticker, I should be fine.

5/30/2007 06:36:00 PM

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

(5/29/2007 09:01:00 PM) - Al

I am pretty sure there isn't a human being alive who could have fielded that bad hop one hop rocket to Rickie last inning...though the next one was as routine as they come.

5/29/2007 09:01:00 PM

(5/29/2007 07:15:00 PM) - Al

I just popped in to say how nice it was to see Corey in the lineup two games in a row, but by the time I got here, the Braves were up 3-0. Not sure if Ben is suffering any residual effects from his blister or just a couple poorly placed pitches...his fastball to Harris was right down the middle.

5/29/2007 07:15:00 PM

(5/29/2007 07:01:00 PM) - Robert R.

I got an e-mail that I think is worth responding to on the blog.

With such a crowded infield is there a potential that Graffie may be DFA'ed or traded for future prospects ( with his performance at bat he's not worth much)? Craig is tied up for 2 years so it seems less likely that he will go; Braun-y may have staying power if his bat continues to stay hot; Also, with Dessens on 15 day disabled list is this buying time for Yo Gallardi to get ready? Do we need 12 pitchers?


I would guess that Melvin has feelers out regarding Graffanino, although I wouldn't expect the Brewers to go with only one reserve infielder even if they found a taker. My guess would be Rottino would get called up.

I don't think the Brewers need to go with 12 pitchers, but that seems to be Yost's preference. The logjam to me is the outfield and particularly since none of the right-handed batters there are hitting much. Hall's scuffling with a .742 OPS, but he's way ahead of Corey Hart at a .717 OPS and a truly struggling Kevin Mench at a .656 OPS. If you check the outfield numbers for May, you'll see the source of a lot of the team's struggles to score runs. Geoff Jenkins is the only outfielder that really is adding significantly to the offense this year. (Note, neither Brady Clark or Nelson Cruz are doing much of anything either, so not much point in second guessing.)

I do suspect that Dessens has pitched his last for the team. Gallardo is doing everything he can to justify a call up by dominating AAA and the Brewers aren't looking like they are going to run away with anything. It's pretty obvious that Gallardo is one of the 12 best pitchers in the organization and could help the team now.

5/29/2007 07:01:00 PM

(5/29/2007 03:18:00 PM) - Al


I was just wondering your feelings on the Journal Sentinel article that seemed to blame the loss of momentum in the 7th on the tribute to the troops. Even Mike Maddux said something to the effect that they just wanted to get out there and play. Shouldn't they be reminded that we wouldn't have baseball, hot dogs, and sunshine if it wasn't for our troops?

Wondering if you could comment on it.


I skimmed it last night and did not notice that. I think it was a poor choice of words by Maddux, and I doubt he meant it to sound as strong as it does...if I'm not mistaken, he and Greg are sons of a military man, so I'm sure he meant no disrespect.

To be honest, probably a poor decision by the JS to even include the Crew did rally that inning and Hardy's liner was just right at the 1B, bad luck, but unrelated to the delay.

We were exiting the 300 Club at the time and missed the entire 7th inning stretch, including the moment of silence. It did not seem like it was an abnormal length of time, however.

5/29/2007 03:18:00 PM

(5/29/2007 02:52:00 PM) - Al

Jay Mariotti on Soriano's $136M contract...




It's easy being a GM when you can forget everything you said 6 months later, huh?

5/29/2007 02:52:00 PM

(5/29/2007 12:34:00 PM) - Jason Christopherson

Minor league baseball history is a passion of mine. The fact I just spent a perfectly fine three-day weekend writing about 10,000 words on the 1886 and 1887 seasons of Eau Claire baseball probably bears that out a bit. The sheer volume of minor league teams and players throughout the years means there are thousands of fascinating stories out there, and thousands more to be told.

My favorite minor league story is the sad-but-true tale of Steve Dalkowski. I first read about him in the early 1990's when this man who once had a lightning bolt in his arm was now scraping by working intermittantly as a field laborer whenever he was sober enough. The Hardball Times has an article here that tells Dalkowski's amazing tale. Like the article says, if you've heard of him, it's still good to be reminded of his amazing feats. If you haven't heard of him, just be prepared to be in awe of the stats and the stories. I love the attempt at timing his pitches--93.5 mph on flat ground after throwing at his maximum for 40 minutes AND following a 150+ pitch game the night before.

Oh, and be sure to read the tail end of the article for another "something you may not have known". I'm not sure why they buried it after the references because it's one of those "really?" moments.

5/29/2007 12:34:00 PM

Monday, May 28, 2007

(5/28/2007 09:32:00 PM) - Al

Just a quick note, as I forgot to put it up yesterday before I left...allow me to say thank you to all veterans, both those who made the ultimate sacrifice and those who survived to keep the greatest country in the history of the world free.

To those currently serving, a huge thank you to you as well.

5/28/2007 09:32:00 PM

(5/28/2007 09:00:00 PM) - Al

Yo is "very close" to a promotion, per this Florida article.

I have to believe he would be the guy if the Crew needs a starter or a reliever. His numbers, a sub 1 WHIP and 12K's per 9, are simply off-the-charts.

5/28/2007 09:00:00 PM

(5/28/2007 08:33:00 PM) - Al

Just returned from Miller Park, where we enjoyed the amenities of the club level and the 300 Club. I told my wife just not to get used to it, as I am simply not successful enough to afford that very often.

I admit, I do find it rather amusing that the Brewers are 0-4 since the promotion of Braun. Ryan has been looked at as an instant superstar, which is not just unfair, but rather ignorant. I thought he'd be a lot like Weeks, a dead red bat who is also able to crush a hanging curve, and so far, he's been exactly that. Today, he chased a pitch up at the letters, he'll have to learn to lay off that pitch if he's even going to be mediocre at 3B. I think he will, but his swing looked mighty long today.

The entire game could have come down to JJ Hardy's 7th inning PA...if that line drive is a foot in any direction, it's a tie game and quite possibly a Brewers 3-2 lead. But, as is often the case in a one-run game, any number of minor, subtle differences could have affected the outcome. When you're going good, those bloops and grounders seem to find a hole. When you aren't, they don't.

Never forget, this is a marathon, not a sprint. Over 162 games, the best teams will naturally rise to the top. Streaks and hot spells even out. I still recall a discussion on a message board about when the Brewers were 24-10, or about there, on what the over/under on victories would be at that point. Many people said 95-100, some even higher. I said I would increase my preseason prediction of 86 up to 88, and was told by many I simply had no idea how mathematics worked. I simply said it was a long season, and that some natural balancing out would take place. Even now, at 28-23, the club has experienced very good health, still only using 27 (you could say 28, because of Koskie being DL'd) players almost one-third of the way through the campaign.

Allow me to say this...the casual, bandwagon fan is out in full force. People were still streaming across the bridge into the park at 2:15 today, and started streaming out steadily at the 7th inning. We took our son to his godmother's house today and they went to the zoo. So, just past 11, we drove by the parking lots and they looked nearly half-full...2 full hours before game time. Miller Park is now a hip place to be...and oh, by the way, there's a game, I guess.

Thank goodness they're coming out though.

5/28/2007 08:33:00 PM

Sunday, May 27, 2007

(5/27/2007 10:38:00 AM) - Al

Not sure how much I will be around a computer today, so updates will be limited at least until this evening.

5/27/2007 10:38:00 AM

Saturday, May 26, 2007

(5/26/2007 08:56:00 PM) - Al

My back isn't bothering me as much tonight as it has been, so I will be live-blogging at least the early stages of the game tonight. Keep refreshing.

---This is an inauspicious start, Weeks goes nowhere after a single, and Giles leads off with a shot for a double.

---Claudio giving up absolute missles thus far, even Cruz just missed a double down the line before striking out. He's not being helped by what looks like a very narrow strike zone...pitches on the corner are not being called.

---As I warned about a while back, tickets for Memorial Day look to be scarce, other than singles, only the terrace level remain, and those are well past 1B and 3B. I would expect 38K or more to attend, so I would avoid walking up, buy them online or tomorrow.

---Who says the ball doesn't carry at Petco? I didn't think Jenkins' HR would reach the warning track.

---Geesh, I half expect a pitcher to knock one out of the park before this one is over. Everyone is going deep.

---For some reason, I was confident someone was going to pop a HR off Hoffman. He's pretty much just another guy at this stage of his career.

5/26/2007 08:56:00 PM

(5/26/2007 07:54:00 PM) - Al

I am a pretty casual NBA fan, as I cheer a bit for the Bucks, and my other casual interests are the Mavericks and the Jazz. Obviously, Utah is my only rooting interest remaining, and I have enjoyed their run, aided by the Warriors upsetting the Mavs.

I have often thought that the Jazz are a model franchise in pro sports, marred only once every couple years by stupid comments by owner Larry Miller. Tonight, I flipped over to see how the game was going, and they were just coming back from a commercial break. There looked to be a few thousand people sitting out in the parking lot of Energy Solutions Arena, on lawn chairs and such, watching the game. Not sure if they are showing the game on a big screen or if they are watching on little TV's, but that kind of dedication is pretty much a Utah thing.

One of my favorite episodes of Insomniac had Dave Attell spending time in Salt Lake City, which is pretty much the anti-late night city. About 1AM, he ran into a bunch of college kids at a walk-up pizza place, and not only were none of them intoxicated, through talking to Dave, he learned none of them even drank caffeine. His final line is one I've always recalled, as he muttered it a kind of combination of awe and disgust:

Pizza and Sprite, that's about as good as it gets, huh?

In typical straight-laced fashion, the youngsters, all clean-cut and Caucasian, shook their heads and answered in the affirmative.

5/26/2007 07:54:00 PM

(5/26/2007 07:30:00 PM) - Al

I just checked Dave Bush's numbers for the year, expecting him to be horrible when pitching out of the stretch, with runners on, but they aren't, just slightly less effective than with no one on. However, when you're overall numbers are .340/.488 against you, the average hitter is suddenly an above average corner OF, and you are going to give up a lot of runs. His WHIP isn't that bad, about 1.35, but he sure is allowing a lot of extra-base hits.

5/26/2007 07:30:00 PM

(5/26/2007 09:50:00 AM) - Al

While looking for other things, I noticed this...if not for good fortune, and maybe a bit of the superb late inning bullpen duo, the Cubs should be in first place, based on runs scored and runs allowed.

The Crew is now only two games ahead of where they "should" be, they were 3 ahead way back just a few games into the season. The laws of averages tend to even out, as it's a long season.

5/26/2007 09:50:00 AM

Friday, May 25, 2007

(5/25/2007 08:24:00 PM) - Al

Two college guys plan on touring the country this summer and see a game in every major league ballpark, as well as visit lots of other sites.

I'm sure they may be a bit limited by time, but if I would ever do such a trip, I'd sure take it a lot slower. Some of their days are going to be 12-16 hours of driving, and who wants to see a game after that?

5/25/2007 08:24:00 PM

(5/25/2007 07:57:00 PM) - Al

Ned has posted his lineup, and I will say this, it's nothing like I would have guessed.

Nice move, however, getting Miller in the lineup after a day off, letting Estrada have 2 full days off in a row.

5/25/2007 07:57:00 PM

(5/25/2007 05:51:00 PM) - Al

I was surprised to see ABC heavily cover the fact that Obama and Clinton both voted against the war funding bill last evening, though both have said many times, as recently as 2 weeks ago, that they support the troops and know they had to be funded. Obama even made a long statement recently saying that money was needed to ensure things like body armor and reinforced Humvees were plentiful.

Obviously, both felt it necessary to do so and think that was the best move for their political future, but I have to wonder why in the world they did not abstain, as the outcome was not in doubt (the final vote was 80-14).

Also, by virtue of the way bills are added to unrelated topics, that same vote was against milk subsidies and the extension of a senior prescription drug program (in WI, it is known as Senior Care). I'm sure that will be used against them in this area as well.

5/25/2007 05:51:00 PM

(5/25/2007 05:47:00 PM) - Al

Someone points out that in the last couple weeks, Craig Counsell has the best OBP on the team, so to expect a big boost with the Braun addition is, at best, probably a bit hopeful.

However, there's little doubt Braun will be a solid force at the plate...and I assume Graffy or Counsell will be in the field in the 8th and 9th innings, as we all know, runs scored in the 1st-7th do not count as much.:)

5/25/2007 05:47:00 PM

(5/25/2007 05:30:00 PM) - Al

You'll be happy to know I had to turn down this gig because of my work schedule, but I see Jeff S filled in admirably.

5/25/2007 05:30:00 PM

Thursday, May 24, 2007

(5/24/2007 10:48:00 PM) - Al

Braun is up, and Elmer Dessens is DL'd.

Barring another "injury", it may be an interesting move when Elmer returns.

5/24/2007 10:48:00 PM

(5/24/2007 08:25:00 PM) - Al


Any word on the Ryan Braun rumor?


The message boards are ablaze with "Braun will be headed to San Diego after the game tonight" rumors, by a supposed "insider". The feeling seems to be Corey Hart would either be headed back to AAA or the DL.

Hart really isn't playing enough to make this a bad move, though I would usually prefer him to be in the lineup to Tony Gwynn Jr.

That said, I would have to wonder why the Crew would not have promoted Ryan before the game tonight, rather than having him have to catch a late night or early morning flight cross-country.

Time will tell.

5/24/2007 08:25:00 PM

(5/24/2007 07:34:00 PM) - Al

One of the saddest stories I have ever come across. Josh Hancock's body is barely cold and his father throws together this embarrassment of a lawsuit.

I pity the lawyer who took the case, as well as any judge who doesn't toss it out of court the second it hits his/her desk. Very, very sad.

5/24/2007 07:34:00 PM

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

(5/23/2007 09:05:00 PM) - Al

Another piece on Braun and Yo. Thanks to e-mailer Steve.

5/23/2007 09:05:00 PM

(5/23/2007 09:02:00 PM) - Al

Kevin has started his own Brewers' blog, which you can check out here.

5/23/2007 09:02:00 PM

(5/23/2007 07:57:00 PM) - Al

The Crew has sold 2M tickets, the second earliest ever.

Right now, 2.6M would be a safe guess, but I think they could end up as high as 2.75M with continued winning and nice weather this summer.

5/23/2007 07:57:00 PM

(5/23/2007 07:46:00 PM) - Al

Someone else discusses how bad Baseball Tonight has become, and also mentions Rob Neyer as a possibility.

I can only imagine Rob shaking his head in disgust the first time some former 2B mentions that a hitter may be bothered because he's hitting in a different spot in the batting order, or that Derek Jeter is a good defender; and then proceeding to blast the offending party with, you know, actual proof, my head might well simply explode.

5/23/2007 07:46:00 PM

(5/23/2007 07:41:00 PM) - Al

Jim Powell with a short chat at JS Online.

He didn't even yell at anyone, Tom H ought to have a word with him.:)

He also feels Yo Gallardo will be up rather soon. I don't see how you can keep him down as long as his development will not be hindered, and given his current success, he may need to come up to the bullpen just to limit his innings!

5/23/2007 07:41:00 PM

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

(5/22/2007 08:58:00 PM) - Al

Money talks about why gas is so cheap in New Jersey.

Since it talks about supply and demand, and not government conspiracy theories, I have to believe it's all fiction.:)

5/22/2007 08:58:00 PM

(5/22/2007 08:16:00 PM) - Al

Scott Miller adds to the myth that the good teams are all good friends.

Here I thought the club was winning more games because they were scoring more runs and preventing runs from scoring...silly me.

5/22/2007 08:16:00 PM

(5/22/2007 08:07:00 PM) - Al

Just got home this evening, after a busy day of training, eating dinner, and bringing home yet another new Saturn, our 6th since I purchased our initial one in 1994. Sadly, it was time to replace the tires and brakes on our previous Vue, which because of their priceyness, would have been about $1200. Because of their current promotions and equity in our old car, the monthly payment for the new one is over $100 less...go figure.

We've never bought another brand, and have not had any reason to even look around. Saturn has made some changes over the years, but their customer service remains outstanding. I'm still astounded that more have not gone to the "no haggle" sticker price, as that alone makes the trip there worthwhile.

5/22/2007 08:07:00 PM

Monday, May 21, 2007

(5/21/2007 08:52:00 PM) - Al

Ned posted a different batting order tonight, dropping Hall to 7th.

I have often spoken about how all but meaningless the order is, so I can't get the least bit excited about it, but if nothing else, it would seem to tell me Tony Gwyn Jr. will be getting quite a few starts in RF, versus RHP at least.

5/21/2007 08:52:00 PM

(5/21/2007 08:49:00 PM) - Al

Yahoo talks about Mark A's reign as owner.

5/21/2007 08:49:00 PM

(5/21/2007 06:58:00 PM) - Al

The LA Times article on the visiting Brewers, with some factual errors.

5/21/2007 06:58:00 PM

(5/21/2007 06:48:00 PM) - Al

Hey there Al,

I was down in Chicago today at the National Restaurant Show. I was walking though the exhibit hall when I saw someone I thought I recognized and sure enough it was Sig Hanson, skipper of the Northwestern. I guess he was at the show to pimp for some fish company. Nice guy stopped and talked to me for a minute.

The amazing thing is how short he is I am guessing 5'4" tops I am 5'7" and I was looking down at him.

Seemed like a real guys who is still not used to being a celeb.

I saw your post on The Deadliest Catch and thought you would appreciate my brush with crabber stardom.

I love that show I find myself rooting for boats like I would sports teams.

Have a good week,

WSB Chris

Chris is one of the many that write The Wisconsin Sports Bar. I root for all the boats, they have a dangerous and tough job.

5/21/2007 06:48:00 PM

(5/21/2007 06:46:00 PM) - Al

Regular contributor Mike sends us this box score of the last time Geoff Jenkins had 5 RBI's in a game. A pretty decent lineup, but not the ceiling of today's, I would say.

5/21/2007 06:46:00 PM

Sunday, May 20, 2007

(5/20/2007 09:41:00 PM) - Al

He could really hit.---Joe Morgan on Julio Gotay, uncle of the Mets' current player.

Take a gander at Julio's career....309/.323, simply put, he couldn't hit a lick, he makes Craig Counsell look like Babe Ruth.

But you see, he played back in Joe's day, meaning, he was really, really good.:)

5/20/2007 09:41:00 PM

(5/20/2007 08:53:00 PM) - Al

Norm Chad tells of his trip to the Dodger Stadium all-you-can-eat section...that would be a fine way to spend an afternoon.

5/20/2007 08:53:00 PM

(5/20/2007 04:35:00 PM) - Al

No such thing as a bad win, to be certain. And, one message board's "bench Jenkins" movement probably lost quite a bit of steam after his output today.

Nothing I dislike more than a bunt to lead off the game on the first pitch. I realize Tony is a pretty good bunter, but to throw away any chance of a walk and best case scenario, end up on 1B, is just bad baseball.

I wasn't real confident when the Brewers were down 4-0, but I felt they had a good shot at coming back and making it a game, mostly because I've read Aaron Gleeman critique Ortiz harshly, and figured he was a lot more likely to give up a few runs than shut the Crew down. Ramon is far from a top pitcher, but he has a place in most any rotation. He has been on a bad stretch of late, however.

Ned did a fine job in setting up his bullpen for success, and they pitched nicely. Vargas actually pitched a decent game as well, if Froemming's strike zone isn't so tight.

Anyone who thinks a roof is not necessary (heads up Twin Cities) in the Upper Midwest need look no further than today's Cubs/White Sox game, in which the crowd was wearing parkas and stocking caps, hooded sweatshirts and gloves...while up Lake Michigan, the Brewers' crowd looked comfortable and content. After a rain delay, the good seats are deserted, and very few fans remain...simply put, it's just poor customer service to make your paying customers suffer in those kind of conditions.

Scott Eyre is again pitching rather plainly for the Cubs...2 line drives and a walk given up thus far. With every Cubs loss and Brewers victory, I feel Eyre ends up one step closer to finishing 2007 with Miller Park being his home ballpark.

5/20/2007 04:35:00 PM

Saturday, May 19, 2007

(5/19/2007 09:26:00 PM) - Al

I think I have mentioned this before, but if you are not watching The Deadliest Catch on Discovery, you should be. Set in the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska, the crews fight the weather, huge waves, cold spray, and danger (44 men have perished while crabbing in the past decade).

I am not sure when it's on during the week, but they rerun them constantly. Between that, Survivorman, and Man vs. Wild, I'm watching a bunch of discovery these days.

5/19/2007 09:26:00 PM

(5/19/2007 09:24:00 PM) - Al

Geoff Jenkins has launched a blog on an MLB site. My only criticism was he misspelled Corey Hart's name.

5/19/2007 09:24:00 PM

(5/19/2007 08:44:00 PM) - Al

A combo platter of a gem by Scott Baker and a lot of "atom" balls will make most clubs rather inefficient on offense.

As I said before, the bottom third of the order is a bit weak right now. You have to make up for that with better pitching and defense, as there's no way Week's replacement will be his equal offensively.

Nice to see Derrick pitch well tonight. Spurling has also done a nice job in an unheralded role.

5/19/2007 08:44:00 PM

(5/19/2007 06:11:00 PM) - Al

---I wouldn't be upset in the least if MLB wore the special armed forces cap every Sunday all year. I wish they would. I'll have to take a look and see how much they go for when they get auctioned off.

5/19/2007 06:11:00 PM

(5/19/2007 03:53:00 PM) - Al

While it is officially just SRO tonight, some group tiks have apparently been returned for tomorrow's matinee, so head over to the Brewers' site, or to one of the fine Ramblings' sponsors on the sidebar and get your tickets ASAP.

5/19/2007 03:53:00 PM

(5/19/2007 12:14:00 PM) - Al

Happy Armed Forces Day to the Ramblings weekend faithful, those in the US anyway.

A special thank you to the men and women who have chosen to serve.

5/19/2007 12:14:00 PM

Friday, May 18, 2007

(5/18/2007 07:07:00 PM) - Al

---Nice to see Jeff Cirillo is healthy again, though the way he hits LHP, I'd just as soon he would have come back Monday.

---Not only does the Crew miss Johan Santana, Joe Mauer is due back next week. Luck is a good thing.

---No offense to Craig and Tony, both solid infield reserves and capable fill-ins, but

A. If Rickie is going to be "rested" a few days, it sure would be nice having another player capable of going in after a PH is used...other than Bill Hall, of course.

B. That bottom third of the lineup; Craig, Tony, and the pitcher, looks mighty weak. That batting order depth has been one of the strengths of the club, strong 1-8 (or at least 1-7 with a solid OBP guy in the #8 spot), and suddenly, it is not.

Yovani Gallardo alllowed one hit in six scoreless innings and struck out 11 Thursday for Triple-A Nashville.

Gallardo moved to 5-1 with a 2.22 ERA. He's allowed 27 hits, walked 16 and struck out 66 in 48 2/3 innings.

Yo's numbers are almost off-the-charts...a WHIP of 0.88, which is astounding for a closer only facing hitters once per game...and almost miraculous considering Yo is in the rotation. His K/9 is now 12.2, again, simply mind-boggling.

If the rotation continues to do well, I would guess we'll see him added to the bullpen this summer.

---Torri Hunter's swing was as long as any big leaguer's I've ever seen not named Andy Marte in his first AB.

---If Weeks is only available to PR, that tells me he has already had a cortisone shot, maybe even yesterday. As I said when Hart's wrist was (is?) bothering him, if they are going to miss several days, DL them for 15 and let them get back to 100%. My wife had a cortisone shot once, and she was in distress for a few days, but it really helped her recover.

---Bill promoting the giveaway for Sunday, even though tickets are singles and SRO only. That's something that used to happen all the time, but has not the past couple years.

---Capuano doing his best Doug Davis imitation, walking 3 batters in one inning and letting one bad pitch lead to four runs, rather than one. Baserunners equals runs, it's as simple as that.

---I honestly am not sure how the home plate ump keeps his job. I'd tell him to speed up or be gone. And, I'd tell him that in the 3rd inning and expect a change in the 3rd. The difference between him and the best AAA guy is minimal, at most.

Ricky (Williams) is a good person. He might have a disorder or something.--Zach Thomas

Talk about making an easy call a tough one. He's a pothead, let's not pretend he has a problem. There are plenty of people with real issues that deserve our sympathy. Williams is an idiot.

---Hopefully, the strikeouts will lead to a high pitch count for Boof, as he looks to have mighty good stuff. Billy Beane says K's are "a pound of flesh", meaning they wear out the guy getting rule, they need at least 3 pitches to get one, and often it takes 5-6 or even more.

---My back is bothering me tonight, so I'm going to get off the computer for a while. FYI.

5/18/2007 07:07:00 PM

(5/18/2007 07:03:00 PM) - Al

I only saw clips of this the other day, but Rudy Guiliani sure knows how to hit a hanging curveball out of the park.

I'll be honest, I don't even know who Ron Paul is, and I'm not going to bother learning. Oof.

5/18/2007 07:03:00 PM

(5/18/2007 06:26:00 PM) - Al

Tom H had a chat which he answers several questions, "Addressed and answered", and is critical of the questioner several times.

Allow me to say, I believe it's the worst chat I've ever seen...and the JS always sets their bar mighty low. If you read it, be prepared to be underwhelmed by an immense margin.

5/18/2007 06:26:00 PM

(5/18/2007 06:15:00 PM) - Al

Faithful reader and e-mailer Nike sends us the latest Jayson Stark effort, with a plethora of Brewers' references, including huge sections on JJ Hardy and Mike Maddux.

5/18/2007 06:15:00 PM

Thursday, May 17, 2007

(5/17/2007 08:14:00 PM) - Al

While most media is reporting Weeks got today off, an e-mailer reports Bob Uecker said Rickie would get a "few days off" to hopefully allow his wrist to's been causing him some pain of late.

Ryan Braun was DL'd, but supposedly will be back tomorrow or Saturday. If Rickie needs a cortisone shot and time, Ryan is the obvious choice to come up...if he's able.

5/17/2007 08:14:00 PM

(5/17/2007 08:04:00 PM) - Al

Down to singles and standing room for all three games this weekend at Miller Park this weekend...might see 130K or more for the three games combined.

5/17/2007 08:04:00 PM

(5/17/2007 07:29:00 PM) - Al

I got done with work today, switched the radio to the backup station that carries the Brewers in Wausau when they are on during the day, and Bob informed me there were two outs in the 9th, Brewers up 3-2.

Talk about nice timing.

That said, I never heard Burrell was on 2B until Jim Powell's recap during the post-game. I was probably happier not knowing, however.

5/17/2007 07:29:00 PM

(5/17/2007 07:23:00 PM) - Al

The JS mentions how good business is for the Crew.

5/17/2007 07:23:00 PM

(5/17/2007 12:11:00 PM) - Robert R.

Hopefully this East Coast trip will quickly fade to be an easily forgotten memory. Especially if Sheets comes out and wins today. 2 and 5 would be a bad road trip, but it's really only one game worse than a 3 and 4 trip which I think most people would have considered understandable and acceptable.

And it's a good time to get the Twins with Santana pitching today.

5/17/2007 12:11:00 PM

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

(5/16/2007 07:37:00 PM) - Al

Looks like the game is just about ready to finally begin.

I'll tell you in about 3 hours if that was a good idea.:)

---I don't know about anyone else, but thus far, I'm rooting for rain.:) Cole Hamels looks outstanding, and Suppan is struggling mightily.

---This looks like a made to order punting situation, Hamels is throwing superbly, down 5 (nice job from Suppan to suck it up and go 5+). I cannot explain why Ned would have Carlos V up, unless he was hoping to get a big inning and bring in CV down 5-3 or 5-4. This seems like a game to have Suppan go 100 pitches and have Elmer finish things up, barring Cole falling apart...which seems unlikely.

---I said to myself, if Hamels makes it through the 7th, he might get a no-hitter...we'll never know if I was correct, but I figured JJ and Prince are both hot, and Rickie might get hit by a pitch.:)

5/16/2007 07:37:00 PM

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

(5/15/2007 08:49:00 PM) - Al

Tough break for Turnbow, as it's a completely different game if he gets the call on the previous pitch, which it looked like the umpire simply missed (or, like many umps, will not call a breaking ball a strike if it's belt-high, but will call a fastball a strike at that height).

In a one-run game, it often comes down to a bloop single, or a ground ball through the hole, or in this case, a borderline call. That's why even the good teams tend to win a lower percentage of the close ones than they do overall.

5/15/2007 08:49:00 PM

(5/15/2007 08:36:00 PM) - Al

Allow me to say that Tony Jr. has simply looked like a .400 OBP guy the past few games. He works the count, swings at nothing but strikes, and seemingly does not mind the count being 0-2 or 1-2 at all.

As I said the other day, I still doubt Tony will be a better than average offensive CF. However, if he continues to mature, I may well be proven incorrect.

5/15/2007 08:36:00 PM

(5/15/2007 08:32:00 PM) - Al

I was thinking at the end of the top of the 8th that Brett Myers might be one of the top closers in the game by the end of the season...he still might be, but I think he has always been a guy who gives up a fair share of HR's.

5/15/2007 08:32:00 PM

(5/15/2007 08:28:00 PM) - Al

Nice move by Ned (I mean Dale, wink, wink) getting Derrick right back into the fray.

5/15/2007 08:28:00 PM

(5/15/2007 08:18:00 PM) - Al

I missed much of the game tonight due to attending my son's pre-school music program. Looked and sounded like Eaton pitched a very nice game, and Vargas did a nice job, but a notch below.

5/15/2007 08:18:00 PM

(5/15/2007 04:24:00 PM) - Robert R.

New movie review from a preview screening.

The Valet

A French farce in the classic tradition. Let's see how succinctly I can explain the setup.

A poor valet is rejected by his girlfriend when he proposes marriage, partly because he can barely get by for himself.

A philandering billionaire is caught by a paparazzo with his supermodel mistress.

The valet is caught in the same picture.

The billionaire tries to pass off that the mistress and valet are involved to avoid a messy divorce and the other two agree to the deception, with their own price tags.

The supermodel moves in with the valet. Complications ensue. And who is really fooled by this whole charade? The wife? The girlfriend? The supermodel? The valet? Or the billionaire?

Although it follows classical forms, the movie is anything but a classic. But it is quickly paced, well acted, and has some sound observations. But it's anything but weighty and the movie is almost too short, clocking in at 85 minutes, and missing several possibilities for additional complications and character moments. It's a pleasant diversion, but nothing that can't wait until DVD. Really, considering the flat lighting scheme and straightforward cinematography, the inevitable Hollywood remake might even be an improvement.

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5/15/2007 04:24:00 PM

(5/15/2007 01:58:00 PM) - Al

Jerry Crasnick tells why he thinks the Brewers will remain on top.

I find it ironic that it took a month-and-a-half for the national media to notice the quality of the rotation and the depth...we were discusing that here in late December.

5/15/2007 01:58:00 PM

(5/15/2007 01:56:00 PM) - Al

Tom Verducci checks in with a lengthy article on the Crew's chances.

5/15/2007 01:56:00 PM

(5/15/2007 01:49:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers are now selling standing room only tickets for Friday and Saturday night's games versus the Twins...just a note to those of you not young and in shape like myself (heh), there should be plenty of open seats to choose from, at least on Friday, as many folks buy a ton of tickets for the bobblehead, and obviously do not use them all (or any). Sunday is also going fast, that should be another 40K+ could be an all-time record for a three game series, if they sell enough SRO, and with many Twins' fans in town, it might just happen.

Don't forget, Monday 5/28 is Memorial Day, take your family out for a beautiful day of baseball. It is also the first Amoco day, so you can get free terrace tickets or a $13 discount on any seat in the of today, there are plenty of good seats available, but I'd act quickly.

5/15/2007 01:49:00 PM

(5/15/2007 01:47:00 PM) - Al

I won't say Shouse should never face a RH batter, but they should be few and far between. Of course, neither Shouse or Turnbow appeared to have much of anything last night, so it might be six of one and a half-dozen of another.

5/15/2007 01:47:00 PM

Monday, May 14, 2007

(5/14/2007 09:41:00 PM) - Robert R.

I'm not going to blame Ned Yost for Turnbow's struggles tonight. That stuff happens.

That said, it's long past time that Yost got it in his head that Shouse is a LOOGY.

Career splits from Baseball Reference

LHB vs. Shouse (BA/OBP/SLG) .221/.280/.344 OPS+ 69
RHB vs. Shouse .309/.398/.475 OPS+ 136

Having Shouse face a RHB and a switch hitter to start an inning is asking for exactly what happened tonight.

It took Yost a long time to figure out that Jenkins shouldn't be batting against lefties. It's time he learned that Shouse shouldn't face righties at all.

5/14/2007 09:41:00 PM

(5/14/2007 08:52:00 PM) - Al

Pretty much the anatomy of a big inning, cheap hits, walks, and the occasional rocket. Derrick did not have any idea where the ball was going, and it showed.

Ned was in a tough spot, as he now has no one left except Cordero (and I suppose Dessens, though he has pitched two days in a row). When "the plan" doesn't work, everything looks bleak. However, you're not going to get through a season winning every game you lead late...though it would be nice.

5/14/2007 08:52:00 PM

(5/14/2007 07:02:00 PM) - Al jumps on the bandwagon, with a long summary of the Crew.

5/14/2007 07:02:00 PM

(5/14/2007 06:50:00 PM) - Al

So, will the Brewers eventually have their pitchers wear some sort of shin protectors? That mound is like some sort of magnet for line drives thus far in 2007.

I assume we will see Spurling if Bush has to make an early exit. Too bad Villanueva went yesterday, but of course, you never know when someone will suffer an injury or whatever.

5/14/2007 06:50:00 PM

(5/14/2007 04:55:00 PM) - Al recaps the Brewers' run thus far.

Note that these away cities articles are far more friendly than what we're getting in the WI area.:)

5/14/2007 04:55:00 PM

Sunday, May 13, 2007

(5/13/2007 10:44:00 PM) - Al

Tons of tickets have been sold for Sunday 5/20, since I last checked a couple days ago. It could well be 120-125K for the trio of games next weekend at Miller Park.

If you need tickets, I'd get 'em as soon as possible. Heck, Memorial Day is a home afternoon affair as well, and those appear to be going briskly also.

This is a by-product of winning mind you, but also it's from all the free publicity winning gets you...discussion on radio, more column inches in the sports page, and so on. It's the main reason they sell so many more lottery tickets when the jackpot gets in the $200M range...heck, $10M would do me just as much good as $200M, but the constant reminders are priceless in marketing dollars.

5/13/2007 10:44:00 PM

(5/13/2007 10:34:00 PM) - Al

Just an FYI to my frequent e-mailers, yes, I'm aware Ryan Braun has not played in about a week due to nagging injuries. Too bad, because he needs all the reps he can get, both at the plate and in the field. My guess of 5/23 looks a bit early now, if for no other reason, the Crew will wait until he's 100% healthy.

5/13/2007 10:34:00 PM

(5/13/2007 02:49:00 PM) - Al

Not a whole lot you can say about today's game, Perez was all but unhittable, and Capuano and Dessens were both ineffective and unlucky, both giving up one HR and a bunch of cheap hits. I was a bit surprised Ned did not try and get another inning or two out of Cappy, but I suppose he felt it was going to be mighty tough getting 4 runs off Oliver.

5/13/2007 02:49:00 PM

Saturday, May 12, 2007

(5/12/2007 09:22:00 PM) - Al

The JS compiles what folks are saying about the Crew...of course, I don't recall many folks noticing the improvement until they got off to such a good start.

The bandwagon is filling up.

5/12/2007 09:22:00 PM

(5/12/2007 04:45:00 PM) - Al

With every poor Scott Eyre outing and Cubs' loss, my feeling is he gets one step closer to being the LH pickup the Brewers will make in late July. Eyre was sought after by Doug Melvin when he was a free agent after '05, and has been one of the best lefty relievers in the game the past few years, with the notable exception of his dozen outings this year, in which he's been as ineffective as my wife trying to convince our son that food not called mac and cheese is delicious.

Eyre is almost as good against RH's as he is LH's, though this year, he has especially struggled versus southpaws. Of course, it's a tiny sample (22 AB's), and probably just bad luck and/or a slight mechanical thing.

5/12/2007 04:45:00 PM

(5/12/2007 04:07:00 PM) - Al

Other than a great pitching performance (one bad pitch by Ben, who seemed very unaggressive today), the highlight of today was Tony Gwynn Jr's output, a patient and productive day at the plate, and a pair of fine plays in RF. I have been saying I feel Tony will be a nice reserve, maybe peaking as a platoon CF for a couple years, but the more you think of it, if Juan Pierre can start in the bigs for a decade, Junior might too, especially when you consider Tony probably throws better with his glove hand than Juan does with his good arm.

Heck, if Tony develops even doubles power, he might be an average CF during his peak years.

Allow me to say what an outstanding job Ned has done with his relief corps so far this year. His balancing out of the limited innings can only be described as "masterful", and despite many claims by casuals (the same ones who insisted Gwynn was a crappy defender because "I saw him play in AA", his relievers are on nearly a perfect pace for 162.

Cordero, 18g, 16.2 IP, on pace for 76 innings

Turnbow, 16g, 15.1 IP, on pace for 71

Wise, 16g, 15 IP, on pace for 69

Shouse, 16g, 9.1 IP, on pace for 43

Villy, 14g, 21.1 IP, on pace for 98 (much of this can be traced back to that one long outing in the extra-inning game at Wrigley)

Aquino/Spurling, 16g, 16 IP, on pace for 74 (a bit higher than you'd like, but much of this has been to "save" Derrick and Frankie)

Dessens, 10g, 12 IP, on pace for 55...a testament to how good the rotation has been

Considering I would say 70 frames is a near-perfect workload for a bullpen man, and I think the team's early near .700 pace will not continue, I'd expect Cordero and Turnbow to be a bit above. Check.

I'd say Shouse should be very limited facing RH's and be well below. Check.

If you're going to abuse someone, my first choice would be Spurling, followed by Villy, as he is used to a starter's workload. Check.

Honestly, I doubt if you could draw it up much better on paper.

I've been especially surprised by Rotoworld not seeming to have any idea on this either. They seem to think an appearance of any length is the same, but that simply isn't true, as Yost rested Cordero after a pair of "long" appearances, both about 30 pitches, after appearing on two consecutive days in late April. Frankie only threw 42 pitches in his 6 day stretch, and he may well not have pitched Wednesday had the team not had Thursday off. Now, of course, both top guys have had 3 days off in a row (though Turnbow was up today, and possibly last night), so they may be "rusty" in the eyes of the never happy brigade.

5/12/2007 04:07:00 PM

(5/12/2007 04:04:00 PM) - Al

In case you are tuning in for my weigh-in, I have decided to only do that on the 1st and the 15th, as my pace has slowed down, both in loss and exercise, as I have less free time on my hands.

For the moment, I remain down 73 pounds officially at least.

5/12/2007 04:04:00 PM

(5/12/2007 03:46:00 PM) - Al


I guess our old mower is not going to start this year, so I was curious how your gas free one was working? You're the only person I know that owns one.

Go Brewers!!


Not our own beloved Jason C, but thanks for writing.

I think our mower works fine and dandy, yet my wife thinks it's horrible. I have no idea why. The only minor issues we have encountered is that it edges poorly (the wheels are outside the blade), and it does not work with tall grass or weeds, it kinds of just skips over that (I would guess it kind of gets wound up in the blade rather than cut). I think it's nice and quiet and relaxing, and the contrarian in me thinks it's great 'cause I know most people think it's stupid.

My wife is gone today at an all-day scrapbooking retreat, so it's just me and my son. He fell asleep during his afternoon rest, so after the game, I went out and picked out a part of the back yard I figured would take about took about 20 minutes, no trouble at all. I even redid the part where our dog's chain goes, a testament to natural fertilizer, as I just mowed that Tuesday or Wednesday, as it had got too tall for my wife to fight through. While out, a neighbor youngster who often plays with my son asked where he was, and I told him he was resting (I skipped the falling asleep part, as that's mighty embarrassing for a 4 year-old), and then he said, "What are you doing"?, to which I replied I was mowing. He looked at me like I had 3 heads and walked away puzzled.

On a related subject, I wanted to mention how beautiful the dandelions are right now. I do not have many original philosophic statements, but one I bring out annually is this:

If roses grew on their own every Spring, and dandelions were hard to grow, we'd pay $40 a dozen for dandelions and disgustedly chop down those darn roses.

There are only two lawns on our block that have any yellow in their lawn, and I always feel sorry for those who do not. If you're unable to see the beauty of a bright yellow plant that grows on its own, I don't think there's a lot of hope for you enjoying a whole lot.

Not to mention another favorite phrase of mine:

I do not understand why anyone would spend one more minute of their limited time on this planet working on their lawn than they have to.

5/12/2007 03:46:00 PM

(5/12/2007 09:57:00 AM) - Al

I always get a giggle at BP's ads that point out they are spending a ton of money to try and develop alternative fuels. Of course, none of them are remotely as profitable or as inexpensive as oil/gas.

Whenever some know nothing says, "What are they doing"?, I always tell myself, "I assume they are maximizing their profits, which is what the stockholders expect them to do".

Former CEO Jack Welch asked this morning why Roger Clemens can get an obscene amount of money to play baseball and yet people complain about CEO pay...I really don't know. Since I'm a bottom line type of guy, CEO pay is one of a zillion bills each corporation pays.

Rebecca Gomez just floated this nugget of truth...why the outrage about a gallon of gas costing $3+ a gallon when a gallon of milk is almost $4 in many parts of the country? Ben Stein asked what one had to do with the other, and he's right, but it is funny people have no problem paying $3.50 for a latte, which costs a coffee place about a quarter to make.

5/12/2007 09:57:00 AM

Friday, May 11, 2007

(5/11/2007 07:18:00 PM) - Al

Also in the news, the sun rises in the eastern sky.

What's really sad is, Ricky needs to realize he's no longer a college kid and move on to a drug more representative of his income bracket.:)

5/11/2007 07:18:00 PM

Thursday, May 10, 2007

(5/10/2007 05:46:00 PM) - Al

Just when you think, "ESPN can't get any worse", they haul this an unbearable trip around the nation, analyzing college football spring practice, which is when every team is allowed to run a few weeks of contact. It's not a total waste of time, it lets coaches know who's in shape, who may need to be shifted position wise, and so on.

Yet, the idea a normal sports fan wants to listen to some coach yelling at some generic unknown player appears lost on the all-sports channel. It would not be so bad, but these pieces seem to be of infinite length, and if you've seen one, you've seen them all.

5/10/2007 05:46:00 PM

(5/10/2007 05:14:00 PM) - Al

TSN jumps on with Brewers' coverage as well...for as many people who picked the Crew to win the division or at least be a sleeper, there sure are a lot of media types who seem stunned.

5/10/2007 05:14:00 PM

(5/10/2007 02:20:00 PM) - Al

Adam with a "the bandagon is filling" article on the team's official site.

5/10/2007 02:20:00 PM

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

(5/09/2007 09:32:00 PM) - Al

Some tips for cutting your gas usage, and mostly, dispelling the myths that someone says and it gets forwarded to me in an e-mail 74 times in a week.

5/09/2007 09:32:00 PM

(5/09/2007 09:11:00 PM) - Al

Remind me to eat at Jeff Ruby's place the next time I'm in the area.

Anyone that refuses service to OJ Simpson is all right with me. As many others have said, I'm very surprised someone hasn't killed Mr. Simpson just because. That would not be right, of course, but so many people despise him, and all it takes is one guy with a gun and nothing to lose.

5/09/2007 09:11:00 PM

(5/09/2007 08:48:00 PM) - Al

Jeff Sackmann wonders when Braun and Yo will be up.

I've heard others guess June 8th as well, for the interleague series, but that doesn't make much sense to me...he's obviously a much better offensive player than Counsell/Graffy, but he's not substantially better than Gross/Hart/Mench, or whoever you would have DH (or maybe, give Hall a day or two at DH, and let Gwynn or Gross handle CF) those games.

5/09/2007 08:48:00 PM

(5/09/2007 08:44:00 PM) - Al

They also improved to 22-0 when leading after eight innings, and 18-0 when Cordero pitches.

I believe it is also 20-0 when leading after 7 innings. The Cordero W/L mark is unimportant, but it does indicate the Crew is playing good enough to get Cordero work when they are winning.

5/09/2007 08:44:00 PM

(5/09/2007 08:07:00 PM) - Al

How do the 2007 Brewers compare to other NL teams?


3rd in ERA
3rd in K's
2nd in BB's (2nd best that is)
4th in OBPA
6th in SLGA
2nd in IBB (remember when Lopester used to "shut down" the opposition by giving them a baserunner or two each game?)

12th in HR's (a bit surprising, but I would say it's aided a bot by Miller Park and how few walks they allow)

1st in K/BB
5th in K/9
4th in WHIP


3rd in runs scored
6th in OBP
2nd in SLG
9th in K's
12th in walks (a bit low, I expected 7th or 8th)
16th in GIDP
2nd in hits
4th in doubles
2nd in HR's

I'm very surprised that with 2 plodders like Prince and whoever is catching, that they have hit into the fewest DP's, not to mention Geoff/Kevin or JJ do not get down the line at a good clip either, and they've had plenty of baserunners...though a lot of them start at 2B or hit a HR.

Before today, the Crew had 1143 AB's, a .340 OBP, and a .454 SLG, which would give them an expected output of 176 runs...and they had scored 166, 10 fewer. Is it possible this team still isn't clicking on all cylinders?

5/09/2007 08:07:00 PM

(5/09/2007 07:41:00 PM) - Al

Every once in a while, someone mentions the little nugget of fact that WI has a huge minimum mark-up law on gasoline, as I believe the number is around 9%. I view any such law as incredibly anti-capitalism, and dare I say, really stupid.

Capitalism is, of course, only why the US has the greatest economy in the history of the world, but apparently, the brilliant minds of our legislature has studied economics so intensely they have come to the conclusion it applies to everything...except gasoline. Heh.

This is one piece written by a politico who missed the memo.

Money quote:

If Wisconsin had Minnesota’s eight-cent per gallon minimum markup law, the required legal markup price of gasoline would drop 15.3 cents a gallon immediately. Based on Wisconsin’s gasoline consumption of 14.5 million gallons per day as reported by the U.S. Department of Energy Information Administration (January 2006), state motorists would not be mandated to pay an additional $2.26 million per day. That adds up to more than $812 million in savings to the consumer in just one year.

That's $812M by lowering the markup. If you add 50% to that by eliminating it, that's $1.2B...or about $360 per state licensed the first year alone. That's not even taking into consideration people might drive more, leading to more money into the state's pockets, from gas taxes alone. Who would be hurt? Those poor gas stations who are not efficient enough to compete...wouldn't that be a shame?

Pardon me while I get a tissue, I can't go on...too sad.

The Milwaukee Business Journal apparently does not understand how the state is protecting us either.

Money quote:

Supporters of minimum markup believe it helps prevent large companies from potentially running smaller retailers out of business.

But, unlike laws in place for most other retailers, it also prevents the free market from working. Competition is good for businesses and consumers. It allows the market to set prices. If a gas station owner wants to sell gasoline at a loss to get customers in the door to buy more profitable groceries from his convenience store, he should be allowed to.

What? Let the free market work? C'mon, what kind of rebel newsletter is this?:)

5/09/2007 07:41:00 PM

(5/09/2007 03:36:00 PM) - Al

Just a quick note before I'm off to my son's kindergarten open house, if you hoped to go see the Brewers play on May 18th and 19th versus the Twins...I suggest you check out one of the fine Ramblings' advertisers on the sidebar. For those Friday and Saturday evenings, it is single seats only, barring some group tickets being returned.

There are plenty of seats available for Sunday, however. FYI.

5/09/2007 03:36:00 PM

(5/09/2007 03:09:00 PM) - Al

I hate to bring fans back down to Earth, but take a look at the "expected" standings, based solely on runs scored and allowed, and suddenly, it isn't such a runaway in the NL Central.

The Brewers would only be up a couple games on the Cubs, and 4 or so on the Reds and Astros. The good news is, of course, no one can take away those 3 "extra" wins the Crew has, based on good fortune and/or perfect 8th and 9th inning relief work (or a combo platter of the two, remember those Astros' affairs), and no one is going to hand the Cubs 4 victories they probably should have but do not.

I will be back this evening with a summary of the team stats thus far. Not surprisingly, they look really good.

5/09/2007 03:09:00 PM

(5/09/2007 02:14:00 PM) - Al

I always enjoyed Plinko myself.

Have they announced who is replacing Barker? I heard Mario Lopez was a finalist, and I thought he'd be perfect, and might do it for 40 years.

5/09/2007 02:14:00 PM

(5/09/2007 08:30:00 AM) - Jason Christopherson

In about a month, Bob Barker will tape his last "The Price is Right" episode. Most people reading this probably do not know TV without Bob Barker, who has been hosting the show for nearly as long as the Brewers have been in existence. I know I am not alone when I say I don't think I even want to know "TPIR" without Bob (I call him "Bob" because it feels like he's a member of the family). TPIR doesn't rely on glitzy lighting, dramatic music, or contestants that are complete lunatics to bring in millions of viewers every day. It's a simple show that takes the contestants for who they are. Sure, producers interview the audience ahead of time but the chosen ones still seem to represent the "common person". And there's Bob, presiding over it all and expertly conducting an entertaining hour of TV time and time again.

Hank Stuever at the Washington Post writes a great story today on Bob and the show. I think it hits on the reasons why many of us love the show to this day.

Oh, and my favorite game was "Cliffhangers".

5/09/2007 08:30:00 AM

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

(5/08/2007 09:37:00 PM) - Al

Luckily, the Brewers got some insurance in the 8th so Cordero's hiccup in the 9th did not matter.

I'm telling you, you can literally feel the bandwagon filling up.

5/08/2007 09:37:00 PM

(5/08/2007 09:27:00 PM) - Al

I missed a Turnbow chat the other day. Derrick's not a man of many words, to say the least.

5/08/2007 09:27:00 PM

(5/08/2007 08:54:00 PM) - Al

Far from an easy fly ball to RF for Gabe Gross, but he sure looked like he thought he was going to catch it easily. He made a nice play on the batter before, though it looked like he may have misjudged that one as well.

Of course, as good as the defense has been this year, with the exception of Hall's couple of growing pains early, they are probably due for some imperfection here and there.

5/08/2007 08:54:00 PM

(5/08/2007 08:39:00 PM) - Al with a "good for both teams" recap of the Davis and others for Estrada, Vargas, and Aquino deal...even with Greg's injury, has been a steal for the Crew so far...but that could all change if Dana Eveland ever hits his sizable ceiling. Dana might just be a mediocre loogy, or he might be a #3 SP for the next decade...that's a substantial difference.

5/08/2007 08:39:00 PM

(5/08/2007 07:54:00 PM) - Al


Your thoughts on the dearth of coverage of the Brewers by ESPN?

In some respects, it keeps the Brewers somewhat under the radar (to the public, at least, because the rest of the league knows about them). It's also early in the year and they have yet to make an East Coast swing. They can make a statement this weekend when they visit the Mets. So ESPN could say they are unproven as of yet.

However, when 4 Brewers are all nominated for NL Player of the Week honors in the same week, that's news. If it was the Yankees, Red Sox, or Barry Bonds, we'd hear about it from ESPN….about 10 times during each half-hour segment. Kind of upsetting to me and needed a forum to vent. Thanks for listening. Great site.


Dan's e-mail seems to indicate he serves in the US Army. Thank you for your service, sir.

I think they've actually been highlighted several times thus far, so I feel ESPN has covered the club fine. Heck, we're only 32 games in, just under 20%...lots of things could happen. I'd just as soon they sneak under the national radar for as long as possible, as much of this team is still quite young, and almost all of them (with the exceptions of Suppan, Counsell, Graffy, and Estrada) have not played games on a big stage, or under the microscope of a national media spotlight.

5/08/2007 07:54:00 PM

(5/08/2007 07:48:00 PM) - Al


What do you think the Brewers will do with CoCo after the season? Obviously he won't be traded, but do you think they will be able to resign him? Do you think they are working on it now or just waiting until the season ends? He'll be expensive, but will he be too expensive?


He may sign an extension for below market value. I don't think Doug will pay him what he would get on the open market, in years or in money, as he's not a youngster. So, in effect, I feel it will come down to how much Cordero likes it in Milwaukee, and/or if he would prefer security or make the most money he can.

I would say it may be close to 50/50 right now. I would say if he does not sign an extension, which has likely been discussed or would be whenever Cordero wanted to, he will likely choose to leave.

5/08/2007 07:48:00 PM

(5/08/2007 07:35:00 PM) - Al

Yahoo Sports with another Brewers' friendly story, comparing them to the '06 Tigers.

5/08/2007 07:35:00 PM

(5/08/2007 04:50:00 PM) - Al

In their last 21 games, Brewers starters are 13-2 with a 2.86 earned run average.

My contention that the Crew had the best rotation in MLB isn't looking bad right now, though there's a lot of season to go.

5/08/2007 04:50:00 PM

(5/08/2007 04:48:00 PM) - Al

It's amazing how much better the ratings are when Nielsen's boxes are working.

5/08/2007 04:48:00 PM

(5/08/2007 04:42:00 PM) - Al

Former Braves will be inducted into the Miller Park Walk of Fame. George Bamberger and Ben Oglivie fell just short, so no Brewers' reps will be inducted.

5/08/2007 04:42:00 PM

Monday, May 07, 2007

(5/07/2007 09:32:00 PM) - Al

A big thank you to Coast to Coast Tickets, who renewed with Ramblings for yet another year to be in the top spot on the sidebar. Check them out for those ever harder to find Brewers' tiks!!

5/07/2007 09:32:00 PM

(5/07/2007 09:28:00 PM) - Al

Cordero sure was a nice pickup for a guy that we all know was not coming back.

Capuano came over for Sexson...who has seemingly been in SEA forever.

In Doug we trust.

5/07/2007 09:28:00 PM

(5/07/2007 09:05:00 PM) - Al

Do you wonder how many people withdrew money from the market after that bad day a couple months ago? They've now missed a 10% run in just over 60 days.

5/07/2007 09:05:00 PM

(5/07/2007 08:51:00 PM) - Al

Yost said outfielder Corey Hart had developed a bit of tendinitis in his right wrist and would probably not start any of the three games against the Nationals.

Hart originally hurt his wrist while stealing second and third base April 21 at Miller Park. X-rays were negative, and Hart has played since, but the injury flared up and head physician Dr. William Raasch recommended rest.

"He's available to pinch-hit, come in to play defense, pinch-run," Yost said. "The doctors feel if we can give it a few days to calm it down, it's going to be fine."

As I guessed, but surprised to see Ned be so honest about it.

Yost said Derrick Turnbow did not pitch the eighth inning Sunday because Turnbow had been up in the bullpen four times the previous day. When pitching coach Mike Maddux checked in with Turnbow before Sunday's game, the right-hander admitted he could use a day off.

"I don't want a reliever that's not going to tell me the truth," Yost said.

I figured it was because the game was tied in the 8th, and Yost may well have done the same thing regardless. I thought I saw Derrick throwing in the 7th or 8th yesterday, but it must not have been.

5/07/2007 08:51:00 PM

(5/07/2007 08:28:00 PM) - Al

I was talking to my wife tonight when Christian Guzman came to the plate. Guzman was quite a player when we went to several Twins' games a year when we lived in the Cities.

As you can see here, not often a guy has a great year at 23 and then simply is awful thereafter.

5/07/2007 08:28:00 PM

(5/07/2007 08:25:00 PM) - Al

The MLB draft will be televised this year, or at least the first 3 hours of it.

5/07/2007 08:25:00 PM

(5/07/2007 08:18:00 PM) - Al

Mike Bauman adds to the scribes penning columns about the Crew.

5/07/2007 08:18:00 PM

(5/07/2007 07:24:00 PM) - Al

Zach Jackson with a one-hit shutout, and he threw only 89 pitches. Jeepers.

5/07/2007 07:24:00 PM

(5/07/2007 07:08:00 PM) - Al

You have to wonder how healthy Corey Hart is, not playing versus the LHP. Actually, I noticed that yesterday while at the game, when the Crew did the double switch to remove Sheets in the 7th, they put in Mench, despite the fact he is not as athletic in the OF, and the 9th spot was leading off in the bottom of the frame, seemingly a perfect fit for Corey.

Not sure if we'll hear any news regardless, as Yost is tight-lipped about such things for strategery purposes.:)

5/07/2007 07:08:00 PM

(5/07/2007 06:46:00 PM) - Al

Robert and I should have introduced ourselves at the game yesterday! As is usually the case when I attend with my son, I watched much of the game by the terrace level play area, from the 3rd-6th innings. However, Prince was on fire, and that's pretty much all it took, with a couple hits by others.

It is a joy watching Gwynn play CF, his play in the 1st or 2nd inning, a sliding stop of a ball in the gap, was almost identical to a play he made in the Midwest League playoffs in Appleton back in 2003.

I don't think there's much doubt Doug is looking to bring Braun up at some point, and probably sooner than later. He is currently sidelined with a minor wrist injury, but my early prediction of May 23rd is probably looking pretty accurate. While much of my discussion has been on Claudio Vargas being the top 5th starter in MLB, I think it's safe to say Ryan would be a top #8 hitter, if the order stays the same. Knowing Ned's tendency to try and keep the pressure as low as possible on rookies, I assume he would keep the 3B spot 8th. Ryan may also be broken in somewhat slowly, playing 2 of every 3 games, and being rested often against the toughest pitcher in each series.

I missed the fireworks Saturday night, as we were out eating dinner during the 6th and 7th innings (while Oscar's has very good burgers and custard, they sure don't have anything on the menu that's good for you), but I was glad to see the Pirates' pitcher suspended, as throwing at a player's head has no place in the game. Notice there was no retaliation on the Brewers' part, as they seem content just winning games and accepting the free baserunners losing teams feel the need to give them.

5/07/2007 06:46:00 PM

(5/07/2007 12:09:00 PM) - Robert R.

I was at the game yesterday, a few thoughts.

Prince Fielder was the obvious star of the game. I could do without him yapping at Matt Capps, but it was the best kind of payback.

Ben Sheets obviously did not have his good stuff. And he still stifled the Pirates until the 7th. Walking the leadoff batter on 4 pitches is an automatic way to get on my bad side though, which Matt Wise managed to do.

I'm of the opinion that the Brewers record is no way to evaluate the job that Counsell and Graffanino are doing. The Brewers are winning in spite of their performance, particularly Counsell's. And it's impacting the game in non-obvious ways such as the use of the bullpen. I'd agree that Ryan Braun's defense should not be evaluated merely on errors, but it's tough to look at third base production and

The Pirates aren't a scary team. Gorzelany and Snell are good pitchers, but the rest are more young than good. And if Bay and LaRoche aren't hitting with power, there's noone on the Pirates that scares any pitcher. And they're lacking in secondary skills, ranking last in the NL in walks and only stealing bases at a 53% clip, second last in the NL. And it's not like they can trot out the injury excuse either. They'll improve some over the course of the season but it's obvious that they still have a lot of holes.

5/07/2007 12:09:00 PM

(5/07/2007 12:08:00 PM) - Robert R.

With the trades for Closser and Snelling, and the signing of Cust, you'd almost think that Billy Beane was looking at Al's RUTT lists in order to keep things afloat. I wonder if he had floated out a reliever for Chris Coste in the process.

5/07/2007 12:08:00 PM

(5/07/2007 12:05:00 PM) - Robert R.

I honestly believe that Clemens signing with the Yankees finishes off the Astros hopes for the year. They have Oswalt, Berkman, and Lee and a handful of other useful players, but the team is lopsided between stars and scrubs and that really only works in fantasy basball. Balance and depth are important factors in real baseball.

5/07/2007 12:05:00 PM

Sunday, May 06, 2007

(5/06/2007 08:50:00 PM) - Al

Class AA Huntsville catcher Max St. Pierre, who was released a few days back after batting .156 in nine games, has been re-signed and sent to extended spring training to see if he can make it as a pitcher.

"He threw 93 (mph) the other day and that was without using his lower body," assistant general manager Gord Ash said. "We're going to see what happens when he actually learns how to pitch. It's a long shot, but why not give it a try?"

He already hits like a pitcher.

He's halfway there.:)

5/06/2007 08:50:00 PM

(5/06/2007 08:36:00 PM) - Al

Dayn Perry seems to have a serious case of the "need to fill up a column with drivels".

Who cares if the Brewers win 3 versus the Mets, or 2, or 1? They aren't competing with the Mets, unless they end up in a wildcard race with them.

A win is a win. I'll take all I can get versus anyone.

5/06/2007 08:36:00 PM

(5/06/2007 08:29:00 PM) - Al

In an interview on local radio station WSSP, Brewers general manager Doug Melvin was asked when the team would begin looking ahead toward the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. That's already happening, Melvin said.

"That never stops," Brewers director of pro scouting Dick Groch confirmed on Saturday. "It's exciting, because now, for the first time, teams are calling us."

I'm pretty sure many fans think a trade is made on 7/30 after Doug decided an hour before he would like to add someone.

I bet Doug could probably name 20+ guys on the 2008 Opening Day roster. He's always well ahead of the curve, and has a long-term plan in mind. He's not going to decide one day to make a move, unless it bolsters the team now, and later.

5/06/2007 08:29:00 PM

(5/06/2007 08:20:00 PM) - Al

Just a quick note, if the Crew draws the same as they did in 2006 the rest of the way, they are on pace for about 2.5M fans...up from 2.335M last year, and I gotta believe that tickets are being purchased at a faster pace.

If this team keeps winning, we might just see 2.6M this year.

5/06/2007 08:20:00 PM

(5/06/2007 07:57:00 PM) - Al

My little fella and I made it home, and the game went well...though the game is kind of an afterthought when you have him with you.

Before we went to play catch at the little league field, talk radio was discussing if the Brewers would make a trade for a veteran 3B...yes, ARod was mentioned. I honestly think the guys have never heard of Ryan Braun.

After the game, it was all about how much "passion" the team has...silly me, I think this year's version is simply much more talented, and in some cases, better because they are more experienced and closer to their prime.

Barring an injury, I still see this team adding an experienced reliever, probably a lefty, in late July. I don't see many other additions...other than Braun at some point, and likely Yo Gallardo as well.

5/06/2007 07:57:00 PM

Saturday, May 05, 2007

(5/05/2007 09:48:00 AM) - Al

Lance Niekro designated for assignment

It's too bad MLB does not have a 26 or 27 man major league roster, as Niekro would be a perfect addition to the Brewers as a RH option at 1B, to give Prince a day or two off a month versus a good LHP. It's tough to carry a 1B with a career OBP under .300, but if you look at his splits, you'll notice his outstanding .330/.574 numbers against lefties.

That said, I don't see a spot for him with the 25 man limit. Too bad, as he would have a niche on this roster.

5/05/2007 09:48:00 AM

(5/05/2007 09:31:00 AM) - Al

Always nice to see a laugher, and also always a pleasure to have your top two relievers need some work even though the team has won 3 of the past 4.

My son and I are soon to be off to Milwaukee for the the game tomorrow. Updates will likely be limited until Sunday night.

5/05/2007 09:31:00 AM

Friday, May 04, 2007

(5/04/2007 07:29:00 PM) - Al

3 gound ball hits have the Brewers off to an early lead. By far the best hit of the inning was Mench's drive to right-center, caught of course.

5/04/2007 07:29:00 PM

(5/04/2007 06:47:00 PM) - Al

JD Closser dealt to OAK for roster filler. Too bad, as I had hoped a team would need a catcher badly enough to give us a middling prospect for him. Doug never stands in the way of a minor league veteran going to a better opportunity, and this is no exception.

Thomas had a decent year ages ago, and since then, hits like Dave Krynzel (insert can't hit water if he fell out of a boat analogy here). His ceiling is very low, and he's not young anymore. As the article said, he's pretty much just a guy to play some OF in AAA.

He's Tony Gwynn without the speed and defense, basically.

5/04/2007 06:47:00 PM

(5/04/2007 11:40:00 AM) - Al

Box Office Mojo predicts Spiderman 3 will do $138.2M this weekend, which would be the highest of all-time.

I heard rumors that it might make $10M from the midnight showings last night alone. Given the buzz I've heard, anything under $150M would be a surprise to me.

5/04/2007 11:40:00 AM

(5/04/2007 11:34:00 AM) - Al

Proof there is far, far too much money in the world.

That said, I personally would not own any item with the Confederate flag on it, any moreso that a swastika. Obviously, some folks are able to get past it.

UPDATE: Sorry, forgot the link.

5/04/2007 11:34:00 AM

(5/04/2007 11:25:00 AM) - Al

If you have a minute, take a look at Barry Bonds' career stats sometime. Not only are they almost beyond belief, notice that run from 2001-2004, which seem .800+ SLG? .582 OBP? 200+ walks?

I honestly think he could play another 5-7 years if he'd go somewhere and DH. If he wanted to, he could end up with 900 home runs, or even more.

I think it's pretty likely Bonds did something, but I also think Lance Armstrong probably did too...but until someone is found guilty or tests positive once, it's tough to really say much.

5/04/2007 11:25:00 AM

(5/04/2007 11:16:00 AM) - Al

Josh Hancock sounds like a typical young man in his 20's, just a guy who liked to have fun. A story about his funeral service is here.

5/04/2007 11:16:00 AM

(5/04/2007 09:16:00 AM) - Al

Welcome to Concert Ticket, a new sponsor of Ramblings. Their links are just under the Paypal button on the sidebar to the right.

5/04/2007 09:16:00 AM

(5/04/2007 08:10:00 AM) - Al

The USA Today runs a story on Mark A.

Dare I repeat myself for an infinith time, but how lucky are we that he got the team?

On a side note, I wonder why his son chose Brown? If I'm a rich kid from California who likes to play music, I couldn't dream of going to the cold and dreary Northeast to attend a stuck-up private school.

5/04/2007 08:10:00 AM

(5/04/2007 07:57:00 AM) - Al

Golden State 111, Dallas 86 (Golden State wins series, 4-2)

I guess that's why they play the games, huh? Either Houston or Utah now has a decent chance of making the conference finals, and Don Nelson can obviously still coach with anyone. I probably saw the Mavs play as much as any non-Bucks team, 10-15 games, and they looked either unbeatable or just extremely good nightly.

There's a lesson to be learned here, and much of it goes back to a simple phrase: What can a player do? If you sit here and nitpick, you'll find a weakness or two of some merit for everyone, but talent outweighs that by far, or else they would not be in professional sports. Nellie took a bunch of thugs and idiots (couldn't even not pick up technicals and ejections in a playoff series) with very little height and beat the best team in the NBA. They shot 3's, ran the break, and simply outworked and outathleted (I think I just created a new word) the Mavericks.

5/04/2007 07:57:00 AM

Thursday, May 03, 2007

(5/03/2007 08:57:00 PM) - Al

Dave looks to be a victim of a thin bullpen tonight. With neither Wise or Carlos V available, the decision was made to stick with him rather than go with Spurling, which I can certainly understand, though I just figured a refreshed Spurling was better than a tired Bush.

Maybe Bill knew this would happen.:)

5/03/2007 08:57:00 PM

(5/03/2007 08:50:00 PM) - Al

Bloop double leads to trouble for Dave in the 7th. Not much you can do about that, there's just a lot of open space on a baseball field.

5/03/2007 08:50:00 PM

(5/03/2007 08:31:00 PM) - Al

Dave Bush may have just pitched 6 scoreless, but Bill Scott's seen enough...heh.

You truly have to wonder what color the sky is in a casual fan's world...especially when he's supposed to be a real sportswriter.

And no, I'm not tired of posting this at all. I doubt if I will be anytime soon.

5/03/2007 08:31:00 PM

(5/03/2007 07:01:00 PM) - Al

Ken Rosenthal says the Brewers are doing so well because they have such great depth...gee who would have ever guessed that?

5/03/2007 07:01:00 PM

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

(5/02/2007 10:01:00 PM) - Al

The left-field platoon that was never really a platoon is producing at a very high level.-Mike Hunt, JS

Actually, it is a picture perfect platoon, as I believe Geoff has started versus every RHP and Kevin versus every LHP. It astounds me that no one understands this simple nugget of truth.

Of course, Mench has also played some RF as well, as Yost has worked his hot bat into the lineup nicely. That does not excuse the fact no one seems to "get" the platoon thing, even though it's as plain as day.

5/02/2007 10:01:00 PM

(5/02/2007 09:49:00 PM) - Al

Poston served as a pilot in the European Theater in World War II; his aircraft dropped paratroopers for the initial invasion of Normandy. He was awarded the Air Medal with an Oak Leaf Cluster, representing a total of three Air Medals for his actions during the war. Poston served honorably in North Africa, Italy, France and England, and had reached the rank of captain.

Tom Poston, best known for playing the dim-witted handyman on Newhart, died today. I had no idea he was not just a joy to watch, but no less than a certified American hero. He was also the fella who at age 80, married Suzanne Pleshette, who of course played Bob Newhart's wife on his first show.

Tommy Newson also died recently, he was the substitute band leader when Doc was gone on the Tonight Show, and often a target of Carson's wit.

Ramblings will miss them both.

5/02/2007 09:49:00 PM

(5/02/2007 09:17:00 PM) - Al


SEASON TOTAL (14 dates): 421,021 (30,072 avg.)--JS

Considering the team has drawn 41K or more for both previous Fri/Sat games, I'd say they should sellout both games considering most tickets are half-price. For the Sunday affair, when my son and I will be watching (or, more likely, eating ice cream and watching 150 kids in the play area), mid 30's are probably a good guess.

For those keeping track, that'd be 560K after 18 games, well ahead of last year, and a month away from school being out.

I get the feeling the bandwagon is a fillin'.:)

5/02/2007 09:17:00 PM

(5/02/2007 07:37:00 PM) - Al

I just completed watching the Squeeze Play on FSN, which while much better than nothing, sure goes by quickly.

Sounds like Cappy will be fine to make his next start, as usual, they just did not feel the need to take a chance (as opposed to Grumpy Stewart rushing Nuegy back from injury with no concern for his future at all). Always good to err on the side of caution, especially in May.

5/02/2007 07:37:00 PM

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

(5/01/2007 09:41:00 PM) - Al

The Badgers buckets team is recruiting one more player this year, trying to use the departed Mickey Perry's scholly. Info on him can be found here.

That said, I would have assumed it would have been a point guard, but I suppose it's tough to find a perfect fit in January, not having any rides available until then.

They also offered a scholarship to a 2010 class member, a 6-10, 200 pounder, and got another verbal from a youngster who'll be a senior next year.

This Ryan guy seems to know what he's doing.;)

5/01/2007 09:41:00 PM

(5/01/2007 09:29:00 PM) - Al

Ratings for the Brewers have more than doubled since Nielsen fixed the boxes that were not reporting FSN. As I said when this was first reported, what an embarrassment, as they only do one thing, and apparently, their quality control is nonexistent...especially when one considers this has been an ongoing for two plus years.

5/01/2007 09:29:00 PM

(5/01/2007 08:50:00 PM) - Al

I can't believe I was the only one a bit squeamish to see Ben Sheets reach base and have to run.

I was shocked to see Looper come back out for the 6th after giving up 4 in the 5th. LaRussa is known for making changes that give him a minute advantage, and certainly is also known for possessing a quick hook.

JJ Hardy is hot. I still feel my idea of Hall starting at SS and Hardy in AAA for a month or two would have been sound, as it makes a lot of sense, even now, as some combo of Gross/Gwynn/Hart would have been fine in CF...but that said, my first mistake was saying we should do something Doug Melvin felt was not the best idea.

Nice to see Rickie drill a line drive, as his swing has looked long and ugly for a few days now.

I have felt Ben's delivery has looked "off" tonight, though I can't tell you what exactly it is. Of course, I'm not a pitching coach either, but it looks like his lead leg (which is the non-injured one) is moving faster, maybe trying to generate more power if his right leg is still a bit sore or weak.

Given the bullpen's performance, maybe that's why Tony waited to bring them in.:)

We might be looking at a strange situation, if Sheets comes up again, we might see him hit for in his 2nd AB of the inning, after batting for himself the first time. Or, Ben might have hit for himself and then be removed, as the inning has taken forever. We haven't seen that since Lopester was in charge!:)

5/01/2007 08:50:00 PM

(5/01/2007 09:06:00 AM) - Al

Regular e-mailer Mike tells me that Bob Uecker caught the three pitch walk right away. Strange no one in the dugout questioned it...Suppan said he thought something was amiss, but did not pursue it.

5/01/2007 09:06:00 AM

(5/01/2007 08:57:00 AM) - Robert R.

It's too early to take any statistical evaluation with anything other than a huge grain of salt.

That said, Baseball Prospectus' latest Playoff Odds Report is enough to put a smile on the face of this Brewers fan. Getting off to a good April doesn't put you in the playoffs, but it certainly makes it a lot more likely.

5/01/2007 08:57:00 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

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Al's WTMJ appearance from July, 2015 with Justin

Al's postseason WTMJ appearance with Justin


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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