Al's Ramblings



Wednesday, February 28, 2007

(2/28/2007 10:12:00 PM) - Al

Tom H with a story on the bench, a notes column, and another.


2/28/2007 10:12:00 PM



(2/28/2007 08:07:00 PM) - Al

Corey Hart ran the fastest 60, followed by Billy Hall and Drew Anderson, with a minor leaguer in there as well, highlight Adam's notes column.

Nice feature on the braintrust also.


2/28/2007 08:07:00 PM



(2/28/2007 07:09:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers have sold ticket #1,000,000; 5 days earlier than last year.

I would have guessed even a little more, but I don't think most of the group tickets count as "sold" until the money comes in.


2/28/2007 07:09:00 PM



(2/28/2007 03:04:00 PM) - Al

Mark Cuban is rumored to be making an offer to buy the Cubs.

I shudder to think of what all that money and Mavericks style management could lead to in Chicago. I can only imagine him buying the team and in his first meeting, asking why they spent so much on mediocrity last offseason.

UPDATE: Cuban is denying an offer has been made.


2/28/2007 03:04:00 PM



(2/28/2007 01:59:00 PM) - Al

Joey Meyer, now 44 with 7 kids.

I never expected him to be a star, but I sure would have thought he'd have had a longer career, he hit at every level...except the majors. He's actually a good lesson to remember how old a prospect is for his league, and most of all, to ignore how good a guy does in Colorado Springs.


2/28/2007 01:59:00 PM



(2/28/2007 01:40:00 PM) - Al

Gabe Gross pulls a hamstring while running the 60 yard dash.

I won't say I didn't warn ya...

UPDATE: This is probably best for Laynce Nix, as Doug will still likely trade off Jenkins, Clark, or (I think) Mench before the end of March.

I keep getting e-mails that say the Crew should trade Jenkins, but I believe Mark a and Doug have made it clear they intend to win this year. There's little doubt in my mind that Geoff in LF versus RHP's gives them their best chance to do that. All the rest is for the lawyers.


2/28/2007 01:40:00 PM



(2/28/2007 12:49:00 PM) - Al

Al,

I just got off the phone with my broker. I called him this morning to ask his opinion on a stock, and he was just able to get back to me. He said he had been fielding calls all morning from his more risk averse clients, telling him to dump everything, and he had been trying to talk them out of it. He told me that his company's feelings were simple, the economy is the same as it was yesterday morning, relax. He also said that all over the country, people were selling their stocks, and the hedge funds were loading up on them at the 5% discount you mentioned. He said the fact the market was up today despite the dumping was a sure sign of a lot of old East Coast money had buy orders up this morning. I guess that's how they got their money.

By the way, who do you think the Brewers will try and send to AAA, Closser or Rivera?

Mark


I wish I was "old East Coast money". Thanks for the e-mail Mark, and keep them coming folks, I plan to end the week by cleaning out the inbox. As far as your question goes, as long as Miller's injury is not worse than currently thought, I think Rivera will be dealt, as there's no way he would ever clear waivers, given the current state of reserve catchers in MLB.

I have no idea how many teams claimed Closser when the Crew was awarded him, but the odds are, many of them have added a catcher since then. I'd say he's got a 60% chance of making it through waivers if the Crew waits until the end of March.


2/28/2007 12:49:00 PM



(2/28/2007 11:02:00 AM) - Al

Courtesy of Dave Pinto, this Athletics Nation post does a fine job of showing how Billy Beane stashed cheap talent on his 40 man roster as well or better than anyone else.

Doug also has done a fine job at this, as his Vince Perkins and Marino Salas pickups are quite similiar. Beane seems more willing to do it with lower ceiling players as well.


2/28/2007 11:02:00 AM



(2/28/2007 10:52:00 AM) - Al

Illinois has put their lottery up for sale.

That's an interesting sale item, to be sure.


2/28/2007 10:52:00 AM



(2/28/2007 10:41:00 AM) - Al

Notes on Al Gore from e-mail this AM, he supposedly pays more because he chooses to buy his electricity from a "green grid", meaning it's from wind and solar power. Also, though I can't say I "get it", he does use "carbon offsets" as well. I can't say I understand what they are, but they are defined here (hat tip to Craig).

Another e-mailer wonders if the Secret Service has a costly security program, and while he obviously has protection, I can't believe it's that spendy, or electric based, but I'm not sure.


2/28/2007 10:41:00 AM



(2/28/2007 10:30:00 AM) - Al

Despite the fact not a single person on CNBC would say they would be a buyer right away this morning, the market is up between 85 and 110 points after the first two hours of trading.

This, my friends, is exactly why I'm a contrarian...the smart money saw stocks on sale this morning, and happily purchased more of them, many discounted 4-6% from just a day or two prior. And not a one of them felt the need to tell others their plans.


2/28/2007 10:30:00 AM


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

(2/27/2007 11:02:00 PM) - Al

AN INCONVENIENT UTILITY BILL: "Gore’s mansion, located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Nashville Electric Service (NES). . . . The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWh—more than 20 times the national average. Last August alone, Gore burned through 22,619 kWh—guzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year. As a result of his energy consumption, Gore’s average monthly electric bill topped $1,359."--Instapundit

The truth is always funnier than fiction.

Of course, Gore can use all the electricity he wants. I have no problem with it at all. The problem is, he pretends he does.


2/27/2007 11:02:00 PM



(2/27/2007 10:49:00 PM) - Al

Tom H with notes, his Prince story o' the spring, and more notes.


2/27/2007 10:49:00 PM



(2/27/2007 10:36:00 PM) - Al

Hat tip to BCB, this article discusses Chris Capuano's Catholic upbringing and love of education.


2/27/2007 10:36:00 PM



(2/27/2007 10:24:00 PM) - Al

Best of luck to very good friend of Ramblings Aaron Gleeman, who'll be undergoing surgery soon. While relatively minor in nature, I'm nauseous just from reading about it.


2/27/2007 10:24:00 PM



(2/27/2007 10:00:00 PM) - Al

I, as I almost always am, remain optimistic long-term on the US stock market, and despite the fact nearly everyone advises staying out of the market at open tomorrow morning, I'd sure find it tough to do so if I wasn't fully invested (all $23 of it:).

Best Buy at 46? Exxon Mobil at 71? Heck, all oil stocks fell 3-5%, while oil actually rose a nickel or so, what sense does that make?


2/27/2007 10:00:00 PM



(2/27/2007 09:55:00 PM) - Al

I'm tellin' ya, Terry Stotts seems to be a much better coach now that Mike Redd is back.


2/27/2007 09:55:00 PM



(2/27/2007 08:14:00 PM) - Al

Damian Miller with a slight injury today, he'll take 3-4 days off.


2/27/2007 08:14:00 PM



(2/27/2007 08:14:00 AM) - Al

Based solely on good words being spoken about a player, Grant Balfour would seem to be well on his way to securing one of the final roster spots.


2/27/2007 08:14:00 AM



(2/27/2007 08:10:00 AM) - Jason Christopherson

Rats. I guess my $20 bid wasn't enough.


2/27/2007 08:10:00 AM


Monday, February 26, 2007

(2/26/2007 10:00:00 PM) - Al

I'm watching the Brewers' spring training special on FSN, and I really like Brian Anderson's subdued nature, compared to Daron Sutton ending every verbal statement with a mythical exclamation point.

Down 4-1, Hall will lead off!

The folks who don't get to see the local broadcasters think I'm kidding.

One note, Weeks looks more muscular, in the upper body at least.


2/26/2007 10:00:00 PM



(2/26/2007 09:23:00 PM) - Al

Adma's notes column discusses the intrasquad game and the fact Ned says he already knows the Opening Day roster.

Heck, I know about 90% of it, and I'm not even the manager.:)

I'd say 10 pitchers have spots locked up, barring injury of course, and if Carlos V is going to be used as a long reliever, that's 11. As far as position players, I only see one spot open, assuming an OF is dealt, and if no one is picked up, Vinny Rottino would seem to have the edge, as he is versatile and scrappy.


2/26/2007 09:23:00 PM



(2/26/2007 09:08:00 PM) - Al

Brian Butch out 4-6 weeks, meaning he's unlikely to return this season.

No pun intended, but a tough break, for both the team and the player. Especially versus teams with two solid post players, this takes the Badgers down to only a pair of true big men, and neither of those are inside scoring threats, as Jason and Greg are role players with 12-15 foot jumpers.

This also might put Kevin Gullickson in the rotation, especially if it's a closely called game.


2/26/2007 09:08:00 PM



(2/26/2007 07:29:00 PM) - Al

I just thought, despite the fact I usually get an e-mail or two a day, I have recently been answering many of them personally, but not printing them. Since the last request went so well, please feel free to send me a question in the next couple days, be it a personal one or a Brewers related query. I'll try to answer many of them before the end of the week.

FYI, if you're looking for me (or Jason) to make another successful call on oil, keep waiting. I'm still upset I called the last one and did not reap any rewards at all from it.


2/26/2007 07:29:00 PM



(2/26/2007 05:07:00 PM) - Al

I had an intense dental cleaning today, and my mouth is sore. After all that and X-rays, I have the exact same two cavities I had 2 years ago, when I had to cancel my appointment due to a business meeting, and kind of forgot all about it. I always am amazed at the fact the best thing they have discovered to clean your teeth and gums is a sharp metal hook, yet you never see anything like that near the toothbrushes in the store. My teeth didn't even hurt then, but tingled a bit when I got home, and now are close to fully being painful. I wonder if she applied a bit of numbing agent and didn't mention it.

After the doc had checked me out, I asked him to show me my wisdom teeth on the X-ray, as they still cause some minor pain once every 2-3 months. He basically said one of them is still way up there, two more look to be fine, and the one that most often hurts is actually partially through, and I actually use. He thinks the pain is caused by the fact there's a small gap between that and my back molar, and that food may get trapped down in there. On the bright side, that's the only one that looks that it might need to come out eventually, especially if a bit of something causes an infection.

I was surprised, neither my hygienist or dentist gave me a flossing lecture. A couple weeks ago, the dentist said I didn't do a real good job, and I said I'd heard that before, to which replied, "You gotta remember, you're not just auditing the class, you're taking it for full credit". I thought that was a good way of putting it, actually.


2/26/2007 05:07:00 PM



(2/26/2007 04:58:00 PM) - Al

Manager Ned Yost said Sunday that Corey Hart is so entrenched as Milwaukee's right fielder that he won't be used as a backup at first base except in emergency.
"It would be the direst of emergencies before I pulled Corey in and put him at first base," Yost said. "It would be the 14th inning, where I need a double switch and I have one player left and he's an outfielder. Corey is our right fielder."

He's also an excellent sleeper with power and speed potential.---Rotoworld


Can't get much more of a definitive statement than that. I expect Corey to play most every day, though putting Gabe Gross in there once a week versus a tough RHP may be a good way to keep him fresh and keep his confidence high. Sounds like Damian Miller or Tony G will pickup a 1B start once in a while...I also wonder if Brady Clark has ever played 1B in the minors, as he hits LH's well, when it is likely Price will be given his day off every 2-3 weeks.

Each of the possible lineup combinations manager Ned Yost has tinkered with reportedly has Rickie Weeks leading off.

Leading off full time would be the best thing for Weeks' fantasy value. "Rickie probably fits the prototype better than anybody else we have," Yost said. "He's got some speed, can steal a base, his on-base percentage is good. He's a little like Rickey Henderson. His power numbers are much better than a prototypical No. 1 guy. You want somebody who gets on base. Like most of the players, he just needs to cut his strikeouts down."---Rotoworld


I guess I have just assumed Rickie will lead off until he starts hitting 25 HR's and 40 doubles (which might be soon:), when he'll move down to #3-5.


2/26/2007 04:58:00 PM


Sunday, February 25, 2007

(2/25/2007 11:26:00 PM) - Robert R.

A few thoughts on the Oscars.

Ellen DeGeneres obviously targetted the middle of the road with her act. Nothing really memorable, but also nothing that will prevent her from being invited back. Probably the most memorable bit was when Clint Eastwood improvised right back at her.

The show ran long again without any reason. Unless there's something really unique, like the montage honoring New York after 9/11, they could cut most of the montages and numbers without problem. Sure we'd lose the Will Ferrell/Jack Black/John C. Reilly number about comedic actors getting no respect on Oscar night, but for everyone of those there were 4 that added nothing. Keep the Best Song performances, the montages for the honorary award winners and the montages for the recently departed and dump the rest and the show may actually get done early. Or people might get a chance to finish their speeches without rushing.

I didn't get the Al Gore love in. I've no opinion on An Inconvenient Truth one way or another and don't begrudge him being toasted when that won Best Documentary, but everything else seemed excessive. There was no reason for him to be up there with DiCaprio in particular.

The Oscar nominated shorts often end up on Sundance or one of the on demand channels. I'm going to keep an eye out for West Bank Story which looked very entertaining.

I was very surprised that Pan's Labyrinth didn't win Best Foreign Language Film. If you asked me for Best Film of the Year period, I'd probably pick Pan's Labyrinth. That said, I've seen The Lives of Others and it's an excellent film so it's not an out of left field choice or particularly unworthy. On a side note, the montage of Foreign Language winners over the years indicated to me that the Academy had done a mostly excellent job of picking in that category. Many true classics there.

Ennio Morricone is a very deserving honorary Oscar winner. However, leaving out music from Once Upon a Time in the West is a big oversight.

The only reason Melissa Etheridge won has to be because Dreamgirls split the vote three ways. Nothing special about that winning song at all.

Nothing else struck me as really notable for the technical categories, although I would have chosen Children of Men over Pan's Labyrinth for Cinematography.

Acting awards went according to prediction with one notable exception, Alan Arkin. It may be part career achievement award, but Arkin was certainly very good in the role.

I, like film geeks around the globe, was very happy when Scorsese finally won Best Director. It may be true that The Departed isn't as good as some of his other masterpieces, but The Departed bears the imprint of an autuer and was as riveting a piece of entertainment as anything last year.

Of the nominees for Best Picture, I was happiest with The Departed, although I still have to see Letters for Iwo Jima. And, once again, the movie that ranked highest on IMDB's Top 250 won the Best Picture award. It's at least 3 years running for that predictor.

Overall, nothing really memorable good or bad. Some mild upsets, but nothing really shocking or totally wrong headed.


2/25/2007 11:26:00 PM



(2/25/2007 08:47:00 PM) - Al

Corey Hart's space filler.


2/25/2007 08:47:00 PM



(2/25/2007 07:08:00 PM) - Al

If you only see one basketball game this year...simply a wonderful game by both teams, and I would say the better team probably won, at least on their home floor. I have not checked any reports, but Butch's injury looked awful.

I can't believe I'm the only one who thinks they'd throw up if the trainer tried to "twist back" my arm like that. I hope he's able to return this year.

Anyone else feel like Jason Bohannon has grown up before your eyes? The book says to pack it in, so the open 3's are going to have to be hit as the season progresses.


2/25/2007 07:08:00 PM



(2/25/2007 03:16:00 PM) - Al

Shouldn't the Big Ten step in and tell The Ohio State University to maybe retape the all but invisible 3 point line?

I feel like it's 1978, and soon, CBS is going to show the score...on graphics that fill the entire screen.


2/25/2007 03:16:00 PM



(2/25/2007 03:06:00 PM) - Al

Al Gore's film will win an Oscar and apparently fibs a bit. I've heard up to 23 inches, but 20 feet is quite a ways from that?

As I've said before, I have no idea if global warming is a problem or not, or even if it is happening. I do wish, however, that the numbers would be a tad more consistent. It's getting tough for me to know whether to buy up some MRE's or to take a nap.:)


2/25/2007 03:06:00 PM



(2/25/2007 11:47:00 AM) - Al

Even without Baldelli and Co., it's a buyer's market for outfielders: The Brewers need to move either Geoff Jenkins or Kevin Mench. The Cubs' Jacque Jones also remains available, along with the Royals' Reggie Sanders, Tigers' Marcus Thames and Orioles' Jay Gibbons.

The Padres are interested in Jenkins, but first want to determine the viability of a Terrmel Sledge/Jose Cruz Jr. combination in left. Scott Linebrink-for-Aaron Roward remains another possibility for the Pads; the Phillies then would trade right-hander Jon Lieber for an outfielder in a separate deal.--Rosenthal


Hat tip to Ajay.

I think it would be better for the team to move Mench, but there would seem to be several OF's available at the moment. I personally think Lieber would be a fine addition, though the rumored Mench/Lieber swap we heard at the winter meetings seems unlikely, as Jon makes twice as much.


2/25/2007 11:47:00 AM



(2/25/2007 07:32:00 AM) - Al

The team site discusses a machine that takes pictures of possible injury concerns...in the future.

A while ago, Dennis Miller said he did not know if in 50 years we'd still be eating food, or if we'd have another way to give our bodies nutrition by then...I did not think so at the time, but now, I wonder as well. My wife's laptop was as big as a building back in the late 60's, and it was broken more than it worked. Two decades ago, the internet was all but unheard of.

Today's worries are tomorrow's afterthoughts.


2/25/2007 07:32:00 AM



(2/25/2007 07:29:00 AM) - Al

Fluff piece on Estrada in the JS.


2/25/2007 07:29:00 AM


Saturday, February 24, 2007

(2/24/2007 08:48:00 PM) - Al

My wife found this actually, a long (9 minute) Judge Judy video in which she rips apart a woman who could best be described as a complete trash.


2/24/2007 08:48:00 PM



(2/24/2007 08:34:00 PM) - Al

Tom H with a notes column, he mentions former Brewers' player Darryl Hamilton as still working for the commish's office...I thought he had been let go after a criminal charge last year.

Good to see, maybe it was a mixup.


2/24/2007 08:34:00 PM



(2/24/2007 08:32:00 PM) - Al

FSN has a spring training preview Sunday night at 10PM.

They just showed the line at Miller Park this AM, and I did not see a single person over 25. They must have all been on the internet and the phone.:)


2/24/2007 08:32:00 PM



(2/24/2007 08:23:00 PM) - Al

Adam with a very well done recap of what the braintrust talked to the players about. I was especially interested to see this from Mark A:

The owner relayed to players four "cornerstone pledges" printed on Page 4 of the team's media guide. It promises a perennially competitive team, the best possible fan experience at Miller Park, "redoubled efforts" in the community and an "organization in which people want to work, whether on the field or behind the scenes."

I have worked for 3 corporations in my life, and none of them had a motto or a mission statement.

{Although it could be argued Paper Warehouse's only goal was to employ as many of the founder's clueless relatives as possible. The entire office was made up of know nothings, but you couldn't complain, because they were all "kin". Don't need to worry about "burning bridges", they went out of business ages ago...I wonder why?}

It's tough having a long-term vision when your goals bounce around aimlessly, let me tell you. At this means they have thought about it, now they just need to go out and do it.


2/24/2007 08:23:00 PM



(2/24/2007 05:02:00 PM) - Al

I will be providing a recap of Talking Baseball, if the WTMJ connection hold up:

I will probably refresh after each 15 minutes or so, FYI.

Jim Callis, Baseball America

---Forecast has changed to an ice storm in suburban Chicago. Brutal.

---Brewers might have as bright a future as anyone in the NL Central. Young players already in the majors, many more to come. Big picture is very bright. Been on the "Brewers in 2007" bandwagon since about '02, picked them to win the division.

---Often when a team makes a big jump (like from 67 to 81 wins from 2004-2005), a setback occurs, which is exactly what happened.

---Best rotation in the division, easily. Sheets is probably the best SP when healthy, bar none.

---Suppan should give you 200 solid innings, and is not only an addition to the Crew, but a subtraction from the Cardinals. Right now, SL is Carpenter, who's good, Reyes, who hasn't been good yet, Wainwright, who was good in relief, and Looper, who has never started. Mulder is a question mark. Doesn't see SL having the rotation to win the division.

---Has the Brewers as the #5 farm system in MLB, even after the guys who have graduated. Yo Gallardo is just below the top SP's, Ryan Braun is outstanding, Will Inman almsot led the minors in K's, Steve Hammond, drafted after a horrible senior season, is doing well. Jeremy Jeffress Lorenzo Cain, Cole Gillespie...fine depth.

---Doing it the right way, not spending a ton on prospects who are hard to sign, not getting a bunch of sandwich picks, etc. Basically are a model franchise on how to run an organization.

---Mench is better than he showed, just needs to go out and produce, same with Jenkins. These things tend to get overblown as there are no games to report on...it'll work out.

---Caller said "Ryan Brown" twice, Callis says Braun will probably be fine if handed the job, but certainly not near his peak.

---Brewers have incredible depth, 6 OF's who could start, Counsell and Graffy may not be sexy, but they will be fine if forced to play.

---Bush is a great #4 starter, he'd be #2 for the Cards.

---Brendan Katin, former teammate of Braun at U of Miami, just needs to develop and cut down his swing.

---College World Series is just a great place to go if you're a baseball fan.

---Feels if they do not win 82 games, Yost might be on the hot seat, even if it's not his fault. Yost has done a nice job developing youngsters. Might well have won more games than the Cardinals had the team been healthy last year, then there would be none of this talk.

---Has done studies on the high school versus college drafting debate, college guys make it a bit more, but more for a cup of coffee. You look at the top 100 players, it will be about equal. College pitchers get hurt a lot too, it's the nature of the position. Mark Rogers was not much of a reach, but guys get hurt, it happens. Manny Parra, if healthy, might never be a top starter like once hoped, but could be very useful.

---Scouts love Vinny Rottino, can play anywhere, gives 100% for effort. Probably a utility guy in the majors, but might have a long career if he can keep hitting. Unlikely to be a starter, but a good bench guy, near perfect 25th man on the roster.

---OF's will be fine, other teams probably more attracted to Gross, he's cheap and productive. Gabe might outproduce Jenkins or Mench, if given AB's. Jenkins not that overpaid in this market at all.

---Zach Jackson more of a back-of-the-rotation starter or a relief pitcher, but still has room to grow, young.

---Tony Gwynn Jr. more of a reserve, good defender, good speed, but has not shown any power at all (for all intents and purposes, said exactly what I've been saying for about 2 years).

---Brewers/Cards/Astros (if they get Clemens)/Cubs/Pirates and Reds at the bottom is his projected order of finish. Critical of the Cubs having Jason Marquis as a #3/4 starter, and the Pirates for having Shawn Chacon as their #3 SP..."Good luck with that".

End of first hour.

Tyler Barnes

---Decided at about 7AM to move everyone inside due to wind and cold at Miller Park. Very successful, about 3K turnout at 9AM, more than last year, surprising.

---All Opening Day tiks gone by 9 or 9:30.

---Fan base is very dedicated.

---Sold about 85K tickets today. Were expecting a drop off due to the large amount of 4 packs and 9 packs, expecting a larger drop off, so the team is thrilled with the sales today (I'm surprised a record was not set, but I have no idea how many 4 and 9 packs were sold, of course).

---All the weekend Summer games did well today, as did the first April weekend versus the Cubs. Friday nights also sold nicely.

---Went all out this year with promotions to help celebrate the '82 team, wanted to do something nice to honor them.

---Still 9 packs (or above) available that will get you into Opening Day. A game or two a month is perfect for many casual fans.

Ryan Braun

---Tries to ignore all the media stuff. Just wants to work hard every day and get better.

---Goal is to make the 25 man roster.

{Ryan is a cliche machine, by the way}

---Defense is his focus, has good range and arm strength, but needs to make the routine plays. Working on footwork and consistency.

JJ Hardy

---Not worried about getting hurt.

---Feels fortunate the team likes him enough to keep him at SS and move Hall.

---Ankle not holding him back at all thus far.

---No problems since Xmas, at 100%.

---Rehab been ongoing since last July, 7-1:30 5 days a week, at Maryvale. Lots of "little jumps", very exhausting mentally especially.

---Excited about Weeks' improvements.

---Expectations very high, higher than winning the Central.

---Exciting talks from Ned, Doug, and Mark this morning, they expect to win.

Adam McCalvy

---Tried to get Gabe Gross to "pop off" today, didn't work. Mark A said it's a "high-class" problem to have.

---Everyone seems to think an OF or two will be traded in March, and this will not be a problem once the season starts. No one was "mean-spirited" about what they said, just meant it factually.

---Injuries, trades, and so on might make this entire situation moot. Might be laughing about it in a month.

{Adam cut off, sounds like his cell phone gave out, Jim says}

Jim tells a caller he thinks Extra Innings will go to a satellite for the extra money exclusivity will bring. Makes economic sense, and may steer some people to MLBTV, another area they are looking to build.

Tony G

---Ready to go, happy to be here.

---Milwaukee certainly not a Boston, but nowhere else is, really. Enjoys the city.

---Can play 3B or anywhere else, things will work out fine.

---Has plenty of arm for 3B, rarely needs to fire it anyway, ball gets on you so quickly.

{end of show}


2/24/2007 05:02:00 PM



(2/24/2007 04:46:00 PM) - Al

Those folks ready to jump out a window when the Badgers lost to Michigan State...Florida is getting absolutely dominated by an unranked LSU team. Down 18 with 5 minutes left...losing on the road to a conference foe is to be expected, and not a big deal.


2/24/2007 04:46:00 PM



(2/24/2007 03:50:00 PM) - Al

If nothing else, I would think some numbers will come from Jim Powell on Talking Baseball, which begins soon. Last year, the Crew sold 94K tickets the first day, by the way.


2/24/2007 03:50:00 PM



(2/24/2007 03:40:00 PM) - Al

With Mark Teahen shifting to right field, Royals manager Buddy Bell could be challenged to find at-bats for both Reggie Sanders and Emil Brown this year.

"It won’t really be a rotation," manager Buddy Bell said, "because we want Teahen and [center fielder David] DeJesus to play every day. And we want Brownie to get a lot of time. But we’ve got to find a way to play Reggie three or four times a week somehow." The Royals would still gladly trade Sanders if anyone wanted to take his $5 million salary. Brown is also a possibility to go, though the Royals would want some talent back for him. Unless either gets moved, it's hard to see Joey Gathright possessing much value.---Rotoworld


Sounds like teams looking for another OF can call the Brewers or the Royals. I have to assume Mark Sweeney is being counted on to be the full-time DH, as it seems that would be a nice place to put the extra guy.


2/24/2007 03:40:00 PM



(2/24/2007 01:17:00 PM) - Al

While waiting for the ticket sales numbers...

...Last night, our local sportsbabe gave us results of the wrestling state tournament, and I had to stop and think...as my hometown paper had just reported the regionals, then I remembered that I usually get my copy of the paper a week after it's published. Funny how easily I get confused.

...I watched a few innings of the 1975 All Star game that FSN broadcast Wednesday night. For those who long for the "good ol' days", I thought it was ironic that almost every starter was from the Yankees, A's, Reds, and Dodgers. And why was Hank Aaron playing in the game? I'm as much for guys getting in based on their careers rather than a hot 3 months as anyone, but to say Aaron was anything but just another guy by that point is just silly.

...A couple events left me wondering as well, 2 HR's were hit off Vida Blue, consecutively no less, and there was no inside pitches thrown at all, despite both batters taking huge cuts. Also, Dave Concepcion made an error on what looked like a routine play, though the announcers said it was a "bad hop"...maybe it was a "slightly higher hop" than you'd expect. If you believe Joe Morgan and Johnny Bench (which I don't), that may have been the only error he ever made.


2/24/2007 01:17:00 PM



(2/24/2007 09:22:00 AM) - Al

Sounds like a couple people got Opening Day standing room tickets online, which is good for them. I've seen a few people say they were in a "virtual waiting room" and the entire system went down, which is good news to me, as it means the system was overwhelmed with potential buyers.

Of course, if I was waiting, it'd be bad news.:)


2/24/2007 09:22:00 AM



(2/24/2007 08:37:00 AM) - Al

EDIT: See update at bottom.

Rickie Weeks, who had a cortisone injection earlier this week for a sore wrist, took 25 swings off a tee Friday morning.

He's still several days away from facing live pitching.---Rotoworld


Or, he might have faced Chris Capuano today in some live BP. I would assume they limited him more than others, but it would seem Weeks is progressing as planned, or even better.

UPDATE: This news came from a fan who was watching practice in Arizona, but since both the JS and the team site said Weeks will not be facing live BP for a few more days, I would tend to consider it erroneous.


2/24/2007 08:37:00 AM


Friday, February 23, 2007

(2/23/2007 09:34:00 PM) - Al

I just went onto Site Meter (you can too if you wish, at the bottom of the page), and when I checked the "who's on" link, I saw myself, and the other two folks were from Beijing and Santiago, Chile.

It's a small, small world the internet has created.


2/23/2007 09:34:00 PM



(2/23/2007 09:27:00 PM) - Al

Tom H with a Graffy column and a notes one. Yost, Doug, and Mark A will all address the players Saturday...that has to be looked forward to by the guys.:)

Also a story on Hall shifting to CF.


2/23/2007 09:27:00 PM



(2/23/2007 09:16:00 PM) - Al

The Bucks have now lost 3 games since the all-star break, two by 2 points, and one in double OT. Oof.

It certainly does not look like they will be having the 2nd half they needed to get back in the playoff hunt. Seeing how teams are currently struggling without Dwayne Wade and Steve Nash, there's little doubt in my mind this is a .500ish team when healthy. Too bad they did not get the chance to prove it.


2/23/2007 09:16:00 PM



(2/23/2007 08:30:00 PM) - Al

Adam with notes on Tony G, Jenks' bunting nicely, and another kudo for Balfour.

Also, a feature on the 6th and 7th starters.


2/23/2007 08:30:00 PM



(2/23/2007 07:44:00 PM) - Al

Very limited Opening Day tickets remain, a few singles and standing room only, and it is tough to imagine that tomorrow will not easily break any and all records the Brewers have for one-day ticket sales, with the events at Miller Park, and the internet being so readily available to almost everyone, not to mention by phone.

Good luck to all of you who have specific games in mind, I will be waiting until at least next week to get mine. The Rambling son and I just looked at the calendar and decided to go to a Spring Madness game, along with a trip to a state park in early May. The Rambling wife and I also have plans to go to a pair of games in April, but have free tiks to those games. Other than that, we'll play it by ear.

Just out of curiosity, has anyone seen any of the Amoco gas cards out yet this year? We are very good at filling them up and then giving them away.:)


2/23/2007 07:44:00 PM



(2/23/2007 02:33:00 PM) - Al

Fans are already camping out...one of them is on a message board I frequent, he said he was "taking a break" from the camp out yesterday, so I assume it's him, at least.


2/23/2007 02:33:00 PM



(2/23/2007 01:09:00 PM) - Al

Seth Speaks talks to friend of Ramblings Chris Coste about his breakthrough 2006 campaign. I still wish we would have given him a chance, he may be looked at as a temp replacement at 3B right now.

Here's the link to my exchange with Coste over three years ago.


2/23/2007 01:09:00 PM



(2/23/2007 12:38:00 PM) - Al

Tom H with his usual negative spin on Mench.

A look at Koskie as well.

Adam also looks at Koskie's situation, and not surprisingly, isn't nearly as depressing as the prince of darkness.


2/23/2007 12:38:00 PM



(2/23/2007 12:27:00 PM) - Al

Stadium Board and money stuff from Don Walker.

I'm not sure of why this is brought up so often, as the tax will go on until the stadium is paid for, and as I've pointed out numerous times, 0.1% is a dime on $100 spent...though the many mentions of this seem to have misled many onto the size of the tax...I often hear it's an extra 1% on message boards and such.


2/23/2007 12:27:00 PM


Thursday, February 22, 2007

(2/22/2007 08:52:00 PM) - Al

Mench doesn't sound like he'll be happy with a platoon, which makes it seem more likely to me he'll be dealt and Clark will end up platooning with Geoff (for the most part, at least), as I predicted after Gord Ash's comments on Saturday.


2/22/2007 08:52:00 PM



(2/22/2007 08:26:00 PM) - Al

FSN North's 125-game schedule includes five afternoon games that also will be re-aired in primetime the same day.

I had not seen or heard that before, so that's a nice plus if you do not watch the sports that night at 6.

One thing I wish FSN would begin to do is a nightly (maybe 11PM/midnight) edited version of the game, maybe 60 or 90 minutes. The Mariners did this one year and were able to get every single pitch in 45 minutes, and then added in 15 minutes of ads.


2/22/2007 08:26:00 PM



(2/22/2007 11:27:00 AM) - Robert R.

Baseball Prospectus has a list of their Top 100 prospects in baseball up. The Brewers place four on the list with Ryan Braun #12, Yovanni Gallardo #14, Will Inman #75, and Jeremy Jeffress #87. Seems fairly reasonable to me.


2/22/2007 11:27:00 AM



(2/22/2007 11:17:00 AM) - Robert R.

Some brief comments on the latest installment of Rome, "Philippi". Detailed recap here. This really could have been the second season's finale, if they didn't have to wrap up storylines.

As the title implies, this episode leads up the the Battle of Philippi with Marc Antony and Octavian taking on Brutus and Cassius for the last time. Historic accuracy goes out the window here, but it's an impressive spectacle at the end and shows why Rome is one of the most expensive shows on television. Brutus goes out in a non-historical manner, although one can argue it's a form of suicide, in a manner very reminiscent of Julius Caesar's exit.

Along with the Battle of Philippi there's a purge of the political opposition in Rome with Pullo getting to take out Cicero. Pullo and Cicero is one of the strongest moments of the series to date. Atia also gets a fine moment of characterization as she adds people to the list.

It's on the more domestic matters of Vorenus and Pullo that the series struggles. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the producers have concentrated more on the overarching political struggle this season than on the smaller scale storylines, and the series has suffered a bit because of it. Natural character progression has been replaced by wild swings of mood and plot in order to get the characters into the next important place in history. That's too bad, as that's what has helped separate Rome from other looks at the period.


2/22/2007 11:17:00 AM



(2/22/2007 11:14:00 AM) - Al

A Pirates' blogger picks the Crew to win the division, and posts a knowledgeable preview as well. Best preview by far in '07.


2/22/2007 11:14:00 AM



(2/22/2007 07:42:00 AM) - Al

Who'll start Opening Day? I'll play along and pretend I don't know.

JJ's ready to go as well.


2/22/2007 07:42:00 AM


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

(2/21/2007 09:10:00 PM) - Al

Tom H writes about a boring Wednesday.

Adam M posts his as well, and has much more content, including the TV schedule and that the team will be running the 60 yard dash so they have times on everyone. I sure hope no one pulls a hammy.

Adam M also discusses things with Prince Fielder.


2/21/2007 09:10:00 PM



(2/21/2007 01:54:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling Wife and myself grilled out last night, and intend to do so again this evening. It's a balmy 40 degrees or so, and will be until Saturday, when a storm is due to roll in. Last night, I did chicken breasts (marinated in Italian dressing, for those of you Food Network buffs...and I don't just mean those who enjoy Giada), and tonight my wife requested burgers, though I'll be having ground turkey and my wife will be enjoying the finest ground beef, direct from her parent's sprawling ranch. The best part of grilling chicken was we finally remembered to buy a new meat thermometer, so I enjoyed not having to cut into one of them to see if they were done. That said, I finally gave up when their temp reached 155 or so, as the less thick part was starting to dry out. While the accepted temp for poultry is 160, the guideline on the thermometer holder itself is 180...a number which I have never managed to reach, To quote George Carlin, "They make ya cook the s*** out of everything"!!

I always find it humorous that while I always enjoy cool weather, and would prefer it to be 40-60 all the time, many people will say 40 is wonderful in February, and terribly cold in October. I still recall with great fondness that once on the popular KQ morning show in the Twin Cities, they talked to a number of callers about why it was OK for women to wear skirts in the winter, but if a man wears shorts, they look at him like he's a moron. Several men called in to say they would wear shorts all year long, but because of the public reaction, they did not. At the time, we still walked our dog around the block several times a day, and I almost always took my last walk of the night, anywhere between 10:30 and 2, after it was dark, and I would usually wear shorts unless it was below zero. It was nice to know I was not the only person affected by the public's wimpyness to the cold.

Speaking of the dog, he usually stays out on his chain for 1-5 minutes, or about 7.5 seconds if it's below zero, but as the snow has melted out in the yard, he is overcome by new smells, and has been enjoying himself for up to half an hour at a time, basking in the sun. Then I look out the front of the house, onto the street, and I see the neighborhood kids coming home bundled up in their winter coats, stocking caps, scarves tight around their necks, mittens on...dressed exactly the same as a few weeks ago, when it was 50-60 degrees colder. I can only imagine their reaction if they knew the old gray-haired fella was, just behind the facade of a normal suburban home, in a T-shirt and shorts, cooking out like it's the 4th of July.

As I was typing this, my online poker screen keeps popping up, "on action" as they say, or when it's my turn. I was surprised to see my total at the table was so low, as I had been involved in very few hands. So, I checked my stats, and it showed I had been sitting down for 78 hands...and had won 1. I guess those blinds add up after a while, huh?


2/21/2007 01:54:00 PM



(2/21/2007 01:48:00 PM) - Al

Yost chastised reporters for stirring up "nothing." The skipper believes he can keep all of his outfielders happy, even if experienced players like Jenkins, Brady Clark and Kevin Mench see their playing time split up.

"I don't see it being a problem," Yost said. "What we're trying to do is build a group of 25 guys to be one team. We're not looking for guys that are going to be selfish in any fashion, shape or form. ... Jenks has always been one of those guys that has been a team player, and I don't expect anything different from him now."


You can read the whole article at the team's site, but the above couple paragraphs are really all that is new. I also consider it minor, as the LH part of the platoon plays plenty.


2/21/2007 01:48:00 PM



(2/21/2007 01:13:00 PM) - Al

The Rockies reportedly plan to use Jeff Baker as a "super utility player."

Baker is out of minor league options, so he's likely to make the team out of spring training and should have plenty of chances for at-bats subbing at third base, first base, left field and right field. "He gives us flexibility, offensive and defensive," manager Clint Hurdle said. "We're talking about a guy who is a run producer. Having that weapon on the bench makes us a better club."---Rotoworld


Maybe we can make a mental note to add Baker to my list, as he is out of options, per this report.

Here are Baker's major and minor league numbers, remembered, they are thin air Skewed in AAA and MLB.


2/21/2007 01:13:00 PM



(2/21/2007 10:34:00 AM) - Al

Nice to see the Canadian wheels of justice grind as slowly as ours, as it took almost 4 years for them to take care of this minor charge against 3 basketball players.


2/21/2007 10:34:00 AM


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

(2/20/2007 10:42:00 PM) - Al

Thank goodness, a readable list of promos the Crew are having this year.


2/20/2007 10:42:00 PM



(2/20/2007 09:22:00 PM) - Al

All right, a while back I mentioned I had compiled a list of 8 3B who could be on "the list" Gord Ash mentioned Saturday on Talking Baseball, which they gave to their major league scouts, guys to keep an eye on as they watch games this March in Florida and Arizona.

Here's what I looked for:

I did not consider anyone projected to start for their team.

I tried to look for players who may be out of options, but I realized I had no idea who has options and who doesn't, so I gave that up. All the players below are vets.

I tried to look for players who could play 3B, then move into a utility role at some point (hopefully, when Koskie returned, or possibly when Ryan Braun is called up). For the most part, I looked for players who are capable of playing 1B/3B/LF/RF.

I also concentrated on LH bats and switch-hitters, as I feel that without Koskie, the Brewers are rather heavy with RH's.

Do I know who, if any, of these guys are actually available? Nope, and I would think several of my "top picks" are not. But, this is just an educated guessing game by an outsider. At the very least, it lets you know the quality of players that "could" be on the radar screen of the Crew.

The list is ordered by my preference:

Rob Mackowiak, White Sox

Rob M---.333/.413
Ave 3B--.338/.432

Rob is a LH bat, and is a consummate utility guy, and is likely valued too highly by the Sox. He has played almost everywhere on the field, and could handle any of the spots I mentioned above.

Mike Lamb, Astros

Mike L---.325/.423

Almost certainly not available, as Lamb is well-liked in HOU, as he often gets playing time over Morgan Ensberg. Lamb is pretty much just a 1B/3B, but would be an outstanding PH from the left side.

Robb Quinlan, Angels

Robb Q---.342/.463

I don't know why they would give him up, but Robb can play all 4 spots I mentioned, and especially so with lefties. But, he is a RH bat, so he isn't quite as desired as the fellas above him.

Russell Branyan, Padres

Russ B---.327/.483

Of course, we let Russ go because we got Koskie. Russ may be expendable in SD, as the Pads picked up a solid 3B prospect this offseason from CLE. Unlikely because of Doug's public statements about K's, and his pedestrian fielding at the hot corner. But, he can play the 4 spots, and has a plethora of power, to say the least.

Ty Wigginton, Devil Rays

Ty W----.325/.446

Ty's actually coming off his best season, and can even play 2B in addition to the spots I discussed. Former top prospect with the Mets, bats RH.

Estaban German, Royals

Estaban---.394/.414

German is a former top prospect for the A's who finally got some playing time for KC last year and did well. More of a 2B who can play elsewhere than a true utility guy. Bats right.

Eric Hinske, Red Sox

Eric H---.337/.437

Eric's main flaw is he never has matched his fine rookie year again, but is no doubt available, as he's overpaid. Can play the 4 spots, hits lefty, and is from Menasha, which is just outside Appleton. To be honest, he may be the most likely on the list to be picked up, though I'm sure BOS would have to pick up some of his salary.

UPDATE: BOS is paying Hinske half of his '07 salary, or about $2.8M. The Crew might well agree to pay 50-75% of that.

Sean Burroughs, Mariners

Sean B---.340/.358

He shouldn't even be on the list, as he will not be brought in except as AAA depth (or I suppose in case of massive injuries), as he has struggled since 2004. However, he's still just 26, and could be a useful bat off the bench, for all his struggles, he does get on base, albeit with Counsell-like lack of pop.


2/20/2007 09:22:00 PM



(2/20/2007 09:19:00 PM) - Al

Unnewsy Tom H chat. He thinks Closser will end up at AAA, but does not mention he lacks options.

He seems very proud of himself about his Jenkins scoop, he mentions it several times.


2/20/2007 09:19:00 PM



(2/20/2007 08:46:00 PM) - Al

Geoff says he is going to need to play every day, or he feels it would be best to move on.

There is little doubt that it will pretty much be a straight platoon with either Clark or Mench if Geoff is in Milwaukee for '07, but that should still give Jenkins 120-130 starts, and over 500 AB's. I don't see him getting more than that anywhere else. I also don't see the Brewers being a better team with some sort of Mench/Gross/Clark combo platter playing LF.

I'm all for guys being confident in their ability, but simply put, Geoff is a caricature of himself versus LHP's. Mench and Clark absolutely punish them. I don't see him playing much against lefties, and for good reason.


2/20/2007 08:46:00 PM



(2/20/2007 08:05:00 PM) - Al

I let my son play computer games for 2 hours during the Badgers game, and he "beat" 2 games while I was biking (22 miles). I can honestly say I didn't understand a thing he was doing. Heckuva basketball game, and this should cement the Spartans as a NCAA team.

Wow, that Neitzke sure can shoot. That roll he got on the one 3 says something about that young man's touch. The Badgers were actually fortunate to hang in as long as they did, using Landry's superb outside shooting to do so. Possibly the worst scouting report I've ever seen came from a biased fan who said theis afternoon that Flowers would shut him down...heh. Most of his shots came with a hand in his face too. With luck, in 3 years, we might be seeing performances like that from Bonannon.


2/20/2007 08:05:00 PM



(2/20/2007 01:05:00 PM) - Al

As for Badgers' coverage, the JS talks about how many teams from the Big Ten will make the NCAA tourney...I'd guess 3-4, but 6 have hopes of such a bid.

Also, this article talks about how Bo's teams tend to finish strong (apparently, 12 months is plenty long enough to forget last year).

FYI, the Badgers are only favored by a point tonight at Betcascade.com...of course, if the Spartans do win, it will be considered a huge upset, which I still just am flabbergasted by.


2/20/2007 01:05:00 PM



(2/20/2007 12:53:00 PM) - Al

Rickie Weeks' pain considered "normal", takes an injection for it, should be fine after a few days.

Sounds like he went from total rest to many rounds of BP a day, according to Doug Melvin on a radio show today. Too much too soon.


2/20/2007 12:53:00 PM



(2/20/2007 11:29:00 AM) - Al

Wal Mart said net income rose to $3.94 billion in the quarter ended Jan. 31, up almost 10 percent from $3.59 billion in the period a year earlier.

Wal Mart is the closest thing we have to a printing press or being able to invest in an ATM. The fact other people dislike WM so much makes me like it even more. I'm the first to admit they're just about saturated in the US, but if that means they have to settle for "only" making $4B every 90 days, I guess I'll get over it.


2/20/2007 11:29:00 AM



(2/20/2007 11:17:00 AM) - Al

Tom H has notes about Braun and Sarfate, Turnbow's comeback from throwing 98 and getting hit hard (yes, I still do find that irritating), and a quick roundup of notes from Monday.


2/20/2007 11:17:00 AM



(2/20/2007 11:08:00 AM) - Al

The Crew announces their promotional schedule, which includes more giveaways than any other MLB team.

While I do not get too excited about the bobbleheads (though admittedly, I would like the Weeks/Hall/Prince ones), there are also several half-price ticket days, 5 County promos and Spring Madness jumped right out at me, as well as many Amoco nights, which, by gosh, we plan to use this year. Every year we collect punches, fill up a few cards, then watch as life gets in the way of using them.

The very hard to read PDF file can be found here, hopefully, the Brewers will post it on their site later today as well.

If you cannot see the type, you may need to make the number bigger at the top of the screen, about in the middle, which reads "58" for me.


2/20/2007 11:08:00 AM



(2/20/2007 11:07:00 AM) - Al

Adam talks about Ben Sheets.


2/20/2007 11:07:00 AM


Monday, February 19, 2007

(2/19/2007 07:09:00 PM) - Al

Adam M talks about Sarfate's winter, Estrada's bridges, and the fact Geoff has a cold.


2/19/2007 07:09:00 PM



(2/19/2007 04:02:00 PM) - Al

I have a list of 8 guys who may be on "the list" that Doug and Gord gave the major league scouts to be on the lookout for, possible 3B types who for the most part, can also play elsewhere when Koskie returns, Braun is promoted, etc. I'll try and put this together tonight or at the latest, tomorrow, for your perusal.


2/19/2007 04:02:00 PM



(2/19/2007 03:02:00 PM) - Al

The Dallas Mavericks are a quiet 30-2 and have the 4th best record ever at the all-star break. To say they are a huge favorite for the title is a mammoth understatement.

I'm not going to get into the Bucks, because it's just too sad, but while everyone wants to blame Terry Stotts for their record with Mike Redd injured, it's interesting to note the Suns are 37-9 (or something like that) with Steve Nash, and 2-4 without him...that's a small sample, but some teams are simply dependent on one player, even very good teams.


2/19/2007 03:02:00 PM



(2/19/2007 09:37:00 AM) - Al

Should be interesting to see where the Badgers are ranked after today, you'd think it would be #1 or #2, after Florida was blown out by an unranked Vanderbilt squad Saturday.

In an ironic twist, the Badgers could easily lose 2 games this week, as Michigan State is playing well and has only lost once at home, to the Buckeyes...and then of course, the Badgers play at Ohio State next Sunday, in a game that could well be #1 vs. #2.

There is a lot of talk about seeding, and how important it is for the Badgers to end up being a #1 seed, and I have to disagree. People seem to forget that you have to beat everybody, and who knows which teams will "peak" in the tourney, like the Badgers Final Four run when they were a #8, or George Mason last year. Seeding matters if you want to win 2-3 games, but for the championship contenders, it's a moot point. The Badgers can defeat anyone in the country most days, but so can about 5 other teams.

Only a single team wins a half-dozen in a row, and that comes down to avoiding the hot team and playing well. You only control one of those things.


2/19/2007 09:37:00 AM



(2/19/2007 09:23:00 AM) - Al

Talk of Sheets being 100% right now, and a profile of Jeff Suppan.


2/19/2007 09:23:00 AM



(2/19/2007 09:16:00 AM) - Al

Weeks' wrist is sore, Koskie seeking medical help, and 48 of 55 players are at camp, per Adam.

Tom checks in with a nearly identical column, close enough for a teacher to think one of them was copying.


2/19/2007 09:16:00 AM


Sunday, February 18, 2007

(2/18/2007 08:10:00 PM) - Al

Adam M talks to Derrick Turnbow.


2/18/2007 08:10:00 PM



(2/18/2007 04:28:00 PM) - Al

It just occured to me that Gord Ash's "3B list" he mentioned yesterday that they are giving to the major league scouts is likely full of players who are currently not starting, and may be available at the end of March. While I'll put it on my mental docket to take a look at 40 man rosters and see who I can find, I would guess that, in a perfect world, the player picked up would:

1. Bat LH, or be a switch-hitter.

2. Have the power you'd expect from a 3B.

3. Also be able to play 1B, and maybe even LF/RF.

Then, one name jumped into my mind...Russell Branyan...who we of course, once had, but let go...because we acquired Corey Koskie.

Heh.


2/18/2007 04:28:00 PM



(2/18/2007 04:16:00 PM) - Al

Adam M with his first daily notes column, mentions Grant Balfour as an upset special to make the pitching staff. I would have to agree, as he's out of options, and Dennis Sarfate still has one left.

Many would argue options shouldn't matter, but when the inevitable injury occurs in late April, it does. You see the coin flip resulted in you losing the guy who didn't have any options remaining, rather than having the other guy sitting in AAA waiting for a callup, and it's pretty simple to understand why roster management is key, and even moreso for small market clubs.


2/18/2007 04:16:00 PM



(2/18/2007 01:03:00 PM) - Al

You Tube video of the Chip Falls student manager getting a chance to play, on what I assume was a rare opportunity. This was on our local news last night.

The kid has 2 more career points than most of us.:)


2/18/2007 01:03:00 PM



(2/18/2007 09:14:00 AM) - Al

I was unaware Sidney Moncrief was still in coaching, he is in the NBA's development league, trying to work his way up.

Take a look at his career stats, and 2 things jump out at me.

1. I can't say I recall him ever playing for Atlanta in his final season.

2. How many guards, even guards that drive a lot and do not shoot a lot of jumpers, shoot 50% from the field, as Sid did many times?


2/18/2007 09:14:00 AM



(2/18/2007 09:03:00 AM) - Al

I did not recognize the young woman on a morning talk show, but I should have.

Courtney Friel has joined FOX News, announced Bill Shine, Senior Vice President of Programming at FOX News, and will make her debut on “FOX & Friends” this weekend. Friel will join co-hosts Kelly Wright and Greg Kelly in anchoring the morning program this Saturday and Sunday from 7-10AM/ET. In addition, Friel will be a correspondent for Foxnews.com.

She does fit in with the Fox model, as she resembles...a model. Many of us know Friel from her season hosting the World Poker Tour, as she took over for the irreplaceable Shana Hiatt.


2/18/2007 09:03:00 AM



(2/18/2007 08:40:00 AM) - Al

Lots of talk about a possible Badgers/Buckeyes 1 vs. 2 battle a week from today. But, let's not forget the Badgers play Tuesday night at Michigan state, who I believe is either undefeated or have only lost a single game at home this season. They also destroyed Iowa by 32 yesterday.

While I am not one to get too bothered by relatively unimportant late season games, as I'd gladly trade 2 losses this week for 6 wins in March and April, it will be a joy to see the Badgers, who seem to still be getting better, play however many games they have left. For many of us, Tucker, Taylor, and Chappell are almost extended family, especially Alando and Jason, who have both been with the program 5 seasons.

Every time I see Mike Kelley broadcasting a game, I think back to how sad it was knowing I'd never get to see him play defense again. When the final buzzer goes off this year, many fans will feel just like that, times three.


2/18/2007 08:40:00 AM



(2/18/2007 08:18:00 AM) - Al

I watched a lot of the NBA Saturday night last evening, and I think it is a telling statement that by far the most entertaining aspect of the night was the race between referee Dick Bavetta and the paunchy Charles Barkley (who is built a lot like me, to be honest). Barkley won easily, surprising myself, and many others, but I know I kind of ignored the stride difference, as Chuck went almost an extra foot every step he took.

Also, there's no doubt Bavetta would win a longer distance race, as he runs all night being a ref. Barkley kept it plenty short.


2/18/2007 08:18:00 AM



(2/18/2007 08:12:00 AM) - Al

Tom H with his yearly preview of the manager.


2/18/2007 08:12:00 AM


Saturday, February 17, 2007

(2/17/2007 03:07:00 PM) - Al

If WTMJ's streaming audio works, I will be live-blogging Talking Baseball from 4-6 today.

Updated with first few minutes I missed.

Talking with Gord Ash

---80 degrees and a high, blue sky in Maryvale.

---Gord's 30th anniversary in MLB, time goes quickly.

---Spring training is too long, without a doubt. Could easily be shortened a couple weeks, but they do everything to get the pitching ready.

---Feels the offense will be fine, several young players will improve. Offense will not be "overwhelming", but they'll be fine.

---Sheets is in great shape and ready to go. No pain in last year's injury.

---Expects Jenkins to come out a bit unhappy and hopes they can minimize his struggles (slumps) by having another guy to share his spot.

---For the first time since Doug's arrival, the team has veteran depth, especially in the OF. Will listen to teams as they call, depends on what they need. Also pointed out Rivera and Closser as guys teams will be asking about. Looking for another LH reliever in trade in a perfect world. Other than that, will probably look for minor league depth if trades are made. Team is pretty well set.

---30 players there for today's voluntary workout, very happy with turnout.

---Corey Koskie not there yet, has been seeing some specialists in Buffalo and Pittsburgh. Making progress, but still not ready to go. Will show up by next weekend. Has to be "symptom free" before he is ready to go. Will look at alternatives, mentioned Counsell, Graffy, Rottino, and Braun. Could look to acquiring a 3B, already have a list of names to pay special attention to (scouts watching spring games), but feel there is probably an internal option.

---Had a similar situation in Toronto with Rance Mulliniks and Garth Iorg, and they did a fine job there, so Craig and Tony might be solid, though unconventional.

---Mench has trade value, good power, will have to see where he fits into this club.

{Just by that, you might think Kevin is a good bet to be dealt before April 2nd.)

---Carlos V will be considered for the long role that Helling filled, or he might go to Nashville and pitch every 5th day. Good rotation depth at AAA Nashville, mentioned Tim Dillard (and not Zach Jackson or Yo Gallardo), much better than before.

---Mentioned "the big 3", Sheets, Capuano, and Suppan, then later said he should include Bush in that group as well.

---Team speed will determine if the club runs more, they want the players to be "smartly aggressive", not just take a lot of chances. Want to preach situational baseball, when to go for the extra base, when not to. Young team, usually are not near as good as it as a veteran laden group.

---Caller wonders why we don't bunt more with a runner on 2B and less than 2 outs...really. Gord ignores how stupid question is and says the team works on bunting a lot, but it is a bit of a lost art. Not sure how much bunting will play a part in the team philosophy, depends on the makeup of the 25 man roster.

---Teams cannot limit a player from playing winter ball unless they hit a threshold as far as innings pitched (and I think games played). Brewers blocked Yo from pitching, but Capellan did not hit that number, so he chose to pitch. Often a good thing, when Gord was with Jays, he cannot recall it not being a positive for anyone. No downside at all for position players, but maybe for some pitchers. Dennis Sarfate pitched in Mexico for Stan Kyles, who is the AAA pitching coach, and was monitored closely. Good for some players to be in a baseball environment, and what happens on off-days is important too. Winter ball used to be a higher level, almost between AAA and MLB, but it's fallen a lot in the last decade or so.

---Sarfate has an option, Ben Hendrickson does not. Ben will be considered for the long relief role discussed previously with Carlos V. If not, he will probably end up elsewhere.

---Yo Perez, Cuban SS, has not played organized baseball for 2 years, so he will be a step slow. His wife also got out of Cuba last week, so all are excited about that. Mike Jones is hoping to be in the AAA rotation, if he can stay healthy. Manny Parra is pitching well, no restrictions, and looks good.

Second hour upcoming...

Brady Clark

---Spent his offseason in Bend, Oregon...as close to "God's Country" as there is, says Brady. Perfect for him and his wife, both active people who love to be outside.

---Been in Arizona for a while, has been working with the new hitting coach.

---Thinks he'll still be able to play when he's 40, or at least, be in good enough shape to play.

---Will accept his role, whatever it is. Earned everything he's got in life and in baseball.

---Had a tough start, and then didn't get to play a lot as the season wore on. Fell out of favor with management, or "whoever puts the lineup out there".

---Will continue to work hard, had surgery to correct his eyes, and is ready to go.

---Optimistic about '07, Suppan a huge addition, and if healthy, sees the Crew competing for the NL Central.

Ben Sheets

---Went back to his old ways this offseason, as he was not in rehab mode. Did not begin his true workouts until the new year.

---New Orleans has a long way to go. Not safe for people to live in much of the city.

---Been in Arizona for about 10 days.

---Tired of hearing about the past 25 years, most of those guys are long gone. Tired of hearing current players and front office blamed for stuff that happened 10-15 years ago.

---"If you have a good starting pitcher, you have a good chance to win the game...and we got 5 of 'em."

---Feels 100%, does not expect to miss any time. All of his problems were from his lat muscle problem not being allowed to heal, as no one knew how long it would take, it being a rare injury.

---Says it would be great if pitchers hit more, but to be honest, "pitchers don't make the big leagues for their hittin'. A major league pitcher should get us out." Not from a lack of effort. "Brooks Kieschnick could hit, would you rather have him?"

---Staff is deep enough to withstand injuries, lose a couple guys, there's not a lot of drop off.

---Feels his numbers would be fine if he can go 200 innings. Sounds a bit irritated when he points out he's pitched 200 innings 3 times, but no one remembers that.

---Thinks bullpen is solid, mentioned almost every reliever expected to make team.

Derrick Turnbow

---Took 5 days off after the season, and started throwing and working out. Worked with a personal trainer 5 days a week and pitched 2 bullpen sessions a week all offseason.

---Thinks a lot of his problems were mental, did not handle problems and failure well.

---Hopes it will make him better and stronger.

---Feels confident and ready to pitch. Needs to throw strikes, feels that was the key to his struggles.

---Slider has been fine, looks good.

---Would love to be the closer, but right now, will be a set-up man to Cordero. No problem.

---Starters look to be very good, wants bullpen to get the reputation, if ahead in the 6th or 7th inning, game's over.

Adam McCalvy

---Low-key day, everyone says hello, takes BP, done by 11:30.

---Thinks Sheets is ready to "prove himself" as elite, though Ben will not admit it.

---Estrada wants to learn teammates, looking to get to know them off the field.

---Fundamentals are stressed every year, but this year, it'll be expected they be more mature and grow up by being smarter on the bases.

---Wonders how the OF will shake out, that will be a main storyline until a move is made.


2/17/2007 03:07:00 PM



(2/17/2007 12:46:00 PM) - Al

Hat tip to Jeff at BCB, WSB has a nice preview of what needs to happen for the Crew to contend.


2/17/2007 12:46:00 PM



(2/17/2007 12:26:00 PM) - Al

The first rule changes in 11 years are announced.

Looks like the only one that will matter much is the "tie game" one, which basically allows for a game of over 5 innings to be continued from where it was stopped, rather than playing it all over...simply put, I'm not sure why it took until now to change this, as it only meant guys played 163 games once in a while, as the stats counted from those "forgotten" affairs.


2/17/2007 12:26:00 PM



(2/17/2007 12:00:00 PM) - Al

I think Robert made the joke once that Tom H writes these stories in the dead of winter, and then sits back and enjoys himself the first couple weeks in Arizona, basking in the sun.

To be blunt, this may just be a reprint from last year...how many times do they not concentrate on fundamentals?


2/17/2007 12:00:00 PM



(2/17/2007 10:22:00 AM) - Al

The entire panel of the Forbes investment show, minus one I think, just said exactly what I have...the housing "bust" is not one at all, it's a minor correction caused by speculators and oversupply. It was also pointed out if you've owned your home for 5 years or more, you're doing fine, a point I have made repeatedly. I still think this is a near perfect time to buy in many "slow" markets, as interest rates are still near a historical floor, and there are many buyers that are not homeowners per se, but "flippers" who are bogged down with mortgage payments who MAY take a lot less than market price.

Motley Fool actually suggested this a few weeks ago, saying this is a perfect time to "shop" for a house. Find one you like, and then see how many days it's been on the market. If the average time for sale in your area is 120 days, only look for homes 150-180 days or older. If that home is listed at $200K, make an offer of 80%, or $160K. You only have 3 possible results, and only one of them is bad, and it's not really that bad, if the homeowner turns you down, you are in the same position you were before you made the offer...it's free to make an offer, and your realtor won't mind a bit, he knows he'll eventually make some commission (or if he does mind, get a new realtor).

The other two possibilities are they'll accept your low ball offer (a huge win!), or they will make a counteroffer, which is more likely, but still a huge savings, if you decide to buy. The article I read even had a real life scenario, the author had called the seller's realtor and asked whether there was any "flexibility", and the realtor had said absolutely not, it was priced to sell and it was worth every penny. Still, after a visit to an open house and a private visit, an offer was made, for $75K less than the listed price (the numbers were not disclosed, but I took this to be a high-end market like San Francisco or New York, in which the house was likely $600K or more). The next day, a counteroffer came back...and it was listed as a "final" counteroffer, take it or leave it, for $45K less than the list price.

He pointed out that if he takes the $45K he saved and invests it in a mutual fund that makes the historical S&P return, he'll have an extra $500K to use in retirement in 25 years. All because he was dared to buy in a challenged market, and walk away if the deal was not right.


2/17/2007 10:22:00 AM



(2/17/2007 10:04:00 AM) - Al

Again, not to focus on this, but to keep the half-dozen people who care updated, I am officially 33 pounds lighter than I was 6 weeks ago. I have seemingly acquired a couple "diet buddies" through e-mail, though one has "taken a break" and is looking to restart.

To be honest, the only two changes I have noticed at all is that last weekend when I went to school, I noticed my pants seemed a bit looser, and I'm not 100% sure, but I think my belt went to the next hole. Other than that, the only thing that is different is I have much more endurance when riding my exercise bike. I have to ride for about 75 minutes or so before I get tired at all, I usually quit out of sheer boredom rather than fatigue.

The thing I feel best about is that the last couple weeks I've stepped on the scale expecting to have a stagnant week, maybe a pound or two down, and I've continued with my 5-6 pound decline. I'm sure it won't go on forever, but the longer the better. Maybe this exercise and eating right stuff isn't just a hoax!


2/17/2007 10:04:00 AM



(2/17/2007 09:44:00 AM) - Al

My wife asked me to put the wet towels from the washer to the dryer this morning. Ironically, our utility room, despite possessing the furnace and the clothes dryer, two wonderful sources of heat, is unheated, and has a concrete floor. I wandered in barefoot, and I said, "Geesh, it's like ice in here".

My son managed to tear himself away from Sponge Bob to interject, "That's because the floor is so cold".

Thanks son.

In a related note, we almost danced a jig last night when the extended forecast showed highs above 30 every day next week, with "lows" in the 15 degree range.


2/17/2007 09:44:00 AM


Friday, February 16, 2007

(2/16/2007 04:33:00 PM) - Al

Mississippi's attorney general said Friday he would propose legislation to force State Farm, the largest home insurer in the United States, to continue writing new policies in his state.

The ghost of Lenin would be proud.


2/16/2007 04:33:00 PM



(2/16/2007 01:35:00 PM) - Al

It's not that Mark Johnson, Dick Goddard, Mark Nolan, Jon Laufman or former Cleveland weatherman Don Webster disbelieve the data entirely.

But they're skeptical, and they don't believe that it's necessarily our fault or that we should panic over it.

"We have maybe 100 years of data on a rock that's 6 billion years old," said Johnson, a WEWS Channel 5 weatherman. "Mother Nature tends to even herself out, and the fact is, the Earth is cyclical."

Goddard, WJW Channel 8 meteorologist, said scientists have flip-flopped on the matter: "I have a file an inch thick from 30 years ago that says the planet was cooling," he told the crowd of several hundred.


Emphasis added by me. This sums up my view exactly. I have no idea, either way. It bores me to death, of course, but I have no clue if the Earth is warming, or if that's a really bad thing, or if it's just part of a cycle.

Read the whole article here, hat tip to a fella named Matt who's got more hits since I started typing than Ramblings has in its 5 year history.


2/16/2007 01:35:00 PM



(2/16/2007 09:22:00 AM) - Al

“I could live my life with this. It’s manageable. It’s just I can’t play baseball right now.”--Corey Koskie

Link to article found here.

My only hope is this was said a while back, and the reporter just penned the article now. That said, it sure doesn't look real positive for Koskie to be manning 3B on Opening Day.


2/16/2007 09:22:00 AM


Thursday, February 15, 2007

(2/15/2007 08:13:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers will be broadcasting 15 games (and one pre-season tilt), on a low power station in Milwaukee. At this time, no one knows if these are games that will also appear on FSN North, or in addition to those games.

I guess we'll find out tomorrow.

UPDATE: 140 games will be on FSN outside the Milwaukee market, and 15 of those will be shown on the small TV station in Milwaukee.


2/15/2007 08:13:00 PM



(2/15/2007 02:09:00 PM) - Al

UPDATE: Thanks to those who sent in your favorites. I have picked out a couple, so the need is past.

I have a request for some of Ramblings' longtime readers...and by long-term, I mean some of the 2006 season. What I am looking for is posts that you have really enjoyed, and in particular, Brewers related posts.

To give you an example, just before Carlos Lee was dealt, I wrote how tired I was that we needed to overpay to keep Lee, and that I felt Corey Hart was a cheaper option that could be almost as good, and in a couple years, probably better. That was probably the only time I've ever received multiple kudos in e-mails.

{Pause to consider how sad that is, now that I think about it.}

So, as an example, all I need is an e-mail like this:

Al,

My favorite was the post you had saying Hart was almost as good as Lee now, and might develop into a better one, and cost a lot less. I think it was last June or July.

Your Name Here


To do so, please e-mail me by clicking on a link that says "e-mail", or you can click on the e-mail Al link on the sidebar.

Thanks in advance.


2/15/2007 02:09:00 PM



(2/15/2007 01:25:00 PM) - Jason Christopherson

I could maybe provide a flicker of light to the NWL schedule, but it's mighty dim. Looking at Eau Claire's schedule, it isn't quite as painful as the Wisconsin Woodchucks, but I wouldn't want to do the Rochester to Battle Creek to Waterloo trip.

Each team plays the other teams in its division eight times during the season, four at home and four on the road. Additionally, the team will play five of the seven opponents in the other division a total of four times each. That leaves out two teams. Kind of odd, if you ask me.

Also, the "home and home" series is meant to cut down on hotel and meal expenses, according to an Express official. I thought they were just doing that to try to create geographical rivalries. His explanation makes more sense. And since the team in Wausau is so centrally located, they probably get the most home and homes in the league (I didn't confirm this).


2/15/2007 01:25:00 PM



(2/15/2007 09:57:00 AM) - Al

Dave Pinto points out that the combined picks of the panel actually puts the Brewers at the head of the pack in the division.

In his recap, Jeff S actually seems a bit negative about the Crew compared to others. I'd say it might be a case of being tougher on the team you follow.


2/15/2007 09:57:00 AM



(2/15/2007 09:17:00 AM) - Al

Yost announces Hall will be in CF, possibly the worst kept secret since I admitted a fondness for pie a couple decades ago.

However, he did also say Corey Hart will be in RF, meaning the Jenkins/platoon partner combo will be in LF, which many of us had assumed, and Ned hinted at last Saturday on Talkin' Baseball. I feel it's a good move, as Corey would seem to be the RF for years to come, and next year, if Jenkins moves on as expected, you don't have to worry about finding a replacement who plays defense at a high enough level to make the throw from RF.


2/15/2007 09:17:00 AM


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

(2/14/2007 11:58:00 PM) - Al

Rosenthal says nice things about the Crew, and is as unimpressed by the Cubs' changes as I am.

It seems to me the Cubs have added some decent players (by overpaying them immensely), but have also managed to take away AB's from Matt Murton, a fine young, cheap OF.


2/14/2007 11:58:00 PM



(2/14/2007 11:56:00 PM) - Al

Adam puts up his preview of the bench, but seems to forget about the OF's, for the most part. We'll give him a mulligan, as he consistently does a fine job.

Also, the JS reports 4 game packages will go on sale Friday, though the team's site does not have a link that I can find. Maybe it will be added tomorrow.

UPDATE: Link is found, hat tip to Ajay.

The only real benefit is to save a few bucks on the marquee game in each package. These 4 packs are only available for a week by the way, when single game tickets are offered to the public.


2/14/2007 11:56:00 PM



(2/14/2007 11:30:00 PM) - Al

While Robert was watching the Empire peak, I spent the last half-hour studying the schedule of our local Northwoods League college summer league team, the Woodchucks. For whatever reason, I was just fascinated with it, as it is full of horrendous travel and a plethora of one game series. I finally gave up trying to figure out who "BC" was, not knowing they had added a team in Battle Creek, MI, and came downstairs to check out the league page on the internet. I wondered for several minutes what city was BC in WI, IA, or MN, not knowing they had expanded into Michigan. My limited mind kept coming back to British Columbia (that would be a long drive!) and Brevard County (which is where the Brewers have their high A team, in Florida).

Also strange about the Woodchucks is despite the fact they have road trips that include playing consecutive days in Thunder Bay (customs will be a joy, I'm sure) and Mankato; another with Battle Creek (2 games) and then to LaCrosse (2 games); and then consecutive affairs in Alexandria and Eau Claire...they do not play St. Cloud or Rochester at all, I can only assume to try and hold down their travel...heh.

I'm not sure who did the scheduling, but allow me to guess they'll never be doing it again. Maybe our good friend Jason can enlighten us somewhat on this, but to be honest, the cities are so far apart (for bus travel at least), maybe it isn't all that bad.


2/14/2007 11:30:00 PM



(2/14/2007 11:11:00 PM) - Robert R.

I've fallen behind on Rome, but I've recently got caught up. A recap of "Testudo et Lepus (The Tortoise and the Hare)" is found here. A recap of "Heroes of the Republic" is found here.

The last two episodes have been about reunions and reconciliations, with an undertone that civility won't last for long. And, as always, Octavian is continually underestimated, especially when driven into a corner. We also get a glimpse of why Antony inspired loyalty among his soldiers, even if he is out of his depth in the political realm. And everything is pointing to one of the climaxes of the season with the Battle of Philippi looming.

And we have Vorenus and Pullo reconciled and Vorenus reunited with his children. Of course, for all of Vorenus's good qualities, he's blind to the emotional needs of his children and how they've viewed these past events. That, of course, has lead to an interesting dramatic tension to the scenes between Vorenus and his children.

The other big event is the replacement of Max Pirkis as Octavian with Simon Woods. I'm puzzled by the choice to replace Pirkis now. Octavian is supposed to be 19 in these current episodes and Pirkis is practically 19 himself. And, frankly, I think Pirkis is the superior actor of the two. IMO, the producers of Rome jumped the gun and the series would have been better off if they had waited until absolutely necessary during the upcoming Antony and Cleopatra arc for the switch.


2/14/2007 11:11:00 PM



(2/14/2007 09:14:00 PM) - Al

I'm telling you what, we gotta do something about this horrendous economy.

It's almost as if no network other than CNBC realizes the booming nature of the economic boom. Record home ownership, full employment, 28 record highs in the Dow since October...what exactly do you need?

UPDATE: This article hints Toyota is afraid of a backlash from simply producing a better product. Wow.


2/14/2007 09:14:00 PM



(2/14/2007 08:51:00 PM) - Al

When I checked the Ohio State/Penn State game during a commercial early in the Badgers game, the Buckeyes were up by about 20, so I never thought of it until they posted a score showing the Lions down 4. I switched it over and it was Penn State down 2, and Ohio State at the free throw line. The shot was missed, and Penn State brought it down, and missed a 3 at the buzzer. I was momentarily disappointed, until a fan held up the greatest sign I'd ever seen.

UP NEXT DUKE LOSES AGAIN

Heh.


2/14/2007 08:51:00 PM



(2/14/2007 06:44:00 PM) - Al

Almost forgot to mention that the Brewers 13th win in a row (hope I didn't ruin it for anyone:) is on at 7 tonight, on FSN, though it's against the Badgers in most areas.


2/14/2007 06:44:00 PM



(2/14/2007 02:54:00 PM) - Al

I just got home from the dentist, as I've had some "sensitivity" in one quadrant of my mouth for the past few weeks. The gent took an X-ray, and after scraping away at my teeth and gums for no more than 90 seconds, told me to go home and make an appointment for a cleaning, that my teeth seemed fine but that I had a lot of plaque and such right up by my gums.

Considering I was expecting the drill, I took the visit as a victory and got out of there quicker than a burglary suspect after the victim is unable to make a positive ID.


2/14/2007 02:54:00 PM


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

(2/13/2007 09:15:00 PM) - Al

Dictionary definition of irony.


2/13/2007 09:15:00 PM



(2/13/2007 11:55:00 AM) - Al

The Brewers' preview at NBCSports.com is up and optimistic, but was written by a non-Gleeman.

Color me disappointed.


2/13/2007 11:55:00 AM



(2/13/2007 10:57:00 AM) - Al

Steve Trachsel and the Orioles have agreed to terms on a one-year, $3.1 million contract with a $4.75 million option for 2008, according to FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal.

That didn't take long. Trachsel will replace Kris Benson in the rotation


If Trachsel was available for $3M, why did he not sign until now?


2/13/2007 10:57:00 AM


Monday, February 12, 2007

(2/12/2007 01:42:00 PM) - Al

Ned Yost mentioned his deer scored "190 on the scale". Apparently, he meant this, thanks to reader Harold for the info.


2/12/2007 01:42:00 PM



(2/12/2007 01:42:00 PM) - Al

Ned Yost mentioned his deer scored "190 on the scale". Apparently, he meant this, thanks to reader Harold for the info.


2/12/2007 01:42:00 PM



(2/12/2007 11:30:00 AM) - Al

A very generic Brewers' preview from Athlon, hat tip to friend of Ramblings Ajay.

Actually, seeing this one makes me look forward to the NBCSports.com version, as that will actually be the best we'll see from the national media.


2/12/2007 11:30:00 AM



(2/12/2007 08:33:00 AM) - Al

The new dollar coin will be out later this week.

It will be labeled a failure soon thereafter.


2/12/2007 08:33:00 AM



(2/12/2007 06:54:00 AM) - Al

Rotoworld looks at all the NL Central's top prospects by team.

It's really, really long, but the Brewers are about halfway through. No surprises.


2/12/2007 06:54:00 AM



(2/12/2007 06:22:00 AM) - Al

Then, Mr. Gleeman changes hats and writes up a team preview of the Cardinals over at NBCSports.com...and he, like myself, isn't all that impressed. I like their lineup, though it's loaded with "plain Janes" like Encarnacion, Eckstein, and now Kennedy. But as Gleeman points out, that rotation is basically Carpenter, Reyes...and question marks. And while almost everyone thinks Reyes will at least be serviceable, he posted a + ERA as a 24 year-old last year.


2/12/2007 06:22:00 AM



(2/12/2007 06:11:00 AM) - Al

Aaron Gleeman writes about the Mauer signing, and the chart at the bottom tells me we have yet to see the ceiling of Joe Mauer, which is not surprising, considering he'd about to enter his season of 24. His walks keep going up, as do his extra base hits.

Also, there's a link in there with the latest Twins' stadium saga. It's just painful how inept Twin Cities politics are.


2/12/2007 06:11:00 AM


Sunday, February 11, 2007

(2/11/2007 08:44:00 PM) - Al

Someone at CNN joking about "Is Anna Nicole Smith still dead"?

From the network that proudly brought us clips of an enemy sniper shooting a member of the US military, I bet he gets a raise.

And if the going into the stands and beating up on fans wasn't enough for you, you can add being a terrible dog owner to the rap sheet of Ron Artest.

It's mighty short, but you can add this idiot to my "I'd rather lose without him than win with him" list.


2/11/2007 08:44:00 PM



(2/11/2007 08:29:00 PM) - Al

Duke hits longest skid in 11 seasons

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -- Burdened with a four-game losing streak for the first time in 11 years, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski...


That's a shame.


2/11/2007 08:29:00 PM



(2/11/2007 02:08:00 PM) - Al

Joe Mauer's four-year deal with the Twins is worth $33 million and includes a no-trade provision for three teams per year.

Mauer gets $3.75 million this year, $6.25 million in 2008, $10.5 million in 2009 and $12.5 million in 2010.


Mauer might well be the best player in the game...and before this contract is over, I bet he challenges .400 once as well.


2/11/2007 02:08:00 PM



(2/11/2007 11:03:00 AM) - Al

Recap of 2/10 Talking Baseball:

Dennis Krause is the first guest.

---Doug Melvin told him this is a team capable of 90 wins, if they don't suffer any major injuries.

---Team is capable of getting past any short-term injury.

Corey Hart on the phone:

---Prefers RF, but will play anywhere. (during the Bucks' game last night, Geoff Jenkins said he expected to play in LF, so I feel this has been discussed)

---Moved to Arizona, have been using the Brewers' facility a few days a week, often with JJ Hardy.

---More relaxed feeling playing every day.

---Carlos Zambrano was the toughest pitcher to face, pitches differently each time up, makes you feel "kinda uneasy up there".

---Hardy doing well, physically 100%, going at full-speed during workouts, "doing everything I do".

Dave Bush is on the phone:

---"Handful" of guys in Arizona, many live there. {Sounded like he meant about 15}

---Credits much of success to pitching ahead, being aggressive.

---Updates a log after each start.

---Feels lucky he did not pitch much until the pros, has never had to worry about overuse.

---Thinks the team is solid, lacked some depth last year when injuries hit, and they look like they've taken care of that. Feels like "if we go out and do our job, we don't have to worry about anyone else".

Callers:

---Jim can't see the team carrying 3 catchers, unless the 3rd C is Vinny Rottino, who would be more of a utility infielder who can catch.

---Jim says Geoff Jenkins is the type of guy Doug Melvin may well go after if he were on another team...good track record, bit of an off-year, last year of contract, has every incentive to have a big year. Feels Geoff will platoon in LF with Mench or Clark. Dennis feels Jenkins may well have a "healthy chip on his shoulder", and may have a "me against the world" mentality...it might suit him nicely.

Davey Nelson on the phone:

---Looking forward to TV work, always really enjoyed TV work compared to radio.

---Will be setting up opportunities for former players to speak to groups in his alumni position. Many alums have called him and mentioned their interest. Also would like them to walk around the park and introduce themselves to the fans, especially in the suites.

Ned Yost on the phone:

---Driving to Milwaukee Monday, flying to Arizona Tuesday.

---Spent a lot of time on the phone, talking to Doug about the roster, talking to coaching candidates. That lasted 'til Xmas.

---Shot his largest deer ever, it scored 190 on the scale. {Maybe someone can explain that to me}

---Really tried to understand the saber part of the game and how it fits in with his job. Studied that quite a bit. Never stop trying to improve.

---The numbers are very small as to whether it helps or doesn't help, used sac bunting as an example. "Math people" feel the sac bunt is very rarely a good idea, and with good hitting pitchers, the team may not bunt as much with the SP early in the game, as Suppan, Bush, and Capuano all swing the bat well for pitchers.

---Told the Racine caller Vinny Rottino comes to camp with a chance to make the team. As of this moment, he probably won't, but if an injury occurs, he might. Said that as an undrafted player, Vinny has had to prove himself at every level.

---Kind words about Mench, expects him to bounce back.

---Feels Hart is "pretty much there" as far as being an everyday player, will get up to 500 AB's.

---Thinks Jenkins will come back a bit, has worked hard all winter.

---It will be a fun summer if they can avoid injuries. Very few jobs up for grabs in Arizona, team is pretty well set, except for a couple spots. Carlos V and Gallardo are available if needed.

---Barring injury, does not see Mike Rivera on the team.

---Koskie sounds great on the phone, last year after he was injured, he could barely carry on a conversation, paused often, could not find the right word. Sometimes stills gets a bit "foggy". If he can't go, the team has options, Counsell, Graffy, and Braun...Ryan is ready offensively, might need some work on defense.

---Feels comfy with defense, Weeks made lots of progress, Fielder held his own, better than expected, wants to be an all-around player. Hardy very solid. Counsell/Graffy will be fine if they have to play 3B. Hart will help the OF defense, adds athleticism, as will Hall.

---Expects Braun to come to camp having worked on his defense all offseason. Worked very hard in AFL on his fielding.

---Agreed with caller that depth is solid, especially Carlos V.

---Feels Counsell will help young infielders, great clubhouse guy. Very fortunate to have both he and Graffy. Lucky to have guys coming off the bench like Craig, Tony, and Damian Miller.

---Confirmed both Rivera and JD Closser are out of options, teams might have interest in them in late March.

---Said Gwynn needs more time in AAA, last year was the first year he had really ever hit.

---Little chance of Hall playing any 3B or IF, barring the unforeseen.

---The feeling is Hall may really breakout given one position, seems to imply the OF might be easier on him physically and mentally also.


2/11/2007 11:03:00 AM



(2/11/2007 10:17:00 AM) - Al

Barack Obama announced yesterday he was a candidate for POTUS. When it was on the news last night, my wife summed up many views when she said she thought he already had announced it.

Even more ironic, the ticker along the bottom of the screen said that Rudy Guiliani said he "may have" announced he's running last week. Heh.

Here's an article that points out Rudy as a center/right candidate with mass appeal, especially versus Sen. Clinton.


2/11/2007 10:17:00 AM



(2/11/2007 09:01:00 AM) - Al

Tom H with his regular Sunday column...discusses CF depth and Dave Bell among other things.


2/11/2007 09:01:00 AM


Saturday, February 10, 2007

(2/10/2007 07:58:00 PM) - Al

I did not know him by name, but Eddie Feigner has passed away. He was the pitcher and founder of "The King and his Court", a barnstorming softball team which used only 4 players and would almost always beat a full team.


2/10/2007 07:58:00 PM



(2/10/2007 07:49:00 PM) - Al

I'm surprised a big market team like the Red Sox or Yankees didn't step forward and say they'd field an extra rookie team. Heck, it could even be done cheaply, if you signed a couple dozen college free agents and filled it out with a few scattered roster fillers from your organizational roster. Sign those college seniors who were not drafted for $5K each, and add something for overhead...all it takes is a single player to make the big leagues and it's well worth the $500K a year you spend.

The fact is, it would probably take a forward thinking risk taker like Billy Beane to have the guts to do it, and it's unlikely he has the cash to think about it.


2/10/2007 07:49:00 PM



(2/10/2007 07:23:00 PM) - Al

I watched the Badgers/Iowa game today after class, so I'm just getting around to checking out the internet. Will update if I find anything of note.


2/10/2007 07:23:00 PM


Friday, February 09, 2007

(2/09/2007 05:34:00 PM) - Al

As of this second, the UW football coach is making almost twice as much as the basketball coach...that's a situation that should be rectified ASAP. Bo Ryan will probably only coach a few more years as well, meaning he could "take the money and run" if a huge 5 year offer came along.

I doubt if he would, but the idea of giving Bielema a huge raise after one season while continuing to lag near the bottom half on the basketball side tells me the university simply has no idea at all how valuable Ryan is, and honestly, shows grotesque short-sightedness.


2/09/2007 05:34:00 PM


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