Al's Ramblings

Sunday, August 31, 2008

(8/31/2008 11:12:00 PM) - Al

Appleton is almost certain to be the home of the Brewers' low A team next year, as this article suggests. Reading between the lines, the Mariners want to resign...but the Foxes are holding off...while in 2004, they signed way back in January.

I used to make it down a couple times a year when Appleton played Beloit, who was then the Brewers' affiliate. I'd likely make the drive 5-6 times if they were a Crew team. Next year, Brett Lawrie should be at that level, as will Cutter Dykstra...those two alone are worth the trip.

8/31/2008 11:12:00 PM

(8/31/2008 09:56:00 PM) - Al

One of the political pundits...who yesterday said she was voting for Obama, said she finds much of the anti-Palin talk to be "anti-rural", elitist, and most of all "anti-woman". She said many have said "How's she going to take care of her kids?"...a question never asked about a male. I have not heard anyone say that myself, but outside of the Brewers and online poker, I don't hear a whole lot.

I find it strange so many articles have mentioned the population of the town she was mayor, and has been listed as 4K-10K (no one bothers to look it up, and why is old media failing?). Much like the Obama reference to small town folks being bitter, the general feeling seems to be those living in small towns (or heaven forbid, not in a town at all) would much prefer living in the city, but are forced to live where they do because of circumstances beyond their control.

Time will tell if any of this makes a difference.

UPDATE: Ann comes through with this 1976 cover of the New Yorker...very, very funny, and probably more true than we'd like to admit.

8/31/2008 09:56:00 PM

(8/31/2008 08:37:00 PM) - Al


So why wasn't Hernan Iribarren called up? I realize they'd have to pay travel costs and minimum salary, those two are likely about $100K, but he can play 2B, pinch-hit and pinch-run.


I am puzzled as well, but I'm sure Doug simply doesn't want to call up a guy unlikely to play...I would guess Rottino and Nelson are unlikely to be used much at all, and Gwynn and Escobar won't do much except PR. Heck, Dillard and DiFelice will probably just work in low leverage situations, so of the 10 guys, those 6 are probably just "window dressing". Stetter will face some lefty bats, and Dillon, Gamel, and Salome will be asked to PH with the game on the line, I'm sure.

However, if one of them plays a meaningful role in a single game, it's worth it. If need be, I'm sure Hernan could be with the team in a day or two. He's well down the depth chart at 2B, obviously...Weeks, Durham, Counsell, Hall, Dillon...heck, Rottino used to play there before they had him catch regularly in '08.

Other than Hernan, the other 40 man spots are currently held by Capuano, Gallardo, and Branyan (Chris and Russ may be on the 60 day now, as they had to make room for Gamel and Salome), and Lou Palisiamo, an injured C, Luis Pena, a AAA reliever who had a terrible 2nd half, and Richie Gardner, a former pitching prospect who struggled at AAA after he was claimed from the Reds.

8/31/2008 08:37:00 PM

(8/31/2008 08:25:00 PM) - Al

I just finished watching a DVD, and ARI is letting Brandon Webb "take one for the team", though they are finally pulling him, down 8-0. I think they'd have let him go until the end of the inning, but he's already at 90+ pitches.

Luckily, the D'Backs can call up some arms (and probably already were) for tomorrow.

8/31/2008 08:25:00 PM

(8/31/2008 08:13:00 PM) - Al

Tom H ignored the Nashville link and numerous reports on who would come up, and finally lists them...the same as you've known if you checked here at all.

The JS only printed the rumor about Yost getting fired, and since then, have just waited for press releases, for the most part.

8/31/2008 08:13:00 PM

(8/31/2008 08:10:00 PM) - Al

Tom H with what the scorer said.

The key to me is "the runner was well down the line"...I wonder if he ever saw a replay showing LaRoche just a few steps out of the box when CC touched the ball.

Looks like it will be up to MLB.

8/31/2008 08:10:00 PM

(8/31/2008 03:53:00 PM) - Al

Am I the only one who finds it a bit silly that both campaigns keep checking the Gustav situation like they can:

A: Do something about it.

B: In charge of something, like the Red Cross or FEMA.

McCain does have some decisions to make as to the convention, but that's about it.

8/31/2008 03:53:00 PM

(8/31/2008 03:46:00 PM) - Al

I still just keep thinking of Mike Maddux's statement after the Sabathia trade:

"We just got a lot smarter".

They sure did.

8/31/2008 03:46:00 PM

(8/31/2008 03:42:00 PM) - Al

I just flipped it over to see if any other games were on, and the TBS affair just ended, but on WGN, former Brewers' broadcaster Pat Hughes, now a Cubs' radio guy, sang Take Me Out To The Ballgame with his daughter and a friend of his daughter's.

1. One of the two gals, I assume the friend, looked a lot like gymnast Shawn Johnson.

2. Did someone no show? It doesn't seem like much "star quality" to have Hughes sing the song.

8/31/2008 03:42:00 PM

(8/31/2008 03:32:00 PM) - Al

CC at 109 going into the 9th, so I would think we will see him. I would put forth a guess that Ned's limit" for sending him back out would have been 115-118.

UPDATE: We'll have to see if there's an "outcry" (pretty much folks just complaining to complain mind you, but still) about CC's pitch count today, 116 and counting.

I will say this, he does not lose a thing after 7 or 8.

UPDATE 2: 117, I think. The TV team seems more concerned about the hit call than the team. It's all about wins and losses this time of year.

8/31/2008 03:32:00 PM

(8/31/2008 03:15:00 PM) - Al

I do not agree with Bill at all that the first hit should be "clean", to me, a hit is a hit and an error is an error...but after seeing the replay, it looked like a routine play...not an easy play, but a play the pitcher should make. Sabathia hurried, as he's likely used to doing, being built like he is, but Andy LaRoche is not a fast enough runner to need to rush much.

I would have gone with an E myself, but allow me to say the Miller Park scorer has made many worse calls this season, and I would bet every one of them resulted in an error.

8/31/2008 03:15:00 PM

(8/31/2008 03:12:00 PM) - Al

It will be interesting to see what happens if Sabathia continues on, if he hold his shutout especially. 100 pitches with 0 outs in the 8th, but Ned has, in the past, let his starter go for the shutout.

8/31/2008 03:12:00 PM

(8/31/2008 02:39:00 PM) - Al

Nice few days for Billy Hall, who has seemingly used this stretch of many LHP's and started to see the ball better.

No one has mentioned it, but I don't recall an error by Bill in some time either, after being very shaky early.

UPDATE: If you look at his month-by-months, he actually had a nice July, but a terrible August.

Actually, if you look at his game log, he's been pretty solid since a week ago today.

8/31/2008 02:39:00 PM

(8/31/2008 02:01:00 PM) - Al

Hey Al,

Your recent posts on Weeks being underrated (an understatement) by many fans got me thinking. I completely agree with you that Rickie is a much more valuable part of the team than most people give him credit for. However, without seeing some good solid numbers, I have never been sure whether I would consider him a "good" leadoff hitter or just "average" or exactly where I would put him. One of the things I thought would be interesting would be to compare him to the leadoff hitters from the other teams across the NL as well as baseball while also looking more closely at the top teams in each league to see how Weeks compares to their leadoff hitters. The results are summarized below.

First thing, I don't follow all 30 major league teams closely enough to know for sure who each of their everyday leadoff hitters are so in most cases I simply used whoever batted leadoff in their most recent game (in a few cases I knew the guy that had batted leadoff wasn't their regular everyday leadoff guy so I made substitutions for those as best I was able). The lines in red are the playoff teams at this point. As you can see, I included several stats/points of comparison including games played, at bats, batting average, OBP, SLG, OPS, Runs, and Runs per at bat (a stat that I made up which essentially tells us how many runs each player has scored per at bat over the course of the season).

First of all, batting average is what a lot of "casual fans" like to look at as their sole barometer of how good a leadoff hitter is. And based solely on this statistic, Rickie is indeed horrible. In fact, he is dead last in baseball in 30th out of 30 teams. But I think we can agree that this statistic is fairly meaningless especially for a leadoff hitter. When you are the first guy up to bat, a hit truly doesn't mean any more than a walk…just as long as you get on base. Secondly, let's look at OBP. In this category, Weeks is a slightly more respectably 20th out of 30 teams and 10th out of 16 teams in the NL (with Reyes and Soriano both rating above him from playoff teams). In SLG, he again ranks 20th overall and in the NL he drops a couple spots to 12th out of 16 teams with leadoff hitters from the three other playoff teams ranking ahead of him. In OPS the rankings are the same with Weeks landing in 20th overall and 12th in the NL.

Lastly, since one of the primary goals of a leadoff hitter is to score runs, I also took a look at a couple stats there. First, in runs scored, I think we can agree that Rickie is one of the best. Without the games he missed he very likely would be leading baseball in runs scored by a leadoff hitter. In fact, he currently ranks 9th vs all leadoff hitters in runs scored (4th in the NL). And when you take into account the fact that Rickie has played in less games than most of the others, his runs per at bat ranks 3rd in all of baseball and 1st in the NL (if he had scored only two more runs he would be first in all of baseball in this statistic). So from this perspective that Rickie is a very good leadoff hitter.

Conclusions? As far as getting on base, Weeks is in the bottom third of all leadoff hitters but as far as scoring runs once he does get on, he is near the top. Now let's see Rickie go on a team these last few weeks of the season and bump up his stats and standings in comparison to the other leadoff hitters…and prove all his critics wrong.


Jerod also had a nice chart, but I cannot get it to work. I will see if he can send it in something Blogger can accept, but very good, in-depth work by Jerod. I am convinced Rickie's OBP and baserunning makes him a far better leadoff guy that most would think.

8/31/2008 02:01:00 PM

(8/31/2008 01:48:00 PM) - Al

I just got done biking, and CC threw about 35 pitches in his first two innings, but sits at about 55 after 4. He's gone from about a 6 inning pace to 8.

EDIT: Per Yahoo, 57.

8/31/2008 01:48:00 PM

(8/31/2008 01:44:00 PM) - Al

Zambrano scratched with "tired arm", probably because the Cubs are so far in front, realistically, almost having a playoff spot clinched.

8/31/2008 01:44:00 PM

(8/31/2008 11:46:00 AM) - Al


Thanks for the Salome scoop. Could you tell me how to pronounce his name as well as Escobar's first name? I've been reading them AL-see-dis and SA-lome, but have no idea if that is correct.

Keep it up, love the blog.


I am not even sure how to pronounce Gamel, but I'll check.

UPDATE: Word from a minor league pronunciation expert is Ahl-seed-ace and Sahl-oh-MAY. It's been said as An-gel, but that may change, as now, someone may actually ask him.:)

8/31/2008 11:46:00 AM

(8/31/2008 10:31:00 AM) - Al

With the addition of Salome (and I assume Escobar, but I have no word on that yet), Ned will certainly have a lot of choices in a few days. Her is how I would expect to see the bench used:

Rivera--possibly now utilized as a RH power bat, mostly versus LHP

Rottino--will not see much time, as he will likely take Rivera's spot as the emergency C

Salome--PH, doubles pop

Dillon--same as Salome, probably will be gone to in "pressure" spots a bit more

Durham--will continue to be used when a base hit is a fine result, leading off an inning or with a runner in scoring position

Escobar--probably just as a PR and SS defensive replacement for JJ, with some PH duties possible leading off an inning, and the #2 PR option

Gamel--I think he may work into the 3B mix, depending on his defense, but a lefty bat with pop

Nelson--LH bat with pop

Kapler--probably the preferred PH

Nix--likely to revert to defense and PR mostly, with some PH uses

Gwynn--I see him mostly used as the #1 PR (if Stocker is not brought up), with maybe some OBP PH chances (down 2, leading off an inning)

Hall--RH power, as well as possible 3B sub for D.

Did I forget anyone?

8/31/2008 10:31:00 AM

(8/31/2008 10:30:00 AM) - Al

Hopefully, nothing is wrong with JJ, as he was removed last night early as well and seemed to be having back pain. Hardy and Cameron both get the day game off after a night game.

8/31/2008 10:30:00 AM

(8/31/2008 10:00:00 AM) - Al

Word on the street is Angel Salome will be brought up by the Crew for September. Salome is expected to be used strictly as a PH. Needless to say, he had a fine year in AA.

8/31/2008 10:00:00 AM

(8/31/2008 09:12:00 AM) - Al

FYI, I will not be commenting on any rumors regarding Palin's down syndrome child, just like I have no comment on the "Michelle Obama said something years ago that may be damaging" rumors that were around in the primaries.

There aren't many secrets these days, and to me, such rumors are just bad journalism...if something is true, prove it and report it.

8/31/2008 09:12:00 AM

(8/31/2008 08:25:00 AM) - Al

Live your life like you are on camera every second...because you might just be.

Don't joke that a hurricane might hit at an opportune time.

I'm still trying to figure out how this will "play" in the press...I've seen several in the blogosphere say this is Bobby Jindal's opportunity to introduce himself to the 2012 or 2016 voters, and I would sheer luck, he cannot do worse than they did in '05, and at the very least, he can just be competent and hit a grand slam. I still recall the female governor sounding as if she was an intern, begging for assistance, as you could tell the planning meetings had been skipped in their entirety.

8/31/2008 08:25:00 AM

Saturday, August 30, 2008

(8/30/2008 09:40:00 PM) - Al

Jim Powell said tonight he thinks Alcides Escobar and Angel Salome may be called up after the AA season is complete. I agree on Escobar, but am doubtful on Salome, who would have to be added to the 40...though it could easily be done.

8/30/2008 09:40:00 PM

(8/30/2008 09:34:00 PM) - Al

Phillip sends along this link of the tentative playoff schedule...doesn't look like any opportunity to go with a 3 man staff, at least that I can see.

8/30/2008 09:34:00 PM

(8/30/2008 09:25:00 PM) - Al

It's tough to notice when the Crew in double digits, but the pitching for the Crew has just been fantastic...I believe the graphic said the team had an ERA of 2.62 in August, or something very close to that. I believe 2nd place was a half-run higher, over 3 for sure.

My goodness, not only are they eating up innings, but they are often not allowing more than a run or two.

8/30/2008 09:25:00 PM

(8/30/2008 08:20:00 PM) - Al


It's a little early to speculate on this because a lot will depend on performance from here on out and if there is an injury. If the Crew are fortunate enough to make the playoffs what do you think our playoff rotation would be? I'm not sure the exact schedule for the playoffs but I remember hearing that there would be even more off days in the playoffs, I believe including 2 days off between games on occasion. With all the off days I would think a 3 man rotation would be enough. Maybe you would need your 4th once or twice. CC and Sheets are obviously locks. Due to Parra never having pitched this many innings and have been struggling the most I would assume we would go with the experience of Suppan and Bush. Probably Suppan as the 3rd man if he does his usual late season thing the rest of the year. What are your thoughts?


I would agree, if the season ended now, it'd be Sabathia and Sheets, and probably Suppan, with Bush depending on the playoff schedule...I'd be tempted to bring CC back on 3 days rest unless he threw 120+, as he's simply been that good.

If they get the schedule with several off days, you might see them go with 3 starters, 6-7 relievers, and the rest position players.

I would agree, barring the unforeseen, Manny will be in the bullpen or sitting out, if the Crew makes the playoffs.

8/30/2008 08:20:00 PM

(8/30/2008 07:37:00 PM) - Al

After a disappointing result last week, I was down 10 pounds this week, making my total 18 pounds in 18 days. I have been riding my exercise bike almost daily and limiting calories every day, and carbs much of the time as well (except when I stop at subway for lunch). I have also taken the Rambling dog on some long walks...I ought to drive it, because I have no idea how far it is, but depending on whether I do the "circle" or turn around, it takes between 45-60 minutes.

The only negative is many situations like tonight, after Mrs. Ramblings and myself shared a "Hawaiian delight" from Papa Murphy's (extra sauce, light cheese), this conversation took place:

Mrs--That was good.


Mrs--I didn't even miss the cheese.

Me--Nope, me either.

Mrs--Are you full?

Me--Nope...not at all.

One of my most common snacks has been a turkey brat and a piece of light string cheese, both cut up into little pieces in a bowl. It's only 170 calories and no carbs at all...I had that for lunch today, and I just had it for a snack as well. For lunch, I added fried onions and mushrooms, sometimes I add a small amount of imitation crab to the mix as well.

8/30/2008 07:37:00 PM

(8/30/2008 07:33:00 PM) - Al

I had noticed the Tina Fey resemblance before it was even mentioned, but Megan Mullaly is similar as well.

8/30/2008 07:33:00 PM

(8/30/2008 05:17:00 PM) - Al

Turns out a 21 year-old's blog may have turned the McCain folks onto Palin.

8/30/2008 05:17:00 PM

(8/30/2008 05:08:00 PM) - Al

Doug is not expecting to make a deal before the deadline tomorrow, but I still think he might pick up a reliever or a bat off the bench, probably a lefty (or switch-hitting) hitting OF.

8/30/2008 05:08:00 PM

(8/30/2008 02:04:00 PM) - Al


I heard that Branyan's injury is much worse than expected as MRI showed his muscle torn completely off the bone. We'll be lucky to use him anymore I bet.


I admit, I have not heard a word about Russ, I just assumed it was minor. If Carl is correct, he may well be going on the 60 day DL to open up a spot as well. Considering the only "prospect" we've heard about is Gamel...a LH hitting 3B, it makes sense Russ is out.

If anyone has a link about Branyan's status, shoot it my way.

8/30/2008 02:04:00 PM

(8/30/2008 01:50:00 PM) - Al

Hi Al,

I just wanted to note that I would be surprised if Mel Stocker is called up in September. Right now the team's 40-man roster is full, so for Gamel to be added on Sept. 1, Chris Capuano would have to be transferred to the 60-day disabled list. Once that's done, however, there's less flexibility with the 40-man roster. If they wanted to bring up Stocker or another minor leaguer, they would have to either transfer Yovani Gallardo to the 60-day DL (probably not as big a deal as many fans holding out for a Sept. comeback think), do the same with Branyan, or DFA one of the guys on the 40-man not called up. Those five are Richie Gardner, Luis Pena, Hernan Iribarren, Lou Palmisano, and Alcides Escobar. Now, possibly losing Richie Gardner might not be a big deal, but that seems like an awful lot of roster juggling to accommodate a player whose pinch-running role might well be filled by Tony Gwynn (after all, Stocker would not have been called up last year if Gwynn was healthy). Plus, if they did all that, it complicates adding another reliever.

All that aside, I'm a little surprised they didn't call up Jay Gibbons since he's a big league veteran who hit well (albeit in ~120 AB) in Nashville. I'm not disappointed it's Nelson over Gibbons, but that may have had something to do with the roster crunch as well.



DL'ing Yo or doing something with Gardner is painless and I do not think the team will hesitate to do so. Honestly, I'm not positive what is necessary in order to remove a player the team wants to keep...I believe all another team has to do to claim them is put them on the 40 man roster. Lou P has been hurt all year and might clear waivers as well, and one has to wonder if Hernan has a future with the team, not being called up despite nearly everyone else on the 40 man being added.

It will also be interesting to see if Alcides Escobar is added...he may only be used to PR and then replace Hardy in the field, but at least that's a role.

I see Stocker up, but that could change if someone is acquired.

8/30/2008 01:50:00 PM

(8/30/2008 01:47:00 PM) - Al

You'd think the campaigns would be a little better at hiding their tracks than this.

8/30/2008 01:47:00 PM

(8/30/2008 11:28:00 AM) - Al

RHP Tim Dillard, LHP Mitch Stetter, RHP Mark DiFelice, UT Joe Dillon, C Vinny Rottino, 3B Mat Gamel, OF Tony Gwynn and 1B/OF Brad Nelson were told by Frank Kremblas they would be going to Milwaukee after their final game.

Gamel will have to be added to the 40 will anyone else not currently on the 40, such as Mel Stocker, the speedster currently in high A Brevard County.

I'm surprised Hernan Iribarren is not on the list, though neither he or Gwynn did anything offensively. Hernan is a lefty bat and can play 2B or the OF.

I've said it often, but I see one more reliever coming from somewhere, maybe even after 8/31, like the way they added Ray King last year.

Nashville actually had their final three games of the season canceled because they were to be played in New Orleans...why they did not play a doubleheader last night to make up one of the lost games is a mystery.

UPDATE/BUMP: Regardless, I assume the eight players mentioned above will be boarding a plane for Milwaukee sometime this weekend...and I assume Branyan and Mel Stocker will also be ready to go Monday...that's 25 one day, 35 the next, heh.

Hat tip to Jim for the list.

8/30/2008 11:28:00 AM

(8/30/2008 11:21:00 AM) - Al

Never underestimate what a single person can do, as a single teen fills a shipping container with school supplies for an impoverished area of Zambia.

8/30/2008 11:21:00 AM

(8/30/2008 10:00:00 AM) - Al

You know the Cubs are going to blow it, they always do. They might not even make the playoffs.--message board drivel

Well, if you put the Cubs at the top of the wildcard standings, they're up 11, with 20some left to play. That's about as ignorant a statement as you'll see.

8/30/2008 10:00:00 AM

Friday, August 29, 2008

(8/29/2008 11:53:00 PM) - Al

Buster Olney just mentioned "casual fans" when discussing Rays' attendance...I still get people who complain when I use the term.

Maybe Olney will make it "acceptable" to say it for the rest of us.

8/29/2008 11:53:00 PM

(8/29/2008 10:56:00 PM) - Al

Astros signed outfielder Darin Erstad to a one-year, $1.75 million contract extension for 2009.

The Astros remain very much content with mediocrity. Because he's a left-handed hitter backing up a left-handed hitter, Erstad wasn't a great fit for the Astros in the first place. He's actually done a pretty good job, posting a .293/.325/.384 line in 263 at-bats. However, he's no longer a basestealer, he's lost a little something on defense and there's little chance his power is coming back.--Rotoworld

I still feel bad for Cecil Cooper. That and for $2M, I would think you could easily find someone who could outproduce the 700 OPS of Erstad.

8/29/2008 10:56:00 PM

(8/29/2008 10:00:00 PM) - Al

I'm just going to throw this out there, as it is a mighty rare occurrence for me to throw forth a defensive replacement as a possible acquisition, but here goes...Doug Mientkiewicz would not be a terrible addition, as a PH when the club is behind and a 1B for the 8th and/or 9th innings, after Prince gets an at bat (heck, you can throw in Doug as a PR for Prince if he gets on in that AB). And while I suggest Doug because he's an outstanding defensive 1B, he has a career .360 OBP as well, and hits lefties as well as righties.

I am not much of a believer in subbing for defense, as I often point out, runs count the same if they score in the 1st, 4th, or 9th frame. However, as was the case in the Astros game I attended, tonight's error by Fielder looked to be routine (Ned said it took a bad hop, as did Rickie's. I saw Rickie's "jump up" for sure, but did not notice such a jump on Prince's. Good for Ned for defending his player, however fictional the bad hop may have been). While it's safe to say Weeks' defense has improved, while still below average, Prince looks to be regressing. He has been better of late scooping balls out of the dirt, but I don't think it's a stretch at all to say he may be the worst 1B in the NL...I certainly cannot think of another, though Jeff Bagwell, who literally could not throw the ball before he retired, may have been comparable.

I admit, I do not recall a misplay by Prince leading to a run, never mind a game, but considering the cost of Doug M...or a similar good glove/below average bat type, would be just a low level prospect...the Twins traded a reliever who signed at a tryout camp a year ago for Ed Guardado...he throws 92 or so, but he's literally nothing but a "live arm" who has not pitched above the rookie ball level. Such a move, even if made after the 8/1 deadline, could win a game, and a game might be the difference.

8/29/2008 10:00:00 PM

(8/29/2008 08:54:00 PM) - Al

I have said "any publicity is good publicity" several times, and when I do, I seem to always get an e-mail asking for examples.

This would seem to be a very good one.

8/29/2008 08:54:00 PM

(8/29/2008 08:19:00 PM) - Al

On a message board, someone was bemoaning the bullpen, mostly the Brewers' inability to develop relievers of their own (which has some merit), but ended with the thought that the relief corps was the team's weak link going into the last month.

Thus far, the Brewers relievers are 6th in the NL, with a 3.68 ERA. That certainly is not bad, but when you remove Turnbow's numbers, suddenly, they are 4th...0.002 runs behind the 3rd place Reds (whose fans also belittle their effective bullpen every time I see a Reds' board).

I'm not sure, but while it's a bit of an unspectacular group, with many guys past their prime, it's a top 25% bunch...tough to complain a whole lot about that.

8/29/2008 08:19:00 PM

(8/29/2008 07:25:00 PM) - Al

Dave Bush is living right tonight, there's been over a half-dozen line drives hit right at a position player.

Meanwhile, Tom G looked like he would not make it through the 1st inning, and while he has also allowed a couple "loud outs", he's been excellent since the first three batters of the game.

8/29/2008 07:25:00 PM

(8/29/2008 07:17:00 PM) - Al

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Don Zeiter emails: "I just talked to my daughter who is in law school at Tulane. She is on her way to St. Louis because of the evacuation order and school is closed because of Gustav. But she said the locals down there are acting like it's nothing to worry about, the same attitudes before Katrina hit. They keep saying we only get hit by female hurricanes and we go years between hurricanes hitting the city. Fortunately they have a better governor this time, though the same mayor." That's not encouraging.--Instapundit

Oof. You can almost hear the banjo music in the background, can't you?

8/29/2008 07:17:00 PM

(8/29/2008 05:14:00 PM) - Al

I found an article from USA Today in 2006 about MLB Playoff Roster rules explaining how a September call-up like Jacoby Ellsbury can make it onto the playoff roster.

Basically, each team has a pool of postseason-eligible players. This pool is made up of the 25-man roster at midnight on August 31, plus anyone on the disabled, bereavement, military, or suspended lists. So, in the Brewers case, they will have a pool of 28 players they can put on their playoff roster (the active roster, plus Capuano, Branyan and Gallardo). If any of those 28 players is injured at the time of the playoffs, the team can substitute another player that was in the organization on August 31 into their playoff pool for the injured player. That's the now famous "K-Rod loophole."

Hope this was clear enough,


So, while you can choose from whoever is on the 40 man, like I thought, you can only substitute so many, in the Brewers' case, 3.

I would say that means Branyan wil remain on the DL until 9/1, regardless if he's able to play before that.

Thanks to Theron for the assist.

8/29/2008 05:14:00 PM

(8/29/2008 02:28:00 PM) - Al

I've seen it mentioned several times today that Gustav may be a bit of a referendum on how the feds handle it, as well as for Bobby Jindal...often mentioned as a possible presidential candidate in the future.

Considering the same gent is still mayor of New Orleans, it seems apparent he can't be left to his own thoughts, or those pics of dozens of school buses sitting in the parking lot will only be repeated.

8/29/2008 02:28:00 PM

(8/29/2008 02:26:00 PM) - Al

She played the championship game despite a stress fracture in her ankle, hitting a critical free throw in the last seconds. Palin, who was also the head of the school Fellowship of Christian Athletes, would lead the team in prayer before games.

In 1984, after winning the Miss Wasilla contest earlier that year, Palin finished second in the Miss Alaska beauty pageant which won her a scholarship to help pay her way through college.--Wikipedia page on Sarah Palin

Allow me to say, what a refreshing bio. McCain with the gutsiest VP pick in my lifetime, as she's obviously very short on experience. As one of talking heads just said, the most interesting presidential election in most memories just got more interesting.

UPDATE: Glenn with a plethora of links, and ironically, he found the "18M cracks" line "delightfully sly", I found it clumsy and an odd way to describe it.

A thought I have had since my original post was how it's difficult to look at Palin and not see a daughter, daughter-in-law, sister, teacher, or heck, mother for the 18-25 group. She's attractive, yet not gorgeous. I can't help but think it's four years too soon, but John McCain never fails to surprise.

The Obama campaign puts out a statement saying Palin is a "former mayor in a town of 9,000", which reminds me of Obama's "cling to their guns and religion" small town indictment...obviously, all the "cool" people live in cosmopolitan areas of the big cities, right? There's a lot of small towns out in flyover country, though I doubt that line gets much play.

However, while I would still say Obama remains a substantial favorite, mostly due to the president's lack of popularity, there are a lot of people who will look at the ticket of the honored military vet and the small state governor and relate to them more than the Chicago senator and the Delaware senator.

UPDATE 2: Also going to link Ann's take, as she is as independent as anyone in the blogosphere (though she voted for Obama in the primary). Many posts, so read them all.

UPDATE 3/BUMP: Just thought I'd relay my links mentioning Palin...both my brother and another e-mailer have said they never heard of her before today except at Ramblings.

Link 1, way back in 2/08.

Link 2, showing Palin led a reader poll a while back.

Link 3, when I mentioned Bayh and Palin were the picks I would make were I Obama or McCain.

UPDATE 4:Palin served two terms on the Wasilla City Council from 1992 to 1996. In 1996, she challenged and defeated the incumbent mayor, criticizing wasteful spending and high taxes...Palin kept her campaign promises by reducing her own salary, as well as reducing property taxes by 60%.--Wikipedia

Cutting spending? Lowering taxes? Who'd want that?

8/29/2008 02:26:00 PM

(8/29/2008 01:58:00 PM) - Al

There's much talk about playoff rosters being submitted on 8/31, but I think those people are years behind...from everything I've seen, playoff rosters only have to come from a team's 40 man roster on 8/31.

If you have a link that supports or conflicts with this, shoot me an email.

8/29/2008 01:58:00 PM

(8/29/2008 01:26:00 PM) - Al

Hat tip to Gleeman (check out his links report, the best column on the web each Friday), check out this story on how low the Nationals' radio ratings are. 26K...a week? Wow.

UPDATE: Also, Aaron links to this e-mail of Roger Ebert's, which shows why I love Ebert (more than just the physical resemblance before his weight loss) and hate Jay Mariotti all in a few paragraphs.

8/29/2008 01:26:00 PM

(8/29/2008 12:33:00 PM) - Al

Adam P. and Robert G, check your inboxes, you were the winners in the ticket giveaway. Thank you to all of the 27 entrants, and for the many kind words many included.

If either Adam or Robert cannot perform their duties as attendees, I'll let you know.

8/29/2008 12:33:00 PM

Thursday, August 28, 2008

(8/28/2008 08:43:00 PM) - Al

"I feel very young at 50"

What's the old saying, kids keep you young?

I know it's in poor taste, but if I offend any child molesters, so be it.

8/28/2008 08:43:00 PM

(8/28/2008 05:19:00 PM) - Al


After the Brewers lost that game, Brewer announcers and other media people all said the same thing. We still lead St.Louis by 3.5 games and hold the wild card by that much. Not one word was said about losing ground to the Cubs. It's almost like everyone finally gave up on the division.

I know the Cubs look unbeatable right now, but if you look at the incredible schedule they have before them, you just never know.


The Rambling brother checks in with an overlooked point. I have not paid attention to the division lead because to me, the only thing that matters is a playoff berth. However, others have held out hope of a Cubs' collapse.

Allow me to say, with their offense, pitching, and run differential, it's tough to imagine. I have not really looked at the Cubs' schedule, but since they play all NL teams, and they are much better thus far, I can't see them going 10-20, and even if they did, the Cards or someone would have to go 20-10...I don't see either one of them happening.

8/28/2008 05:19:00 PM

(8/28/2008 04:43:00 PM) - Al

Is it possible to retroactively impeach Carter?

The McCain ads just keep writing themselves.

I can't believe the Obama people don't silence Jimmy. That may be the most ignorant thing I've heard him say...and that's saying something.

8/28/2008 04:43:00 PM

(8/28/2008 04:33:00 PM) - Al

It's not often I say this, but I think Tom H hits the nail on the head here.

I stand by my assertion last night that the Cards should worry more about their own house. Helmets being smashed every time you make the 3rd out of the inning? Yawn. I see that the same way I see the're just proving that you are so far out of the mainstream, I wonder about your level of intelligence.

8/28/2008 04:33:00 PM

(8/28/2008 02:44:00 PM) - Al


Great job on your blog. I’d like to be considered for the ticket giveaway for both games. Also, I heard today that the Brewers surpassed the 3 million tickets sold mark. Your prediction on that was as prophetic as any I’ve seen.

Keep up the good work.


To be fair, I think I said 3M would occur the year after they make the playoffs, but considering how often I'm right, I'll take it. Thanks Adam, and remember to enter the drawing for the free tiks!

8/28/2008 02:44:00 PM

(8/28/2008 02:06:00 PM) - Al

Yost said his team’s outfield defense is the best it has been in his six years with the Brewers. He attributes much of that to the athleticism of Braun, Mike Cameron and Hart and their willingness to move around. "There were years where you need binoculars to see the outfielders, they were playing so deep," said Yost. "You couldn’t get them to come in."--JS

Jenkins always played deep, as did Brady Clark. I noticed at the games I attended that Cameron played far more shallow than any CF I've seen at MP. Other teams have had OF's near the warning track many times this does make you wonder how many singles dropped in...especially since I don't recall hardly any balls bouncing on the warning track either.

8/28/2008 02:06:00 PM

(8/28/2008 01:43:00 PM) - Al

I dislike this stuff as much as you do. Stuff like this doesn't help batters see the
ball better. It doesn't work that way. If motivation was that helpful, every batter would be hitting 1.000. It's simply that the Cardinals are a good offensive club and finally got going.


Not to mention Riske simply left the ball up and over the plate last night. He was lights out the night before, it happens.

The funny thing is, even a total clod like John Kruk, who played the game mind you, has often said things like that make no difference at all. Hitting a pitch, if anything, is harder to do when you're "excited", as your split second timing is likely better when you are relaxed.

8/28/2008 01:43:00 PM

(8/28/2008 01:19:00 PM) - Al

Friend of Ramblings JR sends along this press release, stating the Brewers have sold their 3 millionth ticket for 2008.

I would assume the total ends up closer to 3.1M. Congrats to Mark A and the entire franchise.

8/28/2008 01:19:00 PM

(8/28/2008 12:59:00 PM) - Al

Aaron points out that even when the Twins make a smart move, they still blame the wrong things...Mike Lamb was "too laid back", according to Ron Gardenhire. Lamb responded by saying he would have thrown some stuff if that would have helped.:)

Gleeman correctly states that if Lamb had hit better, no one would have cared.

8/28/2008 12:59:00 PM

(8/28/2008 11:52:00 AM) - Al

Kind words about how the Brewers do business.

8/28/2008 11:52:00 AM

(8/28/2008 11:15:00 AM) - Al

I'll be gone 'til later this afternoon, but a post or two will be popping up. Also, remember to enter the Ramblings' ticket giveaway, I'll probably do the drawing tomorrow and mail them out then. I only have a couple entries for each day, so your odds are pretty good!

8/28/2008 11:15:00 AM

(8/28/2008 10:44:00 AM) - Al

The economy grew by 3.3% last quarter, thanks to exports.

Thank you farmers and manufacturers. Normally, this would be taken as great news, but I doubt it will. I do admit though, I haven't heard anyone use the "recession" word in a while.

8/28/2008 10:44:00 AM

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

(8/27/2008 11:38:00 PM) - Al

Drama and Scott Boras? Imagine that.

Let's see, after he singlehandedly ruined Matt Harrington's life and legacy, he was fired by Kenny Rogers for negotiating with teams other than DET, and finally, ARod had to negotiate his own deal, because Boras was too ignorant to do so.

Any one who hires Boras deserves his vast stupidity. I don't think the guy can change a lightbulb without hanging up on someone and leaking something to the press.

8/27/2008 11:38:00 PM

(8/27/2008 10:27:00 PM) - Al

The irony is, with the very low (well, sometimes high, sometimes outside, but mostly low, Phil Cuzzi needs to purchase a strike zone) zone, Riske should have thrived, as he usually lives down around the knees and on the corners. But, despite facing RH hitters, which he has dominated, almost everything was up and near the middle. Sadly, you can't choose when not to have your good stuff.

It's just exhausting watching Pujols and the Cards...not sure if they intend on being aggravated every inning of every game or what. They seem to be have a lot on their minds besides doing their best on every pitch and every play...can't believe that's a good sign. They're certainly more than capable, I think their run differential is better than the Brewers, but they've lost a lot of games late...a bit of a weak bullpen and probably some bad luck too. Heck, if they would have held down a couple of those late rallies against MIL, they'd be even.

8/27/2008 10:27:00 PM

(8/27/2008 08:47:00 PM) - Al

I'm pretty sure I guessed earlier this year that the untucking of shirts on the field had something to do with Cameron, and sure enough, Brian just said he does it as a tribute to his dad, as he untucked his shirt after work each day.

Admittedly, that's about as boring a tale as I can imagine. I never tucked back when I played softball, and I still don't, except when I wear a dress shirt.

8/27/2008 08:47:00 PM

(8/27/2008 08:41:00 PM) - Al

I have some Brewers' tickets to give away.

For 9/4, 2 tiks in 407, row 9, terrace reserve.

For 9/8, 3 tiks in 405, row 5, terrace box.

If you wish to be entered, just shoot me an e-mail, and let me know which game, or games, you'd like to be considered for.

8/27/2008 08:41:00 PM

(8/27/2008 05:01:00 PM) - Al

Durham would not have been playing tonight anyway, as he has played once per series since he was acquired, except when Rickie was injured, and then last weekend, Ray did not play because they faced all LHP's.

8/27/2008 05:01:00 PM

(8/27/2008 02:25:00 PM) - Al

I think it's great he did the best he could and offered refunds. That's a class act.

8/27/2008 02:25:00 PM

(8/27/2008 12:51:00 AM) - Al

Sometime soon, I will be sharing my tale about the IRS, since it appears our ordeal with them is over...I hope.

Allow me to say you should never fib to the IRS...they are scary enough to deal with when you're telling the truth.

8/27/2008 12:51:00 AM

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

(8/26/2008 10:20:00 PM) - Al

Before the game, they kept talking about how "hungry" the Cards were, angry about the way the Crew watched HR's, blah, blah, blah.

Momentum is that day's starting pitcher. All the rest is for the media.

Note, not a single pitch that could even be considered inside all night, even down a goodness, Garcia should have been coming in to every hitter once, just to make them a little less comfy up there.

Good win, as I'd say tomorrow's pitching matchup favors SL.

8/26/2008 10:20:00 PM

(8/26/2008 10:18:00 PM) - Al

I found this tonight looking for something else...look at how effective was Gagne was in his 10 saves...almost untouched.

It's either been feast or famine for Eric...when he gets hit, he gets hit hard.

8/26/2008 10:18:00 PM

(8/26/2008 10:11:00 PM) - Al

8 relievers, and LaRussa still chooses to "punt", allowing Garcia to "take one for the team".

I will say this, that doesn't happen a lot when a team is at home. Of course, there's only about 15K people left in the stands, and probably 2K of them are Brewers' fans...

8/26/2008 10:11:00 PM

(8/26/2008 10:09:00 PM) - Al

Where's the unity?

There's a saying in my business...fake it 'til you make it. How hard is it to smile and cheer at everything for four days?

8/26/2008 10:09:00 PM

(8/26/2008 10:06:00 PM) - Al

Bill Clinton and me...two of a kind.

I'm sure I will "snub" McCain's as well.

8/26/2008 10:06:00 PM

(8/26/2008 09:50:00 PM) - Al

Nice job by Ned putting Riske in to face 2 RH's to lead off the inning...think he's aware of these splits?

David's almost perfectly balanced in his career, but he's struggled versus LH bats this year.

8/26/2008 09:50:00 PM

(8/26/2008 09:34:00 PM) - Al

I wonder if Yost inserted Rickie for his defense, or if Ray got banged up. Many will question that, but there's little doubt Durham has very limited range.

UPDATE: Nope, Ray was hurt, sprained shoulder, day-to-day.

Might be great news for an IF on the bubble for the 40 man.

8/26/2008 09:34:00 PM

(8/26/2008 09:32:00 PM) - Al

Ned wants replay like the NFL has.

The only replay I like is tennis, and that's because it is very fast, and because the ball simply travels too fast, it seems, for the human eye, especially on serves. I still like the great line by Mary Carillo, who when it was mentioned many times women end the set with all their challenges remaining (as they hit the ball softer), she said, "Yeah, women don't use theirs much. Meanwhile, men come out of the locker room, and start using them in the warm-ups".

8/26/2008 09:32:00 PM

(8/26/2008 08:19:00 PM) - Al

How they recruit at all-guys colleges.

I never knew St. Johns was one, but I heard a lot about their football team when I lived in the Cities.

8/26/2008 08:19:00 PM

(8/26/2008 05:53:00 PM) - Al

Even the talent is shaking their head at the biased coverage from "the analysts" at MSNBC. I think this takes "leaning left" to a whole new level.

Of course, it is one thing to have a guy like Olbermann doing his schtik to the far-left...but it's quite a credibility gap when NBC & MSNBC has him "anchoring" a news way you're going to get opinion free results and coverage.

8/26/2008 05:53:00 PM

(8/26/2008 05:43:00 PM) - Al

Jim Maloney agrees that the Crew will talk to Lamb once he clears waivers.

8/26/2008 05:43:00 PM

(8/26/2008 04:54:00 PM) - Al


I found you via a link a couple years ago, and I've been a daily reader since. Casual Brewers' fan, but love the current events links and comments. Please continue.

Wondering what you thought about McCain going up 2 points with Biden named and the Dem convention being topical? It seems like a strange time for him to be getting a bounce, it usually works the opposite.

Thanks again, and I'll hang up while I await your reply.


Thanks for the kind words, Theodore, apparently a talk radio listener, per his last sentence.

I had not heard about today's poll (which is actually 3 days combined, tomorrow's will add today's and drop Saturday's, it's a "rolling" poll). To me, the big news is Obama has cycled from 44-49 and McCain from 40-44...and suddenly, McCain is 2 points higher than his previous high.

{Granted, it is less than the margin of error.}

Of course, popular polls don't mean much anyway, as the election uses the electoral college. That said, I'm sure the Obama camp is a bit uneasy about only being slightly ahead (up until now), as the economy is stagnant, gas prices are high, and other short-term issues seem to favor the non-incumbent party. I'm not even sure what the "bounce" from the convention usually is, but I would guess 5% or so.

I may be a bit biased, but I've never been much of a believer in the Dem's convention, which tends to be negative and "whoa is us" really swaying many undecideds...people make fun of the Republicans wrapping themselves in the flag, but in my opinion, that plays much better in "flyover country".

I enjoy watching political stuff, but last night's lineup of Nancy Pelosi (Congress has a 10% approval rating), Jimmy Carter (enough said), a Ted Kennedy tribute (, and Obama's wife had no appeal to me whatsoever, and I can't believe I was alone. I did watch much of the wrap-up on Nightline, and Ms. Obama's speech seemed to play nicely.

8/26/2008 04:54:00 PM

Monday, August 25, 2008

(8/25/2008 09:13:00 PM) - Al

I would say it's a much bigger thing that the veterans Doug signed are doing well, but we'll let them load up on stereotypes for now.

Just don't tell anyone the Mets had more "veteran influence" than anyone last year, and they still went 5-12 down the stretch. Shhh.

8/25/2008 09:13:00 PM

(8/25/2008 06:40:00 PM) - Al

The Texas GOP doesn't even bother being politically correct in their attack.

I must admit, I still don't get the whole episode about the houses...McCain is wealthy, but the mix-up is because many of the homes in question are in his wife's family trust...I don't know enough about trusts to know if the Senator has any ownership of them or not.

8/25/2008 06:40:00 PM

(8/25/2008 05:48:00 PM) - Al

They will never pick him up on waivers, as he has a bad contract, but Mike Lamb could be an option after he clears, for the Crew and many teams. He's had a down year, but his career has been solid.

8/25/2008 05:48:00 PM

(8/25/2008 05:32:00 PM) - Al

The Dems...United in Unity...says Dave Barry. Read the whole thing.

8/25/2008 05:32:00 PM

(8/25/2008 05:01:00 PM) - Al

Molony expects Braves second baseman Kelly Johnson to be traded this winter. Johnson, 26, slipped to .264/.333/.405 in 482 plate appearances this year. He'll be arbitration eligible for the first time.---MLBTR

Doug and ATL were rumored to have discussed Johnson last year. Remember that name, as Kelly bats LH and is an OBP guy...he has not played 3B, but he'd fit in otherwise.

Hall was part of the original rumor, and may well be again...especially if the Braves deal Yunel Escobar to fill holes.

8/25/2008 05:01:00 PM

(8/25/2008 04:06:00 PM) - Al

When I was a kid in the early 60s, Post cereals started featuring baseball cards on the back panel of each box. Thanks to that marketing strategy, I suddenly became interested in reading, in statistics, and in baseball all at once. My mastery of the scissors came somewhat later… but by the end of 1963, I had amassed an almost complete—and fairly well-trimmed—card collection of the two previous seasons. I had Maris’s 61 home-run card and Wills’s 104 steals card (collectors will know that I’m talking about 1961-62: the cards are always one season late). Only years later did I realize that the fair-skinned Wills was black—and Bill Bruton, and Sam Jones. At the time, I wouldn’t have cared even if I had known.

But I began to care later, because—as a more suspicious adult—I couldn’t help but wonder why so many stupendous black players from these years had fizzled out. Tommy Davis, Vada Pinson, Bill White, Floyd Robinson… why didn’t they end up like Yastrzemski or Killebrew? Of course, Maris faded fast, as well; and Kluszewski developed back problems, and Pete Runnels perished in a trade to a miserable organization. To paraphrase the Bard, men have died, and worms have eaten them, but not for… not necessarily for racial bigotry.

Nevertheless, my cards suggested enough dubious cases to me that I wanted to pursue the issue further. I wrote my initial suspicions down, then ran some statistical comparisons, then gathered some anecdotal evidence. Some of my doubts turned out to be unfounded, and some of them are probably beyond answering; but in several instances, a very good case could be made that racial prejudice had not been eradicated from the Major Leagues 15 years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier. Among other items of treatment which no one to my knowledge has ever even raised in conversation, I found reason to suppose that players of color were often (too often) traded for each other, that especially African-American players (not Caribbean-African players) were commonly nudged out of middle-infield positions with their greater assurance of longevity, and that the “Negro League” style of play—bunting, low line-drives, base-stealing—was fiercely denigrated in favor of station-to-station, home-run baseball during these years.

My conclusion was not the blunt notion that dark-skinned guys couldn’t catch a break. Rather, I decided that I was looking at the umpteenth example I’ve seen in my life of a system filtering out people who don’t quite fit in. Race was certainly a factor, and it may have been the major factor for white spectators who didn’t want to mingle with black spectators; but inside the game, I think the decision-makers feared that this new harvest of players would be too unruly, would play too wild, would not take direction, would or could not figure out the game’s "complexities". Such preconceptions reflect bigotry—yes, once again. Yet more than anything, I believe they reflect the mainstream’s fear of the margin. It’s no accident that home-run hitters like Mays and Banks made the biggest splash, and Aaron made a very deliberate calculation (and a very accurate one) in joining their ranks. Jackie’s style of play, however, largely went underground until Maury Wills brought it back in ’62—and perhaps only the Dodgers would have allowed a Wills to surface.

I’ve put all of this together in a book called Key to a Cold City. I’ve posted it as a free download. (The file is about 30 MB and takes three or four minutes to download with DSL because I included several picture files—photocopies from my old card collection!) I’m hoping, of course, that interested browsers may make a fully tax-exempt contribution of a few pennies to The Center for Literate Values… but no donation is required. The book is available for free. Frankly, I grew fed up with publishers who wanted to trim this or that section in their unending quest to cut production costs without jeopardizing their chances at a profit (I believe “crap shoot” is the operative phrase). I’m sure I wrote too much in places; but I wanted to preserve the book’s slightly narrative tone, because for me it was a kind of story, a journey from A to B. For all of us, these matters don’t come clear like a sheet of litmus paper’s altered color. They move from puzzlement to suspicion to pretty-sure conviction… and that’s about as far as they go, amid the clouds of witness where we must live.

Give the book a try. It’s readable, you can jump around in it… and it’s FREE !

John Harris

I got this as a mass e-mail, but it's just interesting enough that many readers will at least want to check it out.

8/25/2008 04:06:00 PM

(8/25/2008 02:34:00 PM) - Al

The Crew was interested in Guardado at the 7/31 deadline, and now the Twins pick him up.

8/25/2008 02:34:00 PM

(8/25/2008 01:49:00 PM) - Al


I know your feelings on the official scorer at MP, and wondered if you had heard Bill's comment on FSN over the weekend. In the first inning (I wasn't watching yet) there was an error charged to Hardy. Later on Brian and Bill mentioned that it was changed to a hit. Bill began talking about how it was likely ruled an error in case that would have been the only hit of the game and ruined a pitcher's no-no. I have my own feelings on that theory, but was curious to hear yours.

Keep up the great work.


That may have been part of it, but I would guess he simply ruled it against the fielder, which is his norm, and was later told by folks that, once again, he had embarrassed himself, so he changed it.

By the way, MP has two guys, O'Driscoll does not do all the games. It'd be interesting to see the E ratio for both, as O'Driscoll is off the charts tough.

8/25/2008 01:49:00 PM

(8/25/2008 01:29:00 PM) - Al

Courtesy of BCB, here's a Brewers' promo...I would guess from 1979 or '80.

8/25/2008 01:29:00 PM

(8/25/2008 01:13:00 PM) - Al

Allow me to say, the McCain ads of the past couple weeks are just brilliant; simple, yet they say volumes.

Here's the latest, is this the gal from WI? I'm sure the McCain campaign was just furious she's young and attractive.:)

8/25/2008 01:13:00 PM

(8/25/2008 01:08:00 PM) - Al

Adam answers his weekly questions...I would differ on his final answer, in which he states the AAA team could be very good next year. I would say they may be loaded with prospects, but those teams usually struggle versus the many AAA teams that are loaded with minor league veterans.

8/25/2008 01:08:00 PM

(8/25/2008 01:00:00 PM) - Al

I don't have much to say about the top picture...I mean Cuba's such a land of prosperity and all, but the bottom one has two banners, and I'm not sure which one is more ignorant than the other...though I'm leaning toward the "Riot 4 Peace".

Of course, I wonder how these folks got the week off from work...I'm sorry, what was I thinking?

8/25/2008 01:00:00 PM

(8/25/2008 12:57:00 PM) - Al

Glenn links to this example of our government in action...throwing new technology out with the bathwater and going back to 1950.

Golly, I hope we can put more and more important functions of private business into the government's hands!

8/25/2008 12:57:00 PM

(8/25/2008 12:44:00 PM) - Al

Don Walker defines what a sellout is at Miller Park.

Basically, if you can walk up to the window and get two seats together, it's not a sellout. Otherwise, it is.

8/25/2008 12:44:00 PM

(8/25/2008 01:13:00 AM) - Al

Mike Hunt of the JS writes about the win.

8/25/2008 01:13:00 AM

(8/25/2008 12:36:00 AM) - Al

Last night, I was flipping channels during the commercials of the WSOP rerun, and I came across the Bob Saget roast.

Gilbert Gottfried told a joke that was so bad, Norm McDonald and Jeffrey Ross were offended...I did not even know that was possible.

And please, do not play the link at work, or if you are offended by adult language or situations.

8/25/2008 12:36:00 AM

(8/25/2008 12:17:00 AM) - Al

McCain's ad criticizes Obama for not picking Clinton because she got a lot of votes...this seems to indicate he will choose either Romney or Huckabee. I have not heard Huckabee's name even mentioned as a longshot, so...

8/25/2008 12:17:00 AM

Sunday, August 24, 2008

(8/24/2008 09:25:00 PM) - Al


Your observation about Hall trying to steal third on Kapler's pinch hit reminded me of some of the comments I overheard around my seat at the game today. Kapler hit that ball on a 3-2 count, two outs, with just Hall on second base. A guy behind me, right before the pitch, says, "3-2. Running on the pitch here." I'm thinking he's an idiot for even considering it, let alone believing it would happen. And then when Hall tries to steal, I'm stunned. There's two outs, and you'd think Hall's going to score on any hit to the outfield in that situation. Why steal? Then, of course, as you noted, the steal attempt actually helps the ball sneak through and it works perfectly. The guy almost busted a vocal cord yelling out congratulations to himself for that, but even though it worked, I don't see the logic in it.

Also overheard today:

- "C'mon Cameron! Get it!" said on a ball hit to LF that Braun only has to take about two or three steps to his left to catch.

- "How Cameron ever won even one Gold Glove is beyond me." said after he dived to try and catch Sanchez's line drive but ended up missing it.

The Cameron curtain call was a fun moment. Even some of the less-informed among the fan base are coming around on him. He was fun to watch today.


Cameron should have probably pulled off his attempt to catch that ball, but with his angle, he probably figured it was his only chance to knock it down.

8/24/2008 09:25:00 PM

(8/24/2008 09:20:00 PM) - Al

In returning the franchise to a competitive mode, the Brewers did much of their rebuilding through the draft. The Pirates, who are headed for their 16th consecutive losing season, haven’t fared as well in that department.

Which is why many were surprised when the Pirates passed on Brewers scouting director Jack Zduriencik, a Pittsburgh native, in filling their vacant general manager position last winter.

“That turned out to be our good fortune,” Yost said.--JS

Sadly, Jack Z is now in his late 50's, meaning I'm not sure if anyone will ever let him be a GM, as I would assume the interested teams would have long timelines to success.

His best chance might be if Doug retires in the next year or two, but I believe Doug is a year or two younger.

8/24/2008 09:20:00 PM

(8/24/2008 08:45:00 PM) - Al

Don't look now, but remember the Cameron/Hart comparison? That is now passe (Hart's OBP is down to .319, he needs to take some walks again). Meanwhile, take a gander at this:

Fielder---.270/.369/.501, 870 OPS
Cameron---.257/.345/.528, 873 OPS


8/24/2008 08:45:00 PM

(8/24/2008 08:19:00 PM) - Al

Hunt says Cal Poly is a poor choice for Senior Day, but in reality, it's a terrible choice overall. The Badgers have no purpose for playing a team at that level, and their fearfulness of playing the talented team they were scheduled to play, is in a word, painful.

8/24/2008 08:19:00 PM

(8/24/2008 07:54:00 PM) - Al

I keep forgetting to mention that if Bill Hall is not running on the 3-2 pitch to Kapler with 2 outs, it iks very unlikely he Gomez, the 3B, took about 3 steps up so he could beat Hall to the bag if the pitch was a ball, and then missed the ball by inches. If he's at regular depth, he at least knocks it down.

Better to be lucky than good.

8/24/2008 07:54:00 PM

(8/24/2008 07:23:00 PM) - Al

Even Tom H commends Mota, who was unavailable for comment after the game...he was working out.

I'll have to flip over to the Weather Channel and see if hell has frozen over.

8/24/2008 07:23:00 PM

(8/24/2008 06:35:00 PM) - Al

Nice work by Adam talking to the bullpen guys about their workload, or lack thereof.

Gagne was not used today because he was all warmed up and ready to work in the 8th or 9th, but Shouse got out of it and Torres came into pitch the 9th. They seem to have to treat Eric differently, making me think his shoulder still has some issues.

8/24/2008 06:35:00 PM

(8/24/2008 06:11:00 PM) - Al

I just noticed today that on the anti-drunk driving ad that airs several times a game, on the back of the helmet is "DOT". I guess they were afraid someone might walk off with the motorcycle helmet and had to label it.


I’m guessing you’re not a motorcycle rider. Helmets have to meet certain safety standards to be certified by the DOT. Certified helmets all have a DOT sticker on the back.


Heh, no I did not know that. That kind of makes it a lot less funny, but thanks Jeff.

8/24/2008 06:11:00 PM

(8/24/2008 06:11:00 PM) - Al

Mike Cameron will be the best CF in the NL as soon as he gets a few more AB's to qualify. Astounding that has gone under the radar because of the way BA is used, despite it not meaning a thing.

8/24/2008 06:11:00 PM

(8/24/2008 06:04:00 PM) - Al

Baseball Tonight just showed the home plate ump in the Angels/Twins game throwing out the final batter for the Twins after the game was over.

You need proof these guys just love to make ejections? What an embarrassment to the sport.

8/24/2008 06:04:00 PM

(8/24/2008 05:11:00 PM) - Al

Thankfully, Doug did not give up on Weeks and Mota like so many did.

This team wins coin flips, my friends. I don't have any other way of explaining it other that that. Most would say it's just good fortune, and I would pretty much agree...of course, most would say that because they would be afraid to give Ned a hint of credit.

I'll say this, if someone would write a book on how to set up the bullpen for success, Ned would be co-writing it. He double switched brilliantly, and set up his guys, though Carlos did his best to walk away the game in his 2nd inning of work. Riske and Torres both gave up a run, and Carlos should have, but you can't fault the planning.

8/24/2008 05:11:00 PM

(8/24/2008 02:05:00 PM) - Al

CC looks a lot like Ben has the last month...not pitching badly, but missing his spots. Jason has had to reach for the ball several times today, so Sabathia is not on the black like he has been.

8/24/2008 02:05:00 PM

(8/24/2008 01:48:00 PM) - Al

I can't believe teams keep feeding CC breaking balls...he seems to be the epitome of a slider speed bat.

8/24/2008 01:48:00 PM

(8/24/2008 01:31:00 PM) - Al

What are they protesting?

Good point about Georgia...the only thing that stopped Russia from just taking over was the threat of military actions from the US and their allies.

8/24/2008 01:31:00 PM

(8/24/2008 01:08:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers and Red Sox are both showing interest in Mark Kotsay. The Brewers would only pursue a trade if Ryan Braun's ribcage injury worsens, and so far he looks more than fine. The Sox made a play for lefty-hitting Brian Giles before Giles vetoed the deal, so it makes sense that they'd exert similar effort toward Kotsay. Even more so now that J.D. Drew has a herniated disc.--MLBTR, per Ken Rosenthal

Kotsay has cleared waivers. Hopefully, Ryan will stay healthy and it won't matter, but a Kotsay/Cameron/Hart OF might be among the best at preventing runs out there.

I still think the Crew will be picking up one more reliever as well.

8/24/2008 01:08:00 PM

(8/24/2008 11:29:00 AM) - Al

Mat Gamel promoted to AAA with only a couple weeks remaining in the minor league seems likely the Brewers are considering him for September, or at least part of it.

Gamel is not on the 40 man roster, so would have to be placed on by 8/31...though that would not be difficult, as Capuano can be put on the 60 day DL.

Hat tip to friend of Ramblings Jim.

8/24/2008 11:29:00 AM

(8/24/2008 12:28:00 AM) - Al

The TV guys mentioned tonight that the Brewers have quietly moved up to 5th in runs scored...and they are also 5th in ERA. Perhaps even more impressive is they are finally in the upper half, 8th of 16, in OBP, even with the 3B combo often struggling, unless Counsell is walking.

You'll also notice no one discusses the fact they are 4th in K's...because it is not kosher to talk about it because they are succeeding. In reality, an out is an out. Every once in a while, a K hurts, but it's not enough to worry about over 162.

When you can predict runs scored by just looking at OBP and SLG to a 98% correlation, all those "little things" add up to 2%. I'll worry about the big things, thanks.

8/24/2008 12:28:00 AM

(8/24/2008 12:12:00 AM) - Al

I have mentioned this before, but I still laugh when I think about how many people thought other teams would alter their rotations to avoid having a LH SP face the righty heavy Crew. Not only have they not, PIT was so intent on getting Gorzelanny back into the starting five ASAP, they didn't even pay attention to the Crew's success against southpaws.

Most teams do not fiddle around with things except to occasionally skip their #5 starter. Good lefties still beat them, so it's not a big deal. No doubt the Brewers prefer LH's, but a pitcher that keeps the ball in the park and changes speed can easily hold them down, regardless of which hand they throw with.

8/24/2008 12:12:00 AM

(8/24/2008 12:03:00 AM) - Al

Yost remembered the stands being packed near the end of the 1982 season, but the box scores tell a slightly different story. County Stadium seated more than 53,000, but the Brewers drew just 11 crowds of more than 40,000 that season including nine such crowds after the All-Star break. Lingering fan resentment about the '81 strike surely played a role in attendance

They always remember the "good ol' days" fondly...the stands were packed, the women were beautiful, and so on. That said, I recall going to County Stadium many times and it seeming close to full, and the announced attendance was usually 30-35K.

8/24/2008 12:03:00 AM

Saturday, August 23, 2008

(8/23/2008 11:59:00 PM) - Al

I only lost a single pound last week, but considering we spent several days on the road and that I lost seven last week, I'll accept it. That's eight pounds thus far, for those of you who have wagered on me versus Gleeman in some sort of strange online challenge.

We'll have to see how Jason did on his "plan", as I can't believe healthy eating is easy to find in Hawaii on vacation.

8/23/2008 11:59:00 PM

(8/23/2008 11:50:00 PM) - Al

I had forgotten McCain's attack on Michael Moore at the '04 convention. It was nothing compared to Rudy, but it was one of the highlights.

Of course, such an easy target...

8/23/2008 11:50:00 PM

(8/23/2008 10:30:00 PM) - Al

I'm not proud of the fact that I'm messing around at baseball reference on a Saturday night but I clicked onto Dave Martinez and almost fainted when I saw he had votes to get 20th place as a MVP in 1991. I looked at the numbers and it further cemented my belief that beat writers leave something to be desired.


I'm sure words like "spark plug" and "great guy" were bandied about. It might have just been a single voter, if it makes you feel better.

Since Morneau won a few years ago, after being the 4th or 5th best player on his team, it's been as meaningless to me as the Gold Gloves, which seem to be rewarded for offense and media friendliness...there's no possible reason for Derek Jeter to be considered upper half, never mind win the darn thing twice now.

8/23/2008 10:30:00 PM

(8/23/2008 09:50:00 PM) - Al

The JS passes along this note, that basically says tickets are going fast and furious.

8/23/2008 09:50:00 PM

(8/23/2008 08:45:00 PM) - Al

Glenn links the Carnival of Recipes, and many look yummy.

I especially like the looks of the garlic lemon chicken.

8/23/2008 08:45:00 PM

(8/23/2008 08:22:00 PM) - Al

Tom H discusses who might be called up, as well as a Torres/Cordero comparison.

8/23/2008 08:22:00 PM

(8/23/2008 08:11:00 PM) - Al

I keep forgetting to mention the difference between the two crowds of the Tuesday/Wednesday games.

Tuesday was BP night, where many fans get in for free. That's how we were planning on attending, actually, but were too late, so we had to pay $6 a seat or so to get 4th deck tickets on Stub Hub. The Rambling wife and I noticed early on how many empty seats there were, and while the rest of the park was full, the terrace level never got over 80% full. By the end of the game, it was only about 1/3rd full, while the other levels were still probably 50-60% occupied. Lots of people did not make it to the game, and those that did came late and left early...exactly what you'd expect of casual fans who got their tickets free.

Wednesday, the place was full by the 2nd inning, and it was still 90% full when the final pitch was thrown. Granted, the Brewers won Wednesday, so that made a difference, I'm sure. Still, it was strange to see tons of people coming over the bridge in the 3rd inning, and tons leaving in the 7th.

8/23/2008 08:11:00 PM

(8/23/2008 07:54:00 PM) - Al

How many umpires does it take to make the correct call on fan interference?

Apparently, more than four.

When the runner stops at 1B, and they still award 2B, you truly have to question the effort or even the fact the umps are paying attention. The crew chief having to push the ump out of Ned's face deserves bonus points for stupidity as well.

8/23/2008 07:54:00 PM

(8/23/2008 05:01:00 PM) - Al

Michael asks what the IOC is smoking, wondering why they can't get MLB players to the Olympics.

Of course, not understanding the basics of the sport like this means the MLB's World Baseball Classic will continue to grow in popularity...there's some irony for you.

8/23/2008 05:01:00 PM

(8/23/2008 12:37:00 PM) - Al

Jeff at BCB tells us why the team has done so well in August. Note the positives of Weeks and Cameron, probably the two most misunderstood current team members.

8/23/2008 12:37:00 PM

(8/23/2008 11:02:00 AM) - Al

There's more than a small risk that Biden will reinforce the sense that this ticket is all about hearing itself talk.--Jonah Goldberg

That is a risky proposition. Biden has expressed his concern about Obama being ready, especially his foreign policy naivety. While meant to balance this out, Biden's choice will bring these words back into the forefront for a few days.

That said, I'm hearing a lot of Mitt Romney talk. While he has actually ran a state, that's the only positive I see. Heck, I can't get past the idea he goes by "Mitt"...and I go by "Al".

8/23/2008 11:02:00 AM

(8/23/2008 09:02:00 AM) - Al

I made no secret that I felt Evan Bayh was an outstanding choice for VP, and one thing keeps coming to my mind...I really can't see a guy who got 1% of the vote in Iowa just a few months ago bringing a whole lot of votes to the party. He seems a bit liberal and a bit of a Washingtonian...tough to talk a lot about "change" when the guy has been in office 36 years.

Is he qualified? Yes, certainly. I just don't see a great deal of excitement being generated.

8/23/2008 09:02:00 AM

Friday, August 22, 2008

(8/22/2008 10:21:00 PM) - Al

Looks like Bayh is the pick. Obama makes a very good choice.

UPDATE: Others are now reporting Biden or just that it is not Bayh. I suppose they could have either made fake bumper stickers or prototypes with all the possibilities, but that seems like a lot of bother, considering everyone will know in 12 hours.

UPDATE 2: The Secret Service is now protecting Biden, meaning that supposedly, he's the pick. That Obama camp is sneaky, or just lucky to get a diversion.

I'm not sure why he would take Biden over Bayh myself, but it's not my legacy either.

8/22/2008 10:21:00 PM

(8/22/2008 10:05:00 PM) - Al

Adam wonders who will come up when the rosters expand. I do too, but I'd bet my house on Rottino, Stetter, and Dillard. They'll probably be plenty more as well, including Branyan.

It sounds like they'll only be able to add one non 40 man player, so we'll have to see if Stocker gets the call or not. Sounds like they have someone in mind, but who it is, do not know.

8/22/2008 10:05:00 PM

(8/22/2008 09:57:00 PM) - Al

Nice game all around tonight, Hart, Hardy, and Weeks all drove the ball hard the other way, Braun steps back in and goes 2-5, and even Hall contributed. He looked lost at the plate the last few games, so good for him. Bush did not have his best stuff, as 3 runs allowed in 7 innings is just "decent" against the Pirates, who lost a lot of punch a month ago. Kendall got him 2 outs as well.

Again, Ned uses his bullpen wisely, getting Seth in the game late, after using Gagne since he was loose anyway.

My brother asked why Nix didn't go in for Braun late, and I had thought the same thing at the time, but with Ryan swinging fine, stealing bases, and taking home on the 4-3 groundout, I guess they figure he's fine to catch the ball. I doubt if he'll make it through without it bothering him, but until something awkward occurs, there's really nothing you can do.

8/22/2008 09:57:00 PM

(8/22/2008 02:19:00 PM) - Al

This reminds me...I still think the Crew will add a reliever before 8/31, and Dave Weathers and Guardado have been mentioned before.

8/22/2008 02:19:00 PM

(8/22/2008 02:14:00 PM) - Al

Bronson Arroyo's "plan" sounds like a carbon copy of their '08 team, which was far from competitive.

8/22/2008 02:14:00 PM

(8/22/2008 01:49:00 PM) - Al


You have said a few times Evan Bayh is the best VP pick for Obama. What about Clinton?


I meant the ones that were being considered, GT. Hillary would be the best choice for picking up votes, and many would say the most ready to step in...but does not take into consideration that they can't stand each other.

As some had predicted, her support for Obama has been lukewarm thus far, and very quiet. This is what happened in '04 as well, and other than their almost required convention speeches, the Clintons did nothing to help Kerry either.

Other than Bayh, I'm not that impressed with any of the contenders...but I can say the same thing about the elephants...of those rumored, Sarah Palin is my top choice, though Tim Pawlenty would be "all right". Many, like Ridge and Lieberman, may well cause friction in the conservative base and just stay home, or make a "protest vote" of Bob Barr.

Let's not forget, Huckabee was still getting 35-40% of the votes in the South, and while many respect McCain even if they aren't thrilled with his moderate views, another moderate, without the "military hero" label on their resume, may be tough to take. On the record, I'm still a Condi Rice fan, based on service and knowledge...but why would choices be made using that.:)

8/22/2008 01:49:00 PM

(8/22/2008 01:46:00 PM) - Al

Glenn reports lots of measles cases, half of them kids who were not given the vaccine.

I'm no expert, but the idea there are parents who go out of their way to make sure their offspring do not get the vaccine is stunning to me.

8/22/2008 01:46:00 PM

(8/22/2008 01:24:00 PM) - Al


What do you think will happen if the Brewers do not make the playoffs? I seem to hear a lot of talk about next year being a down year, and it seems like missing the playoffs would be a huge disappointment to many of the bandwagon fans, as that's why they are now on board.


I have been told that regardless, the 2009 season will be played.:)

The braintrust has made no secret they are "going for it", as they hated to give up Laporta, and the PTBNL will be a good prospect as well. I've been waiting all year for SL to fall, and it would appear it's not going to happen, as while they have many players having "career" type seasons, there's only 30 games or so left...those campaigns are pretty much in the book.

Would changes be made? Quite possible. Many seem to believe Yost will either get an extension or be gone after this year, and considering he only has one year remaining on his deal, that makes few allow a manager to go forward as a "lame duck".

You never know what Mark A is thinking either, and Doug has pointed out he felt successful in TEX and one day got called in and was told his services were no longer needed.

One thing I'll be interested to see is what happens with the season ticket base, either way. Many people allowed theirs to expire a few years ago, as they could walk up to any game and get good seats (if memory serves, Robert was one of them), and whether they make the postseason or not, those days have passed.

8/22/2008 01:24:00 PM

(8/22/2008 01:19:00 PM) - Al

Michaels relays this link about impending instant replay, that the umps are worried about delays.

Considering they are the ones responsible for pace of game, that seems like delicious irony to me. I wonder if Brewers' games are faster than average, as Ned rarely makes pitching changes mid-inning.

8/22/2008 01:19:00 PM

(8/22/2008 02:36:00 AM) - Al

And then, there's walking. Even in the Olympics, "race walking" sure does look silly.

Somehow, sports like this survive, yet interesting things like speed golf never catch on.

8/22/2008 02:36:00 AM

(8/22/2008 02:03:00 AM) - Al

Hey Al - just some stats I found interesting on the pitching staff. First thing is the dramatic differences in the "bottom" and "top" half of the rotation BCC and ACC (before and after Sabathia). I knew Sheets and Parra had struggled a bit in the W/L column recently but didn't realize the differences were quite this dramatic. Matchups surely played some part in the differences but I still really like what the bottom half of our rotation has been able to do second half.

Before CC
Sheets - 10-2
Parra - 8-3
Bush - 4-8
Suppan - 5-6
McClung - 5-5

After CC
CC - 8-0 (9 starts)
Sheets - 1-5 (8 starts)
Parra - 1-3 (7 starts)…actually 2-3 after today
Bush - 3-1 (6 starts)
Suppan - 3-1 (6 starts)
McClung - 0-0 (2 starts)

Second thing, when comparing numbers for our starting rotation on the year, I was a bit surprised to see Bush's numbers not that much different between our "co-#1" guy (Sheets) and our former platoon guy (Bush). Surprisingly, other than ERA which is still a full run apart, Bush's numbers don't look all that much different than Sheet's do - better WHIP, fewer walks (32 vs 38), and a lower baa (.235 vs .242). The big difference is still going to be innings pitched (assuming Sheets stays healthy…which is a big if) …even if you adjust for the 2 starts Bush lost during the "platoon era" he is still probably 15 innings short of Sheets on the year which isn't terrible but still adds up to maybe 2/3's of an inning per start.

I still think you would have a tough time arguing Bush over Sheets straight up but assuming we do lose CC and Benny during the offseason, I do think a rotation with Gallardo, Parra (if he stops walking so many guys!), Suppan, Bush and a #5 guy will still be very competitive.

Overall Numbers

CC (Milw) - 8-0, 73 innings, 1.60 ERA, 1.027 WHIP
Sheets - 11-7, 168 innings, 3.16 ERA, 1.143 WHIP
Parra - 9-6, 137 innings, 4.12 ERA, 1.489 WHIP
Bush - 7-9, 139 innings, 4.26 ERA, 1.12 WHIP
Suppan - 8-7, 142 innings, 4.62 ERA, 1.518 WHIP
McClung - 5-5, 87 innings, 4.55 ERA, 1.448 WHIP


Good work, Jerod.

As of today, McClung would be the #5 guy, not that anyone is looking toward next year. They will probably add one more SP and maybe have a rehab situation in AAA as well (Capuano?), but I agree, the rotation won't be star studded, but it will not be terrible either. #1 and #2 guys are vital, but so is having five guys that can all be called #4 SP's or better.

8/22/2008 02:03:00 AM

(8/22/2008 01:30:00 AM) - Al

I did not hear anything about the Bigfoot being a hoax until now.

Of course, we knew it was, as there's a reason why no one has ever found a corpse.

8/22/2008 01:30:00 AM

(8/22/2008 12:41:00 AM) - Al

I feel this way several times a night...I always seem to get my chips in with the best hand, and yet still lose painfully. See this example of a fellow loser.

8/22/2008 12:41:00 AM

(8/22/2008 12:29:00 AM) - Al


Couldn't resist dropping a quick line after reading about your experience at the game when Gagné got out of that unlucky jam that developed. Talked to a friend on the phone briefly last night, was busy at work and had to go before I could reply. He's a "casual," to put it nicely. His parting comment to me was: "How about Gagné? Ooooh boy, was he lucky. That crowd wanted to kill him. I mean, really kill him."

I had to hang up, but my first thought was, "Lucky how? Houston was lucky they got baserunners in that inning."

Anyway, it's tough to abide the excessive "casual-ness" sometimes. I think I'll compensate for it with buying a Cameron T-shirt when I go to the game Sunday. Hopefully they make 'em.


Gagne needs to quit giving up those...ground balls to 1B? Bunt hits?


8/22/2008 12:29:00 AM

(8/22/2008 12:23:00 AM) - Al

The beach volleyball ladies thanked the president for being there, and now, in order to view it, you have to follow link after link, as it has been taken down from NBC and You Tube.

One can't help but wonder if another message had been given, if the same reaction would have taken place.

UPDATE: Michael e-mails to say no Olympic content is on You Tube for long, as NBC has locked it up. However, I guess it's no longer on NBC's site either, per the links. Maybe I was not as clear as I should have been.

8/22/2008 12:23:00 AM

(8/22/2008 12:21:00 AM) - Al

Here's a list of the, and a mighty long list it is. Almost too much to digest.

8/22/2008 12:21:00 AM

Thursday, August 21, 2008

(8/21/2008 11:54:00 PM) - Al

What do you notice when you look at who will speak at the Republican convention?

I see a lot of women, and a lot of moderates...not that there's anything wrong with either. I would say those are the two groups they are appealing to the most.

One of the reasons I like Rudy so much is he tends to be like me...a fiscal conservative, but moderate to liberal on most social issues. Many tend to see this as Libertarian, as I prefer minimal government intervention, but have trouble with the Lib's ideal of allowing drugs that kill kids and their isolationist attitudes toward defense and trade. I don't see a solution on abortion, and feel all would be better off working to limit them by promoting adoption and responsible behavior, rather than chanting and holding signs outside a clinic.

Heck, I recall hearing Dennis Miller saying why he switched after 9/11:

The Democrats said we're not going to do anything to protect you, but we want more of your money.

I do tend to support people who hang near the center...I'd support Lieberman or Bayh over a nutty conservative like Pat Buchanan, for example. I think Jim Doyle has done a fine job. I really admire what Ahnold has done, though I feel he's far too far left on environmental stuff. I'm all for clean air, water, and lots of parks and forests; but I'm also for not cutting off your nose to spite your face...having a clean park with a nice lake in it doesn't mean much if you don't have a job.

I have not seen a list of Dems yet, I'll google it.

8/21/2008 11:54:00 PM

(8/21/2008 11:15:00 PM) - Al

While many of us did not think it was worth the discussion it generated, I did say I would not have run CC back out for the 9th inning Monday. That said, kudos to Ned for brilliant use of his staff and bullpen the final two games of the series. After Sheets gave up the HR, he was yanked right away, and Mota, Shouse, and Riske finished up. Yesterday, Yost seemingly listened to my suggestion to limit Parra's IP (and his pitch count was near 100, and he was leading off the bottom of the 5th), bringing in Carlos for a pair, PH for him, and used Gagne and Torres to close the win.

I saw a reliever warming up when Sal was pitching the 9th, and wondered if his thigh was bothering him. However, I watched and saw it was #73, who is Seth McClung...just getting some throwing in before the day off, I suppose.

Many people get down on relievers, saying things like "he should be released" or "make him the long man", but in truth, in 162, everyone goes through a bad spell. Heck, it wasn't long ago the word was they should deal a prospect or two for a relief guy and DFA Mota...well, Mota has a 1ish ERA over his last month or so, not only would any player acquired be hard pressed to beat that, they still have the prospects as well.

I still recall, with great fondness, how I had to argue that Hart be kept and Carlos Lee be dealt or let go. Heck, Hart was mythically traded for "the final piece" 100 times by people who used words like "unproven" and "may never pan out", back when the team was in no position to contend. In reality, everyone wants these kids, as they are cheap and do you think they got of those many kids they scouted well and developed wisely.

I noticed Riske got his ERA under 4 the other night too...he might just manage to come close to his career norms yet.

8/21/2008 11:15:00 PM

(8/21/2008 10:58:00 PM) - Al

I promised yesterday I would tell the tale of the crowd reaction at Miller Park. Be forewarned, this is suitable for mature audiences only, as I would not any youngsters to know how little the average fan knows.

So, in the 8th inning, Gagne came in, and Tejada made a perfect bunt to reach. Then, Berkman reached on the pretend HBP. This was followed by a bouncer to Prince, who failed to make a routine play...bases loaded.

Needless to say, this was frustrating. However, Eric had not allowed...anything at this point, not even a single well struck ball. Bunts happen, errors happen, and blown calls happen far too often. These were the three reactions by fans near us:

1. Gagne, you suck!

2. Why did Yost bring him in? He's horrible!

3. Get someone up in the bullpen!

Freinds, these are the people who will decide the next president. Wow. Not a single person complained about Prince, I might add. This was Yost and Gagne's fault. Allow me to say, no one gave Eric or Ned any credit two pitches later, when Gagne got out of the inning with two more poorly hit balls, though one of them, the grounder back to him, was lucky, as Pence is all but impossible to double up on a soft grounder unless it goes right back to the mound.

Maybe it's just the dumb ones who yell so loud. But please, how out of touch can someone be?

8/21/2008 10:58:00 PM

(8/21/2008 10:05:00 PM) - Al

I share Ann's enthusiasm for Rudy as a speaker, I believe I said his 2004 speech was as funny as a comedian on stage.

8/21/2008 10:05:00 PM

(8/21/2008 08:11:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling wife and myself stopped in the Dells on our way back from Milwaukee. In addition to a couple other things, today we took a boat tour of the Upper Dells. The expert guide, who was the same age as many of my socks, told us a couple things that struck me as strange:

In the early 1900's, a dam was built on the Wisconsin River that now separates the Upper and Lower Dells. The dam raised the water level of the Upper Dells 27 feet.

You realize that if this was brought up today, it would never get approved, right? Imagine the studies, tests, impact surveys, and so on. Years later, they'd finally give up.

Almost the entire "natural" beauty of the area was caused by a rush of water that came from a melting glacier in northern Wisconsin, millions of years ago.

Obviously a result of climate change, caused by fossil fuels.

I do not have any idea what causes natural disasters, but I do know that anyone that does claim to know is nothing but an attention seeking, media loving fibber.

8/21/2008 08:11:00 PM

(8/21/2008 08:10:00 PM) - Al

The IOC, a few weeks behind on everything they do.

8/21/2008 08:10:00 PM

(8/21/2008 06:30:00 PM) - Al

I really don't know who's going to be the vice president. I have talked to Obama on quite a few occasions, mostly telling him who I didn't want.---Harry Reid

I can only imagine Sen. Obama turning to his staff and saying, "Why do we keep taking his calls"?

8/21/2008 06:30:00 PM

(8/21/2008 06:21:00 PM) - Al

Adam with another look, his second in the past fortnight, if memory serves, at how good the rotation has been. One thing to keep in mind is, in 10 days, teams can bring up as many pitchers as they need, but still, few clubs feel comfortable having Jimmy AAA Veteran pitch the 7th inning when they're up 4-3...if they did, he'd be Jim Middle Reliever.

The Crew will probably put Mitch Stetter right into the mix, but like most others, will use a couple others to eat up low leverage frames with the team way up or way down...Tim Dillard and Mark DiFelice (if healthy) will probably be doing just that.

8/21/2008 06:21:00 PM

(8/21/2008 02:44:00 PM) - Al

We'll have to see if this Obama ad gets any play in the seems to me that it is a back door way of questioning McCain's ability to lead at his age, and that if that is the true reason, I'd say it may be very effective.

However, if it is to bemoan the fact he is rich (actually, his wife is loaded), I don't think it will play well.

8/21/2008 02:44:00 PM

(8/21/2008 01:59:00 PM) - Al

Q: Glenn of Phillips - What's the deal with the Brewers pulling out their shirts after a win? Who started this trend?

A: Brewers Mailbag - The team explination for this is when a working man gets off of work, what is the first thing he does? Untucks his shirt. That is their explination, not mine. Now, can we PLEASE, FINALLY stop asking about this? PLEASE!

Apparently, the Tom H incident has not changed the way Tony W talks down to his readers. By the way, the JS needs to buy the kid spellchecker, if he can't figure out "explanation".

8/21/2008 01:59:00 PM

(8/21/2008 12:23:00 PM) - Al

Waukesha gets a 15th Northwoods team, but the odd number tells me this is a terrible idea, not to mention it seems they should have waited until '10...that's not much time to build an entire organization.

8/21/2008 12:23:00 PM

(8/21/2008 11:25:00 AM) - Al

Jose Castillo is certainly worth a AAA deal, but claiming him on waivers? I don't get what the Astros are trying to do here.

8/21/2008 11:25:00 AM

(8/21/2008 10:50:00 AM) - Al

We are off to enjoy our day, but some posts will be popping up during the day.

That said, none will be nearly as disgusted as the umpire rant.:)

Hit his jersey, for crying out loud.

8/21/2008 10:50:00 AM

(8/21/2008 07:11:00 AM) - Al

I'm many e-mails behind, but since we attended the last two games, have not had much time to post. I have some plans for tomorrow, but should find time to post in the evening.

Many stories about the crowds and baseball then. See you soon.

8/21/2008 07:11:00 AM

(8/21/2008 12:22:00 AM) - Al

Rosenthal figures Mike Cameron's $10MM option for '09 will be exercised. Cameron is hitting .245/.333/.509 in 372 plate appearances while playing strong defense.---MLBTR

Far from a done deal, but I'd have to agree. He's declining as he ages, but he's finally in a park that allows him to hit some HR's.

8/21/2008 12:22:00 AM

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

(8/20/2008 11:51:00 PM) - Al

Weeks walked three times and scored three runs.--JS

He's the best leadoff hitter the Crew has had since Molitor, and while I'm the first to say he has warts, the guy simply is an outstanding baserunner. The only players on the current team that is half the baserunner Rickie is are Cameron, who does it with guile, and has lost a half-step; and Hart, who is speedy but seems to be much more of a risk taker.

It puzzles me why I'm seemingly the only person that realizes that while his numbers are down slightly in '08 from his career, he's like a 4-4 game away from his norms:


Sadly, casual fans do not notice this, and sadly, they still use BA, though I have no clue why. Rickie's BABIP (BA on balls in play) is remarkably low, considering how many hard hit balls he has and his great speed, which should result in IF hits), so in truth, most of his "troubles" is just bad fortune.

Heck, look at the names under him on that list...Jeff Francouer, who is supposedly "struggling", Jason Kendall, and so on. It's a who's who of guys hitting lower than they should be.

Although, look where he is on this list...Rickie works the count very nicely, even when he's not putting up other numbers.

8/20/2008 11:51:00 PM

(8/20/2008 11:24:00 PM) - Al

Gagné was forced to pull off a Houdini act in the eighth when Houston loaded the bases with no outs on a bunt hit by Miguel Tejada, a “phantom” hit-by-pitch on Lance Berkman and an error by Fielder on Blum’s chopper. Home plate umpire Dale Scott ruled that a pitch from Gagné brushed Berkman’s jersey, but replays showed the ball went by at thigh level.

“Berkman said it hit him in the thigh and he was willing to pull his pants down to prove it,” said Yost, who was able to laugh about it later.--JS

We watched the game today from the first row of the club level (the camera behind home plate was two sections over, so replays from the game today look like they came from my mind), and both my wife and I felt it did not hit the batter, and we're what, 75 feet away?. What's astounding is, the home plate umpire did not motion right away either, he waited until Berkman said something, and then pointed to 1B.

I'm sorry, but isn't it the umpire's job to watch the ball cross home plate? The ball went straight back to the screen, right?

How can these guys continually blow routine, simple calls? Not only does one have to question the effort, often, you just have to wonder if they are competent. When was the last time you saw a guy change a call because the player complained? It's just beyond belief how bad they have been the entire season. Ejections are routine, because they cause the confrontation. A close call is wrong just as often as it is correct (that's being kind). And how bad have they been? For the past century, umpires have been calling HR's with no replay at, they've been so terrible at it that MLB has had to bring in instant replay...a permanent change in the game because the level of awfulness is so high.

It's a true shame. Today, we got Dale Scott behind the plate, who feels the best method for calling a strike is to pause, take a few steps backward, and then, several seconds after the ball has been returned to the pitcher, make a strike call. Can you say, "Look at me! I'm the star of the show! Everyone is watching me, and they still are, because I'm so slow to make a call!"

I'd fire him in mid-game, and pluck someone out of the stands to replace least they wouldn't call a HBP for no reason. What do we have to worry about...blown calls? Hey, we got 'em, and we have them ALL THE TIME.

Absolutely horrible. Oof.

EDIT: Let me just add this...I know these guys aren't perfect. But tell me, if you are competent, in order to call a HBP, don't you actually have to see the ball hit someone? It didn't, so, how can you make that call? If an error is to be made, it should be an ump not calling a HBP, because he didn't see it. That, I can understand. But, calling something that never happened? I mean, are they paying attention?

OK, Dennis Miller rant over. That said, nice job guys, you've been so bad, they had to change to game to compensate. Awesome.

UPDATE: ...before Lance Berkman was hit by a pitch, at least according to plate umpire Dale Scott.

Yost objected, and was told by the umps that Berkman was struck in the jersey. Replays showed that Gagne's pitch may have come close to Berkman's thigh, but was nowhere near his jersey...---Adam,

Oi vey. The pain, I can't stand the pain.

Not to try and make sense of this, but what was that crap about Berkman pulling down his pants to "prove it"? Why was he willing to pull down his pants if it grazed him in the jersey?

Why are these guys allowed to miss calls so blatantly and still show up somewhere else in MLB tomorrow and continue to suck?

8/20/2008 11:24:00 PM

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

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

The Ramblings' manifesto can be found here.

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

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

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

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

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