Al's Ramblings

Friday, October 31, 2008

(10/31/2008 09:29:00 PM) - Al

Paging Jason N!

Jason, I don't think I saved your current e-mail, if you could drop me a line, I'd appreciate it.

10/31/2008 09:29:00 PM

(10/31/2008 09:00:00 PM) - Al

SI ranks the top 50 FA's. I doubt either of the two fellas they think ends up with the Brewers do.

Another guy mentioned by many as a fit is Raul Ibanez, but I do not see that either. Raul has not played RF in years, and while he's a lefty bat, he's a poor defensive LF, who would probably be a well below average RF.

By the way, if you compare Ibanez to the career road numbers of Cameron, you have a near statistical tie, and we know Mike can play defense.

10/31/2008 09:00:00 PM

(10/31/2008 07:46:00 PM) - Al

Because of my busy day (napping, chatting, avoiding trick-or-treaters), I just now checked Aaron's link-o-rama, which while full of the norm, also includes a reading of an adult film script on a British talk show. Simply put, it's an instant classic. Other than some minor language, it's safe for work.

10/31/2008 07:46:00 PM

(10/31/2008 07:33:00 PM) - Al

October is the 3rd busiest month in Ramblings' history...despite the fact hardly any games were played all month. Today's chat had the most questions submitted ever too.

Thank you for the continuing to read. Enjoy the weekend.

10/31/2008 07:33:00 PM

(10/31/2008 06:44:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers decline Counsell's option, but hope to sign him for a lesser amount. I hope so, Craig is as good a utility infielder as there is out there.

OAK claims Joe Dillon on waivers, so it looks like Joe will not be back on a minor league deal. Billy Beane may be eyeing Joe to platoon at 3B with Hannahan.

10/31/2008 06:44:00 PM

(10/31/2008 03:18:00 PM) - Al

I do not want to be on the enemy's list after he's elected to the White House...I guess I should say "if", but at this point, it'd be a monumental upset. I can imagine him losing, but if it were within 2-3 points, I could see it happening a lot easier.

I have little doubt the bloom is off the rose, but there are many other issues here:

1. McCain and W being considered one and the same.

2. Palin's extreme popularity among the right wing did not cross over to independents and Reagan Dems...though I do think she'll deliver many indy women.

3. The economy, while having bottomed out a while back, is still looked at as negative, though home prices and such are not related to the oval office.

4. McCain and his campaign did not have a "main focal point" until a week or so ago, and have made up some ground since focusing on Obama's "spreading the wealth around" and if he is ready to lead. This is devastating to me, because Clinton made the latter an issue and did a fine job of keeping it in the forefront, and it was not kept there.

5. I would have launched an "underdog" ideal, talking about the general feeling that Obama is tired of running, has already made his cabinet choices, that he broke his promise to accept campaign financing when he found out how much could be raised, and has spent millions more, and so on. McCain is a proud man, and I am sure he did want to run this way, but had he, he could have almost made every Obama ad an anti-Obama ad to some. Running against the elite, the east and west coasts, might have shaved a few points off in those battleground states in flyover country. Heck, the "he gives a great speech" ads seemed effective, but are no longer run.

Right now, McCain almost has to win every state in which he is competitive to win the electoral college. I'd say Obama is more likely to win 350 than McCain is to win 270. However, the polls do seem to always be friendly to Obama...they showed him ahead in NH, which Clinton won, and they showed him ahead or even in other battleground states Hillary won by 3-6 points. Is there some form of Bradley effect? Are some polls oversampling the young because they feel they will vote in higher numbers than in the past?

Time will tell, but it seems the late surge McCain is experiencing may well be both too little and too late.

10/31/2008 03:18:00 PM

(10/31/2008 09:01:00 AM) - Al

You can ask questions now, just click on the chat box. We'll be starting at about 2, so get your questions in!

If his work allows, Robert will be joining the chat as well. If you are unable to stop by live, you can e-mail questions to the addy on the sidebar.

10/31/2008 09:01:00 AM

Thursday, October 30, 2008

(10/30/2008 11:32:00 PM) - Al

Alas, we'll never figure out how some stuff works.

Pretty soon, they'll try explaining something with supply and demand...and we all know that's just fiction brought on by W.

10/30/2008 11:32:00 PM

(10/30/2008 11:09:00 PM) - Al

Kendall, Shouse, and Suppan all have positive things to say about Macha. Notice that Braun is the only young player quoted, meaning he is then only one who answered his phone, or he's the only one anyone bothered to call.

10/30/2008 11:09:00 PM

(10/30/2008 09:31:00 PM) - Al

Allow me to say that even I am shocked that Al Franken, who has probably said more stupid, full of hatred things in the past decade than anyone alive, is primed to either win or just miss in the Senate race in MN.

Of course, you do have a bit of a perfect storm...a goofy electorate (remember Governor Jesse Ventura?), an often liberal state, and a viable 3rd party candidate that is likely taking most of his votes from Coleman as well.

10/30/2008 09:31:00 PM

(10/30/2008 09:28:00 PM) - Al

The Mavs and Cowboys hope to get 100K to next year's NBA all-star game. Those are two outstanding franchises.

10/30/2008 09:28:00 PM

(10/30/2008 08:34:00 PM) - Al

One has to wonder if Maddux leaves, if Castro will be promoted.

10/30/2008 08:34:00 PM

(10/30/2008 08:30:00 PM) - Al

Offers will be made to CC and Ben, as well as Shouse.

10/30/2008 08:30:00 PM

(10/30/2008 02:04:00 PM) - Al

My first impression of Ken Macha...sorry, I don't do impressions.

Actually, it's that Macha's hair is very white. Doug must like the fact that Ken looks a lot older than himself.

Doug says Macha has been in the game for 35 years (a lifer), and has also been around many good young players on their way up. Has never had a losing record, and has always finished 1st or 2nd as a bench coach and a manager.

Doug helps Ken on with jersey #40 (always a very awkward moment for 2 guys), as Chris Capuano "is still on the roster" with Macha's preferred #39.

Ken says his "style" is to go with the players, get them as prepared as you can, as they win and lose the games for you. Always tried to improve the players he had as the season wore on. Will talk to Doug about coaching staff right away.

First question about his relationship with players, including Jason Kendall. Says a manager's job is not to be friends with players, it's to win.

Interviewed with 5 teams before '03, ended up taking the A's job because he was familiar with the team.

Have talked to Doug about Sveum, and Terry Francona told him Dale is very good. Dale is in a unique circumstance, which will make him stronger, and if he returns and helps the team win, he'll get a chance, as Doug and Ken will both heartily recommend him. Dale has not decided whether to return as of this minute, Doug said he spoke with him today and the invitation is open.

Tries to explain his relationship with Beane, which sounds a bit stressful at best.

Will play whoever is productive.

Any problem with Kendall or others is well overblown. Jason will not be any issue at all. Suppan knows Macha and gave Doug a positive review.

Nice to have a core of young players who came up together.

No reason for a 2 year contract, Doug made him an offer and Ken accepted it. Doug hinted at he never likes a manager going into the last season of a deal.

Ken says playing for a run early in the game "helps the other team", but late in the game, bunting or "small ball" makes sense.

{pause as I wipe the sweat from my forehead}

Doug says both he and Ken are boring people because they love baseball and spend so much time on the game. The first batter Doug ever threw to in batting practice was Macha.

Nice to get a fresh perspective on players, Doug says guys like Sedar and Skaalen have seen the young guys progress, and it'll be nice to get a new pair of eyes.

Macha has a background of development, and his opinions will be valued.

10/30/2008 02:04:00 PM

(10/30/2008 01:44:00 PM) - Al

FSW will be carrying the press conference, and if I can stay awake for it, I'll give you a recap.

Word seems to be Sveum will be retained as well, no word on Maddux.

10/30/2008 01:44:00 PM

(10/30/2008 01:44:00 PM) - Al

This is tough to really understand without a chart, but ticket prices for '09 remain mostly the same or a tiny increase. Also, a $10 day-of-game promotion added...I would have done this with the entire Bernie's Terrace section, as those seats, as well as the $1 Uecker seats, are bought almost exclusively for fraudulent purposes.

UPDATE: Chart from the Brewers.

10/30/2008 01:44:00 PM

(10/30/2008 01:02:00 PM) - Al

Rany rips the Royals for trading for a 1B who had a .299 OBP last year.

Jacobs is a nice pickup if you need a 1B as a stopgap, and you can pick him up as a free agent, maybe after being non-tendered (I assume the Marlins would have done this had they not traded him, as they can't afford to pay him the $2.5-3M he'll get in arby). However, KC gave a hard throwing young reliever for him, an entity that has actual value.

Rany also correctly worries about KC trading young Billy Butler, who is 22 and while he compares to many great players, the Royals seem concerned about everything his ability. Irony of ironies, the Brewers agonize about trading youngsters such as Laporta and Brantley, while the Royals seem to go out of their way to bring in mediocre guys like Jacobs to block talent like Butler.

Mark Teahen has been officially "outed" as a 3B on the trade market as well...he is a step up from Gamel in the field, but probably a small step up at the plate...though he could also provide depth for LF and RF, as could WI native Eric Hinske, another LH hitting 3B/OF who could be on the Crew's radar. Eric, unlike Mark, is a free agent.

10/30/2008 01:02:00 PM

(10/30/2008 12:25:00 PM) - Al

Ken Macha will be named manager at a 2PM press conference, per Adam.

10/30/2008 12:25:00 PM

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

(10/29/2008 08:47:00 PM) - Al

I'm about as down on monarchy as is humanly possible, but when you take into account their military service, including Harry serving with a gag order negotiated with the British press, and their overall "goodness", it's tough to dislike the princes.

It's too bad presidential candidates don't take the time to do stuff like this.

10/29/2008 08:47:00 PM

(10/29/2008 07:56:00 PM) - Robert R.

Although this is taking the form of a back and forth, Al's reply brings up another point. Philadelphia doesn't have a roof, retractable or otherwise, because it simply doesn't make economic sense for that market. They drew over 3.4 million without a roof and the full sell out capacity is just a few tens of thousands more. A roof would add at least another $100 million to stadium costs without any substantial increase in revenue. Heck, it might cost the Phillies money if the roof mechanisms impact seating capacity. The wise economic decision for the Phillies was to forego a roof.

And, I'm sure if you run the same analysis for New York, Boston, and Chicago you'd come to a similar conclusion. There's no justification for a roof except the possibility of it raining on a night you're trying to clinch the World Series.

10/29/2008 07:56:00 PM

(10/29/2008 07:14:00 PM) - Al

I just watched the intros of the Oklahoma City Thunder, who sold out their entire season already, and though I barely recognized the names of several players, the crowd was as energetic as they usually are at college games. Great to see that kind of excitement, especially compared to the wake-like Seattle crowds.

Despite a stagnant economy, the pro sports leagues all seem to be doing well, even hockey, which I did not think would ever recover from their labor troubles a couple years ago.

Never take a team for granted.

10/29/2008 07:14:00 PM

(10/29/2008 07:04:00 PM) - Al

Tom H is hearing rumors that Mike Maddux may be leaving.

I tell you what, I cannot imagine a pitching coach wanting to go to TEX, but if he does, more power to him.

10/29/2008 07:04:00 PM

(10/29/2008 04:29:00 PM) - Al

The thing I see about Robert's thoughtful analysis is not only are most people just complaining to complain, after 48 hours, many of them have yet to come up with a better idea...the idea they should have moved the games up 90 minutes is especially funny, as Fox dictates the times because they pay about a bijillion dollars for the rights...not to mention I'm sure many people were en route and could not have magically arrived earlier on a moment's notice...not to mention people working, and so on.

Baseball is a game dependent on the weather, which is why a retractable roof is so helpful. When such markets as TOR and MIL have this solution (and FLA will soon), to look at a top 5 market such as Philadelphia that does not is nothing except choosing not to have one.

10/29/2008 04:29:00 PM

(10/29/2008 04:15:00 PM) - Al

The Crew claims a 3B off waivers from the Cubs. Joe Dillon outrighted, hopefully, he'll be kept around on a minor league contract. Dillon has a lot less ceiling than this fella, but he may well be better in '09.

Certainly, rather pedestrian numbers for McGehee, .335/.410 at AAA likely translates to .310/.380 in the bigs...not going to do much for you unless he has the physical tools to play middle infield (he's barely played 2B or SS in AAA). Doug will probably say they had good reports on him from a scout or someone, but he's 26...I'd say there's a decent chance he may be taken off the 40 man before the Rule 5 draft.

The only use I can see for him is if he pounds LHP, maybe he can platoon with Gamel cheaply.

EDIT: I see he did a bit of catching this year...if you can hit a touch and not fall over with the equipment on, that certainly has value. Minor league splits do not indicate he was dominant versus lefties.

10/29/2008 04:15:00 PM

(10/29/2008 08:36:00 AM) - Robert R.

Am I the only one that thinks that there's been a complete overreaction to a couple of days of rain in the middle of the World Series? Yes, the last game should have been called earlier, but the right call was ultimately made and I haven't found anyone, other than diehard Phillies fans, that believes that a World Series game shouldn't be played to completion.

October is generally a dry month and MLB has simply ran into some bad luck, as evidenced by the whole history of the sport. Calling for an earlier start, like some columnists are doing, doesn't make a whole lot of sense as a preventive measure. I've been to a number of games at County Stadium where a storm blew through at 6:30 or 7:00 and they were able to start the game at 8. Short of holding the World Series at a neutral site, which probably has to be well inland or out west as October isn't immune to hurricanes, there's really no solution to the problem of weather disrupting an event played in the Fall. And, in the big picture, a delay of a day or two isn't a big deal. It's perfectly feasible that the game will restart, the Phillies will win, and plenty of people will wonder what the big deal was.

10/29/2008 08:36:00 AM

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

(10/28/2008 11:37:00 PM) - Al

FYI, we'll be having a chat Friday afternoon at 2 CDT...and hopefully, both Robert and myself will be "chatting", if his work responsibilities allow.

If you will be unable to join us, feel free to send in your question via e-mail.

10/28/2008 11:37:00 PM

(10/28/2008 05:40:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling brother checks in with thanks Bud Selig insisted on a retractable roof for Miller Park. I tell you what, I can't believe it isn't required for new MLB stadiums, as it simply makes no sense to spend millions on a ballpark that is open to the elements. I'm sure more than a few Minnesota residents saw the rain last night and thought to themselves "There we are next time we make the Series".

I admit, it's tough to understand exactly what was on everyone's minds last night, playing at least a couple innings in weather that wasn't worthy of a preseason affair, never mind the postseason. I told my wife they must think this is the worst of it, but obviously, that was the best. I would have played about 3 innings and called it good. Not sure why they felt the best option was to keep playing in a game where a pop-up was almost uncatchable.

10/28/2008 05:40:00 PM

Monday, October 27, 2008

(10/27/2008 03:54:00 PM) - Al

Adam's mailbag makes its near weekly appearance at the team site.

10/27/2008 03:54:00 PM

(10/27/2008 03:44:00 PM) - Al

MLBTR has this CC rumor. If true, it's simply mind-blowing money wise.

I do find it astounding how many friends Cameron has in the game.

10/27/2008 03:44:00 PM

Sunday, October 26, 2008

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

Tom H thinks it's Macha, and also that the Crew may "entertain offers" for Fielder...with the prerequsite they'd have to be overwhelmed to deal him.

I too feel Macha is the favorite, and I doubt Prince is going anywhere this offseason.

10/26/2008 11:00:00 PM

(10/26/2008 08:12:00 PM) - Al

Suddenly, a week before the election, folks seem to realize how an Obama tax hike will affect them.

I wonder where this was 6 months ago. Would it have made a difference if Huckabee's continued references to his flat tax would have kept this in the public eye?

10/26/2008 08:12:00 PM

(10/26/2008 07:49:00 PM) - Al

DJ e-mails that TB did indeed sneak Balfour through waivers at the end of March.

Teams always fall in love with their own one month wonders that time of year. 5-10 teams should have claimed Balfour on radar gun reading alone.

10/26/2008 07:49:00 PM

(10/26/2008 07:45:00 PM) - Al

Cafardo likes the idea of either Rocco Baldelli or Gabe Kapler as a fourth outfielder for the Red Sox.---MLBTR

Kapler is a near perfect fit for BOS, as Ellsbury and Drew both hit LH, so he'd at least get 40-50 starts a year. I'm sure MIL will want him back as well, but we'll have to see where Gabe wants to play.

10/26/2008 07:45:00 PM

(10/26/2008 07:34:00 PM) - Al

MLBTR mentions that a couple trade targets I've mentioned, Mark Teahen of KC and Trevor Crowe of CLE may be involved in a trade for each other.

I'd say it is quite possible Mat Gamel could outproduce Teahen next year, especially considering how Teahen is not improving at all annually. Crowe does not look like a starting CF either, as '08 was his first campaign that makes him look like anything but roster filler.

10/26/2008 07:34:00 PM

(10/26/2008 07:14:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling brother says he did not think Balfour had to go to the minors this year (and in effect, clear waivers), but he did throw 23 frames in Durham, so at some point, he did pass through waivers unclaimed. Maybe it was in late March, when few teams have roster spots available.

That said, you can't teach velocity...I can't believe someone did not say, "Well, he throws 95+, let's take a flyer on him">

10/26/2008 07:14:00 PM

(10/26/2008 11:41:00 AM) - Al

We're in for 4 years of this.

This is also one reason I feel Mike Huckabee would be the de facto favorite for ' his tax plan is fair to all, and likely the exact opposite of Obama's.

Also, Huckabee is kind of the bizarro world version of McCain...a very friendly guy who tells jokes and smiles easily. Also, unlike many other names you'll hear about, Huckabee has actually run for the job and wants it...many of top Republicans do not.

10/26/2008 11:41:00 AM

(10/26/2008 11:10:00 AM) - Al

I watched the last few innings of Game 3 last night (of course, I was disappointed Cops was pre-empted).

--Before the series began, there were rumors Gabe Gross would not be on the roster, as he would be replaced by Eric Hinske. Somehow, he went from maybe not being on the roster to playing the entire game versus a LHP. TB left Rocco Baldelli on the bench, and also had Ben Zobrist PH for the P late, but let Gabe bat...those of us who watched his Brewers' playing time know full well Gross is, at best, not real good versus southpaws.

--Lots of talk about BJ Upton "stealing a run", as he got an IF hit, stole 2B, stole 3B, and then scored on the low throw to 3B. Of course, he still would not have scored if not for the error (at least, not without help).

--They said in the 9th inning Grant Balfour cleared waivers this year at some point, before returning and being dominant. I can't believe anyone that throws 95-97 consistently could ever clear waivers during the season, when most teams need some help. I wonder when that was, as the Crew dealt Balfour for McClung, think how nice it would have been to pick Grant back up as well.

--On the game's final play, a swinging bunt went to 3B Evan Longoria, who did not have an open path to the plate with his throw, so he lobbed it well over the head of the catcher. While I know you can't just throw the ball "through" the baserunner (though Brett Favre would try if he were on the diamond), I have always found that to be the best option...for two reasons. One, the runner usually slides, meaning they might get out of the way. Two, if that runner is going to score, by gosh, make him earn it...I hear that baseball hurts when it hits you in the back.

10/26/2008 11:10:00 AM

(10/26/2008 11:03:00 AM) - Al

We are in a "wind advisory" today, with sustained winds of about 30 mph and gusts up to 50. But, before you feel too bad for me, there's a "lake-affect snow advisory" for two counties about 150 miles north of us (as the Rambling dad would have said, "as the crow flies").

Note to self, when the scroll on the screen warns of snow in the Lake Superior snow belt...make sure you never move to a place called a "snow belt".

10/26/2008 11:03:00 AM

Saturday, October 25, 2008

(10/25/2008 11:32:00 AM) - Al

Tom goes over the managers and who might be favored.

Note that Doug, Macha, and Randolph played together in AA back in 1974. Baseball is a small world.

10/25/2008 11:32:00 AM

(10/25/2008 10:40:00 AM) - Al


I was wondering what you felt about the conspiracy of Obama not being a natural born American. It's getting a lot of play in the past couple weeks.


I feel the same way I do about just about all conspiracy hooey. not only destroys it, but pay special attention to the last couple paragraphs...they win bonus points for mentioning the "tin foil hat", but considering there's a birth announcement in a Hawaii paper (planted for future citizenship proof that may be needed 47 years later?), you have to be off-the-charts nuts.

10/25/2008 10:40:00 AM

(10/25/2008 10:14:00 AM) - Al

On the bright side, in addition to the huge near victory, my ear started feeling better about 1:30-2. I'm still not 100%, but it's the best I've felt in 8 days.

10/25/2008 10:14:00 AM

(10/25/2008 10:01:00 AM) - Al

The Rambling wife had an all night scrapbooking event at church last night, which went until 6AM this morning. That of course left me to take care of the Rambling son this AM. However, I was certainly not expecting to finish 2nd out of 551 entries in an online tournament last night, which concluded a bit after 3AM. Needless to say, we're not used to abusing ourselves like this in the Ramblings household.

10/25/2008 10:01:00 AM

(10/25/2008 01:27:00 AM) - Al

73 year-old fella playing college hoops.

Looks better than I would, that's for sure.

10/25/2008 01:27:00 AM

Friday, October 24, 2008

(10/24/2008 11:34:00 PM) - Al

Ned Yost is being named as one of the contenders for the Mariners' manager's job.

Of course, he may have an in with their new GM.:)

10/24/2008 11:34:00 PM

(10/24/2008 11:24:00 PM) - Al

The AP and all the king's horses struggle to put a Biden quote know, so that it makes sense.

Imagine he outcry if Palin would have said the exact same quote Biden did...she'd be called treasonous and racist...but Joe's "just being Joe".

10/24/2008 11:24:00 PM

(10/24/2008 09:43:00 PM) - Al

This morning was the best I've felt in a week, but as the day went on, my right ear (the bad ear, the one in which I suffered many an ear infection growing up) started feeling full, and remains so. They rarely even give out antibiotics anymore for such things, so unless a fierce pain hits, I doubt if I'll bother going to the doc. Thanks for your many e-mails asking how things were or wishing me well.

The Rambling son is all but over his bout with the cold, I recall that used to be me...back when I was young.

10/24/2008 09:43:00 PM

(10/24/2008 08:29:00 PM) - Al

The piece on Jack Z is correct...he has focused on "big bats" because those are the guys that make a difference. Guys who can catch and throw...Dave Krynzel types for example (let's just imagine for a second that Krynzel wasn't a total idiot who injured himself riding his motor-sickle and then failed to tell anyone about it for months), are a dime a dozen if they can't hit.

10/24/2008 08:29:00 PM

(10/24/2008 08:12:00 PM) - Al

Doug is done talking and will be making up his mind soon, and also will be replacing Jack Z from within.

I assume Doug knows who he wants, I know I always did before the last interview was even completed. That said, we have no idea if Doug will be asking MA for his approval or not...I assume not, since Mark did not sit in on any interviews.

10/24/2008 08:12:00 PM

(10/24/2008 08:03:00 PM) - Al

The regime in North Korea is not long for power, my friends. No electricity at night, not food...they're done, they just don't know it yet.

10/24/2008 08:03:00 PM

(10/24/2008 07:37:00 PM) - Al

Read your post on undecided voters as I was watching a DVR’d Simpsons episode from August and an Obama ad came on talking about how he was going to take it to “BIG OIL” for their excessive profit taking at the expense of the average American if elected President. I’m curious to know how much they spent on that useful ad given that oil was already dropping and it probably got zero play a few weeks later, and how many Americans saw that ad were actually convinced that the President of the U.S. actually has some sort of control over the global economy and the global price of oil. Funny how that issue died away as demand collapsed.

Excessive profits? Here’s 2 US companies, 1 in the oil industry and 1 in technology.


Profit Margin (ttm):


Operating Margin (ttm):


Management Effectiveness

Return on Assets (ttm):


Return on Equity (ttm):



Profit Margin (ttm):


Operating Margin (ttm):


Management Effectiveness

Return on Assets (ttm):


Return on Equity (ttm):


1st company is Exxon-Mobil, 2nd is Apple. Apple does charge a lot for those iPods. Where’s the outrage at their excessive profit?


Supply and demand works for everything except gas and oil, Phillip...those are controlled by a large lever in the oval office. It's painfully ignorant, but you can only help those that want to be helped.

Of course, I await a day in January, assuming Obama wins of course, when a large amount of folks awaken and find fecal matter still does not smell like roses, and the streets are still not paved with gold. I have confidence that companies like XOM are plenty strong to withstand such an attack, and have little doubt that American business will withstand the hit. It's hard to imagine those profits being better utilized in the government's hands than in the shareholders, however; or being used to expand business (buying new equipment, hiring more workers, and so on).

10/24/2008 07:37:00 PM

(10/24/2008 04:22:00 PM) - Al

Billy Beane teams up with politicians to ask for more data on health care.

10/24/2008 04:22:00 PM

(10/24/2008 04:16:00 PM) - Al

I was on the road much of today, in the water on every side of it town of Chetek. Hopefully, you remembered to check out Gleeman's links yourself.

Warning, some may include attractive young women in swimsuits or skirts...heaven forbid we allow such things on the internet, huh?:)

10/24/2008 04:16:00 PM

Thursday, October 23, 2008

(10/23/2008 10:19:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers have free pumpkin carving templates at the team site.

UPDATE: Fixed link.

10/23/2008 10:19:00 PM

(10/23/2008 09:32:00 PM) - Robert R.

Since it's the offseason, time for a return of my semi-regular reviews of upcoming movies based on preview screenings.


Mike Leigh's latest movie is something of a novelty for him. It's about the nature of happiness and is a bit of a philosophical comedy/drama. Stylistically it's not at all in the vein of GROUNDHOG DAY, but the idea of exploring big ideas with a light touch is similar.

Roger Ebert once wrote that Bill Murray conveyed that he "was deeply suspicious of happiness". Poppy (Sally Hawkins) goes through life in a state that's deeply unsuspicious of happiness. A state that certainly can be surficially annoying. But, Leigh and Hawkins have spent a lot of time thinking about the character and manage to show many facets. She's an elementary school teacher, aside from being a free spirit, and how the child-like joys she takes helps her work with children. And she's allowed moments of introspection as others question whether she's "truly happy" or merely hiding some unhappiness behind a mask.

There's really no plot, more like a series of episodes, where Poppy has her bike stolen, hurts her back, takes a Flamenco class with a high strung instructor, spends a weekend with her pregnant sister, encounters a disturbed homeless man, deals with a schoolyard bully, and, most crucially, spends time with a cynical, depressive, xenophobic driving instructor Scott (Eddie Marsan) in a sharp contrast to the teacher/student relationship shown by Poppy with her students. These are perhaps minor events in the grand scheme of things, but Poppy rises to the challenge by demonstrating that happiness and seriousness aren't mutually exclusive, and that there's a difference between being happy and being foolish. One thing Leigh makes absolutely clear is that Poppy is observant, if not always focussed, and metaphorically asks the question whether it's wiser to notice the beauty of a nice day or to dwell on some minor unpleasantness.

Sally Hawkins is at the center of the film and it is an Oscar worthy performance. The film rises or falls depending on her and she always has the appropriate level of energy without overdoing it. Poppy is an exagerration, but she's grounded in something that feels like it could be real.

Mike Leigh depicts working class London in his usual way. There's plenty of evidence of drabness around the characters. But, it's almost like he borrows superhero iconography as Poppy is always bursting with color and standing out from the drabness around her. Leigh couples that with flying imagery, Poppy exercises on a trampoline and her big class project involves creating colorful bird costumes. If there's no real plot, there is something of a central conflict right out of something like THE DARK KNIGHT where Poppy's philosophical code is tested to see if she'll rise to the occasion.

The movie is also subtlely political. It seems to me that it's something of an argument against the so called "culture of fear" as Poppy really does not show any fear or much for worries. As a 30 year old she's asked point blank if she's worried about her retirement, but her material needs are modest and the answer in front of everyone's faces is that she'll be perfectly happy with whatever she has got. She's also a marked contrast to the miserable Scott who hides his blatant racism behind nonsense conspiracy theories and codewords like "multi-culturalism". He's someone that likely is planning for retirement, but isn't any happier because of it.

Happy-Go-Lucky is certainly one of the better films of the year to date. It's smart, funny, well acted, has some unexpected insights, and has a well developed visual sense. It's coming to Milwaukee on October 31 and will hit the art film circuit with perhaps a wider release if Sally Hawkins manages an Oscar nomination.

You can view the trailer here.

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10/23/2008 09:32:00 PM

(10/23/2008 08:09:00 PM) - Al

The Yankees are rumored to have interest in Cameron again this offseason.

Note that the writers think the Yankees may hesitate to give the Brewers a comp pick...which is impossible, of one "gives up" a compensation pick, one is just "created" when any team signs a player who qualifies as a good enough player.

The irony here is that many members of the old media delight in being critical of bloggers, but these errors are found with regularity by commoners like the world of hallowed, sacred, stuck-up elite journalism.

Sometimes, I'm proud not to have a degree of any kind, thanks.

10/23/2008 08:09:00 PM

(10/23/2008 07:35:00 PM) - Al

Any pretense that donations are limited seems to have faded.

10/23/2008 07:35:00 PM

(10/23/2008 06:46:00 PM) - Al

This is the first 2009 projection I've seen...they look optimistic for the Brewers, in my opinion. The one I checked right away was Mat Gamel, and as I felt the other day when Doug brought him up, he projects very similar to Bill Hall, and better than Mike Lamb.

10/23/2008 06:46:00 PM

(10/23/2008 05:08:00 PM) - Al

---I've heard a couple times today that Iraq now controls 12 of the 18 provinces in Iraq...not sure if another was turned over, but it must have been, or else it is some sort of massive coincidence conspiracy.

---The presidential race seems to be tightening up, with many polls showing a 4-6 point jump for McCain. Of course, that means Gallup now has the gap at 7...still a huge amount to make up in about a week and a half. However, some are now at that's well within the margin of error. Why? The most popular feeling is it is related to Obama's "spread the wealth" comment from last week, and another says Palin may well have earned a point or two with her appearance on SNL (and more likely, the millions of NBC or You Tube viewings. I doubt if it's getting closer in WI...Obama ads run at every break here, while McCain pulled his to concentrate elsewhere, so the only ones running are the ones they "pre-paid" for before the change of plans...I maybe see one or two a night, usually during the local news. Personally, I don't see it, as redistribution of income has been an apparent part of the Obama platform since early 2007, when he began running. SNL? Palin was very "hockey mom next door", but it seems hard to believe anyone did not know that about her before.

---A few days ago, I got an e-mail from a gent who asked me what is going through the minds of those who continue to be "undecided", even though both candidates have been running for 18 months or more. He told me one person at his work said he was going to make up his mind last weekend, and came back Monday and said he still did not know. Granted, this fella was described as "unique", no TV for example, doesn't follow sports because he feels they're all rigged (yes, even high school), but it's tough to figure how anyone can be unsure at this point. I told him the same thing I'm saying now...if you are undecided, your own beliefs are can't know what to look for in a president when you can't figure out how you feel. Then, think of this: If the race tightens up a bit more between now and then, the next president may well be chosen by the 8-10% that, seriously now, have no idea who they will vote for, despite being barraged by ads and information.


10/23/2008 05:08:00 PM

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

(10/22/2008 08:48:00 PM) - Al


I don't make it a point to send two e-mails in a day but I wanted to respond to the 1st question in the Q&A.

I have heard (on good authority) that Corey Hart's child was in and out of Children's Hospital over the final two months of the year.

In looking at his numbers and understanding what I would feel like if my child went through something, it may help in explaining his struggles.

Just passing it along.


Hmmm. He also spoke out about the booing at MP, so being a bit short-tempered could easily be a side effect of something along those lines as well. If anyone knows more about this, let me know.

10/22/2008 08:48:00 PM

(10/22/2008 08:01:00 PM) - Al

A photo essay of the clothes and shoes that they spent on Sarah Palin...the price of fame, I guess. Of course, not everyone can wear Dockers and look like a million bucks as I can.

Note, there seems to be an awful abundance of leg shots...coincidence I'm sure.

10/22/2008 08:01:00 PM

(10/22/2008 07:52:00 PM) - Al

It's one thing to make a mistake in judgement, but yet another to be brain dead.

Warning, adult language at the link, and there may also be a picture of a pretty young lady in an evening gown...I know some folks are offended by such things.

10/22/2008 07:52:00 PM

(10/22/2008 06:44:00 PM) - Al

Doug may only interview 3 candidates...which tells me he has a definite favorite.

10/22/2008 06:44:00 PM

(10/22/2008 06:42:00 PM) - Al


Although I don't see him moving positions, would JJ to 2nd equate to him being Ryne Sandberg-esque??

That's what I envision with JJ, if he were to move. Decent range and better arm. Power and solid all around bat.

Again, I see him fighting the move and being traded before I see him moving positions, but...

Your thoughts?


I agree, I also see him as a much better 2B than a 3B. It'll be interesting to see where he ends up.

10/22/2008 06:42:00 PM

(10/22/2008 04:21:00 PM) - Al

Investor's Business Journal thinks the race is tighter than most.

Looking at the percentages in the table, it seems a lot of the folks I talk to every day; older, mostly rural, are heavily in favor of McCain. That's the feeling I get, but they are far from the majority.

Most pundits seem to think the race is tightening up, and supposedly, Obama's internal polls agree, as they recently dumped a ton of cash into TV ads in PA, as their internals showed a 2 point lead...compared to the 10-12 points in others. Time will tell if it's anything besides a blip, but I guess it should be noted the IBJ poll is usually respected as one of the most accurate.

10/22/2008 04:21:00 PM

(10/22/2008 03:42:00 PM) - Al

If you did not read the chat, Jack Z is the new GM of the M's. I feel for him, as they seem like a rudderless ship, but congrats on a well deserved promotion.

10/22/2008 03:42:00 PM

(10/22/2008 03:28:00 PM) - Al

Bob Geldof has been saying this for 8 years and no one has reported it yet.

10/22/2008 03:28:00 PM

(10/22/2008 03:06:00 PM) - Al

What are you going to be for Halloween?

A fat guy watching TV at his house.

[Comment From doug]
how about going vegetarian to lose weight?

I'd rather die.

From the Gleeman chat today. That's some quality stuff.

10/22/2008 03:06:00 PM

(10/22/2008 02:18:00 PM) - Al

Hey Al,

I really enjoy your blog. I read that you feel tired and rundown. You feel any better? Since you and your son have it, chances are it is just a virus that has to work through the system. I've had a tired and rundown feeling since the end of July. I have more symptoms than that, like sore muscles, fractioned sleep, headaches, back aches and stiff back, hard time concentrating at times, feel like I'm in a "fog" sometimes, always feel cold, etc. All my tests come back normal. Every symptom I have is for Lyme Disease, but that test came back negative. But I've read those tests are not accurate. Funny thing is, someone else I know in this area has the exact same symptoms as me, and all his tests come back normal. He's battled it since June. I really think it's Lyme Disease or some other disease spread that way that I'm battling. It's the only thing that makes sense.

Anyway, if you are OK with it, would you be willing to post this on your blog along with my email address and have anyone who has had Lyme Disease or any other suggestions as to what I have, contact me. I'd like to know what symptoms others with Lyme Disease have experienced. Your blog seems to be viewed by a lot of people so maybe they have personal experiences similar to mine.


Hope you feel better soon.


I'm a lot better today, but of course, I napped from 11:30-12:30. Hope to hear that Bert was able to get some assistance from the folks that gather here.

10/22/2008 02:18:00 PM

(10/22/2008 01:00:00 PM) - Al

UPDATE: I just noticed, it's a Gleeman/Ramblings chat doubleheader! Ask Aaron and myself the same thing, and after you get a witty, intelligent reply from him, wait for my underwhelming response, which is bound to contain at least one "um" and more than likely, a misspelling.

UPDATE 2: The questions are open...just click on the big circular thing and ask away.

UPDATE 3: We are live at 12:55, enjoy.

10/22/2008 01:00:00 PM

(10/22/2008 10:31:00 AM) - Al

Mike Cameron was one of the biggest FA bargains last year, which we pretty much all knew.

10/22/2008 10:31:00 AM

(10/22/2008 08:10:00 AM) - Al

Even the traders seem to have no clue why oil is down...seems pretty simple to me; global demand is down (thanks in part to China simply running out of cash), supply is level or maybe even up, the hurricane season (despite a now annual prediction of above average) was mild, no refineries are off line, the threat of global terror is low, and so on.

Halloween sales are booming, by the way, per CNBC this morning. That bodes very well for Xmas spending, using historic models at least. Buying retail on the dips, especially "blue collar" retail, is probably a very wise move that few people will do, because it's very gutsy. I may hesitate to buy Tiffany's, but I'd be eyeing Kohl's and Target.

10/22/2008 08:10:00 AM

(10/22/2008 07:59:00 AM) - Al


On 720 AM WGN Radio last night, Shea Hillenbrand was interviewed. He said he is healthy, in great shape, and looking for a spring training invite. Sounds like a no-brainer to me.


I'm pretty lukewarm on Hillenbrand...he never walks, doesn't seem to get along with anyone, and isn't much of a defender. I could overlook some of those if he hit LH, but he doesn't.

I'd probably rather have Joe Dillon myself.

10/22/2008 07:59:00 AM

(10/22/2008 12:20:00 AM) - Al


You mentioned both you and your son have been feeling tired and run down...did you get a flu shot? I got mine last Thursday, and I was exhausted all weekend. I slept 12 hours Saturday night and still took a 3 hour nap Sunday. I went in Monday and Tuesday, but left at lunch Tuesday, I thought I must have mono. I went to the walk-in clinic, told the nurse, and he asked if I'd had a flu shot...yes, I told him. He said there have been a lot of "strong" reactions from this year's version, almost a cure is worse than the disease type of thing. They did a mono and strep test, but told me I did not have either. He told me to go home, drink liquids, and sleep. I called off for today at 2 yesterday, and I went in and fell asleep. I woke up at 8:30, so now I can't sleep!

Love the blog, keep rambling! I love the way you poke fun at those who deserve it.


I did not get a flu shot, but the Rambling wife told me tonight of a neighbor of ours who can barely walk since her flu shot, she's so sore. They told her she probably should not get one in the future, as she's at risk of a muscular disease.

Eric, I hope you feel better. I just took a hot shower to clear myself up before sleep.

10/22/2008 12:20:00 AM

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

(10/21/2008 11:43:00 PM) - Al

After a long day at work, I seemed to struggle more when I got home, though my meds may have just wore off. The Rambling son got an inhaler from urgent care today to help him get past this rough patch, and I'm going to try and avoid it, though I do have an inhaler somewhere from a couple years ago...

I'm taking tomorrow off to hopefully let rest beat this thing...last night, I woke up about 10 times in about 8 wonder I'm feeling fatigued from this thing.

10/21/2008 11:43:00 PM

(10/21/2008 11:16:00 PM) - Al

The Food Network just ran a piece on why "dry aged" beef doesn't spoil, while meat stored on a kitchen counter for 3 weeks would.

Apparently, it has something to do with the fact that the dry aged stuff is kept between 34 and 36 degrees (and certain humidity)...gee, who would have guessed that?


10/21/2008 11:16:00 PM

(10/21/2008 07:49:00 PM) - Al

Doug Melvin interviewed on Homer ESPN 540AM show in Milwaukee. Recap as follows:

--Never discussed Yo starting Game 4. Dale made the decision, Doug says he never heard it talked about until after the game.

--Doug made a recommendation to Mark on what he would offer CC, but they realize chances are a longshot. Once a guy goes into free agency, they almost always go on the open market to either the highest bidder, or close to it.

--A model for a single player as a part of payroll exists, one guy can't make more than 20%.

--They've discussed moving Hardy to another position, but have not talked to JJ yet about it. Wonder if Gamel could play 3B and provide a nice LH bat.

--Did not see the leadoff spot as a problem, scored 2nd most runs in the NL (5th in MLB) from the #1 spot in the order. Seemed to be a "Rickie Weeks is fine" discussion. If the 2009 season started now, it'd be Rickie...though it would be up to the manager. Specifically said that on teams it has been tried on, .370 OBP guys with no speed don't score a lot of runs.

--Brenly is a candidate, as are many others.

--Tough call on Sveum, just decided to go with a more experienced guy.

--Some players buy in to a certain hitting coach, some buy into a manager, and some do not. Gotta make adjustments. Mentioned Corey Hart in September and Jeff Francouer all year as guys who struggled to adjust.

--Mark is a very good owner to work for, gives plenty of leeway to make the proper decision.

--No decision made yet for Cameron in '09 {reading between the lines, seems unlikely Mike would be back if CC would return}.

10/21/2008 07:49:00 PM

(10/21/2008 07:17:00 PM) - Al

Adam wonders if the Brewers can/should pay Sabathia what Santana got...I would not go 6 years, but could be talked into the money per year.

10/21/2008 07:17:00 PM

(10/21/2008 07:10:00 PM) - Al

Willie Randolph interviewed, and Buck Showalter has not expressed interest in the job, per Tom H.

10/21/2008 07:10:00 PM

Monday, October 20, 2008

(10/20/2008 06:45:00 PM) - Al


Don't let your sicknesses go unattended for too long. After a week of flu-like symptoms that aren't the kind Mickey Mantle missed Sunday games for, I saw a doctor and found out I actually had pneumonia.

Being a man and toughing out illnesses isn't smart. A local man tried, and died from the same treatable disease I currently have.


I suffered the same thing right before my mom passed away a couple years ago. I had a cough that just would not stop, and it hurt. I went to urgent care Monday afternoon (I had Tuesdays off then) and they did an X-ray, a breathing treatment, and ended up giving me 3 prescriptions, and told me I should take the rest of the week off! Being the stud I am, I just took Wednesday off, though I may have worked slightly shorter days the rest of the time, I can't recall.

I'm sure I would have been fine eventually, but like you said, toughing it out leads to more suffering and possible further problems.

10/20/2008 06:45:00 PM

(10/20/2008 04:06:00 PM) - Al

Hi Al, great blog. I'm just shooting you a quick email to let you know that if you're searching for actual Actifed (or at least the active ingredient) it is still available over the counter at most pharmacies. When I'm good and stuffed up I'll pick up some Primatene Tablets. They're marketed as a bronchial stimulator for people with asthma. Ridiculous that I have to buy that if I want the medicine that actually works, but that's what happens when you live in a country that knows what's best for you.

That is all. Keep up the good work.


I'll have to remember that. Thus far, this cold has just been a sore throat and gunk on top of my mouth when I wake up. I feel really worn down too, I just woke up from a nap, in which I woke up several times with a wet pillow and just uncomfortable all over.

I have a lot of paperwork to accomplish tomorrow at work, so it may be a long day.

10/20/2008 04:06:00 PM

(10/20/2008 01:22:00 PM) - Al

My cold is wearing me down today. I had intended to do some online stuff to be certified for my employment, but it failed to load twice now, and I just don't have the strength to care.

Meanwhile, the Rambling wife is at the specialist's office right now getting her plantar fasciitis looked at...after a week, less pain, and what there is has moved from her heel to her arch.

The Rambling son had a field trip to the school forest today, and would not even discuss going to the doctor for his cough that will not go away...and tomorrow is art class, so he doesn't want to miss that either. I don't care what the label says, even the "non-drowsy" stuff wears the little fella right out. I can't recall my parents ever pulling me out of school to visit a doctor, but if they had, I sure wouldn't have argued about it.

Back when I worked retail, I recall Actifed and Excedrin was my cocktail of choice...Actifed took care of nose issues, and the other dulled the pain and provided the caffeine to give me the illusion of not being run down. Of course, nowadays, Actifed has been pulled or reformulated because of the meth labs (what better thing to ingest into your body than chemicals and cold meds!), leaving it ineffective. Why must all the good things go away?

10/20/2008 01:22:00 PM

(10/20/2008 01:09:00 PM) - Al


What kind of money do you see Doug and Mark offering to CC?



While just a guess, both parts of the equation make sense...while hesitant to go more than 3-4 years on any pitcher, 5 would seem to be the bare minimum you could offer a pitcher of CC's quality and health. An average of $19M per, while far less than Sabathia will garner if he simply takes the highest bid, is a huge amount of cash, that is comparable to almost anyone in the game.

10/20/2008 01:09:00 PM

(10/20/2008 12:33:00 PM) - Al

Seems to be a lot of these "global cooling" articles popping up of late...up and down, down and up, seems like a natural cycle to me.

EDIT: Disposables better than reusable diapers?

We used brand name disposables because the Rambling son peed right through cheap brands. Cloth is laughable even compared to the crappy disposables.

You know, in some areas, convienence and being quick and easy is far more important than "green" anyway.

10/20/2008 12:33:00 PM

Sunday, October 19, 2008

(10/19/2008 07:53:00 PM) - Al

Marcus Landry...not a typical college athlete, to say the least. Nice story I missed 3 weeks ago.

10/19/2008 07:53:00 PM

(10/19/2008 07:14:00 PM) - Al

Palin does indeed put butts in the seats. You gotta wonder how many of those viewers were watching for the first time in a decade or more.

10/19/2008 07:14:00 PM

(10/19/2008 05:14:00 PM) - Al

Glenn points out, as I have many times, that the old media seems to think they can solve their problem by giving their customers less and less.

It's bizarro world thinking, and it ain't working.

10/19/2008 05:14:00 PM

(10/19/2008 04:21:00 PM) - Al

When the question at hand is whose prognosis is more accurate...the entire medical community, or Jenny McCarthy...that's a pretty easy call.

That said, Ms. McCarthy looks very nice for an old broad. Warning, adult language at the link.

10/19/2008 04:21:00 PM

(10/19/2008 03:55:00 PM) - Al

Tom H feels Brenly is the favorite, while I would lean toward Macha.

I have never heard of the communication issues he brings up with Macha.

UPDATE: Tom H reports Macha's interview is done, and he thinks Brenly's is too...I find it odd Doug stayed out in Arizona all last week unless he was talking to guys.

10/19/2008 03:55:00 PM

(10/19/2008 01:15:00 PM) - Al

After having a stomach bug early last week, the Rambling son has a bad cough and sore, red eyes this weekend...and needless to say, is a bit grumpy.

The Rambling wife's laptop, after being fixed by a neighbor in the business, also stopped working again today. I guess it will have to be off to the manufacturer with it.

While I slept in this AM, also suffering from a sore throat and the early affects of a cold, they went to IHOP, and received such poor service that the manager apologized and gave them their fluffy cakes for no charge.

On the bright side, her plantar fasciitis is progressing, after a week of being on steroids, though her 'roid rage has made it an interesting 7 days.:)

10/19/2008 01:15:00 PM

(10/19/2008 11:15:00 AM) - Al

Joba Chamberlain was arrested for driving under the influence early Saturday morning near his hometown of Lincoln, Neb.

Not the kind of thing a team wants to see from a 23-year-old potential star. Deborah Collins, a spokeswoman for the Nebraska State Patrol, said Chamberlain was pulled over after being observed speeding in a 2006 BMW 750i shortly after 1 a.m. He was arrested after an odor of alcohol was detected and an open container of alcohol was observed on the front passenger seat.

I know Robert has mentioned it's amazing this does not happen more often, as well as terrible auto accidents caused by simple recklessness. Luckily, no one was injured, so Joba will come back fine.

10/19/2008 11:15:00 AM

Saturday, October 18, 2008

(10/18/2008 01:52:00 PM) - Al

Seems somehow fitting that a program that is afraid to play anyone tough is having trouble not sucking versus anyone tough.

I doubt I'm in the minority now. It's a terrible example of how to run a program, and it shows.

Actually, if not for Bo Ryan, the entire university seems to struggling to reign in their malcontents from ignorance, from the band to the football team to a tenure process which allows 9/11 conspiracy nuts to be paid with my tax dollars.

Of course, the first step is for someone to admit the problem exists...that's a pretty steep demand in Madison.

UPDATE: I do think the constant QB questions, on a team that has allowed infinite points over the last two weeks, is seeing the forest for the trees.

UPDATE 2: They might need that cupcake to qualify for a bowl. Heh.

UPDATE 3: Adam e-mails to say he is all but sure Kevin Barnett (said conspiracy nut) was not tenured, and is no longer at the UW. That is good, but I can't believe he wasn't dumped immediately if he did not have tenure.

10/18/2008 01:52:00 PM

(10/18/2008 01:03:00 PM) - Al

McCain is correct, Obama's policies have a socialist tone, but as the article points out, so does some of McCain's...and even moreso, the "rescue" package screams of socialism.

10/18/2008 01:03:00 PM

(10/18/2008 12:57:00 PM) - Al

Doug is looking for an experienced manager who has been around good teams.

The only news of note to me is that Willie Randolph will be interviewed because he's the only minority manager of note that's looking. That kind of throws that whole order out the window, doesn't it?

10/18/2008 12:57:00 PM

(10/18/2008 10:24:00 AM) - Robert R.

A few questions I'd like to ask the managerial candidates.

1. Coaching-wise, what do you think can be done to get Rickie Weeks to fulfill his potential? And I'd extend the question to the likes of Hart, Parra, etc.

2. What's your theory on bullpen management? What's the strengths and weaknesses of the current group and what would you want the GM to do?

3. How do you evaluate Tony Gwynn Jr.? (And the candidate that thinks he should be handed the centerfield job and made the leadoff hitter is going to set off all kinds of alarms in my head.)

4. What are your beliefs in bench construction? What's the role of the backup catcher?

5. Lineup construction, what's your general ideas?

10/18/2008 10:24:00 AM

(10/18/2008 09:18:00 AM) - Al

The Los Angeles Times speculates that the Dodgers "might try to trade Juan Pierre."

Good luck. Pierre is two seasons into a five-year, $44 million deal and hit .283/.327/.328 in 129 games as a 30-year-old. "If there's a better fit he would hope the team would explore that," agent Mark Pieper said.--Rotworld

Pierre, much like Craig Counsell, has value, but not a bit at the money he makes. He'll probably be moved for another bad contract...Pierre for Luis Castillo? Eric Byrnes?

10/18/2008 09:18:00 AM

(10/18/2008 08:59:00 AM) - Al

I have long argued that if health care were free to all, it would be abused. This is not what I was concerned about, but I guess I should have expected it...why pay for a burger when they're giving 'em away down the block?

10/18/2008 08:59:00 AM

(10/18/2008 07:28:00 AM) - Al

And a quick note about Skaalen...the fact they will be reassigning him tells me he did not handle September real well. Somehow, it seems doubtful the braintrust saw his constant reminders of "they gotta relax" and "maybe they just need to be mad" as very refreshing, especially coming from a guy who appeared to be more nervous than anyone.

10/18/2008 07:28:00 AM

(10/18/2008 07:10:00 AM) - Al

To answer a couple e-mails, it is my guess Dale made the same mistake many casual fans seem to be making, and probably said he wanted to see a team with more OBP...and less SLG. Of course, that makes little sense, as runs produced tend to mirror OXS, which is OBP x SLG. When you factor in that many of the Brewers' core are sluggers, and that they play in a homer friendly home ballpark, adding guys like Luis Castillo is not a recipe for winning.

As I've said previously, OBP is now overvalued, making it very tough to add, unless you overpay, accept OBP with warts like poor defense...or both. Counsell makes $3M+ because he is a solid defender and a good OBP. Take a gander at Luis Rivas if you wonder what kind of offense you get from most utility infielders.

Personally, I think Dale's a real good guy. I just don't think Doug had any desire to see JJ bunting or Prince trying to bloop one down the 3B line in 2009 and beyond.

As for the names mentioned, I was a Ken Macha fan back in 2003, and remain so. I know nothing about Brenly except he's a cliche machine as a broadcaster, and ditto for Showalter (though you can add in Buck is not known to be friendly with players).

Davey Johnson, whose name has been mentioned much less, was one of the first saberminded managers, before that word was even used.

10/18/2008 07:10:00 AM

(10/18/2008 06:50:00 AM) - Al

Glenn wonders how dissent will be handled under an Obama administration.

All I heard was the mocking, elitist tone when Obama asked, "How many plumbers make $250K a year"? Heavens, that's a job where you get your hands dirty, right? The contempt for "regular" folk is consistent...the military is full of idiots bombing villages, Palin is just a small town mayor (she didn't even go to a stuck up private college!), heck, Joe probably goes to church on Sunday and egads, may own a hunting rifle.

The answer is, I have no idea how many plumbers make $250K, but I bet everyone of them aspires to.

EDIT: Can you imagine how much play this would get if it were Palin or Quayle? Biden says it, no one even mentions's just astounding.

10/18/2008 06:50:00 AM

Friday, October 17, 2008

(10/17/2008 09:52:00 PM) - Al

Doug officially extended, and Sveum will not be back as manager.

Neither a surprise, I can't believe Doug liked the bunting that went on, as he's never believed in anything but assembling a team that could score as many runs as possible. His "experience" quote is very professional, as it allows folks to think he liked Dale (which he probably does), and just went with another. Doug is never anything but the consumate pro.

10/17/2008 09:52:00 PM

(10/17/2008 09:08:00 PM) - Al

I got home about 7, and tonight is camp in night with the Rambling son. We'll see you tomorrow.

10/17/2008 09:08:00 PM

(10/17/2008 11:14:00 AM) - Al

I blame the evilness of big oil.

Those folks who were blaming Exxon Mobil and Chevron, and ignoring ECON 101 a few months ago look like complete buffoons just a bit later. Supply and demand does not magically work on everything but oil.

I filled up for $2.899 yesterday. I saw E-85 for $2.299 at the same station, but I have heard from a couple folks who have E-85 compatible "flex" engines that they never use it, because their mileage is so much gent says it has to be $1 less/gallon to make up for that.

The fact that an "environmentally friendly" fuel gets terrible mpg does not surprise me at all...heck, it just seems fitting.

10/17/2008 11:14:00 AM

(10/17/2008 11:10:00 AM) - Al

Warren Buffet is not just bullish, but also sounds as contrarian as myself.

I think the Dow below 10K is a monumental buy that will be discussed for the next 20 years after it gets back up to what I would consider the "proper" level of 11-12000.

10/17/2008 11:10:00 AM

(10/17/2008 10:51:00 AM) - Al

This link comes from India, though it pertains to the US voter fraud issue...the New Yorker seems to think it is a minimal problem. I have heard from others that Acorn is required to turn in all, even those they know are incorrect.

I personally wonder about the mere idea of it being legal to register voters...I mean it's extremely easy, at last from my experience, so the fact it is happening invites dishonesty to me.

10/17/2008 10:51:00 AM

(10/17/2008 10:43:00 AM) - Al

Doug Melvin is finalizing details on his new three-year deal in Milwaukee--Tracy Ringlosby

Nothing we did not know, as Doug would not be out looking for a new manager if he was not going to stay.

10/17/2008 10:43:00 AM

(10/17/2008 10:34:00 AM) - Al

Aaron has his weekly link roundup, including Seinfeld doesn't get much better than this.

10/17/2008 10:34:00 AM

Thursday, October 16, 2008

(10/16/2008 10:43:00 PM) - Al

Drudge is reporting that Gallup will be reporting a 49-47 Obama lead among "traditional likely voters" tomorrow. I keep getting e-mails from folks saying that the larger leads have resulted from samples intentionally using 25% more Dems, which I have heard rumors of, but don't really know why a news group would do that to themselves. I mean, c'mon, Dan Rather is a punchline for a reason.

The RNC has pulled ads, so apparently, WI is not looked at as a swing state anymore, which also means we are bombarded by Obama ads by about a 9-1 ratio of late. A new one was on tonight, paid for by a "non-partisan" (wink, wink, chuckle, chuckle) group, saying that McCain wanted to "give social security money to Wall Street", which at best, is a massive stretching of the truth, and at worst, simply wrong...much like the official versions a while back.

10/16/2008 10:43:00 PM

(10/16/2008 10:22:00 PM) - Al

In the past couple weeks, I've been reading a few "survivalist" blogs, after Instapundit mentioned that the survival movement has been gaining popularity among "normal" people.

One of the things I have found amusing is that everyone has been stocking up on gold...and in the past little while, it's down 15-20%. Also, as much as I enjoy the humor of it, reading of people quitting high paying jobs and moving to "a few acres" hurts my common sense feelings. I think it was yesterday that the writer of one of the most popular such sites, after wondering out loud how much longer the country could hang on, admitted how far off the mark he had been when he predicted chaos when the calendar turned to Y2K.

I tell you what, there's a great satire just waiting to be written in here somewhere. The way these folks discuss using a 5 gallon pail as a toilet and trying to arrange transportation for their "non-believing" kids away at college when "the end of the world as we know it" occurs. The real irony is that the prediction is always sometime in the future...right now, 2012 is the popular pick, apparently because of the Coast to Coast AM overnight radio conspiracy fest.

What's that old saying...tomorrow never comes? The fact that "the end" is always just a few years away...always being moved back, tells me that many folks are just using this as a money making opportunity.

10/16/2008 10:22:00 PM

(10/16/2008 10:00:00 PM) - Al

Tom H guesses who might be interested in the MIL job.

10/16/2008 10:00:00 PM

(10/16/2008 07:33:00 PM) - Al

Tim does his offseason outlook of the Crew...his thought of them adding a reliever is likely sound.

10/16/2008 07:33:00 PM

(10/16/2008 06:51:00 PM) - Al

Jack Z is a finalist in SEA for the GM job, though I think Ng is a heavy favorite.

10/16/2008 06:51:00 PM

(10/16/2008 06:48:00 PM) - Al

Doug is going to interview other candidates for the manager's job.

Obviously, that can't be good for Dale.

10/16/2008 06:48:00 PM

(10/16/2008 07:59:00 AM) - Al

I've spoken out in favor of a consumption tax many times, but Joe pretty much sums up my views as well...punishing hard work and success is as bizarro world as it gets to me. That said, thus far, saying rhe rich should pay more seems to be effective.

10/16/2008 07:59:00 AM

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

(10/15/2008 11:04:00 PM) - Al

I got home late tonight, and did not listen or watch any of the debate. Ann did, and live-blogged it here.

10/15/2008 11:04:00 PM

(10/15/2008 10:25:00 PM) - Al

Bo talks about this year's version of the team.

10/15/2008 10:25:00 PM

(10/15/2008 10:08:00 PM) - Al

Adam writes a preview of the decisions the Crew has for 2009...and briefly mentions how many may be related. For example, if the Brewers were to somehow manage to convince Sabathia to take 75% of his market value, and signs for 5y/$ seems unlikely they'd pick up Cameron or Counsell's options...they might have to go cheaper.

I read someone say the other day that whoever wins the CC sweepstakes may well also lose it...and that makes perfect sense, as it's tough to pay a guy 20% of team payroll and have to take the field without him 125 times a year...if he's healthy.

10/15/2008 10:08:00 PM

(10/15/2008 09:11:00 PM) - Al

Tom H feels Dale, and everyone else, will know soon if he's the manager. An informal interview apparently took place a couple nights ago, and Doug knows the coaches need to find jobs for 2009, so he'll make a decision as soon as he can.

My hunch is Doug will look elsewhere. I certainly have no opinion, as I learned little in a dozen games. At best to me, he seemed much like Ned, he made a couple decisions, and stuck with them, for better or for worse. He showed a lot of loyalty, but of course, in 12 games, anything could or could not work.

10/15/2008 09:11:00 PM

(10/15/2008 09:08:00 PM) - Al

There hasn't been a "real" recession of any merit in so long, people don't even know what one feels like. Actually, that makes as much sense as any explanation I've heard why so many insist on using the term incorrectly for over a year now...other than politicians using it to get votes, of course.

10/15/2008 09:08:00 PM

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

(10/14/2008 11:08:00 PM) - Al

I think I'll be putting together the questions for the end of the year Ramblings' roundtable soon. If you have any suggestions, shoot me an e-mail.

Here's a look at last year's version, by the way.

10/14/2008 11:08:00 PM

(10/14/2008 08:59:00 PM) - Al

How much will Ben Sheets get?

A lot, says this HT piece.

I'm sticking with 3y/$47M. Less than he should based on his performance, more than he should based on availability.

10/14/2008 08:59:00 PM

(10/14/2008 06:02:00 PM) - Al

Stop me if you've heard this before...Pacman Jones suspended.

I think I'd rather lose without him than win with him. He's that big of a loser.

10/14/2008 06:02:00 PM

Monday, October 13, 2008

(10/13/2008 10:26:00 PM) - Al

I'm all for tax cuts of most any kind...according to this, the Rambling family would get a single cut...just the mortgage deduction increase.

I'm still not sure...what has become of the talk about letting the so called "Bush tax cuts" expire...which would be a de facto increase for folks making in the $40-120K range, if memory serves?

10/13/2008 10:26:00 PM

(10/13/2008 07:50:00 PM) - Al

No way Doug goes after Marte (or Oliver), that I can imagine. That Elias system is complete crap, to have them as Type A's.

10/13/2008 07:50:00 PM

(10/13/2008 07:44:00 PM) - Al

Is it possible to force a group like this to disband? C'mon, let's get real here, I'd say it's a group filled with fraud, but I wouldn't want to offend fraudulent groups.

10/13/2008 07:44:00 PM

(10/13/2008 06:43:00 PM) - Al

Chris Duffy went 2-for-5 and hit a three-run homer Saturday in his first game for Mazatlan of the Mexican Pacific League.

Two lost years in a row have taken a heavy toll on Duffy's stock, but he can't be completely written off yet. If the speedy center fielder finds his way to another organization this winter, he could get a chance to compete for a bench job in spring training.--Rotoworld

Duffy's biggest claim to fame thus far is that he started ahead of Nate McLouth during the Pirates' "lost years". He'd be a great guy to bring in on a minor league deal to compete for that 5th OF spot, especially considering he's a LH bat. He's had a nice AAA career, and should be at or near his peak in '09 and '10...and cheap during that time as well.

10/13/2008 06:43:00 PM

(10/13/2008 06:18:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling son has been getting his energy and strength back in the last couple hours, even downing some chicken and rice for dinner. When the news came on at 6, I was reminded the new Sponge Bob movie was premiering tonight at 7 on Nick.

I called down to him, and this was our conversation:

Al: Andrew!

Andrew: Yeah?

Al: The new Sponge Bob comes on in one hour.

Andrew: I know.

Al: Just thought I'd tell you now, I might forget at 7.

Andrew: Are you kidding me?! I'm not gonna change the channel.

Well, OK then.

10/13/2008 06:18:00 PM

(10/13/2008 06:15:00 PM) - Al

Can you imagine the nightly coverage of this stuff if Biden were McCain's running mate?

The amazing thing is no one denies this, even the networks and Dems themselves.

10/13/2008 06:15:00 PM

(10/13/2008 10:52:00 AM) - Al

Mark A writes an end of the year letter to the fans. Much longer than I recall in the past, but he did have more to talk about, I guess.

10/13/2008 10:52:00 AM

(10/13/2008 10:40:00 AM) - Al

The Rambling son is home sick today, as he's been sick since about 8 last night. I keep telling him he'll probably feel better soon, as he is currently in the "run to the bathroom and accomplish nothing" stage.

Meanwhile, the Rambling wife is working like usual Monday morning, and then is having a cortisone shot (just like a real athlete!) to try and help her plantar fascitis heal properly; as ice, heel pads, and Celebrex ain't cutting it.

I canceled all but my last appointment of the day, in which I have to give someone bad news...enjoy those carefree days of youth, kids. It doesn't get a lot better.

That said, my shoulder blade pain is nearly gone, just a small catch now and then.

10/13/2008 10:40:00 AM

Sunday, October 12, 2008

(10/12/2008 08:53:00 PM) - Al

It appears Lane Kiffin really had the Raiders messed'll take weeks to fix!

My father-in-law was here the week after Kiffin was let go, and we both agreed no coach of any merit would even take the OAK job, and that Kiffin will get a high paying college or coordinator position within a couple months.

That is one messed up franchise. I feel for their fans.

10/12/2008 08:53:00 PM

(10/12/2008 08:10:00 PM) - Al

"This is the opportunity of a lifetime," Mr. Whitman said. "The most important securities are being given away."

Says a professional investor of 50 years. There's going to be some ups and downs, but if you have cash waiting to invest, I would begin now, and keep adding in the next few're protected up or down short-term that way.

10/12/2008 08:10:00 PM

(10/12/2008 06:44:00 PM) - Al

Glenn is very correct, suddenly, writing about killing the president will quit being funny and be a serious offense.

The irony here is, it has been considered funny for 7+ years, and ignored.

10/12/2008 06:44:00 PM

(10/12/2008 02:11:00 PM) - Al

The episode of Extreme Home Makeover that was shot at my grandfather's former residence in rural Richland Center will be seen tonight on ABC. I hadn't stepped foot in it for probably 30-35 years, and it had fallen into disrepair at some point, obviously.

I have seen pictures of the completed Makeover house, and suffice it to say, it is unique. The Rambling brother and his family lives about a mile from it, and I assume the new house is on Bethke Lane, as that is his address.

I assume this is about as close to fame as I'll ever get...

10/12/2008 02:11:00 PM

(10/12/2008 02:03:00 PM) - Al

Talk about a fluke, today I hurt myself...walking in the house.

Suddenly, a sharp pain hit me in the lower left shoulder someone had stabbed me with a knife. However, since OJ is awaiting sentencing in a Nevada cell for bad, bad men, I was almost positive that had not happened. I fixed lunch for the Rambling son, pausing several times to lean against the kitchen counter. Just as I finished, the phone rang, so as I talked, I went in and laid down on the bed, trying to find a position that did not hurt.

No idea what happened, but it did loosen up, and after I took a hot shower (using the mode a lot that shoots out a single powerful stream), it felt as if had gone away...but alas, much like taxes and people handing out religious literature, it soon returned, and has been with me ever since. Other than the fact it is not in the middle of my back, it's just like back pain...if you sit or lie perfectly still, it's ok, but dare not walk, stand, move, and so on. It really hurts if I jerk my left arm back I decided to give that up.

I suppose I could go if the big game was today...but it'd be hard even pretending I was 100%.

UPDATE: The Rambling wife got home from a day long scrapbooking excursion and pushed on it real hard and rubbed on some icy hot stuff and it feels oodles better. I had the Rambling son push down on the area right after it happened, but his "pressure" leaves a lot to be desired.

UPDATE 2: 24 hours later, it's a fraction of what it was pain wise...the Absorbine Jr. and icy hot have dulled the pain greatly. Stephen writes to say he hurt his shoulder lifting weights a couple years ago, and it healed within a couple days. Let's hope mine does too.

10/12/2008 02:03:00 PM

Saturday, October 11, 2008

(10/11/2008 01:43:00 PM) - Al

SF released Tyler Walker. Not sure if Walker is any more than a generic RH reliever, but just taking a gander at his size (6-3, 255) and his K rate (7.3/9), I can see the Brewers at least making an inquiry.

Given a career ERA of 4.52, he should easily garner a 40 man roster spot somewhere.

10/11/2008 01:43:00 PM

(10/11/2008 09:18:00 AM) - Al

I followed a link to a link last night, as Glenn talked about survivalist culture becoming less fringe and more mainstream, due to the less than perfect economy.

One of the sites I went to kept using TEOWAWKI as an acronym, and I finally figured out it meant "the end of the world as we know it", which I, of course, found amusing, because anything that involves big cans of food and 4.22 ounce packets of water is hilarious to me.

The funniest thing I saw last night was a gentleman who was bragging that he has a lot of American Eagle gold coins for when the dollar is worthless, and he has them "stored at a bonded and vaulted facility in Texas".

Apparently, come anarchy and chaos that has the federal government powerless, some little place in TX will be happy to hand deliver precious metals to some compound that's heavily armed...right.

10/11/2008 09:18:00 AM

Friday, October 10, 2008

(10/10/2008 08:11:00 PM) - Al

Got home a bit late tonight, and not a whole lot going on to link to, I'll probably just pick up here tomorrow. See you then.

10/10/2008 08:11:00 PM

Thursday, October 09, 2008

(10/09/2008 09:23:00 PM) - Al

I was watching this Eleventh Hour show on CBS (it's on after CSI), and the blonde female lead looks familiar. Of course, one could argue that most all blonde female leads look the same, young and far too thin.

However, the gal's name is Marley Shelton, and she was in Bubble Boy a dog's year ago. BB was ripped apart when it came out, but I rented it on DVD and laughed through the whole thing. The commentary by the writer/director had him laughing happily as he talked about it.

Funny is funny.

10/09/2008 09:23:00 PM

(10/09/2008 07:13:00 PM) - Al

ABC and CNN can't agree on "true" or "false" on a McCain statement.

I can say I doubt either one is correct, and I don't mind the fact that's impossible.

10/09/2008 07:13:00 PM

(10/09/2008 05:48:00 PM) - Al

I saw gas was $3.29 today, you'd think with it that low, we'd be jumping in $20's like a pile of leaves!

Of course, that was the amount it cost us when gas was going that it's coming down, it's not much of a difference.

I truly don't know why the dinosaur media is if you'll excuse me, I need to go bang my head against the wall.

10/09/2008 05:48:00 PM

(10/09/2008 05:15:00 PM) - Al

I got a couple e-mails this afternoon saying they understand why Kapler got a higher "grade", as his expectations were lower.

I guess I'm missing something here, because we're just talking about ballplayers here, right? Kapler had a nice year in limited playing time, but to compare him to Braun or Fielder is beyond ridiculous.

I will say here what I said to those folks...does a teacher hand out grades on what's expected, or by who does a better job? Does the crappy student get a B because he double spaced like the directions said, while the honor society member get a B- because it wasn't nearly as good as the work he did on splitting the atom the previous semester?

Maybe it is me, but when you have several compiled numbers showing exactly how often each player was successful, I'm not sure why you'd go by fluff, grit, and drivel.

One person did point out it was flawed even by those standards, as Kapler at least made the opening day roster, while Branyan was at AAA, and Russ had better numbers, and still got a C. I guess that means they're goofy and inconsistent, but where I come from, the guy who gets a higher grade had a better year. Or at least, it should.

10/09/2008 05:15:00 PM

(10/09/2008 04:57:00 PM) - Al

I think much of the issues with an organization lacking discipline might come straight from the top...if they don't care who is damaging property, don't wonder why your lead off hitter barely bothers playing defense and continually chases high fastballs.

10/09/2008 04:57:00 PM

(10/09/2008 12:22:00 PM) - Al

Wow, you called it...not only did Kapler get a higher grade than Fielder, he got the second-highest grade on the entire team, second only to Sabathia. That...that's just absurd.

Alex in NY

You just have to know how casual fans think...this is why many thought Gabe should be starting over Mike...or why Tony Jr. should be starting over Mike.

However, it is truly sad that the media is still stuck in the 70's, while all around them, the rest of the world has moved beyond BA as any type of meaningful stat.

Tell me again why the old media is dying?

10/09/2008 12:22:00 PM

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

(10/08/2008 08:52:00 PM) - Al

One of the days I dread every year will soon arrive...the day the JS grades each of the Brewers. Of course, tomorrow I will get e-mails that say "Did you see they gave Kapler a higher grade than Fielder"?

And sadly, they might. Was Gabe in any way better than Prince? No, of course not. But in a world where BA and an 8th inning grounder through the hole mean more than common sense...

10/08/2008 08:52:00 PM

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

Brian Anderson shares that he signed a 5 year extension, and shares his favorite games of the year...note all the late inning wins, mostly with HR's.

10/08/2008 08:10:00 PM

(10/08/2008 01:38:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers add AAA filler, though one or two of them may see time in MIL in 2009, if injuries hit. As Adam says, Bateman had a very good '08, he probably has a chance to make the team out of spring training, if a guy like Dillard were to struggle.

Moves like this don't get much press, but teams do need AAA vets "just in case".

10/08/2008 01:38:00 PM

(10/08/2008 01:20:00 PM) - Al

Glenn links to this Commentary magazine piece on what I would call the hidden appeal of Palin...the ability to not be such a gloomy gus. From her well delivered speech on the convention floor to her now being used as the campaign's attack dog on Obama's associations, she is able to go on the negative with a smile on her face.

Obama and McCain both look like they've been on 16 hour shifts at the mine for the last 6 months. Biden earned his 14 votes he got in the Iowa primary by being a dull, ineffective, and perhaps most insulting, uninteresting speaker on most every topic, many of which he is now saying the exact opposite of as the potential first mate.

The difference can easily be seen by looking at the crowds each gathers at events.

10/08/2008 01:20:00 PM

(10/08/2008 01:12:00 PM) - Al

Two excellent candidates for the Mariners GM job are the Mets' Tony Bernazard and the Brewers' Jack Zduriencik. Up-and-comer Jerry DiPoto has been mentioned, as well, as has the Dodgers' Kim Ng.--Jon Heyman

In my mind, the M's job had already been given to Ng, who is an assistant GM for LA, who of course has had success of late.

Always good to see Jack Z mentioned, though I doubt SEA is his destination.

10/08/2008 01:12:00 PM

(10/08/2008 11:05:00 AM) - Al

The Brewers are already in discussions with Todd Coffey, according to a source close to the team, on a one or two year deal to make him a part of the 2009 bullpen.

I always liked Todd when he was with the Reds, I never understood how he fell down to mediocrity with two plus pitches.

Also, Derrick Turnbow has been granted his free agency. He'll have no shortage of suitors, though I wonder if he'll get any offers to go on a 40 man.

10/08/2008 11:05:00 AM

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

(10/07/2008 10:19:00 PM) - Al

I skipped the debate because I was actually kind of happy I could watch ESPN's WSOP coverage before 11 or 12 at night.

I doubt if I'll watch the repeat either, because the word on the street is it was dull, and I guarantee you neither candidate wore a skirt.

Ann says Obama said "A lot of you remember the 9/11 tragedy"...ya think?

Considering that it's the most memorable day since either the moon landing, the Kennedy assasination, or Pearl Harbor, that was a strange choice of language.

10/07/2008 10:19:00 PM

(10/07/2008 09:39:00 PM) - Al

Brewers lose by more than 2-1 to the Packers in the ratings game.

Given that the WWE still garners decent ratings despite...well, being the WWE, nothing surprises me anymore.

10/07/2008 09:39:00 PM

(10/07/2008 09:20:00 PM) - Al

Sveum said the team has to change its identity and become acquainted with small ball and stop relying on the home run to win games.

"We live and die by the home run," interim manager Dale Sveum said.

"We’ve got to change that. We’ve got to start learning how to manufacture runs and put the ball in play."

Is this Dale's way of saying Ned Yost was Earl Weaver all over again? Sit back and wait for the three-run home run?


I would say that's Dale campaigning for the job by saying what he thinks people want to hear.

10/07/2008 09:20:00 PM

(10/07/2008 08:57:00 PM) - Al

An e-mailer sends me this link that suggests Prince may be eating meat again.

I could not be much more uncaring about such news...though I do find it very funny the way the Umpbump person feels the need to act superior because he/she, apparently, does not eat meat.

Nothing bores me more than someone making a private decision and then making it public they did so, and that you suck because you have not. By the way, I have little doubt not eating meat is a healthier lifestyle, and respect those that do so. When I'm trying to lose weight (on a break), I rarely eat red meat either.

10/07/2008 08:57:00 PM

(10/07/2008 06:55:00 PM) - Al

MLBTR asks where Prince could end up if he is traded. With three years left before free agency, I doubt he will be, but the Angels might be a match.

10/07/2008 06:55:00 PM

(10/07/2008 06:51:00 PM) - Al

Doug gives no hints that he does not want to sign an extension with the Brewers. He already has a trip to Arizona scheduled to interview Dale for the manager's job, so he seems like he has every intention of hiring the next manager, which would be something the GM will do.

10/07/2008 06:51:00 PM

(10/07/2008 10:41:00 AM) - Al

What do you think, 3 or 4 too many years?

What color is the sky is their world?

10/07/2008 10:41:00 AM

Monday, October 06, 2008

(10/06/2008 04:18:00 PM) - Al

Of the teams mentioned to be discussing CC, the Brewers will be rooting for the Dodgers to sign him, as they have the 17th pick in the first round, the first unprotected choice.

Other than LA, the next picks would be the two NY teams.

10/06/2008 04:18:00 PM

(10/06/2008 03:09:00 PM) - Al

Notes from Jon Heyman at SI:

A source told that Attanasio is speaking to Brewers great Paul Molitor about a possible return to the club. However, one higherup insisted that discussion is unlikely to be for the managerial job, and that Molitor is more likely instead to wind up as a coach, scout or consultant.

I've heard over the years that the Brewers have had open invites to Molitor and Yount should they want to get back into the game...enough said.

Nice touch by Melvin to walk around the Brewers clubhouse, shake everyone's hand and tell them "I'm proud of you."

Doug has always represented the organization nicely.

A Brewers official shot down the rumor that had them possibly trading Prince Fielder and J.J. Hardy and a third player for Giants pitcher Matt Cain. Not that I really needed to hear that denial first-hand, as it wouldn't be an especially good move to trade either player straight-up for Cain. Hardy looked terrific in the playoffs, by the way.

Cain is a fine young pitcher, but he's not worth two young all-stars. Make that trade, I'll guarantee you Matt needs surgery within a week.

There's going to be a feeding frenzy for Hardy, as the Brewers also have Alcides Escobar, a more classic shortstop, ready to go. Moving Hardy to second base is another option that could be explored. In any case, I wouldn't be so quick to trade Hardy.

I've been mentioning that very move for ages. As good as Escobar is, it would be a massive drop off in offensive production. JJ, if moved or discussed, will be a part of a major trade.

One GM said he didn't think the Jays could keep A.J. Burnett for what they're offering. It's been reported to be an additional two years at perhaps $15 million a year on top of the $22 million and two years that remains on his contract.

Sheets' injury history is actually better than Burnett's. If AJ doesn't feel 4y/$52M is enough, I feel pretty safe Ben will get an offer like that as well.

The Mets have a group of players they feel will play much better outside of New York. Those players may include Luis Castillo, Aaron Heilman and Ryan Church.

Church and Heilman played just fine in New York, actually. Castillo would have to be swapped for another bad contract, as he has to have an OBP of .380+ to make up for a career SLG of .355. Speed guys typically do not age well, and there's a reason Theo and the Red Sox avoid signing aging veterans to long-term deals...they rarely work out well.

10/06/2008 03:09:00 PM

(10/06/2008 12:38:00 PM) - Al

Ryan Braun thinks CC may be back. For whatever reason, I think that actually means something other than player babble. Ryan has a reputation of being a straight shooter, and has quickly become the face and voice of the franchise.

10/06/2008 12:38:00 PM

Sunday, October 05, 2008

(10/05/2008 11:25:00 PM) - Al

"We definitely want to keep Doug Melvin," Attanasio said.

Sounds like Doug returns unless he does not want to. Of course, no one really knows how much it bothered him to get rid of Ned when he did except Doug, as most folks feel it was Mark A's call, or at least most of it. I can't imagine Doug wanting to "build it up again", so I would assume his options would be to retire, sign an extension, or tell MA he'll be back for one more year and after that he's done.

I'll be going over what I feel will take place this offseason soon after Doug has a postseason news conference...I'm not sure if they'll have that this week or wait until after they have their annual end of the season meetings. I would guess that between 17-20 of the 25 guys that ended August will be back, and almost anyone can name 3-4 of them who won't be. The starting point is whether or not the Brewers are going to make an offer to Sabathia, and if Cameron's option is picked may well depend on the other.

I would guess we'll hear the phrase "professional hitter" at some point, and they'll add a pitcher or will almost everyone. The push for '09

Thanks for sharing 2008 with Ramblings. About 133K visits were had since Opening Day, in which you viewed about 190K pages. Hope you enjoyed them and will be back.

10/05/2008 11:25:00 PM

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

Starbucks...overpriced, a bad investment AND a water hog.

10/05/2008 10:22:00 PM

(10/05/2008 08:41:00 PM) - Al


I was at the game today, and I would say a mostly full Miller Park gave Mr. Selig a very genuine applause, although to be honest I do not remember if it was a standing o or not. I and those around me were standing. I thought it was a great crowd, people cheered to beat back the boo birds whenever they surfaced...I thought the standing ovation after the final out showed a lot of how the people in Milwaukee feel about this team.


Thanks for the constant chatter on the site...the sports stuff is spot on almost all the time.

Matt, I thought I heard some applause after the game, but it is tough to hear that on TV. That was very nice. I got a few e-mails from folks at the game today who said they felt CC's ovation was "nice" and "loud". There was some, but not nearly as much as you'd have heard from St. Louis or even New York/Boston. The educated fans knew it was very possibly CC's last appearance, especially at home. I would have preferred it be far more overwhelming, like the Philly fans during Myers' AB the other day. It was not.

I do wish it would have been however. That would have made me feel much better. But, it wasn't. Some fans cheered, some stood up, but if you weren't paying attention, it wasn't much more than a normal AB. That was disappointing, to say the least.

EDIT: The final e-mail I read said it was "thunderous" and the TBS DVR version did not do it justice. I can only go by what I saw on TV, so if it is reported elsewhere as really loud, I'll be sure to say it. I did not witness it, so it's tough for me to think the TV somehow missed it.

Robert, were you there today? Anyone else out there?

CC Sabathia pinch hit for Suppan and got a nice ovation.--Tony W, JS

Tony is not the most excitable fella (neither am I), but "nice" seems like an accurate description to me as well.

The crowd showed its appreciation to Sabathia, giving him a tremendous ovation as he headed back to the dugout in what may be his final game with the

Tremendous is used by Joe at, however. I heard next to nothing after the strikeout...that seems very strange.

UPDATE/BUMP: I had the good fortune of visiting a relative in one of the suites during the Sabathia at-bat, and I thought the applause was very, very healthy. In fact, I had stopped paying attention to the game for a moment, and when the crowd started roaring, I put it together in my head before I saw who was coming to the plate, despite the unusual circumstances. I knew the nine-spot was due up and sure didn't think that type of applause was being dished out for Suppan.:) I also didn't foresee Brad Nelson getting that kind of love.

In fairness to the Milwaukee fan, I would understand if there was any hint of less-than-deserved cheer. Sabathia's appearance was a complete surprise, and it came on the heels of a terrible, likely-season-ending inning. He wasn't given a five-minute standing ovation, but then again he was there and gone very quickly in the grand scheme of events. I thought the cheer was appropriate and very attention-grabbing.

I was at both games, and yes, Saturday's fans were borderline psychotic relative to Sunday's. But I thought Sunday's was still very appreciative given the outcome playing out on the field. Certainly 10 times more than your average regular season game. The cheer for Selig was also adequate in my mind. Especially with the coverage given Selig this past week, I think fans were particularly aware of his importance to this organization.


JR sees a lot of games, so I have to believe he would know. Therefore, "very healthy" will be my new description of the CC applause.

10/05/2008 08:41:00 PM

(10/05/2008 08:32:00 PM) - Al

CC leaves the door open to playing "anywhere", and Sheets seems to think his time in MIL is done.

10/05/2008 08:32:00 PM

(10/05/2008 04:35:00 PM) - Al

This is why I remember the interference rule, on a play similar to Yount's, though I do not recall the situation or the team, or if the Brewers were in the field or at bat.

10/05/2008 04:35:00 PM

(10/05/2008 04:32:00 PM) - Al

Thankfully, the boobirds did not attack Selig...they were probably still in the parking lot drinking, to be honest.

10/05/2008 04:32:00 PM

(10/05/2008 04:22:00 PM) - Al

Meanwhile, the hunt for the real killers has slowed to a crawl.--from a message board, commenting on the conviction of OJ Simpson


Of course, in all honesty, unless the "real" killers were hiding in the weeds of a golf course or underneath a blonde 30+ years younger than him, OJ's chances of finding them were minimal anyway.

10/05/2008 04:22:00 PM

(10/05/2008 04:17:00 PM) - Al

Los Angeles interior decorator Faye Resnick was in Las Vegas on Friday, the 13th anniversary of the day Simpson was acquitted in the killing of his former wife Nicole Brown Simpson, one of Resnick's best friends. Through a local intermediary, Resnick was asked to comment on Simpson's conviction, but she declined. She was in town to celebrate the 25th birthday of Nicky Hilton, her goddaughter.

The in-breeding that occurs in the "famous because they're famous" crowd is off-the-charts. I'm surprised Kato Kaelin didn't stop by, wearing a UWEC sweatshirt, of course.

10/05/2008 04:17:00 PM

(10/05/2008 04:05:00 PM) - Al

No news is indeed good news. I do miss the major's frontline analysis though.

10/05/2008 04:05:00 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.

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