Al's Ramblings



Tuesday, September 30, 2008

(9/30/2008 11:32:00 PM) - Al

Add tax cuts to the bail out? Now, they're singing my song.


9/30/2008 11:32:00 PM



(9/30/2008 09:59:00 PM) - Al

Tony W plays fast and loose with the facts, taking quotes that have little to do with anything and molding them into a story about Dale. Note how he claims Counsell took Hall's 3B starts, implying it happened with Dale at the helm, while in reality, Craig had been in a platoon for a month prior.

That may be the longest article about nothing I've ever read.


9/30/2008 09:59:00 PM



(9/30/2008 09:51:00 PM) - Al

I actually thought this exact thing when it happened. "Just Joe being Joe" I guess.


9/30/2008 09:51:00 PM



(9/30/2008 09:42:00 PM) - Al

Hi Al,

As a 9 pack season ticket holder, when tickets were available for me, I faced the same choice Jon had...terrace Reserve or bleachers at nearly the same price. Face value of Section 102 was $30.

Love your ramblings, been reading you for years. I appreciate your level headed analysis of the game, but it's hard not to be giddy now.

Pablo


I would guess Jon's tickets had about a $100 face. I was more curious as to the profit to the original ticket buyer.

And yes, it is tough to be unhappy about things. I may feel differently in a week, but right now, if the Crew loses 3 straight, I'll say it's a crapshoot and start discussing '09.


9/30/2008 09:42:00 PM



(9/30/2008 09:12:00 PM) - Al

Ratings info from Sunday...biggest Brewers' game in a quarter century, and 3 times more people watched the Packers...oof.

Interesting numbers when the game peaked, and note the Mets/Marlins numbers as well.


9/30/2008 09:12:00 PM



(9/30/2008 08:59:00 PM) - Al

Al,

As a former underwriter at Argent Mortgage I can tell you that at minimum 50% of the loans (roughly 40-50/week per underwriter on a team w/ 8 underwriters for a portion of Michigan) I approved were absolute garbage. The sheer amount of loans we approved and closed were staggering. Nothing like issuing a 95% LTV for over $100k to a person that has no income documentation but states they are making $80k as a cashier at a grocery store, has no credit supporting this income, and in fact has zero credit lines in their whole lives over $1000 indicating any ability to repay a loan. Is it a shock that these borrowers can’t afford to pay their mortgage…no. Should they have been able to purchase a home…probably not. And this speaks nothing of the rampant fraud that arose because it was so easy to get a subprime mortgage a few years back.

This link also provides a great article dealing w/ the mess.

PS


Very easy to understand link, well written.

A couple things...why did people get loans they knew they could not afford? And were the "liar loans" written solely because the mortgage company knew they could sell (dump) the mortgage on Fannie or Freddie?


9/30/2008 08:59:00 PM



(9/30/2008 08:54:00 PM) - Al

Al,

I found a bargain (relatively speaking) on EBay for Saturday's game. Most non-auction tickets on StubHub or TicketsNow in Terrace Reserved are going for over $200 a piece and I just won and auction for four tickets in section 109, row 3 for $294 a piece.

For an extra 90 some dollars, I'm moving from potentially nosebleed to right down by the field. Either way, auctions are the way to go to get better deals for better seats IMO.

-Jon


$1200 for 4 tickets, huh? More power to you, Jon. Can you tell me what the face value is on those?

UPDATE: Jon wrote back to say he is unaware of the face value. And just a clarification, I don't think Jon overpaid at all, as long as he's not living paycheck to paycheck. I'd love to be there myself.


9/30/2008 08:54:00 PM



(9/30/2008 08:09:00 PM) - Al

Sheets "very doubtful" to pitch any more this year.

Looks like a short-term injury, though he may be slightly more willing to accept arby if teams are afraid of offering him a long-term deal.


9/30/2008 08:09:00 PM



(9/30/2008 07:07:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling wife and myself just glanced at the Brewers' road schedule for the '09 summer months, and we're disappointed again. We were hoping for COL, though I would have happily settled for TOR or SEA (which I realize is not likely). So, it looks like if we go on a road trip, it will be to either DC or HOU, with an outside chance of PIT. We have no interest in CLE or DET, none in CHI or CIN and SD or LA seems, well, too far by car. We keep hoping for a NYC visit we'd be able to combine with Cooperstown, but we're 0-3 so far.

If anyone has been to either ballpark or city, shoot me an e-mail...we're leaning toward Houston, as we'd prefer taking the Rambling son to DC when he's old enough to appreciate the history of the nation. I've heard nice things about PNC, though much of it is about the view of the city, not the ballpark itself.


9/30/2008 07:07:00 PM



(9/30/2008 05:59:00 PM) - Al

This makes sense to me, but I'm not looking for a loan at the moment either.

I sure am hearing an awful lot about Fannie and Freddie giving out many of the subprime loans due to pressure from politicos, to people that never would have qualified from anywhere else, and this is what this gent hints at as well. The irony to me is, no one has blamed (credited?) the huge real estate boom to all these fictional buyers. The way I see it, the current "down" market is just fixing the problem...while many act as if the bad market is the problem.


9/30/2008 05:59:00 PM



(9/30/2008 03:59:00 PM) - Al

Outfielder Eric Byrnes would figure to be the toughest to deal as he's coming off an injury-riddled season and is owed $22 million over the next two years. But the club could look to match up his contract with another team's bad contract, like that of Mets second baseman Luis Castillo, who is owed $18 million through 2011.--AZ Republic

I hated both these deals when they were signed. Teams overpaying for speed and grit rarely turns out well.


9/30/2008 03:59:00 PM



(9/30/2008 03:15:00 PM) - Al

I saw this guy on Dr. Phil, though I never heard of his book.

OJ Simpson is a bad, bad man. I still have no idea how he was not convicted, other than the 12 jurors were the stupidest people on the planet.


9/30/2008 03:15:00 PM



(9/30/2008 03:14:00 PM) - Al

The playoff roster is as I guessed originally...though I later changed my mind, thinking Dillon would make it over Nelson.

Dale and Doug chose to go with the lefty slugging PH rather than the versatile OBP guy.

Classy of the team to allow other players to travel with the team, though only six can be in uniform. Nice "bonus points" to let Todd Coffey come along...that might go a long way in resigning him this offseason.


9/30/2008 03:14:00 PM



(9/30/2008 03:03:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers just sent me an e-mail promoting Stub Hub as a way to get playoff tickets...the cheapest seat available as of this second is $102 for Saturday.

Not sure if that means all the playoff tickets held back for people willing to put up a 2009 season ticket deposit are gone or not, but I would guess it does.


9/30/2008 03:03:00 PM



(9/30/2008 03:00:00 PM) - Al

Do you think the Dow closing 500 up will get 5/7th's of the publicity that closing down 700 did yesterday?

Me neither. If it bleeds, it leads.


9/30/2008 03:00:00 PM



(9/30/2008 02:47:00 PM) - Al

Commenting on Robert's post below, about where Brantley will play in CLE if they choose him...Sizemore hits enough as a CF so Brantley could easily slide into LF or RF (though I doubt his arm is strong enough for RF) and not weaken the team. Besides, as young as Mike is, he may not be ready until 2011...I think Grady is a FA after '10.

EDIT: Nope, signed through '11, with a tiny $8.5M option for '12.


9/30/2008 02:47:00 PM



(9/30/2008 02:34:00 PM) - Al

Came across this while looking for something else...a guy is running his own pretend mutual fund, hoping to have people like what they see and hear and invest in a real one he hopes to start.

I'm telling you, if I was 22 and single, there's about a dozen things I'd like to try while working part-time. Enjoy your youth, my friends.


9/30/2008 02:34:00 PM



(9/30/2008 02:24:00 PM) - Al

Kiffin also opposed some of Davis' big free-agent signings such as wide receiver Javon Walker and, to a lesser degree, cornerback DeAngelo Hall, sources said. Kiffin also expressed public frustration that the team was not more aggressive in claiming other team's released players via the waiver process to strengthen the bottom of the roster.---ESPN.com

Lane Kiffin will sign a lucrative contract with a big name college program in 3-4 months. He is a huge winner in this, the only "losers" are fans of the Raiders, who have been reduced to a laughingstock by an owner who, to be kind, the sport passed by two decades ago.


9/30/2008 02:24:00 PM



(9/30/2008 01:57:00 PM) - Robert R.

I'm with Al in hoping the Indians opt for Green over Brantley. I do wonder though if the fact that Grady Sizemore is one of the best centerfielders in baseball may play a part in the selection though. Where's Brantley going to play for Cleveland?


9/30/2008 01:57:00 PM



(9/30/2008 01:56:00 PM) - Al

No rosters yet, but the lineup for Game 1 is the normal Sveum model versus LH SP's.


9/30/2008 01:56:00 PM



(9/30/2008 01:47:00 PM) - Al

This article from CLE goes over Brantley and Green's numbers.

One of the comments said, "You gotta go with the younger player at the higher level", which, ironically, is why I've had Mike in my top 4-5 all year. It's also why I had Angel Salome higher than most until he became "hip" after breaking out at AA.

As good as CC was, and as unlikely as it was the Brewers make the playoffs without him, there will be plenty of moments fans regret this trade.

It does say they are concerned about health, and from pics I have seen, Mike is a stringbean...oh, let us hope.


9/30/2008 01:47:00 PM



(9/30/2008 01:21:00 PM) - Al

Dave Pinto previews the Crew/Phillies series and gives PHIL a 75% chance of winning it.

Personally, I'd say that's far too high for almost any 5 game series, but would have to agree Philly should be more than a toss-up pick. However, I keep harkening back to the fact that, while CC may not win every game he pitches, he is the best pitcher in baseball right now. Steal one other game and I'll take my chances on Sabathia...I don't dislike the Brewers' chances either.

Also, note that the Phils were only .007 better than MIL in both OBP and SLG...from where I sit, that means the Brewers may only be a 3B with good OBP skills (and average power) away from moving into the upper echelon of offensive teams in the NL.

Of course, getting that without giving up other pieces is another problem...


9/30/2008 01:21:00 PM



(9/30/2008 12:47:00 PM) - Al

Fancy numbers for the Crew for those who wish to see them.


9/30/2008 12:47:00 PM



(9/30/2008 12:38:00 PM) - Al

I just saw an ad for a money market fund that proudly showed an effective return of 1.9%.

We are indeed living in interesting times.


9/30/2008 12:38:00 PM



(9/30/2008 11:45:00 AM) - Al

14K showed up for the free rally. Details are at the team site.


9/30/2008 11:45:00 AM



(9/30/2008 11:32:00 AM) - Al

You can look at Corey Hart's numbers all you want, but it's tough to overlook what a terrible September he had.

While he dropped off a bit in the 2nd half overall, the 9th month was truly unkind. Was he hurt? He seemed to be laboring the other day as he scored, not "flying" like usual.

Braun seems to have broken out of his pain induced doldrums, it sure would be nice if Corey did the same.

EDIT: Just noticed Corey had hits in his first 5 games of September, going 7-22, so he got on base 13 times in the last 20+ games of the year, compiling a .171 OBP over that stretch. No HR's at all month either. If Kapler was healthy, no doubt he'd be in RF by now.

EDIT 2: Kapler was playing RF on 9/10 when he got hurt...you have to wonder if that was a day off for Hart or if Gabe was playing because Corey was banged up.


9/30/2008 11:32:00 AM



(9/30/2008 10:56:00 AM) - Al

Tom H expects the 25th man on the playoff roster to be Joe Dillon, which would leave Gwynn as the only lefty bat off the bench (versus a RH SP), but would probably be what I would go with as well.


9/30/2008 10:56:00 AM



(9/30/2008 10:40:00 AM) - Al

I've heard this rumor for a long time, but I had forgotten that similar things were said about Cheney, prior to both '00 and '04.


9/30/2008 10:40:00 AM



(9/30/2008 09:02:00 AM) - Al

Tom H expands on his earlier Selig thoughts.

Bud Selig has simply made baseball oodles better during his reign...best commish ever.


9/30/2008 09:02:00 AM



(9/30/2008 09:00:00 AM) - Al

If you glance at the Rotoworld box on the sidebar, you'll see the Indians are expected to take either Taylor Green or Michael Brantley today as the PTBNL in the CC trade.

If there is any way that the collective Rambling nation can will the tribe to take Green, I'd be very appreciative. Green may well be a steady big leaguer, but Brantley is a .400ish OBP guy in AA at the tender age of 21...that's a skill you rarely come across. Many players develop power as they age, but very few develop plate dicipline.

We've had Gammons say it is Brantley, while friend of Ramblings Jim has been told it is Green...let's hope Peter heard from someone who "assumed" they would take Brantley...who a couple scouts were quoted as saying early in the season was a better long-term prospect than Laporta.


9/30/2008 09:00:00 AM



(9/30/2008 08:51:00 AM) - Al

The pirates who answered the phone call on Tuesday morning from The New York Times said they were speaking by satellite phone from the bridge of the Faina, the Ukrainian cargo ship that was hijacked about 200 miles off the coast of Somalia on Thursday. Several pirates talked, but they said that only Mr. Sugule was authorized to be quoted. Mr. Sugule acknowledged that they were now surrounded by American warships bristling with firepower

Why am I not the least bit surprised a Ukranian ship hijacked near Somalia is in the jurisdiction of the United States Navy?


9/30/2008 08:51:00 AM



(9/30/2008 08:36:00 AM) - Al

Much like I told my e-mailers yesterday, the market saw bargains this morning and started buying. I saw Exxon Mobil and several huge utilities down 4-5%, and trust me, no one is going to stop using electricity or oil. Down markets drag good stocks lower, and the market opening up 200 points indicates I wasn't the only one who found bargains after close.

Unless you're selling today, current prices mean nothing. If your time frame is 3-5 years or more, days like yesterday make news, but mean little long-term.

EDIT: The Wall Street Journal blasts Pelosi...I did notice the market fell like a rock while she was talking yesterday as well. She does not seem to rub people the right way.


9/30/2008 08:36:00 AM


Monday, September 29, 2008

(9/29/2008 10:08:00 PM) - Al

A JS story about ticket and souvenir demand.


9/29/2008 10:08:00 PM



(9/29/2008 06:55:00 PM) - Al

Kyle Lohse signs for 4y/$41M. The price of decent SP is not cheap, my friends.


9/29/2008 06:55:00 PM



(9/29/2008 06:09:00 PM) - Al

If you missed the game yesterday (I suppose acceptable excuses are you had to work, or you were deathly ill), FSN is repeating it from 6-8:30 tonight.

Note to some, the action picks up at about 8:15 or so...


9/29/2008 06:09:00 PM



(9/29/2008 05:46:00 PM) - Al

Sveum does announce Yo will go in Game 1, with CC in Game 2.


9/29/2008 05:46:00 PM



(9/29/2008 05:03:00 PM) - Al

For those of you that are unaware, FSN is televising part of the "pep rally" from 5-6 Central.

I have little doubt it will be exceptionally lame, but I'm still watching.


9/29/2008 05:03:00 PM



(9/29/2008 04:38:00 PM) - Al

Tom H correctly points out that all three things that made the Crew a playoff team can be directly traced back to Bud Selig.


9/29/2008 04:38:00 PM



(9/29/2008 03:42:00 PM) - Al

Friend of Ramblings Jim, Brewerfan.net minor league guru, thinks the Indians may still not take Taylor Green, and thus, not Mike Brantley...I sure hope he is correct.


9/29/2008 03:42:00 PM



(9/29/2008 03:15:00 PM) - Al

Matt Cain is said to be untouchable...which should cut down on the trade rumors for him by 1/4th.

Cain is pretty close to Yo...and I can't imagine the Crew even discussing him, so I don't see Cain being moved, to say the least.


9/29/2008 03:15:00 PM



(9/29/2008 02:36:00 PM) - Al

Sabathia had 7 complete games for the Brewers...no other team in the NL had more than 6. Heh.


9/29/2008 02:36:00 PM



(9/29/2008 01:47:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers finish 7th (of the 16 NL teams) in runs scored, 10th in OBP, 5th in SLG, and 6th in OPS.

2nd in ERA, 4th in runs allowed, 4th in OBPA, 6th in SLGA, and 5th in OPSA.

Despite this, they still finish with the 3rd best record in the NL, even though by looking at the numbers above, you probably would have guessed 4th-6th.

The Brewers hit into the fewest double plays of any NL team, and K'd the 5th most. If you wonder how meaningless that is, take a gander at who struck out the 6th most.


9/29/2008 01:47:00 PM



(9/29/2008 01:41:00 PM) - Al

With a single game left to be played, OXS (OBP x SLG) was 97.8% effective this season in predicting how many runs would be scored in MLB. I'm not suggesting that things like stolen bases, making contact, and "smart" baserunning have no impact...they just don't have much. Simply put, offense is all about getting on base and smacking the ball hard somewhere.


9/29/2008 01:41:00 PM



(9/29/2008 10:39:00 AM) - Al

Will you look at the height Braun got on his "I hit a HR" jump?

My goodness.


9/29/2008 10:39:00 AM



(9/29/2008 10:22:00 AM) - Al

Al,

One manager has a team that scores 4.66 runs per game. Another manager has a team that scores 4.25 runs per game. The first manager gets fired. The second manager, as one of my co-workers said, "does everything I would do". The first is vilified while the second is adored.

Also the bullpen with a whole bunch of guys who should be released finished with the 4th best ERA in the National League.

What a ride it has been. Thanks for your insights.

Benjamin


In Dale's defense, a dozen games is a tiny sample. I also would add that one of the biggest hits came from Rickie Weeks, who was only in because of an injury. Basically, Dale made a minor change (platooning Rickie and Ray), flipped a couple of spots in the order, and as if to say "it doesn't really matter" stood back and did not really make a move the rest of the way. He did bunt a couple times, though to consider that a game changer is only to use selective memory, as the Crew, not a gifted group of bunters, often failed to do so effectively anyway.

The bullpen silliness probably stems from Gagne's ineffectiveness early on...never mind the team won almost every game anyway. I have discussed it before...casuals feel that if the team is ahead after 6 or 7, they should win. Of course, if the Brewers come back late in a game, it's "clutch" and "they wanted it more", and other cliches you hear on Jim Rome, which is why he's unlistenable.


9/29/2008 10:22:00 AM



(9/29/2008 10:19:00 AM) - Robert R.

I'd go with Gallardo/McClung in Game 1 as well. Someone that can strike people out, especially Ryan Howard, seems the best choice for going up against the Phillies. Especially in that ballpark. I'd save Bush and Suppan for the more forgiving Miller Park.


9/29/2008 10:19:00 AM



(9/29/2008 10:02:00 AM) - Al

HR's are down to a 15 year low.

I think it's a combination of lots of things, but one thing I see is a bit of a "distaste" for the slugger...I see very few guys in the lineups that are there to hit deep flies...I see a lot more athletic, speed and power combos. Heck, take a look at the DH's in the AL...you don't see big guys who swing a big stick, you see guys who hit for a decent average and have good overall numbers.

Billy Beane once made himself famous for finding a quality (OBP) that he felt was undervalued. Now, it's almost impossible to find an above average OBP guy cheaply, regardless of his other warts. Beane has moved onto defense because of this.

I think the next movement might be to be find guys who could hit 30+ HR's if you gave them 500 AB's and just run 'em out there. I think I know a 3B that may be available...


9/29/2008 10:02:00 AM



(9/29/2008 09:51:00 AM) - Al

Here's something you may have missed...Craig Counsell finished the year with a .355 OBP, and even more astounding, a .450 OBP in September, including 16 walks in 61 PA's.

I was always a guy like Craig, a good defender who did anything I could to get on base, with varying degrees of success. Ryan and CC's contributions will be remembered for far longer, and rightfully so. That said, I don't think the Brewers are still playing without Craig's help this past month. He may have only scored 8 runs, but all those walks not only helped to wear pitchers down, but they provided the top of the order extra chances...which they took advantage of this past week.


9/29/2008 09:51:00 AM



(9/29/2008 08:36:00 AM) - Al

Al,

I'd go with 12 pitchers for the NLDS. A five game series, I think an extra bat would help. So, Dillon and Gwynn. If Kapler, Rottino or Rivera were gonna play, I think we would have seen then more the last 2 weeks. Kendall is gonna be ridden like a horse in the derby. "Down the stretch they come."

As for the rotation, I would go: Yovani, CC, Bush, Soup, CC (if nec.) Parra & Soup got knocked around 2 weeks ago in Philly. Go with the unknown, something the Phill's haven't seen recently. Yovani could give us a huge boost with a Game 1 win. Piggy-back McClung after Yovani and were looking good. CC is almost a sure win and is another unknown because he didn't pitch against them 2 weeks ago.. Bush fared well in Philly (quality start). Soup is a proven playoff pitcher and could handle any extra pressure if were down in the series at this point. CC would be going on 4 days rest in Game 5.

Question for ya. The playoffs are filled with pressure. Is there more pressure in starting Game 1 (0-0) or Game 4 (down 2-1)? Or is it equal pressure.


Dan


I'd be tempted to go with Yo/McClung in Game 1 as well...and if they did well, I'd probably bring them back in Game 4. We're talking about Yo being limited to 75 pitches, of course.

There's always pressure, but considering major league players have all risen to the top of their profession, they can handle it. Suppan can handle stress all he wants, but if he can't hit his spots, it won't make much difference.


9/29/2008 08:36:00 AM



(9/29/2008 08:18:00 AM) - Jason Christopherson

I see Al linked to this last evening so I won't be adding much here, but the call on the Braun homer by Uecker will go down as one of the all-time best for me. I burned it to a CD and played it probably 25 times on my way to work this morning.

As hard as it is to admit, Bob's calls have been slipping a bit as he ages. I love the guy and find few things better than listening to his voice calling the game while I'm grilling something on the deck on a warm summer night. But in recent years his age is showing--be it from misjudging flyballs to fumbling with names to being slow to tell what's happening. In my opinion, this brings him from an A+ down to an A. The call yesterday, though, was majestic. There's a subtle crack in his voice as he screams to just be heard over the crowd. It's perfect.

Bob's another guy we can all be happy for. He's seen and had to call a lot of bad baseball since the "Ball lined to Yount at short...he throws...it's OVER!" days.


9/29/2008 08:18:00 AM


Sunday, September 28, 2008

(9/28/2008 11:56:00 PM) - Al

Braun's HR from the team page.

You Tube video of the wildcard clinching moment from the Miller Park stands.

WGN call of the Braun HR.

Postgame celebration in the clubhouse after the Marlins win.

Crowd view of Braun's grand slam walk off.

Not related to the playoffs, but Ryan Braun signs autographs after the game he found out he won the all-star vote.

Another view from the Miller Park stands as the Marlins win.


9/28/2008 11:56:00 PM



(9/28/2008 10:55:00 PM) - Al

Check out this poll from earlier this month.

Bless the casuals, who may be bandwagon fans, but they buy a lot of stuff.


9/28/2008 10:55:00 PM



(9/28/2008 09:47:00 PM) - Al

Dale and Doug both thank Ned for his contributions.

Dale said something to the effect of "a couple incidents" when discussing himself getting the job. I wonder if we'll ever find out if something occurred in the clubhouse or on the team flight.

UPDATE: Ryan Braun also said they owe a lot to Ned on his ESPN call-in. Allow me to say how incredibly good with the media and fans Ryan is.


9/28/2008 09:47:00 PM



(9/28/2008 09:25:00 PM) - Al

Playoff roster for the Phillies' series

Bush
Sabathia
Suppan

Torres
Mota
Shouse
Gagne
Stetter
Parra
McClung
Gallardo
Villanueva

Kendall
Rivera

Fielder
Durham
Weeks
Hardy
Counsell
Hall

Braun
Cameron
Hart
Gwynn

That's 24, and those guys seem all but locked in. As for #25, I suppose the favorite, if Kapler cannot play, would be Nelson, though I would say the darkhorses would be Vinny Rottino, who would be the 3rd catcher and all around utility guy; and Joe Dillon, who I would seriously consider because he works the count and can play anywhere except C, SS and CF...something that cannot be overlooked since Durham's hamstring is bothering him.

EDIT: I would not be shocked to see DiFelice make it either, as he has been unhittable versus RH bats. If the Phillies were not so lefty dominant, I might take him instead of Stetter. And for fun, let's say Todd Coffey was eligible...whose place would he take? I really do not know.


9/28/2008 09:25:00 PM



(9/28/2008 09:16:00 PM) - Al

Games 1-3 scheduled, Wednesday at 2, Thursday and Saturday at 5.

Game 4 Sunday and Game 5 Tuesday are TBA until later.


9/28/2008 09:16:00 PM



(9/28/2008 09:12:00 PM) - Al

Peter Gammons just said since the Brewers made the playoffs, the Indians will end up with Mike Brantley, who I may have hesitated to give up even more than Laporta. Brantley is OBP personified, and if Gammons is correct, that's a huge blow to the future.


9/28/2008 09:12:00 PM



(9/28/2008 08:53:00 PM) - Al

It'll be interesting to see who is chosen to pitch Game 1, as CC will certainly go in 2 and 5. I was surprised to see how well Suppan has fared versus LH bats this year (his career stats mirror them), so I would guess he'd get the nod. However, he was awful until Friday.

Someone even floated the idea of Parra getting a start, as Philly is loaded with LH hitters and Manny looked good Saturday.

Personally, I'd probably go with Bush in 1 and Soup in 3. Yo and McClung will both be available in relief, so I'm sure the leashes will not be long.


9/28/2008 08:53:00 PM



(9/28/2008 07:40:00 PM) - Al

The post-game recap, including Bob's call of the Braun HR and the game-ending double play, are here.

Ryan's HR is just about halfway in. If you have not heard it before, it'll bring a tear to your eyes...


9/28/2008 07:40:00 PM



(9/28/2008 07:30:00 PM) - Al

Notes from Bo Ryan's autobiography.


9/28/2008 07:30:00 PM



(9/28/2008 07:02:00 PM) - Al

One of my perennial sleepers, Kyle Lohse, who broke out strongly in '08, looks like he will sign a long-term deal with the Cardinals tomorrow. If it is Silva money, I'm not sure I like it, but when you look at his fine campaign, he's going to get paid by someone.


9/28/2008 07:02:00 PM



(9/28/2008 06:37:00 PM) - Al

Alec Baldwin, who famously called his daughter a pig on a voice mail message, has written a book about divorce and fatherhood.

Oof. Lord help us all.


9/28/2008 06:37:00 PM



(9/28/2008 06:14:00 PM) - Al

3.068M fans for the season, simply an astounding amount, that we may not see again until...next year? My guess turned out to be pretty close 10 months ago.

Heh. I'd put the over/under at about 2.8M to be honest, as we really do not know a lot about next year's chances yet. However, I don't see many season ticket holders not renewing, and now that the playoffs are not just possible, but a real event.

UPDATE: Almost exactly one year ago today, the JS message boards were convinced the '08 attendance would be way down. Oh, to live in the world casual fans do.


9/28/2008 06:14:00 PM



(9/28/2008 04:25:00 PM) - Al

I just took a look around the web to try and find a playoff schedule, but all I can find is the days, no times yet. I will update it as soon as I find one, as I'm sure plenty of people are looking to use some vacation days or leave early if the Crew plays in the afternoon.

Just a guess, but with the cubs/Dodgers being the "main draw", I would say it is likely the Crew plays a couple of matinees.


9/28/2008 04:25:00 PM



(9/28/2008 04:10:00 PM) - Al

Allow me to say I feel sorry for the Mets, their fans, and Ned Yost. All had fine seasons, and it is unfortunate they are not able to celebrate.


9/28/2008 04:10:00 PM



(9/28/2008 04:09:00 PM) - Al

How nice is it that at some point in the next 24 hours, I'll have to sit down and discuss the playoff roster.

Heh, playoff roster.


9/28/2008 04:09:00 PM



(9/28/2008 03:53:00 PM) - Al

For those of you unaware, the Marlins/Mets game is on TBS.


9/28/2008 03:53:00 PM



(9/28/2008 03:37:00 PM) - Al

Thus far at least, the Brewers' players are just hanging out on the field, watching the Marlins/Mets game. I don't think I've ever seen such a thing. The irony is, FSN cannot show the scoreboard, or break some sort of MLB rules. Heck, I'm not sure they're supposed to be showing it in Miller Park, but, I'm sure Mark A will be happy to pay the fine.


9/28/2008 03:37:00 PM



(9/28/2008 03:28:00 PM) - Al

3-1 and Soriano just pops one up to LF.

Theriot works it to 3-2 nicely, and smacks one to LCF for a base hit. Gotta tip your cap.

Tailor made 4-6-3 double play to end it.

I just saw a replay, and Derrick Lee did not exhibit much hustle to beat that DP out...have to send him a card thanking him.:)


9/28/2008 03:28:00 PM



(9/28/2008 03:24:00 PM) - Al

That Braun guy might be a keeper.

Allow me to say, regardless of how things finish up today, I'm confident enough in my masculinity to say I love Ryan and CC.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.


9/28/2008 03:24:00 PM



(9/28/2008 03:14:00 PM) - Al

I tell you what, I'd have a tough time taking CC out right now. I'd take my chances with him, and hope the other guys score me a run in the 8th or 9th.

UPDATE: Dale agrees.


9/28/2008 03:14:00 PM



(9/28/2008 03:07:00 PM) - Al

All even at 1. If the season was a week longer, or if Gabe Kapler was healthy, Corey would probably find himself with a few days off...he just hasn't shown any plate discipline up there at all of late...when you swing at balls, you'll never see any strikes.


9/28/2008 03:07:00 PM



(9/28/2008 02:46:00 PM) - Al

Marlins jump ahead and now the Mets tie it. CC gets through the 7th with only about 6-7 pitches.

The Crew needs to hope a couple mistakes float up there.


9/28/2008 02:46:00 PM



(9/28/2008 02:27:00 PM) - Al

While CC pitches onward, at about 75 pitches in the 6th, the Crew hasn't hit a ball hard since Cameron led off with a single. While they have swung at some pitches out of the strike zone, the truth is, the Cubs' pitchers have not made a mistake yet either.


9/28/2008 02:27:00 PM



(9/28/2008 01:54:00 PM) - Al

Easy 3rd inning for both sides, the Crew with nothing but easy grounders against Chad Gaudin. That said, his stuff looks very hittable compared to Guzman.


9/28/2008 01:54:00 PM



(9/28/2008 01:46:00 PM) - Al

CC does not seem to be at all concerned about throwing a lot of pitches, wasting a pitch or two to most every batter. I'd much prefer strike one, strike two, and so on, as CC is not likely to be successful after 100 today.


9/28/2008 01:46:00 PM



(9/28/2008 01:40:00 PM) - Al

1-2-3 in the bottom of the 2nd, as JJ swung at ball four well out of the zone. Guzman does have very good stuff today, I wouldn't mind him being PH for at all.


9/28/2008 01:40:00 PM



(9/28/2008 01:33:00 PM) - Al

Cubs score a run on an error by Prince and a bang-bang call at 1B which, surprise, surprise, goes against the Brewers. CC also threw a lot of pitches, which can not be a positive thing.


9/28/2008 01:33:00 PM



(9/28/2008 01:23:00 PM) - Al

One hit and devastating stuff from the Cubs' starter, who'll likely just go a couple innings, as he's gotta be considered for a postseason spot.

Strike two on Prince almost bounced before Blanco caught it. Good to see the umps brought their A game today.


9/28/2008 01:23:00 PM



(9/28/2008 01:11:00 PM) - Al

Couldn't ask for a much better top of the first inning, 8 or 9 pitches for CC, 3 up, 3 down.


9/28/2008 01:11:00 PM



(9/28/2008 12:00:00 PM) - Al

According to Blogger, this is the 10,000th post ever on Ramblings. I am not often one to make a big deal of round numbers, so allow me to thank each one of you for taking the time to read Ramblings. If you do not have the site bookmarked, take the time to do that now.

One Brewers' message board is doing a bit of a survey as to what baseball related blogs its users read, be it daily, semi-regularly, or weekly. With rare exception, when a person mentions that they read Ramblings, it is in the "daily" category. Some of that is probably just because of the amount of pure drivel I load on each day. But, for the most part, Ramblings has a loyal base that likes to e-mail and is far from casual.

Nothing wrong with that.


9/28/2008 12:00:00 PM



(9/28/2008 11:57:00 AM) - Al

Two bracelets, and two candidates.

Without going into unnecessary details, this is why I'm voting the way I will, and would not dream of voting for the other.


9/28/2008 11:57:00 AM



(9/28/2008 11:27:00 AM) - Al

A side-by-side comparison of the early versions to the final bill...allow me to say that the Frank-Dodd version was about as plum full of pork as the roast I currently have in the crock pot (or slow cooker, depending on which part of the country you are reading this from).

A Democratic strategist just said that Obama has run away from this entire situation, going so far this AM to say "he thinks he is for it". He said nothing good can come out of it, as most people are against it, as they have little understanding of the bill. However, what is being avoided is the "hell wrath no fury" anger when a voter opens their retirement account statement and sees it down 20% or so, as when I say "the market will take care of it", I mean stock prices would fall, short-term at least.


9/28/2008 11:27:00 AM



(9/28/2008 11:18:00 AM) - Al

Africa still struggles to feed their citizens, has no method of defeating terrorists (labeled "pirates" here, but that's kind of prettying up what they are), but still has no qualms about purchasing weapons and tanks.

I really don't have anything else to say here, except that when I was a little boy, much of Africa was a disaster, and it remains that today.


9/28/2008 11:18:00 AM



(9/28/2008 09:46:00 AM) - Al

Tigers manager Jim Leyland said Saturday that he intends to use Brandon Inge at third base and Carlos Guillen in left field in 2009.

Frankly, that's outstanding news for the rest of the AL Central. Inge is an excellent defensive third baseman, but he's had OPSs of 688 and 666 the last two years. If he keeps hitting like that, he'll find himself back in a utility role come May. Guillen's seen his OPS go from 920 in 2006 to 859 last year and 811 this season. He was a tremendous player as an average to somewhat below average shortstop. As a left fielder, he's going to have to bounce back to become more than just an average regular. Considering that there's very little catching available in free agency outside of Ivan Rodriguez and Jason Varitek, the Tigers could be downgrading throughout their lineup.--Rotoworld


How the mighty have fallen. The Tigers are now a last place team who keep doing stuff like this...moving a C that can't hit to 3B, and a SS to LF, completely eliminating any value he has.


9/28/2008 09:46:00 AM



(9/28/2008 09:25:00 AM) - Al

Tom H is worried about Monday's pitcher...I, of course, am hoping the Crew wins today.

As I said yesterday, looking back, Bush would have been an excellent choice to "hold back" for the possible game Monday (or, you could also argue Bush should have started). However, given the way the Brewers came back and made it a close game, you can't say he was wasted.

Actually, I have long argued that someday, a team will simply give up on a rotation and use the bullpen every game...think about how many more runs a team would score if they PH most of the time as well...personally, if it comes to that, between Yo, Bush, and McClung, with maybe a lefty batter going to Parra, I feel as comfy with that as I would unless CC was going. At this point, you go with the hand you're dealt, and you play it as well as you can.


9/28/2008 09:25:00 AM



(9/28/2008 09:19:00 AM) - Al

Glenn comes out in favor of eliminating the tax free status of churches.

I've always questioned why I pay taxes in exchange for my police and fire protection, yet the church out beyond my back yard gets it for free.


9/28/2008 09:19:00 AM



(9/28/2008 12:02:00 AM) - Al

Cramer calls the end of the bear market in housing to the day. He may not be perfect, but I agree, the Spring of next year should be very good for the real estate market. Many of the foreclosures will have gone through the market by then, and the bottom should be established by then.

What's funny is, a couple years ago, many thought the bull market in real estate would never end, and now, many don't think it will ever return. I was just reading an article the other day that said "smart money" is looking to buy Hamptons and other NYC area vacation properties, as the warm weather months are past, and there are many "motivated sellers" that cannot afford to wait until the winter is over to sell. One investment firm had dispatched many new hires to upstate New York, and were told to meet with realtors and find the desperate and the destitute (well, as destitute as one can be with a vacation home worth high 6 or 7 figures) and make offers of 40-50 cents on the dollar.

One recent Ivy League grad said he was in and out of 4-6 properties a day, writing an offer on the back of his business card, and handing it to an often puzzled or furious homeowner, or leaving it with their realtor, who often laugh out loud at the lowball offer. The newbie was unfazed, saying he had already seen foreclosure auctions listed on property that had turned him down. "We'll get 'em one way or another", he said.

Soon, buyers will not be able to turn down what will basically be a 20-50% off sale on housing, depending on what part of the country you want to be. When that time comes, the market will balance out...as it always does.

Sorry, cannot locate the link, just the result of following a link to another to another.


9/28/2008 12:02:00 AM


Saturday, September 27, 2008

(9/27/2008 06:27:00 PM) - Al

Only Tom H could say the rotation is going to get a "total makeover" with 4 of the 5 expected to come from the current team.

I talked about this last week or so. The current 5 would still be in the upper half of NL teams, assuming they matched their 2008 numbers, but while they may not need to add another top guy, they do at least need to add depth. They'll probably add both, to be honest.


9/27/2008 06:27:00 PM



(9/27/2008 05:05:00 PM) - Al

Rumor has it that this supply and demand thing might not be a fad.

This "topping off" stuff, seriously, where did folks learn this type of behavior? I betcha anything these are the same people who have a basement full of canned goods and a generator still in the box, the receipt dated 1999.


9/27/2008 05:05:00 PM



(9/27/2008 03:58:00 PM) - Al

Looks a lot like it will be tied going into game 162 tomorrow. You could make the argument that using Bush down 4-0 today may be a waste, but of course, you won't know that until we see how long Lilly is able to be effective and how long he pitches.

Mark Grace pretty well sums up my feelings, teams that don't like the Cubs playing for the Cubs should have won more games. You'd have to be a moron to run an everyday player or pitcher out there in a driving rain storm Thursday night...imagine Wood or Marmol getting hurt covering 1B in a meaningless game for CHI, in those conditions.

Credit Santana for going 117 pitches in a shutout today. The Mets only scored two, so they needed a near perfect effort, and they got it.


9/27/2008 03:58:00 PM



(9/27/2008 01:12:00 PM) - Al

I can't believe Ng hasn't gotten a job yet, as she's been mentioned for every job since '05.


9/27/2008 01:12:00 PM



(9/27/2008 12:29:00 PM) - Al

TOR is going to try and get AJ Burnett to sign a 2 year extension, which would make his total contract worth 4y/$54M. He can opt out at the end of this season, if he wishes.

Burnett has been injury prone, averaging about 150 frames over his 8 full seasons. His ERA is just under 4 for his career.

Sheets meanwhile has averaged about 175 innings, and his ERA is a bit lower, though they are probably about equal, considering AJ has pitched 3 years in the AL.

Sheets is also younger, and has never suffered a major issue with his pitching arm. Those that think Ben may sign a hometown discount fail to realize that if AJ is going to get $13.5M from TOR, he'll likely be offered $15-18M per on the open market...and Ben is likely to get more.

You keep hearing a lot about HOU, but I said ages ago I saw a match with ATL, so I'll stick with it.


9/27/2008 12:29:00 PM



(9/27/2008 12:28:00 PM) - Al

According to one blog, Obama suggested the feds add "hi-speed internet for farmers" to their plans.

I did not watch, but why just farmers?

I'm tempted to say they're too busy clinging to their guns and religion...oops.:)

UPDATE: Matt e-mails to say he said "rural areas". The person I was reading must figure everyone's a farmer, or else they'd live in the city.

UPDATE 2: CJ says he uses the internet to find deals on ammo. Heh.


9/27/2008 12:28:00 PM



(9/27/2008 12:22:00 PM) - Al

Hey Al,

Long day, great day. Got back from the game a little bit ago after celebrating with some friends and noticed you posted about a couple things I was thinking of while leaving Miller Park. However, first I have to say I can't remember having that much fun at Miller Park. Certainly it hasn't been that tense since I went to a Brewers v. Blue Jays game in '92 during the race when I was in high school. Literally hanging on every single pitch, from the first inning on. Knowing Edmonds' home run was gone as soon as it left the bat, hoping they'd answer quickly – and they did – getting Corey to drop a couple bloopers, one that scored a run (I think you mentioned a blooper that falls in making a huge difference during your chat). Anyway, I took a bathroom break when Weeks was brought in, got back and didn't know why he was hitting in the 7th, then was so pleasantly stunned and surprised when he blasted the homer. Just an amazing experience. Wish I could share it with every Brewers fan I know.

On to a couple things you mentioned:

1. Suppan was so close to the edge all night. But his teammates backed him up. The Cameron catch, in person, didn't seem off the bat like it would be difficult, but he had to go down and get it. Suppan didn't waste their efforts. I know it's dangerous to introduce "intangibles" or "luck" into a performance, but thinking about his effort after the game, I just kept thinking of the word "guts." The Cubs had chances to put 4, 5 or 6 up against him, but he fought them off. The team needed that so badly. Regardless of Dempster's pitch count, the Brewers were pitting their worst starter at the moment against, arguably, the Cubs' best starter. And Piniella went with Soriano, Lee, Ramirez and Soto. Other than Theriot hitting 8th, that was Chicago's best lineup available. Such a great effort from Suppan.

2. Like you said, it's just theory and hypotheticals until Saturday's game is over, but I also wondered if maybe CC shouldn't just sit down if they wake up Sunday morning with a 1 game lead. I'm inclined to say they should keep him in reserve and see if maybe they can win it by other means. If he has to pitch in a playoff game at Shea – and they manage to win that one – he's burned until Game 3 of the NLDS. And who knows what they would have to trot out there in games 1 and 2. Apparently, the Mets are going to use Santana on Saturday (or early Sunday, if there's a rain out), so why not see what the team can pull off. I guess the kicker is the storm on the East Coast. If the Mets end up playing Saturday, Santana pitches, and the Brewers still start Sunday with a 1 game lead, it just seems like it's worth taking a shot to try and beat a Cubs lineup that likely will be missing many regulars without burning CC on short rest.

Anyway, this is long enough. Wow, man, what a fun night at the ballpark. So, so great to have seen in person.

Jim


Jim checks in with a first hand view. Thanks for sharing, sir.


9/27/2008 12:22:00 PM



(9/27/2008 12:00:00 AM) - Al

The more I consider it, the more impressed I am with the job Suppan did tonight, settling down after a shaky 1st to allow only a HR to Edmonds through 5.

He certainly does not have the stuff many guys do, but he sure a lot out of his ability.


9/27/2008 12:00:00 AM


Friday, September 26, 2008

(9/26/2008 11:04:00 PM) - Al

I have not figured out what I would do if the Crew is a game ahead of the Mets entering Sunday's action. If the Brewers were playing the Padres or Pirates, I'd start CC and "go for the win". But, the problem with that is, versus the Cubs, CC could pitch well and the Cubs could still score 3 or 4 and beat him.

Of course, there's no use concerning myself with this until after the game tomorrow at the earliest. It could be right back to even after the games tomorrow, but it sure is nice knowing that's suddenly the worst case scenario.


9/26/2008 11:04:00 PM



(9/26/2008 10:53:00 PM) - Al

A) My dog will out lazy your dog any day. He just spent two days at Grandma's house and has slept the last 8 hours since getting home.

B) Corey Hart's bloop hits are a difference? Luck HAS NOTHING TO DO with baseball.

C) How could the Brewers trade Balfour? Who is this Seth McClung guy?

D) Weeks should be allowed to punch message board posters.

Carry on.

Eric


My dog kicked at the blanket on the sofa for about 15 seconds, and hasn't moved since. I don't think you know who you're competing against.

McClung may just have cemented a rotation spot for '09 with his last few outings.

And don't look now, but Rickie may finish almost exactly at his career norms, imagine that, a player trending toward what he has done in the past...


9/26/2008 10:53:00 PM



(9/26/2008 09:51:00 PM) - Al

Get that state quarter on Sunday and then drop it in the toll on the way back to Illinois.--Bill Schroeder

That may have been the best line Rock has had all year.

Oh, and nice job Marlins.


9/26/2008 09:51:00 PM



(9/26/2008 08:46:00 PM) - Al

Suddenly, I miss college basketball.


9/26/2008 08:46:00 PM



(9/26/2008 08:31:00 PM) - Al

With Derek Lowe being so successful and pricing himself in the Sheets range, maybe Brad Penny may be an option next year.


9/26/2008 08:31:00 PM



(9/26/2008 08:26:00 PM) - Al

Michael sends along this link to a column about the Brewers' playoff hopes.


9/26/2008 08:26:00 PM



(9/26/2008 07:23:00 PM) - Al

I believe I have located the exact opposite of my dog.


9/26/2008 07:23:00 PM



(9/26/2008 06:15:00 PM) - Al

Sheets feels good, will start tomorrow.


9/26/2008 06:15:00 PM



(9/26/2008 06:03:00 PM) - Al

Chat is complete, click on the box if you missed it.



9/26/2008 06:03:00 PM



(9/26/2008 05:48:00 PM) - Al

On the CBS news tonight, they had a tale of a pair of retirees, one who said he had lost 50% of his investments, and the other 25%.

Am I really supposed to feel sympathy for these clods? You should never have money in the market you can't afford to lose, it is not a low-risk investment. If they do, they deserve to lose every penny. And by the way, the market is barely down overall over any length of time, the only way you could lose either of those amounts is to gamble on start-ups or high-risk sectors.

Whoa is they who make poor investment choices...but would they be on bragging if they had done well? For a couple decades, the market pretty much went straight up...that does not happen over centuries, or even half-centuries.

Shut up and move into safer stuff.


9/26/2008 05:48:00 PM



(9/26/2008 04:44:00 PM) - Al

Every once in a while, someone wants to donate to Ramblings. I actually put the Paypal button on the sidebar for just such a person. While Ramblings will always be free (and many would argue it is overpriced), the Rambling wife is doing her annual walk for charity in a couple weeks, and would appreciate anything you can afford. Even $1 or $2 would be greatly appreciated.

You can donate by visiting her walk page here. Thank you, and I'm done begging for now.


9/26/2008 04:44:00 PM



(9/26/2008 04:38:00 PM) - Al

Sabathia's agent says he may stay in MIL...though I have yet to see a player say he hates it where he is.

I will stick to my feeling that the odds of CC returning are right around the 0% threshold...I hate to go more than 3 years on a pitcher, but would go 4 for the right one...and would probably go 5 for CC. That said, he'll get 6-7 years, $20-22M per season.

I don't see it.


9/26/2008 04:38:00 PM


Thursday, September 25, 2008

(9/25/2008 10:54:00 PM) - Al

As of this second, if a playoff is needed Monday, I'd say it's all but assuredly Yo trying to go 5 in that one.


9/25/2008 10:54:00 PM



(9/25/2008 10:50:00 PM) - Al

The Twins came back and swept the series from the Sox, putting them in the lead in the AL Central.

It never fails, they play 162, and it still comes down to whose bloopers fall in the final weekend.


9/25/2008 10:50:00 PM



(9/25/2008 10:41:00 PM) - Al

If the Brewers make October can Yo pitch? BA made a statement sounding like he could.

Scott


Yep. Anyone on the 25 man or the DL can be on the playoff roster. Also, however many guys on the DL that do not get activated, you can sub in with other guys on the 40 man as of 8/31.

Tell you what, if they do make it, the Crew will miss Lamb and Coffey, two key contributors to the last week or so, especially Todd.


9/25/2008 10:41:00 PM



(9/25/2008 09:46:00 PM) - Al

After taking 4 straight balls, Hardy flies out to CF.

Seriously, how bad can this guy be? Strike one was a pitch even with JJ's neck.


9/25/2008 09:46:00 PM



(9/25/2008 09:35:00 PM) - Al

I've got a couple e-mails tonight lamenting the lineup the Cubs put on the field tonight, and when I checked the box just now, it did not look like they ran out their best relievers either.

Simply put, that's exactly what I'd be doing if I were the Cubs. Why would you have your top guys out there on a wet field, or a slippery mound? The Cubs don't owe anyone anything, except to prepare for the playoffs.

Them's the breaks.


9/25/2008 09:35:00 PM



(9/25/2008 09:14:00 PM) - Al

After Mota strikes out Sanchez, Freddie singles to left.

It's like having Otis from Mayberry behind the plate, my friends. You gotta be kidding me.


9/25/2008 09:14:00 PM



(9/25/2008 08:44:00 PM) - Al

I'd love to read all the books on Dr. Helen's Palladian Press list, even if they are only meant for "informational purposes".

I wrote an English paper once I called, "How To Burglarize A House"...I think it was an A as soon as the teacher read the title.


9/25/2008 08:44:00 PM



(9/25/2008 07:48:00 PM) - Al

How does the home plate umpire still have a job? 2nd inning, he's already missed a half-dozen.


9/25/2008 07:48:00 PM



(9/25/2008 06:51:00 PM) - Al

Chatted up a good friend at work when I got in this afternoon about Gagné's ticket giveaway and was really surprised to hear my co-worker completely dismiss the gesture with a "So what?" and a shoulder shrug. He then went on to blast Gagné for his poor performances and just rip the guy.

I was stunned. Gagné has been booed lately just for walking out of the bullpen doors, is being scapegoated by the casuals as all that is wrong with team, in many ways, and clearly will not be back in 2009. He has no reason to do this ticket giveaway thing, and he also didn't have to do the charity donation he's been doing all season for each strikeout or whatever it is. I forget exactly. My point is, he could just ride out the season, collect his final few paychecks and get of town. But he's not, he's offering something to people. Who cares what his motivation might be? He's giving away 5,000 tickets to a game where, once you walk through the turnstile, you get a voucher for a free ticket to next year's game. If they so choose, there's 5,000 people who can watch free pennant race baseball tonight and then come back next year for a free game, all on Gagné's dime.

I don't like the fans who boo all the time at the game, but it was their money spent on their ticket, so I can mostly ignore it. Ripping Gagné, though, and dismissing this ticket giveaway, that's a depth I didn't think anyone would find.

Jim


I wish he had done this a couple weeks ago, as the tickets could have found their way into the hands of those who would have trouble affording a ticket. However, I would guess most of the folks who got the tickets have been to dozens of games, as you need to be aware of the team site or something along those lines.

By the way, it was not lost on me that when the Mets fell behind 9-6 in the top of the 10th, the boos were much lower in volume than they are during many Brewers' wins. It is really sad to see so many of the bandwagon fans are, to be kind, clueless.


9/25/2008 06:51:00 PM



(9/25/2008 05:29:00 PM) - Al

Eric Gagne buys 5K tickets for tonight and is giving them away right now. Go to the team site and follow the directions in the link.

EDIT/BUMP: Gone in 20 minutes. Apparently, "free" is a good price.:)


9/25/2008 05:29:00 PM



(9/25/2008 03:41:00 PM) - Al

So, is it me, or is Bill Clinton saying more nice things about McCain than he is Obama?

And, still not seeing campaigning from Hillary or Bill.

EDIT: Glenn and Ann are seeing it like myself.


9/25/2008 03:41:00 PM


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

(9/24/2008 11:00:00 PM) - Al

The Pakistan fella was just being polite, but in our incredibly PC world, he comes off as being a jerk.

People say the world has changed in the last 50 years, heck, this has changed immensely in just the last decade, maybe even half-decade.


9/24/2008 11:00:00 PM



(9/24/2008 10:32:00 PM) - Al

The fact is, it's an ultimate good news, bad news scenario...all tied with 4 to play, but the rotation is in shambles, with a guy coming off a serious knee injury tomorrow, an ineffective of late Soup Friday, and either a recovering Sheets or Bush on short rest Saturday. I assume McClung may well be the go to guy if Yo is unable to go or is needed early tomorrow.

I was just thinking earlier tonight how much different the 2009 team may look dependent on if the team makes the playoffs or not. The irony here is, 89 wins and the playoffs may well result in different moves than 89 wins and no playoffs. Yes, that does seem very odd.


9/24/2008 10:32:00 PM



(9/24/2008 05:15:00 PM) - Al

I never fail to be astounded at the message boards seeming ignorance at how solid the bullpen has been this year for the Brewers. Many folks say things like, "Sure, the bullpen has been terrible", or "Mota's been average in a below average bullpen".

I mean, it literally takes seconds to punch up the NL team relief ERA's and compare...the Brewers have ranked in the top 4 since I've been checking, and trust me, I'm no math major, but 4th of 16 is not "terrible" or "below average".

Considering the Crew had to overcome the historically bad numbers from Turnbow and still have been in the top 4 for much of the year tells me some folks just refuse to face the facts...all bullpens give up runs, and depending on the situation, sometimes those runs are going to be lead to a change in who is ahead...let's spare the talk of "clutch relief work" for now.


9/24/2008 05:15:00 PM



(9/24/2008 12:45:00 AM) - Al

3500 entered a rebuy tourney tonight at 7PM...they rebought 7K times, and added on 2K...I just got knocked out in 81st place.

I folded AJ suited with about 800 left, and the other gent was kind enough to show me AK. I was on my game...and my cards held up, as I must have been all-in pre-flop 15 times by the time it ended.

Good thing I can multi-task...


9/24/2008 12:45:00 AM


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

(9/23/2008 11:30:00 PM) - Al

Rumors are flying that Yo might start Thursday, though he may only go 2-3 innings.


9/23/2008 11:30:00 PM



(9/23/2008 11:09:00 PM) - Al

Great managing...I'm sure glad Sveum told Prince to hit a game winning HR.

Eric


I wonder why he didn't just have Cameron do it and save the suspense.

:)


9/23/2008 11:09:00 PM



(9/23/2008 10:39:00 PM) - Al

So, what would have been wrong with throwing Prince nothing but fastballs, either high at the letters or low and outside? I certainly would not have intentionally walked him, but trying to get him out with a breaking ball for a strike? Really?

I'd give you some cliche about "the biggest win of the season", but since they all count the same, that'd be silly. The Brewers get the win even though they prove the old axiom that walks will kill you, so indeed, that was a big thing.

One note of interest, with Bush only going 5, and about 90 pitches, we might well see McClung Thursday and Bush Saturday.


9/23/2008 10:39:00 PM



(9/23/2008 10:38:00 PM) - Al

Allow me to throw in this little nugget of nothingness...

My God, they're playing hockey already?!?!?!

Carry on.


9/23/2008 10:38:00 PM



(9/23/2008 06:51:00 PM) - Al

I can't believe it took them this long to announce CC would go tomorrow, on 3 days rest. You ride your best arms at the end of the season.

You have to wonder if Suppan is healthy as well. He has struggled of late, but you think he'd be automatic if he was 100%. Not announcing anyone to at all for Thursday is akin to me to saying Soup may not be able to go.


9/23/2008 06:51:00 PM



(9/23/2008 05:40:00 PM) - Al

Can you imagine the outcry if Palin (or Dan Quayle) had said this?


9/23/2008 05:40:00 PM


Monday, September 22, 2008

(9/22/2008 11:20:00 PM) - Al

Somehow, I doubt the New York media will be quite as kind to the old guy as the JS was here.

I can't say I did not see it coming.

EDIT: His final numbers are not that bad, though the 2 picks will not be glossed over, nor should they be.


9/22/2008 11:20:00 PM



(9/22/2008 09:26:00 PM) - Al

Aaron Rodgers is a better quarterback than Tony Romo.--LeRoy Butler

Heh. Even when you ignore the fact Tony Romo is dating Jessica Simpson (which is truly tough to look past), I'd say LeRoy may have taken a few too many hits to the noggin.


9/22/2008 09:26:00 PM



(9/22/2008 09:12:00 PM) - Al

I forgot the Mets/Cubs game was going on.

Mets down 8-4 in the 9th, go Cubs.


9/22/2008 09:12:00 PM



(9/22/2008 08:29:00 PM) - Al

I just saw an ad last night for an ugly Ford car bragging that it got...24 miles per gallon. After years of people asking me what my 2002 Saturn gets for mileage, I finally hit the "trip odometer" when I filled up two times ago, and was shocked to find out I got 33.1 mpg with that tank full...I've just always responded 25-30 without much thought. And in 7 years, Ford has managed to be unattractive and get 24...I'll let you draw your own conclusion.


9/22/2008 08:29:00 PM



(9/22/2008 08:19:00 PM) - Al

As he did when pressed by Letterman looking for dirt, Bill Clinton once again proves he simply "gets it".

Despite claims that both he and Hillary would be out campaigning heavily, you sure haven't seen much of them.


9/22/2008 08:19:00 PM



(9/22/2008 07:39:00 PM) - Al

I admit, Tom H proclaiming Robin Yount thinks Sveum would be a good choice to manage next year...golly, there's a scoop. I'm sure if you asked any former player, they'd be pretty likely to name their best friend as a qualified candidate.


9/22/2008 07:39:00 PM



(9/22/2008 07:16:00 PM) - Al

...it's expected that both clubs will announce an agreement...

There's like three people on the planet that do not know exactly what the press conference is announcing, yet the Appleton paper finds it necessary to cover themselves.

Considering the Mariners are going to Clinton, IA, and the Rangers verbally agreed to playing in the lone remaining open city, Hickory in the Sally League, it is especially unnecessary, but, oh well.


9/22/2008 07:16:00 PM



(9/22/2008 05:02:00 PM) - Robert R.

A post-mortem, of sorts, on the Ned Yost era.

I fully believe that Ned Yost was the right choice to succeed the debacle that was the Lopes/Royster era and his efforts to help rebuild the team left it in much better condition than when he arrived. But changing team fortunes also resulted in his weaknesses being exposed and looking like the Brewers were going to come up short in a pennant race, again, just was unacceptable. So, a look back, at some of the positives, negatives, and things in the middle seems to be in order now.

Preserving Arms
One of the things that teams with limited resources have to do is develop and be protective of starting pitchers. In his nearly 6 years with the Brewers, the only really serious arm injury to a starting pitcher was to Chris Capuano. You'll have a hard time coming up with a manager with a better record than that over that time span.

Developing the arms might be a slightly different story though. Bush has been fitful at times, but overall has progressed. Gallardo and Parra are very promising, and seem to be in good position for the future. Villanueva appears to have found a niche. Doug Davis was a nice reclamation project. Still, with the possible exception of Sheets who was already showing signs of blossoming when Yost arrived, the number of outright successes isn't quite so clear cut. The bullpen is full of retreads and Yost and Maddux weren't able to figure out Dana Eveland.

Developing Position Players
There's been some spectacular successes here. Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, J.J. Hardy, and Corey Hart have all played big roles in making the team a contender and appear to be well on their way to long and productive careers. Yost didn't like Alex Sanchez's performance and rewarded Scott Podsednik with an opportunity, which paid dividends. The work the coaching staff did with Jason Kendall defensively is a great example of why coaching still matters at this level.

OTOH, Bill Hall's regression is troubling. And Rickie Weeks, despite some strides in the field, has never fully blossomed offensively and struggles a lot at the pivot. Still, the number of successes far outweighs the problems and the Brewers are were they are because of how much talent was developed internally.

Team Attitude
Is Yost a good "leader of men"? Given the chaos that he inherited, the Brewers have turned into a professional team that generally plays hard and doesn't get involved in silly confrontations and bean ball wars. There's been a few incidents, like the Fielder/Parra confrontation, but probably nothing that any other team doesn't go through in any year.

That said, the Brewers still struggle at some of the finer details of the job and I think that reflects attitude as much as anything. They're impatient at the plate, Fielder doesn't appear to be all that concerned about his conditioning, Weeks struggles with the pivot regularly, etc. They get the big things right, but struggle with the little things. Things that can be accepted in a rebuilding team have come back to bite them late this year during the midst of a pennant race.

Yost doesn't stir things up, which for a young team that demands patience is a good thing. It's a fine quality when things are going well. But, when things are going bad, Yost didn't have the ability to snap the team out of a funk either. Distracting a team from a bad tendency and then getting them to refocus, like with dogs, isn't a bad quality to have, and Yost didn't have it.

Patience/Loyalty/Stubborness
This is a double edged sword depending on circumstances. When you put a plan in place, Yost will carry it out. I think that's a vital quality to have for a rebuilding club who has to put the plan ahead of winning 72 games instead of 70 games. Not playing music chairs with Hardy, Fielder, Braun, Hart, Bush, and Weeks probably helped their overall development. I think it will help Parra long term as well.

OTOH, when you carry over that same loyalty to veterans and underperforming players in the midst of a pennant chase, you have to wonder if it's a positive. Did the loyalty Yost extended to Wes Helms and Derrick Turnbow really help anyone long term? The Brewers had chances in 2006 and 2007 and Yost's faithfulness to Turnbow, even when he could have turned to Linebrink in the setup role, didn't help.

Bullpen Management
Let's start by saying that Doug Melvin has been at his weakest in supplying Yost with good arms for the pen. With the exception of Francisco Cordero, nobody has been really consistently reliable long term at the back end of the bullpen.

That said, Yost certainly didn't help himself with his management. He stuck with guys that weren't performing for too long, let some guys rot through underuse, overused his guys that were dependable until they ran out of gas, and didn't seem very imaginative about changing roles. Is there a reason that Carlos Villanueva wasn't moved to a higher leverage role with McClung also in the pen except for inertia? McClung throws as hard as anyone, any reason he wasn't given work instead of an ailing Riske? Couldn't you have found room for Mark Difelice on the roster as effective as he was?

Bench Construction
This is a little hobby horse of mine, but where would the Brewers bench have been this year without Kapler and Branyan? And I'm thankful that Prince Fielder never had to miss a game except for normal rest.

I really don't understand how Yost constructs or manages a bench, except to protect himself against embarrassment. Considering his tendency to keep a lot of arms in the bullpen, you have a utility infielder or two who are better for their fielding and versatility than ability to hit, an outfielder who can play all three positions, and a backup catcher who is never, ever, used except in the direst circumstances. Even if he is a better hitter than your utility infielders. Or starting catcher for that matter. A lot of teams will have a guy that can play first and third and hit a little, but Yost has never really explored that option. And it came back to bite them this year when in the midst of a pennant race, Craig Counsell ended up starting a lot of games at third base.

Yost was never known as a tactician in Milwaukee. And I wonder if the lack of viable bench options played a part in that. Craig Counsell certainly has very little left in the tank offensively, with a .647 OPS, and he's going to lead the Brewers bench in ABs. Mike Rivera, despite an .812 OPS, has been barely utilized.

Overall
Ned Yost isn't a failure as a manager. The team is better now in part due to his contributions and he's not done so at the expense of the team's future. But, in the midst of a pennant race, his weaknesses were exposed and management decided that they couldn't be patient with him any longer.

I do think Yost deserves another chance at manager. He has many positive qualities as a patient developer of talent and preserver of starting arms. A team like Kansas City with an established closer and a lot of young talent that needs patience and structure could do a lot worse than hiring Yost if they get tired of Trey Hillman. Moving over to the AL would probably cover up a lot of his tactical and bench construction weaknesses as well. That's the type of situation where Yost is likely to maximize his value to a franchise at present.


9/22/2008 05:02:00 PM



(9/22/2008 04:33:00 PM) - Al

Free ticket to a game next year if you go to Thursday night's game. Mark A is always doing nice things like this, and should be commended.


9/22/2008 04:33:00 PM



(9/22/2008 04:08:00 PM) - Al

Doug Melvin and other front office folks will be in Appleton tomorrow to announce that the Brewers and T-Rats will be affiliated with each other, at least for the next 4 years. Given the geographical closeness, I'm sure we'll see some rehab assignments. Not only that, but the Timber Rattlers have a better stadium (and many would say front office) than some AAA ballparks.

Match made in heaven, I'd say.


9/22/2008 04:08:00 PM



(9/22/2008 01:56:00 PM) - Al

Adam e-mails this link of Jim Cramer's take...it's basically a 4 page version of what I said last week...the gov't removed some risk and calmed things down, and probably kept the market from a correction...for now. However, he seems to feel the market will eventually take care of itself, as it always does.


9/22/2008 01:56:00 PM



(9/22/2008 01:47:00 PM) - Al

Fraud among government workers?

97% apply for and receive disability within a year of retirement?

I'm shocked and dismayed, I tell ya.


9/22/2008 01:47:00 PM



(9/22/2008 01:23:00 PM) - Al

Oil is in the midst of an unheard of jump, supposedly created by a "short squeeze", as traders look to cover their position as the prices rise. It went from up $20 to up $26 in just a minute or so, as a commodities "expert" said the supply and demand position did not justify such a move.

As I was typing, it went from up $26 to up $18...I can only imagine how many millions were gained and lost in a 10 minute span, sparked by program trading and short-term panic.

FYI, gas has stayed within a penny this entire time. Oil is the big mover, for whatever reason.

UPDATE: Apparently, the October contracts (for delivery in October) expired today, and this mega-movement happened in the last 20 minutes...if you sold oil hoping the price would go down, you HAD to cover, or have to find a place for a few thousand barrels of oil. If you do not understand how this works, I would advise you to rent Trading Places and fast forward to about 90 minutes in.


9/22/2008 01:23:00 PM



(9/22/2008 01:14:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers have slated Sheets to start Friday night, though Wed/Thu are still TBA. Not sure if they are waiting to see how CC feels tomorrow to announce that or what. There are many scenarios of course, but to me, I'd rather have CC go 6 innings twice than 8-9 once. If you'd use McClung Saturday, that would seemingly also set up Bush for a one game playoff, if necessary.


9/22/2008 01:14:00 PM


Sunday, September 21, 2008

(9/21/2008 10:42:00 PM) - Al

How important is the Monday game with the Mets/Cubs? 1 game back is a big difference from 2 games back.

I think it's strange they have not announced Sabathia as the starter for Wednesday yet...they can't be waiting to see how close they are after Tuesday, can they? And does it matter? If they are worst case scenario 3 games back with 5 to play, you gotta plan on CC twice, and then not pitch him Sunday if it does not matter.


9/21/2008 10:42:00 PM



(9/21/2008 07:11:00 PM) - Al

Braun did admit after the game today that he is not 100%. I'm sure it will take a few weeks of rest and maybe some rehab for him to get healthy, so that's not going to happen until after the season.


9/21/2008 07:11:00 PM



(9/21/2008 05:44:00 PM) - Al

Speaking of disappointing moves: Both Greg Maddux and Kosuke Fukudome are in danger of being left off their respective teams' postseason rosters.---MLBTR

I was wondering about Fukudome, though I suspect he'll be on because he can PH and play defense.


9/21/2008 05:44:00 PM



(9/21/2008 03:28:00 PM) - Al

I just checked to see if the Mets' game was final, and ATL is ahead 6-5 in the 8th. I wasn't expecting that, but let's hope they can hang on.


9/21/2008 03:28:00 PM



(9/21/2008 02:45:00 PM) - Al

Factcheck.org says Obama is fibbing about McCain's social security record.

I find the really troubling aspect of it is the "how dare we allow people control over their own money" tone, however. For anyone under 40 (and many would say 50 or 55), not having at least a percentage of their fund in equities borders on painful.

I see it as an intro into the "government knows better" mentality.


9/21/2008 02:45:00 PM



(9/21/2008 01:38:00 PM) - Al

I said a while back Todd Coffey would be a great minor league FA signing...the way he's pitching, he is all but certain to find a 40 man spot somewhere. He's pitching his way into contention for a bullpen spot, without a doubt.


9/21/2008 01:38:00 PM



(9/21/2008 01:20:00 PM) - Al

Al,

Since your guesses on issues has been spot on, Dallas or Green Bay?

Darrell


Cowboys, easy.

Of course, I can't name a dozen Packers, so I have no idea, really. But, considering they were down to the Lions last week midway through the 4th quarter, I don't think they're as good as the 2-0 record would indicate. I think the Cowboys are.


9/21/2008 01:20:00 PM



(9/21/2008 01:09:00 PM) - Al

In the past few days, I have begun getting a couple e-mails a day that, to use my excellent summing up ability, says, "What do you think the Brewers will do with so and so"?

I do not know, and while I would normally at least be happy to put forth an opinion, I am refraining from doing so because I have no clue who the GM will be. Doug is signed through '09, and if he returns, I feel I have a good inkling as to his style. However, much like I said with Yost, Doug will either be extended or let go, as being in the final year of a contract is uncomfortable for all involved.

So, until I know who the GM is, I won't be discussing 2009 much, other than to point out the misgivings of the projected rotation are a bit unfounded, though it would be weaker than the current group (of course, the current group was assisted by Sabathia, which is always an option at the deadline as well).


9/21/2008 01:09:00 PM



(9/21/2008 12:43:00 PM) - Al

Yovani Gallardo, Manny Parra, Dave Bush, Jeff Suppan and Seth McClung would form the starting rotation as of today. To contend again in 2009, that group will have to be strengthened.Tom H, JS

I think I said during my live chat that group was better than many teams, but unless the offense was much better, would not be good enough to contend. However, I think many people would be surprised at how good that group would be, if they simply match their 2008 numbers:

2008 actual rotation: 3.91 ERA
2009 projected rotation: 4.27 ERA

Just so you know, I used Yo's career numbers, as he barely pitched this season. However, those expecting the rotation to fall off the proverbial cliff do not seem to understand that if healthy, the '09 projected 5 would still be well in the upper half of NL rotations, using 2008 stats...they'd be 6th.

I would say that it is likely the Crew adds a starter or two, but probably only one of any merit, any others would be for "depth" purposes, a 6th/7th starter type. And, even that many more runs allowed (about 39, with the assumption they average about 6 frames a start) would probably lead to 4 fewer wins, using the down and dirty, but respected rule of 10. That's a shame, but hardly something they could not overcome.


9/21/2008 12:43:00 PM



(9/21/2008 12:27:00 PM) - Al

A bit of revisionist history being implemented by the TV team, that McClung "had to be used" in the extra inning game Thursday...not only were several relievers available, using the next day's starter was, and should be looked at as a sign of panic and lack of planning. It forced Suppan to pitch early, and probably a day after his throwing between starts, which I assume he did Thursday. We'll never know if that affected Soup's performance Friday...but I think it's safe to say it didn't help.


9/21/2008 12:27:00 PM


Saturday, September 20, 2008

(9/20/2008 08:39:00 PM) - Al

Jeff Francouer just needs to get 600 AB's and be left alone...I doubt he'll ever have much higher than a league average OBP (about .330), but with his power and outstanding defense, he's still a solid corner OF. He'll still just be 25 next year.

I have often commented that guys that get rushed often are victims of extraordinary expectations...especially by the hometown fans (note Prince's "disappointing" current campaign, and the consistent overreaction to Weeks' just being league average). An unbiased view is sometimes necessary to realize just how good a player is.


9/20/2008 08:39:00 PM



(9/20/2008 08:34:00 PM) - Al

I came across this while looking for something else...and allow me to say, if The Wine Network ever hits it big, I may just shuffle off in front of a bus.


9/20/2008 08:34:00 PM



(9/20/2008 08:06:00 PM) - Al

The time issue appears to be working now, so we're back to normal.


9/20/2008 08:06:00 PM



(9/20/2008 07:54:00 PM) - Al

I checked checked the scores of another team's for the first time this year...as being 3 games out with 7 to play would, at best, be crappy.

I just responded to an e-mail which linked to an article about the Brewers dealing Hardy and Fielder to SF for Matt Cain...suffice it to say, I don't see it. Cain is a fine young pitcher, but he's not as good as Yo, and swapping a pair of all-stars for an arm still in the middle of his high risk years is not something I feel is wise.


9/20/2008 07:54:00 PM



(9/20/2008 03:54:00 PM) - Al

.318/.417, 735 OPS

Those are Ryan Braun's numbers since his injury, which he suffered August 9th. Seeing that, especially the massive fall off in his SLG, makes it difficult to think he is fully recovered and 100% healthy.

I'm sure we'll hear more about that after the season is completed.


9/20/2008 03:54:00 PM



(9/20/2008 09:09:00 AM) - Al

Travis Barker and DJ AM were injured in a plane crash this morning.

--I'd never heard of either one of them either.

--I found the report that said, "DJ AM, whose real name is Adam Goldstein..." very, very funny. If you ever want to know who is a complete fraud, a good place to start is some nut who goes by a pretend name. One of Dennis Miller's best lines was after Prince changed his name to a symbol (I'm so old, I remember when Prince was relevant, and not just a punchline), Dennis shared that, "Know what? I still call him Prince."

UPDATE: I do recall a reality show called "Meet The Barkers", which starred a gorgeous blonde woman and a tattooed all over geek...apparently Travis Barker is the geek. He also "dated" Paris Hilton, but of course, that is not exactly a platinum Visa sized exclusive club.


9/20/2008 09:09:00 AM



(9/20/2008 08:40:00 AM) - Al

I changed the "time stamp", as Blogger is still struggling to get that fixed. For the time being, it will just list the day at the top.


9/20/2008 08:40:00 AM



(9/20/2008 08:34:00 AM) - Al

Rotoworld, usually a very good source of quick recaps, seemed to call it in last night, not noticing Weeks was used as a PH early, and also reporting Lamb was used at 3B after Durham was injured, missing Hall completely. They also reported Suppan was starting on 3 days rest...which was impossible, of course, as the Brewers did not play Monday.

If you look at the right sidebar, you can see Rotoworld stuff that pertains to the Crew.


9/20/2008 08:34:00 AM



(9/20/2008 08:28:00 AM) - Al

This fella thinks it's a fine time to buy stocks too.


9/20/2008 08:28:00 AM


Friday, September 19, 2008

(9/19/2008 01:48:00 PM) - Al

Rent out Dodger Stadium?

Those Jonas Brothers are cool cats.


9/19/2008 01:48:00 PM



(9/19/2008 01:48:00 PM) - Al

I just noticed the times of the posts are wrong today...don't fret, I'm sure Blogger will fix it soon. If that's all we got to worry about...


9/19/2008 01:48:00 PM



(9/19/2008 01:48:00 PM) - Al

Hurricane aftermath...note how many people have disparaging things to say about Nawlins' response 3 years ago. Granted, they had it tough because of the flooding when the walls broke, but that area is still deserted for the most part.

Also, some nasty words for the "imbeciles" who refused to evacuate from Galveston...I challenge anyone to disagree with that.


9/19/2008 01:48:00 PM



(9/19/2008 01:48:00 PM) - Al

Al,

So, do we have to listen to anymore of the cliched "they seem to be a lot looser" BS after tonight?

Also, I was curious as to if you see Dillard and Stetter getting a shot in the bullpen next year?

Matt



As I said the other day on the live chat, I would assume they'll go with a couple minimum salary guys in the 'pen, and you'd think Mitch and Tim would get first dibs. Carlos V, Torres (unless he retires) and probably either Shouse or Mota (both free agents) will also likely be back. As I said then as well, I look for the Brewers to sign a free agent, much like Scott Linebrink, a very solid non-closer, to a contract similar to the 4y/$19M he got. Juan Cruz, Damaso Marte, or someone in that vein would be my guess.

This is of course assuming Doug returns as GM, as I like to think I can read him pretty well. Much like Ned, Doug will either be extended or let go, as he will be in his lame duck year, as his contract ends in '09.


9/19/2008 01:48:00 PM



(9/19/2008 01:48:00 PM) - Al

Speaking of the Brewers expected record settling toward where it "should be", take a look at who would be the wildcard team in the AL if things had broken evenly...that's right, the Blue Jays. I have said it often, and I'll say it again...when JP isn't making moves he is forced to due to money (Reed Johnson, Frank Thomas), he has simply been outstanding.

Also, note TB is 6 games ahead of where they deserve to be. They're a good young team, but it's better to be lucky than good.


9/19/2008 01:48:00 PM



(9/19/2008 01:48:00 PM) - Al

I am astonished they let Charlie Rangel continue to serve in Washington...and that was before this.

Oof.


9/19/2008 01:48:00 PM



(9/19/2008 01:48:00 PM) - Al

I'm surprised the McCain campaign hasn't run an ad talking about Biden's gaffe in which he seemed to veer from the Obama "we'll lower taxes for 95% of Americans" (which ignores the fact 40% don't pay any income tax, but I realize that politics is a bit of hyperbole) pledge, by suggesting paying taxes is "patriotic".

However, this letter to Glenn seems to pretty much cover how many folks feel about it. My personal first thought was the New York City folks who pay federal, state, and a city income tax...they must feel they are the most patriotic citizens on the planet.:)

If you click on any of the links Glenn provides, you'll witness stories of common, everyday Americans doing extraordinary things, including the son of the gent who writes the e-mail. I thank them for their service, and am sure glad they're on my side.


9/19/2008 01:48:00 PM



(9/19/2008 01:48:00 PM) - Al

Soup tonight, CC moved up to Saturday, Seth to Sunday.

I'm tellin' ya, no one could have predicted that.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to buy a book on day trading, as I am on a roll.


9/19/2008 01:48:00 PM



(9/19/2008 01:48:00 PM) - Al

The Timber Rattlers Wiki page has been edited to say they are an affiliate of the Brewwers...while not official, that seems like a strange "prank".

My guess that it would be announced today was apparently incorrect.


9/19/2008 01:48:00 PM



(9/19/2008 01:48:00 PM) - Al

Al,

I thought you had gone off the deep end when you not only said stocks would rise, but that gas prices would fall. Here, regular unleaded is down 40 cents since Monday morning, wonderful for those of us who are off to the cabin for the weekend.

Love the blog, keep up the good work.

Todd


I believe gas is down 30 cents here. While I wish I had psychic abilities, basically, I just use math to analyze...stock at 5 times earnings are bound to rise, when gas is selling for $1.40 more than the wholesale market, all the pricing pressure is down, or when a team has won 6 more wins than their expected record would expect.

Remember a few years ago, when Tom H insisted the Nationals were a great team because they were in the race despite being outscored? Last year, ARI made the playoffs even though they were outscored? DC tanked in the 2nd half, the D'Backs' clock struck midnight a few weeks ago (despite being a much better team this year), and the dropoff no one expected the Crew to suffer was discussed here.

Most folks fail to use numbers, and most folks are clueless.


9/19/2008 01:48:00 PM



(9/19/2008 01:48:00 PM) - Al

While I was looking to buy underpriced stock the other day, the networks were bemoaning the "terrible market conditions" and "depressed economy". So, what do you think...if the market ends, ahem, up for the week, will they lead with that story tonight? Admit they were overreacting? Or, bury the gain deep in the newscast, right before the story that's so full of fluff (involving a teacher, puppy, or child under 8) they're embarrassed to have it on until the last 5 minutes.

I'm just thankful they haven't predicted a recovery...that'd lead us straight to the toilet. Remember, the masses are always wrong.


9/19/2008 01:48:00 PM



(9/19/2008 01:48:00 PM) - Al

Brewers' filled Rosenthal column, though a couple "scout's takes" are borderline ridiculous...wondering why Sabathia didn't just "blow the Cubs away with fastballs" is one of those lines that make you wonder how scouts ever find quality players with so little understanding of the game.

The whispers around MLB seem to be Mark A just did not know what to do, so they fired Yost. Many wonder if MA will overrule Doug on other matters as well.

As I have said, the Brewers will have to move JJ one way or another, to a different position or team, as Escobar will be the SS...soon. He is a free agent in two years, so he would probably have to be signed long-term in order to agree to a switch. And why 3B keeps getting mentioned is beyond me, as his offense would be well above average for 2B and just mediocre for 3B. Also, his weakness is range, which is masked as a 2B, because they can play deeper, as the throw is shorter.

Also, a note about the Twins' expected decline for '09, as they will not hit that much better with RISP as they did this year...note the Tigers similar numbers last year, by the way. Sadly, my prediction the Brewers would struggle in one-run games in the late part of the season has also come true...good fortune has a way of balancing out, if not over one year, over 2-3. That's also why "clutch" hitters vary so, as a list of the top ten hitters one year will yield ten new names the next year...that's why it's worthless. Things that do not repeat also do not project out, and make little difference.


9/19/2008 01:48:00 PM


Thursday, September 18, 2008

(9/18/2008 09:39:00 PM) - Al

Apparently, he missed the fact that Prince's hot streak started last weekend in Philly.


9/18/2008 09:39:00 PM



(9/18/2008 09:24:00 PM) - Al

Apparently, the greatest investor in the world agrees there's a lot of undervalued companies out there.

Note the fella saying when others zig, Buffett zags. That's a contrarian, my friends. Never forget, most people are wrong.


9/18/2008 09:24:00 PM



(9/18/2008 06:37:00 PM) - Al

What's this, when prices have gone down, sales have gone up?

Who would have guessed this correlation existed?


9/18/2008 06:37:00 PM



(9/18/2008 05:34:00 PM) - Al

Speaking of injuries and falloff, you gotta question how much Torres has left in the tank, being a very short RHP, and already having thrown 76 frames. I always consider 70 innings to be a "full load" for a reliever, though being on pace for 80 certainly isn't horrendous, especially since Sal has been used most of the year for just the 9th inning. However, many of those 4, 5, and 6 out outings; as well as being used so frequently in tie games, may well be coming back to haunt the closer...often times, playing only for today causes situations like this in the last 25% of the season.

Of course, Torres may just be struggling with his release point, or a similar mechanical problem, and be unrelated to his workload. He was a savior for much of the season, it's hard to get down on the guy, who certainly is not a kid anymore. It is astounding the bullpen pitched 6 scoreless last night, and 3 more scoreless today, before Sal gave up something each time.

I said a few days ago I did not expect Dale to worry about workload, but today's extra-innings led to Carlos being used for the 3rd day in a row, I would assume quite likely a first for CV. He'll probably be forced to take a day or two off. Heck, with the current injuries, we could see Gamel or others added to the 60 day DL and someone else claimed or picked up for nothing...Todd Coffey has been astounding.


9/18/2008 05:34:00 PM



(9/18/2008 05:26:00 PM) - Al

Gamel and Sheets were both sent home with elbow pain. In Mat's case, his elbow has been hurting for a long time, possibly explaining how badly he fell off in the 2nd half.

It's hard to believe Braun is at 100% considering his fall off in production of late. The other day, Dale said something to the effect that Hart at 80% is probably the best option they have, given Kapler's injury, but then said he was talking about Corey's slump, and that he was healthy. With Braun, however, the drastic change since he pulled that muscle is seemingly too big a coincidence.


9/18/2008 05:26:00 PM



(9/18/2008 05:16:00 PM) - Al

Pretty much the worst case scenario, not only does the Crew lose, but they use McClung, who has just been incredible his last two outings, and hence, now have a jumbled rotation for the weekend as well.

I would guess Suppan moves up to go tomorrow, but Saturday is a mystery...the idea of moving up CC and then having McClung pitch Sunday springs into my mind...oh yeah, don't forget Sheets is a question mark as well next week. I'm not sure offhand how many pitches CC threw the other night either...if it was 90, it'd easier to do than if he threw 110.

It's hard to believe that somewhere, Ned isn't shaking his head and thinking to himself, "Dale, I feel for ya". When your stopper blows a lead, all the planning in the world doesn't make you any better. Braun looked like he was caught in between diving and just reaching down and making the play, but as hard as that ball was hit, that's a tough split second decision.


9/18/2008 05:16:00 PM



(9/18/2008 03:46:00 PM) - Al

Workout at your desk?

This seems like a fine idea for many who work in an office.


9/18/2008 03:46:00 PM


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

(9/17/2008 11:34:00 PM) - Al

Tim takes a look at ATL and predicts what they'll do this offseason.

I see a match for Kelly Johnson (I've mentioned him before) as well as Chuck James, who is coming off a bad 2008 after very good 2006 and 2007 campaigns.


9/17/2008 11:34:00 PM



(9/17/2008 11:06:00 PM) - Al

Sheets' elbow has been bothering him for about the last 5 starts. Other than his shutout, he has been inconsistent of late.


9/17/2008 11:06:00 PM



(9/17/2008 09:47:00 PM) - Al

I've never heard of a site named Gawker, but they hacked into Sarah Palin's e-mail and published various family e-mails and phone numbers. First of all, I'd say that's gotta be a criminal offense somehow, either the hacking or the publishing. My goodness, I printed an ESPN Insider article once and they threatened me via e-mail within 15 minutes.

UPDATE: Vince writes to say Gawker posted the info, but did not hack the site.


9/17/2008 09:47:00 PM



(9/17/2008 08:49:00 PM) - Al

I must admit, if I was a couple months away from signing a contract for $14-18M a year, I wouldn't be "pitching through" an arm problem either.

That's a very tough break, to say the least.


9/17/2008 08:49:00 PM



(9/17/2008 07:57:00 PM) - Al

Pittsburgh officially signed with Charleston, WV, meaning the Brewers' move to Appleton is even less of a secret now than it was. I assume they may be waiting until Friday to make an announcement, as I assume much of the Crew's operations staff is in Chicago through tomorrow.


9/17/2008 07:57:00 PM



(9/17/2008 04:29:00 PM) - Al

Allow me to say the stock market is on sale. Seeing Goldman Sachs at book value and a ton of extremely profitable companies selling at 5-7 times earnings makes me want to take out a loan and invest it. I'm sure I'm not the only one, and that program trading had a lot to do with the decline. After analyzing and taking some time to breathe, I'd expect it to climb significantly tomorrow, well overtaking the few who sell low out of panic.


9/17/2008 04:29:00 PM



(9/17/2008 04:24:00 PM) - Al

Gee, I'd sure like to see MLB own up to terrible calls like the NFL has...and allow me to say how bad it is that the league I've compared to WWE is acting so quickly and defiantly about a horrible call.

Granted, it was at the end, but no one will say anything about strike three to Prince last night...I don't think I've seen a breaking ball that high called all year, never mind even Soto knew it wasn't a strike, that's why he moved it down several inches upon catching it, better known as "framing", of course.

Framing is legal, but it's hard to believe that an umpire with more than a few games experience is still fooled by it, as it's clear as day, never mind when you're a foot away. That said, obviously, they are.


9/17/2008 04:24:00 PM



(9/17/2008 12:43:00 PM) - Al

The 2009 schedule is released, and the Cubs will visit opening day, which I'm sure the Brewers tried to get changed, but were unsuccessful, as that's one less automatic sellout.

3 series versus the Cubs, and interleague series at Miller Park with the White Sox and Twins. I would guess those will be the marquee games, though MIN may not be, as they are midweek affairs.

UPDATE: An e-mailer who obviously studied the schedule says that Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend are both at MP versus the Cardinals, whose fans always travel very well. Look for them to be marquee games also, or whatever they call those games next year.

UPDATE 2: Never mind, the Cards are not in town for the weekend, they are in for the actual holiday, as part of Mon-Wed series. They are unlikely to be marquee.


9/17/2008 12:43:00 PM


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

(9/16/2008 11:38:00 PM) - Al

Today, I spoke with someone who is associated with Steve and Barry's, the low-priced clothing store who filed bankruptcy and is close to insolvency. They mentioned this, which I had heard before, but really never understood:

With fiscal problems mounting at the company, many reports have surfaced claiming that the only real profit at the company came from the $2 to $3 million payments that the company received from landlords when it would open a new store (most of the time in distressed or hard-to-lease locations) The company made little, if any profit on its actual apparel sales and while new stores would be very profitable for the first few months, sales would decline sharply after the store had been open for a few quarters.--Wikipedia

I assume they thought those payments would help them through the tough start-up period and then the business would eventually become profitable. The individual I spoke with said corporate was still trying to tell them that all was fine, despite proof otherwise.

What's ironic is that this was an extremely successful company in the late 90's, when they were just a dozen stores around college campuses. Much like Krispy Kreme, who still make the best darn donuts in the history of the planet, quality products are not at all directly related to the long-term success of a company.


9/16/2008 11:38:00 PM



(9/16/2008 11:32:00 PM) - Al

Heard Anthony Witrado on ESPNEWS yesterday. He sounded much much more intelligent than he ever has in the paper.

Michael


One of our many Michaels reports Tony apparently did a fine job...though he sets the bar so low, as soon as he did not say "me write paper good", he surpassed all expectations of his readers.


9/16/2008 11:32:00 PM



(9/16/2008 11:22:00 PM) - Al

Nightline takes a look at Galveston, where the mayor is trying to be as inept as the Nawlins fella was a few years ago. Why do people want to go back? They sit in line for hours and then have to leave before darkness...there are wild animals all over, including alligators, no medical infrastructure, no electricity, and still power lines down all over.

Stay out and shut up!! Take a week and visit some friends or family, and next Monday, take a gander at how things look. Until then, relax. Your town is a mess, and it'll take some time before it is safe.


9/16/2008 11:22:00 PM



(9/16/2008 10:41:00 PM) - Al

Maybe I'm wrong, but if coaches are getting tossed, there's something not right. What kind of message is that sending? It's probably not a big deal, but man, one does wonder if the players don't take that as a sign that the world is against them. I'm all for the occasional manager toss but not coaches. Make a point but get a grip, too.

Eric


Coaches getting tossed is directly related to how bad an umpire is. Again, good umpires never throw out anyone, and bad ones throw out guys in the dugout.

And, any type of team togetherness is fine by me. I do find it funny that suddenly, the Mets exist...gee, who has been pointing that out?


9/16/2008 10:41:00 PM



(9/16/2008 09:11:00 PM) - Al

I think Dale just told everyone this by leaving in CC to hit...I don't like my bullpen choices. I have pointed out a number of times that the relief corps as a whole have not been bad at all, but no one seems to want to believe me.

I have said a few times that I see another Riske type signing this offseason, and now that I think about it, Bob Howry would be a nice pickup for a few reasons...not only is his price going to be lower because of his subpar '08, but I think if you look at his last 2-3 seasons combined, he's probably been as good as anyone.


9/16/2008 09:11:00 PM


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