Al's Ramblings

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

(6/30/2009 11:34:00 PM) - Al

Protests suddenly not patriotic.

The storm is brewing. It is going to be cool to be protesting rather than patriotic soon.

6/30/2009 11:34:00 PM

(6/30/2009 10:58:00 PM) - Al

Gord Ash says they will "take a look" at Backe, but I don't see him taking Burns' spot after his fine outing against a weak Mets' offense tonight, so that would only leave Narveson's spot.

Backe will probably need to go down to AAA and get some good innings in.

6/30/2009 10:58:00 PM

(6/30/2009 10:56:00 PM) - Al

The Crew is wondering if Gamel is worthwhile on the bench, due to McGehee's outstanding play. Sounds like they're playing it series to series right now.

6/30/2009 10:56:00 PM

(6/30/2009 05:42:00 PM) - Al

The Pirates get by far the best player in their trade with the Nationals, and get a couple kids for Hinske. I love what Huntington has done with that team, they might just be a year away.

I can't believe Morgan is 29, as he just came up last year, to my knowledge. Milledge, if he does not turn into a star, is still going to be a solid everyday player (he already is if he continues to play CF).

6/30/2009 05:42:00 PM

(6/30/2009 02:40:00 PM) - Al

I have already forgotten where I heard it, but the all-time leader in one out saves?

Rollie Fingers, who I think they said had 39.

If you listen to Joe Morgan and that generation, they will have you know that all of Rollie's saves were over 3 innings, and many involved coming in with the bases loaded and only up by a run.

And of course, that would all be untrue.

6/30/2009 02:40:00 PM

(6/30/2009 01:40:00 PM) - Al

J.J. Hardy finished 4-for-4 with two doubles and a solo home run as the Brewers romped the Mets 10-6 on Monday evening.

Hardy's impressive performance helped lift his batting average from .220 to .232. He still has a long way to go before fantasy owners are satisfied, but at least we've seen a sign of life from the Brewers' shortstop. He has nine doubles, eight dingers and 32 RBI in 254 at-bats this season.--Rotoworld

The irony here is, JJ is still just about on pace for 20 homers and 80 RBI's, an astounding year for most SS's. It also shows just how unimportant most counting stats are, but that's for another day.

Hardy is capable of carrying the team for a fortnight, so let's hope he gets hot for a couple stretches the rest of the way.

6/30/2009 01:40:00 PM

(6/30/2009 12:43:00 PM) - Al

I'm a bit concerned that Obama's next "energy idea" will include the hippie phrase found on countless wall hangings, "If it's yellow, let it mellow, if it's brown, flush it down".

That said, I do appreciate the fact this is not a tax and spend statement. On that note, here's the White House press corps openly laughing at the attempt at revising history of not raising taxes on those making under $250K a year.

Remind me never to have Bob Gibbs defend my position on anything. They should let him languish in that bunker Joe Biden spends 6 days a week in.

6/30/2009 12:43:00 PM

(6/30/2009 11:37:00 AM) - Al

Al Sharpton needs to get a job, other than showing up on the doorstep of those recently deceased or charged with a crime. He's the modern day version of an ambulance chaser.

6/30/2009 11:37:00 AM

(6/30/2009 10:29:00 AM) - Al

Perez Hilton, your 15 minutes is up...thankfully. What a buffoon.

6/30/2009 10:29:00 AM

(6/30/2009 09:15:00 AM) - Al

There will be some scheduled stuff pop up during the day, just as this one did.

We'll see you later this afternoon.

6/30/2009 09:15:00 AM

Monday, June 29, 2009

(6/29/2009 11:04:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling wife saw this Milwaukee eatery on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives last night. I just saw the last 60 seconds, but since they talked about "a bottomless plate of bacon" and a burger with grilled cheese sandwiches used as buns, I'm there next time I visit.

To quote Frank Barone, that'd be worthy of 2 buttons and a zip.

6/29/2009 11:04:00 PM

(6/29/2009 10:42:00 PM) - Al

A Freakonomics post in case you don't want to live next to any stuck-up preppies that went to Hah-vard.

6/29/2009 10:42:00 PM

(6/29/2009 10:13:00 PM) - Al

"He had pretty good command of all of his pitches," Braun said. "We really didn't get too many guys on base, so he didn't have to pitch out of too many jams. They got ahead early and I think he was pretty confident and comfortable and threw the ball well."

"It's difficult when you fall behind early because you can't hit-and-run, you can't really bunt, you can't steal, you can't do some of those things," Braun said.

"It's never easy (to face a pitcher for the first time). You go up there the first time through the lineup and try to get a feel for what they do, what their pitches do. He threw the ball well. He deserved to win today."--JS

"It's never easy," Braun said of facing another unknown. "We didn't have a scouting report, so you just go up there the first time through the lineup and get a feel for what they're trying to do, what their pitches do. You never know if a scouting report is going to be accurate or

I did not understand Macha's defense of the scouting staff, because I just skimmed the JS recap. For years, the Crew did not have a true advance scout, one that charted pitches and stuff a couple series ahead, as they used video instead. I would think spending $150K on travel and salary for a guy like that would be well worthwhile, if they have not added that by now. Heck, two guys might be cost effective, one in the stands and the other sitting and doing a detailed chart using satellite TV.

As always, right or not, Braun usually manages to say things that have a hint more truth to them than many like to admit.

6/29/2009 10:13:00 PM

(6/29/2009 09:50:00 PM) - Al


So Obama has provided no support for the Iranians and now he even condemns the Army of Honduras from saving the country from a communist dictatorship much like Cuba and Venezuela.

Could it be any more clear how much of a disastrous shift Obama is leading this country into? Isn't it telling that we are taking the same side as Cuba and Venezuela in this?



I knew I should have trademarked "oof" before it became as popular as Homer's "doh".

Point taken Eldon. Why so slow to condemn Iran? Why so quick to be critical of the coup in Honduras after a maligned vote? And even more bothersome, why does every bill that is passed raise spending to levels never before seen in the history of our fine nation? I guess since the "not raising taxes" pledge has been broken just a few months in, there's no sense even pretending this isn't a tax and spend economic plan.

The winds are a changin', and the public is growing restless...though as Glenn often points out, if there's a party that can take this wave of anger and not take advantage of it in 2010, it's the big, dumb circus animals.

6/29/2009 09:50:00 PM

(6/29/2009 09:31:00 PM) - Al

Nice game by Dillard in AAA tonight. His secondary stats continue to be weak, but he's probably the next guy up to MIL, if needed.

Also, Lo Cain played in Arizona with the kids today. That's a quick recovery from a serious injury.

6/29/2009 09:31:00 PM

(6/29/2009 09:17:00 PM) - Al

I was actually going to write a short post about how rarely Carlos V has pitched of late...which has directly coincided with his sudden ineffectiveness. After tonight, it's even easier to wonder if he asked to be used less often, possibly resting a bit of a fatigued arm. A look at his game log shows he is pitching far less frequently than just a while ago.

{Look at how many consecutive days he worked in April, May, and early June, and compare it to the last couple weeks.}

6/29/2009 09:17:00 PM

(6/29/2009 09:13:00 PM) - Al

DET just released Sheffield a few months ago...released. As the ESPN guys pointed out, there's still a ton of talent left in that guy. And, he's doing it where he can't DH, where he's obviously best suited for at this stage of his career.

6/29/2009 09:13:00 PM

(6/29/2009 04:51:00 PM) - Al

I'm as guilty as anyone when it comes to "unnecessary quotation marks", but I admit, the apostrophe thing irritates me a lot more, because that's just a lack of grammatical knowledge, while the quotation marks is more of an individual style thing.

6/29/2009 04:51:00 PM

(6/29/2009 04:35:00 PM) - Al

This is why you have to trade Charlie V last year at the deadline, and take what you can get for him. Teams like the Bucks cannot lose a talent like CV for nothing, regardless of playoff implications.

I really want to like the current braintrust, but losing your 3rd best player for nothing lacks the proper eye for the future a rebuilding team needs.

6/29/2009 04:35:00 PM

(6/29/2009 03:12:00 PM) - Al

Over the years, Ramblings has become known for a contrarian viewpoint...back when folks wanted to overpay Carlos Lee, I did not. When the casuals clamored to sign Sheets long-term last summer, I asked if it was good business to sign an oft-injured, aging SP to any type of long-term deal that could cripple the franchise. People do not click to come here expecting to see me propose a Bill Hall for Cliff Lee trade. So, allow me to throw this unique idea out there...

...Is there a case to be made for making a trade for Ian Snell, who has struggled to the point of going to AAA this season?

Well, for one thing, he most certainly is available in trade, something that can barely be said about another SP in the majors, as far as the rumor mill goes.

Secondly, he has certainly had success in the past, though he's been labeled a bit of an underachiever.

To me, this would be one of those "high risk, high reward" type of would seem, at worst, you might be saddled with a bit of an enigma, and one making decent coin (prorated $3M this year, $4.25M in '10) as well. However, it is not financially devastating (as say a $10M deal would be for '10), and his potential upside, for the money he's due, makes this a risk that's seriously worth looking at, in my eye.

Worst case scenario, I see Snell as an upgrade over Mike Burns, if not in results, at least stuff wise. Heck, a guy like Snell would only be a payroll increase of about $1.5M, meaning you could keep looking for more help. Also, he might be a guy that "finds himself" in the bullpen, where right now, Narveson is the 12th man, and while he has had good outings and bad, he has not shown anything to myself that he's more than a generic southpaw, replaceable with any one of a dozen commonly available AAA vets or free agents.

While some people will think this is not a good idea (maybe even Doug and Gord, mind you), to me, it's a perfect "buy low" opportunity. After the '07 campaign, fans would have given anything to acquire a young SP like Snell. He's still just 27, and his K rate was almost unchanged last year, despite his overall decline.

UPDATE: Fangraphs agrees, and also points out he's been unlucky.

6/29/2009 03:12:00 PM

(6/29/2009 09:18:00 AM) - Al

Phil Rogers needs to get off the drugs.

6/29/2009 09:18:00 AM

Sunday, June 28, 2009

(6/28/2009 07:45:00 PM) - Al

Parra with a rough outing in AAA. Doesn't look like he'll be brought back before the break. He's really fallen in the last 12 months...he was unbeatable last year in June.

6/28/2009 07:45:00 PM

(6/28/2009 07:00:00 PM) - Al

ARI--Doug Davis, Felipe Lopez, Jon Rauch

SD--Cla Meredith

KC--Mark Teahen, Ron Mahay

CLE--Kerry Wood

BAL--George Sherrill, Danys Baez

Those are the names I can see that may be available that the Crew might have some interest in. I did not mention Cliff Lee because if the Tribe does deal him, they are going to require young pitching, and the Crew has none of that to trade.

Rauch and Meredith are both RH relievers who would be nice fits...guys able to go more than one inning. Rauch got off to a terrible start, but has been fine in May and June. Meredith is more of a sinkerballer, has only allowed one HR this year.

Mahay is a LH reliever who is solid and unspectacular, and the Royals would probably all but give him away. Teahen is a lefty hitting version of DeRosa, he plays 1B/2B/3B/LF/RF.

Lopez is a switch-hitter who can also play SS. Davis is probably the best SP on the market right now.

Wood would probably not be a good fit, as he's probably limited to one inning for the most part. Sherrill is a southpaw, and a decent enough closer. The Orioles may be looking to get younger and cheaper. Baez has put together a nice '09, but has been very disappointing since signing a big contract in '07.

6/28/2009 07:00:00 PM

(6/28/2009 06:48:00 PM) - Al

The Crew asked about DeRosa, but did not have any young, major league ready pitching to trade.

Yep, it takes two to tango.

Gord also says they have had preliminary discussions with ARI, but since they are one of the few teams willing to deal, the asking price is very high.

6/28/2009 06:48:00 PM

(6/28/2009 04:38:00 PM) - Al

Frats and sororities were universally despised at UW-Eau Claire when I was in school...though often times, I was acquaintances with members in classes, and they were fine, as long as they were not around other folks they needed to impress.

6/28/2009 04:38:00 PM

(6/28/2009 12:39:00 PM) - Al

I'll miss Billy Mays far more than a weird pop singer. Mays could make any piece of crap seem like a must have.

EDIT: News reports are coming in that say that when Mays' body was found, EMT's noticed the colors in the shirt he was wearing were brighter and cleaner than any they had ever seen.

6/28/2009 12:39:00 PM

(6/28/2009 12:02:00 PM) - Al

With Gamel leading off today, and Kendall pinch-running for him last night, I would say Counsell is likely too banged up to do anything except pinch-hit and run gingerly to 1B.

As sad as it is, I would say that right now, other than Braun and Fielder, Counsell may be the next most important guy among the position players. All he does is not get out, which is exactly what OBP measures.

UPDATE: Craig has a slight hamstring strain, and is day-to-day.

6/28/2009 12:02:00 PM

(6/28/2009 11:45:00 AM) - Al

Those that do not learn from history...

I actually Barney Frank, as he usually stands for freedom and anti-gov't intervention, but I'm not sure what his problem is with trying to get everyone to be a homeowner. Some people prefer renting, some would let their home and yard get away from them, and some, as we've recently learned, prefer to spend a lifetime's security of bonus money on a habit most outgrow by the end of high school.

6/28/2009 11:45:00 AM

(6/28/2009 11:34:00 AM) - Al

Hey Al,

Any chance that another team might role the dice on Jeffress as a part (certainly not the centerpiece) of a deadline deal for pitching? The general consensus is that he has zero value at this point, but I think his situation would look different to a club that has not invested the time and energy that the Crew has. Thoughts?


I'm sure most teams would love to have him (minus the signing bonus he's pissed away on wine, women, and weed, of course), but I'm not sure if you can trade players while on suspension, and I'm also unsure if his value, with only one strike left, is much higher than a far less talented pitcher without the social ills.

Right now, if a team wanted him as part of a package, I think the Crew would be plenty willing to talk. As I said, it's difficult to imagine someone that stupid being able to have the where-with-all to get big league hitters out even with a wealth of physical ability.

6/28/2009 11:34:00 AM

Saturday, June 27, 2009

(6/27/2009 11:26:00 PM) - Al

Not only does Angel Salome have his BA back up to almost .300, look at his May and June splits, after a tough April.

I realize he's not much of a defender, as of yet, especially at game calling, but the kid sure can hit. He just turned 23, and is doing a nice job in AAA.

Also, when you consider he's a 22 year-old defensive whiz, Alcides Escobar is smacking the ball pretty good too. Those folks who insist Hardy should be the SS in '10...not a leg to stand on.

6/27/2009 11:26:00 PM

(6/27/2009 10:16:00 PM) - Al

Dare I say, this is some unexpected, quality work by the JS.

6/27/2009 10:16:00 PM

(6/27/2009 09:58:00 PM) - Al

DeRosa traded to Cardinals for Perez and a PTBNL.

Everyone will love this trade for the Cards, but golly, Perez is 23 and strieks out 10 guys every 9 innings, so he's a stud reliever. I'm surprised they gave him up.

6/27/2009 09:58:00 PM

(6/27/2009 09:03:00 PM) - Al

And following that up with several ground balls that find holes in the top of the 9th. Some games, you just aren't meant to win.

EDIT: Heh, nevermind.:)

Wilson gives up 3 well struck hits and a walk, in addition to one of the infield variety. You don't see that often from a guy alternating between a 98 mph fastball and a 90-92 mph slider.

6/27/2009 09:03:00 PM

(6/27/2009 08:53:00 PM) - Al

If Cameron hits that ball anywhere that requires a throw, there's no way they turn two, as it was not hit very hard at all. For SF, he could not have rolled it out there better.

6/27/2009 08:53:00 PM

(6/27/2009 08:51:00 PM) - Al

Walking McGehee to face wouldn't have expected that back in April, would you?

6/27/2009 08:51:00 PM

(6/27/2009 08:41:00 PM) - Al

I assume Hoffman will pitch the 9th regardless if the Crew scores, to set up the rest of the bullpen for possible extras.

On that same note, unless Doug is able to pry a SP away from someone in trade, I expect another pitcher to be up soon, maybe only for a week or so, but soon. With Gamel barely playing, and with options, I assume he'll be going down.

6/27/2009 08:41:00 PM

(6/27/2009 08:21:00 PM) - Al

Cameron is the best CF I've ever seen play every day...and I saw Torri Hunter in his prime for several years in the Twin Cities. He's also not flashy, but he sure does the job.

6/27/2009 08:21:00 PM

(6/27/2009 08:14:00 PM) - Al

Tom H proposes a trade I swear I've heard somewhere before.

Lopez would not be better than Counsell or McGehee have done thus far, but he'd be fine depth...and would allow Gamel to go back to AAA and play every day. Felipe can play SS and LF as well.

6/27/2009 08:14:00 PM

(6/27/2009 07:51:00 PM) - Al

Word seems to be getting out that Perez Hilton = scumbag.

6/27/2009 07:51:00 PM

(6/27/2009 07:00:00 PM) - Al

Seth had some deplorable luck in the 2nd inning, as the Giants get 4 hits despite hitting grounders and bloopers.

Odd that the TV team would notice that McClung was throwing almost all fastballs...and it just so happens to be on a night when Rivera is catching. I also see Mike setting up well before the pitch...for instance, if he sets up inside, you pretty much know it's a fastball, as you never throw breaking stuff inside.

You do get the feeling Macha (and Yost last year) have a definite reason they hate to have him catch.

6/27/2009 07:00:00 PM

(6/27/2009 04:59:00 PM) - Al

Maybe Liz should try getting married.

6/27/2009 04:59:00 PM

(6/27/2009 04:43:00 PM) - Al

Palin responds to Kerry's "joke". I must have missed that, though I'm not surprised the original isn't the least bit funny (not that Palin's retort is a knee slapper either). Kerry is not blessed with a humorous mind.

I find it ironic Palin is in Kosovo, while the last we heard from Biden, he was misstating something while giving 0.02% of his fortune to charitable causes.

6/27/2009 04:43:00 PM

(6/27/2009 04:35:00 PM) - Al

Not only does the Jackson family want a second autopsy, they are also removing everything of value from Mike's old house before the creditors swoop in, as he owes several kijillion dollars.

The acorn doesn't fall far from the tree. That entire gene pool is infested with greed and overall ignorance.

6/27/2009 04:35:00 PM

(6/27/2009 11:52:00 AM) - Al

But Obama said the measure would cost the average American about the price of a postage stamp per day.

"It is paid for by the polluters who currently emit dangerous carbon emissions," the president said.

1. It's still a tax increase. Yet another "pledge" down the drain, and we're not six months in.

2. I may not be a smart person, but "polluters" is another word for business, and business tends to pass on their costs to, you know, their customers, or they won't be in business long.

I don't think this behemoth mess will pass the Senate, but if it does, it may well be more pork related special interest crap than the $1T "stimulus" far, all we've seen is continuation of W's foreign policy (that was just a disaster a year ago) and pure tax and spend economic policy. James Carville was quoted as saying he's afraid 2010 will be a repeat of 1994, and I would say he may be very accurate. The rumbles of disgust are building every day, and while I'm not sure where the "turning point" is, it's getting close.

6/27/2009 11:52:00 AM

(6/27/2009 11:44:00 AM) - Al

MLBTR sums up the latest trade talk, including Mark A saying they are very willing to add payroll for the right piece(s).

As I have pointed out numerous times, which MA also says, almost every team is still in the wildcard race, so few teams are looking to deal. The Royals are said to be dangling some players, but they don't have much pitching to spare.

6/27/2009 11:44:00 AM

Friday, June 26, 2009

(6/26/2009 11:18:00 PM) - Al

Remember how many times I said the Royals' moves were awful?


6/26/2009 11:18:00 PM

(6/26/2009 10:09:00 PM) - Al

Jeffress suspended for 100 games, positive drug test #2.

I will not waste any more time or energy on this, other than to say when they talk about a young man throwing his future away, this is exactly what they mean.

What a blithering idiot. To mangle the tagline from an old Miller commercial, they don't get much dumber than this. As I said the first time he was suspended, it is very difficult to believe anyone that stupid could possibly have the intelligence to pitch in the big leagues, regardless of his talent.

UPDATE: From his agent:

Jeremy is sick and needs help...Jeremy is destroyed by this. He knows what he did is wrong and is incredibly remorseful.

Considering the circumstance, I would say he's sad he got caught.

6/26/2009 10:09:00 PM

(6/26/2009 09:39:00 PM) - Al

I think this is a fine idea, but needless to say, it's going to get a lot of opposition from many.

6/26/2009 09:39:00 PM

(6/26/2009 08:50:00 PM) - Al

This is kind of hard hitting journalism that is making old media extinct.

My vote? Too close to call.

6/26/2009 08:50:00 PM

(6/26/2009 08:33:00 PM) - Al

Cliff Lee is not being discussed because CLE wants a young ace for him. Heck, the Crew doesn't even have someone like that to deal, unless you include Yo in the mix.

6/26/2009 08:33:00 PM

(6/26/2009 08:28:00 PM) - Al

That was a gorgeous slide by Counsell, one of the most effective you'll ever see. I can't believe they tried to score him on the shallow fly, and even more surprised Randy Winn, who has played a lot of RF in his career, was unable to throw Counsell out.

6/26/2009 08:28:00 PM

(6/26/2009 08:26:00 PM) - Al

Remember how evil W was with those terrorists prisoners?

I sense a rewriting of history is coming soon.

I don't think the July 4th "tea parties" could have asked for a better marketing ploy than the House passing the energy tax, which has never been read, never mind raises taxes a minimum of $175 a year per household, while some estimates have it 5-10x that. If you're a small business owner, paying property tax on your home and storefront, income tax, gas tax, huge insurance premiums and so on, you get the feeling plenty of them are getting rather unhappy.

6/26/2009 08:26:00 PM

(6/26/2009 07:35:00 PM) - Al

J.J. Hardy has also moved into the second spot in the order and McGehee, who had been there, dropped to fifth to offer some protection for Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun.

Hi Al,

It's just one game, but this sentence from AW's post at the JSonline blog caught my eye. I don't think too many people would have thought this possible a month ago. In fact, I think they would have laughed about it. I'll be interested to see how it turns out.


Not only has he been outstanding, he is accumulating enough AB's so that the "small sample" disclaimer is becoming unnecessary.

Casual fans often overlook waiver claims, thinking there's no way you can improve a playoff team by picking up someone that was unwanted. However, while very few superstars have been claimed, lots of role players have, and even a few who turn into everyday guys.

6/26/2009 07:35:00 PM

(6/26/2009 04:16:00 PM) - Al

I'm a big Gamel fan, but I can't complain at all about McGehee playing 3B (and tonight, batting 5th)...he's earned his time. Right now, versus RHP, I would say there will be some sort of 3 man rotation between Counsell, McGehee, and Gamel...with Counsell playing a day game after a night game at SS once in a while for Hardy.

It's a results oriented business, after all. I do not see McGehee as a 900 OPS man long-term, but with his approach and short swing, I can sure imagine him being a solid contributor for years. His defense has been superb as well...he has had no trouble at all turning the pivot at 2B.

The irony is, many still point to Weeks' absence as hurting the team, and while Casey/Craig could be playing 3B and backing up the others, they have both been so good (and Gamel has been fine too), it's hard to imagine them being any better with Rickie.

6/26/2009 04:16:00 PM

(6/26/2009 03:28:00 PM) - Al

Wow, we sure have found out why Biden got 17 votes when he ran for president. I cannot believe they still let him speak in public.

6/26/2009 03:28:00 PM

(6/26/2009 03:23:00 PM) - Al

Ryan Braun's guest house is very likely far nicer than the Ramblings' home.

Oh, and there's the main part too.

6/26/2009 03:23:00 PM

(6/26/2009 03:19:00 PM) - Al

Thanks to Freakonomics, I now know wine counterfeiting exists.

6/26/2009 03:19:00 PM

(6/26/2009 02:55:00 PM) - Al


Did you see this in the WSJ today? Global warming is now loaded with skeptics, just a little while after the media acted as if anyone who didn't believe was an idiot who still believed in a faked moon landing and that the Earth was flat.

Why is the administration rushing this tax increase through? In six months, such legislation would be laughed at, as the tide is turning toward a more sensible, small scale solution.

Even the lowest estimates show this will cost every household $175 a year, while others estimate it at $1000 or more. So much for no new taxes for 95% of us. This is the first of many, I'm sure. That trillion dollar stimulus isn't paying for itself.


Friday is open topic call-in day on the talk radio station here in Wausau, and everyone is furious about two things today...this tax they are attempting to sneak through before anyone can read the bill, and the fact Michael Jackson's death got wall-to-wall coverage last night.

As for the latter, I'd say it represents the disconnect between the East and West coasts and "flyover country", which is really everywhere outside the New York and LA media centers. One of the hosts said it very well when he stated, "Jackson living hasn't been in the news for years, why he is now the center of attention in death is very puzzling".

As for the "green bill", I do wonder why the rush, though Rob's synopsis is likely not untrue. Again, I hearken back to the early 80's, when Reagan inherited the Carter recession (which was far, far worse than this one has been, which has gone unreported), he sparked a long bullish market and economy by doing one thing...allowing people to keep more of their own money, with a historic tax cut in the highest bracket from 70% to 35%. No one even wants to consider this, because it does not result in pork laden projects for liberal districts to spend on short-term fingers in the dike.

Tax and spend has been tried numerous times in the past. It's been done to death. The government struggles to deliver the mail, so I think it is safe to say saving the economy is well beyond their scope.

6/26/2009 02:55:00 PM

(6/26/2009 11:30:00 AM) - Al

I don't see a single positive from cap and tax...none.

6/26/2009 11:30:00 AM

Thursday, June 25, 2009

(6/25/2009 10:41:00 PM) - Al

I saw this featured on Food Network again the other night, and am torn between thinking it is a genius method of selling a cheap product at a huge markup (I ran a party store for a year-and-a-half that did the same thing, until they hired too many members of the owner's family that couldn't spell party if you spotted them the p and the ee at the end, and went bankrupt), or possibly, the stupidest thing I've seen.

I have yet to see prices listed anywhere, so I cannot judge for sure, but if I'm guessing correctly, I'm pretty sure these yoo-hoos (mostly college students living on other generation's money) are paying more for a serving than I pay for a box. Before I or you scoff, let's not forget, Starbucks did this successfully for a decade before McDonald's and others undercut their prices and devastated their market share.

Selling a popular, cheap, well loved product for far too much money is probably as good of an idea for a start-up as any other. I'm just glad I don't have to interact with their "regulars" every day.

6/25/2009 10:41:00 PM

(6/25/2009 10:34:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling wife and I are shocked that Jackson is getting all the headlines tonight. I mean, he was a pop star 15-20 years ago, but hasn't had a hit in decades, and at best, was a first class nut, and at worst, a child molester.

Much like no one mentions the fact Roman Polanski is a convicted rapist, Jackson's legal troubles seem to be glossed over. Somehow, I'm sure the parents of the youngsters are wondering why just like me.

My goodness, when OJ Simpson goes, will they just discuss his Heisman and 2000 yard season?

6/25/2009 10:34:00 PM

(6/25/2009 10:13:00 PM) - Al

An e-mailer sends in this...all 129 pages of the Moneyball movie script, which now appears to be in development hell, where many proposed films languish for infinity.

EDIT: I am going to give a hat tip to BCB for this, as I am nothing if not an internet kudos giver.

I plan on reading it this weekend, which all but assures it will be taken down upon threat of legal action before then.

I still recall when I posted too much of a "pay only" piece (BA I think), and someone e-mailed me and I took it down meekly the next day. Now, I'd never reply and giggle silently, at least until I got a registered letter or a summons. I was a bit small town back then, what can I say?

6/25/2009 10:13:00 PM

(6/25/2009 09:10:00 PM) - Al

Sanford's Mistress Identified as Professional, Passionate and Beautiful Brunette

Just once I'd like to see the other woman described as an unattractive chubby gal with a bitter personality.

6/25/2009 09:10:00 PM

(6/25/2009 09:04:00 PM) - Al

There will now be 10 best picture nominees...because having 4 films nominated I've never heard of was 4-5 too few.

Robert may comment further on this, but allow me to express my sadness that this change did not come in time so that Police Academy 4 was able to garner its rightful place in motion picture history.

6/25/2009 09:04:00 PM

(6/25/2009 08:52:00 PM) - Al

Heh. The mainstream media really, really sucks, and they deserve their fate.

6/25/2009 08:52:00 PM

(6/25/2009 08:40:00 PM) - Al


6/25/2009 08:40:00 PM

(6/25/2009 08:36:00 PM) - Al

"I spend more on pork!"

"No, I spend more on pork!"

By the way, Dave Obey is my congressman, you can imagine how proud I am. Obey is often discussed on talk radio around these parts as yelling at people at various appearances, and has no qualms about telling them that they just "don't get it".

6/25/2009 08:36:00 PM

(6/25/2009 07:07:00 PM) - Al

Italy allows workers to trade overtime for time off later...the US really needs some out of the box thinking like this, and even better, some pro-business policy to help those businesses to grow, by expanding and hiring more workers.

I have never lived through an environment like exists now, where small business owners are looked at as nothing but an ATM machine for federal pork.

6/25/2009 07:07:00 PM

(6/25/2009 05:36:00 PM) - Al

Well, infomercials never draw well...but of course, at least the networks get paid for those.

I wonder if they discussed the, sigh, largest tax in history that they want to force through. Ah, but what do those fuddy-duddys at the Wall Street Journal know about economics.

6/25/2009 05:36:00 PM

(6/25/2009 05:22:00 PM) - Al

I'm sad about Farrah Fawcett. She remains the one many women are compared to, even today.

As the dad of a 7 year-old son, Michael

I'm not sure if he was ever convicted of being a pedophile, but he was, just like OJ Simpson obviously killed two people, back in the day when DNA was a confusing thing, to at least a dozen idiot jurors.

Being the incredibly evil person I am, I find it ironic Jackson was able to die and not even be the top celeb death of the day.

6/25/2009 05:22:00 PM

(6/25/2009 05:05:00 PM) - Al

I'll be unable to update until later tonight, probably after 9. FYI.

6/25/2009 05:05:00 PM

(6/25/2009 01:15:00 PM) - Al

Imagine the ratings TLC would get if they flipped a coin to see which one got shot through the head...first.

I'd wish a pox on both their houses, but that's silly and repetitive, because they still only have one house, albeit, a mansion paid for by the fact that somewhere, people watch these clods.

6/25/2009 01:15:00 PM

(6/25/2009 11:02:00 AM) - Al

Jack Z does an online chat for the Mariners' page.

6/25/2009 11:02:00 AM

(6/25/2009 10:21:00 AM) - Al

Adam sums up some minor league stuff, though I don't think any top guys are on the move.

6/25/2009 10:21:00 AM

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

(6/24/2009 11:12:00 PM) - Al

Kids, stay in school, and don't do drugs.


6/24/2009 11:12:00 PM

(6/24/2009 10:21:00 PM) - Al

So, is it me, or did Carlos Gomez bat LH in the 9th inning versus Hoffman? Didn't he bat righty the rest of the other two games?

EDIT: Never mind, they PH Morales for him. I have often said if you PH for the lead-off man, you're probably not batting the right guy lead-off, but that's neither here nor there.

6/24/2009 10:21:00 PM

(6/24/2009 09:40:00 PM) - Al

Rumors of David Ortiz's demise appear to have been greatly exaggerated.

It's just astounding how badly the media and fans overreact to bad starts. Ortiz is likely not to keep equaling his former outstanding production as he ages...he is not built to age gracefully, mind you, but the idea he is "done" after the offseason of 2008-09 is a bit of a stretch.

6/24/2009 09:40:00 PM

(6/24/2009 09:33:00 PM) - Al

I can't believe Hoffman walked Mauer, the tying run, to face a guy with arguable more power as the winning run.

6/24/2009 09:33:00 PM

(6/24/2009 09:25:00 PM) - Al

All that propaganda about the Twins "playing the game the right way" goes right out the window with a single double to the wall.

As a guy who played a lot of SS in softball over the years, I'd also like to say I can recall diving just like the SS for the Twins did oodles of times on similar slo-pitch, trust me, the catcher is not a good bet to make a good throw to the 3B.

Once, I saw the play developing, and literally ran from 2B to back up the upcoming overthrow...and I would have had it too. However, the 3B made an impressive leap, and the ball ticked off his glove...and went back a bit toward 2B. I slammed on the brakes, and with my momentum all going towards the 3B line, dove back towards the ball...and it literally went off the tip of my glove.

6/24/2009 09:25:00 PM

(6/24/2009 09:12:00 PM) - Al

Backup catcher Mike Rivera was playing only in games pitched by Dave Bush. Now that Bush is on the disabled list for two to three weeks, when will Rivera play? "I don't know yet," manager Ken Macha said. "There are several guys he's not going to catch."--JS

Heh. The votes of no confidence for Rivera continue.

6/24/2009 09:12:00 PM

(6/24/2009 09:08:00 PM) - Al

Centerfielder Chris Duffy, assigned outright to Class AAA Nashville on May 26, has been placed on that club's inactive list. Duffy went home to Arizona for the birth of a child after playing three games with Nashville and never rejoined the club. Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash said Duffy's absence was "a delicate issue" that he could not detail. "All I can tell you is he's dealing with some personal issues," said Ash, who did not know when Duffy might return.--JS

There are several scenarios that come to mind, and every one of them is bad.

6/24/2009 09:08:00 PM

(6/24/2009 06:52:00 PM) - Al

I have no idea who would be interested in Francoeur, but what about Gamel in RF? He's never played the outfield, but he seems to have the arm for it. For 3B, what about Casey McGehee? He had 563 games over 6 seasons of work at third base in the minors.

Just a thought...


Former Northern Room manager Robert checking in. Long-term, Gamel might not end up at 3B, but for now, I don't see him being ready for RF defensively at this stage of the game. McGehee has been solid thus far, but it's hard for me to overlook his minor league numbers, which tells me he's been lucky and good thus far.

I feel good about both 2B and 3B right now, and good teams need depth.

6/24/2009 06:52:00 PM

(6/24/2009 05:04:00 PM) - Al


I haven't heard much lately on Sheets, and can't remember when he was scheduled to be ready to pitch again. Wasn't it around the All-Star break? If he looks serviceable can you see the Brewers bringing him in for the remainder of the season? May see a draft pick out of him yet.

Just curious.


I doubt Doug would give him anything other than a minor league deal, and he can get that anywhere. Many wanted the Crew to sign him long-term last year, but thankfully, Doug realized he could not spend 15% of his payroll on an oft-injured SP...guys like Bush get hurt enough who have had healthy pasts. Sheets probably would have been happy to stay, so that relationship is likely shot.

6/24/2009 05:04:00 PM

(6/24/2009 04:48:00 PM) - Al

I should not argue econ with Warren Buffet, but I think he's missing the positive sales up again last month, new houses were just barely down, retail up, inflation still minimal...all very good signs. Of course, I'm probably not the first to suggest this, but maybe Buffet wants to buy more companies stock well off their peak and is stressing the negatives.

I often proudly call myself a contrarian, as I would be a buyer with my excess funds right now (if only I did not have to eat). Buffet was buying heavily a while back, and maybe he's disappointed by the speed of the recovery, but simply put, these things take time to work themselves out.

6/24/2009 04:48:00 PM

(6/24/2009 04:38:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers' quest for pitching could lead to renewed talks with the Braves, who in the past have targeted Brewers right fielder Corey Hart. The Braves would need to clear their own right fielder, Jeff Francoeur, before acquiring Hart, and no team is hot after Francoeur.

The problem for the Brewers in trading Hart is their lack of a suitable replacement. Still, the Braves are deep in pitching — and could get even deeper if right-hander Tim Hudson returns from Tommy John surgery in mid-August.--Rosenthal

Heh. So, this tradse might work, if only ATL could find someone to take Francoeur, and if MIL can find someone to play RF in place of Hart. So, unless the Crew wants Francouer, which I'm sure they do not, it's all moot.

I would take a chance of Francoeur if I was a team a few years away from contention, as I think he may well be undervalued right now...he is a fine defender who used to be quite a slugger. He's still young enough to improve his plate discipline, though it's scary how he's regressed.

6/24/2009 04:38:00 PM

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

(6/23/2009 10:22:00 PM) - Al

Brilliant satire of Andrew Sullivan's...dare we say, inconsistencies at the link of the link.

Sullivan used to be must read, until he became a one issue (pro gay marriage) blogger who, as the article so hilariously points out, has lost all he supports, defends, and tears apart the same viewpoint offered by different politicians.

And, his concerns about Palin's womb, again, pointed out by the links, is mindnumbing. I never would have believed a few years ago that a fella as bright as Sullivan would spend months chasing a conspiracy theory with fervor...even after it was proven impossible.

I followed a link to his site last weekend, and he seems lost...his support of Obama was solely because of gay rights stance, which, like most of what was said during the campaign, has been forgotten, and Sullivan looks as lost as a dog without his master...jumping from issue to issue and not really commenting on any of them.

6/23/2009 10:22:00 PM

(6/23/2009 09:20:00 PM) - Al

Ann discusses the "better late than never" Obama speech against the violence in Iraq.

UPDATE: I thought comparisons to Carter were bad, Ann goes even lower.

And she voted for him.

6/23/2009 09:20:00 PM

(6/23/2009 08:20:00 PM) - Al

The Twins taking advantage of every opportunity tonight...horrible luck in the first, when a ball in the dirt took a mystifying hop across Kendall's body, and then JJ missed what looked to be an easy double play ball.

Short-term, it's always better to be lucky than good.

6/23/2009 08:20:00 PM

(6/23/2009 06:55:00 PM) - Al

Bush has a "microtear" in a muscle in his pitching arm, per the TV team. He may be out for quite some time.

UPDATE: This was caused by the line drive that hit his arm. According to the JS, this will be the first start he's missed as a pro.

6/23/2009 06:55:00 PM

(6/23/2009 06:37:00 PM) - Al

Daniel Negraneu is playing in three different live tournaments today. Good thing he's light on his feet.

6/23/2009 06:37:00 PM

(6/23/2009 06:14:00 PM) - Al

Joey Votto informed the media Tuesday that his month-long stay on the disabled list was a result of severe depression.

Votto lost his father last August and the grief caught up to him this season as he excelled at the plate without his biggest fan. "There were nights that I couldn't be alone," he said. "The one night I was alone - the very first night I was alone - was when I went to the hospital. I couldn't take it. It just got to the point where I felt I was going to die, really."--Rotoworld

I have never known anyone with "severe" depression, and to be honest, this is probably one of those things liked Bill Maher talked about...the language should be changed...just as "spousal abuse" has made wife-beating seem far less offensive, we really need to separate the people who take a "happy pill" each day to improve their mood from those who are clinically, severely depressed, often unable to function and/or often contemplating suicide.

To say that both groups suffer from "depression" is just not using the language like we have the ability to do.

Best of luck to Joey.

6/23/2009 06:14:00 PM

(6/23/2009 06:04:00 PM) - Al

I have no idea if this kid is any good or not, but this is the type of trade I like for the Bucks...getting younger.

And yes, I realize they may just have traded for him to release him for salary relief.

6/23/2009 06:04:00 PM

(6/23/2009 06:02:00 PM) - Al

Tell me, why are MN taxes so high?

6/23/2009 06:02:00 PM

(6/23/2009 05:54:00 PM) - Al

Drudge provides this link, talking about what was not said at the press conference.

It is like night and day, that's for sure.

6/23/2009 05:54:00 PM

(6/23/2009 05:50:00 PM) - Al

John from the publisher sends this link from Guideposts, written by Josh Hamilton.

6/23/2009 05:50:00 PM

(6/23/2009 05:42:00 PM) - Al

Chris points out this gent got 90 days for stealing a bike, while Stallworth got 24 days for killing a man.

The pain, I can't stand the pain!

6/23/2009 05:42:00 PM

(6/23/2009 05:29:00 PM) - Al

MLBTR sums up Doug's thoughts about pitching.

One thing he does not say is that there is no SP available. Even the rumors don't have many names of note. Dare I say, moving McClung to the rotation and finding a reliever to replace him, the idea I floated a while back, is looking more and more like the most plausible to help the staff.

I know they have qualms about Seth because he throws a lot of pitches per inning, probably limiting him to 5-6 frames most starts. Right now, most of us would gladly take 6 good innings each night.

6/23/2009 05:29:00 PM

(6/23/2009 04:48:00 PM) - Al

Boring, obvious decisions thus far, Mike Burns called up and will start Thursday, and Bush to the DL. McClung looks to be the favorite to pitch Saturday.

6/23/2009 04:48:00 PM

(6/23/2009 02:33:00 PM) - Al

As most of the Ramblings' faithful sweats it out today in stifling heat and humidity, I'd just like to remind you of this little nugget of info some guy that went to school far longer than I did came up with a couple weeks ago.

Good one. I think you should have skipped a few of those classes and talked to a girl.

6/23/2009 02:33:00 PM

(6/23/2009 02:06:00 PM) - Al

I was disappointed the Bucks did not make a trade before the deadline during the season, and as much as I want to like John Hammond, if this is the very best he can do, I'm starting to wonder. Basically, in the NBA, teams trade contracts moreso than players, as the salary numbers have to come close to matching for the upcoming season.

From what I can tell, the Bucks traded 2 years of Richard Jefferson for a single year of three role players, who are all almost as old as me. Granted, you gained a year of financial flexibility, and maybe even some help for next year, on the court and with the cap, but to be honest, it does not bode well to lose 20 points a game and replace it with, to be kind, very, very little.

This may allow them to sign either Sessions or Charlie V, but I'm still wondering how you can be happy with one of those two fine players leaving for nothing, when they could have been traded last year for talent.

6/23/2009 02:06:00 PM

(6/23/2009 01:27:00 PM) - Al

Support our military at the Troopathon.

6/23/2009 01:27:00 PM

(6/23/2009 10:38:00 AM) - Al

The USGA shut down beer stands at 6 p.m...15 minutes earlier than Saturday.

Wow, those golf events are serious about preventing alcohol related problems, huh?

6/23/2009 10:38:00 AM

Monday, June 22, 2009

(6/22/2009 07:44:00 PM) - Al

I find it ironic the Times thinks nothing of not reporting this abduction, but would think nothing of putting American troops in danger by reporting the "facts".

6/22/2009 07:44:00 PM

(6/22/2009 06:40:00 PM) - Al

The Twins DFA Luis Ayala, who will certainly draw interest from many teams, though he has not been superb this year, he has a 4ish ERA...not bad at all. He throws hard, so he'll find a job quickly. Someone might even claim him, as he has about $800K left on his contract for this season.

6/22/2009 06:40:00 PM

(6/22/2009 04:12:00 PM) - Al

By my math, this would make a 24 pack of carbonated beverages over $10. I have to think this would be a huge boon for the makers of store brands and the like.

I also wonder if they'd just make the tax on regular and sugar-free drinks, for ease of execution. Of course, that would defeat the whole purpose of "penalizing" those who drink the sugar (or corn syrup) laden junk, but to be blunt, the government is kind of clumsy in their execution of these things.

6/22/2009 04:12:00 PM

(6/22/2009 04:02:00 PM) - Al

Michael sends along this preview of an upcoming HBO miniseries of The Pacific.

HBO appears to be one of the very few networks that dares to produce pro-military fare. It is interesting that they get nearly all their revenue from has to wonder if there's a correlation there.

6/22/2009 04:02:00 PM

(6/22/2009 12:35:00 PM) - Al

You can feel the bloom is well off the rose. Every once in a while, between donating time for infomercials of course, you even see the networks airing critical, questioning pieces.

6/22/2009 12:35:00 PM

(6/22/2009 09:57:00 AM) - Al

Donte Stallworth got 24 days for killing a man while DUI.

Now if you'll excuse me, I think the legal system needs a complete overhaul.

6/22/2009 09:57:00 AM

Sunday, June 21, 2009

(6/21/2009 11:04:00 PM) - Al

Adam tells that Miller Park is just now getting power back after severe flooding. It will not be back at 100% until well after Tuesday, but it should be functional.

The JS has totally ignored this issue, as far as I can tell.

6/21/2009 11:04:00 PM

(6/21/2009 10:26:00 PM) - Al

Listening to what the president says is so old fashioned anyway.

Now I know why all those campaign promises have fallen by the wayside...they can't be taken literally. Hope, change, and don't pay attention to the specifics.

6/21/2009 10:26:00 PM

(6/21/2009 02:10:00 PM) - Al

Adam discusses the options for adding a starter, which looks like it will happen Thursday now.

I have to believe Mike Burns is the heavy favorite, as he should be. I also wonder why Gulin gets a mention by Adam, as he has a 5+ ERA and a near 1-1 K/BB ratio.

6/21/2009 02:10:00 PM

(6/21/2009 01:52:00 PM) - Al

Mosquitoes killing their own offspring.

Brilliant, and even moreso for the third world, where malaria is a huge killer.

This is why we must teach science in schools.

6/21/2009 01:52:00 PM

(6/21/2009 11:37:00 AM) - Al

The Rambling wife went to our local A&W after church today, as they had some promo that their "papa burger" was only 90 cents. When she got to the ordering window, she was informed you could only get a single papa burger for each person in the car, meaning for her, one. She's getting her 90 cent burger and going elsewhere, paying with the check card, so they'll have to pay processing fees on it.

It always boggles my mind how badly some of these businesses are run...I'm sure many people are visiting for the first time, or the first time in a long time, as this was heavily promoted on the radio all week...and many of them will leave disappointed, which can't be good for future business.

If you can't do the promotion, don't do the promotion. Don't run some half-baked attempt and then introduce a bunch of conditions...

{That's fine ma'am, now if you'll step out of your vehicle and rub your belly while patting your head, we'll get that for you.} may be short-term gain, but I have to imagine long-term pain will be the result.

6/21/2009 11:37:00 AM

(6/21/2009 11:23:00 AM) - Al

Looking around at the minors for veteran arms, Bruce Chen is pitching about as well as any SP who would be labeled as a journeyman...the type that might be available should the Crew lose a SP or two to injury.

6/21/2009 11:23:00 AM

(6/21/2009 11:08:00 AM) - Al

Jeff Weaver improved to 4-1 after holding the Angels to two earned runs over five innings Saturday.

Looking a bit more like his younger brother than we're used to, the veteran fanned four Angels batters and walked none. He allowed just six hits while improving both his ERA and WHIP. With a solid record and a decent stat line, Jeff is slowly gaining the Dodgers' trust.--Rotoworld

I wish Weaver would have pitched like this last year when he was toiling in Nashville. They could use him right now, that's for sure.

6/21/2009 11:08:00 AM

(6/21/2009 10:41:00 AM) - Al

Happy Father's Day to the Ramblings' readers.

I grilled yesterday, and plan on doing so again today, which according to the ads I've seen, is what Dad's Day is all about. If I'd wear Dockers, drink hard liquor, and sit around talking to a plethora of male companions, laughing hysterically at whatever was being said, I would fit their definition of Joe Q Public.

6/21/2009 10:41:00 AM

Saturday, June 20, 2009

(6/20/2009 10:27:00 PM) - Al

Bush admits to suffering from "tired arm", which would probably result in a trip to the DL if they had 4 other good starters. Decisions will be made as to the rotation order Tuesday.

Doug will be checking on SP all over the next couple days, but I doubt much more will be available this week than last. With Bush struggling, he may be more willing to look for a "stopgap" type, a guy who can go 5-6 innings and often give up 3-4 runs.

As goofy as it is, we might even see the name Kei Igawa come up again, who once again has been putting together very respectable AAA numbers, while never having a chance at reaching the majors in New York again.

6/20/2009 10:27:00 PM

(6/20/2009 08:13:00 PM) - Al

2009 IP per start--5.65 (10th in NL)
2009 SP ERA--------4.94 (14th)
2009 RP ERA--------3.56 (5th)
2009 ERA-----------4.43 (10th)

2009 runs per game-4.81 (4th)
2009 OBP-----------.337 (6th)
2009 SLG-----------.420 (3rd)
2009 BB/game-------3.87 (4th)

2009 IP/start, no Parra-5.81 (8th)
2009 SP ERA, no Parra---4.41 (9th)
2009 ERA, no Parra------4.05 (7th)
2008 IP per start--6.07 (1st)
2008 SP ERA--------3.86 (2nd)
2008 RP ERA--------3.89 (4th)
2008 ERA-----------3.85 (2nd)

2008 runs per game-4.63 (7th)
2008 OBP-----------.325 (10th)
2008 SLG-----------.431 (5th)
2008 BB/game-------3.40 (9th)

Thus far in '09, the offense is carrying the team, while in '08, it was the pitching, especially the rotation, although the bullpen was better than most remember it. The truth of the matter is, while scoring 0.18 runs a game more, the pitching is giving up 0.58 runs a game more...that's a -0.40 run differential, so the current version is fortunate to be on pace for a similar record. Note that the OBP is higher, while the SLG is almost identically lower. Almost all the gain in OBP is due to the increase in bases on balls. You can credit some of that to young players maturing, maybe some to Dale, or maybe some sort of combo platter.

Where does this team need to improve? Obviously, the rotation. They need to go deeper into games, and allow fewer runs.

Now, I'm the first to admit the stats minus Parra are a bit of a "junk" stat...every team would be a lot better if you left out their worst SP. However, if Doug is able to find another capable, solid but unspectacular SP, they do move up a bit the rest of the way. Can you imagine a team making the playoffs and winning 90 games with the 3rd best offense and the 7th best pitching? Well, last year, it was 7th and 2nd, so I think it's rather easy to feel that a club can certainly contend in this manner.

If Doug can add an arm or two, he can probably find an infielder later this year, when more teams are out of the race. By far the most difficult thing will be locating a guy who can not just take the ball every 5th day, but one whose team is willing to trade him for no one who is on the 25 man roster as of now.

6/20/2009 08:13:00 PM

(6/20/2009 07:49:00 PM) - Al

Tom H talks about the lack of top SP's available. The two best would seem to be Doug Davis and Jarrod Washburn, and it's not for sure Davis is being shopped, while Washburn has a bad back.

6/20/2009 07:49:00 PM

(6/20/2009 05:00:00 PM) - Al

I've been meaning to write a post about how similar Macha and Yost manage, but today kind of shows one way they are different. Ken likes to use his "long man" in a lost cause type of game, down 9-2 in the 7th, for example. Down like that early, he'll bring in McClung and others, hoping the Crew can mount a comeback. Ned was more by the book, more likely to bring in his worst reliever when down several early on.

Other than that, I can barely find any "strategery" differences.

Some may point to his mixing and matching of the bullpen corps to get to the 9th, but I dunno if that's fair, as Macha has a bunch of guys with huge splits (Coffey and DiFelice struggle versus lefties, Stetter and Villy do not handle righties)

6/20/2009 05:00:00 PM

(6/20/2009 04:42:00 PM) - Al

I gotta wonder if Bush has an injury, as his removal after 3 innings was a strange hook...his pitch count was low, and down 5-2, you would think Macha would at least let him put a man or two on before removing him.

Gamel is finally seeing the ball, drilling the ball the last couple games, and driving one 415 feet to LCF, which would have been well out of Miller Park, but fell for a triple in Detroit.

6/20/2009 04:42:00 PM

(6/20/2009 03:39:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling son went through his old videos, and now the Rambling wife has them up on Craig's List in a pair of lots. It's kind of sad really, as he did not save any of his Bob the Builder DVD's, which he used to watch daily/more than daily. Also included was Elmo, Thomas the Tank, Diego, and all but one of his Mr. Rogers. Obviously, we are well aware that he's getting older, but the journey from "I love it" to "I don't want it" sure went quickly.

Also on the getting older brigade is the Rambling dog, who is not hearing nearly as well as he once did. Until a couple years ago, Ronnie would always meet us at the door, without fail. Since then, sometimes he will be sleeping too hard, or not hear us until the door opens. Just in the past couple months, he is missing a morning, his food was in the bowl and had to be called out for breakfast...that was a first. Yesterday, he was sleeping downstairs when they got home, and after a couple minutes, the Rambling wife yelled "Ronnie, where are you?", and he came walking upstairs puzzledly, as if to say "When did you guys sneak in?"

Normally, I would wonder if he had an ear infection, but he just had his shots and such last month, and they would have found that (in addition to the constant pawing at the ear that Ronnie would let us know also).

We have had Ron for 9 years, and the shelter estimated he was 4 (we have always celebrated his b-day as the day we brought him home, so we kept him at 4 for an entire year in our minds), so he is an old 13. Luckily, his knee troubles have not bothered him since the first couple months we had him (like many cocker spaniels, he has a luxating patella), but the rest of him seems to be catching up to his knees.

None of us get younger, but for us, our boys seem to be aging a lot quicker than they did a while back.

6/20/2009 03:39:00 PM

(6/20/2009 03:37:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers never did see Pedro Martinez pitch, as he was late to the session, and the Crew's scouts had other places to be.

I'd say their interest in him is pedestrian at best.

6/20/2009 03:37:00 PM

(6/20/2009 03:15:00 PM) - Al

Either Rivera is banged up (sore butt possibly), or is no longer catching Dave Bush.

I don't think it's a coincidence both Yost and Macha choose to play Jason 80-90% of the time. His cERA was more than a run less than his replacements in OAK in '07, when he was dealt to the Cubs in midseason.

And in 2006.

6/20/2009 03:15:00 PM

(6/20/2009 12:28:00 PM) - Al

Doug, Ken, and the director of pro scouting met yesterday to discuss players that may be available. It seems apparent that pitching and an infielder were likely the positions most talked about.

I have talked about it before, but while the bullpen has been very good, since there seems to be so few SP's on the market, as of yet anyway.

6/20/2009 12:28:00 PM

Friday, June 19, 2009

(6/19/2009 08:51:00 PM) - Al

Adam tells about the flooding at Miller Park.

6/19/2009 08:51:00 PM

(6/19/2009 07:54:00 PM) - Al

Indians designated RHP Greg Aquino for assignment.

Aquino went 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA in 10 relief appearances (16 innings) for the Indians this season.--Rotoworld

Aquino sure has good stuff, but his control, or lack thereof, has kept him from being a solid reliever.

6/19/2009 07:54:00 PM

(6/19/2009 07:01:00 PM) - Al

Courtesy of Gleeman's link report, this is why many of us can't stand Harold Reynolds, and most every other former player turned analyst.

Some of the comments are as funny as when the Deadspin faithful blasted the Grumpy Middle-Aged ballhog.

6/19/2009 07:01:00 PM

Thursday, June 18, 2009

(6/18/2009 10:47:00 PM) - Al

How much are the Tigers paying a pair of OF's no longer starting (one is starting...for the Mets)?

6/18/2009 10:47:00 PM

(6/18/2009 10:26:00 PM) - Al

Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like. - Will Rogers


6/18/2009 10:26:00 PM

(6/18/2009 09:51:00 PM) - Al

If McGehee is unable to go, it'll be interesting to see if Macha plays Gamel at 3B and has Catalanotto DH, or if he goes with Hall at 3B. Ken does not seem very confident in Gamel's ability to field the hot corner.

A decision will have to be made after this weekend, when I believe the DH is done for the year.

6/18/2009 09:51:00 PM

(6/18/2009 09:43:00 PM) - Al

Tom H tries to make the Cubs' look foolish, but truthfully, they had no room for McGehee on the 25 man...though you could argue that he deserved a spot on the 40.

Kudos to Doug for finding a 40 man spot for him. Be interesting to hear what scouts said about him, and who gave him the thumbs up that made Doug pick him up.

6/18/2009 09:43:00 PM

(6/18/2009 09:19:00 PM) - Al

"Ma'am" is a lot nicer than what I would call her.

6/18/2009 09:19:00 PM

(6/18/2009 09:14:00 PM) - Al

Clubs that have spoken to the Brewers report they've been adamant in saying they won't talk about Mat Gamel or shortstop prospect Alcides Escobar, even for front-line pitching. And after that, said an official of one club they spoke with, "there's a pretty sizable falloff" to their next wave of potentially available prospects (Lorenzo Cain, Taylor Green, Caleb Gindl). That's one reason Hardy's name has started to show up on the rumor circuit. But with so little starting pitching worth pursuing, Milwaukee is another club that might not find the kind of pitching it's hunting for.--Jayson Stark, ESPN

They will both be starting next year, so they are very unlikely to be dealt. There are no CC's on the market anyway, so I'm not sure it even matters.

6/18/2009 09:14:00 PM

(6/18/2009 09:07:00 PM) - Al

A look at some projections of the Crew for '09.

6/18/2009 09:07:00 PM

(6/18/2009 08:25:00 PM) - Al

A look at the Brewers' relationship with Appleton.

It was a match made in heaven. I'm surprised it took so long, but sometimes the things that make the most sense never happen.

6/18/2009 08:25:00 PM

(6/18/2009 08:14:00 PM) - Al

ABC is running an infomercial, and CBS is airing a special on the Obama family Sunday.

Remember the jokes about the Kennedys being the American royal family? Well, at least their replacements are sober.

6/18/2009 08:14:00 PM

(6/18/2009 08:01:00 PM) - Al

I forgot to mention last night my thought about Chris Narveson. It occurred to me last night that Doug said "We're going to give him a good look, as he's out of options", paraphrasing, of course.

Doug is famous for giving veteran minor leaguers a chance, especially if he does not see a future for them in MIL. RJ Swindle has been lights out in Nashville, but has not been very good when in the majors...tiny sample size a given, of course. Granted, Chris throws harder and can go longer than Swindle, but I have to wonder if a team inquired about Narveson, and Doug wanted to see exactly what he had before letting him go elsewhere.

6/18/2009 08:01:00 PM

(6/18/2009 02:33:00 PM) - Al


No it's not, and I haven't heard many blame it on "Biden's oil friends" either.

6/18/2009 02:33:00 PM

(6/18/2009 12:23:00 PM) - Al

I was calling DiFelice a "roogy" long before anyone else was.

6/18/2009 12:23:00 PM

(6/18/2009 11:26:00 AM) - Al

The irony here is, we all knew Obama was a foreign policy simpleton, but that he had, ahem, Joe Biden to assist him.

What was that Rudy said at the convention...he should ask Bush what to do? I guarantee you that W, sitting in his big ranch house in Texas, would be able to tell him what not to do, which is stand idly by and hope Iran goes away until December, 2012.

6/18/2009 11:26:00 AM

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

(6/17/2009 11:37:00 PM) - Al

Another quality start from Suppan, and another blown win for him...I think that's either 2 or 3. You can't expect the 'pen to save 'em all, especially when you depend on them for 3 frames, but Soup has been the most hurt thus far.

This will be the first scheduled post for today, as I'll be late again today.

6/17/2009 11:37:00 PM

(6/17/2009 11:34:00 PM) - Al

We'll have to see, but I think Doug may well be playing the contrarian and checking on the status of a few veteran relievers. Not only is the SP well dry at the moment, but most every RP is on pace for 90 innings, far too many.

September 1st can't come soon enough, and that's a rather sad statement for a 1st place team to make on June 1st.

6/17/2009 11:34:00 PM

(6/17/2009 11:34:00 PM) - Al

Bedard may be starting again as soon as Saturday.

Hat tip BCB.

Tom H is now reporting Bedard was placed on the DL, and I'm too tired to check. I'll just assume TH is correct.

6/17/2009 11:34:00 PM

(6/17/2009 11:00:00 PM) - Al

Hoffman was missing his spots tonight by feet. He has seemed quite mortal in his past few outings.

If I went up there versus Stetter, I'd just take every pitch, and I think I'd walk most every time.

That was a luck filled sweep, to say the least. Hopefully, the injury to Braun will prove to be a tweak and be minor, and we'll go from there, as this could turn out to be a hollow victory.

6/17/2009 11:00:00 PM

(6/17/2009 09:11:00 PM) - Al

Just playing around with teams that appear to be out of the race and looking to dump some salary...ARI has Doug Davis and Felipe Lopez. Lopez can play 2B or 3B, and Davis is having a very nice season. Both have expiring contracts after this current season.

I have pointed out that Lopez's offense is pretty much all being put up in the thin air of Arizona, but he's still got plenty of worth for his versatility.

6/17/2009 09:11:00 PM

(6/17/2009 08:58:00 PM) - Al

This gent thinks Washburn may be the top arm to change teams.

I've always liked Jarrod, but he is what he is, basically a guy much like Bush or Suppan (or Looper), steady and solid, but nothing more than that. It is funny how much the bloggers overreacted last year about SEA not letting him go for nothing to the Twins, especially if Jack Z gets a prospect or two for him.

6/17/2009 08:58:00 PM

(6/17/2009 08:53:00 PM) - Al

McClung after Suppan is just brilliant. His fastball must look 100+, and his off-speed pitch is a much sharper break as well.

6/17/2009 08:53:00 PM

(6/17/2009 08:39:00 PM) - Al

Parra goes 6 at Nashville, gives up one earned run, 4 hits, 4 walks.

Given that the AAA zone seems huge, and the hitters are much weaker, 4 walks is far too many, but I guess it's a first step in the right direction.

6/17/2009 08:39:00 PM

(6/17/2009 07:49:00 PM) - Al

Quite possibly, the worst call by a major league umpire I have ever seen. Not only did the ball beat him by seconds, the tag was on the foot right before it touched the bag. Where else would you be looking? If there was justice, he would have been fired on the spot.

Of course, given that they can make a dozen of those terrible calls a night and still have a job, I guess it's no surprise they don't give much of an effort. It's just an embarrassment how bad they are with no retribution at all.

Every year, they get rid of the bottom tier of AAA umpires, of AA umpires...but MLB guys are there for life, unless they resign like idiots and then say they didn't mean it. If not for that, Eric Gregg and other fools would still be out there...with a strike zone 3 feet wide...4 feet when Maddux pitches.

6/17/2009 07:49:00 PM

(6/17/2009 07:42:00 PM) - Al

Melvin also said he has been offered no starting pitcher of note by other teams. He said he hadn't talked to Boston about Brad Penny. Melvin wouldn't address the FoxSports report that the Brewers had been scouting Seattle lefty Erik Bedard.

"We don't have a scout on that team right now," said Melvin. "We scout a lot of teams."--JS

That's a rather weak denial by Doug. Given Doug's friendship with Jack Z and the fact Bedard (and Cliff Lee) have contracts the Crew could take on, I'm still of the opinion Peavy was never a serious discussion, and the prime target was one of those two. Also, if Bedard is not pitching, they would not need a scout on them, now would they?:)

6/17/2009 07:42:00 PM

(6/17/2009 03:35:00 PM) - Al

Ann points out very few people consider themselves "liberal", and correctly wonders if the GOP will be able to figure out how to use this to their advantage.

It isn't much of a stretch to say this is probably why the "tea parties" have been so successful.

6/17/2009 03:35:00 PM

(6/17/2009 01:24:00 PM) - Al

Dave Pinto points out Joe Mauer is hitting .429. I'm pretty sure I said once he was the most likely current player to hit .400, and with his injury earlier this year, he has a good chance, as it's easier to hit .400 in 502 PA's than 600.

6/17/2009 01:24:00 PM

(6/17/2009 12:20:00 PM) - Al

RJ Swindle pitched 2 scoreless innings last night in AAA...and his ERA fell from 0.33 to 0.31. Jeepers.

I don't know why Swindle was passed up for Narveson...Chris is a hard thrower, and is able to go 3 frames if necessary, but golly, 0.31 is something.

6/17/2009 12:20:00 PM

(6/17/2009 12:13:00 PM) - Al

Lindsey Lohan has no use for heavy jewelry...I'm not sure she could support them, sadly weighing in at about 90 pounds, many say due to her cocaine abuse.

What's so pathetic is, she was probably tipping the scales at 110-115 when she looked like this.

6/17/2009 12:13:00 PM

(6/17/2009 11:00:00 AM) - Al

The Rays might remodel their stadium...for half a billion dollars. It seems to me a new ballpark would be a far wiser investment.

6/17/2009 11:00:00 AM

(6/17/2009 10:39:00 AM) - Al

If you see these knives that do not have a point (stab-safe knives), and think, "Hey, I can use that", run far, do not pass go...just run.

6/17/2009 10:39:00 AM

(6/17/2009 08:38:00 AM) - Al

They'll be a bunch of posts popping up during the day today, for your enjoyment. I have a full day, my final meeting is at 6PM, so I won't be back 'til evening.

6/17/2009 08:38:00 AM

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

(6/16/2009 09:09:00 PM) - Al

Melky had had a good year, and I think Igawa has been solid in AAA and just needs a chance, but it's scary how good Mike Cameron has been. If there's a better defensive CF, they must be a joy to watch.

6/16/2009 09:09:00 PM

(6/16/2009 09:03:00 PM) - Al

When deciding to use Hoffman or not, Macha may take the weather into consideration, as rain is expected tomorrow. Not only might they not play, they may wish to not have Trevor pitch on wet grounds anyway, if they do play.

6/16/2009 09:03:00 PM

(6/16/2009 08:52:00 PM) - Al

I'd say the strike zone has been the size of a postage stamp tonight, but I don't think it's been that big.

6/16/2009 08:52:00 PM

(6/16/2009 08:43:00 PM) - Al

Coffey has sure pitched well, but I'm sure Macha is afraid of him tiring soon, as he is on pace for a ton of innings. The TV team mentioned the team has considered adding another arm, for this road trip at least, though the only two players with options would be Gamel and McGehee, who have been playing regularly.

Casey has a sore left knee, which he has dealing with for a while, apparently.

6/16/2009 08:43:00 PM

(6/16/2009 08:34:00 PM) - Al

I have to agree, Counsell is not just a defensive move. McGehee is probably banged up a bit, at the very least.

Not much discussion about injuries, but losing Weeks and Riske for the season is hardly minor, especially just 60 games in, so there's plenty of time for more damage to occur.

6/16/2009 08:34:00 PM

(6/16/2009 08:16:00 PM) - Al

Yo only able to go 5, but of course, 5 good innings beats 5 crappy ones.

6/16/2009 08:16:00 PM

(6/16/2009 07:17:00 PM) - Al

Today I had a strange happening. I got home early from work, as I had my week booked before I went in, and when I came home, I sat down and fired up the laptop...suddenly, my left side started hurting...kind of a shooting pain, it would come, subside, and then hit again. I asked the Rambling wife, and she was no help at all, despite her medical records background (she did however, share a filing tip that had me amazed for hours). I went into the bedroom to lie down, and the pain lessened, but kept up. Soon, I was waking up from a nap, and I've had no issues since.

Once, back when I was working retail, I had a sharp pain on my right side, but it was consistent, and only when I sat down. Still, the gals scared me enough that I left about 2 and went to urgent care, where the doc on duty gave me a zillion tests (this remains the only time I've ever had blood drawn), X-rays, and when going over the results, mentioned every organ in the body that it wasn't, making me have to sit down with nausea. He finally told me "It must be muscular", and told me to go home and if it kept bothering me, to go to the ER that night. Thankfully, it never returned.

I hope today's doesn't either.

6/16/2009 07:17:00 PM

(6/16/2009 06:46:00 PM) - Al

Gallardo seems to be suffering from Manny Parra disease. Credit the Tribe for being patient and working the count, but sooner or later, strike one has to be followed by strike two and three. 60+ pitches in a pair of frames? C'mon, use your head out there.

6/16/2009 06:46:00 PM

(6/16/2009 02:25:00 PM) - Al

I don't see any conflict of interest here...heh.

I'm not sure when exactly the rules changed, but they obviously have.

6/16/2009 02:25:00 PM

(6/16/2009 02:18:00 PM) - Robert R.

I have little idea about what's going to happen in Iran, although my sense is that things have gone on too long and are too widespread to be contained. I expect that there has to be some sort of concessions made, at the very least, to quell what's going on. The longer these things go on, the stronger they get.

That said, it's a good time to recommend Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi which gives a first hand account of growing up during the Islamic revolution and the aftermath, how it shaped her, and her own little rebellions against it. The book will give you insight into what's going on now.

Or, you could rent the excellent movie version.

6/16/2009 02:18:00 PM

(6/16/2009 01:23:00 PM) - Al

I'm not sure why people keep arguing more stimulus money has gone out...I've seen a dozen places that it less than 10%. The recession will be over by the time 90% hits the streets...that's why it's the dictionary definition of pork.

6/16/2009 01:23:00 PM

(6/16/2009 11:38:00 AM) - Al

It pains me to say it, but I gotta agree with the French.

6/16/2009 11:38:00 AM

(6/16/2009 09:30:00 AM) - Al

Deadspin calls out Joe Morgan for being Joe.

6/16/2009 09:30:00 AM

(6/16/2009 08:28:00 AM) - Al

According to's Ken Rosenthal, Takashi Saito is drawing interest from several clubs.

The Rangers are believed to have interest in the 39-year-old who has posted a 2.42 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 22 innings this season. The Red Sox are reportedly willing to trade him for a prospect.--Rotoworld

I know the Red Sox are loaded, but this seems a bit much. I'd think almost every team within 5 games of a wildcard spot would be happy to have him.

6/16/2009 08:28:00 AM

Monday, June 15, 2009

(6/15/2009 10:11:00 PM) - Al

I hate to pick on him, but while DiFelice's HR gave up a pair of Narveson's runs, 6 baserunners and 5 outs is not going to cut it. Much like Parra, you can't win working from behind and being afraid of everyone.

Throw strikes, move the ball in and out, and change speeds. Make the other team beat you. The Tribe hangs on and wins if they simply challenge the Crew...with a 4 run lead.

6/15/2009 10:11:00 PM

(6/15/2009 09:58:00 PM) - Al

Hoffman has seemingly forgot his success has come from getting through many innings with 8-10 pitches...he seems to be trying to strike out everyone now, making the perfect pitch to every batter.

6/15/2009 09:58:00 PM

(6/15/2009 09:54:00 PM) - Al

Conan's ratings have predictably fallen, but the important thing will be where they eventually level out at.

6/15/2009 09:54:00 PM

(6/15/2009 08:53:00 PM) - Al

The Cardinals revealed Sunday that Khalil Greene was being moved to third base.

Manager Tony La Russa said the switch was a result of the play the Cards have gotten from Brendan Ryan and Tyler Greene at shortstop. Khalil Greene hasn't been an adequate offensive shortstop of late, so he's really have to step it up to be useful at third.--Rotoworld

I'm just curious what color the sky is in the world where Greene is anything but a terrible choice at SS...never mind 3B. I can name a dozen retired players I'd rather have at the hot corner than the ineffective, in therapy Greene.

Luckily, he's still on LaRussa's good side, or he'd have to go elsewhere and not suck.

6/15/2009 08:53:00 PM

(6/15/2009 08:38:00 PM) - Al

Any mention of DiFelice starting need look no further than how awful his splits are to LH hitters. That's the dictionary definition of a casual fan, if someone suggests it.

And if you wonder why he had so much success in AAA as a SP, let me splain it to you...AAA lefty bats with power are few and far between.

6/15/2009 08:38:00 PM

(6/15/2009 08:21:00 PM) - Al

Rivera is having a game to forget, to be sure.

There's a reason why catchers don't try for the extra base...they don't make it.

6/15/2009 08:21:00 PM

(6/15/2009 08:05:00 PM) - Al

Of all the worst places in the world to watch a baseball game, I have to imagine next to the drum in CLE has to rank right up there.

6/15/2009 08:05:00 PM

(6/15/2009 07:50:00 PM) - Al

Casey McGehee hits like this for 7-10 more days, he might have worked his way to everyday player status in 2.5 months.

Regardless of his results, which have been excellent, his ability to work the count, taking balls while swinging at strikes, and showing a nice, compact swing; Casey looks to have a nice career ahead of him.

6/15/2009 07:50:00 PM

(6/15/2009 07:34:00 PM) - Al

Mike Rivera is having a defensive game that makes you appreciate Jason Kendall, that's for sure. Short hop or not, if a Brewers' infielder gets that hop in Miller Park, it's an error 100 times out of 100.

If they give Ryan Braun an error on that throw, we may as well throw out official scoring and just let the players make them on their own. Where are finding these mental midgets?

6/15/2009 07:34:00 PM

(6/15/2009 06:59:00 PM) - Al

With North Korea seemingly just teasing those with military might, it is difficult to take our silence on Iran as anything but weakness...or just simply not knowing what to do.

If I was cynical, I might suggest they're waiting for the polling numbers to come in, but thankfully, I am not.

6/15/2009 06:59:00 PM

Sunday, June 14, 2009

(6/14/2009 10:10:00 PM) - Al

Pierzynski said that was the only time in his career he remembers swinging at a 3-0 pitch.--JS

Heh. A 15 second glimpse at BR shows he has before, but not often. Of course, to say AJ has less than no credibility would not be a stretch in the least.

6/14/2009 10:10:00 PM

(6/14/2009 05:56:00 PM) - Al

How bizarre! The World Health Organization has declared swine flu a "pandemic," signaling governments worldwide to launch emergency response plans.

The mildest pandemics of the 20th century killed at least a million people worldwide, according to the WHO's data, while old-fashioned seasonal flu strikes every nation yearly and kills an estimated 250,000 to 500,000. As of Thursday, when the pandemic was declared, H1N1 swine flu had killed only 144 people total -- fewer than succumb daily to seasonal flu annually. And in Mexico, where the outbreak began and where it has been the most severe, cases peaked quickly, in just four weeks.--LA Times

I'll take A Media Created Problem for $1000, Alex.

I'm sure more folks have been killed on WI highways this year than this "pandemic". You can read the whole thing here, if you can withstand the head shaking you will do.

In 2009, everything is a disaster, and everything is an emergency. It's like that old Dilbert cartoon...

You have 977 messages, 977 of which are marked "urgent".

The ease that we fulfill our needs has made it so people overreact to almost everything else. The fact people can't get through a ballgame without responding to e-mails seems to verify one knows what "important" is.

6/14/2009 05:56:00 PM

(6/14/2009 05:35:00 PM) - Al

No talk of who will DH in the AL parks, now that Gamel is platooning at 3B. I would assume Catalanotto, but we might see some mixing and matching, as Prince has started every game at 1B so he might be a good option one day with Cat playing 1B.

Or, we could see Gamel DH with Counsell at 2B and McGehee at 3B, and there's always a chance Cat ends up at one of those spots as well.

6/14/2009 05:35:00 PM

(6/14/2009 04:43:00 PM) - Al

I said a while ago that the Crew had a few wins over their "expected" total, and a 10-7 mark in one-run games; that while you could choose to credit the bullpen, a more likely cause was simply good fortune.

Sadly, good fortune tends to even out over 162 games. Today, JJ drove the ball to the warning track twice, while AJ hit several routine ground balls...Hardy ends up with nothing, Pierzynski with 3 hits, all, dare I say, were about seven hoppers through the infield. In his final AB, he tried to pull an outside fastball, and still found the hole.

So, just a bit later, those numbers have evened out, just as you would expect them to.

They have now lost 5 one-run games in a row, balancing that out to 10-12, and are now just a win ahead of where they "should be". With just under a hundred games left, there's plenty of time left to hit another hot streak, or just play consistently.

6/14/2009 04:43:00 PM

(6/14/2009 02:04:00 PM) - Al

Casey McGehee is lucky the Grumpy Middle Aged Man didn't catch his HR...he would have asked for signed memorabilia from Braun, Fielder, and future HOF'er Jim Thome (well, he's just standing there, not even playing).

And you think I'm kidding.

6/14/2009 02:04:00 PM

Saturday, June 13, 2009

(6/13/2009 08:33:00 PM) - Al

I'm feeling better about this "stimulus" bill every time I read how the money is being spent.

Now if you'll excuse me, time for my electrical shock therapy.

6/13/2009 08:33:00 PM

(6/13/2009 06:59:00 PM) - Al

Parra down, Chris Narveson up. Doug told Parra he was going down in the 5th inning.

Narveson has been very inconsistent, but did have good secondary stats. Because of off days, the Brewers do not need a 5th starter for a couple weeks (Saturday, the 27th, to be exact), so no decision has to be made in that regard for a while.

Obviously, given the recent trade rumors and Parra's overall suckiness, it would not a surprise to any of us if Doug trades for a replacement by the time another SP is needed.

This can't make Swindle feel very good, as he's been nearly perfect in AAA. I admit, I'd prefer RJ, as Narveson has either been ok or been pummeled in his year and a half with Nashville.

The Rambling brother will have to remind me how, but I'm actually related to Narveson somehow, though it's kind of like being related by rumor. Narveson has family in the Dodgeville area, I guess.

UPDATE: The Rambling brother reports that some of his wife's family are friends of Narveson's parents. No relation though.

This lack of athleticism in the genes explains why I'm not a pro athlete.

Yeah, that's it.

6/13/2009 06:59:00 PM

(6/13/2009 05:20:00 PM) - Al

Macha has said he has never used a position player to pitch, but it's odd to see Hoffman in the 8th, unless he is going to use a non-pitcher (or a starter like Bush).

6/13/2009 05:20:00 PM

(6/13/2009 04:56:00 PM) - Al

I wish the Sox would hit a couple grounders to Catalanotto each inning the rest of the way, just to see if he is an option at 2B. Of course, he can't play RF either, but he's started out there a couple times...but it's tough to hide in the middle infield.

6/13/2009 04:56:00 PM

(6/13/2009 04:44:00 PM) - Al

Contreras is showing exactly what a trip to the minors can do for a guy's confidence. He went down, got his work in, and has been dominant ever since returning.

6/13/2009 04:44:00 PM

(6/13/2009 04:06:00 PM) - Al

I can only imagine what Chris Smith, who has thrown several fastballs at 85 today, would say if they could be honest about an underachiever like Parra.

Smith is probably spent, having gone 2 innings Wednesday, one more Thursday, and now 1 1/3 today; but Macha has little choice except to send him back out there for a couple more innings, or until he pulls a manny and falls apart.

We may yet see Hoffman asked to eat an inning regardless of the score.

6/13/2009 04:06:00 PM

(6/13/2009 03:56:00 PM) - Al

Tim Dillard is scheduled to start in a couple hours for Nashville, so a decision would have to be made quickly to have him available in Miller Park tomorrow. Burns is supposed to start tomorrow, but as I mentioned, he has to stay down 10 days, barring an injury.

Other pitchers on the 40 man, the already twice brought up RJ Swindle (0.34 ERA) and Chase Wright (4.34 ERA, 29-25 K/BB) and Nick Green (5.40 ERA), both picked up on waivers this spring, and both pitching, shall we say, not at a level deserving of a call-up.

6/13/2009 03:56:00 PM

(6/13/2009 03:30:00 PM) - Al

I just realized one reason Parra looks like he is pitching so stupidly (other than the fact, that he pitches stupidly) is because he pitches right after Suppan, who gets as much out of his ability as any pitcher in the game today.

Having Parra follow-up Suppan is like watching a 6 year-old misspell "cat" on multiple occasions after viewing one of those child geniuses play the sonata he wrote while waiting in the dental waiting room the day before.

This is a 31-18 team when anyone else pitches, and 3-9 when Parra doesn't take a whole lot to figure out who is at fault. I get it, they think he's weak mentally (obviously), they think his issues are not physical, but in his head, and that he'll put it together. But, please, he is unbearable to watch, and he seems to be getting worse, not better.

Earlier, I suggested he go down for a pre-planned amount...2 starts, maybe 3, to get his confidence back, his work in, and then return. Now, he simply is not pitching good enough to deserve anything but a trip to Nashville, with no promise on returning.

Sadly, with his stuff, it's pretty difficult not to question his effort and desire. Unless he's been pitching at well below 80% since last July or so (given his velocity, almost impossible), his decline is mystifying and just painful.

After today, that demotion I discussed is now very likely, if for nothing else, to get another pitcher in the bullpen for the upcoming games. Burns is unable to return unless someone ends up on the DL, so it probably won't be him.

6/13/2009 03:30:00 PM

(6/13/2009 03:14:00 PM) - Al

Podsednik may have beaten that throw anyway. No idea how that can be called an error.

6/13/2009 03:14:00 PM

(6/13/2009 01:03:00 PM) - Al

I saw this last night, but Glenn runs with it wonderfully.

I can only imagine the racial undertones this would have if W would have proposed it.

6/13/2009 01:03:00 PM

(6/13/2009 01:22:00 AM) - Al

"Right now we're not getting a lot of innings out of our starters," Macha said. "We're going to have to reverse that trend. We do have a few off days coming up where we'll be able to give people more rest or skip people in the rotation."--Ken Macha

For those unable to decipher Macha speak:

We might skip Parra, because he's sucked.

6/13/2009 01:22:00 AM

Friday, June 12, 2009

(6/12/2009 09:58:00 PM) - Al

I sure hope Doug doesn't give up McClung when he picks up another SP. I think Seth's better than almost any 5th starter in MLB, and when he's throwing strikes, is nearly unhittable.

6/12/2009 09:58:00 PM

(6/12/2009 09:48:00 PM) - Al

Hoffman would have pitched the 10th had the Brewers tied it yesterday, he got up after the Braun HR.

I thought they'd bring him in yesterday to get some work, but they abused Smith, which I think is the dictionary definition of "What good is it to have a mildly effective veteran journeyman as your 12th pitcher"?

Apparently, Hoffman is not one who wants work "just to get some work in". Trevor has been excellent thus far, but his workload is going to affect may already be hurtful to CV and Coffey. It's like having a 6 man bullpen, with one guy "just in case".

I am all but positive the Crew will utilize a 13 man staff for this very reason for a stretch this summer just because of this.

6/12/2009 09:48:00 PM

(6/12/2009 09:32:00 PM) - Al

NOW decides to defend Palin even though she's a member of the "wrong" party. They must have spent the last 72 hours debating this, as their response is very slow.

It is astounding, a similar comment about one of the Obama daughters may well have led to a Secret Service investigation, and this would have died days ago if not for the conservative blogs and talk radio...the New York Times (a newspaper that has been rumored, on rare occasion, to be a tad bit liberal) even deleted the disparaging remark while printing the entire monologue about ARod.

6/12/2009 09:32:00 PM

(6/12/2009 09:09:00 PM) - Al

Allow me to point out, yet another quality start from Suppan. He's not going to give you more than 6 innings most nights (tonight 6 2/3), but he'll also keep you in the game most every night.

I wish we had more guys like him, McGehee reminds me of a position player version of Soup...steady, smart, and gets the most out of his ability. You know, you're never going to have a team full of Brauns...many teams don't have any.

6/12/2009 09:09:00 PM

(6/12/2009 08:07:00 PM) - Al

Al -

I was also at the game yesterday, and would like to comment on your post.

1) I suppose that I am used to driving in Milwaukee because I live here, but the biggest issue with traffic yesterday was a nearly four hour game... and lets out dead smack in the middle of rush hour. I personally know a number of sneaky ways out so my trip home wasn't so bad, but I can understand that if I-94 is your lifeline out of town, a day game might not be the answer.

2) I agree with the casual fan issue in Milwaukee, but I think that stems from a couple of things (which may have already been discussed on your blog). First, going to Brewers games is "the thing to do". These are not Brewers fans, they are there to be seen and - maybe more importantly - call their friends from the game and tell them they are at the game. Second, you do have fans that are becoming Brewers fans but don't know the game yet. I give them credit for jumping on the bandwagon (a la Packers fans in the mid-90s), but I fear that they won't learn because their are too many "to be seen" fans that may teach them wrong. Finally, (and this category disturbs me the most) I am a real Brewers fan and real baseball fan that understands the subtleties of the game... and I don't go to as many games because I get surrounded by these dolts. It actually ruins my enjoyment to have to hear that crap.

3) Although $10 loge seats are a good deal, I took advantage of a better deal. On a day like yesterday (a weekday game against a non-descript opponent), there are tons of tickets in the "resale" area on the south side of the little league field. Many of the scalpers buy season tickets to make their big paydays on the Cubs, Cardinals, White Sox, bobblehead days, etc. But a Thursday afternoon game against the Rockies? Scalpers will take anything they can, and I'd bet hundreds of tickets go unused. I bought a Club level seat right behind 3rd base for $15 - and there was nobody else in my row.

4) Has Jody Gerut ever met a first-pitch he didn't like? He has Brad Nelson Syndrome. Now in Gerut's defense, later in the game he took the first pitch, then got a single that AB. I wonder if he made that connection?

I enjoy your blog. Keep it up.


I put the one phrase in bold, because it's easy to feel that way. Both games, I heard so many stupid things said, some over and over, that it's tough to feel these fans are even "casual"...they are just there because they've heard of the sport.

On Wednesday night, a family of about 16 sat 2-4 rows ahead of me...grandma, grandpa, kids, and grandkids. Granny's hair was as red as when she was 20, and she was probably 58-62. Grow old gracefully, you look ridiculous. All the kids acted as if they had never been to a game in their lives, many of the women standing for 5-10 minutes at a time, others spending so much time getting food and drinks they probably only spent minutes at their seats the entire game. After the 3rd or 4th inning, if any of them stood at all, they were met with a chorus of "SIT DOWN!" from the people whose views were blocked, and while no confrontation occurred, Granny Red would shoot the screamers looks every time. One, a pudgy brunette, would stand and begin dancing every time a 5 second clip began between pitches, and then seem astonished that the song did not continue. Gramps threw peanut shells at one of his son-in-laws for about 2/3rd's of the game, while apparently never once feeling this was painfully repetitive. And perhaps most cringe-worthy, they not only stood for the sausage race, but asked each other "Who do you think will win?" with the excitement level of a 5 year-old on Xmas morning.

So, on Thursday, I sat in front of, perhaps, the stupidest people on the planet. I honestly do not know how they found the stadium. And yet, it's like their volume was equaled only by their ignorance. I could have filled a notebook with their inane drivel, but I'll spare you and share just a couple:

Down 5-1 in the 7th, the Brewers' batter hit into a DP, and the gent yelled, "BUNT!"...really.

My favorite, when Spillbourghs got on his second time up. He had tried to run once or twice his first time on base. So, for about a dozen pitches in a row, he said "He's going to be running here" or "He's gonna go", and never once did he try. Finally, he was quiet. Finally, a few pitches later (it might have been on a 3-2 count), Spillbourghs did take off, and as the Rockies did all series, the batter fouled it off. The guy then said, and I kid you not, "They gotta to watch those runners better...I knew he was going".

As for the driving, traffic was delayed twice for me, and at the front was a 5+ car pileup, in the one Wednesday night, as I almost had made it to the hotel, a van was so damaged, the windshield and roof were both gone, leaving it looking like a minivan convertible, its seats strangely out in the open. I have never seen so many people go from far left to far right lanes (or vice versa), often at 70+ mph. Merging seems like a right, as everyone entering the freeway just seems to assume the traffic will make room for them...many never glancing back. Finally, my hotel was near the airport, on a road that can best be described as a pothole with a bit of road above them. I was swerving all over trying to avoid the worst of them, and was barely able to coast along at 5-10 mph. Even most of the interstates were heaved and bumpy.

I have little doubt you can find good deals from the ticket resellers, I just would rather give the Brewers my money, and if I wanted to haggle over prices, I wouldn't have bought Saturns the last 15 years.

As for Gerut, his OBP has always been very BA dependent, meaning he has never walked much. He does have a nice swing, so hopefully, he'll get hot as time goes by. He sure is a plus defender, he made several perfect throws yesterday to the infield, often after running to cut off a ball.

6/12/2009 08:07:00 PM

(6/12/2009 08:02:00 PM) - Al

The government can't even design a program to trade in old gas guzzlers that doesn't suck.

6/12/2009 08:02:00 PM

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

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

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