Al's Ramblings

Friday, July 31, 2009

(7/31/2009 11:34:00 PM) - Al

Jesus Colome might be up before 9/1, he currently has allowed 2 hits in 5 innings, while striking out 9 and walking 1. That's about 30 frames of K's for Dillard.

7/31/2009 11:34:00 PM

(7/31/2009 11:07:00 PM) - Al

Once again, Macha looks like a genius when gauging a pitcher's stuff...he doesn't want Dillard to start, as he only has 2 pitches, and does not think he can get through the order twice. Even in relief, he can't put guys away, throwing about 20-25 pitches and can't get through a full inning.

Dillard appears to be a shell of himself compared to his previous stints. Before, he was establishing the fastball and getting guys out on breaking balls in the dirt. Now, he seems hesitant to challenge anyone, and seems to be pitching for ground balls.

His K numbers were way down in AAA, and it shows. He's gotta figure out how to miss bats again, or he'll be in indy ball in a year or two. You have absolutely zero chance of success striking out 3.4 guys every 9 innings. Zero, zilch, nada. Last year, it was 7.8...he needs to completely stop what he's doing now and return to previous form, or he'll be done.

7/31/2009 11:07:00 PM

(7/31/2009 11:03:00 PM) - Al

What happened to the Tim Dillard who threw 94-95? He looks horrible out there, just lobbing 'em up there, hoping they hit it at someone.

After a visit by Castro, he throws 93 and 93...maybe Bill asked him the same thing.

7/31/2009 11:03:00 PM

(7/31/2009 10:53:00 PM) - Al

I can't say I share the author's disdain, but I will say it shows Obama has too much on his mind, that he forgets the stairs may cause a problem for his friend.

7/31/2009 10:53:00 PM

(7/31/2009 07:13:00 PM) - Al


Any idea or rumor on what the "bigger deal" Doug was working on was?


Somehow, I doubt that's his real name.

Anyway, I have yet to hear, but the obvious story is that the Crew was a "3rd team" in a deal that never happened...probably helping out by sending a prospect to one team and getting a veteran arm, perhaps overpaid, from the other.

7/31/2009 07:13:00 PM

(7/31/2009 06:02:00 PM) - Al

I would certainly never speak negatively about an ongoing military conflict, because I'd never want to be a treasonous fool like Hank Reid, who pronounced Iraq "lost", you know, right before it was won, as our soldiers and Marines were fighting and dying for that victory.

I will, however, still like to say I would like to see an exit strategy in Afghanistan. In Iraq, after Saddam was removed, it was about getting them ready to take over their own defense. No one feels the Afghan army will be ready to do so for a long time, and the Afghan government has been full of fraud for generations.

I have little doubt that the Army and Marines (and the other branches as well, however limited) will have "success", but unless there is an path to victory mapped out, no one will know they've achieved it.

7/31/2009 06:02:00 PM

(7/31/2009 05:47:00 PM) - Al

"We had a couple of things going that didn't materialize at the end," said Melvin. "We were involved in a big one that didn't happen."

Melvin confirmed he tried to get Seattle lefty Jarrod Washburn, who eventually was dealt to Detroit for a couple of minor league pitchers. In fact, Melvin said his overtures for starting pitchers always failed because he didn't have young pitching to send back -- another indictment of the Brewers' failure to develop pitching prospects.

"You look at most of these deals for pitchers and there were young pitchers in return," said Melvin. "We're thin in pitching in the system, so we didn't have pitching to give back. Our strength is in other players."

Because the Brewers had no pitching prospects to trade, Melvin said he was continually asked for either third baseman Mat Gamel or shortstop Alcides Escobar. He decided the price was too high to trade either player, especially for pitchers who could walk away after the season.

Melvin also took a run at Kansas City's Brian Bannister but couldn't meet the Royals' wishes, either. Bannister was not traded.--JS

SEA confirmed they insisted on Escobar, Gamel, or Parra for Washburn, by the way.

7/31/2009 05:47:00 PM

(7/31/2009 05:43:00 PM) - Al

Jake Peavy can't pitch and is owed $56M...but is dealt to the White Sox.

Hard to believe.

EDIT: The Sox gave SD 4 pitchers that are better than anyone in the system for the Brewers, except for a mythical Jeffress who is not a pothead. Jeepers.

7/31/2009 05:43:00 PM

(7/31/2009 02:49:00 PM) - Al

Facebook is already passe.

I have to agree, there's often a reason why I've lost touch with others. Sure, part of it is because I'm anti-social, but much of it is the fact I just don't care.

7/31/2009 02:49:00 PM

(7/31/2009 02:42:00 PM) - Al

Rolen to the Reds? Another puzzler, as I assume Encarnacion went to TOR. Rolen is slightly better, but is fragile, old, and expensive.

7/31/2009 02:42:00 PM

(7/31/2009 02:42:00 PM) - Al

ATL wants Adam LaRoche? Neither he or Kotchman have ever played an inning of OF in the majors, so that seems strange.

UPDATE: LaRoche traded for Kotchman, a true puzzler. 2 months of LaRoche for 2 years and 2 months of Kotchman?

7/31/2009 02:42:00 PM

(7/31/2009 02:27:00 PM) - Al

Biemel and Hairston change teams, continue to check out MLBTR.

7/31/2009 02:27:00 PM

(7/31/2009 02:08:00 PM) - Al

The Bucks add a 6-9 combo forward, who looks like a solid role player.

7/31/2009 02:08:00 PM

(7/31/2009 02:03:00 PM) - Al

Bannister's price tag similar to Washburn's...the Crew can do a lower level prospect, but must have substituted for the MLB ready pitcher...which is probably why it was turned down.

7/31/2009 02:03:00 PM

(7/31/2009 01:52:00 PM) - Al

Like many cocker spaniels, the Rambling dog is prone to ear infections. I used up his ear wash the other day, so I needed more. I looked online and found some for $4.05, but the shipping was $7.99, which offended my common sense genes.

This is a non-alcohol ear wash, so it does not sting when you use it, so I did not want anything else, as the Rambling dog is 13 and has used this for 8+ years. He hates it, but used to run away before we were told of this alcohol free version. Despite being hailed as "the #1 ear wash", I called several vets before finding it (it is only sold in medical offices, due to the artificially high cost they can charge for it then). On our way to lunch today, the Rambling son and myself stopped out at the vet office on the outskirts of town (only open 'til noon Friday you know), and proudly paid $14.28 for 4 ounces of magical elixir.

I'm a capitalist, so I have no problem with profit, but I do wonder how a vet clinic can feel good about charging so much for medicine that many will just not bother treating their pet.

7/31/2009 01:52:00 PM

(7/31/2009 01:49:00 PM) - Al

The NEA was given $80 million of the government's $787 billion economic stimulus bill to spread around to needy artists nationwide.--Fox

You know, maybe we should just start over in DC. Seriously, "needy artists"?

$80M here, $80M there, pretty soon, you're talking about real money. Unless you're looking to stimulate drug sales, I think this is pretty much pork at its finest.


7/31/2009 01:49:00 PM

(7/31/2009 01:36:00 PM) - Al

FINAL UPDATE: Done deal. Check out MLBTR for details.

The Red Sox are going to be adding Victor Martinez, per MLBTR.

I gotta assume Clay Bucholtz is part of this. Gotta be huge.

UPDATE: Confirmed by AOL.

ESPN nor reporting this 15 minutes later, despite being live. Geez they suck.

UPDATE 2: The Indians' exact return is not known, but the Red Sox did not include either right-hander Clay Buchholz nor right-hander Daniel Bard in the deal, according to a source.--Fox

Wow. I kneel to Theo's wisdom. I thought the Tribe might be getting both of them.

MLBTR trade linkage post. Masterson is gone, but his ceiling is nowhere near Clay or Bard.

7/31/2009 01:36:00 PM

(7/31/2009 01:26:00 PM) - Al

I don't know how I missed this. The first comment took the words right out of my mouth.

7/31/2009 01:26:00 PM

(7/31/2009 01:20:00 PM) - Al

The Pirates may still have the best SP's on the market, but considering how much they've got for others, I can't see the Crew in on either guy...hampered by the fact they have no AA/AAA pitching prospects to deal.

7/31/2009 01:20:00 PM

(7/31/2009 01:03:00 PM) - Al

I think I just picked up a nasty fungal infection just from reading this.

7/31/2009 01:03:00 PM

(7/31/2009 12:36:00 PM) - Al

Claudio Vargas is acquired from the Dodgers for Rottino.

Now that's a minor deal.

Also, Mike Burns was recalled. Vargas will report tomorrow, and has been pitching in relief, so I doubt he's stretched out enough to go more than a couple innings. They might choose to go with 13 pitchers for a bit, or I wonder if they can delay Vargas' inclusion on the roster until Sunday, so they could start Burns, then send him out right after the game.

7/31/2009 12:36:00 PM

(7/31/2009 10:59:00 AM) - Al

I'm off to lunch with the Rambling son. Be back soon with updates.

7/31/2009 10:59:00 AM

(7/31/2009 10:58:00 AM) - Al

Kansas City rejected the Marlins’ overtures about Brian Bannister, leaving former Marlin Carl Pavano as possibly their best alternative.--Miami newspaper

I am thinking Pavano may be the best option for the Crew at this second as well.

7/31/2009 10:58:00 AM

(7/31/2009 10:54:00 AM) - Al

According to's Noah Coslov, the Tigers have acquired Jarrod Washburn from the Mariners for LHPs Luke French and Mauricio Robles.

And with that, we have our first major trade of the day. Washburn, a left-handed workhorse, will shore up the Tigers' starting rotation with his 2.64 ERA and 1.07 WHIP. French, 23, has enjoyed some success in the majors this season, posting a 3.38 ERA in seven appearances (five starts), but still has work to do before he can be considered a promising young starter. Robles also has a lot to work on, but the 20-year-old has age on his side. He's 8-6 in the minors this season with a 4.24 ERA and 111 strikeouts in 91 1/3 innings.--Rotoworld

Two very good arms for 2 months of Washburn, though I assume the Tigers will get at least one draft pick. Jack Z fleeces DET, though if they make the playoffs, they may not care.

7/31/2009 10:54:00 AM

(7/31/2009 10:45:00 AM) - Al

Why I love Rudy.

Also, I'm hearing conflicting reports that the "cash for clunkers" program has maybe not been suspended. Someone probably ought to decide this, as I believe auto dealers are open as I type. Read how smoothly the system the feds set up is's almost like they had no incentive to do a good job...oh, that's right, they don't.

Sometimes, a lack of a well thought out plan becomes a real issue...

7/31/2009 10:45:00 AM

(7/31/2009 10:40:00 AM) - Al

How many games will MLB let this umpire embarrass himself in before stepping in? He seems to eject someone every game, which tells me he simply likes to be in the spotlight. Because a good umpire is rarely noticed, I believe this is a dictionary definition of a horrible ump.

7/31/2009 10:40:00 AM

(7/31/2009 10:34:00 AM) - Al

The Brewers made an offer for Royals right-hander Brian Bannister on Thursday, but were told, "We're not motivated to move him."

The Royals did not even counter the offer.--Fox, per MLBTR

Apparently, too much OBP was offered.:)

Also, Washburn is supposedly now property of the Tigers, no word on who they gave up.

7/31/2009 10:34:00 AM

(7/31/2009 08:18:00 AM) - Al

The economy sank at a pace of just 1 percent in the second quarter of the year, a new government report shows. It was a better-than-expected showing that provided the strongest signal yet that the recession is winding down.

The dip in gross domestic product for the April-to-June period, reported by the Commerce Department on Friday, comes after the economy was in a free fall, tumbling at 6.4 percent pace in the first three months of this year.--AP

As I predicted, it appears the recession will be ending in Q3 of this year. That said, considering only 6% of the "stimulus" money has yet been spent, can we just cancel the rest? I'm sure we'll be hearing that suggested by others, as "stimulus" dollars spent in a growing economy reminds many of pork.

7/31/2009 08:18:00 AM

(7/31/2009 07:59:00 AM) - Al

The top 1% now pay as much in taxes as the bottom 95%.

Check out how much more they are paying than in 1987...funny, I remember the economy was swimming along nicely in '87.

Also, John Stossel writes about the minimum wage, and how it takes jobs away from those it tries to help. So few people make the minimum wage, it's barely worth mentioning, but the irony here is, if I want to hire some kid to help me file paperwork for my business, I can't pay them $4 an hour...but if I hire someone to babysit my 7 year-old, $4/hr is fine.

7/31/2009 07:59:00 AM

(7/31/2009 12:45:00 AM) - Al

Dan Rather, who if you'll recall, once tried to pass off fiction as truth, wants the government to "save the news".


7/31/2009 12:45:00 AM

(7/31/2009 12:30:00 AM) - Al

I'll tell you what, the call up of Iribarren without one of a pitcher is a hint to me that Doug is really hoping to make a trade, though who knows if he's close to making one.

7/31/2009 12:30:00 AM

(7/31/2009 12:04:00 AM) - Al

Ramblings will be setting a record for hits in a month sometime today.

Thank you readers, thank you trade deadline, and thank you to July for having 31 days!

7/31/2009 12:04:00 AM

(7/31/2009 12:00:00 AM) - Al

Casey McGehee's wife wrote about her son's life in a blog post last November. Thanks to Pat for the e-mail, who says it was on BCB.

7/31/2009 12:00:00 AM

Thursday, July 30, 2009

(7/30/2009 11:50:00 PM) - Al

I actually noticed they'd given up a lot of triples as well, but attributed it to bad luck and Miller Park, as it was "built for triples".

Luckily, while some folks whine about things, Doug keeps a level head and makes suggestions.

7/30/2009 11:50:00 PM

(7/30/2009 11:35:00 PM) - Al

Two Royals that may be available are Ron Mahay and Brian Bannister, though Bannister would probably cost a fortune...but that said, as a young SP with ability, he's worth a lot. Bannister would be under team control through '12, and if MIL agrees to take Mahay, they might get Bannister for less, as KC is trying to dump Mahay's salary.

If only the Brewers a low OBP guy to pair with a no hit/good field middle infielder, the Royals would have to make that deal, right?:)

7/30/2009 11:35:00 PM

(7/30/2009 11:21:00 PM) - Al

Iribarren up to take Hall's spot on the roster. He's had a nice year in Nashville, which if you look closely, is very similar to Alcides Escobar's, if you ignore for a minute this is Hernan's 2nd year in AAA (he struggled in year one), Hernan is 3 years older, and Hernan is a mediocre 2B/OF, while Alcides is a flashy defensive whiz at SS. This is why Alcides is a top prospect, and Hernan is not.

Actually though, I like Hernan, he is what he is, but as a utility guy for the '10 version of the Crew, I can't say I dislike him...he has a nice line drive stroke, good speed, and good versatility.

7/30/2009 11:21:00 PM

(7/30/2009 11:13:00 PM) - Al

According to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette, the Cubs want the Pirates' Tom Gorzelanny thrown into their deal for reliever John Grabow.

It's an odd request, considering the way we've seen Gorzelanny struggle this year. Perhaps the Cubs believe a change of scenery will help him turn his career around. The left-hander is only 27 and very inexpensive.--Rotoworld

Gorzelanny may hurt the Bucs more than Grabow, as John is a free agent after the season and can sign anywhere. If he was available as a throw in, I wish the Brewers had picked him up. Tom is still just 27, and may just need a tweak and/or confidence.

Gotta love the Pirates' adding another young arm in Kevin Hart. They have picked up about a half-dozen pitchers that are just as good as anyone in the Crew's system, and a couple will step right into the rotation at PNC.

7/30/2009 11:13:00 PM

(7/30/2009 10:54:00 PM) - Al

I'm really not sure how reasonable people can let their 11 year-old die and then sit in court and defend their actions.

That, my friends, takes a lot of gall. And, it doesn't hurt to be in a cult either.

7/30/2009 10:54:00 PM

(7/30/2009 09:47:00 PM) - Al

We’re not going to give up guys we might have for the next six years for a player we’ll have two months.

“We still have one day left (before the trading deadline at 3 p.m. Friday) to see if we can get a pitcher. We’ll see what happens.--Doug Melvin

I wish Doug would have said this a couple weeks ago, I would have slept better.

7/30/2009 09:47:00 PM

(7/30/2009 09:42:00 PM) - Al

Doug says they just don't match up with anyone, and is unlikely to add a pitcher.

I would love it if he could add a youngster with good velocity, but so would 29 other teams.

7/30/2009 09:42:00 PM

(7/30/2009 09:35:00 PM) - Al

George Sherrill, who the Brewers wanted, goes to the Dodgers for the equivalent of Gamel and a pitcher they don't really have...I suppose Zach Braddock is the closest I can come offhand.

A few years ago, a closer would often go at the deadline for minimal return...maybe a solid prospect and a low level one. Pitching this year, relief, starters, whatever, has cost a fortune.

7/30/2009 09:35:00 PM

(7/30/2009 09:24:00 PM) - Al

No teleprompter, bungled's almost like a pattern is developing.

Note how this destroyed his polling numbers, despite barely a mention in the old press.

7/30/2009 09:24:00 PM

(7/30/2009 09:08:00 PM) - Al

A joke from Carol Leifer, who is a comedian and a former girlfriend of Jerry Seinfeld...the character of Elaine on Seinfeld is often said to be at least partially based on Leifer.

"Mother Teresa died and went to heaven. God greeted her at the Pearly Gates. 'Be thou hungry, Mother Teresa?' asked God. 'I could eat,' Mother Teresa replied. So God opened a can of tuna and reached for a chunk of rye bread, and they began to share it. While eating this humble meal, Mother Teresa looked down into hell and saw the inhabitants devouring huge steaks, lobsters and pastries. Curious but deeply trusting, she remained quiet.

"The next day God again invited her to join him for a meal. Again, it was tuna and rye bread. Once again, Mother Teresa could see the denizens of hell enjoying lamb, turkey and delicious desserts. Still she said nothing.

"The following day, mealtime arrived and another can of tuna was opened. She couldn't contain herself any longer. Meekly, she asked, 'God, I am grateful to be in heaven with you. But here in heaven all I get to eat is tuna and a piece of rye bread, and in the Other Place, they eat like emperors and kings! I just don't understand it.' God sighed. 'Let's be honest, Teresa,' he said. 'For just two people, it doesn't pay to cook.'"

7/30/2009 09:08:00 PM

(7/30/2009 08:24:00 PM) - Al

This makes so much sense, I can't believe everyone hasn't switched over.

7/30/2009 08:24:00 PM

(7/30/2009 08:11:00 PM) - Al

How inefficient you ask? They suspended "cash for clunkers" with less than 10% of the proposed total spent...because no one seems able to tell how many are in the system.

7/30/2009 08:11:00 PM

(7/30/2009 07:56:00 PM) - Al

What's sad is, Counsell is playing so well, he'll probably get at least a couple offers to start for someone next year...and may be offered so much, say $3-4M, that he may choose to take that rather than take a lesser amount to be a reserve for the Crew.

That's another reason I guess I just don't get the fascination Jack Z has with Wilson for next year, Counsell will be far better offensively, be far cheaper, and probably be slightly less rangy, but solid defensively. Wilson, for what he brings to the table, is as overpaid as they come.

7/30/2009 07:56:00 PM

(7/30/2009 07:38:00 PM) - Al

Hall agrees to go down, and Suppan to the DL. I have not heard who will replace them, and I'm watching the game tonight, as I just got home from a day of helping the public.

I'm not sure if Hall will play mostly 2B, maybe with some 1B and OF mixed in, as Escobar and Gamel will both play all but a day or two a month, barring injury. Give Bill credit, I think he knows he needs to see 15-20 pitches a night for a while to have a chance at getting back to his old self.

7/30/2009 07:38:00 PM

(7/30/2009 07:03:00 PM) - Robert R.

Joe Sheehan of Baseball Prospectus had this to say about the latest names linked to steroids from the 2003 survey testing.

This morning, The New York Times is reporting that Manny Ramirez
and David Ortiz are on the list of 103 players who tested positive during anonymous
survey drug testing in 2003. I’ll leave the rending of garments to others. I
just want to point out that running this story today, when there’s no doubt that
the list has been in various hands for some time, might as well have been
planned by Roger Goodell. This should be a bright time for baseball, with the
focus on the pennant races and the trade deadline, and instead we’re going to
get nothing but “steroids” and “cheaters” and the same tired mock outrage
we’ve gotten for years.

The argument for releasing the list is to avoid just this happening, over
and over again. These names came out at the trade deadline. I’m
certain,absolutely certain, that the next names will be of players on postseason
teams and the story will break in October. The next ones will come out during the winter meetings, then as pitchers and catchers report. We will have a constant cycle of gotcha stories until the names are no longer sexy.

Until and unless baseball controls the story, it will be controlled by
people who at best have no concern for baseball, and at worst have an interest in
its embarrassment. I don’t take any pleasure in advocating that a hundred
baseball players be treated this way, but that process is inevitable, so MLB
and the MLBPA have to find a way to own the process.

On a certain level, I have sympathy for the players for agreeing to a process that didn't live up to what they agreed to. But, it's not an ideal world and it's probably better to be flooded with the embarrassment in one day that to have it hashed out over and over in a constant trickle. Somebody is leaking the list and it will get out eventually, so might as well get it over with as soon as possible.

7/30/2009 07:03:00 PM

(7/30/2009 08:18:00 AM) - Al

Sounds like the Brewers are no longer looking for a rental, but someone who can help them next year too. Minor upgrades, seemingly, unless the price goes way down near the deadline.

7/30/2009 08:18:00 AM

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

(7/29/2009 08:40:00 PM) - Al

I'm curious as to what CLE gets for Victor Martinez, because it will probably be a similar haul to what Prince would be worth at next year's deadline.

Of course, I hope they Brewers are right in the race next July, but it's good to have a gauge of the 1B's value.

7/29/2009 08:40:00 PM

(7/29/2009 08:10:00 PM) - Al

Another replay review, another incorrect call. If it's close, it's wrong. If it's not, anyone can get it right.

Luckily, the men in blue will be umpires until they drop dead, as even terrible calls does not get you replaced.

7/29/2009 08:10:00 PM

(7/29/2009 07:59:00 PM) - Al

Jesus Colome has now thrown 3 scoreless frames for Nashville, with 5 K's.

I assume his arm is fresh, having not worked for quite a while. If he can continue throwing strikes, he might well get a chance.

7/29/2009 07:59:00 PM

(7/29/2009 07:47:00 PM) - Al

I know I've said it before, but I don't think there's a more clueless individual in baseball than Manny Parra.

So much talent, so much velocity, such a waste. His "plan of attack" is to get ahead 0-2 or 1-2, then throw stuff out of the strike zone, and hope the batter chases. If they don't, he just walks 'em.

Sadly, we've all seen what Parra can do when he's "on", he can easily be a top of the rotation arm. And, since he's so inexpensive to go along with all that talent, it's difficult to not pencil him into a spot in the 2010 rotation.

By the way, I'm pretty sure Rivera called for a breaking ball with the bases loaded and a 3-2 count on Nick Johnson, who is a lefty hitter. Anyone who wonders why Rivera doesn't play more just needs to watch him play. Oof.

7/29/2009 07:47:00 PM

(7/29/2009 07:30:00 PM) - Al

In their news release announcing the move, the Pirates happily reported that they now have four of the top 75 prospects in baseball, as ranked by Baseball America entering the season: Pedro Alvarez (12), Alderson (45), Gorkys Hernandez (62) and Jose Tabata (75).--Fox

They're a year or two away, but the Pirates are in better shape right now than they have been in years.

7/29/2009 07:30:00 PM

(7/29/2009 07:13:00 PM) - Al

The Pirates have traded Freddy Sanchez to the Giants for pitching prospect Tim Alderson, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Sanchez hit .296/.334/.442 in 382 at-bats for the Pirates this year. He plugs a big hole at second base for San Francisco. It's surprising that the Giants surrendered top pitching prospect Tim Alderson, who was the 22nd pick in the 2007 draft. Alderson was ranked as the 60th best prospect in the game by Baseball Prospectus prior to this season. Pittsburgh netted a much larger return for Sanchez than Arizona received for Felipe Lopez.--Rotoworld

Make that 23 minor leaguers, and this might well be the best. Wow, an excellent SP prospect for a guy with a 780 OPS. Kudos to the Pirates, they are building right.

EDIT: Fangraphs says Alderson is the best prospect traded today, better than anyone dealt for Lee.

7/29/2009 07:13:00 PM

(7/29/2009 03:12:00 PM) - Al

When your approval numbers are in the toilet, and even the left is questioning your tax and spend policies...blame it on racism!!!

As mentioned in the link, the only mentions of race are by them, and of course, the wise Latina who will soon be on the Supreme Court, making decisions me poor Caucasian male do not get, cause me so simple.

Any wonder why the poll numbers are falling fast? Talk about transparent.

7/29/2009 03:12:00 PM

(7/29/2009 01:58:00 PM) - Al

By my count, that's 22 minor leaguers the Pirates have picked up since Huntington took over...that's an entire minor league team. We all know not all those kids will turn into even role players at the major league level, but adding a plethora of young talent like that...while not hurting the big league Pirates at all mind you, means they'll be a team to beat in a year or two.

PIT should have done this years ago. Much like the Royals, PIT has always been a team afraid to rebuild the right way, perennially chasing that 70th win year after year.

7/29/2009 01:58:00 PM

(7/29/2009 01:37:00 PM) - Al

The Tribe gets 3 top 5 prospects and another for Lee and Francisco.

It's times like these when you wonder what Prince is worth, as he may well be dealt before his time with the Crew is up.

7/29/2009 01:37:00 PM

(7/29/2009 01:35:00 PM) - Al

Jack Z seems to have overpaid for Jack Wilson and Ian Snell...especially when you consider they are not really in the playoff hunt.

7/29/2009 01:35:00 PM

(7/29/2009 09:41:00 AM) - Al

The Brewers, thought to be one of the favorites for Jarrod Washburn, are not seriously engaged in discussions for the Mariners' veteran left-hander.

The reasons: The Brewers do not want to give up good prospects for two months of Washburn at a time when they have lost 16 of their last 23 games.

Washburn, a likely Type B free agent, would bring only one draft pick in return if the Brewers (or any other club he was with) failed to re-sign him.

The Mariners, according to one general manager who has spoken with them, are seeking to make a bigger deal with Washburn.

That might be the reason they pulled catcher/designated hitter Jeff Clement from his Class AAA game and informed him that he was about to be

This could well mean that if Doug makes a deal, the player(s) he acquires will be under team control for a year or two after the current campaign.

7/29/2009 09:41:00 AM

(7/29/2009 02:21:00 AM) - Al

Even with the team slumping, Ramblings might set a record for hits this month. It's just amazing what what that trade deadline does to spark interest.

Be back with the sun.

7/29/2009 02:21:00 AM

(7/29/2009 02:18:00 AM) - Al

Take a gander at Lindsay Gulin's line as he started for AAA Nashville tonight.

Two words my friend...throw strikes.

7/29/2009 02:18:00 AM

(7/29/2009 02:04:00 AM) - Al

Jeff Clement left a AAA game in the 3rd inning tonight, so he's probably going wherever Washburn is.

Is that possibly the Brewers? Well, anything is possible, and admittedly, the inclusion of a former top prospect in Clement...who is a catcher, by the way, the rumor he hard-throwing Brandon Morrow is also on his way out, and Hardy's name popping up for the first time by a respectable source does make me a wee bit curious...this suddenly sounds like a Doug Melvin type of trade.

7/29/2009 02:04:00 AM

(7/29/2009 01:38:00 AM) - Al

Folks in the business offices at Miller Park have been told by the baseball side that if anyone is traded before Friday, it could be Hardy.--Adam,

Just when you start to wonder if anything will get done, this little nugget of info is hidden in the notes section after tomorrow's game preview. Hmmm.

7/29/2009 01:38:00 AM

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

(7/28/2009 11:14:00 PM) - Al

Adam talks to Doug, who says he'd still like to add a SP. I think on TV tonight, however, he said "it would be a back of the rotation guy".

7/28/2009 11:14:00 PM

(7/28/2009 08:58:00 PM) - Al

A poker blog I read stated the other day that:

When you have KK, an ace comes on the flop 99.4% of the time.

I don't think that was a scientific poll, but truer words have never been spoken.

7/28/2009 08:58:00 PM

(7/28/2009 08:43:00 PM) - Al

Adam reports Suppan has an oblique strain, a popular pitcher's injury this year.

7/28/2009 08:43:00 PM

(7/28/2009 08:26:00 PM) - Al

Andrew Sullivan just seems to have plum gone crazy, as he doesn't seem to understand that he's just a caricature of himself.

It's really sad, before he became a one-issue, pro gay marriage guy, who now seems very upset with Obama for ignoring yet another campaign promise, he was as bright a writer as existed.

7/28/2009 08:26:00 PM

(7/28/2009 07:14:00 PM) - Al

Many in the industry believe the Brewers have an edge in the Washburn talks, because of the relationship between Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik, a former Brewers executive, and Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin.

"Jack feels very comfortable with the Brewers," one source said. "They're going to communicate. They're close."

One thing to keep in mind: Zduriencik is said to be a great admirer of Milwaukee second baseman Rickie Weeks — precisely the power-and-speed player the Mariners need.

The Brewers could trade Weeks without hurting their chances of winning this year, since he has been on the disabled list since undergoing season-ending wrist surgery in May. Weeks, 26, had been on pace for a career offensive season as the Milwaukee leadoff man.

Players on the disabled list can be included in trades as players to be named later.

Heh. Weeks would not bother me near as much as Escobar, as Rickie is costly, is only under team control through '11, and has proven to be rather injury-prone...especially for a middle infielder, who get as much contact as anyone that's not a catcher. I've always said 2B shouldn't be a tough position to fill, as many guys do not have the arm or range to be a SS. Heck, if you have a 2B spot open, you might be able to offer Lopez arby, as he will make about the same as Rickie next year. And while he's no Rickie Weeks, Counsell has been an OBP machine, though he can't give you 150 games anymore.

Also, I do admire the out of the box thinking.

7/28/2009 07:14:00 PM

(7/28/2009 06:45:00 PM) - Al

I just saw an ad on TV telling college grads they should consider a career as a Marine officer. I assume this may have something to do with a lack of career prospects right now for recent grads, but I can't imagine a much more challenging, fulfilling profession, especially if you are 22-24 and single.

7/28/2009 06:45:00 PM

(7/28/2009 06:43:00 PM) - Al

Of the players Robert mentioned, only Hart and Hardy are likely to get claimed on waivers (and they are far from sure things, as teams put several players on each day, and neither cheap anymore), so no decision has to be made quickly.

7/28/2009 06:43:00 PM

(7/28/2009 08:57:00 AM) - Robert R.

After last night's game, it's getting tougher to justify a 2 month rental of any player when it's clear that the team has gaping holes in the pitching staff. The lack of AAA pitching depth really has bit the team hard and it's hard to imagine one non-elite starter making the team into a contender.

Granted, they could very easily turn things around, sweep the rest of the series with the Nationals, and be back in the race, but I'd liken trading one of the shortstops for Washburn and Morrow and hoping everything else works out as drawing to an inside straight.

If the Brewers trade anybody, they better be assured of getting someone back that can help them for more than 2 months. Their surplus of talent isn't something that can squandered.

And, honestly, given the makeup of the organization, I think that unless they can turn things around right now, I'd be apt to sell at this point to strengthen a run in 2010. Hart, Hardy, Catalanotto, Cameron, Kendall, Hoffman, Counsell, and Lopez could be moved with no detrimental long term impact. Heck, only Cameron, Hoffman, and perhaps Counsell are likely to have short term detrimental impacts by their absence. Get some young pitching and other prospects back and see what you can do.

7/28/2009 08:57:00 AM

Monday, July 27, 2009

(7/27/2009 11:15:00 PM) - Al

CLE got 2 great young arms for DeRosa, and only a half-season of him. Kudos to the Tribe.

I still hope the Crew does as well for a year of JJ Hardy in the offseason. Considering he's a SS, and DeRosa can play almost anywhere but, I like our chances.

7/27/2009 11:15:00 PM

(7/27/2009 11:10:00 PM) - Al

I've mentioned how silly the senior citizen discounts are for ages. Good to see Freakonomics jump on board.

7/27/2009 11:10:00 PM

(7/27/2009 10:47:00 PM) - Al

Since about noon today, there has been no mention of the Washburn rumors...none. If it means keeping Escobar, I'm all for a lack of discussion.

Some folks have suggested the Crew "sell", especially players who will be free agents after the season...Cameron, Looper, and Hoffman have all been mentioned as possibilities. I have not really discussed it, because with ticket sales nearing 3M and the team 3 games out entering tonight, I did not find it to be a realistic option. However, with the team now under .500, you can probably have a realistic discussion about it.

I am going to hold off with a long-winded post about this for now, but I will say this...I wouldn't dream of dealing Hoffman, as I'd have little issue with him accepting arby. Ditto for Looper, though with SP at a premium, I am a bit curious as to what a team would give for him. Cameron, however, is the one guy I might have to listen to offers on, as he'll make $10-12M in arby in '10 if he would accept, and hence, may not be offered arby.

Heck, Lopez could even be dealt, even in August, as he is in that gray area of making too much to be offered arbitration. Hopefully, the Brewers can put together a nice little 8 of 11 streak and make this post moot. I would argue though, if this team had 2 fewer wins right now, they might well be joining the ranks of sellers.

7/27/2009 10:47:00 PM

(7/27/2009 10:30:00 PM) - Al

This is as ironic as Obama having to ask Congress for more money for Iraq...after voting against it while he was a senator.

Sure is tough when it ain't just reading a teleprompter.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm having trouble seeing my monitor through the cloud of hypocrisy.

7/27/2009 10:30:00 PM

(7/27/2009 08:06:00 PM) - Al

I swear I recall people saying that the world would just adore the US now that Obama was in charge.

Or, maybe not.

7/27/2009 08:06:00 PM

(7/27/2009 05:32:00 PM) - Al

Swindle back up, Burns to AAA. Hopefully, RJ will be used in loogy situations, while Stetter may shift from a loogy to a set-up man, as he's done well versus hitters from both sides.

I hate to say it, but Macha may just have to cast aside rest and normal work schedules and "sprint to September", when Doug will give him plenty of arms to work with in mop-ups and blowouts, leaving the solid guys to only have to work in close, to be decided games. If that means they have to use 3-4 guys to get through the 7th and 8th for a month, so be it. This is especially so because they have so many guys who have to be set up to succeed, like DiFelice, who have terrible splits.

7/27/2009 05:32:00 PM

(7/27/2009 05:27:00 PM) - Al


Bottled Water has an expiration date because of the plastic not because of the water. Plastic has a tendency to become porous, not to mention the seal on the cap is only approved by the FDA for about 2 years. Take a look at the expiration date of a bottle of Dasani, that will tell you what is actually in their water, last time I checked they were even shorter than a 2 year life span!


I have heard this before, Scott, though I would not worry about it. The Rambling brother sent a note saying they found a bottle of water they believe was left by a person patching the road, and after a couple years, had white bits floating in it, which may have well been from the cap or bottle.

That's one of those things where if you drank nothing but ancient bottled water for a couple years, it might be a danger, but I'd have no problem trying a really old bottle for fun.

7/27/2009 05:27:00 PM

(7/27/2009 05:22:00 PM) - Al

Carlos V will start tomorrow night, and one has to wonder if this is to allow scouts to get an extended look at him, if he is indeed on the market.

7/27/2009 05:22:00 PM

(7/27/2009 04:58:00 PM) - Al

Nothing goes down while I'm out, and not only that, the only rumors seem to involve Escobar rather than Hardy, which pains me. I have to believe Mark A is pushing to get something done, and is not looking at the big picture.

I said yesterday that I'm sure Doug knows Alcides' huge value, and if he was included, the Crew would get a lot more in return. However, by far the most mentioned rumor is Escobar for Morrow and Washburn, which to me, isn't even close. If SEA were to include a top prospect, a AA/AAA pitcher for example, I might not like it, but I could live with it. Right now though, the only mention of this deal is everyone saying "that's not nearly enough for Escobar", which I feel is very accurate.

Few know the Brewers' farm system better than Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik, who drafted and signed many of Milwaukee's top young players in his previous job as the team's scouting director.

Zduriencik surely would love to obtain shortstop Alcides Escobar in a trade for lefty Jarrod Washburn, and it's reasonable to think that he might even include righty Brandon Morrow to pull off such a deal.

The Brewers, though, likely would be reluctant to trade Escobar for two months of Washburn, a potential free agent, and the uncertain future of Morrow, who is back at Class AAA trying to re-establish himself as a starter.

Brewers shortstop J.J. Hardy is a free agent after next season, and the team has made no effort to extend his contract, according to a major-league source.

Therefore, the Brewers will be very careful about trading Escobar, knowing that without him, they could be forced into the market for a shortstop in 15 months.--Fox

Emphasis added by me.

Hardy is in the lineup tonight, so nothing is going on with him. If Nashville plays tonight and Escobar is not starting, we will know something is up.

UPDATE: Escobar is in the lineup, but due to rain, no action yet.

UPDATE 2: Escobar started at SS tonight for Nashville, so no trade is imminent.

7/27/2009 04:58:00 PM

(7/27/2009 08:35:00 AM) - Al

Hank Aaron once again conveniently forgets players of his era took amphetamines like candy.

7/27/2009 08:35:00 AM

(7/27/2009 08:11:00 AM) - Al

USS Mariner agrees it is probably Hardy, and they agree with me that CV may be a piece, as Jack Z may like him more than the Crew right now, especially as a SP.

7/27/2009 08:11:00 AM

(7/27/2009 07:43:00 AM) - Al

I see nothing more on the rumored trade, as of this second, though rumor-mongers much like myself seem to be thinking it is Hardy + prospect(s) for Washburn and Morrow.

Tine will tell.

7/27/2009 07:43:00 AM

Sunday, July 26, 2009

(7/26/2009 10:25:00 PM) - Al

I'll be working tomorrow, but I keep wondering which SS Doug is in the midst of trading to SEA. I'm sure he realizes Alcides' value, and would certainly bring a lot more talent back if the trade were to include him. However, after next season, JJ will probably be gone, and I'm not sure who'll be playing that vital spot...heck, even Craig Counsell is unlikely to be a 40 year-old stopgap at that point.:)

7/26/2009 10:25:00 PM

(7/26/2009 09:15:00 PM) - Al

Geoff Young guesses one reason MIL doesn't want to name a starter for Tuesday is that Washburn is scheduled to pitch Tuesday.

He is still thinking Escobar is the guy SEA is after...let's hope not. Alcides was taken out of the game in the 7th inning, though Nashville was down 11-1.

EDIT: Tom H agrees, Washburn is a likely target, and a SS is probably on the M's wish list.

7/26/2009 09:15:00 PM

(7/26/2009 08:06:00 PM) - Al

Tony Gwynn Jr. is now at .358/.374 in SD, which while below average for a CF, is still very good for how cheap he is at the moment. However, it's hard to get too excited about it, as his BAbip (BA on balls in play) is .354...a normal number is right about .300. Gwynn has little power, so it seems very unlikely he'll continue on at that pace, as he just slaps the ball past the infielders and hits soft line drives in front of the OF.

In short, good for Tony, as his OBP is stupendous. That said, his run at being a credible starting CF is going to be a short ride.

7/26/2009 08:06:00 PM

(7/26/2009 07:02:00 PM) - Al

40 year-old pound cake...tasted fine.

You ever notice bottled water has an expiration date two years from the day it was packaged? Needless to say, this makes the FDA and others look even goofier...they'd probably have those fellas' stomachs pumped if they were around.

7/26/2009 07:02:00 PM

(7/26/2009 05:19:00 PM) - Al

More politically incorrect language, this time in the health care bill.

They'll probably find know, after they release it to the public.

7/26/2009 05:19:00 PM

(7/26/2009 04:07:00 PM) - Al

Runs allowed in Brewers' losses this month:


Those are huge numbers to have to score to win...only 4 or less 3 times.

Quickly, let's look at runs allowed in victories:


You barely even have to pay attention to the offense, as they've only allowed 5 or more in a single win.

7/26/2009 04:07:00 PM

(7/26/2009 03:48:00 PM) - Al

You gotta wonder if Chris Smith is just fatigued as well, as he was very good until the last couple weeks or so. Smith has been overused a bit, as the last man in the bullpen often is, as Macha tried to rest his late inning core, and his performance has suffered.

7/26/2009 03:48:00 PM

(7/26/2009 03:36:00 PM) - Al

The Indians and Dodgers are talking mega-trade, involving Cliff Lee and Victor Martinez.

7/26/2009 03:36:00 PM

(7/26/2009 03:18:00 PM) - Al

Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Doug Davis, Jon Garland, Erik Bedard, Jarrod Washburn, and Brian Bannister


Not including Halladay or Lee, who are probably out of reach unless you include one of the phenoms, who do you like of the guys Adam mentioned might be targets?


Just by personal preference, not taking into account how much they'll have to give, I'd rank them:

1. Washburn--simply superb this year, 3.05 road ERA, averaging one out less than 7 innings a start in '09.

(large gap)

2. Davis

3. Bannister

4. Garland

Very little difference between 2 and 4, all have road ERA's of between 4.37-4.63, all averaging about 6 frames a start. I'd probably "prefer" the one that cost the Crew the least prospect wise.

7/26/2009 03:18:00 PM

(7/26/2009 03:13:00 PM) - Al

Jeff Fletcher tweets that the Brewers will have a scout in attendance at Justin Duchscherer's rehab start tonight. Duchscherer could be ready to pitch in the Majors in two weeks.---MLBTR

No offense to Jeff, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a game with a pitcher that might be available without a Brewers' scout in attendance.

And needless to say, 2 weeks sounds rather overly optimistic...he has not pitched at all in '09, minors or majors.

7/26/2009 03:13:00 PM

(7/26/2009 03:04:00 PM) - Al

DiFelice is just awful versus LH hitters. He is literally a roogy, one of the very few in the game. Down the stretch, when the Crew has 10+ relievers, I doubt he ever faces a southpaw bat.

Of course, people still say he should be starting, which once again proves my point about how little some people understand about the game. A lineup with 5-6 lefties would simply crush him. I always refer to this as "the facts don't mean anything to me"...not many of those in management, to be kind.

7/26/2009 03:04:00 PM

(7/26/2009 02:45:00 PM) - Al

Tom H thought Macha sounded like he expects a pitcher to be added. Barring the loss of the left side of the '09 infield, I'm all for it.

Honestly, I'd hate to give up Salome or Lawrie either.

UPDATE: MLBTR says Adam also feels this was a "hint", but I just think it sounds like generic pre-game discussion. Of course, they're around him daily, so they likely know best. Maybe Ken "winked" while talking about "trying to find a SP", or something.

I did find it odd Macha said he's announce Tuesday's SP after the game, but that's just me.

7/26/2009 02:45:00 PM

(7/26/2009 02:39:00 PM) - Al

The other day someone said Alcides Escobar was "Derek Jeter, without the intangibles".

Irony abounds there, as Escobar is considered an A+ defender, while Jeter is, at best, passable. But, I was wondering, what was Derek's numbers as a young man in the minors?

Sadly, Derek hit the bigs as a rookie at 22, so no direct comparison can be made to Alcides year of 22, but just for fun:

Jeter, 21, AAA----558 PA's, 27 doubles, 9 triples, 2 homers, .394/.422
Escobar, 22, AAA--421 PA's, 23 doubles, 5 triples, 3 homers, .356/.421

I have never looked at Alcides as a guy who might develop power like Jeter, but when you're talking about guys who are 22 and already doing fine at AAA, it's a mighty short list. People don't seem to realize that young players are still naturally learning and progressing, and will likely continue to do so until they reach 26 or 27. That's often forgotten when guys debut young and don't set the league on fire from the get go. Heck, in the offseason, some folks said Brad Nelson could replace Prince Fielder, based on Prince's off 2008, and Brad's solid AAA campaign...repeating that level for the 3rd season; with a minimal dropoff.

Some folks don't know how to analyze numbers, sadly.

UPDATE: Added slash stats, which are closer than I would have expected.

7/26/2009 02:39:00 PM

(7/26/2009 02:06:00 PM) - Al

The Yankees are among teams scouting Ian Snell.

I'm sure Doug would have more interest if not for that $4M+ he's guaranteed next year.

7/26/2009 02:06:00 PM

(7/26/2009 01:24:00 PM) - Al

Erik Bedard on the DL. One less possibility, and the price for the remaining SP's just went up a bit.

7/26/2009 01:24:00 PM

(7/26/2009 12:13:00 PM) - Al

"There are about eight good arms available out there and 20 teams looking."--unnamed baseball personnel man

That's why not a single SP has changed hands yet.

7/26/2009 12:13:00 PM

(7/26/2009 12:10:00 PM) - Al

Doug Davis tossed six scoreless innings against the Pirates on Saturday night, leading his club to a 7-0 victory.

With scouts on hand, Davis did a heck of a job improving his trade value. He fanned eight batters and walked just three, dropping his ERA to 3.76 and his WHIP to 1.49. We're sure to hear his name involved in all sorts of rumors as the July 31 deadline approaches. Stay tuned.

Subbing Davis in for Burns may help the Crew more than a Halladay for Parra swap, and needless to say, the cost would be far less.

7/26/2009 12:10:00 PM

(7/26/2009 11:59:00 AM) - Al

Adam says the Crew has signed Jesus Colome to a minor league deal. If he does well, I assume he'll be up 9/1, along with several others to help rest the guys who've been up all year.

Colome has had a pretty good career, and then stunk it up in a small sample in '09. He's a hard thrower, and Doug probably signed him for depth and '10 in mind.

7/26/2009 11:59:00 AM

(7/26/2009 11:47:00 AM) - Al

Mariners: They’re willing to move Jarrod Washburn, but not without getting a lot in return. The M’s reportedly asked the Yankees for Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner, which is why the talks never gained momentum. It’s unlikely Washburn is going anywhere at this rate, but his numbers are extraordinary attractive this year — including the league’s .224 average against

Funny, I don't think that's a whole lot to ask, though I wonder why they want a pair of OF's (mainly CF's). Both might be league average starters, or make very attractive reserves (note Melky is younger, even though he's been around forever). Neither though has a really high ceiling, which is what I would assume Jack Z would be looking for.

7/26/2009 11:47:00 AM

(7/26/2009 10:59:00 AM) - Al

Dillard or Carlos V will start Tuesday night's game, per Macha. I've always liked CV as a SP myself, though he often allows his pitch count to get away from him, like many other young pitchers.

7/26/2009 10:59:00 AM

(7/26/2009 10:55:00 AM) - Al

Glenn updates the ever falling, now labeled as "polarizing", ratings of the president.

7/26/2009 10:55:00 AM

Saturday, July 25, 2009

(7/25/2009 11:14:00 PM) - Al

Buster Olney just reported on Baseball Tonight that the Brewers will trade for a "2nd tier SP".

7/25/2009 11:14:00 PM

(7/25/2009 11:04:00 PM) - Al

9th inning: Trevor Hoffman came on to nail down Gallardo's victory, his first of the month in five starts.--Tony Witrado, JS blog

There's a very funny movie made in the early 90's called LA Story, which starred Steve Martin and a gorgeous young Sarah Jessica Parker. One of the many funny scenes is that Martin is a weatherman, and since he has plans for the weekend, decides to tape his forecasts, saying something to the effect of "It's LA, what's gonna happen?" Of course it rains after he predicts sunshine.

Tony must have had plans after the game, and made an early edit.

Of course, Drew Olson used to cover home games from the newsroom, so the JS is used to this quality reporting. Tom and Robert both point out that not only was it not Hoffman, it said "another save for Hoffman", Tony edited out the save, but never noticed it wasn't Trevor who pitched it.

Have another beer, Tony. Oof.

7/25/2009 11:04:00 PM

(7/25/2009 09:21:00 PM) - Al

But I can tell you for a fact that the Brewers like Jarrod Washburn and Brandon Morrow as well. Package those two together and ship them off to Milwaukee and there are a bunch of guys -- maybe even a top prospect like shortstop Alcides Escobar -- that the Brewers might part with.

Last winter, the Brew Crew would have choked on their egg nog had the Mariners made Morrow available to them. I think Morrow will be an interesting name to watch as the deadline nears because he adds that intriguing combination of youth to any package the M's throw together.--Geoff Baker, Seattle Times

I can't believe Escobar would be made available for Washburn...especially if he's off the table for Halladay. However, a package of Morrow and Washburn would certainly persuade me to part with at least 2-3 very good Morrow will be around for a while, and Washburn has a sub 3 ERA thus far in '09. Jack Z would probably be giddy to steal a few of his favorites to his new team.

SEA is now 7.5 out...and they feel Erik Bedard is injured...the manager and Jack Z met with him after the game. They will likely be taking bids in a day or two.

7/25/2009 09:21:00 PM

(7/25/2009 08:40:00 PM) - Al

Very possibly, the weakest defense I've ever witnessed.

7/25/2009 08:40:00 PM

(7/25/2009 07:22:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers remain "on the periphery" of the Halladay sweepstakes, but they aren't playing well enough to justify such a major trade.--Rosenthal, as reported at MLBTR

First time I've heard that said, though it is true.

7/25/2009 07:22:00 PM

(7/25/2009 07:06:00 PM) - Al

Urban survival school, more popular than ever because of the continued Obama anti-2nd amendment feeling.

7/25/2009 07:06:00 PM

(7/25/2009 06:56:00 PM) - Al

Tim Dillard up, Seth to the DL with an elbow strain. I would imagine Burns will stay in the bullpen and Tim will start Tuesday, but no announcement yet.

7/25/2009 06:56:00 PM

(7/25/2009 02:44:00 PM) - Al

Palin starts her farewell tour by holding a picnic and honoring military families. Watermelon and chips are served.

Obama criticizes police for "being stupid", even though he admits he has no idea what went on. I'm sure expensive Japanese beef is on his menu, as soon as he removes the foot from his mouth.

The differences are so striking, it's hard to believe.

EDIT: Do as I say, not as I do.

They really need some sort of portable teleprompter. Maybe an improv class?

7/25/2009 02:44:00 PM

(7/25/2009 02:00:00 PM) - Al

The Cubs are dangling Milton Bradley, and the Tigers are interested.

I'm astounded they have a problem with a guy who gets on base 38% of the time.

7/25/2009 02:00:00 PM

(7/25/2009 10:35:00 AM) - Al

Rumor has it Halladay is headed to the Phillies, but for a huge cost...JA Happ has a sub 3 ERA this year, Kyle Drabek is an outstanding pitching prospect, and Dom Brown is a 21 year-old with big time power.

EDIT: The Phillies refused this deal, three young, cheap players is too much to give up.

Supposedly, the Angels are now up, offering a major league player and a top prospect or two.

UPDATE: The Angels have a lot of "proven" prospects, like Brandon Wood, Howie Kendrick, and Reggie Willits, who could certainly be added to a package involving a high ceiling main piece or two to make it more attractive.

7/25/2009 10:35:00 AM

(7/25/2009 10:24:00 AM) - Al

Geoff Young opines that the Mariners may be close to selling, now that they are 6+ games out.

I have to imagine that's good news if you want the Crew to add pitching. I'm a bit wary of a .500 team that's been outscored "going for it", but as I have pointed out a few times, this team wins 55% of the time when Manny Parra does not start (which makes my reluctance to deal Parra puzzling, I know).

7/25/2009 10:24:00 AM

(7/25/2009 09:53:00 AM) - Al

The Futurist was a few months ahead of the curve in his Obama prediction, but also in this post from February, it is mentioned that Guantanamo Bay meets Geneva Convention standards...that little tidbit seems to have been buried in the old media by coverage of a child molester's death, among other things.

7/25/2009 09:53:00 AM

(7/25/2009 09:14:00 AM) - Al


Your comparison of Escobar and Jeter's power at similar stages of their carers is exactly why I read Ramblings. Despite much proof otherwise, many fans (quite possibly, the casual ones you often speak of) think a punch-and-judy hitting middle infielder at a young age will always be just that. It seems quite likely Alcides will put on 20-25 pounds of muscle, especially when you consider he'll be getting big league meal money, working out 12 months a year, and so on. His offensive growth the past few years is astounding, despite the fact he's moved up a level per normal.

It is not difficult to project continued improvement, with him being a .325/.375/.425, ideal top of the order hitter in 2-3 seasons.


Thanks for writing, PJT, and I agree he's got the potential to be a solid bat, not just a decent one. I just figured out his walk ratio the past years, and we have this:

2007--3.4%, high A/AA
2008--5.1%, AA
2009--6.1%, AAA

So, despite facing better pitching every season, he's walking more, seemingly an indicator of improved plate discipline. Considering most players peak right around 27, and that he is still quite raw (and that came from Latin America, where taking BB's is frowned upon in the culture), achieving that 8-9% ratio that we'd all like to see is very possible, if not probable.

Not to mention, I hear his defense is rather advanced...

7/25/2009 09:14:00 AM

(7/25/2009 08:58:00 AM) - Al

The president lobbed in a hanging curveball, and John Stossel hits it out of the park.

I betcha that was another "ad lib".

7/25/2009 08:58:00 AM

Friday, July 24, 2009

(7/24/2009 10:23:00 PM) - Al

McClung's injury might be just what Mike Burns needed to stick around after Monday. Burns throws strikes, and even if I were many times better than I was, I'd still be a last guy on the roster type, so I always root for guys like him.

7/24/2009 10:23:00 PM

(7/24/2009 10:18:00 PM) - Al

Geoff Baker still thinks Bedard and/or Washburn will be traded, and though SEA is far better than I expected, they are 5+ games out in the division, trailing both the Angels and Rangers, and the wildcard, trailing the Red Sox, Rangers, and Rays.

Time will tell, but I'd sure think Jack Z could find a couple guys in the farm system he likes.

7/24/2009 10:18:00 PM

(7/24/2009 10:06:00 PM) - Al

Someone else rips Jon Stewart, and finds him very unfunny.

I do find it hilarious that every single time Stewart makes a public statement, he is later proven to be an ignorant clod. He can't even pick sides correctly when he's second guessing.

I couldn't help but notice 25% of the Daily Show viewers say either that or The Onion is their primary news source. Those folks, my friends, have the intelligence of an earthworm.

7/24/2009 10:06:00 PM

(7/24/2009 08:54:00 PM) - Al

"I think Doug has drawn a couple lines in the sand".--Mark A, on TV.

I hope I know what their names are.

7/24/2009 08:54:00 PM

(7/24/2009 07:54:00 PM) - Al

The 3B coach walks down the line to give Parra the bunt sign...funny how everyone else on the team can remember it, but not Parra, isn't it?

Just keep repeating, he throws 90+ and he's lefthanded...

7/24/2009 07:54:00 PM

(7/24/2009 07:46:00 PM) - Al

Sadly, the HR is not the problem, it's missing with a fastball by the width of the plate to the pitcher, and then overthrowing the fastball into the dirt on the 3-2 count to the leadoff guy with little pop.

With rare exceptions, solo HR's won't beat you, but mental mistakes followed by HR's will.

7/24/2009 07:46:00 PM

(7/24/2009 07:22:00 PM) - Al

Before we get started with the game action, I'll pass along this comment from owner Mark Attanasio, who arrived today to discuss trade scenarios with GM Doug Melvin and his staff:

"We'll be aggressive but we won't be stupid".--Tom H, JS

If that means hanging onto Gamel and Escobar, I'm right there with 'em. Tom H "tweeted" that Doug says they have not withdrawn from the Halladay bidding, but it is tough to imagine a deal without one of the above involved.

7/24/2009 07:22:00 PM

(7/24/2009 07:17:00 PM) - Al

Miiler Park Drunk looks at what the Brewers might do the rest of the way...warning, there's math involved.

7/24/2009 07:17:00 PM

(7/24/2009 07:01:00 PM) - Al


It seems to me that the Cardinals picking up Holliday should compel the Brewers to stay put or make minor deals (Doug Davis, etc.) rather than making a big splash and selling the farm to procure the services of a Lee or Halladay.

I hate to say it, but the Cardinals just got a hell of a lot better; they should be the clear favorites from here on out.



PS: Have you seen the charges against the idiots who accidentally started the Patrick Cudahy fire in Milwaukee? They're both facing 10 years, which seems exorbitant for negligent drunken idiocy.

I doubt Doug will change much, he will do what he can to make the team better. As I pointed out with Halladay, even a great pitcher like Roy replacing Burns would only be a 2-3 win difference at this stage, and that's assuming Halladay puts up a 2.50 ERA, which is outstanding, as we all know. I'm trying to think who Matt will be replacing, and I'm drawing a blank.

As for the fire, drinking yourself silly isn't an excuse for anything, as many guys "only beat up their wives when they're drunk", and that's still unacceptable. Shooting a flare without knowing where it will land is poor behavior, and they're lucky it didn't land on an apartment roof and kill a dozen kids. 10 years is fine with me, and while at it, let's make a DUI a more serious offense than not wearing a seat belt.

EDIT: SL LF's were awful thus far, .300/.350, while Holliday has '09 marks of .375/.475. Over 250 AB's the rest of the way, simple runs created would be:

SL LF's--26

Now, of course, we have no idea what will occur in the future, but 18 runs is huge over a little over 2 months.

7/24/2009 07:01:00 PM

(7/24/2009 06:53:00 PM) - Al

It is astounding what a tremendous speaker Obama is when reading written words off a teleprompter, and how incredibly bad he is at speaking from the cuff. Years of public service and a private education, and its like he never took a communications class or learned a darn thing.

Calling cops stupid, saying that folks "cling to their guns and their religion", and implying our military routinely air raids villages haphazardly, killing innocent women, children, and the elderly...sooner or later, remarks like that will come back to haunt him, no matter how little the old media reports it.

And you know, that day is a coming...if you meet with 3-4 people each day, it's very apparent that most are either mad, unhappy, or just shaking their heads in disgust.

7/24/2009 06:53:00 PM

(7/24/2009 06:49:00 PM) - Al

Charles Krauthammer explains what's missing from Obamacare---tort reform, as we all know, billions of dollars are wasted because doctors practice to "do no harm" and to "not get sued", as they order up unnecessary tests with regularity, which wastes time, money, and lab techs.

7/24/2009 06:49:00 PM

(7/24/2009 05:41:00 PM) - Al

Rumor has it that the Crew does not want to give up Escobar or Gamel, so most figure they are out of the Halladay race.

I guess Doug understands math too.

7/24/2009 05:41:00 PM

(7/24/2009 09:10:00 AM) - Al

The Crew is also mentioned as suitors for Cliff Lee and George Sherrill. Lee is said to have a lower price tag, but considering his contract, CLE will get a huge package for him, likely more than than Sabathia brought back.

7/24/2009 09:10:00 AM

(7/24/2009 08:55:00 AM) - Al

The Brewers may be the biggest threat to the Phillies, but probably only if they're willing with shortstop prospect Alcides Escobar and maybe also top hitting prospect Mat Gamel. Left-hander Manny Parra's name is believed to be in the mix, as well.--Jon Heyman, on Halladay

Oof. The left side of the '09 IF (and make near league minimum for 3 years) and a younger lefty SP who throws 90+ sure seems like a lot to give up for a year and 2 months of a very good pitcher.

I was just thinking last evening, if you take a look at other names on the market, it seems likely the Crew could get a couple players who would certainly be an improvement (for example, Doug Davis and John Grabow, ignoring the fact ARI may be trying to negotiate an extension with Davis and I'm not sure PIT would deal Grabow to a division foe, but you get the idea) to the current 25 man, and get them both for far less than Halladay.

As I said the other day, I'd be more likely to trade for Halladay if I were in the Phillies' shoes, several games ahead, and setting up for the playoffs, than I am now. Do I want to see the Brewers in the playoffs, of course. I just see a huge part of the organizational future being bandied about for a 2 game improvement (if he replaces Parra in the rotation). If they win 87 instead of 85, and SL/CHI/HOU wins 89, it'd be a painful mathematical realization for many.

7/24/2009 08:55:00 AM

Thursday, July 23, 2009

(7/23/2009 10:39:00 PM) - Al

Players like McGehee and Counsell have decent numbers from the top spot but Lopez should provide that constant Macha has been looking for and allow McGehee to bat fifth and provide Fielder with protection.--Tony W, JS

Except, of course, that McGehee and Counsell have platooned thus far since Lopez was acquired, which is probably necessary anyway due to Casey's bad knee. Cameron batted 5th in both games in which Lopez actually played. And the funny thing is, Tony covered these games for the JS.

Without a doubt, TW is just totally over his head. I'd say he calls it in, but I wouldn't want to offend those that call it in.

7/23/2009 10:39:00 PM

(7/23/2009 09:37:00 PM) - Al

A modern day caveman in the hills of Utah.

No word if he hates Geico.

7/23/2009 09:37:00 PM

(7/23/2009 05:30:00 PM) - Al

Andy e-mails this link, with the message, "The umpires stink everywhere".

Oh, I know.

Luckily for us, that guy will have his job until he dies.

7/23/2009 05:30:00 PM

(7/23/2009 10:24:00 AM) - Al

RF Bleachers agrees the cost for Halladay is getting scary high.

7/23/2009 10:24:00 AM

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

(7/22/2009 11:35:00 PM) - Al

A lack of interest in science, and far too much interest in taxing and spending.

I agree, it is very, very sad.

7/22/2009 11:35:00 PM

(7/22/2009 11:24:00 PM) - Al

On ESPN, Steve Phillips and Fernando Vina argued that HOU almost lost tonight because...they did not get anyone thrown out on the bases.

Heh. Maybe they should spend more to avoid going bankrupt.

7/22/2009 11:24:00 PM

(7/22/2009 11:16:00 PM) - Al

Carl Pavano? Well, to be blunt, he's better than Burns, and even if you just convert his ERA to the NL, it's about 4.5-4.75, and his secondary stats show he may be a tad better than that.

And, I doubt he'll cost a whole lot.

7/22/2009 11:16:00 PM

(7/22/2009 10:55:00 PM) - Al

BA recaps the Pirates haul for LaRoche...not much, though the pitcher looks good. Note they have dealt 7 veterans for 17 prospects of various merit. So many teams hesitate to trade veteran mediocrity even though they will lose them for nothing in a couple months.

All they did today was save some money and make room for Lastings Milledge.

7/22/2009 10:55:00 PM

(7/22/2009 10:16:00 PM) - Al

Macha said today they might use another pitcher to start next Tuesday in Burns' spot...and if Tim Dillard was a candidate, he will get the start, as he threw a one-hitter (7 inning game that went 8) tonight.

His K numbers are so low, I cannot believe he'll have MLB success as a SP, but I guess sometimes you just have to reward who is pitching the best.

7/22/2009 10:16:00 PM

(7/22/2009 09:44:00 PM) - Al

Why TennCare almost bankrupted the state of TN, and what we can learn from it. Money quote: model accounts for the rational decisions that push people to over-utilize the "free care" a public option offers. TennCare's gold plated coverage included every doctor's appointment and prescription. As such, patients with a cold opted to charge the state hundreds of dollars for doctor visits and medicine instead of paying $5 out of pocket for over-the-counter cold medicine. Over-use caused TennCare's anticipated savings to evaporate and its cost to explode. While TennCare consistently covered between 1.2 and 1.4 million people; costs increased from $2.5 billion in 1995 to $8 billion by the time of TennCare's restructuring. It consumed a third of the state budget including nearly all state revenue growth. When the illusion of "free" care is fostered, it is always over-utilized.

Emphasis added, but it is very, very true. The cost went up more than 225%, just because you could go to the doctor "for free", despite the same amount of folks being covered.

7/22/2009 09:44:00 PM

(7/22/2009 08:39:00 PM) - Al

A while back, I mentioned that Africa still has the same problems they had 20 years ago, despite the US and other nations dumping a bijillion dollars into that continent. As often is the case, I received some e-mails that could be described as "Al, if you just hold hands and sing folk songs, we can save the world. All we have to do is tax the incredibly evil rich people."

Or something like that, my memory is really good, but really short.

However, the good folks at Reason just made it clear that Africa's problems have not changed in 75 years, never mind 20.

The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I sure am not bright enough to know how to fix the problem, but allow me to say, anyone who suggests we keep on with the current plan should be laughed out of DC.

7/22/2009 08:39:00 PM

(7/22/2009 07:53:00 PM) - Al

Buster Olney writes about MLB at Freakonomics, including why he goes by Buster.

7/22/2009 07:53:00 PM

(7/22/2009 07:23:00 PM) - Al

Jon Heyman says he's hearing Parra's name in Halladay rumors, but Gamel or Escobar would have to go as well.


Look, I've been as down as Manny as anyone, but the reason is that he is an immense talent who was underachieving. And, he's a cheap immense talent, who will be under team control for years down the line. I realize the Jays need a young major league starter who is ready or very close to ready, and with no high ceiling talent in AAA, that leaves Yo and Manny. However, the math her just doesn't work, as if you project Roy at a superb 2.5 ERA the rest of the season, and Parra for a 4.50 ERA, and Halladay is able to make a dozen starts, Roy makes the Crew 15-20 runs better, which is most likely 1.5-2 wins. Considering Parra makes near the minimum and Halladay is owed $6M the rest of '09 and $15M in '10, I'm not sure if I'd do that trade one on one, Manny for Roy. That is how valuable young, pre-arby pitching is in MLB right now, and when you discuss losing a minimum of six years of a position player as well, it's silly to even discuss.

Perhaps the worst thing is, if you could guarantee me two extra wins (a huge number in 60+ games), we have no way of knowing of that's enough for the playoffs or idea. It isn't if you look at the pace, it isn't if you look at expected runs scored/allowed. The Brewers are not the Red Sox, who can afford to DFA Lugo and pay him $8M to play SS under the arch, or pick up a solid, though unspectacular 1B in LaRoche.

Right now, I'm just hoping Halladay is dealt somewhere so I can quit worrying about the Crew losing 3-4 members of "the core" that will be key members of the team as soon as next year.

7/22/2009 07:23:00 PM

(7/22/2009 07:14:00 PM) - Al

Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that the Cardinals will trade Chris Duncan to the Red Sox for Julio Lugo. Via Twitter Miklasz says the Red Sox will still pay Lugo's salary and Sean McAdam of the Boston Herald agrees.

Duncan has a career .851 OPS against right-handers and is under team control through 2012. Reid Laymance of the Post-Dispatch says the Red Sox are expected to assign Duncan to Triple A Pawtucket.--MLBTR

What world am I living in? Lugo could have been had by anyone for the major league minimum unless some team stepped up and actually gave talent for him...and SL gives up a solid OF/1B, who I realize can't field a lick.

BOS also picks up Adam LaRoche for nothing, as the Pirates were happy to rid themselves of most of his salary, never mind his complaining about personnel moves.

Wow, BOS sure helped themselves today.

7/22/2009 07:14:00 PM

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

(7/21/2009 06:38:00 PM) - Al

Halladay unlikely to be moved, per GM.

7/21/2009 06:38:00 PM

(7/21/2009 04:27:00 PM) - Al

Doug Melvin on WSSP today:

--They understand suspension, but disagree with it.

--Looking for another SP. Keep staring at rosters of other clubs, lots of guys available with 5-5.50 ERA's. Need to start winning games that the other 4 guys start, have lost last 4 Yo has started. No names out there right now that are attractive. Would be happy to add more than one SP if they could find them.

--Had talks with almost everyone. Clubs with little pitching depth do not want to trade what they have. For example, a #3 SP on a team that's not winning is not much of an upgrade, if nay, and often, they aren't available anyway. When asked about Doug Davis, said they never got to a point about players, they are trying to resign him as of now.

--Talked to TOR, no specifics.

--Escobar and Gamel are as close to "untouchable" as you can get.

--Minor league system is losing depth, no stars lost, but losing lots of players that might contribute someday.

--Like to add more depth to the bench, but since they are unlikely to get much playing time, not a big deal. Tough role, as they don't play much.

--McGehee will "gut his way through it", likely will need surgery after the season, probably bothering him more than he'll let on. If Casey or Craig get hot, Macha will make sure they get in the lineup.

--Bush will be out for a while, 2-3 weeks at least. Hard to tell with pitchers, no set time table, wait and see.

--Haven't scored many runs for Yo, have scored runs for the guys who have struggled. Ryan is in a bad stretch, other guys need to get it going as well.

--Parra has been far more aggressive and confident, pitched inside a lot more, told him not to worry about results in AAA, and he didn't, just worked on his stuff, and to keep improving.

--Looking for relievers because they can't find starters. As of now, they need to cover 3-4 innings every night, need to add an arm to protect the workload of the current bullpen.

7/21/2009 04:27:00 PM

(7/21/2009 04:09:00 PM) - Al


At this point, I'm not sure that adding Halladay for free would help that much simply because we would still have four starters for whom completing the 7th inning is a pleasant surprise. Given how tight the trade market is for starting pitchers, I would think Doug would look to add some bullpen arms because this bullpen isn't built to carry a team. Who would be likely top targets?


I will link the MLBTR list, and say that the appealing ones in my eyes are Grabow, Capps, Betancourt, Bell, Qualls, and Sherrill, though some others would be a small step up as well.

7/21/2009 04:09:00 PM

(7/21/2009 03:54:00 PM) - Al

Tom H lets MLB have it, and for once, I agree with every word. The umpiring is so bad I've just about given up, as many of the strike zones, including Sunday's, was so awful you just pretty much accept any call on any pitch, as the replacement ump might as well have been flipping a coin. Just the idea of a coach being suspended for yelling at an umpire is hilarious. Tom is also right, that call at 2B was awful, and is made because they do not care enough to pay's simply an automatic out.

As I have said many times, they may as well start over, as guys off the street can't do any worse than these guys. From one day to the next, they are either atrocious or just merely bad. You can pretty much count on every close call being incorrect, and considering anyone can get the ones that aren't close right...

As proof, every single time I've seen them use replay, be it in a Brewers' game or on the highlights, they've come back and said they were wrong...except in Boston, where they made the incorrect call on the field AND did not correct it even though replay showed it to be wrong.

They need to start rating these guys on every single ball/strike, on the bases, and in their conduct (they should never take a step toward a player, take off their mask, and so on), and eliminate the bottom 15-20% each year.

Culling the herd might just work better than hiring guys for life and not doing a thing if they suck, don't you think?

7/21/2009 03:54:00 PM

Monday, July 20, 2009

(7/20/2009 11:28:00 PM) - Al

Doug Davis was tagged for eight runs in just 2 1/3 innings in a loss to the Rockies on Monday night.

It was the worst start of the season for Davis. He was erratic, finding the strike zone with just 33 of his 67 pitches and issuing four walks. The poor outing swells his ERA to 3.95 while dropping his record to 4-10. He'll try and bounce back against the Pirates next.--Rotoworld

Maybe this is exactly what was needed to lower Davis' pricetag.

7/20/2009 11:28:00 PM

(7/20/2009 11:24:00 PM) - Al

HT likes Lopez, says the Crew needs a SP.

I think everyone knows that, I think we all are waiting for the price to be closer to the market price. Right now, a guy like Looper is worth a pair of solid prospects, which is probably twice the correct rate.

7/20/2009 11:24:00 PM

(7/20/2009 11:14:00 PM) - Al

Nice to see Carlos V and Braun each have nice games, and Lopez sure didn't let all-day travel bother him...though it might have, getting picked off and missing a throw to was high though.

We'll see if they go ahead and get another pitcher up and send Burns down, as I suggested earlier.

Allow me to say that Karstens being unable to pitch the 9th after getting hit on his left arm may go down as one of the wimpiest injuries in the history of the game. Now if you'll excuse me, I gotta sign off, I think I dislocated a toe.

7/20/2009 11:14:00 PM

(7/20/2009 11:12:00 PM) - Al

Megan asks why we don't seem focused on space anymore?

I have my ideas, but the main one is it is too difficult making space money "pork" and "earmark" why bother?

7/20/2009 11:12:00 PM

(7/20/2009 10:42:00 PM) - Al

Jeff Karstens looks like one of the stupidest people on the planet. He didn't even seem to understand it. Of course, when you start firing balls near the head, it is rather apparent you're a buffoon.

7/20/2009 10:42:00 PM

(7/20/2009 10:34:00 PM) - Al

The FDA, basking in the glow of its own patheticness.

The move to privatization needs to begin fast and furiously. Not a single one of these clueless bureaucrats knows how to do anything but spend money, waste money, and leave early on Friday.

7/20/2009 10:34:00 PM

(7/20/2009 10:05:00 PM) - Al


He was speculating but in a recent ESPN chat Keith Law said Escobar, Gamel, Parra, and Braddock would NOT be enough to get Halladay. He said it would take trading someone like Kershaw or Gallardo along with a top prospect. Hence he didn't think anybody would pony up enough to get him. From the Blue Jays position and perspective I can't see why they would deal him for less than at least 2 uber prospects.


No way in the world I give that much for him, so I guess I would never get a deal done. I think that compares favorably to the alleged offer the Jays asked for from the Mets...a pair of top 100 prospects, a pitcher in the bigs, and a high ceiling youngster. Considering Escobar and Gamel are almost assuredly six years in the bigs under team control each, I'd say that's too much, and I know how good Halladay is.

7/20/2009 10:05:00 PM

(7/20/2009 10:02:00 PM) - Al

The History Channel is rebroadcasting the lunar landing tonight, or as Whoopi Goldberg would say, the supposed lunar landing.

UPDATE: Whoopi better steer clear of Buzz Aldrin, saying such stupid stuff.

7/20/2009 10:02:00 PM

(7/20/2009 08:47:00 PM) - Al

Jack Wilson has to be one of the most overrated players in MLB. He gets out 69% of the time, and has little pop in his bat. He is not a bad defender, but not many SS's are.

7/20/2009 08:47:00 PM

(7/20/2009 08:34:00 PM) - Al

If Burns can't go 5-6 tonight, you could well see him sent down after this game and another reliever added, as another SP won't be needed until a week from tomorrow. Burns is missing his spots by the width of the plate.

7/20/2009 08:34:00 PM

(7/20/2009 08:27:00 PM) - Al

Someone forgot to tell Lopez the Crew is not real big on outs on the bases.

7/20/2009 08:27:00 PM

(7/20/2009 07:32:00 PM) - Al

You truly wonder how some of these idiots find their studio each day.

And the irony is, many look to Whoopi for her social and political opinions. Heh.

7/20/2009 07:32:00 PM

(7/20/2009 07:16:00 PM) - Al

Al - like you, I would much rather have a complete team than one built to excel in area -- offense -- while letting pitching and defense fall to the wayside. Given the steep price of pitching on the trade market, an all-offense model doesn't seem like that bad of a short-term trading strategy for a team in win-now mode. After all, a run scored counts every bit as much as a run prevented.

The Brewers need quality pitching in the farm more than anything to stay viable long-term. But for this year, I could see leaving the big-league pitching alone and adding cheap, quality hitters. Maybe Doug thinks that, too; the Lopez trade seems to fit that philosophy. What do you think?


At this point, I'm not sure how you can add much offense, unless you find a catcher. Hart and Hardy are the only two guys who could be improved upon, and then only by small amounts with probably expensive talent. Maybe a 3B, but Counsell/McGehee is tough to beat as well.

7/20/2009 07:16:00 PM

(7/20/2009 06:56:00 PM) - Al

Again, what amazes me is that the old media reported this complete falsehood, only because it fit the narrative. Whatever happened to, you know, reporting the facts and not just making stuff up?

I guess this is the Dan Rather/Anderson Cooper way of doing things, and it's now acceptable.

Of course, old media is dying, and this may be why its demise cannot come quickly enough.

7/20/2009 06:56:00 PM

(7/20/2009 06:45:00 PM) - Al

Geoff sends along this link which suggests PIT is done with Ian Snell, regardless of how well he pitches in AAA. I like him, and since he's in AAA now, he can go to Nashville if Burns continues to pitch decently.

No idea what the Pirates are looking for, but considering he'll make several million next year, and they say they do not want him in the bigs, I can't imagine a whole lot.

7/20/2009 06:45:00 PM

(7/20/2009 06:18:00 PM) - Al

Tom H does not think Halladay is in the Brewers' future, and if indeed it would take Escobar, Parra, and another top prospect like Lawrie, I would hope not.

I especially find it funny how little the offers for Halladay have included on the message boards, pretty much one top prospect and a bunch of throw-ins. Adding a pitcher while dealing Parra...would mean they'd have to add another SP in addition to Roy.

7/20/2009 06:18:00 PM

(7/20/2009 06:09:00 PM) - Al

It will be interesting to see how Ken Macha juggles the infield with Lopez in the mix now. Does he start everyday at second or will it be a platoon even though he is a switch-hitter? Does McGehee now play everyday at third and where does Bill Hall come in? Doug Melvin said Lopez can play SS and 3B as well, so is there any kind of platoon with him there?--Tony W, JS

Apparently, TW doesn't read his own paper, as Tom H's piece answered many of these questions last evening. However, it does require a tad bit of "reading between the lines", which I s'pose is beyond him.

FYI, Lopez had not made it to Pittsburgh yet, and is not in the lineup.

7/20/2009 06:09:00 PM

(7/20/2009 02:16:00 PM) - Al

This was just e-mailed to me...this guy thinks they should add offense and simply outscore everyone. I'd say it's a contrarian argument and that scoring half a run a game helps as much as preventing half a run a game, but it's tough to ignore that he thinks Braun and Fielder bat #2 and 3.

That would seem to tell me trying to make the #3 offense rather than the #13 pitching is probably a bit simple.

7/20/2009 02:16:00 PM

(7/20/2009 01:34:00 PM) - Al

We've heard very little about (Brad) Penny in the last month, but he could fit on a team like the Brewers, who are short on starters.---MLBTR

I kind of forgot about Penny, but considering he'd take very little to acquire (he is unlikely to be a Type B free agent, so no compensation this offseason), he may well be a good fit, especially with Dave Bush not in the rotation. He'd probably be expected to provide a 4.50ish ERA in the NL, though he is unlikely to go more than 6 frames.

7/20/2009 01:34:00 PM

(7/20/2009 01:19:00 PM) - Al

Ann jumps off the Obama bandwagon...six months in.

She doesn't seem real angry about it, like many are.

I read someone the other day who said that after the 2010 expected debacle, Hillary will resign her cabinet post and then run for president in '12, under the "I'm the only candidate who can beat the Republicans" banner. That's a long shot, of course, as the only primary challenge of any merit in my lifetime was Ted Kennedy going up against Jimmy Carter in 1980 (talk about your no win situations); but the mere fact it's being bandied about pretty much says it all.

In chart form, the dictionary definition of a steady slide downward.

7/20/2009 01:19:00 PM

(7/20/2009 12:45:00 PM) - Al

I don't consider myself "anti-penny" either, I just don't know why we bother making a currency that costs over 1.5 cents to make that's worth 1 cent. All you need to do is have everything priced to end with a 5...of course, you'll still have tax, but we all know what I think of that. Or, you can just round it to the nearest's not rocket science.

7/20/2009 12:45:00 PM

(7/20/2009 10:21:00 AM) - Al

The Crew looks to be on pace to hit 3M again, having sold 2.7M thus far.

Doesn't look like much profit is to be had, however, though I think Mark A would happily trade a single season of breaking even for some success in the playoffs.

7/20/2009 10:21:00 AM

(7/20/2009 10:11:00 AM) - Al

Adjusted for inflation, we’re spending 4 times more this year than we spent during World War II.

That chart is really damning. How is it possible the the US spent less to save the world than they are now? I think it's pretty simple, really...back then, we were saving the world, right now, we pretend to do so...throwing money at the equivalent of ghosts and boogeymen...we've been fighting a "war on poverty" for decades now, and it turns out, many people are still poor. We're currently in the midst of an epic battle against global warming climate change, which is so fictional they had to change the name...because embarrassingly, it was getting cooler every year.

7/20/2009 10:11:00 AM

(7/20/2009 09:59:00 AM) - Al

The Marlins, Dodgers, Brewers and Angels are among the clubs pursuing Sherrill, major-league sources say. The Cubs, MacPhail's former team and one of his frequent trading partners, also have interest.

The market, however, continues to evolve in the final days before the July 31 non-waiver deadline.

The Brewers, who traded for Diamondbacks infielder Felipe Lopez on Sunday, also are trying to add a starting pitcher.

The Orioles specifically want to find a long-term replacement for third baseman Melvin Mora, who is a free agent after this season. They also would like to add to their developing core of young pitching.

Maybe it's just me, but I think Doug sees how tight the SP market is, so he's trying to add pieces elsewhere, so the team can just outscore the opponent, or in this case, to strengthen the bullpen, which inevitably, will need to go 3+ innings most games.

Is there a match? Well, obviously Gamel is not going to BAL, though Taylor Green might have some interest to the O's, he is in AA and not nearly as respected as Gamel. The Crew does have young pitching, but most all of it is at the lower levels, except for a couple lower ceiling guys at AAA, like Tim Dillard.

7/20/2009 09:59:00 AM

(7/20/2009 09:32:00 AM) - Al

How not to be a Brewers' fan, by the Miller Park Drunk.

Some adult language at the link.

7/20/2009 09:32:00 AM

Sunday, July 19, 2009

(7/19/2009 10:22:00 PM) - Al

Just got an e-mail asking "Doesn't Lopez compare pretty well with Mark DeRosa?"

He is actually, DeRosa has a 769 career OPS and Lopez is 730. Felipe can play SS, while Mark probably can't at his age. Felipe is also 5 years younger, and cheaper.

That said, I would assume DeRosa's Caucasian-ness makes him more "gritty" and "scrappy".

I would also like to mention that the Twins are in contention despite receiving almost no offense from their 2B this year, and who just signed Mark Grudzielanek, who hasn't even played this year, sure could have found a pair of low-level prospects to throw Arizona's way, and received a good sized upgrade from Felipe.

7/19/2009 10:22:00 PM

(7/19/2009 09:57:00 PM) - Al

We're officially deep into trade season, but no one seems to be talking about anyone but Roy Halladay. The latest news is that the Brewers were set to have two high-level emissaries at the Rogers Centre Sunday, when Halladay faced (and beat) the Red Sox.

Rival teams say the Brewers have enough prospects to make a Halladay deal, even though they've suggested they won't trade Alcides Escobar or Mat Gamel. One intriguing possibility: A team that talked to the Brewers was told that shortstop J.J. Hardy could be available "in the right deal."

I'd deal Hardy in a second compared to Escobar. I'm not sure if TOR would have interest in Hardy or not, or if JJ could be used to acquire some young prospects that would end up being part of a Halladay deal.

7/19/2009 09:57:00 PM

(7/19/2009 09:39:00 PM) - Al

Manager Ken Macha, who started Mat Gamel at third base Sunday, is growing concerned about the effect that patella tendinitis is having on Casey McGehee's defense. "He's kind of hopping around on one leg," Macha said. "He had played very well in the field but he has a bunch of errors lately. You don't get your feet underneath you to throw (with an ailing knee). So, I have to rethink the whole thing."--JS

I look for Lopez to play 2B and to have Counsell/McGehee platoon at 3B, which will hopefully give Casey plenty of rest and get that knee healthier.

7/19/2009 09:39:00 PM

(7/19/2009 08:14:00 PM) - Al


First of all, thanks for Ramblings. I enjoy all your efforts, and appreciate it. I have a simple question for you. You seem to think Alcides Escobar will be a very good player in the majors, and I tend to agree, as he's 22 and hitting .300 in AAA. However, many seem to think he'll be a very weak offensive player, at least in his first year or two. I guess you'll always have a difference of opinion with prospects, but if he's not going to hit, why does Baseball America have him as a top of the line guy? I would not even consider trading him.


RJ, thanks for the kind words and for writing. You did not even mention a pair of Escobar's greatest attributes, his phenomenal defense and his inexpensiveness the next 4 years or so. Many folks simply do not understand that a team like the Brewers always have to have several young, cheap players on the roster, as they can't pay 25 guys $5-10M each. That's one reason it seems likely to me the left side of the infield next year will be Escobar and Gamel, as they'll both be making about $400K.

It allows the rest of the lineup to be made up of well compensated players...just a back of the envelope calculation puts them at about $34M...if they would bring back both Cameron and Kendall. Hall alone will make $8.4M, so the bench will probably add up to $14-15M, so you could easily be looking at $50M plus the pitching staff. Now, it is possible to afford Hardy's $8M '10 salary, but you'd obviously have to cut corners elsewhere...go cheap in CF for example. I have nothing against JJ, but they don't have top of the line prospects at every position, at SS they do.

Hopefully, JJ will bring back a couple solid young players, either major league ready or nearly ready, both pre-arby, at least one a young arm.

I see Escobar as part of the next wave, one that allows Hardy to be dealt for needed youth, and one that shaves $7.5M off payroll, and allows it to be spent elsewhere. With Laporta, he was blocked to a point. Escobar is not.

As for his offense, his minor league equivalents put him at about .300/.350, not far below the .325/.385 an average SS produced last year. Toss in how young he is for AAA and his defense, he could well be average or even above average, for the major league minimum, or near it, for the next three years.

7/19/2009 08:14:00 PM

(7/19/2009 07:47:00 PM) - Al

And, Felipe Lopez's wife is one attractive woman.

7/19/2009 07:47:00 PM

(7/19/2009 07:37:00 PM) - Al

Me thinks that not only is he very much in love with himself, a far greater crime is that he's just not funny to anyone over 12.

Sadly, this comes from someone who considers Airplane, Blazing Saddles, and There's Something About Mary all-time classics.

7/19/2009 07:37:00 PM

(7/19/2009 07:32:00 PM) - Al

Gamel will go to Nashville, per the JS.

7/19/2009 07:32:00 PM

(7/19/2009 07:13:00 PM) - Al

Ramblings' target Cla Meredith of SD has been swapped for a utility infielder, and also means BAL will likely be dealing a bigger named reliever soon.

7/19/2009 07:13:00 PM

(7/19/2009 06:45:00 PM) - Al

Melvin said there are no plans to put infielder Casey McGehee on the DL with tendinitis in the right knee.

That would seem to indicate Gamel is on his way down to play everyday. He'll be back.

"He can play three infield positions and he's a switch-hitter," said Melvin. "He has been productive on top of the order. He adds some speed, too.

"Craig Counsell has done well for us, too, but with Lopez being a switch-hitter he can bat right-handed in the leadoff spot against lefties. I talked to (manager) Ken (Macha) and he said he'll get all the guys in there. The season can be a grind. We haven't even gotten to the hot weather yet. It helps to have as many guys as you can.

I think it's safe to say Macha will continue to go with the hot hand, while trying to get Casey a few more days off to rest his knee, and Craig a few more days off to keep his production from falling. Craig has been playing nearly every day for 2+ months now, and he's been superb the entire time. It does make sense he'll tail off a bit if he plays all the time, but it should be noted he hasn't yet.

"We are looking to improve at the top of the order and get guys on base for (Ryan) Braun and (Prince) Fielder," said Melvin. "Lopez has some pop, too. He has hit some home runs and doubles.

"One of the thing that impressed me most about his play this year is how consistent he has been. We've had some inconsistencies with hitters in our lineup. He should help."

Hardy and Hart have been ok at best. This is the 3rd best offense in the NL with 25% of the lineup well below career norms.

Lopez is a free agent after the season and Melvin said he projects as a Class B free agent, meaning the Brewers could get a compensation pick after the first round next June if he goes elsewhere. Lopez has about $1.5 million remaining on his $3.5 million contract.

That's a better pick than either of the players, by far, but of course, they'll have to pay that pick $1.5M or so. Mark A has never allowed that to get in the way, and picking up payroll once again shows how committed he is.

Melvin said he tried to expand the deal to include a Diamondbacks pitcher, most likely lefty Doug Davis, but said general manager Josh Byrnes did not seem anxious to deal one. The Brewers have talked about Toronto's Roy Halladay but Melvin said no offer has been made and he wasn't sure he'd make one.

"I know what their expectations are and I don't know if I want to meet them," said Melvin, who has said he does not want to trade Gamel of shortstop prospect Alcides Escobar. "Teams are asking a lot for pitching."

Unless things change on the market before the July 31 deadline and more pitchers are made available, Melvin said he's "not optimistic" about picking up a starter.

I'm not either. The price for even decent SP's seems to be offensively high. Even if Bush is not able to return, they might have to lower their sights a bit, and see is still there late in July...a glorified innings-eater may be all we can hope for.

All italicized stuff is from the JS, by the way.

7/19/2009 06:45:00 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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