Al's Ramblings

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

(9/30/2009 10:36:00 PM) - Al

Whoopi Goldberg, fervently fighting for a man who admittedly drugged and raped a child, and then skedaddled to France (which, granted, is punishment in itself, but, hence I digress) to avoid incarceration.

She may be as pathetic as Polanski himself. Sometimes, I'm glad they aren't on my side.

UPDATE: Whoopi has about a dozen far-left wackos on her side. Everyone else says to prosecute to the full extent of the law. So far out of touch with reality.

UPDATE 2: Bill Maher just ripped the position that "Well, he's an what?!"

What's astounding is, Bill Maher is about as far-left as they come, and many members of the media and Hollywood is proving itself to be off-the-charts left.

9/30/2009 10:36:00 PM

(9/30/2009 10:36:00 PM) - Al

Rough draft of a Freakonomics study on prostitution in Chicago. Long, but fascinating, especially if you like math and understand how supply and demand works.

9/30/2009 10:36:00 PM

(9/30/2009 10:04:00 PM) - Al

The affair the old media ignored adds the theft of a late boy's baseball cards and, wait for it, a sex tape, to its resume.

You gotta know that every reporter that covered his campaign knew, or pretty much knew, and all assisted in the cover up as to still get their interviews. Pathetic.

9/30/2009 10:04:00 PM

(9/30/2009 08:54:00 PM) - Al

I call suicide squeeze.

9/30/2009 08:54:00 PM

(9/30/2009 08:51:00 PM) - Al

The nanny state says: Biking or walking to school is not allowed.

Also on the worry list, these kids are all so damn fat! They should get outside, and you know, bike or walk...

The difference is, I'm being sarcastic.

9/30/2009 08:51:00 PM

(9/30/2009 08:36:00 PM) - Al

Hart probably out the rest of the year with broken fingers, which he got when he dove into Helton's foot last night. Catalanotto also may not return, as his father-in-law passed away and has been told he does not have to return.

9/30/2009 08:36:00 PM

(9/30/2009 08:32:00 PM) - Al

I haven't owned anything but a Saturn since 1994...what a shame.

9/30/2009 08:32:00 PM

(9/30/2009 08:14:00 PM) - Al

Short on pitching probably isn't the best description...though if Bush doesn't go, and with Burns out and Yo shut down, "short on guys that can go more than 2 innings" is pretty accurate.

9/30/2009 08:14:00 PM

(9/30/2009 07:46:00 PM) - Al

Just caught a few minutes of Dennis Miller on O'Reilly as I clicked toward the Brewers' game...a few of his thoughts, paraphrasing as always:

If you read the testimony of that 13 year-old Polanski raped, you would be begging the state of CA to spend the last dollar in its coffers to bring that bastard to justice.


Thinks it's great Obama is trying to get the Olympics, even if a few of his old cronies will profit from it. In fact, they should get Reverend Wright to give the invocation (God d**n America), and see if it makes the news or ESPN.

In this world, probably not. Even if it did, Obama would claim to have not heard it, and the media would never bring it up again.

Palin may not fit the academic definition of genius, but my definition? Getting some publisher to give you $7M up front to write a book. "I like her because she drives the right people crazy." She has a lot of appeal to a lot of people. Don't underestimate her.

I've said the same thing many others have...why has the media continued to criticize and degrade her? Because they know such a thing as the "it" factor exists, and she has it. It's not a coincidence her crowds during the campaign were far larger and more of a party atmosphere than McCain's. I'm still of the opinion that the tea parties are a direct result of her inclusion on the ticket, something I seem to be the only one to think are related.

I still think it's funny people wonder why she quit. They seem to forget, Obama was very popular...until he had to, you know, be President, and now, well, he's not. Let's not forget, she was a normal working mom until last August 2008, and now, she's giving speeches for six figures each. Governors don't get paid like that...stars do.

9/30/2009 07:46:00 PM

(9/30/2009 06:55:00 PM) - Al

Protesters say Chicago is too broke to host the '16 Olympics.

I wonder if these neanderthals ever stopped to consider the, ahem, millions of dollars the games will bring, not to mention the thousands of jobs as they improve the infrastructure and build new stadiums?

Is it me, or are some people so short-sighted it should be criminal?

By the way, I do think it's funny the undisputed leader of corruption in government is out o''s like blackmail and extortion have been hurt by the downturn.

9/30/2009 06:55:00 PM

(9/30/2009 05:11:00 PM) - Al

As Glenn points out, it's just astounding these books on conservative topics keep selling with virtually no press at all.

Anyone looking for proof that the old media is dying need look no further than their lack of influence on what movies and books do well...a few years ago, a non-review in the New York Times meant near immediate display in the discount bargain bin. means it's not a liberal book.

Related, the media fawns all over Polanski, while the entire population despises him. How out of touch can you be? Heck, Jewel seems to be only entertainer to "get it"...and that's probably only because she lives in "flyover country".

9/30/2009 05:11:00 PM

(9/30/2009 05:01:00 PM) - Al

Add Jeremy Hermedia to the list of corner OF possibilities if Hart is traded or moves to CF. Considering he'll be 26 next year, he'd be a mighty good guy to take a one or two year flyer on. He's also a LH bat for "balance". He's lost some power (is he healthy), but his OBP remains well above average.

9/30/2009 05:01:00 PM

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

(9/29/2009 10:08:00 PM) - Al

Ryan Spilbourghs is another name to keep in mind if the Brewers do not keep Cameron next year. Solid all-around player, and coming off a bit of a down season...Rockies may not want to pay him arby numbers.

9/29/2009 10:08:00 PM

(9/29/2009 09:32:00 PM) - Al

Ann points out apparent priorities of the administration.

9/29/2009 09:32:00 PM

(9/29/2009 08:13:00 PM) - Al

Narveson is pitching well enough that it seems very likely someone would stash him on their 40 man if he was put on waivers. He is probably pitching so well, the Crew can't take that chance...

9/29/2009 08:13:00 PM

(9/29/2009 06:59:00 PM) - Al

Don't do drugs, kids. And if you do, try to not to take them by the handful.

9/29/2009 06:59:00 PM

(9/29/2009 03:11:00 PM) - Al

McGehee will need minor surgery after the year, as will Mike Burns (suddenly, his 40 man spot is 100% open). DiFelice told he just needs to rest.

9/29/2009 03:11:00 PM

(9/29/2009 03:09:00 PM) - Al

Rathergate is over, Rather to blame. As if that was a question. Heck, he should see if CNN is hiring.

9/29/2009 03:09:00 PM

Monday, September 28, 2009

(9/28/2009 11:26:00 PM) - Al

NFL picks, Titans, Giants, Redskins, Bears, Saints, Broncos, Colts, Steelers, and the rest are the home teams.

I'd say this looks to be a tough week overall.

Rams and the points; Colts and the points.

Thus far, 20-12, ans 1-3 versus the spread.

UPDATE: 31-17, 2-4 with that nasty spread involved.

9/28/2009 11:26:00 PM

(9/28/2009 10:06:00 PM) - Al

Tony W tries to make a story out of nothing...and it shows. I can't believe there is a weaker writer on a daily of most any size in the US. Money quote:

Lopez will be a free agent after this season and Melvin will have a decision to make. Does he offer Lopez a contract, and if so, what happens with Weeks, who is still a bit of a mystery since he's never had 500 at-bats in a season and never played more than 129 games because of injuries?

Doug has said about a bajillion times that Rickie is his 2B for next year. Lopez is a fine player, who has some mental gaffes, but is still a very good 2B. He is a free agent, and after a career best performance, will have plenty of multi-year offers to choose from. Hence, Felipe will be offered arby, turn it sown, and sign elsewhere. Worst case scenario? Felipe accepts arby and can be traded. Yeah, that'd be a shame.

And, not to bring common sense into a Tony W piece, quite possibly for the first time...goodness, Felipe has played OF, though I doubt if he would sign to play there full-time. I have no idea if he would be a decent CF or not, and it's moot regardless, but Felipe is the guy smart fans (and writers) might wonder about in CF. Weeks, who has worked his way into being an above average defender...I just don't see it.

9/28/2009 10:06:00 PM

(9/28/2009 09:48:00 PM) - Al

This blog takes a look at pitching additions. I do not share his enthusiasm for Pavano (though he's right, one year deals can never be too bad), but at least it's realistic.

Also, as many do, he forgets Hardy will probably bring a pitcher of some merit, though it may well be a AA/AAA arm. I think JJ will be packaged with a SP (either Looper or Bush would be my guess) to try and bring back a younger, pre-arby arm.

9/28/2009 09:48:00 PM

(9/28/2009 08:24:00 PM) - Al

The irony here is simple...Iraq was declared lost by Hank Reid, and yet a change in strategy turned it into victory. Meanwhile, Hank and his cohorts said we should concentrate on Afghanistan (because Iraq was lost), and every indication now points to the Dem leadership "cutting and running" there.

9/28/2009 08:24:00 PM

(9/28/2009 07:20:00 PM) - Al

Wil Ferrell chastises the rich...and misses the irony. Heh.

9/28/2009 07:20:00 PM

(9/28/2009 07:10:00 PM) - Al

I could not believe it when I heard it on 60 Minutes. Foreign policy is little but a footnote to the present administration.

9/28/2009 07:10:00 PM

(9/28/2009 06:52:00 PM) - Al

"Somewhere, I'm sure there's some idiot wondering why Braun wasn't bunting. Oh to be such a simpleton.--Ramblings"

I darn near fell off the bed laughing when I read this. At about the time you posted that, I was actually in a debate with two guys at the game where I had to defend the decision not to take the bat out of one of our best hitters hands. Unfortunately, I could not convince them that they don't pay Braun to bunt, but to drive in runs. They actually gave me this outstandingly boneheaded question: "Same situation, Would you have Gerut bunt if he was before Fielder?" I said "Of course, because he's not Braun!"

In keeping with tradition... OOF!


Another thing I've been meaning to mention, but haven't yet, is many were critical of Yost for getting thrown out of games, and now, many are critical of Macha for NOT getting thrown out.

The casuals need to make up their mind before they start saying silly things. Many of the advocates of "small ball" are also the loudest complainers when they get shut out or only score a run or two...that's what small ball is. Small ball is the act of playing for a run or two, and knowing that in a best case scenario, you're only going to get a run or two...and worst case, you won't get any.

Often in that case, I might have defended Braun if he had bunted for a will usually advance the runner, and he might get on as well. However, if Ryan does bunt him along, they walk Prince, and then, two of the best hitters in the game, the two guys you depend on...neither one has a chance to win the game for you. That defeats the whole purpose of having guys like that. Basically, the Brewers offense without Prince or Ryan is the Giants...yuck.

9/28/2009 06:52:00 PM

(9/28/2009 06:41:00 PM) - Al

MLBTR takes a rather loose interpretation of the Walker JS article, in my opinion.
Heck, anyone "could be traded", but I sure don't read that and see MA saying that.

9/28/2009 06:41:00 PM

(9/28/2009 06:36:00 PM) - Al

Gamel being asked to play winter ball and Money wondering why he's faded for two second halves in a row.

Gamel has been described as "laid back", and that could well play a's tough to have success, but it's even tougher to maintain. When you have that much "natural" hitting ability, it's likely pretty simple to just assume it will always be there. Trust me, I have no idea.

9/28/2009 06:36:00 PM

(9/28/2009 06:32:00 PM) - Al

This was in our local paper today...for those of you that know the Rambling dog, both the Rambling wife and myself thought they had taken his picture the last time he was at the groomer. It may well be his long lost twin, his brother from another mother.

9/28/2009 06:32:00 PM

Sunday, September 27, 2009

(9/27/2009 10:04:00 PM) - Al

Brewers are considering hiring Rick Peterson, well known pitching coach of A's and Mets' fame, who worked with both Macha and Randolph.

If Macha is giving pitching coach suggestions to Melvin, I think it's safe to say Ken will be back. Peterson is known as a guru, but like many pitching coaches (Mazzone comes to mind), he is best known for being the coach of stars like Hudson, Mulder, Zito, and so on.

If this is the case, I would assume Stan Kyles is the most likely not to be back. Sveum is probably safe because the offense has been so good, Fischer was a Macha hire and has been uneventful at 3B, and Sedar is well-liked, supposedly. I'd say Randolph will return unless hired by a team to manage them.

9/27/2009 10:04:00 PM

(9/27/2009 09:46:00 PM) - Al

CNN loses an interview because they dared book a guest that wrote a book about the Obamas. Leno dares tell a joke as well (though it was really more of a Chris Matthews joke, an easier, "tingle up my leg" target he will never have.

We'll have to see if either is branded racist in the next few days.

9/27/2009 09:46:00 PM

(9/27/2009 08:02:00 PM) - Al

The amazing thing is, Ann can ask such a negative question about the sitting president, and there be no doubt about the answer.

9/27/2009 08:02:00 PM

(9/27/2009 05:51:00 PM) - Al

France's political elite rallied to the defense of Roman Polanski on Sunday, calling on Switzerland to free the 76-year-old film director rather than extradite him to the United States. Artists and film makers also urged the release of Polanski, who faces charges of having sex with a girl of 13 in 1977, accusing Switzerland of being overzealous in pursuing the case.

Polanski was due to receive a prize for his life's work at the Zurich Film Festival on Sunday, but was arrested on a 1978 U.S. arrest warrant after arriving in Switzerland on Saturday.

French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand said he was "stunned" by the news, adding that both he and French President Nicolas Sarkozy wanted to see the acclaimed director returned swiftly to his family.--Reuters

Allow me to put forth the thought that the French political elite, artists, and film makers are clueless imbeciles.

9/27/2009 05:51:00 PM

(9/27/2009 05:38:00 PM) - Al

So, what exactly are we supposed to do because of the "wind advisory"?

Also, is 25 mph winds, with occasional gusts of 35, really that bad? If it was below zero, I could see it, as then the wind makes a dangerous windchill, but, it's not.

Sounds like someone just trying to get on the news to me.

9/27/2009 05:38:00 PM

(9/27/2009 04:09:00 PM) - Al

The last thing kids need are longer school days...the Rambling 2nd grader is exhausted by Thursday as it is. But, spending more time on the important stuff, the Constitution might be a good place to start, rather than, I don't know, making up songs that hail the president...

I have a hard time believing paying all teachers the same thing, which unions demand, which rewards the worst educator while punishing the best, isn't directly related to the US test scores sucking so. After all, if you're a good teacher, you'll probably be a good businessman, or a good which reward performance, and do not stifle it. Hence, I'm sure plenty of top o' the line folks leave to control for themselves how much they take home, which leaves those that love to teach...and those who can't do anything else.

9/27/2009 04:09:00 PM

(9/27/2009 04:04:00 PM) - Al

The nanny state strikes again.

Note the worst offenders of the nanny state seem to be those with the worst economic problems...whose plan to get out of it seems to be to hope manufacturing returns to 1975 levels.

Lots of luck with all that.

9/27/2009 04:04:00 PM

(9/27/2009 02:30:00 PM) - Al

We'll take a look at all the free agents and whether or not they'll be back, but I admit, Jason Kendall is a guy I would hesitate to let go without a replacement signed or all but signed. As many of you know, I'm all about OBP, and Jason, despite his down year, still is a plus catcher when iy comes to "not getting out", which is exactly what OBP measures. OBP is key to scoring runs, which is common sense, but I went over the numbers here.

There are a few C's I would not mind at all, but when you take a look at those C's with 150 PA's and a better OBP than Jason, it's a mighty short list...Gregg Zaun, who I have liked for ages, Ramon Hernandez, who will be a free agent and may be available...and those are likely the only two that interest me (and their current team would let go). There are a few guys below him I like, Jason Varitek, Dioneer Navarro are a pair of examples, that have a lower OBP in '09, but I hate to see a lesser OBP man brought in, especially with Cameron, a noted solid OBP man, also likely to be playing elsewhere.

9/27/2009 02:30:00 PM

(9/27/2009 01:24:00 PM) - Al

Jen Rubin looks at the early '12 GOP contenders.

9/27/2009 01:24:00 PM

(9/27/2009 12:52:00 PM) - Al

Liz Edwards proves hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

9/27/2009 12:52:00 PM

(9/27/2009 12:41:00 PM) - Al

Adam with a notes column, Gerut probably back as a starter or reserve, and Butler's last game will be today, as he's off to the Arizona Fall League.

9/27/2009 12:41:00 PM

(9/27/2009 12:28:00 PM) - Al

One of the truly despicable human beings is finally behind bars where he belongs.

He has been residing in France, where the French don't believe in extraditing felons back to the US, which of course, is one more reason to hate them.

The fact studios still insisted on letting him work tells you all you need to know about the values of Hollywood.

9/27/2009 12:28:00 PM

(9/27/2009 11:05:00 AM) - Al

"No fun allowed," said Fielder, referring to the negative reaction that creative celebration drew from the Giants and others in the game.

"We had some good ideas but it’s not worth it," said Braun, who hadn’t hit a home run since Sept. 11 and had just one since Aug. 28.

Heh. Many used to refer to the NFL as the No Fun League, even though most enjoyed the TD celebrations they tried to ban. Prince gets in a nice dig there though.

9/27/2009 11:05:00 AM

Saturday, September 26, 2009

(9/26/2009 11:23:00 PM) - Al

The left leaning Washington Post can't figure out why Obama keeps making anti-American statements.

I've been wondering that since he started campaigning. You know, I s'pose Iran and Cuba are far better places, but...

9/26/2009 11:23:00 PM

(9/26/2009 11:12:00 PM) - Al

Macha hopes to return and thinks he will.

I do too, but am a bit curious why Doug hasn't announced it yet, so we'll have to see.

9/26/2009 11:12:00 PM

(9/26/2009 11:09:00 PM) - Al

Somewhere, I'm sure there's some idiot wondering why Braun wasn't bunting. Oh to be such a simpleton.

9/26/2009 11:09:00 PM

(9/26/2009 10:47:00 PM) - Al

As much as I've discussed the free agents to be, I've barely mentioned Craig Counsell, who is probably one of the best utility infielders in the game, despite his advancing age. Not only is Craig having an outstanding season offensively, he plays 2B/SS/3B all at a plus level.

I hope he wants to return, and I assume the Brewers will want him back...but that said, all it takes is one team to see him as a stopgap 2B or SS for 2010 and a $3-4M contract is perfectly plausible.

With the trio of Weeks/Escobar/McGehee looking more likely every day, that's an injury prone 2B, a young SS who may struggle versus tough RHP, and a 3B who is vastly outperforming his minor league numbers and has a bad knee that will probably need surgery this offseason...and all three hit RH, while Craig hits LH. Counsell is a perfect match, and will be an important keep for the '10 Crew.

9/26/2009 10:47:00 PM

(9/26/2009 10:38:00 PM) - Al

This is supposed to show police being mean to Pittsburgh students, but in reality, it just shows that the police look like they did a fine job of keeping the city and G20 summit safe. I'm sure the businesses whose windows are still in one piece are pleased.

By the way, stupid young punks, when police tell you to clear the area or they'll be shooting tear gas into the crowd, how incredibly ignorant does one have to be to be surprised when they shoot tear gas into the crowd?

Read a book and go buy a clue, you pathetic losers.

9/26/2009 10:38:00 PM

(9/26/2009 08:29:00 PM) - Al

Seinfeld portrait made out of cereal.

This is why we need the internet.

9/26/2009 08:29:00 PM

(9/26/2009 07:21:00 PM) - Al

Mark A just wondered aloud if Gamel is blocked by McGehee at 3B, could he play OF, and answered his own question with a "maybe". I do not know where Mat will end up, but I do know if he is moved to LF or RF, he'll never return to anywhere but 1B, so I prefer every effort be made to have him play 3B. In theory, that could lead to an OF of Braun/Hart/Gamel, or Braun/Gerut/Gamel...which could lead to Corey and JJ being packaged for pitching while not having an everyday hole to fill (except, to be picky, a platoon partner).

I would say that's a very good indication that has been discussed at length internally, possibly as early as '09.

Craig Coshun just said it's interesting talking to the owner, because he knows some things others don't. That's exactly why it's fun to read between the lines when Doug is interviewed as well.

9/26/2009 07:21:00 PM

(9/26/2009 05:30:00 PM) - Al

Confirmed online cheater and all around scumbag Justin Bonomo blogs about (click on the 5/2 entry on the sidebar) someone cheating and being a scumbag.

There's a reason I don't ever pick on Prince for being overweight, but apparently, Justin is too full of himself to note the irony.

9/26/2009 05:30:00 PM

Friday, September 25, 2009

(9/25/2009 11:05:00 PM) - Al

The Twins are only two games behind the Tigers, with four games against each other next week. MIN plays KC, a distinct advantage, and DET plays the White Sox, in all games that are not head-to-head.

9/25/2009 11:05:00 PM

(9/25/2009 10:44:00 PM) - Al

Nightline just did a feature on Chick-Fil-A, with much of its focus on the fact they are not open on Sunday, because of its Christian beliefs.

I often suggested the retailers I worked for be open limited hours on Sunday, something like 12-5, which went over like a fart in church, no pun intended. Of course, the places I worked for were open 10-6 or 10-7 on Sunday, though they did about 80% of the business between, you guessed it, 12 and 5. I do recall at a manager's meeting, upon my throwing it out as a labor saving, profit raising feature, one manager said, "Well, we'd be there 'til 6 or 6:30 cleaning the store anyway!" I can only imagine she was the one in school who would remind the teacher it was quiz day. The irony is, the store she ran was, for lack of a better word, a complete dump, in the heart of "rough" Milwaukee. We could not even go there for a meeting, due to the fact it always looked so bad.

9/25/2009 10:44:00 PM

(9/25/2009 10:32:00 PM) - Al

I wonder how many casuals will conveniently forget that they said the Crew should trade Parra for a bag of magic beans halfway through the '09 campaign. He's a young lefty who throws hard, it's tough to let that go.

It's astounding that Manny, who has by far the worst ERA in MLB, will end the season with 11 or more wins, and a .500 or above record.

9/25/2009 10:32:00 PM

(9/25/2009 10:18:00 PM) - Al

The old media reports the G20 protests were "generally peaceful", well, you know, 'cept for the vandalism, rocks being thrown, and dumpsters being pushed at police.

The bias is so overwhelming, it's almost funny.

9/25/2009 10:18:00 PM

(9/25/2009 10:22:00 AM) - Al

The question is, will Adam Dunn end up with 40 HR's for the 5th year in a row? The Zips projection system predicts he will, as you can see.

9/25/2009 10:22:00 AM

(9/25/2009 10:14:00 AM) - Al

I was a little surprised to see Butler in late last night, as earlier they said he would be the guy to go tonight if Parra's neck acted up. Either Manny feels so good they aren't worried about it, or they will go with the whole bullpen.

9/25/2009 10:14:00 AM

(9/25/2009 09:38:00 AM) - Al

$20M here, $20M there, pretty soon, you're talking about real money.

It is literally embarrassing how little Kerry and his ilk think of the taxpayers and the public's intelligence.

Meanwhile, while excellent at spending money, they can't do anything else right.

9/25/2009 09:38:00 AM

(9/25/2009 09:13:00 AM) - Al

Sure is a lot easier when you're reading a speech on the campaign trail. I found it funny how all European nations immediately said they wanted nothing to do with the "farmers and wanderers" that are "wrongly imprisoned" at Guantanamo.

Say what you will, but the foreign policy aspect is almost nonexistent. Despite lengthy criticisms and many Senate votes against them, nothing has been changed, and there seems to be no desire to make it a priority..

9/25/2009 09:13:00 AM

Thursday, September 24, 2009

(9/24/2009 11:18:00 PM) - Al

Jon Heyman says Macha will be back without Bosio, and that Macha is viewed as "game smart" and "tough". Long article all about the Crew, which barely mentions an player thoughts for next year.

Bosio does not seem like Doug's type...more of a yeller than a teacher. It looks like Doug may well have fired Castro just to see if anything changed...nothing did, he now says the depth "wasn't there", and has said in the past they will bring in pitching next year and take some chances.

9/24/2009 11:18:00 PM

(9/24/2009 11:05:00 PM) - Al

Those Southerners sure take their college football seriously. The funniest link at Gleeman's link-o-rama.

9/24/2009 11:05:00 PM

(9/24/2009 10:46:00 PM) - Al

I'm shocked Prince is the only player to have played every game...I would have guessed 5-10 had.

9/24/2009 10:46:00 PM

(9/24/2009 10:26:00 PM) - Al

I keep looking around for a decent catcher if Kendall does not return next year, as it does look like Salome will be ready. I was wondering about Gregg Zaun, who is almost as old as me but always has a ood OBP, when I noticed the other Rays catcher, Dioneer Navarro, has not only had a down year, but a down year for the ages. Some of it is probably just bad luck, his BAbip was only .238, meaning he hit into some misfortune.

What caught my eye is even though he is only 25, he is already arby eligible, meaning he'll get a raise next year, meaning the Rays may consider non-tendering him...or trading him, as they may hesitate to pay him $3-4M and risk a repeat of '09.

Likely? No, as Doug won't want to take that risk either, but considering he's a switch-hitting catcher who has had success in the past, it's a risk/reward thing...whoever takes that chance may be rewarded handsomely.

9/24/2009 10:26:00 PM

(9/24/2009 10:04:00 PM) - Al

$787B on pet pork projects, and yet to "save money", they are cutting 384 Border Patrol agents from the US/Mexican border. Assuming they make $50K each, that saves $19M...meaning it's a net spending increase of $786,981,000,000.

They sure it easy to mock them, I'll give 'em that.

9/24/2009 10:04:00 PM

(9/24/2009 09:17:00 PM) - Al

I have no problem with Hart getting thrown out at home, it took two perfect throws, and Hart's knee touched home plate before the tag anyway. I know, the throw beat him, and why should we expect the ump to look at the tag when there's no force anyway?

After all, it's hot out.

9/24/2009 09:17:00 PM

(9/24/2009 09:14:00 PM) - Al

Glenn with a good point, lots of worries about violence at peaceful tea parties, but the media has ignored the G20 until today...even though this is always very violently protested by hoodlums and ne'er-do-wells. Luckily, Pittsburgh police were ready, for that, the city and state should be commended.

9/24/2009 09:14:00 PM

(9/24/2009 09:09:00 PM) - Al

I should have invested in ammo manufacturers (heck, or just ammo, some have doubled in price on the mail order market) when Obama was elected. I've read a couple places that this should go away by next spring, but my goodness, it's been almost a year since the election, and it shows no sign of slowing up. Obviously, there's some hoarding going on.

9/24/2009 09:09:00 PM

(9/24/2009 08:36:00 PM) - Al

With his range and the incessantly horrible Miller Park scoring, Escobar might have 40 errors next year, and still be outstanding.

I truly cannot believe no one is gutsy enough to write an article wondering why hits are errors at MP and nowhere else. Yost said it last year, the players are known to say it costs them several hits a season...the guy coaches high school ball, and people act like he's a genius, despite his consistently terrible calls.

9/24/2009 08:36:00 PM

(9/24/2009 07:37:00 PM) - Al

My question is, why hasn't the old media even mentioned this? How deep in the tank can you be?

9/24/2009 07:37:00 PM

(9/24/2009 07:27:00 PM) - Al

I recall the great "dolphins getting caught in tuna nets" controversy, as one comedian said it best..."Um, what about the tuna?"

Turns out, the environmentalists just switched the killing to other species...the blood is on your hands, Greenpeace.

9/24/2009 07:27:00 PM

(9/24/2009 07:22:00 PM) - Al

I agree with the author, in a face-to-face situation like this, I'd be very tempted to overpay, rather than risk underpaying. That said, if some local band gave me a CD in lieu of payment, I'd consider that getting stiffed.

As for the bagel situation, I've worked several places that offered some sort of "honor system" snack box...the problem was, no one knew when it was short if people weren't paying, or if someone was "borrowing" (stealing) out of it.

9/24/2009 07:22:00 PM

(9/24/2009 07:16:00 PM) - Al

Would anyone really mind if they just opened fire on these complete morons? To quote Dennis Miller, that's just culling the herd. Seriously, what kind of buffoon is against capitalism?

Oh yeah.

9/24/2009 07:16:00 PM

(9/24/2009 07:01:00 PM) - Al

You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away people's initiative and independence.
You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.

....Abraham Lincoln

The Rambling aunt sent this to me today. Sometimes we forget that while many of us refer to Republicans as the party of Reagan, Lincoln was indeed the first Republican president. Many of his thoughts seem to fit in with the the "redneck, racist" tea party movement, doesn't it?

May you live in interesting times...who would have believed a century ago you could be labeled badly for...wanting to spend the same amount or less than you took in.

9/24/2009 07:01:00 PM

(9/24/2009 06:54:00 PM) - Al

J.J. Hardy may have had an ugly year. But when the Brewers dangle him this winter, they should find a long line of shoppers.

"I've already recommended we look into him," said one scout. "Offensively, I think he's got to fix his hands. They're too far away from his body. But his defense is solid. He's got good makeup. And he does a lot of little things. If anyone needs a shortstop, they'd be crazy not to look at him."--Jayson Stark

That's the second note in a few days saying Hardy will generate a lot of interest despite his down year. That's a good sign.

I should have been able to guess that, since the casuals have been saying the opposite.

9/24/2009 06:54:00 PM

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

(9/23/2009 08:47:00 PM) - Al

Look at the list Billy Butler just joined.

Kid can hit.

9/23/2009 08:47:00 PM

(9/23/2009 08:29:00 PM) - Al

I am sure Macha would much prefer to remove Narveson a batter early than have him give up a HR to his last batter faced. Chris pitched well, and has put himself on the map for next year. I'm not sure how many pitches he's thrown in AAA, but I'm sure they're thrilled to get 5+ from him.

9/23/2009 08:29:00 PM

(9/23/2009 08:12:00 PM) - Al

Narveson is showing why he kept getting chances. With his fine conclusion, the Brewers might be forced to put him on the 40 man roster or risk losing him. Because he's out of options, I'm sure the Crew will try to sign him to a minor league deal and give him some cash to make it a good decision for him.

9/23/2009 08:12:00 PM

(9/23/2009 07:56:00 PM) - Al

Some charts that show the upcoming debt level...I don't see it lasting. At the link, you can click on the charts he used for his lecture...note the alarming gap between revenues and spending...that my friends, is "change".

9/23/2009 07:56:00 PM

(9/23/2009 07:51:00 PM) - Al

The Washington Post feels reading a bill before voting is passe...I gotta agree with Glenn, minimal government "help" is a blessing.

9/23/2009 07:51:00 PM

(9/23/2009 07:05:00 PM) - Al

It seems clear that the US will either be mounting a "surge" in Afghanistan or employing the "cut and run" technique.

By the way, it is astounding how you find articles like this in the UK papers, and yet in the US, we get where Lindsay Lohan was last night.

9/23/2009 07:05:00 PM

(9/23/2009 06:59:00 PM) - Al

Meet the people living under the Vegas strip.

9/23/2009 06:59:00 PM

(9/23/2009 06:05:00 PM) - Al

Obama's young supporters are not happy and very quiet...much is blamed on reform and change being so slow, not at the pace they are used to in the internet world.

The irony there is, the 18-29 year-olds are by far the ones who should want things to stay the same...many have rarely worked while in school, record numbers moved back home, and many have spent so much on credit, they are living a far better lifestyle than their income should allow.

A couple months ago, one of the recent graduates who had joined my company said "I'm used to having summers off", and acted as if it was a punishment having to work. She obviously was not happy with that "change" in her life.

9/23/2009 06:05:00 PM

(9/23/2009 04:30:00 PM) - Al

Gleeman wondering why anyone cares about strikeouts when all the top K guys have outstanding offensive seasons.

Strikeouts are slightly worse than a regular out...I've read about 0.4%. Let's be honest, if you can be 97.5% accurate predicting the runs a team will score by using OBP and OXS, all the "little things" make about 2.5% difference...the stolen bases, the "clutch" hitting, and the hitting behind the runner stuff.

Look at the 4 teams with the most K's, and their runs scored ranking in the NL.


Note all are in the top half. Now, the lowest amount of K's:


If K's are bad, I'm not seeing a lot of cause and effect.

I've done this before, but let's take a gander at OBP, shall we? The best OBP clubs:


Now the worst:


That's what we call game, set, match. I wish the Crew could find some high K, good OBP guys on teams where that is frowned upon...but realistically, those teams don't exist, as the Twins are probably as close as anyone, but in their case, they are just anti-SLG, high BA, and the results show...they rarely develop power hitters, as they want singles hitters...this is from the days they non-tendered Dave Ortiz because he was not a "smart hitter", he just smacks the ball.

9/23/2009 04:30:00 PM

(9/23/2009 04:22:00 PM) - Al

With Cox extending for one more year, the rumors will begin that either Yost or Nanny Acta will be groomed to take over in '11.

9/23/2009 04:22:00 PM

(9/23/2009 04:19:00 PM) - Al

"He should have real value," an AL assistant GM said of Hardy. "He's an average-to-above-average defensive player, he's demonstrated the ability to hit with some pop, and that's such a positional need for so many clubs."

Let us hope that assistant GM is correct.

9/23/2009 04:19:00 PM

(9/23/2009 03:41:00 PM) - Al


Love your Ramblings, your posts about which pitchers will be kept and why Twitter has private options especially were fine examples of why I tune in.

On the Twitter thought, my sister-in-law has her Twitter set to private so potential employers can't see her 'I was so drunk I don't even remember last night' posts. That's not likely why all do it, but it's for some.


Matthew, why would your sis-in-law not just make her account something "non-traceable", like her nickname and a number (DrunkenSlut224)? That seems far easier than limiting your followers.

9/23/2009 03:41:00 PM

(9/23/2009 01:30:00 PM) - Al

I just found out today that you can set your Twitter to "private", and have to approve users. I just find it strange that an entire thing set up to be 100% self-publicizing ("I am eating shrimp alfredo with Patti and then we're going to a movie") needs to have a "private" setting. It seems to me if you wish to keep such things private, it's far easier not to post it on Twitter.

And no, I have not set up a Twitter feed (I'm just a follower), as I wonder how many times I could post "I am playing poker online and watching the Brewers" before getting banned.

9/23/2009 01:30:00 PM

(9/23/2009 01:02:00 PM) - Al


I work for an executive recruiter. A couple notes.

North Dakota is always short of workforce, because no one wants to live there, due to the long, cold winters, and it's proximity to nowhere. This is especially true of executive and technological positions, as few college grads would consider even a short-term relocation there, especially those from the coasts. Many businesses now use some sort of "work here, go home" plan, similar to oil rigs and deep sea fishing, a month on, a month off, even in highly sought after spots like the civilian positions at the air bases.

Oh, and I believe the signs say "North Dakota refuses to participate in this recession", unless they've now made them city specific. I believe the state pays for them though, so I doubt it. The state recently held a pair of job fairs in Michigan, trying to lure displaced workers from the auto industry. Attendance was high, but the issues of weather and remote location still makes it a very tough sell.


9/23/2009 01:02:00 PM

(9/23/2009 12:39:00 PM) - Al

Sarah Palin starts cashing in, gives a speech that seems to mirror the tea party stance (and Ronald Reagan's).

"She was brilliant," said a European delegate, on condition of anonymity.

"She said America was spending a lot of money and it was a temporary solution. Normal people are having to pay more and more but things don't get better. The rich will leave the country and the poor will get poorer."

Some also left early, though I cannot believe the average European socialist is her best audience. Read the whole thing.

This piece suggests Palin is leaning toward the libertarian side of things...of course, she is known to have strong views on abortion, so she would have to be a Christian libertarian...a minority of a minority. I think the "small c" conservative, envoking Thatcher and Reagan, is the path she will proceed toward.

9/23/2009 12:39:00 PM

(9/23/2009 12:35:00 PM) - Al

Obama has lost the so far left it's almost right wing of the party that Ralph Nader represents.

Somehow, I'm sure this is looked at as a positive.

9/23/2009 12:35:00 PM

(9/23/2009 12:14:00 PM) - Al

CNBC just said that they have billboards in Fargo, ND that say, "Fargo is not participating in this recession". I assume this is true, and if so, what a brilliant marketing ploy by the city.

If you're a business looking to expand, do you look to a city like Milwaukee, always making excuses why they still have dozens of abandoned warehouses and factories dotting the landscape (apparently, hoping for a return to the 70's), or to a forward thinking metro area like Fargo? All things equal, I go with the city whose outlook mirrors mine.

9/23/2009 12:14:00 PM

(9/23/2009 11:08:00 AM) - Al


Reading the Witrado chat yesterday, he thinks they may shop Gamel for a pitcher. Thoughts?

Hammerin Hank

Doubt it. The funny thing about the recent "will Gamel be dealt?" thoughts is this...two months ago, he was listed as an untouchable. Now, while it is true McGehee has played well in the meantime, many do not think Gamel will be a 3B long-term anyway. Also, Casey is under team control until the end of 2014, and Gamel at least the end of '15. Both can easily be penciled into the lineup, as Casey can play 1B/2B/3B, while Mat may end up at 1B/3B/LF/RF. In the back of my mind, I have to wonder if Casey is overachieving this year, as he is far outproducing his AAA time...though he is 26, and is nearing his mythical peak.

In closing, how many young players has Doug traded? Other than prospects at the deadline, none. A small market team needs to maximize those pre-arby and arby years, not deal 'em away.

A few months ago I probably said here numerous times that I expected the left half of the '10 infield to be Escobar and Gamel. The angst many confused fans seem to feel now that McGehee has had a stellar year is ironic to me, as in my book, more talent and production is a good thing. As is, Mat dominated in AAA for a couple months, was passable in the majors, then took a step back when he returned to AAA. If not for Casey's emergence, the club would probably sign a stopgap for 2010, and bring Gamel up when he performed up to his level.

Also, the constant whining about Gamel not playing much in his callup is along the lines of casuals complaining Gabe Gross and Gabe Kapler not playing full time (you know, after we released Cameron or traded/sent down Hart). Gross and Kapler now both reside in Tampa, where they continue to be solid platoon/part-time players...just like Gerut and Catalanotto are. I asked Ramblings contributor Robert why people were so bothered by the fact Gamel may only get 20 PA's instead of 40-50 PA's in September, and he told me he sees it as "an opportunity" for Mat that he's not getting. However, I admit, I see that "opportunity" as a tiny sample. Mat has stepped to the plate almost 500 times in ' pretend that 30 more will make a difference doesn't make sense to me.

Casey has had a fantastic year, and for that matter, so has Craig Counsell. To toss that aside because Gamel is a "prospect", doesn't make sense. Doug has been quoted as saying he wants to win as many games as possible, I'm sure that's what Mark A wants as well. Hence, Macha is playing to win.

If we were talking about Gamel losing playing time to a platoon of Hall and Mike Lamb, two vets with little upside, I could see the point. However, he's not, he's not playing because he has two solid players ahead of him, and two players who have performed admirably and who I hope return in '10.

9/23/2009 11:08:00 AM

(9/23/2009 10:34:00 AM) - Al

Frankie sends in this link about three young SS's to watch...guess who is one of them?

He thinks they'll be fighting for "all-star births" for years...heh.

9/23/2009 10:34:00 AM

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

(9/22/2009 11:09:00 PM) - Al

Tough to keep your story straight when it comes to a fictional health care plan.

9/22/2009 11:09:00 PM

(9/22/2009 10:00:00 PM) - Al

Every night, we hear that Doug has a tough decision on Cameron and Kendall, both free agents, both getting toward the end of their careers, and to be honest, he does...though because of the pitching needs and increasing salaries of Fielder and others, I think it's almost a certainty that both will not return.

However, I often talk of being a contrarian, and how I'm not the least bit unhappy I don't look at the world the same way as others...I was one of the first to say that "stocks were on sale" earlier this year, and was one of the first who said the economy looked to be improving six months ago.

One question I've been asking of late is which relievers the Crew will ask back...Weathers has a large option ($3.75M) for next year, but has been one of the most dependable middle men for the past decade in MLB. Vargas has been stupendous as well, but will be arby eligible, though his reward is unlikely to be more than half of what Dave's option would pay him. Both these guys also are able to go multiple frames, as is Coffey, which is especially needed as it seems very likely Hoffman will come back...and Trevor is a 3 out man, with no exceptions. McClung is another guy who a decision will have to be made on...Seth was a rock out there for much of the year, until, like many others, he succumbed to overuse and injury. Not only has he pitched well when healthy, he falls under that "you can't teach velocity" heading, able to hit 95-96 often.

One thing to keep in mind is this...if both Weathers and Vargas return, as well as Hoffman, that would probably have five spots spoken for, to go with Coffey and Stetter. Smith has pitched well, CV has as well, except for a terrible stretch in the hot months, Seth...and the thing is, at least a spot or two in the bullpen will probably go to rotation depth, as that was lacking this season. It looks like Josh Butler will be in AAA, and I'm sure the Crew hopes to bring Narveson back on a minor league deal...though his success of late may prompt a team to give him a major league contract.

Personally, I find this far more interesting than the Cameron/Kendall question.

9/22/2009 10:00:00 PM

(9/22/2009 08:22:00 PM) - Al

Chris Smith may be making the Brewers decision to keep him on the 40 man much easier...his ERA is in the low 3's, and he's shown some durability and multi-inning ability.

9/22/2009 08:22:00 PM

(9/22/2009 08:06:00 PM) - Al

Bucks' open practice, "Admission is free"...geez, I hope so.

9/22/2009 08:06:00 PM

(9/22/2009 07:46:00 PM) - Al

According to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune, Mike Cameron is expected to be on the Cubs' radar during the offseason.

The Cubs would like to move Kosuke Fukudome back to right field, and since 2006 first-round pick Tyler Colvin probably won't be ready to be a full-time player in 2010, Cameron would be a pretty good fit. Even better, the Cubs won't have to worry about any distractions, as Cameron has one of the best reputations in the game. The 36-year-old veteran is batting .255/.348/.453 with 21 homers and 64 RBI this season. He slugged two home runs against the Cubs on Monday night.--Rotoworld

Colvin sure looks ready to me, and his minor league numbers appear solid as well. Fukudome is a well below average corner OF as well, so this does not make a lot of sense to me.

9/22/2009 07:46:00 PM

(9/22/2009 05:29:00 PM) - Al


JJ Hardy for Bengie Molina

Your thoughts.


Molina is what he is, a catcher with some pop who struggles to get on base 30% of the time. However, he is a free agent, so he's available without having to include JJ.

9/22/2009 05:29:00 PM

(9/22/2009 05:04:00 PM) - Al

Gleeman looks at the tale of two, nearly identical seasons from Nick Blackburn. Those are pretty good numbers in the AL, he'd have an ERA almost the same as Yo with the common league adjustment, though he does it in a vastly different manner.

9/22/2009 05:04:00 PM

(9/22/2009 01:32:00 PM) - Al

Adam links to Doug sounding off on September roster inequities.

I admit, I don't see it as much of an issue either, though Doug's idea of 30 active players a day sounds fine. I like Cox's idea of a couple extra pitchers in April.

Heck, I've long argued a 27 man roster with a 25 man active roster for each game (yesterday and tomorrow's SP's, unless someone is nursing an injury and can't play) would be a nice way for teams to carry specialists (another loogy, a guy who would mainly just PR, a 3rd catcher) or easier to stash a Rule 5 pick all year (you could carry 5 OF's and not have to worry about that 20 year-old having to play).

9/22/2009 01:32:00 PM

Monday, September 21, 2009

(9/21/2009 11:40:00 PM) - Al

Vikings, Saints, Patriots, and Colts...these are the away teams I'm picking this week.

Against the spread, I like the Bears and the points, and the Cowboys to cover.

After week one, I am 11-5, and 0-2 against the spread.

EDIT: I almost picked the Bengals. I think the Packers are very overrated, and Cincy will be desperate for a win after last week.

EDIT: 9-7, and 1-1 vs. the spread, totals, 20-12, and 1-3.

9/21/2009 11:40:00 PM

(9/21/2009 09:27:00 PM) - Al

Anyone who doesn't think Braun's shoulder is bothering him, I think he's proven it tonight...a weak throw in the 1st that bounced 3 or 4 times from short LF, and later on, a throw to the cutoff man that barely got there.

Hopefully, it isn't anything that will require offseason surgery, and will heal fine with rest.

9/21/2009 09:27:00 PM

(9/21/2009 09:24:00 PM) - Al

I've never understood tattoos or hats on men (of course, an attractive woman can get away with wearing a hat...because no one is looking up there anyway.:)

Language and adult pictures at the link. And a bunch of people who look like complete idiots.

9/21/2009 09:24:00 PM

(9/21/2009 04:55:00 PM) - Al

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pirates have their eye on impending free agent outfielder Rick Ankiel.

Ankiel, 30, is batting just .234 this season with 11 home runs and 37 RBI, but the Pirates love his athleticism and his strong outfield arm. He hit .264/.337/.506 with 25 dingers and 71 RBI in 2008, his first full season as a major league center fielder.--Rotoworld

I've been pushing Ankiel (or Gerut) to replace Cameron, unless Mike returns for well under market value. Not that surprising to me that the forward thinking Pirates are also intrigued by this buy low, sell high candidate.

The Pirates of yesterday would look to sign Cameron and chase that 70th win. The new regime is headed in the right direction, and the casuals won't notice until they win 82 least.

9/21/2009 04:55:00 PM

(9/21/2009 04:51:00 PM) - Al

The other day Buster Olney said JJ Hardy would play more the last couple weeks to try and increase his trade value, and sure enough, Hardy has played 3 of 4 games since, counting tonight.

Olney must have a good relationship with someone high up in the front office.

9/21/2009 04:51:00 PM

(9/21/2009 04:15:00 PM) - Al

Looks like a "surge" is needed in Afghanistan just like it was in Iraq.

9/21/2009 04:15:00 PM

(9/21/2009 03:34:00 PM) - Al

Jimmy Carter's national security adviser says the US has to shoot down Israeli jets if they fly over Iraq to attack Iran. Seriously.

History will wonder how we ever survived the late 70's with just high unemployment and inflation in the teens.

9/21/2009 03:34:00 PM

(9/21/2009 03:30:00 PM) - Al

I simply cannot make clear enough how lucky the Dems are the next election is in November of '10 rather than November of '09.

9/21/2009 03:30:00 PM

(9/21/2009 03:08:00 PM) - Al

Cecil Cooper let go by the Astros, who are probably as poorly run as any team in MLB...though their higher payroll allows them to have more success than the Royals, Nationals, and the like.

9/21/2009 03:08:00 PM

(9/21/2009 03:00:00 PM) - Al

I don't know what's funnier...that ESPN may not run "slasher movie" ads during college football games (even though all previews are approved for all audiences), or the person in charge of making ethical decisions at ESPN is Don Ohlmeyer, who fired Norm McDonald because he wouldn't stop calling Ohlmeyer's good friend, OJ Simpson, a double murderer.

Of course, Simpson was a real life "slasher", so the irony just keeps on growing.

9/21/2009 03:00:00 PM

Sunday, September 20, 2009

(9/20/2009 10:16:00 PM) - Al

Nice weekend for the Crew. We'll see what happens facing better competition this week.

The Cubs suspend Milton Bradley for...voicing his opinion? That seems odd on any number of levels.

I assume the Cubs will have to eat at least half, if not more, of Bradley's salary in order to trade him. He's still a health risk, but some team is going to get a bargain, if you just look at production at least.

9/20/2009 10:16:00 PM

(9/20/2009 06:56:00 PM) - Al

Ghost, Roadhouse(2 different channels), Dirty Dancing and Point Break (Twice, same Channel) were on last night.

For being a sketchy actor(in my opinion) PS gets a lot of airtime.

But Point Break is one of my FAV of all Time.


I'm not sure how anyone can question the acting skills of Swayze...after all, he uttered, "Pain don't hurt" without laughing, so he's obviously a fine thespian.

9/20/2009 06:56:00 PM

(9/20/2009 06:36:00 PM) - Al

Money for the old media?


9/20/2009 06:36:00 PM

(9/20/2009 02:11:00 PM) - Al

Obama votes present on Acorn stealing millions of dollars from Americans who, you know, actually earned that money.

9/20/2009 02:11:00 PM

(9/20/2009 01:42:00 PM) - Al

Two of my favorite actresses, Melissa Joan Hart and Kellie Martin, had lunch together yesterday.

I don't think Kellie realized there would be photos.:)

MJ is on Dancing with the Stars soon, by the way.

9/20/2009 01:42:00 PM

(9/20/2009 12:35:00 PM) - Al

Note the speaker at the Milwaukee tea party is Asian-American, and an African-American man is one of the "racist, redneck" attendees.

It must really bother the old media when reality does not fit the narrative.

9/20/2009 12:35:00 PM

(9/20/2009 12:31:00 PM) - Al

Common sense is dead.

Think how thrilled the parents and friends of the person he murdered is to know he's enjoying himself at the fair for the day, never mind the danger involved.

9/20/2009 12:31:00 PM

(9/20/2009 02:08:00 AM) - Al

What went wrong with the Royals?

I admire the brevity, nice editing. That said, other than Billy Butler, Grienke, and Soria, I think it's safe to say pretty much everything.

People pick on the Pirates for trading their veterans, while I wonder why KC hung onto theirs. Dejesus, Teahen, Jacobs, and so on, are decent enough role players, but in KC, they have them hitting in the middle of the order. They will never compete with that group, and should blow it up and begin anew.

Sadly, they are always afraid they're going to lose 100 games and really suck, so they chase 65 and 70 wins...every single season.

In order to live, you can't be afraid to die.

9/20/2009 02:08:00 AM

(9/20/2009 02:00:00 AM) - Al

Cutting taxes to add jobs...those crazy Swedes!

It's like the Reagan years have been lost in history. Carter raised taxes and spent money...well, like Obama, and Reagan's leadership led to an unprecedented 25 year cycle of job growth and prosperity.

How many times does it need to be proven that the government sucks at spending money efficiently?

Apparently, an infinite amount.

9/20/2009 02:00:00 AM

(9/20/2009 01:35:00 AM) - Al

The Rambling wife watched Dirty Dancing tonight, and said Ghost was on a couple channels away. Daniel Negraneau watched Point Break as he played online poker tonight.

I watched the Brewers, but wonder why no one had Road House far the best of the Swayze films...but in a "it's so bad, it's good" kind of way, of course.

9/20/2009 01:35:00 AM

(9/20/2009 01:34:00 AM) - Al

Dog and cat diaries.

It's funny because it's true.

9/20/2009 01:34:00 AM

(9/20/2009 01:22:00 AM) - Al

Doug confirms he wants Hoffman back, and hopes to work out a deal in the exclusive window before Hoffman is a FA.

9/20/2009 01:22:00 AM

Saturday, September 19, 2009

(9/19/2009 10:10:00 PM) - Al

Despite pitching injured some of '09, Suppan now has a 4.76 ERA, and a career ERA of 4.65. I'm the first to admit Soup will be overpaid for next year, but those who are unhappy he'll be part of the '10 rotation are casuals and are out of touch.

I hope they'll be a day when the Crew has five SP's better than Suppan, but I am not holding my breath.

The Crew is now 62-56 in games started by anyone except Parra and CV. That's on pace for 85 wins, and also on pace to be in the wildcard hunt. Complain all you like about a lack of depth and such, but this team is an average season from Parra and most likely a healthy Seth McClung away from being in the thick of things.

9/19/2009 10:10:00 PM

(9/19/2009 09:42:00 PM) - Al

Fielder's RBI record...never has so little been discussed so much.

Not only was it inevitable Prince would break the mark, barring injury. But, Prince has the most RBI's for a reason...he's had the most baserunners. Braun has had the 2nd most, Cameron the 3rd most...golly, look who's 2nd and 3rd in RBI's.

Prince has had a spectacular year, but it has nothing to do with how many RBI's he has. If not for Ryan, Rickie, Felipe, and Craig, he'd have nowhere near as many, and he'd still be having the exact same season.

9/19/2009 09:42:00 PM

(9/19/2009 07:37:00 PM) - Al

The news they refused to print last year...will now be on the front page tomorrow.

Don't worry, I'm sure they would handle a Palin situation the exact same way...heh.

9/19/2009 07:37:00 PM

(9/19/2009 07:05:00 PM) - Al

Tom H dedicates his entire column to wondering whether Macha will be back. What's funny is, almost all those who use modern stats and analysis have long since decided the manager is almost meaningless. It doesn't take much to realize that runs scored and runs prevented is most all that matters, as Tom focuses on how much the players like Macha. Tom mentions he hasn't been thrown out all year, and the irony is, John Wooden never stood up on the bench, never mind get a technical foul...and he did ok.

Personally, I think Macha will be extended and asked back, as Doug seems positive about him. I will say this, I'd a lot rather see a couple pitchers added, as if Suppan and Bush had been healthy all year, it'd probably be moot, as the Crew might well be right in the mix of the wildcard hunt.

9/19/2009 07:05:00 PM

(9/19/2009 06:14:00 PM) - Al

I was just out putting our new tank of gas on the grill. I kneeled down, and was trying to line up the threads...and I heard the Rambling dog's collar jingling as he raced down the steps. Now, usually this is no big deal, as he'll not even realize he's not on his chain, but I glanced over and the neighbor had a young man in his early 20's in the backyard. I yelled, "Ronnie" a couple times, and the young man said, "What?" Then, he saw Ronnie, as well as me walking down the deck steps after him. I walked over to carry Ron home, hoping he would not see a rabbit or squirrel, which would lead me to never seeing him again. The gent asked, "What's his name?" and I responded "Ronnie", and the young fella said, "That's my name. I thought you were yelling at me."

You never know who a curious cocker spaniel will introduce you to.

9/19/2009 06:14:00 PM

(9/19/2009 04:27:00 PM) - Al

Chris Wallace has had it with the Obama team, and lets them have it.

9/19/2009 04:27:00 PM

(9/19/2009 03:54:00 PM) - Al

I always am flabbergasted whenever Carter speaks, because it irritates someone enough to write something that just tears apart his legacy, or lack thereof.

EDIT: Glenn speaks of Carter's various problems with race and creed. He's the last guy I listen to about anything.

9/19/2009 03:54:00 PM

(9/19/2009 03:36:00 PM) - Al

Leno has a racetrack in which celeb drivers try to hit cardboard cutouts of environmentalists like Al Gore and Ed Begley Jr.

He's also having Rush Limbaugh on.

Leno (and/or his producers) seem to be cashing in on the same outrage that the tea parties are. This almost seems to guarantee the critics, almost all based on the east or west coast, will be negative, and the ratings will be pretty good.

9/19/2009 03:36:00 PM

(9/19/2009 03:32:00 PM) - Al

Thank goodness no one has cut the budget for anti-terrorism work...yet.

As I've said before, it doesn't bother me in the least if they listen to my calls if they can keep us safe. Civil liberties? That don't mean much to me if my family or myself are dead.

9/19/2009 03:32:00 PM

(9/19/2009 11:41:00 AM) - Al

Seth McClung (elbow) expects to be available Saturday.

No word if the Brew Crew will activate him in time for the game, but McClung and team doctors say he is prepared to pitch. Sidelined since July 24, the right-hander will return to a bullpen role.--Rotoworld, via MLBlogs

If the Crew plays a 10-2 game in the next few days, we might see Seth make his return.

9/19/2009 11:41:00 AM

(9/19/2009 10:26:00 AM) - Al

I really don't have anything against Talk Like A Pirate Day (except, as Jerry said about dancing, it's just stupid).

However, it does irritate me that the media gives it so much free publicity, while many of us don't even know when Flag Day is, because heaven forbid that gets mentioned in the old media.

9/19/2009 10:26:00 AM

Friday, September 18, 2009

(9/18/2009 11:09:00 PM) - Al

Umpire admits how the catcher catches the ball matters how he calls the pitch.

We've all known this for years, but they'll always deny it.

9/18/2009 11:09:00 PM

(9/18/2009 09:32:00 PM) - Al

Yesterday, I was in the Minocqua area. I was working with another gent and we had time to talk, and one thing I brought up was when I am in the Eau Claire area, where I lived for seven years in the early 90's, I always kind of expect to see people I know, but hardly ever do. One reason for this is simple...I always look around for people I knew 15-20 years ago, and expect them to look like they did then.

The guy I was working with said that reminded him of a joke he recently got e-mailed to him, which I will repeat below.

One day, a guy who was in his 50's got a phone call. It was from a former college girlfriend, who recently found herself single. She asked if he wanted to get toegther and possibly rekindle their romance from 30 years before.

The conversation from this point:

Him: I don't think so. I'm an old man. I've put on a lot of weight since then. I have a huge gut, I used to be firm down there.

Her: Oh, that doesn't bother me.

Him: Geez, you're a beautiful girl, and here I am, my hair is almost all gone, and what's left is all gray.

Her: That makes no difference to me.

Him: I can barely walk, I just had an artificial knee put in, in fact, I walk with a cane part of the time.

Her: No problem, we're all moving a little slower.

Him: No, I just think you'd be disappointed, I mean, after all, you're so gorgeous, you can have any man you want. It would just be a waste of your time.

Her: No, no, I'd love to see you. You know, you seem to forget, I'm older now too. Over the years, I've gained 15 or 20 pounds...

Him: Gained 20 pounds? Why would I wanna go out with a fat cow like you?

9/18/2009 09:32:00 PM

(9/18/2009 09:18:00 PM) - Al

If you did not know, you'd swear Chris Smith was a top middle reliever in the majors if you had never saw him pitch before tonight.

The Brewers have some tough decisions to make this winter with regards to their 40 man, as Narveson, Smith, and Burns will all be sought after minor league free agents, yet none are good enough that you'd really be upset about losing them either. That said, as we've found out this year, pitching depth is vital.

9/18/2009 09:18:00 PM

(9/18/2009 09:11:00 PM) - Al

Watching Hardy play SS after Escobar makes JJ look like he's wearing cement shoes.

9/18/2009 09:11:00 PM

(9/18/2009 08:54:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling son just told me the library hasn't been open yet at school...they've been "organizing the new books" the first three weeks.

Seriously, can you imagine this in the private sector? But, since the schools are "overwhelmed", our tax dollars are spent on an unused library for 10% of the school year.

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

9/18/2009 08:54:00 PM

(9/18/2009 08:01:00 PM) - Al

Sadly, both Swayze and Farley have left us since they made this classic skit.

9/18/2009 08:01:00 PM

(9/18/2009 06:18:00 PM) - Al

Friend of Ramblings JR says Sunday will be a short outing for Yo, and then he'll be done until next year.

9/18/2009 06:18:00 PM

(9/18/2009 03:39:00 PM) - Al

Let's say you're preparing dinner and you realize with dismay that you don't have any certified organic Tuscan kale. What to do?

Here's how Michelle Obama handled this very predicament Thursday afternoon:

The Secret Service and the D.C. police brought in three dozen vehicles and shut down H Street, Vermont Avenue, two lanes of I Street and an entrance to the McPherson Square Metro station. They swept the area, in front of the Department of Veterans Affairs, with bomb-sniffing dogs and installed magnetometers in the middle of the street, put up barricades to keep pedestrians out, and took positions with binoculars atop trucks. Though the produce stand was only a block or so from the White House, the first lady hopped into her armored limousine and pulled into the market amid the wail of sirens.

Then, and only then, could Obama purchase her leafy greens. "Now it's time to buy some food," she told several hundred people who came to watch. "Let's shop!"

Cowbells were rung. Somebody put a lei of marigolds around Obama's neck. The first lady picked up a straw basket and headed for the "Farm at Sunnyside" tent, where she loaded up with organic Asian pears, cherry tomatoes, multicolored potatoes, free-range eggs and, yes, two bunches of Tuscan kale. She left the produce with an aide, who paid the cashier as Obama made her way back to the limousine.

Read the whole thing.

I just wouldn't have kale. I'm not even sure what kale is.

I certainly have no issue that the Secret Service protection afforded the president and his family borders on "too much". However, one has to wonder why the aide in question wasn't handed a list and walked the block to take care of the shopping quickly and easily.

9/18/2009 03:39:00 PM

(9/18/2009 03:28:00 PM) - Al

Doug Davis says he would be happy to return to ARI or MIL, and is not all that interested in breaking the bank. That said, he'll probably take a minimum of two years with a buyout, as he'll have many teams interested.

9/18/2009 03:28:00 PM

(9/18/2009 12:13:00 PM) - Al

It is beyond belief that no one can get around to getting rid of these ridiculous, antiquated rules and statutes.

The US should be welcoming this Marine's wife and son with open arms and excellent military benefits, not making her jump through hoops with a flock of paper pushers who have nothing better to do.

9/18/2009 12:13:00 PM

(9/18/2009 12:10:00 PM) - Al

Jay Leno rips Acorn. The Times might have to report this now.

That said, I'm worried Jimmy Carter will refer to Leno as "racist".

9/18/2009 12:10:00 PM

(9/18/2009 12:04:00 PM) - Al

Illegal aliens can't get health care...but we should work to legalize them?

Wow, even for this administration, this is a huge misstep. This is going to be mocked and disliked as much as anything they've put out.

9/18/2009 12:04:00 PM

(9/18/2009 10:36:00 AM) - Al

One name to remember this offseason is John Maine, either as a non-tendered free agent or in trade...apprently, the Mets are considering non-tendering him, as he has missed a lot of the current season with a tired arm, and there are whispers about his desire.

Maine has had success in the majors, is 28, and could well be had on a one year deal. That's a risk worth taking.

9/18/2009 10:36:00 AM

(9/18/2009 10:32:00 AM) - Al shares his weekly link report.

In a utopian world, Aaron would whip up one of these every day.

9/18/2009 10:32:00 AM

(9/18/2009 09:18:00 AM) - Al

I do find it shocking that the old media completely ignores the fact that Obama keeps talking about a health care plan that does not exist.

Short on specifics has pretty much become a trademark, but short on existence? His bill is fictional, and this tidbit of info probably should be mentioned before the death of the Times and their ilk.

9/18/2009 09:18:00 AM

(9/18/2009 08:59:00 AM) - Al

WI toughens drunk driving penalties, and I'm still offended at how weak they are.

I get the feeling the tavern league's lobby and political donations play a large part in this. The idea someone has to be convicted a 4th time for OWI before it is a felony is extraordinarily lame.

9/18/2009 08:59:00 AM

Thursday, September 17, 2009

(9/17/2009 11:19:00 PM) - Al

The amazing thing about the game today was that the key hit was Gerut's slam, and he somehow hit a breaking ball about six inches off the ground, well low and out of the strike zone, for that grand slam. Sometimes, good pitches get hit, and that was a case of just that happening.

9/17/2009 11:19:00 PM

(9/17/2009 09:48:00 PM) - Al

Why Dems also suck at realizing poker is a game of skill, and should be 100% legal online.

I have little doubt that the proper position on this issue, like almost all issue, is one of very minimal government intervention. Of course, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that with state lotteries, state sponsored Native American casinos, and the like, limiting competition...and a pervasive nanny state mentality (thank goodness these clods are here to protect us from ourselves), is probably more to blame than actual politics.

Before I get overwhelmed with completely ignorant e-mails on the topic, it is the opinion of many that online gambling (games of chance, sports betting, and games of skill) is legal...which only means no law has ever been written that bans it, which is simple to do. The internet gaming act did make it more challenging to fund such accounts, but is unenforceable and easy to get around anyway. The only law on the books which some claim make online wagering illegal is the Wire Act, which prohibits wagers over phone lines...this is what makes bookmaking illegal everywhere in the US except Nevada sportsbooks. However, while a tiny minority may wager online using dial up, the vast majority use other means to connect, such as cable or satellite.

Welcoming poker sites to the US, and agreeing on a fair tax in exchange for this right is simple, fair, but makes far too much sense for the government to even consider. At one point, Poker Stars was making thousands of dollars in rake...every second, before closing its doors to US customers out of fear of eventual trouble. Probably 40-50% of that rake came from US players, so it seems likely Party Poker would have gladly agreed to pay a small tax on an agreed upon portion (say 40%) of its overall take.

Sadly, despite spending more money than most of us can ever imagine, there's no clue on where to, you know, get the funds from. Looking to prosecute players of a skill filled game by using outdated 50 year-old laws...please. Either ban it with legislation, or shut up already.

9/17/2009 09:48:00 PM

(9/17/2009 09:36:00 PM) - Al

Remember how they were teased about not reading the "stimulus" bill? Pelosi apparently never reads any of them.

Also, Pelosi and Clinton have to decide if dissent is the most patriotic thing or not...maybe a meeting of some sort is needed to get their self-serving hypocrisy a tad more consistent.

9/17/2009 09:36:00 PM

(9/17/2009 06:48:00 PM) - Al

I'm going to watch the replay tonight of the game, so I'm unlikely to be updating Ramblings until later.

9/17/2009 06:48:00 PM

(9/17/2009 06:45:00 PM) - Al

Freakonomics looks at how much injuries matter in football. I'm sure it can be applied elsewhere as well. He is right though, football has been particularly slow to adapt to anything except the good ol' boys club, with guys being kept for seemingly no reason except the coach likes them .

9/17/2009 06:45:00 PM

(9/17/2009 06:16:00 PM) - Al

My opinion: for a net of $5.5MM guaranteed, the Brewers should seek a pitcher with more upside than Looper. Erik Bedard, Brett Myers, and even Brad Penny might fit the bill. Looper didn't sign until mid-February this year, and the guarantee was only $4.75MM. The Brewers can find another Looper if they need an innings-eater, so why not decline the option and see how the market plays out?---MLBTR

I'm not sure where they think another innings eater will fall out of the sky AND want to play in MIL. I think they should look for a uy with more upside and offer Looper the extension. The problem with the pitchers listed above is simple...they might be solid, and they might suck. Of course, any pitcher could get hurt, but Looper's history is one of health, so he's a far better risk than the above, higher ceiling fellas.

9/17/2009 06:16:00 PM

(9/17/2009 05:24:00 PM) - Al

Is it any surprise that even though the money is being spent like drunken sailors (no offense to drunken sailors), defense is still going to be cut...after all, who wants to have any way of shooting down a missile from Iran or North Korea...they're so darn friendly.

I'm still a bit peeved that not a penny of $787B went to our military, which deserves it far more than all the pet pork projects that ended up with it...a tiny percent of which have even been started, despite the fact we heard they were all "shovel ready".

9/17/2009 05:24:00 PM

(9/17/2009 05:17:00 PM) - Al

ACORN is voted out by both the House and Senate...and they still might end up getting the cash...yet our politicians can say, "Well, I voted to defund them, don't blame me".
It is offensive the way they attach a piece of unrelated legislation onto another. I would not go so far as to call them crooks, but it is highly unethical, and a practice that should not be tolerated...but, somehow, I doubt Pelosi or Reid will get to it.

9/17/2009 05:17:00 PM

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

(9/16/2009 10:35:00 PM) - Al

Gallardo appears done for the season, Burns will join the team Friday, and Butler looks like he might get the start Sunday in place of Yo.

9/16/2009 10:35:00 PM

(9/16/2009 10:22:00 PM) - Al

UPDATE: The actual article is here, very nice job by Adam.

Mark A says Doug's job is very safe, which was assumed when he said last night that "Doug and his team will work hard".

MA gives no vote of confidence to Macha, but as he always says, that's Doug's decision...even though it is hard to believe Doug decided to fire Yost.

9/16/2009 10:22:00 PM

(9/16/2009 10:18:00 PM) - Al

Somewhere, there's still some folks that would rather pay JJ $5-6M to man SS in '10 than pay Alcides $450K to do the same thing.

At this point, the money is hardly even a consideration...though it's difficult to overlook.

EDIT: My only issue with Escobar is he's only taken a pair of walks to go with 77 AB's...though with his two strike approach, just making contact and running, it makes it a little easier to take. However, if he's going to be the #8 hitter, he needs to take walks to let the pitcher bunt and just to get the pitcher out of the way with two outs.

9/16/2009 10:18:00 PM

(9/16/2009 10:00:00 PM) - Al

Al - longtime reader, lifelong Brewer fan (grew up in Racine).

I also work for CEI. We're the organization that broke the news that the Obama administration admits cap-and-trade's costs. Internally, anyway. Saw your post in my Google Reader, and thought I'd thank you for the plug on behalf of my co-workers who did the digging.

Hope 2010 treats the Crew better than 2009 has.

--Name withheld

That must be where people work who applied themselves in school.

9/16/2009 10:00:00 PM

(9/16/2009 09:57:00 PM) - Al

Let's see, supposedly, he's failed a polygraph, was in the basement at the time, and is full of scratches "from his cat". This is like a 45 second CSI episode. Enjoy the hours of sunlight you got left.

9/16/2009 09:57:00 PM

(9/16/2009 09:43:00 PM) - Al

A double play in which neither runner was out...just when you think the umpires have reached a new low, they manage to get a few more shovel fulls of dirt out of the hole.

Normally I'd say they are just counting the days until the end of the season, but considering we've witnessed this lackadaisical, wrong almost every time if it's close, ahem, "effort" since April, I think it's "safe" (though this crew would certainly just make an out call) to say, they are, without a doubt, absolutely horrible...and getting worse.

MLB should just start over, a bunch of squirrels can miss the contested ones, and they'd look a lot cuter.

9/16/2009 09:43:00 PM

(9/16/2009 06:17:00 PM) - Al

Cap and trade would cost about $1500 a year per family...says the optimistic accounting of the administration. And they wonder why I call it cap and tax.

It would, in a word, literally devastate the entire US economic system, equivalent to an income tax increase of 15% on every American.

Al Gore may be more dangerous than anyone on those watch lists. It's like watching those idiots who believe in Bigfoot (show me a corpse or shut the hell up) get media attention.

9/16/2009 06:17:00 PM

(9/16/2009 01:10:00 PM) - Al

I forgot to post last night that they spoke with Mark A last night during the telecast and he, like Doug, said they have a good core of players, and will look to add pitching. Ironically, he said they expect Parra and Bush to do better, and I think also mentioned Yo, and maybe Looper. I expect them to add a couple arms, one in trade, and a Davis/Washburn type in free agency. Looper has an option to return, and may or may not be back. They'll probably sign a couple guys recovering from injuries too, and hope to find lightning in a bottle.

All that said, it seems very likely to me that the three best pitchers on the '10 staff will be Yo, Parra, and Bush...and if they struggle, so will the team.

EDIT: I am taking a break from my online class and will be trying to summarize what MA says on the replay, unless it's cut for time.

Nevermind, edited out.

9/16/2009 01:10:00 PM

(9/16/2009 12:58:00 PM) - Al

Jon Heyman, an agent, and a GM predict who will get what this offseason.

The GM and Heyman seem pretty realistic, and the agent appears stuck in cuckoo-land, with Jason Bay and Matt Holliday, two solid players but not superstars by any means, end up getting 8y/$147M deals. I was thinking 3-5 years, $12M per for them.

9/16/2009 12:58:00 PM

(9/16/2009 10:04:00 AM) - Al

I have to agree that the constant racism talk is actually making it easier for such feelings to exist. You can't accuse your political opponents of racism every time they disagree with you.

It wasn't racism when people were voting for you on a detailed platform of "we're going to do something about that", it ain't racism now that they're driving to DC and protesting your taxing and spending.

9/16/2009 10:04:00 AM

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

(9/15/2009 11:52:00 PM) - Al

Joe Morgan apparently has not watched an A's game in 5+ years.

EDIT: Gleeman noticed this too.

9/15/2009 11:52:00 PM

(9/15/2009 11:32:00 PM) - Al

I can't help but think of this when I see Washburn struggling in DET...I wonder if a few bad outings will keep his price down so he miht just want to pitch in MIL.

9/15/2009 11:32:00 PM

(9/15/2009 11:15:00 PM) - Al

One interesting thing about the Brewers' '10 schedule...they play in Colorado twice after the Rambling son is out of school and before he starts again in September. A couple years ago, the Rambling wife and I went to Kansas City and had a great time, but for whatever reason, have not found a city to our liking since (once again, Pittsburgh is on the road schedule, but New York or Philadelphia, never in the summer.

I've been hoping for a road series in Toronto, but will be lucky to ever have that occur, I suppose.

We'll also have to keep an eye on when Twins' single game seats go on sale, as I'm sure Target Field tickets will go quickly for all games, including the border battle. Also, almost obligated to go to a couple know, they don't have a roof.

9/15/2009 11:15:00 PM

(9/15/2009 10:21:00 PM) - Al

Axford throws almost exactly as expected...good velocity (92-96), better than expected curve, and all over the place, walking two and hitting one.

He's got all three options, so he has time to put it together...let's hope, as cheap middle relief is a nice thing to have in MLB.

Credit Macha for finding an opportunity to get him into a low stress situation at the start of an inning...bringing him into a mess like Smith inherited might have been u-g-l-y.

9/15/2009 10:21:00 PM

(9/15/2009 09:27:00 PM) - Al

If you only looked at the front page of your paper Sunday, you might have missed that tea party in DC...even though it was the lead story in the UK.

Luckily for us, no one notices this bias. You wonder why those folks are so upset, look at their old media.

9/15/2009 09:27:00 PM

(9/15/2009 09:10:00 PM) - Al

I expect Leno to do well versus repeats and the like, and get destroyed when up against CSI Miami and well established shows like it. In the end, NBC will have to decide if that's "good enough".

I should admit, I suggested this ages ago when Carson was still on.

9/15/2009 09:10:00 PM

(9/15/2009 08:26:00 PM) - Al

Bill seems surprised that Yo is going to hit for himself in the 5th, but I have heard nothing that his pitch count is supposed to be held at a tiny number (I think he has about 75-80 pitches thrown thus far). A decision will have to be made by the braintrust, but Yo and his agent are unlikely to want to call it a year, as Yo could easily win 15, an enormous achievement for a young SP.

It's a tough balancing act, as Prince is likely to play every game, Braun is getting treatment on a sore shoulder every day and plays whenever the medical staff allows it, and others, such as Lopez and McGehee are quite likely taking shots or meds every day just to be able to give it a go for 3 hours a night. Meanwhile, Yo is healthy, but has thrown a lot of pitches on the season...but of course, far less than Lincecum and other guys who will probably be throwing 120 pitches on a cool October night soon.

9/15/2009 08:26:00 PM

(9/15/2009 08:19:00 PM) - Al

I find this schedule confusing, and I'm not living it. Seems a bit unnecessary to me, as the vast majority of students can't get a lot of benefit from it. Sounds like it would better work in an all honor's curriculum.

9/15/2009 08:19:00 PM

(9/15/2009 08:16:00 PM) - Al

I can't believe anyone is stupid enough to not eat pork because of the "swine flu", but I suppose I shouldn't be.

9/15/2009 08:16:00 PM

(9/15/2009 08:13:00 PM) - Al

I have mentioned this a few times as well...Obama thus far has simply been W on foreign policy and now homeland security...which would be fine, had he not promised the exact opposite.

9/15/2009 08:13:00 PM

(9/15/2009 08:03:00 PM) - Al

Gleeman discusses the Cubs' intention of shopping Zambrano this offseason. They also will probably be trying to dump Milton Bradley, though as I have said before, I wish the Brewers would have interest in a guy with a near .400 OBP in a "bad year". I don't even think Milton is having a bad year, just suffering from leaving the friendly confines of TEX.

That said, trading really expensive players coming off rough campaigns is not a desirable situation.

9/15/2009 08:03:00 PM

(9/15/2009 07:44:00 PM) - Al

The main issue in discussing the possibility of Prince joining the Panda by the Bay involves what the Giants would have to surrender to make such a move come to fruition. The Giants have a few top of the line, Kevin Goldstein certified Gold Prospects, but may be very hesitant to deal Madison Bumgarner or Buster Posey in any trade. To even consider it, the Giants would need to be certain they could lock Fielder up long-term. Does he help the Giants if acquired? That question should literally answer itself given the team's offensive ineptitude, but having just parted ways with Tim Alderson and counting on Posey as the catcher of the future, Brian Sabean may not want to deal away his top prospects, and color me skeptical that anyone outside of Lincecum, Cain and Sanchez on the major league roster would interest Doug Melvin in a potential Fielder deal.---Eric Seidman,

If Prince were to be dealt this offseason, it would have to be a team that had at least a couple very good prospects who are blocked. SF does not seem like a logical destination to me.

9/15/2009 07:44:00 PM

(9/15/2009 07:22:00 PM) - Al

While on the subject of Cubs' middle infielders, I thought I'd discuss Aaron Miles. Last year, I bet I got a dozen e-mails saying the Crew should sign Miles. I recall saying he was a weak SS defensively, and that his '08 season looked like an outlier compared to his career numbers. I did like him for what he was, a switch-hitting 2B/PH.

That said, he got off to a bad start and has been buried on the bench, which, for those of you that pay attention, is a common theme with both Lou and Tony LaRussa, though with Tony, it tends to be a personality thing. He'll probably move on this offseason and many Cubs' fans will be shocked to see him rebound to his career norms.

9/15/2009 07:22:00 PM

(9/15/2009 07:15:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers probably don't have much use for him, but Mike Fontenot is a guy who seems to have fallen out of favor with his current club and may be available cheaply this winter. Fontenot can't hit LHP at all, but thankfully, RHP make up the vast majority, and platoon partners are plentiful, as most middle infielders bat righty.

It's tough for me not to notice a 2B with a near 800 career OPS vs. RHP.

9/15/2009 07:15:00 PM

(9/15/2009 06:53:00 PM) - Al

A book the New York Times won't admit exists sells 1M copies.

I think it might be time to quit pretending the Times is still relevant. I giggle every time I see The Weekender ads trying to get me to pay $6 for 3 incredibly biased days of coverage each week. With luck, the arrogant reporters will stop buddying up to terrorists and getting allied troops killed.

9/15/2009 06:53:00 PM

(9/15/2009 06:35:00 PM) - Al

Dodgers activated RHP Guillermo Mota from the 15-day disabled list.

Mota hit the sidelines at the end of August with an ingrown toe nail. He has a solid 3.34 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in 62 innings out of the Dodgers' bullpen this season and will resume a setup role.--Rotoworld

Mota has had a nice 2009, and really had a very good 2008 with the Crew, except for a bad stretch that lasted about a month or thereabouts. Reliever stats are always a bit of a crapshoot, because one poor outing in a mop-up situation can make an acceptable ERA look high, especially if a pitcher has a bad first half. Many casual fans were shocked Eric Gagne had a solid 2nd half last year, because he only went from a 6ish ERA to a 5ish one.

9/15/2009 06:35:00 PM

(9/15/2009 03:59:00 PM) - Al

Prospect Insider says the Brewers will try to trade JJ this offseason.

Also in the news, Braun and Fielder are pretty good hitters.

9/15/2009 03:59:00 PM

(9/15/2009 03:46:00 PM) - Al

I gotta admit, I side with Obama totally on this one.

The problem is, of course, not only does Kanye West have alcohol (and intelligence) problems, but he doesn't like white people.

9/15/2009 03:46:00 PM

(9/15/2009 03:26:00 PM) - Al

I threw out a guess here Monday that I thought Prince Fielder would land with the Red Sox in 2010. But several executives flatly disagreed, saying that they thought the only way that Boston could land Fielder would be to part with Clay Buchholz and other young pitchers, and that Red Sox GM Theo Epstein will be reluctant in the near future to deal pitching after sending Justin Masterson to the Indians in the Victor Martinez trade....

...The same evaluators found this possibility much more intriguing: Milwaukee swaps Fielder to the Giants for pitcher Matt Cain.

Fielder is a star slugger who would immediately help the Giants with their desperate need for offense. Cain is a star pitcher who would immediately give the Brewers an excellent 1-2 punch at the top of their rotation, teaming with Yovani Gallardo.

Fielder and Cain each has two more years before he is eligible for free agency...

One executive suggested that if the Brewers deal Fielder, they would be more inclined to swap him for young prospects. But Milwaukee owner Mark Attanasio is developing a reputation for wanting to win...The Brewers could use the savings from the Cain contract to help land a veteran bat, or maybe more pitching, and perhaps they could just try Mat Gamel at first base.

The Giants' lineup would be transformed by the presence of Fielder, who could bat behind Pablo Sandoval and hit cleanup...--Buster Olney

I have to agree with the exec who says they'll trade Prince for kids...small market teams need to maximize the amount of pre-arby players they have, as well as the time before free agency. Swapping a great hitter for a good pitcher...with no more service time, is the equivalent of spinning their tires, in my view.

I'd say they're far more likely to trade Prince for what Cain was 3-4 years ago...a hard thrower who had yet to prove himself...actually, several of them.

9/15/2009 03:26:00 PM

(9/15/2009 03:16:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers release their 2010 schedule, which features a regular priced Cubs' series, start times 5 minutes later, and interleaue games versus the AL West, minus OAK.

9/15/2009 03:16:00 PM

(9/15/2009 03:12:00 PM) - Al

I just checked my NFL picks, and I went 11-5, yet 0-2 versus the spread, which I think explains why sportsbooks are a cash cow.

9/15/2009 03:12:00 PM

(9/15/2009 02:50:00 PM) - Al

DiFelice will not pitch anymore this season, so he's placed on the 60 day DL, which clears a 40 man spot for Josh Butler, the young arm received from TB in the Gabe Gross deal last year. Butler might pick up a start if Parra is unable to pitch, and certainly adds someone who can go more than an inning or two.

Butler will likely be at AAA next year and will probably be the top "prospect" at that level, so I look forward to seeing him work. He relies on a sinking fastball, and gets a lot of ground outs.

9/15/2009 02:50:00 PM

Monday, September 14, 2009

(9/14/2009 09:34:00 PM) - Al

I much prefer facing the ARI pitchers. That said, some good fortune and they still get a couple runs, but not much you can do when the ball lands in their gloves.

What's funny is, Suppan's ERA must be nearing his career norm, and he's obviously been pitching at less than 100% for much of the year.

9/14/2009 09:34:00 PM

(9/14/2009 08:18:00 PM) - Al

Nice write-up on Mike Brantley. Sickels finally sees the light, about 2 years after many of us...many said he's be better than Laporta last year.

9/14/2009 08:18:00 PM

(9/14/2009 07:46:00 PM) - Al

I;m all for using hand sanitizer, but once again, the nanny state requiring something makes me want to do it less.

9/14/2009 07:46:00 PM

(9/14/2009 07:03:00 PM) - Al

This is why Doug had a very limited market for Cameron last offseason...CF is one of the strongest positions in the game.

Maybe this will lead to Mike returning to MIL for well below his current $10M salary.

9/14/2009 07:03:00 PM

(9/14/2009 06:56:00 PM) - Al

Another take on the proposed Hallday to BOS, now a 5 for 1 rumor.

9/14/2009 06:56:00 PM

(9/14/2009 06:53:00 PM) - Al

If you are not watching US Open tennis, it is now set 5 of one of the finest men's finals you'll ever see, tune in now!!!!! It's on CBS.

9/14/2009 06:53:00 PM

(9/14/2009 06:05:00 PM) - Al

Braun with another night off, though he and Macha seem to have gotten together on the shoulder soreness, just a day off. Heh.

9/14/2009 06:05:00 PM

(9/14/2009 05:58:00 PM) - Al

The following was posted back during the early days of Ramblings, and for whatever reason, I put it on the Rambling wife's family page and not here. I just find it amusing:

August 14th, 2002...Kim and I decided to go to a Twins game this week to introduce Andrew to the thrills and live baseball and real ballpark food. So, not knowing the proper etiquette, I called the Twins ticket office to ask about the best way to package Andrew for the game. After repeating myself to the obviously childless ticket agent, he assured me that we could just bring the stroller and sit in the handicapped section in the upper deck. I forgot to ask if we would need to purchase a ticket for him, but I assumed we would, since he would be taking up a spot. This seemed a small price to pay for the convenience.

So, we parked in our normal parking garage and walked the three blocks or so to the ticket office. I wandered ahead to stand in line, as Kim's legs move even slower than usual when pushing the boy. What follows is the conversation I had with the gentleman:

Al: I'd like two general admission upper deck tickets, and I assume I need to buy one for my son, who is in his stroller.

Ticketdude: What?

A: {Reread Al's statement above, slightly slower this time}

T: You can't take your stroller in.

A: It's OK if I have to pay for the spot, that's fine.

T: (slightly bemused at Al's ignorance) No, you cannot take your stroller in, you'll have to check it at the Fan Center.

A: Well, I called and the guy just said it'd be like a wheelchair seat, so I thought I'd have to pay for it...(Ticketdude shaking head in the negative)...he said I could just sit in the handicapped section with the stroller.

T: Nope, no strollers allowed...(pause)...or is it a mini-stroller?

A: What?

T: You know, a fold-up little umbrella that them?

A: (Turns to see Kim standing innocently behind Andrew, as Andrew sits quietly, waiting for the old guy to manage the simple task of acquiring tickets without delaying the entire evening. Notice Andrew is shaking his head dejectedly seeing Al has failed.) Yep.

T: No, you can't take that thing in.

A: Uh, OK.

So I took my 2 tickets and walked to Kim, and explained the situation. Kim started explaining to me that every game we've attended has had hundreds of strollers on the walkways inside the Dome. In fact, last time, 3-4 couples and their seemingly dozens of children had occupied an entire handiaccessable section with constant whining and complaining (not to mention the kids). As we neared the gate, we decided to just play dumb (which comes rather naturally to me).

The gate had two people taking tickets, in front of the turnstiles. Since the stroller wouldn't fit through the t'stile, we pointed toward the door. A young man hustled over and pushed open the outside door, and we went in. He looked at me with horror and said, "Can you get through the revolving door?" (Looking back, maybe he was referring to ME). After studying the one person size door and looking down at the stroller a couple times, we said no.

Luckily a fellow came along with a walkie talkie, so we assumed he was in charge of something. He said he'd take care of it, and looked at us with concern and said, "Have you been through the doors before?", emphasizing the "the doors" part as if he was talking to Ronnie, or a person of limited intelligence, like myself. He explained that it would be very windy, and I did recall that once leaving after a game, the crowd had pushed open these doors rather than use the revolving ones, and many caps had flown off and the wind had felt like a wind tunnel type of thing at the fair.

So, he went through the door and pushed open the regular one. I was standing off to the side, as to be out of the way and literally heard the wind pass by like a thief in the night. So, I glanced back at Kim...

Kim looked like she was an extra in Twister. Her hair was almost as high as Marge Simpson's, and the initial gust had blown her back a couple feet. I heard a couple banging sounds that were generic in nature, as Kim looked to get some kinetic energy going to push the little fella inside. After seemingly a couple minutes, but in reality about 10 seconds, Kim made it inside, and I followed, being built so aerodynamically, the wind just kind of flowed around me.

[Note to self: Wonder how many will recognize that as sarcasm, as I innocently tacked it onto the end of the paragraph]

The original young man went and retrieved Andrew's tray and whatever else had blown off and caused the noise I had heard when the door had been opened. Andrew, with his shade over him, didn't appear to have felt even a breeze, as he rested peacefully, still embarrassed at his dad's inability to do anything right.

By the way, no one said a word about the stroller at any point. Not sure what the deal was with Ticketdude. Maybe he wasn't sitting at his usual terminal or something, and got confused.

So, after the "getting into" stage was complete, the rest of the evening went smoothly. Andrew was scared by the first loud crowd noise, but was fine after that. His Twins uniform top and shorts kept looking as if they were far too large (which they were). He spent most of his time watching the ceiling/roof areas, probably enjoying the different lights than he sees at home, as we enjoyed various pork sausagelike products. We got there about 45 minutes before gametime, so we left in the 6th inning, and even got home before the game ended.

9/14/2009 05:58:00 PM

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

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

The Ramblings' manifesto can be found here.

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

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

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

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

I have never understood why it is "greed" to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else's money.--Thomas Sowell

Ramblings makes me want to poke my eyes out with a sharp stick.--Marxist sympathizer (one of Ramblings' proudest moments)

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Al's WTMJ appearance from July, 2015 with Justin

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Website that gives info on how to send comfort to our military overseas

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