Al's Ramblings



Tuesday, March 31, 2009

(3/31/2009 10:52:00 PM) - Al

Braun took a line drive off his wrist, but X-rays were negative...just another owie. Maybe a couple days off will heal up Ryan's side and this bruise.


3/31/2009 10:52:00 PM



(3/31/2009 06:52:00 PM) - Al

Mike Lamb was told he will not make the team, and has until 11AM tomorrow to decide whether he will go to AAA to be a FA.

There isn't much money involved here, as the Twins are paying him all but the MLB minimum, but I'm a bit surprised Lamb was not kept due to his lefty bat and veteran PH skills. McGehee is certainly more athletic and more versatile, but I'm not sure he can hit a lick. With Hall's terrible '08, I'd sure feel a lot better with Lamb in the picture.


3/31/2009 06:52:00 PM



(3/31/2009 06:45:00 PM) - Al

The Rays would like to move right-hander Jason Hammel or Jeff Niemann, both of whom are out of options. But the team could keep both pitchers and cut right-hander Lance Cormier if it does not receive an attractive trade offer.

A number of clubs have shown interest in Hammel and/or Niemann, including the Rangers, Nationals and Indians; published reports indicate that the Padres, Pirates and Rockies also are in the mix, and the Brewers are yet another possibility.--Rosenthal


This comes in an e-mail. I'm sure the Brewers would have little problem sending DiFelice down or releasing Julio in order to pick up a former top prospect.


3/31/2009 06:45:00 PM



(3/31/2009 05:06:00 PM) - Al

My 5PM news just said 2 million pounds of pistachios have been recalled...2 people have reported being sick after eating them.

Pardon me, I'm just gonna shuffle off in front of a truck.


3/31/2009 05:06:00 PM



(3/31/2009 04:32:00 PM) - Al

Diamond Mind predicts 82 wins for the Brewers.


3/31/2009 04:32:00 PM



(3/31/2009 04:10:00 PM) - Al

Gary Sheffield and Geoff Jenkins both let go today, and will clear waivers easily, becaused of their salaries.

I'd like either, though I doubt the Crew would bring Sheffield back, even though I can't say I blame him for anything, the braintrust then did not know how to set up a young player for success. Jenkins looks like he was a few seeing eye singles away from his regular numbers in '08.


3/31/2009 04:10:00 PM



(3/31/2009 03:03:00 PM) - Al

Note the names of the coaches Virginia fans were hoping to attract...talk about delusional. It would be a huge step down in prestige for every single one listed.


3/31/2009 03:03:00 PM



(3/31/2009 02:52:00 PM) - Al

Ann is forced to defend her engagement, as Andrew Sullivan rips into her.

Warning, adult language in the link.

Sullivan was once a daily read for me, but at some point, went from being a very good writer to a one issue (gay marriage) guy who started opposing the Iraq war as soon as it became difficult. To say he is bitter is like saying I'm fond of pie.


3/31/2009 02:52:00 PM



(3/31/2009 01:45:00 PM) - Al

I think the A's will win the West, just because the Angels are old and injured, and OAK has many youngsters seemingly ready to break out...Dana Eveland for one. I doubt they'll win over 85 in the Bay Area, but I don't think they'll need to.


3/31/2009 01:45:00 PM



(3/31/2009 01:25:00 PM) - Al

Lisa Lampenelli was on Leno, and even though she only got bleeped twice, she was hilarious. Her DVD is out today, add it to Netflix now friends.


3/31/2009 01:25:00 PM



(3/31/2009 12:42:00 PM) - Al

MLB expected to lose 6% of their attendance...which seems minimal, though I would think they'd be getting less per ticket as well.


3/31/2009 12:42:00 PM



(3/31/2009 11:19:00 AM) - Al

I had not heard Dylan Ratigan was leaving CNBC. As a fellow capitalist, I wish him well. And I bet he enjoyed sitting next to Maria B...who wouldn't?


3/31/2009 11:19:00 AM



(3/31/2009 09:57:00 AM) - Al

Adam discusses the moves and implications. Ironically, I'd say if Vinny Rottino can get back to hitting like he did before last year, seeing his numbers dip as he caught every day, he might spend a few years in the bigs as a utility guy. As I always say, and mean, the bat plays. Actually, same goes for Hernan Iribarren, though he is limited if he can only play 2B on the infield.

If Hernan could play SS, he could be considered a utility INF who can also play OF, but as is, he'll have to be an OF who can play some 2B.

I really like Littleton in AAA, and find it surprising that Gulin has never been tried in relief, as an older LHP who seems to have stagnated in AA.


3/31/2009 09:57:00 AM



(3/31/2009 08:15:00 AM) - Al

The scheduled stuff will be popping up most of the day. Enjoy your Tuesday.


3/31/2009 08:15:00 AM


Monday, March 30, 2009

(3/30/2009 08:19:00 PM) - Al

One of the common things many fans have been discussing is whether or not JJ Hardy should be offered a long-term extension, if he agrees to move to 2B or 3B. I have long said I'm a fan of JJ playing 2B (though, of course, I'm also a big fan of Rickie Weeks at 2B), as I think his weaknesses of lateral range would be minimized by his strong arm and ability to play deeper, and I think he'd be excellent at turning the pivot.

But mainly, I think the folks that want JJ to play 3B while making $10-12M per are missing the point. 3B is not that difficult a position to play, as range is just a fraction as important as it is at SS or 2B. Because of this, it's much easier to find a decent stopgap. As I have said before, I compare those who want to keep Hardy and trade Escobar to those who wanted to keep Overbay and trade Fielder...shortsighted and not fully on board with the understanding of how a small market's team economic outlook is...pre-arby players are necessary to balance out those in arby and beyond. Hence, I love JJ, but when you have a youngster as talented as Escobar, who will make $400K his first three years, about 4% of JJ, the idea of keeping JJ at SS is preposterous.

Also, let's take a look at what "average" is for 2B and 3B.

2008 2B--.338/.409
2008 3B--.336/.436

If you think the last two years are a reasonable expectation for JJ is probably a line of .335/.470. Just using simple runs created, which is just OXS x 600 AB's, that figures out to:

Ave 2B--83 runs
Ave 3B--88 runs
Hardy---94 runs

JJ is above average wherever he plays, but to play a guy $10-12M for a half a win (using the Rule of 10, which states 10 runs produced or prevented is worth one win over the course of a season) does not seem like the best use of the Brewers' resources. I hesitate to factor in defense at all, because none of us really know how good he'd be anywhere but SS. Add this in to the little nugget of truth that JJ has not shown any inkling to play anywhere but SS, I think it's rather apparent...Escobar will be at SS, and Hardy will be elsewhere, either in '10 or '11 (or, I suppose, later in '09).

Not only is the Overbay/Prince comparison commonsensical, I would also say the Lee/Hart one is even moreso, though JJ is not past his prime like Carlos was. Now, that behemoth of a contract burden holds down a division rival and not the Crew. I'm sure Doug and Mark are thankful every day Lee turned down the 4y/$48M offer, never mind the 6y/$100M Carlos ended up with.


3/30/2009 08:19:00 PM



(3/30/2009 07:25:00 PM) - Al

Adam adds his two cents in about the AAA lineup, and feels the Crew will end up sending those with options to AAA, effectively ignoring the hot March a couple guys (Duffy and McGehee) put up.

To be honest, that's exactly what I would do. 50 AB's against inferior competition doesn't do a whole lot for me, especially when most of these guys have hundreds or thousands of PA's to use.


3/30/2009 07:25:00 PM



(3/30/2009 07:13:00 PM) - Al

Olbermann, simply put, plum insane.

He could only dream of getting high enough ratings for Fox (or anyone else) to care.


3/30/2009 07:13:00 PM



(3/30/2009 06:56:00 PM) - Al

Angie Harmon feels the need to say she's not a racist because she does not like Obama.

What a weak and silly thing to say. As I said ages ago, it simply never occurred to me a black man couldn't be president...Colin Powell was mentioned as a possibility for both parties, and I never doubted he could have handled the job. Was Clinton racist because she dared to run against and question Obama's readiness?

Of course, we all know why McCain didn't win...ageism...


3/30/2009 06:56:00 PM



(3/30/2009 05:33:00 PM) - Al

Raising money for the homeless...through PimpThisBum.com. Brilliant marketing scheme, and just politically incorrect enough to get noticed.


3/30/2009 05:33:00 PM



(3/30/2009 05:15:00 PM) - Al

Al,

The latest from Anthony Witrado:

Rightfielder Corey Hart returned after missing two games with what he thought might be food poisoning.

"It was pretty bad," said Hart, who went 1 for 3 against the Giants before exiting the game.

"I lost about 7 pounds. I still feel week but I didn't want to miss three days. I wanted to get back out there."

Ed


I got two here Ed.

1. It's not Tony's fault Corey used the wrong form of week/weak as he was talking.

2. Somewhere, the Rambling sister is turning over in her grave...and she isn't even dead!



And not to be outdone, here's Tom H's work:

So, if Counsell has the surgery and is replaced by McGehee, that means that the Brewers probably will send out infielders Alcides Escobar, Hernan Iribarren and utilityman Hernan Iribarren to settle that area of the club.

I can't wait for the first Iribarren-Iribarren-1B double play.


3/30/2009 05:15:00 PM



(3/30/2009 05:09:00 PM) - Al

As the JS clumsily try to point out, the pitching staff is set, with Hoffman on the DL, so both Julio and DiFelice make the team, barring a waiver claim.

The only opening seems to be whether to keep Duffy and DFA Gwynn, or keep Gwynn and see if Duffy continues his hot hitting in AAA.

They also discuss the AAA rotation, which looks both deep and young, while void of a top prospect like Parra or Gallarado, is not full of veteran filler like it has been in the past. The everyday lineup will be young, so a couple of those guys may struggle to adjust to pitchers who can throw a breaking ball for a strike, but overall, should be at least average. The bullpen looks like the weakest link.


3/30/2009 05:09:00 PM



(3/30/2009 04:59:00 PM) - Al

I see on the ticker Tony Bennett has left Washington State for Virginia...of course, the ACC is the premier conference, but I just thought last night if he'd be considered for Kentucky, as they yearn for the days they won easily every year.


3/30/2009 04:59:00 PM



(3/30/2009 10:25:00 AM) - Al

Russia...technology from the era of Fred and Barney.


3/30/2009 10:25:00 AM



(3/30/2009 09:03:00 AM) - Al

Gammons thinks the Royals might win 85 games...if they can find two more starters, have guys in the bullpen come through who have not in the past, and their terrible offense improves with the addition of Coco Crisp and Mike Jacobs. Even then, he has them below where I see CLE and MIN, as I feel they might both win 90 games.

A note on the Brewers down at the bottom as well.


3/30/2009 09:03:00 AM


Sunday, March 29, 2009

(3/29/2009 08:31:00 PM) - Al

Dontrelle Willis headed to the DL, and is a walking, talking advertisement for not signing a pitcher to a long-term contract.


3/29/2009 08:31:00 PM



(3/29/2009 07:19:00 PM) - Al

Rush is laughing all the way to the bank.

The local TV station did a piece on the talk radio station, and when the guy from TV appeared on the radio to promote it, he said what I have said often...Rush is an entertainer, who has found his niche. I have little doubt Rush is a conservative, but I also have little doubt he plays it up for the radio, especially his shtick about being very smart and talented. I would bet he's a quiet guy who has to really "work up" to his fake personality each day.

He's exhausting to me, and while I often hear bits and pieces of his show as I listen for news each day, he repeats himself so much it's tough for me to pay attention, but in that medium, the average listener probably only hears 30 minutes or so.


3/29/2009 07:19:00 PM



(3/29/2009 06:44:00 PM) - Al

Matthews is unhappy that he's buried on the bench, and I can't believe the Angels are very happy either.

Gee, who could have predicted that deal would work out badly. Pretty much everyone did though.


3/29/2009 06:44:00 PM



(3/29/2009 05:51:00 PM) - Al

Cubs manager Lou Piniella said Sunday that he's picked Kevin Gregg over Carlos Marmol as his team's closer.

Obviously, we overestimated Piniella in thinking that March wouldn't make the difference. Marmol has been the far more effective pitcher than Gregg two years running, and while Gregg does have the experience, he also blew nine saves in 38 chances last season. Marmol has only been charged with three blown saves while collecting eight saves and 46 holds the last two years. He's clearly the future for the Cubs. To put that on hold for a mediocrity like Gregg is just a bizarre decision.--Rotoworld


The Cubs are talented enough that they could have any generic middle reliever (like, Gregg) close and be fine, but there seems little doubt Marmol will take over the role at some point.


3/29/2009 05:51:00 PM



(3/29/2009 05:26:00 PM) - Al

I've spoken of this before, but the "anarchists" that magically pop up at these summits are very inconsistent with their message...why do they propose socialism if they want anarchy? And, why do they accept money from anti-Israeli groups to carry their placards if they are so outraged at capitalism?

I have to wonder how many of these protesters are actually just doing it for the money, as they do not seem consistent enough with their protests to be in it for a cause.


3/29/2009 05:26:00 PM



(3/29/2009 05:04:00 PM) - Al

Escobar says he'll happily switch to another spot if it means making the big leagues. That may come in handy, as he's probably the 2B if Weeks were to go down. Long-term, however, I think Alcides will be the SS, as early as '10, no later than '11.


3/29/2009 05:04:00 PM



(3/29/2009 04:56:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling brother points out the Brewers can have the best NL record this spring. He recalls TB did last year, though I would say OAK matched them, which tells me that may be an indicator of major league depth more than talent.


3/29/2009 04:56:00 PM



(3/29/2009 02:02:00 PM) - Al

Even ESPN has noticed ammo flying off the shelves.


3/29/2009 02:02:00 PM



(3/29/2009 11:39:00 AM) - Al

Well, at least the Pirates are out from under that Jack Wilson contract after this year.

Oh wait, maybe not.

You'd think the fact that they couldn't give him away last summer would inform them of his value. I've liked what the new regime has done in PIT, but this would cause me to second guess my feelings.


3/29/2009 11:39:00 AM



(3/29/2009 10:23:00 AM) - Al

Washington state residents forced to smuggle in eco-unfriendly...detergents?

Hard to believe the demand just isn't there for stuff that doesn't work. Pity those who want to see a nanny state.


3/29/2009 10:23:00 AM



(3/29/2009 10:15:00 AM) - Al

According to MLB.com's T.R Sullivan, Rangers manager Ron Washington "really wants Derrick Turnbow to make this bullpen."

Turnbow, a non-roster invite to camp, has posted a 3.38 ERA in eight innings this spring. His 8/6 K/BB ratio is troubling, but he might be a better option than most of the other Rangers relievers. He'll get a hard look over the next few days.--Rotoworld


Time will tell what percentage of Derrick's troubles were related to his injury last year. 6 walks in 8 innings is high, but only a couple more than you'd expect from an effective version of Turnbow.


3/29/2009 10:15:00 AM


Saturday, March 28, 2009

(3/28/2009 11:37:00 PM) - Al

More of a State Department goof than anything else, but it does make one question the stranglehold the media has in its ability to try and cover up the plentiful goofs of the first 60 days.


3/28/2009 11:37:00 PM



(3/28/2009 06:06:00 PM) - Al

I cannot imagine a fate so sad as to keep checking Ramblings on a Saturday night, looking for new postings, but I will likely be out until tomorrow, as I have other things to do this evening. FYI.


3/28/2009 06:06:00 PM



(3/28/2009 05:51:00 PM) - Al

It will be interesting to see how Macha positions his relief corps, now after the much ado about nothing is complete, and Carlos V looks to be the closer, until Hoffman is healthy. Stetter will obviously be used versus mostly LH bats, and I would assume Coffey has worked his way to prime set-up duties.

The other four, DiFelice, Julio, Riske, and McClung...they could literally go any way at all. You could make an argument for any of them to be the long man, or to come in with 2 outs in the 7th and the bases loaded.


3/28/2009 05:51:00 PM



(3/28/2009 05:33:00 PM) - Al

Let me second the fact that this is a classic headline.

Why is Bill Ayers still in demand? How many groups need a terrorist to speak to them?


3/28/2009 05:33:00 PM



(3/28/2009 04:39:00 PM) - Al

As if a president is going to risk taking a question from just anyone.


3/28/2009 04:39:00 PM



(3/28/2009 12:13:00 PM) - Al

I believe reserve infielder Craig Counsell also will be playing in that minor league game to test his ailing right knee.--JS

Actually, should Craig open on the DL, it would be very interesting to see who the Crew uses to take his roster spot. Obviously, if Hardy were to be out for an extended period, Alcides Escobar would man SS most of the time. However, McGehee or Lamb can play SS other than to just finish out the game, and while Hall is a decent option, it seems doubtful the braintrust would want him bouncing around at different spots, as much as he struggled at 3B early last year and as good as he was late in the campaign.


3/28/2009 12:13:00 PM



(3/28/2009 12:04:00 PM) - Al

An e-mailer sends this link of what Rob Neyer thinks of the gal playing pro ball in Japan.

I'm not sure the exact moment Neyer started calling it in, but it sure is too bad. I'm not sure if he is unhappy that the internet is now full of bloggers doing what he used to do, or if he's just an old grump, but he sure does lack the "must read" status he once enjoyed.

He should be celebrating the fact that this young lady has broken a barrier, and I gotta agree with Dave Pinto, the knuckleball will be used by the first female to play in MLB as well.


3/28/2009 12:04:00 PM



(3/28/2009 11:05:00 AM) - Al

I gotta agree with Mike Yon here...I see it as being a compromise...nowhere nearly enough to win like the surge accomplished in Iraq, but just enough to keep conditions from getting worse and having to accept blame for "losing the war".

Not to mention, I still see no exit strategy.


3/28/2009 11:05:00 AM



(3/28/2009 10:36:00 AM) - Al

I'll take "It Was Just a Matter of Time" for $1000, Alex.


3/28/2009 10:36:00 AM



(3/28/2009 10:14:00 AM) - Al

Washington placed outfielder Wily Mo Pena on waivers, meaning any other club can claim him. Provided that does not happen -- and it won't, because any club claiming him would assume his guaranteed $2 million contract -- and Pena clears waivers, he can either report to Class AAA Syracuse or opt for free agency.

I tell you what, his star has faded, but I'd rather have Pena as a backup OF than any of the Crew's current options, especially at the minimum salary.


3/28/2009 10:14:00 AM



(3/28/2009 10:05:00 AM) - Al

Chad passes along this link that says I should not be saying that "none" of the "stimulus" money has helped. From what I saw here, the tax break is helping, and I love tax breaks. I'm not a fan of throwing money away to pay back unions and the like, especially when you're talking about billions of dollars, hardly any of which will be spent in '09.


3/28/2009 10:05:00 AM



(3/28/2009 09:34:00 AM) - Al

I must admit, I am shocked I did not hear about this at all until yesterday. It is a shame that, as far as I know, none of the news networks have given these police officers' deaths much air time at all.


3/28/2009 09:34:00 AM



(3/28/2009 09:28:00 AM) - Al

Right-hander Yovani Gallardo, who was scheduled to pitch Sunday against San Francisco, won't start that day, at least not against the Giants.

Because Gallardo is scheduled to start the second game of the regular season against the Giants, Macha doesn't want them to get a good look at him so close to that assignment. San Francisco already scratched its regular pitcher, Matt Cain, for the same reason.

Instead, Gallardo and Cain will pitch in minor-league games that day.--JS


I have never heard of a correlation of a team doing better the second time they face a pitcher. There's nothing stopping Yo or Cain from pitching "backward" from normal, then going back to their regular way of getting outs in the real game.


3/28/2009 09:28:00 AM



(3/28/2009 09:08:00 AM) - Al

On the investing shows this AM, the discussion has been:

1. The market is up 20% in the past two weeks, and none of the "stimulus" plan has started yet. Is it even needed? By the time the spending starts, will the recession be over?

2. Is the free market proving to be smarter than the media and politicians?

3. Why are we still talking about "saving" the auto makers? None of their problems are going to go away until they declare bankruptcy and are able to restructure their ongoing issues, like the union pension plans.

Of course, they're preaching to the choir, as investors prefer judging a company on its merits, not whether government help is coming.


3/28/2009 09:08:00 AM



(3/28/2009 08:49:00 AM) - Al

Many improvements for Miller Park this season.

I can recall when County Stadium got ready to open, they would brag they replaced some cracked seats and painted the ones in the lower deck.


3/28/2009 08:49:00 AM


Friday, March 27, 2009

(3/27/2009 11:59:00 PM) - Al

UPDATE: This is pinned to the top, because it's so darn important. See below for new content.

It's official (as official as a minor change to a template can be), Ramblings is holding an auction for naming rights, to be effective for the entire month of April!

If you wish to sponsor Ramblings, with the proceeds going to a charity to be determined by yourself and Al, send in a bid to Al. Say you want to use Ramblings to publicize your business, or just to show a picture of your newborn child, send in your bid to Al's e-mail, which is on the right sidebar. Hey, if Bernie's butt landing is deserving of an ad spot, I think Ramblings is too.

Note: All sponsorships must be in good taste and not violate any state or federal laws. No nudity, no wagering, and most of all, no disclaimers.:)

Maybe you wish to buy a small ad for an amateur baseball team in Eau Claire (hint, hint).

Maybe you want to publicize your own blog (Al's Ramblings, presented by Jim's Blog).

Whatever, Ramblings is open to the highest bidder, and damn proud of it.

EDIT: In answer to the first question, yes, you can choose to remain anonymous, and have the "sponsorship" be the charity.


3/27/2009 11:59:00 PM



(3/27/2009 10:48:00 PM) - Al

We might as well just say it...barring a waiver wire pickup, Brad Nelson is on the team. He looks, well, uncomfortable in the OF...but then again, Hernan Iribarren looks that way at 2B, where played his entire career until last year.

I don't have a lot of faith he'll ever do a whole lot...he's a 800 OPS guy in AAA, but I suppose he has developed some extra pop in his bat as his wrist has healed and he's matured as a hitter.


3/27/2009 10:48:00 PM



(3/27/2009 10:39:00 PM) - Al

Not only is Boston the #1 MLB franchise, with Theo running the show and the money making machine that is Red Sox baseball, I'd say they're probably the best franchise in all of pro sports. Heck, it's unfair for anyone to be #2, as they are head and shoulders ahead of any other franchise.

As I have said before, it's just too bad they play in such a tiny ballpark...I would say they could easily draw 4.5M if they would play in a state-of-the-art, retro feel stadium that had 55K seats.


3/27/2009 10:39:00 PM



(3/27/2009 10:07:00 PM) - Al

This has been mentioned on our local talk radio station the past few days, and it seems incredibly silly to me...some Notre Dame folks do not want the president to speak there because he disagrees with them on a single piece of policy.

Really, honest. The fact that the truth is stranger than fiction is proven more every day.


3/27/2009 10:07:00 PM



(3/27/2009 09:08:00 PM) - Al

I'm watching the Brewers, and Hernan Iribarren is making Weeks looks like some kind of feilding machine...HI has bobbled or misplayed 3 grounders since I sat down, but still got the out each time. I love his bat, he seems like he hits line drives all over the park, but his AAA numbers were so bad in '08, that reeks of a small sample.


3/27/2009 09:08:00 PM



(3/27/2009 08:06:00 PM) - Al

Glenn Beck's show on Fox that's on at 4PM gets more viewers as Olbermann on MSNBC does in prime time...even though it is aired twice.

That would really hurt Keith's feelings, if he wasn't busy looking into a mirror proposing to himself 23 hours a day.


3/27/2009 08:06:00 PM



(3/27/2009 07:39:00 PM) - Al

Team officials said they did receive a few letters from fans unhappy the team was playing on Good Friday.--JS

Heh. First of all, the Brewers do not make the schedule, MLB does. Second, the NBA plays on Xmas, the NFL on Thanksgiving, MLB on Easter, and so on. Sports are entertainment, and most people do not work on those holidays. I cannot believe anyone is surprised leagues choose to showcase themselves during these times.


3/27/2009 07:39:00 PM



(3/27/2009 07:06:00 PM) - Al

For those of you who may not have noticed, the MLB Network is broadcasting the Brewers/Rangers game starting at 8 tonight.


3/27/2009 07:06:00 PM



(3/27/2009 05:36:00 PM) - Al

Al,

Hey, I have my fantasy draft tomorrow, and I was wondering who you see as sleepers in stolen bases? I now you have mentioned in the past you often just punt stolen bases, or to be more accurate, you do not go after any true SB guys, but rather guys that do other things well and also may steal a few bases (like Corey Hart and Nate McLouth).

So, who do you see that may steal some and may not suck at other stats? Thanks.

Peter


You are right Peter, I do not draft Willy Taveras types, as they drag you down in other things as they get you a few steals. However, here are a few guys that may be overlooked that I like...especially if you have a keeper league, as these guys are young and will probably get better as they run fast for you now.

1. Nyjer Morgan--He just killed the Brewers last year, and while he is a weak hitting LF, that doesn't affect you as a fantasy owner. The Pirates seem intent on giving him playing time, and he will go undrafted often, and does run well, and gets on base too.

2. Emilio Bonifacio--I like this guy, but no one else does. He has very good minor league numbers, and is still young enough to be considered a top prospect. I don't he'll have much pop in his bat, but he may well put up a good OBP and 25+ SB's.

3. Jason Bartlett--No one realizes he's stolen 20 bags the past couple seasons, and is guaranteed 150 starts. He's not an upper echelon SS, but unless you get a top 5 guy, he's a nice late round pickup.

4. Endy Chavez--Morgan without the upside. SEA wants to play him in LF, and while he'll bring some good defense to the table, about the only offense he'll contribute to fantasy ball is some SB's.

5. Dexter Fowler--Rockies' rookie, fine prospect, but may fall depending on how knowledgeable your draft is. If he gets PA's, he'll steal plenty of bases, and not suck at other aspects as well.


3/27/2009 05:36:00 PM



(3/27/2009 02:12:00 PM) - Al

Is it me, or do I only find stuff like this in foreign papers? Are we really too busy checking to see how thin Lindsey Lohan is to cover this? I cannot believe North Korea is dumb enough to do this, but we are talking about a nation which shuts off the electricity at night.

By the way, she's really thin. Very, very thin. Word on the street, cocaine thin.


3/27/2009 02:12:00 PM



(3/27/2009 01:08:00 PM) - Al

Also in the news, Duke underachieves in the tourney again...it's getting to be an annual affair.

Granted, Duke's level of success is still pretty darn good, but as perhaps the most grating stuck-up private school on the planet, it's still wonderful to see.


3/27/2009 01:08:00 PM



(3/27/2009 12:03:00 PM) - Al

BCB picks on Tom H. He is unintentionally hilarious, to be sure.


3/27/2009 12:03:00 PM



(3/27/2009 10:54:00 AM) - Al

I won't go into details, but in order to see if they were still good, I ate some cookies that were dated 9/2004 last weekend. Not only did they not make me sick, they tasted and looked identical to a similar pack we just bought in the grocery store. Even the military is not buying new drugs after expiration, as tests show the old expired ones to be 90-95% effective.

Preservatives = good. This site will help you, but I just skimmed it, and it looks far too wimpy...cold pizza left out overnight should be thrown away? About a million college kids would disagree.


3/27/2009 10:54:00 AM



(3/27/2009 09:00:00 AM) - Al

Braun seems fine, I would say he needs to work on stretching more and resting a few days.


3/27/2009 09:00:00 AM


Thursday, March 26, 2009

(3/26/2009 08:54:00 PM) - Al

Heh. They should really shut up with the promises, as they seemingly say things without thinking of how to implement them.

ADDED: And we gotta do something about those AIG guys getting money for nothing...um, never mind.

EDIT: I sense a lot of outrage about this coming soon. I can't believe that's the plan, and if it is, it won't be for long.


3/26/2009 08:54:00 PM



(3/26/2009 07:56:00 PM) - Al

What amazes me about this story about cities that are being abandoned in they all seem to living in the past...all former industrial meccas, all having failed to adapt now that we are in the age of services, not of manufacturing. During the campaign, you'll recall Obama saying we needed to get people back to work in Michigan, while McCain informed the voters those days were gone, which predictably, went over like a fart in church, and soon thereafter, led McCain to pulling ads and giving up in the Wolverine state.

It is not a coincidence that the two WI cities with the highest unemployment are also union and factory epicenters, Racine and Beloit. I'm sure they still have empty factories and warehouses, hoping for those jobs to return, as if by magic. They are not returning, boys and girls.


3/26/2009 07:56:00 PM



(3/26/2009 07:45:00 PM) - Al

George Will defends Bud as the greatest commissioner in MLB history.

I'm not sure how anyone can even debate it.


3/26/2009 07:45:00 PM



(3/26/2009 06:43:00 PM) - Al

The Bradley Center is in tip-top shape...except for these dozen problems. I'm sorry, but how much do you really want to put into a '73 Pinto?


3/26/2009 06:43:00 PM



(3/26/2009 02:45:00 PM) - Al

I wonder how much the naming rights to Ramblings is worth?

Somehow, I think I'd be disappointed.


3/26/2009 02:45:00 PM



(3/26/2009 01:40:00 PM) - Al

The Peavy rumor was just part of Tom Haudricourt's bad day. First, he called out a commenter for posting a quote about Peavy, then he called covering Wednesday's game, a job most of us would take in a heartbeat, "an exercise in tedium". Let me just go ahead and throw this out there: If Tom H. decides he doesn't want to cover baseball anymore, I'll gladly take over for him.--BCB

The boys at BCB pile on. I think most folks would be giddy if the JS put in a quarter as much effort as the folks at BCB do, which is by far the best Brewers' blog and info source on the web.

Of course, I still lay claim to the oldest Brewers' blog, as well as the most scattered and optimistic. As far as quality goes, I still feel I'm in the top 20...maybe 25 if I'm tired. And let's not forget, Ramblings is backed by our money back guarantee...if you're not happy, I'll refund twice what you paid for it!


3/26/2009 01:40:00 PM



(3/26/2009 01:35:00 PM) - Al

Friend of Ramblings Jeff Sackmann does the 5 questions thing at HT for the Crew.

I don't think it's nearly as good as the 2006 version, but it's hard to find good help.


3/26/2009 01:35:00 PM



(3/26/2009 01:24:00 PM) - Al

Al,

You and I have been playing the same song a lot lately, with both of us disappointed with aspects of the JS Brewer coverage. Last week I had a phone discussion/argument about Brewer coverage with Garry Howard, JS Sports Editor. My conversation with him focused mostly on the work/professionalism of Anthony Witrado. I don't think he sees the problems with the current coverage. Maybe he would if enough people contacted him to complain about it. Here's his email, in case you want to express your concerns as well.

Thanks,
KL


I think it is hilarious the way both Tom H and Tony W do the bare minimum to get by, and then, when forced to do a chat with readers, answer critical comments with sarcastic responses. We are actually quite lucky to have MLB.com picking up much of the slack, as Adam can always be counted on to give us the goods...however, his stuff tends to be a bit "half-full", I assume because of restrictions placed on him through his employer.

I'm not going to bother writing, because I know from my previous e-mails to and from Drew Olson, a total hack just like TW, that the editor was informed of his stupidity and could not care less. I did include the link KL provided, as I get a minimum of a couple "TW sucks" e-mails every day.


3/26/2009 01:24:00 PM



(3/26/2009 01:11:00 PM) - Al

I'd much prefer $5M be spent on a plan to replace the Bradley Center, rather than on making an outdated arena shinier and freshly painted.

Despite seeing the Sonics leave Seattle because of antiquated facilities, not only has no one acted on this problem, no one has even admitted a problem exists. When I lived in the Twin Cities, Norm Coleman blew up the old hockey arena, built the jewel now called the Xcel Energy Center, and brought back the NHL, and if memory serves, I think the Wild have sold out every (or nearly every) game in their existence. That sequence of events occurring in Milwaukee...very doubtful.

Sometimes, the mere fact Bud Selig got Miller Park built seems more like a Disney movie than real life.


3/26/2009 01:11:00 PM



(3/26/2009 12:43:00 PM) - Al

All three companies that reported earnings today reported much higher than expected, and the market is responding, with the various indexes up 2-3%. One of the companies was Dr. Pepper Snapple, who you think would be hurt by a lack of discretionary spending...if, of course, retail spending was not up the past 3 months.

If you take a look at the link, you'll see they expect '09 to be pretty good, which all the signs are pointing to, no matter how hard the media tries to ignore them.

As much as I'd love to see the US economy go straight up forever, it ignores basic economics which says there will be a cycle of booms and busts. Even the survivalist sites I visit seem to be moving back "the end of the world as we know it" to 2012 or 2013, as they see the writing on the wall.

Personally, I don't see a long cycle of growth ahead, certainly nothing like the six years that just ended last autumn. However, any growth will stop the "sky is falling" crowd that has been comparing a blip on the screen to 1929...heck, they started a year before the recession even began.

EDIT: The lovely Erin Burnett just reported that home sales in California were up 83% last month over last year...you can give some credit to foreclosures, but mostly, give credit to low mortgage rates and prices have fallen mightily since their peak.


3/26/2009 12:43:00 PM



(3/26/2009 12:41:00 PM) - Al

But it's only about 1.5 pounds of beef. I doubt I'd bother with the buns, which look to be the majority of the weight, but the rest of it doesn't really look like much more than a hearty meal. And, $20 seems very overpriced.


3/26/2009 12:41:00 PM



(3/26/2009 12:32:00 PM) - Al

I can't say I have much of an opinion on expanding Americorps...though I can't say I've seen that program accomplish a whole lot. As I've mentioned before, it just galls me anyone can spend $1T and not find a penny to give the military men and women a raise...which would not only go right into the hands of consumers who will, gasp, spend that money, but over the long run would help attract better recruits.


3/26/2009 12:32:00 PM



(3/26/2009 12:14:00 PM) - Al

As I always do, I sympathize with the police officer than the person who broke tha law. You can't run red lights because you have a relative in the hospital. Cops have mighty tough jobs, and they have no idea what situation they'll find when they make a traffic stop. Being cautious is pretty much a job requirement.

Seems to me the whole issue could have been avoided by driving legally.


3/26/2009 12:14:00 PM



(3/26/2009 11:43:00 AM) - Al

Tom H lets his envy of a popular journalist like Peter Gammons come out loud and clear, while ignoring the nugget of info that the real Jake Peavy rumor was ignited by a San Diego newspaper...as Gammons just reported that Bill Hall said the Crew would be in on Peavy if he was available at the deadline.

I've always felt Gammons does a fine job, he reports rumors and such, so his accuracy is never going to be 100%, but he does so with a keen insight for the sport and a good guy persona.

If you recall, Gammons was among the first to say the Brewers were in serious talks for Sabathia, and has always had kind words about the organization, well before the wins on the field started piling up. I'll be the first to say I wish we had a guy covering the team more like Gammons, not less.


3/26/2009 11:43:00 AM



(3/26/2009 11:29:00 AM) - Al

Senate looks into college football playoff system.

Oof.


3/26/2009 11:29:00 AM



(3/26/2009 12:13:00 AM) - Al

I've only been saying this for the last 25 years. The NFL...only two and a half decades behind me.:)

The irony here is, Mike Hunt just ran a column about making all the seasons shorter...not sure why, other than to be a curmudgeon with no business sense, as less games equals fewer chances to enjoy an event you supposedly enjoy watching. And heck, if I can ignore 16 games, you can bet your bippy I can ignore 18.

he next thing they need to do is get rid of all that silly "voluntary" mini-camps, which guys like Brett Favre skip anyway (you know, because they're such "team" guys). Tell you what, if I was a top player, I'd pull a mythical groin every year and stay home and rest. My goodness, the season goes from July-February, you need your time off to relax, and prepare for the long haul that awaits.


3/26/2009 12:13:00 AM


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

(3/25/2009 08:10:00 PM) - Al

Slate discusses that a big garden costs time and/or money.

I admit, I always chuckle when I hear people planting potatoes or onions, both of which are insanely inexpensive. Even I have considered a little garden, and I don't even like veggies. It does seem like fun, but I would imagine bigger is not better.


3/25/2009 08:10:00 PM



(3/25/2009 07:50:00 PM) - Al

No fewer than three e-mailers wrote to tell me they know which question I asked during the "chat" the other night...which makes me wonder, because I did not even hint that I submitted a query.

I take the 5th, by the way. I admit to nothing.


3/25/2009 07:50:00 PM



(3/25/2009 07:34:00 PM) - Al

Fangraphs has the Brewers ranked #6 in their organizational ranking series. Some opinions thrown out as fact, but overall, a very friendly report...especially about the front office.


3/25/2009 07:34:00 PM



(3/25/2009 07:23:00 PM) - Al

I'm sure Trot Nixon's fine AAA numbers are more indicative of his ability than his handful of AB's in Arizona, but that said, scouts may well be seeing him do things that lead to veterans losing playing time...a step slower in the field, his swing lengthening a bit, and so on. To be blunt, he's a much better fit in the AL anyway.

In other news, Wes Littleton cleared waivers and will report to AAA (probably with either an opt-out date or a verbal promise from Doug to make a deal if someone wants him in the majors.


3/25/2009 07:23:00 PM



(3/25/2009 07:17:00 PM) - Al

The constant mentions of a side injury is enough to concern anyone, but I'm not worried about Ryan either. I'll get worried if it bothers him when the season starts, however.


3/25/2009 07:17:00 PM



(3/25/2009 07:08:00 PM) - Al

Host Jon Stewart had been using his nightly stage to portray CNBC’s “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer as a dishonest ringmaster of financial chaos, encouraging his viewers to make reckless investments based on knee-jerk, irresponsible analysis. Never mind Cramer’s show contains a disclaimer essentially describing it as entrainment, not advice.

This fact did not deter Stewart from playing clips of Cramer’s show, (Cramer contends out of context) to imply his backing of now defunct financial institutions. Want to wager how many in that audience had ever heard of Jim Cramer, his show, or a toxic asset prior to show tape?

A week-long media blitz ensued as Stewart and Cramer shot back and forth through multiple media outlets and their own shows. Cramer finally agreed to appear on Stewart’s show to address the debate head-on. Richard Cohen of the Washington Post summarized the power Stewart seemed to posses during the televised meeting. "…Cramer almost instantly sank into a classic case of Stockholm syndrome, agreeing much of the time with his captor. He came with sleeves rolled up but with the droopy eyes of a chastised puppy."

Of course there are a number of thoughtful debates concerning our nation’s perilous financial state, but Stewart took the low road. By singling out Cramer, Stewart dishonestly created a villain; an emotional punching bag for him and the largely ignorant mob in-studio. Stewart’s audience cheered like Romans in the Coliseum as Stewart seemed to lay Wall Street’s ruin at the feet of Cramer alone.--Chris Stigall


Heh. Of course, blaming a guy with a stock picking show for anything rather, well, ignorant, but no one ever claimed Stewart's little fake newscast was anything but...though his self-important illusion of grandeur bothers many. That said, Stewart's show is watched by about 1% of the US population each week...and that's adding all four new shows together. And Cramer, while very entertaining, is probably watched by one-third of that...maybe less.


3/25/2009 07:08:00 PM



(3/25/2009 02:47:00 PM) - Al

Maria Shriver with another press release about Obama's "oops" Special Olympics remark.

You know, add this to his "cling to guns and religion" comment, you'd think he was just some stuck up Ivy League grad...


3/25/2009 02:47:00 PM



(3/25/2009 01:01:00 PM) - Al

Rob Neyer doesn't seem to understand that having a major league team and stadium is part of being a major league city.

A variety of studies have been done, but most all of them has a bias. I see it the same way as high speed rail, parks and forests, and/or a variety of other budget items cities and states have to spend money on that may not pay for itself, but greatly increase the quality of life.


3/25/2009 01:01:00 PM



(3/25/2009 11:30:00 AM) - Al

I don't see any way the Brewers have remote interest in Peavy, as he is signed well into the future and is very well paid. He hasn't been a picture of health either, but of course, hardly any SP is.


3/25/2009 11:30:00 AM



(3/25/2009 10:26:00 AM) - Al

I'll give TW credit for a long chat, but that may be one of the unintentionally funny things I've ever read.

I loved the put downs of those who dared to question his supremacy. He doesn't seem to have a whole lot of wit.


3/25/2009 10:26:00 AM


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

(3/24/2009 05:54:00 PM) - Al

If the liquor stores would be honest and say "I don't want to lose my monopoly", I'd have some sympathy for them. As is, their PAC reminds me a lot of bribery, and I'm not sure how the public is better off paying more because the amount of suppliers is being artificially held down.


3/24/2009 05:54:00 PM



(3/24/2009 05:41:00 PM) - Al

Mark Stewart looks at Bo's team next year, and has an air of optimism. He says there are 7-8 players in the mix, plus two freshmen, plus a couple guys who did not play at all.

I admit, the guards will be as experienced as any in the conference, and you can win a lot of games with guard play...but rarely championships. Stewart is right, Bo does has fans spoiled.


3/24/2009 05:41:00 PM



(3/24/2009 05:26:00 PM) - Al

Freakonomics wonders if Obama's team of high IQ guys are overthinking the economy.


3/24/2009 05:26:00 PM



(3/24/2009 05:23:00 PM) - Al

Adam does a feature on Looper and his family, including his newly adopted daughter.


3/24/2009 05:23:00 PM



(3/24/2009 04:49:00 PM) - Al

Fangraphs now only has 6 organizations left to rank, with the Cubs at #7, and the Crew is still nonexistent.

I bet FG gives Doug and Mark A high marks, and probably will gush about their young major league talent and minor leaguers as well.


3/24/2009 04:49:00 PM



(3/24/2009 04:39:00 PM) - Al

Tom H handicaps the roster options, in a way that looks mysteriously familiar.

As much as I hate to admit it, I agree with him, as far as keeping the guys without options goes. If you go with the guys who are having the best 50 PA's, needless to say, you are going by a small sample. Del Crandall, former all-star catcher, Brewers' mananger, and color guy, said once it's usually best to go with what you thought before spring training, because a few hits in March don't mean a thing.

Plus, I just expect players to get hurt, so keeping a guy with options and releasing a guy without any leaves you short at the first injury. Over 162, you want as many qualified options as possible. I have no problem telling Chris Duffy "Hey, great camp, you hit about .350 and defended well. Go down to AAA and keep it up, if we don't need you, someone else will, and e won't stand in your way". And, I know Doug will not hesitate to get him a major league job if a team would come asking.


3/24/2009 04:39:00 PM



(3/24/2009 02:56:00 PM) - Al

The Final Game was delivered in the big, brown truck. Looks to be a big picture book of Craig Biggio's final game.

I'd say this is a must for Astros' fans, though I do wish it would have come with legs that fold out, like Kramer's coffee table book...


3/24/2009 02:56:00 PM



(3/24/2009 01:44:00 PM) - Al

The Marlins' new stadium has finally been approved.

Of course, with Oakland's having fell by the wayside, I'll feel a lot better once the dirt is being moved.


3/24/2009 01:44:00 PM



(3/24/2009 12:25:00 PM) - Al

Two Cal League teams, including High Desert, the Brewers' former affiliate (where every hitter looks like Ryan Braun) are seeking new homes that do not suck.


3/24/2009 12:25:00 PM



(3/24/2009 11:45:00 AM) - Al

Gammons has not forgotten the latest Dustyism. Volquez and Cueto beware...


3/24/2009 11:45:00 AM



(3/24/2009 10:08:00 AM) - Al

Why do so many athletes end up broke?

I did not read the whole thing yet, but my guess is many are not very bright, and many end up "donating" it to friends, family, and hanger-ons because "they have so much".


3/24/2009 10:08:00 AM



(3/24/2009 07:59:00 AM) - Al

Again, look for the scheduled posts to appear darn near magically throughout the day...just like this one did.:)


3/24/2009 07:59:00 AM


Monday, March 23, 2009

(3/23/2009 10:52:00 PM) - Al

Tell me this Badgers' recruit doesn't remind you of Joe K.


3/23/2009 10:52:00 PM



(3/23/2009 05:19:00 PM) - Al

Interesting, NPR has the elephant party leading on a generic Congress ballot for the first time since '04...and they lead among indys 38-24.

That's a huge spread considering this is the first lead in 5 years, and would seem to indicate how unpopular Reid and Pelosi are.


3/23/2009 05:19:00 PM



(3/23/2009 05:11:00 PM) - Al

Yankees reassigned LHP Kei Igawa to minor league camp.

Igawa, who is essentially showcasing himself for other teams at this point, had a 0.73 ERA and a 13/8 K/BB ratio in 12 1/3 innings. The Yankees would have to pick up most of the $12 million he's still owed for another team to take a chance on him.


As good as he's been in AAA, I would think several teams would take a flyer on him if they only had to pay him $1-2M per.


3/23/2009 05:11:00 PM



(3/23/2009 03:50:00 PM) - Al

Al,

The other day you listed some signs the economy was quietly getting stronger. I thought you were far too optimistic, but today, the market saw positives and it bounced up almost 500 points.

Peter


The market's overreacted to every piece of bad news for months, and now is doing the same with good news. I do find it funny though that one of those bits of "good news" is basically admitting the first bank bail out, which had to be passed ASAP or else the sky would fall, has basically been tossed aside like parsley on a plate at a truck stop, because it was a piece of crap.


3/23/2009 03:50:00 PM



(3/23/2009 03:41:00 PM) - Al

If you believe Bill Schroeder, he makes it sound like Lamb and Nelson are competing for the final position player spot, basically suggesting Rivera, Counsell, McGehee, and Duffy have spots to go north.

And goodness, does Escobar ever have an arm. He's still raw, but I don't think I've seen an arm at SS like that since Shawon Dunston.


3/23/2009 03:41:00 PM



(3/23/2009 03:36:00 PM) - Al

$20 for a term paper?

Actually, that makes sense, because $20 is just a night on the town for a US college student (all pretending that money is tight for them aside), while in a 3rd world country, it might pay rent for a week.

I still remember when the online poker boom was talked about more openly, that one gent reported in his blog that he was moving to Thailand, because while there on vacation, he found out he could rent an apartment 3 blocks from the ocean for $180 a month.


3/23/2009 03:36:00 PM



(3/23/2009 03:11:00 PM) - Al

Adam thinks Trot Nixon is pressing, and seems to think Gwynn, Nelson, and Nixon are all going for one job, as Duffy seems to have made the club.

I'd probably just go with the guy whose future and ceiling appears to be the highest. That said, no one in that group profiles as more than a reserve or weak platoon option. Heck, I might well look at swapping Tony or Brad for a corner OF with some pop, maybe also out of options. Tony is a twin of Duffy, and Nelson, per Doug Melvin's quotes from weeks ago, is not really looked at as an OF, more of a 1B/PH.

Also, it would appear Lo Cain is ticketed for AA to start the year, but I expect him to be up in AAA by mid-season.

EDIT: Nelson is in RF today, so I would assume they are taking a look at him out there to see if he is capable of playing 7 innings out there.


3/23/2009 03:11:00 PM



(3/23/2009 02:55:00 PM) - Al

Bruce Willis, who looks better now that he's old and bald than he did 20 years ago, apparently went back in time and married a young Tia Carrere.


3/23/2009 02:55:00 PM



(3/23/2009 01:17:00 PM) - Al

I caught up on my Netflix with the Rambling family gone for the weekend, watching both Religuous and The Condemned.

Bill Maher used to be a very funny guy, but of late, seems to be so negative about everything, and inconsistent (much like Arianna Huffington, he now seems to just wait for stuff to happen and then second guess the results). His film was about how religion makes people sheep and do stupid things. It had a few funny moments, mostly in the editing process, as they added in captions when the person they were interviewing were lying or fibbing a bit. By far the next best moments were Maher in a car with his crew, telling parts of his past and/or bits of stand-up, including a historic clip of him on The Tonight Show, in which they cut to Johnny Carson laughing at his desk, which was the equivalent of a gold star back in the day.

I felt kind of bad when he started ripping on Mormons and Scientology, as while I'm the first to say both are cult-like and worthy of ridicule, it kind of seemed like piling on, especially when he started teasing about Mormons about their limits on caffeine. Mostly though, I was kind of disappointed it wasn't funnier.

The Condemned was a by-the-book thriller, reality show about a bunch of killers on a deserted tropical island...although two of them were hot babes, the only surprise. Spolier alert...one of them turns out to be a good guy, a Special Forces soldier deep undercover, caught doing good in El Salvador. I could pretty much see the plot develop 15-20 minutes ahead, but as far as no-brainer action films go, not bad.


3/23/2009 01:17:00 PM



(3/23/2009 12:09:00 PM) - Al

Nuggets of info from Bill James' book, courtesy of HT.


3/23/2009 12:09:00 PM



(3/23/2009 11:42:00 AM) - Al

Congrats to Ann Althouse, who got engaged to a fella who she met when he commented at her blog.

One more reason not to allow comments, it just adds to the stalkers.:)


3/23/2009 11:42:00 AM



(3/23/2009 11:03:00 AM) - Al

I was surprised to see that even Easter Sunday is now at or near a sellout, as they have started selling standing room only tickets. A couple years ago, I think they drew less than 30K on Easter versus the Cubs.

Speaking of tickets, the MLS opening weekend went swimmingly, with crowds of 33K, 16K, 16K, 15K, 11K, and 10K. Even more impressive is that the two smallest crowds were actually sellouts, as San Jose and Kansas City await new stadiums to be completed in the next few years.


3/23/2009 11:03:00 AM



(3/23/2009 10:30:00 AM) - Al

For those of you who work at home, or get done early, don't forget the Brewers play at 3 on FSN today.


3/23/2009 10:30:00 AM



(3/23/2009 09:36:00 AM) - Al

One reason for Billy Hall's expected resurgence is the laser surgery he had in the offseason. "It makes all the difference," Hall says. "I can see again." Hall believes the Brewers will be in on Jake Peavy, when and if he goes on the market.


Brewers GM Doug Melvin points out that only four players (Adam Dunn, Jack Cust, Albert Pujols, Pat Burrell) walked more than 100 times last season, but that 90 players struck out more than 100 times, and of those 90, nine hit fewer than 10 homers (Carlos Gomez, B.J. Upton, Jack Hannahan, Akinori Iwamura, Fred Lewis, Michael Bourn, Adam Jones, Brian Roberts, Chase Headley). Of those who walked 100 times, only Pujols fanned fewer than 100 times. The game's best hitter had a 104 walks, 54 strikeouts and 81 extra-base hits.--Gammons


I wonder if Hall knows how much Peavy is owed on the remainder of his deal, as I have no expectation of the Brewers being in on Peavy. Doug loves showing off his analytical side, doesn't he? He studies the game, that's for sure.


3/23/2009 09:36:00 AM



(3/23/2009 08:31:00 AM) - Al

There will be some scheduled posts popping up today, as I will be out all day long, probably until about 6:30 or 7.


3/23/2009 08:31:00 AM


Sunday, March 22, 2009

(3/22/2009 07:49:00 PM) - Al

The lady Badgers beat Kentucky in the WNIT Sunday, and host another game Thursday at the Kohl Center.


3/22/2009 07:49:00 PM



(3/22/2009 06:39:00 PM) - Al

One northern Warren County resident found out recently the government is paying attention to such ammunition sales.

West said a customer of his recently stocked up on .223-caliber rounds, a caliber often used in assault-style weapons. The customer bought 1,000 rounds a few months ago through a mail order company.

Shortly after the purchase, he received a visit from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, whose interest was apparently piqued by a large-scale purchase of that caliber.

"His wife was home. He was at church," West said.


Big Brother is indeed watching. Latest word is a block of 35-40 Democratic legislators have formed a pro-gun group to try and ease fears about Obama enacting stricter rules on guns and ammo, but the public continues to stock up on weapons and the like at unprecedented rates.

As many have pointed out, it is a boom for a small segment of the economy...


3/22/2009 06:39:00 PM



(3/22/2009 06:19:00 PM) - Al

Tough day to judge pitching, as the wind is blowing out in Arizona, which is already a hitter's paradise.

Well, Coffey looked good at least.


3/22/2009 06:19:00 PM



(3/22/2009 06:17:00 PM) - Al

New York Times criticizes Obama?

Just as it warms up here, hell freezes over...


3/22/2009 06:17:00 PM



(3/22/2009 03:53:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers have traded for Sergio Miranda, a young middle INF in the White Sox system. Rumor has it the deal was for cash or future considerations...a White Sox message board wonders if CHI will end up with the Gwynn/Duffy loser in a week or so.

{Of course, that would make far too much sense.}

Also, the Crew has released Mike Bell, who some falsely saw as a prospect. Bell had a sub .300 OBP in AA, and 2B in the low minors rarely advance, as major league 2B are often converted SS's. He hasn't hit since low A ball in '06. He did have some decent counting stats in the offensively packed Huntsville lineup, but those are all but meaningless.


3/22/2009 03:53:00 PM



(3/22/2009 03:41:00 PM) - Al

Well played game, they were a couple made 3's away from going right down to the buzzer. You can control a lot of things in the game of basketball, but some days, you just don't shoot it as well as you'd like. Of course, it probably had something to do with Xavier's defense. If X would hit their free throws, they can beat anyone.

Once again, I'm left speechless at how good the officiating was, after yet another season of painfully bad Big 10 work. A bit tighter than I'd like to see, but consistent, and that's all you can ask.

Many seem to be wondering if next season will be a rebuilding year, as it will be very difficult replacing Joe and Marcus without falloff, but time will tell.


3/22/2009 03:41:00 PM



(3/22/2009 01:15:00 PM) - Al

Hoffman may have to begin the year on the DL, leaving the closer to be either McClung or Carlos V, depending on some other factors.

Macha and Castro may just end up piecing it all together for the first week or two. Stetter and Coffey have both pitched well this spring, as has DiFelice, who may be handed a spot because of Trevor's injury, which would probably mean Julio and Littleton would battle for the final Opening Day spot, barring trade or waiver pick-up, of course.


3/22/2009 01:15:00 PM


Saturday, March 21, 2009

(3/21/2009 06:51:00 PM) - Al

Bush, and the other SP's, seem to be stretching out nicely.

Need to get Riske and Carlos V ready to go, however.


3/21/2009 06:51:00 PM



(3/21/2009 06:27:00 PM) - Al

Ann wonders if the Special Olympics remark was scripted. Given his ad-libbing reluctance, I suppose it's possible. John Kerry's famous "if you don't get an education, you'll end up in Iraq" was not as ignorant as it sounds, it was a flubed punchline.

I got an e-mail this afternoon from a gent who said his church group that met today to do some charitable work in the community...and it was agreed by 75% of them that if W would have said the same thing, talk of impeachment would be out there.

And how short-term is my memory...I had seen Sarah Palin quoted a couple places, but had completely forgotten she has a Down syndrome son. Of course, Maria Shriver has what, an aunt with special needs as well, which is probably why she was so disgusted.


3/21/2009 06:27:00 PM



(3/21/2009 06:23:00 PM) - Al

Lou Palmisano is allowed to stay in HOU, as the Crew does not see him with a future in MIL.

It would have been nice to at least get a middling prospect for him, but it's tough to see him ever being more than a serviceable backup, which are not worth a whole lot.


3/21/2009 06:23:00 PM



(3/21/2009 02:52:00 PM) - Al

I was just looking over some blogs I rarely read, and was surprised to see so many entries like this:

I'm tired, I better get to bed!

Then, I look at the time it was posted, and it's between 9 and 10. I went to bed a few weeks ago during the late news because I was working out of town 2 days in a row, so I was sleepy and knew I needed rest. Other than that, I haven't gone to bed before 11 in ages. Maybe this is why I dislike getting up so.


3/21/2009 02:52:00 PM



(3/21/2009 02:31:00 PM) - Al

I swept out the garage, and removed all the trash from the deck and back yard (actually, I threw it under the deck, off the lawn, as I'm not sure what exactly to do with it).

I cannot believe how much dirt I pushed out of the garage, that the cars brought in. In some places, it was a couple inches deep, and it would have filled several dustpans had I not just pushed it in on the lawn.


3/21/2009 02:31:00 PM



(3/21/2009 02:28:00 PM) - Al

Macha plans to pair Mike Rivera with Dave Bush, which, by my estimation, would give Kendall about 130 starts in 2009.


3/21/2009 02:28:00 PM



(3/21/2009 02:26:00 PM) - Al

Corey Koskie retires, hopefully for good this time.

Hopefully, Corey will be able to live a normal life sans baseball.


3/21/2009 02:26:00 PM



(3/21/2009 01:20:00 PM) - Al

I did not know Seattle had an expansion MLS team this year, or that Drew Carey was the owner, but not only did they win 3-0 in their debut, they had an opening night crowd of 33K.

I'm a little surprised they have not given a team to Minnesota, as their A-league team (like AAA), the Thunder, often got crowds of 5-10K and were on cable when we lived up there.

The MLS did just announce expansion to Vancouver and Portland for 2011, and appears as healthy as soccer ever has been in the USA. I like soccer because it's a game for everyone, regardless of size. On a related note:

Al,

Not sure which WPS ad you saw with an attractive woman promoting women's soccer, but I'm pretty sure it was likely a spot I've seen featuring Brookfield, Wisconsin's own Leslie Osborne. She played in high school at Catholic Memorial in Waukesha. Anyway, WPS is a good league with more overseas talent in playing and coaching than one might expect. The experienced coaching is really what can help make a difference. The Chicago team hired the coach of the most dominant woman's team in England. And Leslie Osborne is a Milwaukee-area gal with a great past around here. You're right, it's nothing but positive to have strong, healthy female role models. Here's her bio from her team's site:

Played at Catholic Memorial High School in Waukesha, Wis. Has her jersey retired (#10) at CMHS in 2004. Earned Parade and NSCAA All-American honors as a senior. Also named the Wisconsin Gatorade Player of the Year, and was named the Wisconsin Player of the Year as a sophomore and senior. Led Catholic Memorial to a No. 1 national ranking as two state championships. Recorded 97 goals and 79 assists while leading her prep squad to an 83-5-6 record. Played basketball at Catholic Memorial as a freshman and sophomore, when she made all-conference. Played for FC Milwaukee for seven years, winning state titles every year. Won U-20 National Championship in 2001, scoring the winning goal in the championship game.

James


I should have known she was so athletic and attractive it had to be a Wisconsin gal.:)

I know they are setting the bar pretty low, probably hoping for 5K or so a game, but I sure hope they make it. It's great for girls to be able to turn on the TV and see women who were just like them 15-20 years ago. The really nice thing about female athletes is, unlike men, they tend to among the best in the classroom too.

Thanks for the info and for taking the time to write, James.


3/21/2009 01:20:00 PM



(3/21/2009 12:49:00 PM) - Al

I just got done with lunch, as I grilled ground turkey burgers on the gas grill. As I did, I opened up the upstairs to let in the fresh, crisp air. I will go do the same downstairs soon, as those have not been open for months.

This is one of the advantages of it just being the Rambling dog and me, as there's no way I'd get away with a 55 degree house if the family was home. About 95% of the snow has melted, but the air seems very damp, as if the melting snow is hanging in the air.

It sure beats winter though.


3/21/2009 12:49:00 PM



(3/21/2009 12:45:00 PM) - Al

If the Brewers do decide to go with DiFelice (or another pitcher with options left, I suppose), they might want to check with SD to see if they would like Julio or Littleton, as this says the Padres may look to add as many as 4 relievers in late March/early April.

That said, I doubt if they'd want Littleton, who they let bypass on waivers just a few days ago.


3/21/2009 12:45:00 PM



(3/21/2009 12:40:00 PM) - Al

Is Mark DeRosa that bad in RF? Or is Adam Dunn that unhappy at 1B?

Dunn is a terrible LF, so he's beyond belief bad in RF. How can that be considered a strategic move?


3/21/2009 12:40:00 PM



(3/21/2009 11:35:00 AM) - Al

Buyer's remorse? Comparisons to Carter? Whispers he's in over his head?

I've said it before, but I'm shocked we're seeing this 2 months in. Heck, as I said the other day, who would have thought a UK paper would already have enough fodder for a top 10 gaffes list?

We'll have to wait and see how this affects his popularity...most ardent Dems are not going to change their minds, so what matters is how this plays with the indys. The economy is showing signs of a late summer, autumn recovery...with little help from either the bank bailout or the "stimulus" package. If the administration gets credit for that, it may not matter if he doesn't speak well without a teleprompter.

Also, who would have guessed that an early criticism of Obama would be related to his clumsy speaking, 2 months after W left office, who made up words (strategery) and for many of us, spoke with an accent that stereotypically, we acquaint with being less than intelligent...even though many Southerners are of above average smarts.


3/21/2009 11:35:00 AM



(3/21/2009 11:29:00 AM) - Al

Bo discusses the most exciting game of the season thus far.

Mark Stewart does a terrific job covering the Badgers. The JS Brewers' coverage sets the bar so low, maybe that's why it stands out, but Mark's work really is very solid.


3/21/2009 11:29:00 AM



(3/21/2009 12:55:00 AM) - Al

The Crank is as angry as I am about this.

Of all the places to save a few bucks, you don't start with the wounded men and women who defend the greatest nation in the history of the world.


3/21/2009 12:55:00 AM



(3/21/2009 12:33:00 AM) - Al

It's too bad the Badgers' men play the same time as the Badgers' women play at the Kohl Center in the WNIT Sunday. That will certainly hold down the crowd in Madison.


3/21/2009 12:33:00 AM



(3/21/2009 12:10:00 AM) - Al

I was shocked to find it snowed about an inch and a half tonight, since I let the Rambling dog out at 6:30 or so. With a high of 50+ tomorrow, I'm going to allow nature to take care of it. The Rambling son started spring break after school today, and for a few reasons, the Rambling wife picked him up early and went to the Rambling in-laws for a long weekend. His teacher informed her she was now down 7 kids, as a couple were sick and the rest had vacation plans.

So, it's just Ronnie and me for a bachelor weekend at the Ramblings' palatial estate. As I always say in these situations, I can only hope the chilly weather holds down the mob of college-age women who will gather on the Rambling lawn and hope.

All I know is, the grill will be used.


3/21/2009 12:10:00 AM



(3/21/2009 12:08:00 AM) - Al

Heh. Maybe they can just end that pesky freedom of the press that has plagued this nation since its founding.:)


3/21/2009 12:08:00 AM


Friday, March 20, 2009

(3/20/2009 11:19:00 PM) - Al

One of the best games you'll ever see, and allow me to say I'm honored to see Krabbenhoft and Landry take the court one more time wearing the red and white.

Not only did Hughes hit the shot, he did it with contact. I was hoping Florida State did not have any time outs left, so Trevon could have missed the free throw on purpose and left only a prayer for the Seminoles, but I guess they had one.

I would not have given a nickel to win a dollar on the Badgers at the half, they did not look to be dominated, but it's tough when you can't make a shot. I'm sure glad Bo's on our side, he always positions his team to win. I remember thinking how tough Bo had it when he took over for Dick Bennett, but by far, the next coach will come in with incredible expectations.

We'll see you Sunday afternoon.:)


3/20/2009 11:19:00 PM



(3/20/2009 07:37:00 PM) - Al

Your reflection on the Jay Leno email was one of your most poignant posts yet Al. Keep it up.

Thanks,

Mike


The days of hard news and the like are gone. Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton are true celebrities, despite neither having any skills or, you know, having done something to warrant attention, other than having won a genetic lottery.

We're not living in an age of 7 hour debates. In a while, Leno might be considered hard hitting.


3/20/2009 07:37:00 PM



(3/20/2009 04:52:00 PM) - Al

McClung is the #6 SP and Hoffman's backup closer, it would appear.

I was a Seth fan before it was cool to be one (you can't teach velocity!), so I have little problem with this.


3/20/2009 04:52:00 PM



(3/20/2009 04:40:00 PM) - Al

Through omission, it would appear Fangraphs has the Crew as a top ten organization going forward.

That's a lot easier to say after a playoff appearance last year and with up to 4 replacements set to play at AAA in 2009.


3/20/2009 04:40:00 PM



(3/20/2009 04:25:00 PM) - Al

Those bonuses that "shocked" everyone, that they just found out about?

They were talking about them 2 weeks ago on C-span. Heck, they asked Geitner about 'em (of course, he may have been thinking about not paying his taxes at the time).

What's that old saying, if you tell the truth, you don't need to have near as good a memory?

Also, I never thought I'd see this list after 2 months.

Finally, a Kennedy family member criticizes Obama. Also in the news, Satan reports the ski slopes have opened for the season in hell.


3/20/2009 04:25:00 PM



(3/20/2009 04:03:00 PM) - Al

But would it really kill the network to hire “analysts” who have qualifications other than “I played the game”? This is an actual quote from Mitch Williams at the end of yesterday’s show on the Royals:

“I think this team will be above .500. Now where that puts them in their own division, that remains to be seen. But I have them picked fifth.”

It’s true, I never played baseball at its highest level, nor did Joe Sheehan, or Will Carroll, or Kevin Goldstein, or any of my other colleagues at Baseball Prospectus. But if the MLB Network ever deigns to put a stat guy in their studio, I can guarantee you that none of us would ever say anything even remotely as dumb as that.--Rany J


Apparently, Mitch Williams has every AL team finishing with 81+ wins in 2009.

And sadly, that's the only qualification almost every "analyst" has...that's why they all suck.


3/20/2009 04:03:00 PM



(3/20/2009 02:25:00 PM) - Al

A month ago, next month, big deal.

I could insert a line about Geitner being busy getting his refund up, or why the real world doesn't fix itself by uttering "hope and change" in front of a fake temple, but I'm above all that.

If they wait long enough, something called "capitalism" will take care of it anyway...if that's the master plan, kudos.


3/20/2009 02:25:00 PM



(3/20/2009 11:32:00 AM) - Al

My lower seeded picks today, you ask?

Utah State
Temple
Dayton
Badgers (all heart, I doubt it)
Tennessee

I almost took North Dakota State, but could not pull the trigger. I think the #14 seed has only won a couple times since they went to 64/65 teams.


3/20/2009 11:32:00 AM



(3/20/2009 11:25:00 AM) - Al

Al,

I really enjoy reading your blog. As for the NCAA putting Nova in Philly, it's something that they've done for quite some time - that is, they regularly put teams seeded in the top 4 in a nearby location. Duke and UNC regularly get games not far away from campus in the first few rounds. It's how the NCAA rewards teams for having a good regular season while also improving upon ticket sales at regional locations - imagine how much better the ticket sales were for the Nova games than they would have been otherwise. It's not much different than when the Badgers played at the Bradley Center a few years back. The crowd was packed with red. Of course, the one problem with Nova playing in Philly is that they do actually play a limited number of home games at that particular arena, but they wisely play just enough to have it not considered their home court for NCAA tournament purposes as teams are not allowed to play in their home arena. So, I don't necessarily have a problem with Nova playing so close to home, but I do have a problem with a rule that allows them to play a limited number of home games at an arena and still have it considered a neutral site for NCAA tournament purposes. That's a joke - if you play a single game at an arena as the home team, you should be eliminated from playing there as a neutral site in the tournament.

Chris


I get the rewarding of the top teams thing, but still feel that's way too close...I'd probably say, for example, the Badgers in Chicago is ok, but not in Milwaukee. In either case, many fans are going to travel, but to me, 100 miles from campus and out of your home state would be nice requirements to keep things fair.


3/20/2009 11:25:00 AM



(3/20/2009 11:12:00 AM) - Al

I think this a lot, but I sure wish I knew why high school and college players (and even the pros, but not nearly as much, as they often just dunk the ball) don't like using the backboard, either from point blank range or on a lay-up. I don't think I ever attempted a lay-up in my life without using the backboard, and I think some players have never used it, at least, not on purpose.

I don't know if there's an answer for this sports conundrum, but if there is (like we found with the short, tight volleyball shorts), let me know.


3/20/2009 11:12:00 AM



(3/20/2009 10:29:00 AM) - Al

Neither the Rambling wife or myself has heard the sump pump run at all this year, astounding as all the snow has melted, albeit at a slow, 50 degree pace, as opposed to the "it rained an inch and all the snow melted as well".

I'd almost like to hear it once just to verify it's working, but I guess until there's water in the basement, I should just shut up and count my blessings.


3/20/2009 10:29:00 AM



(3/20/2009 10:27:00 AM) - Al

Collecting rainwater in COL is not just illegal, but it throws off the accounting, as they "count every drop".

I bet that guy needs a slide rule and a scientific calculator.


3/20/2009 10:27:00 AM



(3/20/2009 09:15:00 AM) - Al

Al,

Frequent reader of your blog and occasional emailer. I check out your blog basically for your rational Crew commentary but I also like your political comments as well. I found yesterday a bit disturbing. First, why is Obama on the Tonight Show? The promos with him sitting there sans tie seemed inappropriate as the leader of the free world, IMO. I will admit I didn't watch it so maybe there was something of merit to it but it just didn't sit right with me. It's not like I want him to bunker up in the White House like the previous administration did but this appearance, at least to me, seems to validate Hollywood behavior like Penn, Clooney, Robbins and Sarandan throw in everybody's faces.

I mentioned this to my wife and then she commented that she was appalled that Michelle Obama trots out Sheryl Crow, Alicia Keys and Fran Drescher among others to tour schools for Women's History Month. Here's a link

Now she did sprinkle in a couple non-entertainers but what message does this send? Where are the women doctors? Women business people? Writers? Again...Hollywood pandering.

I was hoping to read more about this but of course, I haven't found much commentary on this...yet...

Note, I did vote for Obama so I'm not slinging for the right.

Thoughts?

Thanks and keep up the good work.

DV


I see nothing wrong with no tie. I wear a tie every day, and it doesn't make me any better. Why was he on Jay? Because Leno is renowned as a "friendly" interview, and let's be blunt, Obama loves to campaign, it's what he does. I'm not sure what he's talking about these days (I assume it has something to do with taking money from me to "spread the wealth), but I think it's safe to say he is interested in getting his views out to the public without, you know, having to answer criticisms in a real press conference or interview.

I don't know why Ms. Obama chose who she did, but I admit, that's a pretty weak set of role models to emulate.

I think DV and I might just be old fuddy duddys here. The Obamas are using the new age of celebrity and alternate media, and we don't get it. Why sit down with a real reporter when Jay Leno will give you 40 minutes of late night to discuss bowling and snacks? Why take a respected business woman out on tour when Sheryl Crow is willing to go? Why have a press conference when ESPN will let you fill out a bracket?

I can't help but think that we're the ones behind the game here, however. Being able to avoid scrutiny and still get your message out is probably exactly what Reagan would be doing today. If you don't change with the times, you may be referred to as "classic", but the odds are, you're more likely to be called "old".


3/20/2009 09:15:00 AM



(3/20/2009 09:08:00 AM) - Al

It's not a day without a Witrado flub:

Jeff Suppan pitched five shutout innings and allowed one run...

Maybe that cap was just too tight.

Thanks to friend of Ramblings Andy for seeing this, which I missed days ago.


3/20/2009 09:08:00 AM



(3/20/2009 08:38:00 AM) - Al

On a related note, Sidney Ponson is 32 years old and has gone five seasons without an ERA under 5.00, but two decent outings in the World Baseball Classic convinced Royals general manager Dayton Moore to sign him:

Our scouts saw him in the WBC and were very aggressive in their recommendation that we need to bring him in here so we could evaluate him ourselves. We've got several scouts who have seen him pitch who are convinced this guy needs to be part of our rotation competition.

Obviously it's safe to bump the Royals up into fourth place now.--Gleeman


What's amazing to me is, Ponson keeps getting opportunities, but a 23 year-old who throws 92+ cleared waivers, despite there being 5-10 teams with no realistic chance to contend in '09 that could have at least taken a look at him.

In Ponson's case, it is just a minor league deal, so I guess you can always hope to catch lightning in a bottle, but it follows KC's continued fascination to win game 73.

The rest of Aaron's near weekly links report can be found here.


3/20/2009 08:38:00 AM



(3/20/2009 01:12:00 AM) - Al

Obama disses the Special Olympics?

I blame Biden.

That Seinfeld line about the Special Olympics parking is an all-time classic though. Who would have ever guessed the man who gives such a fine speech would be so clumsy when not reading his words?

He opted out of Meet the Press because the show is "too easy"...and instead, went on Leno? Yeah, and I eat bacon because it's loaded with protein.


3/20/2009 01:12:00 AM


Thursday, March 19, 2009

(3/19/2009 10:54:00 PM) - Al

Al,

One of our digital LED billboards here in Milwaukee had a neat ad up as I drove home from work tonight. It had a cartoon sun with a smile on its face amongst some clouds and the ad read something to the effect of: "Dear pessimists, 93% of Milwaukeeans have a job". I thought it was great. Keep on rambling.

Benjamin


96% of all mortgages are healthy too, but I wouldn't count on that being talked about anytime soon either. If it bleeds, it leads.


3/19/2009 10:54:00 PM



(3/19/2009 09:40:00 PM) - Al

I wish Diamond Taylor would consider redshirting next year, as the freshman guard will be behind Hughes, Bohannon, Wilson, and Jordan Taylor. Nice feature on Diamond, thanks JS.


3/19/2009 09:40:00 PM



(3/19/2009 09:34:00 PM) - Al

Dude doesn't pay, Brewers sue.

I can't see he has a leg to stand on, but then again, OJ Simpson played golf every day for a decade after he killed two people and left his DNA all over the murder scene like crumbs on my shirt after I eat potato chips.


3/19/2009 09:34:00 PM



(3/19/2009 09:15:00 PM) - Al

Even though he's not mentioned, I'm sure this is related to Biden somehow.:)

It is indeed a gaffe-a-minute in DC.

Even after proving they are nothing more than frat boy drunks or tax cheats, no punishment occurs anyway. It's an odd situation, to be sure. I wouldn't hire either one of those clowns to mow my lawn.


3/19/2009 09:15:00 PM



(3/19/2009 07:44:00 PM) - Al

You do have to wonder what the NCAA is thinking, having Villanova playing in Philadelphia...for those unaware, Villanova is located in a suburb of Philly. I'm not sure of what the exact rules are on this, but if a team is ever relocated because of proximity, it should have happened here.

It's bad enough for a #14 seed to compete with a #3 (American is doing a heckuva job thus far), but to ask them to do so on the road, as opposed to a neutral court is blasphemy.


3/19/2009 07:44:00 PM



(3/19/2009 07:40:00 PM) - Al

DC appears to be clueless, releasing a pitcher who is not just one of their top 5 options to be in the rotation, but would fit into the starting options of 20+ teams.

Hill's career numbers are here. He's not a star, but he'll find work quickly.


3/19/2009 07:40:00 PM



(3/19/2009 07:31:00 PM) - Al

You know, I was wondering the same thing yesterday, but thought I must be missing something.

Of course, if it were me, I would have alternated the answers "Chris Dodd" and "It's not my fault you were too inept to keep this from happening".

That said, I'm not really a people person either.


3/19/2009 07:31:00 PM



(3/19/2009 07:15:00 PM) - Al

I'd like to say I'm undefeated in the NCAA tourney thus far (and I could, you'd never know), but I picked Butler, so I'm something-1.

My upsets the rest of the day? By lower seed, I took MIN, MICH, Akron, and VCU. I would have taken WKU had they not been playing ILL, ditto for Northern Iowa/Purdue.


3/19/2009 07:15:00 PM



(3/19/2009 07:11:00 PM) - Al

Macha says he is considering having Kendall bat leadoff, due to his OBP and ability to work the count.

I have no problem with it, as at least it shows Macha understands the value of taking pitches and "not getting out", which is exactly what OBP measures.

I have often said that I think that someday, someone will just decide to have a batting order of highest OBP to lowest OBP, and it will work about as well as any other.


3/19/2009 07:11:00 PM


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

(3/18/2009 10:16:00 PM) - Al

How come when I put my AmEx bill on my VISA, it's stupid, but when the government does it, it's stimulus?

Heh.

We did this for years, actually, moving one bill to another with a 0% interest rate. This is what happens when you move in with a girl still in school and that has to complete a year-long unpaid internship.


3/18/2009 10:16:00 PM



(3/18/2009 10:01:00 PM) - Al

Check this latest Witrado blunder from the Brewers blog:

Gallardo said he felt good and it was nice to bounce back with two solid outings after giving up seven in the first inning to the Indians three starts ago. Gallardo threw four shutout innings Friday against the Royals, the team that shelled him the start before.

So he gave up seven runs to the Indians three starts ago then threw fur shutout innings Friday against KC the team that shelled him the start before. Well which team was it Tony? I know but does he?

--
Cheers,
JD


The dislike for Tony W does seem especially strong. I still have to wonder if it was the goofy cap.


3/18/2009 10:01:00 PM



(3/18/2009 09:52:00 PM) - Al

I have a lot more trouble with the dishonesty than the bonuses...though I do wonder why there was specific language to protect said bonuses back when the bill was being written.

That makes two presidential candidates, Edwards and Dodd, that appear to be blatant, unrepentant liars, not to mention Ron Paul, who may or may not be a liar, but is most certainly a raving loon.


3/18/2009 09:52:00 PM



(3/18/2009 08:18:00 PM) - Al

I just saw a promo for WPS, which is the women's pro soccer league which starts this year. Two young athletic gals are shown on screen, and one says, with wink implied, "It's a beautiful game".

Of course, I could easily be criticized if I commented on how attractive they were, but it would appear obvious the league itself is unabashedly using sex appeal to sell tickets. I mourned the demise of the old ladies soccer league a few years ago, not for a loss of looks, but I just think it's nice for girls to have role models that are healthy and play sports, just like many little boys do.


3/18/2009 08:18:00 PM



(3/18/2009 08:12:00 PM) - Al

Nationals signed LHP Joe Beimel, who had been with the Dodgers, to a one-year contract.

The Washington Post says Beimel will get $2 million. It's a very good fit, as the Nats were preparing to go without a lefty reliever with Mike Hinckley struggling this spring.--Rotoworld


Good fit? DC looks to be about a 70 win team, and Joe's decent 60 innings might get them to 71. Lefty relievers who can put up a 4.50 ERA are a dime a dozen, so if you think Beimel is a 2.50 guy, he's worth about one victory.

Does this push them past the Mets or Phillies? If not, I see it as worthless, especially considering it's for one year, and Joe Beimel will bring in as many fans as 99 cent broccoli night.

The Nats are simply not in the right place in the success cycle to be adding Beimel.


3/18/2009 08:12:00 PM



(3/18/2009 07:59:00 PM) - Al

Last season was a very good year for the Brewers. The team sold 3,068,458 tickets, a franchise record. With the economy the way it is, even getting close to that total ought to be considered a success.--Don Walker, JS

Yes, because the economy is going to be bad forever, right?

What's funny to me is, I see oodles of positives...Bernanke says he expects the slide to end before the end of the year, retail spending is way up over LY, the stock market is up due to decent 1Q earnings, unemployment claims have plateaued, and so on. I do not expect a return to the high flying, carefree days of the late 80's or the bull market of W's post 9/11 run; but a mild "boom", probably shorter and with less peak.

Unemployment tends to peak at the end of a recession as well, yet many do not like to learn from history, so they'll have to be surprised.


3/18/2009 07:59:00 PM



(3/18/2009 07:40:00 PM) - Al

Nanny state politics does not like farmer's markets.

Of course, not to make sense here or something, but the one plant we all know is dangerous is tobacco, and the government controls and subsidizes its growth. As far as my potatoes and sweet corn goes, shut up and get a frickin' clue.


3/18/2009 07:40:00 PM



(3/18/2009 07:19:00 PM) - Al

Bless her for the attempt, but Christina Karhl of BP (she's the one on the right, by the way) is shown here on a book tour.

Karhl, for those of you who do not know, is transgendered, and golly, still has a deeper voice than me, and looks exactly how I would figure a transgendered person would.

That said, I hope she is happy with "things".


3/18/2009 07:19:00 PM



(3/18/2009 07:07:00 PM) - Al

The prince of darkness writes in his usual tone, discussing minor injuries as if they meant something. Guys get nicked all season long, miss a couple games here and there, and it's barely noticed. Sadly, it gets more attention in March because the results are so meaningless.

I find it strange he now acts like everyone knew Braun was injured last September...while I mentioned it, the JS acted shocked when Ryan admitted it had lingered on.


3/18/2009 07:07:00 PM



(3/18/2009 06:55:00 PM) - Al

Tony W awkwardly writes an informative recap of just how good Weeks has been at a young age.

It is funny how many want to build with youth, but give up on a player when he doesn't produce out of the chute (yes Virginia, we have been spoiled by Ryan Braun)...and then blame the organization when that player turns into a solid player elsewhere. I recall what a "bust" Joel Pryzbilla was...at the tender age of what, 20 and 21? My goodness, Kevin Garnett wasn't a superstar his first couple years either.

If the "next wave" of prospects progress as expected, Salome, Escobar, Gamel, and probably Cain will all be in the bigs by 2011 at the latest. Some current players will be moved, as they will become more expensive. I'll leave it to the braintrust who stays and who goes, but I do find it astounding that the two things Rickie does well, work the count and an above average OBP, are exactly what the Brewers need more of...and it's exactly what casuals want to eliminate.


3/18/2009 06:55:00 PM


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

(3/17/2009 10:50:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling brother mentions that the lineup analyzer I discussed here all have Kendall batting 9th in the "best" lineups. I agree with him that it worked perfectly last year, Jason rarely had a man on 1B and less than two outs, as he hits a lot of ground balls. His solid OBP provided more RBI chances for Rickie and JJ.

It's one of those things that worked perfectly, just how it was designed, and yet, it was ended, for reasons no one ever really discussed. While the 8th spot will get about 20 more PA's over 162, that's meaningless, as it will be a PH rather than a pitcher, and most PH's will have similar on-base ability (slightly lower) to Jason, and much more pop in his bat.


3/17/2009 10:50:00 PM



(3/17/2009 08:30:00 PM) - Al

Damn the math...teams that are behind by a point at the half win more than those that are ahead by a point...probably something to do with motivation.

You gotta love Freakonomics. Bookmark the site while you are there.


3/17/2009 08:30:00 PM



(3/17/2009 07:59:00 PM) - Al

Mike Lamb made an appearance at second base on Tuesday and hit a two-run homer against the Giants.

Lamb hasn't played second in a regular-season game since 2006. His only five starts at the position came in 2004. He probably won't be more than an emergency option there this year, but it can't hurt to give him a look. Unless he's taken out on a double play and suffers a torn ACL. That would hurt.--Rotoworld


Lamb has been smacking the ball of late, and they might be comparing the value of his LH bat versus McGehee's versatility. Of course, 1B/2B/3B really is not that much more than 1B/3B...especially when you consider Hall and Counsell can play anywhere.


3/17/2009 07:59:00 PM



(3/17/2009 07:55:00 PM) - Al

In this, Macha asks who will be the set-up man if Carlos V continues to struggle...he mentions Todd Coffey...seems a good sign Todd has made the team, which only leaves one spot open...which is related to Morlan being DFA'd, I suppose.


3/17/2009 07:55:00 PM



(3/17/2009 07:33:00 PM) - Al

Carl Landry appears to be fine, which means Marcus will also be able to play.

Let's hope they throw the book at the gang member/drug dealer who gives gun owners a bad name.


3/17/2009 07:33:00 PM



(3/17/2009 07:01:00 PM) - Al

Seeing Eddie Morlan have to be relinquished reminded me how much I'd love to see MLB go to a 27 man roster, maybe with a 24 or 25 man "active" roster for each game. Not only would this allow teams to "stash" Rule 5 picks easier (which over the long-term, would be good to balance out organizational strength, as well as help the teams that finish poorly, as they would pick first), but would also make it a more strategical game, in several ways.

One, it would give a team extra bodies, in case of a minor injury. Two, it would allow a "specialty" player or two, if a team so desires. Brewers' fans will think of Mel Stocker right away, and I can also see it being good for lefty specialists and also veteran pinch-hitters, who are weak in the field (Ray Durham?) at their current age.

Of course, it would cost a bit more, though I imagine many of those extra 60 spots would be used by players making close to the minimum. It may also reduce costs slightly, in some ways, as teams would be less likely to "eat" salary, hoping a player could contribute and/or another team would have a need later and pay part of it. PHIL may have hung onto Adam Eaton and used him as a mop-up man had they been able to have a 13 man staff, for example.

However, we'd have to listen to purists (you know, those still unhappy about players wearing gloves) complain about an extra pitching change once in a while making the games longer (easily solved by making umpires, you know, actually enforce the time between pitches rule already on the books, and ignored), and about the specialization of the game. Personally, I think it's great to have a speed demon around to pinch-run once each game, and other guys who do one thing really well.


3/17/2009 07:01:00 PM



(3/17/2009 06:54:00 PM) - Al

Asking private insurance to pay where the VA seems easy enough, but as the article points out, deductibles have to be met, and policies with a low lifetime maximum could be reached easily.

This seems like a poorly thought out "tax" on health insurance companies, but as the VFW fella points out, it hurts veterans, and of all the places to go cheap, the men and women who have served and been wounded is well down the list.


3/17/2009 06:54:00 PM



(3/17/2009 05:49:00 PM) - Al

Suppan throws 5 scoreless.

Morlan is waived, so I assume he's headed back to TB, unless Doug can work a trade, which he has tried to do, per Gord Ash.

Hoffman is injured, though it seems minor.

The Crew also claims Wes Littleton, a reliever with a lower ceiling than Morlan, but who is probably closer to being ready for the bigs. I thought the Brewers may go after Wes last November, as he was very good in '06 and solid in '07.


3/17/2009 05:49:00 PM


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