Al's Ramblings



Sunday, May 31, 2009

(5/31/2009 10:44:00 PM) - Al

As I said, the Rambling son and I took in the Woodchucks game tonight, which left a few things to be desired. We ended up sitting down the RF line, as despite the fact there were many empty seats in the general admission section, they were all being "saved", mostly for people who never showed up, I'm sure.

So, we stood down the LF line for the first inning, and we then went to get us some frankfurter type nourishment. We trekked over to the RF line, and I noticed that while the concession stand just past 1B had a wait time of a senate term, the one far down in the RF corner looked to be only about a dozen deep. It was one of those "we don't have everything, just the basics" ones, but since they listed hot dogs, brats and chips on the six item or so board, I felt safe. I did see one or two people try to order something and walk away empty-handed, but I thought they must want something not on the "basic" menu. So, I confidentially ordered, and was told they did not take cash, only "giveaway coupons" that the sponsor for the night gives to their employees and customers. The conversation went like this:

Al: I'm sorry, I guess I didn't see a sign that mentioned that.

Man: We don't have a sign.

Al: (incredulous pause) You know, it might be a really good idea to make a sign that says "coupons only".

Man: Yeah, well, we don't have one.

As I said, we ended up sitting down the RF line, and all night, as I watched the Rambling son play with other kids in the lawn area, people would wander up to the little shack, then walk away empty handed.

Yep, a sign would be a foolish addition.

So, I told the boy to wait at a picnic table, and I went to stand in the 1B line, which was by now as long as the socialist trends of the new administration (the gov't owns 72% of GM, ya know). It moved like a union worker actually, slowly and inefficiently, and when I worked my way up to about 6 away from the counter, there was a lull, where all the teen workers looked dumbly at each other, and after a couple minutes of stand still, no movement at all (bypass all too easy auto worker making $70/hr joke here), one bravely asked, "Um, does anybody want to order something other than a hot dog?", as apparently, they were awaiting more. After a couple more uncomfortable minutes, a fella brought more hot dogs...about 6 of them. Luckily, a more realistic number was delivered just before I ordered...a hot dog, a brat, a bag of chips ($1.50 a bag, so about a quarter a chip), and a bottled water for us to share. She punched it in, took my money, returned my change, and two things were in front of me...the brat and the chips. I waited, she looked at me with an air of disinterest that reminded me of my single days, and then said, "Is that it"? I informed her I was waiting for my bottled water and hot dog, and, remember, this is about 20 seconds after taking my order, she said, "What, you don't have something"? A young man, about the same age as my socks, then put a hot dog in front of me, and said, "What else"? I said I still needed a bottle of water, and he grabbed that as well, as the order taker looked puzzled at me, like myself at a salad bar.

As I carried my stuff, the Rambling son arrived, informing me that despite his presence on one side of the 4 sided picnic table, other people had sat down on the other sides, meaning he may be just about as unsocial as I am. I told him that was fine, that we only needed one side, which, sure enough, was still empty when we got back. He ate the chips, and about half the "all beef" hot dog, which he said tasted funny, probably because he is used to the "all whatever ends up on the floor" hot dog that we usually buy, the brand that's 59 cents a pack, and has a cartoon on the front, to try and keep folks from taking a glance at the ingredient list, I reckon.

It rained a bit in the 9th inning, and suddenly, the stands were 90% empty. We moved to the metal bleachers down the 3B line, which is perhaps the hardest substance on Earth...my butt hurt after 5 minutes. I noticed that after the loss, the Mankato team was almost running gathering their stuff...which I suppose I would do too if I had a 319 mile trip to Brainerd to look forward too. I can only imagine that they hop on the bus in their sweaty, rain soaked uniforms and shower in their hotel about 3 or 4AM...I think I picked up a fungal infection just thinking about it.

It never fails to amaze me that 90% of the people at the Woodchucks' games pay either no or very little attention to the contest itself. Tickets supposedly cost $5-8 depending on age and quality, but realistically, almost everyone is there with free tickets, as a business sponsors each game and gives you as many tickets as you want...another reason there's no seating if you show up at game time. The best seats in the place, right behind home plate and covered, were never more than half-full...I believe those mostly go to the people that house a player for the season, as season tiks are the main perk provided to them.


5/31/2009 10:44:00 PM



(5/31/2009 10:22:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling son and I went to the Woodchucks game tonight, and when we got home, Joe Morgan was in rare form, saying among other things:

Mark Derosa is "a winner", and you can't just replace him with another piece. Here's his career, show me how this guy is anything more than a decent utility guy. He isn't. What's so sad is, no one challenged Morgan on his idiotic statement, perhaps asking why Jason Bay was never won a thing when he was with the Pirates, and is now suddenly "a winner".

Then, he kept saying Manny Ramirez should not be allowed to play in minor league games as part of his rehab, because that's "organized baseball". Never mind that's what the CBA says, and that's the deal. Of course, Joe's contention that Manny cheated did not bring up that most players in Joe's era were using "greenies", which is a kind nickname for amphetamines.

The mystery of Joe Morgan's continued employment remains.


5/31/2009 10:22:00 PM



(5/31/2009 02:54:00 PM) - Al

Even when Gamel gets out, he still is working the count, that time, K'ing on a 3-2 breaking ball. He appears to flail a bit on the off-speed stuff, but that also means he'll see a lot of "waste" pitches, which will add to the pitch counts for the opponent.


5/31/2009 02:54:00 PM



(5/31/2009 02:42:00 PM) - Al

Ann says Sotomayer's speech was "racial", not racist...though she admits such talk is a given in the liberal law school culture. She is getting a lot of dissenting views in the comments, and well she should.

Why we allow Latinas to spout racist views, but find such things abhorrent when said by whites, is hypocrisy, pure and simple.

Many are also bothered by her statement that, paraphrasing here, policy is made by the appeals courts, which goes against the accepted viewpoint that Congress makes the laws and the judicial branch interprets them.


5/31/2009 02:42:00 PM



(5/31/2009 02:27:00 PM) - Al

Mat Gamel will remain in the big leagues at least through the end of interleague play, Brewers GM Doug Melvin and manager Ken Macha said.

Melvin confirmed that the Brewers originally intended to demote Gamel after the May 22-24 in Minnesota, but that the plan changed as a result of Rickie Weeks' injury. Now he'll stick around as a part-timer through June 25 at least. He's making his fifth start at third base today.--Rotoworld


Yep, he would have went back down and then returned to DH in mid-late June. Now, if he can get on base at a .300 clip, he's 50% better than Hall, versus righties, at least. If he can hit at all, and field routine grounders, Gamel should be the platoon half for the first 7 frames, until being replaced for defense.


5/31/2009 02:27:00 PM



(5/31/2009 11:50:00 AM) - Al

The Rays placed shortstop Jason Bartlett, second baseman Akinori Iwamura, lefty Scott Kazmir and relievers Troy Percival and Brian Shouse on the DL in a span of less than a week, with Iwamura lost for the season with torn ligaments in his left knee and ankle that require surgery. He can be a free agent after the season. Percival seems headed for retirement because of shoulder problems.--Chicago Tribune

Not many teams can replace 20% of their roster, though the Rays have one of the best minor league systems in the game. As often happens though, their biggest problem is to contend, they can't just win 85 games, they have to catch the Red Sox or the Yankees.

What's ironic is, the Rays probably look at the Crew with envy, because they have Counsell to plug in where needed, and most fans keep searching for a way to bench Craig, even some insisting Hall should play 2B instead. You never know what you have until it's gone.


5/31/2009 11:50:00 AM



(5/31/2009 11:36:00 AM) - Al

Ed sends this link that says Hart has been discussed by many teams looking for a corner OF, and that the Brewers "need a pitcher".

I would say it is idle speculation, especially since Doug has said a dozen times he does not want to create a hole to fill another one...especially here, because the rotation is solid, if unspectacular, and McClung would have a ton of value as a starter as well, so adding a SP, while an option, is far from a necessity.

With Laporta in CLE (and Brantley, for that matter), a replacement for Hart is at least a couple levels away. Gerut or Catalanotto would have to be platooned, and would be weak coner OF's offensively anyway (Frank would be a huge defensive downgrade as well).


5/31/2009 11:36:00 AM



(5/31/2009 09:18:00 AM) - Robert R.

I've been going to a Sunday morning film club for the last few years. Basically it meets every couple of weeks at the Oriental, we see a preview screening of an upcoming "art" film (highlights of the past include The Lives of Others, Black Book, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Persepolis, Happy-Go-Lucky, Slumdog Millionaire, and Doubt, among others), and there's a discussion lead by two UWM film professors.

Sign up for the Fall session is going on now. Those of you with nothing better to do on Sunday mornings than read blogs, might find this of interest.


5/31/2009 09:18:00 AM



(5/31/2009 01:18:00 AM) - Al

Adam Dunn now has 7 errors for the season.

He's an OF you know.

Oof.


5/31/2009 01:18:00 AM



(5/31/2009 12:23:00 AM) - Al

A couple thoughts before bed:

--You always hear people say that a "quality start" isn't even good...after all, the minimums lead to a 4.50 ERA. Of course, if a pitcher were to have all quality starts, his ERA would probably be 3.50 at the most. I see that the Brewers are in the top two in QS's this year, with 28 in 49 games.

So, they have a quality start in 57% of their games, have the most of anyone...but a quality start is easy, and should not be taken seriously.

Right.

--According to the JS, the Brewers' attendance is way up, though their numbers are often incorrect. Regardless, I think it's safe to say that if the Brewers keep winning, 3M is a safe bet once again. Other teams, and even other teams in other sports would be wise to study what they do and imitate it wholeheartedly. They seem to have developed a full understanding of an empty seat is a wasted opportunity, a concept hotels and airlines have embraced for decades, but was a complete mystery to the team when the Seligs owned the club, whose idea of marketing was pocket schedules and a bargain ad campaign paid for in exchange for free tickets.

We have Bud to thank for the team and for the stadium, but the progress Mark A has brought is immeasurable in many aspects.


5/31/2009 12:23:00 AM


Saturday, May 30, 2009

(5/30/2009 10:19:00 PM) - Al

Extended piece on Bill Castro...who looks a lot smarter after a well pitched game.


5/30/2009 10:19:00 PM



(5/30/2009 09:22:00 PM) - Al

My goodness, has Carlos V been good of late. He might have a 0 ERA for May.


5/30/2009 09:22:00 PM



(5/30/2009 09:19:00 PM) - Al

Does anyone else notice those text votes never add up to 100%, seemingly defying mathematical probability?

I wonder if it includes people that forget to vote, or make an error, as it always seems to add up to 98 or 99?


5/30/2009 09:19:00 PM



(5/30/2009 09:03:00 PM) - Al

Only the skill of marketing allows one to brag that four months of MLBtv for $100 is a "price drop", as opposed to six months of it for $110.

I tell you what, it's a lot more tempting to many since I found step-by-step instructions on how to "beat the blackout" by connecting to a proxy somewhere else in the world and then you can watch any game.


5/30/2009 09:03:00 PM



(5/30/2009 08:57:00 PM) - Al

Tom H talks to Doug about the upcoming draft and Riske's health before his injury.

He's right about pitching, you just never know. If a guy has been injured a lot, the odds are pretty good he won't have an injury-free season. Sadly, however, good health often means the odds are pretty good that pitcher will spend some time on the DL as well.


5/30/2009 08:57:00 PM



(5/30/2009 08:36:00 PM) - Al

Al,

Has there ever been anyone better than Dusty Baker at mismanaging a pitching staff? Harang at 102 pitches, 6 runs through 4 1/3, blown lead, and he waits until Hall is in the batter's box before even getting anybody up. Of course, Hall has had success against Harang, who was tired at that point and ineffective on the night. It's almost
as if Dusty felt bad that Bush was ineffective for the Brewers tonight.

Jim


I still recall the Royster campaign, when yet another pitcher would be getting drilled, and Grumpy Stewart would dumbly pick up the phone to the bullpen. There would be a pause as someone answered, and then...Grumpy would look at Jerry. Then, there would be a discussion, often lasting 15 or more seconds. Then, eventually, they would decide on a reliever. This happened numerous times over the course of the campaign, showing me that they never once had a simple conversation about how the bullpen would be used that day.

Also, at a get together once when I lived in Eau Claire, a couple guys were playing a Super Nintendo baseball (it may have been Sega Genesis) game, and one guy was beating up the other pretty badly. When it was about 12-3, the winning player asked the other why he kept bringing in the pitchers with the high ERA's. The losing guy said, "Oh, I thought higher was better".

Other than those two instances, I'd tend to agree, Dusty may be a well liked fellow, but all he knows about pitching is 140 pitches really isn't that many for a young guy who is still developing.


5/30/2009 08:36:00 PM



(5/30/2009 08:19:00 PM) - Al

An e-mailer asks if I saw that Drew Olson, former JS writer and now radio talk show host, sat next to the Doorman last night.

I did, as I felt sorry for the Doorman, who is usually accompanied by his lovely fiancee.


5/30/2009 08:19:00 PM



(5/30/2009 08:09:00 PM) - Al

Yesterday, because it is nearly the end of the month, and a freeroll tournament was being held today for those who qualified, I got home and started playing poker at about 3, and finally finished up at about 1, with a break to take the Rambling son to a birthday party. It's tough being anywhere near the top of your game for 9.5 hours, to say the least.

Hopefully, the long-term rewards will outweigh the hit I took last night, just compiling raked hands.


5/30/2009 08:09:00 PM



(5/30/2009 07:54:00 PM) - Al

Am I the only one who thinks Corey was not running like he has in the past? Are his legs healthy? Is that one reason for his mediocre offense?

That said, it's hard to believe he scored from 1B on a liner that ricocheted off the wall and right back to Nix. That was a weak relay, bouncing twice from short LF.

Right before Burton's first pitch, I said to myself:

Self, if this guy usually throws strikes, I'd do the suicide squeeze on the first pitch.

Once again, Macha shows he is a genius compared to me.:)


5/30/2009 07:54:00 PM



(5/30/2009 07:47:00 PM) - Al

I think I brought up Harang as a trade target last year, and might do so again, but the Reds appear to be a plus .500 team, so I doubt they'll be selling. I like him just for the reason Bill likes him...he throws strikes, and he challenges hitters.

I'd say he might need a catcher like Kendall, who'll force him to work both sides of the plate, instead of only the outer half. He hasn't been himself since Dusty had him throw just fewer than an infinite amount of pitches, but he'd be a guy I'd take a chance on, though he is signed through '11, which means I'd have to really underpay to get him.


5/30/2009 07:47:00 PM



(5/30/2009 07:43:00 PM) - Al

I've said it often over the years, but no one can look as bad as Ryan Braun in one AB and then blast a HR in his next one.

Next time you wonder if what you heard on talk radio is true, let's not forget we had people insisting Brad Nelson could easily replace Prince, and Fielder should be dealt for pitching.

Really. Now that he's on pace for 160 RBI's, you don't hear it as much.


5/30/2009 07:43:00 PM



(5/30/2009 07:36:00 PM) - Al

Ted Rall feels Obama should resign over broken promises.

For those who do not recall, Rall is the talentless hack who did the "Pat Tillman is an idiot" cartoons, so he is perhaps the stupidest person on the planet. However, the irony and humor that says Obama has not lived up to his campaign pledges at all...so much that loons like Rall have abandoned ship, would seem to indicate to me the first hundred plus days have indeed been a disaster to everyone...except those who voted for Obama but expected him to not do a thing he said he would...other than spend money he doesn't have and raise taxes.

By the way, Rall was let go by his distributor recently.

That's a shame.

UPDATE: I knew this would bring out the best of the bloggers. Ted Rall questioning someone's patriotism...heh.


5/30/2009 07:36:00 PM



(5/30/2009 07:32:00 PM) - Al

No, I don't know why old media is failing.

What's sad is, if you want the truth, you gotta go right to the internet...heh.

Also from Glenn, this is as funny as Obama requesting more money for Iraq...after voting against it as a senator. Irony is indeed delicious.

May you live in interesting times.


5/30/2009 07:32:00 PM



(5/30/2009 05:45:00 PM) - Al

We need to do everything we can to stop this unproven scourge known as global warming...as long I can do whatever I want.

Somewhere, a Kennedy is smiling, knowing the world has at least hypocrite as big as them.


5/30/2009 05:45:00 PM



(5/30/2009 05:32:00 PM) - Al

Some are surprised by the Brewers' lack of SP need, but they really shouldn't be. We were discussing the rotation's solid but unspectacular nature way back here.

McClung is probably as good as anyone's 6th SP (BOS will soon have Smoltz to go along with Bucholtz) in the NL as well.


5/30/2009 05:32:00 PM



(5/30/2009 12:57:00 PM) - Al

One interesting thing to see will be what happens the next time the Crew uses a DH, as of right now, I'm sure they'd like to find a way to get Gamel and Catalanotto's bats in the lineup. Mat had no errors last night, but was removed for defense with Hall after he batted in the 7th. It appears obvious Macha has little confidence in Gamel's fielding ability. Frank has not played there for ages...but he hadn't played RF either. Macha may decide he'd rather take a chance with the steady veteran rather than the rookie.


5/30/2009 12:57:00 PM



(5/30/2009 12:49:00 PM) - Al

Sticking with the theme of players who need a couple of days off, Macha said Jason Kendall's time will come during the upcoming road trip to Florida and Atlanta, where Macha expects to see at least three left-handed starting pitchers--Adam, MLB.com

That will also be a good chance to let Craig take some time off as well. As long as he is the LH half of a platoon, Counsell is going to play about 75% of the time. Macha will have to be creative to find ways to get him more rest than that...I was surprised he played last night, as that was a nice opportunity to have him have back-to-back days off...and with the Wednesday afternoon to Saturday evening stretch, give his mind and body a 72 hour breather.

Nice piece on Craig here, by the way. Doug notes he is not looking at present, and the irony is, he'd have a very hard time finding a guy with nearly that high of an OBP, regardless of the price.


5/30/2009 12:49:00 PM



(5/30/2009 01:02:00 AM) - Al

The Crank looks at the results of Maryland raising taxes on the very rich, designed to help add money to the state coffers. To the surprise of no capitalists, it has lowered the state's take $100M...some moved, some worked less, some used tax dodges.

And yet, when this happens to the feds, many will be surprised...


5/30/2009 01:02:00 AM


Friday, May 29, 2009

(5/29/2009 11:43:00 PM) - Al

Al,

I grew up watching the Tonight Show. Watching Johnny as a little kid, watching Jay since I was 16. I never really got into Letterman, not my kind of funny. I've always been a Conan watcher. He was always going for the "college" age kids and I think that's what Fallon is going for as well. That's an extremely late time slot and that's why it's geared for the younger people. So, my guess is either that Jimmy Fallon is not your type of funny, or you're too old. :) I myself think Jimmy is great (except his 1st show when he was too nervous) and is better at his show a couple months in, than Conan was after the first couple months.

Dan


I know for a fact I'm too old. And Fallon is not my type of funny, that's for sure, as he's not even chuckle worthy.


5/29/2009 11:43:00 PM



(5/29/2009 11:09:00 PM) - Al

I was just watching the final Leno Tonight Show, and I saw an ad for Jimmy Fallon. I can't say I have much of an opinion on how Conan will do, other than say I prefer both Kimmel and Dave to him, but allow me to say unequivocally, Fallon is a disaster.


5/29/2009 11:09:00 PM



(5/29/2009 11:05:00 PM) - Al

Racists often "choose their words poorly".

Just when you think they've hit rock bottom, they manage to dig a little more dirt out of the hole. Astounding.


5/29/2009 11:05:00 PM



(5/29/2009 11:00:00 PM) - Al

This is his first official tour of the United States, but the Prince insisted on no special arrangements for his journey - taking a commercial flight to New York.

A member of the royal family insists on flying commercial, and Pelosi reserves Air Force planes all the time and doesn't even use half of them.

The pain, I can't stand the pain!

Oof.


5/29/2009 11:00:00 PM



(5/29/2009 05:59:00 PM) - Al

I didn't go to college at all, any college. I'm not saying you wasted your time or anything, but, I'm a huge celebrity.--Ellen Degeneres, speaking at the Tulane commencement

Heh.


5/29/2009 05:59:00 PM



(5/29/2009 04:53:00 PM) - Al

After weeks of tabloid attention, the disputes between Jon and Kate Gosselin were documented on an intimate, longer-than-usual season premiere of “Jon & Kate Plus Eight” on Monday. Almost 10 million viewers watched, making it the most popular prime-time show on any channel on Memorial Day.

What's that old saying...no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people?

HL was 100% accurate.


5/29/2009 04:53:00 PM



(5/29/2009 03:44:00 PM) - Al

Al,

Matt Holliday is likely to be traded. Billy Beane will ask for a ton and probably get it.

That said, would a Corey Hart and fill in player here for Holliday be a consideration by the two teams?

With all of the Jake Peavy talk, people are missing the fact that Rickie Weeks is out for the season and (being replaced by very pedestrian McGehee/Counsell platoon) the offense is dying.

If a trade can be worked out:

We replace the offense lost.

Gain a true 5 hitter--how much longer can Mike Cameron hit .290?

Get the two picks in 2010.

One less arby eligible case.

Is this something that needs to be examined or is this too fictional?

Keep Rambling,

Ed


I see little match. Hart is arby eligible, and thus has little interest to the A's. He also walks rarely. Holliday is off to a bad start, is he hurt? Expected falloff from leaving Colorado? Wouldn't that leave two holes in the '10 OF? And, with Matt off to such a poor start, he might accept arby...or make it impossible to offer him arby.

I think Craig/Casey will be fine at 2B, good OBP, good defense, and so on. They won't be Rickie, but no one will.


5/29/2009 03:44:00 PM


Thursday, May 28, 2009

(5/28/2009 10:56:00 PM) - Al

Al,

I keep seeing a lot of people saying the Crew should go with Gamel at 3B and Hall at 2B. How is Billy a better choice than a Counsell/McGehee platoon?

Paul


He isn't. Not even close, the way he's hitting RHP's. Counsell is OBP and defense personified, I'm not sure what part of that casuals don't understand. I saw the current 2B/3B platoons a coming a while ago. Macha seems to want to give Craig some extra time off, as he is unlikely to hold up production or health wise playing 3 of 4 days. McGehee has looked very good at the plate, worked the count well and been smacking the ball, though his results have not been quite as good as expected...in a tiny sample of course.

That said, Catalanotto has been his old self with the bat thus far...maybe we will see him take some grounders at 2B...damn the 7 year absence. He can't play RF either (throw to 3B at least), and he played there yesterday.

Also, let's not forget, Gamel will be replaced every game at 3B that they have a lead. Either Bill or Casey will be utilized there.


5/28/2009 10:56:00 PM



(5/28/2009 10:13:00 PM) - Al

The Wausau area got 2.5 inches of rain officially over the last two days before today. I heard the sump pump a couple times, and you can often count on one hand how many times it runs all year other than when the snow is melting. Hopefully, we'll have some sunny days to let things catch up.


5/28/2009 10:13:00 PM



(5/28/2009 10:10:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling wife is on a scrapbooking retreat this weekend, so I had to finagle my schedule around so I'm home with the Rambling son. Tonight, after supper and our play date, I asked him if I was doing a good job taking care of him. The soon-to-be seven year-old replied,

Yeah, I guess so. But I'm pretty sure you're gonna mess up soon.

Luckily, I'm not a victim of high expectations.


5/28/2009 10:10:00 PM



(5/28/2009 09:41:00 PM) - Al

I can't believe there's an adult in an educated part of the world that would admit to seeing a ghost, but I guess some do, and some are major league baseball players.


5/28/2009 09:41:00 PM



(5/28/2009 08:44:00 PM) - Al

Fangraphs also analyzes what DePods said.


5/28/2009 08:44:00 PM



(5/28/2009 07:48:00 PM) - Al

NYT http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/29/sports/baseball/29hoffman.html?_r=2&ref=sports.

He sounds like quite a respected fella.


5/28/2009 07:48:00 PM



(5/28/2009 05:54:00 PM) - Al

Astros general manager Ed Wade said there will be no vote of confidence for manager Cecil Cooper, reports Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle.

"I've been a GM now for 10 years. This is my 10th year," Wade said. "I don't get into votes of confidence. I don't think there's any value to it." Jesus Ortiz also quoted an anonymous player as saying "It's going to be Coop or me soon" so obviously the writing is on the wall here for the last-place Astros who are losers of seven straight.--Rotoworld


What a shame, as it appears Cecil is out as soon as HOU figures out what day is best for a press conference. Allow me to say that it is astounding that in all of Yost's years with the Crew, I do not recall a single anonymous leak like the above to the press. With luck, Coop will end up back with the Crew, probably as a scout or roving instructor.

If you remember, there were many reports of backstabbing and the like with Garner as well, and many blamed it on the Biggio/Bagwell/Berkman trio, who was said to "run the team", unofficially, of course. Players are paid to play and not to decide if they enjoy a manager or not. They probably have troubles far beyond Cooper, and that will show up eventually.


5/28/2009 05:54:00 PM



(5/28/2009 05:27:00 PM) - Al

Wonder why the "stimulus" is larger the federal budget in 1980? Because crap like this is paid for by the taxpayer.

And, allow me to point out, it was under W as well. But it should not be.


5/28/2009 05:27:00 PM



(5/28/2009 05:21:00 PM) - Al

Adam with his mailbag. He doesn't sound too optimistic as to Peavy ending up in MIL either.

He also mentions Julio has been pitching much better of late, and he doubts if he's in imminent danger. Heck, with his stuff and the fact he's owed about $600K the rest of the way (minimum being about $275K), he may well have suitors if he was DFA'd. McClung was a disaster in TB, and has been a solid contributor from Day 1 in MIL. Guys that throw 95+, like Seth and Jorge, get a ton of chances.


5/28/2009 05:21:00 PM



(5/28/2009 05:14:00 PM) - Al

DePods goes over why SD dealt Gerut for Gwynn, youth and money, I would say is the short answer. For the most part, he admits Tony Jr. will be cheap and an able-bodied reserve for far longer than Jody.

I'd say it was a good trade for both teams myself.


5/28/2009 05:14:00 PM



(5/28/2009 04:53:00 PM) - Al

Piggybacking off your story on the workplace and the American flag, San Diego prohibiting bible study.I keep asking myself, is this the America we live in right now?

Kyle


Wow. That's about as "out there" as anything I can recall seeing. As they said, I guess a group can't get together to watch sports or play cards either in SD. Heh.

Much of this "nanny state" crap can be directly related to people expecting the government to take care of everything, and when they do, spending goes up, taxes go up, and the end is no longer in sight. GM makes terrible decisions, pays billions of dollars to union members who don't work there anymore? Well, the gov't will just have to help out...what? They can't go out of business like every other terribly run business?

It is, in a word, frightening.


5/28/2009 04:53:00 PM


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

(5/27/2009 09:09:00 PM) - Al

The US flag is now "against the rules".

You can kind of sense the "change", can't you?


5/27/2009 09:09:00 PM



(5/27/2009 09:06:00 PM) - Al

I can't believe they still let Biden speak in public.

One heartbeat away.


5/27/2009 09:06:00 PM



(5/27/2009 12:30:00 PM) - Al

A national sales tax is one thing...but proposing a national tax without lowering (or getting rid of) income tax? Good luck with that one.

I admit though, it is funny that the fact that it would be very regressive is met with a resounding "So"?


5/27/2009 12:30:00 PM



(5/27/2009 12:25:00 PM) - Al

The Goode Family premieres tonight, about a family of environmentalists, certainly ripe for parody. The promos have looked funny, though predictable. It's a Mike Judge vehicle, which I have found amusing, since Beavis and Butthead at least.


5/27/2009 12:25:00 PM


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

(5/26/2009 09:31:00 PM) - Al

I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male...--soon to be Justice Sotomayer

The Supreme Court has its first racist, ladies and gents.

If you don't think so, flip the "Latina woman" and "white male" around. If I said that (which I wouldn't, because I'm not into making racially offensive remarks), I couldn't get a job scraping up squirrels off the road.

Simply astounding.

UPDATE: There will be no criticism of this pick. 5 Catholics, too many. 6...perfect.


5/26/2009 09:31:00 PM



(5/26/2009 09:06:00 PM) - Al

Braun was probably removed for precautionary reasons, but a broken bone in that wrist would be far more painful than a loss tonight. There's no replacing he or Prince for more than 2-3 games.


5/26/2009 09:06:00 PM



(5/26/2009 08:57:00 PM) - Al

Eric Gagne signed with the Quebec Capitales of the Independent Can-Am league.
Gagne isn't yet ready to pitch, but he's expected to begin starting in a week or so. If he shows that he's over a slight rotator cuff tear, MLB scouts will begin trekking up to Quebec to check him out.--Rotoworld


With the state of many MLB bullpens, I'd say if he's healthy, he'll be on someone's AAA team in a couple weeks.


5/26/2009 08:57:00 PM



(5/26/2009 07:08:00 PM) - Al

Al,

Just an additional comment and question on the Cardinals having ‘issues’ with the Brewers behavior in general. Does it seem to you that nearly every team in the division has gone out of their way to find something to complain about when it comes to the Crew? The Cubs were taking offense to Braun taking too long admiring home runs. Houston lately has issues with Hart. I seem to remember Pittsburgh getting upset over the Capps/Fielder exchanges. Somehow I don’t see the Brewers as really doing anything out of the ordinary to bring negative attention yet it comes in from all sides. Is this just a case of disgruntled teams not happy that a perennial doormat can now vie for the division, or is the team breaking some code of conduct? Curious of your thoughts.

As always, great job on Ramblings.

David


I would say the vast majority is pure silliness, and 90% of it would never exist if they sucked. I don't recall the 56-106 team making many folks mad, do you? With the way players change teams now, any dislike or hard feelings is pretty much anecdotal. This current thing is likely as much a media creation as anything else, and of course, if you were a convicted drunkard, you'd do you could to steer the coverage to other things as well. Add those two things up, and the result is clear...this is probably a creation of the SL media, pushed upon them by LaRussa.


5/26/2009 07:08:00 PM



(5/26/2009 06:44:00 PM) - Al

Fangraphs looks at drafts, past and present. As always, they do not look to be very well researched (2B is hardly a weak spot in the organization), but take it for what it is worth.


5/26/2009 06:44:00 PM



(5/26/2009 04:34:00 PM) - Al

A blog that compiles people ripping classic films and music, giving them one star ratings on Amazon.

Thanks Freakonomics.

I'm always reminded of Aaron Gleeman telling us he has people teasing him for liking mainstream stuff...I have to believe these are the clods writing these.


5/26/2009 04:34:00 PM



(5/26/2009 04:22:00 PM) - Al

What's impressive about the Brewers' being among the leading vote-getters is that they were on the road all last week. Must be the online portion making a difference.


5/26/2009 04:22:00 PM



(5/26/2009 04:08:00 PM) - Al

A reader sent this in, it shows a couple college teams passing time during a rain delay.

I'd much prefer the roof of MP, thanks.

While on the topic of in-game entertainment however, I sure wish the Brewers would do the God Bless America every 7th inning stretch, rather than the antiquated and politically incorrect Roll out the Barrel.


5/26/2009 04:08:00 PM



(5/26/2009 03:31:00 PM) - Al

Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash reports that outfielder Chris Duffy has agreed to accept an assignment to Class AAA Nashville and will report there tomorrow.--JS

Lots of folks will scoff, but this is wonderful news. Now that Gwynn is gone, the Crew needs someone available in AAA to come up in case of an injury that can play all 3 OF spots, run fast, and pinch-hit once in a while.

As usual, Duffy was likely promised a spot in the bigs if someone would inquire as to his availability.


5/26/2009 03:31:00 PM



(5/26/2009 08:23:00 AM) - Al

Paul sends in this link, asking how strange it is that this is the team that decides how other teams can act respectfully toward the game.

Heh.


5/26/2009 08:23:00 AM


Monday, May 25, 2009

(5/25/2009 10:32:00 PM) - Al

Very interesting piece about ethanol causing numerous problems and needless repairs.

Luckily, the same government will soon be dictating our health care!


5/25/2009 10:32:00 PM



(5/25/2009 10:01:00 PM) - Al

Eric e-mails to tell me he wrote this article on who may replace Bud Selig.


5/25/2009 10:01:00 PM



(5/25/2009 07:36:00 PM) - Al

I think KFC has proven the old adage...there's no such thing as bad publicity.


5/25/2009 07:36:00 PM



(5/25/2009 07:20:00 PM) - Al

Some musings about Peavy and the Brewers from LA.


5/25/2009 07:20:00 PM



(5/25/2009 06:26:00 PM) - Al

Jason Berken will start for the Orioles tomorrow. He was a local kid from West DePere, all conference pitcher. Also played for the DePere Summer ball team that won 2 state titles while he was pitching. Graduated in '02 Have you heard/followed Jason's career at all?

I believe he was a closer for Clemson in college, had Tommy John after his junior year? Sat out his senior year and was drafted in 06.

When he was in highschool he had a mid ninty fastball with a good curve.

I'll definately be watching on mlb.tv (if its up, you ever use that crappy service?!?)

Scott


Never heard of him until now, but his minor league numbers are dominating. And, he'll have plenty of chances with BAL, who needs pitching.


5/25/2009 06:26:00 PM



(5/25/2009 03:46:00 PM) - Al

I thought Hall might drop down a bunt in that spot, though I did see the 3B was pretty much even with the bag.

I have to believe the idea of running to the clubhouse after the walk-off is in direct correlation to the Cardinals worrying about the Crew's various celebrations.

After a shaky start, Carlos V has been superb of late. In his last 11 games, counting today, he's gone 10+ innings, and given up 3 hits and 2 walks, without a single run.


5/25/2009 03:46:00 PM



(5/25/2009 03:11:00 PM) - Al

And on cue, Catalanotto goes into RF, hopefully, there isn't a situation requring a throw to the plate.

I expected Gerut to go into RF and hit 9th, and Hoffman to go into the 7th spot.


5/25/2009 03:11:00 PM



(5/25/2009 01:30:00 PM) - Al

On the pre-game show on TV today, Davey Nelson said Catalanotto was a nice utility man, as he could play "some 2B, some 3B, and the OF".

Except he can't. I suppose you can pencil him in as the "emergency" guy at those spots, but he has not played 2B since '02, nor 3B since '01. He also has played a total of one game in RF since 2003, which probably tells you all you need to know about his arm.

He's a 1B/LF, and will mainly be used as a PH. Anything else and you're just not paying attention.


5/25/2009 01:30:00 PM



(5/25/2009 12:18:00 PM) - Al

Al,

Interesting article on the mini-cows. While you won't see me milking any mini-cows anytime soon, the theory behind mini-cows is definitely in full force on my farm. We have always raised Holstein cattle on my farm like most other dairy farms in America. We've always artificially inseminated using some of the top Holstein bulls in the world. The breed made great strides in terms of milk production and other body traits. But those advances have come at a tremendous cost in terms of health and fertility. We've created these monster animals that milk themselves to death.

So this problem has reared its ugly head and I'm sitting here with cows that produce an extremely high amount of milk, but simply don't live is long as they used to. Earlier this decade, in order to rectify this problem we began experimenting by putting doing some crossbreeding. They talk about mini-Jersey cattle in that article, while we started using regular-sized Jersey (which are dwarfs compared to a Holstein) and a breed from Sweden.

People thought we were absolutely nuts, thinking we'd lose so much milk production that we'd be shooting ourselves in the foot. That hasn't been the case at all. While in terms of shear volume of fluid my hybrid cows don't produce as much, when you consider the components of the milk (fat and protein) the hybrids are actually outproducing the Holsteins. They are also significantly smaller than the purebred Holstein thus eating less feed. And the health and fertility of the animals have improved dramatically in the first generation of crossbreeding alone.

Yet I doubt how much traction an idea like this will get, as dairy farmers have been programmed into purebred breeding for too long. It's like with dogs, people love their purebreds, but I'll take a good old mutt any day of the week and guarantee it will come with a fraction of the problems of a purebred. Purebreeding is essentially inbreeding and outside the South, we don't do that as humans.

Jon


Agreed with the problems involved, as that's why cocker spaniels have such bad ears and bad skin. Most "breeders" of any animal are very short-sighted, as they are business people first, and the well-being of the animal is well down the line.

Interesting, out-of-the-box idea regarding your own herd, Jon. I think while many will turn up their nose at the idea, it might well be the intelligent thing to do.


5/25/2009 12:18:00 PM



(5/25/2009 12:09:00 PM) - Al

Catalanotto up, Swindle down. This move must have been decided on before the game last night, as Frank will be in uniform in Milwaukee today, ready to PH.

RJ will have to continue dominating AAA hitters and wait for an injury or ineffectiveness. He's been unlucky as well as inconsistent when in the bigs, and while he's mighty fun to watch, he needs to work from ahead in the count a bit more.


5/25/2009 12:09:00 PM



(5/25/2009 01:24:00 AM) - Al

I remembered a lot of people compared to Benjamin Button to Forrest Gump.

Too bad it wasn't nearly as good. I also wish they would have employed an editor. Once or twice, I thought it was transpiring in real time.


5/25/2009 01:24:00 AM


Sunday, May 24, 2009

(5/24/2009 10:58:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers have interest in both Peavy and Mark DeRosa, but apparently not right away. It seems the Brewers want their team to first prove it can be a contender, worthy of a midseason addition.--Danny Knobler, CBS

Doug is always the type of GM who understands the length of the season separates the true contenders from the others. Admittedly, I am rather bothered by those who have seen the likes of Fielder, Weeks, Hardy, Hall, Braun, Hart, Gallardo, Parra, and so on come up through the system through the draft, building the core of the team...and now will gladly trade away any and all youngsters for a handful of magic beans.


5/24/2009 10:58:00 PM



(5/24/2009 10:50:00 PM) - Al

I can't say I've even heard of these "mini-cattle", but I admit, they are cute and they make sense to a lot of people.


5/24/2009 10:50:00 PM



(5/24/2009 06:17:00 PM) - Al

Al,

I believe I am thinking of the same game as Idaho Matt. What I saw was Corey giving "air fives" to Ed Sedar and Brad Fischer (or the bench in that direction) while mouthing "f*** yeah". I remember seeing it and asking myself if that was what I really saw, but I'm pretty sure it was.

PS: Down with Tony W

Weebs


I wonder if anyone actually enjoys Tony's work? I can't say I ever recall either of those with Corey or others, but then again, I usually have 3 tables up as well.


5/24/2009 06:17:00 PM



(5/24/2009 03:27:00 PM) - Al

"There was no possibility of me avoiding that crash with all of my senses," Leyritz told The Miami Herald in a report published Sunday. "A mother was taken away from her kids. I can't change that. But I didn't do it. The accident did. And that accident wasn't my fault."

Prosecutors say he's wrong, though he'll have a chance to plead his case Sept. 14 when he's scheduled to face trial in connection with a fatal December 2007 crash. Police say Leyritz was drunk when he ran a red light in his SUV and caused the accident that killed 30-year-old Fredia Ann Veitch in Fort Lauderdale.--ESPN.com


Nope, wasn't his fault at all. I'm not sure what color the sky is in Leyritz's world, but I do know they should get the straitjacket ready and the rubber room empty...he's a gonna need it.


5/24/2009 03:27:00 PM



(5/24/2009 03:06:00 PM) - Al

Also on the TBS game, they showed that BOS did not have a single sacrifice bunt yet this season. Of course, in the AL, without the pitchers batting, teams shouldn't really have many, and given the Red Sox offense, I can't say it surprises me much at all. Of course, the announcers, former ballplayers back when men were men and such, chided the Sox for this.

The irony is, the Red Sox are 3rd in the AL in runs scored. SEA has the most sacs in the AL...and they are last in runs scored. There's a time for the sac bunt, but it's not in the 3rd or 5th inning. If you play for a run, that's all you're going to get...but if it's the game-winner, it does make some sense.


5/24/2009 03:06:00 PM



(5/24/2009 02:47:00 PM) - Al

They just blew a HR call in Boston...and then they blew it again on the replay.

I'm sorry, but if you can't get an obvious fair/foul call right in the first place (it looked fair by about 10 feet), you don't deserve to be a MLB umpire. If you can't get it right when looking at the replay...the only thing you're qualified for is a government job.

I said it when that idiot was defending his incorrect call in the Brewers' game...these guys are very defensive about their calls, and they cannot be impartial, even when the videotape shows them to be wrong. It is no coincidence that the crew chief was the guy who made the original call let it stand.

To be truthful, the other three umps are just as guilty, as there is simply no way the ball could have been foul and landed where it did in the stands. The fact none of them told Joe West he could not possibly be right makes you question the entire crew.

I think it's pretty apparent, umpiring is now the worst it has ever been in the history of the sport. For 100+ years, it was at one level. Then, last year, in a few weeks, they missed so many HR's/non HR's, MLB was embarrassed, and added replay. Now, they've shown they can't even get it right using technology. If there's a satellite dish in the Sudan, or maybe in Bangladesh, even they know.

Oof.


5/24/2009 02:47:00 PM



(5/24/2009 12:00:00 PM) - Al

Macha has said he plans to start Hall due to his career numbers versus Baker, and not only is McGehee swinging a good bat, Baker has an off-the-charts reverse split this season, with RH's killing the ball, and loogy like numbers versus lefties.

We'll have to see if Corey is able to go today as well. Gerut, who I don't recall ever even seeing play, looks to be a nice addition, though he does not walk much.

Both Swindle and Julio were effective last night as well, so that's good to see. As I have pointed out a few times now, Julio never seems to give up anything when he throws strikes. RJ gave up a cheap run as he often does, and while he seems to be a good guy to have around, his 13 ERA will not be accomplishing that...he might be close to going down any day, especially if the braintrust decides they need an extra position player, in the wake of the recent nicks and bruises.


5/24/2009 12:00:00 PM


Saturday, May 23, 2009

(5/23/2009 10:54:00 PM) - Al

But they're looking for support. We've been thinking of starting a group like AA, only for people who believe in capitalism.

You can read the whole thing here, and note the bungled planning of the administration.

Now if you'll excuse me:

Hi, my name is Al, and I've believed in freedom and capitalism for four decades.

Hi Al. {applause}


5/23/2009 10:54:00 PM



(5/23/2009 10:42:00 PM) - Al

Not to keep piling on Anthony Witrado, but how can he completely ignore the hand injury to Corey Hart? He said in one of his pregame blog posts that he would find out what the deal was with him being out of the lineup -- and then nothing. You have to go to a stringer at MLB.com (nothing against the stringers, of course:) to get the true update. Ditto for last night -- we got no postgame update on Hardy's situation, not even in the notes column. If the stringer can have that info, then why can't the beat writer? I have to think these issues were addressed by Macha in some official capacity (pregame with media, postgame with media), so why did it never occur to him to write about it?

This is all beside the fact that he frequently leaves those useless in-game blogs unfinished, making us wonder why he starts them in the first place. Say what you want about Haudricourt, but he gives constant updates on that blog and has even embraced Twitter. If Witrado is the young, hip (hop) flava in Milwaukee's seasoning, then why can't he use his tools to do an ounce of relevant reporting? This isn't even about writing style or typos -- this is the most basic and necessary reporting.

Disgusted Fan


I noticed the lack of a Hart update as well. I can only imagine Tony had "other things to do" that probably involved immature behavior and wearing his cap sideways (or, both). I am no fan of TH either, but have noticed that at least he does not make the juvenile goofs TW does.

I have heard from a couple people in the local Milwaukee media who have said Tony is, for lack of a better word, hopeless...busy texting during the game, misses the pre-game metting with coaches and then begging for notes from others, and so on.

For a major market daily, the JS continues to embarrass itself pretending Tony is prime time ready.


5/23/2009 10:42:00 PM



(5/23/2009 09:15:00 PM) - Al

Al,

I’ve been a long time reader of Ramblings and we’ve traded emails a few times. Just one question, because I live out of state (used to be Nebraska , now Idaho ) I watch the games on line. In Thursday’s come from behind win against the Astros, Corey Hart made some interesting gestures at second base after his go-ahead double. The Astros' announcers indicated that he was making fun of Miguel Tejada doing something called the "spotlight." Any idea what they were referring too? Keep up the blogging.

Idaho Matt


I'll see if any readers know or saw the same broadcast, Matt. My only guess would be that sometimes, an infielder will pretend a throw is coming (when there's no play), and the hitter has to slide needlessly into the bag, risking injury and such. This happened a couple times in softball over the years, and some guys felt it was a "dirty" play, though I can't say I ever did.


5/23/2009 09:15:00 PM



(5/23/2009 06:49:00 PM) - Al

I just noticed Angel Salome had worked his average up to .237, after being close to .200 just a while ago. I checked his splits, and it turns out he's been fine in May, but had a terrible April. Hopefully, he'll be able to continue that in June and so on.


5/23/2009 06:49:00 PM



(5/23/2009 06:20:00 PM) - Al

McGehee has been the anti-Nelson thus far...takes pitches, works the count, and swings at strikes. He's been very impressive during his increased playing time.

I was just thinking last night, the 2 guys that made the team based solely on a couple dozen March AB's, Duffy and Nelson, have already been dispatched elsewhere. That probably tells you all you need to know about how much Arizona performance should go into roster construction...it shouldn't.

I'm trying to remember who Casey was competing against, and am drawing a blank.

EDIT: McGehee basically made the team when they decided not to keep PH/3B reserve Mike Lamb.


5/23/2009 06:20:00 PM



(5/23/2009 06:15:00 PM) - Al

As soon as the braintrust calls up an extra pitcher for strategical purposes, Hardy goes down with back spasms and Hart has a sore hand. Of course, it's tough to argue that they are "snakebit", as they have the 2nd best record in MLB.


5/23/2009 06:15:00 PM



(5/23/2009 06:12:00 PM) - Al

Good to see Corey Koskie able to live a near normal life, after having such a hard time after his concussion.


5/23/2009 06:12:00 PM



(5/23/2009 05:02:00 PM) - Al

As I mentioned the other day, the Rambling wife and son are off to her family's cabin in the Hayward area, so she gave me a list of things to do ignore while she was away. Luckily for me, she did not have a lot of time to make her list, so it's rather short this time:

1. Keep the house clean.

2. Water our newly planted trees.

3. Mow the lawn.

4. Don't stay up late playing in online tournaments.

So, after the game last night, I contemplated my options, and about 3AM, after finishing 12th out of 360 in an online tournament, I disgustedly threw my lemonade cans across the living room (yep, it was wild), and went to bed, awaking at 9 to let out the Rambling dog, who because I had to carry to bed (and actually awaken twice from bad dreams, as he slept next to me on the sofa, in which he barks softly), had not emptied his bladder since 10 or 11, was pawing me in the face.

So, having ignored 1 & 4, I figured I better take care of 2 & 3, though it seemed far too humid for #3, so #2 seemed like the best choice for today.

She had put mulch around all the new and old trees, and allow me to say, it sure is difficult to tell how much water something needs when there's mulch around sucking it all in and looking dry seconds later. Even the things I do, I don't do well, I guess.


5/23/2009 05:02:00 PM



(5/23/2009 04:30:00 PM) - Al

While we were talking about Memorial Day yesterday, I forgot to mention to be on the lookout for Taking Chance, which HBO will, in a timely manner, show several times on their various channels tomorrow and Monday.

Hopefully, after this year, it will become an annual ritual for one of the free cable channels to broadcast it on this weekend, just like Saving Private Ryan (as I say that, it does not seem to be on this year).


5/23/2009 04:30:00 PM



(5/23/2009 03:46:00 PM) - Al

I've seen this story before, but I'm sure many of you have not. It involves Craig Counsell, a dying teen, and clock coincidence.


5/23/2009 03:46:00 PM



(5/23/2009 01:55:00 PM) - Al

Today, on TSN Online (which you can subscribe to for free as well):

The Cubs are considering moving/playing Alfonso Soriano at 2B.

And we worry about Mat Gamel at 3B. I don't think we've seen a train wreck like Soriano at 2B after years in LF ever.

When asked what other CF's he stays in touch with, Orioles' phenom Adam Jones casually mentioned Mike Cameron, who was with SEA when he first went to big league camp.

It might be easier to list the MLB players Cameron does not know.


5/23/2009 01:55:00 PM


Friday, May 22, 2009

(5/22/2009 09:50:00 PM) - Al

It's not hard to see Gamel as a LH version of Braun at the plate. That kid can sure hit. Mat may well be a doubles machine.

Next week, I think we'll see a platoon at 2B (maybe with McGehee picking up an extra start here and there) and one at 3B.


5/22/2009 09:50:00 PM



(5/22/2009 09:23:00 PM) - Al

Interesting Julio was removed after just an inning of work...I thought he'd pitch the rest of the way.

It's almost like Ken felt he'd need him tomorrow.


5/22/2009 09:23:00 PM



(5/22/2009 09:09:00 PM) - Al

I'm surprised Macha did not take out Braun and Fielder after they batted in the 6th. BA and Bill suggested Kendall as well.

On cue, Gerut will take over for Cameron.


5/22/2009 09:09:00 PM



(5/22/2009 08:21:00 PM) - Al

I know there's a thin line between embarrassing a young pitcher and letting him "take one for the team", but I sure would have let Parra soak up another 2 or 5 outs.

Not sure if Julio requires a lot of time to warm up or if there's another reason, but you gotta figure Jorge will get a chance to work several frames at some point.


5/22/2009 08:21:00 PM



(5/22/2009 08:12:00 PM) - Al

This might be a game to "punt", Slowey looks very good, Parra is fine when he does not beat himself, which he does frequently, of course, and since they don't have to hit for him, he might go a bit longer than normal.

Hardy being out makes it awkward to have Gamel DH'ing, as they have no backup INF, which means PH'ing for Hall or McGehee is for emergency use only...Braun might be the next guy.


5/22/2009 08:12:00 PM



(5/22/2009 08:07:00 PM) - Al

Last week I treated a teenager with a sore throat who had an appointment in 30 minutes with her doctor but couldn't wait that long.--ER doc

Read the whole thing.

Luckily, I'm sure this problem...much of it caused by the government forcing ER's to treat everyone, regardless of how trivial the medical issue...will be taken care of with government run universal health care.

Heh.


5/22/2009 08:07:00 PM



(5/22/2009 06:25:00 PM) - Al

Another McCain graduates from the Naval Academy, and is destined for a career far better than his dad, at least, per his class rank.


5/22/2009 06:25:00 PM



(5/22/2009 05:26:00 PM) - Al

Everyone seems to just overlook the fact Peavy is owed $50M+ and has not shown much better health than Ben Sheets.

Doug does not go after big contracts often, and I do not expect that to change now.


5/22/2009 05:26:00 PM



(5/22/2009 05:01:00 PM) - Al

Al,

Pray for the troops and the kids with whack jobs for parents. How disgusting. The other children in that home need to be removed ASAP.

Dave



Dave, I don't think you live close enough to get the local media I get, but I live within a few miles of the family. The "parents" who let the 11 year-old die still have custody, but are checked in on by social services without warning.

That said, I have to agree with Dave, they are literally a ramshackle building and a nutty, charismatic leader away from being a cult, and those rarely end well. At least one child testified at the trial that she thinks the parents did the right thing, which is fine...if you lived 300+ years ago, if leeching was the best medical procedure available at the time. Other than that, it would seem apparent those kids are as brainwashed as the knuckle-draggers who still are unaware pro wrestling is staged.


5/22/2009 05:01:00 PM



(5/22/2009 04:58:00 PM) - Al

I'm sure this will be reported in the same manner as if W was in charge.

Heh.


5/22/2009 04:58:00 PM



(5/22/2009 04:44:00 PM) - Al

Al,

I don't have a specific link to request, but allow me to say how much I enjoy your military friendly blog, as well as a voice of common sense on most topics.

I'm just writing to say thanks for the coverage of the Brewers, and that my wife and I are hosting a family get together Sunday at our place, and will be honored to have 2 of her cousins in attendance, both Marines, both intend to make it a career, and both are fortunate enough to be home, one is schedule to deploy in August, the other got home a few months ago. It was his 2nd, and will be Paul's 3rd.

My wife's family is full of Marines, as both of her grandpas served in WW2, and one in Korea as well. I have grown to admire them and what they do. I just printed up the cemetery story and included the url for the Warn's tribute site as well, and hope they are able to appreciate them as much as I have.

Semper Fi, and have a good weekend.

Bob



I don't believe I have earned the right to reply with the motto of the Marines, but you have a good weekend as well, and ditto to all Ramblings' readers.


5/22/2009 04:44:00 PM



(5/22/2009 04:30:00 PM) - Al

Al,

While Jim suggested the Warns' video, I think it would also be a fine time for the story of the woman visiting the cemetery, laying wreaths for her fallen family members. We all have them to thank for a long weekend.

William


It's Ramblings by request this afternoon.:) Here's the piece, which does tend to get a strong reaction whenever I run it. It was meant to be a Thanksgiving thing, but to be honest, it is fine to be thankful to our military 24/7/365.


5/22/2009 04:30:00 PM



(5/22/2009 04:24:00 PM) - Al

I would argue it pretty much is decriminalized, as no one spends time in jail for pot use, just for growing it or for selling it.

I always remember the comedian who said the big argument for legalizing pot was that "Hemp makes rope, man". His punchline was "I'd like to see some pothead make rope", and that's true to this day. If you're hoping for a "stimulus" from pot, I'd say you're probably smoking it now.


5/22/2009 04:24:00 PM



(5/22/2009 04:20:00 PM) - Al

Good friend of Ramblings Eldon sends along this link that suddenly, the Cheney doctrine is looking a lot smarter than it was during the campaign....basically, the Senate just passed a referendum of his ideas by a 90-6 margin.


5/22/2009 04:20:00 PM



(5/22/2009 04:13:00 PM) - Al

I am not sure if i posted this Yahoo article about DiFelice or not, and did not find it when I did a qujick search, so here it is.

Macha is using Carlos V and Stetter versus lefties, and Coffey and DiFelice against righties, Hoffman in the 9th, and McClung when needed early. We'll see how he uses Swindle, I would guess as more of a traditional loogy, and continue using Julio as a mop-up man.


5/22/2009 04:13:00 PM



(5/22/2009 04:00:00 PM) - Al

Chris Duffy outrighted to make room for Gerut.

Hopefully, he'll end up in Nashville, and be back in September, if not sooner.


5/22/2009 04:00:00 PM



(5/22/2009 03:54:00 PM) - Al

Lots of bad behavior caught on tape at Miller Park, as well as elsewhere. I cannot argue that MIL has far more shameful behavior than they used to, or that it is much worse than the other places I have seen a game, which includes MIN and KC. However, I always take my son to a game each year and even when I'm watching out for such things, it is a very small minority.

It's hard to argue that minority is larger in MIL than elsewhere, though. And yes, the vast majority is the result of alcohol abuse.


5/22/2009 03:54:00 PM



(5/22/2009 03:34:00 PM) - Al

We'll see if this guilty verdict leads to a change in the way children's rights are looked at, as recent as when this happened, one expert declared "Children, to be as simplistic as possible, have no rights until they reach adulthood".

I pray she never sees the light of day again, but I've heard several people say it would be a landmark ruling if it is not appealed at some point.


5/22/2009 03:34:00 PM



(5/22/2009 03:17:00 PM) - Al

Al,

Your observations are correct. Holiday weekend travel is up this year. Some results from an AP poll cited in a Kansas City Star piece:

The AAA survey of 2,700 households looks at how many expect to travel 50 miles or more from their homes. That came to 32.4 million, up from 31.9 million last year.

Of those, 83 percent, or 27 million, said they’d go by car. When you look at 2008’s corresponding number of 26.3 million, the math – including an almost $1.50 per gallon subtraction in fuel prices – tells you more holiday travelers will be on the road pretty soon.


And that's just the people traveling more than 50 miles from home.

My own, wholly unscientific observations (i.e. talking with my friends) tells me people are unusually excited for this holiday weekend. There's a little extra zing in their comments about what's going on. Also, could I suggest it's a good time to remind readers about your link to the Bobby Warns memorial video.

Jim


That even seems low to me, Jim. That's only a 2.7% increase. As I said the other day, I think many folks who do not plan on going anywhere will end up traveling, as the weather is near perfect, here at least, we're forecast for 70-72 for highs every day. And speaking of unscientific, my trip to the grocery store was a zoo, especially for a weekday afternoon. The lovely college-aged cashier was so rushed, she barely had time to flirt with me...at least, that's what I said to myself.

Of course, it's a shame Memorial Day is not more about the fallen heroes, but I always like to think that many of us are very much aware of the fact it takes brave men and women to defend our freedom. We did not get where we are by holding hands and singing folk songs.

And it's always a good time to watch the Warns' video, which is always on the sidebar, in addition to above.


5/22/2009 03:17:00 PM



(5/22/2009 12:56:00 PM) - Al

The Air Force tells folks to calm down, GPS will continue to do a mediocre job for the foreseeable future.

I just wish it would stop telling me to turn into farm fields and snowmobile trails. I cannot get out and lock in the hubs on my Saturn, thank you.


5/22/2009 12:56:00 PM



(5/22/2009 12:45:00 PM) - Al

While on the subject of Memorial Day, I drove I39 from Stevens Point to the Wausau area about 5 yesterday afternoon, and as I drove safely and efficiently at about 62, was passed up by about 50 vehicles with boats, ATV's, campers, and so on trailing behind. No matter how long the weekend, folks always try and add an extra day.:)

A couple years ago, the 4th of July fell on a Wednesday, and many of us had a terrible time booking appointments for Thursday the 5th or Friday the 6th...in fact, about half the office simply took a 5 day weekend. Of course, I'll probably read today that no one is hitting the road this holiday.


5/22/2009 12:45:00 PM



(5/22/2009 12:36:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling aunt in Milwaukee took advantage of Charlie Sykes dedicating an hour of his WTMJ show to Memorial Day, and e-mailed in a reference to my mother's brother, who was the subject of this book, which was released earlier this year.

It's a personal tale involving just one member of the generation that, without exaggeration, saved the world, written by using letters saved for 60+ years in a trunk. I'm biased, of course, but if you enjoy history, you would likely enjoy it.


5/22/2009 12:36:00 PM



(5/22/2009 12:15:00 AM) - Al

Some folks dislike the fact they are not the Crew's colors, but I think this cap is beautiful. Sounds like they will be worn on Memorial Day, July 4th, and 9/11.


5/22/2009 12:15:00 AM


Thursday, May 21, 2009

(5/21/2009 11:50:00 PM) - Al

What's so sad is, John Kruk had less than a clue then, and still does.


5/21/2009 11:50:00 PM



(5/21/2009 11:14:00 PM) - Al

RJ Swindle up for at least 3 games, Iribarren down.

This bodes poorly for Duffy as well, as he is nearly certain to be the player sent down when Gerut joins the club tomorrow. I'd say there's a good chance Duffy clears waivers, and I hope he chooses to remain with the organization. He's a nice guy to have at AAA or on the bench.

Not a bad move at all, as the starters have not been going as deep into games of late, and I'd hate to see the relief corps tired in late May.


5/21/2009 11:14:00 PM



(5/21/2009 09:05:00 PM) - Al

No one talks about him, but Iribarren's defense at 2B appears worse than Gamel's at 3B. I think there's a reason he was moved to CF last year. In a spring training game, he looked like he was wearing his glove on the wrong hand, like he'd never played 2B before.


5/21/2009 09:05:00 PM



(5/21/2009 07:59:00 PM) - Al

Watching the UAW run Chrysler may be the most unintentionally funny thing on TV since Daisy Fuentes hosted Funniest Home Videos.

I love ya Daisy, but unless you're on fire, you should not speak.


5/21/2009 07:59:00 PM



(5/21/2009 07:50:00 PM) - Al

Heh. Life in teleprompter land is just utopia, but the real world sucks.


5/21/2009 07:50:00 PM



(5/21/2009 07:38:00 PM) - Al

The Padres could have had Gwynn six weeks ago for nothing. He missed much of Spring Training with a sore right throwing shoulder, and the Brewers went instead with Chris Duffy and Brad Nelson for the Opening Day roster. Gwynn was placed on waivers, and Brewers officials were surprised when he cleared.--MLB.com

That would seem to indicate that this is indeed a salary dump by SD. Gwynn will spend a few years in the bigs, but it seems very unlikely his bat will produce enough to even be able to platoon. The irony is that even though he was a 2nd round pick, he has far overachieved what the average 2nd rounder produces...many never spend a day in the majors.


5/21/2009 07:38:00 PM



(5/21/2009 07:07:00 PM) - Al

Obama and Hank Reid need to figure out which of them is totally clueless, as they've now said the exact opposite thing 24 hours apart.

I'm sure this happened all the time with Washington and Jefferson too, those rascals!


5/21/2009 07:07:00 PM



(5/21/2009 06:56:00 PM) - Al

I not only don't mind shampooing, I like taking showers.

The fact the French don't is just another reason to despise them...though we hardly need more...


5/21/2009 06:56:00 PM



(5/21/2009 06:51:00 PM) - Al

Fangraphs doesn't understand SD's reasoning behind moving Gerut.


5/21/2009 06:51:00 PM



(5/21/2009 06:46:00 PM) - Al

I am watching the Everyone Loves Raymond where Frank refuses to give the ball back to the kid who kicked the field goal...and the Rambling brother is right, the Happy Youngster will be Frank Barone in 30 years...though he may not be quite as fun to spend time with.

Holy crap!


5/21/2009 06:46:00 PM



(5/21/2009 06:40:00 PM) - Al

Mike e-mails this link on how to build a model ship completely out of dead animal flesh.

I think I just lost both my vegan readers.


5/21/2009 06:40:00 PM



(5/21/2009 06:22:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers pick up Jody Gerut from SD, culminating the never ending Tony Gwynn Jr. discussion, as Junior finally ends up a Padre.

Gerut is a near perfect fit as a 4th OF, as he can play all three spots and hits LH, and has some pop in his bat. Chris Duffy did those things too, minus the power, but sadly for him, they needed a LH bat off the bench, and now he isn't really needed to be able to play defense either. It'll probably be either Duffy or Iribarren go down when Gerut meets the team tomorrow, and the other one may soon follow, as Catalanotto will probably be joining the club as soon as he gets some AB's in Huntsville.

Gerut has been very good when healthy, but has missed oodles of time due to injury.


5/21/2009 06:22:00 PM


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

(5/20/2009 10:32:00 PM) - Al

We gotta close Guantanamo Bay!

Senate votes to keep Guantanamo Bay open!

Which of these things is not like the other?

Of course, no one seems to have any idea what would happen to the, ahem, innocent bystanders already there.


5/20/2009 10:32:00 PM



(5/20/2009 10:29:00 PM) - Al

Newsweek has "become" a partisan magazine.

I think it is safe to say it was a rather short trek.


5/20/2009 10:29:00 PM



(5/20/2009 10:14:00 PM) - Al

The callup of prospect Mat Gamel, 23, who homered Monday in St. Louis, potentially gives the Brewers yet another big-time hitter. Mike Cameron predicted great things for Gamel when I saw them this spring.

Ryan Braun is one terrific outfielder, no kidding. The move of Braun from third base to left field is one of the smartest things any team has done in years.--Jon Heyman, SI


Mike Cameron and everyone who has seen him swing the bat the past couple years. Heyman does not follow the minors much, it would appear.

Braun has been fine since the move, but the bar is set so low for LF's, a couple nice catches has him right near the top.


5/20/2009 10:14:00 PM



(5/20/2009 09:44:00 PM) - Al

Weeks' surgery went nicely, and he has no chance of returning this season.


5/20/2009 09:44:00 PM



(5/20/2009 09:03:00 PM) - Al

You gotta figure we're going to have a Jorge Julio sighting this evening.


5/20/2009 09:03:00 PM



(5/20/2009 07:48:00 PM) - Al

The Sporting News e-mails to tell me that they rank the 50 best MLB players this week.

I'd say Braun is low and Prince should probably be on it somewhere, and certainly would be in he played in the Northeast.

Also, I'm wondering if TSN has any idea how few people read Ramblings...


5/20/2009 07:48:00 PM



(5/20/2009 07:38:00 PM) - Al

It's amazing how overrated white guys who are perceived as "gritty" are.

I don't see the Brewers adding DeRosa at all, and if they did add a 2B, I'd expect him to be an obvious step up from the Counsell/McGehee/maybe some Iribarren combo platter they have now...and I'm not sure if DeRosa is.

Hat tip to Craig for the link.


5/20/2009 07:38:00 PM



(5/20/2009 07:01:00 PM) - Al

A co-worker of mine pointed out today that this year features Memorial Day as early as can be, and Labor Day as late as it can be...basically, the longest summer ever.

That should be great for tourism, and the fact gas is just over half what it was last year should make this a good year for "day trips" and for longer vacations as well. I do not really follow plane fares, but I seem to have heard there are bargains to be had there as well.

With all those good signs, one would think tourism will boom, which might be the first we hear of the economy recovering...thus far, the positive home sales and retail sale trends (and the new filers for unemployment have gone down) have all but gone unreported, because it does not fit the narrative.

With the weather as warm as it is, even many people who had not planned to do anything will likely find something to do that involves driving a ways. The Rambling wife is off to her family's compound in the Hayward area, so it will just be myself and the Rambling dog this long weekend, grilling lean cuts of meat, sleeping in, and if history is any guide, young women camped out in front of the house, trying to elude security.


5/20/2009 07:01:00 PM



(5/20/2009 04:23:00 PM) - Al

Alcides Escobar is featured in this piece about guys who may come up later this year.

The main problem I see with having Escobar at 2B is simple...that would make the 7-8-9 spots an offensive black hole, though they may hit a few singles and make the pitcher work. That'd look a lot like the lineup the Cards ran out there, and we all saw what a dynamic force that group was.


5/20/2009 04:23:00 PM



(5/20/2009 03:37:00 PM) - Al

Adam wonders if Mark DeRosa might be an option at 2B.

His career numbers are pretty pedestrian, but his contract is up after this year, so he's realistic.


5/20/2009 03:37:00 PM



(5/20/2009 03:28:00 PM) - Al

Cards Announcers On Gamel's First Career HR, ""That’s all they need is another home run hitter".

Heh. That's someone's signature at BCB. There seems to be little doubt Gamel will hit, and if he can play 3B even at a below average level, he has immense potential. As a 1B or corner OF, he's just another guy that can hit.


5/20/2009 03:28:00 PM



(5/20/2009 03:19:00 PM) - Al

Khalil Greene looks to need a shrink, some prescription medication, or both.

Note that the Cards are paying $10.5M for a DP combo that is either playing with OAK (because he was yet another player that had to jettisoned because he did not get along with Sir .093 LaRussa) or that they picked up despite playing horribly in SD.

In Doug we trust.


5/20/2009 03:19:00 PM


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

(5/19/2009 11:07:00 PM) - Al

Fangraphs markets itself as a smart, numbers oriented site, but they sure do make some small sample assumptions.

I'm not sure what they expect the Cubs to do with Fox, who is not even a prospect, and could only PH, and I am not sure the Cubs need to carry a reserve 1B.

This is a lot like many ignoring Brad Nelson's terrible career in AAA and only using 2008's stats (and a couple dozen meaningless Arizona AB's in March) to push him to the 25 man roster, where he dressed up as Mr. Swing At Everything for all but his last few PA's. Some see what they want to see, and some look at the whole picture. Fox is little more than AAA depth, and so is Nelson.


5/19/2009 11:07:00 PM



(5/19/2009 08:52:00 PM) - Al

Harry Reid joins the gaffe parade.

Maybe we should put them in charge of GM...oh wait!!


5/19/2009 08:52:00 PM



(5/19/2009 08:15:00 PM) - Al

Cooper was going to PH for Hampton in the bottom of the 4th, after giving up 2 runs, in a tie game or with the lead (if Pudge reaches, they'd have to score one or more).

Unless Hampton is hurt, that's as curious a move as I've seen in ages. That reeks of desperation.

EDIT: Must be hurt, out after 60 pitches.


5/19/2009 08:15:00 PM



(5/19/2009 07:59:00 PM) - Al

Bernie will now slide into shooting water that promotes a Dells' resort.


5/19/2009 07:59:00 PM



(5/19/2009 07:39:00 PM) - Al

The only 2B that's both doing well and a FA after this year is Felipe Lopez, off to a hot start in ARI...but much of his success appears directly related the offensive paradise that is Arizona.


5/19/2009 07:39:00 PM



(5/19/2009 07:32:00 PM) - Al

At some point, doesn't child services have to look in at these two loons, who appear to worship at the altar of anyone who pays cash?

Oof.


5/19/2009 07:32:00 PM



(5/19/2009 06:47:00 PM) - Al

Doug not looking for a 2B, right now at least. Counsell/McGehee is probably a passable platoon, and it's hard to believe a guy that none of the 30 teams wants would be a step up.

As Doug says, Rickie will return, so he does not need a long-term solution at 2B, just 120 games. Is there a guy who will be a free agent who may be available? I'll take a look later.


5/19/2009 06:47:00 PM



(5/19/2009 12:19:00 PM) - Al

Aaron Gleeman always talks about how the talk about "the Twins playing smart" is expired hyperbole, and Dave Pinto picks up on the same theme.

Nothing bores me more than such talk. I lived in the Cities when the Twins sucked, and no one ever brought up such stuff when they were winning 65-70 games a year. It's just very lazy reporting, and sadly, you see it all the time.


5/19/2009 12:19:00 PM



(5/19/2009 09:57:00 AM) - Al

Hey Al -

I only went there because of your link to MPD's post, but it seems as though Nick Yohanek (Happy Youngster) has either removed his blog or deleted it entirely. I'm happy that the national media beating he's taken has apparently been felt.

Jordon



That's a shame.


5/19/2009 09:57:00 AM


Monday, May 18, 2009

(5/18/2009 10:07:00 PM) - Al

Hernan Iribarren appears to be on his way up, as he was taken out of the game in AAA tonight.

Let's hope he didn't get hurt.:)

Hernan is likely to be used almost exclusively as a pinch-hitter, as he is not a good defender at either 2B or in the OF...and he doesn't hit like Gamel to justify weakening the defense.


5/18/2009 10:07:00 PM



(5/18/2009 09:35:00 PM) - Al

I can't really say why Looper was pulled when he was either; my guess would be Macha did not see him having the pitch count left to finish the inning, so he decided to make the move. It's almost like Macha did not realize the previous play was an error, but I'm sure he's paying attention.

As good as DiFelice has been, especially versus RH hitters, it makes sense. However, seeing Schumacher drill one out reminds you that he isn't nearly as effective versus lefty bats.


5/18/2009 09:35:00 PM



(5/18/2009 09:32:00 PM) - Al

Heh, I'll give you the throw by Gamel should be an error...that's about as bad a throw as you're going to see in the majors.


5/18/2009 09:32:00 PM



(5/18/2009 09:28:00 PM) - Al

Is the Miller Park scorer in SL? I'm not sure if they would have got the runner on the ball Looper dropped anyway last inning, and that ball to Prince was hit like a shot...I'd like to see the dweeb sitting in the press box make that "routine" play, as an error is described in the rulebook.


5/18/2009 09:28:00 PM



(5/18/2009 09:14:00 PM) - Al

Gamel and Braun each with outstanding defensive plays tonight, not to mention continued plate discipline and taking of walks.

For many of us, who have said for the last couple years this team is a good OBP away from being an elite offensive squad, the proof would appear to be happening in front of us.


5/18/2009 09:14:00 PM



(5/18/2009 09:08:00 PM) - Al

Debt and being a writer.

I would have to imagine that's why lots of blog for free (or nearly free)...getting paid to do it is tough pickin's.

If you ever want a good giggle, do a google search for "freelance writing jobs" sometime...that's why "free" is in there, I guess.


5/18/2009 09:08:00 PM



(5/18/2009 08:06:00 PM) - Al

MPD discusses his outrage and intros a shirt to commemorate his disgust at the Happy Youngster.


5/18/2009 08:06:00 PM



(5/18/2009 07:30:00 PM) - Al

Weeks out for the season.

The only thing that came to mind right away was he's a lot easier to replace than Prince or Braun. That said, Counsell is playing well above his career norms, so I don't expect that to continue. Craig might match Rickie's OBP, and is probably a strep up defensively, but what was that Jack Z used to say...you win a lot of games with HR's. Also, you have to keep in mind Craig is damn near as old as I am, and if you could hear me get up in the morning, you'd know he is unlikely to be able to play 75-80% of the rest of the season and not be injured or suffer from fatigue.

Adam says Doug will look at trades as well as possibly add a free agent, and one has to wonder about Ray Durham. The problems with Ray are many...he covers about as much ground in the field as a 5 gallon bucket, and he isn't a whole lot younger than me either. Also, he can only play 2B, while most reserve infielders can at least play 2b/3B, and many can play SS as well. But, as the saying goes, the bat plays. If Ray can hit like he has in his career, even 5% off that, he's be a valuable cog in the machine.

For the time being, I have to imagine either Iribarren (2B/OF) or Catalanotto (1B/LF) will be added tomorrow, just to fill the gap and give Macha some PH choices.


5/18/2009 07:30:00 PM


Sunday, May 17, 2009

(5/17/2009 11:18:00 PM) - Al

Glenn sums this up well, as I've been hinting at the same thing for ages.

The Rambling wife and I giggle every time they show a "town hall meeting", as it seems to show Obama campaigning, even though he already won. To be blunt, I'm sure he prefers campaigning...he's able to say unspecific things like "hope and change", and everyone just swoons and ignores the fact that's just gibberish.


5/17/2009 11:18:00 PM



(5/17/2009 08:06:00 PM) - Al

If the Brewers need to make a roster move, Triple-A Nashville is a four-hour drive or a short flight from St. Louis. The top infield option at Nashville might be Hernan Iribarren, who went 0-for-4 Sunday but is hitting .311 this season. Shortstop Alcides Escobar is also at Nashville, but the Brewers may prefer to leave their top prospect there to play every day.--Adam, MLB.com

I would tend to agree, though I doubt Hernan does much of anything except PH. I would guess this will end up benefiting Hall most, as he will play 2 of 3 versus HOU (the Astros have 2 LH's going), and then quite possibly every game in MIN, as I would expect Gamel to DH, at least versus RHP.

The Crew will face Slowey, Perkins, and Baker in the Dome, barring rainouts or injury. Considering Perkins has a reverse split in his career, I would bet Gamel DH's all 3, and Hall plays all 3 at 3B.


5/17/2009 08:06:00 PM



(5/17/2009 06:58:00 PM) - Al

I wonder if this will make the news, or if it will be "overlooked" like the plane over New York City debacle.

I'm ashamed at the lack of security provided, because if they were close enough to be able to interrupt his speech, they were plenty close enough to cause damage.


5/17/2009 06:58:00 PM



(5/17/2009 06:54:00 PM) - Al

I forgot about Catalanotto when I was thinking of who might come up. If he was already at Nashville, I'd say he might be the favorite, but I believe he's still in extended spring training.


5/17/2009 06:54:00 PM



(5/17/2009 05:52:00 PM) - Al

Weeks is off to see a wrist specialist in Arizona. I would say a DL stay is likely.


5/17/2009 05:52:00 PM



(5/17/2009 01:57:00 PM) - Al

Pat e-mails to ask if Rickie has to be DL'd, if Escobar would be brought up. I would say it would either be him or Iribarren.

Alcides would probably get the majority of the starts, but Hernan would likely take Craig's bench spot, with Counsell and McGehee splitting time at 2B.

Hopefully, we're putting the cart in front of the horse with just pure speculation here. However, given Rickie's past wrist troubles, we may not be.

EDIT: Yes, Iribarren has been playing 2B in '09, after mostly playing CF in '08. He also really struggled with the bat last year, but has done nicely thus far in '09.


5/17/2009 01:57:00 PM



(5/17/2009 01:53:00 PM) - Al

Every time you see "wrist injury", it has resulted in a trip to the DL for Rickie. That'd sure be a shame, as well as he's been going thus far.


5/17/2009 01:53:00 PM



(5/17/2009 01:48:00 PM) - Al

Parra simply has no clue how to be a good pitcher. His stuff is so good, he is often able to get by despite his lack of intelligence, but it is hard to believe he'll ever make the most of his ability and be an elite SP.


5/17/2009 01:48:00 PM



(5/17/2009 01:40:00 PM) - Al

You have to wonder if Weeks' wrist problems are ever going to allow him to play a full season. I just had an e-mailer ask me what I credited his good start to, and I said more than the company line of Sveum and Randolph, I'd say good health and nearing his peak.

Sadly, we may soon find out.


5/17/2009 01:40:00 PM



(5/17/2009 01:11:00 PM) - Al

Train travel is slower now than it was in the 20's. I thought it would be fun to ride a train down to Milwaukee, go to a game, and then ride home. Sadly, I found the schedule and was dismayed to see it would be far slower, more expensive than driving, and literally would take most of 2 days.

Amtrak is so inefficient, you'd think the government ran it...oh wait.


5/17/2009 01:11:00 PM



(5/17/2009 01:05:00 PM) - Al

The fact these little discount airlines are making money, just like Ryan Air in Europe, tells me the future of air travel is going to be with an emphasis on inexpensive seating with charges for extra bags and the like.

I don't mind that at all, but the whiny aristocrats who expect golden tableware and free drinks are going to be complaining when they have to wait in line or for their luggage.

That's a shame.


5/17/2009 01:05:00 PM



(5/17/2009 12:21:00 PM) - Al

Cutter Dykstra has been moved to 2B, and will work on it in extended spring before heading to Helena. I have to agree, he never looked comfortable in CF.

Of course, Brett Lawrie is currently playing 2B in Appleton, so it seems realistic that if Cutter adjusts back to the infield nicely, he'll always be a level behind Brett.

Seems likely Lawrie will be bumped up a level and Dykstra will return to Fox Cities Stadium in a month or so.


5/17/2009 12:21:00 PM



(5/17/2009 01:24:00 AM) - Al

I can't say I'm offended by the Obama guy saying they should call the family dog Miss California (though many will be, and yet another gaffe by the lightweights brought onto, you know, run the country).

I am however, offended by the fact NPR is getting media coverage...I don't think more than a dozen people can name the frequency of their local public radio station.


5/17/2009 01:24:00 AM



(5/17/2009 01:11:00 AM) - Al

Let's see if the Crew's starter can continue holding leadoff batters to a .184 OBP this year today. Never would have guessed that.

The Rambling brother asked me who has the most HR's as a 2B hit in their first 3 seasons? I guessed Chase Utley, but the answer is Dan Uggla, who is often talked about moving to the OF, due to his defense.


5/17/2009 01:11:00 AM



(5/17/2009 01:07:00 AM) - Al

I missed this a couple days ago...Delaware is now allowing sports betting, or will soon. Considering it goes on with bookies and online and the government is missing out on millions of dollars, I'd say it's about time.

I can set up an account and bet on a MLB game in less than 5 minutes, and while technically illegal, no one ever is charged for betting, only for taking bets (bookmaking).


5/17/2009 01:07:00 AM



(5/17/2009 12:52:00 AM) - Al

Upper deck seats all for half price next Sunday night in Minnesota, for those fans crossing the St. Croix River.

Seats are very good by the way, right behind home plate.


5/17/2009 12:52:00 AM


Saturday, May 16, 2009

(5/16/2009 11:30:00 PM) - Al

Rich Hill won his Orioles debut by holding the Royals to two runs in 5 2/3 innings on Saturday.

Command is the big question with Hill, so bringing him back against one of the game's most impatient lineups worked out well. He allowed seven hits, walked two and struck out six tonight.--Rotoworld


It's times like this I wish the Brewers were not contenders, so they could take flyers on Hill, out of options and wild last year. As always, many teams give up on a guy like Hill, who was very good until he just lost his release point in '08, and no one in the Cubs' organization could find it.

BAL is probably a year or two away, but they are light years ahead of where they were just a while back. Like PIT, it's slow progress, but it's progress.


5/16/2009 11:30:00 PM



(5/16/2009 10:22:00 PM) - Al

David Riske, out with an elbow injury, threw his first bullpen session on Saturday. He'll throw another on either Monday or Tuesday and is anxious to get off the disabled list--Adam, MLB.com

Supposedly, he is no pain, and says no one has even mentioned possible Tommy John surgery, despite media reports to the contrary. With Riske apparently pain-free and probably less than a month away, and Swindle and Dillard pitching very well in Nashville, suddenly the staff looks pretty deep and pretty solid, 1-15, especially considering McClung and Dillard look to be the 6th and 7th options as starters...show me another team that has 2 guys in the wings if a pair of SP's went down.

Julio has been up and down, and McClung has lacked control, but neither has really found a role or consistent work either (both have now gone 7 days without work). It's unlikely others would be successful with a similar workload either. Darn the SP's effectiveness!


5/16/2009 10:22:00 PM



(5/16/2009 10:03:00 PM) - Al

You tube video, with sound, of the Braun bobblehead with Uecker's HR call.

Exceedingly good, but it's hard to say it's worth $250 like it's been going for.


5/16/2009 10:03:00 PM



(5/16/2009 09:10:00 PM) - Al

If the Brewers decide to make a run at San Diego ace Jake Peavy at midseason, he almost certainly will be available. The Padres are going down like the Titanic, with 19 losses in 24 games entering Saturday.

Over that span, starting pitchers were 0-12 since Peavy last won on April 16 against the Mets. With only six runs of support over his last 35 innings, Peavy (2-5, 4.30 earned run average) would certainly benefit by pitching for the power-packed Brewers.

Whether a deal could be worked out for Peavy remains to be seen. For beginners, the Padres would want a bunch of players back, probably starting with shortstop prospect Alcides Escobar.

Then, there would be the matter of Peavy's contract. He signed a three-year, $52 million extension that begins next season, with a $15 million salary in 2010, $16 million in 2011 and $17 million in 2012, with a $22 million option for 2013 that includes a $4 million buyout.

The Brewers are not on the list of clubs to which Peavy contractually would accept a trade but those issues always can be worked out.

Whether the Brewers could afford the price in bodies and dollars, or even be inclined to try, remains to be seen.--JS


I'm not sure I'd want that contract if you gave it to me. That's $52M over 3 years guaranteed, including the buyout...and he has not thrown many more innings than Sheets has over the years.

I don't think Doug will even discuss Peavy. There will be many cheaper options, Cliff Lee for one, unless the Tribe get back in the race, which I think they might...it may only take 85 wins to take the Central. SEA also looks to have pitching available...TB is also a team no one has discussed that could well be a dozen games out of the wildcard by 7/1, should TOR keep going on a 90+ win pace.


5/16/2009 09:10:00 PM



(5/16/2009 09:06:00 PM) - Al

Talk of OBP, plate discipline, and walks in a JS piece.

They must be breaking out the parkas in hell this evening.


5/16/2009 09:06:00 PM



(5/16/2009 09:01:00 PM) - Al

The media's reaction to the President Palin's first 100 days.

It's funny because it's true.


5/16/2009 09:01:00 PM



(5/16/2009 03:53:00 PM) - Al

According to this photo, Madonna apparently passed away a couple weeks ago.


5/16/2009 03:53:00 PM



(5/16/2009 03:39:00 PM) - Al

Suppan since his first two outings: 3-1, 2.92 ERA, 5 of 6 quality starts...missed the 6th by one out.


5/16/2009 03:39:00 PM



(5/16/2009 03:30:00 PM) - Al

I came across this pretend graduation address while on Deadspin, as the public pummels Happy's behavior that he is so proud of.

Again, it is loaded with adult language, so be forewarned. As bad as the advice is, we've all felt this way at times.


5/16/2009 03:30:00 PM



(5/16/2009 03:26:00 PM) - Al

Deadspin mentions the Happy Youngster story.

If you dislike Happy, go read the comments...you are sure to laugh and smile. As long as you do not mind profanity.


5/16/2009 03:26:00 PM



(5/16/2009 02:54:00 PM) - Al

Trevor was more lucky than good today, though Molina's warning track out was heavily wind aided.

So, where are those folks who wanted to eat Suppan's contract? Heh. Can you imagine how upset those ballhawks (my new slang for idiots) would be had he been picked up and had pitched like he has since then with someone else?

If you do not learn from history...Suppan has shown what he will do over the long haul, but in a pair of starts, anything is possible. The fact this is ignored by so many simply astounds me beyond belief.


5/16/2009 02:54:00 PM



(5/16/2009 01:34:00 PM) - Al

I wonder why Macha did not work another LH bat or two into the lineup today, as Wainright's curveball is almost lights out for a RH bat.


5/16/2009 01:34:00 PM



(5/16/2009 01:11:00 PM) - Al

Today is Armed Forces Day, and not only did I not know it until now, there's no mention of it anywhere.

Meanwhile, on Talk Like A Pirate Day, all I see on every website is "Arg".


I guess it's one of those things that just shows your priorities.


5/16/2009 01:11:00 PM



(5/16/2009 12:38:00 PM) - Al

I always "relax" a bit on Saturday, not going nuts, but I allow myself to eat more "normally", which of course, means bad food in large quantities. So, I decided to try KFC's "grilled" chicken, which is advertised so often, it seems like I've already had it.

The verdict? Good, but upon seeing it on the tray, my first thought was "small". Since it lacks the breading and crust of the original recipe and extra crispy, the pieces appear tiny. As a healthy alternative, it is very juicy and yummy. Just on taste, however, it's a distant 3rd.


5/16/2009 12:38:00 PM



(5/16/2009 11:31:00 AM) - Al

Moving this to the top, so you can vote if you have not.

My opinion is obvious, but what do you think of the guy who collects baseballs that held the Marlins player's first HR for "ransom"?
I agree with you Al, he's a bozo.
While I feel you've been a bit harsh, he does have issues.
Let him collect baseballs. It's kind of cute, and he's harmless.
  
pollcode.com free polls


5/16/2009 11:31:00 AM



(5/16/2009 11:07:00 AM) - Al

I can't bring myself to comment on the Notre Dame protest situation, as I pretty much despise the fact that a private college makes their own rules and yet gets billions in public tax money, and you know I have no patience for protesters that bother the police and cost taxpayers money by cluttering the legal system.

I wish a pox on both their houses, and hope they both suffer immensely.


5/16/2009 11:07:00 AM



(5/16/2009 10:26:00 AM) - Al

The Rambling brother says he's reminded of Frank Barone not wanting to give the football back on Everyone Loves Raymond.

I have seen the episode, but the details are sketchy. However, when reading that guy's blog, I did say "Holy crap" a number of times.

I have to believe the putz will have his ways changed quite a bit after this...after all, it has now been pointed out he is not just a greedy scumbag (no offense to bags of scum), but also a thief (removing private property out of the bullpen), an adult that pushes kids out of the way in his pursuit of baseballs, and a person who buys cheap seats and then moves all over the ballpark, to far more expensive seats, in his pursuit of baseballs. He admits to all this on his MLB blog, which is one of the many things that will be at risk due to his self-absorbed ways. It wouldn't surprise me if due to his admissions, his season tickets are taken away (if he buys season tiks).


5/16/2009 10:26:00 AM


Whatever strikes me as interesting, and serious Milwaukee Brewers thoughts. If you are a believer in respecting OBP, throwing strikes, and keeping the ball in the park, you may have found the place you've been searching for. I believe in low taxes, small government, and am not afraid to be labeled patriotic.

The Ramblings' manifesto can be found here.



Outdoor Fire Pits USA Outdoor Fire Pits USA was developed out of the years of enjoyment we experienced sitting by the fire.

Like many of you, we have experienced the peace and tranquility of a campfire, the stories and jokes shared with friends and family, as well as treats like s'mores, hot dogs, and other fire roasted cravings that bring us joy.

We have made it a point to find the best outdoor fire pit selection and offer it at the best price possible so we all can continue to experience the good times and create lasting memories.

For 5% off your order, enter RAMBLINGS as the coupon code when you check out!

Cable TV providers

Watch Brewers games all across the country on your computer or iPad with Clearwire

Batting Cages


Red Sox tickets

Fenway Park tickets


blog advertising is good for you


E-MAIL Al
If you would like to advertise on Ramblings, pen a guest article, or have a media request, please e-mail this to Al.

E-MAIL Robert

2012-13 offseason links, 40 man, 2013 payroll, FA SP's

BASEBALL SITES

Searching for Misfit Toys
Looking for undervalued, usually inexpensive MLB players.

MLB Trade Rumors

Brew Beat

Aaron Gleeman

MLB Trade Rumors

2012 stats by position


OTHER SITES

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

Tribute to Robert Warns II
Never forget the sacrifice of our military, and why we enjoy the freedoms we have.

June 2002 July 2002 August 2002 September 2002 October 2002 November 2002 December 2002 January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014