Al's Ramblings



Monday, August 31, 2009

(8/31/2009 11:23:00 PM) - Al

Jim Thome has played 4 games at 1B in the last 4 years, and the Dodgers trade for him...Tigers? Twins? C'mon.


8/31/2009 11:23:00 PM



(8/31/2009 11:07:00 PM) - Al

Tom H says no trades expected in MIL, so I'm off to bed.


8/31/2009 11:07:00 PM



(8/31/2009 10:59:00 PM) - Al

Andre Agassi is at the US Open tonight, and despite retiring just three years ago, says the sport is being played at a different level, guys are faster and stronger, and "every ball is just hit so hard". He's also just amazed that the guy playing Roddick, listed at 5-9, 150 (Pat McEnroe just guessed he was 5-6 1/2), just hit a serve 126 mph, Andre said he is reminded all the time why he retired when he did.

Compare that humbleness to all the baseball analysts, who nonsensically talk about "back in my day" and "the good old days", despite ample evidence that the player today throw harder, are in far better shape, and are far better than the players of a decade ago, never mind 30.


8/31/2009 10:59:00 PM



(8/31/2009 10:42:00 PM) - Al

Thome may be going somewhere...DET? TEX? MIN? The other AL contenders would seemingly have a guy DHing who would be awful in the field.


8/31/2009 10:42:00 PM



(8/31/2009 09:15:00 PM) - Al

Another buy low option for the bullpen...though the Twins are on record as releasing him just because he complained about not being the 8th inning guy.

Tiny sample for the Marlins to let him go...that could well be 1 or 2 bad outings.


8/31/2009 09:15:00 PM



(8/31/2009 09:09:00 PM) - Al

Ignore the typos and read between the lines of Hardy's quotes.

I used words such as "soft" to describe JJ when he was sent down, and he comes off as even moreso now...working so much he was tired, hearing whispers, it just comes off as so whiny...I mean, this is a 27 year-old, right? This isn't a teenager who hasn't yet figured out the sun will rise and set regardless tomorrow.

I hope he just kills the ball in September, a patented Hardy hot streak, and ups his trade value. We have seen the future, and it ain't named JJ.

EDIT: I mean, I know 68 AB's is a small sample, so I'm not going to rip him for his Nashville numbers, which are pedestrian at best, but 3 walks? Seriously? It's not hard to look at that and know he has been swinging at terrible pitches, and is not going to have success in the majors if that continues.

I'd look at each series and let him play versus the weakest RHP starting...Alcides hits lefties well, and needs confidence, but any way they can artificially inflate Hardy's numbers would considerably up his value.

He also only had 8 K's, which tells me he just went up there swinging, and did not work the count much. Sadly, a cursory glance at Hardy's stats tells me he did not give a whole lot of effort in his 2.5 weeks in AAA.


8/31/2009 09:09:00 PM



(8/31/2009 08:53:00 PM) - Al

Michael Brantley entered the weekend hitting .267 (five HRs, 20 doubles, 35 RBI) at Columbus. The Indians probably were hoping for a higher batting average and OPS (.703), but they are not concerned about the 22-year-old. They see steady progress. Here are his batting averages by month: .217, .261, .270, .280 and .304. He had an ankle injury that bothered him for several weeks, yet still has stolen 42 bases in 47 attempts. "His defense in center field has been off the charts," said Atkins. "He is going to be a very good player."--Cleveland.com

First of all, I heard from every would be scout (you know, Braun has a hitch in his swing, Hart's elbow sticks out too far, Fielder will have to be a DH) in existence that Brantley could never play CF, and when I said "He has good speed and a decent arm, I don't know why he couldn't", the response was, "He can't". Why do I bother? Am I the only person who "gets" the fact that the minor leagues are for players to learn how to do certain things, and many may not be good at it right away?

They hint at it, but a 22 year-old in AAA is very young, so those numbers are not bad at all (they aren't as good as Escobar's though, FYI, who is also 22). He may not be ready to open '10, but I bet he'll be ready by mid '10. With his speed and athletic ability, he may well end up being more of a loss than Laporta, who will all but for sure contribute 25 homers and 90 RBI's as soon as next year.

And yes, I know there are no playoffs without CC. That said, it's so hard giving up 6 years of those kids. In Brantley's case, I'd have no problem going with a Gerut/Jason B platoon if Mike was waiting at AAA, likely to be ready soon. As is, Lo Cain, after a wasted '09, looks like he's a minimum of a year away, and quite likely more...you can't just look for a short-term solution.


8/31/2009 08:53:00 PM



(8/31/2009 08:30:00 PM) - Al

Now they think the appendix does do something.


8/31/2009 08:30:00 PM



(8/31/2009 06:20:00 PM) - Al

I'll be in the minority here, but I'd be all over Linebrink, especially if the Sox just want to dump salary and are only asking for a midlevel prospect. Scott is not cheap, but he'd provide solid depth as well as a backup closer in case Hoffman retires or decides to go elsewhere.

Especially with Riske in doubt for next year, I'd love to add him to the '10 picture. He'll make $5M next year and $5.5M in '11, so I would not give them much at all for him, as he is a bit overpaid, but he has had about as solid of a career as any reliever you'll find.

EDIT: I just went over to BR to get the link for his career stats, and I see he has had a terrible 2nd half...over an 8 ERA. This is a great time to get a great deal on him, but when you're a small market team with a limited budget, it's a big risk to take. Color me a lot less gung ho after seeing his recent stats. Numbers like that are almost always indicative of an injury of some type.


8/31/2009 06:20:00 PM



(8/31/2009 06:18:00 PM) - Al

Yeah, because a bunch of other teams want to steal KC's GM.

If you have a low OBP guy you need to deal, give the Royals a call...for 5 more years.


8/31/2009 06:18:00 PM



(8/31/2009 06:11:00 PM) - Al

Jon Heyman is reporting interest in Mike Cameron as the deadline nears. I'm surprised he and Counsell are not both headed elsewhere, I'm not sure what a contender could want if not solid defenders who are also respected vets, and average bats as well.

If the Crew is not willing to offer Cameron arby (and they may well not, as he is old for a CF, and making $10M this year), they should trade him for anything, as something is always better than nothing.

I'd love to see Corey Hart play some CF between now and game 162, to see if that's a possibility for the future. I know he's played there a bit, but I can't say I recall anything except him catching a few routine fly balls. He certainly has the speed and arm, but needless to say, he'd be a notch or three below Cameron.


8/31/2009 06:11:00 PM



(8/31/2009 05:51:00 PM) - Al

I'm a pretty causal tennis fan, having enjoyed it more seriously back when Agassi and Sampras and other Americans were on top of the circuit. I still get Tennis magazine (though it's free for me), however, and I read a while ago that the US Open is on ESPN2 now, after decades on USA. From what I see, it will be on every single day (except maybe the weekends) from noon to 10/11PM Central time, and even later, should a late night match go long.

Let me tell you, there is no better tennis atmosphere in all the land than a 5 setter about 1AM New York time. There's no "taking plays off" or switching to a zone", it's one-on-one, gut wrenching action. I dare you to watch it for a while and then not stay up to see how it ends.

Friend of Ramblings Jeff Sackmann discusses the qualifying for the Open (which I've always heard is played even harder than the Open, because if you don't qualify, you don't make enough to pay for your expenses, as well as who may win at his Summer of Jeff weblog.


8/31/2009 05:51:00 PM



(8/31/2009 05:26:00 PM) - Al

Philip sends this JS piece on literally millions of dollars being thrown down the drain by a single fraudulent day care and the inept watchdogs (or lack thereof) put in place by a clearly inept governmental agency.

They should blow it up and just start over. This single woman has probably scammed a minimum of $5M from the state and the taxpayers, and there are what...thousands of such daycares?

How pathetic. If the gov't in charge of it, it will, without a doubt, be poorly run. Kudos to the JS.

In a little while, these folks may well be deciding whether or not you can have that medical procedure...or not. Good luck with that.


8/31/2009 05:26:00 PM



(8/31/2009 02:55:00 PM) - Al

NFLShop.com, the primary sales vehicle for National Football League jerseys, reports that Brett Favre of the Minnesota Vikings had the top-selling jersey in the time period from April 1 through Aug. 28.

Jay Cutler, who also switched teams, from the Denver Broncos to the Chicago Bears, was second in the jersey rankings.

Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers, who didn't switch teams, broke into the top 20, ranking 19th. No other Packer player had a jersey ranked in the top 25.

Michael Crabtree, a wide receiver who hasn't even signed with the San Francisco 49ers, ranked 20th.

Interestingly, Michael Vick of the Philadelphia Eagles, who switched from prison to football, ranked 4th in jerseys sold.--Don Walker, JS


--OK, first of all, Favre's jersey sold more in 2 weeks than any other jersey did in 5 months. Oh, to be selling Vikings' merch of late. As a former retail manager, I chuckle at next year, second half of August, when your sales are down 70%, and this conversation takes place:

Corporate figurehead: Al, your sales are down 72% this week.

Al: I know, all of MN is way down, remember, last year is when Favre signed...

CF: Al, you know we don't make excuses in this company.

Al: Yeah, but let's be realistic, last year, sales were up because traffic was up, not because average purchase was up. This year, traffic's way down, and we're suffering. In fact, the average purchase is up 8%, meaning we're doing a better job merchandising and selling.

CF: Well, if you think a negative 72% is acceptable...what's that noise?

Al: Just banging my head against the wall.


--Secondly, the idea that Vick's is 4th makes me believe many of those were sold because of his criminal past, which makes me shake my head for the people buying it.

--So many of the top ones seem to be either rookies or players that changed teams, which makes sense, I suppose, because if you like Bears' stuff, you may well have a Urlacher jersey, but not a Cutler.


8/31/2009 02:55:00 PM



(8/31/2009 01:29:00 PM) - Al

Let me get this straight...Vermont fair knows pigs don't transmit swine flu, and still cancels events with pigs?

Oy vey.

You know guys, there's a check with your name on it down here at the community center...


8/31/2009 01:29:00 PM



(8/31/2009 12:18:00 PM) - Al

All I ever hear is, "Criminals aren't stupid, Al. They've just had some bad breaks. A bad upbringing."

No, they're just stupid.

Either get your warrant taken care of, or don't run to the government to get a check.


8/31/2009 12:18:00 PM



(8/31/2009 10:17:00 AM) - Al

In fairness to Reid, it was a mighty short trip.


8/31/2009 10:17:00 AM


Sunday, August 30, 2009

(8/30/2009 10:14:00 PM) - Al

Let's get that wind farm built before some other hypocrite finds something wrong with it.

It's funny, because it's true.


8/30/2009 10:14:00 PM



(8/30/2009 08:29:00 PM) - Al

Let the revisionist history begin.


8/30/2009 08:29:00 PM



(8/30/2009 04:32:00 PM) - Al

How's this for a minor trade to begin the August deadline deals?

Belly to LA for an A ball pitcher who throws hard.


8/30/2009 04:32:00 PM



(8/30/2009 04:27:00 PM) - Al

Gotta wonder if Lopez might get some bench time, as he is almost playing on one foot of late, especially with more bodies soon to be up. It'll be interesting if Hardy and Escobar ever end up on the field at the same time, and if they do, who plays SS and who plays elsewhere?


8/30/2009 04:27:00 PM



(8/30/2009 04:03:00 PM) - Al

10 consecutive scoreless innings from the bullpen...all from Weathers, Coffey, Stetter, Vargas, and Hoffman.

I tell you what, a manager goes from an idiot to a genius mighty quick when you get 5-7 good innings from your SP, and can bypass your weakest members of the bullpen corps.

If the rosters weren't expanding Tuesday, you'd likely see them go back to 12 arms and 13 position players. As is, I would assume a pitcher or two and a position player or two will be added before the next game, and then more as the AAA season concludes (and Hart's rehab ends, and Burns/Iribarren 10 day demotion period ends. Chris Smith has been outstanding in Nashville, so he is very deserving. Other favorites to return? I'd say JJ and Dillard. Since they made room on the 40 man for a spot, almost anyone could be up, who has played well.


8/30/2009 04:03:00 PM



(8/30/2009 02:53:00 PM) - Al

Gotta wonder if McGehee lost that ground ball in the sun/shade mix or maybe in the crowd...he just flat out missed it by 6-9 inches off to the side.

Suppan is a nice vet to throw against an aggressive Pirates' club...they attack, and it plays right into Jeff's hands. They've got a lot of hits, but most of them have been just grounders through the 5/6 hole, and usually erased by double plays.


8/30/2009 02:53:00 PM



(8/30/2009 01:17:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers do not intend to recall shortstop J.J. Hardy from Triple-A Nashville before Sept. 1, and as a result, Hardy will not have the Major League service time he needs to qualify for free agency following next season. Instead, he'll have an extra arbitration year before reaching the open market in the winter of 2011---Adam, MLB.com

Obviously, this gives JJ an extra year of team control, and makes him worth a lot more on the trade market.

Manager Ken Macha met with Melvin on Friday afternoon to discuss September callups. The plan calls for three pitchers, two infielders and one outfielder, but those promotions will be staggered through the first week of September, because the Triple-A Nashville Sounds are bidding to make the playoffs. The Sounds' regular season ends Sept. 7.

I would assume they will bring up a couple arms right away to eat up innings in lopsided games. If Angel Salome is injured, it'll be too bad if they do not add another catcher, so they could PH or PR twice with the C's. Also, I'd love to see Salome catch just to see where he's at with his defense.

Hardy is obviously one of the infielders, and I assume Iribarren is the other. Chris Smith will be back, as will Mike Burns. Tim Dillard is a possibility, the only other I see on the 40 man. As for the OF, Corey Patterson was recently added and has done well. Brendan Katin is a slugger who doesn't walk, but plays good defense, so he's also a possibility.

Another topic for Melvin and Macha was shortstop Alcides Escobar. The Brewers must decide this winter whether Escobar is ready to take the everyday job from Hardy. "I don't think the window has been big enough to judge Escobar yet," Macha said.

Time will tell if this is true or not. Alcides is still very young, and may struggle at times with the bat (though he's been far better than I thought), but I've had him penciled in for '10 SS for over a year now, and still do. As long as they ensure they have a solid veteran backup (Counsell, or a similar utility type), SS is in good hands.

UPDATE: I forgot about Corey Hart returning. Doubtful they add Patterson or Katin.


8/30/2009 01:17:00 PM



(8/30/2009 12:58:00 PM) - Al

Two notes from BP.com...

...The Diamondbacks may non-tender Conor Jackson.

I love Conor Jackson, and while I suppose ARI is worried he will not be 100% as he recovers from "valley fever", I'd take that risk and stick him out in LF, while handing Braun RF. Look at how consistent his numbers were at the link.


...Brewers manager Ken Macha said G.M. Doug Melvin "scoured the area for pitching" before the deadline but was unable to add a starter because he refused to trade Mat Gamel or Alcides Escobar.

We've heard this before, but it sure seems to be the truth, based on pure repetition. All those teams love 'em for a reason, you know.


8/30/2009 12:58:00 PM



(8/30/2009 11:22:00 AM) - Al

Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan may leave the organization after the year.

Duncan is upset at the perceived handling of his son, Chris Duncan, by both the Cardinals media and front office. Tony LaRussa's right-hand man since 1983 has also lost influence with the front office, no longer being consulted on decisions and not seeing his philosophy mesh with the minor league philosophy. Duncan insists any decision will come in the off-season and be a professional, not personal decision. Color us skeptical. Duncan is possibly the best pitching coach in the game now that Leo Mazzone has retired. He won't have trouble finding a job. It would be a blow to the Cardinals' future as fantasy owners would no longer be able to pick up Cardinal pitchers and see them morph into world-beaters on a regular basis.--Rotoworld


Duncan has certainly had his share of success. Not sure why he'd go elsewhere over something so minor, but needless to say, on the open market, he might get more than many managers.


8/30/2009 11:22:00 AM



(8/30/2009 11:12:00 AM) - Al

If only Mike Moore would have lived 100 years ago, he could have hung around with Lenin and Stalin, and we could all laugh at him now...of course, we laugh at him now anyway...there's no quicker way to lose credibility than to glorify Cuba's healthcare system and then to argue the USSR had it right.

What a loon.


8/30/2009 11:12:00 AM



(8/30/2009 11:04:00 AM) - Al

All right, no earmarks starting NOW!!

Hard to believe an administration whose entire strategy involves tax and spend is having trouble eliminating a type of spending.


8/30/2009 11:04:00 AM



(8/30/2009 10:55:00 AM) - Al

5 lefty bats in the lineup today (including the switch-hitting Lopez), so I assume Olendorf has quite a lefty/righty split.

EDIT: Yep.


8/30/2009 10:55:00 AM



(8/30/2009 09:50:00 AM) - Al

Here's something I do not recall doing before...Brewers trivia. All answers are easily searchable, so the challenge here is to get them without using Goggle (or Baseball Reference). To quote Letterman; please, please, no wagering.

1. Who has played the most 2B this year?

2. Who has played the most 3B?

3. Lowest OBP of the following?

A. Corey Hart
B. Jason Kendall
C. Mat Gamel

4. With a runner at 3B and less than 2 outs, which two regulars have got the runner in most often?

5. Prince has been walked intentionally the most...who is 2nd and 3rd?

6. How many times has the SP thrown 120 or more pitches this year?

7. Only one pitcher has allowed more ground balls than fly balls...who is it?

8. If the Brewers allow 6 runs or less, what win pace are they on?

A. 100
B. 110
C. 120

9. If the Brewers score 4 runs or more, what win pace are they on?

A. 88
B. 96
C. 105

10. The Brewers have both allowed and scored the most runs in the same inning this year...which inning is that?

------------------
------------------
------------------
------------------
------------------
------------------
------------------

ANSWERS:

1. Counsell, followed by Weeks and Lopez...I would have guessed Weeks.

2. Hall, followed by McGehee and Counsell...I would have guessed Counsell.

3. Hart, .335...Mat and Jason, .336...the point here is, all are basically identical, while many seem to think Kendall's is very low.

4. Counsell leads the team at 75%, Kendall is 2nd at 67%...league average is 50%.

5. Kendall is 2nd (4), Catalanotto is 3rd (3)...I understand Kendall has batted 8th quite a bit, but Cat?

6. 3, Yo, Manny, and Dave, all once. Macha, like Yost, protects his SP's...this would seem to be related to Doug.

7. Todd Coffey

8. B, 110 wins. If the pitching never allowed 7+ runs, this would be the best team in MLB.

9. C, 105 wins. They are on a similar pace if they score 4+, or allow 6 or less...that alone should tell you how good the offense has been.

10. The 6th, which is when middle-long relievers are most likely to be in the game. There is no better reason to work the count and drive the SP's pitch count up than this.


8/30/2009 09:50:00 AM



(8/30/2009 09:13:00 AM) - Al

Convicted terrorist released to get an oil exploration deal?

If this report is true, the Brits need to stop getting their foreign policy ideas from the French.


8/30/2009 09:13:00 AM


Saturday, August 29, 2009

(8/29/2009 09:03:00 PM) - Al

I sure hope Catalanotto as a reserve on the 2010 team. He's just the "professional" hitter they need off the bench.

Hard to believe he sat as a free agent for weeks after TEX waived him before the Crew picked him up. I'd say almost every playoff team would happily make a spot for him on their postseason roster.


8/29/2009 09:03:00 PM



(8/29/2009 09:01:00 PM) - Al

MLBTR looks at Pirates' trades and such. They are in far better shape than they were a year ago, that's for sure.


8/29/2009 09:01:00 PM



(8/29/2009 07:59:00 PM) - Al

Lopez looks to be playing through a lot of pain. Those folks who question his intensity and desire ought not question his toughness.


8/29/2009 07:59:00 PM



(8/29/2009 06:40:00 PM) - Al

Theo picks up a PR for the stretch run and maybe the playoffs.

He's always a step ahead.


8/29/2009 06:40:00 PM



(8/29/2009 06:00:00 PM) - Al

The Cubs are more open to dealing Rich Harden to the Twins than you might think. The Cubs could receive two high draft picks if they offer Harden arbitration after the season and he signs elsewhere, but that's a risky strategy. Given his injury history, the club might not want to take a $10MM or so hit if he accepts, even for only one year.--Rosenthal, via MLBTR

I can't imagine the Twins offering him arby, so they'll literally be trading for a half-dozen starts.


8/29/2009 06:00:00 PM



(8/29/2009 05:56:00 PM) - Al

Adam with some notes on injuries and adjustments.


8/29/2009 05:56:00 PM



(8/29/2009 02:51:00 PM) - Al

Ryan Doumit is absent from Saturday's lineup after being benched in the fifth inning of Friday's game.

Manager John Russell, visibly upset after the game, declined to elaborate Friday night. Perhaps we'll get some clarification at some point soon. Regardless of what transpired, this is likely only a short-term move to send a message; Doumit is still the starting catcher.--Rotoworld


Gee, if the Pirates want to get rid of Doumit...allow me to dream for a minute.

I missed this when it happened last night, I wondered why Jaramillo was batting in the 9th, as he is known for his defense. That said, though he's been bothered by injury, Doumit has been nothing compared to last year.


8/29/2009 02:51:00 PM



(8/29/2009 01:25:00 PM) - Al

RA Dickey would have been a nice upgrade a few weeks ago for the Crew, but probably will slide through waivers now.


8/29/2009 01:25:00 PM



(8/29/2009 12:50:00 PM) - Al

I did attend this town hall meeting the other night, and a couple thoughts:

John Stossel, the reason I attended, was enjoyable, to the point, and should have spoken longer. His 15 minutes was by far the highlight of the night, getting off several zingers (saying that ignoring pre-existing conditions was like Lindsay Lohan and himself paying the same for auto insurance), and telling well known stories of insuring his ocean front home with the only people dumb enough to do so (the gov't), and comparing how Visa does business to the gov't....brilliant stuff.

The rest was just a bunch of capitalists showing how disgusted they are. I was surprised how old the audience was...most were retired, 65+, and I was among the younger 10% (I'm 40), though a lot of my age group and younger came late, and stood along side the chairs that were set up.

As I told the Rambling wife, the Dems are lucky the Congressional elections aren't this November. I doubt the anger will last until November of '10, and tons of things will change before the election in 15 months.


8/29/2009 12:50:00 PM



(8/29/2009 12:41:00 PM) - Al

"Also, someone (either Dave Nelson or Chris Bosio, I think) mentioned tonight that Parra is nearing more innings than he's ever thrown...he's at 123 now, and he threw 166 last year...he's nowhere near where he's been just recently.--Ramblings"


Is it possible that the team is counting the innings Parra threw in
Nashville when they are assessing his workload?

Chris



Ah yes, I forgot about his AAA time, and it makes perfect sense now. Thanks for the reminder, Chris.

I doubt Manny will be limited too much the rest of the way, as it is usually considered "safe" if they add 25-30 innings a year, which should be well within Parra's normal pitching.


8/29/2009 12:41:00 PM



(8/29/2009 12:19:00 PM) - Al

The official state run media...more unbiased than CNN?

I read that and thought to myself, "I'm sure it is". My gosh, our administration won't evn use the word "terrorist", in hopes they magically go away...CNN has to be a little left of that...and that's really far left.


8/29/2009 12:19:00 PM



(8/29/2009 11:10:00 AM) - Al

The fake Elias rankings have been updated, and Felipe Lopez is now a Type A. Hoffman will be as well, and Kendall and Cameron will be B's...if offered arby, of course.


8/29/2009 11:10:00 AM



(8/29/2009 10:24:00 AM) - Al

Neyer says it's a good deal for both sides, but he points out Rays fans probably won't like it. Dumping your face of the franchise, even in a down year, while 4.5 games out of the playoff hunt, is not going to be well received.


8/29/2009 10:24:00 AM


Friday, August 28, 2009

(8/28/2009 10:53:00 PM) - Al

Melvin did talk to two other teams about other players, but did not seem moved to trade any of his veterans before the Aug. 31 deadline to acquire players eligible for postseason rosters.

"I don't think so," said Melvin, asked if he anticipated any trades. "But you don't know."--MLB.com


I'm thinking a minor move or two will be made before August 31st. Guys like Counsell, Cameron, and so on are the epitome of what a contender looks for...good clubhouse guys, solid defenders, good OBP's.

Reading between the lines (Adam said Doug has not been "available" the last 24 hours, and he hasn't even spoken with SF about Hoffman), it would seem he's been talking to somebody about someone.


8/28/2009 10:53:00 PM



(8/28/2009 10:42:00 PM) - Al

Astoundingly, despite his 6.50+ ERA, Manny is 9-10.

Also, someone (either Dave Nelson or Chris Bosio, I think) mentioned tonight that Parra is nearing more innings than he's ever thrown...he's at 123 now, and he threw 166 last year...he's nowhere near where he's been just recently.


8/28/2009 10:42:00 PM



(8/28/2009 09:12:00 PM) - Al

Doug says the same thing I have been...some of the improvements in pitching for next year will have to come from within. Certainly, Parra should improve some, and if Bush and Suppan are healthy, they should as well.


8/28/2009 09:12:00 PM



(8/28/2009 08:39:00 PM) - Al

Survives a plane crash, doesn't survive the crack pipe.

Kids, don't do drugs.


8/28/2009 08:39:00 PM



(8/28/2009 07:53:00 PM) - Al

Jason B not only gets his first HR, but is lucky enough to hit it into the bullpen, where selfish, greedy embarrassments like the Happy Youngster can't hold it for ransom.

The TV team alludes to this whenever there is a 1st HR, but don't ever mention the specifics. If you are new here, check out Deadspin's recap of the shenanigans, and make sure you read the commenters rip him apart.


8/28/2009 07:53:00 PM



(8/28/2009 05:11:00 PM) - Al

Everyone I've known (mostly worked with) that has been a pothead is the exact same way as the article Glenn links to. The irony is, whenever I discuss this, I get e-mail that says, "You know Al, some college professors and artists and lawyers use pot, and they aren't bothered a bit".

I always reply the same way...I'm sure some lawyers use meth too, and I wouldn't recommend that either.

I still remember a gal I worked with in retail whose boyfriend was due to be sentenced for selling drugs, who was obviously a user. However, she was a manager, and she was closing the night after I opened...and despite being scheduled at 1, was not there at 4. She finally called at 4:30, and made it by 5, when I was supposed to leave. She made some excuse I would describe as "unbelievable", and I told her I'd see her later. She quit showing up the next week, so I've always been thankful she made it in that day and kept me from being there 14+ hours.


8/28/2009 05:11:00 PM



(8/28/2009 04:53:00 PM) - Al

We'll have to see how much box office the latest Woodstock movie does this weekend. If there is anything that's been overly discussed, other than the Kennedys, it's Woodstock. I can't imagine teens and young people today spending $9 to see a movie about this overhyped event.


8/28/2009 04:53:00 PM



(8/28/2009 04:47:00 PM) - Al

SF claimed Hoffman, not the Phillies (of course, he never got to the Phillies). A trade is unlikely.


8/28/2009 04:47:00 PM



(8/28/2009 10:11:00 AM) - Al

Its former numbers are difficult to estimate but one ornithologist, Alexander Wilson, estimated that one flock he observed contained over two billion birds.--Wiki

Wilson was speaking of a flock of passenger pigeons, which almost beyond belief, were extinct 35 years after he saw that huge group. While 2B seems fictional, I have read tales of flocks so big they blocked the sun, and literally turned day into evening, back in the 1800's.

I found this while looking up what a "mourning dove" looked like, as hunting season began for them this week. Turns out they are the most sought after game bird in the world...who knew?


8/28/2009 10:11:00 AM



(8/28/2009 10:00:00 AM) - Al

I can't believe so many adults wear bike helmets, as they look very uncomfortable and kinda goofy. Given I rode in the car on my mom's lap as a baby, never wore a helmet, and still rarely use a seat belt, it is astounding I'm still a member of society.

It also amazes me so many motorcycle riders do not wear a helmet, but I do believe it is their choice. Being a believer in gov't shutting up and letting people make their own choices, as long as they do not infringe upon other's rights, makes my stances consistent, at least.


8/28/2009 10:00:00 AM



(8/28/2009 09:58:00 AM) - Al

Speaking of Gleeman, the Twins should have interest in Looper, as they are thinking of claiming Brad Penny, but I suppose that mutual option for next year scares them.


8/28/2009 09:58:00 AM



(8/28/2009 09:58:00 AM) - Al

The best part of Friday, AG's link report.


8/28/2009 09:58:00 AM



(8/28/2009 09:52:00 AM) - Al

It's been a disappointing season for (Milton) Bradley, but he has still managed a .387 OBP.---MLBTR

I commented on this earlier, but Bradley's eye is still superb, and his reduction in power numbers is all but certainly due to an injury. That said, he has always been fragile, and may be unable to stay healthy while playing OF regularly. Doug has always been a guy to resist anything but "good clubhouse guys" as well, though I know several have said Milton is fine except in the heat of the moment.

I tell you what...if he had a single year left, I'd see what the Cubs wanted. However, with 2 guaranteed years at $21M total, I wouldn't...unless they wanted to swap salary somehow.


8/28/2009 09:52:00 AM



(8/28/2009 09:35:00 AM) - Al

No mention of Felipe Lopez, but the others placed on waivers, besides Hoffman, clear. The vast majority of players do clear waivers, which is why I always wonder why there isn't more August trades.

There's little doubt those vets could help some teams, but there doesn't appear to be a lot of desire to add a small improvement.


8/28/2009 09:35:00 AM


Thursday, August 27, 2009

(8/27/2009 10:04:00 PM) - Al

Wow, if this "boycott" grows much bigger, every TV in the US will be on Glenn Beck's show.:)

I can't say I've ever seen his show (other than flipping past it), but being I'm for, you know, freedom of speech, I can't say I'm worried about what he says. Some folks seem unaware remotes have a channel change button.


8/27/2009 10:04:00 PM



(8/27/2009 09:30:00 PM) - Al

Hey Al -

Just read your post about Playboy's summation of the 2012 hysteria, and it brought to mind a terrific book by Charles Panati called the "Browser's Book of Endings: The End of Everything" that examines history and details (among other things) how different species, people, religions, and civilizations have ended. There's a chapter called "The End of the World" that's available for free online that you might find interesting. Suffice to say, the idiots who think the world will end in 2012 are certainly not the first and will certainly not be the last.

Jordon


8/27/2009 09:30:00 PM



(8/27/2009 09:18:00 PM) - Al

Let me make sure I get this straight...ABC ran a day long, non-compensated infomercial thaqt fawned over the Obamacare...but they will not run an ad critical of it...even though they'd be paid to do so.

Luckily for us, our media is unbiased, so the public can make up their own mind.

Oof.


8/27/2009 09:18:00 PM



(8/27/2009 09:11:00 PM) - Al

I have to wonder if this will lead to extension talks with Hoffman for 2010. When a player volunteers he'd like to stay, that seems like a good time to ask if he'd like to sign a deal saying so.


8/27/2009 09:11:00 PM



(8/27/2009 05:59:00 PM) - Al

The nets just can't help themselves, take a gander at the test pattern like ratings their Kennedy specials got.

They are just so out of touch, they think the whole country is Northeastern liberals.


8/27/2009 05:59:00 PM



(8/27/2009 04:50:00 PM) - Al

Jason sends along this link, telling how to get a cell phone free, "supported by the US government". Jason adds he did not think a cell phone was at all necessary, and he's correct, I still would probably not have one if not for the fact it makes my business easier to be able to return calls while between appointments.

Obviously, if the gov't is giving this company a dime of taxpayer money, it's headshakingly stupid. However, in reading the fine print, they give you time for free, but you're able to buy more, so this might be a "win-win". It might actually just be a phone company challenging ethics...anyone might be able to get a free phone.


8/27/2009 04:50:00 PM



(8/27/2009 04:03:00 PM) - Al

I agree completely...Matt Murton is a major league player. He may be a better platoon guy than everyday player, but he'd sure be good depth.

EDIT: His career numbers are almost identical to Corey Hart. He's almost like Corey's twin, without the plus speed and defense.

Gleeman is also on the bandwagon.


8/27/2009 04:03:00 PM



(8/27/2009 03:48:00 PM) - Al

I am linking to this just because I wonder if the Crew may have claimed Heilman, as he fits Doug's preference of big, hard-throwing RHP.

This would be mainly for 2010, of course. Aaron would have one year of arby left before he becomes a free agent.


8/27/2009 03:48:00 PM



(8/27/2009 03:07:00 PM) - Al

Playboy discusses the fixation on the end of the world in 2012.

As always, the above link is safe for work, and contains no nudity, darn it.


8/27/2009 03:07:00 PM



(8/27/2009 02:52:00 PM) - Al

The gov't pays people $100K because they suck at what they do, while the private sector pays $100K to their top people.

That pretty much sums it up.


8/27/2009 02:52:00 PM



(8/27/2009 02:19:00 PM) - Al

Gleeman wonders where everyone went that said Ortiz was done.

The irony here is, casual fans ignore small samples, and all the "pundits" look at nothing but tiny samples all the time. Golfer has a bad 18th hole, he can't handle the pressure...never mind he had to play brilliantly to be in the battle for the lead.


8/27/2009 02:19:00 PM



(8/27/2009 02:14:00 PM) - Al

Hoffman was claimed on waivers, though no one expects anything to come of it...word on the street seems to be Trevor wants to return to MIL next year.


8/27/2009 02:14:00 PM



(8/27/2009 01:25:00 PM) - Al

I'm torn on the cash for clunkers thing, while I'm against most all forms of gov't intervention such as that, but I also have little doubt the program did some "good" for the economy, though very short-term and probably accomplished little other than clearing the lots before the '10 models hit. John Stossel points out the pure lunacy of destroying quality vehicles...many of which would be great for people who could not afford a new car even with the $3500-4500. Heck, many of the vehicles being destroyed are better than my current drive...hmmm.

When in doubt, lowering the middle class family's taxes and not spending money like idiots would accomplish far more than these "magic beans" solutions that keep getting thrown at us.


8/27/2009 01:25:00 PM


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

(8/26/2009 10:32:00 PM) - Al

Heh. One wonders what happened to the common sense of that statement.


8/26/2009 10:32:00 PM



(8/26/2009 10:27:00 PM) - Al

Despite an obvious ball four to the leadoff batter, the Crew is retired 1-2-3 in the 9th.

Thanks blue. It just doesn't seem possible any group can be so consistently bad. I don't think there's been a breaking ball at the letters called for a strike all year...until that one.


8/26/2009 10:27:00 PM



(8/26/2009 09:52:00 PM) - Al

If Doug is looking to deal Looper, there's little doubt there will be interest, after he pitched nicely tonight.

Plenty of feeling all over the 'net this evening that Hoffman will not get past the Phillies, where Brad Lidge has been up and down all year.

What kind of offers will be forthcoming, I could not tell you.


8/26/2009 09:52:00 PM



(8/26/2009 07:16:00 PM) - Al

FYI, the Brewers have moved ahead of the Dodgers, and are now 3rd in the NL in runs scored. The offense has not been the problem.


8/26/2009 07:16:00 PM



(8/26/2009 02:42:00 PM) - Al

Angel Salome was put on the AAA DL, retroactive to Monday. The minor league DL is 7 days, so he can come up when rosters expand 9/1.

He's been banged up, first with a bad back and lately with a finger injury, but I'd sure like to see him get some playing time and see how his defense is coming along and see his bat as well.


8/26/2009 02:42:00 PM



(8/26/2009 11:14:00 AM) - Al

Inmates, the dead, all getting "stimulus" checks.

Maybe we should make the government even bigger. The pain, I can't stand the pain.


8/26/2009 11:14:00 AM



(8/26/2009 10:52:00 AM) - Al

More charities and churches would do well to heed such advice...the vast majority are run painfully bad.


8/26/2009 10:52:00 AM



(8/26/2009 10:50:00 AM) - Al

If he is claimed, Lopez may have to prove himself healthy before a deal can be made. He sure has been beat up since his arrival, but to his credit, has played well and insisted upon being in the lineup.


8/26/2009 10:50:00 AM



(8/26/2009 10:45:00 AM) - Al

Yet another case of umpires behaving badly.

Don't worry, I'm sure if anyone is punished, one of the arbiters will be "suspended with pay" for a few days...we can't have those fellas unhappy now, can we? After all, it's hot out.


8/26/2009 10:45:00 AM



(8/26/2009 10:37:00 AM) - Al

Both CV and DiFelice get few fewer strikes called than they should, and the Brewers get the fewest strikes called than any team in MLB, per Lookout Landing.

Good to know the men in blue have truly been awful from day one this year.

Thanks to Pete, who e-mailed this to me.


8/26/2009 10:37:00 AM



(8/26/2009 10:25:00 AM) - Al

If the Brewers are going to trade veterans, this is their chance.

The team placed a number of attractive players on trade waivers Tuesday, according to a major-league source. Interested clubs can make claims until 1 p.m. Thursday ET.

The list of available Brewers includes closer Trevor Hoffman, outfielder Mike Cameron, infielder Craig Counsell, catcher Jason Kendall, right-hander Braden Looper and second baseman Felipe Lopez.

Brewers general manager Doug Melvin, however, is disinclined to make trades during the August waiver period, believing that he cannot receive adequate returns.

Hoffman, in particular, would appeal to teams in need of late-inning relief. He lacks no-trade protection, but is comfortable in Milwaukee, is open to returning next season and opposed to a setup role, according to a source with knowledge of his thinking. Kendall probably stands a better chance of being moved; several teams are looking for experienced catching. Counsell, too, is a strong veteran presence who could prove an asset to a contending team.--Rosenthal


This is what real writers do while others are posting fictional accounts of games from the press box a few feet away from home plate.

I believe you are able to put either 6 or 7 players on waivers each day, and it seems to me that those players were chosen for a specific reason...all are free agents, or have '10 options, and the Brewers have decisions to make on each one of them. I realize what Doug is saying is correct, but if they know they are not going to offer a certain player (Cameron and Kendall are the two that jump out to me) arby, they will be in effect losing them for nothing.

Would a platoon of Gerut and Jason B cost the team several wins in September? Unlikely, but they'd likely be a step down on both offense and defense. You'd have to balance out adding a piece or three for the future with that.


8/26/2009 10:25:00 AM



(8/26/2009 01:26:00 AM) - Al

I was happy to see that ESPN was replaying the two hours of WSOP coverage they first ran earlier tonight. Sadly, it's 1:30, and I'm too tired to make it 'til 2.

Kids, enjoy your youth.


8/26/2009 01:26:00 AM



(8/26/2009 01:17:00 AM) - Al

Former 1st round pick Mike Jones gets his first AAA win, and is probably on the cusp of making the 40 man based on investment alone, despite his injuries.

If not, he will be a highly sought after minor league FA this offseason.


8/26/2009 01:17:00 AM



(8/26/2009 12:37:00 AM) - Al

A scathing look at Obama's reluctance to move toward the center, as Clinton did so brilliantly. The WSJ has really been the only old media source to not get caught up in the moment.


8/26/2009 12:37:00 AM



(8/26/2009 12:28:00 AM) - Al

Sure that sandwich looks good...but if you are at KFC, everything is better with their yummy gravy poured over the top.

Of course, that whole thing would be better in between a biscuit.


8/26/2009 12:28:00 AM


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

(8/25/2009 11:56:00 PM) - Al

9th inning: Phillips and Rolen singled against Burns, but Nix popped up for the first out. Darnell McDonald grounded out to McGehee. Burns walked Miller to load the bases for Adam Rosales, who flew out to leave the bases loaded.--Tony W's game blog

One does have to wonder how a human being of any intelligence at all can mistake Narveson, a LH, for Burns, a RH. I honestly do not know if he even watches the games...is he maybe just banging out the play-by-play as it's posted online?

Cameron lined out to left, but Braun for some reason tagged on a ball that wasn't that deep and was easily thrown out at the plate to send the game into extras.

Seriously, this guy played the game? It took a perfect throw to get Braun...and then, the tag was barely in time.


8/25/2009 11:56:00 PM



(8/25/2009 11:40:00 PM) - Al

The scripts for these episodes are chock-full of emotional resonance. But it's a very fine line between angsty introspection and indulgent moaning. Particularly when your characters are good-looking Ivy League graduates with perfect health and rewarding careers.--Slate, on the very easy to hate 30something, which is now on DVD

Read the whole thing here.

I was just out of high school when this show was on, and found it dull, whiny, and incredible "look at me!". Over the years, I've met a lot of people who seemed to think their life was deserving of the angst and over thinking these unwatchable characters did...and I don't hang around them either.

If I were to ever meet those fictional characters, I'd say to them the same thing I say to the idiots who still try to get the wave going at sporting events...sit down and shut the hell up.


8/25/2009 11:40:00 PM



(8/25/2009 11:11:00 PM) - Al

Just when you thought the old media could to possibly look any worse, CBS manages to do just that.

I truly don't know how Dan Rather can sleep at night.


8/25/2009 11:11:00 PM



(8/25/2009 10:50:00 PM) - Al

Again, we are seeing the administration's lack of values and priorities...this is what happens when you govern and lead based on polls and the like.


8/25/2009 10:50:00 PM



(8/25/2009 10:46:00 PM) - Al

I've asked for a 27 man roster many times. Tonight makes me look more ingenious than ever.:)


8/25/2009 10:46:00 PM



(8/25/2009 10:29:00 PM) - Al

Lopez has to leave due to injury. He's been playing stupendously all banged up since being acquired.


8/25/2009 10:29:00 PM



(8/25/2009 10:26:00 PM) - Al

Remarkable comeback, though no one will care if the Reds win. Frighteningly bad luck, as Prince, Casey, and Cameron all hit it right to the LF, making his throws very easy. They couldn't do that in BP if they tried to.


8/25/2009 10:26:00 PM



(8/25/2009 09:08:00 PM) - Al

The retired general is right, but let's be honest...why should LA spend a penny on preparing for a hurricane when they can just sit back, spend their money on wine, women, and song, leave their school buses sitting idle, and beg the federal government for cash.

You know, some people are still living in FEMA trailers ye these many years after Katrina. The idea of prepping is, dare I say, not really necessary in these "what can my country do for me" times.

I wonder why that pesky deficit is so high, huh?


8/25/2009 09:08:00 PM



(8/25/2009 06:37:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers are back in Milwaukee to start a six-game home stand against Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. The team is clinging to playoff hopes that may or may not be an illusion, and because of that Craig Counsell is playing shortstop against Reds right-hander Bronson Arroyo.

This is Counsell's 104th game of the season, a number I'm sure fans hoped he wouldn't hit based on the success of the rest of the infield. But for one reason or another, he's there and playing tonight instead of Alcides Escobar. It seems like Escobar won't play everyday until the Brewers are mathematically eliminated.--Tony W, JS


Tony has a way of writing that irritates me to no end, and this is one of them. He throws out opinions and pretends they're facts.

I have no problem with Escobar being set up to succeed, as Arroyo is tough versus RHP. And, I have to believe Hardy will be utilized when he returns, so I doubt Alcides plays "every day" late in the season either.

This is one of those things you run into, and while I certainly would not be picking up guys in trade that will only be around until late September, I'm not saying they should quit trying either. It means a lot to the players and the organization to win as many games as possible, and you run into ethical issues if you run a lineup out there that, well, sucks.

The odd thing is, Escobar already has a ton of PA's, and will hardly be helped or hurt by playing a couple extra games. Simply put, young players should be set up to succeed, and that's exactly what they are doing with him.

Sadly, Tony W, and many others, are either too dimwitted or too negative to "get it".


8/25/2009 06:37:00 PM



(8/25/2009 03:49:00 PM) - Al

Because of his recent troubles, the Rambling dog is on a "bland diet", which is boiled rice and ground beef. Of course, I would find this delicious with some seasoning and country gravy poured over the top, but though it's refrigerated and looks like people food, it probably lacks flavor.

The funny thing is, as I told the Rambling wife while preparing the feast last night, 2 cups of rice and a half-pound of ground beef is really inexpensive, about $1.50, and if memory serves, will last 7-10 days. Sadly, I'm pretty sure it's cheaper than his regular kibble.

Our vet technician, who is also our neighbor, told us we could add yogurt as well, which supposedly would help his stomach work properly again, but I have little doubt if I added moisture like that, I'd feel obliged to taste it.


8/25/2009 03:49:00 PM



(8/25/2009 03:21:00 PM) - Al

Rhode Island shuts down gov't offices for 12 days...I'd say that might just be a good start.:) The irony here is, if you can get by without these "vital" positions a dozen days, why not two dozen? Or, all the time?

My old roommate once worked for a suburb and pointed out that when the gal that answered the phone was out sick or on vacation (she made sure she took every sick day, if you know what I mean), someone else had to cover for her, or several people would cover her for 1-2 hours a day. I've always wondered if she had any idea that she was just proving herself unnecessary.

One day, the Rambling wife, subbing for a local school district, sat in an office area all day reading a book, unless a teacher came in and asked her to make copies or collate said copies. When I asked why this position had not been cut, as you always hear how tight the districts are now run, she just shook her head and wondered the same thing.


8/25/2009 03:21:00 PM



(8/25/2009 03:10:00 PM) - Al

Al,

Today in his chat, Anthony Witrado said he played minor league ball, and yet, I can find no record of his ever doing so? Your thoughts?

Frankie


I assume Tony W never played in a game, but went to spring training with SEA and FLA, the organizations he says he suited up for. Surely he's not dumb enough (insert your own punchline here) to think minor league stats can't be looked up. I just checked BR.com to see if Witrado might be a "pen name", but could find no player named Anthony who played for those organizations, though I could have missed one, Anthony being a rather popular name and all.

By the way, Frankie, I admire your pain tolerance, just while looking up what was said, I came across several times that Tony W said something either that was not true or hearsay thrown out as factual. I should go down the chat and tear it apart, but I don't think I have the time.

I'd say he was unreadable, but I wouldn't want to offend those that are unreadable.


8/25/2009 03:10:00 PM



(8/25/2009 02:52:00 PM) - Al

I'll have to put down my thoughts on John Smoltz later on. His performance was night and day...but maybe not, if you look hard enough.


8/25/2009 02:52:00 PM



(8/25/2009 02:38:00 PM) - Al

Stossel asks why no one can disagree with the president without "racism" being brought up. I wonder how it's possible his supporters have had to resort to such empty arguments barely 6 months in.


8/25/2009 02:38:00 PM



(8/25/2009 02:22:00 PM) - Al

As expected, Hernan goes down for 10 days, Suppan off the DL.

Iribarren will come up as soon as he's eligible, I would assume. Who the Crew brings up on 9/1 will depend on where they are in the race and where Nashville is, but I would expect 3-5 guys, a couple pitchers to eat innings in lopsided affairs and some position players.


8/25/2009 02:22:00 PM


Monday, August 24, 2009

(8/24/2009 08:45:00 PM) - Al

I don't see anyone taking a risk on Harden anymore than they did Sheets. Both will probably get 1-2 year deals, but I don't see either getting more than that.


8/24/2009 08:45:00 PM



(8/24/2009 05:12:00 PM) - Al

I would guess they are estimating high, but that may be precautionary.

Add one more to the list of positions they need to fill when they get done saving the world from ourselves.

The one thing I do not understand is the "doctors and ER's will be filled to capacity"...the numbers presented don't look that overwhelming at all. Again, would I put it past the administration to "create a problem" and then solve it? Not at all, but they look like they need to market the horror a tad better.

UPDATE: I'm struggling with the math, especially this quote:

As many as 300,000 patients may be treated in hospital intensive care units, filling 50 percent to 100 percent of the available beds

There are about 6000 hospitals in the US, per Google. That would equal 50 per hospital...that's a lot. However, I don't think anyone is claiming all 50 per hospital would be all at once. If they had to stay a week each, that's 350 hospital days per, but spread out over 2 months...that would be about 6 patients a day. Given that the flu may last the entire winter, 350/120 is less than 3 per day.

Needless to say, 1+1 is not equaling 2 here.


8/24/2009 05:12:00 PM



(8/24/2009 04:31:00 PM) - Al

I would think Ron Mahay would interest a contender, as lefty bats only have a .310 OBP off of him this year.

Not much movement in the role player realm this year, as most teams have either went big or done nothing. In theory, I understand this, but when a playoff spot can easily be decided by a game or two, a slight improvement in a couple spots might be enough to do it.


8/24/2009 04:31:00 PM



(8/24/2009 03:36:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers have 5 guys with a BA of .300 or higher in the lineup today, and McGehee is hitting .298 as well.

This is an offensive powerhouse, and many folks don't even notice because of the pitching.


8/24/2009 03:36:00 PM



(8/24/2009 03:06:00 PM) - Al

Hi Al,

Any insight on what the Brewers are likely to do next year at catcher. You have said sometime earlier that it could be Salome splitting time with a veteran. Do you still feel that way? If so who might the veteran be? Perhaps Rivera? I assume they will part with Kendall...please tell me they will. And finally the rotation would be with today's roster some form of Gallardo, Parra, Bush, Looper and Suppan....and an upgrade is obviously needed who is the odd man out? I would speculate Bush as Looper and Suppan seem untradeable. Please help if you can.

Clint


First off, Looper has a mutual option, so the Crew can easily be rid of him. However, given how bad the rotation has been, getting rid of any SP who is considered a major leaguer can't be considered a plus. If nothing else, there are plenty of teams that would happily put Braden in their rotation for $6M, so he would have trade value.

I'm not a big Rivera fan, and I would have said Kendall is likely to be back until a few weeks ago, but now, I'm not sure. His OBP has been decent, but his complete lack of even doubles power makes him a liability. He'll have to take a huge pay cut to return, without a doubt.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention that if Kendall does return, that's a mighty weak 7/8/9 part of the lineup, with almost no power at all. Because Alcides is all but guaranteed to be in the '10 lineup, they may not want to have a pair of low SLG guys in the lineup...that makes it tough to keep Jason around.


8/24/2009 03:06:00 PM



(8/24/2009 02:43:00 PM) - Al

Looks like a lot of DH's will be available next season for those AL teams in need of one. Matsui would be passable in LF, and I guess Sheffield would too (though he has not aged gracefully), but for the most part, it is a list of DH's.


8/24/2009 02:43:00 PM



(8/24/2009 12:51:00 PM) - Al

The US currently has $7.4T in debt...that's the accumulation of all past deficits. Under Obama's proposed plan (which tend to be optimistic projections), his administration will add $9T in the next decade.

Read the whole thing.

You know, it's like the old media doesn't even know where to locate these numbers, as they insist on talking about a Martha's Vineyard vacation. They are near death because they deserve to be.


8/24/2009 12:51:00 PM



(8/24/2009 12:29:00 PM) - Al

Not only is today the last day of my vacation, the Rambling dog is having internal problems that can only be described as "smelly" and "disturbing". The Rambling wife just called to see if I contacted the vet, but I told her we might as well wait to see if it passes (no pun intended), though I think we'd both be willing to pay good money just to have them be in possession of Ronnie today.

The last time he had this issue was last summer, when we found out he had lyme disease. It isn't identical symptoms, so I doubt that's it, not to mention he was vaccinated for it both years, which would seemingly make the odds of him getting it again very tiny.


8/24/2009 12:29:00 PM



(8/24/2009 12:27:00 PM) - Al

Ed sends in this link that shows Appleton breaking their attendance mark, thanks in part to their affiliation with the Brewers.

They may well have a better known group of youngsters and recent draftees, including 1st rounder Eric Arnett, next year. That record falling may become a common occurrence.


8/24/2009 12:27:00 PM



(8/24/2009 12:42:00 AM) - Al

Chris Capuano is back pitching, an inning at a time in Maryvale, with the lowest rookie league team.

It's a long journey back, let's hope he keeps making progress and wants to keep working with the Crew.


8/24/2009 12:42:00 AM


Sunday, August 23, 2009

(8/23/2009 11:24:00 PM) - Al

This is almost worth opening a Twitter account for.

Adult language at the link, but funny adult language.


8/23/2009 11:24:00 PM



(8/23/2009 10:15:00 PM) - Al

Maybe he should have filled these jobs before going on vacation. 7 months in, over half still open...oof.


8/23/2009 10:15:00 PM



(8/23/2009 07:30:00 PM) - Al

Whenever someone suggests cutting costs by letting criminals out of prison, I always say to myself, you know, they ain't in there for jaywalking...these are evil, bad men.

Note this was only a medium security facility...the really bad guys are in maximum security. I would imagine there will suddenly be a very anti-prisoner movement in Kentucky, as there isn't any doubt that it will be rebuilt...and fireproof I assume.


8/23/2009 07:30:00 PM



(8/23/2009 07:20:00 PM) - Al

The old media just can't comprehend the fact the US was founded on principles that do not include socialism.


8/23/2009 07:20:00 PM



(8/23/2009 03:05:00 PM) - Al

Even though the Brewers rotation (other than Yo) has struggled, the offense has kept them right in the race...except for when Parra and CV have drawn the start:

Overall: 60-63
MP & CV: 9-18
Others: 51-45

Without Manny struggling through a crappy season, and CV being pressed into a role he was not prepared for, the Brewers are on a pace for 86 wins, just 4 less than last year.

We'll see how the final quarter of the campaign goes, but despite the fact their ERA is high, the rotation has been serviceable (at least with this offense), minus the 27 times CV and Parra have toed the rubber. While many will call for a complete overhaul (which is not going to happen anyway, due to contractual obligations), by the looks of things, if Parra would have had a "normal" Manny year, or with the addition of a single league average pitcher, this '09 version could be right in the thick of the wildcard race, even with Burns and McClung having to pick up a few starts.


8/23/2009 03:05:00 PM



(8/23/2009 02:33:00 PM) - Al

Funny, I haven't been getting e-mails of late from people telling me how popular the president is...maybe this is why.

The astounding part is, he started at about a +30, and is now at -14 in just a few months. Of course, this is with the old media minimizing his off-the-teleprompter gaffes...Jon Stewart would be running that Special Olympics statement every night if Bush had said it.

There's plenty of time before '12, but for those looking at the '10 Congressional votes, it would have been hard to imagine this scenario back when it was cold out.


8/23/2009 02:33:00 PM



(8/23/2009 02:27:00 PM) - Al

Of course Braun was safe at 1B...on a close call, the umpire is pretty much always wrong...of course, anyone can get the easy calls right, so it makes you wonder if they could be anymore worthless.

The irony is, players throw helmets all the time...Braun was ejected because he threw his helmet and the embarrassment to the game probably knew he got it wrong, so he ejected him. Remember, good umpires hardly ever get noticed, so this fella, by blowing a call and then throwing a player out, pretty much proved, in two steps, that he is not capable of being on the field.

But, not to worry, he'll have a job the rest of his life.

Egads.


8/23/2009 02:27:00 PM



(8/23/2009 01:34:00 PM) - Al

One of the neighbors just carried the Rambling dog back home...he was sniffing around her deck, she said. I checked his chain and his collar...both seem fine. Not sure what happened.

Yesterday, Discovery had on some investigation shows in which they studied JFK's assassination (in which they recreated the "magic bullet" perfectly), Bigfoot sightings, and UFO sightings, and to sum up as quickly as possible, found that those nuts that claim to have seen stuff were either making bad at home movies or saw reflections and the like.

Hence, instead of blaming an alien or ghost, I think I'll just assume something released when he stretched it tight.


8/23/2009 01:34:00 PM



(8/23/2009 01:13:00 PM) - Al

It's a good thing Parra has all the talent he has, or he'd simply be too frustrating to keep around. He's having the same issues he had before his demotion, laying his fastball right down the middle, making bad throws, letting a 1 or 2 run inning turn into a 3-4 run frame.

Manny is capable of being a solid top-of-the-rotation guy, but sure can't put it together since the first half of last year.


8/23/2009 01:13:00 PM



(8/23/2009 12:08:00 PM) - Al

I don't know what's sadder...that they freely admit the FAA is overstaffed, or that only 7% of the cash for clunkers money has been given out so far.

Yet, I keep hearing there's simply no waste left to cut. Hilarious.


8/23/2009 12:08:00 PM



(8/23/2009 12:02:00 PM) - Al

Remember when they pretended to have a fit when AIG gave out bonuses...exactly like this?

It sure is easy to spend other people's money.


8/23/2009 12:02:00 PM



(8/23/2009 11:50:00 AM) - Al

Mike Burns will probably pick up a couple more days on the big league roster...if the team was a couple games out of the race, they probably would have brought Chris Smith or someone else back from Nashville after last night's game, just to have another rested arm available.

As is, with Suppan returning Tuesday and Bush Thursday, Burns is all but a sure thing to go out on one of those days, with Hernan Iribarren probably being the odd man out the other, as 13 pitchers is probably a safe bet with a pair of SP's who will be limited.


8/23/2009 11:50:00 AM



(8/23/2009 12:03:00 AM) - Al

I'm glad the FBI director had the guts to tell it like it was. Obama sounds like he was served warm coffee instead of hot..."highly objectionable"...geesh.

This going overseas and apologizing for being the greatest nation ever on the planet, and this overwhelming talking weak stuff...not a fan, thanks.


8/23/2009 12:03:00 AM


Saturday, August 22, 2009

(8/22/2009 11:53:00 PM) - Al

A Brewers delegation made its annual visit to Walter Reed Army Medical Center to visit soldiers wounded in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's always a humbling experience, and Macha said general manager Doug Melvin came up with an idea to formally honor war heroes each season.

"Doug said we honor Jackie Robinson every year for his contribution to the game and humanity," said Macha. "He said we should have a day every year when we honor the military throughout the majors. Everybody could wear camouflage hats."

Macha said Melvin got the idea when he saw a camouflage jersey signed by reliever Scott Linebrink hanging in one of the wings. Linebrink formally played for the San Diego Padres, who wear camouflage jerseys at home every Sunday to honor the military.

Rather than getting depressed, visitors to Walter Reed always have their spirits lifted by the spirit and positive attitudes of the wounded soldiers.

"We visited 10 or 12 of them, and only one was down a little bit," Macha said. "They weren't feeling sorry for themselves. A lot of them wanted to go back (to Iraq and Afghanistan). That puts it all in perspective."--JS


Of course, MLB does wear special caps on Memorial Day and July 4th (and I think 9/11), while as far as I know, no other sport does a damn thing. However, Doug is correct, a day dedicated to the military would be a fine idea. Heck, they already have camouflage caps, I saw a couple at the Miller Park store.

The best part is, it would make the "hold hands and sing folk songs" crowd really mad, and that's plenty reason enough to get me in favor of anything. Freedom doesn't come cheap, it often is accompanied by death and suffering...yet no one ever argues it isn't worth the cost.


8/22/2009 11:53:00 PM



(8/22/2009 09:32:00 PM) - Al

I've seen it on replay 3 times, and I still do not know how Lopez beat Morgan to the bag on the bunt attempt. Sometimes, it just pays to be really fast.


8/22/2009 09:32:00 PM



(8/22/2009 07:20:00 PM) - Al

Al,

Do you think Gamel will be able to produce enough as an everyday 3B next year? With the addition of Escobar, they're going to need offense from the other spots.

Hank the Hammer


First of all Hank, the Brewers' SS spot ranks 13th of 16 NL teams this year, and they are still 4th in runs scored, so I don't see Alcides bringing them down much, especially when you factor in his speed and baserunning making up some for his lack of assumed pop.

Right now, the Crew ranks 8th of 16 at 3B OPS, higher than I would have guessed, with a line of .319/.414, 733 OPS. For comparison's sake, Gamel put up a .330/.434, 764 OPS when he started earlier this year, and his AAA numbers project to a major league equivalent of .320/.409, 729 OPS. With McGehee in the picture, any minor slump (a pair of 0-4's) would likely result in Mat getting a day off, so an extended time of struggle is unlikely.

The C spot looks by far the easiest spot to pick up a few runs, as the Brewers have ranked 15th of 16 (though only 40 OPS points below the mean).

UPDATE: Just a note, my proposed infield of Fielder/Weeks/Escobar/Gamel/McGehee/Counsell would cost about $18.5M, assuming Craig accepts $2M after a spectacular '09 campaign (I'm sure he could get more, but I hope he wants to stay in MIL). Considering Prince will make $10.5M by himself, that's a good price.


8/22/2009 07:20:00 PM



(8/22/2009 05:41:00 PM) - Al

--The Brewers have yet to place veterans like Mike Cameron and Trevor Hoffman on trade waivers, but with the team now out of contention, Rosenthal asks "why not?"

--GM Doug Melvin is disinclined to make such deals because he knows the return may not be significant, but Hoffman in particular would be attractive. The Rockies have already discussed him internally.

--Craig Counsell, Braden Looper, and Jason Kendall could have value as well.--Rosenthal, through MLBTR


It seems obvious Doug is waiting to see if a team will claim him and then make an offer, after his team is out of the race. While it is unlikely, the Crew could win 9 out of 12, SL slump badly, and lose 9 out of 12, and suddenly, they're 3 or 4 games out.


8/22/2009 05:41:00 PM



(8/22/2009 03:12:00 PM) - Al

I do not know why life expectancy and obesity are both going up, but as a fat guy, I think it's dandy.


8/22/2009 03:12:00 PM



(8/22/2009 03:09:00 PM) - Al

Not looking good for a game tonight, per Tom H.


8/22/2009 03:09:00 PM



(8/22/2009 01:51:00 PM) - Al

Al,

Just wondering if you were going to do a year end prospects list to go along with your preseason one. Other than missing Dykstra, which pretty much everyone did, you were pretty much right on.

Also, was wondering who you thought might be next year's sleeper, both as a position player and pitcher, to compare to this year's McGehee and DiFelice?

PJ


Sleepers are tough, because Casey was not with the team until December. Going by who they have now, I'd guess Angel Salome and John Axford...though Axford is just a shot in the dark, as no one on the 40 man right now looks to be an option. Salome, a top prospect, isn't a classic sleeper either, but I think he'll contribute far more than most do.

I can't see doing more than one list a year, as that seems to be overkill. Besides, why do one after the season, as a "new" one next March would be the same list.

As for the list, Dykstra, Jeffress, and Brewer will all fall off, though an argument could still be made for Jeremy.


8/22/2009 01:51:00 PM



(8/22/2009 12:18:00 PM) - Al

As I was looking up other things, I came across Mat Gamel's splits page for the year.

Mat was serviceable while in the bigs, especially when he started, but really struggled when he went back to Nashville. However, if you take a look, he has recovered nicely, and overall, has put together a very good campaign.

I was of the opinion that a Gamel/Escobar/Weeks/Fielder 2010 infield made a lot of sense, in a perfect world, with McGehee and Counsell in reserve (Casey and Craig each being used to "protect" the left side youngsters, though Gamel has done very well versus AAA LHP). I would probably still lean that way, but I doubt I would announce those were my plans, instead, choosing to divert as much pressure from Gamel as I could by saying "he'll be in the mix", or something along those lines.

The big changes in the '10 version of the Crew's positional players will be in the OF and possibly at C. The big decision will be whether Cameron and Kendall return, and also, if they are, at what cost? The other impending question is what Hardy will bring back in trade...while we would love to see someone part with a young SP with upside for JJ, a pre-arby OF might be a more realistic option. Braun has stated he thinks RF is easier than LF, does the braintrust feel Hart can play CF...those are queries that will have to be answered as well, as if they need a guy that can play CF, the options are quite limited...while if you can plug the new guy into any OF spot, it opens up a ton of options, including the Adam Dunn types, offensive weapons that can only play a corner spot (preferably LF).


8/22/2009 12:18:00 PM



(8/22/2009 11:58:00 AM) - Al

Look closely, because you are not going to see this nugget of info in the old media...much of the world's recession has ended, without a penny of "stimulus" being spent.

Heaven forbid they let supply and demand work, rather than throwing tax dollars at the problem.


8/22/2009 11:58:00 AM



(8/22/2009 10:38:00 AM) - Al

Prince Fielder blasted a two-run homer in a win over the Nationals on Friday night.

Fielder now has 33 dingers to go along with a major-league best 110 RBI. The big man is almost a sure-thing to beat his previous career-best of 119 RBI from 2007, but he could also pass Cecil Cooper for the franchise-record at 126.--Rotoworld


Every once in a while, something ends up online that you shake your head at. He's got 110 RBI's in 121 games, and "he could" end up with 126? Barring injury, it would take a collapse not to.


8/22/2009 10:38:00 AM



(8/22/2009 10:17:00 AM) - Al

As you probably suspected, I am unhappy about the release of a convicted mass murderer, but moreso, I just keep wondering, isn't the world supposed to be head over heels in love with us now? Or, is there still envy because of our wealth and power?

Sadly, despite being the world's relief agency (while the UN twiddles their thumbs and does nothing), spending billions just because it's the right thing to do, the US gets no credit for their charitable ways.

Scotland should be ashamed of themselves.


8/22/2009 10:17:00 AM



(8/22/2009 10:07:00 AM) - Al

The scariest thing about Social Security is this...no one knows how to get rid of it even if we wanted to...once a government program begins, it's pretty much on the books forever. When W tried to add choice to the program...you know, individuals choosing what to do with their own money, it was proudly defeated by the Congress, most of which are still there.


8/22/2009 10:07:00 AM


Friday, August 21, 2009

(8/21/2009 11:25:00 PM) - Al

Doug doesn't see getting enough talent back to make a late August trade, but he doesn't shut the door on it either.


8/21/2009 11:25:00 PM



(8/21/2009 11:12:00 PM) - Al

Every country will be drilling...except the US, due to more regulations that do nothing but hinder natural economic growth.

This is why the government needs to be as minimal as possible...they just get in the way. President Reagan must be spinning in his grave.


8/21/2009 11:12:00 PM



(8/21/2009 10:35:00 PM) - Al

$9B deficit? Here's a good place to start cutting. Get rid of these idiots and the folks who told us to throw out tomatoes last year when jalapenos were bad, and we're off to a good start.


8/21/2009 10:35:00 PM



(8/21/2009 08:52:00 PM) - Al

I would guess Prince was taken out in the 9th to protect his "tweaked" hammy in the wet conditions.

If it were serious, he would not be on the bench, he'd be getting treatment.


8/21/2009 08:52:00 PM



(8/21/2009 05:59:00 PM) - Al

This is sure to please the tea party folks.

You know, it might be time to look at, maybe, just maybe, spending a lot less money.


8/21/2009 05:59:00 PM



(8/21/2009 03:55:00 PM) - Al

Cabrera would seem to fit many of the Doug Melvin reliever criteria, as a big RH hard thrower, still just 27.

He's been mediocre in the bigs, but his AAA stats are off-the-charts.


8/21/2009 03:55:00 PM



(8/21/2009 02:58:00 PM) - Al

Tom H and others went on a tour of the Pentagon, which I cannot believe they offer tours for, but regardless, some interesting details.


8/21/2009 02:58:00 PM



(8/21/2009 02:01:00 PM) - Al

Colome to the DL, Chris Narveson returns.

No offense to Chris, who is certainly better than the 8 ERA he put up with the Brewers earlier this year, but this move points out how weak the AAA pitching depth is for the Crew. However, if you check out what Narveson has done at AAA in the link above, he has struck out more than a man per inning, and has a near 3-1 K/BB ratio...solid AAA stats, enough so where I almost find it hard to believe not a single team claimed him on waivers a while back.

I'm surprised Chris Smith was not brought up, as he was useful, while far from dominant, in his couple month long stint in MIL. This may well have been a move to assist in keeping Adam Dunn and other DC lefty sluggers held down for the weekend, though Macha has not used Narveson or Swindle as a loogy when they have been in the majors.


8/21/2009 02:01:00 PM



(8/21/2009 01:39:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling brother e-mailed to ask about JJ Hardy's salary situation. It occurred to me that others may be wondering about this as well.

Hardy is making $4.65M this year, and there is no sign of any sort of a "split" contract being utilized, so JJ is making that in Nashville as well. Often when on rehab, big leaguers have a post-game spread catered or delivered, as the cost of such an indulgence is minimal compared to their salary...no word if JJ is doing this or not.:)

He is not under contract for '10, but is still under team control, regardless of his service time issues. The Crew can just part ways with Hardy by not offering him arby, which will make him a free agent (this is how the Red Sox acquired Dave Ortiz); they can resign him after non-tendering him for any amount; or they can offer him arby, which is the only way to not allow 29 other teams to talk to him.

If he were to be non-tendered, a 27 year-old who has had success in the majors, who plays SS well, would have a multitude of interest, to say the least. At minimum, he would likely sign a 1-2 year deal for $6-7M a year.

If he were offered arby, the Crew can only decrease his '09 salary by 20%, meaning they could not go lower than about $3.7M. Realistically, he'd still get a raise, as his career stats are still very good for a SS, and his defense is still OK. I would have expected him to get about $8M had he had a "normal" year, so after an "off year", if you split the difference, that will still put him at about $5-6M. Luckily, if you're looking at JJ as a trade chip, that is not a really high amount, unless you feel he'll forever be stuck at his '09 production level.

As I said to the Rambling brother, there really is very little debate as far as the Brewers are concerned...Escobar at $425K is by far a better option than Hardy at $5-6M...if you can argue that, either you have little understanding of financial value per production, or you simply want Mark A to throw away his money. Add into that you also will have what Hardy brings back in trade, and the decision is very clear...I just wish Hardy's value would be what it was a few months ago.


8/21/2009 01:39:00 PM



(8/21/2009 12:56:00 PM) - Al

The irony here is, no one would know what a dingbat Cindy Sheehan is if not for Charlie Gibson, and now, he's unhappy she's still around.


8/21/2009 12:56:00 PM



(8/21/2009 12:43:00 PM) - Al

This gent thinks Lopez will get 4y/$30M, which would mean the Crew would easily be able to offer Felipe arby and have no worries about him accepting. The draft picks would be better than any prospects traded for, not worrying about the money needed to sign them, of course.


8/21/2009 12:43:00 PM



(8/21/2009 12:35:00 PM) - Al

George S writes that "the public thinks (Obama's) getting in over his head", which is a rare admission from the Democrat who plays a neutral journalist on TV.


8/21/2009 12:35:00 PM



(8/21/2009 12:31:00 PM) - Al

Ted Kennedy changed the rules...and now wants them changed again...all because of selfish reasons.

I thought the Rambling dog was transparent.


8/21/2009 12:31:00 PM


Thursday, August 20, 2009

(8/20/2009 10:29:00 PM) - Al

BCB wonders if it is time to give up.

I promise you MA and Doug will try to win every game they can. However, the one thing I hope they sit down and discuss (if they haven't already, Doug flew out to DC Wednesday, so he may have met with Ken and the coaches today or will tomorrow morning) what players they will try to keep and which they will not. For instance, if they do not feel they can offer Lopez arby, fearful that he will accept, they should put him on waivers and make a deal, as he's too talented to lose for nothing. Ditto for Cameron, Looper, Counsell, and a couple others.


8/20/2009 10:29:00 PM



(8/20/2009 08:01:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling wife and I got back from a Rambling vacation last evening. I'm off until next Tuesday, so I'll try and get a recap up tomorrow. We saw the last 2 Brewers' wins, and enjoyed visits to five establishments that have been featured on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives. We rode a train at Wisconsin Dells, enjoyed the cool breeze off Lake Michigan, and enjoyed yummy seafood at Joe's Crab Shack. We did not spend one cent on a hotel room (thanks credit card points), and found out it's always rush hour near downtown Chicago. We found out Subway and Arby's run great deals in Michigan ($2 6" meatball and cold cut combo at Subway, or 2 for $4 subs at Arby's), but not at home.

Hopefully, I'll have more tomorrow.


8/20/2009 08:01:00 PM



(8/20/2009 12:50:00 PM) - Al

Jeff Sackmann asks if the Hall contract was a mistake, and his answer may surprise you.


8/20/2009 12:50:00 PM



(8/20/2009 12:16:00 PM) - Al

Another government program seems to be running gloriously.

I'm not sure how many it will take before some decide the feds are the ones you least want to spend money effectively. What's that old saying, it will take a billion dollars for them to distribute a million dollars?


8/20/2009 12:16:00 PM


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

(8/19/2009 10:58:00 PM) - Al

MSNBC is as much of a joke as CNN...and that's saying something.


8/19/2009 10:58:00 PM



(8/19/2009 10:04:00 PM) - Al

I saw this in Esquire a couple weeks ago, but forgot to post it.

What's funny is, it reads exactly like the bios they actually ran about the stuck-up East Coast private school grads that actually work in DC, and have no idea where Kansas even is.

Goes to bed at 5AM, then gets up at 4AM. Heh. Because no one works harder than government employees.


8/19/2009 10:04:00 PM



(8/19/2009 08:17:00 PM) - Al

BA and Rock wondering what Ronny Cedeno is doing differently...I would say he's finally just getting a chance to play every day...he was spectacular (.400/.500) in AAA, and may well just need someone to put him in the lineup and get him 500 AB's.


8/19/2009 08:17:00 PM



(8/19/2009 08:03:00 PM) - Al

This story was all the rage when we were in Milwaukee a few days ago.

The mayor, who is in his 50's mind you, tells a 20 year-old ne'er-do-well to quit yelling at some women, so the younger fella pulls out a pipe and beats the living crap out of the mayor.

The young man's family is now blaming the mayor for causing the whole incident...really.

Hard to believe the gent is having trouble functioning in society given his upbringing around a group of complete idiots.

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


8/19/2009 08:03:00 PM



(8/19/2009 07:19:00 PM) - Al

Members of the U.S. 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment closed space with the enemy, apparently killing at least ten. Corporal Benjamin Kopp was shot and evacuated to Germany, then back to the United States, where he died just over a week later on 18 July. Benjamin was 21 years old and at the very tip of the spear. If not for such men, we would be at the mercy of every demon.

Benjamin Kopp and his comrades were delivering the latest bad news to the sort of people who harbored the terrorists who attack innocent people around the world every day, and who attacked us at home on 9/11. Ranger Kopp was a veteran with three combat tours. He knew the risks, yet continued to fight.

Benjamin was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates quietly attended the funeral, as did my good friend, Colonel Erik Kurilla, the new commander of Ranger Regiment, where Kopp served until America lost one of its finest Sons.

Yet the effect of Corporal Kopp did not end on the battlefields of Afghanistan; he only regrouped and continued to serve. Corporal Kopp had volunteered as an organ donor and his heart was transplanted. Two days after most people would have died, Benjamin Kopp’s heart was transplanted into Judy Meikle. According to the Washington Post, Meikle said, "How can you have a better heart?" said a grateful Judy Meikle, 57, of Winnetka, Ill., who is still recovering from the surgery. "I have the heart of a 21-year-old Army Ranger war hero beating in me."--Michael Yon


Where, I ask, do we find such brave men and women as Benjamin Kopp? Read the whole thing here.

Yon, by the way, does a fantastic job of reporting on the battles that the old media has ignored since they made a fool of themselves declaring Iraq "lost" as it was being won, despite the claims of Hank Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and many other dimwits. Not only does he cover these conflicts for free, he gives an unbiased account and finds stories like this that NBC ignores, because it doesn't fit the Olbermann/Matthews "tingle in my leg" agenda. Yon is supported 100% through donations, and if I were you, I would not wait for Keith or Chris to hit the Paypal button to keep this outstanding work coming...after all, when the morning shows is bringing you "Jon and Kate" interviews, while Mike Yon is doing this, those that wonder why the networks are failing need look no further than content.


8/19/2009 07:19:00 PM



(8/19/2009 06:21:00 PM) - Al

Biden wants to succeed Obama in '16.

I'm sure he's also like to give a speech that isn't featured as one long gaffe as well. Aim low, Joe.


8/19/2009 06:21:00 PM



(8/19/2009 05:44:00 PM) - Al

Jack Z picks up Bill Hall for SEA, while the Crew picks up a too-old hard thrower whose had success at low A ball, while apparently getting SEA to pick up a portion of his '10 salary...I'll guess about $1M.


8/19/2009 05:44:00 PM



(8/19/2009 11:43:00 AM) - Al

A week before Cash for Clunkers formally began July 27, NHTSA estimated it would need just 30 new hires and 200 contractor workers to handle the program over a six month period

The total just went over 1100. Government folks do not work harder or longer...they just hire more people, because they have no incentive to make a profit like the private sector.


8/19/2009 11:43:00 AM



(8/19/2009 09:49:00 AM) - Al

BD wonders aloud if Harang or Arroyo could be coming over for Hall. I also would prefer Aaron to Bronson, but minus the sunk cost of Hall, either one is cheaper than Looper.


8/19/2009 09:49:00 AM


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

(8/18/2009 06:37:00 PM) - Al

Pudge being dealt to be the backup in TEX is not very interesting, but it is kinda when you look where the Astros are in the standings compared to the Brewers.


8/18/2009 06:37:00 PM



(8/18/2009 06:29:00 PM) - Al

Obama's numbers are down because, gasp, people like capitalism?

Could it be that simple?


8/18/2009 06:29:00 PM



(8/18/2009 06:18:00 PM) - Al

Adam reports Doug thinks he may be able to trade Hall. With the Reds known to like Bill, and Harang and Arroyo both have similar size deals (actually owed $2-4M more) next year, that seems far too easy to ever actually happen.

Who knows who else might like Hall, the Yankees were known to have interest last offseason.

UPDATE: Just to make clear, a Hall for Harang swap seems ideal for the Brewers, but even picking up $3M extra, Harang is far better, as Hall hasn't hit RHP for years. Seems likely the Crew would have to pick up cash or send an extra player.


8/18/2009 06:18:00 PM



(8/18/2009 01:05:00 PM) - Al

Does a lack of sunspots make weather cooler?

Well, it makes a lot more sense than Gore's mumbo jumbo, but I sure don't want colder winters. Of course, other than a few really cold days, would I notice it? Probably not.


8/18/2009 01:05:00 PM



(8/18/2009 11:19:00 AM) - Al

Pawlenty thinks Obama's popularity fading is great for the future of the Republicans.

He's probably right, but he's way too optimistic. Things can turn around in a week, never mind 1.25 years. The reason Jimmy Carter is remembered as a complete failure is he started off slow and went down hill from there. Obama has plenty of time to make himself a media darling again.


8/18/2009 11:19:00 AM


Monday, August 17, 2009

(8/17/2009 10:29:00 PM) - Al

I'm not going to spend a lot of time on it right now, but you gotta wonder if Doug will become a "seller", as the Crew is 2 games under .500, 8.5 behind SL, and 7 behind in the wildcard. Those numbers would certainly indicate a team not in the race.

Cameron, Hoffman, Lopez, and Looper would be the guys who would bring the most, but none would be dealt if they are in the long-term plans...which in this case, would be 2010. There are several role players, including Counsell, Catalanotto, Kendall, and Gerut, that might interest a contender as well.


8/17/2009 10:29:00 PM



(8/17/2009 09:39:00 PM) - Al

The Crew has now signed their top 20 draft picks (including Scooter Gennett, who has signed now as well...he would have been a 3rd/4th round choice had he not said he was going to college), including several that fell due to signability issues for well over slot money.

They needed to rebuild the system after dealing over a dozen prospects in the past couple years. Adding a bunch of extra youngsters can't hurt.


8/17/2009 09:39:00 PM


Sunday, August 16, 2009

(8/16/2009 10:09:00 PM) - Al

I guess if "declaring victory" means giving up and going with a bipartisan compromise, they won.

Who says the country is full of apathy? Obama has hit on two issues (raising taxes and big gov't) that can unite the common man.

Back to the drawing board, and I think it is safe to say the bloom is off the rose.


8/16/2009 10:09:00 PM



(8/16/2009 09:48:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers had their sixth home-run replay of the season and third at Miller Park when Pence hit what was called a homer to left. The ball appeared to cross in front of the foul pole and land in the second deck. The umpires agreed and called it foul after looking at a replay.--JS

That's 0-6 for the year. No tag plays, no watching the foot and listening for the ball, no imaginary lines crossed with a check swing or not. This is, as easy can be "what side of the pole did the ball go past on?" stuff. My dog could do it, if he had the ability to reason and lift up the proper paw.

This is the state of major league umpiring. The days of even pretending they are anything but horrendous is long past. Consistently wrong is the only description that is accurate.

Update: Both Counsell and Braun immediately said the ball was foul...can someone explain why literally everyone saw it except the umpire?


8/16/2009 09:48:00 PM



(8/16/2009 09:02:00 PM) - Al

Tom H is reporting the Crew likely has a deal with supplemental 1st round pick Kentrail Davis, but won't announce it 'til tomorrow. I have read elsewhere they have signed 4th rounder Bo Hall, well above slot, and are awaiting MLB's approval.


8/16/2009 09:02:00 PM



(8/16/2009 07:56:00 PM) - Al

Variety of notes about the weekend:

---Lopez has just been outstanding, especially since he's obviously at less than 100%. Defense is not his strength, much like Weeks. I won't argue he is so good he can skate by a bit...just like Braun and Fielder, actually. I wish we had more guys like that, not less.

Gamel will probably be a better player than Felipe soon, but isn't now. This was a move by Doug that reminds you of just how Melvin "gets it".

--Speaking of gifted, have you seen Escobar play SS? Golly, he's smooth. He reminds me of a pair of things...one, how Rickie Weeks looked at the plate in A ball the year he was drafted...just above it all, like no one could get him out. Two, Dennis Miller's great line about how a black man just sort of begins moving with the music, while a white fella makes a conscious decision to begin dancing. Most shortstops are fine athletes who have been taught to play SS...Alcides looks born to do so. He may not hit a whole lot next year, but the way he runs, and seems willing to just slap the ball, he won't be hitting .220 either.

The folks who were not extremely excited about this kid are going to have egg on their face soon...they probably already do.

---Burns pitched nicely last night, but got lucky too...Lee hit a couple rockets to Counsell, Cat made a nice grab in RF as well. Today, the problem was not a couple HR's, the issue was walks (and a HBP) before the homers. Solo HR's rarely beat you, but HR's after free baserunners will make it very tough to get a W.

---Braun and Fielder are both seeing the ball well. If they can keep it up for a week or so, it will go a long way in winning 8 of 10 to get back to the point contention is not "what if".


8/16/2009 07:56:00 PM



(8/16/2009 09:32:00 AM) - Al

This is why the South votes red with rare exception, and why that "cling to their guns and religion" comment should be replayed on every ad in 2010 congressional ads.

Criminals don't get permits. It's ironic, but true.


8/16/2009 09:32:00 AM


Saturday, August 15, 2009

(8/15/2009 02:37:00 PM) - Al

10 years after breaking into the bigs with the Crew, Kevin Barker returns, now with the Reds. His AAA numbers have been consistent since...2003. Kudos to him for continuing to chase the dream.

He's probably every bit as good as many veteran 1B/OF types, but teams often choose to go with the experienced guy in bench roles. Good luck to him, it's a shame he has not found a niche in the show.


8/15/2009 02:37:00 PM



(8/15/2009 11:27:00 AM) - Al

These are ways to save water in the bathroom.

This is probably the most unintentionally funny thing I have ever posted here. The stress the authors feel over flushing or not, and composting your own waste is so over the top...I'm still laughing and I read it 10 minutes ago. Enjoy.


8/15/2009 11:27:00 AM


Friday, August 14, 2009

(8/14/2009 11:52:00 PM) - Al

That's funny, I could have swore Pelosi said just the opposite a few days ago.

Tough, consistent leadership isn't exactly her strength.

UPDATE: Glenn strikes again. The transparency makes her nothing but a caricature of herself. Seriously, when one just says the exact opposite from one moment to the next, I see them as ineffective clods.

Know what? I'm for minimal government, low taxes, and a strong national defense. Next week, next month, 3 years from now, I'm still going to be for the same things. Pelosi just goes where the breeze takes her. If I'm a Democrat, I'm embarrassed and looking for new, stronger leadership.


8/14/2009 11:52:00 PM



(8/14/2009 11:50:00 PM) - Al

So, am I supposed to lose sleep over the impending ice age, global warming, or the rainforest?

That does it, I'm up all night, worried about the weather, cursing progress and capitalists.


8/14/2009 11:50:00 PM



(8/14/2009 11:44:00 PM) - Al

Blaming TV and insurance companies for people not wanting to have the government run health care?

Is the administration really this out of touch? It's a known fact Clinton used to make decisions based on polls, yet these guys seem oblivious to them.


8/14/2009 11:44:00 PM



(8/14/2009 11:25:00 PM) - Al

Adam updates the draft pick signings, while the JS asks, "what draft picks"?

They might even sign a couple picks they did not plan on, guys drafted late that were expected to go to college, that were likely top 5 round talent had they been considered "signable". They might be using some money budgeted for adding a mythical pitcher that last place teams can't bear to deal.


8/14/2009 11:25:00 PM



(8/14/2009 06:44:00 PM) - Al

If Bourgeous takes over as the RF versus LHP, his splits over his career look pretty good. His walks when a southpaw pitches are especially good to see. As a speedy, all-around utility guy, he has a chance to impress and win a spot in '10.


8/14/2009 06:44:00 PM



(8/14/2009 06:36:00 PM) - Al

I never dreamed anyone would sign Vick so soon...I doubted until next year at least.

I'd rather lose without him that win with him, to quote the great Larry Miller, who owned the Jazz for years.


8/14/2009 06:36:00 PM



(8/14/2009 05:01:00 PM) - Al

BCB reports Escobar and Iribarren both won honors from PCL managers in BA.

I'm shocked to see Hernan be honored for his defense, as the one time I saw him, he looked as if he could barely field a ground ball without stumbling. He's out of options, I like him as a 2B/OF reserve, and cheap lefty line drive bat for '10.


8/14/2009 05:01:00 PM



(8/14/2009 03:32:00 PM) - Al

I realize that myself giving AG.com hits for his fine link report is redundant, but it's a high point of my week, and I like to share.

Sure that's kind of sad, but it's true.


8/14/2009 03:32:00 PM


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