Al's Ramblings

Friday, April 30, 2010

(4/30/2010 07:05:00 PM) - Al

Last night, the Rambling dog could not get settled into bed, and for those that know him, that is quite unusual. Twice, he wandered out to sit by the patio door and whine, as he watched big black bugs, that had come out with the rain, crawl around the deck. Our dog can barely hear at all anymore, so a scolding doesn't bother him.

At some point, I gave up and pulled the blanket closer to my ear to block the whines. At some point, he gave up, and returned to the bedroom, as he was on his bed (which looks a lot like a papazan chair) when the Rambling son awoke us this AM to grumpily request breakfast.

Of course, as much as I'd like to say he cares about their well being, the only interest he has in the bugs is to eat them. You can scoff, but in Thailand, I bet they go for $2/dozen, as they are HUGE.

4/30/2010 07:05:00 PM

(4/30/2010 06:49:00 PM) - Al

Tom H with bad news that Angel Salome will report to Arizona and work his way into shape because he's "not ready mentally" to play.

Salome already had one 50 game suspension because he was taking Adderall, a banned stimulant that is often prescribed for ADD. Because I'm just a lowly blogger who is unaffiliated with MLB, I will go ahead and say it...this is almost certainly due to one of two things:

1. Angel admitted to the Brewers he had used a banned substance, or tested positive in a team issued drug test, and the Crew cannot have him report to a team because another positive test would result in a 100 game suspension. However, I don't think players on the 40 man roster are subject to these minor league tests, so maybe this is an internal punishment/rehab.

2. Angel is suffering from some sort of mental issue, such as depression, or possibly feels he needs rehab (or, maybe his family pushed him toward taking care of the problem when he was home) and the Crew wants to get him some help before it becomes a serious problem. They also may have to have certain meds approved by MLB.

Again, I am just guessing here, I have no inside info. The most important thing is, Angel gets his life in order, and comes back when he's healthy. He's still extremely young, and to this point, baseball, especially hitting it, has not proven to be a problem. Taking time off to get his life together won't hurt a thing, except to have people like me trying to read between the lines (and admittedly, guilty as charged).

4/30/2010 06:49:00 PM

(4/30/2010 06:09:00 PM) - Al

Uecker's surgery went as planned, per the team.

4/30/2010 06:09:00 PM

(4/30/2010 09:49:00 AM) - Al

I'm off to Eagle river today for a meeting, but I played euchre online last night at Yahoo, probably for the 2nd time in 2 decades or so. A couple thoughts:

1. I've always had success at euchre, not sure if I'm good or he people I play are bad. I won 7 out of my first 8, then lost my final 4.

2. The games only went to 10, I have always played to 15. 10 is really, really quick.

3. The big issue I had was, if everyone passes, then no one declares trump, the dealer has to. I'm not sure if that's the way it's supposed to be or just a game speeding up feature Yahoo puts in, but it directly led to my defeat in 2 or 3 of the last 4 games. Add that to the fact it only takes 10 points to lose, and games could be over with a bad guess or two.

4. There's a lot of terrible players out there. I honestly don't think some people even knew the rules.

5. I realize this is not a high level, but, you'd people would refrain from cheating in the chat that everyone can see, especially since it's possible to send a private message.

4/30/2010 09:49:00 AM

(4/30/2010 07:23:00 AM) - Robert R.

A reminder, since we all like free stuff, that tomorrow is Free Comic Book Day. You can find nearby participating shops here.

4/30/2010 07:23:00 AM

(4/30/2010 12:40:00 AM) - Al

Mike Graham senses a tad bit of think?

4/30/2010 12:40:00 AM

(4/30/2010 12:32:00 AM) - Al

The Crew continues to be about 10 days behind last year's ticket sold pace, selling #2M today.

4/30/2010 12:32:00 AM

(4/30/2010 12:30:00 AM) - Al

Don't look now, but Jeff Suppan pitched pretty well, especially after his first inning of work. Kujdos to Jeff, who saved the bullpen and kept most of the bullpen fresh.

4/30/2010 12:30:00 AM

(4/30/2010 12:27:00 AM) - Al

...Carlos Villanueva could be the chic pick among Brewer Nation (to be the closer) because he's thrown 12 scoreless innings to start the season, but Villanueva has never been in the role either...--Tony W, JS

Carlos, of course, was the closer for much of the first month of April last season, when Hoffman was injured.

Just when you think he's hit rock bottom, Tony manages to dig a little more out of the hole.

And he gets paid to be the village idiot.

4/30/2010 12:27:00 AM

Thursday, April 29, 2010

(4/29/2010 02:11:00 PM) - Al

Heh, as if boycotts weren't enough of a waste of time...

4/29/2010 02:11:00 PM

(4/29/2010 01:51:00 PM) - Al

Casey McGehee and wife Sarah on birth of daughter, Cooper Reece! All are healthy, Casey to rejoin team on Friday--Brewers, Twitter

Hopefully, Stan Kyles and Ueck will have good news from the hospital this week as well.

4/29/2010 01:51:00 PM

(4/29/2010 01:27:00 PM) - Al

Hardy out today with turf toe...wasn't he bothered by this last year too? This seems like an ongoing issue you'd think they'd correct.

4/29/2010 01:27:00 PM

(4/29/2010 12:57:00 PM) - Al


Love your blog, I check it often. I hate the way so many blogs just rip on players, and then treat them like gods when they go 3-4.

Two questions for you. Nashville is having a stadium issue, where would be a perfect place for the Brewers to have their AAA club? Also, why is there so much talk today about "how hard the Bucks play?" Atlanta missed several point blank shots and as usually happens, when you get lucky, things often go your way. Are we really so dense that we think hard work trumps talent?


I just got hom, and the Bucks rebroadcast is on the last 4 minutes thus far, ATL has lost the ball as they went up for a layup/dunk and then missed a layup. They then had a missed FT by Jennings miss so badly it bounced well over the head of the inside rebounder, and the Bucks got it. Then they missed an open 3, got the rebound, and missed an 8 footer, mildly contested.

Don't get me wrong, Ersan made a heckuva play, grabbing a rebound and saving it, but the key factor was, ATL missed shots, and Salmons, Ridnour, and Delfino all hit 3's. So often, games like that come down to that...who hits their jumpers.

While the Bucks deserve a ton of credit, as without Bogut, they are out-talented, without a doubt, the cliches always get brought out at times like these.

As for AAA, the Brewers would be best served if they had a team in Madison or Appleton, if such a AAA franchise existed. However, anywhere within a couple hours drive time, with good facilities of course, is ideal. I don't think one exists, and certainly not an open one. Other than that, I'm sure they'd prefer a team with a ballpark that plays "normal", as opposed to many of the west coast PCL parks, which play like Coors Field pre-humidor or Wrigley with the wind blowing out.

4/29/2010 12:57:00 PM

(4/29/2010 10:36:00 AM) - Robert R.

I'm kind of reluctant to do in depth movie reviews during Brewers season, at least not while I'm also talking about The Pacific, so a couple of quick hitters on films I've seen at preview screenings.

MOTHER AND CHILD is poised to open just before Mother's Day and has a really talented cast. Unfortunately it's about as subtle and insightful as a sledgehammer with people speaking in self aware declarative sentences instead of having actual dialogue. And no bit of manipulation left untouched, including the wise beyond her years blind girl who sees the world more clearly than a central character. Frankly, it reminds me of CRASH. And that's no compliment.

THE NECESSITIES OF LIFE fares much better. It's kind of a movie that tries to bring a strict adherence to historical accuracy and issues ala a documentary but also tell a moving story. It doesn't hit a home run, but it's a solid movie. It's also a movie without a villain, which perhaps stalls it a bit on pure entertainment grounds. It is very well shot and acted and one that uses closeups on actors and their reactions to good effect.

I did post a review of MADEO (MOTHER) earlier. So far, it's the best movie I've seen this year. It opens tomorrow in Milwaukee and it's grown in my estimation. If you're interested in something meaty before the Summer popcorn season opens, it has my highest recommendation. Certainly it's a far better and more entertaining film than the unnecessary NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET remake that opens tomorrow.

4/29/2010 10:36:00 AM

(4/29/2010 10:33:00 AM) - Al

Oprah should be ashamed for giving this harlot another minute of fame.

4/29/2010 10:33:00 AM

(4/29/2010 10:27:00 AM) - Al

Fresh fruit and veggies wrapped in plastic last a lot longer and get thrown out less.

Once again, plastic simply makes financial sense.

4/29/2010 10:27:00 AM

(4/29/2010 10:12:00 AM) - Al

Riot police called in to quell mob outside Obama event.

Take a gander at the protesters.

4/29/2010 10:12:00 AM

(4/29/2010 09:58:00 AM) - Al

The Bucks' official blogger has his take on Game 5.

I hope this is not the high point of the season, but if it is, the Bucks are suddenly being talked about, which can only be a good thing as far as keeping the team in Milwaukee long-term, as well as selling tickets short-term.

4/29/2010 09:58:00 AM

(4/29/2010 09:53:00 AM) - Al

Bradley Center sold out for Friday.

The magic of the internet, I bet they sold thousands overnight.

4/29/2010 09:53:00 AM

(4/29/2010 09:48:00 AM) - Al

More players added to the all-star games, and pitchers who start Sunday will be replaced.

'Bout time.

4/29/2010 09:48:00 AM

(4/29/2010 09:45:00 AM) - Al

A review of Miller Park is up at Stadium Journeys.

4/29/2010 09:45:00 AM

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

(4/28/2010 10:53:00 PM) - Al

This is why teams kept calling and asking the Bucks if Kurt Thomas was available, and why the Bucks kept saying no...when Thomas was on the floor, the Bucks outscored the Hawks by 21 points in Game 5.


4/28/2010 10:53:00 PM

(4/28/2010 10:33:00 PM) - Al

Wind farm approved in Nantucket Sound.

Depending on your beliefs, Teddy Kennedy is either spinning in his grave, or is muttering in Hell, "Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse."

That's a shame.

"loons will likely abandon the area for years to come"

I seriously doubt the Kennedys are just going to up and move.--From the comments of the news story

Heh. I wonder if the Kennedys know (or care) how despised they are by all but the extreme far-left.

4/28/2010 10:33:00 PM

(4/28/2010 10:29:00 PM) - Al

It will be interesting to see how violence is reported, if there is any, this weekend at the May Day rallies.

The irony is, the press seems disappointed that there is no violence at the tea party rallies, and seem to report it as "no violence yet". With lots of anger and a much younger crowd, I'd be shocked if no confrontations occur, yet I have to think some spin will be taking place.

4/28/2010 10:29:00 PM

(4/28/2010 10:25:00 PM) - Al

IOC takes a decade to figure out Chinese girl was too young, USA belatedly given bronze medal.

That, my friends, is inefficiency at its finest.

4/28/2010 10:25:00 PM

(4/28/2010 10:17:00 PM) - Al

Free tickets to Friday's game, with a large financial commitment for next season.:)

Good to see the Bucks being imaginative and marketing themselves strongly.

4/28/2010 10:17:00 PM

(4/28/2010 10:13:00 PM) - Al

I know several people who say they won't watch the NBA for a variety of reasons.

They don't know what they're missing. That was a very unlikely win for the Bucks, and required fierce defense and some 3 point shooting (and free throw shooting).

We'll see you Friday night.

4/28/2010 10:13:00 PM

(4/28/2010 06:27:00 PM) - Al

So, does anyone else find it shocking the pope hasn't already apologized for the many cases of sexual abuse that were covered up?

4/28/2010 06:27:00 PM

(4/28/2010 06:21:00 PM) - Al

Macha on Hoffman: "That’s two days in a row for him. Tomorrow, if we have a chance to win it, perhaps it will be somebody else at the end.”--Adam on Twitter

This almost hints at a "mental break", but it seems apparent that, at best, the leash is quite short. As I said before, it's one thing if he gives up a bloop hit and a walk, it's another when there's a HR every inning.

4/28/2010 06:21:00 PM

(4/28/2010 06:09:00 PM) - Al

It's funny, because it's true.

And heavens yes, let's add more bureaucracy and cost to government.

4/28/2010 06:09:00 PM

(4/28/2010 06:05:00 PM) - Al

Jason sent this in...let's all put out trust in the government.

Paula Oertel, on Medicare, has a brain tumor that had miraculously been in remission for nine years thanks to a type of interferon approved for multiple sclerosis but not for cancer. Medicare had been paying about $100,000 a year for the drug, but when Oertel relocated from one county in Wisconsin to another, 30 miles away, it triggered an automatic, full-scale review of her records, at which point officials realized that her drug was unauthorized and stopped paying. According to a March Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report, her doctors scrambled to find a drug on the "approved" list, but discovered neither a less expensive one nor one nearly as effective, and Oertel's tumor has returned.--JS

I believe this is a form of rationing, you know, which never happens, we were told.

Whenever there is a third party between you and effective treatment, it cannot turn out well.

4/28/2010 06:05:00 PM

(4/28/2010 06:03:00 PM) - Al

Nanny state may soon be the law.

Oy vey.

4/28/2010 06:03:00 PM

(4/28/2010 05:31:00 PM) - Al

McGehee will go home to be with his wife, who is due to give birth to child #2, and he will miss the game tomorrow night. Edmonds hurt himself sliding home, he would have had to be removed had the game continued. Crew might well be two players down and have a tired 'pen. Heck, if Edmonds is going to miss a few days, they might bring up an extra arm.

No rest for the unfortunate.

I heard Schroeder wonder if the Pirates "knew" what was coming, and after Doumit hit a change below the knees out, you do have to wonder. It was not as blatant as the Stahoviak one that would have bounced in the dirt, but while it was middle of the plate, that's usually a base hit, not a 350 foot blast. Bill's note about the swings and misses was well taken...the hitters do not seem at all fooled. Maybe they're just seeing it well out of his hand, I suppose.

4/28/2010 05:31:00 PM

(4/28/2010 12:36:00 PM) - Al

I recall Tom H once saying, paraphrasing here,

Ryan Braun experiences success at just about everything he attempts.

I think he was actually answering a chat question about if Braun had a girlfriend, but it can be taken many ways. Fact is, he just seems to "get it", whether it be baserunning, signing long-term, or whatever.

4/28/2010 12:36:00 PM

(4/28/2010 12:30:00 PM) - Al

Macha compares Hoffman's struggles to Frank Thomas a few years ago.

Ken is not one to overreact, that's for sure.

4/28/2010 12:30:00 PM

(4/28/2010 12:08:00 PM) - Al

This is why it's taking a long time to win in Afghanistan...take a look at the powerpoint presentation. Egads.

4/28/2010 12:08:00 PM

(4/28/2010 11:47:00 AM) - Al

Glenn with a bunch of ARI immigration links. I agree with him, I could not have supported the bill, but something needs to be done to stop illegal immigration and make legal immigration (you know, the gov't is in charge of it) easier and less of a disaster.

Meghan McCain actually summed it up pretty well, as this is a plea by the border states to the feds to actually stem the flow. Right now, it's as easy to cross the border as it is to order fries at McDonald's...and if you're caught, you're taken back in a comfy air-conditioned border patrol vehicle and you try again the next day/night.

When a problem is ignored by the feds, states will do what they can to stay afloat. It's a bad law, but it is only there because DC not only refuses to fix the problem, but even admit one exists.

4/28/2010 11:47:00 AM

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

(4/27/2010 11:34:00 PM) - Al

One inch of rain over one square mile is 17,378,700 gallons of water.--OMG Facts, Twitter

We never learned anything like that in science class. That's a shame.

4/27/2010 11:34:00 PM

(4/27/2010 11:29:00 PM) - Al

Adam discusses the lack of change-ups, Hoffman says he feels fine and it's all about location.

4/27/2010 11:29:00 PM

(4/27/2010 10:39:00 PM) - Al

I admit, I find it hilarious that a guy who ran on an empty slogan and whose voting record made him a very apparent tax and spend liberal is still bringing out such "I can't believe this" rhetoric.

The irony here is, he hasn't even begun to see criticism like W did. Bush just took it and, you know, kept doing the same thing he always did...much of it unpopular then, but so popular now Obama hasn't changed a thing in the foreign policy realm despite campaigning against it heavily, when he wasn't putting his foot in his mouth or muttering "hope and change" like it, you know, meant something.

If the midterms go as many expect, I think we can expect a stern lecture come the first Wednesday in November.

4/27/2010 10:39:00 PM

(4/27/2010 10:16:00 PM) - Al

Not counting int. BB, Hoffman threw 20 pitches in 9th. Only three were changeups. Does that sound like him? Very strange.--Tom H, Twitter

It's also not like Hoffman to be missing his fastball location by a foot...or more. He obviously does not feel comfortable with his change, for whatever reason, but he's used his fastball to set up his change forever. He did perform admirably in the blowouts he pitched in, though I can't say he threw many change-ups in the 20-0 game.

So often, when a player's performance is well below what is the norm, an injury is the cause. I wonder what type of arm problem would be more bothersome throwing a change...anything come to mind?

It's one thing to blow a couple saves on bloop hits and seeing-eye grounders, but Hoffman has to know he's way off. Could it be a delivery thing, I s'pose. It will be difficult to find, because Rick P has never worked with him before. Trevor is very limited if he's not the closer, as he's a one inning guy, and has been for a decade...he's not going to start going 2 without issues.

I would assume the braintrust will sit down with him tonight or tomorrow and just ask him if he's healthy, and if he has any idea. He did not give any inkling of a problem after his SL 2 HR allowed game, just that he was not pitching well. Of course, the list of players that try to "play through it" is long. If they are aware of an issue, I would assume his outing tonight will be his final one for a while. If not, it will be interesting to see how they let him work, in low leverage situations, in the bullpen, or what.

4/27/2010 10:16:00 PM

(4/27/2010 08:49:00 PM) - Al

The key to the new health care bill is rationing boards.

I don't recall that being mentioned in the media...of course, no one has read it.

4/27/2010 08:49:00 PM

(4/27/2010 07:18:00 PM) - Al

Tony W discusses how bad the pitching is in his chat.

Of course, as is his forte, he babbles on incessantly, using mindless cliches and very little in the way of facts. He just seems to say the pitching, especially the rotation, is not good enough to contend, even with a plus offense.

Here's how I projected the starters, along with their '09 and career numbers:

Gallardo--3.80 (3.73, 3.56)
Wolf------4.20 (3.23, 4.12)
Bush------4.60 (6.38, 4.69)
Davis-----4.40 (4.12, 4.35)
Suppan----5.00 (5.29, 4.70)

Now, if you just combine all 5 ERA's, without concern for Yo being projected for more frames, you come up with a 4.40 ERA, which last year would have been 8th in the NL. For comparison's sake, the Phillies rotation had a 4.29 ERA last season, and I seem to recall they had some success.

So, Tony seems to be incorrect in his assumption that a rotation such as this cannot contend with a good offense. Now, if he has concerns about rotation depth, or that my predictions are as wacky as his ability to write a coherent sentence, that is another thing, but he never touches on why, just that the staff is not that good. However, considering that TW has made lack of research a trademark, I'm sure he just doesn't think the staff will do idea why, maybe a gut feeling, or quite probably, he has no idea what compromises a good staff, a decent one, and so on, and he's not going to spend a minute of his off-the-charts cool life ciphering like I just did.

4/27/2010 07:18:00 PM

(4/27/2010 07:14:00 PM) - Al

Uecker to have heart surgery, out 10-12 weeks.

That seems like a very long recovery, in today's medical world at least, so I guess this is mighty serious stuff.

4/27/2010 07:14:00 PM

(4/27/2010 06:17:00 PM) - Al

Yeah, it takes a lot to convince high school kids to cut class.

You'll note, recently, the answer to most problems tends to be "just spend more money". I believe they refer to that as "trickle down"...

4/27/2010 06:17:00 PM

Monday, April 26, 2010

(4/26/2010 10:36:00 PM) - Al

These AB's count as much as any other. Stats still count, even when it's 13-2...ask Casey.

4/26/2010 10:36:00 PM

(4/26/2010 10:21:00 PM) - Al

I was going to mention the 3 consecutive LH SP's, but forgot. I would assume they might "rearrange" on the next off day. I'd hate to face a team that hits southpaws hard like the Brewers do and have all 3 of them going.

4/26/2010 10:21:00 PM

(4/26/2010 10:11:00 PM) - Al

Prince has two base-hits right where the three INF's would be playing if the Pirates did the shift like other clubs do. He's still not hitting HR's, but he looks like he's seeing the ball nicely.

4/26/2010 10:11:00 PM

(4/26/2010 10:05:00 PM) - Al

The Bucks even things up 2-2. We will hear extension talk for Hammond and Skiles this summer, and with merit.

Great to see a sellout as well. A lot of folks have said "Who cares?" to talk of the Bucks not having a modern building and possibly being on the short list of teams that could relocate. Hopefully, memories of a sold-out BC and the excitement created by that pushes the, ahem, somewhat slow to act city and/or county to take steps to at least find a home for the next indoor arena.

I doubt the Petits are going to donate another one, fellas.

4/26/2010 10:05:00 PM

(4/26/2010 09:51:00 PM) - Al

Do they add a TV timeout or two during the NBA playoffs? Every game I see, each team has 2 fulls and 2 20's with about 3 minutes left.

4/26/2010 09:51:00 PM

(4/26/2010 09:43:00 PM) - Al

You forget how well Yo pitched until Parra comes in and allows shots.

4/26/2010 09:43:00 PM

(4/26/2010 09:16:00 PM) - Al

LaRoche should have just hung back, took the easy hop, and had no play on Braun.

When you have a know nothing as the scorer, you have to think like a contrarian, and not try and make a smart play.

4/26/2010 09:16:00 PM

(4/26/2010 09:13:00 PM) - Al

You can be a little off with location when you're hitting 96 on the gun like Evan Meek. That's Turnbow type stuff out there.

4/26/2010 09:13:00 PM

(4/26/2010 08:45:00 PM) - Al

I thought Prince was telling Braun to steal 3B so he could steal 2B, but on the replay, Prince looked like he never gave it a thought.

4/26/2010 08:45:00 PM

(4/26/2010 08:28:00 PM) - Al

Maybe I'm over thinking since he had an error tonight, but McGehee does not seem to be moving very well.

Meanwhile, Escobar continues to struggle with routine throws. I expected him to be good for 30 errors or so, with many great plays, but he's on pace for 50. The irony is, many looked at his offensive numbers and were worried, and I disagreed, seeing a 22 year-old who did fine at AAA. His bat seems ahead of his glove, somehow.

4/26/2010 08:28:00 PM

(4/26/2010 08:07:00 PM) - Al

One of the best quotes I've heard this year was Ken Macha saying that back when he was an advance scout, one of his duties was to chart every pitch. He said:

I noticed that almost every HR was just a terrible pitch.

I recall Mark McGwire saying "It's up to the pitcher," as if he was just a bystander. But what he was saying was, with rare exception, his HR's were on mistakes. There are exceptions...Prince has been known to golf low pitches out, when he's going good especially.

4/26/2010 08:07:00 PM

(4/26/2010 07:55:00 PM) - Al

Mackey Sasser had Dave Cone running all over the place when he could not throw the ball back to the mound, Cone was exhausted after 5 innings or so. Zaun was holding his arm funny and rotating it after his misadventures, so he must have hurt it somehow, as he's been fine since.

4/26/2010 07:55:00 PM

(4/26/2010 07:54:00 PM) - Al

How small is the strike zone tonight. Up and down, it's from the top of the belt the bottom of the belt buckle.

4/26/2010 07:54:00 PM

(4/26/2010 07:48:00 PM) - Al

Doumit is unhappy because that call is "out" 98% of the time. Often, if the ball beats you by that much, and the catcher hold onto the ball, "out" is the call regardless of the tag being high, being missed, whatever.

Nice coaching though, it took two perfect throws for the ball to beat him. With two outs, you make them make the play.

4/26/2010 07:48:00 PM

(4/26/2010 07:44:00 PM) - Al

Charter somehow managed to get the Brewers on channel 88 tonight.

I hope they're enjoying their ice cold lemonade in hell...

4/26/2010 07:44:00 PM

(4/26/2010 05:52:00 PM) - Al

Camping out for an app.

It's like no one recalls a thing from Carter/Reagan. Those who do not learn from history...

4/26/2010 05:52:00 PM

(4/26/2010 05:30:00 PM) - Al

NSA chief tells anti-Semitic joke.

We should be honored such respectable men choose to lead us commoners.

And, in an offense I consider even more bothersome, it wasn't funny either.

4/26/2010 05:30:00 PM

(4/26/2010 04:31:00 PM) - Al

MLBTR gathers up the reactions to the Howard saying "It's too much for his 32-36 seasons" may be the kindest thus far*.

*If you leave out Jon Heyman's, who is a paid shill** for Scott Boras.

**No offense intended to paid shills.

4/26/2010 04:31:00 PM

(4/26/2010 04:28:00 PM) - Al

What do economists know about economics?

Next thing you know, they'll be spreading falsehoods that less government intervention sparks growth!

4/26/2010 04:28:00 PM

(4/26/2010 04:11:00 PM) - Al

This is why you avoid having position players pitch.

One thing I would do is ask around in March if one of your reserves has pitched before and if you're going to have one or two be your emergency pitcher, have them work in the bullpen once in a while, to ensure they have some kind of decent form. Jose Canseco was never the same after he pitched, and many others have hurt themselves.

It would be nice if you had a guy who could throw some sort of trick pitch, like a knuckleball up there, and be able to get guys out (or, at least have a chance at doing so) while not risking their arm landing on the mound; but I doubt many reserves can do that.

4/26/2010 04:11:00 PM

(4/26/2010 04:05:00 PM) - Al

In shock. Met Kevin Restani for the first time before game 3 on Saturday. Played 5 season with the Bucks in mid to late 70's. RIP

Will have a moment of silence for former Buck Kevin Restani tonight. Passed this morning. Kevin was in Milw. playing in a tournament.--Jim Paschke, Twitter

I can't believe a guy played with the Bucks for 5 years that I have no recollection of, even if I was a little kid.

UPDATE: He was a 6-9 F/C who played 4 seasons with the Bucks. He was 58.

4/26/2010 04:05:00 PM

(4/26/2010 03:59:00 PM) - Al

with howard getting $25M a yr for 5 yrs, $200M for 8 doesn't sound so crazy for prince, who's 5 yrs younger than howard--Jon Heyman, SI, Twitter

Heyman doesn't really do much besides get info and propaganda from Scott Boras, who just happens to be Prince's agent, and relay it to the world. That said, I would tend to agree. When one team overpays, that increases the value of all similar players.

It'd be different if Prince was a SS or C, but 1B is the easiest spot to fill on the diamond.

4/26/2010 03:59:00 PM

(4/26/2010 03:50:00 PM) - Al

Brewers have won 21 games in a row at home against Pittsburgh entering three-game series at Miller Park tonight.--Tom H, Twitter

That's just freaky, and a mathematically anomaly. The '62 Mets would win 3-4 games out of 21 versus the '29 Yankees, so this is well beyond common sense.

4/26/2010 03:50:00 PM

(4/26/2010 03:39:00 PM) - Al

...the Phillies have signed Ryan Howard to a five-year contract extension for $125 million with an option for a sixth year for another $23 million. Howard is in the middle of a three-year, $54 million deal and would have been a free agent after the 2011 season. The extension begins in 2012.

That deal takes one of the slugging first basemen off the market after 2011. Prince Fielder, Albert Pujols and Adrian Gonzalez remain on target for free agency at that time. What effect the Howard signing has on the Brewers' negotiations remains to be seen. He is five years older at 30...--JS

Oof. If Ryan Howard is going to get $25M per in his seasonal ages of 32-36, Prince is worth $28-30M while he is 27-31.

I thought they might well come to an agreement with Prince for 4-5 years, at about $20M per. This throws that under the bus, and makes me question the risk, given Prince's body type and his ability to age gracefully.

I'm back to thinking Prince will be quietly put on the market after the '10 season, and hope some club needs a 1B badly enough to pay a Teixeira-like package for him.

4/26/2010 03:39:00 PM

(4/26/2010 11:26:00 AM) - Robert R.

Thoughts on The Pacific, Part 7

Part 7 was perhaps a good lesson on the limits of judging a series on an episode by episode basis. I've complained before about how The Pacific in prior episodes really didn't do justice to the extended siege of Pacific islands, and lo and behold this episode was all about the extended effort to roust the Japanese out of a network of caves and tunnels on Peleliu. And, I think it was one of the best episodes of the series to date as a result.

Part of what I think made this episode work is that with the exception of seeing Basilone growing disillusioned with his War Bonds campaigning, the episode was focussed almost exclusively on Sledge and his experiences. And I think the episode was stronger because it didn't revolve around on giant set piece, but smaller actions that built on one another and were all, right down the line, brutal in their own way. One thing The Pacific has been uniformally excellent at is at displaying combat as brutal. The episode and show probably reached a grim apotheosis with Snafu flinging pebbles into a dead Japanese soldier's brain pan, with grotesque little splashes, while Sledge considers collecting his own gold teeth. And Sledge's final decision, neither purely good or capriciously venal, struck the right note of keeping Sledge sympathetic but also human.

The other moment that really stuck with me was seeing the seemingly indestructable Gunny breakdown under the strain.

Hard to find much to complain about in an episode as brutal and focussed as this one. I suppose it's fair to say that none of the secondary characters has really registered to date, so it's hard to work up the same sort of empathy for the main characters when a comrade that the viewer doesn't really know gets blown away. We see the effect on the soldiers, but we don't feel the loss. They almost pulled it off with Captain Haldane, but even he was only in a handful of scenes.

Hardly a huge mark against such an effective episode. We'll see if The Pacific has more of that before the end.

4/26/2010 11:26:00 AM

Sunday, April 25, 2010

(4/25/2010 10:15:00 PM) - Al

Doug Melvin walks out of the Milwaukee Brewers' clubhouse 15 minutes before a game, and sure enough, Ryan Braun is off in a corner doing some last-minute video prep work, taking another look at that day's opposing pitcher.

There has never been a need to nudge Braun to work, the Brewers' GM mused Saturday. Braun always has kept himself in excellent physical condition, whether during the season or the offseason, and he has pushed himself to improve, to learn more, to excel.

"He's got high standards," Melvin said. "He's got goals. He's trying to be even better than what he is."--Buster Olney blog, ESPN

Braun is probably taken for granted as much as any superstar the Brewers have ever had. With Pujols now 30+, and Braun still closing in on his mythical peak, I think he'll surpass Albert in a year or two.

4/25/2010 10:15:00 PM

(4/25/2010 10:01:00 PM) - Al

This still does not explain why Madonna (who's from Detroit) now speaks with a British accent.

I would say something about the fact that I still speak with no accent, because I'm not ashamed of who I am, but it would be in poor taste.

4/25/2010 10:01:00 PM

(4/25/2010 09:58:00 PM) - Al

This may explain why he did not think he had to pay real taxes.

We should be honored such great men rule us.

4/25/2010 09:58:00 PM

(4/25/2010 08:36:00 PM) - Al

Four years of talking down to me...

That was a spot on call.

4/25/2010 08:36:00 PM

(4/25/2010 06:36:00 PM) - Al

BBC lectures us incessantly on climate change. So why did their bosses make 68,000 domestic flights in two years? I’ll believe it’s a crisis when the people who keep telling me it’s a crisis start acting like it’s a crisis.--Instapundit

I just want to see someone who does not have financial motivation be worried about it. Al Gore has been caught in so many half-truths and outright lies, he's become even more of a caricature of himself than he once was...if that's possible.

Go invent the internet again buddy, and shut up.

4/25/2010 06:36:00 PM

(4/25/2010 03:13:00 PM) - Al

LaTroy Hawkins now up in the #Brewers bullpen. So not only are they getting blown out, they're blowing through the relief corps.--Adam M, Twitter

I wouldn't have taken Bush out after a ground ball single between Rickie and Prince just for that reason. Down 9-0, the odds of winning the game are so slight, the emphasis has to be on saving the pitching staff. I realize no one wants to embarrass Dave out there, but the difference is measurable between going 3.2 frames and 5.

They might have been more willing to "punt" had they been on the road as well. When you look at the big picture, you can't worry about minor concerns. At that point, you're not really playing for today anymore, since the odds of a victory are nearly zero.

4/25/2010 03:13:00 PM

(4/25/2010 12:38:00 PM) - Al

How transparent is the faux "debate" on whether or not Prince needs a day off? Braun and Weeks have also played every game, as has McGehee, until today, but since Fielder is the only one off to a bit of a slow start (which is his norm), the question is only being asked of him.

This past Tuesday night, some casual on a message board put forth Prince "looked tired" and "could use a day off"...being unaware Prince, and the entire team just had Monday off.

It's pretty easy to look at Cal Ripken Jr's career and see playing every day devastated his September numbers. Prince has been right on the ball of late, just ahead of a few in PIT and one off the top of the wall the other night. As Davey Nelson pointed out, there seems to be a direct correlation between the Brewers not scoring and facing tough pitchers who are on their game, like Dempster and Lilly. Those that fail to realize that, well, I'm not sure there's much helping them.

4/25/2010 12:38:00 PM

(4/25/2010 11:55:00 AM) - Al

Suppan to the bullpen, Narveson into the rotation.

I gotta admit, I'm surprised by the move, as two starts, both well out of routine, seem like a very small sample to base this on. That, and as I said yesterday, I can easily imagine Soup putting together decent 5th starter numbers, and it's difficult imagining him having success in relief.

It would appear the braintrust is thinking right along with Martin.

4/25/2010 11:55:00 AM

Saturday, April 24, 2010

(4/24/2010 07:16:00 PM) - Al

No note at Fox Sports about alternate channels tonight, but there is about it because the game is available on WGN? Not that Charter would have figured it out anyway, I'm sure.

The Bucks and their fan are still figuring out this playoff thing. They tweeted all week to wear red to the game...and by the looks of it, no one did. I had assumed they would wear their red uniforms if they wanted folks to wear red...and they are in their home whites, ATL is in red. Plus, they put a red towel on the back of everyone's seat, and I have not noticed any waving yet.

Congrats to John Hammond for winning the NBA exec of the year award. He did a very nice job creating cap room and adding role players to go with Bogut and his newly drafted Jennings.

4/24/2010 07:16:00 PM

(4/24/2010 05:15:00 PM) - Al

Adam reports the 5th spot is still being discussed.

4/24/2010 05:15:00 PM

(4/24/2010 03:28:00 PM) - Al

Hey Al,

Love the site and check it daily, usually multiple times. I enjoyed your writeup on Suppan today, as it seemed like you cleared your mind surrounding all things Suppan. I have always seen you as somewhat of a Suppan apologist, and, no offense, I think part of that comes with the pride you have in being a contrarian. But, I enjoyed your objectivity when you said you understand that Suppan may very well be a worse #5 SP than Narveson or Parra, even if he hits his projections.

I also am in complete agreement about the importance of keeping pitching depth; Murphy's Law tells us that as soon as we cut Suppan, Bush or Davis would probably suffer an injury, and our depth would be gone. However, my plan would be to simply put Suppan in the bullpen and shift Narveson or Parra (I'd prefer Parra) to the Rotation. If Narveson/Parra is better than Suppan, which you admitted is a distinct possibility, why not switch their role with Suppan while still maintaining the depth? Parra has rarely been used in high-leverage situations anyways, so I don't think it'd be a major adjustment for the team to have Suppan in an Elmer Dessens-type role.

Finally, my one worry is that Suppan has a good outing against an awful Pirates club. You and I both know the dangers of small samples, which is why you've discouraged people from writing off Suppan based on 2 poor outings. My worry is that one good start against the Pirates will leave the DM and KM feeling like Suppan has found his groove again, delaying a shift to the pen that may be warranted.

Thanks for your time, and keep rambling,


I think Suppan would be terrible in the bullpen, so I disagree. Yes, the 12th man usually pitches in low leverage spots, but after a short outing due to a blister and a 14 inning affair, the 12th man might well be the guy to pitch the 7th inning in a 4-3 game. "Usually" is not "always".

Suppan is one of the best people in the sport, and in case of a tie, I'd prefer he remain. Honestly, that's probably why Hall was DFA'd, as we've heard rumors of a late-night lifestyle and disagreement in when he should go to the minors (and maybe return) since, though the Brewers always remain mute on such subjects. Let's be honest, Jason B was not much of an upgrade, to say the least. Hall still is a plus defender at a couple spots and can hit lefties, and JB can run fast.

Thanks for writing and reading, Martin.

4/24/2010 03:28:00 PM

(4/24/2010 03:16:00 PM) - Al

I recall Clinton going to some western state on vacation for political purposes as well, but c'mon, go on vacation where you want to go on vacation.

Someday, when someone writes a history of the current administration, I think a good working title would be "The Campaign of Infinite Length." Seriously, who has time to govern when another election is 2.5 years away?

I can just imagine Obama on the evening of 9/11, instead of giving possibly the best speech of his presidency, as W did, sitting with Rahm and saying, "I dunno, what do you think the rubes wanna hear?"

4/24/2010 03:16:00 PM

(4/24/2010 03:07:00 PM) - Al

Somehow, sending your ace pitcher off to pick up debris does not sound like a good idea to me.

Not to mention, Roy could easily hire a few unemployed fellas to assist in the cleanup and not just help them out, but never even notice his wallet was $5K lighter. He could also support his teammates and not be at risk of a nail through the hand.

4/24/2010 03:07:00 PM

(4/24/2010 02:36:00 PM) - Al

I shouldn't even get into this, because it's going to lead to a long post critical of most fans, but I need to write out my feelings on Jeff Suppan.

I understand "sunk cost" as well as anyone. I also am well aware that if Jeff hits projections, or even matches last year, Parra or Narveson may be a better choice to be the 5th SP, and if that's the case, there's no way Suppan could be expected to outperform any number of pitchers currently at AAA...Stetter, Loe, Smith, Braddock, Estrada, Dillard (who is off to an awesome start, after a terrible '09) and maybe 1-2 more in the bullpen.

So, as I was thinking this morning, as I tried to decide if I wanted to watch the investment shows or sleep a couple more hours (FYI, sleep won), if you are looking at only today, or today and tomorrow, or, the short term (I just defined most every casual fan, by the way), this might be a better team without Jeff. So, the argument certainly has merit, at least in the here and now.

The question I have, especially after we suffered through injuries to 2 SP's last year (Bush/Suppan) and another who was very ineffective (Parra), is how would the rotation look if the same thing occurred this season. Hence, right now, our #6/7 SP's are obvious, Narveson and Parra. I would assume #8 would be Loe or Estrada, as of today, and the other would be #9. Should Chris and Manny move to the rotation, replacements would likely come from the trio of Smith, Braddock, and Stetter.

So, let's take a gander without Jeff, that moves Narveson into the starting staff, and Stetter back into the 'pen. Your 3 SP reserves are now Parra, Loe, and Estrada...would you project them to be equal to Suppan's output. I like Kam and Marco, but would not expect both to be better than Suppan.

So, how many SP's are you going to need? Well, no one knows, but we can make an educated guess. I'm going to pick 5 teams at random and see what they used last season. TOR, CLE, OAK, PHIL, and SF were the 5 I chose, one from each division other than the Crew's.


Looking at this, you're going to need nine SP's, and quite likely more than that. So, in order to maximize your wins, weakening your SP depth is not the way to do so. However, keeping a SP that's not doing the job is not going to win many games either. The irony is, however, the worst SP thus far has been Doug Davis, so unless you want to change out a pair of SP's, now is probably not the time to make a move. Suppan had a pair of weak starts last year, and then settled in nicely. Davis has years of ERA's in the low 4's, and a xFIP near that this it seems likely his ERA will not be 10+ in a couple weeks.

Plus, looking ahead, Soup's next two starts will be home versus PIT, and in LA, while Davis will start in a pair of pitcher's parks, SD and LA after tonight. Hopefully, they will look a bit more like themselves by mid-May. I'd schedule a meeting then and take a fresh look at things...nothing says poor management more than making decisions based on a tiny sample of less than 10% of the campaign.

4/24/2010 02:36:00 PM

(4/24/2010 01:01:00 PM) - Al

I'm sorry, but for ESPN2 to be broadcasting the Penn State spring football game is just offensive. I can only imagine the heads of the tennis and golf tours must sit there and say, "What do we have to do?"

4/24/2010 01:01:00 PM

(4/24/2010 12:53:00 PM) - Al

Weekly update...down 20 pounds even in 3 weeks. I had some back issues this week, so I did not bike Wed/Thurs/Fri, so, considering that, the week's results are ok.

4/24/2010 12:53:00 PM

(4/24/2010 12:50:00 PM) - Al

If you want to follow Lane on Twitter, click here.

I've had some people ask why I'm not on Twitter, and to be blunt, I just post my would be Twitter postings here. I am on Twitter, I just read and never post there.

4/24/2010 12:50:00 PM

(4/24/2010 12:01:00 PM) - Al

Austen Lane, from Murray State, who grew up in Iola, drafted in the 5th round by Jacksonville. Congrats to him and his family.

4/24/2010 12:01:00 PM

Friday, April 23, 2010

(4/23/2010 11:18:00 PM) - Al

Marmol threw 22 pitches, including 17 with the Cubs up 7 in the a non-save situation...with the SP the Cubs moved to the bullpen to pitch the 8th inning warming up beside him, but unused.

On the long-term planning, setting up your relievers to succeed scale, I think Lou's score is "all I know about pitching is how to hit it".

4/23/2010 11:18:00 PM

(4/23/2010 08:59:00 PM) - Al

Yes, it was a fine defensive play by Fontenot, but c'mon, what a joke. How much bad luck can a team have?

He's lucky it wasn't ruled an error.

4/23/2010 08:59:00 PM

(4/23/2010 08:57:00 PM) - Al

I gotta agree with Bill, I too love watching Gomez play, and for me, Escobar and Weeks as well. People forget how young Carlos and Alcides are...they may struggle at times, but they're going to be very, very good.

4/23/2010 08:57:00 PM

(4/23/2010 08:55:00 PM) - Al

You know, I just can't find anywhere to cut government spending...nope, not a single place.

Heck, I'd have a harder time finding a place not to eliminate or cut 90%. It's like they're the US version of royalty.

4/23/2010 08:55:00 PM

(4/23/2010 08:39:00 PM) - Al

More bloop hits in one top of the inning by the Cubs than the Crew has had all year...other than the Pirates' series.

As I said, it has not been a fortunate early campaign. Infield dribblers, ground balls perfectly placed between infielders, and shallow fly balls galore. You'd almost prefer a hard hit ball and hope it finds somebody.

4/23/2010 08:39:00 PM

(4/23/2010 08:36:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers should be announcing their 2Mth ticket sold one of these days...I seem to recall April 28th last year, and Mark A said they were behind last year by 30K a couple weeks ago.

4/23/2010 08:36:00 PM

(4/23/2010 08:30:00 PM) - Al

Miller Park scorer...the absolute worst in the business.

It's an embarrassment that clown has kept his job, despite being a certified loon.

EDIT: Dale Sveum laughs at Rickie's hit being called an error for a while. It pretty much says it all when everyone admits how off base he is and just chuckles about it, like a little talked about alcoholic great-aunt or something.

4/23/2010 08:30:00 PM

(4/23/2010 07:40:00 PM) - Al

Needless to say, no Pulitzer was awarded to the JS's sports department.

And, if the scorer is so good Bill, why did the idiot change it twice? It was the same play, and you have as long as need to make a proper call. I'd say he was a worthless hack, but I wouldn't want to offend worthless hacks.

4/23/2010 07:40:00 PM

(4/23/2010 07:38:00 PM) - Al

I believe that may be the epitome of unlucky.

It's like those games in Pittsburgh were the aberration. The incredible lack of good fortune is back.

In a related note, Fielder's double was just changed to an error.

4/23/2010 07:38:00 PM

(4/23/2010 07:26:00 PM) - Al

Alcides with some panic there, thought he had to make a perfect throw home about 110 mph, and I don't think he did.

4/23/2010 07:26:00 PM

(4/23/2010 06:37:00 PM) - Al

I know many folks won't like to hear it, but the Vikings let Chester Taylor leave in free agency, and pick up Toby Gerhart in the draft to replace him...that's just what you call a smart football move.

4/23/2010 06:37:00 PM

(4/23/2010 05:16:00 PM) - Al

In my opinion, Denver had a near perfect day one of the draft...picked up six picks by trading down 3 times, and then traded up to take Tim Tebow, who I would rather have than any other QB in the draft, though his arm is not as strong.

Much has been written about Tebow, and while his character and such is nice, Ben Rothlisberger proves you can win a lot of games and be a jerk. However, he's such a great athlete, his downside is minimal...he might be a top TE if he fails to make the grade at QB. With his skills and his work ethic, I get the feeling he'll be pretty good. Much like the much ballyhooed 40 times, though you rarely run 40 straight yards anyway, especially if you are not a WR or CB, how often does a QB throw the ball 60 yards...once or twice a game?

I'll take the guy who can run for a first down or hit the receiver on a 4th and 2 kneel-down anytime over Jimmy Strongarm.

4/23/2010 05:16:00 PM

(4/23/2010 05:10:00 PM) - Al

Leno still #1, but Letterman now...3rd? Well, 4 weeks in row, yes.

I used to defend Dave, but he's become so grumpy, I can barely tolerate him. Why is he so angry, I mean, he's got a wife, son, and many casual workplace relationships, right?

4/23/2010 05:10:00 PM

(4/23/2010 05:05:00 PM) - Al

Why do people travel overseas in a suit and tie? Seems so impractical to me. Wouldn't they be more comfy in sweats?--Daniel Negraneau

I've wondered the same thing. I also wonder why guys would sit at a sporting event in a suit, or even a shirt and tie. I admit, I wear a tie most every day, and unless it is very warm, don't even notice it. However, if I was sitting at the Brewers' game, I'd feel like a moron if I was wearing a tie.

4/23/2010 05:05:00 PM

(4/23/2010 03:40:00 PM) - Al

Krauthammer is not just a brilliant political mind, he also seems to have figured out this truth...bad baseball is far better than no baseball.

If I was independently wealthy and lived in the Milwaukee area, the first thing I would have done before the season is run down to the Bucks' ticket office and inform them I might want to spend some money on season tickets. I know, you're thinking, "But Al, you're a loyal Brewers' fan and just a casual Bucks' fan," and you'd be correct.

However, right now, Bucks' fans are giving up near courtside seats they've had for a long time. If you want to get in good graces with a team, follow them through the rough times, and you'll enjoy the eventual rise to the top that much more.

4/23/2010 03:40:00 PM

(4/23/2010 03:24:00 PM) - Al

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to find a rudder for the Royals' ship.

Why release Cruz now? He's still striking guys out, so his problems are likely location. Seriously, why now, 2 weeks in? You just get the feeling that Cruz will sign somewhere else, news will come out about a "mechanical flaw" and one day in September, you'll see him pitching for a contender, either one that signed him or where he was eventually traded.

Seriously, does KC think they're a middle reliever from catching the Twins? What's that old joke? They're just two players away from contending, but unfortunately, Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle are both dead.

4/23/2010 03:24:00 PM

(4/23/2010 03:16:00 PM) - Al

When all is said and done, I think I prefer Moland Springs for an awkward name after a merger.

and yes, the fact only a couple loyal Seinfeld fans got that is perfect. I gave up trying to appeal to the masses ages ago, or I'd just write "Fire someone" or "DFA someone" (or, "something has to be done to right the ship" after a dozen games or so) an infinite amount of times a day.

4/23/2010 03:16:00 PM

(4/23/2010 03:00:00 PM) - Al

Why I don't want to do a trade 5 prospects for one good player trade anytime soon.

Why? Because that one player might get hurt, or lose effectiveness. And if they do, your depth to replace them is now in another organization.

4/23/2010 03:00:00 PM

(4/23/2010 02:41:00 PM) - Al

My friends from Poker Stars have put up a pair of videos that are designed to help you learn fun, exciting games that do not get the TV airtime as hold'em. Learn more about those games by clicking the links:

How to Play Pot Limit Omaha

How to Play 7 Card Stud

I know several people who found hold'em to be kind of slow and dull (well, most people do fold over 80% of the time) have moved onto Omaha, which is full of action and not as cut and dried as to what hands to play. Hopefully, they'll soon add a video which talks about razz, a game where you try and make the worst possible hand, and straights and flushes do not count (hence, the best hand possible is A2345). They hardly ever have a razz tournament, and though they often hit 250K players, even the cash tables are often virtually empty (pun intended).

4/23/2010 02:41:00 PM

(4/23/2010 02:26:00 PM) - Al

Don Walker is very concerned about company sponsorships of bowl games.

As often is the case, I remain fully capitalist, and think it is a wonderful thing that many companies have a bottom line healthy enough to spend some of their marketing dollars providing many full-time jobs for people to organize, sell tickets, and so on that these bowl games have to get done.

Why does he find it necessary to mock these businesses? Well, I suppose he could just be an old stodgy fella who just doesn't get it, or maybe, he's anti-marketing, and wishes the companies would stop spending money on advertising and instead hold hands, sing folk songs, and hand out $20's to all the hardworking associates every Friday as they leave. Of course, companies that fail to advertise are doomed to fail, be it a seller of carbonated beverages or rental cars.

Not to mention, I don't care if it's called Miller Park, Harley Park, or Joe's Used Auto Park, I'm glad they were able to ante up and help build it. I must admit though, I kind of struggle that the JS sports business writer comes off as so...anti-sports business.

4/23/2010 02:26:00 PM

Thursday, April 22, 2010

(4/22/2010 11:20:00 PM) - Al

If it would only lead to a 1% increase, I'm all for it (well, I'm not, but I could live with it).

However, common sense tells you when the government spends $1T, they'll waste half of it, and underestimate the other costs.

I don't think it will ever see the light of day. All it took to wake up the fiscal conservatives was a president who spends like mad and soon, will tax as such. The "stimulus" was as big as the entire federal budget Reagan signed. That's simply vulgar, and all but the far-left know it.

4/22/2010 11:20:00 PM

(4/22/2010 10:11:00 PM) - Al

Macha is trying to keep his outfielders happy, particularly Gomez, Jim Edmonds and Corey Hart, who have combined to share time in center field and right field. Gomez stepped into the manager's office on Saturday for an explanation of why he wasn't playing more, and Macha said he sought out backup outfielder Jody Gerut to assure the player he hadn't been forgotten. Macha insists that, "the players write the lineup," meaning he will make his decisions based on

At some point, a decision will probably be made and a more set pattern will emerge. However, allow me to say that I wish we had more problems like this...darn it, 4 OF's playing well! Heck, Gerut is a nice 4th OF type, and he is barely used at all, except to PH.

This is the same to me as having a guy like Stetter in AAA...that's what we call depth. Right now, they have Mitch, Braddock, Chris Smith, Kam Loe, and Marco Estrada all worthy of a callup, and not a single spot available. Yeah, that has me up at night.

4/22/2010 10:11:00 PM

(4/22/2010 08:31:00 PM) - Al


So on Monday, you wrote how the Brewers xFIP was far lower than their ERA's, and you predicted better pitching was soon to come.

I'd say you hit that nail on the head.

Keep Rambling,


3 games does not a season make. That said, I'll still take all the credit, and leave the casuals to jump ship after two weeks.

A lot of bandwagon folks have shown their true colors of late. Looking at the big picture is my forte, and I'm not going to be swayed by a dozen contests.

4/22/2010 08:31:00 PM

(4/22/2010 08:11:00 PM) - Al

As a wise man once said....

We weren't wrong about Rickie, we were just early.


Yeah, it's tough to look at his 2009-10 numbers and not think Rickie has turned the corner. Of course, as I pointed out an infinite amount of times, Weeks was drafted from a small school, hurried through the minors, and thrown in at 2B everyday to learn on the job in the big leagues. The fact he did not suck was all you needed to know he was special.

Yes, some were quick to point out his "failures", as he performed at an average offensive level for a 2B. He's just now reaching his peak performance years, and, get this, he seems to have taken his game to the next level, or as some would say, "he seems to have figured it out a bit".

Given his past, and his injury prone history, he may well not stop getting better for years.

I'll just add this in here, his throws to 1B have been consistent and far quicker than last year and before. He's still no Ron Belliard, who seemingly barely touches the ball as he pivots, but given from where he once was, it's amazing how far he's advanced.

4/22/2010 08:11:00 PM

(4/22/2010 08:05:00 PM) - Al

By the way, allow me to say I feel Macha has filled out a brilliant lineup card and managed very smartly the past four games. Notice how no one else has said that?

Quick to blame, hesitant to give credit. That's the definition of a casual fan, but of course, we have a ton of them, a vast majority.

4/22/2010 08:05:00 PM

(4/22/2010 07:57:00 PM) - Al

I got home, had a play date with the Rambling son, and then watched the game, which we had DVR'd. I'm sure many Pirates' fans are on the ledge tonight, but in truth, they had some well pitched games against them and pitched poorly. Heck, they should be glad they didn't waste a 6-7 run outburst in one of these just completed tilts.

One thing to note, even though all the SP's pitched well, the 'pen still had to eat 7 innings the past 2 days. Long-term, that's probably far more important than scoring a score of runs.

4/22/2010 07:57:00 PM

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

(4/21/2010 10:05:00 PM) - Al

I recall reading a player forecast book once, and it said almost all seasons in which a player is significantly off his career norms are the result of trying to play with an injury.

Ladies and gentlemen, Jason Marquis.

4/21/2010 10:05:00 PM

(4/21/2010 09:54:00 PM) - Al

Macha points out Yo was very good, 0 runs and 10 K's in 5 innings...but points out he could only be 5 innings, since he was already over 100 pitches.

That's very similar to my thought in the 1st inning, when I thought to myself, "This is as good as Yo's ever going to be until he gets his pitch count under control".

He is a good pitcher now, but if he's ever going to take that next step, it's going to have to start with strike one, then strike two.

4/21/2010 09:54:00 PM

(4/21/2010 09:30:00 PM) - Al


Your Charter story was great, I thought I would share my own cable tale.

Several years ago, my roommate and I got home from the bar where we both worked about 4AM on a Friday or Saturday night. It was Christmas break, so we had been slow all night, as most all students were home, and my roommate, who was the bouncer, was basically paid nothing, except a share of the tips and all the beer he wanted. So, he was mad and drunk, and decided to call the cable company about the bill we had just received, which he thought was incorrect.

He was yelling at the poor girl right away, but as luck would have it, she was unable to look up our bill, as the computers were down, or being rebooted. For whatever reason, she then said, "Is there anything else I can help you with?" so he started complaining our HBO wasn't working, which we did not have. She said she would make a note of it, but could not help us due to the computers being down, she was unable to verify anything. He kept it up, and by the time he hung up, we had the full HBO lineup, Starz, all together, like a dozen movie channels. She just got tired of the abuse and "flipped it on" for us, I guess, to shut him up.

The thing is, it stayed on. I even lived there that summer, and it was still on August 31st when I moved out. And no, we never had it added to our bill.


Obviously, she wasn't a supervisor.

4/21/2010 09:30:00 PM

(4/21/2010 09:17:00 PM) - Al

Howie Magner of Milwaukee Magazine says it's too early to give up, and he's right, but something needs to be done to right the ship.--BCB

Heh, emphasis added, but the comedy already existed.

1. How's that for a specific idea?

2. The Brewers are 7-7, 8% of the way through the season. The ship is still in the dock.

4/21/2010 09:17:00 PM

(4/21/2010 09:15:00 PM) - Al

I don't think Hawkins was aware a ground ball could be handled by an infielder until tonight.

4/21/2010 09:15:00 PM

(4/21/2010 09:12:00 PM) - Al


I didn't read your blog until tonight about Charter, but I do have advice for you. I got home last night about the 6th inning and it wasn't on, like I pretty much expected with a WMLW game. I sent a text to the booth at 234234 telling someone at FSN to contact Charter to "flip the switch" because if I call them, they just blow me off. I left the TV on 88 while I started some laundry and made some food. After 5-10 minutes of doing stuff around the house I went back to the TV and the game was on for the last 3 innings. I'm not sure if this was a fluke or not, but I have done this in the past with WMLW games, and it seems to get the job done. Maybe this gets someone at FSN to call a Charter rep in the state, as opposed to us talking to reps off the continent. So basically, flood the booth with texts of "I can't see the game outside of Milwaukee, please help."


I know several folks in Madison thought they were the ones who got it fixed, as the message board was full of folks who, like WGR, did something and within 10-15 minutes, it was on, around 8PM or so.

However, I'm not sure if this is a better idea than chatting with Connie, because she's a supervisor you know.

4/21/2010 09:12:00 PM

(4/21/2010 09:09:00 PM) - Al

Zimmerman proves you cannot play on one leg.

You gotta let those hammys heal. Especially in April, when they're playing in a lot of 40/50 degree temps.

4/21/2010 09:09:00 PM

(4/21/2010 08:56:00 PM) - Al

Olbermann cries to bosses, and despite his test pattern like ratings, MSNBC listened.

4/21/2010 08:56:00 PM

(4/21/2010 08:40:00 PM) - Al

Zambrano to the bullpen?

I would assume it will be very temporary, and more than likely, a case of Lou being he tries to move the media's focus off of one thing onto another.

One thing is clear...the Brewers sure know how to keep stuff in house, and the Cubs have no clue. Soriano was scolded, their 1st or 2nd best SP moved to the 'pen, and he even altered the batting order...against LH's, which reeks of a "who cares?" moment, as you only face a lefty SP once or twice most weeks.

4/21/2010 08:40:00 PM

(4/21/2010 08:15:00 PM) - Al

A reader who posted on my note Tuesday on the Bucks blog said the Brewers telecast was on Channel 88 on Charter.--Bob Wolfley, JS, in an e-mail reply to my Charter story

All you people that missed the game last night, the highly trained investigative team at the JS would rather believe an anonymous fan in the comments section.

Never mind.

4/21/2010 08:15:00 PM

(4/21/2010 08:10:00 PM) - Al


Just wanted to let you know that Charter in Highland (which I still assume comes out of the Mazomanie hub) was able to get the last 2 or 3 innings of the game. I left my TV on Ch. 88 most of the night and it would come up sporadically and then dissapear, sometimes showing me a message that there was no video input. I just wanted to say that I agree with your assessment of Charters service reps, not because I'm a customer, but because I used to work for Charter as a tech. I only worked there 6 months, but it was like pulling teeth trying to get people on the phones to close jobs for you or help you in any way possible. I can only imagine what customers deal with.


Mike, you should have just asked for Connie, as I'm sure she'd have taken care of it...she's a supervisor you know.

4/21/2010 08:10:00 PM

(4/21/2010 08:08:00 PM) - Al


To expand on your Charter story. I live in Waupaca and I have Charter. When i use my remote to directly go to a channel, if i type in a channel that does not exist, it won't take me to that channel but instead to the next nearest channel. Yesterday when I entered 088 (i have to enter three digits) it took me to channel 88 but the screen was just black. Today after I read your blog, I entered 088 and it took me to channel 89. So that tells me something existed on channel 88 last night but the right switch wasn't flipped or something to get us the actual feed.


While your version makes perfect sense, Bert, Connie told me 88 is not a channel in my area...and she's a supervisor.

4/21/2010 08:08:00 PM

(4/21/2010 07:58:00 PM) - Al

I had forgot what a complete tool Jeff Karstens proved to be last year when he got upset after being hit by a pitch, after purposefully hitting Braun with a pitch earlier in the season.

I can't believe the Pirates' hitters are the least bit happy about Zach Duke deciding to get revenge for sucking.

4/21/2010 07:58:00 PM

(4/21/2010 07:33:00 PM) - Al

The great thing about following Meghan McCain on Twitter...many of her links involve lingerie, like this one.

4/21/2010 07:33:00 PM

(4/21/2010 07:14:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling wife informs me Charter sent us a message through our cable box yesterday that the Brewers' game would be on Channel 88 last night.

Of course, A, it wasn't, and B, I had every uneducated loon that works at Charter (even Connie...she's a supervisor you know!) informing me 88 isn't even a channel in my market.


4/21/2010 07:14:00 PM

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

(4/20/2010 10:52:00 PM) - Al

Even in tonight's 8-1 victory, you get the feeling the Crew had luck on their side, as Jeff Clement just missed a grand slam in the bottom of the 1st...that might have made all the difference, as it allowed Bush to settle in and last 7 frames, throwing 96 pitches. Obviously, Morton of the Pirates did not have his best stuff, and to be succinct, that was the ballgame.

4/20/2010 10:52:00 PM

(4/20/2010 07:07:00 PM) - Al

No Brewers for me tonight, but once again, I got to chat with possibly, the stupidest people on the planet, who all work for Charter. I warn you, if you are over 18 and can handle massive amounts of incorrect information, please read on.

Al Bethke: The Brewers are supposed to be on alternate channel 88 tonight, as the Bucks are on Fox Sports, which is 38.
TTD JayR : As i've checked the system, there's no channel 88. May I know what is the network?
Al Bethke: OK, Fox Sports is carrying the Bucks game, so in Milwaukee, the Brewers are on WMLW. If you go to the Fox website, they say the Brewers can be seen on Channel 88 tonight on Charter, outside Milwaukee.
TTD JayR : So that I can check if it's changed to a different channel number.
TTD JayR : So you mean, it's the FOX channel?
Al Bethke: It's an alternate Fox Sports channel tonight, I guess.
TTD JayR : Is it on basic service? As what I can see on the system, for the package that you have FOX channel is channel 11.
Al Bethke: Oh my.
Al Bethke: Fox is not the same as Fox Sports WI. Get me a supervisor, or at least someone with a basic knowledge of the TV landscape.
TTD JayR : That's basing on the package that you have. We do have other FOX channels. It belongs to a different view/tier.
Al Bethke: You guys had all day to get this straight, and now you're telling me where Fox is.
Al Bethke: Fox is on 11, Fox Sports is on 38. However, for tonight only, the alternate Fox Sports WI is supposed to be on 88, and that is blank, other than the message "This channel will be on shortly".
Al Bethke: What that has to do with Fox being on 11 is nothing, absolutely nothing. Where's that supervisor?
TTD JayR : My apologies for the inconvenience. Let me connect you to one.
TTD JayR has left the session.
Please wait while we find an agent from the CHAT - MDVL - Advocate department to assist you.
You have been connected to TTM Connie .
TTM Connie : Thank you, just a moment while I look over the notes on your account.
Al Bethke: Connie, can you see what has already been said?
TTM Connie : Thank you for waiting.
TTM Connie : Al, I'm checking for you.
Al Bethke: Thanks. The message board I'm on says no one who has Charter has it on 88 like it's supposed to be.
TTM Connie : Thank you for waiting, Al
TTM Connie : I have look and the channel 88 is not a channel offered in your area.
TTM Connie : No matter what cable package you have,.
TTM Connie : Is there anything else I can help you with?
Al Bethke: Connie, how can you read the above and say that?
Al Bethke: It is not a regular channel. It's an alternate for tonight only, because of the Bucks and Brewers both being on.
TTM Connie : Well I looked for the channels you have in your package and I checked every package available by your zip code.
Al Bethke: Direct has an alternate, it's 657. For you guys, it's 88.
TTM Connie : I am a supervisor and I wouldn't take a reps word for it, I look more than one place.
TTM Connie : I'm sorry that channel 88 is not offered in your area I do apologize.
Al Bethke: For crying out loud, it's not a regular channel. It's an alternate for tonight. Fox Sports set this up with you to get both games out, and you guys are dropping the ball. One person on the message board said it was on in New London, but now it has gone blank again.
Al Bethke: Fox Sports WI was kind enough to put it on their website, for Charter subscribers (I use that word loosely) it's on 88. Why does it tell me to "check back shortly" if it's not supposed to be on?
TTM Connie : Sir, unfortunately it may not be offered in your zip code area.
TTM Connie : I'm really sorry, there is no way Charter is blocking it on purpose from coming in.
Al Bethke: I am outside Milwaukee, that's all their site says.
TTM Connie : Its not something I cannot unblock.
Al Bethke: Look, this is obviously a snafu on the part of Charter, it happens once or twice a year. The mere fact you have no clue as to it even taking place is all you need to know.
Al Bethke: I'm going to send you the link.
Al Bethke: According to Becky Ross, a spokeswoman for FS Wisconsin, viewers outside of Milwaukee without access to Channel 41 will see the Bucks on FS Wisconsin and the Brewers game on an alternate channel. The complete list of alternate channels can be found at
Al Bethke: From the Milwaukee JS.
Al Bethke:
Al Bethke: Tonight's Bucks-Hawks NBA playoff Game 2 from Atlanta will air live on FOX Sports Wisconsin -- our pregame coverage begins at 5:30 p.m.

The Brewers-Pirates game from Pittsburgh will air at 6 p.m. on WMLW. Fans outside of Milwaukee can find the Brewers game at the following channel locations:

Time Warner: Channel 310
Charter Communications: Channel 88
Direct TV: Channel 657
DISH Network: Channel 475
Al Bethke: That's what the link says. No zip codes, no maybes. And yet, no game at 88 at charter. Direct has the game on 657. Dish has it on 475. They managed to do it, even though it's not a "regular" channel.
TTM Connie : I looked at the website and it is on channel 88, But where you live channel 88 is not offered for any programming at all.
TTM Connie : Is there anything else I can help you with?
Al Bethke: No, because they leave that channel empty, in case of situations like this.
TTM Connie : I cannot help the line up that is available in you area.
Al Bethke: Who is getting the Brewers? What "areas"?
TTM Connie : Channel 88 is not ever available in your are.
Al Bethke: Connie, are you reading what is being said?
Al Bethke: Ch. 88 is not available anywhere.
Al Bethke: It is an empty alternate.
Al Bethke: Unless it is being tonight.
Al Bethke: What part of that don't you understand?
Al Bethke: Direct has the game on in my area.
Al Bethke: Dish has the game on in my area.
Al Bethke: You do not.
Al Bethke: My TV says "channel will be available shortly". You're telling me it says that 24/7, even though there's no channel there.
TTM Connie : I'm sorry that channel 88 is not offered in your area, I do apologize.
TTM Connie : Is there anything else I can help you with?
TTM Connie : Any billing questions or anything else.

The horror.

Charter is so inefficient, they should become part of the government.

FYI, the game was on for a while in some parts of the state on Charter, but only for 15 minutes or so. It was then yanked off. Direct has it, Dish has it. I've been told Time Warner has it on their alternate with no problems whatsoever.

4/20/2010 07:07:00 PM

(4/20/2010 05:11:00 PM) - Al

Bullpen coach Stan Kyles has prostate cancer, but it sounds very optimistic.

Ramblings wishes nothing but the best to Mr. Kyles.

4/20/2010 05:11:00 PM

(4/20/2010 05:03:00 PM) - Al

Tonight's Bucks-Hawks NBA playoff Game 2 from Atlanta will air live on FOX Sports Wisconsin -- our pregame coverage begins at 5:30 p.m.

The Brewers-Pirates game from Pittsburgh will air at 6 p.m. on WMLW. Fans outside of Milwaukee can find the Brewers game at the following channel locations:

Time Warner: Channel 310
Charter Communications: Channel 88
Direct TV: Channel 657
DISH Network: Channel 475--FSWisconsin

I'll believe it when I see it, as both myself and the Rambling brother have had conversations with providers which was about as productive as herding cats. In my case at least, they were carrying the MN feed when the Brewers were on WMLW, and proudly informed me that the game was not on due to MLB blackout rules. When I asked to speak to her supervisor, he told me "It should be on, but it's not, so I sent an interoffice memo to programming." When I asked if the game would be on later, he replied, "Oh, I doubt if anyone will see that until Monday morning (it was Saturday).

4/20/2010 05:03:00 PM

(4/20/2010 03:57:00 PM) - Robert R.

Thoughts on The Pacific, Part 6

At this point, I think you can make a fair judgement on the mini-series. It's absolutely top notch at depicting action and the period. But, as far as creating a cohesive narrative with compelling characters, it's lacking.

Part 6 is perhaps a microcosm of this. The battle to capture the airfield on Peleliu is as chaotic, visceral, and compelling as all but the very best battle sequences ever created for film. It helps that the geography of the battle is very straightforward. I really can't write enough about just how well done it is. And the fact that in all the chaos, it was clear who the characters were, what they were doing, and where they were going to. It seemed like the majority of the episode was the battle and it's a complete winner in that respect.

Looking beyond that though, tends to point out the problems of the series. We can start out with an aside to Phillips return to the States and visiting the Sledge household, complete with cheap fakeout. That probably would have been fine, but Phillips is still mostly a cipher so it's hard to tell how the war affected him and the sentiments he expresses are kind of redundant with the series as a whole.

Again, due to the monumental nature of the series, it struggles to bring all the points home. The intro of the episode is the veterans talking about the lack of water they had on Peleliu. This is an issue for maybe 5 minutes, although capped by a nice scene where the squad shares the last gulps from a canteen before heading into battle, and then it's not an issue again. A nice idea, but one that can't be brought to fruition in the limited time they have.

The character work has been largely reserved for Leckie, Basilone, and Sledge, and that's a problem in itself. Basilone has basically had a cameo since Part 3. Leckie is wounded in this episode and his part of the Pacific campaign appears to be over. Too bad, as Leckie's cynical but self aware nature made him the most compelling character on the show. And the transition from Leckie to Sledge is kind of a setback, as we're seeing initial reactions to the horros of war that we already saw in Part 1 and Part 2. Sledge really hasn't changed from the idealistic young man we met in Part 1, so there's not much character-wise to talk about yet. Snafu might be the only character left with any shades of gray to him, but he doesn't quite rise much beyond 2 dimensional.

I kind of wonder if the ambition to follow The Pacific campaign from Guadlcanal until the end of the war kind of painted the writers into a corner. There really isn't one story to tell for that whole campaign and the result is a lack of focus and too much scope to neatly compress into 10 hours. As good as the production values may be, a 10 hour miniseries about Guadlcanal, for instance, where we really got to know the characters may have ended up more dramatically satisfying.

4/20/2010 03:57:00 PM

Monday, April 19, 2010

(4/19/2010 06:56:00 PM) - Al

I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to discuss, as any statistical analysis after a dozen games is meaningless. That said, one e-mailer pointed out that the Crew's pitchers xFIP's (expected fielding independent pitching, often used as a way of projecting future ERA) are far lower than their actual ERA's. Allow me to list them here:

Gallardo--5.50 actual, 3.91 xFIP
Wolf------4.91 actual, 4.01 xFIP
Davis----11.25 actual, 3.72 xFIP
Bush------3.86 actual, 3.83 xFIP
Suppan----7.20 actual, 3.94 xFIP

I was shocked to see Bush and Davis so similar in xFIP, so I thought we could take a glance at Doug's overall numbers.

Davis--9.75 K/9, 4.50 BB/9, 2.17 K/BB, .502 BABIP, 1.14 G/F (best in career)

The one thing that stands out is that over half the batted balls put in play have fallen for base alarming number, given the fielders have, as far as I know, been wearing gloves and all. So, has Doug been very unlucky thus far? Without a doubt.

I get the feeling that by the time the numbers really mean anything, around 40 games or so, the ERA's will be down to about where we expected them to be. The talk will likely be about the "improvement", but it will likely just be reverting back to the norm, with bad hops and bad luck evening out over time.

4/19/2010 06:56:00 PM

(4/19/2010 05:25:00 PM) - Al

Adam answers questions, using proper warnings about small samples.

One minor quibble, he mentions that Adam Heether is blocked by Escobar at SS...Don Money said last year that "Heether isn't a SS", and while Money is about as negative as they get, it seems safe to assume Heether is more of a 2B/3B who could play SS for a couple innings in case of a double switch or a game or two if he had to...but in no way could he be an everyday option.

4/19/2010 05:25:00 PM

(4/19/2010 04:46:00 PM) - Al

How self-important is government, you ask?

They don't have bus drivers in Scottsdale...they have "transporters of learners".

I recall a comedian saying once he had worked at a car wash, and his mock title was "auto appearance specialist". It used to be funny, now, it's the world.

4/19/2010 04:46:00 PM

(4/19/2010 04:20:00 PM) - Al

I find it difficult to believe Oklahoma City was 15 years ago, but then when you think about it, I was still in Eau Claire and the Rambling wife was still the Rambling girlfriend, as we had separate apartments until June of that year.

The other thing I recall, that many will find impossible to believe, that CNN was literally the only source for news, as CBS/NBC/ABC did not even pretend to give much of an effort, mostly just doing 5 minute cut-ins at the top and bottom of the hour.

How the mighty have fallen. CNN now barely pretends to be a news channel, reporting about Paris Hilton's weekend in Vegas, Larry King stumbling through interviews with whoever is opening a movie this weekend, and Andy Cooper making stuff up vaguely related to a current event, and pretending it has merit.

4/19/2010 04:20:00 PM

(4/19/2010 04:13:00 PM) - Al

The Food Network is adding another channel, called The Cooking Channel. We tend to watch Food quite a bit, especially when nothing else is on.

They seem to be going back to their "bread and butter", no pun intended, with just hosts preparing food in the original lineup at least on the new network.

4/19/2010 04:13:00 PM

(4/19/2010 03:59:00 PM) - Al

Administration caught lying about projected job numbers. Heh, let's not forget, if we wouldn't have done the stimulus, unemployment might have been...8%.


As if the bogus "jobs saved" wasn't bad enough. We'll have to see how much...or if, the old media bothers to report this.

4/19/2010 03:59:00 PM

Sunday, April 18, 2010

(4/18/2010 06:40:00 PM) - Al

Thankfully, there are no signs of nanny state behavior...oof.

4/18/2010 06:40:00 PM

(4/18/2010 06:28:00 PM) - Al

George Will agrees with the Saturday morning investment shows...the VAT is wonderful...if they do away with the income tax.

Both, on the other hand, would devastate the economy.

4/18/2010 06:28:00 PM

(4/18/2010 05:28:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling aunt sent me birthday greetings and asked if I heard the big woke her up and scared her cats plum to death.

We are too far away from the impact spot to have heard it, but unless it would have struck the Rambling dog as he slept, he would have been oblivious.

4/18/2010 05:28:00 PM

(4/18/2010 05:25:00 PM) - Al

I pretty much assume all talk radio guys are clueless, but Bill Michaels does a fine chat at the JS, except for wasting a few responses on friends.

4/18/2010 05:25:00 PM

(4/18/2010 02:48:00 PM) - Al

If Zimmerman played at Miller Park, he'd have a pair of errors today. There's a reason no Brewers' player ever gets a Gold Glove...they have to deal with a dozen "phantom errors" each season.

4/18/2010 02:48:00 PM

Saturday, April 17, 2010

(4/17/2010 02:28:00 PM) - Al

I had a dream last night that the Bulls beat the Cavs in Game 1 of the playoffs today.

1. I was really surprised.

2. The only thing more dull than my real life is my nocturnal fantasies.

4/17/2010 02:28:00 PM

(4/17/2010 02:05:00 PM) - Al

Narveson probably showing the affects of 7 games and 7 innings in the team's first couple weeks.

One thing to keep in mind is that Hoffman and Hawkins are not just old, they are almost completely limited to a single frame at this stage of their careers. That means that at times, others have to pick up an extra out or inning. Stetter is often just used for a single batter, so that is another reason he is in AAA for a while, probably until the rotation builds up some stamina.

Every once in a while, you'll get someone discussing a 6 man bullpen, and for the most part, your starters have to be very good to even consider it. Most bullpens end up throwing about 500 innings, and the idea 6 guys can throw an average of 83 without losing effectiveness is silly. As a point of interest, Todd Coffey threw 83 frames last year, and struggled somewhat in the 2nd half...not to mention, that assumes all six pitchers are guys you can use in most every situation.

Anyone serious that a team can go a length of time using only a half-dozen relievers is pretty math and common sense challenged.

4/17/2010 02:05:00 PM

(4/17/2010 02:00:00 PM) - Al

Livian Hernandez allowed several line drives early, but due to the fact most have landed in gloves, he's actually pitching better now than he was earlier in the game.

Livian is almost a twin of Suppan, except he does not throw as hard. Those guys will have rough outings, but they do give you innings and keep you in most games. With some good fortune (in the 3rd and 4th, 4 of 5 Brewers scalded the ball, and only one got on base).

4/17/2010 02:00:00 PM

(4/17/2010 01:00:00 PM) - Al

Trying to remember the last time I was able to watch a Brewers/Bucks doubleheader (oh yeah, last Saturday), but without Bogut, a win or two would count as a moral victory.

Too bad, as with a healthy Andrew, a 6-7 game series was very probable, and a series win possible.

4/17/2010 01:00:00 PM

(4/17/2010 12:59:00 PM) - Al

Down about 15 pounds in 2 weeks. As Gleeman would say, all that means is I was really fat when I began.

4/17/2010 12:59:00 PM

(4/17/2010 12:30:00 PM) - Al

What happened to Iraq?

Well, the result does not fit the narrative, so it has disappeared from all of the old media. Thank goodness we had a president who did not worry about polls and just took care of business.

4/17/2010 12:30:00 PM

(4/17/2010 09:57:00 AM) - Al

So, I'm 4 tabling online, watching the investment shows and there's a knock at the door. since I've managed to sever most ties, a visitor is almost always a neighborhood child asking the Rambling son if he would like to play. I asked him to answer the door, and on the sofa by the stairs, here's the conversation:

Son: Hello.

Female voice: Hi, how are you?

Son: Fine.

FV: I'm a volunteer, and we're reading short verses of the Bible today. Is one of your parents home?

Son: Yeah, my dad's here.

FV: Is he sleeping?

Son: No, he's just on his computer.

Me: (Having a hard time concentrating on proper strategy having to listen to this conversation going nowhere) Kinda busy right now ma'am.

FV: Oh, don't have time to listen?

Me: (over the many beeps of tables I'm late on) Nope, busy.

FV: OK then, bye.

Son: (chuckle) Bye. (slams door) Heh, that was strange. (walks away toward room, to no one in particular) Heh, knocks on door (pause) wants to read Bible. Weird.

4/17/2010 09:57:00 AM

Friday, April 16, 2010

(4/16/2010 11:01:00 PM) - Al

Have to see if the Rambling brother is able to fund his retirement with one of the meteors that fell the other night.

4/16/2010 11:01:00 PM

(4/16/2010 10:32:00 PM) - Al

Macha with a politically correct response tonight when asked if Hawkins was unlucky, and he said LaTroy seemed to be "off" a bit with his fastball. It was a nice non-answer, as it probably is 100% accurate, and may well be causing him to throw far more pitches than he wants to. However, is it why he gave up a swinging bunt, a grounder Prince just missed, and a seeing-eye single through the left side? Of course not, that's just misfortune. However, it may have led to the hit batsman and the high pitch counts Hawkins has experienced of late.

4/16/2010 10:32:00 PM

(4/16/2010 08:51:00 PM) - Al

Infield hit, ground ball Prince missed (never saw a good angle as to how), ground ball between SS and 3B. Add that to a hit batter, and it's a very cheap 3 runs.

Not a whole lot you can do about that.

4/16/2010 08:51:00 PM

(4/16/2010 08:41:00 PM) - Al

Hawkins seems to be the king of the cheap hit allowed.

4/16/2010 08:41:00 PM

(4/16/2010 08:21:00 PM) - Al

No one gets less out of their natural ability than Manny Parra.

His stuff is as good as Yo's, and yet he pitches scared.

4/16/2010 08:21:00 PM

(4/16/2010 07:14:00 PM) - Al

Charles Payne, a self-made investor, once again proves he's racist by outing himself as a fiscal conservative.

4/16/2010 07:14:00 PM

(4/16/2010 06:33:00 PM) - Al

The TV team reports that Ken Macha said MLB should set aside a day to honor veterans, just like they do Jackie Robinson.

Memorial Day would be the obvious choice, or the 4th of July.

4/16/2010 06:33:00 PM

(4/16/2010 06:27:00 PM) - Al

McGehee with 4 HR's already this year.

The casuals who somehow thought Gamel deserved to start (you know, after Casey outperfomed Mat's AAA numbers while in the majors) Opening Day prove why they are casuals.

4/16/2010 06:27:00 PM

(4/16/2010 06:24:00 PM) - Al

3B ump calls Dunn out on a check swing...after calling him safe on a nearly identical check swing the pitch before, and then compounds the issue by throwing him out of the game.

If you never notice the good umpires, that would make this guy...

4/16/2010 06:24:00 PM

(4/16/2010 02:10:00 PM) - Al

Rosenthal says he was wrong about McGwire being a distraction.

As is the entire old media's dwelling on those who may have used a substance a decade or more ago that, at best, doesn't help a whole lot (though they may help a player withstand the rigors of a long campaign).

4/16/2010 02:10:00 PM

(4/16/2010 01:47:00 PM) - Al

Just got off the phone with my old retail acquaintance, talking about her son, who will hopefully be drafted in the upcoming NFL draft.

While I won't share any private info, she did say he's had teams calling asking "strange questions", and when he asked his agent, he was told those are teams getting prepared in case they need to send a representative in case that team takes him. As you can imagine, he's just hoping for an opportunity.

4/16/2010 01:47:00 PM

(4/16/2010 01:42:00 PM) - Al

Michael Yon with stories and pictures of our military in Afghanistan. Take the time to visit, and if the tax man was good to you, send a donation, as Yon works on tips.

Thank goodness there are brave, honorable men and women willing to fight pure evil for a very nominal wage.

4/16/2010 01:42:00 PM

(4/16/2010 12:41:00 PM) - Al

The Red Sox's OF depth is being tested with injuries to Ellsbury and Cameron (who may have appendicitis). Of course, they still have Jeremy Hermedia and Bill Hall, though it was bad luck yesterday they had to face Liriano of the Twins, a tough lefty, and they had to play Hermedia and JD Drew in the OF corners.

The truth is, not many clubs could lose their LF and CF and not experience significant falloff. The Crew would have decent depth, with Gerut and Edmonds starting, at least versus RH SP. Joe Inglett is also plenty versed in the OF. Depending on if they could add to the 40 man, Brendan Katin is a righty slugger at AAA who may be able to step into a platoon role with Gerut, while Lo Cain is on the 40, but would probably be limited to PH/PR duties.

Fact is, not many teams can lose two OF's and replace them painlessly...and if they can, odds are, their starting OF's suck.

4/16/2010 12:41:00 PM

(4/16/2010 12:24:00 PM) - Al

While I think many of us were surprised to see Gerut and Edmonds start yesterday, I assume Macha had noticed the Nats have a LH SP going today.

Actually, I'm surprised Counsell has not started yet, especially versus a tough RH SP, as Alcides, thus far in his young career, is far better against southpaws.

4/16/2010 12:24:00 PM

(4/16/2010 09:37:00 AM) - Al

I just find it shocking pit bulls have their defenders, despite these events that happen all the freaking time.

I know, many pit bulls have never hurt a flea, but the breed is dangerous, due to inbreeding and such. I'm sorry, but the numbers are simply outrageous.

Sadly, however, the answer is very difficult, as there's no way to just eradicate them.

4/16/2010 09:37:00 AM

(4/16/2010 09:28:00 AM) - Al

My birthday buddy, Melissa Joan Hart (that could have been my opening line had we met when we were both single) reminds me on Twitter that Virginia Tech suffered that senseless loss 3 years ago today.

That day, almost all of us were Hokies. I admit, I still root for Tech whenever I see them playing, a fine upstanding public university.

4/16/2010 09:28:00 AM

(4/16/2010 09:12:00 AM) - Al

Don Walker does not seem to think the Bucks will sell out both playoff games.

I doubt it too, especially Game 4. They should, without a doubt, as I assume they will keep marketing and discounting as needed. I believe you can just go to their web site and get tickets for $15 or so, so they are affordable for most everyone.

The fact they play the same times as the Brewers is a shame, especially for the true fans who have season tickets for both...that number is probably quite low...2K at most, probably far less, and I think I have read the Brewers only have a few thousand "full" season ticket holders, as most have partial packages. Businesses who have both can obviously find plenty of folks to attend both games.

4/16/2010 09:12:00 AM

Thursday, April 15, 2010

(4/15/2010 09:28:00 PM) - Al

Marco Estrada, 2 starts, 13 innings, 0 runs.

Nice waiver pickup, Doug.

4/15/2010 09:28:00 PM

(4/15/2010 08:24:00 PM) - Al

Glenn with another pic of a racist fiscal conservative...the nerve.

How dare anyone question the tax and spend mentality. Next thing you know, they won't be shaking their heads in disgust at the mere mention of...capitalism.

4/15/2010 08:24:00 PM

(4/15/2010 08:19:00 PM) - Al

I'm disappointed I can't flip between the Brewers and the Bucks, but it's nice of FSN to get the Bucks games on.

4/15/2010 08:19:00 PM

(4/15/2010 08:16:00 PM) - Al

In case you're keeping track, 80% of the casuals do not understand pitching depth.

4/15/2010 08:16:00 PM

(4/15/2010 07:05:00 PM) - Al

You know, the administration would not think government had to tax the living crap out of everyone if they weren't so incredibly stingy with charitable contributions.

4/15/2010 07:05:00 PM

(4/15/2010 06:05:00 PM) - Al

Hoffman, who had blown his two previous save opportunities, allowed one run in the ninth for his third save this season and record 594th of his career.

Hoffman took over with an 8-5 lead and gave up a one-out double to Ryan Theriot and a two-out double to Chad Tracy. Ramirez flied out to end it.--AP

In the official game recap by the wire service, not a mention of Hart losing the ball in the sun. I'm often pretty tough on the JS, but, allow me to say, oh my.

4/15/2010 06:05:00 PM

(4/15/2010 05:57:00 PM) - Al

I went to the DMV today, and as much as I wish something exciting had happened, it was rather dull. The only thing worth mentioning is everyone ahead of me was there to get plates, renew tags, and so on...why do that there when you can do it online or at a convenience store...but anyway, my only halfway interesting moment was after I wrote a check, passed my eye test, and was told to go to the picture area. As I neared the guy, he said, "I'm waiting for you, Alan," and then added, "Sit in the chair here."

Suddenly, I was puzzled, as I did not see a chair, only two footprints, showing where to stand for the picture. I even looked around the chair. So, I admitted to the fella I did not see a chair (hoping this wasn't a secret, second eye test), and he repeated, "Signature here," holding a sheet of paper.


4/15/2010 05:57:00 PM

(4/15/2010 04:49:00 PM) - Al

I have just about had it with Bill S thinking every blooper hit between the infield and the outfield should magically be caught. There is a plethora of open space out there, and soft liners, as well as pop-ups, fall in several times a game.

There's really not much you can do when you lose a ball in the sun. I never played much OF, but the sun is a nasty enemy, as is a bank of lights. The old Metrodome was the king of lost flies, but the irony was, it was easy to follow the ball in the upper deck, but almost impossible to find it if you sat in the lowest deck.

4/15/2010 04:49:00 PM

(4/15/2010 03:28:00 PM) - Al

Nice first outing back for Suppan.

Not the type of conditions you would choose for Jeff, the wind blowing out at Wrigley, with a strike zone the size of a pea, but that affects everyone (including Narveson, who just allowed a routine fly ball to LF that sneaked out).

4/15/2010 03:28:00 PM

(4/15/2010 03:13:00 PM) - Al

I've looked and looked, and can't find anywhere to cut government spending.

Oy vey.

4/15/2010 03:13:00 PM

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

(4/14/2010 09:56:00 PM) - Al

Bud Selig gets new stadiums built. David Stern...not so much.

I'm sure he did not want to rain on the team's playoff parade and all, but "we'll worry about that later", in a league which moves teams with regularity, is not exactly going to give the dim-witted Milwaukee government any sense of urgency.

As we've discussed many times before, the Bucks probably have a window of 3-7 years to replace the Bradley Center. What's especially sad is, Milwaukee practically mirrors Seattle's situation, and they lost the Sonics and it barely made the front page nationally. If not for Herb Kohl's civic pride and deep pockets, it probably would have already happened.

4/14/2010 09:56:00 PM

(4/14/2010 09:30:00 PM) - Al

I think the Bucks are guaranteed to swap draft places with the Bulls, as CHI can't move up to the lottery as they have the honor of being swept in 4 games by the Cavs.

That's a fine, under reported aspect of the Salmons deal.

4/14/2010 09:30:00 PM

(4/14/2010 05:52:00 PM) - Al

I only saw the top of the 9th inning today, but when they showed the 2 hits that drove in the Cubs' runs, neither was hit very well, one was a ground ball that rolled past Rickie, the other was far from a line drive, but looked to be a blooper down the RF line.

Those cheap hits will even out, or at least close to it, over the course of 162, but compared to the shots Hoffman allowed, they were, to be kind, well-placed.

The public always overreacts to games lost in the late innings, though, as I often point out, runs count the same whether they score in the 1st, 5th, or 9th, and, there's no running the clock out. Doesn't appear Hawkins "lost it" by any means, just was a victim of bad luck, and, more than likely, some good PA's by the Cubs. No one cares about those good PA's if the Crew scores a dozen runs...and, as has been proven time and time again, one-run games are pretty much a flip of the coin.

4/14/2010 05:52:00 PM

(4/14/2010 05:43:00 PM) - Al

Stetter sent down to make room for Suppan.

Mitch was obviously hurt by the effectiveness of Narveson, by the fact he had an option left, and also quite likely by Vargas' loss of velocity/dead arm...I would guess, not bad enough for a DL visit, but not good enough to trust...hence, Carlos V was needed, as he can go a couple innings if needed.

Mitch probably won't be down long, as he's pitched fine, more of a temporary situation while the Vargas thing works itself out. No one ever said it was fair when teams play games with the roster to take advantage of guys who have options and who don't.

EDIT: Doug says it came down to Mitch or Carlos, and CV can give them more innings.

I'll be happy to say it; sometimes, maintaining organizational depth means not keeping the best 25 guys, but using options wisely.

4/14/2010 05:43:00 PM

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

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

The Ramblings' manifesto can be found here.

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