Al's Ramblings



Monday, May 31, 2010

(5/31/2010 10:29:00 PM) - Al

Not sure if this will mean anything or not, but Loe has a career sub 4 ERA outside Arlington. Considering that it is a bandbox, that might be a very good sign...or just coincidence.

You know, this might be an interesting factoid for those in the media...make sure you spell Al right.:)


5/31/2010 10:29:00 PM



(5/31/2010 09:54:00 PM) - Al

...peace activists throw rocks and "rip up gratings to be used as projectiles." Later, they tried to break into the Israeli embassy.--Powerline

Looks line those folk song lyrics need to be updated.

I'm so glad these clods aren't on my side.


5/31/2010 09:54:00 PM



(5/31/2010 08:58:00 PM) - Al

Yo, 11 starts, 68 IP, 6.2 IP/S
Wolf, 11 starts, 66 2/3 IP, 6.1 IP/S
Bush, 10 starts, 51 2/3 IP, 5.2 IP/S
Narveson, 6 starts, 33 IP, 5.5 IP/S
Capuano, none in majors

That's actually better than I thought, especially Wolf and Bush, who other than his one horrible outing, is also at about 5.6.

The gist of it is, add a couple outs for each per start, and you've gone a long way to shoring up the weaknesses and overuse of the bullpen. Getting there is far easier said than done, however. Right now, they are 14th in the NL in SP IP...add two outs a start, and they'd rank 8th. The difference between average and awful is just that...a couple outs a game. With a margin that narrow, it isn't any wonder the best laid plans go for naught. The difference between 1st and 16th is just barely over 3 outs a game.


5/31/2010 08:58:00 PM



(5/31/2010 08:42:00 PM) - Al

With Loe arriving tomorrow, that makes six AAA arms Doug has brought up since May 15th. The next step may well be filling out that depleted staff, as other veteran pitchers surely have some similar opt-out clauses and will be using them.

Chris Smith may or may not have a clause, but at the very least, I'm sure he has a handshake agreement that he will be brought up if another team asks about him, and he's been very effective.

I've lauded Doug on his depth building, and sadly, he's being forced to use it, early and often.


5/31/2010 08:42:00 PM



(5/31/2010 08:29:00 PM) - Al

RHP Kameron Loe to join Brewers on Tuesday. Corresponding move yet to be announced.--MLB.com on Twitter

Geez, who would have guessed that?

Now if you'll excuse me, I think I just pulled a muscle patting myself on the back.


5/31/2010 08:29:00 PM



(5/31/2010 06:47:00 PM) - Al

ARI might have SP's available...I've been a big fan of Haren forever, and I'm sure Doug is as well, based on his IP history.


5/31/2010 06:47:00 PM



(5/31/2010 03:46:00 PM) - Al

Edmonds activated, Stern to Nashville.


5/31/2010 03:46:00 PM



(5/31/2010 03:24:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers have flipped Yo and Cappy to eliminate the 3 LH's in a row problem. Capuano goes Wednesday, Yo Thursday.


5/31/2010 03:24:00 PM



(5/31/2010 03:19:00 PM) - Al

Macha admits CV and Estrada "could have used the day off," and CV told him before the game "he wasn't hurting as much as others." Coffey's thumb is hurting and he was unavailable.

As I said, when the SP's are giving you 6-7 good innings, none of this stuff is ever even made public.

When you look at the injuries and use issues, Macha really did not have much choice than to leave Narveson in.


5/31/2010 03:19:00 PM



(5/31/2010 03:11:00 PM) - Al

Ken Macha with a very nice interview saying among other things MLB should wear camouflage uniforms one day each year to honor the military.

It's such a good idea, it's astounding it isn't already done.


5/31/2010 03:11:00 PM



(5/31/2010 02:49:00 PM) - Al

The 6th inning has been a mine field for the Brewers all season, be it starter or reliever, or both. They've been outscored, 36-17, in 6th.--Tom H on Twitter

I thought it'd be more runs allowed than that. Few bullpens are deep enough to be able to throw 4 innings every day.

Right now, the SP's have managed to blow out the bullpen, even though it has 8 arms out there, with only Hoffman limited to a single inning in a game.


5/31/2010 02:49:00 PM



(5/31/2010 02:35:00 PM) - Al

We may well see a move made before tomorrow's game, as Kam Loe is scheduled to start tomorrow night for the Sounds, which would be his last outing before he can "opt out" of his minor league contract. Loe could replace Estrada, who needs some time off and would be unavailable for a day or two anyway, or Suppan, if that ship has sailed.

If not needed before then, Loe may be used to "back up" Capuano, who is not likely to go that long in his first start Thursday.

And yes, Loe will have to have a spot opened up on the 25 and 40 man rosters.


5/31/2010 02:35:00 PM



(5/31/2010 02:29:00 PM) - Al

Estrada being used as a sacrificial lamb of sorts, being used for the 3rd day in a row. That's what happens when you're not as much of a prospect as others.

Suppan up as well, ditto. Braddock is only 22 and has had arm troubles, so I doubt if he's available regardless today. Marco's numbers are going to suffer because of it, but no one ever said life was fair.


5/31/2010 02:29:00 PM



(5/31/2010 02:25:00 PM) - Al

The runner at home called safe, despite the fact he never touches the plate.

They just keep lowering the bar. Soon, it's going to be six feet under.

Of course, it's hot out there.


5/31/2010 02:25:00 PM



(5/31/2010 02:22:00 PM) - Al

That was some nice analysis by BA, talking about the bullpen being "set up for success", and how success soon followed, and the same for failure.


5/31/2010 02:22:00 PM



(5/31/2010 02:01:00 PM) - Al

Narveson pitched outstanding through 5, but once again, puts all the pressure on the bullpen to go 3+ innings yet again.

Last week, the starters were consistently going 6-7 frames, and Yo threw in 9 for good measure. Note the bullpen was effective as well. That ain't coincidental.


5/31/2010 02:01:00 PM



(5/31/2010 02:00:00 PM) - Al

Clumsy stoppage of the game for the Memorial Day tribute. Not sure if the umpires were in charge or the stadium folks, but they botched it.


5/31/2010 02:00:00 PM



(5/31/2010 01:03:00 PM) - Al

Hot Air reminds us that not everyone "celebrates" Memorial Day.

If nothing else, it serves to not just thank those who served, but their families as well.


5/31/2010 01:03:00 PM



(5/31/2010 12:59:00 PM) - Al

I'm not sure if Edmonds is active today or if Stern is still on the official roster. We may not find out until one of them plays.


5/31/2010 12:59:00 PM



(5/31/2010 12:54:00 PM) - Al

MLBTR proposes a Suppan for Oliver Perez swap, with money evening salary out.


5/31/2010 12:54:00 PM



(5/31/2010 12:49:00 PM) - Al

I'll take a glance around the 'net to see if there are any well written tributes, but this is best I've seen so far, by my next Congressman, Sean Duffy.

This weekend, we take time to remember and give thanks to the brave men and women who have laid down their lives in the defense of America. Some commemorate Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, while others celebrate by having picnics, barbecues, family gatherings, parades, vacations, and participating in sporting events. But what unites all Americans, however they choose to spend Memorial Day, is a solemn reverence for the sacrifices our country's brave men and women, and their families have endured.

Let's take a moment to give thought to the families and the friends of the fallen. We cannot measure the depth of their loss, nor comprehend the true measure of their sorrow.

We can, however, let them know that we will never forget their loved ones - their valor, their sacrifice, and what they have accomplished for our nation. Take time to tell a veteran or a family still mourning their son or daughter, brother, sister, or best friend of your respect and gratitude.

President Lincoln's words from that battlefield in Pennsylvania echo our sentiments today: "It is for us, the living, to be dedicated to the unfinished work which they who have fought here have thus so nobly advanced . . . that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave their last full measure of devotion."

So today, let's rededicate ourselves to carrying the torch of liberty and hope and pray that it will light the way for all those who struggle under tyranny and oppression. In so doing, we also pray that it will warm the hearts of our heroes who look down on us from the embrace of God.


5/31/2010 12:49:00 PM



(5/31/2010 12:25:00 PM) - Al

I asked GM Doug Melvin how much longer he could stick with Suppan despite his $12.5 million salary.

"That's not something I want to comment on," said Melvin, obviously reluctant to talk about the situation.

But Melvin did note that several pitching decisions loom on the horizon, including Nashville right-hander Kameron Loe, who has an "out" clause in his contract that triggers Friday, and reliever David Riske, whose 30-day minor league rehab expires in just over a week. At some point, you have to assume lefty Doug Davis will return from that inflammation around his heart lining, too.--Tom H, JS


I've discussed Loe and Riske here as well, and also pointed out Suppan's main value was as SP depth, not as a reliever. With Loe, Parra, and newly active Josh Butler in the picture (for now at least), one could easily say Jeff is not needed.

I still think Suppan would put up a 5ish ERA in a starting role, and much like the recently DFA'd Dontrelle Willis, might be a bargain to somebody for $320K prorated. However, the money Soup is getting is sunk cost, and if his only value is if 2-3 more SP's go down, it is minimal.


5/31/2010 12:25:00 PM



(5/31/2010 12:22:00 PM) - Al

It's a new game...spot the IT consultant!


5/31/2010 12:22:00 PM



(5/31/2010 12:14:00 AM) - Al

Don Surber blasts the president.


5/31/2010 12:14:00 AM


Sunday, May 30, 2010

(5/30/2010 11:08:00 PM) - Al

"my package is burning" wins quote of the year. Thank you Denard Span.--Twitter

Span took a glove to the groin after making the final out, as Orlando Hudson took the worst of it...if you don't figure in the package pain, I guess.


5/30/2010 11:08:00 PM



(5/30/2010 09:52:00 PM) - Al

Is it possible the Sunday night baseball guys are just playing games with us?

They all, including Orel H, who used to be a pitching coach in Arlington, all act dumbfounded that the Rangers' offense is so much better at Arlington...which, of course, is an offensive paradise.


5/30/2010 09:52:00 PM



(5/30/2010 04:12:00 PM) - Al

Braddock getting crushed as well. When Francouer gets 4 hits, it's just not your day.

That fastball is, once again, very straight. He has to locate it better.


5/30/2010 04:12:00 PM



(5/30/2010 03:34:00 PM) - Al

After being unlucky in the 6th, Suppan just got lit up in the 7th. Seeing Estrada come on makes you think Axford is unavailable today (and possibly CV), and Trevor is the 9th inning guy today. Wolf's short outing put the pressure on the back of the bullpen.

I seem to recall Braddock may have been up Friday night, and I know he pitched yesterday...I wonder if he'll work the 9th or if he is off today.

UPDATE: Braddock and Axford both warming up for the 9th. Never mind my thoughts.


5/30/2010 03:34:00 PM



(5/30/2010 03:13:00 PM) - Al

Soup hurt by that jam job blooper to short RF.

These umpires, cannot even be remotely consistent for half a a game. That 3-1 pitch was 6 inches outside minimum. How embarrassing.


5/30/2010 03:13:00 PM



(5/30/2010 03:00:00 PM) - Al

Note the excuse making in the article linked...whose fault is it? Those evil capitalists!

It is true, as pointed out, the person in question easily has enough income to survive...but reading between the lines, she probably spends $200 a month on coffee and $500 on "entertainment"...welcome to 2010 America.


5/30/2010 03:00:00 PM



(5/30/2010 02:01:00 PM) - Al

I did think once last night that BA must be off TBS today because he was doing the Brewers' game, but it turns out he just drove down to Chicago today.


5/30/2010 02:01:00 PM



(5/30/2010 01:50:00 PM) - Al

After throwing 150+ pitches Thursday, a UW-Milwaukee pitcher came back and pitched a few innings today...236 pitches total.

No idea if this kid had any kind of future in pro ball, but even if he did, he probably doesn't now.


5/30/2010 01:50:00 PM



(5/30/2010 11:51:00 AM) - Al

Tim Kirkjan said that a scout told him the addition of power pitchers Axford and Braddock has the Brewers' staff looking completely different.

They also discussed how good Casey McGehee has been, though missed by most.


5/30/2010 11:51:00 AM



(5/30/2010 11:08:00 AM) - Al

Baseball Tonight is on at 11:30 today, and George Will, one of the smartest men alive, will make an appearance.


5/30/2010 11:08:00 AM



(5/30/2010 10:30:00 AM) - Al

A very good read on the president, his thin skin, and his continued attempts to rewrite history as it's happening.

The idea this is a time full of difficult decisions...compared to Pearl Harbor and WW2, the Cuban missle crisis, the Cold War, 9/11...is laughable and just plain silly.

Back when I worked retail, every time we had a manager's meeting, the same folks would always try and make their store seem like they were barely holding it together, a "woe is me, if not for my tremendous leadership" type scenario. Some of them succeeded for a short time, but most would improve as more hours were given to them, then revert back to the norm when they were taken away. But, it was never their fault.

Sound familiar?


5/30/2010 10:30:00 AM



(5/30/2010 10:24:00 AM) - Al

This is why people don't trust the numbers the government puts out.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to hire some guy to mow my lawn, then tell him I don't need him...and I will just "created" one job.

Oof.


5/30/2010 10:24:00 AM



(5/30/2010 09:51:00 AM) - Al

I was curious if Ken would rest any regulars versus the knuckleballer, but it's the same guys, except Lucroy is catching Wolf.

I think it's accepted that the normal platoon split does not exist with those that throw the fluttering pitch, and Dickey is no exception, as RH's have outhit LH's by almost 100 OPS points in his career.

It will also be interesting to see how the bullpen is used. I would assume Coffey, Estrada, and Parra are all unavailable (I feel Capuano will take the starting spot next time, until told otherwise) today, and Axford is a question mark, as he pitched last night and Thursday, and was up in the top of the 9th Friday night, and continued to throw until Hart's HR landed in the 'pen. Some would consider that to be as warm as if had pitched, others would not.

Who is set up to pitch the 9th affects who goes the rest of the game, of course, and I assume Braddock, CV, and Hoffman would be the guys to set up Axford if available, with Suppan being the guy to come in in case Wolf gets hit.

Many expect a pitcher to go down when Edmonds is activated tomorrow, but I do not, as the pitching staff is still suffering from the short spot starts of Manny and Marco and needs an extra arm. I expect Adam Stern to make another trip to Nashville myself, unless Inglett needs some time to heal his ankle, as he's only been available to hit, not to run or field.


5/30/2010 09:51:00 AM



(5/30/2010 09:49:00 AM) - Al

Macha breaks out an interesting order today, though many of us may well go with this one every day.

Weeks 2B, Braun LF, Fielder 1B, McGehee 3B, Hart RF, Gomez CF, Lucroy C, Wolf P, Escobar SS

Of course, with Casey and Corey both running good, any order is going to be effective.


5/30/2010 09:49:00 AM



(5/30/2010 01:57:00 AM) - Al

Brewers' have the 2nd best ERA in the NL in the past week. Tonight's HR by Davis was the first in a week and a half as well.

As I said earlier, Macha's suddenly become a far better manager with his pitchers getting outs.:)


5/30/2010 01:57:00 AM


Saturday, May 29, 2010

(5/29/2010 10:50:00 PM) - Al

The old media still surprised how much "anger" there is out there. They should try chatting with people outside the Northeast.


5/29/2010 10:50:00 PM



(5/29/2010 10:04:00 PM) - Al

Second year in a row Saving Private Ryan is not on Memorial Day weekend. Ironically, it was on last weekend late Saturday evening. If ever a movie was made that should air annually on a certain day, that's it.

However, Taking Chance will air on HBO both tomorrow and Monday. If you've never seen that one, do yourself a favor and clear a couple hours out of your schedule. You won't regret it.


5/29/2010 10:04:00 PM



(5/29/2010 09:54:00 PM) - Al

Dave Riske worked two innings for the first time tonight, and continued to be effective. They'll have to make a spot for him in a couple weeks if he can also continue with his comeback. Be something if Capuano and Riske can contribute.


5/29/2010 09:54:00 PM



(5/29/2010 09:46:00 PM) - Al

Brent Brewer decided to quit the game and was placed on the restricted list at Class AA Huntsville.

A second-round pick in the 2006 draft who signed for $600,000, the 22-year-old Brewer never fulfilled his potential. He batted .240 in 427 games with 472 strikeouts in 1,584 at-bats, and committed 145 errors.

Brewer turned down a football scholarship to Florida State to sign with the Brewers, but farm director Reid Nichols said he made no mention of giving that sport a try upon deciding to quit baseball.

"He just said he was burned out," said Nichols. "He said he was going to hang it up and go home. He felt like he didn't want to play anymore.--Tom H, JS


I'd be burned out too if I was 22 and cashed a check for $600K a few years ago.

What a frickin' waste of athletic ability. You would think there would be some sort of contractual agreement that draftees actually have to, you know, not quit for 6-7 years or they have to pay back a prorated part of the bonus, but I doubt if there is. Brewer was rumored to have discussed quitting last season and go play college football, but his agent denied it...as if that makes it any more likely to be false, I'll leave up to you.


5/29/2010 09:46:00 PM



(5/29/2010 09:44:00 PM) - Al

Corey Hart not only hit 3 homers in 2 games, he managed to not break a bone celebrating last night.

Oy vey.


5/29/2010 09:44:00 PM



(5/29/2010 09:40:00 PM) - Al

Tell you what, Ken Macha is a genius as long as everyone he throws out there puts up zeroes. Estrada made one bad pitch, which wasn't all "that bad," and everyone else was superb.


5/29/2010 09:40:00 PM



(5/29/2010 09:36:00 PM) - Al

Lenny Dykstra cannot believe David Wright swung at a 2-0 pitch down 2 in the 9th.


5/29/2010 09:36:00 PM



(5/29/2010 09:30:00 PM) - Al

Dontrelle Willis to be DFA'd. He has not been awful this year, so he might get a shot in a weak rotation, as soon as his salary is no longer a concern.


5/29/2010 09:30:00 PM



(5/29/2010 09:02:00 PM) - Al

I know it happens weekly, but I'm flabbergasted that ABC is rerunning the Lost finale while TNT is airing the Suns/Lakers playoff game. With network ratings falling at an alarming rate, sports programming is becoming more and more valuable, as the NBA has led in total viewers many nights, despite being on cable.


5/29/2010 09:02:00 PM



(5/29/2010 08:41:00 PM) - Al

Amazing how much better the bullpen is pitching since they went to 8 relievers (and the rotation has been going a bit deeper on average as well).

Rested arms > weary arms


5/29/2010 08:41:00 PM



(5/29/2010 07:50:00 PM) - Al

Pitching duel last night, offensive battle tonight. Not a horrible pitch from Estrada, but Davis hit it.


5/29/2010 07:50:00 PM



(5/29/2010 07:37:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling brother just reminded me that Howard Johnson, now the Mets' hitting coach, is a distant relative on my mom's side. I refer to this as "related by rumor," as the connection is probably so slight as to be nearly nonexistent.

I was flipping last night and was watching a History Channel special on the Pilgrims. It was mentioned once or three times growing up that my mom was somehow related to John Alden, one of those who landed in 1620. They said last night that over 10% of all Americans can trace their heritage back to the Pilgrims. I guess it wasn't as rare as I had thought.

Note that apparently, my dad's part of the family did not believe in carrying on the name.:)


5/29/2010 07:37:00 PM



(5/29/2010 07:31:00 PM) - Al

I recall Ken Macha saying earlier this year that he learned when he was an advance scout that almost all HR's were the result of "terrible pitches."

All these Hart blasts have been right down the middle, maybe not "terrible," but far from good pitches. It's easy to imagine that there have been times when Corey has not seen 3 "mistakes" like that in a 3 week span often in his career.


5/29/2010 07:31:00 PM



(5/29/2010 07:28:00 PM) - Al

My first thought was that Adam Jones has such a common name, there's probably someone on a list with that same name...I was unaware Pacman's real name was Adam.


5/29/2010 07:28:00 PM



(5/29/2010 06:41:00 PM) - Al

I can only think of the many "experts" who have been trying to find ways to dump Casey McGehee and Corey Hart.

Heh.


5/29/2010 06:41:00 PM



(5/29/2010 06:22:00 PM) - Al

The strike zone tonight is the approximate size of a baby pea.


5/29/2010 06:22:00 PM



(5/29/2010 06:15:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers are once again drawing interest in outfielder Corey Hart. The Giants, Padres, and A's are among the teams that could use a boost in the outfield and Milwaukee will seek starting pitching in return. Rosenthal doesn't see the Giants as a fit because they won't part with any of their starters and their outfield situation has recently improved. Meanwhile, the A's and Padres want to be comfortable with their overall health and chances before they make any moves. If Jim Edmonds and Jody Gerut get healthy, Hart could be dealt. Hart is under team control through 2011, should his team choose to tender him a contract.--Rosenthal, via MLBTR

Anyone trading for Corey right now would be buying high. Decisions will have to be made on a few of the "core" guys...Hart, Weeks, and Fielder, before next season.


5/29/2010 06:15:00 PM



(5/29/2010 02:09:00 PM) - Al

I'm off to enjoy a nap. Please, please...keep it down.


5/29/2010 02:09:00 PM



(5/29/2010 02:07:00 PM) - Al

It's a good thing Ollie Stone was not alive back when Hitler was in charge.

What a blithering idiot.


5/29/2010 02:07:00 PM



(5/29/2010 01:57:00 PM) - Al

Look pontiff, it's bad enough I'm having an illicit affair, but this keeping it quiet stuff is really a pain.

The truth is always stranger than fiction.


5/29/2010 01:57:00 PM



(5/29/2010 01:53:00 PM) - Al

You know, when they're going to tell a fib, you'd think they would not suck at it so badly.


5/29/2010 01:53:00 PM



(5/29/2010 01:33:00 PM) - Al

Vargas DFA'd to make room for Cappy.

Claudio will probably hook on quickly elsewhere, as his K numbers are superb, so he's missing bats. With whispers of a sore or tired arm from before Opening Day, it is likely he has yet to pitch at full strength. With a couple weeks off, and some fine tuning, he'll probably be back to his old form.

Good luck to him.


5/29/2010 01:33:00 PM



(5/29/2010 01:15:00 PM) - Al

2010 TOP BREWERS' PROSPECTS

Ages listed are "seasonal age", which is how old they will be on 7-1-10.

1. Alcides Escobar, SS, 23--No doubt, as both his floor and ceiling is as high as anyone. Still very young, he will continue to improve for several years. People forget how young this guy is. .316/.380 in the bigs thus far, and a 696 OPS for a SS is above average (in '09, .328/.394, 692 OPS was the total of all SS's)...and this is a guy known for his glove. So, above average is his floor, his ceiling is as close to limitless as anyone in the system.

I got into some trouble for even putting Escobar and Jeter in the same sentence, as I did here and here. A safer comparison may be Edgar Renteria, but when a 23 year-old rookie is already above average, ladies and gentlemen, that's what a #1 prospect looks like.

2. Brett Lawrie, 2B, 20--An 800 OPS in low A is not overly impressive, but yet, it is when you're 19 and a 2B. Time will tell is he ends up there (1B/3B/OF are all possibilities). Just barely edged out Gamel for this spot.

3. Mat Gamel, 3B, 24--Tailed off in second half after fine start last year, which is his norm. Still very iffy at 3B, more likely to end up at 1B/LF/RF, especially if his bat plays. Please ignore casuals saying his trouble was caused by sitting on bench in MIL...he got 468 PA's last season, just a half-dozen fewer than Lawrie. Simply put, some look to blame anyone but the player for a down campaign. 760 OPS in the bigs, 839 in AAA...both very solid for a 23 year-old, but he's capable of more.

4. Jake Odorizzi, RHP, 20--An outstanding young arm currently pitching at Appleton, he's the real deal. All of the vital career stats (6 HR's allowed in 108 IP's, more K's than IP's, 3.3 K/BB ratio) indicate future success. His numbers compare nicely with Yo's at a young age, though Jake is a level behind where Yo was at that age. As always with young pitching, the key is to keep him healthy and progressing.

5. Scooter Gennett, SS, 20--A doubles machine in his first year out of high school, Scooter fell in the draft because of his commitment to Florida State, and was looked at as a possible 1st/2nd round talent. A smaller guy (5-9, 160), he may have to move to 2B at some point, but for now, he's a SS that is on pace to hit 50 doubles. Power usually develops last, so despite his size, some of those two-baggers will turn into HR's as he matures.

6. Caleb Gindl, OF, 21--Another vertically challenged (5-9) draftee, Caleb will have to prove himself twice as much as those who stand "this much" taller, but thus far, has done exactly that, moving up a level each season. .363/.459 as a 20 year-old in high A ball is very noteworthy, especially in the pitcher's paradise of Brevard County. Unlikely to be a star, but should hold down a place in the OF for several years.

7. Wily Peralta, RHP, 21--Slow to develop like many Latino prospects (probably a result of culture change), broke out last season in Appleton. Similar to Odorizzi in that he K's more than a hitter an inning, has a fine K/BB ratio (2.5-1), and rarely gives up the long ball (7 HR's in 154 IP in '09-'10), he is one of the two possible arms that may someday end up as #1/2 SP's.

8. Angel Salome, C, 24--Angel can flat out hit, .338/.420 in over 300 PA's in AAA. His ceiling is far higher than fellow backstop Jon Lucroy, who profiles more as a backup or half-timer to me. However, Lucroy has now moved ahead of Angel, as Salome has suffered from injuries (he is only 5-7), a recent diagnosis of depression, and questions about his overall defense (game calling, release time). However, his potential and offense leaves him at #8, despite his warts and a floor well lower than Lucroy.

9. Zach Braddock, LHP, 22--You're probably surprised to see him this low, as I would bump him up if I included my impressions of his short stay in the majors thus far. However, 97 mph fastball aside, he is what he is...a reliever with little chance of ever being more than a 70 innings a year guy, and also, one with past arm troubles. His results in AA and AAA indicate both his velocity (50 K's in 32 frames), control (4-1 K/BB ratio), and straightness of his heater (3 HR's in 32 IP). He's 22, but I'm not really sure how his ceiling is that much higher than what he is today (other than being used in the 9th rather than the 7th and 8th, known as the mythical closer quality).

10. Lorenzo Cain, CF, 24--Lo wasted most of '09 on the DL, so he needs to boost his status in '10. Good but not great .354/.429, 773 OPS line in AA spread out in his years of 22-24, he still lands in the top ten because of his ability to play CF. Lo should move up to AAA during the '10 campaign and get back some of his mojo lost due to his unfortunate limited time last year.

Bonus blurbs, or, they were considered, but did not make the list:

11. Logan Schafer, CF, 23--Impressive in high A ball last season (.369/.446) and in Arizona this spring, has not played yet in '10 due to injury.

12. Eric Arnett, RHP, 22--First round choice last summer, has some on the ledge due to struggles at Appleton, but likely learning new mechanics. Throws 92-94 and has a plus breaking ball now. Projects as a mid-rotation guy.

13. Amaury Rivas, RHP, 24--Polished for AA, was considered to make the start last Sunday. Nothing jumps out, but may have a nice career at the bottom of the rotation or in the bullpen.

14. John Axford, RHP, 27--I liked him last September, thought he may be a nice inexpensive middle reliever during his cost controlled seasons. Suddenly, is now hitting 95-97 consistently, locating nicely, and has a devastating, nearly unhittable curve. AAA career, 47 IP, 57 K's, 2 HR's. If he able to throw strikes, he might be the closer by '11 at the latest. For me to have a fella who is 27 even on the list (3 years older than anyone else) should tell you how impressive his two pitches are.

15. Kentrail Davis, OF, 22--Skipped low A and started in A+, and has predictably been up and down. However, as long as he can play CF (questions about his arm, and yet another 5-9 fella), his .371 OBP and 5 triples thus far show the promise a supplemental first round pick should have.

Notables that did not make the extended version include the aforementioned Lucroy (on one hand, the fact he has a decent chance to be a solid, if unspectacular catcher makes me wonder if I should have him in the 13-15 mix, on the other, so does George Kottaras, and he was picked up on waivers), Taylor Green (also missed much of '09 with injury, but I'm not sure if he profiles as a 2B, a 3B, or as a Joe Inglett utility type), and Kyle Heckathorn, also drafted last summer, a big RHP, who will all but certainly make the next list, doing well in Appleton as well.

Any comments? Feel free to shoot me an e-mail.


5/29/2010 01:15:00 PM



(5/29/2010 10:05:00 AM) - Al

If these two kids can't make it, what hope is there for the rest of us?

I'm positive this is Warhol's 15 minutes line being proven correct.


5/29/2010 10:05:00 AM



(5/29/2010 09:26:00 AM) - Al

George Will talks about Ron Johnson, a successful businessman pushed to run by runaway spending.


5/29/2010 09:26:00 AM



(5/29/2010 09:02:00 AM) - Al

How bad is Sex and the City 2? It's score over at Rotten Tomatoes? Well lower than mega-bomb MacGruber.

When you figure in thousands of SATC fans are likely giving it high marks without seeing it yet, that may indicate that it is historically awful.


5/29/2010 09:02:00 AM



(5/29/2010 08:50:00 AM) - Al

Capuano's story is about as good as it gets. Not only is this his second Tommy John recovery, he's been out of the bigs for 2.5 years. There can't be many guys on the team that even know him...Yo, Soup, Craig, Rickie, Prince, Ryan, and Prince? Doug Davis from the first go round?


5/29/2010 08:50:00 AM



(5/29/2010 08:41:00 AM) - Al

He Was Supposed To Be Competent

Dare I say it, a devastating headline at the WSJ.

The irony is, now that he's back on vacation, the press will look the other way for a few more days. Even the Sestak "scandal" was dumped before the long weekend, so as to allow us to forget that little nugget of judgment gone awry.


5/29/2010 08:41:00 AM



(5/29/2010 01:05:00 AM) - Al

Excuse me pot, this is the kettle...you are so black.

It's funny because it's true.


5/29/2010 01:05:00 AM


Friday, May 28, 2010

(5/28/2010 11:51:00 PM) - Al

Capuano pulled after 4 innings in Nashville and he will be brought to the majors...his "out clause" was tomorrow. A 25 and a 40 man spot will have to be created, and I'd say there's a good chance Parra's start tomorrow will be his last for a while.

Estrada, Braddock, and Axford have options, and I suppose Vargas and Suppan could be considered DFA candidates...unless someone is DL'd. Stern could be taken off the 40 when Edmonds returns, but that's not 'til Monday. However, since he can't pitch for a day or two anyway, Cappy may not be activated until then.


5/28/2010 11:51:00 PM



(5/28/2010 11:25:00 PM) - Al

O's bats silent as Millwood's effort wasted.

The above is the MLB.com headline about the Orioles/Jays affair, which TOR won 5-0.

Kevin Millwood gave up 4 earned runs in 6 innings.

Heh. Drama much?


5/28/2010 11:25:00 PM



(5/28/2010 11:16:00 PM) - Al

I now have people sending in Tony W's errors...my inbox runneth over.

9th inning: Gallardo walked Wright. With two on and two outs and a 2-2 count on Pagan, the crowd stood but Gallardo and Kottaras couldn't get on the same page and needed a quick visit. When Gallardo came set finally, the crowd still standing, he fired a fastball down in the zone that was called strike three to Pagan's disgust.

Feliciano got Fielder to bounce out. He was then taken out and Braun hit an infield single on a ball that Reyes speared with a nice dive, but his throw to first wasn't in time. McGehee chased a pitch up and popped out to first against Igarashi. Hart sent the Brewers home happy, smoking a walk-off homer into his team's bullpen for his 10th home run of the season and his first walk-off of his career.


Brewers 1, Mets 0.

Heh. At least he didn't have Hoffman getting the save.


5/28/2010 11:16:00 PM



(5/28/2010 10:24:00 PM) - Al

I never wear caps (in fact, we just got one at work yesterday, and an office gal put it on my head, and it may well have been the first time I've worn a cap since '95, when I last delivered a pizza), but if I did, this is an incredibly sharp looking one that the Crew will wear Monday, and maybe on July 4th.


5/28/2010 10:24:00 PM



(5/28/2010 09:43:00 PM) - Al

Makes you appreciate how good Yo and Johan were when a reliever comes in and manages to split the plate with a fastball (Corey called it a split) after a half-dozen pitches.

Of late, the rotation is pitching much better, and the bullpen has improved dramatically since adding that extra arm to better split up the duty.


5/28/2010 09:43:00 PM



(5/28/2010 09:22:00 PM) - Al

Aaron with a fine linkfest.


5/28/2010 09:22:00 PM



(5/28/2010 06:06:00 PM) - Al

I'm on record for not blaming Obama for much of anything to do with the oil spill, but it's tough to remotely disagree that the old media would be all over W, whether that was correct or not.


5/28/2010 06:06:00 PM



(5/28/2010 05:57:00 PM) - Al

1. It's a very bad idea to lie about your income when it's a matter of public record, this NJ teacher finds out.

2. "Then you don't have to do it."--Chris Christie

This Christie fella is an incredible blessing. A fiscal conservative who dares to inform a crybaby making damn near six figures a year that she is free to look for other employment? Simply beautiful. This guy keeps up the one-liners, he's VP material.


5/28/2010 05:57:00 PM



(5/28/2010 05:36:00 PM) - Al

Prince Fielder, Brewers 1B:

Though little has been mentioned publicly about a potential trade for Prince, competing executives see a deal for him as a real possibility now. Milwaukee started negotiations early enough to gauge its chances to retain Fielder, which appear slim with him seeking about as much money as aggressive owner Mark Attanasio paid for the franchise. No disrespect was meant when one NL GM remarked, "Milwaukee can't afford the Prince Fielders of the world." The Giants, who have been interested in the past, are one team that could make some sense.


So does the Yankees, especially since they have said they intend to go after "a hitter" at the deadline to replace the injured Nick Johnson. Heck, so does the Rays, though they don't seem to have much more of a chance to sign him long-term than the Crew. The Mariners have no offense at 1B or DH, and Jack Z knows Prince well. If the Mariners are still in the race, that seems as likely as anything.


5/28/2010 05:36:00 PM



(5/28/2010 05:11:00 PM) - Al

Gang, Memorial Day is NOT about barbecues and picnics. Please. PLEASE understand it's about those who fought for our freedom. Thank them.--Liz Claman on Twitter

Thank goodness we have incredibly brave men and women who have no qualms fighting pure evil to defend and protect the greatest country in the history of the world. Liz is correct, of course, but in honor of their service, especially those who never made it home, we should all spend this holiday weekend by driving safely, eating food from the grill, and enjoying the sacrifices they made to give us the freedoms we all take for granted.

Other links from the world wide web:

Ted Nugent says every day should be treated as Memorial Day. I can think of many worse thoughts.

The annual Memorial Day concert in DC will be Monday evening on PBS. It's a very nice show, and a nice way to wind down after a weekend of activity. And, since our tax dollars fund it, it's nice to see anything but the normal worthless crap on PBS.


5/28/2010 05:11:00 PM


Thursday, May 27, 2010

(5/27/2010 09:12:00 PM) - Al

I just had an e-mail exchange with the Rambling brother, in which I realized that a significant part of the team

Narveson
Axford
Coffey
Estrada
Kottaras
Inglett
McGehee
Edmonds
Stern

were not acquired by trade, through the draft, or as a major league free agent...they were all signed as minor league free agents, or picked up on waivers. Doug is the absolute master of adding depth (and in some cases, guys who have developed into far more) through the proper utilization of free talent.


5/27/2010 09:12:00 PM



(5/27/2010 08:26:00 PM) - Al

Insider wonders (subscription required) if the Crew will look to trade Weeks this summer or in the offseason.

I think the Crew will either sign him to an extension or deal him, as has been their custom. While ESPN mentions Lawrie as a potential replacement, though maybe not in '11, I think a short-term solution may well be Joe Inglett.

Behold:

Weeks career---.350/.413, 763 OPS
Weeks '09-'10--.339/.444, 783
Inglett career-.352/.405, 757
Inglett vs RHP-.356/.417, 773

Pair him up with a RH hitting 2B (which, to be blunt, are a dime a dozen), and Inglett might give you 95% of Rickie's production for 5% of the cost.

Of course, Weeks might still break through with a couple 900 OPS campaigns as he reaches 27, so needless to say, Rickie's ceiling is oodles higher.


5/27/2010 08:26:00 PM



(5/27/2010 08:22:00 PM) - Al

The Sounders have doubled up the Mariners' attendance when they competed head-to-head this year.

That's surprising.


5/27/2010 08:22:00 PM



(5/27/2010 07:55:00 PM) - Al

Eduardo Morlan signs Minor League deal with #Brewers, heading to Huntsville.--Adam, MLB.com

This is my 2nd predicted signing in two weeks, as I called the Josh Anderson to Nashville deal as well.

The irony? Tony W makes up words like "injurying," and gets paid to do this, and could not properly prognosticate what part of the sky the sun will rise in tomorrow.

Irony the sequel? Tony W has no idea who Morlan is, even as he's reading this.

All you need to know about Eddie is he has 460 K's in 419 career minor league innings. He throws hard, and you can't teach that.


5/27/2010 07:55:00 PM



(5/27/2010 04:38:00 PM) - Al

Adam Stern returns, Gerut on the DL.

This may well just be for the weekend, as Edmonds may return Monday.


5/27/2010 04:38:00 PM



(5/27/2010 04:34:00 PM) - Al

For reasons that only God and Ken Macha knows, Randy Wolf is then sent out to pinch hit for the Brewers.--Craig, Hardball Talk

This is why I can't stand Craig on HT, because he is not just clueless, he doesn't take the time to do minimal research on who's hurt and who isn't.


5/27/2010 04:34:00 PM



(5/27/2010 04:30:00 PM) - Al

Jason e-mails me this little blurb pointing out that Cowboy Joe West's publicist has told the media in Boston he will be available for interviews this weekend.

Emphasis added by me. There are so many things wrong with that, it's remarkable it fits in one sentence.

Egads. The umpires don't just want to be bigger than the game, they want to be the game.


5/27/2010 04:30:00 PM



(5/27/2010 04:25:00 PM) - Al

I only saw it during the recap late in the game, but on the Weeks error, it looked like Prince just missed the throw. Have to comment on that again later when I see it again.

Wolf was used to PH...that means they were really short of bench guys this whole week, as obviously, more than Gerut was hurting. Everyone thinks it's easy managing, because in their mind, all they do is fill out the batting order, which is almost completely meaningless anyway.

I would have used Lucroy, but many managers hesitate to use their last catcher. It's easy for me to say, as I would have no one to answer to if Casey McGehee had to catch a couple innings, injured his knee, and had to have surgery.


5/27/2010 04:25:00 PM



(5/27/2010 04:23:00 PM) - Al

Source: Umpire Joe West to face discipline from MLB. Punishment will be suspension or fine. Umpires union and MLB talking about severity.--Jeff Passan

Apparently, they don't always do a good job keeping these things quiet.

That said, they will probably "punish" them by suspending them with pay or something like that.


5/27/2010 04:23:00 PM



(5/27/2010 12:17:00 PM) - Al

The error total is high because half of them are of the "phantom" variety, like that one to Alcides. He should have paused, set himself, and made a nice routine toss to Prince. It would have been late, but it would have been a base hit.

The scorer is so ignorant, he penalizes players for knowing the situation and making a hurried throw to try and get a speedy runner. That, my friends, is taking stupidity to an entirely new level.


5/27/2010 12:17:00 PM



(5/27/2010 11:54:00 AM) - Al

I didn't know umpire punishments were not made public. They are literally like a government agent...above the law.

This is what always occurs when a group gets absolute control. They let their performance slip, and then the defensive behavior occurs. Let's be blunt here, ignoring the postseason, when the umpires did everything to put their profession back decades; they did such a terrible job that MLB was forced to change the way the sport had been called for 125+ years and institute instant replay (as if to prove how awful they were, they were 0-5 last year when they had to check the replay in Brewers' games) on fair/foul, over the wall or not HR decisions.


5/27/2010 11:54:00 AM



(5/27/2010 11:32:00 AM) - Al

If Feingold only had a real name against him, he'd be very beatable. As is, he's running even with a complete unknown.


5/27/2010 11:32:00 AM



(5/27/2010 12:29:00 AM) - Al

+30 then, -22 now, in a little over a year.

Amazing.


5/27/2010 12:29:00 AM



(5/27/2010 12:26:00 AM) - Al

Adam says "Brewers will reexamine bench situation on Thursday"...this probably means someone is on a plane now, or will be in the AM.


5/27/2010 12:26:00 AM


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

(5/26/2010 10:05:00 PM) - Al

Jason sends in this Darwin Award nominee...matador gored through chin, horn comes out mouth.

You know, I'm not an expert, but it might be time to truly question the sanity and common sense of bullfighting.


5/26/2010 10:05:00 PM



(5/26/2010 09:46:00 PM) - Al

Meanwhile, Joey Crawford, an NBA official, just went over and helped to steady Glen Davis, who took an inadvertent elbow to the chin, so he would not fall down...despite the fact Davis weighs twice as much.

I'm sure the men in blue would have just thrown him out...hey, it's hot out there.

The current MLB group, despite the worst postseason in history, simply thinks they are a gift to the game. I can't imagine starting over could possibly get any worse. At least, I would figure, the new guys would give a good effort and not throw guys out for daring to question how much they suck.


5/26/2010 09:46:00 PM



(5/26/2010 09:41:00 PM) - Al

Fangraphs notes yet another ejection of a questionable nature.

Is a conference call needed?

Hey guys, how about we not throw out any starting pitchers or superstars today...um, OK? You guys do realize that not a single fan shows up to watch you guys...right?


5/26/2010 09:41:00 PM



(5/26/2010 08:32:00 PM) - Al

It's sad that a candidate for Congress (who may be black, but I'm not sure) uses the fact that "they won't call me a racist" as a reason to vote for him.

The only thing more sad...it is a viable reason to vote for him, in the political climate of present day DC.


5/26/2010 08:32:00 PM



(5/26/2010 08:10:00 PM) - Al

Does Sweden or the US spend more on social welfare?

The idea you can ask the question tells me the USA is far too close to Sweden for comfort, as the post shows.


5/26/2010 08:10:00 PM



(5/26/2010 08:03:00 PM) - Al

Another day, another home plate umpire looking for trouble.

It isn't even hot yet.

Who would have guessed Grumpiest Old Men would not be part three in the Lemmon/Matthau trifecta, but a documentary about inconsistent strike zones and quick trigger fingers.


5/26/2010 08:03:00 PM



(5/26/2010 07:53:00 PM) - Al

Tax raises aren't necessary if you don't raise spending?

Who woulda thunk it?


5/26/2010 07:53:00 PM



(5/26/2010 07:47:00 PM) - Al

Is it me, or how goofy is the fascination with John Axford's facial hair? Heck, I don't care what he does, as long as he keeps throwing 95+ and then drops in a big hook.

What am I missing here?


5/26/2010 07:47:00 PM



(5/26/2010 07:42:00 PM) - Al

A female poker reporter is shocked (shocked I tell ya) that online poker sites seem to be marketing towards young males.

Heh. Have another joint (note name o' blog) and get a clue.

When 95% of your clientele is a specific gender, and the vast majority of them are in their 20's, you sure better aim your marketing at them.


5/26/2010 07:42:00 PM



(5/26/2010 07:27:00 PM) - Al

I was just thinking, maybe there's a very capable AAA veteran C or OF who has an "out clause" coming up soon, as Loe and Capuano do. Lucroy is both inexpensive and likely plenty able to split time somehow with George K, so I doubt they'll look too hard unless one comes very cheaply.

If Lucroy was penciled in as early as next year, he will probably prosper working in the bigs on a part-time basis, especially with his pitch calling and defense...he did seem to "swipe" at the ball sometimes last night, rather than framing it to give the umpire a good look. That will probably be a thing of the past in a couple weeks.

Actually, I recall Trent Oeltjen has an out clause coming up soon. He has a far higher ceiling than Stern, at least. .350/.450 in 1400 career AAA AB's is far from superb, but it's passable, especially for a guy who can play all three OF spots.


5/26/2010 07:27:00 PM



(5/26/2010 07:25:00 PM) - Al

Hanging the American flag...nope, take it down.

Happy Memorial Day my friends.


5/26/2010 07:25:00 PM



(5/26/2010 07:20:00 PM) - Al

My goodness Carlos Gomez can throw. He's gotta be worth 10 runs a year just for his arm. Probably 4-5 runs for his actual throws, and about the same because lots of guys won't try to take the extra base on him.


5/26/2010 07:20:00 PM



(5/26/2010 07:05:00 PM) - Al

Zaun may be out for the season. Thank goodness Doug claimed Kottaras when he was available this winter. Doug sounds like he'll keep his eyes open, but does not sound very excited about trading for a backstop.

Note that Zaun and Kottaras have the 3rd best OPS in the NL. That's why I did not quote Gregg's early 0-15 or whatever it was...you end up looking like a casual clod using those tiny samples.

Also, Gerut may have to go on the DL. I assume Stern would be the replacement, so unless they pick up someone else, I can't say I'm overly in a hurry to have Adam back...he's a journeyman for a reason. Inglett can spell Hart once in a while versus a tough RHP, and Braun will play pretty much every day...that only leaves Gomez as possibly needing an in-house reserve...when is Edmonds due back?

While some folks pick on Jody, the difference between Gerut and Stern is huge.


5/26/2010 07:05:00 PM


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

(5/25/2010 10:06:00 PM) - Al

The organization could be on the verge of losing some of its depth: Kameron Loe, the best starter at Triple-A Nashville this season, has a June 5 opt-out clause in his minor-league contract, one source told FOXSports.com.

If Loe isn’t in the majors by that date, he can ask for his release. The right-hander is 4-2 with a 2.70 ERA in nine starts this season. Loe, 28, last pitched in the majors two seasons ago. He is 19-23 with a 4.77 ERA in 107 big-league games, all with the Texas Rangers.—Jon Paul Morosi


Capuano and Loe will likely quickly be snapped up by numerous teams if allowed to hit free agency. This might be a situation in which the Crew chooses to send Braddock or someone with options down to maintain that depth.


5/25/2010 10:06:00 PM



(5/25/2010 08:19:00 PM) - Al

The Nationals decided who they were going to take almost a year ago.

If those two stay healthy and develop, DC may have just rebuilt themselves in two drafts.


5/25/2010 08:19:00 PM



(5/25/2010 07:53:00 PM) - Al

Bill, it is a base hit in 29 parks. In Miller Park, with the old guy in the chair, it's a "I'm clueless" error.


5/25/2010 07:53:00 PM



(5/25/2010 07:45:00 PM) - Al

Lucroy suffering from growing pains. Looks like he crossed himself up.

There's a reason why catchers often can't hit at all. Their first priority is to run the game and get the pitcher through as many innings as he can. Having to run out to the mound several times an inning...not good for anyone.

Hopefully, he will pick up some knowledge during his time in the majors.


5/25/2010 07:45:00 PM



(5/25/2010 06:56:00 PM) - Al

Eddie Morlan, who the Crew took in the Rule 5 from the Rays a couple years ago, was released.

He's a hard thrower who has never taken that last step. Doug may well pounce on him and let him work in Huntsville.


5/25/2010 06:56:00 PM



(5/25/2010 06:52:00 PM) - Al

Super Bowl in Jersey? Sounds like a poorly thought plan to me.

The worst thing is, all we're going to hear about for weeks before is talk about the weather. That will be great.


5/25/2010 06:52:00 PM



(5/25/2010 06:43:00 PM) - Al

Friend of Ramblings Jason sends in this piece...bus drivers don't want to be monitored.

That's a shame.


5/25/2010 06:43:00 PM



(5/25/2010 06:34:00 PM) - Al

Macha doesn't understand why people want to panic.

I don't either, but that's the casual fan (and JS reporters) for you. As I stated a while ago, to most folks, a "long-term plan" is one that involves a few days.

Sending a player down that has options and keeping one that does not? Too much thinking involved.


5/25/2010 06:34:00 PM



(5/25/2010 06:21:00 PM) - Al

He needs to take a Valium. He's so thin-skinned.

And so unpresidential.

It's astounding this well thought out platform of "hope and change" is working out so poorly...

Glenn adds that secret military missions are now OK. I seem to remember Guantanamo being terrible, and now, it's a non-issue. If it wasn't true, it'd be a hilarious sitcom.


5/25/2010 06:21:00 PM



(5/25/2010 12:11:00 PM) - Al

Brandon Wood may be available soon.

Wood has superb AAA numbers, and can play SS, at least somewhat. .344/.547 in AAA would certainly indicate an above average offensive player. Given his strikeout numbers, I assume he struggles mightily with breaking stuff, but the bar is set so low, it would seem he'll reward the team that puts him in the lineup and doesn't stress out when he goes 0-4 a couple times.


5/25/2010 12:11:00 PM



(5/25/2010 11:23:00 AM) - Al

Friend of Ramblings Matt e-mails this link of most watched series finales...Lost finishes rather far down the list.


5/25/2010 11:23:00 AM



(5/25/2010 11:06:00 AM) - Al

Keith Law has the Crew taking either high school 3B Nick Castellanos or college SP Brandon Workman with their 1st round pick in the upcoming June draft.

I will not bother linking or summing up Law, but the above links go to capsules of their talent, as it is Insider and some little dweeb will proudly turn me in to a Disney suit. I hope they take the best player available, and continue last year's trend of drafting high ceiling, big price tag guys like Scooter Gennett in the later rounds as well.


5/25/2010 11:06:00 AM



(5/25/2010 10:57:00 AM) - Al

Tom H seriously does not seem to realize that all teams score a good percentage of their runs in games in which they...score a lot of runs.

The ignorance level of the JS pair is off-the-charts. They have not even the simplest knowledge of even the most basic aspects of the game.

Of course, rumor has it Tony W has been working even after "injurying" himself...


5/25/2010 10:57:00 AM



(5/25/2010 10:54:00 AM) - Al

A team hit by injuries like the Orioles may well call about Chris Smith soon, and Doug will not stand in the way of a minor league veteran getting major league time.


5/25/2010 10:54:00 AM



(5/25/2010 10:51:00 AM) - Al

Meanwhile, some goofball moves in next door to the Palins...no court, no threats, just a post that includes irony and pie.


5/25/2010 10:51:00 AM



(5/25/2010 10:05:00 AM) - Al

He was against it before he was for it.

It's really tough to have belief in a long-term plan that changes every other day. Of course, this is what happens when the only baseline being used is poll numbers and getting reelected.


5/25/2010 10:05:00 AM



(5/25/2010 09:46:00 AM) - Al

The bad news is, I suffered a sunburn yesterday for the first time I can remember.

The good news is, it was limited to my left forearm, as it hung out the window. Actually, with constant aloe applications, it does not hurt at all, and appears to be more of a deep tan than a burn.

I suppose I could go to a tanning place and make the rest of my body match my arm, but since I'm not an idiot, I guess I won't.


5/25/2010 09:46:00 AM


Monday, May 24, 2010

(5/24/2010 08:59:00 PM) - Al

Ann Curry cannot do 5 minutes of research to keep from embarrassing herself.

Yep, old media is doing one heckuva job.


5/24/2010 08:59:00 PM



(5/24/2010 08:07:00 PM) - Al

USA Today feature on Braun. It's not often the smart, cool guy turns out to be so darn good as well.


5/24/2010 08:07:00 PM



(5/24/2010 07:46:00 PM) - Al

Just a group of hard working college girls, devoted to charity work.

I have never witnessed anything in my life more sad than the simple fact fraternities and sororities still exist.


5/24/2010 07:46:00 PM


Sunday, May 23, 2010

(5/23/2010 09:52:00 PM) - Al

Eveland to be DFA'd yet again.

He'll be back, but I think he'll finally clear waivers this time. He needs to be in a place where they have a tough time hitting HR's...SEA would be a nice fit.


5/23/2010 09:52:00 PM



(5/23/2010 09:27:00 PM) - Al

Capuano pitches well again tonight, one more start and the Crew will have to bring him up, I assume, as they can't lose him for nothing.


5/23/2010 09:27:00 PM



(5/23/2010 08:41:00 PM) - Al

Mark Twain's autobiography, delayed 100 years by request of the author, will soon be published.


5/23/2010 08:41:00 PM



(5/23/2010 06:21:00 PM) - Al

I had the Brewers at 790 runs scored and 718 allowed in my preseason projections, which would lead to 87 wins most of the time.

Let's take a look at where they are at the mythical 25% mark.

224 runs scored, an average of 5.21, on pace for 844. That's 3rd in the NL, behind the Phillies and D'Backs. .347/.446 is their line thus far, and in 1537 AB's, that would normally lead to 238 runs...so they've actually underproduced a tad, though it's only 6% off (average is 2-3% off).

So, we all know the problem has been the pitching. 5.50 ERA is 14th in the NL, and 254 runs allowed is awful, 5.91 a game, on pace for 957. .370 OBPA and .469 SLGA would normally lead to 269 runs.

They sit right now at 17-27, and are two wins behind where they "should be". One unique fact is that they are 6-5 in one-run games, which you think would be worse due to the late inning losses.

Let's play a game, shall we?

Remove Hoffman's numbers, the team's ERA goes from 5.50 down to 5.24. Remove Stetter, who has been worse than Trevor, they're down to 5.15. Remove Hawkins, who was pitching through a weak shoulder, down to 5.01. Davis is currently DL'd, and without him, it's 4.75. So, it makes sense that if Trevor can work things out so that he's mediocre, and simply not awful, and the Crew goes with who is healthy and pitching well (or returns healthy), the pitching should get better, though 4.75 would still rank 14th.

However, it would lead to a runs scored/allowed split of 224/221, a .500ish team. Get Wolf back to his norm, and add a few more outs by the SP's, keeping the bullpen a tad more rested (4th most in the NL, averaging 3.43 IP a game), it's easy to see this as being right what I had predicted earlier...an 85-87 win club. That optimistic viewpoint aside, it does not erase where they are now...still 17-27. Even an improved pace the rest of the way might leave them a tad under .500 on the season.

So, at the end of the day, we're basically exactly where we were a while back...this team will have to hit a hot streak, or they are looking at being sellers come July.

On the bright side, the 3rd best offensive team in the NL is plenty capable of winning 8 out of 10 or 14 of 18. But, until they stop allowing 5+ runs a game, a streak like that is unlikely. The patched up bullpen will help, but the rotation needs to gel and that involves both pitching better and longer. At this point, that probably is out of the hands of everyone except the rotation members themselves.

One final thought, it seems like the Crew has played a lot of above average teams thus far, as well as a lot of road games. Their strength of schedule is middle of the pack, but they have played 8 more road games...a fact overlooked because they've been awful at home. A winning streak at home would help balance out a lot of math at this point.


5/23/2010 06:21:00 PM



(5/23/2010 05:10:00 PM) - Al

In a game of impressive pitching, Hoffman looked better than anyone. Other than Mauer, he did not exactly face top bats, but his fastball location was superb, and while his change was up, no good contact was made. Could it be they found something in their side sessions? Or, is it just a small sample of missing the sweet spot on the bat?

Time will tell.


5/23/2010 05:10:00 PM



(5/23/2010 02:57:00 PM) - Al

Braddock throws hard, but his fastball is very straight, which makes it hittable. He also looks like he "drops down" a bit at times, as when he misses, he misses up.


5/23/2010 02:57:00 PM



(5/23/2010 02:20:00 PM) - Al

Pujols and LaRussa showing people they are the ones who should be judging others on how to act in the big leagues.

Heh.


5/23/2010 02:20:00 PM



(5/23/2010 10:37:00 AM) - Al

First Republican elected to Congress in 20 years in Hawaii.

A bit of a fluke because of a special election that supposedly split the Dems vote, but once again, do not ignore the anger and disgust out there.


5/23/2010 10:37:00 AM



(5/23/2010 10:33:00 AM) - Al

Mat Gamel put on the 60 day DL to make room for Braddock on the 40 man.


5/23/2010 10:33:00 AM


Saturday, May 22, 2010

(5/22/2010 10:01:00 PM) - Al

Braddock up, Stetter down.

Mitch really looks to be off his mark since returning from AAA. He looks like he needs to build his confidence and get consistent again.

Braddock may still be in town, as he was supposedly already traveling, but no 40 man spot was available. Now, one will be opened up.


5/22/2010 10:01:00 PM



(5/22/2010 08:39:00 PM) - Al

Estrada will start after 21 pitches today. Adam reports no flight from Fresno to Mpls available, no AAA arm considered.


5/22/2010 08:39:00 PM



(5/22/2010 08:30:00 PM) - Al

Oh, I forgot about Inglett.

Stern might be on his way back, or they might DL Joe, bring up a starter, and then send the SP back after the game.


5/22/2010 08:30:00 PM



(5/22/2010 08:18:00 PM) - Al

Or, perhaps a reliever like Chris Smith, Tim Dillard, or Zach Braddock to go 2-3 innings?

Heck, they might call up someone to start AND reinforcements for the 'pen.


5/22/2010 08:18:00 PM



(5/22/2010 08:14:00 PM) - Al

Kam Loe scheduled to pitch tonight, and I think Capuano tomorrow for Nashville.


5/22/2010 08:14:00 PM



(5/22/2010 08:03:00 PM) - Al

Adam said Gord Ash was on the phone late. Tomorrow's starter might well be on their way to the airport as we speak.

The Twins won the game several times, but still won it again in the 11th.


5/22/2010 08:03:00 PM



(5/22/2010 07:37:00 PM) - Al

I give Parra lots of credit for being able to have a 1-2-3 11th, after likely barely being mentally ready. Very sad they had to use Estrada, Stetter, and Coffey just to get 6 outs, and that Yo's pitch count one again did not allow him past 6 frames.

I had actually wondered about Bush, but had not thought of Manny.


5/22/2010 07:37:00 PM



(5/22/2010 06:57:00 PM) - Al

How about the consistency of the strike zone today? Carlos had to get 4 outs in the bottom of the inning, and the 2-0 pitch to Span was exactly where the called strike three to McGehee was earlier.

Every single game, they prove how bad they are...yet, they'll have a job for life.

By the way, did you catch that check swing by Mauer called a swing by that idiot Rapuano? I'd say he called it in, but I wouldn't want to offend those who call it in. Astounding.


5/22/2010 06:57:00 PM



(5/22/2010 06:53:00 PM) - Al

The Twins get all bothered about Gomez flipping the bat on a HR, but Span can celebrate a fly ball to the track with impunity.

Heh.

The hypocrisy is apparent to all but the hypocrites.


5/22/2010 06:53:00 PM



(5/22/2010 05:09:00 PM) - Al

The hypocrisy and pure stupidity is just overwhelming.

We have Jenny McCarthy telling us vaccines cause autism, and this clod, and no one even mentions, oh yeah, by the way, these people are borderline retarded.


5/22/2010 05:09:00 PM



(5/22/2010 04:29:00 PM) - Al

Mike Hunt wonders why Milwaukee doesn't have light rail.

Heh.

Because the Petits did not build it for them, and the legislature has not approved it. Milwaukee does nothing on its own, as anyone can see who drives through on I94 and sees almost nothing but vandalized, abandoned old factories and warehouses as the "scenic" view.


5/22/2010 04:29:00 PM



(5/22/2010 04:07:00 PM) - Al

Adam follows up with Mark A's thoughts. Doug ain't going nowhere, and he'll decide on Macha.


5/22/2010 04:07:00 PM



(5/22/2010 02:20:00 PM) - Al

Brewers' owner Mark Attanasio was clear: Doug Melvin has total job security and there's no chance of a managerial change on Monday.--Adam on Twitter

Doug looks to be the man until at least the offseason, and it's up to Doug who the manager is. Good for MA to not panic after 40 games. That said, I would not be surprised to see some roster moves Monday.

With luck, I'll finish my prospects list tonight and discuss the team thus far, as we have hit the 25% mark, so season stats can no longer be ignored as a small sample.

Now if you'll excuse me, after being awakened in the middle of the night by the Rambling niece yelling (I think it was 8:55), I'm off to take a quick nap before the game.


5/22/2010 02:20:00 PM



(5/22/2010 02:12:00 PM) - Al

The author of this letter to her family on what to bring for Thanksgiving may want to double her dosage.

I don't know these folks, but it still hurts my feelings.


5/22/2010 02:12:00 PM



(5/22/2010 01:51:00 PM) - Al

There's probably only going to be a team or two that can afford Oswalt, and with that contract, I doubt the Astros get much more than some middling prospects.


5/22/2010 01:51:00 PM



(5/22/2010 10:24:00 AM) - Al

Seth McClung is still unsigned, working out for an amateur team in Florida.

I'm wondering why he is still unsigned, as he throws hard and has had success. Maybe he was looking for a good situation, or maybe everyone was full when he was released.


5/22/2010 10:24:00 AM


Friday, May 21, 2010

(5/21/2010 09:37:00 PM) - Al

As you can likely imagine, I am very concerned about this possible global cooling problem.

I can only imagine in the days of the caveman, a guy coming home with a big stick, carrying some sort of dead animal, and telling his significant other, "Og say it get cold soon," and the woman replying, "Oh shut the hell up."


5/21/2010 09:37:00 PM



(5/21/2010 08:39:00 PM) - Al

Soon, maybe the whole world will go to this "pay what you want" system.

And then we'll all merrily skip down the sidewalk and sing folk songs to each other.


5/21/2010 08:39:00 PM



(5/21/2010 08:27:00 PM) - Al

Allow me to say, this sure is a high CF angle at Target Field. I haven't thrown up yet, but I have taken two doses of Dramamine.


5/21/2010 08:27:00 PM



(5/21/2010 07:57:00 PM) - Al

Braun with an obvious trap as the ball lands a few inches in front of his glove...still called an out.

The men in blue are in midseason form...oof.


5/21/2010 07:57:00 PM



(5/21/2010 07:50:00 PM) - Al

That should have been HR #8 for Hart. The Twins won't be building with RH power in that place.


5/21/2010 07:50:00 PM



(5/21/2010 07:29:00 PM) - Al

The pitch looked low, but Rapuano, the home plate umpire, should be fired on the spot. What a complete idiot.

It's not even hot yet, and they're already acting like they own the league. What morons.


5/21/2010 07:29:00 PM



(5/21/2010 07:14:00 PM) - Al

Expand Lambeau, yes. And while they're at it, they might want to take a brave step into the 80's and replaced the metal bleachers with comfy seats...you know, I think someone invented the seat back recently.


5/21/2010 07:14:00 PM



(5/21/2010 07:10:00 PM) - Al

Guy turns $5 into $100K at Poker Stars.

I'm still very proud I bought in years ago for $25 and have never had to rebuy. I've made cash, but nothing like that.


5/21/2010 07:10:00 PM



(5/21/2010 06:58:00 PM) - Al

I had no idea Capuano had an opt-out date, or that if he did, it was anywhere near this early. I did not think they'd have to decide on him 'til early July. Not the case, I guess.


5/21/2010 06:58:00 PM



(5/21/2010 06:54:00 PM) - Al

I just heard the Twins' broadcaster tell Bill Schroeder that he used to set up right down the middle of the plate "to establish that pitch, and then work out to the corners".

I don't know how some of these guys, who only played the game a few years ago, managed to find the ballpark. They all sound like total buffoons.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go establish a pitch right down the center of the plate as a strike.

Oy vey.


5/21/2010 06:54:00 PM



(5/21/2010 06:52:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling niece and nephew are here tonight and tomorrow. The best thing about them is, they haven't heard a single one of my old jokes, which even the Rambling son, who laughs at anything, doesn't find amusing anymore.


5/21/2010 06:52:00 PM



(5/21/2010 06:40:00 PM) - Al

Idiot teenager starts $180K car "by mistake", and idiot dad is only concerned about getting garage door fixed "so no one steals tools".

That acorn did not fall far from the tree.


5/21/2010 06:40:00 PM



(5/21/2010 05:00:00 PM) - Al

McGehee gets a night off as the DH, and Counsell in at 3B, with Weeks getting his first game off, only noteworthy because Joe Inglett, the only backup OF, is playing 2B. Adam says Gomez has replaced Stern, Lucroy in for Zaun, but Braddock will not be up, 40 man considerations...and quite possibly, 25 man questions as well.


5/21/2010 05:00:00 PM



(5/21/2010 05:52:00 AM) - Al

I had a conversation with Miller Park Drunk (I can't be sure, but I'm pretty sure he utilized me as his designated driver), and that can be found here.

Remember to bookmark MPD when you visit. I am scheduled to be far from home tomorrow, so you'll probably have to find out how they make room for Gomez, Braddock, and Lucroy (well, Lucroy's obvious) on your own.

We'll see you tomorrow night.


5/21/2010 05:52:00 AM


Thursday, May 20, 2010

(5/20/2010 11:22:00 PM) - Al

Zaun has been playing through pain and an injury for a month.

And Lucroy's call-up may affect Braddock's promotion. That said, Adam Stern can be taken off the 40 easily, and Riske can be moved to the 60 day DL.

EDIT: Luis Cruz, the SS at AAA, could also be removed from the 40 easily. Also, Josh Butler could be moved to the 60 day DL as well for a week or two.


5/20/2010 11:22:00 PM



(5/20/2010 11:10:00 PM) - Al

This fine post by Robert is featured in a Rany on the Royals discussion about Ned Yost. Note his accurate prediction on where Yost will end up.


5/20/2010 11:10:00 PM



(5/20/2010 09:57:00 PM) - Al

Zaun to DL, Lucroy up.

I would attempt humor saying Salome must be really depressed now, but since I know anxiety and depression are not joking matters, I will refrain from doing so.

Good luck to Lucroy in the bigs and to Salome in getting his mental health back.


5/20/2010 09:57:00 PM



(5/20/2010 09:35:00 PM) - Al

Zaun looks like he might miss a couple weeks. Jon Lucroy may well be joining the team tomorrow.

EDIT: If he is, he'll have a nice short flight from Fresno. Heh.

UPDATE: Lucroy is in the starting lineup for Nashville tonight, though they have not started yet.

UPDATE 2: Lucroy is playing for the Sounds, is 0-1. Obviously, no decision has been made as of yet.


5/20/2010 09:35:00 PM



(5/20/2010 09:24:00 PM) - Al

After finding out George Lopez cheated on his wife right after she gave him a kidney, I wonder if she'll be wanting it back? Putz.--Scott Baio on Twitter

Oof.


5/20/2010 09:24:00 PM



(5/20/2010 09:08:00 PM) - Al

Last night, that game ending DP would have went right between Rickie and Prince.


5/20/2010 09:08:00 PM



(5/20/2010 07:58:00 PM) - Al

With plays like that from Escobar and Weeks, it's hard to believe the defense ranks so low.


5/20/2010 07:58:00 PM



(5/20/2010 07:38:00 PM) - Al

I think Fielder and Pearce may be the shortest combined height of any two 1B in any game I recall. Both look to be 5-10 or so.


5/20/2010 07:38:00 PM



(5/20/2010 07:31:00 PM) - Al

Adam reports the Crew were seriously considering bringing up Zach Braddock for the Twins' series, to help with the many strong lefties the Twins have.

Not sure if the Zaun injury will make a difference or not, as Lucroy would also need a 40 man spot (though Riske can be placed on the 60 day DL).

Also, 25 man spots can't be ignored...assuming Gomez replaces Stern and Lucroy (if needed) would replace a DL'd Zaun, only Carlos V and Stetter have options, unless something like Hoffman to the DL or someone being DFA'd is being considered.

EDIT: Axford and Estrada also have options, but have been pitching well. That said, considering Estrada was just brought up to "back up" Parra, maybe he is a possibility.

UPDATE: Braddock is on his way, says an unofficial, yet trusted source.:)


5/20/2010 07:31:00 PM



(5/20/2010 07:26:00 PM) - Al

Nolan Ryan wants to blow out young arms. Surprised to see Mike Maddux echoing the "back in my day" silliness.

One of the commenters mentions several reasons why pitch counts are higher now. What's amazing is, Nolan Ryan doesn't bother learning enough about the game to notice.


5/20/2010 07:26:00 PM



(5/20/2010 07:12:00 PM) - Al

Mat Gamel will play some first base during his minor-league rehabilitation assignment, which is set to begin tonight.

But that doesn’t mean we can start churning the Prince Fielder Rumor Mill.

The slugging Fielder is set to become a free agent after next season. The Brewers’ slow start to the season (15-25 entering Thursday) promises to invite trade speculation.

So how are we to interpret the fact that Gamel, primarily a third baseman, is now going to spend some time at Fielder’s position while rehabbing at Class A Brevard County?

“The only reason is to get him at-bats,” general manager Doug Melvin explained to FOXSports.com. “This way, he doesn’t take all the playing time away from the third baseman.

“He’s going to spend some time DH-ing, too. When he’s playing over at first base, he also doesn’t have to throw as much. And because the problem (a muscle tear) was in his shoulder, we didn’t want him throwing from third every day.

“So, you will see him at first base. But don’t read into it that it’s because of Prince.”

Still, the 24-year-old’s place in the Brewers’ plans is a subject worth pondering.

Casey McGehee has established himself as a rising star at third base. He ranks second in the National League with 37 RBIs – and should soon overtake the injured Andre Ethier in that category.

McGehee, 27, won’t be eligible for major-league free agency until after the 2014 season. Fielder, 26, could be gone much sooner than that.

So, even if there is no hint of a Fielder trade right now, a short-term assignment for Gamel could foreshadow an eventual change in his career.

Melvin added that the outfield is a possible destination for Gamel in the long term.--Morosi


Does this guy get paid by the word? Geesh, it'd take him an hour to cook a 3 minute egg.

The last sentence is by far the most newsworthy, as I cannot recall Doug ever saying Mat might end up anywhere besides 3B, though maybe he has, as my memory is very good, but very short.


5/20/2010 07:12:00 PM



(5/20/2010 07:03:00 PM) - Al

Considering Narveson's pitch count will only allow him to go 5 tonight max, and Hoffman is still...working on mechanics...and Parra is barely stretched out, I don't see a reduction to 12.


5/20/2010 07:03:00 PM



(5/20/2010 06:53:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers don't gain a roster spot for Jody Gerut leaving for childbirth, but the Mariners can put Milton Bradley on the restricted list because he had a temper tantrum?

Oy vey.

By the way, I did not miss the fact that the last two nights, the TV team has said the team has 14 pitchers, when in reality, they had 13. Also, they also just said that they assume a pitcher will go down when Gomez returns, but I feel it will be Stern...they still have Joe Inglett in reserve in case someone gets hurt before Jody returns in a couple days.


5/20/2010 06:53:00 PM



(5/20/2010 05:38:00 PM) - Al

I think it sucks when Prez of Mexico can go to Congress and diss an American state and get a standing ovation from US lawmakers.--Charles Payne on Twitter

I would tend to agree. Especially when the state in question is doing nothing except enforcing current US immigration law.


5/20/2010 05:38:00 PM



(5/20/2010 05:34:00 PM) - Al

Ashton Kutcher is one classy guy.

Kutcher is eventually going to find out that when you sell your soul to the devil, eternity is a long, long time.


5/20/2010 05:34:00 PM



(5/20/2010 03:22:00 PM) - Al

If a change is coming, it won't be from Doug. Doug's "I feel fine" may either be from Mark A telling him he is fine, that things will be reviewed at the end of the season, or a bit of a stubborn streak that he feels if he is fired, he has nothing to hang his head about.

Time will tell.

To be honest, a midseason move always smacks of desperation to me, and I'd avoid them like the plague. That year Lopes was fired in April and Royster replaced him, pretty much told you all you needed to know...that Dean Taylor's "long-term plan" was nonexistent, and that moves were being made by looking at small samples, and desperation had set in. If you'll recall, that was about the time young prospect Nick Nuegebauer, who threw about 97 when he rolled out of bed in the morning, was pushed to keep throwing through soreness/injury by Grumpy Stewart...probably to save jobs, and certainly not for development.

Whenever the long-term is clouded by the results of next week or next month, easy decisions become suddenly thought provoking (sure he's hurt, but he's not hurt "that bad"), and priorities can quickly go askew.

You have to remember, to many casual fans, "long-term" means next week, as organizational depth and sending a Grade B+ player to AAA with options while keeping a Grade B player because he's out of options is looked at as "not going with the best team"...you really can't concern yourself with their opinion. I realize they are the vast majority of ticket buyers, but if you'll recall, the Seligs often would not trade veterans late and add prospects at the deadline because they were afraid that folks would think they were "giving up". In reality, most don't know the difference, and a 70 win team is all but identical to a 67 win team.


5/20/2010 03:22:00 PM



(5/20/2010 07:46:00 AM) - Al

The president needs a dying bird, stat!


5/20/2010 07:46:00 AM


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

(5/19/2010 10:46:00 PM) - Al

Survivor moving to Wednesday? That's like Seinfeld on another night, it's almost difficult to imagine.


5/19/2010 10:46:00 PM



(5/19/2010 10:35:00 PM) - Al

You know, I don't have any problem admitting the Brewers don't have the most defensive range, but it's hard to believe how unlucky they were in the 7th inning.

Axford looked like Turnbow, throwing 96, you don't have to hit the corners. Then, he drops that curveball, and they have no chance. He's been inconsistent throwing strikes in the majors, but he has the potential to be very good.


5/19/2010 10:35:00 PM



(5/19/2010 07:13:00 PM) - Al

I don't know his name, but the answer to the trivia question on TV is Rick Peterson's dad.


5/19/2010 07:13:00 PM



(5/19/2010 05:43:00 PM) - Al

I read this AM that the Big Ten floating the idea of adding schools from the south with population would indicate the rumors of Maryland and Georgia Tech may be accurate. Still more think they are delaying the announcement to make a final run at Notre Dame, which has fans and haters all over the US.


5/19/2010 05:43:00 PM



(5/19/2010 05:40:00 PM) - Al

Check out the new Olympic mascots...heh. Ann says the one looks like it just wet itself, which would be fitting if it was a French war mascot, but hence, I digress.


5/19/2010 05:40:00 PM



(5/19/2010 05:26:00 PM) - Al

And the fact is, he's one of the game's most productive players. After news broke about the Gonzalez-Ramirez rift, two rival talent evaluators said over the phone that they hope this all leads the Marlins to trade Ramirez. "I'll take him," one evaluator said.--Buster Olney

I said this the other day. Manny Ramirez has had the same issues, and will take them to Cooperstown in 5-7 years after he retires. Gary Sheffield did too, and the Brewers did not know how to handle it, and traded him for a handful of magic beans (and Ricky Bones), and it only took a decade and a half to get back to respectability.

One year when he played in Philly, Wilt Chamberlain lived in New York City, for the social aspects of Manhattan, shall we say. Depending on the location of his place and the practice facility, that's a 90 minute to 2 hour drive...I think it's safe to say Wilt did not bother attending "shoot-arounds" the mornings of games (a fact he admitted in his book), and likely did not bother with many other practices as well. Stars are treated differently, always have been, and always will be.

Pretending Hanley should be running as hard as he possibly can on a very sore leg, is, at best, Little League stuff, and at worst, very short-sighted and foolish.


5/19/2010 05:26:00 PM



(5/19/2010 05:19:00 PM) - Al

I'll throw this into its own post, but one need not look further than Brad Lidge's numbers the past few years...he was considered "done" in HOU, then again in PHIL, and now again...bit in between, he's been all but unhittable. If he would have been a decade older, I'm sure we'd have heard the same discussion.


5/19/2010 05:19:00 PM



(5/19/2010 05:17:00 PM) - Al

Asked whether he felt physically well, Hoffman said, "I don't feel any different than I have in the past. There's nothing glaring, let's put it that way."--MLB.com

That's kind of a weak "I feel great, I'm 100%", to be certain. Whenever you see such huge change in results, it is tough to fathom that he's 100%. Are his mechanics off because he's in pain, or favoring something?


5/19/2010 05:17:00 PM



(5/19/2010 05:13:00 PM) - Al

Hoffman will "work on mechanics" for a couple days before pitching again.

That's a good sign, as I just commented to Miller Park Drunk in the feature he plans on running soon, I'd at least like to see Trevor and Rick P watching videotape and trying to find a flaw.


5/19/2010 05:13:00 PM



(5/19/2010 03:40:00 PM) - Al

I never recall this much drama with all White House dinners combined.

Heck, cater some KFC or have someone grill some steak and chicken on the lawn. Who cares?


5/19/2010 03:40:00 PM



(5/19/2010 03:29:00 PM) - Al

Eggs in potato salad? Absolutely!

The Rambling mom made excellent potato salad, and over the years, I've struggled to find one that was equal, never mind better. Most however, have issues, which I will recap now:

1. Potatoes are crunchy and/or not cut small enough. I should not have to use a knife to eat potato salad.

2. Very dry.

3. There is celery in it.

4. Bland, like potatoes and mayo are the only ingredients.

My mom put in plenty of mayo and mustard, so it was moist, and eggs, onions, and the mustard gave it flavor. She also used black pepper and paprika, which gave it some spice and color...this seems lacking in others as well. The potatoes were sliced small and were soft.

Why is this so difficult? I also find people serve baked beans that crunch like gravel...I don't get it. Soak them and cook them for 24 hours...beans are not a 45 minute dish.


5/19/2010 03:29:00 PM



(5/19/2010 03:20:00 PM) - Al

Burrell released, oddly, most of his struggles have been versus LHP, which he hit hard in his career. Look at last year's splits, this year's are even worse.

Is he not seeing ball well versus lefties, or do they pitch him differently (nothing but breaking stuff maybe?) than righties?


5/19/2010 03:20:00 PM



(5/19/2010 02:30:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers would presumably ask bench coach Willie Randolph to manage if they fire manager Ken Macha.--Jon Heyman, SI.com

Yep, I would agree. That said, Jesus Christ would struggle to win if every reliever he goes to gives up runs and is overworked, which will hopefully be alleviated with better starting pitching and an extra reliever. I think it's apparent to the all but the most casual fans (who make up about 50% of the total, mind you) the issues are well above the manager. Willie did a good job with the Mets, and was pretty much relieved due to big market pressures.

Poor player performances (and injuries) get managers, coaches, and GM's fired. Mark A is far from a dummy, and much like he did with Ned Yost, at some point, may well decide since Macha (or even Doug Melvin) is not coming back, he'll make the move now just to make a move.


5/19/2010 02:30:00 PM



(5/19/2010 02:27:00 PM) - Al

Isn't that special? A filthy a**hole like Perez Hilton getting $20 million.--Brad Garrett

Hilton is about as bad a human being as there is on the planet. I'm shocked anyone can stand his incredibly mean behavior enough to actually go there after they find out how vile he is. Apparently, someone has offered $20M for his web site.


5/19/2010 02:27:00 PM



(5/19/2010 02:18:00 PM) - Al

Hanley Ramirez plans to apologize for "being a distraction", but I do not see a word about admitting he did not hustle.


5/19/2010 02:18:00 PM


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

(5/18/2010 08:08:00 PM) - Al

I'm no expert, but the Big Ten sure seems to be saying they want to add Texas and some population centers...Missouri and Rutgers/Syracuse?


5/18/2010 08:08:00 PM



(5/18/2010 07:47:00 PM) - Al

I think Hanley is getting a raw deal here, especially considering he probably should have just said he was too injured to play anymore. It sounds like last year, they got on his case about not playing through an injury, and now, for...playing through an injury.

If they don't want him, I'll gladly take him. It did not look good, but considering he had hurt his leg a few minutes before, that may have been pretty much all he had at the time. Maybe it's the contrarian in me, but when you have a guy playing at 50-60%, I'm not sure why anyone is surprised he was running at half-speed.


5/18/2010 07:47:00 PM



(5/18/2010 06:13:00 PM) - Al

MLBTR asks if the Brewers become sellers.

I'd say he's accurate, except for his note on Dave Bush, which is absurd. Any contender would love to add a guy with a 4 ERA making $4M with no long-term commitment.


5/18/2010 06:13:00 PM



(5/18/2010 05:36:00 PM) - Al

Gleeman has some scary numbers with how bad Hoffman has been.

The irony here is, I had my doubts about him last year, but he was so good, I ignored his age.


5/18/2010 05:36:00 PM



(5/18/2010 04:57:00 PM) - Al

I DVR'd the game today, and watched it after leaving work early to catch some of the little Olympics" the Rambling son had today at school.

I don't think there's much doubt Hoffman will not be closing if another save opp presents itself tomorrow. At the very least, a couple non-pressure situations to see if he can right himself seem to be called for. It's one thing to give up a blooper and a ground ball through the hole, but an other to be just getting drilled. His location is so far off, almost every pitch was right down the middle of the plate. Even the pitch Rolen hit, while at the knees or just above, was in the middle third of the plate...that's where major league hitters make their money.

Estrada pitched nicely, nonstop strikes, and while Parra was shaky, he did the job, especially considering he was probably tired the last inning. As they said on TV, it was set-up perfectly, but when your closer is going bad, it's never easy.


5/18/2010 04:57:00 PM


Monday, May 17, 2010

(5/17/2010 10:06:00 PM) - Al

If I could get married again, I'd definitely use these napkins.


5/17/2010 10:06:00 PM



(5/17/2010 09:26:00 PM) - Al

Newsweek, almost out of business, continues to preach to the far-left.


5/17/2010 09:26:00 PM



(5/17/2010 09:22:00 PM) - Al

Charlie Sheen may be the worst negotiator in the history of the world.

Although Sheen had made noise about walking away from the show, neither CBS which airs the program or Warner Bros. Television, which produces it, took his grumbling seriously.

As early as this week, Warner Bros. executives indicated to Sheen that the offer in front of him would be the last one he would receive. It must have done the job because Sheen's camp stopped negotiating and signed the deal.


Heh. I wish I could suck at something and still get 30M a year...for playing a likable version of myself.


5/17/2010 09:22:00 PM



(5/17/2010 09:06:00 PM) - Al

I don't mean to be the only one doing research here, but Stetter pitched the last three days. I assume he is unavailable tonight.

Coffey paying the price for the rotation only going 5-6 innings every night. He's on pace for about 85 innings pitched...about 15 over what you would prefer. That's going to wear you down, without a doubt.


5/17/2010 09:06:00 PM



(5/17/2010 08:11:00 PM) - Al

That low pitch has been a strike all night, and now it isn't.

I simply cannot fathom how bad a job this guy has done, with no repercussion, of course.

I wonder why his pitch counts get so high. The strike zone is the same size as the umpire's brain.


5/17/2010 08:11:00 PM



(5/17/2010 07:20:00 PM) - Al

Took a perfect throw to get Zaun at the plate. Good aggressive baserunning, gotta tip your cap...Stubbs isn't hitting a lick, so he better make that play.


5/17/2010 07:20:00 PM



(5/17/2010 07:16:00 PM) - Al

Al,

Bill Schroeder just commented on the game that Casey McGehee has 18 walks in 35 games. Then he comments "that's not too many". That would come out to about 81 walks for the season. I think Casey's OB% would be just fine especially if he keeps his average around .300. Love the blog and keep up the good work.

Tom


I thought I heard that, but was not sure. That's not all that far from a 100 walk pace, which is outstanding. If the entire team walked that often, they'd probably score an extra run each game.


5/17/2010 07:16:00 PM



(5/17/2010 07:11:00 PM) - Al

Go get some sun ladies.

Heh.


5/17/2010 07:11:00 PM



(5/17/2010 06:27:00 PM) - Al

Yo still trying to strike out everyone. He's a fine young pitcher, but he's never going to reach that next level until he starts having some single digit pitch innings.


5/17/2010 06:27:00 PM



(5/17/2010 06:05:00 PM) - Al

Ann finds a sign of discontent near her home base of Madison.

The old media is still wondering if the anger and disgust exists.

Denial ain't just a river in Egypt.


5/17/2010 06:05:00 PM



(5/17/2010 05:35:00 PM) - Al

Personally, I'd say border security is far more important than 5 acres of farmland.

That's really the problem with these eminent domain squabbles, someone always has a personal connection to a piece of land. However, you can't have roads that look like an S either.


5/17/2010 05:35:00 PM



(5/17/2010 05:28:00 PM) - Al

Offense down across the board in MLB this year. We are nearing the 25% point, so this could well be a trend that lasts.


5/17/2010 05:28:00 PM



(5/17/2010 05:05:00 PM) - Al

Dis Elena Kagan give birth to Trig Palin?

Two of Andy Sullivan's conspiracies mixed together. Heh.

The irony to me is that Sullivan, who is gay, is so fascinated by Palin's female parts. The other irony to me is that Sullivan used to be relevant.


5/17/2010 05:05:00 PM



(5/17/2010 04:46:00 PM) - Al

Trevon Hughes has a pre-draft workout for the Bucks. Kirk Penney is also using the Bucks' facility to stay ready.

Trevon is very unlikely to be drafted, but neither was Wes Matthews, and he played about 25 minutes a game in Utah. Hughes is a fine defender, and drives to the basket. He might catch on, but I'm sure you can say that about two dozen other point guards coming out or available.


5/17/2010 04:46:00 PM



(5/17/2010 01:08:00 PM) - Al

Drama is the main course at the White House dinners.


5/17/2010 01:08:00 PM



(5/17/2010 12:15:00 PM) - Al

Manny Parra gets the nod to start for #Brewers on Tuesday over Jeff Suppan or call-up--Adam M on Twitter

Looks like I'm one of the few who guessed that, most were picking Suppan or a Nashville arm.

Most folks don't understand the thought process.


5/17/2010 12:15:00 PM



(5/17/2010 11:30:00 AM) - Robert R.

Thoughts on The Pacific, Part Ten.

When the box set rolls around, a lot of people aren't going to watch Part 10 more than once. And with good reason as it's a slow, undramatic wrap up of story threads without really having anything interesting to say beyond the fact that it was a tough adjustment to normal life after the hell of the Pacific theater. While that's was undoubtedly true, that doesn't excuse the laziness of the storytelling.

The return from war is fertile ground for storytelling. You need look no further than the classic THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES to see its potential for drama. But there's no true drama in this episode. Let's look at the subplots. Lena returns John's Medal of Honor to the Basilone family. That's an incident, but other than being sad that John had died, there's no conflict or soul searching there. Leckie returns home, gets back his job as a reporter, and woos Vera. Nothing wrong with that, but the fact that Vera is pretty much a non-entity it lacks the drama of the idea that maybe Leckie won't win her over. If not, who cares, there are other underdeveloped women out there. Sledge's dealing with his memories of the war once home has its moments, but its conclusion with him deciding that there's still beauty in the world never really strikes home. Those are stories of generally idealized people with conflicts that don't rise out of character.

The one part that did work for me was the world's longest train ride back home as the survivors of Okinawa slowly break up and go their separate ways. Part of that is Snafu has been the secret weapon of the series and keeping things lively with the lone non-idealized piece of characterization. But there's a payoff with Snafu's departure. To wake up his sleeping compatriot for a final goodbye or to let Sledge sleep in perhaps his only peaceful sleep in years? There's no right or easy answer to that question.

Overall though, this episode generally sums up the problems with THE PACIFIC. They were far better at blowing things up than at character driven storytelling. And it points out the problems with the narrative, mainly a lack of climax. The A-bomb being dropped off-screen is an anti-climax to the characters and the story. Compare that with BAND OF BROTHERS which featured the emotional climax at the concentration camps, bringing home the evil they triumphed against, and the symbolic victory of them "liberating" a cache of liquor from Hitler's Eagle's Nest. The scattered narrative of THE PACIFIC has nothing to compare to that and doesn't weave the various stories together in a compelling way. Does the story of Basilone's heroism have much of anything to do with the commonplace "war is hell" that Leckie and Sledge endured? When the end credits rolled around, my emotional involvement was pretty much limited to finding out the fates of Leckie, Sledge, and Snafu, while the rest of the poorly defined characters barely registered. And that's a shame that falls fully on the writing and directing.

Overall, there was much to admire about THE PACIFIC, especially in the technical prowess and dedication to period detail. The war in the Pacific has seldom looked so brutal and horrible, both in combat and in climate. But there was very little to connect you to the characters, intellectually or emotionally, so it's a hard series to love. A noble effort perhaps, but not a completely successful one.


5/17/2010 11:30:00 AM



(5/17/2010 12:57:00 AM) - Al

I just saw an ad for Sex in the City 2...how old are these women? Sarah Jessica Parker looks 50+, and she's painfully thin, and looks like the work she had done did not take.

The two others not named Kristin Davis look like the last 40 they saw was 1940. The years have not been kind.


5/17/2010 12:57:00 AM



(5/17/2010 12:31:00 AM) - Al

The answer to failed government...more government.

It's funny (or sad) because it's true.


5/17/2010 12:31:00 AM


Sunday, May 16, 2010

(5/16/2010 10:42:00 PM) - Al

Nothing good about an 0-6 homestand, but while most of you know you can go to other sites for a viewpoint that will have you on a ledge, I, as I often do, choose to take a contrarian viewpoint.

All season, I have discussed that the depth on this team is strong, far better than in previous seasons. So, Suppan was ineffective in his two starts, Narveson was inserted, and has done well. Now, Davis goes on the DL, and there are several candidates to replace him, some internal, some at AAA. Heck, this team is on their 3rd string CF, and Jody Gerut is far from a poor option.

Even tonight, Bush pitched decently though he was scheduled to pitch tomorrow. The bullpen did their job as well. The game probably was decided when Hart's deep fly was caught on the track in the 1st...a millimeter on the bat, or a few feet to LF, it's a grand slam.

We will soon see if the depth is as good as I thought. Also, we'll find out if Braun is healthy, as he's barely hit since being HBP. Cincy is playing well, so there are many cities that plane would be better off landing in. But, a week ago, they felt pretty good about themselves. A road trip might be what they need...get away from the negative casuals, get a quality start or two, get the bullpen in order, and come home ready to put it together.


5/16/2010 10:42:00 PM


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.

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