Al's Ramblings



Tuesday, August 31, 2010

(8/31/2010 11:55:00 PM) - Al

If Yo is not 100%, he's hiding it well...still striking out opposing hitters, not giving up many HR's, not many free passes. His BAbip (BA on balls in play) is running about .400...horrible luck, to say the least.

His velocity is good, location is not. It puzzles me he's not using his curveball, after it was dominating at times.


8/31/2010 11:55:00 PM



(8/31/2010 11:21:00 PM) - Al

CNN ratings are in the toilet...no offense to toilets.

Andy Cooper gets paid millions to look good and really, really suck. On the bright side, eternity's a long time to spend in hell. Make up some more "news" buddy.


8/31/2010 11:21:00 PM



(8/31/2010 10:51:00 PM) - Al

TEX picks up Francouer, DFA's Brandon Boggs, who will get a look somewhere. He looks like he'd pair nicely with Dickerson as a reserve OF in MIL next year, if they see Inglett as an infielder.


8/31/2010 10:51:00 PM



(8/31/2010 10:15:00 PM) - Al

I believe the President's artificial date for withdrawal from Afghanistan will doom us to failure-our withdrawal must be conditions based only.--John McCain

Makes sense, but it won't fit on a bumper sticker, John. When you have no interest in victory or safety, only politics, those tough decisions are easy to make.


8/31/2010 10:15:00 PM



(8/31/2010 09:38:00 PM) - Al

More impressive to me than his 103 mph top pitch was his 98 mph "softest" pitch. He's not as good as he showed tonight, but it's hard to believe the Reds could not find a spot for him until now.


8/31/2010 09:38:00 PM



(8/31/2010 07:36:00 PM) - Al

That's why I'd never squeeze, except with a pitcher or someone who hits like a pitcher. When they miss the ball, it's an easy out. When they pop it up, it's an easy double play.


8/31/2010 07:36:00 PM



(8/31/2010 07:16:00 PM) - Al

Sean sends me this article on the old media trying to figure out how to misuse Twitter.

It never fails to amaze me ho the old media tries to ignore whatever the new thing is for as long as possible, and then tries to minimize it by putting it down. Embrace the future, fellas.


8/31/2010 07:16:00 PM



(8/31/2010 05:20:00 PM) - Al

No team confirmation but word is that Brewers will call up RHP Carlos Villanueva, RHP Jeremy Jeffress and 3B Mat Gamel tomorrow.--Tom H, JS

I kept going back and forth, but had pretty much figured CV and Gamel would be 2 of the 3, though I would probably leave Gamel down to play every day 'til the AAA season ends. Jeffress is probably a "come up and get to know Hoffman and others, and soak it all in" type of thing, as his pitching certainly has not earned him a spot, though everyone agrees his stuff is potential laden. I assume he'll pitch in some blowouts, but he'll be handled with the kiddiest of kid gloves. CV won't be used in many high leverage spots either, I'm sure.


8/31/2010 05:20:00 PM



(8/31/2010 05:06:00 PM) - Al

I'm just amazed how many blogs and real media (Bill S's research skills are incredibly lacking) are wondering if Mitch Stetter will be up...after they announced last week he would not be.

Seriously, read the game notes and recaps.


8/31/2010 05:06:00 PM



(8/31/2010 05:00:00 PM) - Al

Fangraphs looks at how the White Sox' DH troubles has them in 2nd place rather than 1st.

Ozzie, how's that being less HR dependent working out for ya?

By the way, the fact Manny Ramirez is not in the lineup tonight makes me wonder what color the sky is in their world.


8/31/2010 05:00:00 PM



(8/31/2010 04:54:00 PM) - Al

I keep forgetting to mention that the US Open has started, and there are few things better in sports than late-night tennis in the greatest atmosphere around. At least a couple times a year, there is a classic match that finishes about midnight our time. It is great fun, especially if you don't have to be up early the next morning.


8/31/2010 04:54:00 PM



(8/31/2010 04:38:00 PM) - Al

Just wondering if anyone else noticed the throw Braun made last night. He had no chance to throw out the runner on the game-winning hit, as I doubt a perfect throw from Gomez or Escobar could have got him. However, in that case, you can depend on the OF just to cur it loose...Ryan made the same throw he would always make, a pained looking one-hopper. One has to wonder how much pain he is in all the time...ever notice how he always makes a full, over the top throw...never 3/4's or side-arm. I have to question if that is to minimize the pain.

One reason I ask this is, not only did Braun's arm used to be far stronger, after Fielder is dealt, an opening will appear at 1B, for the first time in over a decade...Sexson was dealt to make room for Prince, and Overbay was acquired as a stopgap and did a fine job in that role. If ever Ryan is to make the move to 1B, 2011 would seem to be the time.


8/31/2010 04:38:00 PM



(8/31/2010 04:34:00 PM) - Al

Bush has cleared waivers, MLBTR thinks SD would be a good match.


8/31/2010 04:34:00 PM


Monday, August 30, 2010

(8/30/2010 09:06:00 PM) - Al

Not only do the Brewers and Reds have almost identical offensive numbers, they are both predominately RH.


8/30/2010 09:06:00 PM



(8/30/2010 07:19:00 PM) - Al

Randy Wolf's stolen base was the first by a pitcher in Brewers history.--Adam, MLB.com

That seems odd, but when you think about it, probably only a 2-3 have ever been tried.


8/30/2010 07:19:00 PM



(8/30/2010 07:14:00 PM) - Al

We were spoiled by Gomez's arm, probably as good as anyone's in the game; but Cain's is solid, and probably more accurate.


8/30/2010 07:14:00 PM



(8/30/2010 06:43:00 PM) - Al

Brewers announce AFL picks.


8/30/2010 06:43:00 PM



(8/30/2010 05:43:00 PM) - Al

Brewers manager Ken Macha said he expects "2 pitchers and a position player" when rosters can expand Wed. but didn't identify them.--Tom H, JS

Carlos V is the obvious choice for one of the pitchers, though service time issues make that less than a sure thing. Mat Gamel will be up eventually, though playing every day at AAA may be better for him than PHing once every other game. Looking at the 40 man roster, other possibilities are Josh Butler, who is still recovering from injury, Amaury Rivas, who had a solid season at AA Huntsville, and Luis Cruz, who had a decent year playing SS at Nashville, and may be looked at as a cheap alternative to Counsell next year. Other guys that could be considered that would have to be added to the 40 man are:

Brendan Katin--RH OF with power, played college ball with Braun. Seems unlikely as Crew has plenty of OF's, though they have not had a RH power bat off the bench all year.

Joe Koshansky--LH 1B with power, once a prospect with COL. Seems unlikely since Prince plays every day at 1B, and Gamel has played there some.

Chris Smith--Useful reliever who has been up before.

Tim Dillard--Was up in '08 and '09, has sinking fastball but little else.

Brandon Kintzler--Indy league find, sinker/slider guy who keeps the ball down.

EDIT: I forgot Jeremy Jeffress, who may be up, but I doubt on Wednesday. FYI, his last name is pronounced "Jeff-ers" not Jeff-ress"


8/30/2010 05:43:00 PM



(8/30/2010 05:13:00 PM) - Al

Edmonds may be done, tried to quit just before being traded, Macha talked him out of it.

Ken's had a very good couple days. Because of that little talk, the Crew has a fine reserve OF, Chris Dickerson, under team control for four years.


8/30/2010 05:13:00 PM



(8/30/2010 05:00:00 PM) - Al

Colby Rasmus will start tonight!!!

Sadly, this is news, as you can't be on the bad side of the manager, even with the playoffs on the line.


8/30/2010 05:00:00 PM



(8/30/2010 03:47:00 PM) - Al

Reporter gives panhandlers prepaid credit cards.


8/30/2010 03:47:00 PM



(8/30/2010 02:21:00 PM) - Al

Glenn points out prices do not seem to be falling...listed prices at least, and I also wonder why. Sometimes while watching the Brewers and playing several tables online, I get bored looking at my usual bookmarks and punch up realtor.com, and check out prices in our area. Often, I see houses like ours listed for $30-50K more than we paid, and I feel pretty good. Then, I'll look closer, and see many have been on the market forever...200 days, 300 days, and so on.

I recall one guy saying if you fall behind, his recommendation was to sell immediately, as if you try and refinance for a year or two, you might well lose any equity you have. Plus, I think it would be mentally draining...it might be best to sell for what you owe and get it done with than try to figure out how to carry it for three months and maybe make $2500.

Many people think their home is the exception to the rule...sure the market has gone to hell, but this house is still worth the same as it was five years ago. No it's not.

One of my favorite stories is back when the Rambling wife was the Rambling girlfriend, we each had an old car that ran, but we rarely drove, as we only drove them a few miles to keep them close to home in case of problems. Both the Rambling dad and the Rambling dad-in-law felt that the amount we ended up selling them for (I sold them to a co-worker who needed old cars for his teenage daughters to drive) was not even enough for the car they knew...for instance, the Rambling dad thought my old Buick, which needed a new battery/alternator (never had it checked after the problem occurred) and was very rusty, was worth $700 by itself, as that was what we sold both cars for. Needless to say, I think he was biased, as before it was the Rambling car, it was his car.

{The real irony here is for those of you who knew the Rambling dad, if forced to buy a $1, he would have refused to pay more than 99 cents for it.}

I delivered pizza with it for years, and yet somehow, it still had oodles of value, in his mind. As I said then, and still say now, it's worth whatever someone will pay...no more, no less. Assigning a mock value to something because of what you paid or because you're hoping to come out ahead is as shortsighted as it gets.


8/30/2010 02:21:00 PM



(8/30/2010 02:14:00 PM) - Al

Gleeman does a fine job of reminding folks that Manny Ramirez is a heckuva ballplayer. He's got his warts, but the truth is, if you shut up and leave him alone, he'll win you a lot of ballgames...especially if you don't have to worry about his defense in LF.


8/30/2010 02:14:00 PM



(8/30/2010 02:08:00 PM) - Al

Matchups: Wolf (10-10, 4.74) v Bailey (3-2, 4.83); Gallardo (11-6, 3.50) v Harang (6-7, 5.02); Narveson (10-7, 5.52) v Cueto (12-4, 3.49)

When all the "Bush outrighted to Nashville" crap was going on over the weekend, one message board poster said, "Who would want Bush? No contender would want anything to do with him!"

Of course, the casual fan does not realize Dave has a better ERA than 2 of the 3 Reds' SP's they are running out, and they're 4 games up on the Cards.

As I have pointed out before, it is astounding so few people realize the Brewers have a top offense, because the pitching has been so bad. Not sure why folks cannot separate the two, but they seem unable to.


8/30/2010 02:08:00 PM



(8/30/2010 09:59:00 AM) - Al

Gleeman wonders why LaRussa doesn't get along with Colby Rasmus, and is SL should just find a manager who does.

I've said many times that I'm sure the Crew will happily take Colby off their hands. As in White Sox land, the priority seems to be on all things but winning in SL.


8/30/2010 09:59:00 AM



(8/30/2010 09:54:00 AM) - Al

The network that allowed Dan Rather to report fiction as news is low on their estimate of folks at the rally.

I'm stunned, shocked, and dismayed. Great line at the end...you can see November from the Washington Monument.


8/30/2010 09:54:00 AM



(8/30/2010 09:28:00 AM) - Al

Poll on JS today:

Is the problem with shadows at Miller Park real or imagined?

--Yes

--No


Oof. I truly wonder if a 5th grade class could put out a far better product, and do so while correcting Tony W's grammar.

By the way, if there's a human being alive that feels it's easier to hit in the shadows at MP, they are idiots. This was mentioned back when Sheets struck out 18 Braves.


8/30/2010 09:28:00 AM



(8/30/2010 09:23:00 AM) - Al

My first appointment today was canceled, so I have some time to kill. I turned on the TV which the Rambling wife had left on Today. They were showing Emmy clips, and allow me to say, the audience looked to be the biggest mass of Caucasians I've ever seen.

Wondering if anyone else will point this out.


8/30/2010 09:23:00 AM


Sunday, August 29, 2010

(8/29/2010 08:37:00 PM) - Al

Ozzie Guillen already putting owner Jerry Reinsdorf on the spot regarding dreadlocks wondering if he's going to ask him to trim it.--Jim Bowden, XM

Wow. Priorities seem way out of whack in Chicago.


8/29/2010 08:37:00 PM



(8/29/2010 07:41:00 PM) - Al

Too little, too late for the White Sox. Good thing Ozzie didn't want that that HR dependent bum Jim Thome on his team.

Ozzie reminds me of Bill Musselman...Bill could coach, but as soon as he got any power, he'd trade draft picks for veterans who could help him go from 32 wins to 33. Ozzie spent his entire career being a horrendous offensive player, and he still has no remote idea how it works, that the way to score runs is to take walks and smack the ball. It's frightening.


8/29/2010 07:41:00 PM



(8/29/2010 07:31:00 PM) - Al

Today Macha let the team know where they should place the roof to minimize the shadows, loaded his lineup with LH bats to take advantage of Morton's huge split, and nursed Bush through 7 innings with a lead to help conserve most of the bullpen for another day.

I'm smart enough to know a manager's contribution is small, and Doug would never bring in some loudmouth who is interested in self-promotion more than quietly going about his job. That said, I don't think it's coincidence Ken has had some good results over the years.


8/29/2010 07:31:00 PM



(8/29/2010 07:11:00 PM) - Al

Also, Glee is on minute 14. Nothing I hate more than musicals, except really stupid musicals that push common sense far more than the mere average musical.


8/29/2010 07:11:00 PM



(8/29/2010 07:09:00 PM) - Al

Manny will be a White Sox for the final month, Rosenthal with details to come.


8/29/2010 07:09:00 PM



(8/29/2010 07:06:00 PM) - Al

Jimmy Kimmel is proof that Satan is still buying souls.

Eternity is a long, long time.


8/29/2010 07:06:00 PM



(8/29/2010 06:22:00 PM) - Al

Spencer Hawes, a center for the 76ers, is thinking about wearing #12, to commemorate 2012, when Republicans take back the White House, per Jon Brockman's Twitter.

Heh.


8/29/2010 06:22:00 PM



(8/29/2010 04:19:00 PM) - Al

Funny with all the immediate media that no one noticed Cal McLish's passing until today.


8/29/2010 04:19:00 PM



(8/29/2010 03:53:00 PM) - Al

McClendon, a sinker/slider pitcher, should keep the ball down if he's tired, in theory at least.

Be interesting to see if he's left in to try and get the 9th, or if they go to Trevor, in a non-save situation. Well, interesting to me at least.


8/29/2010 03:53:00 PM



(8/29/2010 03:43:00 PM) - Al

If no one ever swung at high fastballs versus Braddock and Axford, I am pretty sure neither would be in the major leagues.

Easier said than done.


8/29/2010 03:43:00 PM



(8/29/2010 03:32:00 PM) - Al

I assume Ken will save Hoffman for the 9th, and have Axford "back him up" as well. Who does that leave to pitch the 8th? Coffey? Braddock? May he allow Bush to go back out, especially if he does not hit?


8/29/2010 03:32:00 PM



(8/29/2010 03:22:00 PM) - Al

Macha was so worried about his worn-out relief corps that he stopped Chris Narveson from throwing his side session today, just in case.--Adam, MLB.com

The irony here is, there are many casuals who still question the 8 man bullpen. Talk abut not seeing the forest for the trees.


8/29/2010 03:22:00 PM



(8/29/2010 02:49:00 PM) - Al

Adam explains the roof today, it was Macha's idea, and umpires surveyed said they have trouble seeing the ball in the afternoon as well.

The irony there is, Tom H of the JS has written many times it's all in the Brewers' heads.


8/29/2010 02:49:00 PM



(8/29/2010 02:32:00 PM) - Al

Glenn and Reason sum up the rally yesterday. Note that AP failed to follow the narrative, and dared to print that photo...in reality, I assume it was about as Caucasian as the Brewers' crowd today...the majority yes, but not exclusive. Most African-Americans are well left of center, for a variety of reasons, and would not care for the message of fiscal restraint.

I too wonder if the tea party message, one of nearly all "quit spending so much" will become more entwined with the Republican platform, which interfere with the "limited government" many of us strongly believe in. I've often said that I'm a fiscal conservative and a social libertarian, though compared to many, I suppose I fit in more as a social moderate, as I do not favor legalizing all drugs and such, rather decriminalizing their use and severely punishing those who supply and profit from them. I don't think that's far from the way it is today in practice, though the laws may differ.


8/29/2010 02:32:00 PM



(8/29/2010 02:17:00 PM) - Al

Supposedly, Ken Macha had the idea to partially open the roof to move the shadow. Funny no one ever thought of that before.


8/29/2010 02:17:00 PM



(8/29/2010 02:01:00 PM) - Al

Darryl Hamilton need not look past the strike zones as to why games take a while to complete. Bush has had a handful of possible strikes not called already, and it's the 3rd inning.

Why these clods choose to have a strike zone the size of a pea sums up their intelligence level.


8/29/2010 02:01:00 PM



(8/29/2010 01:56:00 PM) - Al

Mark A discusses why they've went for some older players, and are unlikely to in the future.

I don't think anyone is going to be unhappy about a deal like Edmonds, a one-year, less than $1M contract. Those are very low risk, especially for a player penciled in as a reserve.


8/29/2010 01:56:00 PM



(8/29/2010 01:51:00 PM) - Al

Brewer look to salvage series finale

JS headline today. They need to hire a single person with an inkling of common sense.


8/29/2010 01:51:00 PM



(8/29/2010 01:46:00 PM) - Al

The Dodgers have not played Ramirez since the White Sox claimed him. They are dealing from a position of weakness, as the White Sox have no desire to give up a prospect, especially if LA is so terrified of him getting hurt they won't let him play to avoid it.


8/29/2010 01:46:00 PM



(8/29/2010 01:43:00 PM) - Al

You have to wonder if Cedeno is either injured or been told to work on his bunting for base hits. Without more to the story, it is terrible strategy, no doubt.


8/29/2010 01:43:00 PM



(8/29/2010 01:31:00 PM) - Al

If you wonder why the lineup is loaded with lefty bats, here are Morton's career splits. It's tough to imagine Morton having success as a SP, unless he adds another pitch or something.

Macha does a nice job of utilizing such numbers. Used like Kam Loe, he might have success.


8/29/2010 01:31:00 PM



(8/29/2010 01:07:00 PM) - Al

Ken Macha, manager, Brewers — It would not be surprising to see Macha let go after the season, and that would be a shame because for the last two years he’s had horrible pitching staffs, and you can’t manage without pitching. Owner Mark Attanasio may want to clean house. His payroll could see a $47 million reduction with players at the end of their contracts. He must devote that to gobbling up the best pitching available. They will be huge players for Cliff Lee, and should be in on Bronson Arroyo as well. Prince Fielder will continue to be trade bait, though the Brewers were underwhelmed by what they were offered at the trade deadline.--Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe

I can't imagine Cliff Lee in MIL, but a horse like Arroyo is possible. Mark A discussed that they went away from their usual mantra of avoiding older players because they get hurt more, but I don't think we'll see a lot of 27 year-olds available, sadly. When Doug signed Davis, he mentioned that he always throws a lot of innings. That's just what they needed, and what they still need.


8/29/2010 01:07:00 PM



(8/29/2010 12:34:00 PM) - Al

Al,

I have two things. Firstly, I had a casual fan encounter last night at the game. The two guys sitting in front of us were saying they did not know why Escobar's great play Friday night was the #1 web gem because "All he did was catch a pop-up and throw to 1B." As you would say, "Heh."

Second, why are a couple sites reporting Dave Bush has been outrighted to the minors? I mean, you pretty much have a simple, one-man operation there, and you did not put it up, or even report it, but if you had, I'm sure you would have said it was a rumor. The two guys last night were saying it as fact, even though other fans around them told them they were drunken idiots (which they were), as Bush was charting pitches in the dugout, obviously still with the team.

Kudos to your blog, I read it a couple times every day. Hope you and your family is doing nicely.

Matthew


Rarely is there a situation like that, and I am surprised how it was handled as fact by other blogs/web sites. The question I had was twofold...my first thought is that Bush had been sent down only to be recalled 9/1...a roster move that has been made in the past to add another player to the roster. I am not sure if the "must remain in the minors 10 days unless there's an injury" rule applies here or not, if it does, maybe that's why no one has done it the past few years. Also, the "outrighted" part puzzled me, as I can see Bush being traded, as he's probably better than a couple 5th SP's on contenders.

I tried to confirm the info Friday night, and one member of the media said he had heard nothing, Bush knew nothing, and it made no sense. I agreed, and let it go until I heard more. As of this second, Bush is scheduled to start in less an hour, so my guess is, someone got snookered.

In the existence of this blog, I have probably got a couple dozen "tips", most accompanied by a link, or a "this will be released in a few hours or a day" warning. I do recall an e-mailer telling me who the PTBNL's would be for Mark Loretta, one of which was Keith Ginter. That was really cool. I believe I worded it as "Ramblings has learned," though I really had no idea. If that happened now, I'd just tell the truth...I have an uncomfirmed e-mail that says...

The really bad thing is it makes all bloggers and such look bad. Doug saying that one time that, paraphrasing here, "There's people on the internet that like doing this sort of thing." I don't claim to just put facts on here, but I also try and avoid untruths...when I took the stance Gomez is about an average CF...I tried to show evidence, that he's below average offensively, and plus defensively. Not only did one site print an utter falsehood, every day, they second guess and make really stupid statements about the team. How are blogs supposed to be taken seriously when stuff like this happens?

I'm just disappointed in the whole thing. The line between blogger and media is almost nil, as many bloggers have crossed the line and now cover teams/sports for a job. However, as long as you have stuff like this going on, the "sitting in underwear in your parent's basement" stereotype will continue. And in some ways, it will have merit.


8/29/2010 12:34:00 PM


Saturday, August 28, 2010

(8/28/2010 10:13:00 PM) - Al

Loe is extremely hittable versus LH bats. Not much choice though, Macha is out of cards to play after the 3 inning start.


8/28/2010 10:13:00 PM



(8/28/2010 08:57:00 PM) - Al

I forgot to mention that the other day, after the Rambling son and I enjoyed a camp-in, we went bowling. In the 2nd game, I was defeated 124-116.

I have yet to decide what is more embarrassing, losing to an 8 year-old, or rolling a 116 in 10 frames. In the other game, I had a 165, so I maintained my lifetime 140 average.


8/28/2010 08:57:00 PM



(8/28/2010 08:51:00 PM) - Al

I am all but positive Cain bunted on his own. With Casey on 1B, it is not a strategic move Macha would make.


8/28/2010 08:51:00 PM



(8/28/2010 06:49:00 PM) - Al

Home plate ump does not like catchers going to mound, but has no trouble blowing calls at 1B, or squeezing the zone tonight. If he wants games to hurry along, he should try calling the strike zone as it's written, and not one the size of a burrito.


8/28/2010 06:49:00 PM



(8/28/2010 06:40:00 PM) - Al

How badly did the old media miss the truth after Katrina?

Very, very badly.

For the most part, this is why no one bothers with them anymore.


8/28/2010 06:40:00 PM



(8/28/2010 02:25:00 PM) - Al

Much like Twain, the death of conservativism has been greatly exaggerated.


8/28/2010 02:25:00 PM



(8/28/2010 12:42:00 PM) - Al

300-500K at that rally I never heard about until yesterday.

I know the fact Russ Feingold is in a real race with some guy no one has ever heard of is a perfect indicator, but the anger and disgust is very real. Needless to say, I might also add this makes Glenn Beck a star in his own right. There's a reason why Olbermann and others have never had a rally such as this...they'd get an embarrassingly small amount of participants to show up. Beck does not just have a large audience, he has a mobile, dedicated, large audience. Also, I wonder how many butts were in the mythical seats because of Palin, whose following is known to travel well, and be fiercely loyal.


8/28/2010 12:42:00 PM



(8/28/2010 12:39:00 PM) - Al

Poll...Bush better on Katrina than Obama was on oil spill.

It's amazing how the old media just keeps missing, over and over.


8/28/2010 12:39:00 PM



(8/28/2010 10:24:00 AM) - Al

Glenn wonders how the old media will report on the gathering in DC. I had never heard about it until yesterday, when I heard Albert Pujols and Tony LaRussa would be there, and then I heard Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck were the main speakers.

I just flipped it onto C-SPAN, and an overhead shot did indeed look like Forrest Gump.


8/28/2010 10:24:00 AM



(8/28/2010 09:52:00 AM) - Al

Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong.-- Ronald Reagan

The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program.--Ronald Reagan

The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help.--Ronald Reagan


Thank goodness we have Twitter so people can send out quotes that are 30+ years old and make more sense now than they did then.


8/28/2010 09:52:00 AM



(8/28/2010 12:52:00 AM) - Al

Escobar with the #1 web gem on BBTN and the #1 top play on Sportscenter.

If only we could buy stock in his future. I'd be very bullish.


8/28/2010 12:52:00 AM



(8/28/2010 12:39:00 AM) - Al

I've had three scouts in the last two weeks exclaim real issues with #Brewers 2B Brett Lawrie's body language, demeanor, and or course, D.--Kevin Goldstein, BP

Heh. They had trouble with Jeromy Burnitz's body language his entire career. Seriously, scouts need to get a life and start paying attention to stuff that matters. Lawrie is a superstar, and he knows it. Here's a deal for you, I'll take Lawrie, and you take the dozens of guys who are "gritty" and "scrappy"...that can't hit a lick.

That said, his defense is unlikely to play at 2B, though I've heard many say he could do it, but his bat will be ready by mid '11. He could end up at a corner spot in the INF or OF.


8/28/2010 12:39:00 AM



(8/28/2010 12:07:00 AM) - Al

Manager Ken Macha and general manager Doug Melvin have not yet discussed which, if any, coaches the team might call up in September, but Macha has said before he would like to have a Spanish-speaking coach on staff to help with players such as Alcides Escobar and Carlos Gomez, who are from Venezuela and the Dominican Republic, respectively. At times this season Gomez has said he was unsure of instructions given to him by coaches that only speak English, and Macha said he understands the feeling because of his time playing in Japan.--JS

Surprising they do not have any coaches who speak Spanish, since they knew Escobar was going to be the SS. That'll probably be a recommendation Doug makes to Macha or whoever the manager is next year. Mike Guerrero manages AA Huntsville and has been with the organization longer than dirt, so he might well be the choice.


8/28/2010 12:07:00 AM


Friday, August 27, 2010

(8/27/2010 10:02:00 PM) - Al

Al,

I may not always agree with you, but I always read you because you throw lots of stuff against the wall, and some of it sticks. That Lucroy/Gomez comparison is accurate, and extremely true. I would say much of it is the fact Lucroy, despite his faults, is still the best man for the job, while Gomez is probably not as good as Cain. Still, as I often say, how does Al think of that, and no one else does?

Greg


Because I do not look at things like others do. Common sense is not "common" today.


8/27/2010 10:02:00 PM



(8/27/2010 09:58:00 PM) - Al

Many independents feel the exact same way, then and now.


8/27/2010 09:58:00 PM



(8/27/2010 09:31:00 PM) - Al

Loe has to throw strikes up 5. My gosh.

That's just not knowing the situation and making adjustments.


8/27/2010 09:31:00 PM



(8/27/2010 09:24:00 PM) - Al

Gleeman runs down the Twins' suddenly outstanding bullpen, 5-6 deep of excellence. They get 5-6 strong innings from their SP, it's over.

One reason I like their moves is I'm a big fan of doing the same thing, because relievers tend to be so cheap in late July/August. SP's always are a bit spendy, but relief guys tend to go for a middling prospect. That's why giving up Ramos seemed so strange.


8/27/2010 09:24:00 PM



(8/27/2010 09:11:00 PM) - Al

I have yet to see any internet folks asking why Narveson was not removed after 5 or 6 frames.

You know, it's almost like those hacks are just second guessers.


8/27/2010 09:11:00 PM



(8/27/2010 09:07:00 PM) - Al

Ironic that we have not heard more grumbles about Jon Lucroy, who has been forced to learn on the job, and has predictably struggled. He was discussed as a guy who was questionable behind the plate and mediocre offensively in the scouting reports, and that's pretty much been an exact hit.

The one thing he has done well is exhibit a strong throwing arm, and supposedly has worked hard to learn the finer points of calling a game. However, he has been well below average in keeping balls in front of him that bounce in the dirt, and though he has looked mature and comfortable at the plate, the results have been exactly what you'd expect from a kid who should be honing his craft in AA or AAA.

The funny thing is, despite being overmatched, you don't hear much disgust for Lucroy. Maybe it's because the Crew has little choice, Kottaras walks and hits homers, and that's about it...he's pretty much a reserve as well.

Still, it's tough to overlook this:

Lucroy--.305/.349, 654 OPS, 24
Gomez---.291/.346, 637 OPS, 24

Carlos is accepted as a very good defensive CF, Lucroy is a work in progress at C...being the optimist I am.

Still, it's funny so many think Gomez is a bad player...of course, he's excellent defensively, and as of yet, has not broken through at the plate. He does have more major league experience, but being rushed years ago is probably not a sign of future success...yet view Jonathon as a future everyday player, which he may well be, especially given the scarcity of quality catching.

Still, the fact that Lucroy is a well-spoken college guy, English as a first language, Caucasian...Gomez is from the Dominican, English as a second language, Latino...seems to me the JS is almost becoming cliched, acting as if Carlos is a problem, but never mentioning Lucroy.

Needless to say, it seems a bit fishy to say the least. I mean, the JS guys have been deplorable for ages, but this inconsistent reporting is odd. You expect such silliness from message boards and talk radio, but not from the guys who get paid to critique.


8/27/2010 09:07:00 PM



(8/27/2010 08:45:00 PM) - Al

Have another drink, 1B ump.

Where do they manage to find these idiots that do not know basic, simple truths? Where do they find these guys that call it in every single night? Where do they find these clods who miss the most obvious calls...live action, it was obvious to 35K people.

if they started over, they could not be any worse. 4 guys chosen at random from the parking lot would be better, because they would have an excuse to be an embarrassment.


8/27/2010 08:45:00 PM



(8/27/2010 08:28:00 PM) - Al

Escobar's future is scary good. Every once in a while, you'll find casuals who don't like Alcides. I like it, because it teaches me who to ignore.


8/27/2010 08:28:00 PM



(8/27/2010 07:18:00 PM) - Al

Five dark blue states announce they do not give a damn about the troops, or their votes.

Scandalous. WI is not bothering to comply either.


8/27/2010 07:18:00 PM



(8/27/2010 06:35:00 PM) - Al

Rosenthal is tweeting Brian Fuentes has been dealt to the Twins. MIN is going for it, hard. I disagree with them dealing Wilson Ramos, but good to see them with a single plan in mind.


8/27/2010 06:35:00 PM



(8/27/2010 06:25:00 PM) - Al

How far behind are we on the world economic stage? Germany has chosen not to participate, while we suck.

Ah, let's just spend more money.


8/27/2010 06:25:00 PM



(8/27/2010 05:34:00 PM) - Al

Here's a talking point...Jack Z focused on hitters while he was in charge of the draft, and the results speak for themselves. I was the only person this side of the Metrodome who would have taken Joe Mauer ahead of Mark Prior, never mind where he was from. My reasoning? Pitchers get hurt.

So, along comes the best amateur pitching prospect maybe ever, but certainly in decades. I have said that I would probably avoid high school arms in the first two rounds of the draft if it were up to me...realizing that means the Crew would be Yo Gallardo-less if I were in charge.

Looking at the huge bonuses the top two rounds pay out, add that to the number of young pitchers who never reach their potential due to injury, I'd be leaning towards removing the "high school" from my mantra. Simply put, I think I'd take position players in the first two rounds, and let the other teams take the high risk/high reward pitchers.

I'd certainly try and take a few shots later, taking guys that have fallen due to sign-ability concerns, for example. But, the top two rounds are just too valuable, as history clearly shows many stars are taken early, and they also often get to the bigs quickly.


8/27/2010 05:34:00 PM



(8/27/2010 04:57:00 PM) - Al

Seeing that the phenom Strasburg is ‘probably’ having the surgery, I found this list of all the players to ever have it:

It’s hard to make a case that despite the recovery period, it’s probably better for you in the long run. Look at the Brewers – they had 5 players on that list as of last week: Axford (did not know this), Wolf, Riske, Capuano (jury still out on 2nd) and Coffey. Cappy may be the only one to have struggled, but I’d say that’s understandable since he didn’t have top velocity originally plus it was his second time.

Even Molitor had it done. Jose Rijo had it performed *3* times!

Todd


Hard to look at as a positive, despite the fact many have recovered nicely, even flourished. Some guys throw even harder afterwards, some guys are never the same.


8/27/2010 04:57:00 PM



(8/27/2010 04:53:00 PM) - Al

Russia's Putin shoots whale with a crossbow. Not to be outdone, Obama brags he just finished stabbing tuna with a fork.--Fred Thompson on Twitter

Fred's usually good for a zinger a day. I wish he would have shown this side on the campaign trail.


8/27/2010 04:53:00 PM



(8/27/2010 04:43:00 PM) - Al

Gallardo robbed at gunpoint, unhurt.

I'll save my "Milwaukee is a dump" rant for another time, as we all know most large urban centers have unsafe areas.


8/27/2010 04:43:00 PM



(8/27/2010 10:52:00 AM) - Al

Jay Mariotti is not only impossible to take seriously because of his inconsistencies, this look at his double standards on violence toward women is rather telling.


8/27/2010 10:52:00 AM



(8/27/2010 10:40:00 AM) - Al

Tim O'Driscoll continues to make everyone around him look better...from his incompetence.

Converted catcher Kenley Jansen pitched two hitless innings and drew a walk in his first major league plate appearance as the Dodgers beat the Brewers 7-1 on Thursday.
It seemed likely that the performance would get him his first big-league victory, as starter Carlos Monasterios was pulled with a 2-1 lead in the fifth. However, the official scorer instead gave the win to Ronald Belisario, who struck out the lone batter he faced in the fifth.

Edward


I had not seen the box score, and it's laughable that Belisario got the win, as Sherrill also got a single out in the 5th...I'm not sure why one's performance was considered more important. Glancing at the box score, it is obvious who should have been awarded the victory. Sadly, I'm sure the old media will ignore this, as, you know, O'Driscoll has been there, and been doing a horrible job, for decades.


8/27/2010 10:40:00 AM



(8/27/2010 10:36:00 AM) - Al

There is no such thing as a pitching prospect.

There are only two types of pitchers, those who have had arm surgery, and those who have not had arm surgery yet.

Strasburg will have TJ surgery, out 'til '12.

So tell me, like Riske and Hawkins, does this make it a bad signing?


8/27/2010 10:36:00 AM



(8/27/2010 10:27:00 AM) - Al

MLBTR looks at Manny Parra's future.

I do not see him being non-tendered, as I think plenty of teams would have interest even if he was awarded $1.5M or so.

I'll pencil him in as the 12th pitcher on the staff next year. If the day comes when they can't keep him around because they are contending, that's one thing...that's how they lost DLR, and he broke out a couple years later. Right now, I don't see them giving up on a guy with a career 4.10 ERA in relief who throws up to 95 with his left arm.


8/27/2010 10:27:00 AM


Thursday, August 26, 2010

(8/26/2010 06:59:00 PM) - Al

I'm telling you, there's simply no where else left to cut...

Reminds me of the Office Space "consultants" who find guys still showing up and not getting paid. Only when the government is involved, it's the opposite!


8/26/2010 06:59:00 PM



(8/26/2010 06:40:00 PM) - Al

I have limited time, as the Rambling son and I are having a camp-in tonight, which involves smores, bowling tomorrow, and Man vs. Wild on Netflix instant. Yeah, you single guys, you don't know what you're missing.

Anyway, just a quick note about Tom H of the JS wondering why the Brewers give up so many two-out runs. Today, he is curious as to why they have a poor record in day games at home.

Yawn. Nothing bores me more than people taking a sample that's not all that big as it is, the 2010 season, and breaking it up into tiny, meaningless pieces. Do you recall when the Crew was what, 4-12 at home? Anything can happen in 16 games, and over the course of 120 games, it's all evened out.

2 out runs? Seriously? Common sense would tell you that a third of your runs should be allowed with two outs, and realistically, more than that, because it takes a while for runners to advance around the bases. Improve the pitching, and the rest will take care of itself.

Day games? Well, to be honest, the glare at MP is not conducive for offensive baseball, but for the most part, it's the same for both teams. That said, it's such a small sample as to be meaningless. A couple well pitched games throw all the numbers out of whack.

I do know this...on days that end with Y, the JS coverage sucks. MLB.com not only does a fine job all year with Adam, they hire some college kid as an intern in the summer months, and he blows Tony W out of the water, and isn't near the "no sample is too small" guru Tom H is.


8/26/2010 06:40:00 PM


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

(8/25/2010 11:18:00 PM) - Al

Don't mess with Texas.

I have a feeling we'll see many challenges by states, as the feds have imposed standards with no idea how to pay for them. Renegade states...most likely, those very red, will not care.


8/25/2010 11:18:00 PM



(8/25/2010 11:08:00 PM) - Al

Leader of the Marines wonders if the "hard withdrawal date" is helping the enemy.

So do many of us. Making war plans public for political reasons is mindnumbingly short-sighted.


8/25/2010 11:08:00 PM



(8/25/2010 09:46:00 PM) - Al

Heh, Broxton looks fine to me. Torre is not fond of him, and is looking for reasons not to have him close. One has to understand, when a closer gets hit, it usually results in a loss. However, a loss is not a reason to have your best relief pitcher in a set-up role.


8/25/2010 09:46:00 PM



(8/25/2010 09:21:00 PM) - Al

Looks like the Tea Party and Sarah Palin stole one from the GOP establishment.

This is not the year to run on your credentials, especially when they include being named to your seat by your Daddy.


8/25/2010 09:21:00 PM



(8/25/2010 08:56:00 PM) - Al

This is why Manny Ramirez is still in demand. He can flat out hit. All the rest is for the lawyers.


8/25/2010 08:56:00 PM



(8/25/2010 08:55:00 PM) - Al

Cain does have a good arm, but he takes a long time (4 steps) to release it. Hopefully, Ed Sedar will work that down a bit.


8/25/2010 08:55:00 PM



(8/25/2010 08:45:00 PM) - Al

Fascinating look at colleges where no one graduates, yet they just keep on sucking up the grants and loans that are funded by John and Jane Taxpayer.

I'd say it was a broken system, but I wouldn't want to offend broken systems.


8/25/2010 08:45:00 PM



(8/25/2010 05:00:00 PM) - Al

Capuano into the rotation, Parra out.

To be blunt, this may be as much about the Crew wanting to see what Cappy's future is, as he'll be a FA after the season. The Crew has watched Chris rehab and know he is unlikely to get a multi-year offer from another club due to his background. However, I could see him get a minor league deal, or I could see him get a nice contract for $2-3M. It'll be somewhere in between, but at the very least, I guarantee you Capuano won't beat himself, even if he throws considerably softer.


8/25/2010 05:00:00 PM



(8/25/2010 03:13:00 PM) - Al

I can't disagree with Obama's lobster habits...heck, I love the fake lobster and crab, never mind the real stuff. Red Lobster used to have a lobster fondue appetizer that I'd order as a main course.


8/25/2010 03:13:00 PM



(8/25/2010 03:05:00 PM) - Al

Jake Odorizzi actually threw 117 pitches in his eight no-hit innings Tuesday, per Brewers' official report. Limit was supposed to be 105.--Adam, MLB.com

Oof. Considering no one really cares at all about wins and losses in the minor leagues, I find it interesting that the manager and pitching coach blew his pitch count by a dozen, while I doubt Macha or Yost have done that in the last five years in MIL...you know, where wins and losses actually matter.

The irony is, Sabathia threw 128 (no limit was ever discussed, but someone said they watched him closer after 120), and then in April of '09, he threw 132 with the Yankees, and no one said a word.


8/25/2010 03:05:00 PM



(8/25/2010 02:55:00 PM) - Al

I'm sure Pat Listach would like to manage any MLB team, as would most 3B coaches.

With Ryne Sandberg supposedly already having a deal in place, I'd say it's far more likely Listach will get a job with a small market, rebuilding club someday.


8/25/2010 02:55:00 PM



(8/25/2010 02:42:00 PM) - Al

Trevor Hoffman claimed by White Sox. If Brewers were interested in dumping payroll, they'd just let him go. Carlos V also clears, Sox interested in him as well.

CHI is really going for it considering I give them little chance, as the Twins are just a far better team. Of course, if you take Thome away and give him to CHI, the Sox may be slightly better.

Red Sox also claimed Trevor, awarded to CHI based on record. Apparently, Trevor wears socks well.

If the '11 season began today, you have to figure spots in the Brewers' bullpen would belong to Axford, Braddock, Loe, Hawkins, and McClendon. Considering they might well add a reliever when they trade Prince, I'd say they'll seriously discuss CV (and maybe Coffey, if he cleared as well, he's looked healthy of late) with interested clubs.


8/25/2010 02:42:00 PM



(8/25/2010 01:54:00 PM) - Al

Gleeman discusses the Royals' lineup today.

What's funny is, lost in the mix is that the Brewers have a very good offense. Seeing an awful lineup like that reinforces it...Weeks leading off alone is impressive, most teams would bat him 3-5, but the Crew has other options there.


8/25/2010 01:54:00 PM



(8/25/2010 01:48:00 PM) - Al

Nate Silver says there's a 20% chance the Republicans take over the Senate. Given Nate leans heavily left, and was unable to bring himself to admit Scott Brown would win MA (he was up 9 in the last polls), I'd say the odds are about 25-33% in the real world.

Looking at the WI example, he shows Feingold up 50-47, with a 71% chance of winning...the math there seems questionable at best, but it makes perfect sense when you take bias into account.


8/25/2010 01:48:00 PM



(8/25/2010 10:33:00 AM) - Al

Tony Robbins warns of an upcoming economic collapse. Apparently, he feels the national debt and state/local debt cannot be maintained.

What a negative nellie.


8/25/2010 10:33:00 AM



(8/25/2010 10:27:00 AM) - Robert R.

With election silly season heating up, I think it's time to call out one of my pet peeves. When candidates try to sell programs/projects on "job creation". Particularly when it's the only thing they tout about a program.

We all want the employment rate to pick up. But a program isn't good or bad merely on how many jobs it creates. The primary goal of a transportation project should be to allow people and goods to travel more efficiently and safely, not to create jobs. The primary goal of a drinking water project should be to provide clean drinking water, not to create jobs. The primary goal of schools is to provide education, the jobs are a natural outgrowth of that. Etc. This is where pork often falls down. A defense plant that makes weapons our troops don't need isn't increasing the security of the republic, it's providing make work. It's indisputable that it's creating jobs, it's also not providing any benefit. Same with unnecessary road improvements, etc. That's inefficient.

Arguably, a lot of projects provide the most benefit by making jobs less necessary. One of the benefits of a roundabout or an intersection with stop signs is that they're controlled intersections that don't require electricity. You could "create jobs" by making more intersections with electric signals, which require more maintenance, additional electrical construction, and require the generation of more electricity.

To my mind too much is talked about "job creation" and not enough about "efficiency". On both sides of the aisle.

To my mind there are several layers of project that are justified by the government.

1. Necessary Projects
Most of these are self evident. Bridges can't be allowed to fall down. Roads have to be kept at a functional level. Public safety is needed. Clean water needs to be provided. Public buildings have to comply with City, State, and Federal standards. Waukesha is going to spend a lot of money because the sandstone aquifer is detiorating and is unsustainable long-term, but that's a necessary expense. The Zoo Interchange is going to be rebuilt shortly and that's necessary too. MMSD is going to spend money on flood control projects based on this year's flooding. State Fair Park is going to redirect some of their sewers because of a change in West Allis' sewers which will cut off some of their buildings.

Obviously, it's not a blank check, it's always necessary to try to do it in the most efficient way possible, and the scope of these projects can be up for debate, but most of these projects should be non-issues other than demagogery.

2. Beneficial Projects
Just because a project isn't strictly necessary, doesn't mean that it isn't worth funding. Which is where it gets complicated. I'd be hard pressed to say that the Brewers are strictly necessary, but it doesn't mean I don't think that helping build Miller Park wasn't a good thing in the long run. The Brownfields program I think is an underrated success story and an example of businesses, the environment, and the taxpayer benefitting.

As someone that works in the engineering field, let me point out that many projects attempt to document the impact and calculate a rate of return in a non-biased fashion based on established formulas. There's basically no reason to fund a project that shows a negative rate of return.

However, most projects will generally show a positive rate of return. Unfortunately, this is where I think politicians on both sides of the aisle completely fall down. There's no criteria to what "rate of return" is acceptable. And, you basically never see a politician talk about "rate of return". Nobody ever prioritizes projects on "rate of return". You talk about "rate of return" and often you can't justify a pet project. Or oppose a project. Or it doesn't play into the public perception. Or the public perception/prejudices of a candidate's base. And it's hard to make a compelling campaign ad when you oppose a project because it only promises an 8% return on investment instead of a 10% return on investment which is judged to be good. It's more pithy to describe projects as "good" or "bad". And, unfortunately, that lack of digging into details and nuance has distorted the whole idea of government spending. It's not about getting the most bang for the buck, but protecting your base and sending the spoils to the rest of the party.

Unfortunately, I don't think it's going to change soon. Even though you can find more planning reports than ever before on the internet, nobody wants to read them. Newspapers don't want to do analysis. And there's no organized neutral blogging movement to discuss the pros and cons of various projects. And the politicians all think it's too complicated for the general public.


8/25/2010 10:27:00 AM


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

(8/24/2010 10:04:00 PM) - Al

Cash for clunkers is a huge benefit for used car prices, which is of course, is where frugal people shop. Apparently, no one in government saw this coming, as supply and demand is, after all, just an outdated cliche.


8/24/2010 10:04:00 PM



(8/24/2010 09:44:00 PM) - Al

Mike Kelley talks about defense.


8/24/2010 09:44:00 PM



(8/24/2010 09:39:00 PM) - Al

400K pounds of meat recalled...no illnesses reported, most has already been consumed.

The FDA is an incredible waste of time and money.


8/24/2010 09:39:00 PM



(8/24/2010 05:01:00 PM) - Al

Did the "stimulus" cost more than the Iraq War?

You can probably tilt the numbers how you care to, but to me, the real question is just how huge the pork filled spending for blue districts was when it compares to a near decade of fighting a war in a desert.


8/24/2010 05:01:00 PM



(8/24/2010 04:37:00 PM) - Al

Congress' approval rating...will it show at the polls?

I have to answer yes, at least if you are an incumbent Dem.


8/24/2010 04:37:00 PM



(8/24/2010 04:22:00 PM) - Al

Selig's statue dedicated, once again, Mark A shines in saying the right thing.

It's hard to believe how close the Brewers came to having Dan Gilbert, who called a player who did a fine job for his team six years, "a traitor" for leaving as an, ahem, free agent.

You realize we have Mark A because the Seligs chose him over Gilbert. The irony is mighty thick.


8/24/2010 04:22:00 PM



(8/24/2010 04:00:00 PM) - Al

Katie Couric ties the record low...set by herself.

What's astounding is, Dan Rather got caught making up fiction to report as news, and still never fell down to that level.


8/24/2010 04:00:00 PM



(8/24/2010 03:58:00 PM) - Al

Rob Dibble may be the stupidest man on the planet.

Needless to say, he'll never get another job as soon as he gets fired from his current one, and that will likely come soon.


8/24/2010 03:58:00 PM



(8/24/2010 03:43:00 PM) - Al

2B Weeks, SS Escobar, LF Braun, 1B Fielder, 3B McGehee, CF Cain, RF Gomez, C Lucroy, P Bush.--MLB.com

A changing of the guard, so to speak, as I see Cain is in CF and Gomez is in RF. Usually, the "starter" stays in the same spot, so it would seem Lo is now the everyday CF. Not a shocker, considering how well he's hit in a tiny sample, but worth a mention.

Be interesting to see how Carlos is used...I'd argue they should have him PR for McGehee (or Fielder, but he's rarely taken out) and then put into LF or RF for defense, as he's oodles better than the everyday corner OF's defensively.

I'm the only one even discussing it, but I'm wondering if the braintrust will ask Ryan or Corey if they would like to move to 1B, or just pencil in Gamel there (barring a 1B being acquired when Prince is dealt). To me, Braun just seems like a good fit, he's played infield before (with limited success, however), and he is athletic enough to go back on pop-ups, charge in on bunts, and scoop balls out of the dirt (stuff Prince is finally starting to do decently in year five).


8/24/2010 03:43:00 PM


Monday, August 23, 2010

(8/23/2010 11:07:00 PM) - Al

Freakonomics talks to a football stat geek, most important factor to a "turnaround season"...good health.

This is similar to people saying after the fact that Riske and Hawkins were bad signings because they were injured...though they were not injury-prone whatsoever. Chance and luck play a part in all events. Ignoring that is pure folly.


8/23/2010 11:07:00 PM



(8/23/2010 10:38:00 PM) - Al

Statue of Selig unveiled tomorrow.


8/23/2010 10:38:00 PM



(8/23/2010 08:30:00 PM) - Al

More thoughts about living at home in your 20's. The comments, one of which hints that it's impossible to not live at home after attending an artificially expensive stuck-up private school, are priceless.


8/23/2010 08:30:00 PM



(8/23/2010 06:52:00 PM) - Robert R.

Blockbuster is dying. And, I, among many, many others, won't miss them one bit. A latest interview with the head of digital services is another example of a company that's big on talk but really doesn't have any concrete strategy.

Good riddance. A feature of the free market is that bad companies should fail.


8/23/2010 06:52:00 PM



(8/23/2010 01:55:00 PM) - Al

I like Matt Downs as a possible utility infielder as well, though it's tempered by the fact he has not played much SS.


8/23/2010 01:55:00 PM



(8/23/2010 12:47:00 PM) - Al

Government intervention has led directly to higher credit card interest rates for all.

This is exactly why Reagan correctly said the most frightening statement was "I'm from the government and I'm here to help."

They simply do not understand how business works.


8/23/2010 12:47:00 PM



(8/23/2010 11:31:00 AM) - Al

Riske released, I assume to make room for Gomez's return.

Dave pitched well in some outings since he returned from injury, and was hit hard in others. As with Gerut, he might be picked up quickly on a minor league deal and brought up 9/1.

Riske was one of the most consistent relievers in MLB for years before he was injured. As is the case with Hawkins thus far, effectiveness and health are often a direct correlation. Both Latroy and Dave were also low-risk injury candidates as well. If anything, "pitching is a crapshoot" is proven once again.

Good luck to him, and if he continues to pitch, he might be a very solid "buy low" option this winter.


8/23/2010 11:31:00 AM


Sunday, August 22, 2010

(8/22/2010 10:04:00 PM) - Al

Grumpy Stewart is a very stupid man.

How is he an agent? I don't think he's smart enough to spell agent...granted, they really do nothing except collect a percentage of others' money. Considering many players have just gone the publicist and lawyer route, saving themselves millions, it's funny more players have not dumped these do nothings.

Unless you're making huge amounts from multiple endorsements, athletes should ask themselves what exactly they're paying for.

Dave Stewart wasted years of his career using cocaine, and still seems to be a complete clod.


8/22/2010 10:04:00 PM



(8/22/2010 09:30:00 PM) - Al

The Twins have put together a balanced season, 4th in runs scored, 6th in runs allowed. They haven't missed a beat since Morneau went down because that in effect made Jim Thome an everyday player. Thome is as old as me, but he's only put together a .400/.600 campaign. I expected them to dominate with pitching, but instead, they've simply been top six in both, which usually leads to a playoff spot.


8/22/2010 09:30:00 PM



(8/22/2010 08:30:00 PM) - Al

California opens half-billion dollar school.

Help me Rhonda.


8/22/2010 08:30:00 PM



(8/22/2010 08:06:00 PM) - Al

Marlins give away Cody Ross to SF. Many think the Giants claimed him to keep SD from getting him, but FLA is saving abut $1M and a handful of magic beans, so they gave him up for zippo.


8/22/2010 08:06:00 PM



(8/22/2010 06:25:00 PM) - Al

Already, a negative view of Iraq from the UK media. Security does not sound anywhere near the levels that I would have suspected, based on the relative level of calm since the surge.

I want to think that the minority view, those that want terror to reign, have been all but defeated, but it also makes perfect sense they've been quietly regrouping, waiting for the USA to leave.


8/22/2010 06:25:00 PM



(8/22/2010 03:18:00 PM) - Al

Why are 20somethings taking so long to grow up?

I think it's obvious...with the money from mom and dad, loans and grant money, kids live comfortably even during their college years, and if unsuccessful afterwards, they move back in with their folks or go to grad school, where they live off government subsidies as long as they're willing to put in a few hours on campus each week.

I worked from 50-80 hours a week while I was a full-time student...I got in the habit and just kept it up. That does not make me a better person...it just easily explains why I never graduated...it was very easy to drop the activity that did not involve a paycheck and did involve liberal professors spewing moronic jibberish.

It used to be students wanted to graduate college, get a job, get married, and start enjoying the American dream. Now, it's simple...the American dream involves not working, going to class enough to pickup 12 credits, with plenty of free time, little responsibility, and while not a luxurious lifestyle, extremely comfortable. It's no coincidence that students mostly finished college in 4 years back when they yearned to get through and move on, and now 5-7 is considered "common."

And, the angst. Have you talked about life with a single person in their 20's? You'd think you were talking to a sharecropper in the late 19th century, or one of the Joads in The Grapes of Wrath (note if you are in your 20's, that's a book you never read). The level of unhappiness, despite a lifestyle of comfort and relative wealth, is off-the-charts. Many are unable to complete a sentence, and certainly not a paragraph, without the use of the word "me."

Last summer, we had a college grad start at our office. Almost every weekend was a long weekend. Always behind come meeting/training day. Despite a stellar GPA, she had to take the licensing test a number of times. Mood alternated between apathy and tears of frustration. Mentioned often she had never worked in the summer months (when pressed, said parents had paid for college and living expenses, that she had waitressed one night a week for clothes and beer money) and was not fond of it.

I liked her, and think she had a lot of potential (and was mighty cute), but she was years away from having success, in anything. Hey, she had to take a cut in pay AND had to start working...who would enjoy that?

It's all the mentality we've created. Need to be on your parent's insurance until you're 26? No problem, in fact, let's make it a law. Can't afford school and don't want to get a job or serve your country? No problem, financial aid is as easy to acquire as an STD in Thailand. You reap what you sow, and with the system we have in place, it's a wonder we have any young grads that experience success from the get go.


8/22/2010 03:18:00 PM



(8/22/2010 03:10:00 PM) - Al

Dickerson with a nice weekend. Considering his inexpensive contract and potential, that might end up being one of Doug's finest moves.


8/22/2010 03:10:00 PM



(8/22/2010 03:02:00 PM) - Al

Parra's lack of focus is amazing. How he can walk a guy with no power and then groove fastballs to the next three batters is classic Manny.


8/22/2010 03:02:00 PM



(8/22/2010 02:39:00 PM) - Al

Just took the kids to the NY Fire Dept museum. Cried my eyes out at the 9/11 tribute to the 343 firefighters who died. We must NEVER forget. Never.--Liz Claman, FBN

The reality is, of course, most forgot as soon as a month after, when people started to complain about having to wait at airports to be properly screened by security. Many, including Roger Moore, have said terrorism is an inconvenience that we should just accept. Thankfully, many of us have not turned into French girliemen and have no problem killing the evil cowards who spread terror where freedom and capitalism thrive.

Hopefully, the nearly nine years since a domestic terror attack will soon be 109 years. If so, it won't be from singing folk songs.


8/22/2010 02:39:00 PM



(8/22/2010 02:22:00 PM) - Al

I wonder if the Brewers have a rule in the minors about sitting if you get thrown out of a game. Gamel was tossed Friday night, and did not play yesterday and is not in the lineup today either.


8/22/2010 02:22:00 PM



(8/22/2010 01:59:00 PM) - Al

PHIL--6.42 IP/S, 1st in MLB

PIT---5.42 IP/S, 30th in MLB

Top to bottom, one inning a start separates first and last. Of course, while that seems minimal, that's 162 innings the bullpen has to pick up...in a 7 man bullpen, that's 23 more frames for each reliever, which means that people that don't get it will blame the manager for overusing his 'pen, as we see people doing with Macha all the time, when the only other option is to let a tired, ineffective SP continue. It's also a lot more innings for your bottom three relievers to eat up.


8/22/2010 01:59:00 PM



(8/22/2010 01:37:00 PM) - Al

Might be an "all hands on deck" game for the bullpen, 2 short outings and Manny insisting he does not need to locate, just fire fastballs down the middle.


8/22/2010 01:37:00 PM



(8/22/2010 01:34:00 PM) - Al

Al,

Wondering if you caught Brian and Bill talking about the "casual fan" last night, not even knowing Bill S used to play. If you talked to a group of casuals, what would be current facts they would have incorrect?

Matt


Off the top of my head:

Weeks is a poor defender. {He used to be, but has now improved to near average, and does several things very nicely, including turn two. He used to be slow and inaccurate.}

McGehee is a good defender. {His numbers are skewed a bit by his knee injury last year, but at best, he's average with little range.}

Gomez/Edmonds/Cameron are poor defensive CF's. {Heh. All are very good, at least before Mike played injured all of this current season.}

Strikeouts keep a team from scoring runs. {Actually, they do, but it's so minimal it's not worth mentioning, they're a dozen factors more important. It's like blaming drunk driving on the company that makes the bottles or cans.}


8/22/2010 01:34:00 PM



(8/22/2010 01:32:00 PM) - Al

That ball bouncing over the wall by a half-an-inch once again tells you how unlucky the Brewers have been this entire season. Between that and how many bloop singles and grounders through the holes they've had against them, it's absolutely off-the-charts.


8/22/2010 01:32:00 PM


Saturday, August 21, 2010

(8/21/2010 11:16:00 PM) - Al

Dickerson with what may be the first public mention of Braun's wrist bothering him.

Chris has not been told about the Crew's code of silence yet, I guess.


8/21/2010 11:16:00 PM



(8/21/2010 11:09:00 PM) - Al

My monitor just had a "severe weather alert" pop up. I was just outside about 45 minutes ago watching the Rambling dog sniff and such, and noticed no sign of a storm. Turns out it was a dense fog advisory...this summer, I've had warnings pop up for fog, heat, and flooding. No offense, but I don't do anything for any of the three. Severe weather should be...you know, "severe"...right?


8/21/2010 11:09:00 PM



(8/21/2010 11:01:00 PM) - Al

I thought Stairs HR was a fly ball to medium RF. Loe is not a good matchup versus lefties who like it down, which is most of them.

Does Axford remind anyone else of Turnbow? Derrick was just about as unhittable as any closer the Crew has had, and one day, it just kind of went away. When Axford loses his control, especially on the fastball, the catcher looks all but helpless. He did a fine job tonight of righting the ship after looking like he had no clue where the ball would end up for a 5 minute span.

McClendon sure is off to a good beginning. His fastball is a lot like Loe's, clocks in at 90 and moves a lot. There's always room for a cheap, effective arm in the 'pen.


8/21/2010 11:01:00 PM



(8/21/2010 08:49:00 PM) - Al

Be interesting to see who gets the 8th...a 3 run lead is Hoffman territory, but they usually hold Axford in reserve to back him up. That kind of leaves the 8th open.

EDIT: Forgot about Loe. See if he gets the call.


8/21/2010 08:49:00 PM



(8/21/2010 08:42:00 PM) - Al

Braddock in tonight, so he'll all but certainly be off 'til Tuesday. He's been babied since his surgery, but considering how many lefties throw 92-95, I suppose it is justified.


8/21/2010 08:42:00 PM



(8/21/2010 08:39:00 PM) - Al

Braun with a homer after I posted he had not hit one this month. I'd take credit for it, but my brain is bigger than a pea, so I know better.


8/21/2010 08:39:00 PM



(8/21/2010 08:32:00 PM) - Al

Nice piece about how dogs think and feel emotion.

We often joke that we're the Rambling dog's life, but when we're sick, or if he thinks one of us is injured, he always is very close by and concerned, though his ability to help is disgustingly minimal. Over the years, the Rambling nephew, who uses a wheelchair to get around, has had several dogs, and all were far more protective of him than of others.


8/21/2010 08:32:00 PM



(8/21/2010 08:21:00 PM) - Al

Every nice play Braun has ever made has been going towards the LF line, or coming in. Going back or into the gap, he never seems to make anything but a routine catch.


8/21/2010 08:21:00 PM



(8/21/2010 07:14:00 PM) - Al

Walk Lucroy to face Narveson? Have they noticed how they each swing?


8/21/2010 07:14:00 PM



(8/21/2010 07:01:00 PM) - Al

Adam reports Capuano will indeed be a free agent after the season ends. Be interesting to see if Chris hangs around or if he tries to find a rotation spot in the bigs.


8/21/2010 07:01:00 PM



(8/21/2010 06:26:00 PM) - Al

It boggles my mind that the TV team has yet to figure out any hit/error question at Miller Park is going to end up as an error. He's a tool, but a consistent one.


8/21/2010 06:26:00 PM



(8/21/2010 06:25:00 PM) - Al

I can't believe the massive wall of grittiness that follows Eckstein around was unable to stop that ball.


8/21/2010 06:25:00 PM



(8/21/2010 06:24:00 PM) - Al

Braun is having his second best month of the season, but he's doing it almost all with singles...21 base hits, 4 doubles, 0 triples, 0 HR's.


8/21/2010 06:24:00 PM



(8/21/2010 06:22:00 PM) - Al

Despite hitting in bad luck much of the year, Escobar has looked better of late, and had positive results. He's primed for a breakout season, either in '11 or '12.


8/21/2010 06:22:00 PM



(8/21/2010 06:19:00 PM) - Al

Hart says he can play, but will probably be smart and take advantage of the day off Monday, and return Tuesday. Can PH if asked.


8/21/2010 06:19:00 PM



(8/21/2010 03:58:00 PM) - Al

Hawkins will have exploratory surgery to determine his shoulder "deadness." Let's hope they are able to fix it and have him at 100% for '11.


8/21/2010 03:58:00 PM



(8/21/2010 02:50:00 PM) - Al

Hart sits out tonight, Dickerson in RF. Macha said he was leaning toward playing Chris tonight and tomorrow due to career numbers, so it's actually Lo Cain who picks up playing time.


8/21/2010 02:50:00 PM



(8/21/2010 01:08:00 PM) - Al

This is exactly what I've been saying since I heard about the egg thing.

Unless you buy pasteurized eggs, you are at your own risk when you choose to eat them over easy. I sometimes do not overcook them, but usually do, since spending the next day ill has little appeal. The amount of money being wasted on this recall is mindnumbing. Cook them, bake them, and they're fine. Eat them raw, you're an idiot.


8/21/2010 01:08:00 PM



(8/21/2010 12:01:00 PM) - Al

Scott Rasmussen tries to explain the tea party, though the title of his upcoming book, "Mas As Hell," probably does a better job.

I think the old media's portrayal of the tea party folks as loons has probably been their biggest misstep in an ocean of missteps. In an era where a pork filled $1T bill can be passed with nary a whisper of complaint, despite there being no tax cuts or investment advantages in it...just short-term, unneeded projects for blue districts, being a fiscal conservative has never been cooler.


8/21/2010 12:01:00 PM


Friday, August 20, 2010

(8/20/2010 11:51:00 PM) - Al

Hart plans to play tomorrow, wanted to ice hammy, worried about having to run a ball down late.


8/20/2010 11:51:00 PM



(8/20/2010 11:49:00 PM) - Al

Scathing notes about jobs in the LA Times.

I had forgotten Biden's promises about a half-million jobs a month. Heh.


8/20/2010 11:49:00 PM



(8/20/2010 10:54:00 PM) - Al

Adam ponders whose spot Gomez will take, though his idea of trading Counsell is silly, as they'd have to have an infielder able to play SS replace Craig.

Who knows, maybe Hart will have to be DL'd with his hammy issue.


8/20/2010 10:54:00 PM



(8/20/2010 10:35:00 PM) - Al

Just ran across this Freakonomics post wondering why tattoos are popular. I would say it's a combo platter of being rich as a society, having tons of disposable time and income, especially before having kids (which is delayed compared to previous generations), and, as the article points out, the permanent nature has bizarro appeal.

We're a society of incredible options, we can buy a Wii and then change our mind to an X-box easily. As the piece points out, many of us see no benefit to tattoos or smoking, and many choose to participate in one or both of these activities. I've often wondered if smokers have more tattoos, as previous generations of the tattooed, the military especially, smoked more than average as well...they were in the rations during WW2, for goodness sakes.

I do know this, when I meet a retired person with a tattoo, without exception, they say how stupid that decision was.


8/20/2010 10:35:00 PM



(8/20/2010 10:21:00 PM) - Al

2-0, down 4, swings and pops it up.

Somewhere, Lenny Dykstra is saying, "Are you kidding me?"


8/20/2010 10:21:00 PM



(8/20/2010 10:03:00 PM) - Al

Amazing how good the bullpen looks when they're fresh and rested. It's no coincidence that the best rotations have solid 'pens behind them...they keep them from being tired, and minimize the innings thrown by the worst arms.


8/20/2010 10:03:00 PM



(8/20/2010 04:47:00 PM) - Al

CF Carlos Gomez will be in Milwaukee tomorrow according to Macha.--MLB.com

I'm not sure who'll go down, or even if it will be a position player. Players with options are limited...Cain, McClendon, Braddock (assuming Axford and Lucroy are "safe"). I assume Dickerson does not, or the Reds would have just sent him down.

It would not kill me at all to see Cain sent down 'til 9/1, but some casuals might have their head explode...which makes me almost want to see it happen.:)


8/20/2010 04:47:00 PM



(8/20/2010 04:10:00 PM) - Al

Didn't they have a Packers' themed lottery in WI as well? Good for them, as we all know, the lottery is a voluntary tax on people who don't understand math. Of course, you can't win if you don't play...

Note: Paying at the pump keeps me from knowing, but yes, they do have Packers' themed scratch-offs.


8/20/2010 04:10:00 PM



(8/20/2010 03:46:00 PM) - Al

They are still just shocked at the amount of anger and disgust out there. 65-27 less than three months from the election? Unless Lincoln's opponent is found in bed with a live boy or a dead girl, you can put that one on the board.

Even Nate Silver's site, which tends to lean a bit left, gives the Dems 0% chance of winning that seat. Golly.


8/20/2010 03:46:00 PM



(8/20/2010 02:40:00 PM) - Robert R.

I'm sure that MLB will have to take a look at the rash of beanball wars in the offseason. To add to the debate over what to do, I'll add an idea.

Stop trying to discern intent in the most dangerous cases. If a pitcher hits someone in the head, immediately eject him. And fine him. Perhaps suspend him too.

People get suspended in the NFL for dangerous actions without intent. With the idea being to discourage putting yourself in the position where "accidents" happen.

Other than hiring umpires with ESP, I don't know how you're ever going to figure out intent on a consistent basis. But you can judge actions. And set up the consequences so that pitchers have to think about what happens if they don't control a high, inside pitch.

I think that's the surest way to end the most dangerous practices. If a knucklehead pitcher wants to prove how tough he is by hitting someone in the rear, well that's baseball. Dumb, macho baseball, but it's within the realm of the game. But, guys going headhunting is beyond the pale. And that can be discouraged easily with a black and white rule.


8/20/2010 02:40:00 PM



(8/20/2010 02:19:00 PM) - Al

Hard to believe people remember Capuano has such a fine pickoff move, I have not seen it this year. No argument from me on Gomez, as he's so good on defense, he's still one of the best 30 CF's even though he has yet to put it together at the plate. Once he's around a while, we might well see Escobar on the "best infield arm" list too.

I have yet to sit down and pen my thoughts on Gomez, and while he might well have as much value this offseason as last, I'd lean toward keeping him at AAA for much of next year, even while paying him whatever he gets in arby (probably $1.5M or so), for depth purposes and hoping he's able to flourish in a pressure free environment where pitchers rarely have plus breaking stuff. If I was a team with a challenging CF to play; COL, SD, ARI, for example, I'd want him now.

Let's be honest, we have no idea if Lo Cain is ready, or half as good as he has been in a tiny sample. That said, I sure hope he is.

CG------.291/.347, 638 OPS, 56 simple runs created, 13.8 UZR/150, 69.8 runs
Ave CF--.327/.407, 734 OPS, 73 simple runs created, 0 UZR/150, 73 runs

It's always ironic to me that defense is always preached and talked about, but whenever you have a good defender who struggles to hit, all that "defense is vital" stuff goes right out the window. In Carlos' case, he's so good defensively it makes up for his lack of offense, and I'm sure he actually "steals" some runs with his speed and baserunning, though that's likely minimal, just a couple runs, as sometimes, he'll get thrown out trying to stretch it as well.


8/20/2010 02:19:00 PM



(8/20/2010 12:35:00 PM) - Al

Iraqi Freedom ended, or is ending soon, and without a single kudos to W.

Thank goodness we had a leader who understood victory was the only option, and not poll numbers and a set timeline to pacify those who do not understand the only way to achieve peace is to employ incredibly brave and talented men and women to kill and destroy evil.


8/20/2010 12:35:00 PM



(8/20/2010 09:55:00 AM) - Al

You can't save the Earth unless you're willing to make others sacrifice.

I'm almost positive this will be the epitaph on Al Gore's massive headstone, which will be made of rare jade, with enough electric lights to allow it to be seen from space.

Because he's better than us.


8/20/2010 09:55:00 AM


Thursday, August 19, 2010

(8/19/2010 10:59:00 PM) - Al

I used to have several aquariums, though I never had $200K to repair them.

These are the people that think taxes aren't high enough.


8/19/2010 10:59:00 PM



(8/19/2010 10:24:00 PM) - Al

Not only would it be delicious, I guarantee you anyone who speaks out against this sandwich is simply insufferable to be around.


8/19/2010 10:24:00 PM



(8/19/2010 10:14:00 PM) - Al

Seattle is starting to eye Padres bench coach Ted Simmons for its managerial job. Padres players past and present say Simmons is part of the Padres' rise.

It's not clear that Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik will have total say-so, but he and Simmons are longtime friends who worked together with the Pirates and the Brewers. Earlier this summer, the Marlins gathered information on Simmons for their managerial search.--Fanhouse


Jack Z eyes former Brewers' coach for manager's job.

He's probably as respected as anyone in the game, though he may bore fans to death with interviews. I still remember a postgame chat that when asked about the game winning hit, he said, "Yeah, it fell in. Too bad."

Not a single mention of grit or hustle. Maybe he'll learn.

If he gets an interview, I promise you he'll point out SEA can't hit at all.


8/19/2010 10:14:00 PM



(8/19/2010 08:31:00 PM) - Al

Oh, by the way, those satellites that have been taking the temps that we've said we should change our entire way of life to save the planet...they don't work.

And then I laughed, and laughed, and laughed.

By the way, I'll think we'll see the old media "forget" to report this.


8/19/2010 08:31:00 PM



(8/19/2010 06:39:00 PM) - Al

From 2010-08-19




That's the Rambling son (holding the helmet), with backup QB Matt Flynn riding his bike after this morning's practice. We were just happy some kid that gets released tomorrow did not pick his bike, as that would have been a painful discussion.


8/19/2010 06:39:00 PM



(8/19/2010 05:49:00 PM) - Al

I noted how good Wolf's ERA is without including that "punt" when he ate innings to save the bullpen, but casual fans don't understand how to properly utilize such numbers.

Obviously, you can only lose a game once, so losing 12-1 means nothing more than losing 5-1 or 8-1 (unless, of course, you're Tom H, who if you've lost count, says the Brewers have had a dozen "worst loss of the season," because, he's The Prince of Darkness, and you're not).

And, he never taught Tony W the difference between "higher" and "hire," though in fairness to him, I never taught the Rambling dog how to spell either. Hey, sometimes, you gotta remember the limitations of the student.


8/19/2010 05:49:00 PM



(8/19/2010 04:58:00 PM) - Al

The Dodgers traded actual talent for Octavio Dotel?

Allow me to say, Joe Torre appears clueless, as Broxton should be pitching those innings anyway. The mere fact he's using other less talented pitchers...for some unknown reason having nothing to do with who is better, makes you wonder why any team would bother with him in the future.

I could be a fine manager too if the team had a payroll of a bijillion dollars.


8/19/2010 04:58:00 PM



(8/19/2010 04:46:00 PM) - Al

I'm telling you, there's nowhere left to cut spending. Nowhere.

It's an open bar, with an open bar mentality.


8/19/2010 04:46:00 PM



(8/19/2010 04:34:00 PM) - Al

United Auto Workers golf course. Just a little place for the blue collar guys to hang out.


8/19/2010 04:34:00 PM



(8/19/2010 02:54:00 PM) - Al

It's like the Cardinals don't believe they are 7th in runs scored. Pick up a bat or two, not a glove.


8/19/2010 02:54:00 PM



(8/19/2010 02:42:00 PM) - Al

But so far this year, he said, his hot item is T-shirts of former President Bush asking, “Miss me yet?"--souvenir shop on Martha's Vineyard

It's been a free fall of previously unseen proportion. Obama, for those unaware, vacations on the island...of course, where and when doesn't he vacation?


8/19/2010 02:42:00 PM



(8/19/2010 02:35:00 PM) - Al

Bucks close to signing Earl Boykins, 5-5 point guard. This would give the Bucks 14 players, with 2nd round pick Hobson left to sign, as he is assumed to make the team. This would leave Tiny Gallon, the other 2nd round pick, to play in Europe, if the Bucks are going to control his rights.

Tell you what, even with Mike Redd injured, this is the deepest Bucks' team, by far, I've ever seen. How good? I could see them being competitive even if Jennings or Bogut were injured.


8/19/2010 02:35:00 PM



(8/19/2010 08:24:00 AM) - Al

It is astounding how little Ozzie Guillen understands about scoring runs. He got out all the time as a player because he refused to take a walk, and now he dislikes power hitters. I'm not sure what he brings to the club, but they need to ignore his wishes when building a team.


8/19/2010 08:24:00 AM


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

(8/18/2010 10:06:00 PM) - Al

According to reports out of Huntsville, Ala., and Nashville, the Brewers could be looking for new Class AA and AAA affiliates.

Huntsville Stars owner Miles Prentice told the Huntsville Times that he has "no idea" if the Brewers will renew their player development contract and that he has not had formal talks with Milwaukee officials. That report indicated the Brewers are dissatisfied with the condition of Joe W. Davis Stadium.

The Brewers aren't thrilled with outdated Greer Stadium in Nashville, either. Plans for a new ballpark fell through a couple of years ago, leaving the Brewers with a substandard facility that opened in 1978.

A report by The Oklahoman indicated the Brewers might have interest in moving their Class AAA club to Oklahoma City. After an affiliation of nearly 30 years, the Texas Rangers are expected to move their Class AAA club to Round Rock, Texas, a franchise owned by Rangers President Nolan Ryan.

The Brewers are among 13 teams with player development contracts with Class AAA affiliates set to expire this year. That report noted that Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin has a connection to Oklahoma City as the former GM with Texas.--JS


The irony here is, years ago, people were just frightened to death the Crew might end up with a team in some dump, and now, because they ended up in Nashville and Huntsville, they may well have the worst facilities in AAA and AA.

Be careful what you wish for. Most would agree it's better to have a team somewhat close by, but the Brewers are only home the same time as Nashville about 25% of the time. They could be on the road in Albuquerque when the Brewers need a player in MIL, or they could be at home when the Crew is in San Francisco. There's really not a perfect solution, as it's better to be lucky when you need a player fast.


8/18/2010 10:06:00 PM



(8/18/2010 08:14:00 PM) - Al

I keep forgetting to mention that last week, when I posted a recent picture of the Rambling dog, the Rambling brother e-mailed to say he and his wife felt Ronnie looked "old and tired."

Later that same day, a neighbor stopped in, as her sons were playing with the Rambling son. Ronnie heard the door open and meandered downstairs to see what was going on. Later, after she had gone, the Rambling wife reported she had said "Ronnie looks old and tired."

I won't disagree, but will add he's still a mighty good dog, albeit, an elderly and fatigued one.


8/18/2010 08:14:00 PM



(8/18/2010 08:08:00 PM) - Al

I played mostly on poor to average softball teams overt the years, but I did play on one that was very good for a 5 year stretch or so. Allow me to say, there is little more fun than having the crowd root openly against you.

Especially for people like me, who got the most out of limited athletic ability, and still had to be nearly flawless to be considered even above average, having the crowd dislike you is just proof you finally made it. For many of us, that was as good as it was ever going to get in an athletic venue.


8/18/2010 08:08:00 PM



(8/18/2010 07:40:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers sure have played their share of coin flips of late. I was a bit surprised to see Axford, but I agree, those were good match-ups for him, and if he was fatigued, it sure didn't show in his velocity, a consistent 96-97.

I still can't believe Hoffman can throw that 74 mph change-up and still get guys in front of it. I just stand up there looking for it, and if he gets his 86 mph fastball by me, I tip my cap.


8/18/2010 07:40:00 PM



(8/18/2010 01:35:00 PM) - Al

In Los Angeles, this coming season, the Lakers have four games at home in February and the Clippers have two. Well, the Grammies are in Staples Center for 10 days followed by a week when the building is unavailable because of the NBA All-Star Game.

When you can explain to me why it takes 10 days to prep and tear down the Grammy Awards, and a week for a...basketball game?

You can read the whole article about how the guy puts together the NBA schedule here. Good read. javascript:void(0)


8/18/2010 01:35:00 PM



(8/18/2010 11:07:00 AM) - Al

A compromise for the Ground Zero mosque?

That'd be perfect for all involved.


8/18/2010 11:07:00 AM


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

(8/17/2010 11:20:00 PM) - Al

Anthony, You're thoughts, regarding the off seasons moves with coaching staff to players etc. I myself don't think they change, hope I am wrong. Can shed some light?

A: Anthony Witrado - I think you'll see a different manager. If the Brewers higher in house, than you could see some of the same faces in the dugout now--JS chat


Tony writes good. Or should I say rights?


8/17/2010 11:20:00 PM



(8/17/2010 11:16:00 PM) - Al

I'll watch the DVR version of the game when I get home tomorrow. You folks enjoy the live version, as well as scheduled stuff.


8/17/2010 11:16:00 PM



(8/17/2010 10:24:00 PM) - Al

Macha noticed that prospect Mat Gamel is on a serious hot streak at Triple-A Nashville and said Gamel, as expected, would be among the club's September callups.--MLB.com

Gamel has always been a bit streaky, though I don't see him getting much time in September, as Fielder, McGehee, Braun, and Hart have earned the majority of the AB's. Other than PHing, working him in at the corner spots won't have him see more than a start or two a week, barring injury.


8/17/2010 10:24:00 PM



(8/17/2010 10:14:00 PM) - Al

Allow me to give Macha a kudos...I think he's the first manager I can recall with the Brewers that looks ahead to off days and uses his bullpen knowing what's upcoming.

Of course, having Axford, a guy who can easily go two innings, allows him to be far more aggressive than you can with a guy like Hoffman, who hasn't pitched more than a single frame in at least five years.


8/17/2010 10:14:00 PM



(8/17/2010 07:56:00 PM) - Al

Thoughts from Appleton yesterday:

Cutter Dykstra--Finally showing why he was a high draft pick. takes a lot of pitches, walks a lot. Good speed, alert baserunner, pesky, tried to get pitcher to balk when on 3B. Went back very nicely on pop-up to short LF, made the catch. I'm not sure where he'll play on defense, does not look comfortable at 3B at all, maybe he can be a 2B/3B/OF utility guy like Joe Inglett. Listed at 5-11, 180, but looked to be the same height and lankier than Gennett, who's supposedly 5-9, 164.

Scooter Gennett--Pronounced like Jeanette, by the way. Usually at the lower levels, stars shine pretty brightly. The 2002 Beloit team had Weeks, Fielder, and Gwynn, and all three were head and shoulders above the others. Last year, Lawrie was removed after 5 innings, for some fictional violation, and still stood out as oodles better than the rest. Yesterday, that player was Gennett. He looks unsure of himself going back on short fly balls, but other than that, I think he could play in the majors today and hardly anyone would notice. Muscular, and with a quick LH bat, he smoked a HR way over the RF wall, bunted for a base hit (3B just picked it up and tossed it to the P), sharp single to RF. His two outs were on a line out to LCF and on a hit and run, he threw his bat at the ball and the result was a routine 4-3 groundout...which he almost beat out.

He also went from 1B-3B on a base hit into LCF, the LF seemed surprised, but did not throw. Also, when he was on 1B, the batter hit a high hopper to the 1B. The 1B fielded the ball cleanly and turned to throw to 2B, and decided to take the out at 1B, as Scooter was almost at 2B. He's no Weeks/Escobar/Gomez running, but he has plus speed and a plus arm as well. I'm disappointed he's playing almost all 2B, as he'd have far more value at SS. Plays very deep at 2B, knocked down a ball on the OF grass that looked like a routine single up the middle.

Kentrail Davis--Dominant in low A, very stocky, built like a running back (listed at 5-9, 195). Not running much, rumors of hamstring trouble. More walks than K's. Looked far more comfortable versus RHP than southpaws. Playing RF, supposedly a future LF/CF. Runs well, got a double on what looked to be a routine single to LCF.

Khris Davis--Advanced bat for this level, good power-hitting RH. Took 2B on a WP that barely bounced in front of the plate. Extremely weak arm, on play at the plate, one-hopped the cut-off man.

Hunter Morris--Big power bat in college, probably still adjusting to wood bats. Athletic enough to play some LF, runs well for a bigger guy. Had a nice easy swing early and tripled off RCF wall, but looked foolish on breaking balls in the dirt.

Chris Dennis--Has hit in the minors, though this is his 4th season of pro ball, as the Brewers have been patient with the young Canadian. K's a lot, and will continue to do so, as he has a very l-o-n-g swing. Trying to think of a major leaguer who has had success with a swing that long, and Brooks Kieschnick is as close as I can come.

Cameron Garfield--Rare a team can speak of having 7 true position prospects (well, in a manner of speaking) on one team, but the 19 year-old backstop has potential. Smacked the ball every time up, caught on warning track once and drilled the pitcher in his outs. Plenty of room to grow, 6-1, 195, appears thin. Good job on balls in the dirt, though all his throws to 2B between innings were high.

D'Vontrey Richardson--5th round pick last year, looked to have good strike zone knowledge, but seeing he strikes out once every three AB's, probably just takes a lot of breaking stuff. Not overly speedy, as 13 SB's/15 CS's would indicate. Very nice leaping catch up against CF wall.

Michael Marseco--Tiny SS, can't hit a lick. Solid defender, but has no bat at all. Hit a ball as hard as he can, and it was barely a deep enough SF to score the run. Ceiling is a AAA utility infielder, and I doubt he reaches it.

Jake Odorizzi--Didn't have a good game, but still plenty to like. Catlike on the mound, fastball 89-91, and almost always low. 77-80 mph curve, throws often for a strike, but often missed high. His 3rd pitch, usually at 84, was never a strike and was hit hard. Very calm.

Matt Costello--Looks like pure roster filler, but he just gets guys out. Sidearming lefty, solid numbers thus far. In an inning plus, threw every single pitch at 84, 79, or 74 mph, except his last one, which clocked at 87. Throws strikes too, only 19 walks in 74 career IP (70 K's). If any chance, would be as a loogy.

Nick Bucci--Big curveball, unhittable at this level, if it was a strike, the hitter had no chance. Velocity 86-90, curve 76-79. Three long fly balls, one went over the wall. Quick off the mound, lanky, might pick up a few mph as he develops.

Jonathan Pokorny--Has 13 K/9 innings, but was hit hard. Every pitch was between 81-86, and rather than throwing, looks to "sling" the ball to the plate, chunky LHP.

The most impressive of the Angels' farmhands was C Jose Jimenez, who stopped about a dozen possible wild pitches. Both middle infielders, Jean Sugura and Jon Karcich, appear to be solid.

Crowd of 3300 seemed like about half that, very uncrowded. Lots of kids, also lots of teens, many of whom danced to the music between every half-inning. Those metal benches (they do have backs, at least for $7) are unforgiving, after about 7 frames.


8/17/2010 07:56:00 PM



(8/17/2010 05:51:00 PM) - Al

While Gleeman wonders if Owings might be a hitter, I drool at him being a long reliever/pinch-hitter. He could just hit for himself, and on days he was unavailable, he can PH.

Heck, he would have value as a bench guy/mop-up guy, just come in when down 5+ runs in the late innings. Again, he could hit for himself, so that's what...20 innings on a good team, 40-50 on a bad team?


8/17/2010 05:51:00 PM


Monday, August 16, 2010

(8/16/2010 11:07:00 PM) - Al

20 miles of unused rail cars.

Hope? Change? I'm exhausted trying to keep up.


8/16/2010 11:07:00 PM



(8/16/2010 10:38:00 PM) - Al

I forgot to mention that McDonald's mushroom and swiss snack wrap may be the greatest creation since pie.


8/16/2010 10:38:00 PM



(8/16/2010 10:06:00 PM) - Al

Father of Brewers' first-round draft pick Dylan Covey confirms to me that diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes is why he opted not to sign.--Tom H

Now if you'll excuse me, I hear a kid in California needs some advice that isn't really, really bad.


8/16/2010 10:06:00 PM



(8/16/2010 09:29:00 PM) - Al

Baseball Beginnings' twitter site says Brewers' first-round pick Dylan Covey has been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

Um, wouldn't that make the family want to take the money now? This is a treatable, albeit crappy ailment.


8/16/2010 09:29:00 PM



(8/16/2010 08:47:00 PM) - Al

Brewers scouting director Bruce Seid just told me that talks have broken off with 1st round pick Dylan Covey.--Tom H

Either a last minute agreement or an extra pick next year.


8/16/2010 08:47:00 PM



(8/16/2010 07:06:00 PM) - Al

I got home from Appleton about 6, a near perfect day to watch baseball, only the sun made me wish for the game to be on TV. I moved to the 1B side near the top of the seating (that's like the 15th row), and was in the shade from inning #3 on.

I'm not sure if I'll do the scouting report tonight, it's a lot of typing. Let me give you a short preview...Scooter Gennett was the best player on the field. He's 19 going on 24. Don't worry that's only 5-9, he's a future big leaguer, and a good one.


8/16/2010 07:06:00 PM



(8/16/2010 07:01:00 PM) - Al

Counsell clears waivers, we'll see if any team is interested. I'm sure Doug will give him the same veteran "do you want to go?" question as Edmonds.


8/16/2010 07:01:00 PM



(8/16/2010 01:39:00 PM) - Al

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to prove how much I love my country...by threatening to leave.


8/16/2010 01:39:00 PM



(8/16/2010 10:21:00 AM) - Al

Blackberries are not hollow in the middle. Black raspberries are. While I'm sure most folks use them interchangeably, they are not the same. Most people use jam and jelly in the same manner, though jelly is made from juice and jam the entire fruit.


8/16/2010 10:21:00 AM



(8/16/2010 08:33:00 AM) - Al

This piece defining Obama's several positions on the Ground Zero mosque...since Friday, mind you, is priceless.

It's funny because it's true...and a top priority.

EDIT: Ann jumps in with a poll, and each option is funny because it's true.

On a related note, the fact they're still arguing over the Ground Zero memorial a decade later tells me all I need to know about gov't inefficiency.


8/16/2010 08:33:00 AM


Sunday, August 15, 2010

(8/15/2010 11:06:00 PM) - Al

A signing way over slot is probably being delayed to make MLB happy. Most folks seem to think it will get done, so I guess I'll assume it will.


8/15/2010 11:06:00 PM



(8/15/2010 06:39:00 PM) - Al

We turned off the AC and opened the windows for the first time in weeks. I might come up with a few posts tonight, but I'll probably "schedule" them to pop up tomorrow, as I'll be in Appleton at the Timber Rattlers matinee. The Rambling son was scheduled to accompany me, but he has decided to stay home, as he went to the Woodchucks' tilt Thursday evening with the Rambling wife and some friends, and to him, the Chucks, Rattlers, Brewers, and so on, are all the same.


8/15/2010 06:39:00 PM



(8/15/2010 06:09:00 PM) - Al

I have to wonder how much of COL's good record at home is just knowing all about the intricacies of their ballpark, which pretty much only compares to a video game. Fowler's "double" in the 9th, because Hart was playing so deep to cut down on the chance for a gapper, being an obvious example.

Of course, this happens all over the majors, and benefits those with a unique ballpark, rather than the more generic fields like Miller Park, whose only odd quality seems to be a longer warning track, which puzzles the Crew as much as their opponents.

Three quality, entertaining games, and as always with one run affairs, come down to luck as much anything (if not for a gusty late game wind, COL wins by 2). Fowler made a great catch on Dickerson, but whenever you look at the geometry involved, hitting a ball to land a few inches over the wall makes me look at it as misfortune as much as a fine play.


8/15/2010 06:09:00 PM


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