Al's Ramblings



Sunday, October 31, 2010

(10/31/2010 11:59:00 PM) - Al

POSTSEASON ROUNDTABLE, 2011 version

Al: All right fellas, welcome. Let's start with an easy one, give me a quick down and dirty review of the 2011 season.

Robert: It's the second most successful season in the history of the franchise. The team wasn't perfect, but worse teams have won a World Series with a little luck.

Jason:  I’m not quite sure how anyone could view 2011 as anything but a huge success.  Most wins by any Brewer team in franchise history, a couple of MVP candidates, a strong pitching staff up and down the line, and some fun and personality to boot.  Sure, a World Series win would have been amazing, but just getting to the playoffs should be the mark of a quality team.  Anything can happen after that. 

Al: I'd say arguably the best team in Brewers' history, as I put far more stock in regular season win totals than playoff results. Also, a perfect example of a GM making a plan, executing a plan, and experiencing solid performances and good health.

So, let's get it out of the way, what percentage chance do you give to Prince returning, and guess where he ends up, how many years, and how much?

Robert: I'll say 1 in 1,000, 0.1%. It's possible that the teams with money have other priorities than 1B/DH, but I have a hard time conceiving of any exact scenario where everything falls into place. I'll toss Baltimore as a likely landing spot with Prince getting less than Pujols, say 5 years and $120 million. Heck, that's probably way too conservative.

Jason:  While I think Mark and Doug will probably sweeten their initial offer a bit (5 years/$125M was the rumor, I believe), I can’t imagine it will be remotely close to what Prince could get in the market. If it were close I think we would have heard more about it. Odds of coming back to Milwaukee seem slim—5%. I’m thinking Boras starts along the lines of 6 years at $26M on average and works from there.

I have to think Prince will end up in the AL East. The Red Sox may want to make a preemptive smash with their (assumed) new GM and end the David Ortiz era in Boston. The commitment they would have made to Papi would take care of about half of Prince’s salary this season. I also think the Blue Jays might like to kick the tires on him and either deal Adam Lind, who has been good but maybe less than the superstar they were hoping, or Edwin Encarnacion, who is cheap and productive. It would take a major shift in roster management philosophy for this regime in Toronto, but they may need to do that to compete. And the Yankees, well, they’re the Yankees. They’ll worry about lineups later. Baltimore? It could very well happen, again with a new GM in place.

If Theo Epstein comes to the Cubs as is widely reported, the Cub must be a serious player in the Prince/Pujols sweepstakes, too.

Al: I've been saying BAL or DC for quite a while, and I'd say FLA, LA, SF and TEX will also be in the mix. I too have a difficult time thinking he'll get 7-8 years, but I suppose it only takes one team. I'll guess 6y/$144M from the O's.


OK, expectations for 2012 are pretty low among the masses. What do you think?

Robert: I don't see why the Brewers can't contend again. They can bring back their whole starting rotation, they have an MVP caliber hitter in the middle of the lineup, they have a lockdown closer, and there's reason to expect better health from the likes of Grienke, Hart, Weeks, Lucroy, and even Gomez. Their infield defense should be easy to upgrade, they got very little out of 3B and SS offensively, and the bench was no great shakes. Yes, they'll miss Prince and will have to address the bullpen and depth issues, but the window isn't closed.

Jason:  From what I’ve read, replacing Prince will likely cost us five expected wins and should put the Brewers at around an 86 win team for 2012. Not bad, but not enough for a return trip to the playoffs in all likelihood.

There is no way we can reasonably expect the pitching staff to be as healthy as it was this year, either. One thing the Brewers organization didn’t have this year was starting pitching depth, and they were extremely fortunate that it was never an issue.

I don’t know if looking for 86ish wins is low expectations or not. I suppose it is coming off a playoff year, but in the franchise history overall it isn’t that bad. Considering the repair that will continue to take place in the minors, 85 wins at the major league level seems like a pretty nice cushion while rebuilding. That said, with a payroll perhaps in the $90M range, it doesn’t seem like enough to be content with.

Al: Before Jason's response, I was a bit more confident, as I had kind of forgotten that their expected win total was 91, and they won 96 due to good fortune, including their stellar record in one run games. However, while their 1B offensive production is all but certain to go down enough to cost the team 30-40 runs (3-4 wins using the rule of 10), other factors may help to minimize the impact:

--1B and SS were the weakest defensively, and an upgrade to average D at those two spots is probably worth 10-12 runs.

--Lucroy is likely to keep improving at the plate, and one way or another, 3B offense is also bound to be better, whether that means Casey returns to form, Green gets more PA's, or a combo of the two.

--While the bullpen was stellar, and KRod will be gone, Doug has been building a decent pen on the cheap since he arrived.

So then, let's try to predict what Doug will try to do this offseason.

Robert: I think Doug will talk extension with Grienke, see if he can bring in some veteran insurance for 1B and 3B, look high and low for a SS, go the free agent route for the bullpen, and perhaps try to see if he can bundle Marcum or Narveson with a prospect to see if he can get someone with more pure stuff for the post-season.

Jason:  You mean, besides sign a mythical Gold Glove SS with an All-Star bat for $2M?

If the Brewers aren’t committed to Gamel at 1B (I think they are), perhaps platooning him with McGehee to start off, I think they could spend some money on someone like Casey Kotchman, a long-time favorite of mine for whatever reason.

I don’t believe Yuni will be viewed as worth the $6M (or $4M after the buyout), and the popular name now is Clint Barmes and I can’t disagree with that. One of Al’s favorites, Marco Scutaro, might be available but I think he’s a little overpriced and at his age (Marco’s, not Al’s) you can only expect regression. If Boston does hold on to him, though, Jed Lowrie might be an interesting trade candidate. See? I read mlbtraderumors.com too! No idea how the teams would match up, though.

I think the Brewers really liked the idea of having an eighth-inning stopper. How much does Doug trust a returning Parra or even Braddock for that role? He could look to the minors (maybe even Peralta to get his major league feet wet?), but more likely I could see a reclamation project like Matt Capps as a possibility.

All in all, I find it doubtful there will be a big splash signing or trade made this year. I fully agree with Robert that Doug will look to extend Greinke, though.

Al: I agree that they will look for an 8th inning guy, and a former closer who can also backup Axford is a likely choice. I've mentioned Jon Broxton, who will look to prove he is healthy and has his velocity back, and therefore may well sign a 1y/$2-3M "make good" deal.

I'd look for a veteran bat who can bat RH to be signed to protect/platoon with Gamel/Green.

Finally, not only do they not have a SS in MIL, they really do not have one in their entire system. There are a few available of some merit as FA's, but if a SP is dealt (and I can't imagine Doug heading into '12 with three SP's in the final season of their contract), I'd look for a SS to be the return they look for.

So guys, give me the names of a couple minor leaguers who will factor into the success or failure of 2012. Also, Mat Gamel is out of options, where will he be?

Robert: Wily Peralta is the prospect that jumps out at me. One of the things that went very right for the Brewers in 2011 was the health of the rotation. They may need similar health to contend again, but you certainly shouldn't plan for it. I'm expecting that Peralta will be starting meaningful games next season. I also think Gindl is likely to replace Kotsay on the roster and the Brewers will attempt to address their infield depth issues with veterans.

Jason:  If Taylor Green isn’t given the majority of starts at 3B, I’ll be disappointed. Platoon with Hairston or McGehee (if he isn’t in a platoon at 1B with Gamel) as needed.

I completely agree that Peralta might be able to see some time in Milwaukee. He should get strong consideration for replacement starts if needed and may spend some time in the bullpen as well.

Either Caleb Gindl or Logan Schafer could also be brought in as outfield depth.

Al: I see Gindl and Schafer spending the season in AAA, barring injuries. Both are young parts of the future who need AB's. I agree Peralta will be SP depth, but I think people undervalue Fiers immensely (41 hits allowed in 60+ innings at AAA is simply stunning)...he might end up as a valuable cog in the bullpen or rotation. Maldonado might be Lucroy's backup or AAA depth. I would guess Green opens in AAA, but will be the main 2B/3B backup (unless Hairston returns as a utility player). For my sleepers, don't forget Mike McClendon and Mark DiFelice, both still in the system. They might not have the pure stuff as Axford and others, but they have options, they're cheap, and they can be effective.

Robert: Anyone else think the Brewers just aren't all that sold on Gamel? I just have a hard time seeing a contender take a risk on two unknown quantities at the corners of the infield. It wouldn't surprise me to see Gamel traded in hopes of shoring up the roster with someone more proven.

Al: Gamel will be somewhere in the bigs next year, as he's out of options. He's done everything he can at AAA, and he projects almost as well at 1B as anyone not named Prince or Albert. I think Doug goes with him, brings in a RH veteran bat, and if they need help, 1B is an easy position to fill at the deadline.

Finally, the name of a true MLB FA you could imagine signing with the Brewers for next year.

Jason:  Already mentioned that Barmes, Capps, and, to a much-lesser extent, Kotchman could be targets.

Robert: I can't see the Brewers being in the running for Pujols, Prince, Reyes, or any of the other high priced talent. Pick a decent middle reliever and it's likely that the Brewers will be interested at the right price. Furcal seems too fragile to interest the Brewers. Barmes seems like the most reasonable at SS. I expect Hairston to be back as insurance at 3B. And I expect someone to come in at 1B, either as insurance or as a proven starter. Aramis Ramirez is intriguing to me, especially since he can still play some 3B. Carlos Pena also strikes me as someone that the Brewers might be interested in. I might want to talk to the White Sox and see how much of Adam Dunn's contract they're willing to eat. Otherwise, I think it's just bargain hunting with a veteran.

AL: Other than those I mentioned, and Scooter, who I have loved since he was in AAA before Doug arrived, I'm going to throw out a pair of names:

Ryan Doumit...switch-hitting C who has also played 1B/LF/RF. Doug has some history here...he was discussed in a swap for JJ Hardy years ago. Doumit is not looked at as an everyday catcher anymore, and unless he's able to finagle a starting job somewhere would seemingly be a good fit in MIL.

Mike Gonzalez...lefty reliever, also with some prior interest, Doug talked to him before the '10 season, when he signed with BAL, and tried to bring him aboard on 8/31, but TEX was able to offer a hard throwing youngster. Not just a loogy, almost as effective in his career versus RH bats as LH.


http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2010/03/2012-mlb-free-agents.html





REMEMBER, HIT SAVE NOW when complete.


10/31/2010 11:59:00 PM



(10/31/2010 10:40:00 PM) - Al

Sadly, whenever a little known former athlete is trending on Twitter, they are likely to have passed away. Maurice Lucas was an enforcer before there was such a term.

That's a shame.


10/31/2010 10:40:00 PM



(10/31/2010 06:31:00 PM) - Al

I've often ignored expiration dates on food and medicine, and as it turns out, I'm not a rebel, I was just ahead of the curve.

People that throw out stuff because of a date on the package, picked pretty much at random, deserve to throw their money away.


10/31/2010 06:31:00 PM



(10/31/2010 05:06:00 PM) - Al

Obama fails to fill 13K facility. Oof.

An e-mailer asked me a while back what I thought of a poll that showed W with a 48-43 lead on Obama. I said presidential races are not decided by popular vote, and I have no doubt a 2010 electoral vote between the two would be a landslide, as the red states that went blue in '08 would revert back, many by double digits. IN and NC both went blue, and are going red by 19 and 13 in Senate races.

If one is already looking at '12, the fact Obama has been only visiting the extreme blue areas...Madison, California, and so on, but still felt obligated to stop in swing state Ohio tells you one thing...it's likely to decide the presidency. No Dem can win the White House without Ohio, and the fact they were willing to play to an embarrassingly small crowd proves this. With 2010 redistricting expected to add about a half-dozen electoral votes to the GOP, and neighboring fellow swing state PA electing an elephant Senator, the margin of error looks tiny. Hence, trips to Ohio, damn the empty seats.


10/31/2010 05:06:00 PM



(10/31/2010 04:49:00 PM) - Al

One minor thing that may come up is if Valentine does get a three year deal, he has a longer contract than Melvin. Mark A has always been supportive of Doug, and I doubt if he would mind adding another year, though MA often worries about public perception more than I would.

One final thought, no one is sure how much longer Doug even wants to work.


10/31/2010 04:49:00 PM



(10/31/2010 04:42:00 PM) - Al

While it is astounding that Favre can play with broken bones (and barely limp), we have to remember that football is only played one day a week, so you can plan all your efforts on how to be able to go several days from now...he may well have had shots during the week, let them work for 48 hours, and then got back to it.

Baseball is a different beast, there's almost always a game tomorrow, and the constant pounding, almost every single day, is a good chunk of why it is so difficult. After the injury Sunday, Brett did nothing Monday or Tuesday, and was said to have done little Wednesday, no dropbacks, just a few tosses while standing still. In baseball, he would have missed an entire series.


10/31/2010 04:42:00 PM



(10/31/2010 01:54:00 PM) - Al

Heyman is reporting Valentine is the top choice, but money could be an issue. Cora would appear to be the next guy in line.

LINKY


10/31/2010 01:54:00 PM



(10/31/2010 12:01:00 PM) - Al

Reporters try to connect candidate to child molester.

Wow. The old media is dying a deserved death. Dan Rather reporting fiction was just the beginning.


10/31/2010 12:01:00 PM


Saturday, October 30, 2010

(10/30/2010 03:34:00 PM) - Al

Bill Scott, who originally broke the Valentine to MIL rumor, is standing by his story.

I have little trouble with whoever Doug chooses, though I'm still surprised Doug wants to pick a guy who likes the spotlight on himself.


10/30/2010 03:34:00 PM



(10/30/2010 03:31:00 PM) - Al

Why do I have Missouri/Nebraska on ESPN and ESPN2?

EDIT: Oh, ESPN2 is floating from game to game.


10/30/2010 03:31:00 PM



(10/30/2010 03:24:00 PM) - Al

I was flipping toward the end of the football game, and came across the credits of the DC rally...I did not see a single minority in the crowd, not a single one. So much for the Tea Party being mostly white.

It may have been the most Caucasian gathering since Christopher Cross gave his last concert.


10/30/2010 03:24:00 PM



(10/30/2010 12:01:00 PM) - Al

Army wearing camouflage uniforms today, helmet, shirt, pants.

I don't know why they don't always. They look exceptionally cool.


10/30/2010 12:01:00 PM



(10/30/2010 11:34:00 AM) - Al

Stuck up private schools, with so much money in their endowments, they would not need to charge tuition at all, publicly criticize student who chose not to "donate."

That, in a single sentence, is why I can't stand these schools, nor the spoiled punks that attend them. One of the main things we need to do to quit wasting the taxpayer's money is to stop lining the coffers of these bastions of arrogance and elitism. I certainly have nothing against their existence...after all, we live in a free country, where any of us can start a private college if we choose to. However, not a penny of public money, be it grants, loans, or "stimulus" pork should find its way to any of them. They lose the right to public funds by not being, you know, public.


10/30/2010 11:34:00 AM


Friday, October 29, 2010

(10/29/2010 10:06:00 PM) - Al

I almost gave in, but the heat remains off. It was 57 when I got up this AM. 61 now.

I had to put on socks, but with the family returning tomorrow, I think this is it.


10/29/2010 10:06:00 PM



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

Media interest in the Jon Stewart rally (I had forgotten all about it) far more than Beck's.

Stewart is far-left, Beck certainly to the right of center.

Go figure, huh?


10/29/2010 10:04:00 PM



(10/29/2010 06:54:00 PM) - Al

If I ever think taking two pictures of my check is easier than dropping it at off at the bank, please, please, someone shoot me in the head.

That is all.


10/29/2010 06:54:00 PM



(10/29/2010 06:26:00 PM) - Al

Do you worry about the environmental impact of Halloween?

Me neither.


10/29/2010 06:26:00 PM



(10/29/2010 06:14:00 PM) - Al

Tom H hears Bobby V impressed Doug, but no decision has been made as of yet.


10/29/2010 06:14:00 PM



(10/29/2010 04:55:00 PM) - Al

It does my heart well knowing Dems are criticizing the fair tax...without ever explaining it would end the IRS, income tax, and so on.

I've been for it for ages, because it eliminates almost all injustices (saving is taxed, investing (dividends) is double taxed, and best of all, everyone pays on consumption...drug dealers, illegals, people who make their living "off the books" in cash, and so on. No one really knows how much that alone would add up to, but whatever the estimates are, they're probably way low. The best part is, cheap people like me won't pay much, but those who buy jewelry, yachts, and foolish stuff will pay...a lot.

That's a shame.


10/29/2010 04:55:00 PM



(10/29/2010 02:41:00 PM) - Al

I used to say I'd go out of my way to get another old dog if I was fortunate enough to outlive the current Rambling old dog. Since then, I have realized there are both financial and emotional consequences, and have decided against this course of action.

However, there is a lot to be said about the positives of old dogs.


10/29/2010 02:41:00 PM



(10/29/2010 02:20:00 PM) - Al

I have to adjust my GOP Senate over/under to 49, as it appears they have 45 seats wrapped up, plus have small leads in 4 of the 6 "toss up" states.


10/29/2010 02:20:00 PM



(10/29/2010 02:13:00 PM) - Al

Using actual insults from the era, take a look at what Adams and Jefferson TV ads would look like. Those who think attack ads are a new thing need to read a history book or two.


10/29/2010 02:13:00 PM



(10/29/2010 01:52:00 PM) - Al

Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are all 800 pound gorillas, and no one wants to discuss them. In fact, most of the dinosaurs

*cough*
Feingold
*cough*

complain every time someone suggests, you know, making changes to it to make it, you know, less of a financial liability to the taxpayers, now and in the future. Rand Paul's idea of a $2K deductible for Medicare is brilliant. Other ideas, such as future Social Security growth not rising by 4.1% yearly, is so common sensical, I can't believe it hasn't been done yet.


10/29/2010 01:52:00 PM



(10/29/2010 01:48:00 PM) - Al

Sandy Alderson talking OBP and SLG in introductory press conference, saying stuff like "the mathematics, I don't believe, lie."--Gleeman

Fear the Mets? Suddenly, PHIL and NYM could dominate the East and wildcard, with their regimes and big market dollars spent wisely.


10/29/2010 01:48:00 PM



(10/29/2010 01:46:00 PM) - Al

If this gets out about Pelosi retiring, that might be another 5-10% towards the generic GOP candidate.


10/29/2010 01:46:00 PM



(10/29/2010 01:35:00 PM) - Al

If this would have been a closer race, even single digits, the Gawker piece might have been enough to swing it, as everyone has come out on O'Donnell's side.

It's just astounding how the far-left simply has no understanding of how the electorate thinks...or how they can whip up sympathy for this gal who, at best, was too far right to win in a left-leaning state. That's the risk you run...is it better to have a moderate/slightly lefty with a R next to their name that can win; or a pure conservative with little chance? This happens in the South all the time, as many in Oklahoma and Alabama took one look at John McCain and were not motivated enough to bother voting.


10/29/2010 01:35:00 PM



(10/29/2010 01:03:00 PM) - Al

Well, McDonald's has to owe me a couple grand, somehow.

We found out Brazil's court system has as many flaws as the USA's, I guess.


10/29/2010 01:03:00 PM


Thursday, October 28, 2010

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

If O'Donnell was close, this could put her over the top. As is, it just makes Gawker look incredibly foolish, and dare I say, irresponsible. Anonymous as a byline? That's pretty much just admitting it's fiction.


10/28/2010 10:33:00 PM



(10/28/2010 09:58:00 PM) - Al

I'd have to agree with those 2 picks, Crawford to the BoSox, and Lee stays in TEX.

Does that leave the Rangers enough room to add Prince's salary? Time will tell.


10/28/2010 09:58:00 PM



(10/28/2010 06:03:00 PM) - Al

Halloween may be where the nanny state began, with all the worry about poison candy, despite there never being a single case of a kid being poisoned by a neighbor's candy.


10/28/2010 06:03:00 PM



(10/28/2010 01:42:00 PM) - Al

The ADA should be completely rewritten, as common sense knows it is a complete failure. The mere fact that the entire thing represents only those in wheelchairs, a small minority of those who are "disabled."

I still recall in The Death of Common Sense, a group of nuns wanted to use an abandoned building for the public good, and were thwarted several times by ridiculous rules, most of which the ADA was directly responsible for.


10/28/2010 01:42:00 PM



(10/28/2010 11:26:00 AM) - Al

If Kevin Love is good enough to play for USA basketball, I'm sure he's good enough to play for the T'Wolves.

It's amazing how short-sighted coaches can be at times.


10/28/2010 11:26:00 AM



(10/28/2010 11:18:00 AM) - Al

Alderson is doing just what I would do...bring on former A's guys who have been GM's, hire a good, cheap manager.

One thing that hasn't really been discussed is Bobby V's reported $3M salary demands, not to mention 3 guaranteed years. Obviously, Mark A can spend his money however he wishes, but if you overpay in one spot, you tend to make it up elsewhere.


10/28/2010 11:18:00 AM



(10/28/2010 12:12:00 AM) - Al

Bookie knows Dems can't keep House, pays off bets early.


10/28/2010 12:12:00 AM


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

(10/27/2010 11:47:00 PM) - Al

I don’t know what’s worse, the "unwashed" part or the fact that Couric apparently thinks that Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago and New Brunswick are the "middle of the country."

Katie Couric may be the stupidest person on the planet. You can read the whole thing here, but be forewarned, Couric comes off as an uppity Northeastern snob, or as they are called on network TV, "one of us."

EDIT: Katie tries to defend herself, in doing so, argues Chicago and urban Jersey, Philly, and Boston are "middle of the road politically."

Just like Texas and Utah are. It's hard to believe she can truly be this ignorant.


10/27/2010 11:47:00 PM



(10/27/2010 08:19:00 PM) - Al

Well, it was a good run (for Minnesota, at least). Just flipped my heat on for the first time.--Gleeman

The Rambling family is off to Durand and Minnesota until Saturday evening, so I promise you ours won't be on 'til then. I won't turn mine on even if I see my own breath, and I'll probably open my bedroom window when I lay myself to sleep.

The Rambling dog is not fond of my cold blooded behavior, by the way. He shivers every waking minute until his body temp resets...so on a good day, he shivers for about an hour a day.


10/27/2010 08:19:00 PM



(10/27/2010 07:59:00 PM) - Al

Gleeman pints out Mike Young asked to be traded when asked to play 3B.

Heh, don't you hate it when the facts don't fit the narrative?


10/27/2010 07:59:00 PM



(10/27/2010 05:19:00 PM) - Al

Doug says no deal is in place, as that has been reported in places, while I was out recommending ideas to people who have it all figured out, and have little use for little people like myself. And, for those of you unaware, driving a Saturn through 40 mph winds and 70 mph gusts, really, really sucks.

Valentine would be my second choice, only behind the other Mr. Melvin, and I have little reason not to like all these guys, though I can't help but wonder what Joey Cora has learned from Ozzie Guillen, except to proclaim "little ball" as your savior when in reality, you led the league in HR's and pitching, and to publicly criticize your players. Guillen proves a point though...give him a good team, and they still win, even though he appears to be the town idiot. Ditto for Cito Gaston, and if I cared enough, I'm sure I could name a plethora of others.


10/27/2010 05:19:00 PM


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

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

So, is it me, or does Cliff Lee's wife look like she's 15?

That looks like one of those freaky non-conformist Mormon families. And I know I'm no Bob Redford, but allow me to say, it's a good thing Cliff is a millionaire.


10/26/2010 10:08:00 PM



(10/26/2010 08:29:00 PM) - Al

Valentine told folks he enjoyed Brewers' people but isn't expecting job. Another bold stroke for Attanasio?--Heyman

Allow me to say how frustrating it is to have to correct spelling in a real media person's stuff. I have little doubt Doug will bring in whoever he feels will do the best job, though I think he probably agrees with Alderson that the difference is minimal.


10/26/2010 08:29:00 PM



(10/26/2010 08:22:00 PM) - Al

Kevin Correia (Padres – Age 30) – Correia would have had a few suitors and might have landed a two-year deal had the Padres opted to non-tender him last year rather than give him $3.6 million. San Diego won’t want to pay him nearly as much again after his ERA jumped from 3.91 to 5.40 in his second year in the team’s rotation, and it’s a safe bet that he’ll have to take a one-year contract elsewhere.--Hardball Talk

I see this as a perfect buy low opportunity. He's no star, but he's a solid guy and he buys some time for Jeffress, Rogers, and maybe others. While his ERA was up, his secondary numbers were all but identical (xFIP was 4.20 in '09, 4.19 in '10), telling me he may have been more unfortunate than crappy.


10/26/2010 08:22:00 PM



(10/26/2010 07:37:00 PM) - Al

Keep hearing Bobby Valentine is finalist for the Brewers, along with Bob Melvin and Cora.--Rosenthal

I'd be stunned if Doug went with such a "look at me" type, though I can't say I have anything against Valentine except his penchant for the spotlight. That said, a good question to ask may be this...would doug bypass the best candidate if he did not care for him?


10/26/2010 07:37:00 PM



(10/26/2010 06:16:00 PM) - Al

Bucks will have no more than 12 guys available on opening night, and maybe only 10, as CDR will miss the first month after eye surgery.


10/26/2010 06:16:00 PM



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

Slate sums up the Duffy/Lassa debate nicely...Lassa holds onto the podium like a lifeboat, Duffy makes jokes and the Dems hate him for it.

Election night looks to be sweet in Dave "Never met a tax and spending hike I didn't love" Obey's former district.


10/26/2010 05:26:00 PM



(10/26/2010 02:01:00 PM) - Al

Edmund Fitzgerald is the top trending topic on Yahoo today. I wonder if it's due to the high winds in the Upper Midwest today.


10/26/2010 02:01:00 PM



(10/26/2010 01:35:00 PM) - Al

Polling trends like this are why Dem candidates are telling Obama to stay away.

One should note how bad he is doing with independents, and also, that his negatives with D's are far higher than his positives with R's. Needless to say, terrible trends a week before midterms.

It's probably not a coincidence the president is leaving the country two days after Election Day. He hopes for a shift in coverage, but it's not likely to occur, as the Congress being split, with tiny majorities in each, will dominate, far more than a meaningless trip to India.


10/26/2010 01:35:00 PM



(10/26/2010 12:50:00 PM) - Al

The only thing better than a McRib?

Have them add Swiss cheese to it. Despite the fact they've been promoting it as back on 11-2, it's on the menu in the Wausau area today.


10/26/2010 12:50:00 PM



(10/26/2010 12:33:00 PM) - Al

No plans to postpone HS football playoff games, as of noon.

I never imagined they would, but in today's world of comfort and ease, it would not surprise me a bit. I walked into the bathroom this morning, and looked out into the backyard...out tree was almost horizontal, the upper half at least, and it was raining in sheets. It may have been the most miserable moment to be outside I've ever witnessed...luckily, 15 minutes later, it was calm and precipitation free.


10/26/2010 12:33:00 PM



(10/26/2010 12:23:00 PM) - Al

As I said, Favre gets viewers.

I would say it has to do with the fact most folks love him or hate him, but few are oblivious, like I am.

The one thing that gets me is how few people, even those who are promoted as "NFL experts" are mentioning how tough the Vikings schedule is and will be. They are a good team, but they play good teams, weekly. Take a gander at the Chiefs' schedule and it's easy to see why they have had success thus far.

We all make fun of college teams when they play weak opponents, especially those in the "second-tier," but that's how crappy 3-6 teams in the conference go 6-6 overall and get a bowl game in weak seasons.


10/26/2010 12:23:00 PM


Monday, October 25, 2010

(10/25/2010 08:10:00 PM) - Al

With a week to go, the over/unders look like:

Senate: 52-48 Dems
House: 230-205 GOP
Govs: 30-20 GOP

It looks like a near certainty that the two houses will be split. Anyone who says otherwise is a hopeless partisan and should be ignored.


10/25/2010 08:10:00 PM



(10/25/2010 05:54:00 PM) - Al

The thing is, California is sending this clod right back to the Senate. The parody is funny, but only because it's true.

They tried to recruit Dennis Miller to run for Senate a few years ago, and he said he would have except it dawned on him, "If he won, he'd have to go to work with buffoons like Boxer and Feinstein every day."

Sadly, he's correct.


10/25/2010 05:54:00 PM



(10/25/2010 05:48:00 PM) - Al

Have you noticed that the only person who has said Jimmy Carter's presidency was not a complete failure is...Jimmy Carter?

Someone ought to mention to him...repeating the same thing over and over does not make it true...but it does make you look like even more of an idiot.

If only Reagan could walk through that door again in a couple years...


10/25/2010 05:48:00 PM



(10/25/2010 05:40:00 PM) - Al

I hate to see Skinner go, especially with two players out for the season, and no true backup center, but you have to play within the roster rules the NBA gives you.


10/25/2010 05:40:00 PM



(10/25/2010 05:31:00 PM) - Al

Tom H says Wallach and Baylor not on the list, has no idea who is.


10/25/2010 05:31:00 PM



(10/25/2010 05:27:00 PM) - Al

Italy banning miniskirts, France not picking up garbage.

Those Europeans, so advanced compared to us uneducated Americans, let me tell you. Give us a call when you need help saving your country from invaders.


10/25/2010 05:27:00 PM



(10/25/2010 02:01:00 PM) - Al

Next thing you know, one might suggest reading the damn bill before voting for an unfunded $1T pie-in-the-sky health care expansion.


10/25/2010 02:01:00 PM



(10/25/2010 01:59:00 PM) - Al

The truth hurts. What's astounding is, they've spent $5T more than they've taken in and the economy still is weak. Trying to create jobs with mindless pork has not worked.


10/25/2010 01:59:00 PM



(10/25/2010 01:03:00 PM) - Al

Latest idea to save the world? Quit giving kids potatoes in school lunch, or limit them.

I truly wonder how bad the ideas are that do not see the light of day.


10/25/2010 01:03:00 PM



(10/25/2010 12:44:00 PM) - Al

Not sure how many will actually be dealt, but I think I've seen more young SP's mentioned as "on the market" than in the past several years. Zach Grienke has got the most play, but we've also seen Ricky Nolasco, James Shields, Matt Garza mentioned, mainly due to financial constraints.

The Crew has plenty of room to add salary, though small market teams rarely deal prospects...they are the pre-arby nucleus of tomorrow.


10/25/2010 12:44:00 PM



(10/25/2010 12:40:00 PM) - Al

Favre sure puts butts in the seats...they had the highest rated preseason game earlier this season too.


10/25/2010 12:40:00 PM


Sunday, October 24, 2010

(10/24/2010 09:46:00 PM) - Al

I'm hearing that Bob Melvin and Joey Cora already have completed second round of interviews with Brewers including owner Mark Attanasio.--Tom H

And no, he has no clue who the other finalists are.

If Tom would have reported on World War 2, we would have heard about Pearl Harbor on Xmas Eve.


10/24/2010 09:46:00 PM



(10/24/2010 07:35:00 PM) - Al

Alton Brown needs to take a pill, and lighten up.


10/24/2010 07:35:00 PM



(10/24/2010 07:25:00 PM) - Al

Picked up dinner from sports bar by house. Usually full, but literally empty for Vikes-Packers. They had extra staff expecting crowd. Weird.--Gleeman

I'm certainly not a sports bar expert, but I assume they do more business when there's no work the next day, or when the game is in the afternoon. I assume the game itself will last until 11 or so, and after the drive home, that's a late evening for many folks who may have to be at work at 6 or 7.


10/24/2010 07:25:00 PM



(10/24/2010 05:03:00 PM) - Al

Glenn points out that Wikileaks has thus far shown WMD's were found, and that the oft-cited figure of Iraq civilians killed was far exaggerated, though that's been known to anyone with common sense for years.

Is the GOP responsible for Wikileaks? I doubt it, but they should be using it as PR.


10/24/2010 05:03:00 PM



(10/24/2010 04:56:00 PM) - Al

Juan Williams has come out of this "controversy" looking like a genius, and has also managed to make NPR look like buffoons...which of course, is rather easy, as the far-left, taxpayer funded network has been a punchline for decades, especially since no one listens to it.

To recap, ok to wish death on a conservative, not all right to disclose fright of a group known to, on occasion, hijack planes and crash them into buildings.

And you know, there's just no where left to cut in the federal budget...bwahahahaha!


10/24/2010 04:56:00 PM



(10/24/2010 02:42:00 PM) - Al

Tom H takes a long time to write "I don't know."

The rumor mill would indicate Doug did an extra interview or two when he was in Arizona. Among possibilities, Yount and Ryne Sandberg both live in the desert. I doubt Doug wants anything to do with a former Brewers' player as manager, especially a star like Robin.


10/24/2010 02:42:00 PM



(10/24/2010 12:02:00 PM) - Al

They said on ESPN that some Steelers' players were taking pre-game IV's, because the Dolphins forced them to wear their black jerseys, and the heat and humidity in Miami.

That's good thinking by both teams.


10/24/2010 12:02:00 PM



(10/24/2010 11:57:00 AM) - Al

Biden is the punchline that just keeps on giving.


10/24/2010 11:57:00 AM


Saturday, October 23, 2010

(10/23/2010 09:49:00 PM) - Al

Bob Melvin (surprise) and Joey Cora are two of the four finalists, by the way.


10/23/2010 09:49:00 PM



(10/23/2010 09:22:00 PM) - Al

Sveum back as hitting coach, signs 2 year deal, says team will be more aggressive.

It seems to me Doug has told his interviews they may be given some coaches, and all agreed to it, or are not in the second round.

I was disappointed that Dale went public with Alcides' struggles late in the season, but it could well have been he was told to do so, or that the team winked and nodded that Escobar needed a bit of a push. That said, as I pointed out here, Alcides' struggles can be directly traced to bad luck more than any hitting woes, real or imagined.

Yep, whether told or not, Doug says interviewed guys had no trouble with Dale.

Of course, giving him credit for Braun and Fielder's numbers, at best, seems a bit funny to me.


10/23/2010 09:22:00 PM



(10/23/2010 06:38:00 PM) - Al

We've talked about this before, but the Brewers have hardly any payroll obligations for '11 compared to others.


10/23/2010 06:38:00 PM



(10/23/2010 06:32:00 PM) - Al

Truly one of the best stories ever. Not only do many not say the Pledge, lots of folks despise the message.

Those who do not see and hear the anger and disgust of the American people, just continue to ignore it. After all, some folks just insist on "clinging to their guns and religion," and just don't get it.


10/23/2010 06:32:00 PM



(10/23/2010 04:58:00 PM) - Al

I'm finding it ironic that the Log Cabin Republicans had the lovely Meghan McCain as their keynote speaker last year, and this year went with the beautiful SE Cupp.

I have to imagine the ladies of this gay group dominate this committee.


10/23/2010 04:58:00 PM



(10/23/2010 02:28:00 PM) - Al

MLB may create a 7 day DL for concussions.

If they'd add a couple spots to the 25 man roster and create a 24 or 25 man "active" roster for each game, I'd be happier, but this is a good realization that concussions are serious and not to be messed with.

{My 27 man roster idea would allow for more specialization, which would also help level the playing field a tad bit...teams like TB and MIN could use those extra spots to have an extra loogy, or maybe a PR, while teams at the other end of the success cycle, like PIT and SEA, could make a couple Rule 5 picks and easily keep them on the roster all season. I'd see if the player's union would accept this swap...two extra roster spots, 60 in all, for a lower minimum salary, say $250K or$300K instead of $400K.}

Considering that Aaron Rodgers failed one brain test Tuesday and another Wednesday, yet no one even questioned his starting Sunday (except Boomer Esiason), it's obvious the NFL is clueless about concussions. Good to see MLB recognize the problem and take steps to prevent further issues.


10/23/2010 02:28:00 PM



(10/23/2010 01:09:00 PM) - Al

Yankee starting pitchers not named CC Sabathia posted a 5.91 ERA in the second half.--MLBTR

Heh. Proof you can outscore bad pitching, you just have to score like the Yankees do.


10/23/2010 01:09:00 PM



(10/23/2010 01:01:00 PM) - Al

"I did that so I could my stuff done."

Very funny, and very true 90 second cartoon. What's that old saying...life is what happens while you're making other plans.

We all have a limited time on this planet. Wasting it taking care of your lawn or going to some wedding (of a marriage that will last a few years tops) is absurd.


10/23/2010 01:01:00 PM



(10/23/2010 12:51:00 PM) - Al

Former Brewers manager Ken Macha has been told he's no longer being considered for the Pirates' managerial opening.

Royals bench coach John Gibbons removed himself from considered Friday, so the Pirates are down to former Diamondbacks third base coach Bo Porter, Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum, Braves bench coach Carlos Tosca, and their own bench coach, Jeff Banister. They reportedly would've liked to hire Eric Wedge, but Wedge decided to manage the Mariners.--Rotoworld


Macha out, but Sveum still alive. Ken should hope a real young guy gets the job, and they might well consider him to be the bench coach, if he has interest in anything besides managing, that is.


10/23/2010 12:51:00 PM



(10/23/2010 11:10:00 AM) - Al

Pawlenty, Rush, and Palin have all said if the Republicans fail to take advantage of the anger and disgust, 2012 might see the rise of a 3rd party. The funny thing is, I wonder if they are thinking a 3rd party would be more conservative, or if it would go to the middle.

For years, I've suggested that a 3rd party would basically represent my beliefs...fiscal conservatives, social liberals (or perhaps, social libertarians), as you already hear some of the tea party folks complaining that they have no desire to join the religious right. Many of us invoke the name of Reagan, bur he was all for a small, limited government...not one that was involved in what consenting adults should be doing in their own home, or one that, however much one despises abortion being used as birth control, wants to imprison a woman for having one.


10/23/2010 11:10:00 AM



(10/23/2010 12:42:00 AM) - Al

I just found out the Gophers fired Tim Brewster. Glen Mason's consistent 7-8 win seasons with a bowl game look better with each passing day. That program has been down for so long, it's difficult to believe they ever let Mason go.


10/23/2010 12:42:00 AM


Friday, October 22, 2010

(10/22/2010 02:17:00 PM) - Al

The repercussions of the health care bill no one wants to talk about...are now being talked about. As predicted, they ain't pretty.


10/22/2010 02:17:00 PM



(10/22/2010 02:03:00 PM) - Al

Doug Melvin, and his bobblehead, made an appearance on Comedy Central, which was just as lame and unfunny as what usually passes for humor on Comedy Central.

I assume someone made a nice contribution to Doug's foundation, so he happily showed up, but golly, it astounds me how awkward Jon Stewart is. Even Kimmel, who used to be hilarious, swung and missed completely.


10/22/2010 02:03:00 PM


Thursday, October 21, 2010

(10/21/2010 10:14:00 PM) - Al

I just finished leftover meatloaf from supper, it was the best the Rambling wife has ever made. It was very nicely spiced. Turns out, it's 2 pounds of ground beef, a box of Stove Top, and a cup of water. She found it on the Kraft website.

Somewhere out there, there's a vegan unbookmarking Ramblings. Poor healthy sap doesn't know how good salt and processed foods can be.


10/21/2010 10:14:00 PM



(10/21/2010 09:59:00 PM) - Al

Al,

Thanks for the tip on the Salonpas. I've been dealing with some tendinitis, and subsequent pain and weakness, in my bowling hand (right down the 3rd metacarpal) for much of the year. Last night I slapped one on under my WBC-worthy tape job and, by the end of the 2nd game, didn't need the brace for the extra support. I put one on at work today and the difference is amazing. We'll see how it continues at league tomorrow night.

Shawn


Friend of Ramblings Shawn making us sound like an infomercial.

{Set it and FORGET IT!!}

It is a very good product, let me tell you. Sadly, it does nothing to solve the actual problem, just minimizes the pain. That said, my issue is almost three weeks old, and I can't imagine how miserable I'd be without it. It sucks, but it's more of a irritant right now.


10/21/2010 09:59:00 PM



(10/21/2010 09:37:00 PM) - Al

I wish Hank Reid would do something about my sore back, though I understand he's probably too busy saving puppies and kittens...and the world.

This idiot's incompetence is clouded only by his own inflated ego.


10/21/2010 09:37:00 PM



(10/21/2010 09:20:00 PM) - Al

Second round of interviews next week with four candidates, Mark A will be involved.


10/21/2010 09:20:00 PM



(10/21/2010 08:49:00 PM) - Al

Hard to believe the crack reporting duo of Tom and Tony could have not even got the names right.


10/21/2010 08:49:00 PM



(10/21/2010 08:42:00 PM) - Al

I was hoping Kawakami would end up in MIL for a year. He had exceptionally bad luck last year, as his secondary stats were nearly the same as his solid year of '09.


10/21/2010 08:42:00 PM



(10/21/2010 08:40:00 PM) - Al

It's funny because it's true.

Those stuck-up private schools should never see a single penny of federal grant or loan money again. And, they should be ashamed of themselves. They are, without a doubt, the most anti-military people in the country.


10/21/2010 08:40:00 PM



(10/21/2010 07:04:00 PM) - Al

Tonight, on the various cable channels, I have my choice of SVU, Criminal Minds, or 2.5 Men marathons. I hear rumors of new shows, but I don't really care.


10/21/2010 07:04:00 PM



(10/21/2010 02:12:00 PM) - Al

Brewers lose another scout to another club's promotion, or better opportunity.

Few folks realize how much of their team is home grown. They have also done a phenomenal job on waiver claims and finding usable pieces in indy ball and after other teams have released injured players. Hopefully, they can reload on the fly.


10/21/2010 02:12:00 PM


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

(10/20/2010 10:39:00 PM) - Al

Amazing how much Ross Gload hatred there is on Twitter.

.325/.403 is the average offensive player in MLB. Gload is above average, and of course, especially against RHP. Of course, since he is a 1B/OF, he better be, as he has little defensive value. But, you know what? That's why he's a bench player, and a PH.

It never fails to amaze me how seemingly little the casual fan understands about the game.


10/20/2010 10:39:00 PM



(10/20/2010 07:49:00 PM) - Al

The Bucks have far out shot their opponents at the line so far in the preseason. They were a jump shooting team last year, and if memory serves, were in the bottom 5 in FT attempted. Let's hope this carries over to the regular season.


10/20/2010 07:49:00 PM



(10/20/2010 07:39:00 PM) - Al

Is it a coincidence that the same day Bob Melvin interviews, Tim Kirkjian reports the Crew will announce their choice early next week?


10/20/2010 07:39:00 PM


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

(10/19/2010 10:52:00 PM) - Al

Justin Filtz, pro poker player from Point (and, despite being about half my age, my hero), is in the top 4 in a WSOP Circuit tourney in Indiana. $350 entry fee, $36K first place.

You can follow his progress here.


10/19/2010 10:52:00 PM



(10/19/2010 10:45:00 PM) - Al

This is exactly what happens when you try and use a tiny sample to explain long-term weather patterns...you end up looking as stupid as Al Gore does...who, of course, is laughing all the way to the bank, with his fibs and blatant lies lapped up by the same rubes that fell for a meaningless slogan in '08.


10/19/2010 10:45:00 PM



(10/19/2010 10:37:00 PM) - Al

Heh.

Besides, we all know those original tea party clowns were racists.


10/19/2010 10:37:00 PM



(10/19/2010 10:30:00 PM) - Al

Folks just don't realize the rage that is out there. Folks are blaming this and that, but the truth is, folks are just very unhappy at the direction of the country...especially those in flyover country.


10/19/2010 10:30:00 PM



(10/19/2010 10:27:00 PM) - Al

The top picture is supposed to be enough food for one person to last ten weeks.

I think it'd make a fine reality show...at least after about week four, when the poor sap runs out of food and is hungry.


10/19/2010 10:27:00 PM



(10/19/2010 08:51:00 PM) - Al

As the saying goes, you can't just go for 50% of the vote plus one...you need 53% or so to overcome the fraud factor.


10/19/2010 08:51:00 PM



(10/19/2010 06:50:00 PM) - Al

Fools like this are why they have to exclude those goofball third party candidates from debates.

Of course, the irony here is, NYC has oodles of rent control, which leads to higher rent, because when supply and demand is messed with, goofy stuff happens.

And if you think rent is too high, move, and shut the hell up. That's why there's Jersey.


10/19/2010 06:50:00 PM



(10/19/2010 06:39:00 PM) - Al

I'm about as anti-social as one can be, but even if I was filthy rich, I could not imagine buying my own island. Astoundingly, enough sell so some people can own their own island brokerage.


10/19/2010 06:39:00 PM



(10/19/2010 06:08:00 PM) - Al

The Boston Celtics are expected to sign rookie Tiny Gallon to non-guaranteed deal, according to sources. Milwaukee cut Gallon two weeks ago.

Not sure if they have room for him on their roster, but I sure am sad the Bucks didn't. That said, if they are to contend, I understand why, but it sure is a shame.


10/19/2010 06:08:00 PM



(10/19/2010 05:55:00 PM) - Al

Uecker has successful heart surgery, again.

As far as I'm concerned, if you have heart surgery and wake up, it's successful.


10/19/2010 05:55:00 PM



(10/19/2010 05:51:00 PM) - Al

Brewers sign Mike Rivera, I would assume to be the AAA C.


10/19/2010 05:51:00 PM



(10/19/2010 04:22:00 PM) - Al

For many, Tom Bosley was as much a dad as their real dad. Heck, I grew up watching Tom every day, and then again on Tuesday night, when the new Happy Days was on each week.

I seem to recall an interview that he did that he said many people come up to him and either call him "Mr. C" or act like they've known him for years. I think Scott Baio had the best quote I've seen, and it says a lot about people just telling the truth.

He was a good man who taught me a lot about the business and business itself. He was a professional guy ... I'm sad.--Baio

When the Happy Days cast was at the Brewers game, when the statue of The Fonz was unveiled in Milwaukee, Bosley and Marion Ross got by far the loudest ovation. Tom will be missed.


10/19/2010 04:22:00 PM


Monday, October 18, 2010

(10/18/2010 09:48:00 PM) - Al

Just a quick, unendorsed plug, I woke up with a sore back a couple weeks ago and just can't shake it. Salonpas is not just inexpensive (40 pads for $3.97), but very effective at numbing the area and giving it time to heal. It's basically Vicks Vaporub and aspirin, but it does the job.


10/18/2010 09:48:00 PM



(10/18/2010 07:18:00 PM) - Al

Watching Little People Big World, and they are having tests run on their dog to see if they can ease his pain. Todd Brunson tweeted out today that his 15 year-old dog passed away this morning.

Hearing all this makes one think about the Rambling dog and his mortality. He's 14, and while he still acts out a puppy at feeding time, he's fatigued and not nearly as spry as he was just a year or two ago.

And, we all know he looks old.


10/18/2010 07:18:00 PM



(10/18/2010 05:39:00 PM) - Al

MPD thinks Milwaukee writers are morons.

I knew that long before they named McGehee team MVP. I do agree though, there's no way Casey was as good as several others. As he points out, as it is, those clods would have given the award to whoever batted 5th, as they had the most RBI opportunities, and hence, the most RBI's.


10/18/2010 05:39:00 PM



(10/18/2010 05:38:00 PM) - Al

Adam with a quick rundown of the eight managerial candidates. I do not have a second pick, as I feel Bob Melvin is far and away the favorite.


10/18/2010 05:38:00 PM



(10/18/2010 05:30:00 PM) - Al

Many pro-Obamacare Dems will soon be unemployed.

So much for listening to Pelosi and ignoring their district. Shortsighted decisions like that lead to a short career.


10/18/2010 05:30:00 PM



(10/18/2010 04:35:00 PM) - Al

Mark Twain's autobiography out soon, only 100 years later.


10/18/2010 04:35:00 PM



(10/18/2010 10:34:00 AM) - Al

There's nothing wrong with America that a good old-fashioned election can't fix.--Sarah Palin

The question I have is, why is Palin the only one coming up with one-liners like this? She's said a dozen things that are bumper sticker worthy, and no one else has. That alone makes her the face of the party.


10/18/2010 10:34:00 AM



(10/18/2010 10:27:00 AM) - Al

Texas has created half the jobs in the USA.

DC could learn a lot from their simple, job creating ways.


10/18/2010 10:27:00 AM


Sunday, October 17, 2010

(10/17/2010 06:20:00 PM) - Al

To say Bucks' ownership was not pleased with the situation surrounding Hobson is an understatement, mainly because Milwaukee has a track record of paying guys not to play due to injury and in Milwaukee with their revenue situation that's an issue for ownership. The Bucks have guaranteed some of Hobson's $473,000 contract, and are handling his medical expenses. His deal has trigger points in which more dollars are guaranteed the longer he remains on the roster, but there is a very real chance that Hobson is going to be cut as the season progresses, mainly to recover the roster spot.--Hoops World

This might well be how the Bucks find a spot for Brian Skinner on the 15 man roster, as Hobson is now out for the season. It's a shame the NBA lacks a DL, as MIL likes Hobson as a future contributor. Skinner is just a 10-15 minute man, but his presence will be nice with Bogut limited for at least the first month or two, and quite likely, much of the season.


10/17/2010 06:20:00 PM



(10/17/2010 05:14:00 PM) - Al

TB's entire bullpen may change over next year.


10/17/2010 05:14:00 PM



(10/17/2010 03:13:00 PM) - Al

Listach will interview Tuesday, then favorite Bob Melvin later in the week.


10/17/2010 03:13:00 PM



(10/17/2010 12:17:00 PM) - Al

There isn't an unbiased person alive who thinks the Dems will control the House. Gibbs, if he had any credibility left, just lost it.

EDIT: Rasmussen agrees, saying the GOP has 9 more seats than necessary locked up, and should win 16 extra. Gibbs should not be believed anymore than OJ claiming he was napping (and hitting golf balls) when Nicole was being killed.

Remember stuff like this next time Gibby tries to say unemployment being up is a positive.


10/17/2010 12:17:00 PM


Saturday, October 16, 2010

(10/16/2010 07:45:00 PM) - Al

I'm telling you...spiral notebook. How hard is it to not say something the exact opposite of what you've already said?

That frat boy speechwriter needs to set the bong down and get cranking out some stuff to fill that teleprompter that really doesn't mean anything. Hope and change can't be the only phrase in the language that the rubes can turn into a Being There anthem, can it?


10/16/2010 07:45:00 PM



(10/16/2010 12:08:00 PM) - Al

Why government regs kill business. From a businessman, not a private school buffoon.

The administration has a very anti-business regime, add that to the very real threat of higher taxes, you get a crappy economic climate.

You reap what you sow. The irony is, some are surprised by it.


10/16/2010 12:08:00 PM



(10/16/2010 12:05:00 PM) - Al

What did Rudy G say about Times Square in 1999? "If we tell people not to come out, we'll get twice as many."

By banning this, the college just made this drink a marketer's dream. As Dennis Miller said, it just culls the herd.


10/16/2010 12:05:00 PM



(10/16/2010 11:42:00 AM) - Al

KC will listen to offers for Grienke.

I'm trying to think what a reasonable offer would be, but I'd say two top prospects and another solid one would probably be the starting point for a very good 27 year-old SP, though he is making $27M in '11-'12, so he's not inexpensive.

If the Crew would get involved, Lawrie would be a name that would have to be included, I would assume. If I were to try and make a Brett-less deal, maybe Cain, Gamel, and Odorizzi? I assume they'd want pre-arby guys rather than older, more proven players.

I'd be hesitant, because even though Zach is very good, he's had depression issues and also has been worked very hard in KC. That said, it's tough to baby a guy who averages 7 innings a start. It is only a two year risk as well.


10/16/2010 11:42:00 AM



(10/16/2010 11:26:00 AM) - Al

I can't believe they can't get a full house for the spring game at $5 a piece. With the money going to the nursing school, I'd think many businesses would buy 25-100 to give to their employees.

That said, the idea no one even mentions baseball returning to the UW is pathetic, and shows a lack of forward thinking. There are probably a dozen alumni that would happily foot the bill themselves, or fund raise to cover the cost.


10/16/2010 11:26:00 AM



(10/16/2010 01:14:00 AM) - Al

Fascinating story on diapers.com, who lost money on every order their first two years...though they did start doing ok when they were able to take in enough orders to pay their credit cards bills without interest.

This is who we need making economic decisions, not a bunch of Ivy League elitists who've never run a business in their lives, and have accomplished nothing except spend Daddy's money and taken part in just enough shady real estate deals to be elected to political office in Chicago.


10/16/2010 01:14:00 AM



(10/16/2010 12:30:00 AM) - Al

Andrew Sullivan's demise, as I have noted before, is nothing short of painful and sad. His formerly gifted and common sense filled prose has fallen to pure silliness, as he hitches his mythical horse to a politician who has the exact same view on said issue (gay marriage) as most folks Sullivan rips apart every day.


10/16/2010 12:30:00 AM


Friday, October 15, 2010

(10/15/2010 11:01:00 PM) - Al

Valentine is either very coy or not real interested in MIL. I'd guess the latter, as he seems like a big market, "look at me" type of guy.


10/15/2010 11:01:00 PM



(10/15/2010 08:53:00 PM) - Al

For all the talk of Nolan Ryan's influence on pitchers going deeper in games, Rangers starters ranked 22nd in innings.--Gleeman

The facts need not fit the narrative when it harms an easy story.

The old media is laughably inept.


10/15/2010 08:53:00 PM



(10/15/2010 08:25:00 PM) - Al

The Red Sox are "going to go real hard after Carl Crawford." Gammons thinks one advantage Boston has is that they're looking at Crawford as middle-of-the-order bat rather than as a leadoff man, and Crawford "doesn’t want to be the guy trying to steal 70 bases."--Gammons

Theo rarely gives out long-term deals to older players, but Crawford is young and his weakness, a weak arm, will be hidden in BOS.


10/15/2010 08:25:00 PM



(10/15/2010 08:10:00 PM) - Al

Back in the spring, I continually tried to point out that even if Gomez were able to hit at replacement level, he would produce a decent amount of value for the Brewers. Even though he didn't meet our expectations as a hitter, he still wound up with about 1 WAR over 318 plate appearances, and 2 over 650 or so is about average. So, at his current production, Gomez looks to be about an average centerfielder overall. That has real value. Even though we may not see Gomez ever becoming the hitter it seems like he could be, he is an asset that should be taken seriously as a trade chip or player.--BCB

That's almost the exact same conclusion I came to, though most casuals would disagree...which makes me believe my own conclusion even more.


10/15/2010 08:10:00 PM



(10/15/2010 07:14:00 PM) - Al

Rosenthal says the Mariners have decided to hire Eric Wedge.

Looks like I have to come up with a new 2nd pick.


10/15/2010 07:14:00 PM



(10/15/2010 03:46:00 PM) - Al

Alderson is a brilliant baseball man. I was even more impressed when he said the other day that paying a manager a lot of money was an incredible waste of money. One needs look no further than Joe Torre's years with the Cardinals or how Pinella got stupid when he was in Tampa than to know their impact is quite limited.


10/15/2010 03:46:00 PM



(10/15/2010 12:03:00 PM) - Al

I would have to agree with MLBTR, that Coffey is likely to be non-tendered, as his cost (I'd guess $2.75M in arby) will likely be too high for his production. Plus, five spots (Axford, Braddock, Loe, Hawkins, Parra) are probably spoken for. Add that to Todd not having options (not that you'd want to pay a AAA guy that much anyway), and lots of other options being cheaper and with options to burn, he'll probably end up elsewhere.


10/15/2010 12:03:00 PM



(10/15/2010 11:46:00 AM) - Al

Gindl, added to the Surprise roster after Logan Schafer (foot) was unable to play, is 4 for 8 through his first two games with a pair of doubles and a walk. He has been an offensive player since being drafted.--Tom H

Tom write good. As opposed to those players who are not allowed to bat? Don't all position players play offense?


10/15/2010 11:46:00 AM



(10/15/2010 10:59:00 AM) - Al

The nice folks at Poker Stars sent me an invite to a blogger's freeroll, but I'm unable to use the fancy script they sent me, so they just gave me a ticket.

If you are a fan of poker, you can play for fun or for cash at Stars, any time.


10/15/2010 10:59:00 AM



(10/15/2010 10:54:00 AM) - Al

Cubs to name Mike Quade manager, Sandberg bench coach.

I shudder to think how foolish it is to let a handful of games decide who your next manager is, but it's not like Quade will lead off the pitcher.

Some doubt this will happen as well.


10/15/2010 10:54:00 AM



(10/15/2010 10:17:00 AM) - Al

Whoopi Goldberg wrote a book on politeness.

Heh. Maybe she should read it.

Look for my upcoming non-fiction instant classic, Water and Veggies = A Thin and Healthy You.


10/15/2010 10:17:00 AM



(10/15/2010 09:55:00 AM) - Al

Duffy leads Lassa by 9, though the poll is already 1-2 weeks old when it's released.


10/15/2010 09:55:00 AM



(10/15/2010 12:54:00 AM) - Al

I was up in the Eagle River area today, stopped at the office on the way home to turn in business, and then picked up a couple things at the greatest bastion of retail success the world has ever known the evil Empire. Allow me to say they have more people working at 10:30PM than I ever had on staff in any of the wimpy, embarrassingly small stores I ever ran.

Bare minimum of 60, maybe 80-100. Damn them, their very low prices, and their employing of lots of human beings. How dare they be more efficient at what they do than the others?


10/15/2010 12:54:00 AM



(10/15/2010 12:52:00 AM) - Al

Nanny state rules in New York City...strict regs for toilet flushing and drinking fountains.

The pain, I can't stand the pain!


10/15/2010 12:52:00 AM



(10/15/2010 12:37:00 AM) - Al

KM e-mails to tell us that Accuweather's Maria Molina has been hired by Fox News to be their weather hottie gal on the weekends.

If you are offended by the fact cable networks hire attractive women to tell us the weather instead of some geeky guy who is really, really smart, you probably:

1. Don't like Hooters.

2. Don't get this whole capitalism thing that is just all the rage.

I can only imagine what a pain in the butt it must be hanging around such unbearable fake outrage.


10/15/2010 12:37:00 AM


Thursday, October 14, 2010

(10/14/2010 10:17:00 AM) - Al

Marriage rates flat but lower. The penalty the IRS put on married folks can't help.


10/14/2010 10:17:00 AM



(10/14/2010 10:09:00 AM) - Al

The president should be above such petty attacks anyway...you never heard W worrying about what Jonny Stewart said while being unfunny.

It reminds me of the Howard Stern movie, as they tried to figure out why people that disliked him listened longer. There's no such thing as bad publicity.


10/14/2010 10:09:00 AM



(10/14/2010 10:07:00 AM) - Al

Somehow, I think the queen could pay for this herself.


10/14/2010 10:07:00 AM



(10/14/2010 09:57:00 AM) - Al

Uecker to have another heart surgery, due to a tear by his new valve.

Ramblings certainly wishes Bob all the best.


10/14/2010 09:57:00 AM


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

(10/13/2010 10:15:00 PM) - Al

The McRib soon to return, after a 16 year hiatus.

God Bless McDonald's, and the United States of America.

EDIT: The Rambling wife insists I have had one since we've been dating, which is also 16 years. They have been out, just never at all Mickey D's in the USA at the same time, since '94.

We'll see you under the Golden Arches on November 2nd, my friends.


10/13/2010 10:15:00 PM



(10/13/2010 09:08:00 PM) - Al

Brewers said to be "very fond" of Valentine.

I think Bobby V seems like an odd choice for the Brewers, as Doug seems like a guy who would be worried about what BV would say, and if he would do what was best for the team, or what was best for BV. That said, I can't say I know much about him, other than the obvious goofy stuff.

I just looked back at BV's 2000 NL pennant winner...5 sac bunts by the 8 position players, no regular hit double digits in stolen bases. He may be more Macha-like than Macha.:) BV spent years in Texas, but left two years before Doug arrived. Maybe he heard good things.


10/13/2010 09:08:00 PM



(10/13/2010 07:51:00 PM) - Al

Wedge and Tim Wallach have interviewed so far, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. He says they plan to interview about ten people in total, including Melvin. Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel adds today via Twitter that he believes they've also interviewed Ron Roenicke. Heyman views Melvin as the favorite here. Cecil Cooper would like to interview, he told Haudricourt.--MLBTR

I have had Melvin #1 and Wedge #2 since the opening was announced, and I will keep them there, though Wedge is a favorite in TOR to some, PIT to others.

Sveum and Macha both interviewed in PIT, Ken is from there, and Dale was a coach/manager in their minor league system for years. I'm still of the belief that the Pirates have a nice young group of core players, much like the Crew did back in '05-'06. They have added oodles of prospects as they traded veteran mediocrity. They've been rebuilding a long time, but they've done it properly.


10/13/2010 07:51:00 PM


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

(10/12/2010 09:52:00 PM) - Al

This I don't get: If you would pinch-hit Willy Aybar for Dan Johnson, DH for DH, with the same starting pitcher, why didn't Aybar start?--Olney

Maybe this is why they had Baldelli on the roster originally.:)

What's really amazing is Johnson spent much of the year in AAA, and he started Game 5 lefty on lefty. He's a sleeper for teams needing a 1B next year, seems like TB had a RH bat that could platoon with him even.


10/12/2010 09:52:00 PM



(10/12/2010 06:20:00 PM) - Al

I think Doug is playing possum here a bit...I don't see any long-term contracts this year to FA SP's...but there are very few available anyway. However, I can see them being active with a couple non-tenders and with one-year contracts.


10/12/2010 06:20:00 PM



(10/12/2010 06:16:00 PM) - Al

Gallup poll: most people describe govt as "too big". Obama plans to address problem by accusing Gallup of taking foreign money--Fred Thompson

Fred has a couple good one-liners every day.


10/12/2010 06:16:00 PM



(10/12/2010 04:21:00 PM) - Al

The irony here is, this makes me like McDonald's more. Of course, I'm not a wimp, a germaphobe, or someone who is terrified of preservatives.


10/12/2010 04:21:00 PM



(10/12/2010 04:10:00 PM) - Al

Jack takes a look at Brewers' W/L marks by other stat methods, not actual results. As I said the other day, when we decided the pitching was in far better shape since June, they may not be as far away as many casuals think.


10/12/2010 04:10:00 PM


Monday, October 11, 2010

(10/11/2010 10:04:00 PM) - Al

Hershel Walker looks like he could step right in and gain 200 yards. He's never lifted weights, been doing sit-ups and push-ups since he was a little boy.


10/11/2010 10:04:00 PM



(10/11/2010 09:39:00 PM) - Al

If these two kids can't make it, what chance do the rest of us have?


10/11/2010 09:39:00 PM



(10/11/2010 07:13:00 PM) - Al

They list 5 injured for the Bucks, and then say they only have 10 bodies available...not sure if they are unaware they still have non-guaranteed contracts Skinner and Kramer in camp, or what.


10/11/2010 07:13:00 PM



(10/11/2010 06:33:00 PM) - Al

Lawrie and Logan Schaefer will not play in the Arizona Fall League. Schaefer is still unable to go due to injury, and Lawrie simply does not want to play, apparently.

Brett is a good enough prospect that this will probably not affect him. His bat is probably ready now, and certainly will be by mid '11. Too bad about Logan, who the Crew was hoping would get some AB's to make up for a lost season. Lo Cain also said he did not want to play winter ball, saying he preferred to "work out"...I assume he means lift weights and add muscle.

In case you're wondering, this is one reason guys like Casey McGehee, who come out early and stay late, and do whatever is asked of them, are so appreciated. I probably would not want to play a bunch of games in the Arizona heat either, after five months of games and a few weeks of instructionals either, but Lawrie certainly needs reps and advice on defense.


10/11/2010 06:33:00 PM



(10/11/2010 12:36:00 PM) - Robert R.

Movie review based on a preview screening.

CONVICTION

The studios are gearing up for Oscar season which means the high and middle brow films are deemed safe to come out after a Summer of explosions and CGI. Coming out very soon is the Hilary Swank starring vehicle CONVICTION which tells the true life story of Betty Anne Waters (Swank), who after her brother (Sam Rockwell) is convicted for murder, dedicates her life to clearing her brother. She gets her GED, her Bachelors, her Masters, and attempts to become a lawyer. All the while she raises two sons by herself.

It’s tough to review a movie like CONVICTION. However well done it may be, it’s familiar stuff. Individual triumphing against the system is an old trope. It’s also a story that works, which is why it’s returned to again and again. But, other than the fine acting performances, is there anything here that will make it a choice over something like renting NORMA RAE?

Unfortunately, I can’t really come up with a positive answer to that question. There are good points to the movie. The movie is fairly understated and quiet, instead of going for the “big, triumphant, speech” climax. The relationship between brother and sister is very strong, compared to the usual romantic subplots these films typically have. It’s an interesting point that Betty Anne Waters continually butts up against other females, teachers, DA’s, clerks, cops, etc. in her quest to clear her brother, but the idea of women in institutional power isn’t really dealt with in any depth.

There’s also a working class quality to Betty Anne’s life and surroundings, which is totally undercut by Hilary Swank’s Hollywood good looks and perfectly white and straight teeth. Minnie Driver, as Betty Anne’s fellow attorney friend, at one point comments that she should dress like a lawyer, which is fairly ironic because even when dressed in “frumpy” clothes, Swank is still highly attractive. Is it vanity on her part? Sam Rockwell has no problem growing an ugly beard and letting the wrinkles around his eyes show the toll that the conviction has placed on him. Juliette Lewis goes all out as an ex-girlfriend of Rockwell’s character/trailer trash, complete with chipped tooth. Swank stands out visually. Which wouldn’t necessarily be a problem if it was dealt with, perhaps like they dealt with Julia Roberts using her attractiveness as an advantage in ERIN BROCKOVICH, but instead they ignore the elephant in the room to the film’s detriment.

Which is too bad, because in all other respects Hilary Swank turns in a very good performance. Swank adopts a strong New England accent, but manages not to overplay it. She has a good rapport with the two young actors who portray her sons, and she manages to sell the idea that she’s succeeding through sheer determination and grit rather than inherent smarts. She and Rockwell also have a strong relationship which absolutely sells how far she would go for him. Rockwell is also very good, selling the mercurial, charismatic, loose cannon aspects of the character where you can absolutely see how he could be perceived as a murderer and also as someone you could have a close bond with.

Perhaps I’m being a bit harsh. CONVICTION is not a bad movie. But, it is a well mounted predictable movie which doesn’t stand out in the pack of similar movies. It’s a movie I expect will be liked by many who see it, but loved by few.

CONVICTION is opening up on October 15th. You can view the trailer here.

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10/11/2010 12:36:00 PM


Sunday, October 10, 2010

(10/10/2010 10:58:00 PM) - Al

Brewers keep ticket prices the same for '11.

I would have lowered some prices as well, as those field level OF seats are never full unless it is a sellout, and probably would lower the club level OF as well, as I simply adore those seats, but I don't think most folks understand how good they are despite being the 3rd level.


10/10/2010 10:58:00 PM



(10/10/2010 08:17:00 PM) - Al

MLB denies umpiring has been an issue.

This is a rather poor sign for changes being made, to say the least. Frank Robinson is known to be a bit of a strict person, so for him to simply ignore blown calls tells me MLB is doing nothing, just like after last year's playoff embarrassment.


10/10/2010 08:17:00 PM


Saturday, October 09, 2010

(10/09/2010 10:13:00 PM) - Al

Obama doesn't get it, and Feingold...I don't even know what to say to this. Russ thinks 18 years of spending and taxing can just be wiped away by calling himself "independent"... and claim to be the tea party candidate...he's just clueless.

As Glenn points out, a couple months ago, the tea party were fringe loons, and suddenly, Russ claims to be one of them. It is astounding what being down in the polls can do. Russ has 18 years of votes and record to run on, and his entire campaign is lies, fibs, and untruths.

Pretty soon, he'll be proudly saying how pro-defense and homeland security he is. If it were up to him, terrorists would get a stern lecture, and absolutely, dessert only six days a week...except during holy weeks...that should go without saying.


10/09/2010 10:13:00 PM



(10/09/2010 05:39:00 PM) - Al

The JS grades for the Crew will be out tomorrow.

Because I do not take any prescription meds, I am choosing to avoid checking them out, as I may see something like Joe Inglett: B, Prince Fielder: B-, and I'll be shaking my head until the pitchers and catchers report.


10/09/2010 05:39:00 PM



(10/09/2010 05:35:00 PM) - Al

Check out Mel Blanc's tombstone.

For you youngsters, Blanc was the voice of Looney Toons for decades.


10/09/2010 05:35:00 PM



(10/09/2010 03:07:00 PM) - Al

Arroyo is a solid, but far from great, SP, and the Reds happily just extended him, in effect, signed him to a 1y/$11M contract.

SP is expensive, and even mediocre guys are spendy. No doubt the braintrust hopes the return for Fielder includes at least one pre-arby arm.


10/09/2010 03:07:00 PM



(10/09/2010 01:05:00 PM) - Al

To me, your car is a failure if they feel the need to offer you a real car if you...actually want to go somewhere.

These green cars really, really suck. You can sure tell they were rushed to market due to pressure from the feds.


10/09/2010 01:05:00 PM



(10/09/2010 12:52:00 PM) - Al

I wonder how skewed the numbers are outside of the Madison/Milwaukee metro?

14% more conservatives than moderates? Wowsa.


10/09/2010 12:52:00 PM



(10/09/2010 12:28:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling wife and I just enjoyed a meal of orange chicken. We're both stuffed now, but by my estimate, we'll be hungry again by 2:45.


10/09/2010 12:28:00 PM



(10/09/2010 11:17:00 AM) - Al

Shoppers flock to the stores at midnight...knowing their welfare accounts will be loaded at 12:01.

They might start calling this "Obama time." It's catchy, and, representative of his time in office. Sure, you can create a couple jobs in blue states by building some pork that wasn't needed, but eventually, it's done, and they go back to being unemployed. What's astounding is, this was "the plan."


10/09/2010 11:17:00 AM



(10/09/2010 11:10:00 AM) - Al

I think it was me who said Minnesota was such a hole before Glen Mason got there, they should be giddy they win 7 or 8 games and go to a bowl each year.

Mason looks better with each passing day.


10/09/2010 11:10:00 AM



(10/09/2010 11:08:00 AM) - Al

Military service, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said last week in a speech at Duke University, “has become something for other people to do.” And nowhere, he implied, has that attitude become quite as acute as it is at elite colleges.

Defending your country, much like paying taxes (well, I'll just dock my yacht my heiress wife bought for me in another state then) is just for the little people. Those stuck up private school grads sure make it easy to hate their guts.


10/09/2010 11:08:00 AM


Friday, October 08, 2010

(10/08/2010 08:42:00 PM) - Al

I don't know anyone outside the state of Ohio who has a problem with Lebron. He was a free agent, he can go wherever he wants. He probably could have done without the TV show and such, but he can do what he wants, he's a grown-up.


10/08/2010 08:42:00 PM



(10/08/2010 08:17:00 PM) - Al

Never mind the Bucks could not keep Gallon, who is probably a couple years away from being anything more than a token big body at times. It'd be great for them to have him in the NBDL, able to come up to fill in if Bogut or Gooden goes down for a month. Heck, right now, both Chris Kramer and Brian Skinner would be nice role players to have for practice and to fill in for Redd and Hobson, as Skiles seems to be in no hurry to get veterans back to practice, they might well not have ten healthy bodies at times during the season, starting from 13.

I know I'm beating a deceased equine here, as the NBA doesn't want to pay 16th/17th players whatever the minimum is now, even if it would assist in developing guys, or giving regulars rest (Bogut, for example, could probably benefit from being inactive on the second night of consecutive games, especially if game two is at home against a weak opponent).


10/08/2010 08:17:00 PM



(10/08/2010 07:53:00 PM) - Al

Wolfley is right, Anderson is destined for a bigger stage, as soon as one becomes available. He is not a clown like Matt V, and his quiet, understated manner is refreshing in today's loud, fake excitement/outrage (see Jim Rome and just about every color guy other than Madden, who loves the game). He calls attention the game, and will not turn anyone off, which is far more than you can say for idiots like Buck and McCarver, who are embarrassingly inept, never shut up, and overreact to every mundane, excruciatingly minute detail.


10/08/2010 07:53:00 PM



(10/08/2010 06:45:00 PM) - Al

So, I stopped at Aldi on the way home today, and during my play date with the Rambling son late this afternoon, I glanced at the receipt...one item was taxed...fun size Snickers, $2.49, paid 14 cents in tax. The item right above that...fun size Kit Kat (yes, those are his two favorites), also $2.49, like the rest of the receipt, non-taxable.

I'm no expert, but I doubt that's the way the legislature intended it when they signed the bill.


10/08/2010 06:45:00 PM



(10/08/2010 06:21:00 PM) - Al

Didn't Biden say they were going to create 500K jobs each month, and that's why it is called Recovery Summer?

Yes, he did.

And no, they're not. That blue state pork they labeled the "stimulus" looks worse every day...and it never looked very good.

Instead of the incredibly negative attacks the RNC is running, they should just run some of these ridiculous quotes by the administration (my personal favorite was why unemployment being higher was a good thing) and then state the facts since. If you ever needed more proof government spending does nothing to improve things, look no further. Anyone who took ECON 101 knows taxing those who create jobs and letting the government throw it in the wind and then try and "create wealth" with what lands on the ground will only work in thew bizarro world.


10/08/2010 06:21:00 PM



(10/08/2010 06:15:00 PM) - Al

This fella won't think it's so funny when Erin Andrews sues him for sexual harassment.


10/08/2010 06:15:00 PM



(10/08/2010 04:26:00 PM) - Al

Updated below.

BCB asks, how many of the 43 players the Brewers used can you remember in 8 minutes?

Sadly, I could have sworn I had them all, but after 4 minutes, I had scribbled down...41 names. I double checked, and then came up with a pitcher I had forgotten...42. I never did get #43.

I won't update until Friday afternoon, but I will then tell you who #42 and #43 were for this fan.

UPDATE: I recalled Marco Estrada as player #42. I never did think of Chris Smith, who was #43. I blame his generic name.


10/08/2010 04:26:00 PM



(10/08/2010 04:21:00 PM) - Al

The question is not if Barcelona could play in the NBA, it's why Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol played playoff minutes in a meaningless exhibition game, just after both got done playing much of the summer in the World Championships. June is a long ways off, those fellas are going to be exhausted long before then.


10/08/2010 04:21:00 PM



(10/08/2010 04:10:00 PM) - Al

Sat across from Tom Selleck on my flight to LA. He's dreamy.--SE Cupp

Heck, I'm confident enough in my masculinity to admit Selleck is one handsome man. He's better looking now than he was 20 years ago too, much like Bruce Willis and Sean Connery.


10/08/2010 04:10:00 PM



(10/08/2010 04:00:00 PM) - Al

I intended to make a big mistake, but you guys screwed up and turned it into an even bigger mistake.--Gleeman on a backwards tattoo

I admit, body art as it's now known (much like a guy that works at a car wash is now called an "auto appearance specialist") is lost on me, as at best, it seems shortsighted and foolish, with no positives at all; and at worst, it's a "Good God, what have you done!" moment.


10/08/2010 04:00:00 PM



(10/08/2010 03:56:00 PM) - Al

Tom h updates on injuries, as several players have already had surgery for "minor" injuries, which of course means they were not mine.

One has to question if Parra's hip would bother him more as the game wore on, which would help explain his inability to get past the 5th/6th frame, other than being mentally weak and inconsistent.


10/08/2010 03:56:00 PM



(10/08/2010 03:46:00 PM) - Al

Joe P weighs in on the "blown call every game" syndrome.

I have little doubt they're worse now, even though no one wants to admit it. They not only routinely miss calls, they go out of their way to confront, yell at, and then eject players and managers; when it could easily be avoided by shutting up and walking away.

It used to be MLB did things to avoid trouble, like having Ron Luciano not be able to work BAL games because he and Earl Weaver did not get along. Now, such problems are called "Monday," because most umps take off their mask and cause the situation, rather than be the calming influence.

Incompetence is one thing. Attitude is another. Both...totally unacceptable, but that's exactly what we have.

I get the feeling as long as the union prevents MLB from removing the bottom 10-20% each year, it's only going to get worse, because the guys who work hard, stay calm, and get the calls right will learn soon enough they're getting the same raises, pay, and vacation as the Joe Wests and Balkin' Bob Davidsons.

When there's no incentive to do better, it's only going to get worse. That's just common sense.


10/08/2010 03:46:00 PM



(10/08/2010 03:32:00 PM) - Al

Looking back, it seems pretty ridiculous that anyone was worried Palin wasn't able to do VP job. As if Biden's some kind of savant.--SE Cupp

Heh, SE is as brilliant as she is gorgeous. She appears on Red Eye quite a bit, as the late Greg Gutfeld did, who she is pictured with. SE deserves props because she's both conservative and an atheist, so she's despised by almost everyone, except of course those of us who believe both in fiscal conservatism and the real separation of church and state.

My belief is a limited government means staying out of ethical and morale dilemmas, though many Dems and GOP'ers disagree.


10/08/2010 03:32:00 PM



(10/08/2010 03:27:00 PM) - Al

Who said it...Peter Griffin, Joe Biden, or Homer Simpson?

It's funny, because it's true. There's a reason he ran for president twice and I got as many votes in Iowa as he did.


10/08/2010 03:27:00 PM



(10/08/2010 03:25:00 PM) - Al

Rod Carew probably more interested in his own publicity than Blyleven.

That said, the idea baseball writers decide someone is suddenly worthy 19 years after retiring...on the 14th try, pretty much sums up how ignorant the entire process is.


10/08/2010 03:25:00 PM


Thursday, October 07, 2010

(10/07/2010 10:54:00 PM) - Al

As a coach, basically you're sitting over there for 48 minutes hoping nobody gets hurt.--Scott Skiles on the exhibition season

I agree, but I can't believe Skiles, a notorious hard-nosed player and coach, said it.


10/07/2010 10:54:00 PM



(10/07/2010 09:47:00 PM) - Al

ARI, ATL, TB, and SL all had team OPS's between 733 and 740. However, TB scored far more runs than the others. Why? The thing(s) TB is good at may help to explain "this is what is important other than OBP and SLG.

The first thought is obvious, maybe TB got very fortunate. They may have hit extremely well with RISP, a stat that, as you'd expect from a small sample variant, rarely repeats itself. They also had great team speed, they stole a lot of bases, and were very successful when they did run, just under 80%. Speed means fewer hits are needed to score as well...one reason Weeks and Hart had so many RBI's was that the runners on base tended to be Escobar, Gomez, Cain (and in Corey's case, Weeks)...very fast runners.

Over the weekend, I'll figure out which teams outscored their expected runs and if any statistical trends emerge.


10/07/2010 09:47:00 PM



(10/07/2010 09:26:00 PM) - Al

Using simple runs crested, which is a simple equation (OBP x SLG x AB), the average MLB team should have scored 722 runs this past season...while in reality, they scored 710.

That means this year OXS was 98.3% accurate. It's all about getting on base and smacking the ball. All the rest is for the lawyers.


10/07/2010 09:26:00 PM



(10/07/2010 08:17:00 PM) - Al

I was looking for a recipe to prepare in the crock pot this weekend, and came across this one.

5 pounds bag frozen wings
BBQ sauce of your choice


Directions:

Put wings in slow cooker. Cover with bbq sauce. Low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.


As much as I'd like to try this, I'm afraid it's too darn complex for a simple man like myself.


10/07/2010 08:17:00 PM



(10/07/2010 04:19:00 PM) - Al

It's nice to see two beautiful blondes spending their Twitter time ripping on Perez Hilton.


10/07/2010 04:19:00 PM



(10/07/2010 04:16:00 PM) - Al

Biden calls his audience dull.

By the way, Ramblings' readers, you guys need to lose some weight.


10/07/2010 04:16:00 PM



(10/07/2010 04:01:00 PM) - Al

Can you imagine a business run as poorly as the government?

Oy vey.


10/07/2010 04:01:00 PM



(10/07/2010 03:57:00 PM) - Al

With the Rays supposedly cutting back on payroll next year, one has to wonder if Shields or Garza may be dealt this offseason for cheap pre-arby guys. I don't know if the Crew has anything to interest them...McGehee, Gamel, or Lawrie would seem the only names that would be the center piece for a SP of that quality...and needless to say, Longoria is the 3B for years to come.

TB has seven legitimate SP's for '11, and they're likely the spendiest.


10/07/2010 03:57:00 PM



(10/07/2010 03:51:00 PM) - Al

Chris Christie is "a rock star," says Scott Walker. He may not have quite the appeal Palin has, but he probably has fewer folks that dislike him as well.


10/07/2010 03:51:00 PM



(10/07/2010 03:00:00 PM) - Al

4+ innings, 2 runs so far, and a quick hook in St. Pete. I realize you can't "punt" in the postseason, but that's about as early a departure as you'll see.

EDIT: Shields is thinking, I could have given up a HR.:)

Hopefully, TB will frown on Shield's behavior, first being grumpy he was removed, and then complaining about the umpire. I'd much rather have a guy you have to calm down once in a while, but some teams don't care for that.


10/07/2010 03:00:00 PM



(10/07/2010 02:46:00 PM) - Al

Also, Lenten to training CD’s, talk with top producers, and engage in any other activity that will give you the prospecting information you need. In today’s information age knot knowing something is no longer an excuse.

Use spell check much? This is from an online e-zine I get. Years ago, I was told I should go to a sales seminar in Milwaukee, and one of the things I get for a far too high price was access to this e-zine.

Methinks I got ripped off.


10/07/2010 02:46:00 PM



(10/07/2010 02:44:00 PM) - Al

Juan Samuel may interview. As I said about Cooper, the Brewers will get a fine if they do not talk to some minority candidates, so it is in their best interest to bring a few in even if they know they will not get the job.


10/07/2010 02:44:00 PM



(10/07/2010 01:33:00 PM) - Al

Baldelli removed from postseason roster with "leg fatigue."

I think we can just eliminate the fact that players have to be injured to be taken off playoff rosters. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm taking the rest off the day off due to my "chronic typing soreness."

I'm not sure why they would not have rather had Aybar on the roster anyway. Rocco has been a shell of himself for several journeys around the sun. I'm not sure if this was a strategic move because of Lee being LH or a "wouldn't it be nice if Rocco got a big hit" feel good story, but the idea Baldelli had any place on a playoff roster after 24 AB's is fool's gold.


10/07/2010 01:33:00 PM



(10/07/2010 01:09:00 PM) - Al

Gleeman recaps the Twins game. I did not see the PR's used in the 8th, but I agree, that's LaRussa style using a guy just to use him, then shrugging shoulders later when the last player is used in the 10th.


10/07/2010 01:09:00 PM



(10/07/2010 12:54:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling wife e-mailed me this today, and I'm sure many of you have received it as well.

I am certainly far from the "top guy" in the story, but I have no desire to make the more successful and wealthy pay more of their income than I do. As stock picker/company owner Charles Payne said once, how he gets up at 3:30 every morning to get to the office by 5, has his early research meeting at 6 to prepare for the market's opening, then after they recap their day and make plans for the next, he goes home, arriving about 6 or 7. He asked why he should pay a higher percentage in taxes than a guy who sleeps 'til noon...and I have never come up with a decent explanation for that.


10/07/2010 12:54:00 PM



(10/07/2010 12:43:00 PM) - Al

Even Gleeman is glad the blown call did not lead to a game changing play.

Sadly, he says the ump was 20 feet from the play. I got it right, and the camera was in the press box, 150+ feet away. Luckily, they have a union that rewards the inept and punishes the fans and the sport.

Oof.


10/07/2010 12:43:00 PM


Wednesday, October 06, 2010

(10/06/2010 11:49:00 PM) - Al

Spaghetti tacos are now all the rage.

I mention this only because the Rambling son's favorite show is icarly.


10/06/2010 11:49:00 PM



(10/06/2010 11:23:00 PM) - Al

I turn to a playoff game, and within 5 minutes, the umps blow a rather obvious catch/trap call.

Luckily for history, it does not effect the outcome of the game.

EDIT: 1B/2B/RF combined can't get a simple out call correct. They're off to a rousing start.


10/06/2010 11:23:00 PM


Tuesday, October 05, 2010

(10/05/2010 09:38:00 PM) - Al

I have little doubt that ads will be prevelant on jerseys in less than a decade. The EPL doesn't even list the team name, as the colors tell you which team is which, then the ad is splashed on, huge and centered.

I don't see that, but a sponsor will be on the front and back by 2020. Mark Cuban has already said they should have allowed it in the past, because now it would be second nature, instead of still being discussed.

Just like the sports league that first ventures into Vegas, whichever league jumps in first will be rewarded by loyalty and profits.


10/05/2010 09:38:00 PM



(10/05/2010 09:27:00 PM) - Al

Don Wakumatsu is one name I had not considered. Jack Z will probably let Doug know whether or not to talk to him. I would certainly say Bob Melvin is the favorite, with Eric Wedge the runner-up.

Longshots? Alan Trammell was fired after a short time with a terrible Tigers' team, and Ryne Sandberg was once considered a shoo-in for the Cubs' job (and may still be). Ryne, as the story goes, got tired of Tom Trebelhorn's penchant for meetings...he started by having a team meeting at the beginning of each series, which eventually led to one every day. Sandberg was said to have walked into the GM's office and said it was either Treb or him. Shockingly, they kept their 2B and fired Trebelhorn.

And yes, it would be fitting if John Russell and Macha just switched teams.


10/05/2010 09:27:00 PM



(10/05/2010 09:23:00 PM) - Al

Drew Olson with a nice list of possible candidates, though those of us who know Doug know he would not consider many of the publicity seekers.

Still, I appreciate Drew making the list, as it's one less thing I will do. You could also use this list for possible bench coaches once the new fella is hired.


10/05/2010 09:23:00 PM



(10/05/2010 08:22:00 PM) - Al

Brewers announce AAA staff will return, though I think Don Money and Sandy Guerrero may be considered for coaching jobs by the new manager.

Also, Cecil Cooper said on Milwaukee radio today he has talked to Doug about being interested in the manager's job. Considering MLB's policy for interviewing minority candidates, he may get an interview regardless. I can't recall much about Coop's time in HOU, other than the rumor mill said Bagwell and Biggio ignored him and ran the clubhouse themselves. His teams were never very good, I know that. They did win 86 one year, and rarely bunted.


10/05/2010 08:22:00 PM



(10/05/2010 08:00:00 PM) - Al

I just thought I'd link to this chart of each team's UZR (ultimate zone rating) for 2010. Despite being between -5 and -12 for much of the year, the Crew finished +2.9 runs, meaning they prevented about 3 runs more than the average team. For the many casual fans who insisted the pitching staff was average and the defense killed the team, quit e-mailing me, and pay attention. It was a perfectly mediocre defensive team, as many of the veterans have gotten better, just as you'd expect.

ARI prevented the most runs, but many playoff teams and the Padres as well finished near the top. Perhaps a more telling stat is this...only ATL made the playoffs while having a bottom 10 defensive team, PHIL was 18th of 30. Is there a lesson here?

It's easier to win if you don't suck at defense. That's also true of any aspect of the game, you can win without a great offense or great pitching, but you probably can't outhit or out pitch the worst.

Way back when, over 8 years ago, I started Ramblings for a couple reasons. One, I found the vast majority of internet message boards to be...lacking, in common sense, and in correct memories. Even the best usually only have 3-6 months of archives, but if you wish, you can go back and read the first Ramblings' post ever. Hence, I'm not misquoted here, or taken to task for things I never said.

{When I am taken to task, I also have the ability to hit "spam" and never have to read such goofiness again.}

You can also look at the individual numbers here. McGehee had a vast improvement, probably due to him being healthy this year, and shows he's very sure handed, as it does not take an eagle eye to see he has limited range. Hart trailed Braun for much of the year, but finished better. Escobar and Gomez (and Cain as well, in limited time) fit the mold for "well they look good when I see them," and sure enough, they all finished high, behind only Edmonds. Weeks used to be rather rough in the field, and has made progress...in fact, since 2007, Rickie has been -0.4 runs. Any talk of moving him now would seem stuck back in 2006, unless he wanted to move (he does not) or needed to play OF to avoid an injury.

Of course, the rule of thumb is 3 years of defense is equal to one year of offense...you simply don't get many chances in the field, especially if you play anywhere but 2B or SS (or, 98% of 1B chances are so routine, it's hard to separate them). So, one year of defense is probably still a bit of a small sample, but it's good to take a look and compare once in a while.

Other notes, renowned horrible defender Adam Dunn was only -3.4, perhaps he got better playing 1B daily.

I did not find a list of the top performers, so I put together a list of all the players in MLB that were +/- 10 runs, which, using the rule of ten, is equal to a single win over the course of a season.

WORST DEFENDERS, worse than -10 runs

Matt Kemp, LAD, CF: -24.3

Carlos Quentin, CWS, LF: -22.9

Carlos Lee, HOU, LF: -17.4

Ryan Spilbourghs, COL, OF: -16.3

Johnny Gomes, CIN, LF: -16.1

Skip Schumacher, SL, 2B: -15.6

Andrew McCutchen, PIT, CF: -15.5

Paul Konerko, CWS, 1B: -15.4

Andre Ethier, LAD, RF: -15.1

Nate McLouth, ATL, OF: -12.6 (in only 79 games)

Ryan Howard, PHIL, 1B: -12.2

Wilson Betemit, KC, 3B/2B: -11.4

David Wright, NYM, 3B: -10.7

Neil Walker, PIT, 2B: -10.5

Jason Bartlett, TB, SS: -10.3

Hanley Ramirez, FLA, SS: -10.2



BEST DEFENDERS, better than +10 runs

Brett Gardner, NYY, LF/CF: 22.0 (+21.7 in LF in about 75% of his innings)

Jay Bruce, CIN, RF: 19.9

Carl Crawford, TB, LF: 18.4

Chase Headley, SD, 3B: 17.1

Mike Bourn, HOU, CF: 15.8

Kevin Kouzmanoff, OAK, 3B: 15.6

Ichiro Suzuki, SEA, RF: 15.1

Juan Pierre, CWS, LF: 13.8

Ryan Zimmerman, DC, 3B: 13.6

Tony Gwynn Jr, SD, CF: 12.9

Peter Bourjos, LAA, CF: 12.6 (in only 51 games, wow)

Jason Repko, MIN, OF: 12.4 (in only 306 innings, equivalent to 36 games, another wow)

Geraldo Parra, ARI, LF: 12.1

Daric Barton, OAK, 1B: 12.1

Adrian Beltre, BOS, 3B: 11.8

Marlon Byrd, CHC, CF: 11.1

Evan Longoria, TB, 3B: 11.0

Brendan Ryan, SL, SS: 11.0

Alexei Ramirez, CWS, SS: 10.8

Scott Rolen, CIN, 3B: 10.5

Orlando Hudson, MIN, 2B: 10.4

Cliff Pennington, OAK, SS: 10.3



So, does UZR pass the smell test? Absolutely, as nearly every top defender that pops into mind is on the list. Many of the guys on the bottom list; Lee, McLouth, Howard, Schumacher (who was an OF 'til '09), Gomes, sure don't look very good.

Also, many players who don't seem to hit enough to play their spot (Gardner, Pierre, Kouzmanoff, Gwynn, Parra, Ryan) justify their place by being so good in the field.

That's a couple hours of typing, copying, and pasting I'll never get back.


10/05/2010 08:00:00 PM


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