Al's Ramblings



Tuesday, May 31, 2011

(5/31/2011 11:16:00 PM) - Al

Phil Ivey not playing the WSOP? That'd be like Lebron taking a year off to read classic literature.

For many years, I have been proud to call myself a poker player. This great sport has taken me to places I only imagined going and I have been blessed with much success. It is therefore with deep regret that I believe I am compelled to release the following statement. I am deeply disappointed and embarrassed that Full Tilt players have not been paid money they are owed. I am equally embarrassed that as a result many players cannot compete in tournaments and have suffered economic harm. I am not playing in the World Series of Poker as I do not believe it is fair that I compete when others cannot. I am doing everything I can to seek a solution to the problem as quickly as possible. My name and reputation have been dragged through the mud, through the inactivity and indecision of others and on behalf of all poker players I refuse to remain silent any longer. I have electronically filed a lawsuit against Tiltware related to the unsettled player accounts. As I am sure the public can imagine, this was not an easy decision for me. I sincerely hope this statement will ignite those capable of resolving the problems into immediate action and would like to clarify that until a solution is reached that cements the security of all players, both US and International, I will, as I have for the last six weeks, dedicate the entirety of my time and efforts to finding a solution for those who have been wronged by the painfully slow process of repayment.--Phil Ivey

I suggest Tilt use Poker Stars to get the money back...I got my Stars balance reimbursed ages ago. I do have some in Full Tilt limbo, but it's not enough to worry about. And, let's not forget, the DOJ made it clear it is not illegal for the sites to send money back to players...the question is the other direction. One has to wonder if Tilt simply does not have the money at present and is waiting to generate enough rake by the remaining, non US players. They did spend oodles on marketing.

This is being confirmed by Bluff. Ivey is suddenly a hero in the poker world, and is now even more popular. He comes out of this smelling like a hybrid rose.


5/31/2011 11:16:00 PM



(5/31/2011 11:11:00 PM) - Al

Braddock throws 20 pitches at Nashville, 6 for strikes. 3 BB, 1 K.

Scheduled to go tomorrow night again. His rehab must be almost up, though I'm sure he has plenty of options left, if he needs more work.


5/31/2011 11:11:00 PM



(5/31/2011 10:34:00 PM) - Al

Watching the Mavs vs. Heat game with Tiffany Michelle. At Hooters. Drinking Beer. Eating Wings.--Maria Ho

Poker players, Amazing Racers, and hot babes (I'm sorry, attractive women) eating greasy wings, drinking beer, watching sports, at evil restaurant some folks dislike because...wait for it...the wait staff wears tank tops and shorts.

Somewhere, girly men are unhappy about this. That's what makes me love them so.


5/31/2011 10:34:00 PM



(5/31/2011 10:08:00 PM) - Al

$4 terrace, $13 loge OF tickets for the Mets' series at 9AM tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. Those will go mighty quick at that price, get in virtual line at 8:55!

*This ad for Brewers' tickets was unpaid. Damn.


5/31/2011 10:08:00 PM



(5/31/2011 10:00:00 PM) - Al

Many people mentioned tonight that the sign of a good pitcher is only giving up a couple runs without your best stuff. Add in the Reds' lineup and small park, I'd have to agree. Heck, give me 2 runs and 6 frames every night, I'll show you the best starting staff in MLB...the best rotation might average 6 1/3, but that's about it.


5/31/2011 10:00:00 PM



(5/31/2011 08:31:00 PM) - Al

Greinke, meanwhile, is down to 92.1 this year, versus 93.5 last season. It's easy to imagine him being better throwing 93 and 94 rather than 91-93.


5/31/2011 08:31:00 PM



(5/31/2011 08:29:00 PM) - Al

BA's memory is playing tricks. Fangraphs has Marco's fastball at 91.3 last year, and 90.6 this year.

Estrada threw hard last year too until he had arm issues.


5/31/2011 08:29:00 PM



(5/31/2011 07:55:00 PM) - Al

Tim Tebow wrote a book to tell us who he has not slept with.

Good luck with that.


5/31/2011 07:55:00 PM



(5/31/2011 07:35:00 PM) - Al

Greinke's struggles from the set continues.


5/31/2011 07:35:00 PM



(5/31/2011 07:04:00 PM) - Al

Nats looking for a CF...and Nyjer Morgan is in MIL.

That's why you don't make a trade for non-baseball reasons. http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif


5/31/2011 07:04:00 PM



(5/31/2011 06:57:00 PM) - Al

When Pelosi sides with the GOP, the administration must be thinking of going home.

Of course, if not for Pelosi spending like a mistress with a credit card, it wouldn't be necessary...


5/31/2011 06:57:00 PM



(5/31/2011 06:23:00 PM) - Al

Greinke does not appear to be in the game mentally at all, never bothered going behind home plate to back up the play. His "issues" seem to affect his concentration, or maybe he just doesn't care...no good answer to that one.

It's always guys that are really good that are that way...mediocre players don't get away with that.


5/31/2011 06:23:00 PM



(5/31/2011 05:47:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling brother wonders if Dillard's velocity is 6-7 mph less because he's throwing sidearm now. I would have to agree that's the reason for it. What's interesting is, he mentions how much he looked like Sean Green. Green has made a career out of being tough on RH bats, and Dillard has a far better BB/K ratio versus RH bats in the minors this season. And, they were swapped for each other, though it was more because Green is a one batter/inning man, while Dillard has been stretched out 2-3 innings.

Dillard doesn't have much ceiling, but what he has looks and smells an awful lot like Sean Green.


5/31/2011 05:47:00 PM



(5/31/2011 05:43:00 PM) - Al

So, for holidays, Google transforms their logo. They also leave out military holidays every year. Well, this year, they did "honor" Memorial Day, sort of -- by posting a tiny little yellow ribbon. Holidays that deserve the full Google logo so far this year? Harry Houdini's birthday, Will Eisner's birthday, MLK Day, New Year's, anniversary of the World Fair, the royal wedding, and so on. UGH. Google SUCKS.--Cassy Chesser

Google is evil, but the problem is, they are just so much better than the rest, it's embarrassing. Houdini's birthday? The royal wedding? Geesh. Of course, they do have every right to be anti-American.


5/31/2011 05:43:00 PM



(5/31/2011 03:57:00 PM) - Al

Congrats to Winnipeg.

They have become the little city that could.

Milwaukee remains the city that won't even talk about it. And when the day comes the Bradley Center is officially deemed unsuitable, will look dumbfounded as to how this happened.


5/31/2011 03:57:00 PM



(5/31/2011 01:42:00 PM) - Al

This is why the old media sucks...unexpectedly!!

Every week, it falls a little more under the "how dumb do they think we are?" department.


5/31/2011 01:42:00 PM



(5/31/2011 01:38:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers have a 10.01 ERA in losses this season.--tweet I received today

That's alarming...and not true. It's somewhere around 5.50. SP maybe?


5/31/2011 01:38:00 PM



(5/31/2011 01:15:00 PM) - Al

It's funny, because while the perception among the old media and the left (well, same thing really) is that Meghan McCain is a dumb blonde, and Sarah Palin is an idiot in well over her head...but the results don't seem to indicate either.

McCain keeps getting Leno appearances and book deals, while Palin is getting far more press on her bus tour than any of the announced candidates, and has written two books which have given her the financial freedom to do anything she wants.

I wish I was as dumb as these two.


5/31/2011 01:15:00 PM


Monday, May 30, 2011

(5/30/2011 11:59:00 PM) - Al

UPDATE: This will remain on top all weekend. Scroll down for new content, if you desire.

Happy Memorial Day weekend my friends. To quote the great 21st century poet, Toby Keith, never apologize for being patriotic.

If you are fortunate enough to be on vacation this weekend, be thankful there are brave men and women far away from home ready to kill and destroy anyone/any evil that threatens our nation, our allies, and our interests.

How fortunate are we to have young people willing to give their life to defend the finest country the planet has ever known?


5/30/2011 11:59:00 PM



(5/30/2011 09:31:00 PM) - Al

Cassy remembers the guys who did not make it home in her husband's unit.

Marines are at war, and America is at the mall. Since W left office, the old media doesn't even pretend to report the casualties anymore. Does not fit the narrative.


5/30/2011 09:31:00 PM



(5/30/2011 07:50:00 PM) - Al

Those are sharp looking caps the Crew is wearing. If they didn't make my head sweat like John Edwards in church, that'd be a top pick of mine.


5/30/2011 07:50:00 PM



(5/30/2011 07:47:00 PM) - Al

I bet the 90 degree heat is what got Corey. Imagine being sick for a couple days, feeling better sitting on the sofa in AC, and then being told to mow the lawn for a couple hours in hot and humid conditions. You'd feel awful mighty quick.


5/30/2011 07:47:00 PM



(5/30/2011 07:45:00 PM) - Al

Someone just tweeted Adam and asked how the Crew got Josh Wilson. Sometimes you forget how casual many fans are. Goodness, Boggs has already accepted his assignment, that was half-a-week ago.


5/30/2011 07:45:00 PM



(5/30/2011 07:27:00 PM) - Al

Schroeder and myself are the only ones to even mention that every one of Lucroy's throws are 6-8 feet too high. Advanced scouting is so weak (or nonexistent, many teams don't bother and use video only...meaning they don't bother), teams don't take advantage of it much, but they could pretty much turn 75% of singles into doubles.

I guess they'll begin to pay attention when his BAbip falls, and he returns to normal offensive numbers.


5/30/2011 07:27:00 PM



(5/30/2011 03:59:00 PM) - Al

Vets, military give Obama lower marks than everyone else.

The military always skews heavily right...very pro-gun, religious, and made up of a higher percentage of Southerners. And, they adored W, anyone who followed was bound to be less popular.


5/30/2011 03:59:00 PM



(5/30/2011 03:52:00 PM) - Al

I deleted the post about Mark DiFelice being able to become a free agent as of June 1st, since Adam tweets this today:

For those discussing whether Mark DiFelice might opt-out, D Melvin told me there is no such clause and another Brewers official confirmed.--Adam

That’s why Wednesday DiFelice will have to make a decision — stay, or roam free. The Haverford High product has a clause in his contract that requires the Brewers call him to the majors by June 1, or he has the option of being released and signing with another organization.

DiFelice has spent the first two months of this season pitching for Triple-A Nashville, where he has been effective as usual, 1-1 with six saves and a 2.30 ERA in 14 appearances. He has struck out 18 in 15 2/3 innings and walked just four.--Delaware paper


Unless Doug is unaware such a provision was added to DiFelice's deal, there is no June 1st opt-out.


5/30/2011 03:52:00 PM


Sunday, May 29, 2011

(5/29/2011 06:53:00 PM) - Al

Boggs goes to Nashville for the 3rd time, Rivera expected to do so as well.


5/29/2011 06:53:00 PM



(5/29/2011 04:03:00 PM) - Al

The guys in the room made that decision. If you want to be in a position to make those types of decisions, go join the team. Otherwise, just say thank you.--former Navy seal

Hat tip to the Rambling wife's uncle.

You can read the interview here.

It has occurred to me that other military folks, even other Navy Seals, may be a tad unhappy at the attention Team Six is getting, but it seems they are the best of the best. I'm not even the best at what I'm best at, so be it.


5/29/2011 04:03:00 PM



(5/29/2011 03:03:00 PM) - Al

One could certainly make an argument for several Brewers making the all-star team:

Braun
Fielder
Weeks
Lucroy
Gallardo
Axford
Marcum

A couple will probably fade as July nears, but I'd say those seven are certainly in the top 20% of their position thus far.

Yo is a blown save by Axford on Opening Day from getting his 8th win before June, if they hang on today.


5/29/2011 03:03:00 PM



(5/29/2011 02:18:00 PM) - Al

I said the other day I'd prefer Amezaga to Josh Wilson due to versatility. Hardly a big deal, but a minor upgrade is a minor upgrade.

Amegaza--.311/.339
AA road--.306/.353
LH vs RH-.327/.361
RH vs LH-.249/.259

Amegaza has better UZR numbers at SS, +5 at SS (117 G, 70 GS), +1 2B (65 G, 37 GS), -2 at 3B (73 G, 17 GS), excellent UZR in OF as well (+28.3 in 282 G, 181 GS), 49 SB, 26 CS. AA is 33, so he may well be slowing down at this stage.

Wilson---.280/.315
JW road--.274/.304
vs RHP---.279/.319
vs LHP---.283/.303

Wilson has never played OF, but has a UZR of -9 (200+ G at SS), +2 at 3B (18 G), -1 AT 2B (37 G), 12 SB, 4 CS.

If Amezaga is still the same player as he was, I'd prefer him. The difference is minute, as one would expect from the last position player, but AA is faster, a better and more versatile defender, and hits RHP much better (he hits so badly RH vs LHP, one would wonder why he bothers).


5/29/2011 02:18:00 PM


Saturday, May 28, 2011

(5/28/2011 08:41:00 PM) - Al

Herm Cain sends out this video to commemorate Memorial Day.


5/28/2011 08:41:00 PM



(5/28/2011 08:35:00 PM) - Al

Meghan McCain tweets out this LeAnn Rimes video in honor of Memorial Day.


5/28/2011 08:35:00 PM



(5/28/2011 08:21:00 PM) - Al

I loved Al's comparison of sending Prince last night with 2 outs and Yuni on deck to blackjack.

He said it's like hitting a 15 or 16 when dealer shows a face card. Sometimes it looks ugly, but the math says it's the right move.--Adam M, MLB.com


That must be some of my best work, several e-mails of congrats, and a mention by Adam. The hitter doesn't matter much really, Yuni will get the run in about 32% of the time (career .300ish OBP, maybe a 2% chance of a defensive miscue, wild pitch, passed ball, error), a guy like Braun close to 40%...in that case, send the runner and make the defense make the play.


5/28/2011 08:21:00 PM



(5/28/2011 08:05:00 PM) - Al

Corey Hart was not at Miller Park for the walk-off. He was so sick they gave him some IV fluids and sent him home.

I listened to the game on the way home, after a family get together back home. I assumed it was not a normal day off for Hart, as it would not come versus a lefty. An illness is as good a reason as one could hope for, as it does not involve any rehab except rest and time.


5/28/2011 08:05:00 PM



(5/28/2011 07:34:00 PM) - Al

Weddings from the mind of a man.

I haven't been to a wedding in years...I think the last one I was obligated to go to was the youngest sister of the Rambling wife. I'm always puzzled when people say "We have 11 weddings this summer," hinting that they don't want to go to them, but feel obligated. So, being antisocial and very protective of my time, I reply, "Just don't go. I don't." They give me a look of horror, gasp, put their hand over their mouth, and say, "Well, we have to." And again, I say, "No, you don't. In fact, if you send them a card with a check in it, they'll be happy, because it's less people to plan for, and to take care of."

At this point, the man often looks at me like what I say is 100% true, and they'll be damned if they're going to 11 stinking weddings this summer. But the female of the species still doesn't comprehend, and will argue they are somehow obligated to go the weddings of a former coworker they have not seen since 1995, the godson of their mom they've never met (whose wedding is in Toronto on July 4th), and especially their high school friend's cousin's petsitter's band director's aunt, who is remarrying her hubby in honor of their 1st anniversary...and yes, they went to version number one just a single journey around the sun ago.

Send a card. Say you have previous plans (mine often involve sleeping 'til noon, wearing my boxers the entire day, and grilling a delicious, not premium but still quite tasty cut of beef, especially if marinated properly overnight) and you'll enjoy the weekends between Memorial Day and Labor Day oodles more than you do now.

And the bride and groom (who more than likely won't still be together in a couple years anyway) will never even miss you.


5/28/2011 07:34:00 PM



(5/28/2011 07:28:00 PM) - Al

Pretty girls get guys to buy them stuff for free.

Next thing you know, they'll prove the sun rises in the East.


5/28/2011 07:28:00 PM



(5/28/2011 06:45:00 PM) - Al

Al,

Love your comparison last night about sending the runner even though you think he'll be thrown out. There's a Freakonomics post in there somewhere, it makes perfect sense, even though many will argue it doesn't.

So, today Lucroy bunted in the winning run on a suicide squeeze, with the bases loaded. It worked, but running the numbers in my head, it doesn't pass the common sense test.

Thoughts?

Matthew


Quite a compliment being compared to the Freakonomics guys, Matt, one of my favorite sites. My initial thought is the same as yours, with the infield in, the big fear of a traditional 6-4-3 or 5-4-3 DP to end the inning is all but nonexistent...but a 5-2-3 or 6-2-3 DP is possible, and obviously ends the inning just the same.

Years ago, Pete Vuckovich was the color analyst on TV for a season, or maybe he was just a substitute. One thing he said has stuck with me over the years...there is no defense for a suicide squeeze. If executed properly, there is nothing the defensive team can do, except bemoan their fate. Despite this, I'm not a big fan, unless you have a guy at the plate like Gomez or Nieves, there are just so many bad things that can happen...the two biggest being the pop-up and the missed bunt attempt. With the infield in, even a one-hopper right at someone is far from routine, as they have little time to react.

To sum it up, if it works, it's brilliant. I doubt very much the math "works"...


5/28/2011 06:45:00 PM


Friday, May 27, 2011

(5/27/2011 11:15:00 PM) - Al

Looking at Twitter, it seems the most asked question is why Prince was sent to the plate, where he was out by about 10 feet.

Short answer...because there were two outs. The math is far better the LF will make a bad throw, or the throw will take a bad hop, or that the catcher will drop or bobble it; than of the next batter reaching base safely. I get it, and it always boggles my mind how many fans do not. I liken it to hitting on 15 or 16 in blackjack when the dealer has a face card showing, the math says to hit, but the majority of the time, you will bust by taking another card.

It's still the proper play though. That's the way math works, sometimes your best option is to have success 33% of the time, versus 28%.


5/27/2011 11:15:00 PM



(5/27/2011 08:42:00 PM) - Al

A walk and yet another high throw from Lucroy leads to SF's first run.


5/27/2011 08:42:00 PM



(5/27/2011 07:56:00 PM) - Al

Rudy, Romney, Palin in virtually dead heat atop latest poll.


5/27/2011 07:56:00 PM



(5/27/2011 07:13:00 PM) - Al

Just rented a couple movies for the Rambling son to watch tomorrow. If someone could have said you'd be able to rent a movie online and pick it up at your convenience at a vending machine...for $1 a night...five years ago, I would have informed them crack is illegal, and to save their money for rehab.


5/27/2011 07:13:00 PM



(5/27/2011 06:57:00 PM) - Al

Inglett available again. I described him as a poor man's Frank Catalanotto, a description that remains apt.

If he could play an average SS, he'd probably be an all-star, or at least under consideration. As a 2B/LF/RF, he struggles to hold a roster spot. Reminds you of just how little offense you have to show if you can catch or play short.


5/27/2011 06:57:00 PM



(5/27/2011 06:53:00 PM) - Al

It's a Memorial Day weekend miracle!

All those cities soon to be losing a team take a step forward...not so fast Sacramento!

Get it done, and then the send the manual to Milwaukee.


5/27/2011 06:53:00 PM



(5/27/2011 06:48:00 PM) - Al

Heck, even the official Memorial Day concert is on Sunday night.:)


5/27/2011 06:48:00 PM



(5/27/2011 05:42:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling dog has been coughing the past few days, and I recall the vet telling us to watch for that, as it's the first sign of heart failure. His heart murmur is getting worse, so he alerted us to this on our last checkup.

I just googled "heart failure for dogs"...there might as well be a picture of him on the page...he has every single symptom. Growing old isn't pretty.

Years ago, being ignorant about the aging process in canines, I said I'd like to adopt older dogs...you know, 10 or older, and then go from there. I was younger, and a lot more intelligent then. Seeing the inevitable decline in a pet you care about isn't nearly as enjoyable as I imagined it.


5/27/2011 05:42:00 PM



(5/27/2011 02:00:00 PM) - Al

Considering he dated Carrie Underwood and Jessica Simpson, Tony Romo marrying a former Miss Missouri seems like he's slumming.


5/27/2011 02:00:00 PM



(5/27/2011 01:56:00 PM) - Al

Welcome back, Carter. Dems pitch 62% tax rate.

What do you call a successful Dem economist? When I locate one, I'll let ya know.


5/27/2011 01:56:00 PM


Thursday, May 26, 2011

(5/26/2011 11:20:00 PM) - Al

Do you think the same reasons you predict Lucroy's "decline" could apply to reason for optimism for Greinke? Greinke's BABIP is at .350 this year, and his HR/Flyball rate is 18%. This is compared to a career average of .308 and 9%, respectively.

A few hits fall in, fewer men on base, a few flyballs stay in the park. Seems to me like he could easily put up some excellent outings with a little luck.

Brian


I might agree, if Zack's troubles were not exclusively with men on base, which means he is in the set position. There's no way you can allow a 700+ SLG% with men on base and not experience a lot of big innings. Plus, he's bound to give up more HR's in Miller Park than in KC.

Greinke is likely to pitch better...he's bound to find something he's doing, rushing, aiming, tipping pitches, or so on, and fix it. He throws 94 with a plus breaking ball, so he has talent.


5/26/2011 11:20:00 PM



(5/26/2011 10:17:00 PM) - Al

I've said it before, but I wish the Bucks "struggled" like the Heat.

I'm torn, as I have been rooting for the Mavericks and the Heat the entire playoffs. I guess I'd prefer the Mavs win one, as MIA is likely to add a couple pieces and win in the next couple seasons, but you never know, someone could blow out a knee and never be the same.


5/26/2011 10:17:00 PM



(5/26/2011 09:40:00 PM) - Al

I've been fighting Blogger all night, so if I go away for a while, it's nothing you said.


5/26/2011 09:40:00 PM



(5/26/2011 07:19:00 PM) - Al

If the Rockies waive Amegaza, I like him more than Wilson. That said, other than being a switch-hitter that can't hit a lick (rather than a RH that can't hit a lick) that runs a tad faster, and can play OF, it's a pretty small improvement.


5/26/2011 07:19:00 PM



(5/26/2011 06:45:00 PM) - Al

2010--.300/.329, 18.8% LD%, 37.6% FB, 43.6% GB, 4.5% HR/FB, 6.1% BB, 15.9% K, .287 BAbip

2011--.369/.509, 18.4% LD%, 33.3% FB, 48.3% GB, 17.4% HR/FB, 5.7% BB, 21.4% K, .385 BAbip

The above are the numbers of Jon Lucroy, last year and this year. At first glance, he looks to be vastly improved...or not? Well, his OBP and SLG are better, without a doubt. But, let's compare/contrast the others, and what they tell us: He's hitting fewer line drives, fewer fly balls, and more ground balls. He's walking less, and striking out more. Positives? His BA on balls that stay in the park is almost 100 points higher, and his HR rate on fly balls is four times.

So, of these, which is sustainable? Needless to say, I expect his BAbip to fall like a rock. That will take his OBP and SLG down with it. Is the power here to stay? I hope so, but I doubt it. Right now, everything he hits is falling in, and his fly balls are leaving the park at an extraordinary rate.

I hope so, but I doubt it. I expect Lucroy to finish the season about .330/.370, not bad at all for a young catcher. Soem will see this as a falloff, I'll just see it as the math evening out.


5/26/2011 06:45:00 PM



(5/26/2011 06:36:00 PM) - Al

.The Brewers have the 3rd fewest errors in the NL, and are 3rd in defensive runs saved.--Aaron Boone, Baseball Tonight

Somewhere, the casual bloggers wonder why the Brewers just can't be bad on defense like they said they would be last offseason.


5/26/2011 06:36:00 PM



(5/26/2011 06:32:00 PM) - Al

How bad could the Rangers' announcer have been? Did he say it was 1st and 10?


5/26/2011 06:32:00 PM



(5/26/2011 06:28:00 PM) - Al

USDA fines MO family $90k for selling $4k of rabbits in 2 yrs without license. Must've run out of unlicensed lemonade stands to kick over.--Fred Thompson

Thank goodness the USDA exists, saving us from unregulated rabbit stew.

Efrickingads.


5/26/2011 06:28:00 PM



(5/26/2011 04:57:00 PM) - Al

The USDA bravely moves into the late 1970's.

What a load of government simpletons. I've been cooking pork roast to 135 degrees for years now, because the "dangers" the USDA are preaching about basically have not existed in decades. Trichinosis is still found in bears, but has all but eliminated from pork. What's funny is, the USDA still wants you to overcook your pork...just because.

I do not know of a single government agency that does less than the USDA...and that's saying something. I'd eliminate them tomorrow, but in lieu of that, you could cut their budget by 90% and accomplish the same thing.


5/26/2011 04:57:00 PM



(5/26/2011 04:48:00 PM) - Al

How out of touch is the old media? Read this piece on Facebook founder only eating the meat that he kills...you can almost see the trembling and disgust from the author.

Most of us, you know, halfway normal people, realize that there are three ways to enjoy meat:

1. Raise it yourself.

2. Hunt it yourself.

3. Pay someone else to do 1 and/or 2.


5/26/2011 04:48:00 PM



(5/26/2011 04:22:00 PM) - Al

Boggs outrighted to AAA again. We'll see if he elects free agency, or if the Crew is able to keep him with some sort of "opt-out" date.

I like Brandon, think he's a nice reserve OF for many big league teams. A switch-hitter than has the speed to play CF and the arm to play RF is nearly a perfect 4th OF. For whatever reason, his chances have been limited, however.


5/26/2011 04:22:00 PM



(5/26/2011 01:18:00 PM) - Al

Missing from Robert's post on war movies that will be on TCM over the weekend is Saving Private Ryan, which will not be on despite Turner owning the rights.

Another favorite of mine, Taking Chance, will air on the HBO networks several times Sunday and Monday. Nice touch by the networks to run these on the holiday weekend designed to honor fallen heroes. Too bad Chance will not reach a wider audience, as I do not believe it has ever been aired except on HBO.

EDIT: The TNT site says SPR will be on twice on June 11th.


5/26/2011 01:18:00 PM



(5/26/2011 12:54:00 PM) - Al

Buster Posey out rest of season, broken leg, knee ligaments.

Manager and agent both calling for change of rules, no collisions at the plate.

Also in the news, I locked the barn door now that the horse is gone...

I wonder if the Giants have interest in one of the Brewers' catchers?

Posey got crushed at the plate, but the culprit looks to be his spikes getting caught in the dirt, and the leg is what "gave."

Video here.


5/26/2011 12:54:00 PM



(5/26/2011 12:48:00 PM) - Al

Gallup has Romney and Palin about even...though Palin has not said she is running yet.

I wonder what will happen when she starts giving electric speeches to large crowds, while Romney talks strategically to a couple dozen supporters.


5/26/2011 12:48:00 PM



(5/26/2011 07:23:00 AM) - Robert R.

Turner Classic Movies has 34 war movies arranged for Memorial Day weekend. You can see the scheduled list here.

It's a dependably solid list with some mini-marathons (submarine movies, tank movies, fighter plane movies, etc.) running through it. There are several great films on the schedule, for my money All Quiet on the Western Front is the best, albeit not the most fun, and some rare ones, Ashes and Diamonds isn't something that immediately leaps to mind. Good job TCM.


5/26/2011 07:23:00 AM



(5/26/2011 12:21:00 AM) - Al

Phillies win in 19. They have a day game tomorrow.

Of course they do. The Reds' last reliever was a kid just up from the minors who went 5.2 innings. They might well send him down for 10 days just to get a fresh arm up, thoguh it'll be a struggle making it by tomorrow.

EDIT: Wow, in the we are lucky department, the Reds AAA team, Louisville, was off today, and is playing in Scranton, PA tomorrow. They should have an additional, unused arm in the bullpen by game time.


5/26/2011 12:21:00 AM



(5/26/2011 12:09:00 AM) - Al

I'm watching SVU like I do most nights, it comes on at 11:30. John Axford twitters out he turned on Baseball Tonight (LaTroy Hawkins and Josh Gasser are both at midnight showings of Hangover 2)...but the Reds/Phillies game is in the 19th. Infielder Wilson Valdez is pitching for the Phillies, one of the Reds' relievers popped out to make the final out in the top of the 19th.


5/26/2011 12:09:00 AM


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

(5/25/2011 04:43:00 PM) - Al

If you're looking for a sleeper to go down, Carlos Gomez still has options, and would likely benefit a great deal from playing every day, getting 4-5 PA's a day in a low pressure atmosphere.


5/25/2011 04:43:00 PM



(5/25/2011 03:51:00 PM) - Al

UPDATE: Adam M mistakenly had the Crew claiming Josh Fields. Never mind, he's still property of the Rockies.

Josh Wilson claimed on waivers. Wilson is a no hit/decent field SS, who can also play 2B/3B. Will be activated Friday, per Doug.

Morgan is also expected to be activated Friday, so I assume Boggs and one of the catchers will be spending their final off day in Milwaukee.

Josh Wilson is a decent defensive SS, and can't hit a lick. He's Luis Cruz, but not the idiot Cruz is, saying Macha is racist and the like.

He's RH hitting version of Counsell, without the OBP skills. I wonder if Craig has been playing at less than 100%, as while it's a nice depth signing, Wilson has little use day-to-day on the 25 man roster. Unless he's going to be used as a defensive replacement for Yuni, he'll do a lot of sitting.


5/25/2011 03:51:00 PM



(5/25/2011 02:29:00 PM) - Al

Hawkins in the 8th makes you wonder if Axford is not available after a lot of pitches in the 9th...less than 18 hours ago.


5/25/2011 02:29:00 PM



(5/25/2011 01:20:00 PM) - Al

It's amazing how everyone chooses to overlook Greinke's problems with men on base, when pitching from the set position, blaming it on bad luck, bunching hits together, and so on.

Some folks simply can't see the forest for the trees. When you are allowing a 700+ SLG%, you're not going to have much success, unless you only give up a single baserunner a game.


5/25/2011 01:20:00 PM



(5/25/2011 12:39:00 PM) - Al

There are more atoms in a glass of water than there are glasses of water in the oceans.

Honestly, I don't know if it's true or not, I saw it uncredited today. If it is, it does make you seriously question unnamed know-it-alls who insist they've figured out all there is to know about climate, weather, except if it's going to rain tomorrow.


5/25/2011 12:39:00 PM


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

(5/24/2011 10:12:00 PM) - Al

Why, you ask? It's because seniors don't need to use condoms to prevent pregnancy.

This is why when HIV and AIDS first made the news, so many thought it was limited to homosexuals...they rarely used protection before the AIDS epidemic hit.


5/24/2011 10:12:00 PM



(5/24/2011 10:10:00 PM) - Al

How is Lucroy still at 1B? Goodness.


5/24/2011 10:10:00 PM



(5/24/2011 10:07:00 PM) - Al

That's why you always send the runner home with two outs. Even if there's a 60% chance he'll be out, you gotta play the math...the next batter will probably get out.


5/24/2011 10:07:00 PM



(5/24/2011 09:23:00 PM) - Al

Palin has a film made for her coming out next month. I also saw an article about Rudy Giuliani wanting to run again today...he would skip Iowa and focus on New Hampshire.

Palin is a case you could study all day...still immensely popular, still pretty much the only candidate capable of getting a crowd to show up and to have them leave excited. She also has high negative ratings...though I wonder if those who show up on her minus side would vote for any GOP candidate. I've seen no less than a dozen folks clamoring for a Palin/Cain team, after Herman did so well in the debate they held a week or so ago.

The thing that I like about Palin is summed up perfectly by Dennis Miller, who famously said, "She irritates the right people." She's famously patriotic, has no problem speaking directly and without any $20 words (think of Obama, who instead of saying he'd raise taxes said he'd look at spending reductions in the tax code).

There are many who insist Palin could never win...to which I always wonder if they are familiar with the electoral college. She doesn't need to win a single vote in the arrogant Northeast, or the far-left West coast. She would carry the South and the other solidly red states. As with any GOP candidate, it would come down to the many swing states...off the top of my head, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Nevada, Colorado.

Also, there's a part of me that wonders why the left has attacked her so if they do not consider her a threat...I don't have an answer for that. She's well to the right of me politically, but I do love the way she works a room, and the compare/contrast of her directness versus Obama's aloof, can't be worried about the little things mentality, I'd love to see it.

Palin/Rudy? Heh, time will tell.


5/24/2011 09:23:00 PM



(5/24/2011 08:50:00 PM) - Al

Surprised to see Chris Meloni is leaving SVU. The amount of guys leaving successful TV drams and doing well elsewhere is a very short list.


5/24/2011 08:50:00 PM



(5/24/2011 08:45:00 PM) - Al

And you thought your job was bad.


5/24/2011 08:45:00 PM



(5/24/2011 08:38:00 PM) - Al

School district has trouble adding up class time to meet standards.

Hard to believe they're very good at teaching math either.


5/24/2011 08:38:00 PM



(5/24/2011 08:28:00 PM) - Al

Amazing that every one of Lucroy's throws are 6-8 feet too high, and no one mentions it, and teams aren't running wild on him. Anyone can steal on him now, as they can always slide in under the tag. If he is not injured, he's got serious issues.


5/24/2011 08:28:00 PM



(5/24/2011 08:16:00 PM) - Al

So, today I'm going to blow an easy call at 1B, and then compound my mistake as an overpaid union thug by throwing out the guy I messed up the call on.

Oh, the life of a MLB umpire.

And tomorrow, they'll be worse. Wait 'til it gets hot out.

Tie goers to the runner idiot. 4 weeks of vacation, 6 months of work. Egads.

Note, they can suck as much as they want, give no effort, and we can't get rid of them. Painful.


5/24/2011 08:16:00 PM



(5/24/2011 08:05:00 PM) - Al

Narveson decides it would be better to challenge guys 2-0 with the bases loaded than 0-0 with the bases empty. Results are predictable.

This is why he spent so many years at AAA.


5/24/2011 08:05:00 PM



(5/24/2011 06:42:00 PM) - Al

Administration adds position to squash negative press.

Heh. Considering the love affair the old media has with liberals, this is hilarious. And, pathetic. Shut up and lead.


5/24/2011 06:42:00 PM



(5/24/2011 06:17:00 PM) - Al

Nothing but jealousy of other country's leaders across the internet.

Imagine, patriotic, and not a single apology. Frat boy speechwriter may want to take notes...once he sobers up.


5/24/2011 06:17:00 PM



(5/24/2011 01:37:00 PM) - Al

Brewers add more half-price seats for Friday.

The lawn gnome promotion sounds like a huge hit...some hoarders took more than one, and this has resulted in tons of free publicity for the Crew, which hopefully will lead to more ticket sales. They should strike while the iron is hot, and send out e-mails for the next several days with a variety of deals.


5/24/2011 01:37:00 PM


Monday, May 23, 2011

(5/23/2011 11:12:00 PM) - Al

Nyjer Morgan will go to extended spring training and play Tuesday and Wednesday before returning Thursday for the off day in Milwaukee, and presumably will be activated soon thereafter.

The question is, Boggs or a catcher to make room for Morgan? Boggs has gone unclaimed twice on waivers, but can choose to leave as a free agent. Nieves or Rivera will also have to be exposed to waivers, and also would have the option of being a FA. I have no doubt Rivera would clear, and Doug said they did not feel Nieves would, that was one reason Kottaras was sent down instead.


5/23/2011 11:12:00 PM



(5/23/2011 10:01:00 PM) - Al

Dillard just threw an 86 mph "fastball," and a RH hitter drilled a triple down the RF line. My early feeling he was overmatched in the bigs based on his horrible numbers versus LH bats and lack of velocity have, sadly, not been alleviated.

I just can't believe the guy who threw 94 with a slider at 88/89 is somehow better off like this, a funky delivery topping out at 87.


5/23/2011 10:01:00 PM



(5/23/2011 08:34:00 PM) - Al

Reuters: national debt now $14.3T - in $1,000 bills, would be a stack more than 900 miles tall. Obama's solution: thinner currency.--Fred Thompson

Fred might need to enter the race just for his dry humor.


5/23/2011 08:34:00 PM



(5/23/2011 07:43:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling dog got his haircut today for the first time since before Xmas. He did not shed this time, usually, it starts falling out in fist size clumps. However, when he got wet, he did start to "smell like dog."

{Last Saturday, the Rambling niece visited from the Cities. She was sitting on the sofa next to Ronnie, and asked if she could switch spots with the Rambling son. I asked her if the strange dog made her nervous. She replied, "No, he stinks." Yes, it had rained Saturday morning.}

It's simply amazing that he used to be a sleek black and a bright white, complete contrast. Now, he's just different shades of gray.


5/23/2011 07:43:00 PM



(5/23/2011 07:22:00 PM) - Al

RHP Brandon Kintzler is latest Brewers pitcher to suffer setback on rehab program. He has been shut down again with more elbow discomfort.

That's why you need a ton of depth in pitching...the Brewers have six relievers on the DL, and have barely skipped a beat. That means they are currently have their 18th best pitcher on the 12 man staff...not many casuals look 18 deep and see if the team is going to be all right, to say the least.

Luckily, Doug does.


5/23/2011 07:22:00 PM



(5/23/2011 07:14:00 PM) - Al

Ron Roenicke said closer John Axford is off-limits tonight after pitching in three consecutive games and four of five.--JS

RR decides to be honest, of course, not much strategical edge, as they only have RH's out there.


5/23/2011 07:14:00 PM



(5/23/2011 04:58:00 PM) - Al

Parra does go on the 60 day DL.

Braddock's rehab outing canceled, cracked fingernail.

Almonte hit in face during batting practice...again.


5/23/2011 04:58:00 PM



(5/23/2011 04:54:00 PM) - Al

Herrera does go to AAA Nashville, meaning the Crew has a 40 man spot for him, but not a 25 man spot. I'm sure he'll spend some time in MIL, quite possibly when the Crew prepares for interleague play, as they probably go with some specialists, and not the "length" they need now.

Doug has said often he might bring up Gamel to DH during interleague, so I would think a Gamel/Herrera combo platter may well be in the offing in a couple weeks.


5/23/2011 04:54:00 PM



(5/23/2011 04:46:00 PM) - Al

Wow, an incredible .270/.284 line versus LH hitters for Herrera in his career. That's an effective loogy.

Nice pickup for $20K by Mr. Melvin. Considering that's about 18th round money in the June draft, that's some great results for the money.

RH's destroy him, so he's certainly not a Braddock type that can face both.


5/23/2011 04:46:00 PM



(5/23/2011 04:39:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers claim Danny Ray Herrera, a loogy from the Reds. I saw on MLBTR he has been claimed during lunch at the office, and I thought to myself, "Self, I bet that was the Brewers. Why wouldn't they?"

They have not announced it yet, because they need to open a spot on the 40 man roster, which I would guess they'll do by moving Parra to the 60 day DL or by eliminating the 3rd catcher...if Lucroy is healthy. Though he hit a HR the other night, it seems very odd they would play him 6 or 7 games in a row, and then sit him 2 out of 3. His throws to 2B have all been high as well, indicating some sort of possible pain if he follows through properly. Pain has a way of making you do things "easier"...which often does not work. More on Herrera in the next post, but it looks like they'll go from 0 lefties in the bullpen to 2 in a matter of days...unless they send DRH to AAA for depth.


5/23/2011 04:39:00 PM



(5/23/2011 05:41:00 AM) - Robert R.

I'm posting a new monthly column on the films of Akira Kurosawa over at Where the Long Tail Ends. You can view the first installment here.


5/23/2011 05:41:00 AM


Sunday, May 22, 2011

(5/22/2011 09:48:00 PM) - Al

Little ol' Edmonton almost has a $450M plan for a new arena in place.

It can be done. Note that no one in Milwaukee government has even put forth an idea, other than to say they suck at such things.

I'm telling you, you add up stuff like 30 years of naming rights, user fees, rental car/hotel room surcharge...you're almost there. MIL just needs a hero to step forward...Bud Selig isn't coming through that door like he did to push through Miller Park.

Estimates
Naming rights--$90M
User fees------120M ($2 per ticket sold)
Hotel tax increase-120M ($1 per room night)

I'm up to $330M, and I can't find any cities that list rental car info. For hotel room tax, I found that Durham, NC has about 2M nights paid for each year, and doubled it, since Milwaukee's population is about twice as large. Granted, some of these fees will be paid by locals, though most hotels and rental cars are tourism related. User fees are only fair, and I only included 150 events, NBA (15K average), Admirals (7K average), and about a concert a week (15K average)...however, the Bradley Center currently hosts far more.

Seriously, this is back of the envelope calculations, but this is how other cities pay for these arenas. It just takes some imagination, and prioritizing what's important to a vibrant city, one that includes pro sports. Granted, there will be minimal infrastructure costs for the city/county, though I think it beats having to figure out how to replace 1.5M visitors to the downtown annually.

This is the type of stuff Kevin Johnson, the mayor of Sacramento is dealing with trying to save the Kings. Will it be easy? Maybe not, hotels won't like it, car rental places either. The teams might even put up a fuss about having to add $2 to each ticket. Can they get $3M per year for naming rights...I think so, Target is paying $5M for the Twins' new ballpark. The thing is, who is going to step forward and do the legwork, to get the numbers to add up?


5/22/2011 09:48:00 PM



(5/22/2011 09:19:00 PM) - Al

Take Wolf, for example. The guy's stuff had been a nightmare his last three times out.--Mike Hunt, JS

Wolf's last start before today, he went 5 1/3 and gave up 2 runs.

There's an old saying, columnists are beat writers who don't bother checking facts anymore. Guys like Hunt are why. It's just amazing how horrible the average old media writer is.


5/22/2011 09:19:00 PM



(5/22/2011 06:58:00 PM) - Al

I agree with Ray Lewis, though most of the crime will be minor, petty stuff, though some will be domestic stuff, which sometimes becomes serious. As is, the NFL is on for about 10 hours every Sunday, so there will be lots more time for couples to argue, folks to complain about minor topics, and people wanting to spend money on various entertainment.

The other days won't have much impact, but to dismiss it, especially in lower class areas, is foolish. Not many football fans, males between 14 and 29, will choose to quietly read a book. Many will play video games and watch movies, but some will make bad decisions.

I'm sure this happens every year when school lets out for the summer as well.


5/22/2011 06:58:00 PM



(5/22/2011 03:47:00 PM) - Al

With the exception of the 2 out walk to Smith, up 2 in the 9th, almost a flawlessly played game by the Crew today. A weekend of close baseball, which usually means you are getting lucky if you are winning. When you're in a game in which a bloop single is better than a line drive, luck plays a large part in the close ones.


5/22/2011 03:47:00 PM



(5/22/2011 01:17:00 PM) - Al

Morgan out for rehab, Braddock to make a final appearance or two in the minors.


5/22/2011 01:17:00 PM



(5/22/2011 12:12:00 PM) - Al

250-300 Thrashers' fans showed up at the rally to save the team.

I misread the story the first time as "several thousand." I was mildly impressed. This is why their team will be playing in Manitoba next year.

I hate seeing any city lose a team. That said, a lack of support, from fans and from city/state government, has consequences.


5/22/2011 12:12:00 PM



(5/22/2011 11:56:00 AM) - Al

Bucks "may listen to offers" for Brandon Jennings.

I think they'd listen to offers for anyone, as would most every team. Jennings is inconsistent, and I worry about him being so slight...but he's also 21, and as good as anyone on the nights he's "on."

One thing however...it was easy to notice the defensive intensity and play when Jennings was out and Keyon Dooling played 30 minutes a game. As good as the defense was last year, with Jennings at best being mediocre, you do have to wonder how good they could have been with a better defender at the point.


5/22/2011 11:56:00 AM



(5/22/2011 11:47:00 AM) - Al

Overheard in line at the grocery store:

Customer--I need 5 bags of ice.

Cashier--Oh, are you headed up north?

Customer--No (disgusted tone). My husband had total hip replacement surgery. I've never gone through so much ice in my life. He's got some on him every second of the day.

Cashier--Oh.


Some gals don't exactly have Flo Nightengale's bedside manner.


5/22/2011 11:47:00 AM



(5/22/2011 11:30:00 AM) - Al

Not only did Marcum's 8 inning, 1 run start lead to a win, it also gave the bullpen a chance to rest after having to get 24 outs in the 14 inning affair Friday. Last night, the 'pen was basically Axford for an inning, Estrada for 1-2, and Dillard the rest of the night. Needless to say, that is not a recipe for success.

Today, most of the relief corps will be ready to go. As an added plus, Wolf is starting, so if Dillard follows him, he should have mostly RH's to face, as LH's hit him hard at AAA.


5/22/2011 11:30:00 AM



(5/22/2011 08:06:00 AM) - Robert R.

Movie review based on a preview screening.

Page One: A Year Inside the New York Times

As far as timeliness goes, Page One can't really be beat. Filmmaker Andrew Rossi spent a year inside the New York Times with unprecedented access during an extremely tumultous time for newspapers. During that time, he zeroed in on David Carr, the Times' chief media columnist, who's job involves covering things like Wikileaks, Twitter, and the bankruptcy of other newspapers to add some additional insight to what's going on. Much of that is certainly informative.

David Carr is a particularly interesting and entertaining individual. He's had his own battles in the past with addiction which he's overcome, he hardly looks or sounds like a new media reporter, and he swears like a sailor. He gives the documentary life and spices up every scene he's in. And he's sharp. At a debate, he takes a screen capture of a news aggregator's website and cuts out all the content the site got from sources like the Times, without paying, leaving a page of largely holes to make a point about how much the media still depends on what reporters do. It's a points like this that the documentary is strongest, when it shows the value of reporters and actual investigative journalism.

Otherwise, the movie is a mixed bag. Perhaps because of the access, the documentary gives the Times p.o.v. the last word on everything and allows it to dismiss the Judith Miller and Jason Blair as problems of previous leadership. While it may be true to an extent, it really seems thin justification that the culture that allowed it has really changed.

The lack of the perspective of time is also felt. The film basically concludes that the Times will make it out of this era still alive, but it's not entirely clear how other than the fact that there are a lot of good reporters on staff. The Wikileaks stuff is still mired in controversy and could very well be a mistake on the Times' part. Who knows the long term results of stuff like Ipads and a paywall at the Times? This could all be whistling past the graveyard.

In addition, the film never really gathers much momentum or builds to a climax. There's no turning point or crisis that's overcome, things grind on day to day, for a year. That's probably a good thing as far as keeping things reasonably grounded, but structurally it's problematic. The film starts in the middle of a crisis and ends in the middle of a crisis.

In the end, it's a mixed bag for me. An interesting story for certain, but it's hard to judge the film's conclusions in the moment. The people featured are all interesting and competent, but whether the larger structure they're part of can make a go of it is still an open question.

The trailer for the film can be viewed here.

Labels: ,



5/22/2011 08:06:00 AM



(5/22/2011 01:03:00 AM) - Al

Let's see, right, right, carry the two...oh damn it. How did I miss that? I'm never going to hear the end of this. I should have bought a calculator...Christ, they're $1 at the checkout. But no, just had to try the new Almond Joy pieces.--Harold Camping, discovering mathematical error and desire to try milk chocolate, coconut, and almonds in a crunchy candy shell is to blame for embarrassing incorrect prediction.

Almond Joy pieces...I understand.


5/22/2011 01:03:00 AM



(5/22/2011 12:23:00 AM) - Al

Reports are Mitch Daniels has told supporters he is not running. If true, I need a new front runner.


5/22/2011 12:23:00 AM


Saturday, May 21, 2011

(5/21/2011 06:25:00 PM) - Al

Just determined scientifically that the optimal amount of value to add to my MetroCard is $24.00.--Nate Silver

What a loon.


5/21/2011 06:25:00 PM



(5/21/2011 04:08:00 PM) - Al

Leuer was the third-tallest player in attendance at 6-10 without shoes and 6-11½ without shoes.

Normally, I'd say this might be a misprint, but since this is the end of the days, I think it is far more likely Jon has some sort of alien step-up feet.

By the way, I can't believe shoes add 1.5 inches to everyone's height. That means the difference between 5-11 and 6-1 is just a pair of Nikes.


5/21/2011 04:08:00 PM



(5/21/2011 03:24:00 PM) - Al

It's really a shame these idiots can't put on Nikes, drink some poison, and lie down, like good, polite cult members.

See, this is why I'm so damn anti-social. Now if you'll excuse me, it's nap time here in the world that's not ending.


5/21/2011 03:24:00 PM



(5/21/2011 03:15:00 PM) - Al

Tyler Barnes sends out tonight's lineup. It's the regular version.

I was expecting to see Kotsay in RF.


5/21/2011 03:15:00 PM



(5/21/2011 03:04:00 PM) - Al

Greinke also has a .364/.727 line with men on base, which makes his struggles appear terrible from the stretch. When you can't get guys out with runners already on, your numbers are going to be horrible.

His stuff looks good, but he consistently allows big innings. When you do that, your ERA is going to be 5 or 6...just like his is. Hopefully, his control in the zone will get better as he throws more...he's probably still in early April. However, all that talent and to be sucking with men on, as well as still struggling to get through 6-7 frames...his results are nowhere near where they should be.

He's known as being a unique guy...which is fine as long as you're producing. As is, he's a unique guy who is making a fortune and still off in his own little world. Time to get with it.


5/21/2011 03:04:00 PM



(5/21/2011 02:53:00 PM) - Al

Greinke apologists insist he'll be fine because he has a 29-2 K/BB ratio. Unfortunately, he has also allowed 15 XBH's in 21 innings, which is why he has a .576 SLGA. He's had location problems, probably caused by concentration lapses. Maybe that will go away, but when you can't keep your mind on your job when you work three hours every five days, it's not a good sign. When you're giving up blasts, balls off the wall, over the wall, and the like, you are making horrible pitches.

He's turned the average hitter into a guy with Pujols/Fielder type power. He's shown he can throw strikes, now he needs to go back to making quality strikes. Regardless of his BB/K ratio, if he continues to allow the league to SLG almost .600 off him, he'll continue to underachieve.


5/21/2011 02:53:00 PM



(5/21/2011 02:48:00 PM) - Al

Last year, the Brewers were just about exactly average on defense. All offseason, I read casuals say they would be horrible...that made no sense to me, as 7 of 8 position players would be the same, and the Betancourt/Escobar swap would be about -10 runs, based on career averages. But, there's no reasoning with some people.

So, right now, the Crew is +7 UZR...or almost exactly average except for Carlos Gomez, who is +7.3 all by himself, because he's an astoundingly good defender.


5/21/2011 02:48:00 PM



(5/21/2011 02:04:00 PM) - Al

Gary Carter has several small tumors near his brain.


5/21/2011 02:04:00 PM



(5/21/2011 01:39:00 PM) - Al

I hope she's able to find something in her price range...from what I hear, when you list "infinity" on Rent.com, it's mighty slim pickins.


5/21/2011 01:39:00 PM



(5/21/2011 01:31:00 PM) - Al

I am shocked, hurt and outraged that my husband behaved exactly like every other male in my family.--fake Maria Shriver quote by Jim Norton

It's why women that grew up in an abusive household marry men who abuse them.


5/21/2011 01:31:00 PM



(5/21/2011 01:17:00 PM) - Al

As if the end of the world prediction isn't scientifically lacking enough, I just read the fool said it will end at 6PM in every time zone.

Personally, I doubt the end of mankind would follow artificial, and in some cases, nearly random boundaries.


5/21/2011 01:17:00 PM



(5/21/2011 01:15:00 PM) - Al

Nyjer Morgan seems to think he'll be going to rehab soon, says he'll be updating everyone on his status.


5/21/2011 01:15:00 PM



(5/21/2011 12:50:00 PM) - Al

The Thrashers are bound for Winnipeg, but they are still holding a season ticket seat choosing party in ATL today.

That's about as awkward as if Maria and Ahnold hosted a "keeping your marriage together" seminar.


5/21/2011 12:50:00 PM



(5/21/2011 11:10:00 AM) - Al

Reason tags along to a union protest in California, and the ideas are either false or, stop me if you've heard this before, raise taxes to pay well compensated teachers more.

They blame the Republican minority, because the Dems control both houses and the governor's office. Why? Don't know, but it is difficult to believe how ignorant these people are, totally oblivious to how things work. Fewer kids in school, class sizes going down...so we need to pay teachers more, and take more money from the taxpayer?

Bizarro world.


5/21/2011 11:10:00 AM



(5/21/2011 10:59:00 AM) - Al

Chris Christie lowers taxes, keeps the wealthy in his state, and adds more money to the tax coffers.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go clean up DC, where several liberal heads just exploded. Tax and spend doesn't work.

Who would have thought we'd have a president that insists on bringing back 80's economic policy...but emulates Carter's, not Reagan's.


5/21/2011 10:59:00 AM



(5/21/2011 10:54:00 AM) - Al

These fools and their end of the world talk (and the old media's let's put it on the front page silliness) has all but pushed Armed Forces Day into nonexistence. I'd say it was a conspiracy, but I don't think anyone conspired to make the old media out of touch.

If you are serving, or have served, thank you.


5/21/2011 10:54:00 AM



(5/21/2011 10:42:00 AM) - Al

The Crew will be short in the bullpen tonight, with no one available on the 40 man to be a realistic temporary callup. Marcum rarely goes over 7 innings, so someone will have to pitch even though they probably should be resting.

One short-term option might be to transfer Manny Parra to the 60 day DL, as he looks to be a couple weeks from returning, which does not count against the 40 man limit. Zach Braddock could return soon too. Justin James left Nashville due to a family illness, so a quick swap involving him is not possible.


5/21/2011 10:42:00 AM



(5/21/2011 01:05:00 AM) - Al

One of my Facebook friends keeps referring to herself and her hubby as "mom and dad" to their dog.

I realize these people have no children, and I adore my dog too. But, please, quit being a cliche.

While you're at it, if you put clothing on your dog, you're an incredible idiot.


5/21/2011 01:05:00 AM



(5/21/2011 12:40:00 AM) - Al

Prince hit that ball so far...it would have almost made the warning track in SD.


5/21/2011 12:40:00 AM


Friday, May 20, 2011

(5/20/2011 11:38:00 PM) - Al

Top ten taxpayer problems...leeches that suck up overtime.

Ban overtime...end of problem. Think of worried about some prisoner not getting the proper attention...he's in prison, he'll still be there tomorrow. Who the hell cares?

This has been allowed to go on when the taxpayers were looked at as a bank account. Those days have passed.


5/20/2011 11:38:00 PM



(5/20/2011 11:35:00 PM) - Al

Thanks again for blowing that call, blue.

No hustle, no clue, no inkling of guilt...must be nice to be him.


5/20/2011 11:35:00 PM



(5/20/2011 11:27:00 PM) - Al

Home plate ump gettin tired, has missed two strikes in the 14th already.

So overworked.


5/20/2011 11:27:00 PM



(5/20/2011 11:15:00 PM) - Al

Let's see if the 2B ump takes this one away.


5/20/2011 11:15:00 PM



(5/20/2011 11:11:00 PM) - Al

Hard to believe that recount took so long, considering the technology they had to work with.

Great googily moogily.

Oh, and Klop isn't sure what to do now. I have a couple suggestions, but I'm not 100% certain my foot will fit...


5/20/2011 11:11:00 PM



(5/20/2011 10:47:00 PM) - Al

Hey, he got that Gomez catch right.

50% = keeps job for life, including a Thurston Howell sized pension.

That's fair.

UPDATE: Correctly calls Morales ball safe. Now 2-3...this guy is a machine!

Wait 'til it gets hot out.

And tomorrow, they'll be worse.


5/20/2011 10:47:00 PM



(5/20/2011 10:43:00 PM) - Al

I don't know what we would do if we didn't have these highly paid, 4 weeks of vacation for working 6 months a year thugs...I mean, can you imagine having to tolerate blown calls EVERY SINGLE GAME?

Egads.

If I saw it, and Bill S saw it...how did that fool not see it?


5/20/2011 10:43:00 PM



(5/20/2011 10:39:00 PM) - Al

Another blown call, lazy umpire never even pretends to get in position.

I saw it live, just like Bill S. Incredibly inept, tenured union member...does not. How do these guys manage to miss these calls every single day?


5/20/2011 10:39:00 PM



(5/20/2011 10:00:00 PM) - Al

How do these clowns have a job?

After they fire him, he should spend a couple years in prison for making thrhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifeats against a public official. I wouldn't hire this buffoon to tell another union thug he's a frickin' idiot.


5/20/2011 10:00:00 PM



(5/20/2011 06:28:00 PM) - Al

The answer to this conundrum is simple...people defended Meghan McCain because she's young and blonde, and while she's far from thin, it's difficult to not smile when you describe her as "curvy," "busty," or whatever adjective you choose.

Meanwhile, Arnold's "other woman" is older and knowingly slept with a married man. There's no smile on your face when you say that.


5/20/2011 06:28:00 PM



(5/20/2011 05:33:00 PM) - Al

This may be the quietest reporting of a monumental waste of taxpayer money in history.

Allow me to say I am shocked, shocked, that Klop only picked up 300 votes, and is still down by 7K.

It's not just a huge loss for unions, it's a huge victory for common sense. As I have said, the state should send Klop and the union the bill, and while they have no legal recourse, they can sure publicize it through TV and radio. You can't throw $1M away in today's culture. The days of Doyle handing out cash to every thug that came to the door are long gone.


5/20/2011 05:33:00 PM



(5/20/2011 05:25:00 PM) - Al

I missed the voter ID bill being passed, though I had a good laugh at the Dems who decided that not voting was more gutsy than voting against it. Why don't you just run away out of state?

It certainly is no problem for 99% of the public to show ID to vote...though it is for people who vote fraudulently, or more than once, or in both addresses (college and permanent). There is little doubt which party gets the vast majority of these votes, and I have no problem making it far more difficult for people to cheat.


5/20/2011 05:25:00 PM



(5/20/2011 05:18:00 PM) - Al

The LA Times feels Christie just wants to be courted into the presidential race.

I think Mitch Daniels is Christie, minus the humor and personality, but let's be blunt, in a world where Obama can be elected on a catchphrase and no specifics whatsoever, it's all about the personality.


5/20/2011 05:18:00 PM



(5/20/2011 04:58:00 PM) - Al

Mayhem checks in to say it's nice to see a guy like Brandon Phillips show up at a kid's Little League game after he was invited via Twitter.

Most MLB players are good people, though I'm sure many get jaded by the crap they see and put up with.


5/20/2011 04:58:00 PM



(5/20/2011 04:28:00 PM) - Al

Tonight's Brewers lineup: 2B Weeks, RF Hart, LF Braun, 1B Fielder, 3B McGehee, SS Betancourt, C Rivera, CF Gomez, P Greinke

Gotta wonder if Lucroy's hand is bothering him, and if Nieves is healthy, as it seemed odd for Lucroy to play every game of the road trip.


5/20/2011 04:28:00 PM



(5/20/2011 11:45:00 AM) - Al

Word is Randy Savage died. Apparently, some sort of wrestler.

I wouldn't know, my brain functions normally.

EDIT: I now know who he is...the Slim Jim guy. If you wrote in to complain, sorry, don't know or care about any pro wrestlers. No offense, but it's just really stupid.


5/20/2011 11:45:00 AM



(5/20/2011 11:29:00 AM) - Al

I grew up in Winnipeg, and had just moved back in the summer of '96, the same year the Jets left town...and needless to say I knew a lot of people in their 20's who were heartbroken, never mind the kids. I was a Flames fan, so was not as upset as most, but I sure did miss the opportunity to watch live NHL games. And the city took it harder than most would, as Winnipeg is not the most enjoyable place from Oct-Apr.

That said, in response to your statement regarding the future of the Moose, there is almost a zero chance that they would survive in conjunction with the "Jets" (still to be named). Winnipeg has a metro area population of approximately 750,000 and has had very little growth over the last 30 years. I would suggest that the NHL team alone (if it does happen) will be hard pressed to survive in that market long-term, with almost no chance to prosper. As mentioned it is a small city, and it is not an overly affluent population. It is a very working-class, blue collar town with minimal corporate presence, and there is not a lot of disposable income to spend on today`s NHL ticket prices. When I was in high school, we used to buy $6 tickets at the 7-11 for high end zone seats (awful seats, but a great value)....I doubt that option will be available with today`s salaries. And one of the great misconceptions about the previous Jets is that they drew well. In a 15,250 seat arena, they averaged about 12,500-13,500 per game overall. And that was when a premium seat might cost $50. See http://winnipegjets.org/winnipeg-jets-attendance

I would love to see them back and do well financially, but I am very skeptical that an NHL team could work there, not to mention 2 teams. I hope I`m wrong, as there are a lot of excited Winnipeggers right now, but we`ll see.

Jeff R
Edmonton, AB


The NHL is pretty much a "butts in the seat" league, and they just signed a new TV deal, so Winnipeg's lack of population will not matter to the league. I assume Winnipeg will get far less local media money than Chicago, New York, and so on. A far greater problem long-term is the weak Canadian dollar, which right now is equal to the US dollar, but historically, will be worth far less.

My thought about the two teams is that minor league teams are usually not followed by the same fans as major league clubs. Studies have shown minor league fans almost always live within 30 minutes of the home team, while it is nothing for a team like the Bucks, Brewers, and especially the Packers to draw 20-25% of the crowd from an hour's drive or more away. There's the obvious monetary difference...the NHL team will have an average ticket price of $40-60, the AHL club about $20. The NHL club will have to sellout most every game, and maybe look to expand the 15K arena, the Moose play to houses of 5-7K, with an occasional 10K+ turnout for a promotion. They are different beasts. However, the thought about Winnipeg being less than 1M, while Chicago's two teams have a far greater population to draw from are valid.

I still think it could work for a year or two, as hockey fever will be strong with the return of the NHL. Long term, probably not.


5/20/2011 11:29:00 AM



(5/20/2011 12:20:00 AM) - Al

The Rambling brother mentions I should say I worked part-time for him on the farm that summer (which we figured out was '91). What else do I recall from that summer?

--After softball most nights, I would watch Carson (kids, ask your parents) and Letterman until 12, and then watch Star Trek TNG, and go to bed at 1. I usually got up about 7:45, and I never recall napping the entire summer.

--How did I figure out it was '91...I recall going to Madison one day and seeing Naked Gun 2 and Terminator 2.

--That was a great summer. I haven't done it since because I started working at TRU the next summer, and worked 60+ hours a week for the next four years...often, when going to college. No wonder I sucked at school.

--And of course, if I dove for a ball now, the noises I'd make getting up would scare children in the stands.


5/20/2011 12:20:00 AM



(5/20/2011 12:06:00 AM) - Al

In this nanny state land, I can't believe pressure cookers are still allowed. You read about accidents and danger on survival, prepper sites (which admittedly, I read 95% for laughs,http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif but once in a while, knowledge and interesting links do come from them) every time the subject comes up.


5/20/2011 12:06:00 AM


Thursday, May 19, 2011

(5/19/2011 11:44:00 PM) - Al

Amazing pictures of homemade dams...amazing what some desire and heavy equipment can do when it's your house in jeopardy.


5/19/2011 11:44:00 PM



(5/19/2011 11:35:00 PM) - Al

As usual in a close game, the team that's able to bloop one in wins. They're more about luck than skill.


5/19/2011 11:35:00 PM



(5/19/2011 11:30:00 PM) - Al

Estrada tried hurrying his delivery, and all of Lucroy's throws to 2B are six feet too high. They never had a prayer with a runner of plus speed on 1B.


5/19/2011 11:30:00 PM



(5/19/2011 10:39:00 PM) - Al

Mike Hunt thinks the fact someone mentioned replacing the Bradley Center is a positive.

I'm not sure whether he's just a nutty optimist or just plain nutty. I've mentioned several painless solutions...naming rights and hiking hotel/rental car fees would have an evil corporation and mostly tourists paying for much of it, and dare I say, getting the Potawatami involved somehow would have made perfect sense before they expanded a few years back, but that would have required forward thinking...never going to see that in a city filled with abandoned warehouses and factories...apparently hoping the 1960's return, along with Hamms being a market leader.


5/19/2011 10:39:00 PM



(5/19/2011 10:28:00 PM) - Al

Surprised to see Dillard up in a 0-0 game...no offense, he's a far better pitcher than I am, but he's basically a generic middle reliever...in AAA.

EDIT: Taking a gander at who pitched yesterday and Tuesday, I see Axford in the 9th, Loe in the 8th, and Dillard before, unless they want to run Estrada or Hawkins out back-to-back, or Mitre/McClendon, though they both pitched Monday.

So, Narveson, just keep pitching my friend.


5/19/2011 10:28:00 PM



(5/19/2011 10:18:00 PM) - Al

Braun is the one guy on the team the Crew can't afford to lose for any extended length of time...while Prince would be a blow, even Gamel's career numbers would only be a drop off of a run or two a week, and I think he'd best those.

Prince--.384/.535, 113 simple runs created
Gamel---.335/.414, 76 src

That's 37 runs a season, so about 4 wins over 162...assuming Mat would not be an upgrade over Fielder in the field.

Offhand, I don't even know who would replace Braun...a platoon of Kotsay and Boggs? Gamel played there some last year. Caleb Gindl is doing fine in AAA. Needless to say, those alternatives all suck.


5/19/2011 10:18:00 PM



(5/19/2011 09:53:00 PM) - Al

I wouldn't want to stand at 2B if I weighed 150 pounds like Escobar either.

I always weighed 200+ when I played 2B/SS in softball (oh, perhaps 190 when I was 17-18, oh, those were the days) and I never recall taking a hard slide that hurt...I do recall a couple times I kind of braced myself after the throw, and some guy slid into me and then stayed on the ground in pain. I guess I was like hitting a wall.:) One guy actually hit my leg and twisted his ankle, and had to catch the rest of the game, as his team did not have extra players. I remember him telling his teammate he must have hit the base, but I know he never made it to the base, hit me right in the ankle/calf, and his slide just ended, he kind of folded up and fell off to the side. Must have hit me solid.

If that happened to me today, I'd probably swell up like a balloon and miss work for a week. Then, I recall a small bruise, but I can't say it hurt for more than a second.

What's funny is, a few years later, I sprained my foot running to 1B, as the sandy fields in Altoona just gave way under me, and to be honest, I haven't been the same since. I still can't stand on a ladder, and the top of my foot still swells when I'm on it more than usual. I played another season after that, but I was a shell of my former self, and for a guy like me, who was very smart and had great hands, and still was just maybe slightly above average...you can't be anything but sucky when you're playing hurt. A couple years later, the store director who I had played with in Eau Claire told his associates how good I was (I was told he said, "You'd never believe how good Al is,")...sadly, I told them I had got hurt, and didn't want to risk reinjuring it...I think they thought he was joking.


5/19/2011 09:53:00 PM



(5/19/2011 09:47:00 PM) - Al

Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox are nearing a trade for Franklin Morales.

Abraham is providing no further details and the deal is not being reported by another outlet, but the 2011 season's first big trade could be close. Morales, 25, has posted a 3.86 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in 14 innings this season out of the Rockies' bullpen. He also has the ability to start.--Rotoworld


Some rumors of the Crew having interest, and many on the message boards saying Morales wasn't good enough. Heh, but he's OK for the Red Sox.:)


5/19/2011 09:47:00 PM



(5/19/2011 09:43:00 PM) - Al

High school football gone wrong.

Goodness gracious.

Oof.


5/19/2011 09:43:00 PM



(5/19/2011 08:39:00 PM) - Al

Unless we have a "Dewey beats Truman" moment, it would appear Winnipeg has an NHL team again. I love the fact that they do, but as I said, I sure wish it did not mean someone else was losing their thttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifeam. Atlanta probably will barely miss the Thrashers, but I can only imagine the heartbreak of some 6-11 year-olds who had posters and pennants up in their room and several pieces of clothing with their logo.

EDIT: Reading Twitter shows you how many casual Jets' fans there are...one said they are getting the Atlanta Slashers, another just asked what happens to ATL's players? Heh. Great to see a tradition renewed. Sadly, the Coyotes (the Phoenix NHL franchise, which is where the Jets moved in the mid-90's) will likely have a new home in a year or two as well, unless the city of Glendale, AZ agrees to cover their losses for several seasons.

EDIT 2: Also, about 500 people are asking what happens to the Moose, Winnipeg's minor league team. Granted, both could probably survive, at least for a while, as Chicago has an NHL and AHL team, and the Atlanta Braves' AAA team is in an Atlanta suburb. Many think the new team will be called the Moose, so that would be confusing.:)


5/19/2011 08:39:00 PM



(5/19/2011 08:06:00 PM) - Al

Because Brewers won't get back to Milwaukee until around 6 a.m., Friday starter Zack Greinke and Sat. starter Shaun Marcum went back today.--JS

Nothing wrong with that. Not sure if they did not publicize this in the past or what, but I never recall hearing about this with the Brewers, though it is common place in MLB.

I've said for years that I wish MLB had a 27 man roster, with 24-25 active each game...obviously, most teams would choose to have yesterday's and tomorrow's SP as two of the non-active players, which would mean most teams would have an extra reliever and an extra bench guy, which I like, but some do not...they do not like "specialists" and the like. I do, because for the most part, they are cheap and plentiful...basically, it's just as easy for MIL to find a cheap reliever, speedy guy for the bench, and so on, as it is BOS or NY.


5/19/2011 08:06:00 PM



(5/19/2011 06:38:00 PM) - Al

Ted Rall, the idiot who called Pat Tillman an idiot for volunteering for the Army, can't find anyone to publish his anti-Obama drivel.
http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif
AS Glenn points out, the guy has been an embarrassment forever, so it isn't because his work sucks.


5/19/2011 06:38:00 PM



(5/19/2011 06:33:00 PM) - Al

Tonight's Brewers lineup: 2B Weeks, RF Hart, LF Braun, 1B Fielder, 3B McGehee, CF Kotsay, C Lucroy, SS Counsell, P Narveson

I would have expected Nieves to play as well.


5/19/2011 06:33:00 PM



(5/19/2011 06:05:00 PM) - Al

Trying to figure out where/when to travel this summer. Would love to go for a 3 month tour of the world. May spin the globe and pick a spot.--Brett Valentyn, former Badgers' 3 point specialist

Ah, the problems of the idle rich. Cabin in the Hamptons, or company villa in Spain?

I certainly don't begrudge Valentyn his family's wealth (his dad is Bo Ryan's agent). I took a summer off when I was in college, lived at home and played softball, it was great. He should realize though that his ponderings come off as elitist.


5/19/2011 06:05:00 PM



(5/19/2011 12:51:00 AM) - Al

Mark Rogers to make several starts in high A and AA, hopefully return to AAA then.

I was surprised they didn't just have him pitch in extended spring training, where it's always warm and such. Granted, minor league results mean nothing (though the Brewers pretend they do, it makes the affiliates feel better), but Rogers needs to be healthy to have success.


5/19/2011 12:51:00 AM



(5/19/2011 12:43:00 AM) - Al

Milwaukee businessman suggests extending Miller Park tax to build a new Bucks' facility.

Wow, an idea comes forth, and it is are not related to the city or the county of Milwaukee. Shocking. That has to be the biggest do nothing government in the history of the world.


5/19/2011 12:43:00 AM



(5/19/2011 12:36:00 AM) - Al

Have to see if they choose to rest a couple regulars tomorrow night, before a 6AM arrival in Milwaukee Friday morning. I would assume Braun, Fielder, and Weeks will play, as they always do, but wouldn't be surprised at all to see Counsell, Kotsay, Boggs, and/or Nieves in there.

Harang does not have a platoon split, but I would figure it would be a nice time to give a night off.


5/19/2011 12:36:00 AM


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

(5/18/2011 08:28:00 PM) - Al

Union power is not just on the decline, it's a dinosaur.


5/18/2011 08:28:00 PM



(5/18/2011 05:57:00 PM) - Al

Kotsay in CF tonight...strange for Petco, which has a vast CF.


5/18/2011 05:57:00 PM



(5/18/2011 05:53:00 PM) - Al

"Raise your son to be a catcher," advises Gammons, as many teams around baseball in addition to the Red Sox are getting no production at the position. The average American League catcher is hitting .224/.294/.361 this year.--MLBTR

I said with the current state of catching, I'd take a catcher or two in the June draft every year in the first ten rounds. How bad is that catching line? It makes Mike Rivera's MLB production very close to "average."


5/18/2011 05:53:00 PM



(5/18/2011 04:31:00 PM) - Al

The Rockies are "expected to continue measuring trade interest" in hard-throwing pitchers Felipe Paulino and Franklin Morales, reports Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post. At least one NL Central team has expressed interest in Morales, he adds. Both pitchers are out of options, so the Rockies can't demote them without exposing them to waivers...

...Morales, 25, was considered the eighth best prospect in all of baseball prior to the 2008 season, according to Baseball America. He has a higher profile than Paulino, having made a couple of playoff starts in '07 and served as the Rockies' closer at times. There might be five or six lefties in the Majors who throw harder than Morales.---MLBTR


Morales is a lefty, and his numbers versus LH hitters are almost identical to Mitch Stetter...but his stats versus RH bats are slightly worse. Hence, as a loogy with some ceiling, he is a good bet, as a set-up man, he's lacking. Southpaws that throw hard come with a premium, so he would not be cheap...though his lack of options may limit his value.

UPDATE: Morales throws his fastball at an average of 94 this year and last. Hard to believe rightys hit him so hard.


5/18/2011 04:31:00 PM



(5/18/2011 02:42:00 PM) - Al

SI looks at the rivalry between Portland and Seattle (with an appearance by Vancouver) in the MLS, the quietest success story in sports.


5/18/2011 02:42:00 PM


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

(5/17/2011 11:11:00 PM) - Al

How is it possible for umps to miss calls that badly even if they are barely trying? I mean, a foot outside is now a strike?


5/17/2011 11:11:00 PM



(5/17/2011 11:00:00 PM) - Al

The stuff about dogs and owners looking alike...fake.


5/17/2011 11:00:00 PM



(5/17/2011 10:50:00 PM) - Al

That last pitch almost bounced in the dirt...still called a strike.

Can't concentrate for two hours. Overpaid, underworked, and awful.


5/17/2011 10:50:00 PM



(5/17/2011 10:21:00 PM) - Al

The Westboro Baptist Church wackos protested Lisa Lampenelli's show.

Wouldn't it be cool to have that happen?


5/17/2011 10:21:00 PM



(5/17/2011 10:18:00 PM) - Al

The nanny state is alive and well, my friends. It's difficult to believe how much time politicians waste trying to control what consenting adults do in the privacy of their own home. Note, this is extreme far-left MA.


5/17/2011 10:18:00 PM



(5/17/2011 10:10:00 PM) - Al

Liberalism has become a cargo cult to the New Deal, but many of the achievements of the New Deal would be impossible now. Just try to get a Hoover Dam built today.--Jonah Goldberg

Read the whole thing.

Can you imagine? It will upset the spotted blue carp's natural habitat. Why do you think there hasn't been a refinery built in 40 years? Where are the new nuclear facilities? The left despises business and loves the treehuggers...if only there were union treehuggers.


5/17/2011 10:10:00 PM



(5/17/2011 09:16:00 PM) - Al

I have two painful blisters from mowing lawn today.

I asked the docs who wrote those fake excuses for the union to help me out, and they told me to go to hell.

Hippocratic oath? Heh. Hypocrite's oath? Maybe.


5/17/2011 09:16:00 PM



(5/17/2011 09:14:00 PM) - Al

Hart smacking the ball of late. He's probably at about 90%.


5/17/2011 09:14:00 PM



(5/17/2011 09:13:00 PM) - Al

Kuroda in top 5 of NL in many SP categories.


5/17/2011 09:13:00 PM



(5/17/2011 09:11:00 PM) - Al

Despite excellent outing in Appleton tonight, Roenicke acts like Braddock will need another rehab outing. Sleep problem being managed, not cured.


5/17/2011 09:11:00 PM



(5/17/2011 07:53:00 PM) - Al

The Bucks pick 10th, where they would have picked without a lottery. Cavs, Wolves, and Jazz get top three.


5/17/2011 07:53:00 PM



(5/17/2011 06:10:00 PM) - Al

The Atlanta Thrashers of the NHL may be sold and moving to Winnipeg.

I felt terrible when Winnipeg lost the Jets...their fans dressed in all white for their final games, and many tears were seen as the team left the ice and headed for Phoenix. I just checked, that was back in '96, hard to believe.

The Thrashers were 3rd from the bottom in attendance last year, averaging about 13500 per outing. Always sad to see a city lose a team, even one that is not supported very well.


5/17/2011 06:10:00 PM



(5/17/2011 04:58:00 PM) - Al

I've been saying for 5 years that after the first couple gay athletes "come out," no one will even mention it. Barkley seems to agree, and says he's played with guys that were assumed to be gay.

I'm surprised it has taken so long. No one wants to be "the first" I guess. As Charales says, give me a gay guy that can outplay a straight guy anytime.


5/17/2011 04:58:00 PM



(5/17/2011 04:52:00 PM) - Al

Simply off-the-charts. Klop tried to get all Brookfield votes thrown out...because she did not like the results.

This woman and the protests have count WI about $10M, and neither has a clue.


5/17/2011 04:52:00 PM



(5/17/2011 04:43:00 PM) - Al

Obamacare waivers seem to be hitting the Pelosi and Reid areas especially hard.

If it was fiction, no one would believe it. It is both hilarious and incredibly sad and inept.


5/17/2011 04:43:00 PM



(5/17/2011 04:02:00 PM) - Al

Paul Ryan decides not to give up his leadership position in the House. Most folks expected this...it would have been a demotion of sorts. Who will end up challenging Feingold, or maybe Tom Barrett? The early names are JB Hollen and Sean Duffy, though I also think the similarity between Russ Johnson and Tim Sullivan is astounding. Tommy Thompson also may run.


5/17/2011 04:02:00 PM



(5/17/2011 03:10:00 PM) - Al

Al -

Loved your take on Estrada during spring training...it seems like you were one of the few predicting his success at the ML level this season...what an asset he has been so far.

On Rivera being brought up...do you think it's possible they're bringing him up on a "trial" basis - to see if he can outperform Nieves, and if so, then Nieves is expendable via trade or simply waivers. Small sample size, but Nieves is putting up .162/.225/.216 numbers so far...you have to think Rivera is better than that. I know Roenicke loves Nieves' defense and Melvin says the move won't affect the catching situation, but reading between the lines...

Also, what's your take on Gomez batting in the two-hole? Hauricourt peppered Roenicke with Gomez questions during the presser last night and it seems like it might make sense to swap Gomez and Lucroy while Lucroy rides out this hot-streak...though I suppose you wouldn't want to put extra pressure on our young backstop by putting him the two-hole...

Kevin


I think Kotteras is a far better choice than Rivera if they would look to replace Nieves. Doug, Ron, and everyone with access to Baseball Reference was well aware Nieves hit like a backup catcher when he was signed.

Estrada is a solid AAA pitcher who seems to have "found something" the past two seasons in MIL. He's a little guy, so he's unlikely to have long periods of good health, but we can hope. He is not a guy to count on to give you 200 innings, but as a reliever and spot starter, he's a fine choice, especially considering his minimum salary and options remaining (if he ever needs to go 6 frames due to injury or ineffectiveness, he can be sent down for 10 days to rest and refresh the bullpen).

I don't worry about batting order...even a horrendous, backwards one barely makes 5% difference over the course of 162 (about 30-40 runs, and that's with the pitcher batting 3rd and Braun hitting 9th), so one guy here or there means next to nothing. That said, I'm all for Gomez hitting 9th, where his speed allows him to score on base hits by the top of the order.


5/17/2011 03:10:00 PM



(5/17/2011 02:44:00 PM) - Al

Each place has its own advantages - heaven for climate, and hell for society.--Mark Twain

If Twain were alive today, I have to wonder if he'd be beside himself with anger at the government slowly stripping away an individual's rights, or the relentless mocking his continually wearing a white suit would bring.


5/17/2011 02:44:00 PM



(5/17/2011 02:41:00 PM) - Al

Obama is winning the "war on fun."

The nanny state is alive and well in DC. It's embarrassing to those of us who love and cherish freedom.


5/17/2011 02:41:00 PM



(5/17/2011 01:24:00 PM) - Al

I'm probably most surprised by Sean Green's DFA, though Green's ceiling is as a roogy/decent middle reliever...no higher than McClendon's, for example.

The bullpen will be without a LHP until Braddock returns, most likely Friday. That said, in Dodger Stadium and Petco Park, worrying about a lefty power hitter is lessened. Loogys tend to be easy to find, but good ones are not...partially due to the small sample world relievers live in...a bad outing can ruin their numbers for weeks, even months.

Also, I see the need for a RH bat on the bench, but Mike Rivera? He can always take a hanging curve or 2-0 grooved fastball and ride them out of the park...but so can most any AAA hitter with some pop. I would have thought Eric Farris...a speedy RH hitter who is already on the 40, may have been the choice. He lacks Rivera's power, but Mike is a .302/.373 hitter (.304/.456 in AAA)...his only real positive is the ability to hit an occasional round tripper. However, no one in Nashville both bats RH and is putting up good numbers...OF Brendan Katin has 10 HR's, so he was probably the only other option, and he is playing through an injury of some sort. Katin is 28, and despite good power, is not considered more than a marginal prospect, at best.

Considering the move is probably brief and will have minimal impact (we are talking about the 25th roster spot here), I've probably already put too much thought into this.


5/17/2011 01:24:00 PM



(5/17/2011 01:21:00 PM) - Al

You would think Maria Shriver would be used to such things, as many Kennedy males have not even bothered trying to hide their philandering.

Arnold's persona has always been somewhat bigger than life...this may even help him as he returns to making eight figures a movie.


5/17/2011 01:21:00 PM



(5/17/2011 12:44:00 PM) - Al

Stetter goes to the DL with a hip injury, Mike Rivera called up to have a RH bench bat, and Sean Green DFA'd off the 40 man to make room for Rivera.

Back with thoughts after lunch.


5/17/2011 12:44:00 PM



(5/17/2011 12:31:00 AM) - Al

I'm sure this is what Doug envisioned last winter, when he put together the rotation.

I bet many casual bloggers are wondering why Tim Dillard wasn't brought in to pitch the 8th...after all, Loe had pitched two days in a row. I have nothing against Dillard, who is a mediocre AAA reliever, who might be effective as a mop-up man or if used predominantly versus RH bats. It is amazing, however, how many people want a guy who was used in mid-long relief in Nashville to pitch in high leverage situations.

Heck, my money is strongly on Dillard feeling his best chance to stick around is never having to pitch.:)

Braddock would have returned either tonight or tomorrow, but he'll remain on rehab to avoid having to return at 6AM Friday morning and report to the ballpark a few hours later...not setting up a sleep disorder player for success, to say the least. Who he'll replace...you could argue Stetter has been ineffective, though LH's have still just reached 5 of 23 PA's...hey, we know he can't get RH's out. Stetter is rarely asked to face a RH bat, except when up or down several runs, when the nearly inevitable damage is hardly game changing.


5/17/2011 12:31:00 AM


Monday, May 16, 2011

(5/16/2011 10:43:00 PM) - Al

Morgan's a solid defensive CF, but he doesn't catch the HR or keep Gibbons at 2B on that fly to the track. There's not a better CF in the game than Carlos.


5/16/2011 10:43:00 PM



(5/16/2011 07:24:00 PM) - Al

You may remember the Crew drafted Jemile Weeks, Rickie's little brother, but he went to Miami instead, and was later drafted by the A's in the first round.

If the Brewers had signed him, and he advanced at the same rate...he may well be replacing Rickie next year. That would have been really something.


5/16/2011 07:24:00 PM



(5/16/2011 06:27:00 PM) - Al

Think you can fix the deficit? Play with the numbers a while. Note to peaceniks...putting the military at zero...doesn't make a dent.


5/16/2011 06:27:00 PM



(5/16/2011 06:22:00 PM) - Al

Bulls vs. Heat game 1 was the most watched NBA game in cable history surpassing MJ's last all star game in 2003.

MIA puts butts in the seats. You know who ABC is rooting for.


5/16/2011 06:22:00 PM



(5/16/2011 05:40:00 PM) - Al

New York Post talks about the thugs in WI.

Quick, who do you think they mean?


5/16/2011 05:40:00 PM



(5/16/2011 04:53:00 PM) - Al

Pujols at 3B tonight? The funny thing is, since this gets Berkman out of RF, it may actually improve their defense.


5/16/2011 04:53:00 PM



(5/16/2011 04:24:00 PM) - Al

Irony...Klop now seen as a nut that lacks the common sense to do the job she lost the election to hold...sympathy for the clerk, whose original goof has proven to be just a case of human error, with no intent.


5/16/2011 04:24:00 PM


Sunday, May 15, 2011

(5/15/2011 10:06:00 PM) - Al

For those of us who are Hewitt and SVU fans, this would be like having pie for dessert, after a delicious meal of pie.


5/15/2011 10:06:00 PM



(5/15/2011 08:50:00 PM) - Al

I think this is true with most very religious people/cultures.


5/15/2011 08:50:00 PM



(5/15/2011 08:27:00 PM) - Al

8 or 9 pitchers expected to be taken with first 10 picks in MLB Draft....UCLA will have two pitchers drafted possibly in first 5 picks.

Scouts say this is one of the strongest and deepest pitching drafts in baseball history over 100 arms clocked over 95mph.--Jim Bowden


I think the Crew picks 12th. Might be very tempting to take the 2nd or 3rd best position player. Then they have another pick because they did not sign last year's fella, I believe that is 15th.


5/15/2011 08:27:00 PM



(5/15/2011 08:13:00 PM) - Al

CEO's have noticed what Wisconsin is doing. The irony here is, liberals have been making fun of the "open for business" mantra. They just don't get it.

They think the best way to attract business is to call them evil and raise taxes. Funny how that doesn't work.


5/15/2011 08:13:00 PM



(5/15/2011 08:08:00 PM) - Al

The president has nothing to say about jobs. His policies are all anti-job. Raise spending, raise taxes, explain how that creates a single job?


5/15/2011 08:08:00 PM



(5/15/2011 07:39:00 PM) - Al

Tonette & I chaperoned post prom at Dave and Busters. Then kids over 2 our house in Wauwatosa. Made them French toast this AM.--Governor Walker

Sounds like something Hitler would have done to me.


5/15/2011 07:39:00 PM



(5/15/2011 04:01:00 PM) - Al

If you went to all four Thunder playoff games versus the Grizzlies, you now have 4 blue T-shirts. Not a cheap way to buy clothes, but...


5/15/2011 04:01:00 PM



(5/15/2011 03:39:00 PM) - Al

One of my Facebook friends said she "only" biked 15 miles yesterday because it was so cold. Today, my back stiffened up as I stood on the deck for a few minutes, grilling burgers and hot dogs for lunch.

It's hard to believe we're the same species.


5/15/2011 03:39:00 PM



(5/15/2011 03:30:00 PM) - Al

Correspondence between myself and Adam M back on 3/9:

Adam,

If Estrada's healthy, he is a real option. He pitched well in AAA and MIL until his arm gave out last year.

Al


Agreed, though nobody (Doug, Roenicke) is mentioning him.



They are now. That will be looked back as an outstanding minor league signing by Doug.


5/15/2011 03:30:00 PM



(5/15/2011 03:14:00 PM) - Al

Al,

What do you think of Lucroy as an all-star?

Matt


I think with catching as weak as it is, a .375/.450 line would be enough to get him there. However, don't forget he doesn't even have 100 AB's yet, as he missed so much early. That said, he'll likely fall back down to where I would expect him to be, a .340/.375 line. His BAbip is sitting at about .400, and I can't imagine that will hold up.

As I said though, if you're going to sneak in, catcher is a fine position to do so.


5/15/2011 03:14:00 PM



(5/15/2011 02:56:00 PM) - Al

By the way, how's that war in Libya going?

My opinion? I vote present.


5/15/2011 02:56:00 PM



(5/15/2011 02:51:00 PM) - Al

Al Franken continues to embarrass himself. Meanwhile, the old media has done its best to hide the socialist decision to tell Boeing where it can and can't expand.

If I were Boeing, I'd write off the SC expense and build my new factory one foot across the border in either Canada or Mexico. The only thing the current administration knows about creating jobs is they suck at it.


5/15/2011 02:51:00 PM



(5/15/2011 02:43:00 PM) - Al

Greinke lost his control when he had to change to the stretch. That's an overlooked part of the game. Add that to his lack of stamina, it's a recipe to get hit hard.


5/15/2011 02:43:00 PM



(5/15/2011 02:26:00 PM) - Al

If Klop didn't exist, we'd have to invent her, just for the unintentional comedy.

I'd say she was plum nuts, but I would not want to offend those that are plum nuts.


5/15/2011 02:26:00 PM



(5/15/2011 02:22:00 PM) - Al

Union protests have cost state $8M so far.

Just send them the bill. They are very sresponsible and mature, I am certain they have thought of this before now.

And they just don't get why they're so despised.


5/15/2011 02:22:00 PM



(5/15/2011 02:10:00 PM) - Al

Let's see how Greinke does from the stretch position.


5/15/2011 02:10:00 PM



(5/15/2011 12:41:00 PM) - Al

TOP TEN PROSPECTS, 2011

1. Mat Gamel, 25, 1B--Mat has been in AAA for several years now, but appears to have finally found a defensive position he can handle at 1B. He's more of a OBP/doubles hitter than your average 1B, but the obvious comparison is Lyle Overbay. Even their AAA numbers are similar (Gamel .378/.493, Overbay .400/.519, in hitter-friendly Tucson). Mat has also improved his OBP and SLG each season in Nashville, which is what good hitters do when they repeat levels. If he has a healthy '11, and continues to hit, expect him to at least platoon at 1B starting next season.

2. Scooter Gennett, 21, 2B--Ryan is small in stature, like many on the list (5-9, 165), but can flat out hit (.354/.463 LY in Appleton, his first pro season). Some expect him to be a utility player, but the bat plays. Expect him to move through the ranks quickly. The Brewers have not played him at SS, so time will tell if they only see him as a 2B.

3. Wily Peralta, 22, SP--Wily throws the ball with plenty of velocity, and like many young pitchers, needs only work on his control. He'll be mentioned every time the Brewers need a SP, and may well break in via the bullpen, given his youth and speed gun readings.

4. Caleb Gindl, 22, OF--Caleb is another vertically challenged member of the 5-9 brigade, and is often cataloged as a 4th OF type because of it. However, he's hit at every level, and while at his best at a corner OF spot, is passable in CF, making his offense appear even better...this season, he is comparable to Gamel, and is one of the younger players in AAA. With solid LH OF depth in Morgan and Kotsay, Caleb probably won't see MIL this season, but will in the future.

5. Kyle Heckathorn, 23, SP--Kyle is a classic Twins' type SP, pounds the strike zone, walks only 2 per 9, 3-1 K/BB ratio. 6-6, big RH that Melvin loves, he'll get every opportunity. Split '10 between low A and high A, so despite beginning '11 in Brevard County again, look for him to finish in Huntsville.

6. Kentrail Davis, 22, CF--.407/.459 in '10, at both levels of a ball. Loves to walk and takes HBP, very good defender in LF and CF, power bat and muscular build for CF...and also 5-9.

7. Erik Komatsu, 23, CF--Last year's position player of the year, the 5-10 CF runs well (28 steals) and also walks a lot. I've never seen Erik live, but I have Davis ranked higher because I feel his power projects better. At this point, I feel he'll be a solid 4th OF much of his career, but with those OBP skills, you never know.

8. Amaury Rivas, 25, SP--Solid, unspectacular SP, just keeps winning and putting up good numbers. If not for Estrada's emergence and bad luck, he may have been the 5th starter in April. 7.2 K/9 and a 2-1 K/BB ratio is not typical of anything but a #4/5 SP, but if he can attain that, or settle in as a middle reliever, there's nothing wrong with that.

9. Cody Scarpetta, 22, SP--Cody may only have one year left in the minors, a fluke because of being resigned after an injury was discovered, he had to be placed on the 40 man early, so he might only have one more year in the minors, after this one. He might have to be treated as an in-home Rule 5 in '13, but we'll worry about that then. 10 K/9 and a 3.87 ERA in high A as a 21 year-old is plenty good, and is equaling that in AA thus far.

10. Tyler Thornburg, 22, P--One of the hardest throwers in last June's draft, he fell to the Crew in the 3rd round because he's a sub 6 foot RH, so he's very likely to end up in the bullpen. However, his 12 K/9 and 3-1 K/BB ratio thus far makes a future as a reliever bode nicely.

As noted yesterday, my next two are Mark Rogers and Logan Schafer. Rogers showed great poise and velocity last September in MIL, but his inability to be seen as anything than a middle reliever who has to be babied keeps him from being ranked higher.

Schafer is yet another LH hitting CF, but he's tall and lanky, and is always mentioned as being major league ready in Arizona each March. Schafer has barely played since '09 due to injury, and has been bypassed by others. However, he could move up the ladder quickly, just like Lo Cain did after missing time.

Speaking of Lo; he, Jeffress, and Odorozzi would have been in the top ten if not dealt for Greinke, as would Lawrie, of course. Here's the list with them included (Escobar would not, as he was up all of '10):

Lawrie
Gamel
Gennett
Peralta
Odorozzi
Cain
Gindl
Heckathorn
Davis
Komatsu
Jeffress
Rivas

I have Jeffress lower than most, due to his off-field trouble, 6-0 height, and my opinion that his ceiling is as a closer.


5/15/2011 12:41:00 PM


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