Al's Ramblings



Friday, September 30, 2011

(9/30/2011 11:44:00 PM) - Al

Some minor progress made in NBA talks, though it sounds like some room for compromise exists, but no specifics were discussed.


9/30/2011 11:44:00 PM



(9/30/2011 11:37:00 PM) - Al

Sunday game changed to 4:07PM, but remains on TBS. TNT gets the Yankees, meaning TBS lost the flip.


9/30/2011 11:37:00 PM



(9/30/2011 10:35:00 PM) - Al

More on Obama's "soft" comments.

And if you believed Obama was going to be fiscally responsible, you need more help than I can provide. His Senate record showed he followed the liberal line of spend, spend, spend.

I do admit a guffaw that the candidate who went to the elite private college and "worked" by getting people to vandalize and do thuggery things is complaining we're "soft," while the candidate who spent five years as a prisoner-of-war repeatedly gives thanks to being able to serve the greatest nation in history, both in the military and as a Senator.


9/30/2011 10:35:00 PM



(9/30/2011 10:30:00 PM) - Al

I have to agree with Glenn, all the late night guys are terribly far-left, they are afraid to tease the current officeholder. Considering his approval rating, that means about 60% of the citizens wonder why.


9/30/2011 10:30:00 PM



(9/30/2011 09:48:00 PM) - Al

Both Sabathia and Verlander now scheduled for Monday. CC only threw 27 pitches, I can't believe he needs two days off to recover from that. I bet at least one team will bump their ace up to Sunday.


9/30/2011 09:48:00 PM



(9/30/2011 09:34:00 PM) - Al

I think it's funny that they did not allow liquor ads on TV until a few years ago, and now, I think Captain Morgan may spend more on marketing that any other brand.

And amazingly, we didn't all turn into raving alkies either.

NOTE: I find it strange that "alkies" comes up on spell check, even though it's in the dictionary. Get with it guys.


9/30/2011 09:34:00 PM



(9/30/2011 09:25:00 PM) - Al

They just rescheduled the Yankees/Tigers game two for Sunday at 2:07, which will obviously run over into the Brewers' game, which starts at 3:37. I wonder why they didn't have it begin at 12:30 or 1.

I also wonder how they built a ballpark for $1.5B and didn't put a retractable roof on it.

EDIT: I guess one of the two games Sunday will shift to TNT.


9/30/2011 09:25:00 PM



(9/30/2011 07:00:00 PM) - Al

Buffett is as inconsistent as Obama is...can't decide how much to raise taxes, or on whom.

Of course, it would have been a good idea for someone to think this out before, you know, suggesting it.

The only thing they're sure of...if you take away more money from the people that earned it...that's a good thing. It simply goes against everything good about free markets.


9/30/2011 07:00:00 PM



(9/30/2011 06:46:00 PM) - Al

Brewers announce ticket prices for '12, small increase on most seats, another distinction added, as weekend games will cost more in the summer.

In a few years, they will use dynamic pricing for all games, and it will be adjusted based on supply and demand, much as hotels and airlines do. Not sure if it confuses people or what the hesitation is.


9/30/2011 06:46:00 PM



(9/30/2011 05:29:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling brother thought the DBacks would be favored in game one because of Ian Kennedy. I know little about MLB lines, but I assumed the Brewers would be because of their record at home.

MIL is a -140 favorite, which means you have to bet $140 to win $100 (in reality, you would give the sports book $140, get a ticket, and cash it in for $240. If you chose ARI, you give them $100, and would get back $230 (the $10 difference is, astonishingly, why the "man" makes money no matter who wins, and is why your bookie drives a nicer car than you.

The Phillies are a huge favorite, -230, by the way. Back when the lines interested me, I kept track for a month or two of what would happen if I bet every big underdog, along with a couple other ideas I had heard of (one was always betting the home team if they had lost the first 2 games of a 3 game series). My "big underdog" idea was the only one that made money (hypothetically), though it was minimal. If I were unbiased, I'd bet both NL underdogs in game one, and if one won, I'd make a nice profit.

I know another theory is to always bet against the Cubs and Yankees, as their lines are influenced by the large number of tourists who will always bet them. If the book felt the Yankees should be a -140 pick, they'll make it -155, because they know many will bet them regardless. Over the course of a full season, taking advantage of that makes sense.


9/30/2011 05:29:00 PM



(9/30/2011 04:56:00 PM) - Al

Green gets the final spot on the NLDS roster; Wilson, Dillard, Maldonado will remain with team just in case.--Adam, MLB.com

The per-diem money for Marty Maldonado is going to be as much as he made in the minors some years. I can't recall the exact amount, but I seem to remember $120 a day.


9/30/2011 04:56:00 PM



(9/30/2011 04:53:00 PM) - Al

I all but knew Greinke was going to start Sunday as soon as he was pulled Wednesday. I'm not sure if people are that bad at reading Roenicke or if they're just afraid to predict based on common sense.


9/30/2011 04:53:00 PM



(9/30/2011 12:05:00 PM) - Al

This may interest some of you, no blackouts, NLDS for $4, NLDS and NLCS for $6, on your computer.


9/30/2011 12:05:00 PM



(9/30/2011 11:59:00 AM) - Al

Since I previewed a playoff roster post, I suppose I should do one, but, to be honest, it's almost silly.

Pitchers (11)
Gallardo
Greinke
Marcum
Wolf
Axford
KRod
Hawkins
Saito
Loe
Narveson
Estrada

Catchers (2)
Lucroy
Kottaras

Infield (6)
Fielder
Weeks
Betancourt
Hairston
McGehee
Counsell

Outfield (5)
Braun
Morgan
Hart
Gomez
Kotsay

That's 24, and barring injury, all the above are all but locks, as Ron has said he'll carry 11 pitchers (I might well go with 10, as Marco is unlikely to be used in any meaningful situation, unless a game goes 14+ innings). So, the only real decision is the final spot. I assume it will come down to Wilson or Green, though I might well take Schafer myself. Since I think Hairston will get the first crack at 3B, unless Casey has very good numbers against Halladay (does anyone?), I'd probably go with Green, as your far more likely to need a LH PH than a guy who can play many positions (and though he plays them better than Taylor, he only has played SS and LF that Green has not...and I don't think Ryan will sit out at all.


9/30/2011 11:59:00 AM



(9/30/2011 11:14:00 AM) - Al

One of my Facebook friends just said Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash is "back." Not only did I not know it was seasonal, I've been drinking it all year (well, the sugar-free version), and still have a 12 pack in the utility room.

I guess we really stock up when it's on sale.


9/30/2011 11:14:00 AM



(9/30/2011 10:57:00 AM) - Al

Red Sox SP's drank during games when they weren't pitching?

Of course, fingers will be pointed as many don't want to simply admit BOS's injuries and ineffective pitching in September was the cause of their late season slump. However, MLB is far from a normal work atmosphere, and to be honest, that may happen in other clubhouses as well, I don't know.


9/30/2011 10:57:00 AM



(9/30/2011 10:00:00 AM) - Al

Welcome to the final installment of Brewgalfan Spectacular, in which we talk to beautiful women who also happen to be Brewers' fans. The first two can be found here and here, and today, we are talking to Stacey, whose Twitter page BrewCrewBabe is immensely popular. So, with no further delay...

Al--Tell me, what draws you to baseball and the Brewers?

Stacey--I didn't get into Brewers baseball until college. I was dating a guy that was a big fan and at the time I thought, "I could fight this or I could embrace it" so I decided to embrace it. I've always been a sports fan, basketball mainly. But when the NBA started going to hell, baseball was a nice replacement.

Al--How long have you been a fan of the Brewers?

Stacey--Only since 2005. I think a big reason why I wasn't into the Brewers growing up was that I lived in Appleton. It's not THAT far from Milwaukee, but far enough that the family has to make a special trip to go to a game. I think it would have been different if I had grown up in the Milwaukee metro area. I know that's not true for a lot of people, but I think it was for me.

Al--Do other women around your age think you're strange at all for being a fan, or do many of them also follow the team?

Stacey--A lot of my friends are huge Brewers fans too. Plus any friends I've had always knew I'm a sports nut, that's just me!

Al--Normally, I'd ask you your favorite player is, but Ryan Braun is just about the choice for all. 2nd favorite?

Stacey--Correct sir, RB8 is my favorite player. But I've always said if RB8 wasn't on the Brewers I would think he's the biggest douche in the world. He may be douchey, but he's OUR douche, for a long long time. 2nd favorite is Carlos Gomez. He gets a lot of crap for his plate discipline, but his defensive skillz are top notch and he plays with just as much energy and passion for the game as his platoon mate, Nyjer Morgan.

Al--Finally, while I'm sure you're hoping for a Brewers' World Series title, what do you think will happen in the playoffs?

Stacey--Right, I think we are all hoping that the Brewers show what they can do under pressure. I will most likely cry after every win from pure joy. Realistically, I'll be happy getting to the NLCS; the Phillies will be a difficult team to knock down given their all-star rotation.

You can follow Stacey at BrewCrewBabe on Twitter.


9/30/2011 10:00:00 AM



(9/30/2011 12:58:00 AM) - Al

I know less about fashion than any person alive, but allow me to say, pants on cheerleaders is a definite waste of fabric.

It's like putting on your best tie right before you jump in the pool...unnecessary and just wrong.


9/30/2011 12:58:00 AM



(9/30/2011 12:35:00 AM) - Al

Traffic is the highest the past two days out of the last 30...should have started this Brewgalfan Spectacular years ago. This is why I laugh so at people who don't like Hooters...you know what? Attractive women are a selling point. Welcome to the real world.

Final installment is tomorrow at 10AM. I'll be discussing the playoff roster at some point as well. And good friend Jason will be reviewing an autobiography of Ralph Branca, who is most well known for allowing the famous Bobby Thomson HR 60 years ago, on Monday morning. And, we'll have two games to talk about then as well.

We'll see you then.


9/30/2011 12:35:00 AM



(9/30/2011 12:27:00 AM) - Al

The numbers are compelling to go with Greinke. Gallardo and Greinke combined for 31 Miller Park starts, and the Brewers won 28 of those games, including all 15 of Greinke's.--Adam, MLB.com

That's hard to believe, over 90%. Of course, when you win 96 games, your going to win at home a lot, regardless of who pitches.


9/30/2011 12:27:00 AM


Thursday, September 29, 2011

(9/29/2011 11:45:00 PM) - Al

This administration has done all it can to take away any and all incentives for looking for oil and gas. http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif

You reap what you sow.


9/29/2011 11:45:00 PM



(9/29/2011 11:22:00 PM) - Al

Obama says we've "gone soft."

Seriously. This from a guy who has never done a day of physical labor in his life.

That's rich.


9/29/2011 11:22:00 PM



(9/29/2011 08:50:00 PM) - Al

Demi and Ashton to divorce. They've been living apart since he played Yahtzee with a much younger, but probably not a bit better looking woman, about a year ago.

I have often made fun of Kutcher, saying things like he obviously sold his soul to the devil for a no talent to get his life, and while I like him on 2.5 Men, almost anyone could do that, as he'd fed great lines by Chuck Lorre and others.

ADDED: As if this wasn't enough bad press for Kutcher, he got his hand slapped by his new employer, CBS, for stealing advertising. According to MTV News, Kutcher did a little unauthorized product placement during filming of "Two and a Half Men." Walden Schmidt's lap top inexplicably sprouted a team of stickers promoting companies known to be Kutcher investments.

They are all far, far-left...until it comes to them making a few dollars more to add to the bijillions they already have. We just watched that DVR'd episode tonight, and the plethora of stickers did look out of place. $750K an episode, and Ashton looks for free publicity...heh.


9/29/2011 08:50:00 PM



(9/29/2011 08:42:00 PM) - Al

It is loaded into the Ramblings queue, the final Brewgalfan Spectacular will magically pop up at 10AM tomorrow. Thanks to Stacey for taking the time, as well as Amy and Erika.


9/29/2011 08:42:00 PM



(9/29/2011 08:17:00 PM) - Al

SL announcer arrested for DWI Sunday..."suspended" today...conveniently the day after the season ends.

Obviously, they don't take such things very seriously in SL. Kind of sad in many ways.


9/29/2011 08:17:00 PM



(9/29/2011 07:33:00 PM) - Al

Not that his first half was bad mind you, but look at Axford's second half splits.

Prepare to be awed.


9/29/2011 07:33:00 PM



(9/29/2011 04:52:00 PM) - Al

Heh, check out the stats for today...all I said I was going to run the second Brewgalfan Spectacular interview at 4PM.

Apparently, when the choices are to see what a lovely young lady says about the Crew, or read Al go on and on about his dog, Erika puts butts in the seats.


9/29/2011 04:52:00 PM



(9/29/2011 04:46:00 PM) - Al

Death panels exist in Canada, and will in the US as well. Part of the trade-off with government health care is, well, government health care.

Some may want to deny that, but it's foolhardy to do so. It is what it is.


9/29/2011 04:46:00 PM



(9/29/2011 04:16:00 PM) - Al

Al's Ramblings female fan interview extravaganza continues. This is more girls than Al has talked to in his entire life.--Miller Park Drunk, promoting my Brewgalfan Spectacular, while not so subtlety ripping me

If that wasn't true, I'd be offended.


9/29/2011 04:16:00 PM



(9/29/2011 04:00:00 PM) - Al

Welcome to the second installment of the Brewgalfan Spectacular. Today, we're chatting with Erika, a pre-med student.

Al--Tell me, what draws you to baseball and the Brewers?

Erika--I've always been intrigued by baseball, isn't that why it's called America's sport? I would watch my dad play in a bar league at a young age; and I started playing softball at the age of 4. My uncle, Marcus Hanel, is the bullpen catcher for the Brewers so I attended a lot of games and learned more about the sport. I also grew up in the Milwaukee/Racine area and everyone there greatly supports the Brewers.

Al--How long have you been a fan of the Brewers?

Erika--Ever since I can remember. It was always etched into my brain at a young age... "The Brewers are on!" "We're going to a Brewers game." I guess you can say that it's all I've ever known.

Al--Do other women around your age think you're strange at all for being a fan, or do many of them also follow the team?

Erika--I have friends who are also fans and at the same time, I have friends that don't know a thing about baseball. Living in Green Bay, everyone is a huge supporter of the Packers and kind of throw the Brewers on the back burner, so it is hard to find diehards like myself.

Al--Normally, I'd ask you your favorite player is, but Ryan Braun is just about the choice for all. 2nd favorite?

Erika--Honestly, I can't pick a favorite-- and if I were going to-- I don't think Braun would be my #1 choice. Probably my current "favorite" would be Prince Fielder. He is so clutch and it amazes me how a big boy like him can run around the bases as quickly as he does. He is a blast to watch-- and his home runs don't hurt either! I know many are saying it's not likely he will stay with the Brewers after this season because they won't pay what he's going to ask; I really hope that's not the case.

Al--I can't believe I'm 0-2 on my Braun guess. Finally, while I'm sure you're hoping for a Brewers' World Series title, what do you think will happen in the playoffs?

Erika--I don't like to make predictions...I always end up jinxing myself!

A huge thank you to Erika for joining us. You can find Erika on Twitter, where she talks about the Brewers and coffee, among other things.


9/29/2011 04:00:00 PM



(9/29/2011 03:45:00 PM) - Al

In WI, the only free speech that's protected is if you agree with it.

It's funny because it's true.


9/29/2011 03:45:00 PM



(9/29/2011 03:26:00 PM) - Al

Hired to be fired.

Of course, there's little to no correlation between hitting and pitching coaches and their results...Leo Mazzone was mentioned for the Hall of Fame until he left Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz, and Millwood in ATL and went to BAL, where amazingly, his results suffered with Larry, Curly, and Moe. Dave Duncan gets a ton of credit in SL, but Kyle Lohse was terrible last year, and Jake Westbrook and the entire bullpen struggled this season. Rich Kranitz got fired in BAL, and became a genius when he wandered into MIL and found four very good SP's and Narveson/Estrada making the other starts.

Not to say they can't help, as Axford has his velocity increased by 5 mph in a short session with Fred Dabney and Lee Tunnell in Brevard County a few years ago. That said, as I pointed out a week ago, both Kranitz and Sedar had signed on to be minor league coordinators with the Astros before Roenicke had to fill out his staff, and John Shelby recommended Kranitz, while it is assumed Doug spoke up for Sedar, Stan Kyles, and Garth Iorg, already in the organization, as well as Jerry Narron, who Doug had worked with (and fired, heh) in Texas. There are probably hundreds of guys who know the game and toil around. It's a huge financial bonanza for coaches to be in the majors, as they not only divide playoff money but also share in the licensing cash, which memory tells me is about as much as the minimum MLB salary, about $400K per.


9/29/2011 03:26:00 PM



(9/29/2011 03:07:00 PM) - Al

Aaron Boone sees SF, TOR, and the Cubs as Prince's main suitors.

I still think BAL will get him, with DC and SF as runner-ups. That is, however, at least the 2nd time we've seen the Blue Jays mentioned. What kind of juggernaut would that be; Bautista, Lawrie, Rasmus, and Prince, plus a couple others too.


9/29/2011 03:07:00 PM



(9/29/2011 01:59:00 PM) - Al

Joe West is crew chief for Brewers-Dbacks. Crew Ron Kulpa, Alfonso Marquez, Bruce Dreckman, Jeff Kellogg, James Hoye.--Adam, MLB.com

The only name I recognize as being horrible is West. Hopefully, no one will turn and ask him if he's sure that was a strike.


9/29/2011 01:59:00 PM



(9/29/2011 01:24:00 PM) - Al

The second installment of the Brewgalfan Spectacular will be posting at 4PM. She doesn't have a cool nickname like Front Row Amy, but she does have a relative on staff. Check back later!


9/29/2011 01:24:00 PM



(9/29/2011 01:13:00 PM) - Al

Game 1 now official, 1:07PM, Saturday.

Game 2, also official, 3:37PM, Sunday.


9/29/2011 01:13:00 PM



(9/29/2011 01:03:00 PM) - Al

Rumor has it the Brewers will play at 12:30 Saturday, and 4PM Sunday.

Not official though.


9/29/2011 01:03:00 PM



(9/29/2011 12:56:00 AM) - Al

NLDS logo is on the field at MP.


9/29/2011 12:56:00 AM



(9/29/2011 12:23:00 AM) - Al

Hard to believe ARI is selling single game tickets to the NLDS for $15 each, and the entire upper deck has plenty of seats.


9/29/2011 12:23:00 AM


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

(9/28/2011 11:57:00 PM) - Al

Looks more and more like the Brewers play at 11/11:30AM Saturday, and 5/5:30PM Sunday afternoon. Going only on rumors and bits/pieces, but it makes sense.

I'd like to think the early start is a minute advantage, as that's 9AM Arizona time. It isn't like the DBacks will be waking up at 10AM, sleepy, and playing while exhausted, but that's probably the earliest game ARI has played all season, and body clocks do exist.


9/28/2011 11:57:00 PM



(9/28/2011 11:41:00 PM) - Al

Imagine what the percentage would be if more than half the electorate knew who Herman Cain was.


9/28/2011 11:41:00 PM



(9/28/2011 11:15:00 PM) - Al

You sure appreciate Axford, KRod, and the Brewers' bullpen when you watch late lead after late lead disappear.


9/28/2011 11:15:00 PM



(9/28/2011 10:41:00 PM) - Al

Congrats to the Cards, who take a hot month and make it to the wildcard. The Brewers pretty much did that too, though their stretch was a bit longer.

I'm very proud to have said the Rasmus trade would help SL this season, though I disliked it long-term. Most panned it completely, seemingly ignoring the fact it gave SL the horses they needed, sheer quantity wise. John Jay is not as good, now or later, but three major league arms for 60 days has a lot of value.

It'll be ARI coming to Miller Park, as far from a marquee matchup/ratings bonanza as you can get from TBS's stand point. The Crew will almost certainly play both Saturday and Sunday afternoons.


9/28/2011 10:41:00 PM



(9/28/2011 10:05:00 PM) - Al

Like Macha last year, very nice of Ron to take Prince out.


9/28/2011 10:05:00 PM



(9/28/2011 09:55:00 PM) - Al

Sad Dan Johnson isn't in the bigs, career 750 OPS. Not great for a 1B, but better than some. Would fit in nicely with a guy like Derrick Lee, not a straight platoon, but to rest him once/twice a week versus tough RHP.

Johnson has played a few games in LF also. I'm sure he's not graceful, but I bet he's better than Adam Dunn, who has played 1000+ contests in the OF.


9/28/2011 09:55:00 PM



(9/28/2011 09:15:00 PM) - Al

See if Saito looks good tonight, he got roughed up last time out, one of the few times all year.


9/28/2011 09:15:00 PM



(9/28/2011 09:12:00 PM) - Al

There's no reason to take Greinke out after 6 frames and 74 pitches if he's not pitching 'til Game 3. I think he'll come back Sunday, Game 2. No one seems to even realize he pitched on three days rest tonight.

He was rough at first, and easily could have allowed a couple runs, but came back strong.


9/28/2011 09:12:00 PM



(9/28/2011 08:57:00 PM) - Al

Kimbrel was better than Axford all year, but looks like he just ran out of gas. I always say 70 innings is a full load for a reliever, and he's about 10-15% over that. Even John's velocity has been down a tad, mostly 94-96 of late, after being at 95-97 most of the year (Fangraphs has him at 95.6 mph for 2011).

It also should be said Axford is 6-5, while Kimbrel is listed at 5-11. The physics just ain't on Craig's side.


9/28/2011 08:57:00 PM



(9/28/2011 07:48:00 PM) - Al

For those with tickets, plans, or other teams to support this weekend:

PHIL has to play in the late afternoon or evening, due to football games next door, both Saturday and Sunday. Hence, if it's MIL@PHIL, both games will be on at the same time at the Packers and Badgers.

So, if it's ATL@MIL, ARI@MIL, or MIL@ARI, they are very likely to play in the afternoon, either the early game or 2nd game. If it is ARI, it woujld be either the 2nd game or 3rd, as they will not have ARI hosting a game at 9/10AM.

This is just from various links, and while normally I'd say, just wait a couple hours, you still have to, because no one knows how it will end up...maybe 'til tomorrow, late night.


9/28/2011 07:48:00 PM



(9/28/2011 07:28:00 PM) - Al

Greinke giving up nothing but hard hit shots thus far. Escaped in the 1st with a DP.


9/28/2011 07:28:00 PM



(9/28/2011 07:13:00 PM) - Al

I worked in retail for 15 years and can never get through the self-checkout without issues...as the post says, it is set up to prevent theft, so minor things...like wanting to put a 12 pack of pop in the cart rather than the miniscule bagging area, or a clearance sticker, inevitably leads to an "error," which means the associate overseeing four of these has to come over, put her key in, type in her code, all the while never even glancing at your cart to check if you've stolen them blind.

I always think back to the Steve Martin movie, in which he finds a price gun lying somewhere in a grocery store and proceeds to mark everything nine cents. The cashier mindlessly scans up about 50 items, mostly steaks, and after pushing the last item past the scanner, with no hesitation or idea, proclaims the total is $4.23.


9/28/2011 07:13:00 PM



(9/28/2011 04:00:00 PM) - Al

The first woman to be interviewed in the Brewgalfan Spectacular, Front Row Amy. She gained fame being featured on Deadspin as a gal who sat...in the front row, in plain view when the CF camera is used. Thank you to the lovely Amy for agreeing to talk to me, over the internet of course, as I'm not welcome in any woman's house, often, not even my own.

Al--Welcome! So, tell us a little about yourself. Tell me, what draws you to baseball and the Brewers? How long have you been a fan of the Brewers?

FRAmy--Believe it or not, I used to not enjoy baseball at all. I was more of a football kind of girl. In fact, when the Brewers went to the World Series in '82, I was a freshman in high school. My algebra teacher, who was a huge Brewers fan, was extra happy one day. I asked him why. "The Brewers are going to the World Series!" he said. My response? "Who are the Brewers????" But things changed in May of 2007 when, I'm a little ashamed to admit, I saw a picture of JJ Hardy in the local paper. He was cute! And the Brewers were in first place at the time, so I thought, "Maybe I'll just watch a game and see what this is all about." I can't remember which game I watched, but I know we won in exciting fashion. After that, I was hooked. And it wasn't just the game that I fell in love with - it was the team. Their chemistry was palpable. They were having so much fun! I yearned to be a part of that. I went to my first game at Miller Park that year, and was in HEAVEN. The stadium, the atmosphere, being right there with the boys...I loved EVERYTHING about it! I went to a few more games that year, bought a 20 game season ticket package in 2008, and got two full season tickets in the 4th row behind home plate in 2009 and 2010. But I went to a lot of games by myself, so decided to move up to the one available seat in the front row this year. It's the best seat in the house!

Al--Do other women around your age think you're strange at all for being a fan, or do many of them also follow the team?

FRAmy--Other women my age think I'm crazy!! "You go to games by yourself?" they say. Why?? Because Miller Park is my sanctuary...my escape! I go there and am completely engrossed in Brewers baseball. I can sit there and keep score and watch my boys. There's nothing I'd rather do. It's my Amy time.

Al--Normally, I'd ask you your favorite player is, but Ryan Braun is just about the choice for all. 2nd favorite?

FRAmy--My favorite player is NOT Ryan Braun - although I do love him for staying in Milwaukee. No, my favorite player is T-Plush!!! I call him the Brett Favre of baseball. His energy and fun-loving nature are infectious! I really think he plays a huge role in the team's success this year. Love him, love him, LOVE HIM!!! And Chris Narveson is my favorite pitcher. He came on the scene from virtual obscurity 2 years ago in a tough situation and pitched his you know what off! When he's on, he has great command, and this year, has a very sexy curve - my favorite pitch. And he's a cool cucumber. I like that.

Al--Finally, while I'm sure you're hoping for a Brewers' World Series title, what do you think will happen in the playoffs?

FRAmy--I don't know what will happen in the playoffs! What will be will be. If the Brewers are playing their best ball, they can beat anyone. So, I don't worry about who we'll play. I just take it one game at a time, and try to enjoy every moment of this magical season!!!

Al--That's almost exactly how I feel! Amy, thank you for your time, and enjoy the playoffs from the best seat in the house!

Don't forget to check out Amy on her Twitter account and her Facebook page. Tell her Al sent you, and please, don't embarrass me.


9/28/2011 04:00:00 PM



(9/28/2011 02:48:00 PM) - Al

Mark A answers a couple questions about the business side of the game.


9/28/2011 02:48:00 PM



(9/28/2011 02:39:00 PM) - Al

Actually I have three flights for (Thursday) morning, I've got a flight to St. Louis. I've got a flight to St. Pete. I've got a flight to New York. I'm not sure where I am headed yet.--Brian Anderson, in JS

And we wonder why airlines overbook. BA will call the Yankees ALDS, and then the NLCS for TBS, as well as play-in games.


9/28/2011 02:39:00 PM



(9/28/2011 01:43:00 PM) - Al

The next few days (hopefully), I'll be running quick interviews with Brewers' fans here at Ramblings, asking how they began following the team, their favorite players, and so on. The unique thing...all the interviewees will be women, who defy the stereotype of dopey, overweight Brewers' fans with chip crumbs on their stomachs.

{Pause while I brush chip crumbs off my belly.}

Stay tuned, the first will run at 4PM today, part of the Brewgalfan Spectacular!

By the way, it took two weeks for the Ramblings' marketing department to come up with that.


9/28/2011 01:43:00 PM



(9/28/2011 01:38:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling brother reports Reyes bunted for a hit today and was removed for a PR, meaning Braun would have to go 3-4 or better (3-3, 4-5, etc.). Congrats to Jose, he's probably a 97% favorite at this second.


9/28/2011 01:38:00 PM



(9/28/2011 12:47:00 PM) - Al

Thank God we have men like Andrew Carpenter that do not hesitate to kill evil and die for their country, to protect us.

Hopefully, Landon will understand his dad was a hero.


9/28/2011 12:47:00 PM



(9/28/2011 12:38:00 PM) - Al

Gloria Estafan raised money for Obama, now likes Cain's "common sense" message.

The rush to get away from the stink is alive and well. Of course, two years ago, this was referred to as "racism."


9/28/2011 12:38:00 PM



(9/28/2011 12:23:00 PM) - Al

Brewers announced that AAA Nashville RHP Amaury Rivas had surgery to remove bone spur from elbow. Will begin rehab program.--JS

Rivas struggled in his AAA debut season, and as often happens, it is later learned the player was injured. He may settle in as a middle reliever someday, but hopefully, he'll return healthy next season and improve.


9/28/2011 12:23:00 PM



(9/28/2011 10:54:00 AM) - Al

Theo is trying to find a SP for tomorrow, a game which may not be played.

Many folks don't care to notice how beat up both the Braves and Red Sox are, which is the reason for their struggles of late. Theo still thinking out of the box. KC won't let him go cheaply though, as that high compensation pick has plenty of value.


9/28/2011 10:54:00 AM



(9/28/2011 12:31:00 AM) - Al

Heh, DBacks win on grand slam HR. So much for a meaningless game.


9/28/2011 12:31:00 AM



(9/28/2011 12:21:00 AM) - Al

ARI has John McDonald hitting for Micah Owings. This game must be taking place in the bizarro world, since McDonald can't hit at all.

EDIT: McDonald reaches on error, they must have saw that coming.:)


9/28/2011 12:21:00 AM



(9/28/2011 12:06:00 AM) - Al

Dodgers up 6-1 in the 10th. With luck, Greinke will just be going a couple innings, getting ready for Saturday, and they can decide what relievers can use the work and who needs to get some rest to be close to 100%.

The only one I can think of that "needs" an inning is probably Narveson, who is not going to feel comfy relieving, unfortunately.

I would guess Greinke 2 or 30 pitches, maybe Saito and Narveson, and see who among Axford, KRod, and Hawkins wants to pitch. Otherwise, Dillard, DLC, and Fiers will wrap it up.


9/28/2011 12:06:00 AM


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

(9/27/2011 11:05:00 PM) - Al

Q&A with Mark A.


9/27/2011 11:05:00 PM



(9/27/2011 08:34:00 PM) - Al

In 1982 Rollie Fingers did get four saves of 2.1 innings or more. Things were different then, but not nearly as much as Bill S would like you to think.


9/27/2011 08:34:00 PM



(9/27/2011 08:18:00 PM) - Al

I thought Rickie's HR landed in the 4th deck, but it "only" went off the windows of the NYCE club.

Wow.


9/27/2011 08:18:00 PM



(9/27/2011 07:15:00 PM) - Al

Another day, another blown call for Bill Welke.

Wasn't even close on the live, full speed version. These guys lack of effort and ability is an embarassment to MLB.

Weeks, Roenicke, and Wolf all saw it plainly, but the overpaid incompetent getting paid six figures...no clue. If it wasn't so incredibly sad, it'd be funny.

The only thing missing is him flipping the coin before he makes the incorrect call...yet again.


9/27/2011 07:15:00 PM



(9/27/2011 07:08:00 PM) - Al

Remember that jobs bill that was so vital that the president...took a lengthy vacation before giving a campaign speech to push it?

Well, it seems his own party...is going on vacation, and then will get to it at some point.

DC, where everyone hurries frantically to accomplish nothing.


9/27/2011 07:08:00 PM



(9/27/2011 06:16:00 PM) - Al

Times for play-in games announced for Thursday:

3 pm: BOS @ TB
7 pm: ATL @ STL


I still think BOS and ATL end up playing this weekend.


9/27/2011 06:16:00 PM



(9/27/2011 06:13:00 PM) - Al

I agree with the Rangers' approach myself. Sure, they want to win, but they'd rather go into the ALDS rested and as close to 100% as possible.


9/27/2011 06:13:00 PM



(9/27/2011 06:09:00 PM) - Al

Boredom is only possible if you are a boring person.

Or, as Forrest would say, boring is as boring does.


9/27/2011 06:09:00 PM



(9/27/2011 06:00:00 PM) - Al

Nyjer unlikely to play tonight or tomorrow, shin sore after fouling balls off it. Hairsrton in CF, McGehee at 3B tonight, Gomez probably CF tomorrow.


9/27/2011 06:00:00 PM



(9/27/2011 05:47:00 PM) - Al

NC Dem governor says to delay Congressional elections for two years.

That should tell you all you need to know about how the Dems feel about their chances in '12. Just like in WI, they don't feel an election should matter unless they win.

Let's not forget, the Dems still wonder how the GOP introduced a bill, had both houses pass it, and had the governor sign it...without their approval. Elections only have consequences when the Dems win...otherwise, the party in charge should ask them what they want (high taxes, more spending), and just do that anyway.

And the funny thing is...I'm not kidding.:)


9/27/2011 05:47:00 PM



(9/27/2011 04:18:00 PM) - Al

Cain at the top in Zogby poll.

Perry and Romney could learn something here. Both have been giving politically correct answers while Herm just says things are messed up and getting worse. Rick's "have a heart" response to illegals getting in-state tuition in TX went over as it should have...wondering why illegals were still in the state. That's the whole "illegal" aspect of being an illegal...it makes people that earn citizenship feel like buffoons.

I'm all for immigration, as the USA has been a melting pot for centuries. Still am. However, I'm for making legal entry easier, quicker, and completely against illegal loopholes.


9/27/2011 04:18:00 PM



(9/27/2011 03:56:00 PM) - Al

You reap what you sow.


9/27/2011 03:56:00 PM



(9/27/2011 03:46:00 PM) - Al

It does not matter since both will play more, but right now, Jose Reyes is .00003 ahead of Braun.


9/27/2011 03:46:00 PM



(9/27/2011 03:41:00 PM) - Al

Greinke will start tomorrow night, likely to go a couple innings or have a pitch count in the 30-40 range.

Gallardo pitching a simulated game on the field as I type. Apparently, Yo prefers that, and Zach prefers live game action (as opposed to dead game action).


9/27/2011 03:41:00 PM



(9/27/2011 03:19:00 PM) - Al

Chris Bosio will be Nashville's pitching coach next season. He has had success as a pitching coach in the majors in the past, and after a couple years as an advance scout, seems to be throwing his hat into the ring for the future.

He has held that role with MIL before and had many pitchers say nice things about him. He seems to be very anti-technical mumbo jumbo and very much a simple "throw strikes and change speeds" type of guy.


9/27/2011 03:19:00 PM



(9/27/2011 03:03:00 PM) - Al

Ozzie Guillen had a nice career despite never being able to hit a lick, and it's fitting the White Sox receive a SS from the Marlins for him that's 23 and had a sub .300 OBP in AAA this year.

It's simply astounding how tough it is to find C's and SS's that aren't terrible hitters, and 3B is getting tough as well, as the bottom half of MLB is deplorable.


9/27/2011 03:03:00 PM



(9/27/2011 02:42:00 PM) - Al

Kila simply has too much plate discipline and too solid of AAA numbers not to have success in the majors. What level of success, I do not know, as no one does, though we can predict. Much like our own Mat Gamel, he may never be a star in the http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifmajors, but at the very least, he should be an effective bench player, if not more.

As pointed out, he's exactly built his early 00's A's teams with...high OBP, unathletic. Also much like Gamel, he has maintained a solid walk rate in AAA, and in his cups of coffee in the majors, has not set the world on fire, but has also not embarrassed himself.


Kila--.309/.375
Mat---.309/.374

Now, that's close. Kila has the disadvantage of only being able to play 1B, but I expect both will spend plenty of time in the bigs, and they'll both have some pop and not make outs. Nice pickup by Beane.


9/27/2011 02:42:00 PM



(9/27/2011 12:04:00 AM) - Al

I've been pitching Marlins' 2B Omar Infante as next year's Brewers' SS, but I guess not now.


9/27/2011 12:04:00 AM


Monday, September 26, 2011

(9/26/2011 10:43:00 PM) - Al

Morgan Freeman to marry 27 year-old step-granddaughter.

Woody Allen, always setting the trends.

That said, I wonder why Freeman is bothering with a gal so far past her 22 year-old peak.


9/26/2011 10:43:00 PM



(9/26/2011 10:41:00 PM) - Al

Dodgers/DBacks started two hours after the Brewers and both games are in the Bottom of the 7th--Tristarscoop on Twitter

I picked a bad day to stop taking amphetamines.

EDIT: Of course, I'm joking. Kids, stay in school.


9/26/2011 10:41:00 PM



(9/26/2011 10:13:00 PM) - Al

Doritos inventor dies.

We love you sir, though I wish I loved the guy who discovered carrots.


9/26/2011 10:13:00 PM



(9/26/2011 09:47:00 PM) - Al

The season ticket holder who won the "put my picture on a ticket" prize chose Sptember 23rd...the night the Crew won the division.

Truth is always stranger than fiction.


9/26/2011 09:47:00 PM



(9/26/2011 09:30:00 PM) - Al

It boggles the mind that after every single blown call (and the list is long), the umpire looks the manager in the eye and insists he saw it the whole way.

Unions breed ineptness and dishonesty.

I know, a couple months ago, it was hot out...


9/26/2011 09:30:00 PM



(9/26/2011 09:28:00 PM) - Al

I just can't believe DLC has spent almost his entire career in the minors, despite the fact he has plus velocity and a plus breaking ball. Pitching is just like real estate, it is a matter of location.


9/26/2011 09:28:00 PM



(9/26/2011 09:25:00 PM) - Al

The fact that the really bad, incredibly ignorant bloggers don't want to face the Phillies in the first round cements my viewpoint that it's the best time to jump on them. Look, some people are just always wrong.


9/26/2011 09:25:00 PM



(9/26/2011 09:18:00 PM) - Al

Remember when W has us saddled with that horrific 5% unemployment. Little did we know Obama's secret plan...spark spending using Hallmark.

Genius.


9/26/2011 09:18:00 PM



(9/26/2011 08:25:00 PM) - Al

Guillen looks to be in Marlins' land next year.

Why any team has interest in a loudmouth who players hate and that consistently badgers players in the media is beyond me. Kenny Williams must be doing backflips, as they've disliked each other for years.


9/26/2011 08:25:00 PM



(9/26/2011 07:47:00 PM) - Al

Marcum with one of the unluckiest innings against the Crew all season. MIL had a few of those games in August as well, when every ball they hit seemed to drop in.


9/26/2011 07:47:00 PM



(9/26/2011 07:05:00 PM) - Al

Yo seems to be the likely game one SP. It seems likely Doug or someone may have asked Ron if it made sense for the pitcher who has been doing best not to pitch Game 1 just because his spot in the rotation happened to come up Wednesday.

With Saito, Hawkins, KRod, and Axford all pitching an inning before the two days off, that leaves 5 frames to fill. I would guess Yo and Zach each go 1-2, unless Yo says he'd just as soon rest, and the 'pen fills the rest.


9/26/2011 07:05:00 PM



(9/26/2011 06:19:00 PM) - Al

I'm glad poker players have a spokesman as articulate and intelligent as Greg Raymer. Among other things, he disclosed to CNN today that Full Tilt was taking in about $1M a day in rake. If left alone to operate, those cash reserves probably would have been replenished in a year or so.

Was Full Tilt wrong not to have the proper cash reserves? Yes. But I'm not sure if there was any intent to deceive or steal.

What's truly amazing is that the DOJ took down a business that depends on players taking part in a game of skill and managed to single-handedly destroy an entire industry...for no apparent reason. Especially bothersome to those of us that practice common sense economics is that the government fails to see the revenue potential in regulating and taxing...the same government who has shown no inkling of ideas on how to jump start a troublesome economy except to tax and spend, a much maligned, oft-failed method which was deemed ineffective by...the president just a couple months ago, when the Bush tax cuts were extended with bipartisan support.


9/26/2011 06:19:00 PM



(9/26/2011 03:54:00 PM) - Al

An e-mailer sends this link and asks if it means the Cardinals ignored their season ticket holders for possible playoff tickets...unless they were sent a similar e-mail last week and had first dibs, I think the answer is, yep.


9/26/2011 03:54:00 PM



(9/26/2011 03:43:00 PM) - Al

Braun off tonight, Kotsay gets the start. I would probably have Gomez in CF and slide Morgan to LF, as Carlos has swung the bat so well of late and may be needed to face a RHP in the playoffs, but you can't fault Kotsay's numbers, especially of late.


9/26/2011 03:43:00 PM



(9/26/2011 03:23:00 PM) - Al

Brewers will set attendance record, a few tickets remain for each game this week.

Congrats to the marketing and ticket side of things, it's astounding to see what intelligent campaigns will do. As hesitant as I am to be critical of Bud and the Selig family, without which there would be no Brewers team or Miller Park, they sure didn't understand advertising like Mark A.

Next season, they have a huge head start because of the excitement from the current season, the deposits some folks put down to be eligible for playoff seats, and the fact that people that have never purchased in advance in the past are finally learning that they can't walk up to the ticket window, even for a weeknight game, and get the seats they want, unless you are a party of one who does not care where they sit (or stand).

This is why big crowds lead to big crowds. It was once said that if you had a sold our restaurant, booked for a month or two in advance, you could let it go to hell and it would be several years before you noticed much of a financial loss...as folks would just keep coming for ages, because they haven't been able to get in, so they'd still want to. Then, even after bad service or a bad meal, most will think it's a fluke and STILL keep returning for a while.

Too bad they don't have 50K seats, as they've pretty much ran out of extra room to put more seats or areas.


9/26/2011 03:23:00 PM



(9/26/2011 02:37:00 PM) - Al

Quick note about Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan, it will raise far more than estimates. Everyone, drug dealers, illegals, tourists, and so on will have to pay the sales tax, and no one is even considering that. Getting 9% from the 150M that don't pay a penny right now would be fair and equitable too. It reeks of anti-redistribution as well.


9/26/2011 02:37:00 PM



(9/26/2011 02:29:00 PM) - Al

Dennis Miller can hardly contain his emotions while talking to Herm Cain.

I'm mighty proud of him too, and the best part is, when you listen to his ideas, they make the current guys in DC sound like the fools they are. He's been a business leader his whole life, and best of all, he's not so sad that his resume includes his time as a community organizer.

Listen to the clip, the lemonade story is supposed to be funny, but is very true in today's nanny state.


9/26/2011 02:29:00 PM



(9/26/2011 12:59:00 PM) - Al

To the shortsighted, a good story and good marketing can indeed make Billy Beane building a winner using OBP and other undervalued stats interesting.

If I were a movie studio, I'd concentrate on making films about a unique person or event...there are thousands of possibilities, and you can make them cheap compared to special effects flicks.


9/26/2011 12:59:00 PM



(9/26/2011 12:45:00 PM) - Al

Someone ought to be in prison for the overpriced health insurance the taxpayers have been paying for union folks. Oshkosh will save $2.1M in just two years.

Funny, I don't recall the unions telling us that little nugget o' fact. Unions are corrupt, and they always have been. Their ties to organized crime are undeniable, and deals like this are simply legalized extortion.

Thank goodness we have a leader willing to fight for the taxpayer and not the special interests.


9/26/2011 12:45:00 PM


Sunday, September 25, 2011

(9/25/2011 10:36:00 PM) - Al

The teleprompter must have got stuck on the J.

I'm so old, I can recall when he could speak without making a Biden-like gaffe. Heh.


9/25/2011 10:36:00 PM



(9/25/2011 09:17:00 PM) - Al

As pointed out, none of mind taxes for the important stuff. That said, the vast majority is for crap like Solyndra style "give money to the donors" junk.

The DMV sucks, so they can get by with 10% less. So can every single government entity. And then, you can get serious about cuts. As is, a "cut" is saying we'll only give you $19.8B next year instead of $20B.

Woo hoo, we cut $200M! It's a joke to anyone with common sense. Or, common cents.


9/25/2011 09:17:00 PM



(9/25/2011 09:12:00 PM) - Al

Ryan Braun to phone into Baseball Tonight in a few minutes.


9/25/2011 09:12:00 PM



(9/25/2011 08:45:00 PM) - Al

Twenty years ago today, September 24, Nirvana released Nevermind, and the world hasn't been the same since.--MTV.com

Geez, self-important drama much? It isn't remotely comparable to 9/11, and it's boderline offensive to pretend. It's an abomination to pretend a few druggies album a score ago somehow changed the planet. The fact no one knew it was the 20th anniversary pretty much tells the tale. You didn't hear anyone saying "Really? The planes hit ten years ago? Golly."

99% of the world has never heard of them. Half the world has never made a frickin' phone call.

Next.


9/25/2011 08:45:00 PM



(9/25/2011 08:23:00 PM) - Al

Joe Buck was an embarrassment back when he could talk. Now, he may well be the worst in history.

The amazing thing is, one can advance so far because of one's dad.


9/25/2011 08:23:00 PM



(9/25/2011 08:19:00 PM) - Al

I'm not officer drunk!

If she's been caught five times, you know she's done it fifty. This broad should try a diet Pepsi.


9/25/2011 08:19:00 PM



(9/25/2011 06:36:00 PM) - Al

FSW should have run an "instant classic" and rerun Friday night's clincher tonight. It would have meant pre-empting the WPT Tour, but most folks could have watched the encore at 10 or DVR'd it.

Maybe they'll do it Thursday or Friday night, but I think they probably have live sports on then.


9/25/2011 06:36:00 PM



(9/25/2011 06:23:00 PM) - Al

Roenicke indicated Gallardo would start Wed if home field at stake. If so, he wouldn't be able to pitch until Game 3 of NLDS.--JS

That might be winning the battle and losing the war. Yo has been by far the best SP the last couple months, not using him twice seems shortsighted to me. You're also not taking advantage of locking up a playoff spot a week plus ahead of the playoffs.


9/25/2011 06:23:00 PM



(9/25/2011 06:19:00 PM) - Al

The team is leaning toward an 11-man pitching staff for the best-of-five NLDS, with No. 5 starter Chris Narveson in the bullpen.--MLB.com

Axford, KRod, Saito, Hawkins, Narveson, Loe...and who? You could make an argument for DLC, Dillard, or Estrada. I would assume Marco, but considering the role, and the fact you can replace an injured player, I might choose another, or go with a 10 man staff.


9/25/2011 06:19:00 PM



(9/25/2011 06:13:00 PM) - Al

Indeed, the Brewers are 78-1 when leading after nine innings--Tom H, JS

In a never ending battle to see who sucks more, I believe Tom H and the editors at the JS have battled to a draw.

It's like watching a couple hookers battle it out at the pearly gate by providing half-off coupons. The level of ineptitude goes beyond mortal measurements.


9/25/2011 06:13:00 PM



(9/25/2011 05:30:00 PM) - Al

Today, the Yankees did not start Texieira, Cano, Gardner, and Swisher. I just checked the Giants/DBacks boxscore, and I sure don't recognize many names.

Those unwritten rules about playing your best lineup when playing a contender is ignored as much as it is followed. I've always went by a simple philosophy...do what's best for your team, and ignore all the drama some folks make up. It's exhausting.


9/25/2011 05:30:00 PM



(9/25/2011 03:51:00 PM) - Al

I don't know anything about the NFL to speak of, but earlier today I read the last time the Lions won in MN, the QB's were Scott Mitchell and Randall Cunningham. DET is a 3 point pick, but it is likely none of the Lions' players have ever won there.

Now, what does that mean? Well, nothing really, but to me, it means many of the Lions do not expect to win today. I have no idea what team is better, or anything like that, but it's tough to bring home a victory on the road when you don't think you will.

EDIT: This is why I don't bet football.


9/25/2011 03:51:00 PM



(9/25/2011 02:16:00 PM) - Al

Expect to see DLC and Fiers get some work today. Narveson won't go much more than 5 regardless of effectiveness.


9/25/2011 02:16:00 PM



(9/25/2011 02:10:00 PM) - Al

Hairston smacking the ball so hard they might have to find a place for him.

The problems that accompany success.:)

You could say the same thing about Kotsay too, but I don't see him taking time away from an OF or Prince.


9/25/2011 02:10:00 PM



(9/25/2011 01:50:00 PM) - Al

We all something about Rottino's throwing arm...he's barely played LF. At best, it's strong but inconsistent.


9/25/2011 01:50:00 PM



(9/25/2011 01:46:00 PM) - Al

Rickie is running good enough to attempt a steal of 2B earlier, but really slows down as he rounds the bases. I wonder if it's a mental thing, or if he's still afraid of/in the pain.

As has been said, it's not going to be 100% until he gets a couple months of rest.


9/25/2011 01:46:00 PM



(9/25/2011 12:50:00 PM) - Al

Braun is 4th in OPS among players with 400 PA's or more. Fielder is 10th. Hart is 28th, Weeks is 55th. 4 of the top 60, while the average team would only have two. I have often said Corey and Rickie are vastly undervalued by Brewers' fans because of Ryan and Prince. They'd be hitting 3rd and 4th for some teams.

MLB average is a 719 OPS, by the way. Doug keeps that in mind, as he often says if you can find an "average" guy at each position, in theory, you should be at least a .500 team. Mighty tough finding C's and SS's that can hit at that level, however.


9/25/2011 12:50:00 PM



(9/25/2011 12:45:00 PM) - Al

I doubt his elderly, Spanish speaking father had any idea how much trouble he would be in. Talk about stupid.


9/25/2011 12:45:00 PM



(9/25/2011 10:28:00 AM) - Al

Ted Kennedy rolls over in his grave, as Obama waives No Child Left Behind...which Teddy wrote, a little nugget of fact the old media has conveniently forgotten as it blames W for having the nerve to introduce standards in education.


9/25/2011 10:28:00 AM



(9/25/2011 10:19:00 AM) - Al

Hart RF, Kotsay CF, Braun LF, Fielder 1B, Weeks 2B, Hairston 3B, Betancourt SS, Kottaras C, Narveson P

Morgan, McGehee, and Lucroy take the day off, at least early.

I wonder if Axford will be available, as he struggled the last time he worked three days in a row.


9/25/2011 10:19:00 AM



(9/25/2011 10:05:00 AM) - Al

Not only is Cain a good speaker, he makes a lot of sense, and much like W, he believes what he says. That is an incredible difference from the current state, where inconsistency is consistent...ideas and proposals change with more frequency than the wind, the only uniform item is that it may change tomorrow.

That is what happens when there is no plan to guide you, no principles to follow, just a never ending concern about polls and raising cash to blast out whatever slogan the frat boy comes up with between bong hits and embarrassing social missteps.


9/25/2011 10:05:00 AM



(9/25/2011 09:49:00 AM) - Al

GM Doug Melvin wouldn’t comment, but major league sources said the Brewers may make a bid to keep him after all. And when it comes to my longtime theory that the Nationals will be his team because of the Scott Boras tie-ins, I reserve the right to change my mind. The Nationals do have a logjam at first base, where Michael Morse will likely end up because he’s not a very good left fielder. They probably will deal Adam LaRoche. They also have Chris Marrero, one of the organization’s top prospects, who has looked good during his September call-up.--Boston Globe

I said yesterday they might make a bid, but they'd just reoffer their extension offer, something close to 5y/$105M. As I have said, I think they've redistributed some of those funds elsewhere, some to Weeks.

Cot's has their '11 payroll at about $84M...right now, they have obligations of $58M for '12, which does not include Marcum, who will get $8-9M in arby, and of course, Fielder, who'll get a minimum of $20M. That would be $84M...for eight players. Not only doesn't it seem realistic, Prince would come with a long commitment, and many of us question how he'll age...never mind, there's no DH in the NL to transition to.


9/25/2011 09:49:00 AM


Saturday, September 24, 2011

(9/24/2011 09:53:00 PM) - Al

That's the funny thing, Prince is a great player, but he and Yuni are the only two major contributors who won't be back. Prince may be 3-4 wins better than an average 1B, but that's still 90 victories.


9/24/2011 09:53:00 PM



(9/24/2011 07:43:00 PM) - Al

Greinke manages to make it through 5. Lucky to escape with only 4 runs, he had no control at all, 14 runners allowed, I believe.


9/24/2011 07:43:00 PM



(9/24/2011 06:37:00 PM) - Al

BA tossing out a "piggyback" between Yo and Zach on the final day of the season, a scenario I have discussed here. Of course, BA and Bill act like these thoughts just fell from the sky, but probably came right from Ron's or Doug's mouth.

I was surprised that the message boards seem to think the Crew should go full speed ahead for the home field, even if it means weakening the staff for the playoffs, which I just don't understand at all. I recall NYY and BOS being tied for the division/wildcard one year, and neither played their top lineup the final day.

The playoffs are the holy grail. Home field is salt on your hardtack...nice, desired, but not a big deal. ARI could easily come to MIL and win the first two games...just like they could easily sweep a series during the regular season. It's a small sample, that's why it's such a crapshoot.


9/24/2011 06:37:00 PM



(9/24/2011 06:28:00 PM) - Al

I don't mind the Marlins' new logo at all, it's a bit loud, but at least it is unique.

I can imagine it being popular with the young people.


9/24/2011 06:28:00 PM



(9/24/2011 06:04:00 PM) - Al

Bo knows recruiting. Koenig may be the best point guard to come out of a WI HS since before my memory allows. He's far higher rated at this point than Devin Harris was, though no one knows what the future will bring.


9/24/2011 06:04:00 PM



(9/24/2011 04:51:00 PM) - Al

The only factor in the Marlins favor is that Prince Fielder does in live in Florida in the off-season and there is that perk of not having a state income tax.--Bleacher Report

I don't think Prince wants to go to a big market or perennial winner either. If so, he'd just go the Cubs and be done with it.


9/24/2011 04:51:00 PM



(9/24/2011 04:46:00 PM) - Al

Improbable as it might seen, a rival GM says that there is logic to the Marlins making a run for either Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols this winter. The Fish are moving into a new ballpark but there are still questions about whether they can sustain long-term success. Either slugger would obviously be a major draw in tandem with Mike Stanton and that would surely get fans in the seats.--MLBTR

Prince lives in Florida, if memory serves, though I do not know how close it is to Miami. This is a rumor I've seen a half-dozen times in the last month, so I do not know if it is actually being discussed in Marlins' camp or if it just makes sense.


9/24/2011 04:46:00 PM



(9/24/2011 04:31:00 PM) - Al

Tidbits from RRR: Planning to use 4 starters in NLDS. Still weighing options for G1 starter. Home field "is important, no doubt."--Adam, MLB.com

Really only two choices, Gallardo or Greinke. Home field isn't a high priority to me, but quite possibly because I think the best chance to get past the Phillies is to beat them 3 times, not 4.


9/24/2011 04:31:00 PM



(9/24/2011 04:21:00 PM) - Al

While everyone else was talking about how the Brewers were going to run wild this season, I suggested that it would not happen.

That may be the smartest post I've ever made. Even I thought we'd see more hit and runs. Other than Morgan bunting for hits, which turns into a sacrifice in the boxscore when unsuccessful, and Braun getting the green light, it's a nearly identical team. The difference is, of course...

...better pitching.

...the players, especially Braun and Fielder, like Ron, probably because he's given them the freedom they desired.


9/24/2011 04:21:00 PM



(9/24/2011 04:05:00 PM) - Al

It's not that the few millionaires aren't paying high enough taxes. It's that 150M that don't pay a damn dime. And many of them suck the entitlement system dry.

Don't pay in, but take out...that's why we're broke.

And many of them go to work every day, have two cars, AC, a house, cable, internet, big screen TV's, a dishwasher...far from "barely making ends meet."


9/24/2011 04:05:00 PM



(9/24/2011 03:07:00 PM) - Al

RF Nyjer Morgan
CF Carlos Gomez
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
3B Casey McGehee
2B Taylor Green
SS Yuniesky Betancourt
C Jonathan Lucroy
P Zack Greinke


My guess that Hart may have received treatment when he got a game off after a day off last week may have legs, as he and Weeks are the only regulars to get the night off. This is what I expected, as I assume Roenicke will rest a starter or two each game the rest of the way...though he may start Braun and Fielder each game and take them out after the 5th a couple times. I'd give Lucroy a day off before or after Wolf pitches to give him two days as well. If Fiers or Estrada pick up a start, Maldonado might even see some action.

I also feel we'll see a bit of a quick hook the rest of the way, letting the SP go 5-6 tops.

Probably get word later on the pitching adjustments for the Pirates series, and maybe for Sunday. May hear some rumors and hints on the 25 man playoff roster as well, though I would think there are 22-23 locks, so there isn't much suspense. Since you can replace an injured player, I think they'll probably only carry 10 or 11 pitchers, so you might see a 3rd C or PR specialist.


9/24/2011 03:07:00 PM



(9/24/2011 02:34:00 PM) - Al

I think the criticism of Cutler just shows how ignorant the average football fan is. It's amazing there's a single player healthy enough to play by the playoffs.


9/24/2011 02:34:00 PM



(9/24/2011 02:15:00 PM) - Al

Miller Park Drunk posted Braun's HR with Uecker's audio.

This is why he doesn't suck.


9/24/2011 02:15:00 PM



(9/24/2011 01:20:00 PM) - Al

Badgers a 46 point favorite over South Dakota...and yes, I do find it ironic that there are dozens of sports betting sites openly operating that can be used by US residents, credit cards happily accepted, while the DOJ shut down the major poker sites.

Forest for the trees. I know this will surprise you, but the nanny state is a bit inconsistent in their remedies to save us from ourselves.


9/24/2011 01:20:00 PM



(9/24/2011 12:39:00 PM) - Al

Professor tries selling that college students are worked hard, under enormous pressure, and really have it tough.

I'm not buying. I knew way too many career students and people who barely went to class (including Tucker Max, who graduated from law school while living elsewhere and never buying textbooks) to pretend the stereotype is far from the norm.

Hey, I delivered pizza for five years in Eau Claire...back in the early 90's. I'd drive by the all night study room and see 200 students in there during finals week...maybe 20 in there on an average weekend evening. There were 10K attending back then...you do the math.

It's just like those angry e-mails I get when I call frats a bunch of drunken idiots...it's a stereotype because it's true. Those that deviate from the mean may not fit the mold or appreciate it, but it doesn't change the fact every frat or sorority was sobriety challenged when I took them their food, whether it was noon or 2AM.


9/24/2011 12:39:00 PM



(9/24/2011 12:33:00 PM) - Al

Some people just need a hobby. What a waste of time and energy.


9/24/2011 12:33:00 PM



(9/24/2011 12:21:00 PM) - Al

The Braves DFA Matt Young, a speedster who can play 2B/OF. He has very nice AAA numbers, lefty bat, high OBP, 4-1 SB/CS ratio, but he'll turn 29 soon, so he is what he is, which is probably just solid AAA depth. Kind of a poor man's Skip Schumacher, more speed, less pop.

He's better than Eric Farris, but that's a backhanded compliment. He'd be a very nice piece to store at Nashville until needed. Put him on the minor league free agent list.


9/24/2011 12:21:00 PM



(9/24/2011 11:37:00 AM) - Al

E-mail question about the playoff schedule, so here it is.

I'm curious as how the days with four games will work...I read that if you go into the future on your TV guide into the future, online or on your TV, TBS's coverage is scheduled at 11, 2:30, 6, and 9:30...unsure if that would be game time, pre-game, or just rough estimates. The problem is, if the playoff spots hold, there are not enough teams out west to have it be a convenient start time locally. PHIL, ATL, NYY, BOS, MIL, DET, TEX, and ARI...5 Eastern, 2 Central, and 1 Mountain...would they really start a game at 9:30 Central in Arlington or Milwaukee? I think the NBA started some games at 8:30/9 during the playoffs, seems like Dallas got stuck hosting one or two of those.

I'm sure they have some sort of plan for this...with TEX/COL in the West it's bound to happen, and has happened before. If the plan is, have 'em play at 9 or 9:30 local time, they'll be lots of grumpy campers.

ADDED: Last year, they started the "late game" no later than 8:30 local time...if it was out west, it started at 9:30 EST, 8:30 for us. And in response to the e-mail saying Arizona was in the Pacific time zone...they kind of are most of the year, since they do not observe daylight savings time, they are the same as Pacific from March-October.


9/24/2011 11:37:00 AM



(9/24/2011 10:57:00 AM) - Al

The plan that Doug Melvin brought to owner Mark Attanasio last fall was audacious, and bore significant risk. The Brewers had tried and failed to sign Prince Fielder to an extension, and the conversations that Melvin had had with other teams had led him to believe that trading Fielder wouldn't yield the kind of high-end pitching that he felt he had to get in return for the MVP candidate.

With Fielder poised for free agency in the fall of 2011, Melvin had two choices. First, he could do what most teams have done in similar situations -- trade their star, Fielder, in a deal he didn't really like, taking 70 cents on the dollar, as the Twins did when they swapped Johan Santana to the Mets.

The other option was to load up for a big run at the postseason. And in order to do this, Melvin explained to Attanasio, he was going to have to make expensive deals and swap many of the remaining assets in the Milwaukee farm system.

This is the route that Melvin endorsed, and that Attanasio approved, in keeping with a covenant that the Brewers have developed with their fans, a bond strengthened when Milwaukee traded for CC Sabathia in the summer of 2008.--Olney


Doug has a plan, and he works that plan. He doesn't say one thing and does another.

There's a lesson to be learned there. Sure he was fortunate that Marcum and Greinke stayed healthy, and that Hawkins and Saito fought injuries and were effective despite their age. But, good fortune is a piece of the puzzle, as any honest person will tell you. No team wins using their 8th and 9th best SP's...ask the Red Sox.

I wonder if Doug and Gord have already mapped out a plan for '12, or if they are waiting for their organizational meetings, which usually happen in September, after the minor league season ends, but have not been held yet. I'm sure they know who'll be protected on the 40 man, as they would not have promoted Fiers to sit in the 'pen and pitch garbage innings had they needed his spot this offseason.


9/24/2011 10:57:00 AM



(9/24/2011 09:48:00 AM) - Al

The good folks at MLB.com has this link from last night, which includes Uecker's call, the HR, Axford getting the final out (amazingly, we don't even talk about John anymore, we just take him for granted).


9/24/2011 09:48:00 AM



(9/24/2011 09:44:00 AM) - Al

Dennis Miller tears Harry Reid apart. And every single word is true.


9/24/2011 09:44:00 AM



(9/24/2011 09:33:00 AM) - Al

Here's the New York Post piece on the MLB playoffs and CBA. The one game playoff is favored because it's a crapshoot...they want teams to focus on the division, and the networks love the idea of a one game, sudden death playoff.


9/24/2011 09:33:00 AM



(9/24/2011 09:09:00 AM) - Al

Here's what $500K will get you...a 700 square foot solar house.

And some people think this is the future. No it's not. Other than the fact they're ugly and overpriced, they're simply not realistic.


9/24/2011 09:09:00 AM



(9/24/2011 08:58:00 AM) - Al

Brewers will have a playoff rally next Thursday afternoon at the Summerfest grounds.


9/24/2011 08:58:00 AM



(9/24/2011 08:45:00 AM) - Al

Players, owners in agreement that extra wild-card round would be one-game knockout, as reported by Joel Sherman. But players want added wild-card teams tied to switch to two 15-team leagues. Extra round for '12 unlikely for now. More likely for '13.--Rosenthal

No offense to anyone, but how hard is it to fit an extra game into the mix?

I'm still not a fan of the two 15 team leagues. I simply do not see any positives to it.


9/24/2011 08:45:00 AM



(9/24/2011 01:37:00 AM) - Al

Brewers win, Christie may run for prez...this is about as good as it gets.


9/24/2011 01:37:00 AM



(9/24/2011 01:33:00 AM) - Al

This is the entire six minute postgame highlight show TMJ does. Braun's HR is at about the 4:30 mark.


9/24/2011 01:33:00 AM



(9/24/2011 01:17:00 AM) - Al

Just saw Rickie's error, he did just what I thought he did...he set his feet to turn the DP, and then had to reach for the throw with just his glove. It's similar to what Fielder used to do when he was young, he'd stretch for the throw, and then if it was off to the left or right, he could barely extend either way...try stretching for a ball straight ahead, and then pretend it's two feet to the right...awkward.

As they said on TV, Rickie should have just made sure of one, but at that level, they're always thinking two.


9/24/2011 01:17:00 AM



(9/24/2011 01:04:00 AM) - Al

Thoughts as the replay on FSN hits the 7th inning:

...I can't find Uecker's call online anywhere. Someone said Ueck could barely hold back the tears during the postgame interviews.

...Next year, they're going to have a bobblehead of Ryan with his bat held high in triumph, I promise you. Maybe they'll do another audio one with Ueck's call.

...Prince said he might take a day off. I bet Roenicke will give a couple guys a day off, but I doubt it will be Prince. We might well see Hairston and Green get some time at 3B, and see if someone gets hot. Also, I bet Rickie will start but not finish most of the remaining five. He needs AB's, but he also needs to keep getting treatment. At this point, I'm not sure if there's anything they can do to get him ready, or more pain-free, in a week, but I'm sure they'll try.

...Doug will sit down with the coaches and Ron and they will make a plan of action for Weeks and the pitching staff. Like I said earlier, Narveson getting a couple relief appearances and funny looking pitching lines, with maybe Greinke in relief Wednesday, are probably on deck (see that, a baseball reference as I talk about baseball).

...Greinke was not seen in the celebration. Many think he left because he has to start tomorrow night, but it's not like it's a noon start. He's just an odd duck. He's a perfect example of a guy no one would want if he was just another arm, but no one cares since he's good.

...Unique choice of Hairston to lead off the 8th. I would have thought they'd go with Kotsay and have Schafer PR for him if he reached. Nothing to save Kotsay for, as it is unlikely to ever get back to the pitcher's spot.


9/24/2011 01:04:00 AM



(9/24/2011 12:42:00 AM) - Al

But there must be a mix between statistics and traditional scouting, Melvin believes. He is a big believer in ballpark effects. But he does not think that mainstream defensive metrics paint an accurate picture, and he believes the unbalanced schedules skew the numbers. The Brewers, for example, played 34 games this season against the Cardinals and Reds, the top two offenses in the National League.

"There have been a couple of trade proposals over the last two years that, had I made based on the numbers, we wouldn't be up here today having a chance to clinch," Melvin said. "There are no apples to apples in our game."--MLB.com


I know he said a year or two ago that Weeks had the best defensive numbers of any 2B in either the NL or MLB, so I wonder what metrics he uses, as it does not sound like he uses UZR or DRS, by far the two most common cited.

I think he's saying the pitching is even better than their numbers indicate, because they faced the Cards and Reds so much. And we know he looks at ballpark effects, as he's built his Brewers' clubs based on HR's, because Miller Park is almost exactly neutral offensively, but very homer friendly. Some people don't get that, but, some people don't get anything.


9/24/2011 12:42:00 AM



(9/24/2011 12:34:00 AM) - Al

Mark A says Doug did not want any distractions, so any talk of an extension was delayed.

I thought Doug was a few years older, but at 59, I'd lock him up and let him decide when he's had enough. I doubt he'll want to be GM more than 3-4 more seasons, and I'm happy to have him until he puts himself out to pasture.

It's a young man's game. Doug even worked the all-star break, putting the KRod deal together while everyone else was relaxing.


9/24/2011 12:34:00 AM



(9/24/2011 12:29:00 AM) - Al

Money will be the special instructor of player development and also serve as the hitting coach for the rookie club in Helena.--JS

Heh. I can only imagine all those 18-22 year-olds, been the best player on every team their entire life, saying, "Man, the old guy says I suck."

Doug says it was "mutual" for Money to step down as AAA manager, and the travel was tough on him...although I don't think the 12 hour bus rides in the Pioneer League are going to have him full of positive vibes either.


9/24/2011 12:29:00 AM



(9/24/2011 12:00:00 AM) - Al

Furcal has committed five errors in the past six games, all but one of them fielding miscues.

"He's a proud guy, he's trying to win," La Russa said. "That play in the ninth got to him and he's made a couple errors lately, so it's just a good day for him to get a break."

La Russa had less to say about the bullpen. Jason Motte and Fernando Salas have both been heavily used during the Cardinals' September drive. Both pitched Thursday, and the manager wouldn't say whether Motte was available.

"You know, if we get the double-play ball and a pop-up, then where is our tired bullpen?" La Russa said. "It's such a ridiculous story line and it's aggravating. It's not accurate and it's guys picking and choosing things and it's just a pain to deal with, and I'm not going to deal with it.

"Just watch the game and see who pitches."--AP



What's that old saying? It's easy to be classy when things are going good. The true test of a person is how they act when things are going bad. That's the thing about Braun, he loves the attention yes, but he's always the guy the media seeks out after a tough loss, or a bad week, and he gladly steps forward and says the right thing.

I'm not one to care a whole lot about managerial strategery, it may be worth a game or two, but much of what they do is behind the scenes, not fill out a lineup card. But, when you have a team fighting for a playoff spot, and your manager, your defacto leader, is arguing with the media and in effect, blaming your SS for the loss because he had the nerve to bobble a grounder, it is likely the prescription for a team to play tight and be afraid to goof up.

Let's be honest, throwing a guy under the bus is never a good thing, that's where the phrase "praise in public, criticize in private" comes from. It's especially so this time of year, when nearly every player is banged up and playing through some sort of pain or nagging injury.

As Robert once said, paraphrasing here, "What's wrong with the pitcher stepping up and working out of a jam caused by an error?"


9/24/2011 12:00:00 AM


Friday, September 23, 2011

(9/23/2011 11:50:00 PM) - Al

For those in the Milwaukee area, the Hot Corner store at Miller Park is open all night long, for your overpriced souvenir needs.


9/23/2011 11:50:00 PM



(9/23/2011 11:37:00 PM) - Al

Everyone keeps talking about "home field," but in reality, as long as the Braves hang onto the wildcard, they mean "the Brewers play the Braves with the same number or more games at Miller Park" rather than having to play the Phillies.

As I said a week or so ago, if your goal is to win the Series, you have a better chance of beating the Phillies the fewer games you play...5 is therefore better than 7...but most fans will tell you they'd rather play the weaker team (ATL), win a series, and then play PHIL (of course, you can always hope ARI beats PHIL and you never have to face them, I suppose).

In reality though, the Brewers' best bet may well be to face Philly with their rotation set up...and their #4 may be better than Oswalt, in a best 3 of 5.


9/23/2011 11:37:00 PM



(9/23/2011 11:36:00 PM) - Al

Other weird thing. In '08, #Brewers beat Cubs, then rooted for Marlins. Now they beat Marlins, root for Cubs.--Adam, MLB.com

I did not notice that.


9/23/2011 11:36:00 PM



(9/23/2011 11:11:00 PM) - Al

Gallardo and Greinke will almost certainly pitch the first two games, with Marcum and Wolf in 3 and 4, in an order to be determined (the Braves are terrible versus LHP, so that may affect placement).

You know, whoever is scheduled to pitch Game 3, which is Monday, may pitch the final regular season game, or at least part of it. It'll be interesting to see how they piece it all together.


9/23/2011 11:11:00 PM



(9/23/2011 10:58:00 PM) - Al

Even now, Braun is doing media, Fielder is saying thanks and goodbye to the crowd. I don't think there will be a final, final offer, except to possibly tell him and Boras that the 5y/$105M offer they made a while back is still on the table. They will use it as a starting point, someone else will offer 6, 7, maybe 8 years, same AAV, and that will be that.

They already spent that money, as if he would have accepted it, Weeks would be elsewhere, dealt for a SP, and Lawrie would be the 2B. My goodness, with Marcum coming off a healthy, effective season and arby eligible, the rotation alone will pull in $37M+ next season...and that's with Narveson making $550Kish.


9/23/2011 10:58:00 PM



(9/23/2011 10:54:00 PM) - Al

Before I forget, I don't know if I've ever seen a ball hit to CF that went further than that Braun homer. I've loved watching Prince for his first six years, but there's no doubt who I would rather have signed long-term. To be honest, I wanted Rickie more than Prince, who is destined not to age well.

Heck, he might hit 40 HR's a year a decade from now, but let's face it, guys built like me and Prince rarely play into their late 30's.


9/23/2011 10:54:00 PM



(9/23/2011 10:48:00 PM) - Al

Rich Kranitz may have dropped as many names of "friends" in an interview as Braun usually does. The irony is, it sounds like John Shelby, who is an official coach but doesn't dress as one due to the MLB limit, was hired before Kranitz, and John actually called him and told him they might have a job for him in Milwaukee.

Both Kranitz and Sedar had jobs as minor league roving coaches for the Astros before Roenicke decided to put them on his staff.


9/23/2011 10:48:00 PM



(9/23/2011 10:35:00 PM) - Al

I would assume they will make several changes to the rotation now, especially for the Pirates series. If Yo pitches, he'll likely just go a couple frames, and I would bet Greinke will pitch in relief just to get an inning in.

BA and Bill S already discussed Narveson moving to the bullpen, and he might do that sooner rather than later, to get a couple relief appearances in, before the big stage hits.


9/23/2011 10:35:00 PM



(9/23/2011 10:30:00 PM) - Al

I'll obviously keep watching, but for me, and for most statistical minded baseball fans, the regular season is what it's all about. The cream rises to the top over 162, but the playoffs, in the immortal words of Billy Beane, is a crapshoot.

I'd far prefer being lucky than good in the postseason, but over the course of six months, I'll take being good any day. Some teams are more fortunate than others, the Crew is probably one of them as well.


9/23/2011 10:30:00 PM



(9/23/2011 10:16:00 PM) - Al

I couldn't be happier for Doug Melvin, who has literally transformed this team from an also ran to a team that is either in contention or near .500...it wasn't that long ago when a .500 campaign was the reason to celebrate.

Mark A has allowed him the payroll to make a mistake or two, but Doug always is calm, makes his moves based on production, potential, and intelligence, not "he doesn't carry himself the right way" or "he isn't the right kind of person"....it's awful tough for teams like the Nationals to try and build a winner when you're giving away a solid CF because he's not a choir boy. He didn't really care if KRod was happy or not, and I doubt he cares...he knows KRod is selfish enough to need to do well to get a big contract next year.


9/23/2011 10:16:00 PM



(9/23/2011 10:13:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling wife and I watched the end of the Cards' loss on the MLB Network, and then switched it over to FSN, and it was at least 5 seconds before they showed the final out. You never really realize it, but you're never watching the game "live," it's always on a bit of a delay.


9/23/2011 10:13:00 PM



(9/23/2011 10:12:00 PM) - Al

You know, that Ryan Braun kid might just be a keeper.


9/23/2011 10:12:00 PM



(9/23/2011 06:52:00 PM) - Al

I talk a lot about overregulation stifling jobs, job growth, and the economy as a whole. Today, I had to pass some tests online so I can be properly certified for the upcoming year. I did not schedule any appointments, leaving the entire day to do three tests. I started at 10AM, and finished at 5PM...having taken and passed a single test. Still two more to knock out by next Friday.

It's just headshakingly too much. Multiply that by everyone who has to go through mundane, tedious crap, and your probably talking about billions of dollars a year lost due to mindless rules and regs some bureaucrat added years ago that just getting renewed...even though more are added, and many things are now double, triple, and quadruple checked.


9/23/2011 06:52:00 PM



(9/23/2011 06:50:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling dog got his haircut yesterday. He's been shivering nonstop since he got home. Takes a while for his body to reset its internal thermostat without hair. It's cute, but pathetic.


9/23/2011 06:50:00 PM



(9/23/2011 06:44:00 PM) - Al

"MoneyBall" my new favorite movie of all time! Disregard all previous!--Jerry Seinfeld


9/23/2011 06:44:00 PM



(9/23/2011 06:36:00 PM) - Al

Reason explains how deaths from heat and floods is, ahem, a bit exaggerated by the old media.

I got a very nasty e-mail from one clown after I said far more people died in car accidents than were troubled by the recent hurricane, which made oodles of news because it skirted New York City, the center of the old media universe. He did not question my math, just that it was hellishly serious, I guess because he was involved.


9/23/2011 06:36:00 PM



(9/23/2011 09:41:00 AM) - Al

Jeff sends me this link, which says the Brewers has a 91% chance of making the playoffs if they finish 0-6.


9/23/2011 09:41:00 AM


Thursday, September 22, 2011

(9/22/2011 08:59:00 PM) - Al

I was wondering last night what the odds were of the Brewers making the playoffs if they lose every remaining game...the Cards would have to lose 3 of 7 (as of then), OR the Braves would have had to lose 4 of 6, OR, they would have had to win a tiebreaker game.

Not sure what the odds would have said...but it was far higher than zero. Now, it's the Cards 2 of 6 and the Braves still 4 of 6...I'd have to figure it's 50%. The most likely scenario for SL is either winning 3 or 4...and 4 wins equals 2 losses. Must be about a 20% chance they win 4, maybe 15% they win 5, and 8% they win 6...that's 77% for SL alone. Add in 5% for ATL losing 4 or more (it's probably at least 10-15%), the Crew could forfeit every game abd make it 4 out of 5 times.

Of course, that leaves that pesky one...


9/22/2011 08:59:00 PM



(9/22/2011 08:29:00 PM) - Al

Cruise ship deaths? Lacrosse campus deaths? Alcohol plus water is a dangerous combo platter.


9/22/2011 08:29:00 PM



(9/22/2011 08:20:00 PM) - Al

It's amazing every time a debate is on how many positive Herman Cain mentions flood my Twitter.


9/22/2011 08:20:00 PM



(9/22/2011 08:16:00 PM) - Al

According to the Associated Press, Leo Nunez was sent back to the Dominican Republic this week because he was found to have been using a fake name.

Nunez was placed on the restricted list Thursday and is not expected to return to the major leagues this season. According go the AP's sources, the right-hander's real name is Juan Carlos Oviedo and he's actually a year older than his listed age of 28. The Marlins have reportedly known about the issue for several months, but it's not yet clear how they plan to resolve it.--Rotoworld


The Marlins waited until now because they were trying to put it off until they were out of the race? This is a Dept. of Homeland Security issue, or maybe INS, and they will not be lenient or quick to resolve it. We may not see him again for a year or two.


9/22/2011 08:16:00 PM



(9/22/2011 07:43:00 PM) - Al

Mets comeback was 3rd time ever they rallied from 4+ runs down in 9th or later to win on road. Last time: July 17, 1973 in Atlanta

Heh. What's funny is how many people, including know nothing writers like Tom H and Tony W, just don't seem to comprehend the fact that teams that are playing for playoff spots aren't that much better than teams that are not, or that teams out of the race are still trying to win.

Imagine this scenario: Player A plays all year for a team that's well toward the bottom of the standing, let's say the Twins. He's making at least $400K, but is looking for that guaranteed deal that will bring him $12M...or $6M, or heck, maybe $1.5M. They play all year, winning about 60, losing 80, and somehow, in September, some morons think they're not going to try as hard? They haven't had a chance for the playoffs all season, nothing has changed. A good game, say a 4-5, is the difference between a .290 season and a .300 season, if you have 400 AB's and have 116 hits coming into the game.


9/22/2011 07:43:00 PM



(9/22/2011 04:48:00 PM) - Al

$170M to a Spanish company to build a wind farm in IL. Solyndra may have just been the tip of the waste iceberg.

Why it was necessary to give a company money if it was a sensible venture is my question. No word if they were heavy donors to a certain political party.

It's not a revenue problem...


9/22/2011 04:48:00 PM



(9/22/2011 04:02:00 PM) - Al

The minor league coaches and staff is all in place, which would seem to mean the braintrust; Doug, Gord, and Reid Nichols, who pretty much runs the minors, have all been told they will be back.

Surprised to not see Charlie Greene moving up (of course, you don't know if he wants to move up, maybe he likes his gig), as he was a superb defensive catcher.


9/22/2011 04:02:00 PM



(9/22/2011 02:44:00 PM) - Al

Mike Guerrero named AAA manager at Nashville next year, putting him in line for a coaching job in the future. Don Money named as a "special instructor, player development", which I think is Doug's way of not having him talk to the media anymore about how horrible every single prospect is.

What's sad is, Money was an excellent defensive infielder, and every single Brewers' player has improved defensively in the majors...though seemingly not much while under Money's tutelage.

Sometimes, the best baseball minds just can't teach. Remember Ted Williams classic line, "I don't know, just hit it."


9/22/2011 02:44:00 PM



(9/22/2011 09:33:00 AM) - Al

Author of Palin book admits in e-mail he has no proof of his claims other than rumors.

Hard to believe a guy so creepy as to rent the house next door to the Palins would be less than credible.


9/22/2011 09:33:00 AM



(9/22/2011 09:04:00 AM) - Al

There is no such thing as war without the brutal, violent death of innocents, including children. Similarly, there is no such thing as government spending without gobs of disgusting waste, graft and corruption.--Matt Welch

Read the entire piece on $16 muffins, why we need to raise taxes because there's no waste to cut, and why we gave a company that couldn't get a loan from a bank $500M (hint, banks have fiscal responsibility, the Obama administration does not).


9/22/2011 09:04:00 AM


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

(9/21/2011 11:21:00 PM) - Al

Jonah Goldberg shakes his head, as do I. I'm surprised they ran the picture even once. If it was W, they'd run it every day.

W would know the p is silent in corpsman too. Just sayin'.


9/21/2011 11:21:00 PM



(9/21/2011 09:53:00 PM) - Al

Hunter Pence has a bad patella tendon.

I only mention this because the Rambling dog does too. His used to "pop out" once in a while, a common problem with cocker spaniels the vet told us a decade plus ago. He said to keep him from getting overweight, as that would make it worse. Sadly, we've been more successful with him than ourselves in that regard.

Lately, I've caught him "dragging" one of his back legs on occasion, though he can easily do that on our slippery floors. He's 15.5, he's going to have some minor issues.

Photobucket

Other than that, no resemblance at all.


9/21/2011 09:53:00 PM



(9/21/2011 09:21:00 PM) - Al

I feel brilliant for rooting against the Braves the past week, because if the Cards keep playing like this, and the Crew slumps, it could always come down to who wins more, ATL or MIL.

Right now, MIL is +3 on ATL, and +4.5 on SL, assuming the Cards hang on. Given that they never lose...


9/21/2011 09:21:00 PM



(9/21/2011 07:46:00 PM) - Al

Doomed satellite to miss USA.


9/21/2011 07:46:00 PM



(9/21/2011 06:46:00 PM) - Al

I'm watching the early episodes of Big Bang Theory in syndication, and allow me to say, while Kaley Cuoco is still a very attractive woman, she was simply off the charts when that show began a few years ago.


9/21/2011 06:46:00 PM



(9/21/2011 06:39:00 PM) - Al

Domino's have not started advertising their Artisan pizzas yet, but they are yummy, at least the one with salami. Very thin crust though, they don't fill you up.


9/21/2011 06:39:00 PM



(9/21/2011 05:01:00 PM) - Al

I can't believe Mike Hegan was still working.


9/21/2011 05:01:00 PM



(9/21/2011 04:57:00 PM) - Al

Luckily, our governor had the foresight to kill the high speed rail because it would have cost the taxpayers too much. Imagine the outcry had we spent WI money on what amounts to pretty beads. Thank goodness we have a fiscal conservative leading the state out of deficits.


9/21/2011 04:57:00 PM



(9/21/2011 04:09:00 PM) - Al

I agree, a 4-2 road trip is very solid. It just doesn't seem that way when the team that's chasing you never loses...or it seems that way at least.


9/21/2011 04:09:00 PM



(9/21/2011 04:03:00 PM) - Al

Surprised Axford did not pitch an inning today. Would not be surprised at all to hear he has a "tender" elbow or something along those lines. They really seem to be protecting him. I think he's pitched about 4 innings this month.

ADDED: 6 games, 7 IP.


9/21/2011 04:03:00 PM



(9/21/2011 03:59:00 PM) - Al

Closest comparison to Garza I can think of is nine innings of Axford. You knew he had his good stuff from the first batter.

Only way to beat a guy like that is to have a near perfect Wolf start, and it wasn't.


9/21/2011 03:59:00 PM



(9/21/2011 03:47:00 PM) - Al

Union members misusing a pension?

I'm shocked...SHOCKED.


9/21/2011 03:47:00 PM



(9/21/2011 02:50:00 PM) - Al

Hart has lost fly balls in Wrigley before as well. That's a mighty tough sun field.


9/21/2011 02:50:00 PM



(9/21/2011 02:38:00 PM) - Al

Paul Ryan says the math doesn't work.

1. Of course it doesn't, it's about being reelected.

2. You can tax the wealthy at 100%, confiscate every penny they make, and it doesn't come close to balancing the budget. It's not a revenue problem, it's a spending problem. The budget is twice as big as it was a decade ago, what do you expect?


9/21/2011 02:38:00 PM



(9/21/2011 02:28:00 PM) - Al

It's tough to believe Kila won't find a spot somewhere, even if some of his AAA stats are a bit PCL inflated.

And while his major league line is not awe-inspiring, especially for a 1B, it isn't bad either.


9/21/2011 02:28:00 PM



(9/21/2011 02:22:00 PM) - Al

Tun ein tomorrow, when Craig says he hates marketing of all types, because he is so out of touch with reality.

It is difficult to believe he is not a satire created to be despised.


9/21/2011 02:22:00 PM



(9/21/2011 12:47:00 PM) - Al

Lucroy very good at framing pitches, though I have my doubts at the accuracy since Jason Kendall is near the bottom.

I do recall reading years ago that Gerald Laird was terrible at it, scouts said he "swiped" at pitches instead of holding them there, and he is 2nd from the bottom, so maybe it isn't one of Kendall's strengths, but he sure seemed good at it when he was in MIL.


9/21/2011 12:47:00 PM



(9/21/2011 06:43:00 AM) - Robert R.

A quick movie review based on a preview screening.


My Afternoons with Margueritte



There's a pretty simple convention with Gerard Depardieu. When he's in a French speaking role he's likely to be very good and when in an English speaking role he's not. And that holds true with this film.

It's a pretty simple setup. Depardieu plays Germaine, kind of the village oaf/handyman. One afternoon he sits down on a park bench by 95 year old Margueritte, played by 95 year old Gisèle Casadesus and she introduces him to reading and literature. The power of literature helps him deal with his difficult relationship with his own mother and to better express the thoughts he has. The two form a bond like mother and son, teacher and student.

If that sounds like a French version of a Hallmark movie, it's not far off the mark. It's pretty saccharine and predictable. It's far from cutting edge in any way and hard to see the appeal to anyone under the age of 35.

And yet, it manages to work well enough. Central to that is the core acting between Deparadieu and Casadesus (who's been acting in films since 1934), who create an interesting and heartfelt relationship. It also helps that I tend to agree with the central message about the power of literature. There's also a bit of an edge to the material. The two characters bond through Margueritte's reading of Camus' The Plague, hardly some pretty but empty bit of poetry. The movie goes the obvious route of showing the images of what she's reading, but the image of thousands of dieing rats is a striking, non-saccharine one. Germaine's relationship with his mother and teachers is shown principally in flashback and it has an edge to it. The movie also understands that although Germaine is undereducated and unrefined, it doesn't mean that he's incapable of complex feelings or insight. All of those things elevate the obvious material. OTOH, Germaine's girlfriend Annette is much too young and pretty for the character.

It's hardly a movie I'd recommend anyone rush out and see. It's obvious and more than a bit treacly. But, it's confident in what it wants to say and has two strong performances at the center. Frankly, it's the kind of movie you can take your mother to and both of you will enjoy.

Labels: ,



9/21/2011 06:43:00 AM


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

(9/20/2011 10:11:00 PM) - Al

Texas and Oklahoma are trying to figure out a way to save the Big 12, Pac 12 not expanding now, which must mean the Texas/Oklahoma talks broke down. Big East talking to Central Florida and East Carolina.

Oh, and Missouri to the SEC.


9/20/2011 10:11:00 PM



(9/20/2011 09:00:00 PM) - Al

My hunch is they take Weeks out after this PA.


9/20/2011 09:00:00 PM



(9/20/2011 08:40:00 PM) - Al

I'm a bit disappointed that Texas and Oklahoma seem destined to join the Pac 12. No indication the Big Ten is even in the mix.


9/20/2011 08:40:00 PM



(9/20/2011 08:37:00 PM) - Al

Brewers rank 8th in UZR, 10th in DRS for the year.

They have made errors the last few games on routine, or close to routine plays.


9/20/2011 08:37:00 PM



(9/20/2011 08:32:00 PM) - Al

The truly hilarious thing about Obama's campaign events (like he has any others) in which he starts the chant "Pass the bill!"...no one has bothered introducing the bill yet.


9/20/2011 08:32:00 PM



(9/20/2011 06:39:00 PM) - Al

Takashi Saito has a sore right calf and wasn't available Monday and maybe not tonight.--JS

The Crew is notoriously tight lipped about such things. Strange they'd share this.


9/20/2011 06:39:00 PM



(9/20/2011 06:08:00 PM) - Al

I see Jon Lucroy said today the Brewers are "anxious" to clinch and he admits he is too. I wrote Ramblings in 2008, and it was an exciting, fearful time. Looking back, it was a 90 win campaign, and should be celebrated, whether or not they ended up in the playoffs. But, when you're living it, it seems like it's a frustrating series of days/weeks.

As I said last evening, if SL would simply be playing "normal" it would be all but over. This, of course, is the same thing Cards' fans said in August, when the Brewers hardly ever lost. It's what Red Sox fans are saying as the Rays win almost daily. Last season, it's what Tigers' fans said, as the Twins made up several games in the last week or week and a half.

I read last weekend the comments about the Phillies clinching, and was surprised to see so many PHIL fans saying things like "It was about time" and "They better make it to the Series this year." I guess no one is ever happy, as the Phillies have had a tremendous campaign.

Me? To me, nothing is done until the math says so. That's the way I'd feel if they were chasing, and that's how I feel now. One thing though...quick, what's the Brewers' record in the last seven games?

I would have probably said 4-3, as I know they won all three in Cincy, but I may have said 3-4 if I didn't stop and think about it for a while. In reality they are 5-2, even though it almost seems like they have been slumping.

Almost any team in the majors, except the Phillies, would happily trade spots with the Crew. At this moment, the math is very much in the Crew's favor. And most of the doomsday scenarios start with "What if SL doesn't lose another game?"...possible mind you, but nine game winning streaks, which would actually be eleven because they've won two now, are exceedingly rare in a sport where only the best teams win 60% of their games. Momentum does exist in baseball, but far less so than other sports, because so much depends on the starting pitcher that day.

Or, I could stop posting such mundane crap if they just, say, won a couple while the Cards lose a couple.


9/20/2011 06:08:00 PM



(9/20/2011 04:33:00 PM) - Al

Jeff Ross watched 2.5 Men and the Sheen roast at Charlie's house, sitting next to him.

His recap here, adult language at the link.


9/20/2011 04:33:00 PM



(9/20/2011 04:01:00 PM) - Al

Broxton remains on my list to sign a one year "make good" deal in 2012 to set up and reestablish his value.


9/20/2011 04:01:00 PM



(9/20/2011 10:10:00 AM) - Al

Almost 200K apply for single game playoff tickets.

As of last night, they were still allowing folks to put down a non refundable deposit on 2012 season tickets and then buy tickets to all the playoff games, should the team make the postseason as we assume they will.


9/20/2011 10:10:00 AM



(9/20/2011 10:06:00 AM) - Al

Reason asks why the government got involved in the auto industry.

I always have. As a free market capitalist, that should be a last resort. Far too often, our nanny state jumps in with little cause or reason, and the results are often quite messy, not to mention costly


9/20/2011 10:06:00 AM



(9/20/2011 09:11:00 AM) - Al

If SL would have gone 5-5 over the last ten games instead of 8-2, the Crew would have clinched a tie. Damn Cards.


9/20/2011 09:11:00 AM



(9/20/2011 08:58:00 AM) - Al

Randy Wells 5-0 in his last nine starts, and then Matt Garza. This is far from an easy group of pitchers to hit at Wrigley.


9/20/2011 08:58:00 AM



(9/20/2011 08:38:00 AM) - Al

It ain't going to happen, but the Tribune, one of the most liberal papers in the country, does make the case for Obama not running.

The GOP should copy the main points and paste them all over their ads and repeat the talking points. As I have pointed out, the facts are painful when you look at them.


9/20/2011 08:38:00 AM


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