Saturday, November 24, 2007

Don't Ask, Dotel?

As Joe said, pending a masterful trade, it looks as if the Brewers will be relying on Turnbow to close out games in 2008. A scary prospect maybe, but not the worst situation in the world. The guy was an All-Star before pulling a pre-Brian Fuentes...uh, Brian Fuentes.

Coco's utter absence of loyalty to a team that revived his nearly capsized career leaves me with one overlying sentiment... but since this is a family blog, I'll leave it at Good Riddance. I'm just happy he didn't ink a deal with a more viable NL contender; like, say, any other team. I hope the cash-in is worth blowing bullpen bubbles in the Emerald City, lying in wait for those 22 save opportunities to come.

Turnbow will do, but don't forget that closers are made not born. The Rockies' Manuel Corpas who was arguably the most dominant second half closer last season was a nobody just months prior (wow, two Colorado reliever references in one post). Even Turnbow was once just a nameless Jared Blohm doppelganger in a green 2005 Brewers pen.

Being a fan whose part of a Blog with seemingly tens of readers, I feel it is my place to make a recommendation.

Thus, the name Octavio Dotel comes to mind. Once the talented closer for the Royals, a team too terrible to require saves (see Coco's new role), Dotel made the best of his rare chances, posting a decent amount of circumstantial saves and a respectably low-ish ERA. He also notched 11 saves in little more than a quarter season of (non-disabled list) 2007 play before being shipped to the Braves.

Not but two weeks ago the Braves declined his $5.5 MIL option forcing him to declare free agency. He will likely seek more money on an otherwise-bare reliever market so why not use a sparse amount of the reported $44 MIL offered to Cordero to enrich a pen that finds an erratic Matt Wise its second best option? He doesn't need to close, but a 36-save season a few years ago proves he can.

Neither the idea of Turnbow nor Dotel ending games seems flashy, but in a time when most names chase dollars over pennants flashy isn't always the answer.

Posted by Tyler

LAME!

Francisco Cordero reportedly agreed to terms with the Cincinnati Reds yesterday. This, combined with Scott Linebrink signing with the White Sox, spells bad news for the Brew Crew. What was our number one weakness last season? Bullpen! I'm afraid we'll be even worse off this season considering there are no solid closers on the market anymore. This is depressing to me and other Brewer fans I'm sure.

Coco's deal is reported to be worth $46 million over four seasons with a option for a fifth. The Brewers offered Coco about $1 million less a year. This is what is disgusting about sports. No loyalty at all. Now, I can understand Carlos Lee not signing with the Crew when he ended up making incredibly more in Houston, but I think it's shameful that Coco signed for $1 million less with the Reds and didn't even give the Brewers an option to match or at least make a better offer than they had. Apparently Francisco didn't love Milwaukee as much as he led on. It's all about the money. Unfortunately, though, I think we, as Crew fans, have to get used to this. Especially starting in four to five years.

Melvin is making it sound like Turnbow will be the guy this season. Well, I think we all figured that would be the case if we couldn't resign Coco. No one wanted to believe it though. I gave Turnbow all the chances in the world last season and finally grew tired of his lack of control in early September. If Turnbow can somehow bring is walks way down, he'll be fine. Actually, his numbers are arguably better than Coco's if you take away some of the walks. They are at least comparable. I really don't feel comfortable with this though. Here's praying for some backend bullpen help.

Posted by Joe

Friday, November 23, 2007

Catching flack: A full Thanksgiving behind the plate

What a difference a few days make.

To spare you the punishment of reading my (now) outdated and (usually) lame posts, on Monday I made mention of rumors regarding the Brewers taking a look at ancient backstop Jason Kendall. In that same post I advised Melvin to stick with one disappointing catcher who, unlike Kendall would not break the bank with his middle-echelon recognizability.

As any dedicated fan knows, Estrada was dealt and Kendall, pending a passed physical, has been brought in. So is the life of a fan.

Love it, hate it or (like myself) just not be too impressed by it, this wasn't necessarily a bad move for the crew. Estrada wasn't exactly Joe Clubhouse and he was damaged goods for much of the year, especially the end. He has skill, upside and potential but there must be a reason everyone is trading him. Kendall is experienced and has worked with some great pitchers in his time...and no, I'm not talking about ex-Pirates' hurler Josh Fogg.

I don't know if Mota was a worthy price for Estrada, who seems to be burning bridges faster than he can lackadaisically jog over them. Kendall is nearing the end - but last year was pretty much his only bad year - so maybe he can right the ship and bring some experience and some of those intangibles, and maybe even an above .300 average to Brew City. And when comparing it to a time I was pumped to know we signed Damien Miller, I must say the Kendall acquisition trumps it.

In the spirit of the season, I can't say I'll be sending a holiday card to Mr. Melvin in gratitude of these recent transactions, but I can say I'm thankful that he's taking an active approach to filling gaps that he as a guru has recognized need filling.

Posted by Tyler

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Brewers Trade Estrada!

The Brewers have traded Johnny Estrada for Guillermo Mota. Mota, a 9 year right handed reliever, was dominant in 2002 and 2003, but was suspended for 50 games in 2007 for a positive steroids test.

First reaction: Not good. Mota hasn't been a dependable reliever for awhile and has character issues. Estrada, slow azz guy he is, still is a very good hitting catcher. Catching depth is always hard to come by, so when you trade starting catchers, usually you hope for a starter, not a reclamation project. I see the other side of the argument: getting a veteran reliever for a catcher who can't throw out too many baserunners. And just maybe Estrada's knee is worse than we thought...but as of right now I am cautious. With Miller getting older and not even signed for next year, I'm not sure this is the player we should have parted with for Mota. We also aren't sure about Mike Rivera (perhaps a Vinny Rottino spotting???) being a full time catcher, so we shall see how this shakes out.

It also seems that the Brewers think they are going to sign Jason Kendall. Even though he did do well with the Cubs, he has no pop, was gawd awful most of the year, and is OLD as Tyler pointed out. Also, both Mota's and Kendall's contracts are going to get very expensive.

To the Mets fans...enjoy another catcher half-ing it every game and we'll try to enjoy the overpaid reliever!

Posted by Bryan

Monday, November 19, 2007

The agency of freedom, Crawdaddy and the ever-elusive ancient light hitting backstop

Packers fever is permeating the fall air and though I love it (and Donald M.F. Lee...I told you guys!), I cannot but help but look ahead — no, near laterally to the impending 'Crew campaign.

The season starts nearly half a year from now, but already the rumor mill is grinding away. Here are my takes on the more interesting things I've heard thus far.

•Geoff Jenkins has played his last out in a Brewers uniform. The team option was declined, he is only being offered a one-year deal to continue to don crew blue and the offered price is (likely) much less than the eight million and change Jenks has grown accustomed to. I expect him to end up on a team in or near California. Rumor has it the Giants are looking for another aging underachieving name with the departure of Barry Bonds.

•Keeping with the left field theme, Carl Crawford the perpetual face of the Devil Rays franchise has been rumored to be on the table for some combination of Cappy and prospects or Ben Sheets alone. Crawford is one of my favorite players so I'd love to see him in Milwaukee... but promising/fairly young pitching is a bit too pricey a tag for him. Fortunately, Capuano seems to dodge the "promising" part of the criteria so if it means losing him, then hello Crawford. But losing Sheets isn't worth it. I don't expect a deal involving Crawford to occur.

Other rumors indicate these players would be involved in a three-way deal with the Yankees, who are basically refusing to deal Hughes, Joba (the hut) Chamberlin. What's left to give, Mike Mussina? No thanks.

•Finally, last AND least, Jason Kendall was reportedly approached by the Brewers. Mention that to me in 1997 and I would've been reaching for something to stand behind to hide the reaction, but this is 2K7, brahs...soon to be 2008. Jason Kendall is old, washed up, especially light-hitting and the .300 average he once hung his hat on has fallen to Craig Counsell levels. Let's just stick with one disappointing catcher in Estrada.

Unless something major goes down, I will probably be silent for a while. So happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! Take it sleezy and keep an eye out our two new shirt designs.

Posted by Tyler

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Braun of the Ballot

To those unaware, Brewers' third baseman Ryan Braun was named the N.L. Rookie of the Year, prevailing over Rockies' SS Troy Tulowitzki by a mere two points.

Obviously, I agree with the decision to award Braun this honor. Despite ranging from (rarely...if ever) impressive to (usually) terrible in the field (posting 26 errors) and not playing for a media darling World Series representative, Braun posted better numbers than any rookie in pretty much every offensive category. Plus, he did all this in less than a season of play, unlike runner-up Tulowitzki or third place Pence.

May I, and Right Field Bleachers, be the first to congratulate Ryan Braun for masterful season of play. May he address his fielding troubles and be everything 1992 Rookie Pat Listach was not.

Cheers Mr. Braun, and may your teammate from the other corner bring home some significant hardware as well.

Posted by Tyler

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Things That Scare Me

Sorry this came out post-Halloween, it was meant for October 31st.

1) Losing Francisco Cordero - It doesn't sound like he's going to give the Brewers a discount for revitalizing his career and there are a lot of teams with big money and shaky closers. Don't get me wrong, I haven't thrown in the towel on Coco. There are a lot of closers on the market this year such as Hoffman, Lidge, Mariano Rivera (possibly) and K-Rod, which could help the Brewers. Also, I like Turnbow, but I like him more as a setup man and not a closer. He's too undependable for a legitimate post season run. If we had to lose Coco, I guess we could try Villanueva as the closer, but still, losing Corder scares me.

2) Another Season of Craig Counsell hitting .230 - and being put in to pitch hit in the bottom of the ninth with two outs...

3) All the Cubs fans in my new City - I had to move to a different part of the state for a job and I have noticed that there are a ton of Cubs fans here. I first noticed this first at the Giant Pumpkin Festival (it's exactly how it sounds...awesome!) I saw one and I said "Hey Cubs fan, you can get out!" as an homage to the RFB guys. He stared at my Brewers hat as though he had never seen one before. I kept walking around...Cubs jerseys, hats, t-shirts all over. The craft people had all Cubs crap for sale, and very few Brewers stuff for sale. Ever since then, I've noticed to pro-Cubs sentiment here and, quite frankly, it scares me. I'm representing though...don't worry.

4) Free Agency - This is one of those good and bad scares, like watching the movie 28 Weeks Later. You go into it not expecting it be to as good as previous installments and it ends up meeting your low expectations. We already might have lost Jenkins (which a lot of people are happy about), and we might lose a bunch of our already week bullpen (Cordero, Linebrink,). That's bad scary. What's good scary is that we have Doug Melvin and the fact that there is a lot of talent out there. While many teams will be blowing their load trying to sign Mark Texiera, Johan Santana, Vladdy, Andruw Jones, and Alex Rodriguez...prices will drop on other free agents. I know some RFB'ers who are rooting for Creamed Corn Sabathia. Here is a fun list to start predicting what could happen.

5) Saliva - Saliva keeps seeping into sports. Coco used Click Click Boom and, while it took me awhile, I accepted it. I also figured it would never get worse than that. Their newest song though, Ladies and Gentleman, goes to uncharted territory in bad metal. I first heard this song at a pee-wee football game and laughed. I was actually able to guess the lyrics without ever listening to it before. I figured this song was so bad, I would never hear it again. I mean c'mon...with mad rhymes like:
Ladies and gentlemen good evening
You’ve seen that seeing is believing
Your ears and your eyes will be bleeding
Please check to see if you’re still breathing
Wow...Rhyming "ing" words is what they do in first grade. I figured this kind of inane crap wouldn't catch on. Well, Playstation 3 had to use it to promote their 500 dollar machine and I am so scared that next year before every game, I am going to have to hear this song.

Posted by Bryan

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