Sunday, February 24, 2008

In the News

This will have to serve as the weekend's version of "In the News." I got a little busy, including a trip down to Miller Park yesterday for single-game ticket sales so I'll have to lump all the news together.

Speaking of that trip... Sorry we didn't make our appearance more public, but we ran into some trouble. We handed out two flyers before a security guard stopped us, grabbed a flyer and told us if we handed one more out, he'd have the police site us for trespassing. We were also informed that the guard had to turn the flyer in to his boss. The flyer was for the upcoming concert we are sponsoring, a free event, to celebrate the return of baseball (look for more details very soon). Needless to say, it wasn't the happy experience we were hoping for...

Anyway, on to the news...

- Cameron is settling into his new team. His suspension was a concern of course, but every other piece of news I've heard about Cameron is about how great of a guy he is and how hard he plays. I think a blue-collar state like Wisconsin is going to fall in love with this guy.

- The Brewers set a single-day ticket sale record on Saturday. It's looking more and more like pretty much every ticket record on the books could be beat this season, especially if the team plays well all year. Good work Brewers fans.  More on ticket sales HERE.

- Turnbow is out to prove his doubters "wrong" and Kendall is "very impressed" with him so far. Turnbow had a lot better season last year than a lot of casual fans realize, but if he can return to his late 2005 season/early 2006 season form, the end of the Brewers games could be lights out with Turnbow setting up Gagne. I'm glad to hear that D-Bow is going to be pitching with a chip on his shoulder. Turnbow is in the last year of his contract, but has one year of arbitration left after this season. He will be a key part of the team over the next two seasons.

- Another pitcher who has something to prove is David Bush. I really thought Bush was going to take a step forward last season, but he actually fell back a bit. I still really like what he brings as he's a mentally tough pitcher that has an incredible strikeout-to-walk ratio. If  the decision for the starting rotation were up to me, it'd be Bush and Villanueva to fill the last two spots to start the season along with Sheets, Suppan and Gallardo (when he's healthy).

- I wouldn't bet against Capuano either though. Capuano is a good pitcher and he's probably the smartest guy on the team. He's always been a hard worker and it seems that last season's troubles have made him even more dedicated. He will probably bounce back if given a shot.

- Attanasio spoke at spring training camp. I continue to love what Brewers' owner Mark Attanasio has to say. He's obviously a big fan of the game of baseball, is passionate about the team and the city and lets Melvin make the baseball decisions. I can't imagine his first few years going much better as far as things he has control over goes (maybe if he lowered the beer prices...). And I love comments like this: " We have a huge amount of emotion in the community. And we have a team that's really good. That's what I always dreamed of happening."

- Ken Rosenthal from Fox Sports said the Padres were after Gabe Gross and Melvin says, "Huh?" Doug said the two sides haven't even talked about a deal involving Gross.

- Attanasio shot down the rumor about the Brewers moving to the AL.

- Braun is making good progress in the outfield. I'm sure he's going to be an above average fielder out there after some time because of his physical tools. You can tell he's also much more confident at that position.

- The Brewers are also considering a long-term contract for Braun with the Tulowitzki deal serving as a bar of sorts. It's an interesting concept since Braun is still years away from arbitration, but it's definitely something worth at least consideration by both sides.

- Long-term deals for other younger players, including Prince, has also come up. I fully expect the Brewers to go on a "pay-as-you-go" plan with most of the guys until they are close to being eligible for free agency, but some financial certainty could be nice for both the players and the club.

- That same article touches on Yost hinting that he may consider batting pitchers eighth with Kendall ninth with Braun hitting second and Prince third. I'm glad Yost is mulling all the options for the batting order, but I think this tactic, which LaRussa has used in St. Louis, is getting a little too cute...

- Hardy says self doubt contributed to his numbers falling off last season. I think J.J. will be fine this season. He probably won't hit 25 home runs, but he's going to be a positive force on the offense.

- LaRussa is a vegetarian and is a fan of Fielder's choice to go with a non-meat diet. LaRussa might be warming up to Prince, but I have a feeling Tony is not on Prince's speed dial after that game late last season in which a clearly intentional wild pitch nearly hit him in the dome. I expect some over-the-wall retaliation early this season.

- There is a nice little piece on former Brewer Matt Wise in the New York Times. Most of it will be old news to Brewer fans, but Wise did talk a little about his last few days with the Brewers and how the team gave Gagne his number a few days before he was cut: "My mom called me and told me that they gave up my number, and she was pretty upset about it. I might have been the only one who wasn't. My friends and family thought it was pretty weak. I like Wise. I hope he makes the team and does well, as long as it doesn't come back to haunt the Brewers.

- Another class-act former Brewer I'll be rooting for is Geoff Jenkins. There's a piece on him HERE.


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