Archive for August, 2007

Major League Vs. The 2002 Brewers

Sunday, August 12th, 2007

Most of us know and love the movie Major League. It’s a classic and it’s still as funny now as it was then. It’s probably my favorite sports movie of all time (Yes, even beating out Field of Dreams, however it helps that I was at the filming for Major League when I was a kid, so perhaps I’m biased).

We Milwaukee fans as a whole love Major League even more than other cities because our beloved Bob Uecker takes center stage as Harry Doyle. It also has local favorite Pete Vuckovich as the bad-ass Clue Haywood. Not to mention, the baseball games were actually filmed in Milwaukee at County Stadium.

I don’t know about you, but my friends and I always agree that Major League is really about the Brewers. We see the torture that was the 2002 season in this humorous movie. I felt it was time to lay it out for all to see; The undeniable truth that Major League was ahead of it’s time because the team could have been based on the terrible 2002 Brewers. Here is the proof that we all know already:

Those in Charge of the Team:

Major League: The team was owned by a female owner, named Rachel Phelps, who hated the team and wanted to drive it further into despair

Rachel Phelps

2002 Brewers: The team was owned by a female owner with a last name that also started with P, Wendy Selig-Prieb. The team was near triple digit losses during her tenure and ended with a winning percentage of .420

Wendy Selig-Prieb

Major League: The team was managed by a first time manager named Lou Brown

Lou Brown

2002 Brewers: The team was managed by a first time manager named Davey Lopes (still his only managerial stint)

Davey Lopes

Major League: The team had a new General Manager named Charlie Donovan who hated seeing his team go down the drain.

Charlie Donovan

2002 Brewers: We also had a new General Manager, one Doug Melvin, who had to hate seeing this team go down the drain.

Doug Melvin

The Players or “Who are these f**king guys”:

Major League has an old catcher with his last shot at the majors named Jake Taylor, we had Paul Bako who never started over 60 games again. I will say that this is my weakest part of the argument, but keep reading, it gets stronger again.

Jake Taylor

[caption id="attachment_350" align="aligncenter" width="150" caption="Paul Bako"][/caption]

Major League had a slugger who could hit the fastball great, but curveball not so much in Pedro Cerrano. We had Richie Sexson who had 29 taters, but 136 K’s and batted below the Mendoza line in 2 out or tie game situations in 2002.

Pedro Cerrano

[caption id="attachment_352" align="aligncenter" width="150" caption="Richie Sexson"][/caption]

Major League had a young fast gun who shot onto the scene. Of course it’s pre-muscular Wesley Snipes as Willy Mays Hayes. We had a fast little center fielder as well named Alex Sanchez, who was later busted for steroids (Possibly trying to look like Snipes in Blade)

Willy Mays Hayes

[caption id="attachment_354" align="aligncenter" width="150" caption="Alex Sanchez"][/caption]

Major League had one high priced free agent acquisition; infielder Roger Dorn. However, Dorn had a flaw he couldn’t shake…poor fielding. The Brewers had a high priced free agent infielding acquisition named Jose Hernandez who also had one major flaw he couldn’t shake…strikeouts.

Roger Dorn

[caption id="attachment_356" align="aligncenter" width="150" caption="Jose Hernandez"][/caption]

Major League had a pitcher named Eddie Harris who couldn’t throw the heat so he added his own touches (Bardol and Vagisil to name two). The 2002 Brewers had a pitcher named Ruben Quevedo. It was said that his fast ball had the same velocity as his change up. He needed some KY because his pitching was awful.

Eddie Harris

[caption id="attachment_358" align="aligncenter" width="150" caption="Ruben Quevedo"][/caption]

Major League had a young hurler named Ricky Vaughn whose previous accolades in the California Penal made him feared. He had some issues (Walks and Hitting Batters), but could really throw the heat (A League Leader in K’s). We had young Ben Sheets who hit 10 people (second most on the team) but struck out 170 (most on the team). His previous accolades in the Olympics made him respected.

Ricky Vaughn

[caption id="attachment_360" align="aligncenter" width="150" caption="Ben Sheets"][/caption]

There you have it: All the proof you need that Major League was the precursor to the 2002 Brewers. Of course, the Indians in Major League actually won the pennant and was a lovable brand of losers, while the Brewers lost 106 games and it’s impossible to love Ruben Quevedo or Alex Sanchez. Other than that, you can take this great information and use it at your next social (drinking) gathering. If you have anything to add, please post.

Prince slams a triple (cheeseburger)

Tuesday, August 7th, 2007

So, in these dark days when our Brewers can’t seem to buy a win, I’ll take anything I can get to raise my Brewer spirits. The Cubs losing and suffering potentially crippling injuries help, but this is great too (a kudos to the poster who found it):


Insert one-liners here.

And Now…Your 2nd Place Milwaukee Brewers?

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007

Yes for the first time in seemingly years our Milwaukee Brewers are looking up at an NL Central opponent. Well, let’s be fair… with a staunch .001 defecit in winning percentage, the crew isn’t so much looking up at the Cubs as doing that thing where you stand back to back with your awkward 12-year-old cousin who’s undergone a sudden growth spurt and you realize he’s as tall as tall as you, in part because the soles of his shoes are thicker than yours.

But alas, much like the growth of my cousin Mikey, the Cubs and their recent ascent are about to come to a harsh and abrupt end. Sure, they’ve enjoyed a great month or so, and are playing like…well, nearly what their price tag says they should be playing like. Maybe it was Aramis’ walk-off or Leapin’ Lou’s meltdown or maybe a black cat dressed as a goat walked backwards exactly 13 times in front of the ghost of Ron Santo, propelling him to kick Steve Bartman in the sack. Ron Santo isn’t dead? Maybe to you he’s not.

Anyway, whatever Voodoo was employed to allow this changing of the guard to take place…which in reality is good Cub play/bullpen combined with misplaced Brewer leads and a bullpen who’s wearing its collective ass as a hat…I place my confidence in the next 54 Brewer games to snuff any and all Cub postseason hopes.

Glacing at a schedule, I see a lot of Pittsburgh, Cincy, Houston and St. Louis within those 54 matchups, and to further stack the deck Milwaukee’s way, most of those are at home. I’m basically only scared of the following:
-Sept 10-12 at Pittsburgh… it’s just history, brah.
-The final 11 games of the season, which include a 4-game set at the Braves, home against the Cards who always seem to turn it up at season’s end and another 4-game series against the Padres…who always seem to tear us apart. If we need to take 3 of 4 from the Pads to win the division…forget nails, I’ll bite my fingers off.

Notice how I didn’t mention the Aug 28-30 series at Chicago. Why? Because I’m not phased by that. In fact, I think even if the crew’s struggles carry over into much of this month, that series will be the turnaround, which will be prominantly displayed for all to see, in the form of some fair-weathered swaying ESPN infographic.

Enjoy it while it lasts Cub Fans. If history shows anything you’ll emerge from the season a shaking mess of a failure, feebly sobbing “Next year, next year.” To your chances this year, a response to any hopes of next year and a prediction to your chances at any point in the future…ever, I address such claims with a phrase Alicia Silverstone made famous, a phrase I revived and our own Johnny Rivers made arguably more famous… As if.

Deadline Deals

Wednesday, August 1st, 2007

Milwaukee – Scott Linebrink – The Padres LOVED this guy. Hoffman was pissed when he was traded and Peavy wasn’t too happy either. I’m hoping we can keep him around to offset the steep price we paid for him. Three Minor League arms, especially Will Inman, was a big enough price. I like the deal. I think the guy was just going through a tough patch this year (see Francisco Cordero Last Year) and he will dominate again.

Seth McClung – Balfour wasn’t mentally tough. He had a good fastball and slider, but he couldn’t battle and would end up throwing meatballs right over the plate. Getting a kid with major league experience was good. Both guys just seemingly needed a change in scenery.

Atlanta – Michael Vick isn’t the only one with some impressive bankrolling in Atlanta. The Braves got two of the top trading deadline deals. They got Octavio Dotel from the Royals turning him into a setup man/possible closer, strengthening the bullpen in a very good way. They also picked up Mark Teixeira. I loved both deals and I’m glad they aren’t in the central.

Markie T, however, pulled a Carlos Lee on the Rangers. The Rangers offered him a reported $140 millon contract. He turned that down to play with perennial contenders, the Braves, and hopefully some phatty cash.

Rangers – The Rangers got Salty. It’s really funny to read different arguments and views on this trade. Sportsline is saying how the Rangers got ripped off because Morton’s Saltamacchia has some unknown batting issues and won’t be very good. While ESPN claims that Jared has an amazing bat and is well worth any defensive problems he may have.

Red Sox – What is it with New England and Hyperbole? Eric Gagne as the best deal at the deadline? Nope, sorry, don’t think so. While Gagne does add a great bullpen arm to the team, I’m not sold on him. Don’t ask me why, I just think that he’s not going to be happy as a set up guy and his stuff isn’t as good as it once was. Gagne is used to being THE MAN in a pitching staff. While a Dodger, everyone talked about Gagne before other pitchers. Same in Texas. Now, people are talking about Dice-k, Papelbon, and Schilling, before getting to Gagne. Was it a good get? Yes, it cements their status as tops in the AL and will help in the post season. Was it the bEST Trade Evorz? Not even the top trade this year.

Mets – How were the Mets able to get Castillo from the Twins? This was a shocker since the Twins are still in it. What, is Nick Punto, who might be the second coming of Luis Rivas, all of a sudden tearing it up? The Mets should be glad they have such a serviceable second basemen for such a low price, same with the…

Phillies – Two years ago, Tad Iguchi was a great part of the World Champion White Sox. Now he was traded for minor league pitching (Hey Chicago Potheads aren’t complaining…his name is Dubee!) Great fill in for Utley and could be a solid infielder for the rest of the year.

Indians – Kenny Lofton goes back to Cleveland…Where’s Pat Listach when you need him???

Astros – So in the beginning of the year, I told you the Astros would be in trouble because they don’t have the pitching arms to win. So what do they do? Trade MORE pitching for a position they already have an everyday player for. I suppose Ty is having a very solid year this year and should be helped by being in a hitters park. He’s also quite young and has a lot of ballin’ left. I still find it funny that even though they have some of the worst pitching in the National League, they still traded pitching for hitting.

Padres – The Padres were trash collectors and made a score. They got Milton Bradley, Rob Mackowiak, and Morgan Ensberg for pretty much NOTHING. Who cares if they bust, because they were cheap!

Cardinals - Speaking of Trash Collectors, the Cards are collecting as many pitchers as possible hoping to replicate the magic that was Jeff Weaver 2006. Mike Maroth and Joel Pinero were added to the arsenal of veteran arms that have littered this team. If just one of them turns out, they’ll be happy.

Pirates – Matt Morris for Rajai Davis. This one wasn’t on anyone’s radar and who really cares? I suppose Morris will help the young pitchers, but how should Rajai feel? He’s one of three players still in their twenties to be a batter on the Giants. It’ll be like he found the fountain of youth. It also qualifies as a “Youth Movement” for the Giants.

Quick Quips:

- Anyone find it humorous that Barry Bond’s Daughter is overshadowing him? All the sports shows today were talking about his kid doing the chicken dance and tonight I happened to catch a quick part of the game during baseball tonight and there she is again, booing and sticking her tongue out. She knows she’s being taped and she’s hamming it up.

- It seems as though August is going to be “Coming Offa the DL” month. Pedro’s coming back, Schilling’s coming back, Sheeter’s (hopefully) coming back, Kerry Wood’s coming back, Jason Giambi’s coming back, Phillip Hughes is coming back, Brian Fuentes should come back, Rich Harden should come back, Carlos Beltran should come back. Man…most of Tyler’s fantasy team will finally be able to play!

- F**K the Cubs…Still a lot of baseball left

- I work a second job at a call center for a sporting good retailer. Let me just say that I get the brunt of all the Vick complaints who couldn’t make it on to their local sports radio station. It doesn’t make sense to me. Let’s call up a 1800 number and talk to some kid who makes 8 bucks an hour and let’s see if he can reverse Nike and Reebok’s decision not to sell Vick merch. My favorite line thus far: “Did you get a call directly from Mr. Goodell telling you to stop selling that s**t? Man, he’s got it all wrong on Vick and the Pacman and I tell you what…they’re both going to be not guilty. So can I buy a Pacman Jersey then?”

Rickie’s Weak

Wednesday, August 1st, 2007

Though the Brewers did not happen upon Eric Gagne prior to yesterday’s MLB Trade Deadline, they did happen to execute at least one wise roster move. In order to aparently allow him a chance to ease his wrist and to “work on his swing,” highly touted second baseman Rickie Weeks was demoted to Triple-A Nashville to make room for Joe Dillon, who himself enjoyed great success in the minors.

I know it’s difficult to have a unique take on someone who is currently hitting .212, and whom the fledging organization once hung their future hopes around. No matter the hype that accompanied him, his pre big league shoe deal, his golden spikes or anything else… I’m sure I’m joining the masses when I say… it’s about time.

Along with the afore-mentioned horried batting average, Weeks was in a constant battle with injury both last season and much of this season. He was, at least at first, a liability in the field and he never really even touched his power-hitting potential either.

Don’t get me wrong… I am in no way giving up on the first of the Baby Brewers to touch Major League soil, a player who was lightly scouted out of high school who ascended to first round draft status through hard work… and yes, a player who will turn a mere 25 in two weeks.

This isn’t a Jorge Cantu or Ervin Santana situation. I don’t think Melvin, Yost or Ashe (the holy trinity) are in any way giving up on the ailing second baseman and he is no ego. Rickie still has all the potential in the world and a great attitude. He could, and hopefully will work on all of these issues.

I think the organization has allowed Rickie all the chances in the world to succeed, and now they’re giving him the chance to help himself. This will be a great chance to work through both his physical and mental troubles. From my brief exposure to Rickie’s work ethic and clubhouse attitude, I have no doubt he’ll return to Milwaukee a better player.

Insomniac Ink