Archive for June, 2009

InReview - Week 12

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Weekly Record: 3-3

Current Record: 40-35

Likes:

  • Brewers back in first (technically)
  • The gift Nick Blackburn gave the Brewers. Thanks for staying in the game and thanks for the ill-advised throw. Otherwise you would have swept the Brewers again, and that’s boring…
  • Prince Being Clutch
  • The fight the team showed to win on Saturday…I couldn’t believe it!

Dislikes:

  • The team looking lazy on Friday. 4 goddamm hits against some kid who was getting hit hard in the minors?
  • Kubel continues to kill the Crew
  • The continued decline of Bill Hall is really just sad…I’m honestly starting to feel bad for the guy…
  • The Cards getting DeRosa…that must be one helluva PTBNL

This Week in Stats

Weekly ERA: 4.50  (19th in the ML)                                     YTD: 4.49 (24th in the ML)
Weekly BA: .233 (24th in the ML)                                         YTD: .250 (24th in the ML)
Weekly Opponents BA: .278 (24th in the ML)                 YTD: .255 (10th in the ML)
Weekly Slugging Percentage: .399 (15th in the ML)     YTD: .418 (12th in the ML)
Weekly Fielding Percentage: .991  (7th in the ML)      YTD: .986 (12th in the ML)

Quick Hitters:

The Brewers have used 6 different players in the leadoff position this year.

The Brewers have lost 4 out of the last 4 times facing a pitcher making his debut. Sadowski won June 28th, Figaro won June 20th, Hanson ND, but ATL won on June 7th, and Swarzak on May 23rd.

Those pitchers had a combined total of a 3.00 ERA, but two out of the four didn’t even give up one earned run

Tracking Manny - Ouchie!

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Well, Manny Parra’s streak of decent/solid starts was flushed down the toilet today. Here was his line against Oklahoma City:

4.2IP  5H  7R  6ER  5BB  5SO

Looks familiar doesn’t it? What can you say about it? It’s exactly what we were not hoping to see. With that being said, just like his good starts at Triple-A, I am not going to read too much into it. I would feel better if that walk total kept going down though. I guess this just cements his place in the Nashville rotation for the near future. Go get them next time, Manny!

Thanks a Milton!

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

My worst fear this offseason was that Adam Dunn would land in Chicago with the Cubs. He has his flaws, which are widely debated (strike outs, low batting average, poor fielder), but he is remarkably consistent and would have driven in a lot of runs and got on base a lot in that line-up. Luckily, Cubs GM Jim Hendry fell in love with Milton Bradley and overpaid for him. Bradley is obviously a talented player, but his uncontrollable temper, piss poor attitude, frequent injuries and horrible defense was enough to make me smile about the signing at the time. About seven months later, I’m still smiling. The Brewers have not been playing great baseball, but they are still tied for the division lead with the Cardinals, largely thanks to Milton Bradley tearing down the Cubs from the inside.

Bradley’s Chicago sideshow started early with an ejection, a bumped umpire and a suspension, and it has only escalated since. In the last few weeks, his horrible production has been highlighted by a ball thrown into the stands with two outs, some nice blowups and an argument with his manager that led to Piniella asking him to take off his jersey and go home. Awesome. The best part? Bradley is probably going to be right there on the northside for two more years after this one!

So, while the Brewers have just been treading water lately and there are some serious issues that need addressing (namely starting pitching depth), at least we can take a step back, look at our friends to the south and feel a little bit better about our position. I grabbed a few quotes from Chicago news media and blogs about the Cubbies resident hothead for you all to enjoy the meltdown along with me.

  • Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune — “Is Lou Piniella’s Tough Love the Way to Handle Milton Bradley” (6/27):

Seldom has an off-season strategy blown up louder.

The Cubs should have steered around the injury-prone, volatile Bradley, but he hit so well last season in Texas (.321, 22 homers, a league-best .436 on-base percentage) that it was easy to ignore the “handle with care” label.

AND

The Cubs aren’t going to release him. They can’t trade him. They have to fix him.

Piniella and Hendry know Bradley a lot better than the rest of us. Maybe tough love is the best recipe. But from here it looks like kicking a guy when he’s down.

  • Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune — “Milton Bradley uncomfortable with his fit on Chicago Cubs” (6/27):

But it’s too late to turn back now. Bradley is signed for the next 2 1/2 years, and he’s virtually untradeable.

  • Al at Bleed Cubbie Blue — “Milton Bradley Must Go” (6/27):

For me, I will not boo Bradley unless he makes an egregious on-field mistake (such as tossing another ball into the stands with less than three outs). I’ll cheer his positive contributions as long as he wears the blue pinstripes. I have no doubt that he wants to win and do well, very badly. The problem is: I don’t think he knows how, how to be part of a team, how to channel that passion and aggressiveness to the team.

And I will expect nothing from him. Because that’s what he has given us so far.

  • Al at Bleed Cubbie Blue — “Milton Bradley, I’m Done With You” (6/26):

Why Jim Hendry chose to sign Bradley in the face of overwhelming evidence that this was a bad idea is inexplicable.

AND

To all those who said, “100 games of Milton Bradley is worth more than a full season of Adam Dunn“, with all due respect, in this case running the numbers don’t tell the whole story. Not one of you — not anyone — can say to me that the Cubs wouldn’t have been better off with Adam Dunn in right field up to this point in 2009, defense be damned.

  • Jason at Goatriders of the Apocalypse — “The Worst Trade Since Brock for Broglio” (6/28):

The Worst Trade since Brock for Broglio … was clearly when the Cubs traded Mark DeRosa for Milton Bradley.  I won’t listen to any arguments regarding this.  If you disagree with me, then maybe you should try reading more blogs because you’re an idiot.

  • Rob G. at The Cub Reporter — “Cubs Win, Gatorade Cooler Loses Again..Bradley Sent Home” (6/26):

Then of course, Bradley can’t buy an extra base hit when it counts to save his life and thinks the entire world is out to get him, when all they really want him to do is hit over .250 with a little pop.

  • CubbieBlue at The Cub Reporter — “Top 10 Most Embarrassing Things About the Cubs” (6/26):

#1: Milton Bradley - from bumping the ump in his first game to tossing the ball into the bleachers with only two outs (Milton’s Boner) - there isn’t alot about Milton that isn’t excruciatingly embarrassing.

  • Bullpen Brian — “Lou vs. Milton Bradley” (6/28):

What’s for certain is the Cubs’ offseason signing of Bradley was stupidity, plain and simple.

  • Harry Pavlidis at Out of the Ivy — “Bradley’s Fork in the Road” (6/28):

Still, the Cubs could release Bradley and try and swing some type of Fox-Hoffpauir-Other rotation in right.

  • Chicago Cubs Baseball — “Cubs’ Bradley Just Don’t Get It” (6/28):

If there was ever an ill fit for a baseball team or for that matter, a city, Bradley is it.  And the fact that Cubs general manager Jim Hendry was not only able to find the mis-fit, but sell it to the organization is sick genius in itself.

RIP Michael Jackson.

Friday, June 26th, 2009

When I heard the world lost Michael Jackson, I thought - Bummer, the world just lost an average WR at best. Since then, I have noticed the amazing amount of fans that were genuinely affected by his passing. Now, I feel bad that I didn’t feel remorse when I heard this news nugget while I was in between beat off sessions at my computer yesterday. So, in lieu of my cold heart - I thought it would be appropriate to give him a “seeing off” if you will. I will never forget you always wearing one glove and being the self proclaimed king of drop. RIP champ, you were apparently the greatest. 

 

<3 Johnny.

BEST. DRINK. EVER.

Friday, June 26th, 2009

I mean, I guess it’s up for dispute, but Joe and I joined forces to bring the same caliber of “Out of Right Field”-oriented hotness, awesomehood and modesty you’re no doubt accustomed to on a fortnightly basis.

In this one we tackle:
• Pizza… and 40s - the slumpbuster of beers
• Coheed and Cambria 
• Randy Winn’s tight ass body
• The only Mike Burns Photoshop document in existence
• Mike Fetters
• Our horses and 401Ks

Read that thing HERE.

Brewers Acquire Dunn!

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

The Brewers have agreed to terms with A. Dunn.

Unfortunately, no, my dream of watching Adam Dunn play in a Brewers uniform is not unfolding…

The Brewers inked Andrew Dunn, a 6-foot-5 right-handed pitcher who played for John A. Logan College and, most recently, Southern Illinois University. He’ll join Helena in the coming weeks after an arm-strengthening program and a few games in the Arizona League.

Here’s some info on the other Dunn’s college playing career:

This past spring, Dunn went 8-4 with a 3.15 ERA in 18 appearances with the Salukis, nine of them starts. He struck out 29 and walked just 10 with five hit batsmen in 71 1-3 innings. In 2008, Dunn started 10 games and went 2-6 with a 5.40 ERA, striking out 18 and walking nine in 46 2-3 innings.

As a freshman at Logan, Dunn won six games and struck out 52 batters, leading to his being drafted in the 29th round of the major league draft by the Atlanta Braves. But he chose to return to Logan, where he went 9-1 with a 1.57 ERA.

Arnett in Action

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

Brewers’ first-round pick Eric Arnett pitched tonight for Helena in his pro debut.

The 21-year-old righty’s first outing was not outstanding. He gave up two earned runs in an inning of work with one hit, two walks and no strikeouts.

The Brewers 2008 compensatory pick (32nd overall) Jake Odorizzi made his 2009 debut tonight as well. The righty started the game and pitched four innings while giving up six hits, three walks and five earned runs. He tallied one strikeout. The 19 year old was 1-2 in 11 games, four starts, last year with a 3.48 ERA.

Catcher Cameron Garfield, who was 5-5 in his pro debut last night, is human. He is merely 1-3 with a double, a walk, an RBI and two runs scored tonight. His average dropped to .750.

Helena was losing 8-7 in the eighth inning at the time of this post.

Flash From the Past

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

I thought this random pic of The Kid flashing Bob & Brian this morning might be needed to help somehow cheer us up after another loss to the Twins… But luckily the Brewers somehow squeaked the game out tonight and now Robin Yount’s bared man-maries serve more as an extreme untuck after an exhilarating come-from-behind win.

Anyway, Robin was on the air with Bob & Brian this morning and the station put the interview up on a couple of YouTube videos. Gotta love Yount. Check ‘em out:

Tracking Manny

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

So, another solid start by Manny Parra Tuesday for Triple-A Nashville. He took a tough lost, but otherwise was very solid. Here is his line:

7.0IP  5H  1R  1ER  2BB  3SO  93-59Pitches-Strikes

Like I said, a nice start. His walk total went down a little compared to his four in six innings last week. His strike to ball ratio remained solid. Basically…good to see. I don’t think one can read into the early performances too much, but I had my doubts he’d start solid in Nashville. I remain very interested to see if he can continue this for another four or five starts. If he does, especially with the entire starting rotation (minus Yo) struggling, you can bet Manny Parra will be back in Milwaukee.

I don’t see a lot of support for Manny around “Brewer Nation,” but everyone has to hope he can turn it around and continue that success if/when brought back to Milwaukee. As it’s my personal belief that the Brewers won’t trade for a big-time starter, the Brewers need a couple guys in the rotation to really man up. I don’t see Suppan or Looper being either of the two. That leaves it up to Manny and Dave Bush.

I Can’t Stand the Fehr

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Donald Fehr has stepped down as executive director (or head) of the MLB Players Association. As a child who was burned by the loss of the 1994 season, which could have been one of the most amazing seasons ever, I have nothing but disdain for Fehr. I would watch the news everyday, hoping that there was a positive development, but all I would see was his fat face keeping baseball locked out. I saw my favorite baseball player, BJ Surhoff, sitting by Fehr and I actually screamed at the TV “Get away from him, BJ! He’s evil!”

In all, Fehr was behind three work stoppages in baseball and was the head of the players association during the steroid boom. During his tenure, the players association held the commissioner’s office by the balls. He has succeeded in making sure that the salary cap stayed away from baseball causing decades of frustration for many teams who lose their talent from big teams with big pocketbooks. However, he turned the cheek when steroids, HGH, and other PED’s came into the league. He even helped make sure stricter and random testing was not part of the 2002 agreement, which was another year the players association brought up the possibility of a strike. However, he did agree to “anonymous” testing and THAT decision is what is causing so many headaches all over baseball as Alex Rodriguez and Sammy Sosa have been two players named out of over 100.

Fehr may have been a part of the great financial rise in baseball, but his golden touch has been losing it’s luster since 2005. Since first appearing before Congress defiantly in March of that year, Fehr has watched while the government probed his sport and organization. There were rumors that the association told players not to help with any of Mitchell’s investigations, but Mitchell was still able to find enough damning evidence to bring the sport to change it’s policies. Finally, Fehr had to admit he was wrong to congress and the nation. Also, the very players Fehr swore to fight for became part of the great steroids circus show. Many of these players now have a cloud of shame over them wherever they go and probably won’t be in the Hall of Fame because of his inability to be both a financial leader AND an ethical leader.

There are many people who speak of admiration for this man and they should, I admit, because he made a lot of people filthy stinking rich. But as a child who was almost turned off of baseball for life because of the 1994 strike, his face still brings back memories of a summer of sadness. And his reign of anguish for young fans is tied to another generation who grew up watching the titanic home run shows in the late 90’s and early 00’s only to find out they were cheating their bodies and the sport. Thank you, Donald Fehr, for finally stepping down and I charge the next head of the MLBPA to learn from the successes and, more importantly, the mistakes of the past.

By the way, after I finished writing this whole thing, I read this on MLB.com and I really appreciate the excellence that Mark shows by truly showing the strong feelings both sides have about Fehr.

Insomniac Ink