Archive for July, 2009

Drink Up, Youngblood

Friday, July 31st, 2009

In the latest Out of Right Field, Jared and Bryan tried to reprise the gold they struck but a fortnight earlier. However, they struck some type of futuristic alloy, which - if you really think about it - is pretty badass too. 

Within it, the pair addresses such pressing issues as:
• All-inclusive taco dip
• The Foo Fighters
• Ruben Quevedo
• A “Craigy McCounsell”-type  work of art
• Throwing back home runs  

Read that thing HERE.

Other reading/viewing assignments:

- Miller Park Drunk’s guide to hangovers. My movies of choice are Revenge of the Nerds, Baseketball and Wet Hot American Summer.

- An interview with Chelcie Ross, who played Eddie Harris (the junkballing Christian) in Major League. He has a funny story about meeting Bob Uecker.

- Chan Ho Park eating various soups.

- Brew Crew Ball talks J.J. Hardy’s skills. Not included was his skill to inspire a bobblehead I could sell for $15 yesterday.  

- I’ve littered Bugs & Cranks with trade deadlne-influenced content. Other July 31 deadlines and a fluff feature about MLB’s official Guy-in-New-Hat-Photoshopper.

- And if you have time, round out your assigned reading with Franz Kafka’s “The Sirens”, the most eerily beautiful prose ever constructed by man.

These are the seductive voices of the night; The Sirens, too, sang that way. It would be doing them an injustice to think that they wanted to seduce; they know they had claws and sterile wombs, and they lamented this aloud.
They could not help it if their laments sounded so beautiful.

[crying like newborn] Have a good weekend [sniffles] and check back for more stuff this weekend.

Bill Hall Sent to Nashville; Suppan to the DL

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Bill Hall has been optioned to AAA Nashville. The move can either be seen as a chance for Hall to get some at bats to right himself or a chance to show other teams that he’s worthwhile as an expensive reclamation project.

Hall has struggled this year and continues to decline since his two great seasons in 05 and 06. He is currently hitting .201, with an OBP of .263 and has struck out 68 times in 199 AB’s. Hall recently talked with MJS writer Anthony Witrado about the work he’s done to improve his swing, but hasn’t gotten a chance to prove it, and how unfair the past couple months have been. Some good news about this is that Hall OK’ed the move and sounds optimistic about the demotion.

Jeff Suppan has been put on the DL with a rib cage injury. Suppan had a MRI reveal an injured oblique muscle and was reevaluated today. Suppan is coming off of a terrible start in which he allowed 10 ER in 5 1/3 innings against the Nationals on Monday.

Burns or Irribarren are two names that are being considered to come up, but nothing has been made official. These are hardly the transactions Brewers fans wanted to hear at the Trade Deadline.

Bucks Have Pitching News?

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

According to the River Falls Journal…

To be fair to RFJ, the Hudson Star-Observer also has the same story

Hey Broads, Do you Want FREE Things?

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

O and Will Hall would've "dated" you if you wore a RFB shirt.

Are you a human female? Do you like the Brewers? Have “yes” answers to the previous two questions led you to owning a Right Field Bleachers shirt? Then, holy f-ing shitbombz, do we have a deal for you ladies!

Remember that OurFB contest from a week back where you could win free Brewers items such as SportsBubbler.com and Right Field Bleachers shirts, a totally (kewt!) Brewers handbag, some stupid ass Brewers keychain from WholeSaleKeychain.com, some handmade jasmine-scented Brewers soap made by me, Tyler of RFB and Bugs & Cranks fame - AND MORE? Of course you don’t; you didn’t enter. No women entered.

Because we love the ladies, I’ve decided to extend the deadline for OurFB submissions from females until Monday, the same day winners will be announced. For details, look HERE. Winning entry (likely first and only entry) will win free stuff and will forever be immortalized for their good fashion sense on our Gear page.

Hurry. I don’t have all day. (Editor’s note: I actually DO have all day, but still… c’mon!)

Washburn Notice

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

As the trade deadline nears, Milwaukee’s need for starting pitching grows and Jarrod Washburn continues to pitch significantly unJarrod Washburn-like, I thought I’d offer up some Washburn Notice. You know, like that show on USA or TNT or something? Oh, you’ve never seen it? Me neither. Whatever.

A recent report pertaining to Washburn and the Brewers indicates the Milwaukee is no longer pursuing the overrated starter.

Meanwhile, buried beneath bad jokes and pessimistic non-reporting, Tom Haudricourt Tweets… (Twits, Twats?) that Doug Melvin told him the Brewers remain “buyers” despite the team’s recent play.

Al’s Ramblings picked up a hidden gem in Adam McCalvy’s mailbag saying Hardy could very well be traded by Friday.

So what does this all say? Nothing really. Unless the Brewers are buyers, yet not interested in Washburn AND planning to deal their starting shortstop. I think Doug may have something up his sleeve that could bring Milwaukee a starter with more than a year remaining under contract… possibly at the cost of Hardy. I guess we’ll see.

Let’s Make a Deal (of Some Kind)

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Whether you take a half empty view of the Milwaukee Brewers who have lost 15 of 22 or a half full view of a team who, though struggling of late, still sits a mere four games from the NL Central driver’s seat - one thing is apparent… the Brewers need to make a trade.

A week ago, certain awesome Web sites were buzzing with mention of Milwaukee’s interest in Roy Halladay. At worst, Doug Davis or Erik Bedard seemed possible targets of an above .500 and Wild Card contending team. This past weekend found the Brewers dropping two games to Atlanta; suddenly Jarrod Washburn floated into the picture. And with the month that was(n’t) in Brewers baseball encapsulated in Monday’s embarrassing 14-6 bedshitting against the laughable Nationals, selling may seem a better option if trades are to be made.

I don’t intend my use of that nasty word “sell” we’ve all been introduced to during our purgatories lives as Brewers fans to indicate I personally want to sell parts and gear up for next season. I still think the team is a small part or two short of making some noise and knocking on the division’s door - and the acquisition of Felipe Lopez proves Milwaukee’s front office wants to address that. But I do admit the prospect of, well, prospects is crossing my mind a bit more of late. 

I for one am glad Melvin and Co. seem to have backed off the Roy Halladay bidding war. Based on reports of Toronto’s bartering with Philadelphia, it’s not a transaction worth Milwaukee (or anyone) getting into. But beyond the anti-Halladay sentiment I know I possess, I teeter ever more on the fence of wanting the Brewers to remain “buyers” or become “sellers” with every lost series.

Smart Shoppers
• If a 4th place team who intends to start Carlos Villanueva (IN AN ACTUAL GAME IN LATE JULY) intends to add a pitcher, you can be sure it probably won’t be one of astonishing variety. Jarrod Washburn is about the biggest name I’d expect to float in to town, but I don’t even expect that kind of name.

• Oakland’s Justin Duchscherer should be rehabbed and ready to pitch within two weeks. He earns under $2M this season, will be a free agent after this season (Type B possibly?) and can reportedly be had for “a modest prospect”. The risk of trading for a player coming off injury is certainly there, but losing a “modest prospect” to get a cheap No. 2 or 3-caliber rental could be a rewarding move.

• Lure Paul Byrd or Kenny Rogers out of retirement. What’s that? Kenny Rogers isn’t retired!?! Oh. Keep an eye out for some recently waived or newly-retired pitcher to join Milwaukee in its pennant race. I don’t see it as likely, but The Moustache’s milkshake has managed to bring many a retired boy to the yard before.

Buyer Beware
• When names like Mike Burns and (pukes while crying) Carlos Villanueva are being scribbled on lineup cards, names like Jarrod Washburn, Doug Davis and Carl Pavano suddenly look a lot better. But deep down, you know these guys aren’t good pitchers and eventually the marvelous carriage that is their suddenly average pitching skill will revert to its true rotten pumpkin/bloated salaried self. Is it these pitchers you want? Or rather, is it the random change giving the illusion of helping a team that you crave? JARROD WASHBURN IS NOT GOOD. Trust me.

• A little known fact about the process of trading: Both teams involved in a trade must surrender something of value to the other team. Though the Brewers may inexplicably harbor interest in any or all of the aforementioned pitchers, so may many other teams - thus rendering the demand for these marginal players greater which, in turn, drives up the value for said marginal players. Think to yourself, “Self, do I truly think getting (insert name of lackluster pitcher on trading block) is worth losing one or some of Alcides Escobar, Taylor Green, Mat Gamel, J.J. Hardy, Angel Salome, Lorenzo Cain, Jonathan Lucroy, Cody Scarpetta or Brett Lawrie?” The answer would surprise you. It’s “no” … or “maybe” in the cases of J.J. Hardy and Brett Lawrie.

Seller now or Cellar in 2012
• We all know the world will end in 2012, but that doesn’t mean our last season of Brewers baseball has to be bad. If the Brewers don’t see the playoffs as being likely, they may as well try to unload a soon-to-be free agent to ensure a more promising future. Al notes Mike Cameron, Braden Looper and Trevor Hoffman will all be free agents going into 2010 (Looper has mutual option). Cameron netting a decidedly rebuilding Brewers club a few decent minor leaugers and some salary relief is more than he’d give them when he’s declining a lowball Brewers offer this offseason and playing elsewhere. In terms of a Hardy or Hart trade though, I’d assume they would be more valuable to teams this offseason.

If at First you don’t Succeed, Trade, Trade Again
• It is quite possible the Brewers front office has no F-ing clue whether the team is of the buying or selling variety at this point, and won’t be Friday’s trade deadline. I mean, I have no clue… I’ve written 1,000 words about this. Luckily, trades (of sorts) can be enacted after the deadline through waiver claims - a la the Adam Dunn trade to the Diamondbacks last season. After July 31, more teams will better know their playoff fate, and values of unsold hacks will reduce to near fair levels presently unseen. Just because the trade deadline elapses doesn’t mean the Brewers are standing pat with their roster.

And if they do go trade free for the remainder of the year, who knows, maybe they’ll get their heads out of their asses and make the playoffs anyway. As is, it’s not a bad team.

InReview - Week 16

Monday, July 27th, 2009

Weekly Record: 2-4

Current Record: 49-49

Likes:

  • I ran the Sausage 5k..not walked…ran! By the way, I finally realized why they measure these runs in kilometers. It sounds much better to say “Oh man, I totally just ran a 5K” than “Oh man, I totally just ran 3.1 miles”
  • The Felipe Lopez trade was a very smart trade that went under the MLB’s radar, but not under the fans radar.  I think there’s a little Felipe Following brewing amongst fans!
  • Craig Counsell…I am eating a lot of crow on this guy. I should also thank Sveum as well.
  • Yovani winning Saturday almost by himself

Dislikes:

Maybe I’m getting Joe-itis, but I am pissed at quite a few things:

  • Corey Hart dogging it
  • Brewers pitching giving up the long ball
  • Bill Castro and the “I am so over my head right now” look in his eyes
  • Bill Hall complaining…I have stood up for Bill Hall for a long time, even before his breakout season, but perhaps this is the end. If it’s not one thing, it’s another on why he’s been sucking and it’s usually not his fault. It’s the position change…then it’s his eyes…now it’s his playing time and that no one believes in him…Bill, you’ve been named a starter at third for two years in a row and BOTH years you blew it. Maybe, just maybe, you should have looked at your swing in May or June before Gamel was brought up AND before Casey got hot!?! To say you were never given a fair chance is just another excuse from an unhappy millionaire. Bill, I’ve stood up for you for a long time and you seem to be a very nice person, but I can’t take your excuses anymore
  • Fans telling me they’re giving up…there’s still 60+ games left! I understand you’re angry and disappointed, but there could always be a strong run in August/September. That said, check my quick hitters…
  • The Astros…just go away already
  • Matt Holliday and the Cards…does Pujols finally have protection?
  • Losing 2/3 to the Pirates…those are the kinds of series you have to win
  • Seth McClung hurt
  • Not winning a series since June
  • The chance of a Halladay trade fading and hoping that Jarrod Washburn pitches amazingly in his home state or Justin Duchscahaerntajrsntalrgfaefgbaergererer is all better since those are the names that keep coming up now and I should be excited about it, when actually, I’m just relieved it’s not Brad Penny or Doug Davis, but not as excited as I should be..whew…did that in one breath

This Week in Stats

Weekly ERA: 5.54  (24th in the ML)                                     YTD: 4.59 (25th in the ML)
Weekly BA: .285 (10th in the ML)                                         YTD: .258 (19th in the ML)
Weekly Opponents BA: .293 (24th in the ML)                 YTD: .260 (12th in the ML)
Weekly Slugging Percentage: .399 (15th in the ML)     YTD: .422 (12th in the ML)
Weekly Fielding Percentage: .982  (19th in the ML)      YTD: .985 (14th in the ML)

Quick Hitters:

On May 31, 2008, the Brewers were.500 and would stay over that mark the rest of the season. (Made the Playoffs)

On June 9, 1982, the Brewers were .500 and would stay over that mark the rest of the season (Made the World Series)

Since the All-Star Break, Craig Counsell is hitting .390 with an OPS of 1.017

Drink Up Until Craigy McCounsell Looks Cute

Friday, July 24th, 2009

This week’s Out of Right Field is up at Sports Bubbler. Head over there to read about Joe returning to his high school roots musically, a Braves outfielder that shared the field with Rod Carew, cinematic genius starring Mitch Stetter and more.

Totally Drunk

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Existed when Part I was conducted.

Since I’ve been more interested in selling our overstocked shirts to local businesses and formulating contests only one person would enter than I have been in posting actual baseball items lately, I thought I’d continue to wear my proverbial RFB business suit to drop a little press on you.

About 6.4 billion years ago, the world was said to have formed. The day after, Jared and I began a two-part Q&A with (the spectacular) Miller Park Drunk. Part I was finally posted Thursday afternoon. By now, 86 percent of it is outdated and, through incorrect speculation that once seemed to possess reason, inaccurate. But, in the same way it’s fun to laugh at haircuts in your high school yearbook, it’s fun to look back and see what our mindset was pre-All-Star break.

Plus, I dropped a few semen, 9/11, and eating gross things while using other gross things as utensils-related content into my answers. Read it HERE. And keep an eye out for the hopefully less-outdated Part II along with funny Brewers commentary at Miller Park Drunk.

Also, I’m heading to Fenway tomorrow. Expect a post similar to Bryan’s sometime next week.

The Halladay Special

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

A couple days ago, I said the signs coming from the Brewers front office indicated the flirtation with the Blue Jays front office regarding Roy Halladay appeared to be more than just a passing interest (POST). Today, it looks like I was right. Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman has reported that the Brewers are a “serious threat” to get Toronto’s ace in a trade.

He went on to call the Brewers a “serious player” and stated they were “aggressive” in their pursuit of the talented righty. Heyman even quoted one “Brewers person” (wow, that’s vague…) as saying, “We’re going to be aggressive,” and spoke with two executives from other teams that said GM Doug Melvin has what it takes to get a deal done.

The part of the article that stuck out to me though is that Heyman seems to believe lefty starter Manny Parra would be part of any swap between the clubs. I just can’t see that happening.

First of all, the Brewers are considering a trade for Halladay because of their dreadful starting pitching depth. Including Parra in the trade would improve the front end of the rotation significantly, but they’d still have to start Mike Burns or another replacement pitcher until Dave Bush, who is still weeks away from returning, comes back from injury. The effect would almost be a wash. The team would likely win most of the games Halladay starts and lose most of the games their fifth pitcher starts. Even with Halladay, the Brewers would have to bank on Parra and his recent improvements to help them make the postseason. They can’t deal him away.

Secondly, looking beyond this season, Parra is a 26-year-old starter that the Brewers control for something like five more seasons. Yes, he’s struggled at times, but the reason Brewers fans have been so frustrated with his production is we can all see how much raw talent he has. His ceiling is at least a #2 pitcher, perhaps higher. It’s no shock he’s appealing to the Blue Jays despite his struggles. But the Brewers are starved for pitching in the majors and have very little in the way of pitching in the higher levels of the minors. Can they really afford to deal a young starter that’s already contributing on the big-league team? I just don’t see it happening…

When you consider the other names Heyman mentioned as trade targets for the Blue Jays in the article — prospects Alcides Escobar, Mat Gamel and Brett Lawrie — the trade just becomes too much to stomach. One of those three top prospects as part of a package would be one thing (though I’ve mentioned that I don’t see a scenario where the Brewers deal Escobar), but one of those prospects along with Parra and probably even more? It might not be out of line for the Blue Jays to ask for that, but I can’t imagine that fitting into the Brewers’ plans.

Meanwhile, as these Parra rumors surface, Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi continues to say a deal for Halladay is unlikely, but don’t be fooled. Halladay will be on another team by the end of the month. His value is as high as it will ever be and the organization cannot put the team and the player through this grueling process again. When it comes down to crunch time as the trade deadline approaches, the Blue Jays will have to accept the best deal and move on.

Ricciardi said today that four teams are “serious” in competing for Halladay. Rumored teams include the Brewers, Phillies, Cardinals, Angels and Dodgers. The most mentioned destination, Philadelphia, might actually be losing steam as the Phillies are rumored to have moved on after not being open to including top pitching prospect Kyle Drabek in a trade. The Cardinals probably don’t have the prospects to finish a deal. And the Angels and Dodgers seem more like they’re just poking around than serious at this point. That leaves the Brewers. But are they a match?

Halladay would be an outstanding addition for the Brewers and one that could help them this season and next. The Brewers have some nice prospects they could package in a deal that would benefit both sides and the team might even be willing to include shortstop J.J. Hardy if the Blue Jays are interested in him. But if I were Melvin, I’d leave Parra off the table. If the Blue Jays won’t pull the trigger on a deal without him, move on. Halladay isn’t the only arm out there.

Insomniac Ink