Posts Tagged ‘J.J. Hardy’

The Sound of The Window and Its Effect on Fans

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

The first month of the season is over, yet nobody seems to really know what kind of team there really is in Milwaukee?

We want to believe it’s the team that put up 20+ on the Pirates and we don’t want to believe it’s the team that only scores 2 runs during a 4 game series with the Padres.

The sad part is…it may be the latter…

This team is far too inconsistant for most fans (and probably for the managers). The talent is there, but so far, the execution has not been there.

What’s worse is that the pitching staff seems like they are really trying to see if they can out-crap the 2009 pitching staff.

However it’s only one month into the long season and last year, the Angels, Rockies, and Twins had .500 or worse Aprils and they all made the Playoffs. So the question is…why is everyone freaking out?

Easy…it’s because Brewer fans hear the sound…the sound of the Window of Opportunity closing.

Let's Keep The Window Open

It was about 2004 when we Brewers fans were getting really excited about the Brewers legitimate chances. We were gearing up for the future, because fans knew that the farm system was about to produce some amazing players. There was Prince Fielder! Power hitting first baseman with baseball in his genes. There was Rickie Weeks! The second base dynamo who won 3 awards in his senior year of college. Finally, there was J.J. Hardy, hot hitting shortstop with a cannon arm. There was a lanky outfielder named Corey Hart who could run fast and smack the ball well. There were other names too, but they were either traded or became busts like Nelson Cruz and Ben Hendickson. Also in 2005, the Brewers drafted Ryan Braun and there was a quick buzz about him too!

And when they came up, the Brewers started winning again and the people came back to Miller Park. Then, every year fans would say “This is the year it all comes together!”  There has always been something standing in the way, a “but” if you will. In 2005, the team made it to .500 and that was the start. In 2006, the team had a nice showing from Prince and Rickie, but they fell out under .500 and traded away Carlos Lee. In 2007, the team was in the hunt and we saw a 50 HR season from Prince and a Rookie of the Year season form Braun, but the pitching imploded when Ben Sheets went down again and the team was error-prone. In 2008, the team made the playoffs with a solid year from Sheets, Fielder, Braun, Corey, and CC, but the team faded in the last couple months and had subpar years from Rickie and Bill Hall. The Brewers lost to the Phillies who would win the whole thing. In 2009, we thought the loss of Sheets and CC would be alright since we had Yovani and Manny. 2009 also had excellent showings from Prince and Braun yet again, but the pitching imploded, Rickie was hurt, and the team faltered.

Throughout all of it, the main focus has always been on Prince Fielder and his time as a Brewer. That time is almost out, and we know it. Even though J.J. was replaced by fairly pain-free by Alcides, there is no one that could be brought up to replace Prince. If Prince goes, then Rickie and Corey will almost surely follow him. We want to keep the faith that Prince and/or Rickie will re-sign, but what if that doesn’t happen?  People remember 2005 with excitement because it was the year that Prince, Rickie, and JJ were brought up and “the future is now!”, but what happens the year they’re all gone? We Brewers fans don’t want all this talent to only produce one small stint in the postseason, but time is slipping away.

That’s why I believe so many Brewers fans are freaking out at this awful April. That’s why we’re sick of the wasted time on wasted series because of a lack of good pitching or lack of consistent hitting or lack of decent fielding. It’s because we believe the talent is there, but the window is closing…

So as fans, let’s keep the faith we’ve had in these guys since 2005, keep cheering, and hopefully show those guys in uniforms that they need to start kicking it into gear already.

The All-Decade Team

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

Happy Holidays everyone! Since we are on the cusp of a new decade, I decided to put out the Milwaukee Brewers All-Decade team! This was quite an up and down decade for the Crew. We saw the end of our beloved Milwaukee County Stadium, but enjoyed the beauty that is Miller Park. We saw the worst of the worst (3 straight years of finishing last in the NL Central including a 100 loss season) and something we hadn’t seen in over 20 years: Playoffs.  We saw managers change (Lopes, Royster, Yost, Sveum, and Macha). We saw fan favorites come and go. We saw the rise of baseball in HD and a rise in Brewers payroll. Yes, it was quite a roller coaster being a Brewer fan in the 00’s. To look back on the decade that was, Here’s my 25-man All-Decade Roster.

Starters

C - The list of Brewers’ catchers from this decade reads like a sick joke: Bennett, Estrada, Bako, Moeller. It was hard to pick, but Damian Miller is my catcher of the decade. In ‘05 and ‘06, he was a solid catcher both offensively and defensively and had a lackluster ‘07 because of the amazingly underwhelming Johnny Estrada.

1B - Prince Fielder - It’s only been since ‘06 that the Brewers have had Fielder as their starting first baseman, but he’s only gotten better over time. He’s even had 2 seasons with over 40 HR’s. He’s been the leader of this team and has shown maturity beyond his years. He even improved his defense!

2B - Ron Belliard - We started off the decade with Belliard at second. He hit alright, but was great at the double play. He was part of turning 129 double plays in 2000.

3B -Ryan Braun - I don’t care how bad his defense was. I don’t care that he’s an outfielder more than a third baseman. He was the best third baseman the Brewers have and I’m putting him here dammit. What else can you say about Ryan Braun? He’s a stud. He does it all. He hits for power and average. He’s the Hebrew Hammer. He likes really ugly MMA shirts. He’s cocky, but says the right things almost all the time. The best thing you can say about him: He’ll be a Brewer far into this next decade!

SS - JJ Hardy - This JJ brought all the ladies to the yard, but behind his female appeal was a great defensive shortstop with a lot of pop in his bat. He made the All-Star team in 2007. His fire continued in 2008 with over 20 home runs again (which is great for a shortstop).

OF - Carlos Lee - We put up with his lazy outfield because you could count on 100 RBI’s. Before Prince was ready for Prime Time, there was Carlos Lee. Even though the Crew only had him for 1 3/4 years, he delivered over 60 home runs and almost 200 RBI’s.

OF - Geoff Jenkins - Roaming the outfield until 2007, Geoff hit 182 home runs and 71 Outfield Assists for the Brewers this decade. Jenks was also voted into the All-Star game in 2004 by the Brewers fans! He ended up having a stellar year that year hitting .296 with 28 HR’s.

OF - Scott Podsednik - Milwaukee’s ROY runner up was the beginning of the resurgence of interest in the Brewers. While he really only had one good year with the Brewers (and only two overall), he set a Brewers record for most SB’s in a year.

Bench

1B - Richie Sexson - While I have never been the biggest fan of Sexson because he would choke under pressure, his numbers as a Brewer don’t lie. He hit 133 home runs in a Brewer, including two seasons with 45 (2001 and 2003). He was  a two time All-Star and was involved in an amazing trade for the Brewers.

1B - Lyle Overbay - OK, so I have three first basemen. The Big O was a doubles machine after coming over in the Sexson trade and bridged the gap perfectly between Sexson and Fielder.

OF - Brady Clark - Most people laugh about Brady, but he was a solid member of the Brewers outfield for 4 years this decade. He hit an average of .283 and was a big part of 2005’s .500 year (which people forget was a big deal at the time)

INF - Mark Loretta - Mark had a really strong run in Milwaukee to start his career. And while most of his career was played in the previous decade, he still played for 2 3/4 of this one. Always one you could count on to get on base,  Mark never had more than 60 strikeouts in a season.

OF - Corey Hart - Hart made his debut in 2004, but didn’t recieve the role of everyday starter until 2007. His speed and his bat make him a dynamic player even though his head has gotten in the way.

C - I guess you need two catchers on a 25 man roster so I pick Jason Kendall. I know there are a lot of fans who hate Kendall (such a strong feeling), but many of those fans don’t remember most of the catchers from this past decade. We didn’t have a Surhoff or a Nilsson. And I wouldn’t mind having a Jason Kendall who busts his ass every day on my team….problem is if this was real, he wouldn’t let me put him on the bench.

Pitchers

SP - Ben Sheets - Ben’s entire MLB career started in 2001 even though it seems like he’s been around for longer. In 2004, he was a finalist for the Cy Young and threw over 1200 K’s this decade. I won’t ever forget the day Jared and I saw Sheeter the night after he threw 18 K’s at a Bucks game (Jenkins had front row and Sheeter was sitting 8 rows back by us). He’s Milwaukee’s first legit ace since Higuera and I’d like to see him back in Brewer Blue.

SP - Doug Davis -Doug Davis isn’t flashy. He isn’t dominant. He isn’t fan friendly. He’s just there. And for 3+ years, he was the team’s dependable workhorse. Doug is the reason most Brewer fans check quality starts because 70% of his 2004 starts were quality, although he just won half.

SP - Chris Capuano - Yet another part of the Richie Sexson trade, Cappie was an All-Star in 2005. What people remember most about Capuano was his insane pick-off move which prompted umpires re-check their rule books about balks. He’s the final part of the MM3 (See Kolb)

SP - Yovani Gallardo - This young star in the making was better than expected in ‘09.  He also was helpful down the playoff stretch in ‘08 (even though a freak accident derailed almost all of that season). I’m excited to see how Yo matures in this next decade.

SP - C.C. Sabathia - Sure he grabbed the cash and left, but before he did, he gave Milwaukee a hero they have not seen in a long time. C.C. delivered the team the playoffs and for that, he will never be forgotten. We were able to see what C.C. would have been like in the playoffs had he not been used up, but most people would agree that the Brewers would have never gotten to the playoffs had he been used more sparingly.

RP - Dan Kolb - There are a group of pitchers I like to call the Mike Maddux Three. These pitchers had their highest levels of success under his tutelage and most came out of nowhere to become All-Stars, then fizzle away. The first of those three is Dan Kolb. Dan was all sorts of mediocre until in 2003 when he had an ERA of 1.99 and saved 21 games. The next year he saved 39 and became an All-Star. The following year, he was traded for Jose Capellan which was a move that benefited NO ONE.

RP -Derrick Turnbow - Turnbow is another member of the MM3. A fireballer picked off of waivers, Turnbow was known as the “Wild Thing”. He had wild hair and a wild streak, but his fastball could touch three digits. This streak caught up with him, but not before he was named to the All-Star game. Sadly, his bobblehead ended his career.

RP - Francisco Cordero - Another in the streak of Brewers All-Star Relievers, Cordero was a name on the Carlos Lee trade that quickly became so valuable, people forgot how bad Kevin Mench was. CoCo came in to Click, Click, Boom and saved 44 games with a 2.98 ERA. He was lost to Cincinatti because they offered him a couple extra million the following year.

RP - Brian Shouse - Lefty specialists are in high demand nowadays and the Brewers had a great one in Brian Shouse. When he was picked up, most people said “Who?”, but this lefty had 2+ strong years in Milwaukee and had a cult following.

RP - Trevor Hoffman - OK, so he only had one year in Milwaukee, but you would agree it was a great one, right? He exceeded expectations and was a highlight in a disappointing ‘09 effort. Plus he was the capper on a decade that saw 6 Brewers pitchers become All-Stars.

RP - I have one more reliever spot and it’s hard to give it to just one person because there were so many players that were similar. They weren’t great, but they were who the Brewers had so my last reliever is Matts DeSkanick. That’s right. A hybrid of Matt Wise, Mike DeJean, Curtis Leskanic, and Brooks Kieschnick. They were all middle of the road relievers, but were necessary or had a small following of fans at the time. (If Jared or Tyler could make a photoshop of this, that would be awesome)

Manager - Ned Yost - Love him or hate him, he’s the man that took the Brewers from awful to competitive.

There you have it! Feel free to post your own! I know we’re all looking forward to another up and down decade of Brewer baseball. I hoped to do a Brewer of the Decade Vote in lieu of a fan favorite vote, but we’ll see if the site is around long enough for that.

Aftermath from the Hardy for Gomez Trade

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

This was a shocking trade and I have not really made up my mind on the trade. Some RFB’ers have said that they like the trade. For me, it really depends on what pitchers the Brewers get now without J.J. Hardy. John Lackey’s name is out there and he would be AMAZING to bring in. One thing I believe is that J.J. for Gomez opens up the possibility of trading Gamel or Hart for pitching, especially if the big free agent names go elsewhere. Here are some reactions from around the area about the trade:

JSonline currently has a poll running that shows Brewers fans are split 50/50 right now.

Bernie’s Crew is underwhelmed with the deal.

Brewerfan believes that Gomez won’t be able to match Cameron offensively, but should be similar defensively.

Michael Hunt believes that the new youth movement will put the Brewers farther away from the playoffs.

WISN’s Andy Kendeigh believes the move was at the right time and made an interesting point saying Gomez won’t have to look over his shoulder all year.

620’s Gene Mueller hopes this means the Brewers will no longer be deathly afraid of running, but won’t be able to judge the trade until the team comes together in April

Brew Beat found a quote from Twins manager Ron Gardenhire who says that Gomez is “irritating”.

Brew Crew Ball believes the Brewers should re-sign Cameron anyway (at least still offer arbitration…what’s the worst that could happen? He takes it and you still have a leader who can help Gomez become even better in center. Plus, the team could continue to piss off the NL Central and untuck their shirts.) and they believe the trade was good overall.

Cute Sports believe that Tweens and Teens will weep (she forgot sorority girls as well), but she seems most sad that there won’t be any “J.J. makes me Hardy” jokes.

View from Bernie’s Chalet said they are excited about the young Gomez.

In-Between Hops believe the loss of Hardy isn’t a big deal and might be very good for the team.

Minnesota Blogs:

Star Tribune writer Jim Souhan believes this was an “amazing” deal for the Twins.

A Fan’s View liked Gomez (save for something he calls Gomez’s “bunny hops” when throwing to home) but likes the trade especially because it upgrades their infield defense.

Twinkie Town likes having Hardy and so do most of their readers.

The Saint Paul Pioneer Press thinks that Hardy will be a long term shortstop in Minnesota and enjoyed that it fixed two of the Twins’ problems.

Matt Borzi of MinnPost loves the trade, but believes Gardenhire will move Hardy to third (if that were the case, he would probably still be a Brewer!)

Blogger Aaron Gleeman believes that Gomez got a bum rap in Minneapolis because of who he was traded for (Santana), but believes the acquisition is very positive for the Twins.

SethSpeaks LOVES the deal for the Twins.

Twinkie Talk believes this was definitely the right move for the Twins.

The Twins Most Valuable Blogger is glad the Twins didn’t give up a king’s ransom for the player they needed.

So as you can see, Brewer fans are unsure and Twins fans are seemingly thrilled.
[polldaddy poll="2224546"]

Morning Ramble - 11/6

Friday, November 6th, 2009

Now that the Yankees have finally won their damm World Series, and who didn’t see that one coming? (I love how all the news outlets are saying “Their first since all the way back in 2000″), we can finally get to some fun rumors and player movement.

I haven’t updated the MR because I’m at a conference in Minneapolis. BUT I heard a rumor here and I had to post it, so here it is: J.J. Hardy to the Twins for Glen Perkins if the O-Dawg doesn’t re-sign. I checked it out and ESPN and MSN rumors have it as well.

Also, the Brewers are waiting to see if Felipe is a Type-A or Type-B free agent before they re-sign him. If they do end up wanting to re-sign him, it will be interesting to see if he takes it knowing Rickie will have the starting role in spring.It will also be interesting, because a trade involving Rickie suddenly is on the table. However, the Brewers will probably want him in a Craig Counsell-like role and I still believe he will be very expensive for that.

Yahoo Sports noted that Washburn might be headed back to Seattle anyway. and Jon Garland’s option was declined by LA and I hope the Brewers take an extended look at him.

Finally, Tim Lincecum’s weird hair finally makes sense.

RFB’s Morning Ramble - 11/2

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

First of all, for those who are about to hear about how much better Favre is than Rodgers, please note that the only main difference between the Vikings and the Packers on Sunday was that the winning team had good blocking and the losing team didn’t. Linemen don’t get a lot of respect, and offensive linemen get even less, but Sunday showed me how important a solid offensive line is.

According to ESPN, the Rockies are thinking of non-tendering third baseman Garrett Atkins. Do it! It’d be great if the Brewers could get in on that, but he’s going to be able to have his pick of place and money.

Speaking of non-tendering, Olney also believes the Brewers would be better off non-tendering J.J. Hardy if there isn’t significant trade interest. Yeah, no, I don’t see that happening. The Brewers know that Alcides is the future, but they also know not to give away a free buffet. Does that analogy work? I don’t think so, but it’s Monday morning before my caffeinated drink.

Rumor guy Eli said that Johnny Damon is expected to talk with the Brewers. Doesn’t make much sense to me, especially since he’s going to draw a lot of money and the Brewers want pitching first.

Finally, here’s a list of free agents. Who would you pick, especially in the starting pitching position? I like Jon Garland and Eric Bedard, but they aren’t coming. A player I’m interested in learning more about is Noah Lowry. He had something wrong with his shoulder, so I don’t know how big of a risk he is, but he’s still young and was an up and coming pitcher with the Giants before Cain and Lincecum. As you look over the list, you notice that they are mostly all risks and I realized that there are far worse names than Mulder and Washburn (they can’t be the BIG acquisition the Brewers need, though). Also, the Mike Cameron haters should look at all the amazing names available in Center. Mike Cameron for another year doesn’t sound so bad when the comparable players are Rick Ankiel, Andrew Jones, and Marlon Byrd.

Melvin’s End-of-Season Media Blitz

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

Doug Melvin had his year-end press conference then he went on 620 with Bill Michaels…some highlights of both:

- Melvin basically said Braun and Prince won’t be traded. On 620, Michaels asked if they were going to look into locking up Prince and Melvin said something to the effect of when we have those discussions, it will be quiet like how we approached Trevor about an extension. Does this mean that Melvin will talk huge extension with Boras this offseason???

- Probably not, because right after that he said that he wants to figure out pitching before position players

- That included decisions on Mike Cameron, Jason Kendall, and Craig Counsell he said on 620.

- He said that keeping both J.J. and Escobar would be “very difficult”, which Haudricourt basically believes (and I agree) means “OPEN MARKET ON HARDY”

- Lopez and Weeks were brought up. Listen up, everyone…no matter how many message boards you read or sports talk shows you listen to, Rickie Weeks ISN’T moving to the outfield. Rickie is considered the second base starter right now. Lopez might fall into that group of players that Melvin won’t decide on until some pitching is figured out.

- Finally, Melvin very bluntly said that the Brewers were looking to get two starting pitchers.

Melvin will also be on 620 tomorrow morning for his last Brewers 360 of the year where he will probably rehash all of this…but maybe there will be some new news

Woah…Looks Like Melvin is Sick of the Underperformers

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

Last year it was axing the manager to get a spark in the clubhouse, this might be what Melvin hopes to spark the 2009 Brewers with…

JJ Hardy was optioned to AAA Nashville and Bill Hall was DFA’d. Also, Pitching Coach Bill Castro was sent packing for former Brewer Chris Bosio.

Alcides Escobar and Jason Bourgeois were brought up to replace them.

Hardy had underperformed at the plate all year, hitting .229 so far this year. Hall had underperformed for almost 3 years, even though he hit his first home run in over a month last night.

The Brewers’ pitching has been atrocious this year and Bill Castro looks like the fall guy…and he should be. I was rooting for Bill right away and I hoped for nothing but the best, but he has looked lost and over his head this year. There are some pitchers that are good relievers, but not good starters and I believe there are some coaches who can only go so far as well.

Escobar was hitting .298 in Nashville with 42 stolen bases, 76 runs, and 34 RBI’s. Bourgeois was hitting .316 in AAA, stealing 36 bases, knocking in 41, and coming across the plate 61 times. Chris Bosio was the pitching coach for the Nashville team

J.J. a Jay?

Monday, July 20th, 2009

It’s rare for a team to deal a key member of the team in the middle of a season in which they hope to compete in the playoffs, but the Brewers are in a unique position. With one of the best prospects in baseball, shortstop Alcides Escobar, knocking at the door, the Brewers could choose to deal J.J. Hardy for pitching. It would be a calculated risk that would involve losing a veteran leader and risking clubhouse camaraderie, but it might be in the best interest of the Brewers for this season and possibly beyond.

Danny Knobler of CBS Sports recently reported on the possibility of a Hardy trade:

A team that talked to the Brewers was told that shortstop J.J. Hardy could be available “in the right deal.”

“In a right deal” is a pretty vague term, but one would have to assume a trade involving the Brewers receiving Toronto Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay would be the “right deal.” Halladay would give the Brewers the legitimate difference maker in the rotation that they need.

There are many questions surrounding a possible deal involving Hardy, however.

Would Halladay be worth it?

Yes, he’s been one of the most consistent, injury free starters in baseball for the last several years. He’s widely considered one of the best pitchers in baseball and his stats should only improve with a move to the NL.

Could the Brewers afford to go with a rookie at short in place of Hardy if they still want to compete this season?

Hard to say… Escobar might be ready for the jump to the majors right now, but he also might struggle. By all accounts, he is a perennial gold glove talent at short, so the defense should actually improve at least a little (since Hardy is no scrub defensively either). Offensively, Escobar does not have the power or experience Hardy has so there would likely be a dropoff. That said, Hardy is having a bad year at the plate. He’s hitting just .229 this season with only 11 home runs and an OBP under .300. Meanwhile, Escobar, who was once considered a long-term project offensively, has made great strides with the bat in AAA. He’s hitting .295 with three home runs and a .349 OBP for Nashville this season. Those numbers likely wouldn’t translate to MLB at those levels, but one would think Escobar should at least be able to match Hardy’s offensive contributions to this point. He won’t hit as many home runs, but he has a lot more speed (33 stolen bases so far this season). Also, with the recent acquisition of Felipe Lopez, the Brewers have some protection if Escobar were to struggle. Lopez could shift from second base to shortstop in that scenario.

Why not trade Escobar instead of Hardy?

Hardy will be a free agent after next season. As the young Brewers players become free agents over the next couple of years, the team will have to make some tough financial decisions. With Escobar coming at a much lower cost and already on the cusp of the big leagues, Hardy is expendable. The Brewers will control Escobar more cheaply for more years. He is the future at shortstop.

Trading Hardy would also make it a little bit easier for the Brewers to take on Halladay’s big contract (the rest of the $14.25 million he’s owed this year and all of the $15.75 million he’ll get next year).

How much more would it take?

The Blue Jays aren’t going to swap Halladay for Hardy alone. Not even close… They’ll want at least one top prospect and probably two additional high-ceiling types to fill out the deal. I’d say Hardy, third baseman Mat Gamel and two B-level prospects should be close to getting it done. That’s a proven MLB player, one of the top prospects in the Brewers system and two other high-ceiling prospects (probably at least one and possibly both of them being pitchers). The Brewers could afford to trade Gamel since they have some depth at third both in the majors and the minors and there is no guarantee Gamel will stick at the hot corner anyway. The system is thin on starting pitcher prospects in the high levels, but there are a number of intriguing pitching prospects in the lower levels. While it would hurt to lose one or two of the quality young arms the Brewers are trying to build up, it would be worth it for a season and a half of a surefire ace like Halladay.

Will the Blue Jays even want Hardy?

Most reports say that the Blue Jays are interested in Escobar, which isn’t surprising, but the Brewers aren’t interested in moving him. So, would the Blue Jays want J.J.? Hard to say… Hardy has struggled this season so far, but was an All-Star two years ago and had an All-Star-caliber season again last year. He has significant power for the shortstop position and is above average defensively. He’s still young and you have to believe he’ll shake out of this slump at some point, especially since he’s a notoriously streaky hitter. He has one more year of arbitration left after this season, so the Blue Jays would have him through the 2010 season. The Jays could hold onto Halladay through the 2010 season if they wanted, so with Halladay on the trading block right now, it’s unlikely they view 2010 as a season to go for it. That said, the organization needs a shortstop of the future since Marco Scutaro is not a long-term answer. They could view Hardy as the man. While the Jays would have a hard time coming up with the coin to lock up Doc Halladay for the long term, they could likely sign Hardy to a multi-year deal if both sides were interested.

So, what if the Blue Jays don’t want Hardy?

I think Hardy remains the Brewers’ best trading chip (both in terms of what other teams value and what the Brewers can afford to give up), so if the Blue Jays aren’t interested in Hardy, the Brewers should shop him elsewhere.

Would the Red Sox swap Clay Buchholz for Hardy? That deal would benefit both sides as the Sox would upgrade a major team weakness without giving up a player on their MLB roster and the Brewers would get a talented young starter that they’d control for the next several years. Buchholz has proved he’s ready for the bigs again and could have a strong second half in the majors.

A well-known Mariners fan blog suggested last week that a trade of starters Erik Bedard and Wisconsin native Jarrod Washburn, both free agents to be, for Hardy would make sense for both teams. Would former Brewer head scout and current Mariners GM Jack Z actually consider this? If so, that’s a great alternative for the Brewers. They’d get two quality starters and could collect some draft picks when the pitchers leave in free agency after the season.

Asdrubal Cabrera is a pretty nice option at shortstop for the Indians, but he can also play second base, where the Indians don’t have a solid starter. Would the Indians be interested in taking Hardy as part of a Cliff Lee deal?

I wouldn’t give up Hardy for other options that are out there right now (Brad Penny, Doug Davis, Jon Garland, etc.), but who knows what else might happen before the trade deadline. The Brewers should keep all options open.

The Bottom Line

Hardy is a fan favorite and a respected veteran in the clubhouse. Dealing him in the middle of the season would shake up the fanbase and the clubhouse, but if the team can get quality starting pitching for him in a deal, it might be the right move to set the team up for a big second half.

Hey Braunie, It Could Be Worse… A LOT Worse…

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Ryan Braun let it slip earlier this week that he’s anxious for Doug Melvin to pull the trigger on a deal for a pitcher. Well, as hard as it must be for him to wait to see what the Moustached Marvel does, it could be worse. Green Bay radio personality Chris Havel of The Fan 107.5 FM could be the Brewers GM…

I don’t know why I listen to The Fan during baseball season, but I do. Therefore my rides to and from work usually result in me yelling at my radio in disgust about the most recent incredibly uninformed, stupid statement someone on The Fan says about the Brewers. To be fair, the station’s Packer coverage is pretty decent, but they are so epically horrible at talking about the Brewers that I wish they’d just give it up. As bad as Rookie and Bill are at discussing the Brewers and baseball in general on the morning show, the afternoon show takes it to a whole new level. Havel was borderline tolerable as a Packers writer for the Green Bay Press-Gazette (if you could ignore the blatant Favre ego stroking as he tried to dry hump no. 4 to respectability) before he got fired (or “parted ways” as he paints it). As a radio host, he’s a thin-skinned, know-it-all prick, who actually knows very little. And he is the baseball fan equivalent of a 6 year old. If J.J. Hardy gets three hits in a night, he’s the greatest player to ever don a Brewers uni, until he goes 0-4 the next night and then he should be cut. Afterall, there’s some prospect “knocking on the door” in the minors whose name Havel will butcher before failing to cover up the fact that he knows absolutely nothing about said prospect. Sadly, Havel seems like Tim Kurkjian next to the guys the station partners him with — former Packers Harry Sydney and Johnnie Gray. I’m convinced neither has ever watched the Brewers play, or possibly even ever watched a single baseball game at all.

A week or two ago, RFB Joe told me that Havel was on the air suggesting a trade of Corey Hart and J.J. Hardy to the Boston Red Sox for Brad Penny. The trade idea was so dumb there was a part of me that didn’t believe even Havel would suggest it. But Havel must think it’s a doozy of an idea because he was trumpeting it on air again yesterday… So, let me get this straight… The Brewers should trade their starting shortstop (who was an All-Star in 2007) and their starting rightfielder (who was an All-Star last year) for an injury risk back-of-the-rotation starter they could have signed this offseason without giving up anything? Oh yeah, and they can just replace those guys with an unproven rookie and an underperforming bench player. Genius! But common sense aside, the point Havel repeatedly beat into the listeners ears is that the Brewers need “another ace” to compliment Yovani Gallardo. And Brad Penny is an ace? He’s a somewhat serviceable starter for the Red Sox (6-3, 4.67 ERA), but he’s a lot closer to a no. 5 starter than an ace. Hart, who is arbitration eligible for two more seasons, and Hardy, who is arbitration eligible for one more season, would be too much to give up for a season and a half of Roy Halladay, much less half a season of Brad Freaking Penny.

So, yeah, it could be worse, Braun. You could watch your promising young teammates get traded for reclamation projects. Or, even worse, you could diligently tune into a mind numbingly horrible sports radio talk show day after day after day for no apparent reason…

Vent over.

In the News (5/6)

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

Tuesday’s Game: Brewers 8, Pirates 5
Record: 15-12, 2nd Place

 

Tuesday’s Game

- 17!

- Hardy had a wonderful game, going 3 for 3 with 4 RBI’s.

- Suppan almost went 6 for a quality start, but was pulled with two outs in the sixth. Stetter also gave up 2 runs, but Villa nailed down his third save.

- Let me just say, it’s funny to me that Jason Kendall gets booed a little in Pittsburgh.

Brewers News

- J.J. is still uncomfortable at the plate, but hopefully his fixed stance will help him. The guy is still hitting the bejeezus out the ball, just usually right at someone.

- Ed Sedar burned his pants…

- Miller Park Drunk goes through a day in the life of Ryan Braun…twitterfied.

- Brew Crew Ball discusses why Jeff Suppan still isn’t right. He’s just not making players miss.

- Corey Hart is not just a normal oddity…he’s a statistical one too!

- BTGP talks about what to do with Kendall and how well Hall has been looking at the plate.

- J.J. Hardy helps you hit…brought to you by Soup’s Grill

- E-mail inboxes are soooooo last year…Witrado has posted a live chat

Minor Leagues

- WLUK believes Lawrie is on the fast track up the Brewers organization. Lawrie has said he doesn’t want to stay in Appleton for an entire season…I don’t know if I should be happy about his drive or take it as a diss on eastern WI.

NL Central

- The Brewers will probably face Randy Wells instead of Carlos Zambrano…works for me…but one question: What the hell does it mean to have “Cups of Coffee” in the Big Leagues?

- Excellently named Pirates blog “Where Have You Gone, Andy Van Slyke?” believes the current Brewers win streak is epic and hopes it lasts forever. I do too!

- Meanwhile, Midwest Swing tries to give Pittsburgh some help.

- Matt Capps is out until the weekend with elbow soreness. Or is that blown-saveitis?

- Piniella wants Samardzija to add to his repertoire.

- Oswalt has another ouchie. It’s unsure how long he’ll be out.

- Rick Ankiel is out of the hospital and will probably be put on the DL.

- Chris Carpenter heard words of encouragment…such as “Your arm is still attached,” “At least you aren’t Mike Hampton” and “You’re such a big boy!”

- The Cubs’ 31-year-old rookie debuted today and got his first major-league hit…good for him and his perserverence, but they’ll probably make a movie out of him someday…”Old Rookie of the Year” or something.

- Some Cards fan wore a shirt that said “Zambrano Mows my Lawn”.

Other News

- ESPN talks about the importance of Plate Discipline. Basically, you want to be Chipper Jones, not Jeff Francouer. Sorry Johnny. The Brewers are mentioned as improving their discipline.

- Former Brewer Dana Eveland was sent to the minors. I was pulling for the lefty, but he just can’t get out of a jam and implodes it seems.

- This Week’s Power Rankings: 16th at CBS Sports, 12th at Fox Sports, and 14th at ESPN.

Insomniac Ink