Posts Tagged ‘Prince Fielder’

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.

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

InReview (9/21/09)

Monday, September 21st, 2009

Weekly Record: 5-2

Current Record: 74-75

I’m introducing my own September call-ups; I’m trying out new sections for next year and seeing how they play. Let me know what scores and what sucks.

A Glance:
Monday: Suppan good, but Flippy Magoo (Dumpster Dempster) better (L)
Tuesday: Cubs get a 5 run 6th the blow the game wide open…this blows (L)
Wednesday: Alcides and Corey give Loop even more run support..can David Patten always throw against the Brewers?(W)
Thursday: Jody “Shake Ya Groove Thing” Gerut hits a grand tater..bullpen holds! (W)
Friday: Great come from behind win…McGehee deserves more pub (W)
Saturday: Prince passes Cecil (Cooper), Suppan was strong (W)
Sunday: Prince passes Burnitz, Yovani finally gets run support, but doesn’t need it as the pitching staff dominates for the sweep(W)

Likes:

Sweeping the Astros

Winning 5 in a row…but it’s a little late to finally get the hot streak

Prince Fielder breaking records and Yovani getting to 200 K’s

Dislikes:

One loss away from being mathematically eliminated

Poor Counsell finally looks tired out

I realized during the semi-empty bobblehead game on Sunday just how amazing and electric it was last September…

Good for the Week

Jody Gerut has been beaten up all year, but finally has something to smile about. This week, Jody has hit .583 with 2 home runs, 8 RBI’s and more total bases than any other player (and he played in two fewer games)

Goat for the Week

The offensive offense from the catchers…we’re pretty sure Kendall isn’t coming back, but Rivera hasn’t inspired much confidence either.

This Week in Stats

Weekly ERA: 3.69  (14th in the ML)                                     YTD: 4.72 (26th in the ML)
Weekly BA: .273 (11th in the ML)                                         YTD: .260 (17th in the ML)
Weekly Opponents BA: .247 (12th in the ML)                 YTD: .266 (20th in the ML)
Weekly Slugging Percentage: .403 (16th in the ML)     YTD: .423 (10th in the ML)
Weekly Fielding Percentage: .988  (11th in the ML)      YTD: .985 (10th in the ML)

Quick Hitter:

Prince is trying to play in all 162 games…Carlos Lee was the last Brewer to do it in 2005. Prince Fielder is also trying to START every game…Richie Sexson in 2003 was the last Brewer to do that feat.

Something to Think About:

What would have happened if Prince would have had THIS year’s stats last year? What would have happened if Braun would have hit over .300 last year? What would have happened if Cameron had a full season? What would have happened if Yovani didn’t get hurt and we had the rotation of Sabathia, Sheets, Gallardo going into the playoffs?The “if’s” drive me absolutley batty.

Congrats Prince

Saturday, September 19th, 2009

On breaking the All-Time Brewers record for most RBI’s in a season! You now own two very lofty Brewers season records and are on the verge of a third!

What Might Have Gone Down

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

I was wondering what would have happened if Prince Fielder had actually gotten to talk to Guillermo Mota after Tuesday Night’s scuffle. Here are three highly likely scenarios:

Scenario 1:

Prince: Um, ya know, why’d you throw, ya know, that muthafu**ing ball at me, beeotch? Ya know, we didn’t even hit your pussy ass roider, ya know? But I guess, ya know, you steroid using junkies have to stick together.

Mota: Ummm…well…Torre told me to, and since no one wants me I did what I was told before I became a castout again…You don’t know how it feels to be hated everywhere you go. I tried to hit you nicely…

Prince: You cowardly muthafu**er, ya know, don’t you remember, ya know, all we did for you?? You sucked balls for our team, ya know, but I still invited you out and sh*t, ya know. I just want you to know, ya know, that you’re fu**ing dead to me now. Tell everyone in there to stop throwing those muthafu**ing balls at my muthafu**ing head.

Mota: <weeps>

Scenario 2:

Prince: I say good sir, did you intend to throw that baseball at my posterior?

Mota: Why yeeeeeees, I did, good sport.

Prince: That was a highly regrettable offense, old chap. I felt it to be unnecessary and barbaric.

Mota: That may be true, but suffice to say it wasn’t I that deemed it appropriate. ‘Twas Joseph Torre asked me personally to deliver the ball to your large frame.

Prince: Well, sir, I bite my thumb at you.

Mota <weeps>

Scenario 3:

Prince <Punch>

Mota: <Floor>….<weeps>

InReview - Week 17

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

Weekly Record: 3-4

Current Record: 52-53

Likes:

  • Um,  Casey McGehee’s home run was cool. The Brewers were able to win a game on Sunday without hitting a home run.
  • There were a couple trickles of good pitching…I guess
  • Bill Hall going to down to Nashville to work on things was a good idea (even though it only lasted a couple days)
  • Who am I kidding, this week sucked…only on Sunday did I see a complete game from a quality team (good pitching, defense, and hitting)

Dislikes:

  • This week, the Brewers faced possibly the two worst teams in the Majors and lost one series and were lucky to tie the other one. This does not inspire confidence.
  • And you know it didn’t inspire confidence in the front office because the trade deadline came and went with a whimper for the Milwaukee Brewers. I know, Melvin wanted to make a big move, but he wasn’t able to and probably had in the back of his mind the struggles this team has had. And not only did the team lose Vinny, but they got Claudio Vargas? He was OK in ‘07, but cmon.
  • Pitching Meltdowns (Braden Looper, I’m looking at you with disgust)
  • The Brewers need pitching, but the little pitching they have is hurting: Suppan, Bush, and McClung all hurt and those are big inning-eater guys
  • Corey Hart appendectomy…right when he was finding his swing..hope he makes a strong recovery
  • Still waiting for the bottom of this slide

This Week in Stats

Weekly ERA: 6.49 (29th in the ML)                                            YTD: 4.73 (26th in the ML)
Weekly BA: .248 (21st in the ML)                                              YTD: .257 (20th in the ML)
Weekly Opponents BA: .314 (29th in the ML)                      YTD: .264 (19th in the ML)
Weekly Slugging Percentage: .444 (13th in the ML)              YTD: .423 (10th in the ML)
Weekly Fielding Percentage: .992 (6th in the ML)              YTD: .985 (11th in the ML)

Players of the Month:

Prince Fielder: Prince continued his amazing year in July by having the highest batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage on the team by hitting the most home runs (Tied with Braun), walking more than anyone, and scoring more RBI’s and Runs than anyone else on the team. The other player of the month should be Craig Counsell. Would you believe me if I told you that only Ryan Braun had more AB’s in July than Craig? It’s true.

Todd Coffey: Coffey had the lowest ERA and Opponent BA on the staff in July. He struck out 16 and only walked 3 in over 14 innings. By the way, two of those three were intentional walks. With a bullpen that’s been overworked, Coffey stayed strong and was one of the few strong pitchers in July.

Watch out for:

Jason Kendall In his career, Jason’s batting average is about 10 points higher in August (.307) than his second highest month (.297).

Mike Cameron also has his best month statistically in August where he hits 18 points higher than his second highest month. I think most of us remember the tear he went on last August.

Dave Bush is coming back in August hopefully, because he has owned this month. He’s 12-6, has his best career ERA in August (3.86) and has thrown more strikeouts in August than in any other month (116)

Prince Fielder has his worst month, statistically, in August. However, his plate discipline has evolved more this year than in any other year so I believe he can buck this trend.

Prince Hits Walk-Off Winner in Home Run Derby

Monday, July 13th, 2009

And he untucks for the St. Louis crowd.

Prince Fielder started strong and did not fade as he beat hometown favorite Albert Pujols and St. Louis native Ryan Howard on the way to a victory in the finals over former Brewer Nelson Cruz.

Fielder totaled 23 home runs for the victory, the first ever by a Milwaukee Brewer. He hit 11 home runs in the first round (tied with Cruz for the lead) and six home runs in the second round (second behind Howard’s eight in that round). In the final round, Prince locked up the competition with his sixth home run with three outs to spare.

Late in the competition, ESPN flashed a graphic that showed Prince had four out of the five longest home runs in the competition including the top three. His longest home run was 503 feet.

Overall, the competition was way too long, like usual, but it was worth the wait to see Fielder take the crown.

There’s more on the competition at Brewers.com, MLB.com and JSOnline.

Brewers Fan Favorite - Round 3 Concludes

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

The number ones hammered the competition again, as both of them are now in the final four! Hart was no contest for Braun, as the Hebrew Hammer had 93% of the vote. Bush fared comparably better against Yo, but still was walloped 20%-80%. Here’s the current bracket:

Final round before the final four! Will McClung continue his underdog run? Can Fielder beat out J.J. Hardy? The polls close Friday night!

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Brewers Fan Favorite Vote - Round 2 Concludes

Friday, March 13th, 2009

Braun and Gallardo blew away their opponents again. It really puts it the Looper beating Suppan in fan voting in perspective; Looper beats Suppan and Looper gets destroyed in popularity by Gallardo, hence Suppan is about as popular as Jose Hernandez’s and Glendon Rusch’s lovechild.

As far from close as those two were, the other two match-ups were the opposite. For awhile, the Cameron/Hart battle was very close, but Hart pulled away late Thursday night. Bush against Villa was decided by less than 10 votes, the slight edge to Bush. Here’s the final results:

Braun DEF Kendall 96% - 4%

Hart DEF Cameron 61% - 39%

Gallardo DEF Looper 97% - 3%

Bush DEF Villanueva 54% - 46%

Round 2 concludes already with these match-ups (including some very interesting pitching ones). Vote away for your favorite Brewers because these polls close on Monday evening.

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