Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays From VFBC

Just wanted to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday from your friends at VFBC. The next few weeks are going to be hectic with the holidays and I am moving all at the same time. So I do not think I will be able to post even if something big comes up, but when I get settled in I will put up Reader Poll #6 and review Reader Poll #5. Although I don't anticipate the Brewers doing anything until the new year anyway. But if they do, here is my holiday wish list to Doug Melvin.

Please sign one of the following pitchers in the near future to shore up our rotation. They are in order of who I want most to least.

1. Ben Sheets
2. Randy Johnson
3. John Smoltz
4. Randy Wolf
5. Jon Garland

If you can't sign any of the above pitchers for the starting rotation, please consider signing Brian Fuentes to be our closer.

I have been a good boy this year Doug and would really appreciate some kind of signing or trade that can get us a #1 or #2 starter to go with Yovani or a proven closer for the pen.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Braun To Get Patriotic In 2009

That's right, Ryan Braun will represent his country as he has accepted an invitation to be part of Team USA in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. This will be the second ever "WBC" and it will run March 5th through the 23rd. 16 countries will be represented in the tournament. The US team will be managed once again by Davey Johnson who managed in the first WBC and managed Team USA to a bronze medal in the 2008 summer Olympics in China. Braun is one of 28 who will be part of Team USA. Other players who have committed to Team USA thus far are; Braun, Yankees SS Derek Jeter, Braves 3B Chipper Jones and C Brian McCann, Angels SP John Lackey and Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia. To be blunt the 2006 US team was quite pathetic. They did not even make it to the medal round and had HUGE expectations. Hopefully this years club can live up to the expectations and at least take a medal if not the gold medal.

I was already very excited for this years WBC as I thought the first one was really cool. But now with Braun playing for Team USA I'm even more pumped and can't wait for the games to start March 5th. So far the only other Brewer who has shown interest and might play in the WBC is Yovani Gallardo possibly to pitch for Mexico.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Milwaukee Brewers 2009 Version Of Gabe Kapler Is....

Former Red Sox/Indian/Met Trot Nixon. Like Kapler, Nixon was a member of the 2004 Red Sox World Championship team. And like Kapler, Nixon signed a minor league deal with Milwaukee and is getting a spring training invite with a good chance to make the club as a 4th or 5th OF. And like Kapler, Nixon will try to turn his career around at an old age and try to contribute in a big way in 2009 like Gabe did in 2008. A have seen a lot of people bitching about this move. I don't see the harm, it's not like Melvin signed him to compete for a starting job? He signed him in hopes that he could bring a veteran presence to the club and be a nice left handed bat off the bench who could occasional give Braun or Hart a day off in the OF. If Nixon comes even close to the numbers Kapler put up in 2008, Melvin will look like a genius. Because in my humble opinion Kapler was one of the best bench players in the entire NL in 2008.

In addition to the Nixon signing the Brewers also inked former Pirates OF Chris Duffy to the same kind of deal, minor league contract with invite to spring training. I could care less about Duffy and I expect him to be in AAA all year. But I could be proven wrong.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

If The Cameron Trade Goes Down....

Not only will be get back a cheaper, younger, switch hitting CF with good upside/potential but with Cameron's $10 mill off the books the Brewers will become serious players for free agent closer Brian Fuentes. This according to Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports. Another reason I like the Cameron/Cabrera deal. Fuentes is a very good closer and he is in his prime, it's not like signing Gagne last year after his prime had ended.

Clearing Up The Peavy Rumor

It was just that, a rumor. Someone left a comment in my post about a possible trade of Jake Peavy to the Brewers for Alcides Escobar + and asked where the source was. Well I read about it in the message board. It originated from some Badger board or blog or something. Anyway, it seems it was just probably made up and nothing more then Internet banter. I was just so excited at the thought of getting Peavy that I had to post something about it. I even emailed Tom Haudricourt at the Journal Sentinel to see if he had heard about such a rumor and here was his reply:

No, I haven't. And it's my understanding that Peavy would nix a trade to Milwaukee. TH

So there you go, even if the Brewers could agree to a trade with the Padres for Jake he would probably nix the deal. It looks like Peavy will be in San Diego at least to start the season.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Reader Poll Four

In reader poll four we asked you what you would like to do with Brewers 2B Rickie Weeks for the 2009 season and you have spoken.

Keep Him At 2B: 50% (6 votes)
Trade Him: 33% (4 votes)
Move Him To CF: 16% (2 votes)

Seems like most people want to see Rickie stay at 2B for the 2009 season. And from the sounds of Doug Melvin that is exactly where Rickie will be and also leading off once again. Some people had talked about moving him to CF but I don't think the Brewers wanted to convert a guy to the OF for the third consecutive season. I know after his performance last season many people myself included wanted to see Weeks traded. But the more I thought about it I'm all for giving Rickie one more year to prove he is a above average big league 2B on offense and defense. It would hard to give up on a former 2nd overall pick who has TONS of potential, but just has not realized it yet. Hopefully working with Willie Randolph in 2009 Weeks can straighten out his defense and put up the close to the offensive numbers he put up in college and in the Minor Leagues. Best case scenario is Weeks breaks out in 2009 the way a similar player in BJ Upton did in 2008 for the Rays.

Reader Poll #5 is up now, go rock the vote.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Rumor Mill: Jake Peavy To Brewers For Alcides Escobar and ????

Big rumor floating around the Internet tonight. With Jake Peavy trade talks to Chicago or Atlanta dead, the Brewers have swooped in (allegedly). Looks like the Crew would send super prospect SS Alcides Escobar to the Padres along with another player or two in exchange for former Cy Young winner and ace Jake Peavy. Wow, this would be huge. A rotation with Peavy and Gallardo at the top of it excites me to great heights. Trading Escobar away would also put any JJ Hardy position change or trade rumors to rest as well as make giving Hardy a contract extension a must. Hopefully more info on this possible deal comes out soon.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Winter Meetings Day #3

Well we all knew it would probably come to this but it's still tough to swallow. Today CC Sabathia agreed to a 7 year $161 mill contract with the New York Yankees. It becomes the richest contract ever for a pitcher. The Yankees outbid themselves by giving Sabathia another year and $21 mill more. I think it came down to the fact that no west coast teams got in on the Sabathia bidding and the Yankess overpaid to make sure Sabathia didn't take less money to stay in Milwaukee because of his uncomfortableness with playing in New York. But in the end that would just be way to much money to turn down. I cant blame CC, no person in their right mind would turn down that kind of cash. I just wish that a west coast team (Giants, Dodgers or Angels) would have jumped in. I will hate seeing CC in Yankee pinestripes. The only uniform that would have been worse would have been a Cubs uniform. I wish CC all the best but I hope the Yankees suck and I will never forget how great and important CC's half of a season was here in Milwaukee.

Now that Sabathia has signed, Doug Melvin can move on and figure out what he can do to keep this club competitive in the NL Central. Need to get at least one above average starting pitcher and still need some bullpen help.

The big news to come out today after the CC news as far as the Brewers are concerned was that the Brewers are now in on Brian Fuentes. Rumors are that Fuentes will be looking for a contract around 3 years $33 mill. I'm not a huge fan of spending money on a closer but Fuentes is pretty solid and if the Brewers did snag him I wouldn't be totally opposed to it.

Mike Cameron being traded to the Yankees also made some noise today with CC signing with the Yanks. Personally I would be all for that if we could get say Phil Hughes in return? Maybe Melky Cabrera thrown in. That might be to much to ask for Cameron though.

All I know is I doubt the Brewers will sign a big name free agent starting pitcher, so look for Doug Melvin to work some trade magic for one.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Winter Meetings Day #2

Welcome to day #2 of VFBC's coverage of the MLB Winter Meetings. Nothing groundbreaking, but a few bits of news to go over. In a non Brewers related note the first "big" signing of free agency happened today when the Mets came to terms with former Angels closer Fransisco Rodriguez. It is reported as a 3 year deal worth $37 mill. Quite a bit less then I thought K-Rod would get. I mean I thought some idiot GM would way overpay for him since he shattered the single season save record in 2008. He is a good closer, but when you look more closely at his stats there are many better then him. I hope it blows up in the Mets faces, because that would be funny.

On to real news, Brewers news. The Crew signed 3B Mike Lamb to a 1 year deal for the league minimum. Lamb was acquired very late last season and actually had a few key pinch hits late in the year. He did not start any games. Looks like right now the plan would be for Lamb and Bill Hall to platoon at 3B at least to start the year, maybe until they feel Mat Gamel is ready. Personally I like the signing, very low risk and if nothing else Lamb is a good left handed bat off the bench who can also play 1B if needed. He has a couple of decent years in Houston before falling on his face last year in Minnesota.

Speaking of Bill Hall, he had the lasik surgery. All I can say is I hope it helps Billy as much as it helped Jason Kendall. If so, maybe Hall can relive some of his 2006 or even 2005 magic when Hall looked like a rising star for the Brewers.

Ben Sheets was at the winter meetings today and is "rumored" to have had a meeting with the Yankees. Excuse me while I puke. If the Yankees sign Ben and CC I might lose it. I already hate the Yankees about as much as I hate the Cubs, which is a lot. And if they go and sign both of our best pitchers in the same offseason. Man, having to see Sheets and Sabathia both in pinestripes is enough to make a grown man cry.

Now this last piece seems to good to be true but another "rumor" going around is that the Yankees may be out of the running for CC and that some in the Giants camp believe the BREWERS ARE THE FRONT RUNNERS. HOLY FUCKING SHIT! It can't be true? Can it? This was reported over at in beat writer Tom Haudricourt's blog. Like Tom says, rumors fly around like crazy at the winter meetings, especially this year regarding Sabathia. But if that is true, wow. That is all I can say. Wow.

Off to watch Batman: The Dark Knight which came out today. Have not seen it since summer when it was in theaters so I'm pretty pysched. Great movie, if you haven't seen it yet, you should. More tomorrow all!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Winter Meetings Day #1

Day 1 of the GM winter meetings in Las Vegas is in the books. Not a whole heck of a lot going on as far as the Brewers are concerned. Doug Melvin did finally meet with CC Sabathia's agent's, and only about 5 weeks after the Brewers made their initial offer to CC. Melvin's meeting lasted a little less then a half hour and when it was finished it appears the Brewers are still in the running and have a chance at actually retaining Sabathia. Melvin will meet with CC's agent's again in a few days. The "rumors" going around are that to compete with the huge 6 year $140 mill deal the Yankees have offered is to add another year, maybe $10 to $20 mill or maybe have an opt out clause after three years of the deal. That is all speculation at this point though.

The Brewers avoided an arbitration hearing with relief pitcher Todd Coffey as he signed a 1 year $800,000 deal with $200,000 extra possible in incentives. Love the deal! Coffey signed in September and pitched fantastic out of the pen not allowing a single earned run. Still scratching my head a bit as to why the Reds let him go. Good fastball and a good slider/sinker. Great signing by Melvin, low risk possible high reward much like Jorge Julio.

In a article on JJ Hardy said he hopes he is not traded and wants to stay a Brewer. Personally I don't want Hardy traded either and I think it's pretty cool he wants to stay in Milwaukee. He has improved every year he has been in the bigs and only looks like he will get better, I don't think he has reached is ceiling yet. I consider him along with Braun and Gallardo as the true cornerstones of the franchise (sorry Prince). Melvin said he won't deal Hardy and I hope he is telling the truth.

I will share my thoughts on each day of the winter meetings, so please check back if you care to read my thoughts. You know, if you actually read this and give a shit and enjoy my writing and thoughts.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Brewers Sign Bullpen Help

I know this happened a few days ago but I have been sick the past few days and I have not been able to get on my MacBook, hell I didn't even get to see this weeks episode of "The Office" till this morning. The Brewers signed relief pitcher Jorge Julio to a 1-year contract worth $950,000. Julio is 29 years old has a plus fastball and a slider. Last year he spent time with Cleveland and Atlanta. Julio spent his first 5 years in the big leagues with Baltimore where he was actually a decent closer. 25 saves in 02', 36 in 03' and 22 in 04'. Since his last season in Baltimore which was 05' he has kind of bounced around. From what I can tell and have heard about Julio is that he strikes a lot of guys out but he at times has control issues and gives up the long ball. GM Doug Melvin has a history of bringing in guys like Jorge Julio, guys with plus arms who have struggled and then find away to turn it around in Milwaukee (see: Turnbow, Derrick, McClung, Seth and Kolb, Dan). At 1 year $950,000 Julio is totally worth the risk and if the Brewers do not trade for or sign a free agent closer Julio could find himself in a spring training battle for that spot. It is not an impact signing by any means, but who knows if Julio finds his early Orioles days it could be.

Reader Poll III

Wow, a whopping 3 votes! Readership still not where I wish it was. Well anyway 66% (2 votes) said no we should not resign Ben Sheets while 33% (1 vote) said yes we should. Personally I would have voted yes. Sign Ben to a nice 2 year deal with a club option on a 3rd year. We are not resigning CC so we can just forget that pipe dream. But a rotation of Sheets, Gallardo, Parra, Bush and Suppan would be pretty good. If Sheets and Gallardo both stay healthy you basically have to #1's in your rotation and three other serviceable pitchers. I think Parra will only get better, Bush is very solid and Suppan, well he, he umm, well he was NLCS MVP in 2006. Poll #4 is up now, please vote. For the love of God, VOTE!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks

Well I have to say I am thankful for many things on this Thanksgiving version 2008. My fiancee who actually tolerates me and even wants to marry me, my friends, my family, a solid job in a shitty economy and the fact that gas prices have fallen to around $1.75 per gallon. But the thing this year in the sports world that was the thing I was by far most thankful for was that the Brewers traded for Carsten Charles Sabathia on my birthday July 6th and he was able to in my opinion become the MVP of the NL and lead the Brewers to the playoffs for the first time in 26 years. Since I was not even 1 year old the last time the Brewers played October baseball it was amazing to experience playoff baseball for the first time in my life. And although the team as a whole played good ball and had a good year I'm not sure it would have been possible without CC and of course Mark Attanasio for ponying up the money for him and Doug Melvin green lighting the deal with Cleveland. Thank you, and I hope in 2009 I have even more things to be thankful for because of the Brewers organization.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Reader Poll Results Part "Deux"

Well I can clearly see the readership of this blog is no where near where I wish it was. In our second ever reader poll I only got a booming seven total votes. Ah well, we will get there. We asked who you would want as closer in 2009 for the Crew. Survey says?!

Seth McClung: 42% (3 votes)
Sign A Free Agent Closer: 28% (2 votes)
Carlos Villanueva: 14% (1 votes)
Trade For A Closer: 14% (1 vote)
Todd Coffey: 0% (0 votes)

Well out of those seven big votes the big red head Seth McClung got three. Had I voted in my own poll I to would have voted for McClung. Of course I have already made my man crush and want for Seth to be the closer in 2009 known in an earlier post. He has all the things you look for in a closer and he is a hell of a lot cheaper then spending big money on a free agent closer. We did that last year and saw how well it worked (shitty). I wouldn't be super pissed if they went and signed K-Rod, Fuentes or Wood. I just think they could spend that money elsewhere on more pressing needs like say 3B, starting pitching and maybe 2B if Weeks is moved. We shall see what Mr. Melvin has up his sleeve. Reader poll number three is up, please check it out.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Not Much Going On, Lets Talk Music!

Well with the offseason kind of quit right now waiting to see what is up with Sabathia and no other moves made yet by the Brewers. I would like to say something not related to baseball.

Only 4 days until 15 years of work and waiting is over. Guns N' Roses "Chinese Democracy" comes out on Sunday 11/23. I'm very pumped, I know a lot of people hate on Axl because it has taken so long to release the record and because it's not the original GNR. But to me, it's still gonna be awesome because it's Axl and a bunch of very good musicians. I think that is one thing people forget when they totally dismiss this record before it even hits. They say oh it's just Axl and a bunch of no name cronies. Well actually not, the new GNR is made up of guys who have played in bands like: Nine Inch Nails, The Replacements, Primus, Psychedelic Furs, etc.

Some of the early reviews are in and everyone I have seen thus far is positive. Of course I have heard some of the demo leaks online but I can't wait to actually hear the full length studio versions of the songs. 4 days to go, Sunday can't come soon enough. Ooops, almost forgot since it is actually coming out, go to and get your free 20 oz. bottle of soda.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I Get Excited When Baseball Related Things Happen In Winter

The Brewers yearly "Fanfest" event "On Deck" will take place not at Miller Park right before the season starts but instead in January at the Midwest Airlines Center downtown. It is $15 to get in to the event. No problem, well worth it. Bought four tickets today for myself and three of my friends. I actually love the fact this year they are having it during the "dull drums" of winter. It gets me excited for the baseball season that at that point will be on the horizon as spring training will only be a month away. I just hope that there is not a awful blizzard that day that will make it difficult to get to the event for we the fans and the players. Besides autograph (ranging from free to $25 my guess $25 would get you Braun and Fielder) and picture opportunities, other events will include:

  • The Q&A Stage
  • FS Wisconsin Sports Desk to test your broadcasting skills
  • WTMJ Stage
  • Anthem Challenge
  • Vendor booths with baseball memorabilia
  • Kids Area

Monday, November 17, 2008

First Ever Reader Poll Results And NL MVP Voting

In View From Bernie's Chalet's first ever reader poll we asked, who would you most want to see a bobblehead of in 2009. Here were the results:

Yovani Gallardo: 43% (7 votes)
Doug Melvin: 25% (4 votes)
Jason Kendall: 25% (4 votes)
Mark Attanasio: 6% (1 vote)
Mike Cameron: 0% (0 votes)

No real surprise, I figured most would want to see a Gallardo bobblehead. I know that would have been my vote. Although I would be torn for second between Melvin and Attanasio. Both of those would be solid choices. Attanasio already has one, but it was very limited and only given to Brewers employees. They usually go for over $100 more often in the $200 range. Go ahead and vote for our second reader poll which is up now.

A couple of Brewers were finalists for the MVP award in the NL. Ryan Braun got 3rd place and CC Sabathia came in 6th. Both were very deserving of getting votes, no doubt about that. CC very well could have been the most valuable player to any team in either league. What he did down the stretch pitching on 3 days rest 3 times was nuts and without him they may not have won the Wild Card. Braun also was deserving, and I honestly think had he not gotten hurt and continued to put up the numbers he was on pace to put up he may have beaten out the Cardinals Albert Pooh-Holes who took the award for the 2nd time in his career. Personally I hate Pooh-Holes, especially after that fiasco in St. Louis with him thinking he is the baseball ethics police now. But man he had an outstanding year and he was fantastic for my fantasy team. Somehow I was able to draft him 12th overall in the 1st round in my draft. I don't know how 11 people passed on him, maybe is was the concern for his injured elbow. I doubt he lasts that long in my fantasy draft for 2009.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Screw You Hank Steinbrenner, Screw You!

"I'm starting to become very optimistic. I think it’s going to be mutually beneficial to us and for these particular players (Sabathia, Lowe and Burnett) that we’re after for them to join the Yankees.”

Those would be the words out of the mouth of a man who has been fed with a silver spoon his entire life and now thinks because the Yankees have all the money in the world that it is "beneficial" for players to come play for them. Get over yourself Hank. How has that $200 mill+ payroll been working for you? Let's see, last year your team couldn't even make the playoffs and even with all that talent and high priced players have not been to a World Series since 2003 and not won one since 2000. So tell me Hank, how is it beneficial for players to come play for a team who honestly is no better then any other team in MLB? Because you have history? Because you have a new stadium? Because your uniforms have pinstripes? Is it some kind of baseball honor and privilege to wear a uniform of the New York Yankees? No, that my friends is bullshit. It is kind of sick and disgusting that you can throw money around the way you do and sign all three of the top free agent pitchers in one offseason. Sure, you will probably do it but will it really help you? It sure hasn't helped as of late. And I have to agree with our GM Doug Melvin, why would you offer CC Sabathia $140 mill when the speculated Brewers offer was only $100 mill? Talk about overpaying because you are a spoiled brat, that is just outrageous. As much as I love CC I hope him as well as Lowe and Burnett sign with you and I hope once again the Rays and Red Sox whoop your teams ass and you find yourself once again on the outside looking in during October in 2009. Then what will your excuse be? This past season it was that your team played in a good division and had you played in the NL West you would have made the playoffs. Well Hank, you play in the AL East. So if you sign all these big money free agents who it will be "beneficial" to be Yankees and you fail to make the playoffs again, what could your excuse possibly be? I can't wait to hear it.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Brewers 2009 Coaching Staff Complete

The final piece of the 2009 Brewers coaching staff has been put in the puzzle. It is Stan Kyles who will serve as bullpen coach. Kyles has been apart of the Brewers organization for the past 8 years and has served the past 4 as the pitching coach of the AAA Nashville Sounds. A nice promotion for a guy who has no big league coaching experience. So with that the Brewers staff looks as so for 2009:

Manager: Ken Macha
Bench Coach: Willie Randolph
Pitching Coach: Bill Castro
Hitting Coach: Dale Sveum
1B Coach: Ed Sedar
3B Coach: Brad Fischer
Bullpen Coach: Stan Kyles
I have to say I look sit and look at that staff of coaches and I think that it might be one of the strongest I have seen in the history of the club. And if you don't agree with that you have to agree it is the best since Doug Melvin became GM in 2003 or since Mark Attanasio bought the club in 2005. Strong baseball minds up and down that list. I like Macha of course and I like how they brought new guys in but kept a few of the good guys from the old staff (Castro, Sveum and Sedar) who have some comfort and familiarity with the players. I didn't like Randolph as the choice for Manager but I love him as bench coach and his ability to work with the infielders.

A Sad Day In The Blog World

Yesterday Thursday November 13th, 2008 one of the best sports blogs was posted on for the last time. Fire Joe Morgan is no more. The blog dedicated to bad sports journalism and baseball statistics with a comedic twist will remain up with all the archives for us loyal readers. I have to say this sucks, this is one of the blogs I have read religiously for a few years now and it is sad to see it go, hell it is part of the inspiration for me wanting to have my own blog. It was written by a group of friends who are all comedy writers living in California. One of whom is Michael Schur (posted on FJM as "Ken Tremendous") who I have a great deal of respect for because he writes for my favorite TV "The Office" and he plays Cousin Moes on the show. Best of luck in the comedy world to all the guys at FJM and I hope they know we will all miss their snarky blogs about nerdy baseball stats and Bill Plaschke. I think in honor of the blog coming to an end I may have to order one of their t-shirts.

Brewers Have a Slugger Who Is Pure Silver For A Second Straight Year

Yesterday Ryan Braun won an MLB award for the second straight season (last year ROY) and an award that he will probably win on a regular basis. Braun won his first Silver Slugger as he was one of the three OF chosen from the NL. The other OF were Matt Holliday of the Rockies (now A's) and Ryan Ludwick of the Cardinals. This makes the second year in a row a Brewer has won a Silver Slugger, last year Prince Fielder was the NL 1B winner (this year Pooh-Holes took that honor). Of course Braun was a deserving choice, and he didn't even hit that good in the final two months of the season. And even with that being said Braun's final line in his second season looked like this:
.285/.335/.553 (.888 OPS) 37 HR 106 RBI
The rest of the NL Silver Sluggers:
C- Brian McCan (Braves)
1B- Albert Pooh-Holes (Cardinals)
2B- Chase Utley (Phillies)
SS- Hanley Ramirez (Marlins)
3B- David Wright (Mets)
OF- Ryan Braun (Brewers)
Of- Matt Holliday (Rockies)
OF- Ryan Ludwick (Cardinals)
P- Carlos Zambrano (Cubs)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Torres Calls It A Carrer, Again. I Handpick The Next Closer For Doug Melvin

For the second time in his baseball career, Salomon Torres has called it a career and is going to retire from the game. He first retired in 1997 after spending that season with the Mariners and Expos. Took four years off and then came back in 2002 with the Pirates where he played till 2007. Last year in his first and only season in Milwaukee he took over for Eric Gagne as the closer when Gagne melted down in May and he did a good job converting 28 saves with an ERA of 3.49 and a WHIP of 1.35. He did struggle a bit down the stretch blowing some saves and making some games a little too interesting for my taste but all in all I would say Torres was a big part of why the Brewers got to the playoffs for the first time in 26 years. When Gagne struggled someone had to step up and Torres did just that. I'm almost positive the Brewers were going to exercise his $3.75 mill option to come back for 2009 but Torres wanted to spend more time with his family. I wish Salomon and his family the best and thank him for what he contributed to a memorial 2008 season.

So where does that leave the Brewers and a closer for 2009? Well since I don't think and Melvin already stated he won't spend money on a big time free agent closer like Frankie Rodriguez or Brian Fuentes I say you keep it in house. And this is another name Melvin has already mentioned as a possibility: Seth McClung. I started to think McClung could be the guy at the end of last season. Everything about Seth screams closer. Intensity? Check. Intimidating presence on the mound? Check. Blazing fastball? Check. Breaking ball? Check. Off-speed pitch? Check. Wants the ball in big spots? Check. Seth McClung posses all the things you want and look for in a closer. I have never been more sure then his performances down the stretch in 2008 when he looked like a man possessed on the mound, specifically in a couple of Cubs games. He just mowed through their lineup once in Chicago and once in Milwaukee. That is when I knew McClung had what it takes to close a game and get a W. I really hope Melvin and Macha give him a chance to win the job. I think the closer topic would make for my next poll, who should be the closer in 2009? Yup, we will go with that after the current one is over.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Reading Material

I have to admit, I don't read a lot of books. My sources of reading come from the Internet (news sites/blogs), the Journal Sentinel, Sports Illustrated and Rolling Stone. A few months ago I read "God Save The Fan" by Will Leitch (creator of, it was a great read and I would recommend it to any sports fan. The last book I read before that, well I couldn't tell you because it was that long ago. I recently started reading another book (hey that might be two in a year!) and it is a book I should have read long before now. "Moneyball" by Michael Lewis. This is one of those must reads if your a baseball fan and I'm glad I'm finally getting around to it thanks to another fellow Brewers/baseball nerd at my work Patrick. It is the story of A's GM Billy Beane and how he has been able to field successful winning clubs in a small market while so many teams with much higher payrolls can't. I have only read the first two chapters of the book but already find it very interesting and can't believe I have not read this book before now. I think after I finish "Moneyball" I will have to look into another book. Any suggestions?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

And The New Bench Coach Is..........

Yup, former Mets Manager Willie Randolph. The same guy who was one of three finalists for the Brewers Manager job. It's a very unexpected choice, I would have never imagined Randolph as a finalist for the bench coach job. Mostly because he has had success as a Manager and I would just figure that he would hold out until he was given another Managers job. Overall I think it's a good choice, Randolph although he was fired by the Mets and a lot of people put blame on him for their collapse he has a lot of experience and a good amount of knowledge of the NL. Before Willie got the Mets job he was a bench coach under Joe Torre for the Yankees. Between Macha, Randolph and Sveum I like our baseball knowledge on the coach staff. Now the only coaching position to fill is bullpen coach.

After 17 Years, His Wait Is Over

Bill Castro was once a relief pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers. After his career ended, he never could seem to find his way out of the bullpen. After 17 years as the Brewers bullpen coach, Castro finally got the job he has wanted. After an interview with Castro, Manager Ken Macha decided he didn't need to speak to anyone other candidates about the vacancy left by Mike Maddux as pitching coach. He has given the job to Castro. Congrats Billy, you have worked long and hard for this opportunity and deserve it. Hopefully Castro can bring the type of success to the pitching staff that Maddux had for the last 6 seasons. That still leaves two voids on the coaching staff for Ken Macha to fill, bullpen coach and bench coach. Those should be figured out shortly I would guess.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

MLB Network Coming 1/1/09, Baseball Fans Everywhere Say; "It's About F*****g Time!"

This is actually an older story but there was so much other Brewers stuff going on I put off writing about it but now there is actually a Brewers tie-in to this story. Starting January 1st of 2009 a television network dedicated entirely to the great game of baseball will launch. Comcast, DirecTV, Time Warner and Cox Communications have a minority ownership in the network and because of that it will be in many more homes then the NFL Network. And yes don't worry Wisconsin subscribers to Charter Communications cable service the network will be carried!

As far as content on the network it will air 26 regular season games most likely as a "Saturday Night Game of The Week", some World Baseball Classic 2009 games, plenty of archival material and a nightly news and highlight show similar (but probably better) then ESPN's "Baseball Tonight".

As for who will be the on-air personalities of the MLB Network? Well former Brewers play-by-play announcer Matt Vasgersian will probably be host of the nightly show and it is all but confirmed that the Brewers on-field reporter from last year on FSN-WI and Wisconsin native Trenni Kusnierek will leave FSN to be part of MLB Network. It kind of sucks to lose Trenni after 1 year, she was very good at her job as a reporter/interviewer. She seemed to have a real love and passion for the Brewers and the game. It also didn't hurt that she was easy on the male eye. Some other names "rumored" to be in negotiations with the network are Hazel Mae (NESN) and Bob Costas (NBC/HBO).

I am super psyched for the launch of an all baseball all the time channel. The games they show will be good games, the nightly highlight show should blow "Baseball Tonight" out of the water and being able to see "classic" games will be a breath of fresh air since ESPN Classic hardly EVER shows baseball because they are to busy showing billiards, poker and bowling.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Second Thoughts On CC

As much as I love, admire and will never forget the time CC Sabathia spent as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers for one magical half of a summer in 2008. I'm starting to think re-signing him would be a mistake. Now I doubt he will take the rumored 5 year $100 mill contract that Doug Melvin has offered him anyway. But when you think about for a team that will probably have a payroll in 2009 around the $90 mill range, it's hard to get missing pieces when $20 mill of that payroll is wrapped up in one player, a pitcher at that who only plays once every five days. Because of this I'm starting to hope that it's true that the Yankees will offer CC a contract HIGHER then the 6 year $137.5 mill that Johan Santana got from the Mets. Don't get me wrong, if Sabathia for some reason is a trend setter and becomes the first player to leave money on the table to stay somewhere he really likes, so be it. It would be hard to complain, but in the best interest of the club and with the other needs we have such as a closer, 3B, maybe 2B and bench help it would be better to not re-sign CC. It's just the life a medium market ball club lives.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day Brewers News Blurbs

[Start Political Rant] Today is election day and I just hope that everyone that can vote gets out and does it. It is your right and privilege as an American citizen if you are at least 18 years of age. With all the things currently going on in our world this election may be more important then any in recent memory. So no matter who you vote for, just get out and at least cast your vote and let your voice be heard. Whoever becomes the 44th President of the USA will have quite the job ahead of him and it is your duty to select who you think will do the best job. If you don't select anyone, you have no right to bitch about things happening in the political landscape. I got my ass up earlier then normal this morning and voted before going to work. Stood in line for maybe 30 minutes total. Not to bad, well worth the time. And I will say if your are wondering, I voted for Barack Obama.[End Political Rant]

Brad Fischer was named the new 3B coach for the Brewers today. Fischer had worked in Oakland with Ken Macha and spent 12 years occupying various coaching jobs in the A's system. So here is your up to the minute Brewers coaching staff for 2009:

Manager: Ken Macha
Bench Coach: ????
Hitting Coach: Dale Sveum
Pitching Coach: ????
Bullpen Coach: Bill Castro (who will interview for the pitching coach job)
1B Coach: Ed Sedar
3B Coach: Brad Fischer

John Heyman of who is at the General Manager meetings out in California said that the Yankees do plan to go "hard" after CC Sabathia. And by hard he means the Yankees plan to offer CC more then what the Mets gave Johan Santana which was 6 years $137.5 mill. If this is true and I'm sure it is, it will be very hard for CC to turn that down. However, I get the feeling Sabathia is not really a "New York" kind of guy. He also has stated on numerous occasions he prefers the NL because he likes the swing the bat. Because of that, his relationship with Mike Cameron and the real love he seemed to mutually share with Milwaukee and Brewers fans I still think we have a slight chance to sign him. Maybe CC will be the first guy to take less money to stay somewhere he really wants to be? Time will tell.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Cameron's Option, Exercised

Today the Brewers exercised their $10 mill 2009 option on CF Mike Cameron. I would have to say I like this move. Not really any left handed hitting CF's out on the market, and because of that I'm fine with bringing Cam back as he is the best option at this time. Yes Cameron strikes out A LOT. Actually 142 times in 444 AB's. But statistically Cameron was the 6th best CF in all of MLB. His line was .243/.331/.477, 25 HR's, 70 RBI an OPS of .808. Pretty good numbers for a CF, and of course he played very good defense all year comitting only one error and taking a lot of pressure off of new LF Ryan Braun with all the ground that Cam is able to cover. Of course Cameron was miscast as the Brewers leadoff hitter in September when Dale Sveum took over as interim Manager. I would expect Cameron to bat in the 6th or 7th spot in 2009.

Maddux Leaves Brewers For Rangers, Mustache Enthusiasts All Over Wisconsin Weep

Next season at Miller Park when the home teams pitching coach goes to the mound for a visit there will not be the stroking of a perfectly, fully groomed, well colored mustache. And if there is, it will not be Mike Maddux's. The highly thought of Brewers pitching coach has signed a deal to be the pitching coach for the Texas Rangers. Mike's deal with the Brewers expired Friday and while Doug Melvin tried to keep Mike on the staff the Rangers offered more money and Maddux took it. It is a shame to see Mike go, not only for his fantastic mustache and the fact that his brother Greg is one of the greatest pitchers ever but because he was a great pitching coach. Taking guys like Dan Kolb, Derrick Turnbow, Matt Wise and Seth McClung and making them into something when they were nothing. According to our friend Tom Haudricourt of the Journal Sentinel Chuck Hernandez who was dismissed from the Tigers after this past season is the front runner. But the Brewers will also look at their own bullpen coach Bill Castro who has held that post for 17 years. A couple other names brought up by our friend Justin at Justin's Brewers Blog were Rick Peterson who worked with Macha in Oakland and the great Leo Mazzone who coached greats like Maddux (Greg), Smoltz and Glavine in Atlanta.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Ummm, Duh Of Course He Was Gonna Do That

In the most obvious, uninteresting, no shit Sherlock moment of the offseason CC Sabathia officially filed for free agency Saturday. Of course this comes as no news really because while the Brewers do have a slight chance to re-sign CC he was still gonna file the papers and field offers from all takers. The Brewers offer will probably be given to CC on Monday. While I would love to re-sign CC, I know it's a long shot and the sooner we know if we can/can't the sooner Doug Melvin can figure out if he needs to trade for a top of the rotation starting pitcher. A couple of names to look at would be Jake Peavy and Matt Cain.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Craig Counsell's Option Declind, Yawwwwnnn!

Yesterday the Brewers declined the $3.4 million option on IF Craig Counsell. Not a huge shock, he still might be brought back but for cheaper. Counsell is a nice veteran guy to have as a backup, plays the game hard, from the Whitefish Bay area, plays solid defense at 3 IF positions, has solid AB's and can draw a walk but his bat is very weak. I could care less either way on Counsell, if he's back that's fine, if he isn't that is fine to. I'm more interested to see what they do with Mike Cameron's $10 million option and Salomon Torres $3.75 million option.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ken Macha Named New Brewers Manager: "The Manager's Job Is Not To Always Be Buddies With The Players"

That quote above was how Ken Macha answered the first question asked of him at the press conference today when Doug Melvin announced him as the 16th Manager of the Milwaukee Brewers. Let me just say WOW, what a breath of fresh air! I could never imagine Ned Yost saying something like that. Macha also talked about things like OBP, putting the best lineup on the field and if players are not producing, they won't play. He seems to be quite the opposite of Ned Yost and that is going to be a great thing for the Brewers.

Macha signed a 2 year contract with the Crew, that will make him the Manager through the 2010 season. Melvin and Macha both confirmed that Dale Sveum who was interim Manager after Yost was fired will come back on be part of the coaching staff. It just is not known if it will be as bench coach or 3B coach. Tomorrow Macha and Melvin will meet to discuss the coaching staff that will for sure include Ed Sedar, Bill Castro and now Sveum. It is not known yet if pitching coach Mike Maddux will be back. He has had some inquires from the Texas Rangers.

One thing I know for sure is Macha's record as the A's Manger speaks for itself; 368-280 (.568) record, including AL West crowns in 2003 and 2006. The A's were swept in the ALCS by the Tigers in 2006 which led to Macha's firing after that season. He spent this past season as a in-studio analyst for the Boston Red Sox on NESN in Boston. He has ties to the Red Sox, A's, Angels and Expos orginizations as a coach. He also played for the Pirates, Blue Jays and spent time playing in Japan. I think of the three candidates Melvin interviewed; Macha, Brenly and Randolph. Ken Macha was the best choice for this job and this team. I just hope he proves me right, I already have a bet with a guy at work who thinks that they Crew will not have a winning record under Macha. Get all your Macha info here.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Brewers Make First Big (And By Big, I Mean Really Small) Offseason Move

Today the Brewers claimed former Cubs 3B Casey McGehee off waivers and out righted Joe Dillon (who might possibly be the worst pinch hitter in the history of MLB, well not really but he was BAD in 2008). McGehee is a 26 year old right handed hitter who .296 with 12 HR and 92 RBI at AAA Iowa for the Cubs. During a September callup with the Cubs he batted .167 (4-24) in 9 games.

Not sure what this means really. I'm just glad to see Dillon gone, I wouldn't be surprised though if they signed Dillon to a minor league deal at some point. I suppose McGehee is a bit of insurance at 3B for a couple of reasons. Mike Lamb and Russell Branyan are free agents to be. Craig Counsell could be a free agent if they don't exercise his 2009 option, Mat Gamel may not be big league ready yet (might not even stay at 3B) and Bill Hall had a shitty year. At only 26 McGehee could have some upside and that coupled with the questions surrounding all the other guys they have that can play 3B is probably why Doug Melvin claimed McGehee.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ryan Braun Shares Sexual Inuendos/"Ball" Jokes With Marissa Miller

This Internet only commercial was shot earlier this season at a park in Brookfield. It is for some Remington hair clippers. It has been out for awhile now, but I forgot to post it. If you have not seen it, here you go. Let me say Ryan Braun is my favorite current Brewers player. He is awesome and I have what you can call a "man crush" on him. But that being said, you can add him to the list of Brewers who should not and can not "act". (that list also includes: JJ Hardy, Bill Hall, Jeff Suppan and Chris Capuano. See: This) Without further ado, I give you Ryan Braun's acting/commerical ad debut!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

And Then There Were Three has confirmed the Brewers have and will only be interviewing three candidates for the Manager's job. And like we all already knew it is Bob Brenly, Ken Macha and Willie Randolph.

I guess my question to Doug Melvin is, why stop at three? I mean I understand you don't want this process to drag out to long. But the World Series is still going on and you can't announce anything until there after anyway. So why not interview two or three more candidates and then choose between 5 or 6 instead of only 3. I'm sure more then Brenly, Macha and Randolph have shown interest in the job, so why not see what those parties have to bring to the table? In the end I think Brenly gets the job simply based on the fact he won a ring. But that alone does not make him right for the job. Of the three I still like Macha best not sure if that is saying much though. But at least none are named Ned Yost, right?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

News And Notes October 22nd Edition

Hmmm, where do I begin. Lots of news and notes to discuss tonight. First of all the World Series begins tonight. Rays vs. Phillies, I have to say I hate the Phillies and I love watching the Rays play. So I will go with the Rays in 7 games. Should be a great series, but in the end doesn't it just feel like the Rays should win it? I like their starting pitching more and even though the Phillies have a very devastating lineup, I think the Rays is even better. I mean Upton, Pena, Longoria and Crawford is as dangerous a 2-5 in all of MLB.

Well the moment all Brewers fans have been dreading for sometime now finally happen today. Scouting Director Jack Zduriencik finally landed a GM job. He was announced today as the new General Manager of the Seattle Mariners. Well deserved for Jack and we all saw it coming, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't suck. He was the main man responsible for drafting; Ryan Braun, Corey Hart, Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, JJ Hardy, Yovani Gallardo, Manny Parra, Mat Gamel, Alcides Escoar and I could go on and on. Best of luck to Jack, he is gonna need it in Seattle their team is a real mess right now.

You can add Willie Randolph to the lost of people that have interviewed for the Brewers Manager's job. Ken Macha was the first and that leaves Bob Brenly to interview later this week yet. According to Doug Melvin, he may stop after Brenly and decide between those three candidates. Bobby Valentine still an outside shot but that looks less likely every day. Macha is still my choice between the three candidates, but would take Randolph over Brenly. I have just heard too many negative things about Brenly being a terrible strategy Manager and getting "lucky" to win his ring. You can bet very shortly after the World Series ends that the Brewers will make the announcement.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hardy To 3B To Make Room For Escobar At SS?

Driving on my way home from work today I heard an interview done by Homer on AM 540 ESPN in Milwaukee with GM Doug Melvin. They talked about lots of things of course including Manager discussion but one piece of information Melvin mentioned that made me very happy was that they have internally already discussed the possibility of moving JJ Hardy to 3B to make room for Alcides Escobar to become the starting SS. Of course they would have to talk to Hardy about this to see if he would be willing to make such a move considering he has become an elite SS and is in for a big payday sooner then later. I think for the Brewers this is the best move. We need a 3B, Hardy can play stellar defense there as well as put up offensive numbers you need from a 3B. We do have Mat Gamel ready to go, but his defense is questionable and he may end up in the OF or as the 1B if and when Fielder is traded or leaves when he reaches free agency. Escobar is going to a flat out stud defensive SS and his bat will also be great as either a leadoff or #2 hitter. Talk to Hardy give him a nice contract for making the move and you have a great left side of the IF for years to come. We shall see if it happens this year or possibly in 2010. Depends what they do with Fielder/Hardy this offseason as well as where they feel Gamel is defensively.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Macha And Brenly Already Interviewed?

According to Tom Haudricourt's Brewer Blog on Ken Macha and Bob Brenly have both already interviewed with Doug Melvin for the Manager's job and Willie Randolph will be next. Buck Showalter, Bobby Valentine and Davey Johnson seem much more like long shots at this point. So basically you can almost bet that either Macha, Brenly or Randolph will be the next Manager of the Milwaukee Brewers. Many have called Brenly the worst Manager to ever win a World Series some eve to go as far as calling him "lucky" mostly because he had Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson on his pitching staff during their primes. Randolph reminds me to much of Yost, so I guess I'm giving my full endorsement to Ken Macha to be the next Brewers Manager. Although he was fired after only four seasons in Oakland he had four winning seasons including two divison titles. But failed to do anything in the playoffs and that is why he was fired.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

One More Thing....

Jim Skaalen was also told to take a walk along with Sveum. No big loss there as far as I'm concerned. There has been no word on Ed Sedar, Mike Maddux or Bill Castro's futures. Garth Iorg who coached 3B when Sveum became interim Manager will go back to being a roving Minor League instructor for the Brewers. Of course with the ending of the Brewers/Sveum relationship that means no more Robin Yount as bench coach.

UPDATE: Ed Sedar, Mike Maddux and Bill Castro will all be back in the roles they have been in. So whoever Doug selects as Manager will get to pick his own bench coach, 3B coach and hitting coach.

Melvin Extended! Sveum, Jobless

As was well speculated Brewers GM Doug Melvin was given a 3 year contract extension. He had 1 year left on his previous deal so that means 4 more years of Doug in charge (although some think Mark Attanasio calls the shots) through 2012. I'm quite please with this, getting Melvin extended was the first thing that had to get done this offseason. For the most part Doug has been a great GM for the Brewers, sure he has made some bad signing (Gagne, Suppan) and bad extensions (Hall, Turnbow) but no GM is perfect.

And to go along with the news of Melvin's extension was the news that Dale Sveum will NOT be considered for the Manager's job. Although Sveum is a good guy and did win 7 of the final 12 games to get the Crew into the playoffs, in the end I believe Melvin as well as Attanasio moving forward want to get a proven veteran Manager to manage this club to bigger and better things. The three names getting the most mention seem to be Ken Macha, Bob Brenly, Willie Randolph and Buck Showalter. I would be fine with either Macha (who was Melvin's original choice over Ned Yost in 2003 but Macha signed on the the A's) or Showalter. Not a big fan of Brenly or Randolph at all. Some others getting some mentions in the media and blog world are Bobby Valentine, Davey Johnson and Buck Martinez. But those three all seem more like long shots at this point compared to the first four I mentioned.

I would venture to guess that Melvin will have a decision and will name the next Manager of the Brewers within the next 2 weeks. It's exciting and hopefully whoever is chosen can step in motivate this young club and get the most out of the players. With or without Sabathia and Sheets this team can contend again in 09' and this is the first step.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Few "Tidbits" For You To Chew On

The Brewers Manager/Director of Amateur scouting Jack Zduriencik had been named a finalist in Seattle's search for a General Manager. He is responsible for the drafting of studs such as Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, Yovani Gallardo, Corey Hart, JJ Hardy and Ryan Braun. So of course he knows talent. Good for him if he gets the job, he certainly deserves it. I mean after the 2007 season he was the first non-GM to win the MLB Executive of the Year Award since 1998.

A few names being tossed around other then Dale Sveum to become new Manager of the Brewers are Bob Brenly, Ken Macha and Buck Showalter. Personally I like Macha and Showalter, Brenly not so much. He should just stick to calling shitty Cubs games for WGN. I would take Sveum over him, but I might take the other two over Sveum.

One of my very favorite baseball blogs MLB Trade Rumors has posted the Brewers Offseason Outlook. Good stuff, like me they think if the Crew look to trade for pitching it should be Fielder and NOT JJ Hardy. It's a good read.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Waited To Long

To get tickets to the Brewers Winter Warm Up hosted by Bob Uecker at the Riverside Theater on January 23rd. It is now a complete sellout. The only tickets left are VIP tickets that cost $500. and I can't afford those. I mean if I had the money it would be cool you get to eat and mingle with Brewers players and various personal for the team before the actually show. It's funny that this sells out today just two days after two of my friends and I were talking about how we wanted to go and were going to get tickets soon. Oh well, I guess they are gonna tape the show and air it on FSN-Wisconsin shortly after the live date of the show.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

My Brewers Offseason To-Do List

1. Extend GM Doug Melvin's contract.

2. Settle the Manager's job. I'm luke warm to Dale Sveum coming back. If Melvin and Attanasio feel there are no worthy candidates that have a proven track record, have had playoff success and can get the most out of this young team. Then you hire Sveum and remove the "interim" from his title. The players like to play for him and his no-nonsense tell it like it is attitude is quite welcome in my opinion. But I would not sign him to longer then a 2 year deal.

3. Try to sign CC Sabathia. I know it is a long shot, but at least make him a good offer that he has to think about.

4. See if you can upgrade 2B, 3B, Closer or CF via free agency or trade. I feel pretty good at every other position.

5. Do NOT trade JJ Hardy. He has improved every season he has played in the big league's and is not even entering his prime yet. He is only going to get better. If the Brewers feel Alcides Escobar is the future at SS try to get JJ to move to 3B where he would be just as good and then sign him to a nice contract to make him happy.

6. DO trade Prince Fielder. But only if it is for a top notch type pitcher assuming we don't re-sign Sabathia. If we do somehow sign CC then you keep Fielder. What do we do at 1B if Fielder is dealt? I have no idea. One possibility is to find a stop gap player or give Brad Nelson a chance to start while you groom 3B prospect Mat Gamel to become a 1B since many feel he won't stick at 3B anyway because of his high amount of throwing errors there.

7. Bring back Gabe Kapler. He was by far one of the best bench players in the entire league as a pinch hitter and a guy who can start once in a while give you quality AB's and play good defense at all three OF spot. A great veteran to have on a club.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A Couple Of Quick Thoughts/Notes Before Game 3 Of The NLDS

We are less then 4 hours away from first pitch of game 3 of the 2008 NLDS live from Miller Park in Milwaukee, WI. First playoff game in Milwaukee in 26 years and the first ever in the history of Miller Park. Going to a friends to watch the game and have a tailgate party at his place which is conveniently on Wisconsin Ave. very close to the stadium. Should be good times win lose or draw. Now a couple of quick thoughts about tonight's ball game.

It's Big Boy Time! "Step your game up!" (As Floyd Meriweather would say)

Just Win Baby!

It's all about The Bush! Gotta love The Bush.

And most importantly, enjoy the game. We have all waited way to damn long to see our team back in playoff baseball. We deserve this and although were all just happy to be here, it would be nice to at least win a game and then maybe go on and win this series. Go Brewers!

Friday, October 3, 2008

I Feel A Little Better

I don't feel as upset about the Brewers being down 0-2 heading back to Miller Park in their first playoff appearance in 26 years for two reasons. 1. We at least finally got to the playoffs and watching these couple of games as tough as they were beats not watching your favorite team play in October. 2. The Cubs are also down 0-2 and they are much worse off then us. They got killed both games against LA and they now have to travel to LA. The Brewers while their offense has been pathetic except Braun who has three hits (two of them doubles) we at least have been in both games against Philly. The Cubs have gotten bitch slapped by the Dodgers two straight games and can't hit to boot. We also now get to play at home which gives us a slightly better chance to crawl out of the hole and force a game 5. And if we do, we will have a CC Sabathia with revenge on his mind and a full 4 days of rest.

We all must just hope and pray the offense picks it up a bit and Dave Bush and Jeff Suppan can win us the next two at Miller Park. One of the few bright spots for the Crew has been the bullpen. They have not allowed any runs in the two games.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Comeback Kid

Yovani Gallardo is as big a part of the Brewers future as Ryan Braun or any other young player. And on May 1st when Gallardo tore his ACL it looked like he would be done for the rest of 2008 and would have to wait to 2009 the year that with the impending loss of CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets to free agency would be the year Gallardo becomes the Brewers ace. Well Gallardo isn't your normal pitcher. He is a very special young talent with a tremendous work ethic and the heart of a champion. He has worked his ass off during rehab of the knee and after pitching numerous simulated games and taking batting practice today he will start tomorrow night against the Pirates. Wow! Now he will be on some kind of strict pitch count as well as having to take it easy at the plate and on the bases but with our rotation in shambles and still fighting to win this Wild Card and get to October baseball the addition of Yovani could be huge. If his teamates don't get some inspiration watching a guy pitch tomorrow night that less then 5 months ago tore his ACL I don't know what will. I'm not even too worried about his coming back to play even as important as he is to our future. With the way he works and if the Dr.'s, Trainers and GM Doug Melvin cleared him then he has to fine and the risk for injury has to be non existent. Go Brewers! and go Yovani Gallardo!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Yost, Is Officially Toast

Today a little after 2pm, the Milwaukee Brewers announced the firing of Manager Ned Yost. After a 3-11 start to September and just getting swept in 4 games by the Phillies who are now tied with the Brewers for the Wild Card, GM Doug Melvin and mainly Owner Mark Attanasio have seen enough. Yost has been fired and 3B coach Dale Sveum has been named interim Manager for the final 12 games of the season. Also Ted Simmons was reassigned to an "advisory" role from being the bench coach and Sveum names his own bench coach.....Brewers Hall of Famer and Sveum's best friend Robin Yount. With Sveum becoming Manager minor league instructor Garth Iorg who was up with the big club since September 1st will become the 3B coach.

I have to say I was shocked when I heard the news. I was sitting in my cubicle at work listening to 620 WTMJ as I do just about everyday. I was sending an email to a customer when I heard: "Breaking news, the Brewers have just fired Manager Ned Yost." I couldn't believe what I heard, I thought is it a joke? With 12 games left and in a tie for the Wild Card they are firing Yost? I mean I expected him to be fired if we missed the playoffs after another collapse. But with 12 games left?

Well I LOVE the move. It seems Yost had lost the players since September started and with us basically in a 12 game playoff to get to October baseball for the first time in 26 years a move of desperation was made and I am fine with it. All signs point to the players have a huge amount of respect for Dale Sveum and with him and Robin Yount calling the shots for the final 12 games to get us into the playoffs, well I like our chances. Let's do this! It starts tomorrow in Chicago against the Cubs with CC Sabathia on the mound.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Oh Where Has The Prince Fielder Of 2007 Gone?

Last season Prince Fielder almost won the MVP award and looked like he was going to be a very rich man going into arbitration before next season. Fielder crushed 50 HR and was the youngest ever to do that in a season. His complete numbers looked like this:

.288/.395/.618, 50 HR and 119 RBI

Those are fantastic numbers, now I sure didn't expect Prince to put up those kinds of numbers every year. It is very hard to hit 50 HR in a season. But for him to drop to these numbers:

.262/.361/.471, 28 HR and 84 RBI

A .471 SLG%? That is just not going to cut it. Not when you slugged .618 a season ago! And he has now been stuck on 28 HR for well over 20 games. Where is the power stroke?

But perhaps the thing that has disappointed me more then anything about Fielder's game this season has been his defense. I thought he improved quite a bit from 2006 to 2007 and expected more of the same in 2008. But he has been horrendous, maybe the worst defensive 1B in all of the NL. He has 15 errors this season and probably could have more if not for generous official scorers. I can't even count how many times this season I have wanted to throw a brick through my HD TV after Prince made a bonehead play in the field.

Before this season started, Prince grumbled about not getting a big contract and only getting his contract renewed for the minimum. Well he wanted the type of money Ryan Howard got in arbitration which was 10 million. Well with Prince headed to arby before next season with the numbers he has put up this season I doubt he gets 10 mill. Maybe between 5-7 if he is lucky.

This is kind of a joke, but with the way CC Sabathia handles the bat and fields his position as a pitcher. Could CC play 1B on the days he isn't pitching? Just a thought, kidding of course. Or am I?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Lucky 13

With yesterday's fantastic pitching performance from Ben Sheets he was able to do something this season he had never done in his 8 year career. Win more then 12 games. Sheets had won 12 games twice in his career 2004 and 2007. Sheets now 13-7 on the season pitched a beautiful complete game shutout over the Padres last night with 7 K's and only 1 BB. Sheets with the shutout lowered his ERA to 2.82 on the season. The most remarkable thing about the game was Sheets had no room for error as the Brewers only scored one run for him. Hopefully 13 does not become the new career high in wins for Sheets, he has probably 4 starts left so he should add to it.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

It's About F'ing Time

There is a very, very strong rumor/truth? going around that I can't find a link to but it is supposed to be true. It is that next season every Brewers game that is broadcast by FSN-Wisconsin will be broadcast in magnificent High Definition, thank God! This season 65 of around 140 games broadcast by FSN-Wisconsin were in HD. My hope is not only are ALL the games broadcast in HD but that every game the Brewers play that are not exclusive to say Fox, TBS or ESPN be aired by FSN-Wisconsin. They have come close this season, but there have been at least a few games that were not aired.

Your Dead To Me

I have been one of the biggest and most vocal supporters of Eric Gagne through his struggles this season. And the reason I had supported him was because A. I'm a fan, I have been a big fan of Gagne's for years B. Although he struggled he did have some very good outings. But after the Mets game earlier this week and then last nights outing in which he screwed up CC Sabathia's shot at a 10-0 record as a Brewer by giving up a HR ball to Brian Giles in the 8th inning to tie the game, I'm done with Eric Gagne. He is dead to me. If he didn't pitch another inning this season I would be more then okay with it.

The fact is, it is September. There are 21 games left and we are only 4 back of the Cubs and we have a 4 game lead on the Phillies for the Wild Card. We are very close to snapping a 26 year playoff draught. And with every game so important we can not continue to trout out a relief pitcher in the 8th inning of close games who has an ERA of 6.69, WHIP of 1.70 and an OBA of .289. Those awful stats have led to far to many blow ups in close games. I know we spent 10 mill on Gagne this season but it's time to cut our losses and only pitch him if the game is out of hand in either direction. Or we might suffer more losses that could cost us the postseason.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

It's September And I'm Nervous

I wish I updated this thing as much as I did earlier in the season. I think there are multiple factors as to why I don't. I would say the number one reason is I am lazy. After a hard day at the office I'm just not up to blogging. When I was in school and working part-time I was much more apt to do that. I think the second reason is I'm getting nervous.

We ended August by rolling over the Pirates in a 3 game sweep in Pittsburgh and CC Sabathia came oh so close to a no-hitter if it wasn't for a d-bag of an official scorer who called a slow roller back to Sabathia that he dropped a "hit" by Andy LaRoche. But then the calender flipped and we moved into September. One month to go. We hold the wild card and we are still not to far behind the Cubs for the division. And how do the Brewers start their march toward clinching a playoff birth for the first time in 26 years? By getting swept at home by the Mets in a three game series. The first two game were very close, but today the Brewers got spanked 9-2. So yes, we start September 0-3 and I'm nervous as hell.

I still feel we will get into the playoffs one way or another. But as a Brewers fan my whole life I have seen this team disappoint me before and that is why this state of nervous feelings linger in my mind all day, everyday. I have flashback's to last years collapse, I think back to 1992 when we just missed out on October baseball because of the Blue Jays, who could forget 1987 we started 13-0 and fell flat on our faces. Then I think even worse thoughts, Sal Bando calling Paul Molitor "just a DH", the entire Wendy Selig-Prieb era (actually it was an error), the 2002 season when we lost 106 games. I could go on, but I will stop. Basically I'm saying as Brewers fans we are prone to disappointment and its hard to shake. But this team has the talent to do it. They have shown this whole season how good they are and I think they have come to far to wet the bed and piss this thing away.

We got our asses handed to us by the Mets. But now we have the lowly Padres and Reds coming to town. It's time to feast on these bottom feeders before we hit the road for that tough 10 game road trip to Philly, Chicago and Cincinnati.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Cardinals Players, Fans and Writers. A Bunch Of D-Bags

So after a 2 game series in St. Louis against the Cardinals where the Brewers split 1-1 and ended there season series against the Cards 10-5 (tell me how my ass taste?!) I now have as much hate in my baseball heart for the Cardinals as I did for the Cubs and Yankees. Their players, fans and media has complained about everything from how the Crew untucks their jerseys after wins (a tribute to Mike Cameron's Dad, something Cam has done for years), how Braun admired his game winning HR during their last series and how Carlos Villanueva got emotional after recording a huge third out late in the game in a tight spot. This article from St. Louis Dispatch sports writer Bernie Miklasz explains it all. Enjoy, it shows how big a douche bags the Cardinals and everyone involved with them is.

They have the nerve to call our team out when Albert Pujols is one of the most cocky players in the game today and admires every HR he hits. Yadier Molina constantly runs his mouth and complains to umpires during games and acts like he needs a bib. Oh and how can we forget their manager Tony LaRussa. Remember he was picked up for drunk driving not along ago when he fell asleep at the wheel at a stop light and thought there was two Z's in the alphabet. When did the Cardinals become the baseball etiquette police? I don't know either. I think they are just mad that the Brewers whooped their asses all season long, the Cardinals are not the big bad bully in the NL Central anymore. You stay classy St. Louis.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

In Case You Were Wondering, The Future Looks Bright In Milwaukee. Much Like The Present.

Check out the numbers are top prospects are putting up right now.

Matt Gamel - 3B, Huntsville Stars (AA)

.333/.400/.546 19 HR 94 RBI

Alcides Escobar - SS, Huntsville Stars (AA)

.335/.370/.440 8 HR 72 RBI

Angel Salome - C, Huntsville Stars (AA)

.364/.416/.560 11 HR 80 RBI

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Good And Bad

Good: CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets have tossed back-to-back complete game shutouts of the Washington Nationals and the Brewers have won 5 straight games.

Bad: Ryan Braun left yesterday's game after his first AB with an injury. Not really sure what it is but it's some kind of strain on both sides of his ribcage. He is day to day, shouldn't be serious but I'm still very worried. I mean we are talking about our franchise player and NL MVP candidate. He is out of the lineup today and I would assume tomorrow for the series finale against the Nats. Let's just hope and pray he is back Tuesday night against the Padres.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Lets Not And Say We Did....

As it concerns to talking about the Cubs series. The Brewers just flat out did not do anything well. Hit, pitch, play defense, run bases they just didn't do anything well and that is why we got swept. End of story, lets move on.

Now that we have moved on from that small (but awful) skid mark on this season more positive things have occurred! Yay! The Brewers just finished up a 6 game road trip with a 4-2 record, that is awesome. How this team has suddenly turned the corner and is able to actually win games on the road is mind boggling, unexplainable and awesome all at once. Sure they were wins over Atlanta and Cincinnati but he wins on the road are wins on the road I don't care who you play.

I'm trying to figure out why the hell Ned Yost continues to play Craig Counsell at 3B over Russell Branyan when righties are on the mound. Don't get me wrong, I like Counsell he is a nice bench who should get spot starts now and again at SS for Hardy, pinch hit and be a defensive replacement late in games at 3B for Hall or Branyan. But for Yost to be starting him as much as he has at 3B and batting 6th while Branyan and his big stick rot on the bench just doesn't make a lot of sense. Yost needs to get his head out of his ass and quit the man love for Counsell and go back to the strict righty/lefty platoon of Branyan and Hall at 3B. It's simple Hall mashes lefties and Branyan mashes righties. Look at the splits, they prove it.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

And Then, We Caught Those Damn Cubs!

After tonight's come from behind 6-4 win over the Houston Astros and the Cubs 3-2 loss to the Marlins in extra innings. It is now a dead heat tie for the lead in the NL Central Division. Both teams are 60-44. Thank you Ryan Braun! Hey Chicago, tell me how my ass taste?! Monday it is so on.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

"Going For It" Working Well Thus Far

Carsten Charles Sabathia. A name that will forever be remembered in Brewers history. Even if he is only a Brewer for 3 months. When the Brewers traded for Sabathia GM Doug Melvin proclaimed: "Were going for it". Well so far Sabathia has been worth the price of Matt LaPorta and showed that going for it was the right choice. Four starts into his Brewers tenure he is 4-0 with 3 complete games (in a row) not to mention the Brewers have now taken the lead in the Wild Card and only trail the division leading Cubs by 1 game. That my friends is just sick. Some starting pitchers have a hell of a time pitching 1 complete game in an entire season. CC has gone three straight starts going all 9 innings. And he is doing it throwing all of his pitches very well; fastball, slider, change and cut fastball. All four of those pitches have been straight up nasty. His total season stats between Clevaland and Milwaukee now stand at: 10-8, 3.30 ERA, 154 K's (best in MLB), 42 BB and a WHIP of 1.15. Some people after last nights complete game shutout of the Cardinals have said if Sabathia continues close to this kind of success the rest of the season he could win the NL Cy Young in a half a season. Can you imagine if he would do that after winning the AL Cy Young last year? Back to back Cy Young's in different leagues? I don't expect CC to toss complete games every time out but if he can win just about everyone of his starts and continue to rack up the K's and keep that ERA low he has a chance against other NL contenders such as Webb, Lincecum, Volquez and his own teammate Sheets. Bottom line his CC has been a pleasure to watch and even though it seems likely he will not be back next season because he will get a HUGE free agent contract from some major market team, myself and all Brewers fans are just enjoying the ride with CC that we hope ends playing baseball in October. Heck I might even go get a CC jersey t-shirt just to remember this great time (they have been flying off shelves everywhere in Wisconsin).

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Do You Hear That Noise Cubs(Fans)?

That would be the footsteps of the Milwaukee Brewers. The now 2nd place team in the NL Central and Wild Card leaders who happen to now be only 2 games back of the division lead.

This Brewers team is playing with more swagger and confidence then I have seen in a very long time. It seems once they got CC Sabathia this teams confidence shot through the roof.

We just swung a deal for Ray Durham who will be a nice veteran presence in the clubhouse as well as a switch hitter off the bench who can start at 2B a few times a week. He hist for average and carries a high OBP just what the Brewers need at the top.

I'm not sure how the whole Bush/McClung platoon in the starting rotation will work out but Seth looked good last night and Bush has been on fire his last five starts. We will see how Suppan pitches tonight but maybe HE should be the odd man out. But with the salary they pay him he ain't pitching out of the pen anytime soon.

Bill Hall is heating up, even against RHP. IT"S ABOUT TIME! I still want to see Branyan get a few starts a week against RHP though.

And hey, after last night's win in St. Louis and their first road sweep since 2004 the Brewers are only 1 game under .500 on the road this season. Simple amazing considering how they have played on the road since Yost took over as Manager in 2003.