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.