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.