Wednesday, December 23, 2009

In The Spirit Of Christmas And Our Reader Poll

Well, not a whole heck of a lot of Brewers news happening right now so I figured in the spirit of Christmas coming in two days and with our "best comedy on TV" reader poll, here is a clip from "Parks And Recreation". This was from their "Christmas Sex Scandal" episode. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Brewers Sign Another Backup Catcher

Earlier this week I wrote a post about the candidates for the backup catcher job behind starter Gregg Zaun. You can add a new name to that competition list. Former Marlins and Tigers catcher Matt Treanor who was signed to a minor league contact with an invite to spring training. Treanor is 34 years old and honestly, the best and most interesting thing about him is that he is married to her. Yes that is Misty May, one of the most famous beach volleyball players of all-time. Well done Matt. But I'm not sure that is enough to win you the backup catching job over Lucroy, Kottaras or Salome.

Possible Mailbag And Best TV Comedy

I would like to attempt to do a "mailbag" post coming up soon. I say attempt because I am not really sure how strong the readership is quite yet. So if you have a question, please drop me an email at: I would like to start making this at least a monthly post, but we will see how many emails actually make it into my inbox.

Also, please vote in the new reader poll, the first non Brewers/baseball question in our reader polls. What is the best comedy on TV right now? I'm going to mostly make this baseball related questions but will occasionally drop these random polls questions.

Keith Law Chat 12/17/09

The winner of our reader poll for "favorite national sports writer" and favorite of VFBC was back on Thursday for another chat. Here were the Brewers related questions/answers from Keith. Topics include top of the Brewers order, Mark Mulder and the signings of Randy Wolf and LaTroy Hawkins.

Shawn (Madison)

Between Escobar, Weeks, or Gomez (yeah right) do the Brewers have anybody that can get on base enough to hit at the top of their lineup ahead of Prince and Braun?

(1:10 PM)

Weeks has always worked the count well when healthy. Escobar is impatient and Gomez would swing at strike zero.

Kruse (Iraq)

Do you see the Brewers making anymore additions to starting pitching before the start of the season? Wolf was a nice start. I have heard Mulder rumors? Would that push Suppan out of the starting rotation? Please say yes because I cannot take another year of seeing his stuff, even as an end of the rotation guy.

(1:26 PM)

I have no problem with them taking a flyer on Mulder, but I'd have no expectations of him, either. Guy hasn't been healthy and effective in a long time. They do still need one more starter if they want to compete in that division, though. I like Parra's arm but banking on him to become a #3 would be foolish.

Ryan (Madison)

Hey Klaw. I just wanted your thoughts on the Brewers signing of Wolf and Hawkins. Three years too long for Wolf? Can Hawkins help solidify the bullpen? Something obviously had to be done to improve their pitching and I'm just wondering if you believe they are at least on the right track. Thanks

(2:19 PM)

A year too long on each guy, but if they've decided to try to contend in 2010, they had little choice but to over commit on arms. It wouldn't be my strategy for the team.

Reader Poll Results

"Who is your favorite national baseball writer?"

Ken Rosenthal: 20% (2 Votes)

Peter Gammons: 30% (3 Votes)

Jon Heyman: 0% (No Votes)

Buster Olney: 10% (1 Vote)

Tom Verducci: 0% (No Votes)

Keith Law: 40% (4 Votes)

Jayson Stark: 0% (No Votes)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Backup Catcher

With the Brewers signing of Gregg Zaun and the departure of Jason Kendall, we know who the starting catcher will be in 2010. But when Mike Rivera was not tendered a contract before the deadline to do so, it left a big question mark as to who will be the backup catcher in 2010 and get around 60 starts behind the plate. The Brewers have three options going into spring training. Prospects Jonathan Lucroy and Angel Salome, or recently claimed off waivers from Boston George Kottaras.

Lucroy had a very nice season at AA Huntsville in 2009 and put up a good line of .267/.380/.418, 9 HR and 66 RBI's. On defense Lucroy threw out 40% of base stealer's and had a .991 fielding % with 7 errors. Lucroy had started 2009 as the Brewers #2 catching prospect behind Angel Salome, but after his strong season for Huntsville as well as a very good showing in the AFL (.310/.354/.483, 2 HR and 10 RBI's), Lucroy has jumped Salome in many fans minds as well as the Brewers organizations mind as the #1 catching prospect and more then likely should be the starter in 2011.

Salome regressed some in 2009 while playing at AAA Nashville after having a monster year in 2008 at AA Huntsville, but he also battled some injuries playing in only 82 games. His line was .286/.334/.413, 6 HR and 44 RBI's. On defense Salome threw out just 30% of base stealer's with a fielding % of .976 and 10 errors. The thought seemed to be that Salome was better on offense while Lucroy was better on defense, but it seems that Lucroy is catching up on offense and still the better defender and that is why he has jumped Salome.

George Kottaras was claimed off waivers early this offseason after playing 45 games for the Boston Red Sox in 2009. His line was .237/.308/.387, 1 HR and 10 RBI's. Defensively Kottaras threw out just 16% of base stealer's with a fielding % of .992 and 8 errors. He was used often as the catcher for knuckleballer Tim Wakefield. Kottaras like Gregg Zaun is a switch hitter at the plate.

So there you have the three candidates. Kottaras has something the other two don't, a good chunk of big league experience. But Lucroy and Salome have more talent and more future potential. It sounds as if it will be an open competition between the three and whoever performs best in spring may break camp with the job. As of right now I would like it to be either Lucroy or Kottaras. Lucroy could use a season as the backup learning the ropes behind Zaun before taking over in 2011 as the starter. If they don't go that route I would like to see Kottaras get it, Lucroy start at AAA and Salome traded. Stay tuned.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Wolf Meets The Milwaukee Media

Today the Brewers officially announced the signing of Randy Wolf as he met the Milwaukee media for the first time. While he did admit some disappointment that his hometown Dodgers did not do more to keep him, he is very excited about being a Brewer. And the two big reasons other then the fact the Brewers offered the best contract was a trip Doug Melvin took to LA to sit down and meet with Wolf along with owner Mark Attanasio. The other reason, which didn't surprise me when I heard it was Wolf had a 45 minute conversation with Trevor Hoffman on what it is like playing in Milwaukee. The Brewers strongly desired Wolf and he appreciated that.

Shortly after Wolf's presser he did an interview via phone with ESPN 540's Steve "The Homer" True. You can listen to the interview here. Good listen, Wolf is a big movie buff and a bit of a Star Wars nerd. Once again, I'm very glad to have him here, really like him and Gallardo at the top of the rotation for the next few years.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Winter Meetings Over, But Still More Work To Be Done

The Winter Meetings ended last week in Indianapolis and the Brewers left with two pieces that will definitely help the club compete for the NL Central crown in 2010. SP Randy Wolf and RP LaTroy Hawkins. Wolf will slot nicely into the 2nd spot in the rotation after Yovani Gallardo and Hawkins will be a viable setup option for Trevor Hoffman, and may even get some save opportunities once in awhile. Don't forget before the Winter Meetings the Brewers brought Gregg Zaun in to be their starting catcher in 2010. While these three moves will help and should make the club better, there is still some work to be done by Doug Melvin, Gord Ash and the rest of the Brewers front office.

First and foremost they need to get one more starting pitcher. Wolf was a big signing but they still need a guy to slot behind Wolf but in front of Parra and Bush. A couple of guys that come to mind are either Erik Bedard, Doug Davis, Jarrd Washburn, Justin Duchscherer, Chien Ming-Wang (if non-tendered) or Kevin Correia (if non-tendered). If they can go and sign one of these guys I really like our rotation of Gallardo, Wolf, (Free Agent), Manny Parra, Dave Bush. That would be far and away better then last season. And if Bush stays healthy and Parra improves it could be very good. Second the Brewers need to resign Craig Counsell, and if they don't they need to find another veteran utility infielder that can spell 2B, SS or 3B. I hope they can resign Counsell, I would even be willing to give him a 2 year deal. He is coming off his best offensive season and his defense and intangibles are very important to a young club.

Those are really the only two things I think they need to resolve. Maybe a 4th and or 5th OF if they non-tender Jody Gerut. But really after they get that second SP and get their utility infielder they pretty much have all the other players already in the 40 man roster, it will just be a matter of who wins battles in Spring Training and what their roles will be on the club in 2010. So far I like what they have done and its nice to see the rest of the NL Central not doing much. I really believe that this Brewers team and compete with any of the teams in the NL Central.

Reader Poll Results

"Which of these SP would you most like to see the Brewers sign?"

Randy Wolf: 100% (6 Votes)

Doug Davis: 0% (0 Votes)

Jarrod Washburn: 0% (0 Votes)

Jon Garland: 0% (0 Votes)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Starting Rotation And Bullpen Get A Boost: Randy Wolf & LaTroy Hawkins

Pretty good day if you are a member of the Brewers organization or one of their fans. Today at the Winter Meetings in Indy, Doug Melvin worked out two deals to help bolster the Brewers pitching. A 3 year $29.75 mill deal with SP Randy Wolf and a 2 year $7.5 mill deal with RP LaTroy Hawkins. The Wolf deal had been speculated for a few days now and was clearly Melvin's number one target this offseason. The Hawkins rumors started today and before you knew it a deal was done. Both pitchers are coming off fantastic 2009 seasons. For the Dodgers Wolf was 11-7 with a 3.23 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and struck out 160 in 214 IP. Hawkins while pitching for the Astros was 1-4, 11 saves with a 2.13 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and struck out 45 in 63 IP.

Both players are a little older Wolf being 33 and Hawkins 36. So that might be a little worrisome. But overall I like both signings. In my opinion and many others Wolf was probably the second best SP on the market behind John Lackey (you could make a case for Harden, Sheets or Bedard but there are health issues there), he is coming off back-to-back seasons where he was stellar and made 30+ starts. While he is somewhat of a finesse pitcher who gets a lot of fly balls, he can strike guys out which is something Brewers pitcher other then Gallardo didn't do much of in 2009. While he is not quite the #2 we wanted behind Gallardo, he is a damn good #3, better then anyone else we had in 2009 other then Gallardo. Some people want to say this was a "Suppan Deal", I don't look at it that way. Wolf is a far better pitcher then Suppan and we signed him for less years and money (there is a 4th year club option). In this day and age you have to somewhat overpay for pitching because there just is not that much good pitching out there. And with as bad as the Brewers rotation was in 2009, Doug Melvin had to do something and is probably not done as far as starting pitching is concerned.

As for Hawkins, he should fit in perfectly as a setup man for Trevor Hoffman and during the course of the year and can serve as a closer if Hoffman needs a rest or God forbid Hoffman spends anytime on the DL. Right now as it stand with Hoffman as our closer I like how the pen shapes up in front of him with Hawkins, Vargas (deal is close as reported today by McCalvy and Haudricourt), Coffey and Stetter. OF course a few spots will be up for grabs between Villanueva, Smith, Narveson, etc. All in all a successful start to the offseason in my eyes with the trade of Hardy for Gomez and now the signings of Zaun, Wolf and Hawkins. Now lets go get another starter and lock up Counsell to be our utility infielder. Do it Doug!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Peter Gammons Leaving ESPN After 20 Years

Today is a sad day, Peter Gammons one of the absolute best baseball writers and TV personalities for ESPN and will be leaving ESPN after the Winter Meetings end this week. Gammons is 64 years old and had been with ESPN since 1989, before that Gammons wrote for the Boston Globe and Sports Illustrated. In my opinion Gammons is the smartest and most insightful member of the baseball media. As long as I can remember having cable and ESPN he has been the guy giving me all my baseball insider news year after year. And with a lot of the shit personalities on Baseball Tonight and various other ESPN baseball coverage Gammons will be sorely missed. Along with Keith Law, Gammons was the reason I finally caved in and got a subscription to ESPN The Magazine just to get the Insider access. Now it looks like Keith Law is the only guy I will be reading. Sure they have Buster Olney, Jayson Stark, Jerry Crasnick and Tim Kurkjian. But none of those guys can even hold Gammons jock. Oh, and besides being one of the best baseball writers ever, Peter is a big fan of indie rock, blues rock, plays guitar and one of his favorite bands is Pearl Jam. What is not to love about this guy?

No word has been made yet if Peter is just leaving ESPN or if he is actually retiring. I'm really hoping that he joins MLB Network and writes columns on Peter, please do all of us baseball fans who need your knowledge and join MLB Network. Baseball just won't be the same without your expertise.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

MLB Winter Meetings 2009 Dec. 7-10

Tomorrow in Indianapolis the yearly offseason winter meeting will begin. It's four days of GM's, agents, players and media members gathering together in hotel rooms and lobbies to heat up the "hot stove". Hopefully it will be an exciting four days for us Brewers fans. Would be nice for Doug and Gord to land us at least one of the two starting pitchers we need so badly. Also maybe resign Counsell or sign a different utility infielder to take his place in 2010. Buster Olney of wrote today in his Insider only Winter Meeting preview that the Brewers will land either Randy Wolf or Joel Pineiro. Personally, I'm not a big fan of Pineiro, don't get me wrong, he was great in 2009. But I just have a gut feeling it was a fluke of a season and I would hate to see the Brewers give him a 3 or 4 year deal based off that. As far as Randy Wolf, he is my top choice for which free agent pitcher I would like the Crew to sign. He is coming off a great 2009 and has a proven track record of being a very reliable #3 borderline #2 type pitcher. He can probably be had on a 3 year deal for between $25-$30 mill.

You can be sure if any Brewers moves are made, I will have my reaction here at View From Bernie's Chalet. So check back throughout the week for updates.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Miller Park Will Be Zaunbieland In 2010

Let me start this post out saying this. Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, hey, hey, hey gooodbyyye! So long to Jason Kendall and his wet paper towel of a bat. No more of our catcher having a .305 SLG%. I will give it to Kendall, he was dynamite on defense in 2008 which really helped in our push to our first postseason appearance in 26 years. But in 2009, his bat like it has been for sometime now was anemic and his defense took a MAJOR step back. I wonder how hard Doug Melvin laughed in his face when Kendall's agent said he wanted to make $5 mill again in 2010? Probably as hard as Jerry Seinfeld laughed at Marty Funkhouser's joke in episode #9 of "Curb" this season.

Now that I got my Kendall bashing out of the way let me say I love the move to sign Gregg Zaun to be the starting catcher for the Brewers in 2010, how can you not? The guy has his own website that plays Rush's "Limelight" before you enter the homepage. 1 year deal worth $1.9 mill with a second year club option. Zaun is a solid vet who has in my opinion been a pretty underrated catcher for quite a few years. While Zaun is certainly no Joe Mauer or Brian McCann, he is a switch hitting catcher who does a good job of getting on base (.345 OBP in 09') and can actually hit for a little power (8 HR/.416 SLG in 09'). He also does a decent job throwing runners out and is one of the best at blocking balls in the dirt. Kendall struggled MIGHTILY in both those categories in 2009. While I would have been okay with the Brewers letting prospect Jonathan Lucroy take over as the starting catcher in 2010, this is probably better for the club. Now you can give Lucroy a whole season at AAA to further develop his game before becoming the starting catcher in 2011.

The Brewers also still have Angel Salome down in AAA, recently signed off waivers George Kottares and arbitration eligible Mike Rivera. My guess is that Salome is traded in some package for pitching, Kottares wins the backup job and Rivera is non-tendered. Nice to see Doug make a good signing for a need of the team early in free agency this season to get the ball rolling. Hopefully during the winter meetings next week he can start getting the pitching help we need to really contend in 2010.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Reader Poll Results

"Should the Brewers resign Craig Counsell?"

Yes: 72% (8 Votes)

No: 27% (3 Votes)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Keith Law Chat 12/3/09

After the Thanksgiving break Keith Law was back with another chat on today. Here are the Brewers related questions/answers. Only two today, Manny Parra possible out of the bullpen? And Keith is not sure if McGehee or Gamel are the answer at 3B in Milwaukee. Ouch.

Dan (Milwaukee)

Do you think Manny Parra would benefit from starting the season in the minors or do you think he will finally put it all together out of Spring Training?

(1:03 PM)

I think it's time to think about putting him in the pen.

Dan (Milwaukee)

What do you think of Casey Mcghee? Do you really think he is the Brewers future at third? Is it wise for the Brewers to shop Gamel? What kind of return could he get?

(1:09 PM)

I don't think either guy is the future at 3rd. McGehee isn't going to hit enough, and Gamel can't play it.

I could see Parra being a good lefty out of the bullpen, but with his stuff I wouldn't give up on him as a starter and if I did I would trade him before I stuck him in the pen. As for the question on McGehee and Gamel, I like them both. I like Gamel more long term because of his potential with the bat but he has to improve his defense which he has shown signs of, but the jury is still out. It would be interesting to see what McGehee could do starting a full season with a healthy knee, see if 2009 was a fluke or if he is for real. His minor league numbers say it was a fluke. That doesn't mean it was. The Brewers have an interesting situation with those two players.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I Don't Get It

As reported Monday by Adam McCalvy of, the Brewers did not offer arbitration to any of their 5 ranked free agents on Tuesday. Okay, I totally understand why Melvin would not offer arby to Cameron, Kendall, Looper or Weathers. Because more then likely those four guys would have taken it and meant we would be overpaying for guys we don't need nor want. But I just don't get how you don't offer arby to 2B Felipe Lopez. It just baffles my brain thinking about why you wouldn't? Doug thinks that had he offered it to Felipe he might have accepted it and then they might have to pay him $4 or $5 mill and you have a "logjam" on the infield because Lopez would want to start. Would it really be a problem to have too many good infielders? I don't think so, what if there is an injury? Then you would be covered. And the most likely and best scenario is that Lopez would have declined arby since he wants and will most likely get a multi year deal from a team looking for a good starting 2B. Thus the Brewers would have gotten a supplemental pick in the 2010 draft. But instead, no Lopez and no draft pick. I'm a big Doug Melvin fan and believer but I am not to happy with this non-move.

Friday, November 27, 2009

I Finally Broke Down

After saying I would never do it, even though I felt it might be worth the price to read the likes of Law, Gammons and Olney. I have paid for the Insider. But not without a sweet deal, right now till Sunday you can go to and order a year of ESPN The Magazine which comes with a year of ESPN Insider for only $5. Yes, only $5. Even I , who said he would never pay to read articles on the Internet couldn't resist that. Now I can finally read all those Keith Law, Peter Gammons and Buster Olney articles I have wanted to read for the past few years. And the magazine will make for great bathroom reading for the next year.

Reader Poll Results

"Who would you rather see starting at 3B in 2010?"

Mat Gamel: 58% (7 Votes)

Casey McGehee: 41% (5 Votes)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Keith Law Chat 11/20/09

Unfortunately, there were ZERO Brewers related questions/answers in the most recent Keith Law chat. But there were seemingly 564 questions (mostly from Cardinals fans) on Law's NL Cy Young ballot and how he left Chris Carpenter off of it. You may have heard by now he was quite the figure of controversy because his ballot read: 1. Lincecum 2. Vazquez 3. Wainwright. I don't see anything wrong with that ballot, personally I think all three of those guys were better then Carpenter last season. I mean, don't get me wrong, Carpenter had an outstanding season. But at the end of the season Lincecum, Vazquez and Carpenter's own teammate Wainwright were all better. Hopefully this issue will be behind Cardinals fans (doubtful) and in Keith's next chat we can get more questions not about an award ballot. Thanks St. Louis!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Reader Poll Results

"Do you believe Carlos Gomez can improve his overall offense?"

Yes: 80% (4 Votes)

No: 20% (1 Vote)

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Curious Case Of Edwin Jackson

As I continue to hear rumors of the Brewers having interest in a possible trade with the Tigers for Edwin Jackson, I continue to be confused on how I feel about that possibility. On one hand, Jackson is a starting pitcher who is still relatively young at 26, has an electric fastball always in the mid 90's and a pretty good slider. He is coming off a career year where he looked very dominate at times. But on the other hand, Jackson struggled A LOT in the second half of the season, still walked a lot of batters struggling with control and wore down. But he wore down mostly because of Jim Leyland abusing him. His final numbers for the season were very solid though:

13-9, 3.62 ERA, 214 IP, 161 K, 70 BB, 1.26 WHIP

But, let's look at the 1st half compared to his second half:

1st Half: 7-4, 2.52 ERA, 121.2 IP, 95 K, 35 BB, 1.06 WHIP
2nd Half: 6-5, 5.07 ERA, 92.1 IP, 64 K, 35 BB, 1.53 WHIP

As the numbers show, he was tremendous in the 1st half and pitched the best ball of his career making his first All-Star team, his 2nd half was more like his career numbers. So the question is, was he a half a season wonder or did he figure it out but just got burnt out in the 2nd half? This is why I am on the fence on if I want the Brewers to go after Jackson or just let him be. He definitely has the stuff to be a solid #2 pitcher and his 1st half of 2009 shows that, he also had a pretty good season for Tampa Bay in 2008. His biggest issue seems to be control and keeping the ball down. I'm not sure what the Tigers would want for Jackson, if it was not Gamel I would probably be willing to listen to what else they might want in return. There was a report before Hardy was traded to Minnesota the Tigers wanted to swap Jackson for him.

Counsell Possibly Rewarded For Career Year In 2009?

I'm sitting at my desk on my lunch break right now and seen a "tweet" from Buster Olney of ESPN and he is reporting that 12 teams are interested in the services of Craig Counsell. And that it is very possible that he could leave Milwaukee for a multi year deal. Of course he goes on to say that possible fits are the Yankees and Red Sox. Of course, go figure. I really would like the Brewers to bring Counsell back, but not at any contract of 3 years or more. Which I suppose some team may be dumb enough to give Counsell. While of he had a very nice season last year getting extended playing time because of the injury to Rickie Weeks I'm not sure how sold I am on his production offensively in 2009. He is on the wrong side of 30 so I am not sure how much more he can improve. It may have been a fluke, but I would love to keep him around on another 1 year or at most a 2 year deal. Should be interesting to see what Craig decides to do.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Keith Law Chat 11/12/09

After a one week layoff, Keith Law was back today for another chat on Here were the Brewers related questions/answers.

Brewers Fan (Milwaukee)

When a GM says that he won't listen to trade offers about a certain player, how true is that in most cases? Like if another GM calls him up and says "Fielder", does Melvin just hang up immediately? Call me crazy, but it seems like a GM is an idiot if he won't at least listen to an offer for anybody on his team or in his system.

Klaw (1:36 PM)

You're not crazy. You always listen. A GM who doesn't isn't doing his job.

Adam (Milwaukee)

KLaw...Completely random trade thought:Prince Fielder, Manny Parra, and either Salome or Lucroy to the Braves for Hanson

Klaw (1:47 PM)

Random = wrong adjective.

Stephen (Knauff)

Reading your analysis of the Hardy/Gomez trade, I got the vibe you feel that neither team got the better of trade, would you say this is accurate?

Klaw (1:48 PM)

I can't excited over either guy. I've never loved Hardy's swing or approach, but Gomez may never see a .330 OBP. I do think Gomez has a chance to be an average regular because of his glove and some small power potential, but ... I'm not saying I don't want him on my team, but I wouldn't go out of my way to get him.

Adam (Milwaukee)

Sorry about the poor English. Could I get your general thoughts on the following trade: Fielder, Parra, and Lucroy for Hanson

Klaw (2:00 PM)
I wasn't correcting your grammar. I was telling you the trade is absurd.

I'm sure Melvin would listen to any offer for Fielder, but to actually pull the trigger he would have to be blown away for a trade. Probably something like Linceum or Cain plus Sandoval for Fielder. Like Keith said, if a GM would not at least listen to an offer on a player he is not doing his job very well. I'm not exactly sure which part of the trade proposal by Adam that Keith thinks is absurd? For me the Brewers giving up Fielder, Parra and Lucroy for Hanson alone would be absurd. Maybe Keith is on the other side, not really sure from what he wrote. I like what Keith said about Gomez and as I wrote is pretty much how I feel, he can at least be average because of his glove/speed and the potential power he could have. If Gomez did have a .330 OBP or higher in 2010 I think I would be delighted.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Free Agent Pitching

I really hope the Brewers do not go after John Lackey as some like Buster Olney of ESPN are reporting. Will cost to much in years and cash, and while he is a good pitcher, he is not a great pitcher. So he is not worth the price tag IMO. I think it would be a much smarter idea to go after Doug Davis and/or Jarrod Washburn in addition to signing one of the low risk/high reward guys like Ben Sheets, Erik Bedard, Rich Harden or even Mark Mulder. Mulder aside, Sheets, Bedard and Harden all have better "stuff" IMO then Lackey but they have that injury history which is a risk. However, if the risk pays off you will get a great reward. It should be very interesting to see how Doug Melvin goes about adding at least two pitchers to this staff that can compliment Yovani Gallardo. Stay tuned.....

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Lucroy To Possibly Make Jump From AA to MLB

Per Tom Haudricourt of the JS, Doug Melvin is becoming more and more comfortable with the idea of catching prospect Jonathan Lucroy being the Brewers catcher or at least splitting time in half with a veteran catcher in 2010. I have to say that is quite refreshing to hear. Because I am very comfortable with that idea. Since it means we will more then likely not see Jason Kendall and his wet paper towel for a bat catch 150 games in 2010. I know there are some Kendall supporters out there like my buddy Tom who say; "well he plays great defense and calls a great game." Really? Yeah he did in 2008 when he threw out a crazy number of runners and looked good catching Sabathia and Sheets. What about 2009? Yeah, not so much.

I like the idea of Lucroy because he is the future anyway. And if he seems close and ready now might as well get him in there. He had good numbers at AA Huntsville and is doing great in the AFL. His defense is already there, and he seems to have a bat, with some pop in it. Would be nice to see a catcher in our lineup with a slugging % over .305. Which I think Lucroy could do in his sleep. As stated in the Haudricourt article some other good young catchers in the big leagues have made the jump from AA to MLB. The Dodgers Russell Martin, the Dbacks Chris Snyder and the A's Kurt Suzuki. Seeing Lucroy behind the plate in 2010 would actually make me excited about our catcher for pretty much the first in a long time. See Kendall, Jason; Estrada, Johnny; Bako, Paul; Casanova, Raul; Moeller, Chad; Levis, Jesse; Valle, Dave; etc.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Reader Poll Results

"Which SP would you rather see the Brewers sign?"

Doug Davis: 40% (2 Votes)

Jarrod Washburn: 60% (3 Votes)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

That Didn't Take Long: Gomez In, Hardy Out

I was at work yesterday sitting in my cubicle when the news came down. It had to be sometime between 10:30am and 11am. All of a sudden my cell phone began to vibrate, pick it up. It was a text message from 540 ESPN. I hit "read" and there it was: "Brewers trade SS JJ Hardy to Twins for CF Carlos Gomez.", my initial reaction was, "what the fuck? Really? We didn't trade him for starting pitching?" Then I immediately turned my thoughts toward the fact that this guaranteed the Brewers would not be bringing Mike Cameron back in 2010 to play CF. Which I was hoping they would, but at a lesser rate then the $10 mill Mike made each of the past two seasons. This made me beg the following question to one of my coworkers: "Will the Brewers still untuck after each victory with Cameron no longer on the team?" Back to that matter at hand, JJ Hard for Carlos Gomez. I'm not exactly sure how I feel about the trade. But I think I like it, mostly based off the fact of the potential of Carlos Gomez and that I think Alcides Escobar is going to be a way better player then JJ Hardy ever dreamed of.

What I know about Carlos Gomez is that he is one of the fastest players in all of MLB, plays outstanding defense in CF, was a major prospect in the Mets organization who was traded to the Twins as the main piece in the Johan Santana trade and he has VASTLY UNDERACHIEVED as a offensive player so far. But he is only 24 (turns 24 in December). So he still has upside and there is still time for Gomez to turn it around offensively. His biggest problem is he strikes out too much for a player of his talents and does not get on base enough (.292 career OBP). With Gomez over Cameron, the Brewers will lose nothing as far as defense goes. They will however lose power, which the same can be said going from Hardy to Escobar at SS. If, and I know this is an "if", they (Escobar/Gomez) can hit for average and get on base they will reek havoc on the base paths by stealing bases and being able to go 1B to 3B and 2B to Home on base hits by other players. But the key will be striking out less and taking more walks. Something hitting coach Dale Sveum will have to stress to these two particular hitters. They also need to try to bunt for hits to get on base more. One more thing on the power drop Hardy/Cameron to Escobar/Gomez, scouts and GM Doug Melvin believe over time Escobar and Gomez could develop more power in their games over time.

Maybe the most exciting thing about this trade has nothing to do with the players involved in the deal. It has to do with the fact that Jason Kendall will now more then likely NOT be back in 2010. There is no way the Brewers can have Escobar/Gomez/Kendall all in the everyday lineup. If you are giving up power for speed at CF and SS you can't have a catcher with virtually no power (.305 SLG, 2 HR, 19 2B from Kendall in 2009) or for that matter even doubles power. So I think Doug will either look to trade for a catcher who has a little pop in his bat (Ryan Doumit?) or Jonathan Lucroy may get the chance to be the everyday catcher. Doug did mention this when on Sportsradio 1250 yesterday. Lucroy would be making the jump from AA to the big leagues but other catchers have made the move before and been successful.

So while the Brewers did not get starting pitching help for JJ Hardy, they did get a exciting young CF with lots of potential. They also saved themselves about $17 mill that would have went to Cameron and Hardy. So they have some more money to spend on a free agent pitcher or a pitcher in another trade. I still think the Brewers will move either Gamel or McGehee and may also move Hart and with Gomez now in the fold I think Lorenzo Cain could be trade bait. So lots of possibilities yet in a very long offseason that is just getting rolling. My final verdict on the trade is that I do like it, but Gomez has to get on base more. If he can get that OBP up to even .340 or .350 that would be huge. Because his speed is amazing and if he can consistently get on base he could be a huge weapon for the Brewers. Time will tell.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Let The (Offseason) Games Begin!

With the Yankees winning the 2009 World Series last night, today November 5th the baseball offseason officially began. For the next 15 days players can formally file for Free Agency and during that time their current teams are the only clubs they can negotiate with. The Brewers have seven players that will be Free Agents. Mike Cameron, Jason Kendall, Frank Catalanotto, Craig Counsell, Felipe Lopez, Claudio Vargas and Corey Patterson. Of those seven players, I would like to see four of them back in Brewers uniforms in 2010. Cameron, Catalanotto, Counsell and Vargas. First off I would LOVE to see Lopez back, but with Weeks coming back next season Lopez has no spot and will most likely be looking for a multi year big money deal in free agency, so he will be offered arbitration and then the Brewers will get a draft pick for him because of his type B classification. Do I need to explain why Patterson should not and will not be back? Yeah I didn't think so. I hope and pray Kendall won't be back, but I have this bad feeling Ken Macha's love affair with Jason coupled with the fact the Brewers are not quite ready to give the position to Lucroy or Salome will give them no choice but to resign Kendall.

I really want Mike Cameron back and starting in CF, but only if he signs for $8 mill or less. Like I have said in a previous video blog I think Cameron would be a great sign at around $6 mill. This will give Lorenzo Cain a full season at AAA Nashville to get ready to take over in 2011. Frank Catalanotto is a great reserve OF to have on your bench, can play both corner spots and always gives you a "professional" AB late in the game as a pinch hitter. Craig Counsell was outstanding last year, I don't know if it was a fluke or if Dale Sveum making him drop his hands was all the difference. But either way, he plays three IF positions with above average defense and like Catalanotto gives you great AB's late in games off the bench. He really is the prototype utility IF. Then we have Claudio Vargas. I never thought I would say I wanted the Brewers to resign this guy. But man, he was great out of the bullpen as a setup man after the Crew aquired him from the Dodgers for Vinny Rottino. I never cared for him when he was a starter here in 2007, he becomes a reliever and seems to have found his niche.

So what do you think? Who do you want back? Who should the Brewers let walk?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ok, Please Explain This To Me

This Saturday MLB Network is going to broadcast the AFL "Rising Stars Showcase". The game will be comprised of an East Team and a West Team, with the best players from the 2009 AFL. The Brewers sent eight players to the prestigious prospect league played every fall since 1992. Three position players: CF Lorenzo Cain, 3B Taylor Green and C Jonathan Lucroy. Also five pitchers: Zach Braddock, Josh Butler, Omar Aguilar, Mark Rogers and Rob Wooten.

Six of the eight players the Brewers sent have struggled for the most part. Two have been very, very good. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy had a line of .385/.407/.615 with 2 HR and 5 RBI and LHP Zach Braddock who has a 1.04 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 6 K's and 2 saves in 8.2 IP. You would think that those numbers would get both Lucroy and Braddock in the "Rising Stars Showcase" on Saturday. Well you would be wrong. The only Brewer to make the team was RHP Mark Rogers. Now don't get me wrong I'm just glad I will get to see one Brewer play regardless of who it is. And I am a big Rogers fan, but he has been terrible this AFL. 12.27 ERA, 2.45 WHIP in 7.1 innings.

So how the hell do the goofs that select the East and West teams leave Braddock and to an even crazier extent Lucroy off the West roster and out of this game? Your guess is as good as mine. I think it is complete bullshit. I was very much looking forward to getting to see Lucroy in action for the first time after hearing and reading so much about how much he is progressing into the Brewers #1 catching prospect. Oh well, gonna have to wait till spring training 2010 I guess.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Red Sox Perfect Team To Gamble On Ben Sheets? Maybe, But Why Not Milwaukee?

Because I still have a tiny glimmer of hope that the Brewers might sign Ben Sheets to a low risk high reward contract to pitch for the team in 2010, I thought I would google Sheets name and check out any news that has recently been written on him. You know to see if there was any new info on his rehabilitation, well I came across this piece written by Evans Clinchy of It actually makes a hell of a lot of sense. The Red Sox were the team who signed three pitchers (Smoltz, Penny and Saito) to their team this past offseason that were coming off injuries like Sheets. So yes, I think the Red Sox would totally make sense for Sheets and it is pretty much on par with how Theo Epstein and their front office work. I still think though that the front runners to sign Sheets are the Texas Rangers. They were close to signing him last year before it was found that Ben was going to need surgery.

Ben Sheets is like crack to me, I just can't quit him. No matter how many times he got hurt, I still believed in him, defended him and wanted him to be a Brewer. So even after missing an entire year of baseball and having surgery on his elbow, I still would love to see the Brewers bring him back. Maybe I'm crazy, but you can't deny the fact that when he is healthy, he is as good as any pitcher in baseball. That includes Lincecum, Santana, Sabathia and Lee. According to Fangraphs, Sheets has been worth more then his contract in all but one (2006) of his MLB seasons. I would really like to see the Brewers brass consider making a run at Ben. Gord Ash even mentioned Ben in the Brewers season ending presser saying that their have been "once in awhile" conversations with Ben's agent.

Perhaps offer him a 1 year deal for $6 mill with an option for a 2nd year or put some performance enhancers in the contract so if he stays healthy and performs he could make more. So, you sign Sheets, trade for a legit #2 type starter and sign either Doug Davis or Jarrod Washburn and you actually have a decent staff built around Yovani Gallardo and not a bunch of #4 and #5 starters. Which as we all know is basically what they had last season. I understand the Sheets signing is a long shot, but I personally would love to see it happen. Take the chance, the risk would totally be worth the reward. If you need evidence of the reward look at Ben's career numbers, it tells it all.

Reader Poll Results

"Which Brewers catching prospect is the future?"

Jonathan Lucroy: 83% (20 Votes)

Angel Salome: 16% (4 Votes)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Keith Law Chat 10/29/09

It's time for another Keith Law chat transcript featuring Brewers related questions/answers. And in this chat, Keith even used a question from yours truly! I'm going to start making this a regular feature on the blog recapping any Brewers stuff from Keith's chats.

Jon (Dallas)

Would Conger, Bourjos, Reckling be enough for MIL to trade Braun to LAA? Angels would then have 4 above average starting pitchers, full infield if you count Wood, and full outfield under contract/control for three more years. Pretty decent window of opportunity isn't it?

(1:35 PM)

That isn't even close. Look at the rest of your question - you're talking about how good it is for the Angels, with no thought as to whether it's anything other than insane for Milwaukee.

JD (Germantown, WI)


First off, are you ever going to write a book? Second, Rickie Weeks got off to a great start in 2009 before injuring his wrist and going on the DL. If healthy all of 2010, how good do you think Weeks will be? Where would he rank among NL 2B?

(2:13 PM)

I did write one manuscript, showed it to a few people in and out of the industry, but decided it was better to start from scratch than rewrite. I'm a bad rewriter regardless of the subject. I've been a Weeks believer beyond any rational point for years, so why stop now? He'll be a borderline All-Star offensively. He was actually going to have a huge second half this year if he'd been healthy. You can't prove otherwise!

An absolutely laughable question from Jon in Dallas. Braun for Conger, Bourjos and Reckling? Keith pretty much summed it up best calling it "insane". Of course, Tony Witrado might think it was plausible and a good idea. Maybe Tony was posing as Jon. The fact of the matter is Ryan Braun is not going anywhere. He is the franchise and anyone even mentioning trade rumors and questions about Braun being traded just isn't thinking very logically. At least, in my opinion.

As for my question about Weeks, Keith has always been a fan of Rickie's. And I agree with his answer, Weeks if healthy should border on the line of being an All-Star 2B in the NL. But he has to play a full season. Something he really hasn't done. I'm just hoping that it happens in 2010 for Rickie and for the Brewers. We need him.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Just Thinking Out Loud Here: Possible 2011 Lineup

After Keith Law's comment in his recent chat about Brett Lawrie possibly moving to the OF if his glove is not good enough at 2B, it got me to thinking. If he would move to LF and we keep Weeks around to play 2B long term, what would that lineup look like? Well with a few other prospects probably another year away from the big club, this could be the Brewers opening day lineup in 2011. This is under the assumption that Fielder is kept around and not traded, even if he does not sign an extension. Remember, he is under team control through 2011. I have to say, this lineup make me giddy looking at it on paper.

1. Alcides Escobar- SS
2. Brett Lawrie- LF
3. Ryan Braun- RF
4. Prince Fielder- 1B
5. Rickie Weeks- 2B
6. Mat Gamel- 3B
7. Lorenzo Cain- CF
8. Jonathan Lucroy- C

It would be a pretty young lineup, but one with a good combination of speed and power. Lawrie, Cain and Lucroy would all be in their first years but should all be ready to contribute to the big club in 2011. Braun, Fielder and Weeks are your veterans (young ones at that) and Escobar and Gamel will both have 1+ years of MLB experience as they should be starters in 2010. You look at this lineup and it is very young, but I think loaded with potential and the talent to win right away. What do you think?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

From 30 to 2: Yankees vs Phillies In 2009 Fall Classic

Tomorrow night, the 2009 Fall Classic gets underway. And on paper it looks like it could be a classic, but then again they don't play baseball games on paper. They play them on a diamond n a park. Two very good and very talented teams will square off. In my preseason predictions I had neither team even making the playoffs. I had the Red Sox winning the AL East and the Tampa Bay Rays winning the AL Wild Card. I thought the New York Mets would win the NL East and the Brewers would take the NL Wild Card. My World Series was the Red Sox over the Mets. Wow, was I way off! But clearly as the season played out the Yankees were the best team in all of baseball and the Phillies were not far behind. Both teams have high powered offenses who can hit the long ball, both have very good starting pitching with an ace. But the Yankees clearly have a better and more consistent bullpen. And it could very well come down to the bullpens. Here is my position by position breakdown and who has the advantage. I have also posted each players WAR next to their name.

1B: Mark Teixiera (5.2) vs Ryan Howard (4.9)

Two of the best 1B in the game right now, the only two that might be better are Pujols and Fielder. Both were fantastic in the regular season. Teixiera is better defensively, but Howard is hitting better in the postseason and the only player that might be hotter is A-Rod.

Advantage: Push

2B: Robinson Cano (4.3) vs Chase Utley (7.7)

Cano is a top 10, maybe even top 5 2B in MLB right now. But Chase Utley is the best at the position and has been for a few years now.

Advantage: Phillies

3B: Alex Rodriguez (4.6) vs Pedro Feliz (1.2)

This really isn't even a question. And for the first time ever, A-Rod is producing at a very high level in the postseason. He has been the best player hands down this October.

Advantage: Yankees

SS: Derek Jeter (7.4) vs Jimmy Rollins (2.4)

Rollins is a former MVP and one of the best and most exciting players in the game. But he has had a down year. Jeter keeps plugging away and had a fantastic season. And even though I hate throwing "intangibles" around, Jeter has them all.

Advantage: Yankees

C: Jorge Posada (4.0) vs Carlos Ruiz (2.2)

I would love to have a catcher like Ruiz on the Brewers. Good defensively, handles the pitchers and has a little pop in his bat. But I would really love to have Posada. Does the same things as Ruiz but better.

Advantage: Yankees

LF: Johnny Damon (2.8) vs Raul Ibanez (4.1)

Damon had himself a nice contract season, and was heavily aided by the short porch in RF at New Yankee Stadium with his power numbers. I guess some could say the same about Ibanez at Citizens Bank Park. It's pretty close, but Ibanez better fielder and arm.

Advantage: Phillies

CF: Melky Cabrera (1.6) vs Shane Victorino (3.4)

Pretty similar players if you ask me. Cabrera with a little more power, Victorino with a little more speed. Victorino also the better overall hitter and defender.

Advantage: Phillies

RF: Nick Swisher (3.7) vs Jayson Werth (4.7)

I was surprised to see Werth's WAR was only 1 point higher then Swisher's. Both have power, Werth the better hitter for average and has more speed. Pretty even defensively. If someone said I could have either on my team, I'm taking Werth.

Advantage: Phillies

Bench: Matsui, Hinske, Hairston, Molina, Gardner vs Bruntlett, Stairs, Francisco, Bako, Dobbs

Matsui will DH in New York. Not sure who Philly will use, I would assume Stairs. Hairston and Bruntlett are both solid utility guys and you can't go wrong with Bako or Molina as your #2 catcher. I like both teams benches. Too close to call.

Advantage: Push

Starting Pitching: Sabathia, Burnett, Pettitte vs Lee, Martinez, Hamels

Each team has their legit #1 ace in CC and Cliff the former teammates in Cleveland. Burnett and Hamels are #2's that could be #1's on a lot of teams. Pettitte and Martinez are the gritty veterans who have been here and done this plenty of times before. I think the Yankees will stick to a 3 man rotation but the Philles may use Joe Blanton or JA Happ in game 4.

Advantage: Push

Bullpen: Rivera, Hughes, Chamberlain, Coke, Marte, Gaudin vs Lidge, Madson, Park, Eyre,Durbin

I think this is a no brainer. The Yankees pen has pretty much been money all year long, Rivera is an ageless wonder who is probably the best ever at what he does (with all respect to Trevor Hoffman) and has the two young flame throwers Hughes and Chamberlain setting him up. Lidge and Madson have been very erratic a season after they were as good as you could get for a closer and setup man. I also would take Coke, Marte and Gaudin over Park, Eyre and Durbin.

Advantage: Yankees

Final Tally's: Yankees 4, Phillies 4, Push 3

As you can see, these two teams are about as evenly matched as two teams could be. As a fan of baseball I think we are going to be in for a real treat of a World Series. After seeing the last three World Series end so quickly (5 games in 2006, 4 games in 2007 and 5 games in 2008), I think we are in for a 7 game classic. I just believe that these teams are too close together in talent to have one team just roll over the other team. I can't wait.

Final Prediction: Yankees in 7
MVP: CC Sabathia

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ketih Law Chat 10/22/09

Keith Law is one of my absolute favorite baseball writers. He is very smart, informative and kind of funny in a snarky kind of way. I read as much of his stuff as I can, although without a ESPN Insider subscription that can be difficult. Keith does these chats and in his most recent there were a few Brewers related questions/answers. Check them out:

James (Kenosha,Wi)

What is your take on Jonathan Lucroy do you think he would be ready to take over the Brewers catcher spot by June?

(1:15 PM)

They've got an interesting dilemma with him and Salome. Neither one looks like a star; Lucroy is definitely a catcher, probably a 50 (solid average regular), while Salome has more bat potential but may not be able to catch. I'd probably let Salome start 2010 in the majors and send Lucroy to AAA. (By the way, how awful was that Trevor Hoffman extension? Extremely fluky HR rate gets you $8 million? 10% or more of the team's payroll for a one-inning closer, and not a good one? Wow.)

Russ (Balt Md)

Bret Lawrie question. Is he an impact bat in MLB? Ive heard he's playing 2B, is this Big News for his value, if true?How is he progressing? 2011 callup?

(1:18 PM)

He really has no position. Good bat, potentially a special bat, but he might end up in LF.

Ryan (madison,wi)

Who says no: Fielder for Kemp?

(1:35 PM)

Dodgers. With howls of derisive laughter.

He seems right on about Lucroy and Salome. I personally like Lucroy more. Think he will be better defensively and be fine offensively. As for his side note on Hoffman being a bad signing I couldn't disagree more. $8 mill for a proven closer who is coming off a fantastic year when you have no option around even close to as good, I don't see any issue with that. Maybe he doesn't remember what the Brewers went through with Gagne/Torres in 2008, you were never safe with a lead. With Hoffman I feel safe.

Brett Lawrie may very well end up in LF, with Braun moving to RF at some point. But for now I think the Brewers intend to keep him at 2B. He had some issues there, I went to a few Rattlers games this past season and he played really well in the game I saw. Turned two well and showed good range. When I hear the term "potentially special bat" with Lawrie it sure gets me excited for what this kid might turn out to be. He is only 19. A Fielder for Kemp trade? He says Dodgers would laugh at the Brewers. Why? Yes Kemp is a 5 tool talent, but Fielder is one of the top 5 hitters in all of the game. That would be a pretty even deal I think. But I don't think either team would do it at this point. It's a hypothetical deal. Not even a rumor to it.

Reader Poll Results

"Who do you want starting in CF in 2010?"

Mike Cameron: 100% (9 Votes)

Corey Hart: 0% (o Votes)

Lorenzo Cain: 0% (0 Votes)

Sign a Free Agent: 0% (0 Votes)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A True Degenerate

I think it is official. I'm 100% a fantasy sports, and specifically fantasy baseball degenerate. Today I have been searching Google for 2010 fantasy baseball ranking position by position. The draft for the league I run won't be for another four and a half months. But I'm already excited and looking to see where players rank to get a step ahead in my draft strategy.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Just For The Record

My preseason predictions on the playoff teams was awful. I only got two teams correct that are currently in the playoffs. The Dodgers and the Red Sox. And I had the Red Sox in as AL East champs, of course they won the Wild Card. My World Series was the Red Sox over the Mets. Of course that Mets prediction didn't work out so well, but if the Red Sox win it all I can still hang my hat on that pick.

Here is the link to that preseason prediction post.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Braun and Fielder 2009

Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder who are now the best 1-2 punch in MLB and who I like to call the modern day Aaron and Matthews end the season with these lines:

Ryan Braun: .320/.386/.551, 32 HR, 114 RBI, 20 SB, 203 Hits (Led NL)

Prince Fielder: .299/.412/.602, 46 HR, 141 RBI (Led MLB)

Simply amazing seasons from both guys. With these two leading the charge and the other good supporting offensive cast, all we need is some decent pitching and the Brewers should be back in the playoffs in 2010.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Bullpen Help On The Way

By now you have probably seen all over various Brewers blogs that RHP Jesus Colome will most likely be called up tomorrow from AAA Nashville. Colome was released by the Nationals last month and the Brewers picked him up and sent him to Nashville. All he has done there is throw 7 scoreless innings with 11 K's to 2 BB's. He has a mid 90's fastball and could turn out to be a nice option out of the pen in middle relief. And if not, he can't really be any worse then RJ Swindle or Chris Smith have been out of the pen. Those two are the most likely options to be the player sent down to make room on the roster for Colome. The Brewers don't really have any pitcher out of the pen other then Coffey that can throw gas so Colome will be a welcome addition.

I have to say, those west coast games really take it out of me. I was not able to stay awake for any of the games in their entirety's. I usually made it through 6 innings watching on TV and then fell asleep listening to Uecker and Cory on the radio of my alarm clock on sleep. And I still woke up every morning this week very tired and yawning my way through work at the office each day. Thank God the west coats trip is over, although in September the Brewers do head to Arizona, but those games are on a a weekend. Yeah!

As for the Fielder incident on Tuesday night, it was what it was. He was upset and let his emotions get the best of him. We have seen this before with the Manny Parra shove incident last season. Prince can be a very calm mild mannered guy, but every so often some clicks in his head and he kind of goes off the deep end. Almost a little scary, but I appreciate the passion and intensity. I'm just thankful he was not suspended any games for what he did, I thought for sure he would get at least one game. Especially since you don't hear about that kind of thing really ever happening. First time in my 27 years that I have heard of a player going to the other teams clubhouse in rage.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Reader Poll Results

"Which Brewers prospect will have the best MLB career?"

Mat Gamel: 14% (2 Votes)

Alcides Escobar: 57% (8 Votes)

Brett Lawrie: 28% (4 Votes)

Taylor Green: 0% (0 Votes)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Downfall

With today's news after the Brewers won their second game in a row and split a four game series with the Nationals that Bill Hall accepted an assignment to AAA Nashville to work on his swing and Jeff Suppan after some terrible starts, was put on the 15 day DL with an oblique strain it seems these two have hit rock bottom (if they hadn't already). Also, not related to today's news but with the season long slump of JJ Hardy and the setback after Tommy John surgery for Chris Capuano which will not allow him to pitch in a game this season, it appears these four guys have all been on a downfall after showing promise. They have all experienced highs that gave Brewers fans like myself hope that they could be keys to a possible World Series title someday. But instead, they may end up just being known for one thing, which may have started their downfalls. Those horrible performances on a daytime sopa opera "The Young And The Restless" during the 2007 season. Let's take a look back.....

Should Suppan and Capuano be giving advice on a fasbtall? Neither guy can throw more then 90 MPH.

If that actor could throw 95 MPH, he would be a much better option then Suppan. And would anyone want a training session from him for anything other then how to throw batting practice?

Perhaps they should not have been talking about going to the World Series, spitting in the face of the baseball Gods.

Suppan will probably be holding onto that 2006 playoff performance for his next contract to.

I'm not sure Chris Capunao was ever the best lefty in the NL Central, much less the entire league.

Bill Hall has had some big game winning hits, but has not put together a big season since 2006.

I wish at some point this season JJ would have a "hot" bat and a long hitting streak, both our doubtful at this point in time.

And Hardy, the guy who makes the women in Milwaukee's panties wet and the guys puke when he GIDP has the lamest line of the whole shitty performance; "She can warm up with me anytime, I'm gonna need her name and number." JJ, you are a douche bag.

This whole thing was a constant poke at the baseball Gods. And today with the Hall and Suppan news I finally pieced everything together. This soap opera gig was a bad idea, for everyone and has damaged these guys for a few years now. None of them have been the same, well Hardy was pretty good in 2008.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

As I Sit Here Watching Tonight's Game.....

Manny Parra really has not pitched that bad. Sure he walked two run in, but all night he has seemingly got ahead of hitters and is not really having much of a problem getting the first 2 outs. But he is having trouble putting hitters away and closing out innings getting that 3rd out. His fastball has looked very crisp tonight consistently between 93-96 MPH. If he can really find a what his strike out or "put away" pitch is he could really have turned his young career around. I'm just not sure yet what that pitch is? His curve or his split? He really needs to work on making one of those real good to go with his good fastball and change. Sure the 5 runs Parra has given up don't look very good, but he has gone 6 innings with 7 K's and has worked ahead most of the night. All encouraging signs for Manny. As hard as I have been on him at times here, I'm not gonna give up on. In this his fourth start since his Nashville stint you can see improvement and a guy with more confidence. Still just has to refine and work on a few things. And as they say, you can't teach being a lefty who throws in the mid 90's.

Monday, July 27, 2009

I Do Not Believe Carlos Villanueva Gives Us The Best Chance To Win

But apparently Ken Macha does. Today in his pregame presser with the media Macha named Villanueva his starter for tomorrow's game vs Washington. This is a sick joke right? A bad dream? A sick demented twilight zone? No, it's truth and fact. A guy with a 6.18 ERA out of the bullpen and a 2-7 record will make a start for the Brewers tomorrow.

Of course it could be worse, we could trot Mike Burns or Seth McClung out there again. But throwing "Villa" out there is not much better then those two options. Most (myself included) thought tomorrow's starter would either be a guy the Brewers traded for (Washburn, didn't happened after heavy rumors) or Tim Dillard who the Brewers called up from AAA Nashville on Sunday. Dillard seemed like a better choice then Villanueva, he has been starting all year in Nashville with pretty good number all be them at AAA. 10-4 with a 3.66 ERA. Given the fact they gave Burns and McClung chances you would think Dillard would be next in line. I like Ken Macha and think he has done as good a job as he could have this season so far, but this move really boggles my mind. If the Brewers don't win tonight I have a hard time believing they can tomorrow to keep the chances alive of taking at least three from the lowly Nationals.

Prove me wrong Carlos and Ken. I'm rooting for you, but not with much confidence.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I'm Really Starting To Realize

After seeing the Brewers drop 2 of 3 to the Braves at home this weekend, I think for the first time this season I really see that this team really just is not that good. They are okay, maybe a little above average, but not really a playoff contender. It pains me to have to write that, but I think I really believe it now. The pitching staff both starters and bullpen is a complete mess, save for Gallardo, Hoffman, Stetter and Coffey. Pretty much everyone else has been average or below average, especially that 5th starter spot which has been terrible between McClung and Burns. Tim Dillard will now get a chance to fill that role Tuesday after getting called up from AAA Nashville yesterday. Looper has a nice W/L record but has given up a ton of homeruns and his ERA is not to pretty, same for Suppan save for his W/L record not being very good. Manny Parra has had two really nice starts since getting recalled from Nashville and one "okay" start so he is at least showing some improvement and promise.

The bullpen just can't be trusted. Outside of the three names I listed above. Smith, Burns, Villanueva, McClung and to a lesser extend DiFelice have all had issues and when any come into a tight ball game I'm not usually real confident they will keep the lead or keep the Brewers close if behind. Maybe I'm being a little to hard on Mark DiFelice, he has been almost outstanding against right handed hitters. But he just can't seem to get left handed hitters out at all. I know Al from Al's Ramblings has called him a "ROOGY" and he is probably right.

As for the offense, well it is a story of inconsistency outside of our two All-Stars Braun and Fielder. Those two have been there all year hitting for average, power and getting on base. Without them I would hate to even think where this club would be. Craig Counsell and Casey McGehee have been very pleasant surprises playing above their expectations and have filled in nicely for the injured Rickie Weeks and the disastrous Bill Hall. Felipe Lopez just got here, but looks pretty good thus far. The rest of the offense has been nothing to write home about. Especially JJ Hardy and Corey Hart. Those two have underachieved so much that it has really killed this team from having a consistent offense. Both have played WAY below expectations. And in todays game it looked like Corey Hart was really lacing in effort, which never sits well with fans or management. If they were even putting up numbers close to their career norms, I might not be writing this blog. And don't get me started on the bench, it's been terrible. Gerut (who dropped a ball a little leaguer would have caught today, just looked pathetic), Hall, Rivera and Catalanotto have not done much of anything to note.

Basically what I'm getting at is that this team is not one or maybe even two players away from being a real contender so I would hate to see the Brewers make a trade to mortgage the future for a player(s) that won't do much for us. Just stand pat with what we have and hope they somehow get hot and we sneak into the playoffs. If not, hey no big deal. I'm still gonna watch and support this team no matter what. Then you go into the offseason and you have some trading chips like Hart and Hardy that you can get more value for at that time. Next year Gamel and Escobar should be up and contributing and you get Rickie Weeks back who was playing outstanding before getting hurt, I still think that was a HUGE loss for this team that they never really recovered from. Right now the Brewers stand at .500, 49-49 and maybe that is who they really are.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Reader Poll Results

"Who scares you more when he pitches?"

Seth McClung: 11% (2 Votes)

Carlos Villanueva: 88% (16 Votes)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My Brewers Dream Trade Shattered By Peter Gammons

For a few weeks now I had been dreaming of a trade between the Brewers and the Boston Red Sox. They have been scurrying for a SS, we have two. One has been an All-Star and the other a super prospect ready for big league action. The Brewers need another starter, the Red Sox have a surplus of those. Add all that up and I was hoping to see a JJ Hardy for Clay Buchholz trade straight up. And until yesterday I still had hope it could possibly happen. We trade Hardy, bring up Escobar to play SS and then add a young stud pitcher to our rotation in Buchholz.

My dream was shot down yesterday as Peter Gammons reported that the Red Sox turned down a deal for all world hitting catcher Victor Martinez because the Indians wanted Buchholz. If the Sox wouldn't even move Buchholz for a guy like Martinez, there is no way they would deal him for Hardy. Buchholz seems to be as "untouchable" as can be.

And for the record, put me in the "don't make a deal for Halladay" camp. Way to expensive, no way would I give up 4-6 players for one pitcher who could opt to not even be here next season. The only way I would trade a combo of Parra/Lawrie/Gamel/Escobar plus others for Halladay is if we were absolutely guaranteed a World Series Championship and since that is impossible, I will pass on Doc, I hope Doug feels the same way.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Big Homestand Coming Up

Today was as about as heartbreaking a loss as the Brewers have had all season. I couldn't even bare to listen to Lowe's Extra Innings on ESPN 540 or any other sports talk the rest of the day. Being down 5-2, then coming back to take a 7-5 lead, only to have McClung let Pittsburgh tie it 7-7 and then Stetter giving up a walk-off homerun in the 9th. Brewers lose 2 of 3 to the Pirates and end the 7 game road trip 3-4. Had they held that 7-5 lead and taken 2 of 3 from the Pirates a 4-3 road trip would have looked a whole lot healthier for this club. Now the Brewers stand at only one game over .500 at 48-47.

That brings us to this very important seven game homestand starting Friday night. Three against the Braves and four against the worst team in MLB the Nationals. I'm not gonna say that a bad homestand here at the end of July could make or break the season, but it almost could. If they lose four or more of these seven games they could find themselves in some trouble. The key is to start it off right, the new and improved Manny Parra goes Friday against Javier Vazquez and our ace Yovani Gallardo goes Saturday against Braves young stud Tommy Hanson. It is still up in the air as to who will start Sunday, it is Mike Burns spot but thankfully Melvin and Macha will meet before then to figure out what to do with that spot since Burns has not been very good, actually he pretty much sucks and has shown me why he has been a life AAAA player.

If Parra and Gallardo can go out and have stellar starts to kick off the homestand and the Brewers provide them with some runs I think this could be a special homestand that could propel a hot streak, I just have a hunch. At the beginning of the season Gallardo and Parra were going to be counted on as key pieces to the Brewers success or lack of in 2009, it's only fitting then that they make the first two starts of this big homestand that could swing 2009 in either direction.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I Went To Bed To Early

Like many Brewers fans last night I turned in to bed early when the score was 7-2 vs the Pirates. As I lay in bed watching Conan with the wife I thought about how Ryan Braun had seemingly not hit a homerun since April (actually June 25th) and if he would ever get out of this slump and homerless draught. Well low and behold he finally hit #17 a 2-run shot to right, I missed that and seeing Smith nail Karstens and get some revenge for Braun. The highlight of that was Kendall pushing Karstens down the line telling him to either go to first or go toward the pitcher. It was perfect and totally Kendall's personality to do that. One huge bright spot from last night was the 4-4 with a walk that Felipe Lopez turned out in his Brewers debut. It just goes to show you that sometimes it is better to stay up and watch these games that are just about over, you never know what you might miss. My biggest hope is that Braun ending that homerless draught leads to one of his hot streak where he might hit a bunch.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Oh, Seth McClung

As I sit here and watch the first game of the second half of the season, things were going smooth for the Brewers. They had a nice 9-3 lead in the bottom of the 8th. Then Seth McClung came in.

First batter: Walk
Second batter: Walk
Third batter: Homerun

Now only a 9-6 lead. I used to really like McClung, especially at the end of last season when he was on fire. But most of this year he has just been to erratic walking to many batters. And then when he finally does throw a strike it is a straight as a board fastball right down the middle that the other team crushes. I can't believe at one time last offseason before we signed Hoffman I made my case in a post to make McClung the closer. That is why I'm not a GM (yet). Between McClung and Villanueva we have two guys in the bullpen right now that really can't be trusted and seem to bring their gas can to the mound every chance they get lately. And that is scary, very scary.

Brewers A Big Hit on Wisconsin Television Sets

While scanning some recent "tweets" by people I follow on Twitter I seen MLB Fan House had the Nielsen top 5 most watched local baseball broadcasts in 2009 based on % of households. And our Milwaukee Brewers came in strong at #3. May be a surprise to some outside of this state but we all know how great a baseball town Milwaukee is and state that Wisconsin is. Here is the rest of the top 5. No real surprises, except maybe the Twins. But like Milwaukee they are a great baseball town not many people give enough credit to.

1. Boston Red Sox
2. St. Louis Cardinals
3. Milwaukee Brewers
4. Minnesota Twins
5. Philadelphia Phillies

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Been To Long

Been almost a month and a half since I posted here in VFBC. Things have gotten busy with house hunting with the wife and just the general busyness of summer and 4th of July weekend. Also I got really enamored in Twitter and just posting 140 character blogs. But the shine of Twitter has kind of worn off and I would much rather revive VFBC and be able to share longer thoughts. Anyway.....

All-Star break is just about over and the Brewers begin the second half tomorrow in Cincinnati for a four game series. As it stands the Brewers are 2.5 games back of the Cardinals for the NL Central and 4 games back of the Giants in the Wild Card. June was a pretty awful month and so far July has not been much better. But, the Brewers are still in it and have a chance. And really they have not showed a consistent offense all season, Hardy nor Hart has gone on any kind of hot streak yet, Parra came back pitched great in his one start before the All-Star break and Dave Bush is coming off the DL on the 20th. I picked the Brewers in my preseason predictions to win the Wild Card, and I still believe they can or maybe more likely win the division. But I don't think they should make a trade to do this.

Last year we gave up a bunch of good prospects most notable Matt LaPorta and Michael Brantley, but we did it for a true difference maker in CC Sabathia who helped us break a 26 year long playoff drought. There is really no Sabathia out there to trade for this season (maybe Halladay, but no way he could live up to or do what CC did. No one will ever do that again). There are guys like Doug Davis and Jarrod Washburn, who are nice pitchers but really no better then what we have. And since it is a sellers market you would have to overpay in trade to get a guy like that. And I personally don't want to see a Gamel, Escobar, Lawrie, Cain or Salome traded for a pitcher of that caliber.

I think the Brewers go with what they got and see what happens. Getting Parra and Bush back could be like making a deal. If Parra can pitch anywhere close to the way he did against St. Louis in his comeback start he would be huge. Now I'm not saying Parra can go out and pitch 7 scoreless every start with 7 K's and 1 BB, but I think he figured something out and should be more consistent. As for Bush, you just hope you get the Dave Bush of April/May pre getting hit on a line drive off the bat of Hanley Ramirez. Bush looked very solid and was consistent the first two months of the season and was a big part of the Brewers early success. If these two can bring it, get what you expect from Looper and Suppan and if Gallardo continues to look like an ace this team can get back to October without over trading for a middle of the road pitcher.

Second half of 2009 here we come, hopefully it is a fun and joyful ride like the second half of 2008. If we don't make it, I just want to see them in contention the whole way.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Parra Not Going To Nashville, Insanity

Even though Manny Parra has pretty much sucked all of this 2009 season, and is making Jeff Suppan look like Cy Young, the Brewers have no plans to demote him to Nashville for even a little bit. I have to say I STRONGLY disagree with GM Doug Melvin on this. I don't disagree with Doug to often, I trust in him and feels he almost always does what is right for the club. But this has be scratching my head. Parra is now 3-7 on the season after last nights massacre in which Parra surrendered 11 hits and 10 earned runs in just 4 innings of work. His ERA is 6.75 and he has an astronomical WHIP of 1.83, that is just not acceptable for a starter on a team with a chance to win their division.

I'm not saying demote him for the season and I'm not even saying I have totally lost confidence in Parra someday being a good starting pitcher. (although, I could easily see him as the next Ben Hendrickson. A guy who is a stud in AAA and shows a ton of promise but can't get it done in the bigs) What I am saying is Parra should go down to AAA Nashville for at least a few starts, maybe even a month to work on whatever it is physically and mentally that is not allowing him to get it done, we all know he has the "stuff" but the results are just not there, at all. It worked for Dave Bush last season, he went down for just one start because of Gallardo's injury was right back up and was money the rest of the season and has been great so far this season. Besides Parra going down to work on his game, perhaps it would be a humbling experience for a young pitcher that nothing in this game is guaranteed and you have to produce.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Reader Poll Results

"Should the Brewers offer Dave Bush a contract extension after this season?"

Yes, a 3 year deal: 69% (9 Votes)

Yes, a 4 year deal: 7% (1 Vote)

No: 7% (1 Vote)

Not till after his final arby year: 15% (2 Votes)

Monday, May 25, 2009

"Run Off" Win On Memorial Day

I was in attendance today at Miller Park on Memorial Day to witness the "run off" win. All I can say is it was awesome. The Cardinals want to bitch and moan all the time about how the Brewers celebrate victories by untucking their shirts and how it is "classless" or "disrespecting the game", well today they said "screw you St. Louis, we will just celebrate out of your sight so you don't get all upset over it."Don't know who's idea it was on the team, but it was classic.

Other then that Yovani was just dealing today. After the way the pitching got beat up in Minnesota Yovani sure looked like an ace today, a true stopper. I know he didn't get the win but he was a HUGE reason we were in a position to win 1-0 today. And what can you say about Bill Hall, myself and numerous others have crucified him and how bad he has been against RHP. Well today, he replaced Gamel late in the game for defense and ended up winning the game with his offense. See what happens when Billy goes with the pitch to the opposite field? Good things, very good things.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Iv'e Done It, Joined The Revolution Of.....

Twitter. Really didn't want to, but if you want to be able to view the "tweets" of Brewers Assistant GM Gord Ash you have to have an account. So there you have it, I actually think it's kind of cool though. Anyway, if you want, follow me:

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Oh Rumors

I just don't buy it, so I'm not going to get excited about it. According to's Jon Heyman, the Cubs and BREWERS are the front runners to get a deal done for Jake Peavy. The Cubs part is believable and is probably where Peavy will end up, which sucks for us since the Brewers face the Cubs a bunch more times. I don't get where Heyman is getting the Brewers in the mix though? The Brewers are not on the list of of teams Peavy would accept a trade to. Also the Padres want good young pitching in exchange for the 2007 Cy Young winner, the Brewers have ZERO of that. The only piece(s) I think the Brewers could offer San Diego is either Alcides Escobar or JJ Hardy, since the Pads are also looking for a SS in addition to starting pitching. And as much as I like Peavy and it would be nice to get him, he has a pretty hefty contract yet and does have some injury history. On the other hand, Peavy is a stud and if we got him perhaps the clueless face Manny Parra would be dumped out of the rotation. Stay tuned.....