I've been reading Al's Ramblings over the weekend and I was shocked at how Al was slowly convincing himself that he really liked this trade. I mean, this is the same guy who thought Corey Hart would be a good center field option and now he's down with a .287 on base percentage? This didn't seem right to me so I shot him an email and decided to engage in a little conversation with him (like we did before). Here's what we came up with. Beware nerdy baseball talk ahead.
MPD: Alright Al I have a bone to pick with you about this Hardy/Gomez trade. Sure, it's a cheap alternative who is great at defense (just like the cheap alternative that is great at defense we have at shortstop), but you of all people should hate this trade. After all you are the one who is constantly talking up the excellence of OXS in predicting runs and you are the one who takes joy in the failures of Jack Wilson. Now, you're okay with a lineup where 1/3 of the players in it have a combined OPS of 650-700 (and that's without including the pitcher.) Seriously, look at this group as it stands now: Read the rest of this entry »
I don't want to talk about Carlos Gomez. Not tonight. Let me just say that my first word was "gross" when I heard about it. GROSS as in "b. Offensive; disgusting." Yeah.
So I'm not talking about this. To properly explain my feelings I will post a few things that other people have said about this trade and you can get where I am coming from.
Carlos Gomez is a young player who swings at too many pitches at the plate. This handcuffs him from taking too many walks and also causes quite a high strikeout rate. From personal experience, Gomez also rarely makes solid contact at the plate, either.
In all aspects, he is a black hole offensively.
To acquire Hardy, the Twins gave up Gomez, an outstanding defender in his own right. Milwaukee apparently wanted a premium defender to replace Mike Cameron in center field, but they’re taking a pretty big hit offensively in the swap. Gomez strikes out too often to make the slap hitting gig work, and his inability to bunt himself on base in 2009 caused his average to sink to unacceptable levels.
Even with his elite range in the outfield, Gomez is going to have to improve offensively in order to be worth a starting job. With infields taking away the bunt, he’s going to have to get himself on base in other ways, because it’s nearly impossible to justify starting an outfielder with a .286 career wOBA when you’re trying to make the playoffs.
J.J. Hardy is a good player who had a down year. I'm not sure what Carlos Gomez is. Thus far, a pretty big underachiever.
Gomez has been a poor hitter, but is still just 23 with plenty of possible fruitful years ahead of him. The cachet here that the Brewers liked was his defense, which should help the Brewers and their flyball pitching staff. A leap forward offensively may be a long shot to ask for, but perhaps Doug Melvin is hopeful Gomez can experience a Michael Bourn-type breakout.
Yes, he's just now turning 24. But however young, you'd like to see a bit of progress, right? Gomez's seasonal OBPs: .288, .296, .287. That looks like a guy who just doesn't get it, at all. Sure, he did much better while still just a baby in both Double- and Triple-A, but those seasons are starting to seem like a long time ago.
"He's still learning; he has areas to work on,"
I'm far from convinced that Gomez will develop into an above-average hitter, but combined with his defense even something as modest as .275/.325/.400 would make him All-Star caliber.
It's not just a bad OPS, every indication is that he has a horrible approach at the plate. His terrible OBPs are the result of a terrible approach at the plate. 4:1 K to BB rates tell me that he has no clue what's a strike and what's a ball. Nobody develops really until they stop swinging at balls and start swinging at strikes. Batters like that are just too easy to get out. See Jeff Francoeur. Or Corey Patterson.
The down side is that one injury, and this kid is toast. He can’t move over to a corner. You’ve just got to hope he learns how to hit (unlikely) or stays healthy.
He's still learning to play the game.
Alright, fine. I'll say something. This isn't an outright terrible trade. It saves the Brewers a lot of money and that helps them. My favorite player was expensive. Sorry. He was expensive because he was good. This guy is better than Cameron at defense so he's probably an upgrade, but he's just not good at hitting and unless they go out and get some really awesome pitchers it's going to be pretty hard to sell me that this was a good idea. Why? Look what the bottom part of our lineup might look like:
6. Kendall (or new catcher)
That's not even including the suddenly average Corey Hart or whoever ends up playing third (does McGehee decline? does Gamel stumble?). As of today this lineup leans more on Braun, Fielder and to a lesser extent Weeks/McGehee/Hart than ever before. One wrong move and then what? Our defense will be great, but does that even matter when the team is giving up homeruns? (Which, by the way, gave up more than any other team last year.) Sure we save money, but if we spend it on Jarrod Washburn (Jeff Suppan 2.0) or some other mediocore piece of crap then who gives a rip?
Look, the Yankees and Phillies just played in the World Series. Yes, they both have more money than us, but you know what? They each led their league in homeruns. (The Brewers were third.) What does that tell you? The homerun is king and they've removed 35 homeruns from last year's team for two guys who will play better defense, but will be lucky to hit 10 combined. Can this really be considered a good thing?
Off-Base November 6th, 2009
There is a deep hole in my soul right now. It's been about two months now since I have been to Miller Park and the hole is pretty big. I've been trying to fill it up with something, anything, but nothing seems to be working. I've tried it all yoga, reading, crack cocaine, PCP, shadowboxing, jogging (pronounced yogging), everything and nothing seems to work. Perhaps it was divine intervention, perhaps something else but last week I got invited to go on a bus to a Milwaukee Admirals game. Could this be the thing to fill the hole in my life?
In a word, no. In a lot of words, sort of. Let's look at the facts. Read the rest of this entry »
Off-Base November 4th, 2009
You probably don't come to a site called Miller Park Drunk to read about the Bucks. We don't really care, it's our blog we'll write what we want. Don't believe me? Tomorrow we're talking about the Admirals. Seriously.
Brandon Jennings is the most important athlete in Wisconsin not named Rodgers, Fielder or Braun.
There, I said it. It's out there and I can't take it back. After watching the Bucks take on the Chicago Bulls last night, I feel this stronger than anything I've felt since I said that The Happy Youngster was a douchebag. I've made my fair share of Bucks jokes in the past and I've even made fun of Brandon Jennings before, but I had no idea he was this good. I had no idea that he'd be, within three games, the best point guard the Bucks have had since Sam Cassell flew away on his spaceship.
Looking back maybe we should have know. I mean, look at his Wikipedia:
In his senior year of high school, Jennings averaged 32.7 points, 7.5 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 3.7 steals per game and set the school record for points in a season. This performance earned him some of high school basketball’s most prestigious awards: the 2008 Naismith High School Basketball Player of the Year, 2007-08 Gatorade Player of the Year (Virginia), 2008 Parade Magazine Player of the Year and 2008 EA Sports Player of the Year.
I mean, they don't just hand out the awards for "Best High School Basketball Player in the Country" to just anybody. Kenny Anderson (more on him later), Jason Kidd, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Dwight Howard and Kevin Love are a few past winners of the Naismith Award. It's not like this guy just came out of nowhere. Then again as a guy drafted #10 overall in a draft that Bill Simmons called "the worst draft class since the infamous Kenyon Martin Draft in 2000" by a team whose recent draft history includes Joe Alexander and Yi Jianlian (not necessarily saying Yi is a bust, I just like typing his name) he wasn't quite a "sure thing" either. Put it this way, Brandon Jennings didn't even show up for the 2009 NBA Draft because his agent wasn't sure if he'd get picked in the first round (leading to him showing up in the middle of the draft to get his picture taken with Stern.) He hardly played in Europe and everyone forgot about him. One day, this will be considered one of the greatest things that ever happened to both the Bucks and Brandon Jennings. Here's the others: Read the rest of this entry »
Ryan Braun loves him some offseason projects. He doesn't want to be a baseball player. He wants to be Coke, he wants to be Pepsi, he wants to be Chevy, Ford and BMW. Ryan Braun isn't just an All-Star, he's a brand. The name Ryan Braun equals quality and it reaches far beyond the baseball field. Whether it's Ryan Braun's Tavern and Grille, RB8 or Remetee, he sets out to do good things. I like Ryan Braun, he impresses me.
Why should he stop here? He needs to just keep getting bigger and bigger. Obviously the next logical step is movies and boy oh boy, do I have the perfect movie pitch for you Ryan Braun. You want to be a movie star? You want to extend your brand? You want to get laid about 15,000 times more than you do now? Well, I've written you a screenplay that will BLOW YOUR MIND and surely become one of the top box office hits of 2010 (that's right, we're fast tracking this baby!) I have the story that's going to take Ryan Braun from "Major League Baseball Star" to "Bigger than Jesus, Babe Ruth, Leonardo DiCaprio and 80's Michael Jackson combined". I have the idea that is going to make Shaq and his movies like, well, Shaq movies. Are you ready for this? Are you ready for....
When a group of Neo-Nazi's seek to re-animate Hitler and kill all the famous Jewish people in the world, there's only one man who can stop them and his name is Ryan Braun.
It's time for this Jewish All-Star to deliver some suffering of his own - with a baseball bat!