milwaukee brewers December 6th, 2010
Before I could finish my "What are they gonna do?" series, the Brewers went ahead and actually did something. Trading their top prospect, Brett Lawrie, to the Toronto Blue Jays for a proven starter in Shaun Marcum. This is a good trade for the Brewers and the trade is universally liked by experts, insiders and fans.
Shaun Marcum was basically the #1 starter for Toronto last season going 13-8 with a 3.64 ERA and, even better, a 3.74 FIP (a pitching statistic that takes defense out of the equation) shows that ERA is close to his true talent level. He's going to fit in nicely behind Gallardo and Wolf can move to a more natural spot behind him. It's going to be awesome. Everything falls into place. Brewers win the pennant.
Can you tell I like this deal? Here's four things you should know to like it too:
- Marcum averaged more strikeouts per 9 innings (7.60 to 7.40) and less walks per 9 innings (1.98 to 2.25) than everyone's favorite trade target this winter, Zack Greinke. (h/t Brewers Bar)
- Marcum versus non-BOS/TB/NYY: 2.74 ERA, 6.1IP/start, 8.0k/9, 2.0 bb/9, 0.9hr/9, 1.08 WHIP in 21 starts. (h/t Al's)
- If you put Marcum on last year's team he would have been the second most valuable pitcher on the team.
- Unlike all the people who take less money to sign with perennial contenders or California teams, Marcum is from the Midwest and might be convinced to sign long-term.
And he gives great beard!
Get excited! I have a total Marcumer right now.
As for Brett Lawrie the Brewers are losing their best offensive prospect which sucks, but on the bright side some scouts see him not fitting in the infield and needing a move to the outfield. If they are correct his value is much lower as a corner outfielder as compared to a second baseman. (I don't know, that's just what they tell me.) He should be a good offensive player someday and we'll miss that bat one day. That being said, I couldn't be happier to see him go because Brett Lawrie seems like a douchebag. Read the rest of this entry »
What are the Brewers going to do this offseason? Who knows? Doug Melvin has seemed non-committal whenever he's asked about anything and nobody else is talking. Prince Fielder is yet to be traded. Rickie Weeks is yet to be re-signed. Eric Hinske chose the Braves over the Brewers. The Braves! What does it all mean? Did the top stop spinning at the end?
I don't claim to know what they are going to do or even what they could do, but I can idly speculate. That's why we're bringing you the series: What are they gonna do?
Doing nothing is what it has felt like the Brewers have done since CC Sabathia left. Sure, some of the players have changed, but the team has been basically the same. Seth McClung turned into Todd Coffey. Dave Bush turned into Dave Bush. JJ Hardy turned into Alcides Escobar. Mike Cameron turned into Casey McGehee. My 36 waist turned into a 38. The improvements have been minimal, if not non-existent, and the team has remained basically the same.
Of course, we are basically talking about two seasons here. Two seasons that were littered with bad luck, two seasons that might have gone better if pitchers could have hit their projections and two seasons where they didn't come close. Braden Looper had probably the worst season of his career. Manny Parra somehow managed to get worse at baseball, but somehow handsomer. Jeff Suppan was born. The only contribution Doug Davis brought to the team was looking like a douchebag. These weren't the best teams ever fielded, but they weren't as bad as they ended up. They should have been better. So maybe it's time for luck to be on the Brewers side. Maybe it's time to do nothing.
What would a "do nothing" team look like? Read the rest of this entry »
What are the Brewers going to do this offseason? Who knows? Doug Melvin has seemed non-committal whenever he's asked about anything and nobody else is talking. Prince Fielder is yet to be traded. Rickie Weeks is yet to be re-signed. What does it all mean? Did the top stop spinning at the end?
I don't claim to know what they are going to do or even what they could do, but I can idly speculate. That's why we're bringing you the first in a series: What are they gonna do?
Going for it is the plan that pretty much all Brewers fans want to see. Screw the future, we want to win. You would put up with four 90 loss seasons if it resulted in one World Series win (I doubt this), you wouldn't even complain about it (I highly doubt this). After getting a taste of the playoffs and winning baseball a couple of years ago (three years, really?) we have been starving for more ever since, kind of like your sister after that one time. We want to win. The Cubs sucks. The Astros suck. The Cardinals aren't unbeatable. Let's do it. Let's go for it all. Now.
What would the Brewers have to do to make this sort of thing a reality? Well, I would imagine it would look like this:
- Keep Prince Fielder
- Don't trade anyone from the current roster unless that person is Carlos Gomez
- Trade Jeremy Jeffress, Brett Lawrie, Mat Gamel and every single player it would take for Zack Greinke
- Offer Cliff Lee twenty five million per season
- Offer Brandon Webb a 1-year contract loaded with incentives that could see him make $15 million, possibly with a player option for 2012
- Settle on overpaying Carl Pavano
- Sign Rafael Soriano or Grant Balfour to three year $30 million contract
This would give the Brewers a great rotation, solidify the bullpen even more while maintaining the core of the offense. They would be, undoubtedly, the favorites to win the National League Central and probably at least an 8-1 bet to make the World Series. This would be the very definition of "going for it". So what's the problem? Read the rest of this entry »
After two locals reported the Brewers hired someone they didn't really hire (Bobby Valentine and Bob Brenly) a Chicago Sun Times reporter stepped in to scoop the city and report that Ron Roenicke was the new Milwaukee Brewers manager. Hey, great job Milwaukee media!
(To be fair, it's not like he was in the final four candidates or anything.)
Roenicke has spent the past six years working under Mike Scioscia as the bench coach in Anaheim. For that reason alone I like this hiring. Scioscia is probably one of the top five managers in the game right now and he surrounds himself with smart, like minded people. The last two coaches to leave the Angels, Joe Maddon and Bud Black, have had quite a bit of success so let's hope that Roenicke makes it three for three.
Roenicke was by far the underdog compared to the other three candidates. Joey Cora has been considered "ready" for years now despite losing roughly ten braincells every time Ozzie Guillen speaks. Bob Melvin had success in the past and seems to fit the mold of Doug's ideal manager. Bobby Valentine is the most famous and the used car salesman of managerial candidates. He can almost talk anyone into anything, even if that thing is giving him ten million dollars. I watched this video and almost believed he invented the wrap.
(h/t Walkoff Walk)
Ron Roenicke? Never heard of him, but he kind of looks like a nerd with big ears and who wants to hire a nerd?!
Apparently the Brewers do and nerd or not, he's our manager now. He's our nerd and I love him!
And I'm not the only one. Read the rest of this entry »
milwaukee brewers October 27th, 2010
What's the time? Rumor time. What's the time? Rumor time.
Despite not being known as a candidate by Tom Haudricourt until yesterday (and even then it's only because Ken Rosenthal told him) it is now rumored that Bobby Valentine will be the next manager of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Bobby Valentine, currently an ESPN analyst, has been managing since the 1980s, but is most famous for managing the Mets and his stint in Japan (they even made a movie about it). Bobby Valentine has never won his division in Major League Baseball, but he has managed to take two Wild Cards, lose a World Series and win a championship in Japan. So he's not completely incompetent. Still, his resume is far from impressive (his Mets teams predictably had large payrolls) but this has never stopped him from being the most popular managerial candidate for any managerial opening that comes up in any given season. Name a team and Bobby Valentine has been connected to it's managerial position.
At this point it's only a rumor. This time offered up by Bill Scott of the Wisconsin Radio Network (what is with these radio guys and unsubstantiated rumors?) who says that Bobby Valentine would be looking for a three year $10 million dollar contract. When reached for comment Jeff Suppan said "And I thought I was a ripoff." Seriously. THAT. IS. INSANE.
I'm on record as saying that I don't think managers make a big difference as far as game to game goes. It's important for them to manage the personalities in the clubhouse, but as far as game to game goes I don't think they do much of anything. Spending $10 million dollars on someone, money that could be better spent in the draft (where the Brewers pulled a Montgomery Burns last year) or on the team (where they need to find suitable replacements in always important underwhelming starter and past his prime closer positions), is ludicrous and I hope that they don't do it. I hope this rumor turns out to be just as false as the Bob Brenly one. Then we can write off Milwaukee radio as being just as stupid as Milwaukee newspaper. That'd be fun.
As for Valentine himself, he's probably a good manager. He'd probably do a good job. Just like anyone else he has his good qualities and his bad. Let's look at some.
- He claims to have invented the wrap sandwich, choosing to ignore thousands of years of Mexican eating habits.
- He once came back to the dugout wearing a fake mustache after being ejected. Fake mustaches, much like exposed cleavage, is always okay in my book.
- He actually thought this out loud on TV despite it making zero sense:
After a very well executed sacrifice bunt by Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster, Valentine spews out a pseudo-statistic, commenting that a pitcher who bunts well can improve his record by four games -- "changing a 8-8 record into 12-6".
- Along with Tom Selleck, Brad Pitt and David Letterman; Valentine is a Sigma Chi.
- And then there is that whole Whartongate thing.
I don't think Bobby Valentine is the right guy for this team. He wants too much money, he loves media attention too much and he's shown a history to not get along with either his players or his management. Also, he wants ten million dollars.