31
Aug 12

TRL Friday: Fire Doug Melvin, Apocalypses and more

Going to try something new on Fridays that we'll call TRL Friday. Basically you (you) send me questions on Twitter and I (Vince) answer them here on the blog. (I should admit I stole this idea from my buddy Tom.) I'll keep doing it as long as I get questions. So hit me up @millerparkdrunk hashtag TRL AOL keyword baseball Ask Jeeves. Cool? Cool. Now let's go.

mgnirk asks if we think Doug Melvin's job is in jeopardy.

Short answer: No.

Long answer: Hell no.

While this season has been a huge disappointment and Mark Attanasio is probably not too happy about it he still has to realize what a great team Doug Melvin put together. He absolutely nailed the Aramis Ramirez and Norichika Aoki signings. The Lucroy extension is looking good. The rotation has been one of the better ones around and that's with Shaun Marcum missing a large amount of time with an injury. You can't fire your GM for the bullpen's performance especially when your top two (who never had ERAs close to 4 in their career) post 5+ ERAs. I don't think anyone could have seen that coming. One of the two maybe, but no way both.

In retrospect they probably should have gotten another decent bullpen arm in the offseason. Jose Veras was basically expected to be the number three guy out there and, well, maybe someone who is traded straight up for Casey McGehee isn't the best choice for that role. Just saying.

SecondHandStore wants to know which APOCALYPSE would be worse: Cat, Duck, Zombie, or Robot?

Well, obviously, the answer is robot. Have you seen the future in the Terminator movies? That place is bleak, man. There is nothing redeeming about that place whatsoever. It's like Detroit, but everywhere.

There has been so much zombie stuff on TV and in movies over the past few years that I feel like a zombie apocalypse wouldn't even be that big of a deal. We all know how to kill them, we would all really get off on the fact that we get to kill them and the whole thing would be over in a day or two.

As for the apocalypse I fear the most? Cat apocalypse. They don't make enough Zyrtec in the world for my allergies to handle a Cat apocalypse.

BMWolf7 asks if Rickie Weeks would be faster with less hair.

Who am I, Bill Nye? I don't know science, man.

How about this question: Is it time for Rickie Weeks to get a new hairstyle? The answer is yes.

In 2009 I wrote a post about Rickie looking like Play from Kid N' Play and I am pretty sure he hasn't cut his hair since. Is this Intervention worthy? It does look pretty cool, but enough is enough man. You aren't joining SOJA.

timmyt3477 is wondering if there is a Miller Park Stoner and if not wonders where he can apply.

I don't think there is a Miller Park Stoner, but if I had to do it all over again I might have went with that. (Actually, I wouldn't because I have preemie lungs and smoking makes me cough, but still hear me out.)

Think about it. Drinking makes you all emotional. Last night I drank a bottle of wine and started watching an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer where Angel breaks up with her, but then she goes to the prom and her class gives her an award for saving their lives so many times and then Angel shows up for one last dance. You know what happened? Tears started coming out of my face because of an episode of a TV show that aired 13 years ago. This is definitely the alcohol's fault and not because I am a huge pussy. Drinking is the worst.

Oh, but what does weed do to you? It relaxes you. It makes you feel good. It expands your mind, man. Did you watch yesterday's Brewers loss to the Cubs? With K-Rod blowing the lead and Alfonso Soriano (really) hitting the game winning single? Did you see that? Wasn't it terrible? Now imagine it ON WEED. It was kind of awesome, wasn't it? You saw deep into the soul of this baseball team and saw a scared white tiger that didn't know it's own strength. When Alfonso Soriano hit that ball it didn't phase you. You ate like three bags of Cheetos and stared at your orange fingers for an hour. It was like looking at the back of a five dollar bill, but better. You probably don't even remember who won and you don't care. Why? Because you got glow sticks, that's why. Being the Miller Park Stoner would be awesome. Although I imagine you won't get much writing done.

JakeInWisconsin asks if I'd like to see Zack Greinke return next season.

I guess? I mean, he's really good at baseball and if he wants to play here under a reasonable deal it's pretty hard to say no to that. He's been the 9th best pitcher by WAR in all of baseball over the past three seasons so having a guy like that on your team would be pretty awesome.

That being said I am not really in love with the idea and won't be upset if they don't even try. For one Zack Greinke is going to be really expensive and not only that he'll also require a lot of years which is what always gets you on those contracts. In 2019 I don't want my son bitching about this old weirdo who sucks taking up roster space and payroll. That wouldn't be fun for me. (Then again who even knows if there will be baseball in 2019 after the Cat Apocalypse.) Besides isn't it always fun to start fresh with someone new? Mike Fiers might not be even half as good as Greinke, but he's new and exciting. It's fun to see what he'll do next. We know what Greinke will do next and it will either be really awesome or really frustrating. Forget that. Getting back Zack Greinke would be like getting back together with your high school girlfriend. Sure, she might still be attractive, but you've been there and done that. New is always better. Even if it's not actually better. You know?


29
Aug 12

Yo is my bro

Well it kind of looks like this is going to be Brewers Appreciation Week because I am all about the love right now. These guys deserve it. Aramis Ramirez has been killing the baseball lately and that deserves kudos. I could write twenty five hundred words about Ryan Braun anytime, any place. I could do it every single day if I wanted to. He's that good, but you know who never really seems to get his due? Yo. We hardly ever talk about Yo which is weird because Yo is freaking awesome. Yo is my bro.

Yovani Gallardo has always been outshone by his fellow starters. When the Brewers got Marcum we knew that Marcum would be #2 to Yo, but we still thought about Marcum more. Marcum was new, Marcum was exciting and Yo was still Yo. Then the Brewers got Zack Greinke and Gallardo took a clear backseat. Zack Greinke was a former Cy Young winner with all the potential in the world. He seemed like he was a constant threat to pitch a perfect game or strike out a billion batters. Yo? Yo would get like nine strikeouts and be done by the sixth inning. This was always the perception at least. As it would turn out it was Zack who'd rack up the strikeouts and be done early. Yo would do that too, but he was still the best bet of the three to go deep into a game. (Think Game 1 of the NLDs.) Who knew? Continue reading →


28
Aug 12

Aramis Ramirez is True Blue Brew Crew

When the Brewers first signed Aramis Ramirez I was like "cool, now most of Prince Fielder's production has been replaced and he is not Casey McGehee." I wasn't like Zack Greinke acquisition excited or even Shaun Marcum trade excited. He was just kind of there. You knew he'd be good, but you knew he wouldn't be really exciting either. Aramis Ramirez is just one of those guys who goes to work, hits for his numbers and then goes home. He doesn't run hard on grounders and he isn't super dramatic. He just does his job and at the end of the year you are almost surprised at how good he was.

Or at least that's how it was supposed to be. What we got instead was a dude who makes you mad that the Brewers aren't playing better because he is absolutely killing it this season. He hit. 374 in July, THREE SEVENTY FOUR. He's going to break the Brewers single season doubles record, that's going to happen. He might hit .300 which would be absolutely amazing considering he hit .214 in May. He's made just enough good plays and has a good fielding percentage at third base that he's being called a good third baseman and will probably get some Gold Glove votes. Really, this is actually happening. He's been good for 4.7 WAR so far this season. Prince Fielder? A mere 3.7 WAR. Prince who? Aramis is third among all ML 3B in wOBA which, again, is amazing when you consider he hit .214 in May. Aramis Ramirez has been a revelation and he is putting up one of the great Brewer hitting seasons of all time. Continue reading →


22
Aug 12

Brewers no longer hungry for the Wolf

The Brewers released Randy Wolf today. A curious move considering they are about to shut down two starters, but an understandable move nonetheless. Randy Wolf has not been very good in 2011. He has been unlucky, but luck can only account for so much. Anyone who has watched him pitch this season knows that no matter how hard he worked or how well he was throwing, he was always hittable. I don't want to throw around the S word because Wolf was a lot better than that dude, but there was the same sense of "the Brewers are going to need to score a lot of runs today" when he pitched. Fair? Probably not, but that's the way it worked out.

When the Brewers signed Randy Wolf here is what we said:

Is it too many years? Not really. You can expect Wolf to be average to above average this year with a slight drop off next year and then anything can happen in the third year. (Hopefully.) He could age well or he couldn't. I've been staring at his Baseball Reference page like it was the Carrie Prejean sextape for about two weeks now trying to figure him out and I think I'm getting there. Randy Wolf has only been awesome twice, last year and 2002. Don't expect him to be awesome. Yet he's only been crappy twice, his rookie year (doesn't count) and 2006 when he was recovering from Tommy John surgery. Don't expect him to be crappy either. After that every season of his career has been average to slightly above average and if he can do that, the Brewers will be extremely happy and you should be too.

Continue reading →


21
Aug 12

Take Me Out To The Cubs Game: A Short Story

He grew up a Cubs fan just like his dad did. As a kid his dad would sit him down in front of the TV, turn on WGN and the two of them would spend a summer day with Harry Caray. It was a ritual as a kid, but then he got older and friends and girls and other things got in the way. He grew up and he didn't watch as much Cubs baseball with his dad as he used to. He didn't watch any at all really. Now that he's older he doesn't consider himself much of a baseball fan, more of a football guy. He probably couldn't even tell you who won the World Series last year, but he did like the Cubs. He loved the idea of it more than anything else. "Did you know that a guy lived his whole life without ever seeing the Cubs in the World Series? I hope that's not me." He'd say and he meant it too. The Cubs were his team. Forever and always.

He had a son of his own now and he figured he'd be a Cubs fan just like him. Harry Caray wasn't around and half the games weren't even on WGN anymore, but it didn't matter to him. He was a Cubs fan and his son would be too. He didn't realize that things were different now. His son couldn't relive his youth just like he couldn't suddenly become his father. His son didn't want to watch a baseball game on TV, not when there are X-Boxes and Nintendo DSes and interwebs to be played. His son didn't want to play catch with a baseball, he wanted to play a game of baseball... on his 360. Despite his best efforts he could not get his son to care about the Cubs of Chicago. The world had changed, his son didn't live in his world anymore and the man didn't realize it. Like Jack after he got off the island he wanted to go back.

A game. That's would fix things. If only his young son could see the Cubs live and in person he could finally see how great it is to live in the world as a Cubs fan. Cubs fans are like a big happy family, he thought. After a game he would see this and his son could join the family. Then they'd be closer, then they'd have something to share. Something just for them. He looked at tickets online, but Wrigley Field was just too expensive even with the Cubs not playing well. Between the drive into the city and the parking and the food and everything else he knew there was no way he could justify it to his wife. Plus, she'd probably want to come with which was out of the question to him. This was a father and son thing and she couldn't come. (Besides he could use a break.) He couldn't figure out how to afford the trip. The trip that would make his son love his team as much as he did. The trip that would make him and his son feel more like him and his father. And then it came to him. The answer was right in front of him all along: Wrigley North.

Miller Park was not only closer, easier to get to and more comfortable, it was also cheaper. He could hop on the expressway from the North Suburbs and be there in no time. He could be back before midnight and not spend nearly as much as he would downtown. It was perfect and it's not like there wouldn't be plenty of Cubs fans in attendance. They don't call it Wrigley North for nothing. He bought the tickets and August 20th they would go.

The ride up was more of the same for their relationship. The son played his video games while the dad drove. He tried to talk, but the son was too into his video game. Just like always, but the actual baseball game? That was different. His son was into it. His son stood and cheered, he laughed and he was in awe of every homerun. "I did it," he thought "I made my son a Cubs fan." He'd never felt prouder as a father.

The Brewers entered the bottom of the fifth and with the Cubs leading 3-1 it occurred to the man that his son's first Cubs game would be a win. This excited him to no end and he couldn't hold it in. He asked his son if he thought the Cubs were going to pull this thing off to which his son replied "yeah, maybe." He liked that. He liked that his son didn't count his chickens before they hatched. After all, there was a lot of baseball left to be played.

The bottom of the fifth got rolling and the Cubs remembered they were the Cubs. The Brewers went off on them for eight runs and any hope of a Cubs win probably went with them. When Jonathan Lucroy hit his second homerun the dad felt bad. He remembered how he felt as a kid when his dad took him to a game and he saw the Cubs get destroyed. That was so long ago, but the wounds still felt fresh. He wanted to make his son feel better at this moment so he turned to console him. Only his son didn't need any consoling. He was on his feet, cheering and high fiving strangers. His son was as happy as he'd ever seen him. His son was a Brewers fan.

The father felt betrayed. How did this happen? How could this happen? Where did I go wrong? He couldn't grasp why his son wouldn't want to be apart of the same family that he was a member of. It didn't add up. So he asked him. The boys answer did not surprise him because he had heard it before many times throughout his life. He did not, however, ever expect to hear the words from his son. These words were never supposed to be said by his own flesh and blood. His son's words were simple yet biting. Short yet pointed. There were only three of them, but the father felt every single one of them deep in his heart.

It's been said that children make you want to live your life over. That the world through their eyes is so much better than the world through your own. This is not something the man thought about that day, but it is something he probably should have because his son's words were the truth. A truth he should have learned a long time ago. A truth his father should have told him. The truth, as the boy said, is this:

"The Cubs suck."

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