20
Sep 12

Norichika Aoki needs some help to win Rookie of the Year

I am going to say something right now that a lot of Brewers fans might not be prepared to hear: Norichika Aoki is not going to win the Rookie of the Year award this season. He won't even be close.

Bryce Harper is a lock for the NL Rookie of the Year award. Bryce Harper is hitting .262/.333/.459 and playing center field (well) on a playoff team as a NINETEEN YEAR OLD. That's kind of amazing. When I was 19 I listened to Kid Rock and worked in a warehouse. I spent all my money on DVDs and alcohol. I was a complete loser with no direction and no hope for the future. It was kind of like now, but I didn't have a cool blog and my girlfriend was less attractive and kind of a weirdo. (Take that, life.) There was no way I could have ever been a starting center fielder in the major leagues. Even if I had the talent that I genetically lack, I still wouldn't have been responsible enough to handle what Bryce Harper is doing right now. What I am trying to say is I hate Bryce Harper. He's better at life than me so screw him.

On the other hand Norichika Aoki is 30. He's hitting a slick .293/.362./.438 that actually makes him a better hitter than Bryce, but he plays right field and his defense is worse. There are a lot of arguments to made that Norichika Aoki is a better player than Bryce Harper this season and that is a very good argument to make. Besides the homerun category Aoki is better or close in nearly every statistical category. Continue reading →


17
Sep 12

GUEST POST: A famous sportswriter on the MVP race

The NL MVP race is heating up and Ryan Braun looks like he should be the favorite, but he's not because, well, you know. Tyler Maas already chimed in on this over at the AV Club. Now, we asked a very famous and prestigious sportswriter from CBS/ESPN/Fox/USA Today to add his two cents to the argument. Here is what he says.

A little boy walked up to me the other day. He was straight out of a Hallmark card. Baseball glove, backwards hat and one of those t-shirt jerseys of his favorite baseball player, Buster Posey, that hung just a bit too loose on the young man. His dad recognized me from the paper, he thanked me for my years of excellent work (you were too kind) and introduced me to his young son Jonny. The boy looked at me, eyes full of wonder and a future so bright it nearly blinded me, and asked "Mistah Sportswritah sir, is Bustah gonna win the MVP?" I patted the young boy on the head and said "He has my vote, son."

This is what the 2012 NL MVP race is all about. Children's favorite baseball player's winning baseball's most prestigious award. If I had it in me I'd vote for Chipper Jones because of all he's done for Major League Baseball in his career. Or maybe I'd vote for Bryce Harper who has taken the Nationals from an also-ran to a World Series favorite. Sure, their numbers don't look as good as Buster's, but their hard work and determination display the kind of qualities you would like to see in every young man. They aren't ghetto thugs who only play baseball in between getting tattoos. They are heroes who kids love and look up to. Just like I looked up to Johnny Bench and hated Reggie Jackson, these kids look up to Buster Posey and hate all the me-first, money grabbing homerun hitters of today.

Okay time to come clean on something. I voted for Barry Bond and I voted for Mark McGwire. I might have even sent out a Christmas card of Mark McGwire and I standing near home plate at Busch Stadium the year he hit all those homeruns. That sure didn't make my wife happy. So unhappy that she left me, but at the time it seemed like a good idea. A lot of things did. It was a different time then. I was young (45) and I didn't know any better. Seeing these great heroes, these Greek Gods in baseball form play the way that those guys did it was hard not to get swept up in it. Back then it was all about stats and numbers. Role models be damned. It was a very hedonistic time in baseball's history and some of it's darkest days.

When we found out the truth about those guys it was tough, but it allowed us into this age of enlightenment. You see, numbers are no longer what's important. Sure, they help. Matt Holiday's 27 dingers and 96 RBIs are impressive, but you take one look at that team and you know that it's Yadier Molina's team. He is their emotional core, their hero and their MVP. Take Yadi away and you have the Houston Astros. Just stating the facts, but that's what matters. The MVP is about more than who has the best batting average or who has the most RBIs. They are about the intangibles and winning. Before I vote for the MVP I ask myself four questions:

  • Did this guy's team make the playoffs? (most important)
  • Is this guy a stand-up guy? (most important)
  • Will I at any point in my career regret this vote? (most important)
  • Is this guy a hero to little kids? (most important)

It's not a perfect science. For example I got it wrong last year when I voted for Ryan Braun. He seemed to meet all the criteria and then some, but after a few months we all learned the awful truth about Ryan Braun. He was a cheater and he let down America's youth. I wouldn't want my son watching him, even if he did talk to me. He didn't end up getting suspended, but it was true. That's how things work in this country. I've never regretted a vote more in my entire life and that includes the time I tried to write Mark McGwire into the Hall of Fame while he was still playing. I regret that vote more than my ex-wife regrets marrying me. (Sorry, Ethel.) I'd love to put an asterisk on that vote and that award because Ryan Braun let me down and he also let down a nation of children. I will never vote for Ryan Braun again and neither will most of my sportswriter friends. It doesn't matter how many home runs he hits.

Not when there are guys like Buster Posey out there. In my mind he is the hands down MVP. David Wright? Great hitter, but he is clearly unable to carry his team to wins. Not a winner. Andrew McCutcheon? Definitely a "dark horse," but he's a bit too "street" for me. Matt Holiday? He's not Yadier Molina. Yadier Molina? He's not Buster Posey. And he's Mexican. Or Puerto Rican. Whatever.

Buster Posey is baseball's white knight and we are blessed to have him in our game. Unlike the Sosa's and Bonds' of years past he isn't a false idol. He is a true Greek God worthy of our worship and if I have anything to say about it he is the 2012 National League MVP. This votes for you, little Jonny!


13
Sep 12

The Brewers are a good bet to win the World Series (if they make the playoffs)

Hi. The Brewers are one game over .500 for the first time in the history of baseball (or so it seems) and are suddenly very much in the Wild Card Race. This is happening. So let's talk about betting on them to win the World Series.

Brewers World Series Betting Odds (OddsShark.com)
November 11, 2011: 22/1
March 6, 2012: 28/1
April 22, 2012: 35/1
May 28, 2012: 60/1
July 3, 2012: 65/1
August 20th, 2012: 300/1

As a fan it's not hard to see why things got like this. The Brewers just got worse and worse and their inability to win on a regular basis is well documented. You could have put the Brewers at a million to one on August 20th and not a lot of people would have jumped on it. Not after the K-Rod: closer experiment. Not after being swept by the Rockies. Not after dropping two of three to the Phillies. The Brewers were done. They were playing out the string. They were biding their time until the offseason. Then they got hot and..

Brewers World Series Betting Odds (Bovado)
TODAY: 40/1

The Brewers making the playoffs is still a long shot. Despite being three games out their playoff odds sit at only 7.1 percent. The Cardinals and Dodgers start a four game series tomorrow (a series that suddenly looks like Timmy vs. Jimmy) that could see one of the two take a big chunk out of the other and take a big lead. After that the Cardinals play nine against the Astros and Cubs that could see them lock this thing up. Meanwhile, the Pirates start a four game series against the Cubs and then head home to face off against the Brewers in a series that could decide one of the two team's playoff fate, then move on to face the Astros. Basically what I am trying to say is that the Cubs and Astros suckiness could ruin things for everyone. We're having a lot of fun right now, but it's pretty hard to expect the Cubs to do anything to help us out. They're like a Cubs fan who gets you pregnant. Don't expect any help or monetary support. We're on our own. Continue reading →


12
Sep 12

500 Reasons the Brewers are .500

The Brewers are at .500! 71 wins and 71 losses! They are even in the wins and losses column! And everyone is very excited about this!

It's kind of hilarious when you think that one year ago today the Brewers were in first place, fourteen games over .500 and everyone was miserable because they had just lost 3 out of 4 to the Phillies and 5 out of 6 overall. Everyone was sure that the Brewers sucked and that they weren't going to win the World Series. Talk about your white people problems. Here's what we wrote at the time:

Let's say instead of the Brewers losing 5 in a row to the Cardinals and Phillies that they won them all. That'd have been awesome right? They'd be number one on ESPN and everyone would be calling them World Series favorites. Only now they play the Rockies and the Reds and instead of playing them like I think we're going to play them, they lose five. Does that make the Brewers a playoff team who can't close the deal? Does that make them a team that can't "get up" for the lesser games? Because right now the Brewers are a playoff team who, apparently, "choke against elite starters" or "can't beat good teams" and I just don't see the difference. Losses are loses. This weekend sucked, but consider this:

  1. Rickie Weeks is back.
  2. The Brewers magic number is ten. A combination of Brewers wins and Cardinals losses equaling ten and this is done. Sure, it could go til the end of the season, but it could be over by next weekend or it could be over by Sunday. Relax.

Last year we had a team on the verge of clinching a division that was all but guaranteed a playoff spot and we were miserable. Now we have a team that is at .500 and we are through the roof. Baseball.

But who cares about all that? You can't live in the past, you can only live in the now and that's a good thing because right now the Brewers are pretty awesome. Baseball is pretty fun. So how did this happen? Well, for starters there are these 500 things.

Continue reading →


07
Sep 12

TRL Friday 2: Beer, Playoffs, 2013 payroll and more

So the other day I tell someone my name. I say "Hey, my name is Vince" and they get all excited and say "Whaaat!? VINCE!? You must be Italian!" Umm, no I'm not actually. "HUH!?" they say, "How would you ever get the name Vince if you weren't Italian?" Because that's what my parents named me when I was born?

The thing is that this isn't the first time this has happened to me. It happens all the time. Like several times per year. I wonder if this ever happens to Vince Carter. Or Vincent Jackson. Or Vince McMahon. I bet Vince McMahon would murder someone for saying something like that.

So, why do people think that Italians own the name Vince? When I was looking in a baby name book I didn't see an asterisk next to the name Vince and big bold letters that said ITALIANS ONLY. Was there supposed to be? Am I breaking some sort of name code? Am I going to get whacked?

Anyways, we better get this TRL Friday over with before the mob comes for me so let's get to the questions. Continue reading →

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