I don't know about you guys, but I am already sick of all this Ryan Braun stuff. Just tell me if he's suspended or not and for how many games if so. That's all I care about. I don't care how or why or who gave him what, all I care is how it affects my watching him. Seriously. (Quick aside: If he does have the herp like everyone seems to think, you should all shut up about it. I guarantee the girl he got it from was worth every cold sore. If you get my drift. WINK NUDGE.) Let's just forget about it for awhile and talk about happier things. (Also, buy the shirt.)
The 2012 Milwaukee Brewers are going to look a lot different than the 2011 Milwaukee Brewers, but that doesn't mean they aren't going to still be freakin' awesome. I mean, let's just look at the 2012 infield. We lost/we're losing Prince Fielder, but overall the infield is going to be better than it was last year. I know that sounds crazy, but it's true! The Brewers are going to be better than they were last year without Prince. Believe that.
Let's meet the new and improved Milwaukee Brewers 2012 infield.
THE ELDER STATESMAN
NAME: Rickie Weeks
AWARDS: 2003 College Player of the Year, 2011 All-Star, 2009 Cosmopolitan's Sexiest Baseball Player, 3-time Miller Park Drunk Player of the Year
NICKNAME: Miller Park Drunk's Best Friend
BILL JAMES STATISTICAL OUTLOOK: .355/.453
MPD OUTLOOK: Look, Rickie Weeks is my favorite player so I am obviously not going to say anything negative about him here. He's never going to be the greatest player on this team as long as Ryan Braun exists, but he is highly above average at a premium position and he's ours. He is the man. Say something bad about him and I will sock your nose.
NAME: Alex Gonzalez
STATUS: Not Yuni
AWARDS: 1999 All-Star, 2003 World Series Champion
NICKNAME: The internet says it's "Sea bass", but I think we can do better than that. Ideas: A-Gone, A-Gonz, Gonzo, AlGo, Gonzy, Alex "Shortstop"Gonzalez, Gonzamania, Alistair Gonzawley, Big Al, Beaker
BILL JAMES STATISTICAL OUTLOOK: .278/.381
MPD OUTLOOK: As the #1 Yuni defender allow me to say this: Alex Gonzalez is a pretty big upgrade over Yuni. Could actually see a slight statistical uptick from playing in Miller Park. He will still hit towards the bottom of the order and he could even hit exactly the same, but he'll be a better defender and that's what we'll need if we're going to be starting this next guy.
THE VETERAN SLUGGER
NAME: Aramis Ramirez
STATUS: Holy crap, can you believe Aramis Ramirez is a Brewer?
AWARDS: 2-time All-Star, 2008 Hank Aaron Award, 2011 Silver Slugger
NICKNAME: Rammy (not to his face)
BILL JAMES STATISTICAL OUTLOOK: .350/.500
MPD OUTLOOK: The closest replacement to Prince Fielder we have and for the price in comparison to what Prince will get I think it's a good one. Sure, he'll be awful at defense and he might decline in the later years, but the bat plays and I think he gives the Brewers a great chance to compete in 2012. Like Alex Gonzalez I could also see a few more balls leaving the ballpark because of Miller Park. Also, he's replacing Casey McGehee who was clearly a burden on this team last season. Really loved this signing and can't wait to see him play for us.
NAME: Mat Gamel
STATUS: Please be good.
NICKNAME: Gammy, Mat with one T
BILL JAMES STATISTICAL OUTLOOK: .342/.476
MPD OUTLOOK: If he hits that I will be very pleased. Mat Gamel isn't the Ryan Braun 2.0 we all want him to be, but he might be Lyle Overbay 2.0 and that's pretty valuable for the Brewers at this time. If he can get on base at that clip and hit around 20 homeruns the Brewers should be looking real nice next season.
According to this dude at SweetSpot's calculations the Brewers are better off. Here's what he says:
McGehee to Ramirez
Offensive difference: +51 runs
Defensive difference: -10 runs
Yuni to Sea-bass
Offensive difference: +2 runs
Defensive difference: +21 runs
Fielder to Gamel
Offensive difference: -28 runs
Defensive difference: 0 runs
That's +36 runs. Woo.
Beyond that though I think we'll just be happier with this crew. Casey McGehee, as good as a person that he is, drove us frickin' nuts last year. It'll be nice to have some consistency and reliability at third base for the first time since Jeff Cirillo left town. Alex Gonzalez should prove himself to be a perfectly acceptable major league shortstop. While Mat Gamel will be just fun to watch. He won't hit even close to Prince, but it's always fun to see the young guys you drafted come up and do something, anything worthwhile.
2012 should be fun.