Spring Training: A Tale of Two Brewers
|I wish we could do cool stuff like that.|
|Thank God we don't have to do stuff like that!|
In a spring training game (the tie) the other day, Trevor Hoffman came in to pitch during the 7th and the music guy played Hell's Bells. Trevor Hoffman was not happy.
"I hope we can scrap that," he said. "Everybody gets a mulligan."
I'm assuming that this means he only wants to hear that song when he is about to close in a real game and if that's the case, that's fine. Some, however, are speculating that this means that he wants to leave that song behind in San Diego and if that's case I have just one thing to say to him.
Listen, Trevor. You are one of the greatest closers of all time. All time great. You practically invented the entrance music, man. Maybe we're paying you too much and someone cheaper could do the same job, but that doesn't matter. You're with us now and we love you, but you don't you dare change your entrance music. DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT. I mean, how would you like it if you went to a WWE show and Stone Cold Steve Austin came out to something besides broken glass? You wouldn't like it would you? OF COURSE YOU WOULDN'T. NOBODY WOULD! That's crazy talk, man. Do you want nobody to like you? Because that's what you are going to do if you don't come out to Hell's Bells. So, just kick the freakin' AC/DC already!
Projection systems are crazy to me. I don't really understand how anyone could write one and have it work. I tried to write a projection system once and the Brewers ended up going 24-185. Clearly, something was wrong with my math. (In my defense, the team did give 25 starts to Ruben Quevedo that year.)
CHONE just released their updated 2009 projections and things don't look good for the Brewers as they are currently penciled in to go 81-81. Does this mean they will go 81-81? Probably not. The way these projection systems work is they play each season 420,491 times and then average out all the numbers, add 3 and then divide by Pi. Or something. This is much worse than Baseball Prospectus who have the Brewers projected at 86-76 and The Hardball Times who projected them at 83-79 back in January. This is most likely due to CHONE's low projections on Gallardo, Looper and Braun. (CHONE is basically an average of the past four years (with some extra math thrown in) so Braun and Gallardo are too young to have proper data and Looper hasn't been starting that long. At least I hope that's why.)
Honestly they aren't that far off. This is an 83-86 win team with a LOT of upside. Almost every player on offense could be expected to have a better 2009 than 2008 which is really kind of scary when you think about it. Last year's Braun without the injury and 2007 Fielder could carry this team to the playoffs on their own, imagine what they'd do with an improved Weeks, Hardy, Hall and Hart. It's frightening to think of what this offense is capable of and with the clear favorite in the NL Central sending a guy to the OF that only played 20 out there last year and has only played more than 125 games TWICE in his 9 year career, it's easy to get excited.
But that's all a post for another day, today is about Spring Training Game #1 which is actually starting right this second.
I was just reading a blog about fantasy baseball (Are you shocked that I play fantasy baseball? You shouldn't be, I do four posts a day about the Brewers in the middle of February. Do I seem like I have a life?) and I realized that this season I am going to break one of the biggest fantasy baseball rules.
Beware the homer pick: Everyone knows the danger for picking a player from your favorite team: you're already invested so heavily, why make it worse? There is no need to die two deaths when the Jays lose, why put yourself through that? Additionally, you'll cheer for the Jays forever while dudes on your fantasy teams come and go. Remember that when you're hoping the Jays "only beat Joba 1-0, with a home run from Vernon Wells."
Now, I'm in a keeper league and we haven't re-drafted yet but I have set my keepers already. I think I've done a pretty fine job of keeping all my undervalued guys and setting myself to bid on some big free agents. Of the players I've kept two stick out:
SP Yovanni Gallardo
OF Corey Hart
Obviously, the Yovanni pick is scary as hell. He missed just about all of last season and the chances of him being injured again are off the board in Vegas. I can live with it though because if he stays healthy this is HIS team and I think this team is pretty damn good. Keeping Corey Hart, however, is proof that I am certifiably insane. I wrote yesterday about how much he frustrates me as a Brewer and it's multiplied quite a bit when he's also on my fantasy team. (Thank god I was out of the running last September.) I am really nervous about him, but at the same time need his 25/25 potential at the price I have him for.
Now, having two guys from your team is not that big of a deal. Everyone does that. What truly worries me is what I am going to do in the upcoming draft. I have money to spend. I need a middle infielder. Middle infielders available include Rickie Weeks and JJ Hardy. I also need an elite corner power guy. Prince Fielder is available. I need a somewhat cheap outfielder. Mike Cameron is there. There are other players available, but in each of these instances Brewers are my Plan B (Plan A in JJ's case) and that scares the crap out of me.
Anyone who hasn't signed up with MLB.tv yet has no need to rush because the game will not be available. The game will be on WTMJ-AM where we'll get our first taste of Bob Uecker and his new Cubs lovin' buddy Cory Provus. I can't wait to hear Suppan give up homeruns to Matt Holliday and Jack Cust, followed by Provus telling us that Carlos Zambrano would NEVER do something like that (kidding!).
Did you know that all of the spring training games will be broadcast in some shape or form? Between WTMJ, Brewers.com and FSN-Wisconsin all the games are covered. That's pretty sweet, but also too bad because this spring training has to share the spotlight with the World Baseball Classic (which I still can't figure out if I care about or not.) Regardless, I'm looking forward to hearing Bob Uecker's voice tomorrow even if the game and it's outcome mean nothing.