16
Jul 13

The Best and Worst of the Milwaukee Brewers 2013 First Half

worstbrewersfirsthalfIt's been awhile since I stole the Best and Worst gimmick from someone else (since the good times in fact,) but I felt this particular season was in more need of it than any before. After all, what season could be in need of some positivity more than this one? Put it this way, I debated with myself all morning on whether or not it should be called 'the Worst and Worst.' It's been that kind of season. So, without much further adieu let's get into this thing.

BEST: Jean Segura and Carlos Gomez

That's it. That's all the bests I have.

Okay, maybe not, but that is certainly how this season has felt at times. Nothing has really been great and these two have provided somewhere between 94 and 98 percent of all 2013 positive Brewers memories and I feel like that is a low estimate. They've been just plain fun to watch which is kind of funny because they play exactly the kind of baseball that the manager we don't care for loves to play. That's not to say that their style of baseball is wr0ng or that Roenicke's strategy is right, but these two have proven themselves time and again to be the exceptions that prove the rule. While simultaneously proving that they, as players, rule.

Jean Segura is young and probably not this good with his high BABIP and all, but he has made that Greinke trade look like an absolute steal (even while Johnny Hellweg gives up a homerun on eight out of every ten pitches thrown) and shortstop looks solidified for some time to come. He probably won't be an All-Star again, but he won't be Yuniesky Betancourt ever so he's basically the greatest shortstop in Brewers history. (White guys not included.)

Gomez on the other hand... actually, let's do this right. Continue reading →


20
Jun 13

Told Yu So: Deal with it, Doug

IMPORTANT FACT COURTESY OF FRIEND OF THE BLOG @ATMEILLER

Since May 8th, 36 games, 125 plate appearances, Yuniesky Betancourt's OPS is .382. .382 is Buster Posey's career OBP. Jeff Bianchi continues to rot away on the bench while Runnin Ron plays the single worst player in MLB every day at multiple positions. Fire Ron Roenicke.

yuniallstarLost in the shuffle of Scootermania, Gallardo pitching good again, a 7-3 run, Ryan Braun being caught doing steroids and suspended for 100 games (wait, he wasn't? Then what the hell was Witardo talking about?), Carlos Gomez making people forget about Ryan Braun and the impending tailgate-pocalypse known as Pants Party 3, we've kind of forgot about Yuniesky Betancourt. The last time we checked on him he was doing good things. Playing first base and hitting homeruns, doing "clutch-y" things and we thought, hey, maybe we like him? Maybe he's not the devil because he's not playing shortstop? My actual quote:

When the Brewers brought back Yuni B, it was like seeing your ex-girlfriend walk back through your door. Only instead of the moderately attractive girl you remember she was sporting a neck tattoo that read "SLUT" and a Nickelback t-shirt that barely hid her pregnant belly. And the baby is yours. The Brewers re-signing Betancourt felt somewhat like the worst thing ever, but it wasn't.

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist which is to say I was wrong. It was the worst thing ever. Continue reading →


20
Jun 13

Homestander: Pants Party Edition

HomestanderEach Thursday preceding Brewers weekend home stands, Tyler Maas will help prepare fans for all elements of the upcoming series with the Homestander. Tyler prints Wisconsin-themed shirts at Forward Fabrics and contributes to such fine publications as Milwaukee Magazine and The A.V. Club Milwaukee. All views, naughty words and weirdo sentiments are his own. Follow him at @TylerJamesMaas.

After Vince and I spent countless hours of planning, crowdsourcing, screen printing, drinking a bunch in the 400 level of Miller Park and calling it a meeting, and anticipating for weeks, Pants Party weekend is nearly upon us. For those of you who will be there, I'm excited to get blotto in your presence. So excited, in fact, that I can't even think of an intro. I hope you guys asked off Monday.

Continue reading →


07
Jun 13

Homestander: Critical Thinking

Each Thursday preceding Brewers weekend home stands, Tyler Maas Vince Morales will help prepare fans for all elements of the upcoming series with the Homestander. Tyler prints Wisconsin-themed shirts at Forward Fabrics and contributes to such fine publications as Milwaukee Magazine and The A.V. Club Milwaukee. All views, naughty words and weirdo sentiments are his own. Follow him at @TylerJamesMaas @vintown

There is a witch hunt going on in the MLB and it involves our favorite son, Ryan Braun. I don't know why, but there is. The mainstream media is a big part of it because they want to get the scoop, they want to break the story and they want to get the page views. They learned from the Melky Cabrera situation that he just doesn't get the clicks anymore. They've learned that Alex Rodriguez, once a ratings bonanza of controversy on par with Tiger Woods, just doesn't get the viewers like he used to. In order to strum up some business with this Biogenesis thing, they need a name with some value. A guy who is still good, they NEED Ryan Braun. I guarantee you if someone ends up suspended for this thing (and they shouldn't be unless they fail a drug test, but that's another rant) that the media will tell you that "so and so was suspended, but still no word on Ryan Braun" because "so and so" doesn't get the clicks, but Ryan Braun will. Ryan Braun is forever stung by this thing and it sucks. Whenever there is a thing with PEDs, he will be brought up. Right now, every dumb person I know just assumes that Ryan Braun did PEDs and he WILL be busted soon. There is no burden of proof, only a belief in what ESPN tells you.

v-for-vendetta-creator-muses-on-anonymous-act-L-Bf8KkgWhich is why I say this, don't believe everything you read or see on TV. The media lies. They have an agenda. Sometimes that agenda is protecting their corporate sponsors and sometimes that agenda is to get more viewers. Ryan Braun can be used to fit that agenda. I'm not saying he's guilty or innocent, I'm just saying you need to look at what you know and make up your own decisions. Use critical thinking and stop letting ESPN or whoever else decide things for you. You can do it. We are Anonymous. Continue reading →


03
Jun 13

Scooter-Mania FINALLY Reaches Milwaukee

ScooterManiaFor being a player who's never played a game in Milwaukee, Brewers fans sure seem to love Ryan Joseph "Scooter" Gennett.

The fan base's blind affection so generously heaped upon the childlike frame of the scant second baseman is probably on account of two main reasons. First, and most important, Gennett hit .297, stole eight bases and tallied 60 hits through 50 games in Nashville this season. Not bad at all. But it seems like the primary reason fans have been ardently clamoring for Scooter to climb the prospect ladder is--aside from him not being Rickie Weeks--is on account of how he's managed to play slightly above average triple-A ball while still being able to shop at Gap Kids. Well, the boisterous and largely-unintelligible cries of Team Scooter were finally heard today, as the impish infielder was promoted to the Milwaukee Brewers 25-man roster.

Let me start by saying that I harbor no ill will toward Gennett. I wish him loads of success in Milwaukee over the course of a lengthy and memorable career. However, I just don't see that happening. Sure, the little guy is the sixth rated prospect in the Brewers minor league system, but that same minor league system is considered to be among the worst in baseball. The Expos have better prospects waiting in the wings. Being the sixth best prospect the Brewers has to offer is as much a badge of honor was being one of the best actors in Fast & Furious 6, a touring musician in support of Josh Groban or third runner-up in the Miss Vermont pageant.

We live in an age of baseball that's, thankfully, less reliant on a player's ability to "look" like a pro and "show he has the tools to last in this league" and 5,000 other things you've heard Harold Reynolds say. I won't pretend to be an expert on advanced metrics, but I do appreciate that player evaluation has advanced beyond looking at how an adult man looks in a uniform, how hard he can hit a baseball and how he "leave it all on the field." I love the increased acceptance of defense-first players on rosters throughout the league and how ballparks are adding OBP to their jumbotron stats.

Yet Scooter-Mania seems to hint that no matter how much we know about baseball and how much the way we watch the game has changed for the better, it's nothing compared to the allure of seeing a man with a unique body-type play at a level and with a frequency he shouldn't be permitted. Scooter Gennett is baseball John Kuhn. In the same way the collective screams of "KUUUUUUUUHN!!!" showed Lambeau Field preferred to put the fate of 4th and 1 in the incapable hands of a white, 250-pound undrafted backup fullback from Shippensburg instead of Ryan Grant in his prime, is the same logic that goes into seeking out a 5'10" (listed--he's maybe 5'6") and 150-pound singles hitter taken in the 16th round to take over at second base for a struggling-but-proven first round pick/former All-Star with three 20-homer run seasons to his credit and a career OBP that's higher than any single season Gennett has had since low-A ball.

As a whole, we like "scrappy" and "gritty" players because they're like us. They weren't blessed with the bodies to be able to succeed in professional sports. When an Eckstein or a Gennett squeezes through the cracks, it's a victory for us. Maybe we can do something with our life someday. Maybe we will get that raise so we can finally buy that boat or trick that cute bartender into going on a date with us. It's all kind of sad. And when the anomaly has a nickname like "Scooter," we're eating out of his hand.

I might be wrong (and I really hope I am), but I just don't think Scooter Gennett is the answer... unless the question is in regard to a cheap, warm body that will keep fans watching a fourth place team while Doug Melvin tries to free up salary by trading Rickie Weeks for peanuts. Right now, even Jeff Bianchi seems like a better option at second than Gennett does. And if Gennett is so goddamn valuable and meaningful for Milwaukee's future, then why start his arbitration clock, toss him unnecessary service time and rob him of regular at-bats in meaningless contests?

As neat as it is to see a homegrown prospect ascend to the Major League level, I think both the time and the player are wrong. Bookmark this and tweet quotes at me when I'm wrong, but I think Scooter Gennett is more likely to wind up as a funny "Oh my God, I forgot about him!!!" reference we pull out to make friends laugh in 2019 than a productive every day player at the big league level. Rickie Weeks may not be the right man for Milwaukee's 2B job right now (even though he is), but neither is a scrappy-gritty miniature who we can live vicariously through.

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