According to an extremely small sample size of my twitter followers the Bucks aren't quite back, but Brandon Jennings definitely has their attention. Following one player over the rest of the team seems about par for the course for an NBA team so this isn't very surprising. Personally I make no qualms about liking the Bucks now specifically because of this one player so I don't really have a problem with it. He's awesome and it's certainly better than not liking the Bucks at all right? But the more I thought about it, the more I thought that while this sort of behavior is perfectly acceptable for you and me maybe the rest of the Bucks players don't feel the same way. Everyone I talk to says that the past few games at the Bradley Center have been the loudest they have been to in years and it's all because of this one guy. That can't do much for Andrew Bogut's self esteem, right? Then again, what do I know about the Bucks locker room? It's not like I have ever been inside of it, recording their conversations and dictating them on the internet. OR HAVE I. Read the rest of this entry »
Off-Base November 13th, 2009
I have this friend and her friend loves this site. Like loves it, loves it. This person (who I have never met) loves the site an therefore loves me. No, seriously. It's true. I am not making this up. In fact of the 480 facebook fans we have a whopping 32% of them are female! That's like 153 girls reading this site! Do you realize what this all means? Chicks frickin' dig me.
Now look girls I know that you think this is all fun and games, but this is serious business. I'm not some trollop you can just post a few comments on his website and next thing you know I'm taking you out to dinner at a fancy restaurant like Red Lobster. I'm sorry, but it just doesn't work that way. I have feelings, I have emotions, I cried at the end of Wall-E! I'm sophisticated, I watch Mad Men! You can't just mosey on in with your sexy facebook profile pictures and think you're going to horn in on all my riches and move into my lush two bedroom apartment. No, you have to be a special kind of lady to get involved with this guy. There was this one time in high school when my best friend and I made a bet that I couldn't turn the ugliest girl in school (and she was really ugly too, pig tails and glasses! gross!) into the prom queen. Well, I changed that girl and she ended up being beautiful, but she didn't win the prom, she won my heart. I made that bet before I knew her, before I really knew me and that was the night that I realized that it's not what's on the outside that counts. It's what's on the inside.
Oh, kiss me beneath the milky twilight
Lead me out on the moonlit floor
Lift your open hand
Strike up the band and make the fireflies dance
Silver moon's sparkling
So kiss me
Where was I at? Prom? I wonder what ever happened to that girl. Yeah, like I was really going to art school with her. Idiot. Wait, that wasn't it. Oh yeah, chicks digging me that are reading this site.
Girls if this is something that you're really interested in doing I have a few guidelines I'd like for you to follow. A few dealbreakers. A few tips. If you think you're serious about this read ahead, but proceed with caution. It's about to get real. Read the rest of this entry »
I've been reading Al's Ramblings over the weekend and I was shocked at how Al was slowly convincing himself that he really liked this trade. I mean, this is the same guy who thought Corey Hart would be a good center field option and now he's down with a .287 on base percentage? This didn't seem right to me so I shot him an email and decided to engage in a little conversation with him (like we did before). Here's what we came up with. Beware nerdy baseball talk ahead.
MPD: Alright Al I have a bone to pick with you about this Hardy/Gomez trade. Sure, it's a cheap alternative who is great at defense (just like the cheap alternative that is great at defense we have at shortstop), but you of all people should hate this trade. After all you are the one who is constantly talking up the excellence of OXS in predicting runs and you are the one who takes joy in the failures of Jack Wilson. Now, you're okay with a lineup where 1/3 of the players in it have a combined OPS of 650-700 (and that's without including the pitcher.) Seriously, look at this group as it stands now: Read the rest of this entry »
I don't want to talk about Carlos Gomez. Not tonight. Let me just say that my first word was "gross" when I heard about it. GROSS as in "b. Offensive; disgusting." Yeah.
So I'm not talking about this. To properly explain my feelings I will post a few things that other people have said about this trade and you can get where I am coming from.
Carlos Gomez is a young player who swings at too many pitches at the plate. This handcuffs him from taking too many walks and also causes quite a high strikeout rate. From personal experience, Gomez also rarely makes solid contact at the plate, either.
In all aspects, he is a black hole offensively.
To acquire Hardy, the Twins gave up Gomez, an outstanding defender in his own right. Milwaukee apparently wanted a premium defender to replace Mike Cameron in center field, but they’re taking a pretty big hit offensively in the swap. Gomez strikes out too often to make the slap hitting gig work, and his inability to bunt himself on base in 2009 caused his average to sink to unacceptable levels.
Even with his elite range in the outfield, Gomez is going to have to improve offensively in order to be worth a starting job. With infields taking away the bunt, he’s going to have to get himself on base in other ways, because it’s nearly impossible to justify starting an outfielder with a .286 career wOBA when you’re trying to make the playoffs.
J.J. Hardy is a good player who had a down year. I'm not sure what Carlos Gomez is. Thus far, a pretty big underachiever.
Gomez has been a poor hitter, but is still just 23 with plenty of possible fruitful years ahead of him. The cachet here that the Brewers liked was his defense, which should help the Brewers and their flyball pitching staff. A leap forward offensively may be a long shot to ask for, but perhaps Doug Melvin is hopeful Gomez can experience a Michael Bourn-type breakout.
Yes, he's just now turning 24. But however young, you'd like to see a bit of progress, right? Gomez's seasonal OBPs: .288, .296, .287. That looks like a guy who just doesn't get it, at all. Sure, he did much better while still just a baby in both Double- and Triple-A, but those seasons are starting to seem like a long time ago.
"He's still learning; he has areas to work on,"
I'm far from convinced that Gomez will develop into an above-average hitter, but combined with his defense even something as modest as .275/.325/.400 would make him All-Star caliber.
It's not just a bad OPS, every indication is that he has a horrible approach at the plate. His terrible OBPs are the result of a terrible approach at the plate. 4:1 K to BB rates tell me that he has no clue what's a strike and what's a ball. Nobody develops really until they stop swinging at balls and start swinging at strikes. Batters like that are just too easy to get out. See Jeff Francoeur. Or Corey Patterson.
The down side is that one injury, and this kid is toast. He can’t move over to a corner. You’ve just got to hope he learns how to hit (unlikely) or stays healthy.
He's still learning to play the game.
Alright, fine. I'll say something. This isn't an outright terrible trade. It saves the Brewers a lot of money and that helps them. My favorite player was expensive. Sorry. He was expensive because he was good. This guy is better than Cameron at defense so he's probably an upgrade, but he's just not good at hitting and unless they go out and get some really awesome pitchers it's going to be pretty hard to sell me that this was a good idea. Why? Look what the bottom part of our lineup might look like:
6. Kendall (or new catcher)
That's not even including the suddenly average Corey Hart or whoever ends up playing third (does McGehee decline? does Gamel stumble?). As of today this lineup leans more on Braun, Fielder and to a lesser extent Weeks/McGehee/Hart than ever before. One wrong move and then what? Our defense will be great, but does that even matter when the team is giving up homeruns? (Which, by the way, gave up more than any other team last year.) Sure we save money, but if we spend it on Jarrod Washburn (Jeff Suppan 2.0) or some other mediocore piece of crap then who gives a rip?
Look, the Yankees and Phillies just played in the World Series. Yes, they both have more money than us, but you know what? They each led their league in homeruns. (The Brewers were third.) What does that tell you? The homerun is king and they've removed 35 homeruns from last year's team for two guys who will play better defense, but will be lucky to hit 10 combined. Can this really be considered a good thing?
Off-Base November 4th, 2009
You probably don't come to a site called Miller Park Drunk to read about the Bucks. We don't really care, it's our blog we'll write what we want. Don't believe me? Tomorrow we're talking about the Admirals. Seriously.
Brandon Jennings is the most important athlete in Wisconsin not named Rodgers, Fielder or Braun.
There, I said it. It's out there and I can't take it back. After watching the Bucks take on the Chicago Bulls last night, I feel this stronger than anything I've felt since I said that The Happy Youngster was a douchebag. I've made my fair share of Bucks jokes in the past and I've even made fun of Brandon Jennings before, but I had no idea he was this good. I had no idea that he'd be, within three games, the best point guard the Bucks have had since Sam Cassell flew away on his spaceship.
Looking back maybe we should have know. I mean, look at his Wikipedia:
In his senior year of high school, Jennings averaged 32.7 points, 7.5 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 3.7 steals per game and set the school record for points in a season. This performance earned him some of high school basketball’s most prestigious awards: the 2008 Naismith High School Basketball Player of the Year, 2007-08 Gatorade Player of the Year (Virginia), 2008 Parade Magazine Player of the Year and 2008 EA Sports Player of the Year.
I mean, they don't just hand out the awards for "Best High School Basketball Player in the Country" to just anybody. Kenny Anderson (more on him later), Jason Kidd, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Dwight Howard and Kevin Love are a few past winners of the Naismith Award. It's not like this guy just came out of nowhere. Then again as a guy drafted #10 overall in a draft that Bill Simmons called "the worst draft class since the infamous Kenyon Martin Draft in 2000" by a team whose recent draft history includes Joe Alexander and Yi Jianlian (not necessarily saying Yi is a bust, I just like typing his name) he wasn't quite a "sure thing" either. Put it this way, Brandon Jennings didn't even show up for the 2009 NBA Draft because his agent wasn't sure if he'd get picked in the first round (leading to him showing up in the middle of the draft to get his picture taken with Stern.) He hardly played in Europe and everyone forgot about him. One day, this will be considered one of the greatest things that ever happened to both the Bucks and Brandon Jennings. Here's the others: Read the rest of this entry »