We now bring you part two of our e-mail conversation with Al of Al's Ramblings for The Miller Park Drunk E-Mail Show. Part two is a bit longer than part 1 as we get into Rickie Weeks, Mike Cameron, post-2009, potential trades, JJ Hardy, Manny Parra and the future of the team. We started to hit a groove towards the end there and we're happy with the results. This is probably the most actual analysis you'll ever see us do, so enjoy it while you can.
MPD: Bill Hall is a great example of casual fans not thinking things through. Bill Hall was beloved for hitting those 35 home runs, then was considered an overpaid let down (both with the bat and the glove) as a center fielder. Last season he was routinely booed, the fans wanted Branyan and his numbers didn't do much to prove anyone wrong. Now here we are in 2009 and he's the same player he was last year, but now he should be the starting second baseman. How does that make sense? Continue reading »
This is a baseball blog that hardly talks about baseball so I thought we'd try something a little different this week and you know, actually talk about baseball. To do this I enlisted some help and had an email chat with Al Bethke of Al's Ramblings, one of my favorite Brewers blogs. Al mostly concentrates on the sabermetric side of the Brewers and generally takes a contrarian viewpoint on most things. When it's all said and done he ends up being right a whole lot more than he is wrong which kind of makes him annoying (I kid.) It got kind of long so we are going to break it into two parts, with part two tomorrow.
Miller Park Drunk: Okay, let's kick this thing off Al. One thing that I have written about in the past that has gotten a lot of feedback from my readers is the subject of booing. There are a lot of people out there who think it's okay to boo people who are under performing or making generally bad decisions. I was at the ESPN game this past Tuesday against the Cardinals and the crowd was openly booing Suppan when he was pulled. It just doesn't make any sense to me. You are a bit more of a Suppan apologist than I am, but at the same time whether I like him or not I am smart enough to realize that no matter what happens he is going to be starting every fifth day for the rest of the season. To me, you should never boo your own team under any circumstances. Boo your umpires. Boo your Barry/Manny/A-Rod's of the world. Boo your Sheffields. Leave your own team alone. It's almost like people who beat their dog for going to the bathroom in the house. It does absolutely nothing to change things and just makes your dog hate you. What I'm wondering is how you feel on the subject of booing and why do you think that so many casual Brewers fans think it's okay? I don't see how Mike Cameron striking out three times in a game is worse than their beloved Brett Favre throwing 15 interceptions in the first half. Continue reading »
We now take a break from gloating about SINGLE HANDEDLY changing Todd Coffey's entrance music to talk about Prince Fielder.
Prince Fielder is either the best or the second best player on the Brewers. Period.
No matter how you measure it he is more valuable than anyone on the team not named Ryan Braun. Yet, I think of all the Brewers he gets the least amount of respect and it doesn't make a lick of sense to me. Consider this: if Prince Fielder hits 20 more home runs this year and then 30 home runs next year (which is a HUGELY conservative estimate) he would be #6 on the Brewers all time list. Two more and he's tied for fifth, he even has an outside chance of tying Cecil Cooper for 4th (he'd have to average 43.5). He is basically GUARANTEEED to have the sixth most home runs in Brewers history. That's crazy. He's currently second to Ryan Braun (who else?) for 2nd best OPS in team history and he's right there with Sexson and Braun in At bats per home run. He's hit more home runs in a season than any Brewer ever has. Basically, Prince Fielder is one of the greatest power hitters Brewers fans have ever seen. So where's the love?
Now, I'm not saying that he's not liked. He is liked, I just think that his contributions aren't as appreciated as they should be. He's always expected to do more, play better defense, hit more home runs, everything. Whenever people talk about trading someone to improve the pitching (which is so horrible that it ranks 6th in the National League) Prince is the first person brought up (in the interest of fairness, these people are idiots). I'm here to tell you that getting rid of Prince Fielder is the equivalent of throwing in the towel. This team does not make the playoffs without him. The team is lucky to finish .500 without him. Furthermore as fans of the team, we should want to hang onto Prince for as long as possible. We are witnessing a GREAT power hitter that most teams aren't as lucky to see come through their system. I just don't get it. Why doesn't Prince get the adulation he deserves?
Crappy at-bat music (see above)
Despite terrible at-bat music, it's still better than fan favorite Corey Hart's
Decided to become a vegetarian after reading a book called Skinny Bitch
Weight issues remind fans too much of their own
Manny Parra fans still upset Prince nearly killed him
#28 reminds fans of the film 28 Days Later bringing up unresolved zombie issues
Not Ryan Braun
If Prince was on a lot of other teams he would undoubtedly be that team's best player, but since the Brewers have Ryan Braun he's the second banana. It's not fair, it's just the way it is. Prince is still amongst the top 30-40 players in Major League Baseball, unfortunately for him his teammate is in the top 10-15.
Rickie Weeks is now out for the season. The recovery time on his injury is 4-6 months meaning that even in a best case scenario he won't be back for the playoffs. If there are a playoffs. One of my best friends claims that this is the best thing to ever happen to the Brewers. My friend is an idiot. Outside of the golden trio of Braun/Fielder/Gallardo, Weeks is the last person this team wanted to get hurt. Hart, Hardy and Hall are all replaceable. There isn't a single player on this team that can take his place at leadoff. Counsell is better at defense and matches his eye, but the power/speed combo isn't there. You can lead off Corey Hart, but you lose some OBP (perhaps a lot of it). You can lead off Kendall, but you lose every single thing Weeks does well and gain nothing except whiteness and metal knowledge. You can lead off... that's about it actually. Does a team need a true leadoff hitter to win it all? Not at all, but it certainly helps and it certainly hurts to have one and lose him.
Unfortunately, this isn't Baseball Mogul(which is probably a good thing because Baseball Mogul HATES the Brewers for some reason) and you can't just move Hardy to second and call up Escobar to play SS. You have to work with what you have and deal with players feelings. Hardy doesn't want to move and if he doesn't want to, you probably can't make him. Then even if you could do that, who knows if it would even work? It's not like Escobar is hitting in AAA. Weeks is gone and as of right now the best replacement for him is a Counsell/McGehee platoon. Call it whatever you want, but this is not a good thing. It's bad. Bad for the team. Bad for Rickie. Bad for me.
I am emotionally invested in Rickie Weeks. I saw him play in Double A. I watched his debut. I tracked his career. I've had him on fantasy teams. Most of all, I believed in him when no one else did. I knew the talent he had and I knew that if he ever figured it out, he'd be a pretty damn good second baseman. Guess what? He figured it out. This was the season that he became a pretty damn good second baseman and now it's over. Will he be good next year? He should be and I can't wait to bust out my Weeks jersey on Opening Day 2010, but it's still 2009. The race is too close to call and losing Rickie Weeks for the season hurts this team more than any of the other NL Central contenders have been hurt thus far.
The Brewers are a great team, but without Rickie? We'll see.
Now if you'll excuse me I am going to induce a seizure and swallow my own tongue.