18
Dec 09

F Christmas, it’s my frickin’ birthday!

Monday is my birthday, that's right I am one of the very lucky people to be born during the week of Christmas. I know, it's crazy right!? I didn't even know it was possible for people to be born around Christmas! (I've only had people make that observation about 15,000 times in my life and believe me it never gets old. How unlucky could I be!) I have spent the majority of my life having my birthday overlooked. My friends could never come to my birthday party because of "holiday commitments" or I would always get the dreaded birthday-slash-Christmas present which, honestly, makes you feel like a second class human being. You see these other people are worth two separate gifts, one for their birthday and one for Christmas, but you? You, you little bastard, are only worth one gift combined! Honestly, you have no idea how much we love your brothers more than you! You couldn't even imagine how much we don't love you, but trust us it's A LOT! We're getting divorced and it's all your fault! Y0u think I'm kidding? I can only remember one Christmas in my lifetime that I got separate birthday and Christmas gifts. For my birthday, Super Mario World for Super Nintendo! For Christmas? A Super Nintendo! That's right, I had to wait FOUR DAYS to play with my birthday gift. Thanks a lot, mom and dad.

Lest you think I am bitter, I have figured out how to move past this and start loving my birthday again. No, I didn't convert to Buddhism. (Those people don't celebrate shit.) I just figured out how to make it work and here's how I did it. Call it:

Drinking Heavily Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love My Birthday Continue reading →


18
Dec 09

Brewers conference call

Hey, just because the season is over and the Brewers aren't able to hang out doesn't mean that they don't talk every once in awhile. In fact, I have it on good authority that a few members of the team get together every month and engage in a conference call just to catch up on what's going on with their lives. What a team of great guys! Being THE inside source for Brewers clubhouse news I was allowed to sit in on the latest clubhouse conference call and transcribe it for you gentle readers! Get excited! Continue reading →


06
Nov 09

Carlos Gomez: What the people are saying

Royals Twins BaseballI 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.

Bernie's Crew

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.

Dave Cameron

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.

Tom Haudriourt

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.

The Hardball Times

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.

Rob Neyer

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.

Doug Melvin

"He's still learning; he has areas to work on,"

Aaron Gleeman

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.

Robert @ Al's Ramblings

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.

Sabernomics

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.

Twins GM Bill Smith

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)
7. Gomez
8. Escobar
9. Pitcher

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?


02
Nov 09

The curious case of Jody Gerut

As the Phillies gift wrap a World Series for the Yankees, the time for offseason moves is approaching. The Hot Stove League is one of the best times of the year. Lots to think about, lots to talk about, tons of speculation and none of those pesky losses to agonize over. As the days roll on, I become more and more convinced that my favorite player, Mike Cameron, won't be back. Rumors of him signing with the Cubs swirl and all of the sudden I start to feel like this guy:

“It’s like going into church on Sunday and the priest says, `Everybody go home, Jesus has now sided with the devil,”’ [Packers fan Mark Fields, who was wearing a Favre jersey with "JUDAS" written on the back] said.

(It's okay, buddy. Have some milk and cookies then go take a nap. Everything is going to be all right.)

The consensus seems to be that Mike Cameron will not be back and that the Brewers starting center fielder for 2010 will be none other than Jody Gerut. He's cheaper, he's under team control and he could put up roughly the same numbers. To prepare for this seemingly inevitable move I keep looking at Gerut's stats, his projections, his Wikipedia page and I just can't figure him out. He just doesn't make any sense. He's either going to be a great steal and an amazing asset or one of the biggest busts in team history. I haven't been this confused since my middle school thought the best way to teach kids about sex was by watching Degrassi episodes from the 80s. Not that I was complaining. (Hey Shane, if you think you are responsible enough to handle a kid when you are in middle school maybe you shouldn't eat acid and jump off a bridge a couple years later. Just a thought.)

Let's take a quick look at Jody Gerut's career: Continue reading →


28
Oct 09

2009 Milwaukee Brewers team awards

weirdotrophyIn case you didn't hear the Brewers recently announced their team awards and the results weren't that surprising. From the JSONLINE:

First baseman Prince Fielder and right-hander Yovani Gallardo were named the Milwaukee Brewers' most valuable player and most valuable pitcher, respectively, for 2009 in balloting conducted by the Milwaukee chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Other award winners were closer Trevor Hoffman as top newcomer, reliever Todd Coffey as unsung hero and veteran infielder Craig Counsell as recipient of the "Good Guy" award.

(Quick tangent: The Milwaukee chapter of the BBWAA? We have ONE daily newspaper here, how many people can be in it? Seriously, is this just Tony W, Tom H and Mike Hunt voting? Is this a joke? I mean, it's not like they allow broadcasters in here and Uecker got a vote. Who are the people voting on this? I can't find one of them on the BBWAA Wikipedia page. It has to just be the guys at the Journal Sentinel, there is nobody else. So why not just say that?)

Anyways, since this is America and it's full of PC crap where everyone gets a trophy and little league games end in a tie these weren't the only awards handed out. In fact, everyone gets an award! Why let anyone feel left out? These are millionaire baseball players that get tons of adulation and hook up with different women every night, we don't want to hurt their feelings! We need to coddle them and what better way to coddle them than by awarding them for things? Seriously, I want an answer.

Luckily, I have sources and they were able to get me the complete list of Brewers awards handed out to the players and I now present them here for you. Continue reading →

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