PLAYOFF FEVER is catching among a small portion of the fan base and I can't believe it. This team? The team that actually got me to give up on them in July? This team is causing playoff fever? Really?
Really. The Brewers are now just two game under .500 and sit a cool 6.5 back of the St. Louis Cardinals who they just so happen to play this weekend. The Cardinals, of course, are the reason for all this optimism in the first place. On August 27th of last season the Cardinals had playoff odds of 1.1 percent and then they got hot and won the World Series. On August 27th of this year? The Brewers had 0.2 percent playoff odds. So not the same and even today they are only up to 0.8 percent, still not the same. The 2011 Rays were 0.5 percent on 9/3 last year, but that was a completely different circumstance.
BUT they are hot! Red hot in fact! They are only two games under .500 with a not impossible schedule left to go. They haven't been two games under .500 since May. Is there really reason to believe? Continue reading »
Sometimes we just like to talk about baseball. No jokes, no fashion judgement, just plain old baseball talk. For that we call upon Al Bethke of Al's Ramblings. He talks a lot about politics (and Meghan McCain's looks) on his blog, but when he talks baseball there are few who can match his intelligence and rationality.
VINCE: The talk of the fanbase right now has moved past the point of contention in 2012 and moved firmly into "let's trade all of our assets and rebuild for the future." You know, because contending in 2013 isn't possible apparently. (Not to be too simplistic, but if Axford/K-Rod have 4 losses instead of 9 they are over .500. Just saying.) Now I'm all about maximizing value on potential free agents in the trade market, but I have my concerns.
85 wins is still not out of the question and I think Wild Card #2 might have 85 wins. Of course this could all change over the next week, but I still think it is possible. Just not all that probable. There have just been too many games that could have easily gone the opposite way for me to give up now.
What message would trading Greinke and Hart or Greinke and Marcum send to potential season ticket renewals for 2013? I could honestly care less how rich Mark A does or does not get (one of the few bright spots of the Brewers play this season is the amount of cheap tickets available on Stubhub), but I have become accustomed to the Brewers having a healthy budget and I'd love to see that continue. A Yo--Fiers-Estrada-Wolf-? rotation wouldn't exactly send fans racing to the ticket window.
And this is the big one: I think this team is clearly capable of contending in 2013, but that will be really hard to do while replacing two starting pitchers. Trading Greinke and Marcum not only raises the white flag for 2012, but possibly for 2013 as well. One can be replaced (a Fiers or Peralta for Marcum swap seems almost too easy), but both is a different story.
I think we are both contrarian when it comes to matters of the 25 man roster, but how do you see the trade market panning out? Specifically Zack Greinke. His issues have been well documented (by you), but despite those issues there is no replacement that will be found on the free agent market or in the farm system that can even come close to what he has produced. (When he is "on" at least.) Should they look to spend some money to keep him? I hate spending big money on pitchers, but this is about as similar to when CC left as you're going to get. Some pitchers are worth that risk. Well, as long as that risk isn't for too many years. Continue reading »