19
Jul 12

Making sense of John Axford

JOHN AXFORD IS THE WORST PITCHER EVER AND I HATE HIM AND IF IT WASN'T FOR HIM AND HIS STUPID BLOWN SAVES WE WOULD PROBABLY BE IN FIRST PLACE AND BE BIG TIME BUYERS AT THE TRADE DEADLINE LIKE WE'D PROBABLY GET PRINCE BACK AND COLE HAMELS AND PAUL MOLITOR AND JESUS AND BATMAN AND A NEW MANAGER WHO COULD PROBABLY JUST BE BATMANS BUTLER ALFRED BECAUSE HE SEEMS REALLY SMART. MAN CAN YOU GUYS BELIEVE THAT ROBIN DIED IN DARK KNIGHT RISES? ANYWAYS IF IT WASNT FOR STUPID AXFORD PULLING A derrick turnbow THEN WE'D PROBABLY HAVE ALL THOSE GUYS AND JOSH HAMILTON TOO AND THEN WIN LIKE A MILLION WORLD SERIES. WE COULD HAVE LIKE REALLY COOL COMMERCIALS WITH AARON RODGERS AND RYAN BRAUN BEING LIKE YO CHECK OUT MY RING DUDE, NO YOU CHECK OUT MY RING DUDE LOL. THE POINT IS I HATE JOHN AXFORD AND HIS STUPID MUSTACHE AND I HOPE HE FALLS OFF A BRIDGE INTO A MILLION GALLONS OF WATER THAT IS ON FIRE AND IT BURNS HIS HAIR OFF BECAUSE HE NEEDS TO CUT IT OFF ANYWAYS BECAUSE IT ANNOYS ME WHEN HE IS ON TV BLOWING A SAVE AND I DON'T WANT TO SEE HIM PITCH EVER EVER AGAIN.

HE WAS COOL LAST YEAR THO.

I don't know maybe I'm just defensive about people who overreact to things, but that's how everyone sounds to me when they talk about John Axford. Crazy, irrational, stupid; basically like any girl who has ever dated me for over three months.

Not that a lot of the vitriol towards John Axford is undeserved. He hasn't really done his job all that well this season. He's had trouble locating his pitches which leads to walks and bad counts which lead to big homeruns. It's not been a real fun time to be John Axford this season and he knows it, just like you know that watching John Axford has not been very fun. But has he really been that bad? Continue reading →


01
Sep 10

5 Reasons NOT to hate Manny Parra

Disappointing.

Stupid.

Just doesn't get it.

A complete and total letdown.

What do these words in common? They aren't words that my parents used to describe me. Those involve much more f-words. No, they are all words and phrases people have used to describe Manny Parra. Last week Manny Parra was removed from the starting rotation and the talk about him, his potential and his future place in Milwaukee reached it's zenith.

Manny Parra is one of the most divisive figures in the Milwaukee Brewers organization and everyone has their own opinion on him. We once said that Manny Parra was the one and only job that Rick Peterson had when he joined this organization. (Fire Rick Peterson!) Whether we like it or not as Brewers fans Manny Parra is deep in our DNA, like herpes.

The thing is and always has been that Manny Parra does have talent, a lot of it. Maybe more than any starter that hasn't been robbed a gunpoint. Everyone knows this. We're at the point now where talking about Manny Parra is bordering on obsession. I spend more time on the internet reading and writing about Manny Parra than I do googling pictures of Christina Hendricks. That's just not right.

Anyways, as with any post about Manny Parra we need to get the required "Manny is actually kinda good" stuff out of the way first. I'm going to let other blogs do the heavy lifting on this one.

From BrewCrewBall:

The Brewers started the 2010 season with Parra in the bullpen. He was moved to the rotation and has started 13 games. He's responded with the best strikeout rate of his career (over 9 per 9) and has dropped his walk rate back down to about 4.3 per 9. His FIP is at 4.6, with a bad rate on home runs: his expected FIP is right at 4. The BABIP is right back up in the .360s, however, and his rates of line drives, fly balls, and ground balls are similar to last year's, and they're pretty much fine. And his ERA is 5.6.

If you're skeptical of FIP and tERA makes more sense to you, look at it this way: in the past three years, Parra's expected ERA based on his amount of line drives, fly balls, groundballs, strikeouts, and walks allowed, have been: 4.67, 4.78, and 4.67 again this year.

Something very strange is going on with Manny Parra. If someone can give me a justifiable reason why Parra is carrying the one of the highest BABIPs in history, I'm willing to listen.

So, Manny Parra is the same pitcher he's always been despite performing noticeably worse the last two years, but that's mostly because he gives up a lot of hits and homeruns. He's just run into some bad luck or something else, something presumably far more sinister. He's not this bad and this should even itself out at some point.  Maybe.

Got it.

Now for Disciples of Uecker:

The problem for Parra is the 6th inning. Parra has made it to the 6th inning in 16 games (including, I believe, one relief appearance). He has recorded 29 outs in these 16 games, allowing 18 earned runs, 25 hits, and 16 walks while striking out 15. I think it’s fair to say that Manny has “lost it” in the sixth inning on multiple (almost every?) occasion in which he’s had the chance.

The previous five innings are pretty good. 79 innings pitched, 40 ER (4.56 ERA), 81 Ks, 36 BBs. The only black spot is 13 HRs, and that’s a number that will likely regress, as Parra’s HR/FB rate is a career high this season. I’m hard pressed to explain why Parra struggles so mightily in the sixth inning. This isn’t an isolated issue for 2010, either – he has a 9.20 ERA in the sixth inning for his career.

So Manny Parra is an average to above average pitcher before the fifth inning then the wheels come off and he totally sucks. Got it.

See? Some times advanced statistics can prove exactly what we thought about people all along. Manny Parra is an underachiever who hasn't improved during his time with the team who gives up too many hits and homeruns despite being really good at striking people out. Also, he sucks after the fifth inning. I wonder if there's an advanced statistic that proves how easy your mom is.

It's hard not to hate him for this. He's talented, he's not working to get better and he's kind of good looking. He's everything I hate! It's like looking in a mirror! A mirror of self hate! He ruined my life!

Still, maybe we shouldn't hate him. I mean, he might figure it out one day and then it would be all weird between us. We should try not to hate him. We don't have to like him, but we should at least try and get along. Like I did with my mom and my new stepdad. Actually, that's a bad example. I still hate that asshole.

Anyway, here's five reasons not to have Manny Parra. Continue reading →


12
Apr 10

ESPN Sunday Night Baseball

Last night the Brewers made their first appearance of the season on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball and the announcing was... something. If you were at the game and you didn't have to listen to it consider yourself lucky because this was one of the worst Joe Morgan performances I've seen in a long time. Which is weird because someone opened a blog called "Fire Joe Morgan" about five years ago, you'd think we'd be used to it by now.

The thing about Joe Morgan is this isn't a pro/anti-sabermetrics thing. I don't really care if Joe Morgan knows about OPS or FIP or any of that stuff. Joe Morgan just doesn't analyze a baseball game correctly and often times comes off like a complete idiot who has never even watched the game. Again, weird considering he is in the Hall of Fame for playing baseball and has been announcing games since 1985.

Anyways, between Joe's ridiculous comments, the constant fellating of Albert Pujols and pro-Cardinals stance they took for the much of the game it was an interesting broadcast to say the least. Let's see if we can do it a little bit of justice.

Continue reading →


03
Sep 09

Do the right thing Doug, bring back Mike Cameron

Mike CameronMy undying love for Mike Cameron is well documented and if you think I wasn't biting a few nails as the August trade deadline rolled around, well, then you haven't been paying attention have you? A lot of people were pining for the team to trade away Cameron and a few of the other veterans, but count me among the people who agreed with the team's course of action. The Brewers will once again be contenders for the playoffs next year and a sell off just to save money is pointless. In fact, it's probably counter productive because as has been pointed out ad nauseum the Brewers sold three million tickets this year, therefore the Brewers need to put a good product on the field for the rest of the season and a good product doesn't go by the name of Jody Gerut. (Whether that's a fair statement or not, I don't really feel like getting into.)

Anyways, I have no doubts that the 2010 Brewers will be better than the 2009 Brewers. I mean, there is no way that the pitching staff could be THIS BAD again. Even if you put the same guys out there next year they would have to improve (5 of the top 6 Brewers in innings pitched (Looper, Suppan, Parra, Bush and Villanueva) have the worst FIP of their career, which doesn't even seem possible when you really think about it). Beyond that you could hypothetically think that the offense, despite it's amazing-ness now, could be even better next year. A full season of Weeks, GAMEL, a halfway decent Corey Hart and anyone besides Kendall, it's exciting to think of the possibilities. The team will be good again next year and I fully expect them to be a contender. Well, as long as they re-sign Mike Cameron I do. Continue reading →

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