It's been awhile since I stole the Best and Worst gimmick from someone else (since the good times in fact,) but I felt this particular season was in more need of it than any before. After all, what season could be in need of some positivity more than this one? Put it this way, I debated with myself all morning on whether or not it should be called 'the Worst and Worst.' It's been that kind of season. So, without much further adieu let's get into this thing.
BEST: Jean Segura and Carlos Gomez
That's it. That's all the bests I have.
Okay, maybe not, but that is certainly how this season has felt at times. Nothing has really been great and these two have provided somewhere between 94 and 98 percent of all 2013 positive Brewers memories and I feel like that is a low estimate. They've been just plain fun to watch which is kind of funny because they play exactly the kind of baseball that the manager we don't care for loves to play. That's not to say that their style of baseball is wr0ng or that Roenicke's strategy is right, but these two have proven themselves time and again to be the exceptions that prove the rule. While simultaneously proving that they, as players, rule.
Jean Segura is young and probably not this good with his high BABIP and all, but he has made that Greinke trade look like an absolute steal (even while Johnny Hellweg gives up a homerun on eight out of every ten pitches thrown) and shortstop looks solidified for some time to come. He probably won't be an All-Star again, but he won't be Yuniesky Betancourt ever so he's basically the greatest shortstop in Brewers history. (White guys not included.)
I am going to say something right now that a lot of Brewers fans might not be prepared to hear: Norichika Aoki is not going to win the Rookie of the Year award this season. He won't even be close.
Bryce Harper is a lock for the NL Rookie of the Year award. Bryce Harper is hitting .262/.333/.459 and playing center field (well) on a playoff team as a NINETEEN YEAR OLD. That's kind of amazing. When I was 19 I listened to Kid Rock and worked in a warehouse. I spent all my money on DVDs and alcohol. I was a complete loser with no direction and no hope for the future. It was kind of like now, but I didn't have a cool blog and my girlfriend was less attractive and kind of a weirdo. (Take that, life.) There was no way I could have ever been a starting center fielder in the major leagues. Even if I had the talent that I genetically lack, I still wouldn't have been responsible enough to handle what Bryce Harper is doing right now. What I am trying to say is I hate Bryce Harper. He's better at life than me so screw him.
On the other hand Norichika Aoki is 30. He's hitting a slick .293/.362./.438 that actually makes him a better hitter than Bryce, but he plays right field and his defense is worse. There are a lot of arguments to made that Norichika Aoki is a better player than Bryce Harper this season and that is a very good argument to make. Besides the homerun category Aoki is better or close in nearly every statistical category. Continue reading »
The Brewers offseason began a couple of months ago, but in all likelihood it won't really begin until Prince Fielder signs with another team. The players don't believe he will be back, Prince doesn't think he'll be back, the management doesn't really believe he'll be back and deep down you and I know that he won't be back, but still we wait. We wait because there is a chance, no matter how small, that Prince will be back and everything will return to normality. I mean, if nobody offers him a contract he'd have to accept the Brewers offer! That could happen, right? It won't, but it could and until it doesn't happen we will wait.
But why? Why should we wait? Sure, he's been apart of our team for years and he's given us some really great memories, but do we really need him? Do we even want him? Should we even care that Prince Fielder is leaving?
Don't get me wrong, I love Prince Fielder. I would like for Prince Fielder to be a Milwaukee Brewer forever, retire and open a car dealership in Milwaukee where I can overpay for a Ford Fusion with a big number twenty eight on the back. That's what I'd love to happen, but unfortunately we don't live in that world. We live in a world where every dollar spent needs to be held accountable and bring back a certain amount of production. That $/talent/production equation just doesn't work for Prince Fielder because Prince Fielder is not our future and if we're being honest he wasn't our past either.
A lot can be said about Ron Roenicke's handling of the Brewers in the 2011 NLCS. I'm sure that much of it will key in on his stubborn decision to start Shaun Marcum in game 6 despite all signs pointing to that not working out very well. Some people will argue that it should have been Gallardo in this spot and that we could have just "figured it out" for game 7 and that is a good, popular argument. I am not here to make that argument.
Baseball is not a game of small sample sizes. Shaun Marcum should not be judged by his last two starts and Ron Roenicke had every reason to believe that the "real" Shaun Marcum would pitch in this game. Did I believe that myself? Absolutely not. I think Marcum has pitched too much this year and his arm has simply had enough. It's clear to me watching him that this is the case (the way he struggles, the way he avoids hitters), but nobody seems to want to acknowledge it. Or at least Ron Roenicke didn't. So much of being a baseball manager is "having faith in your guys" or some crap like that and in this case it screwed us, but Shaun Marcum starting this game is not what lost this game. (And no, it wasn't the defense either.) What lost us this game was this:
I am not going to bore you with charts or WPA or whatever else, but let's be absolutely clear about this: THIS WAS THE GAME. To put it simply the Brewers scored six runs in this game and by the time the Cardinals scored number seven this game was over. Runs 8-12 did not matter. They sucked, but they did not matter. It was this and only this that decided this baseball game. It'd have been nice not to give up 4 in the first or another in the second, but that didn't kill us. This sequence did. It was the most important sequence of the game and Roenicke blew it. Continue reading »
I really can't imagine yesterday going any better for the Brewers than it did. Every starter except Hart and Morgan got on base, Yo looked amazing, Braun and Fielder showed why they are the best duo in all of baseball and from the first inning on everything seemed to go the Brewers way. From the moment Braun threw out Willie Bloomquist you just knew there was no way the Brewers were going to lose this game.
And then there was Prince's homerun. The Brewers didn't need Prince's two run homerun to win this game, but when we think back on this one that will be the image that sticks out in our minds simply because it wasn't supposed to happen this way. Nobody expected them to let Kennedy pitch to Fielder. We were supposed to get the reliever or they were supposed to walk him and then it'd be over with. Instead we got what happened, we got a moment. An image of Prince Fielder celebrating with his teammates that will be replayed over and over in Brewers highlights forever. Amazing.
Also, we got this:
It was an awesome day and yet it is only the beginning. There are going to be a lot more days like yesterday on this run. Ten more like it hopefully.
(I am playing this after every Brewers win from now on. Deal with it.)