Brewers Decade in Review: 2001

Baseball November 20th, 2009

george w bush brewers opening dayAs the decade comes to a close we thought it would be a good idea to look back on what it all meant for the Milwaukee Brewers and their fans. It's the Brewers Decade in Review. SPOILERS: Some of it is good, a lot of it was bad and most of it was forgettable. Just like every decade except for the 80's. The 80's were awesome.

The 2001 Opening Day was probably the most anticipated Opening Day in Milwaukee Brewers history. You couldn't drive on I-94 without seeing it, you couldn't turn on the TV without hearing about it and you couldn't make love to a man or woman without accidentally screaming it's name. The presence of Miller Park lingered over everything. At least that's how I assume it was, I was living in Seattle in 2001 watching Ichiro lead a team to 116 wins eating copious amounts of salmon and drinking five gallons of latte per day. Yet I couldn't help but notice what was going on back home and feeling sorry for everyone. A whopping 2.8 million people came to see the new place that season and the Brewers rewarded them by winning their first game there. a game that had President George W. Bush throwing out the first pitch. It would prove to be the high point of the season. In the next 161 games they went 67-94.

The story of the season was the offense. Like all the Selig era teams they could hit homeruns (3rd in the league) and not do much of anything else except lose. Eight players hit ten or more homeruns that season. You'd think with a lineup like that they would have an above average offense and with this group, you would be wrong. They weren't good.

There was, however, a few bright spots. Read the rest of this entry »

Brewers Decade in Review: 2000

Baseball November 19th, 2009

richiesexsonAs the decade comes to a close we thought it would be a good idea to look back on what it all meant for the Milwaukee Brewers and their fans. It's the Brewers Decade in Review. SPOILERS: Some of it is good, a lot of it was bad and most of it was forgettable. Just like every decade except for the 80's. The 80's were awesome.

I don't remember much about the year 2000 in baseball and I definitely don't remember much about the Brewers in the year 2000. I was too busy being cool. Listening to Less Than Jake CDs, drinking Carlo Rossi straight from the bottle (my favorite? Vin Rose, of course), doing backflips off of piers (back when I could still do a backflip without breaking my neck) and generally just screwing up the next few years of my life. It was a good time and I didn't really care about the Brewers or how they did. Judging by the looks of things, they didn't either.

Seriously, look at their Opening Day starters:

Kevin Barker 1B
Ronnie Belliard 2B
Henry Blanco C
Jeromy Burnitz RF
Marquis Grissom CF
Jimmy Haynes SP
Jose Hernandez SS
Geoff Jenkins LF
Mark Loretta SS

Uhhh, yeah. Does it surprise you they finished 73-89? Didn't think so. If you think the Brewers pitching sucked in 2009 try a season where Jimmy Haynes is your Opening Day starter. Yikes. Read the rest of this entry »

Carlos Gomez: Miller Park Drunk vs Al’s Ramblings

Baseball November 9th, 2009

Twins Go Go Gomez BaseballI've been reading Al's Ramblings over the weekend and I was shocked at how Al was slowly convincing himself that he really liked this trade. I mean, this is the same guy who thought Corey Hart would be a good center field option and now he's down with a .287 on base percentage? This didn't seem right to me so I shot him an email and decided to engage in a little conversation with him (like we did before). Here's what we came up with. Beware nerdy baseball talk ahead.

MPD: Alright Al I have a bone to pick with you about this Hardy/Gomez trade. Sure, it's a cheap alternative who is great at defense (just like the cheap alternative that is great at defense we have at shortstop), but you of all people should hate this trade. After all you are the one who is constantly talking up the excellence of OXS in predicting runs and you are the one who takes joy in the failures of Jack Wilson. Now, you're okay with a lineup where 1/3 of the players in it have a combined OPS of 650-700 (and that's without including the pitcher.) Seriously, look at this group as it stands now: Read the rest of this entry »

Carlos Gomez: What the people are saying

Baseball November 6th, 2009

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?

The curious case of Jody Gerut

Baseball November 2nd, 2009

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: Read the rest of this entry »

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