02
Dec 10

What are they gonna do? Plan #2: Do nothing

What are the Brewers going to do this offseason? Who knows? Doug Melvin has seemed non-committal whenever he's asked about anything and nobody else is talking. Prince Fielder is yet to be traded. Rickie Weeks is yet to be re-signed. Eric Hinske chose the Braves over the Brewers. The Braves! What does it all mean? Did the top stop spinning at the end?

I don't claim to know what they are going to do or even what they could do, but I can idly speculate. That's why we're bringing you the series: What are they gonna do?

Doing nothing is what it has felt like the Brewers have done since CC Sabathia left. Sure, some of the players have changed, but the team has been basically the same. Seth McClung turned into Todd Coffey. Dave Bush turned into Dave Bush. JJ Hardy turned into Alcides Escobar. Mike Cameron turned into Casey McGehee. My 36 waist turned into a 38. The improvements have been minimal, if not non-existent, and the team has remained basically the same.

Of course, we are basically talking about two seasons here. Two seasons that were littered with bad luck, two seasons that might have gone better if pitchers could have hit their projections and two seasons where they didn't come close. Braden Looper had probably the worst season of his career. Manny Parra somehow managed to get worse at baseball, but somehow handsomer. Jeff Suppan was born. The only contribution Doug Davis brought to the team was looking like a douchebag. These weren't the best teams ever fielded, but they weren't as bad as they ended up. They should have been better. So maybe it's time for luck to be on the Brewers side. Maybe it's time to do nothing.

What would a "do nothing" team look like? 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 →


31
Aug 10

The real reason Carlos Gomez doesn’t play

Yesterday for the fifth straight game Carlos Gomez was not in the starting lineup for the Milwaukee Brewers. There are many theories as to why this is. Some point to his comments about Lorenzo Cain when he said:

"I'm the best centerfielder on the team. But Lorenzo is doing a really good job for the last two weeks and it's not fair for me to come off the DL and take his chance. I understand. He is a really good player, but I think I'm still the man on this team."

That would make sense. Others simply point to his horrendous .229/.286/.348 line and compare them to... anybody and it makes perfect sense why he's not been playing.

The debate as to whether Gomez should or shouldn't play, or should or shouldn't be re-signed is something that has been discussed heavily in the Brewer community over the past few weeks. However, it's hard to discuss these sorts of things if you don't know all of the facts.

Luckily, we have all the facts. Luckily, we have sources within the Brewers to let us know why certain things happen. We know why Carlos Gomez hasn't been playing and lucky for you we're not above betraying our sources to tell you why. Continue reading →


29
Jun 10

Why do people do the things that they do?

I had this friend once, we've all had this friend once or twice, that broke up with his girlfriend and it was an ugly breakup. People were put in the middle of things that they wanted no part of, friendships were lost and the whole thing was wholly un-enjoyable for everyone. After things started to blow over he started to call her at bar time, you know what for. This was a terrible decision. Sure, the reason he called her would work out in his favor, but it was the morning and the days after that would be the problem. The same old drama would bring itself back up and they'd have to have a talk. Nobody likes to have talks. I once saw a man jump out of a five story building to avoid having a talk. Still, a week later the same thing would happen all over again. Why?

Prince Fielder likes to swing at high fastballs. He does this a lot. He does this a lot with two strikes on him when you and me and everyone we know know it's coming. Hey Prince, don't swing at this pitch because it's going to be a high fastball and you can't catch up to it! And then he strikes out. This happens all the time. There is no way that the other team doesn't know that he likes to swing at high fastballs because everyone knows he likes to swing at high fastballs and they continue to be thrown at him in these types of situations. Most of the time, he strikes out. Why?

I am a regular attendant of what people like to call "after bars". The period between whenever I arrived at the bar (anywhere from 1PM to 12AM) until the time they close is just not enough for me sometimes and I need to go somewhere that I can drink more. I don't really care where it is; my place, a backyard, a hotel room, a friend of mine who still lives with his parents' basement or anywhere else. Hell, I don't care WHAT it is. I once had an after bar with a bottle of Apple Pucker. I just like to continue drinking with people long after the bar is closed. No matter what I have to do in the morning, I do this. I know it's not smart or necessary, I just do it. Why?

Manny Parra has a problem with pitch counts. It takes him a lot of pitches to get through innings. In his seven starts this season he has never made it past the sixth inning and in every game that he has made it through at least 5 he has thrown over 90 pitches. This isn't efficient. For Manny Parra to give himself and the team the best chance at winning he needs to go deeper into games, but he doesn't. Why? Continue reading →


11
Jun 10

Rangers series preview: Don’t look now, the Brewers have won 3 of 4!

June 08, 2010- Milwaukee, WI. Miller Park..Milwaukee Brewers Casey McGehee  hit a walk off single, scoring Rickie Weeks  and Prince Fielder  in the bottom of the 9th inning..Milwaukee Brewers won over the New York Mets 3-2..Mike McGinnis / CSM.And all three wins were of the walk-off variety? Why isn't anyone talking about this? Let's throw in last Saturday's game against the Cardinals where they took them to the 11th inning before losing and the Brewers (not named Randy Wolf) have been playing pretty decent baseball for about a week now. Hart is hitting everything out of the park, Jeff Suppan has left the building, Gallarado can't be touched, Casey McGehee is the most clutch person on the planet and we might actually have a closer (gasp!), this is pretty good times if you ask me. At least compared to what we had before. Then again, I'm an idiot.

Can we beat the Rangers? Of course we can! They are stupid! And Texan! Continue reading →