But when I think of where I was and what happened on 10/9/2011 in Game 1 of the 2011 NLCS I will think of only one person and that person is Yuniesky Betancourt. MY MAIN MAN YUNIESKY BETANCOURT. YUNI YUNI YUNI YUNIIIIIEEEEE.
Yuni has gotten a lot of crap from people throughout the season and rightfully so, but one thing we should never discount is that when he swings the bat at a (good) pitch and makes (good) contact he can do very good things. He has power in that bat of his which is probably why he swings it so damn much. We can argue the merits of Yuniesky Betancourt as a major league shortstop until we are blue in the face, but the fact remains that Yuni can hit a lot better than a lot of shortstops out there. Yes, other people have higher batting averages and higher OPS, but Yuni is always among the top half of ISO because he just hits the ball harder than most people. Yuni isn't the best, but he is not without value. He is a valuable member of this team. 0.5 Wins Above Replacement is still above replacement and we shouldn't forget that.
Lost in the elation of yesterday's win was a single moment in the game that really pissed me and other like minded Brewers fans off. With the Brewers up five runs in the eighth inning and K-Rod due to bat at the top of the inning the Brewers called upon a pinch hitter. The hitter chosen by Brewers manager Ron Roenicke was Casey McGehee. Casey McGehee took about two pitches before hitting a foul pop-up that the catcher caught for the out. As Casey McGehee headed back to the dugout he was treated to a chorus of boos from the crowd at Miller Park. #areyouseriousbro
I am not here to defend the season of Casey McGehee. A .626 OPS is not good. In fact, it is very bad. He underperformed badly and now he has (seemingly) been replaced in the lineup by Jerry Hairston. If you are one of the people who believes that Casey McGehee is responsible for all of the Brewers losses this season then this is exactly what you wanted to happen. Adding to that, a pinch hit at bat when the Brewers are up five runs in the late innings is exactly the time you should want to see Casey McGehee swing the bat. If he gets a hit, great. If he doesn't, the Brewers are still up five. He was the second bat off the bench after Mark Kotsay. He didn't have anything to do with the game's outcome. He can't ruin anything. He has done nothing to deserve a boo.
Before I dig deeper into this idea of booing someone during a playoff game when your favorite team is in the midst of (possibly) it's greatest run ever, I want to tell you a story. Continue reading »
When the press release for Jim Hendry's new book How to Finish Near Last Place with the Highest Payroll in the League was first circulated through the Miller Park press box this past weekend it was widely thought to be a hoax by someone attempting to be funny and probably not an all together good attempt at that. So imagine our surprise when in our inbox we received a copy of the new book for review. It's not nearly long (or good) enough to write a lengthy review on and at times we had trouble reading the Comic Sans font the book was written in, but it is... interesting and is probably the closest we'll ever get to an "inside view" of the general manager position by an acting (for now) GM.
The book opens with a foreword by Lou Piniella that starts off nice enough thanking Jim Hendry for the opportunity to write for the foreword and also to manage Cubs, but after about two sentences it quickly devolves into an airing of grievances against everyone in baseball who has ever slighted him. By the last paragraph every sentence is typed in all-caps with multiple profanities interlaced within. The foreword ends, tellingly perhaps, with Piniella writing:
AND F*CK YOU TOO STEVE STONE LETS SEE YOU MANAGE A F*CKING TEAM.
HOPE YOU ENJOY THE F*CKING BOOK, BUT I'M NOT GONNA F*CKING READ IT.
Surprisingly when Hendry takes over the book doesn't change very much in tone from Piniella's foreword. Each chapter addresses a common complaint among fans about his work with an impassioned defense of the move followed by a "summary" of the point he was trying to make. While it may sound unnecessary, it is very helpful as Hendry has trouble making his points and often loses sight of the original topic by going into tangents about those "a-holes in the bleachers" and various local radio DJs.
I won't spoil all of the summaries, but I will cover a few of the ones that were leaked in the press release. Continue reading »
I can't say that I've ever actually believed in Casey McGehee. You look at his career in the minor leagues and you just don't see the player that we see everyday. In 2005 at Triple-A Iowa he had 497 at-bats, hit 12 homeruns and had a .774 OPS. That was the best season he ever had in the minors. Last season he hit 16 homeruns with a .859 OPS in only 355 at-bats and was the Brewers 3rd most valuable player. It didn't seem right. It seemed like a fluke, it was like if someone told you that after all these years of terrible programming Tyra had suddenly became a great talk show. That isn't to say that Casey was the minor league equivalent to Tyra, but that's about how much sense it made.
Yet here we are, 2010 and Casey is still doing it. He currently leads the Brewers in homeruns, RBIs, people saying what a great guy he is and looking like some guy that'd be in my softball league. He also ranks second in OPS, batting average, doubles and hits. As well as third in jerseys worn at Miller Park. (Seriously, those things are everywhere.) The point is that guys who are doing what Casey McGehee is doing aren't supposed to be guys like Casey McGehee. They are supposed to be studs like Jason Heyward of the Braves, you're supposed to see them coming. They aren't supposed to be guys claimed off waivers that make the team out of spring training. I'd love to set the Doug Melvin haters straight and credit him with this move, but honestly even he didn't see this coming. No one did (especially Tyler). Continue reading »
I take my All-Star ballot pretty seriously. When I am casting my All-Star ballot I consider who is the best this year and who is the best historically. Ichiro gets my vote every time because he is a first ballot Hall of Famer and an All-Star game without Ichiro is like sex without waffles. As much as I may personally hate Alex Rodriguez for being a tremendous douche, I normally vote for him because he is the best at his position. However, when it comes to my favorite players I am a bit bias. I voted for Mike Cameron last season, every time and despite him being injured at the time of voting I voted for Rickie Weeks every time. The All Star Game is a time for your favorite players, hopefully the best players to shine on the biggest possible stage and that's why this year I say we vote Rickie Weeks on the team.
Will this last forever? I don't know. Will he still be a Brewer in a couple seasons with Brett Lawrie playing the same position and hitting well in the minors? I don't know. What I do know is that so far this season he is one of the few bright spots on the team and I think it's about time we reward him for it. Hell, we rewarded Corey Hart for it and he wasn't nearly this good. (Yeah, I said it.) How do we reward Rickie? How can we possibly let Rickie Weeks know that we appreciate everything he is doing? How can we let Rickie know that we like him, we really really like him?