Well here it is. The day we always knew would arrive has finally come and Prince Fielder is officially no longer a member of the Milwaukee Brewers. Some held out hope that the Brewers still had a chance and that the lack of big offers coming in early meant that he'd accept the Brewers original 5 year offer. It was a nice dream, but a dream that ultimately would never come to fruition. The Brewers made their pitch, Scott Boras didn't think it was good enough and that was that. We moved on, signed other guys and played the waiting game on Prince. We waited and waited and waited some more. We waited so long that we started saying things like "Maybe Prince will decide to be a free agent next year instead and come back on a 1-year deal!" We convinced ourselves that there wasn't an offer over 6 years out there and if that was all there was then we could match it, we could get Prince back! With Prince Fielder coming back the Brewers would be better than last year, heck, they'd be better than ever!
And then Prince Fielder signed a 9 year two-hundred-and-fourteen million dollar deal with Detroit.
I won't get too into the place where Prince Fielder decided to sign too much because who cares, but I will say this: it was about the money. It wasn't about playing first base because the Tigers already have a first baseman (who could move to thrid and be bad) and a catcher (who should probably move to first in the next couple years.) He'll be a DH in a year tops. It wasn't about winning (even though they are a lock for the AL Central for at least the next two years) because they are still in the AL and have to go through Boston and/or New York to get to the World Series. It wasn't about family because the chances of his family getting shot/hooked on drugs/turned out just went up about 5000%.
The reason Prince Fielder is a Detroit Tiger is because of the money and that's pretty much the only reason he is a Detroit Tiger. This isn't a bad thing. If someone is going to offer that to him he deserves it and he should take it. The Brewers certainly weren't going to (and thank god for that.) Good for you Prince. Get that money dog. I wish someone would pay me $214 dollars to write this site for the next nine years. I can't imagine what I'd do if you added six zeroes after that. That being said, Detroit? Really?
(While we're here how the hell does Detroit have the money to offer contracts like this? The population has dropped 25% in the last decade, the auto industry is a thing of the past and the city itself is going bankrupt. If I owned that team I'd be less concerned with Prince Fielder and more concerned with getting the hell out of Detroit.)
To say that Brewers nation is fed up with Yuniesky Betancourt would be like saying drugs made Lindsay Lohan less attractive. It's a gross understatement and it doesn't even tap the surface of what's really going on and what people are thinking. People are tired of Yuni and his bad throws and his one pitch at-bats and everything else he can't seem to do right. There are people who'd prefer to see Josh Wilson and Craig Counsell out there everyday instead of Yuni and it's hard to blame them for it. People want change.
Of course, Josh Wilson and Craig Counsell are not the answer. As nice as they have been as fill-ins they are still just that. Take away Josh Wilson's two early homeruns and his numbers don't look so good. Also, he doesn't wear sunglasses. Craig Counsell, as great as he is, cannot play everyday. The Brewers need a starting shortstop that can start every game and be a positive contributor to the team. Let's try and figure out what the options are and see what (if anything) the Brewers can do about the Yuni situation. Continue reading »
I want you to come to my party. I really do. We have a great menu, there is going to be beer and there are going to be lots of fun and interesting people for you to talk to. One of these people is my good friend Lar from the incomparable wezen-ball. He is going to the party and he wants you to too. He was even nice enough to write this post for us, convincing you to go. He's really smart. You should listen to him.
I don’t know about you, but I’m one of those baseball fans who just has to be in my seat at first pitch. Even when I’m tailgating, if I have any control of when the group gets into the ballpark, I do everything I can to get everyone moving towards the stadium well before first pitch. If that means cooling the charcoal down at 12:30 and throwing the folding chairs in the trunk at 12:45, it’s what I’m going to do. There’s just a simple joy in being comfortably in your seat by the time the Brewers run onto the field. It beats racing up the ramp or impatiently riding the escalator to your seat any day of the week. I’m sure the fact that I like to keep score for all nine innings - and that I never leave a game early, for fear of missing out on the greatest comeback of all time - plays an important part in all that.
But the Pants Party is coming up in two weeks, and with all the excellent food that is being offered and the promise of fascinating, intelligent company - or, at the least, a group of people who like to drink, eat brats, watch Brewers baseball, and complain about Anthony Witrado - that first inning fetish is going to be tested. What happens if I’m on my third chorizo quesadilla with a side of drunken Polish mac’n’cheese and a cup of Riverwest Stein in my hand while chatting and I realize that the game is about to start? Or, even worse, I hear the fireworks going off signalling the start of the bottom of the first? Do I freak out, throw my brat and beer down on the ground and hightail it across the bridge over to Miller Park? Or do I instead try to practice the Midwestern version of zen baseball and just let it slide?
In order to help me ignore choice 1 and instead focus on choice B, I offer this list of why the first inning sucks and why we should all be okay with missing it. After all, if I’m missing that first inning, there’s no way you’re going to be able to tear yourself away from my fascinating conversation and hightail it over there yourself: Continue reading »
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 »
During the fifth inning of a Milwaukee Brewers game last week Casey McGehee used "C is for Cookie" by the Cookie Monster from Sesame Street as his at-bat music. Nobody seems to know why this is, but one could imagine. For one, it's kind of funny. He laughed. For another, his three year old son Mack was probably at the game and that is the kind of thing that would make a three year old really happy. Playing baseball is hard and takes a ton of work, but making sure his son is happy is something that comes natural to a dad like Casey McGehee.
Mack was born with cerebal palsy and brain damage, a premy that never quite fully recovered from it. I'll never forget the game I went to last summer where Mack threw out the first pitch. It was a pretty emotional moment and a drunk Miller Park Drunk in section 127 may have got some dust in his eye thinking about it at the time. That same drunk person found it completely unbelievable that on a day when his son threw out the first pitch that Casey McGehee would be sitting on the bench. It just didn't make sense, fire Ken Macha! Until the sixth inning when Casey hit a pinch-hit go-ahead homerun. Mack was still in the ballpark and got to hear the 39,890 people in attendance cheer their hearts out for his dad. That made sense. Continue reading »