20
Nov 09

Brewers Decade in Review: 2001

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. Continue reading →


19
Nov 09

Brewers Decade in Review: 2000

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. Continue reading →


06
Nov 09

Carlos Gomez: What the people are saying

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?


09
Oct 09

THIS pitching staff wasn’t THAT bad

davebushhurtWhy do I do this to myself? Why do I read anything on the JSOnline, anything written by Anthony Witrado or anything someone paid Anthony Witrado to do? Do I hate myself? I read Anthony Witrado's last chat of the season and was constantly pissed off while reading it. People asking if Corey Patterson would be our 2010 centerfielder, Witrado fellating Lopez, Witrado saying that Braun or Fielder would net Halladay and just, well, everything. It was all bad. The thing that pissed me off the most though, was this quote from A-dub.

No manager in the history of the game could have taken this team to the post-season with the way the starting pitching was built. Nobody. As any manager does, Macha has fair criticisms, but he almost deserves and INC for this season because the tools weren't in the shed to properly live up to expectations. You will never win by hitting, alone. You NEED to be able to pitch. Some things people don't like can be pinned on Macha, but not that.

Apparently the Brewers had the worst pitching in the history of baseball this season and had no chance to compete. Which is funny when you consider that on July 1st they were in first place.

Now, I'm not saying that the pitching was good. It wasn't, but it was good enough to have them competing for the division crown at the halfway point of the season. It was good enough for them to be among the frontrunners in the National League Central and National League Wild Card races. Unfortunately, there were a few things didn't go their way. Continue reading →

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