27
Jun 12

The Man They Call Zack

The bright spots in the 2012 Milwaukee Brewers season have been few and far between. There's Ryan Braun somehow being better without Prince Fielder or PEDs (joke!), there's George Kottaras' emergence as the premier lothario of Milwaukee, there was Jonathan Lucroy, there's Aoki and then there is... uhh.. hmm... Well, that's about it really. There is almost nothing to warm you up and think that everything is going to be okay. Nothing that makes you belive this team can turn it around. Nothing that makes you sit back and say "I love baseball. I love the Brewers." I mean, nothing besides Zack Greinke at least.

For the past month Zack Greinke has been everything we dreamed he could be two winters ago. He has been an unstoppable, sophisticated pitching robot sent from the future to strikeout batters and change the future for one lucky lady. Every fifth day has been like sex and pastrami at the same time for Brewers fans. He's already posted a 3.6 WAR (wins above replacement) compared to his 3.9 last season. He's in line for an All-Sta Game start and on the shortlist for Cy Young contenders. Zack Greinke has been surreal, god-like, amazeballs and every other word you can think of to describe extreme awesomeness. We should be absolutely living the dream right now. Strutting around town in our Zack Greinke shirseys listening to "You're The Best" by Joe Esposito on replay forever. We should be writing songs about him.

Zack!
The Man they call Zack!
We robbed from the Royals and he gave us some more,
He stood up to the man and he gave him what for.
Our love for him now, aint hard to explain,
The hero of Milwaukee,
The Man They Call Zack!

Unfortunately, that's not happening. Instead, Brewers fans who consider this season to be lost are calling for the Brewers to trade Zack Greinke and that gives me a sad face. See? :( Continue reading →


07
Jul 11

Wake Up Mr. Greinke

I never ever wanted to write a negative word about Zack Greinke and hoped that time would never come, but unfortunately it has. Let's do it.

BREWERS STARTERS WITH ERA OVER 5.50 (Last 5 years)

  • Manny Parra 6.36 (2009)
  • David Bush 6.38 (2009)
  • Zack Greinke 5.66 (2011)

That's it. That's the whole list.

Now I know what you're thinking "Jesus, 2009 sucked" and my god did it ever. Hopefully you're also thinking "WTF IS ZACK GREINKE DOING THERE!?" 2009 was awful, but I would argue that 2011 could end up being a whole lot worse if Zack Greinke doesn't get his act together. He doesn't belong on this list, but that's how he has played thus far this season and he has sucked.

"but.. but.. he's had terrible luck! His xFIP proves it!"

"And he's winning games! He's 7-3!"

"Look at his BABIP, it's really high it will even out over time! And his LOB% is low!"

Shut up. Stop making excuses for him and shut up. You sound like an abused girlfriend who won't stop insisting that your boyfriend, Green Bay Packers cornerback Brandon Underwood, is really a good guy once you get to know him. Zack Greinke has been a huge disappointment, a much bigger disappointment than Casey McGehee, and it's time everyone admitted it. 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?


28
Oct 09

2009 Milwaukee Brewers team awards

weirdotrophyIn case you didn't hear the Brewers recently announced their team awards and the results weren't that surprising. From the JSONLINE:

First baseman Prince Fielder and right-hander Yovani Gallardo were named the Milwaukee Brewers' most valuable player and most valuable pitcher, respectively, for 2009 in balloting conducted by the Milwaukee chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Other award winners were closer Trevor Hoffman as top newcomer, reliever Todd Coffey as unsung hero and veteran infielder Craig Counsell as recipient of the "Good Guy" award.

(Quick tangent: The Milwaukee chapter of the BBWAA? We have ONE daily newspaper here, how many people can be in it? Seriously, is this just Tony W, Tom H and Mike Hunt voting? Is this a joke? I mean, it's not like they allow broadcasters in here and Uecker got a vote. Who are the people voting on this? I can't find one of them on the BBWAA Wikipedia page. It has to just be the guys at the Journal Sentinel, there is nobody else. So why not just say that?)

Anyways, since this is America and it's full of PC crap where everyone gets a trophy and little league games end in a tie these weren't the only awards handed out. In fact, everyone gets an award! Why let anyone feel left out? These are millionaire baseball players that get tons of adulation and hook up with different women every night, we don't want to hurt their feelings! We need to coddle them and what better way to coddle them than by awarding them for things? Seriously, I want an answer.

Luckily, I have sources and they were able to get me the complete list of Brewers awards handed out to the players and I now present them here for you. Continue reading →


24
Jul 09

Miller Park Drunk E-Mail Show with Right Field Bleachers, Part 2

beermilwaukeeshirtPart one was a bit more by the book and with part two we had a bit more fun. If you aren't already doing so check out Right Field Bleachers, it's a lot like this site only with more writers, more photshopping and less pretend conversations. Good stuff.

MPD: Congratulations on making me gag myself. Once with the clam chowder analogy and a second time at the thought of Vicente Padilla in a Brewers uniform (hang on.... yep, this one just made me gag a third time). I think we're all at the point now where we are getting antsy for the Brewers to do something. Earlier in the season Melvin was quote as saying he wasn't sure if he needed a bat or a pitcher and I think it has become painfully clear to anyone with even the slightest of baseball knowledge (Tom Haudricourt comes to mind) what the team needs. We're well past the point of wondering if this team will make a move and now we are forced to sit and wait for it to happen. We've actually been (seemingly) waiting so long that it's gotten to the point where people are wondering if they might actually need two starting pitchers. I'm all about waiting for the right deal/player/trade, but come on already. People are dying out there!

You mentioned that you wouldn't mind seeing Corey Hart leaving in a trade and my kneejerk reaction is to say "well, who would replace him?" (Catalanatto is probably a better hitter, but a HUGE defensive dropoff. Gerut is the opposite.) At the same time the two easiest positions to fill on the field are first base and corner outfield. There are lots of bats out there that could step in and do close to what he's doing so I could almost see it. Almost. I'm just not convinced the team is ready to give up on him yet (which is weird considering all the grief he gave them in arbitration.) Does his popularity have anything to do with it? I don't know, but the more I think about Corey Hart, the more he reminds me of Jeff Francouer of the Braves. No great batting eye to speak of. Power to spare. Perpetually underachieving. Short flashes of brilliance. Ends up league average or worse. Hart is older, but he's like Francouer in that he was a lot better two years ago. Hart's improved his walk rate quite a bit this year (which could easily come back to Earth), but so did his strikeout rate went up too and it's come at the cost of some power (which could easily not come back to Earth). I am not sure if he's ever going to be much better than he was in 2007 and considering his first half of 2008 was likely a serious outlier, maybe dangling him out there is the right move. If the team can get some value for him now, why not? Sure, a few thousand female fans would be upset but they had to have figured out he wasn't really attractive at some point right? I don't know if Corey Hart gets you Ian Snell of the Pirates or Erik Bedard of the Mariners. I really just don't know, but I'd like to see Doug try and figure that out. I suspect even the Moustache hates hearing that at-bat music three times a game.

Forget Hart for a second though, let's talk about another can't miss Brewer: Mat Gamel. He only spells his name with one T so you know he's bad ass. I understand (and love) that Casey McGehee has been playing out of his mind for the past month, but can this dude get more than one start in a week? He's shown flashes and in my arm-chair-scout-who-has-no-idea-what-he's-talking-about opinion his at-bats have improved since he first came up quite a bit. He deserves an honest shot out there before they switch McGehee into virtually full time 3B mode. Give him two weeks of starts, then we'll talk. It's all I ask really because I think Gamel could be one of the next great Brewers and he should be out there playing. Or if the team sends him down, it should be to practice right field in preparation for him finishing the season there. Where do you stand on the send him down/keep him up argument and where do you see him going in the future as a Brewer? Continue reading →