23
Jun 10

This is it, Brewers

Last night the Milwaukee Brewers won a game that they haven't won all season. A game that made you feel good about watching and supporting this particular team. A game that made you realize why you had so much optimism for this group at the beginning of the season. A game that makes the Asian groundskeepers in Major League think the Brewers are "not so shitty." Down 3-0 early the team stormed back to take the lead, then they gave up some more runs and it looked like they were going to somehow find a way to lose this thing. It seemed fated that way, only it wasn't. Our starter gave up runs and the bullpen struggled, not only that but we've never been able to beat the Twins with any sort of consistency and - God! - can we ever catch a freakin' break? We've all seen this story unfold a thousand times, this year nearly every single one of the first 40 losses of the season can be told like this, but it wasn't going to be like that on this night. Not if John Axford had anything to do with it.

We haven't written about John Axford in this space yet this season, which is strange because the rest of the blogosphere has (BrewCrewBall even has a shirt), but it makes sense if you know anything about us or this website. You see, we've been burned before. We've become attached and things happened, because things always happen and they inevitably have to happen, and we got our feelings hurt. It didn't feel good. It felt awful. Soul crushing. Last night I was overwhelmed with fear that I'd be hearing that familiar AC/DC song in the ninth and I couldn't take it. The wounds are still too fresh, seeing Trevor Hoffman enter into the game in a save situation would have been like running into your ex-girlfriend while you were on a date with the new girl you're seeing. You still have feelings, but you want it to be over. You know it's wrong. That's me right now. I want this thing with John Axford to work, more than you could ever know, he's what I've been looking for all along. I'm ready to move on. I'm ready for them to take that silly sign down and fully embrace John Axford as my new special someone. (I also think he should be the closer.) Only I wasn't ready to make the move, wasn't ready to commit and the Brewers probably weren't either, but John Axford is not the type of guy to stand idly by and wait for you to make a decision. No, John Axford knows what he wants and he's willing to take it. Last night, John Axford did something that Trevor Hoffman could not have done and he did it with relative ease. He stared down Jim Thome, Nick Punto, Jason Kubel, Denard Span, Orlando Hudson, Joe Mauer, and Justin Morneau and he took care of them. It was positively boner building. Last night, John Axford proved that he belongs, proved that the Brewers no longer have a need for Trevor Hoffman and proved that he is much more than a funny mustache. John Axford is awesome.

Yet, it was only one game. Continue reading →


19
Jan 10

Tuesday's Nippy Beaker

rickie-weeksHere's some things to read while watching Avatar porn (SFW).

Jody Gerut, Rickie Weeks and Carlos Gomez have all agreed to deals avoiding arbitration leaving Dave Bush, Carlos Villanueva, Todd Coffey and Corey Hart as the only ones remaining unsigned. I imagine Corey Hart is going to act like a punk like he did last year.

Speaking of Corey Hart, Sandra Bullock captured the Golden Globe for best actress for her role in "The Blind Side". When reached for comment Corey said that movie was "gooder than grits." I haven't seen it because I've been too busy with the site, but maybe some day. I have seen this trailer for the A-Team though which looks quite good.

The Brewers don't play the Twins in Minnesota until May, but I just might have to make the trip up there. Why? Target Field will offer walleye on a stick. Personally, I'm more of a pork chop on a stick kind of guy. I still say they should have put a roof on that place.

Speaking of roofs, popular Milwaukee restaurant Pizza Man had it's roof and the rest of it burn down. (h/t Doctors of Za)

Here's a story for everyone who has ever complained about the wait for the bathroom at Miller Park. It could be worse, you could be a ball boy at the Australian Open and pee yourself.

Around baseball:

Looking for a new favorite player after the departures of Seth McClung, Mike Cameron and JJ Hardy? You could always join Zaunbie Nation. WARNING: Canadian rock gods Rush will start playing. Prepare to rock out.

Meanwhile, Al's Ramblings takes a break from dissing the left, making fun of old media and fantasizing about Meghan McCain to express how much he misses Seth McClung. I do too.

On this day in history Jeff Juden was born. Also, Sargent Slaughter defeated the Ultimate Warrior for the WWF title under circumstances that I would call nefarious.

Oh, and I knew there was a reason I didn't do John Cena impressions.

That's all I have for today, unless you're looking for a lesson in ownage by Jack Bauer.

Drink up.


09
Dec 09

LaTroy Hawkins? I know that guy

latroyhawkinsThe Brewers are said to be HOT AND HEAVY after have signed LaTroy Hawkins and I can't help but think that his name sounds really familiar to me. Not in the positive sense. After much searching of my apartment and underneath my trophy case of women's left socks and earlobes, I found it. My favorite book ever written about the Chicago Cubs, Wrigleyworld, that Latroy Hawkins is a big star of. A few choice quotes.

General Manager Jim Hendry did nothing to address the anemic bullpen, instead calling on LaTroy Hawkins for another season.

Especially not today. The Cubs take a 3-2 lead into the top of the ninth, but closer LaTroy Hawkins surrenders the tying run and the game goes into extra innings.

"People are so angry about Dusty Baker, but what about Sammy Sosa and Moises Alou? What about LaTroy Hawkins?"

All this on top of Saturday's game, a freezing and windy affair that saw LaTroy Hawkins blow his second save of the season with two earned runs in the Cubs 4-3 loss.

In the ninth (after an improbable 1-2-3 inning from LaTroy Hawkins), Corey Patterson comes to the plate.

And finally, the best quote of all. 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?


12
Oct 09

LOLDS

Hey just because the Brewers aren't playing anymore doesn't mean that we can't caption a bunch of pictures of baseball players with LOLCats-esque quotes. Here's a few of our favorite moments from the first week of the playoffs.

lolholliday Continue reading →

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