16
Jul 13

The Best and Worst of the Milwaukee Brewers 2013 First Half

worstbrewersfirsthalfIt's been awhile since I stole the Best and Worst gimmick from someone else (since the good times in fact,) but I felt this particular season was in more need of it than any before. After all, what season could be in need of some positivity more than this one? Put it this way, I debated with myself all morning on whether or not it should be called 'the Worst and Worst.' It's been that kind of season. So, without much further adieu let's get into this thing.

BEST: Jean Segura and Carlos Gomez

That's it. That's all the bests I have.

Okay, maybe not, but that is certainly how this season has felt at times. Nothing has really been great and these two have provided somewhere between 94 and 98 percent of all 2013 positive Brewers memories and I feel like that is a low estimate. They've been just plain fun to watch which is kind of funny because they play exactly the kind of baseball that the manager we don't care for loves to play. That's not to say that their style of baseball is wr0ng or that Roenicke's strategy is right, but these two have proven themselves time and again to be the exceptions that prove the rule. While simultaneously proving that they, as players, rule.

Jean Segura is young and probably not this good with his high BABIP and all, but he has made that Greinke trade look like an absolute steal (even while Johnny Hellweg gives up a homerun on eight out of every ten pitches thrown) and shortstop looks solidified for some time to come. He probably won't be an All-Star again, but he won't be Yuniesky Betancourt ever so he's basically the greatest shortstop in Brewers history. (White guys not included.)

Gomez on the other hand... actually, let's do this right. Continue reading →


22
Apr 13

The End of the World: An OOTP Diary

Last week saw the release of OOTP14, the latest in Out of the Park Developments excellent baseball simulation series, and ever since then I have been playing it. The game is a definite upgrade from last season, but also I played as the Yankees, I played as the Pirates and I played as the Braves, but I never played as the Brewers. The reason is simple: I don't know what the hell is going on with them or what to expect from them. The scoreless streak, the winning streak, Yovani's DUI and the basic roster construction just don't make a lot of sense to me and I don't know how to make this team better. OOTP Doug MelvinSo how do I manage that team? Do I call up Hunter Morris, DFA Alex Gonzalez and/or Yuniesky Betancourt and ship Axford out of town? Do I Stand Pat? Will any of it even matter?

The truth is I don't know what will happen which makes this, not my favorite, but definitely the most intriguing Brewers season I can think of in a long time. For Doctor Who fans, it's much more Clara than Rose Tyler. Or for people who've actually had sex, it's much more LOST than NCIS. Or for people who aren't good with analogies, it's a mystery that won't be solved over night.

Which I guess makes it the perfect season to simulate with OOTP14. So hold on to your hats because we're doing a diary to see just how bad (or good) this season is going to get. (Again.) Continue reading →


27
Mar 13

Kyle Lohse, Yuniesky Betancourt and The End of the World

It has been a tough week for Brewers diehards as the Brewers have made moves that seemingly go against the very core of who they are and what they believe in.

dealwithitFirst, the Brewers had the audacity to add a 2-3 win player to the rotation by signing Kyle Lohse to a three year deal worth $33 million dollars. (Snarky headline: Kyle Lohse Makes Sense, In An Alternate Reality.) The complaints are many, -- too many years (just like every free agent contract ever,) too much money (just like every free agent contract ever (and also, not really,)) he's 34 and that is way too old (true,) he's a spy for the Cardinals sent to destroy our organization's playoff chances (a very real possibility,) I don't know how to spell and/or pronounce his name -- but perhaps the biggest complaint of all is the loss of a FIRST ROUND draft pick which will now go to the CARDINALS instead. "Are you serious bro?" is what you might say if you were the only person left who thinks Zack Ryder is cool.

Then, the Brewers filled the 25th man spot on the roster by acquiring Yuniesky Betancourt. (Snarky headline:¬†Brewers re-sign Yuniesky Betancourt as part of effort to find least popular possible¬†transaction.) The Brewers internet briefly exploded yesterday as fans reacted in outrage of the signing. I took part in the vitriol on twitter. I, like many other Brewers fans, don't like Yuniesky Betancourt as a baseball player so why are the Brewers going to pay him to play baseball? Continue reading →


29
Jan 13

“The Best Song Ever Written About Yuniesky Betancourt”

YunieBHuggingI've been holding this one in my back pocket until former Brewers pop-up machine Yuniesky Betancourt tricked another team into signing him or, worse yet, was taken back by the Brewers. Fortunately, the Phillies fell victim to the veteran middle infielder's cherubic Cuban charm, inking him to a minor league deal to serve as an insurance policy for the empty shells which once encased Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley.

Anyway, we're getting dangerously close to becoming "The Best Phillies Blog In The World" too, so I'll just get to the original point of this post. A few weeks ago, my pal and former Right Field Bleachers cohort, Jared, alerted me to a little musical number called "The Best Song Ever Written About Yuniesky Betancourt" he found on MySpace. Anxious to see if the lofty claim was true, I didn't even remember to make fun of Jared for using MySpace.

Written and performed by a band called "Green Bay" (but with the Green Day font and baffling use of skulls as cover art), the two-minute song manages to be both the best song about Yuniesky Betancourt AND the worst song about anything ever. Essentially, it's just 120 seconds of some dude dicking around on a piano and mispronouncing Yunie's name. It's pretty rough, and I should know. I'm the official expert on this song. As I write this, the song has only been played four times... three of which are by me. It was uploaded Sept. 9, 2011... when Betancourt was in his final month or so with Milwaukee, for reasons unknown.

The band's catalog is a treasure trove of cringe-inducing goodness. Each song is like two minutes long and none have more than 15 plays. Some of what awaits you...
"Shaun Marcum Wins Lots Of Games"
"Oh oh oh Shaun Marcum. He's a very good pitcher for the Brewers. No on can stop-a Shaun Marcum. He can not be stopped. Shaun Marcum is playing for the Brewers. He's winnin' lots of games for the Brewers. Nobody can hit Shaun Marcum because he pitches with such precision."

I'm as big of a Marcum apologist as you'll ever meet and I disagree with most of that. The accompaniment of a keyboard on accordion setting saves the whole thing, though.

"Jonathan Lucroy (Oh Joy! Oh Boy!)"
Actually pretty amazing. I mean, it's amazing he found two other people to harmonize with for the chorus. Otherwise, this one's predictably bad too.

"Corey Hart Has Heart"
I like how this on makes reference to how Corey Hart's last name (Hart) sounds like the word "heart" and that Corey Hart has heart and that he plays on the Milwaukee Brewers. I counted "Corey Hart has heart" being sang or spoken 25 total times in 1:27. The best part is when the lead singer says "sing it boys!" and the other vocalist is also him.

"Casey McGehee is a Fine Man"
Though awful as well, this 1:21 nightmare starts off innocently enough: jangling piano, a throaty off-key howl butchers McGehee's last name, that same voice reminds us that Casey was a Brewers player when this song was written. But Green Bay quickly takes artistic liberty by making a bunch of unsupported claims. Such outrageous statements include:

You! Up there! Get your fine ass down to the Mayor's Office.

You! Up there! Get your fine ass down to the Mayor's Office.

- Casey finds a way to get on base.
- If he ran for mayor of Milwaukee, he'd be voted in to lead the city (don't bring politics into something already flawed enough).
- Every girl in Wisconsin loves [him] and goes crazy for [him]. They all love [him] and [he] gets the pick of whichever one is most pretty. (Aside from the creepy visual, I'm pretty sure Kevin Mench had more pull in his time with the Brewers)
- He's a good player. (who was traded for Jose Veras and nobody cared, especially the ladies)

"John Axford, The Man With The Moustache"
"Who's gonna get the save? The man who doesn't shave. The man who is so brave. John Axford. Axford, the man who pitches real fast. Axford, the man with the moustache."

Oh great, now I'm sterile.

"Ryan Braun Is The Real Deal!"
That seals it. Ready the Braun bust for Cooperstown. One part that gets me is the lyrics "All the other players kind of make me yawn, but not future Hall Of Famer Ryan Braun." Doesn't any player with talent that's Casey McGehee-level or higher make this guy shoot and influence the way he votes? Or did I vastly underestimate how bad this guy wanted to bone Casey McGehee?

BONUS NON-BREWERS SONG
"Why Did They Trade Richard Jefferson?"
To get expiring contracts. Revisionist history aside, that motive seemed obvious when the trade was made.

Based on the songs about Trevor Hoffman, wanting Favre to stay in Green Bay, Jason Kendall and one called "Bill Hall's Gonna Be Good Again!", it's seems like the musicians (or people who own instruments, rather) behind Green Bay called it quits in late 2011... unless their dropping acid in a crawl space somewhere, hard at work writing a double-LP concept album about how Ekpe Udoh is a good player and that he is on the Bucks.

They say all good things must come to an end. I suppose that's also true for terrible, embarrassing, boner-demolishing things. We'll always have "The Best Song Ever Written About Yuniesky Betancourt" -- the fittingly dreadful and error-riddled audio reminder of the starting shortstop for a Brewers team that we'll never forget.


07
Aug 12

I left my wallet in Jean Segura

Jean Segura made his not long awaited debut as a Milwaukee Brewer last night and the results were.. there.

Which is okay. We don't need Jean Segura to come up and hit 50 homeruns this season because 2012 does not matter anymore. 2013 is where it's at and finding out if Jean Segura is our SSOTF (shortstop of the future) is what the Brewers should be spending the rest of the season doing. The Brewers have somehow gotten less production out of the shortstop position this season than they did last year with Yuniesky Betancourt. That doesn't even seem like something that should be possible, but it's true. Improving this position and finding our SSOTF is something that was important to Doug when trading Zack Greinke and hopefully Jean Segura is it. (If not? Yuni is always available.)

Personally? I'm pumped. Scouts see Jean Segura as a second baseman long term, but Segura has other ideas saying "The scouting report always has got something to say. I'm just here to play my game, wherever they put me. I love (playing shortstop). Not too many guys can play shortstop." I like that. It reminds me of the time my guidance counselor told me she thought I would make a "fine Greyhound driver one day." I sure showed her. The difference between Jean Segura: shortstop and Jean Segura: second baseman is a huge one so I really hope that he is able to stick with the position and make it work. The Brewers would be set for a long, long time if that were the case. But, like, no pressure or anything dude. Just go out there and play baseball. Do your best. I believe in you.

Now I realize that I am talking about Jean Segura as if I know everything about him. I don't, but I think I know more than most based on the fact that I read roughly 50o stories about him after the trade and for those of you who aren't crazily obsessed I have created a little FAQ for you. Continue reading →