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 →


24
May 12

Earl Weaver vs Ron Roenicke

This might come as a surprise to you, but I like baseball. I like watching baseball, I like playing baseball video games, I like talking about baseball and I like reading about baseball. One of my favorite baseball books of all time is Earl Weaver's Weaver on Strategy.

For those of you that haven't read it (read it) or don't know much about Earl Weaver let me tell you a little bit about him. He managed the Baltimore Orioles for seventeen seasons carrying a .583 winning percentage and only finishing with a losing record once. His Orioles team won six division championships, four American League pennants and one World Series. He was also ejected from over 90 games and is 5'6" tall. (That last thing doesn't really have anything to do with anything, I just like to point out when famous people are shorter than me.) He did all this in the pre-Wild Card era in the AL East. He was really great and I don't understand why every manager isn't forced to study his book like 1999 Vince studied Sable's issue of Playboy.

Watching Ron Roenicke manage it is clear that nobody ever forced him to study it and he's probably never even read it. (In Ron's defense it's not like his brother had the best years of his career playing under Weaver or anything. Oh wait...) This is strange because I've always had the feeling that the way Earl Weaver managed a team and the way Doug Melvin built are a team are nearly identical. Weaver's managerial philosophy was "pitching, defense and the three-run homer" and if that doesn't sound like a team Doug Melvin would like to build I don't know what does. (I say would like to build because the scars of Yuniesky Betancourt are still fresh.) Unfortunately for Doug somewhere along the way things got crossed up and he hired (another) manager who doesn't follow Weaver's 10 Laws. Instead he employs someone who breaks at least five of them on a daily basis. This is not good, but the good news is that the answers are RIGHT THERE ON AMAZON.COM and all Roenicke has to do to better himself as a manager is to read this book.

Or this blog post. Either way. Continue reading →


10
Oct 11

Seven

Yes, there was Braun.

And yes, there was also Prince.

And UGH, there was Greinke.

via @mkollat

But when I think of where I was and what happened on 10/9/2011 in Game 1 of the 2011 NLCS I will think of only one person and that person is Yuniesky Betancourt. MY MAIN MAN YUNIESKY BETANCOURT. YUNI YUNI YUNI YUNIIIIIEEEEE.

Yuni has gotten a lot of crap from people throughout the season and rightfully so, but one thing we should never discount is that when he swings the bat at a (good) pitch and makes (good) contact he can do very good things. He has power in that bat of his which is probably why he swings it so damn much. We can argue the merits of Yuniesky Betancourt as a major league shortstop until we are blue in the face, but the fact remains that Yuni can hit a lot better than a lot of shortstops out there. Yes, other people have higher batting averages and higher OPS, but Yuni is always among the top half of ISO because he just hits the ball harder than most people. Yuni isn't the best, but he is not without value. He is a valuable member of this team. 0.5 Wins Above Replacement is still above replacement and we shouldn't forget that.

That being said, is Yuni the most MLB playoffs baseball player ever? Continue reading →


02
Oct 11

NINE

If game 1 was the game that everything went right for the Brewers then game 2 was the game that everything didn't. Zack Greinke alternated between being a good pitcher and throwing batting practice for Diamondbacks hitters. Once up 4-1 the scoreboard read 4-4 after Justin Upton's homerun to tie the game. The mood was quiet in Miller Park when the Brewers came to bat in their half of the inning and to say the crowd was nervous at this point would be an understatement as few seemed to realize the Brewers were in the middle of a tie game. The anxiety was magnified in the 6th inning when Roenicke decided he'd had enough and turned to the bullpen. The message was clear to those looking for a reason to panic: Zack Greinke, the former Cy Young winner who was supposed to save our pitching staff, couldn't make it through the sixth inning. Takashi Saito came in and did a good job keeping the game tied, but the crowd remained reserved. When Rickie Weeks led off the following inning with a groundout it did nothing to help stir the sleeping crowd. It was a tie game that felt like a 6-4 game. Then this happened:

  • Jerry Hairston doubled.
  • For the first time in recorded history a reliever was brought in to face Yuniesky Betancourt.
  • Brad Ziegler BALKED Hairston to third.
  • Yuni WALKED. (!)
  • Jonathan Lucroy did the sweetest squeeze bunt ever and the Brewers took the lead.

The Brewers would go on to add five more runs in the inning, but this sequence right here is what sealed it. This sequence turned the crowd from lethargic to "Miller Park is shaking right now. Should we be worried?" mode. Just like Braun throwing out Bloomquist the night before, this was the moment that you KNEW the Brewers were going to win.

There have been only two games thus far, but the numbers look so good it's hard not to mention them. Ryan Braun is hitting .750 in the playoffs. Seven fifty. The Brewers bullpen hasn't allowed a run in five innings. Jerry Hairston is the starting third baseman all of the sudden and he's hitting .500. Yuniesky Betancourt drew a walk. Everything is looking good for this team. Everything. If the playoffs are all about luck (and I'm inclined to believe that they are) then the Brewers have got to be the favorite from here on out because at this moment every single thing is going their way.

I am going to try and not get too excited. I'm going to try and not let these two games cloud my vision. I know there is a long way to go. I know these are only two games, but wow... just wow. What a weekend.


26
Jul 11

To trade (for a shortstop) or not to trade, that is the question

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 →

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