Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Cooler Speaks - Funny Article by Patrick Hruby of ESPN

Ok, I'm not the one who usually just copies something, but touche to Patrick Hruby of for this gem on the Page 2 website:

"I did not fall down the stairs, Carlos Zambrano. You hit me. Hard. With a baseball bat. Five times, to be exact. Knocked my plastic casing loose. And I've had it. The violence stops now.

Enough is enough.

I've kept my lid shut all season. Suffered in silence. No matter how bad it got -- no matter how many times Ryan Dempster carefully slugged me with his non-pitching hand -- I came back for more. Believed each time was the last time, that Lou Piniella would never hurt me again. I even blamed myself: was my lemon-lime too watered down? Were my contents not icy enough?

No more.

Cold refreshment, electrolyte replacement, another revenue stream, a chill theme song for Michael Jordan. All me. Do I look like a piƱata? Sure, it's a thrill when somebody more important than a ballboy actually pays attention to me. But not when attention equals abuse. I've been thrown to the ground too often, made a scapegoat too many times.

Cut me, and I will bleed neon yellow.

From the start, I should have known better. Known I was never special, never treasured. Ever seen a Gatorade shower, everyone all happy and sticky and shivering? Here's the part you don't see: a lonely cooler, empty and forgotten, dumped and discarded on the turf. Used and used up.

I feel so cheap.

Perturbed gentlemen of the sports world, the time has come. Increase the peace. Treat abused inanimate sports objects with dignity. With respect. Help bring about a day when golf clubs and spectator cameras are no longer chucked into lakes, when basketball jerseys are no longer tossed against cinder block walls, when courtside TV monitors stay on the scorer's table, when coaches' clipboards are fastened to wrists with safety straps, when every last pro wrestling folding chair remains securely under someone's bottom.

Oh, and if you really need to hit something, go find Jose Canseco. He seems to need the money."
-- The Gatorade Cooler, as told to Patrick Hruby

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Farm Report: May 29

It's been an eventful couple of weeks, Tony Gwynn Jr. was traded to the Padres, Jeremy Jeffress and Mike Jones switched spots and we've gotten an extended look at top hitting prospect Matt Gamel.

No call-ups and no major moves to report so we'll jump right into it.

Nashville Sounds (AAA)

Alcides Escobar (SS)
: He's been awesome at the dish, hitting .372 in his last ten to bump his average to .291. Escobar also has 21 stolen bases. His defense has suffered at second base though, he now has nine errors on the season including a
two error game earlier this week.

Joe Koshansky (1B)(Right): Koshansky leads Nashville in homers(9) and strikeouts. He's big (6'4") and left-handed. If you remember he was a waiver wire claim at the beginning of the season, with no more Tony Gwynn Jr. we'll keep on eye him here.

Angel Salome (C): He's got 10 hits in his last 22 at-bats, which is good, but his season average still sits at just .245. For the month of May Salome is hitting .291.

Cole Gillespie (OF)(Left): He's hitting just .212 in Triple-A, but that can't last too long. Especially when you consider his .342 OBP.

Tim Dillard (SP)
: The good? A 3.48 ERA and 6-2 record. The bad? As many strikeouts as walks (20).

Best of the Rest
: Utility players Hernan Iribarren and Adam Heether are both hitting higher than .330. Chris Smith(RP) has a .94 WHIP in the closers role.

Huntsville Stars (AA)

Taylor Green (3B)
: Green is hitting .258 for Huntsville with three doubles and six driven in through his first ten games at the Double-A level. More walks(5) than strikouts(3) puts his OBP at an impressive .368.

Jonathon Lucroy (C)
: He's 4-for-35 in his last ten games. The OBP sits at .340 but May has been a rough month for Lucroy, he's hit just .174.

Mike Jones (SP)
(Left): He's pitched twice for Huntsville and very well both times. He's line since the call-up... 13 IP, 6 K's, 2 BB and just two earned runs. Could he put himself back on the map?

Chris Cody (SP): Traded for Jose Capellan in 2007, Cody has been one of the best starters in the system this year. He has 42 K's against just nine walks this season. He's made nine starts and sports a 4-1 record.

Best of the Rest: Donovan Hand(P) has a 1.87 ERA through 33.2 innings. Casey Barron(P) has a 1.21 ERA average in relief. Omar Aguilar(RP) is starting to pitch well after coming back from a spring injury, if it continues we'll have more on him next time.

Brevard County Manatees (High-A)

Eric Farris(2B)(Right): If Brett Lawrie wasn't playing second base, Farris might be the top prospect there. Farris is hitting .341 in May and jacked his third home run of the season last night. He's got 22 stolen bases in 23 tries and is third on the team in runs scored with 22.

Logan Schafer(OF)
: Schafer had a 5-hit game last week and leads the team in runs scored (23) and total bases (66). He's batting .308 on the year and has a .340 OBP.

Caleb Gindl(OF)
: It's been a quiet couple of weeks for Gindl, he's hit just .188 with no extra-base hits. Really a forgettable month all together, Caleb is hitting just .203 in May.

Evan Anundsen (SP): Anundsen's ERA sits at 2.15 and he has 43 strikeouts in 46 innings. He's also got a 5-3 record through the first two months of the season. Anundesn hasn't gone more than five innings in a game since his no-hitter on April 28 but it's the minors so don't read too much into that.

Jeremy Jeffress(SP): I have to wonder how long Jeffress will be a starter, a 100 MPH arm is suited well for the closers role. He's walked nine in his eight innings for Brevard County.

Joshua Butler (SP)
(Left): This is the guy the Brewers got for Gabe Gross last season. He's been sharp this year, with a 6-0 record and a 2.47 ERA in 51 Innings. His May ERA is 1.52.

Best of the Rest
: The bullpen has been very good, here are just a couple. Zach Braddock(P) has struckout 22 in 12 innings while walking only two. Robert Wooten(RP) has 16 saves, a team record, and an ERA of just .45.

Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Low-A)

Brock Kjeldgaard(1B)
: This might sound familiar, he leads the team in homers(9), walks(23) and strikeouts(54) but the average sits at just .233. His average was .18 points higher in May than in April.

Brett Lawrie(2B)
(Right): He's slumping, sort of. Law's average in his last 10 is just .207, but he still managed two home-runs and 10 RBI's. Lawrie is hitting .376 at Fox Cities Stadium(or whatever it's called now).

Wily Peralta(P): Peralta struck out 10 in his last outing, giving him 40 K's on the season. With a 1.08 WHIP, he's having a nice season.

Daniel Meadows(P)
: He's stretched his record to 7-0, what you really like is the fact that he hasn't given up a home run yet this season. The lefty Meadows is holding right-handed hitters to a .141 average.

Cody Scarpetta(P)
(Left): Scarpetta has been roughed up in his last couple outings, giving up eight runs in 5.1 innings. He likes pitching at home as much as Lawrie likes hitting there. Scarpetta's home ERA is 1.46 and he has 32 strikeouts in 24.2 innings.

Best of the Rest
: Brandon Ritchie(P) has a 1.33 ERA in 16 appearances, Michael Bowman(SP) has an ERA of 2.63 in seven starts.

I love this

I laugh every time one of these come on. Humans are hilarious when portrayed by puppets!

Hahaha! LOVE IT! And is that Keenan Thompson as the voice of Lebron? I haven't done any research, but I'm just gonna go with a 'yes'.

Nike Basketball - Please, PLEASE make one with Chris Anderson, aka the BIRDMAN in it. Can you imagine a spiked hair, tatted-up Birdman puppet?! I'd be forever grateful.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

UW eyes Irish in the Fall

In great news for the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, UW's Athletic director Barry Alvarez is working to get Notre Dame on UW's non-conference schedule. This would be a great matchup, and a dream come true for some of us...

Notre Dame is currently reworking their schedule with Purdue, as in playing them every other year instead of every season. Alvarez has ties to Notre Dame, by winning a National Championship with them in 1988 alongside Lou Holtz.

The last time the Badgers and Fighting Irish met was in 1964. In 16 games, the Irish lead the series 8-6-2.

The Badgers are known for having a very weak non-conference schedule. With a move like this, Alvarez will improve the Badgers strength of schedule every year. And maybe, Alvarez won't have to schedule "cupcakes" such as Cal-Poly.

Brewers Rumor Mill - Jake Peavy Edition

Jake Peavy a Milwaukee Brewer? This idea isn't exactly breaking news. Peavy and the Brewers have been linked since the off season. The reasoning seems simple, Jake wants out of San Diego, the Brewers seem(ed) to have a need for starting pitching, and the Brewers farm system has the prospects that San Diego would require for a trade to take place. Adding fuel to that fire is the fact the Brewers could try to acquire Peavy just to simply stop the Cubs from getting him. The Cubs have made no secret for their desire of Jake Peavy (and Peavy's likewise desire to play for the Cubs), but the two teams were unable to put a deal in place in the off season, mostly because Chicago has a lack of depth in the farm system due to the brilliance of one Jim Hendry. According to one Cub fan I spoke with, he felt that the trade of Mark DeRosa for three Indian pitching prospects was the Cubs working to get some trade value to obtain Peavy. This, as of now, seems to have backfired with the injury of Aramis Ramirez and subsequent downward spiral that ensued due to poor Major League depth.

There are many problems with this idea though. The first is Peavy might not accept a trade to Milwaukee, for he has a no trade clause and has already used it once to block a trade to the Chicago White Sox. This however, might add fuel to his fire to get out of San Diego as he was upset that Padre ownership announced the trade before getting his approval, thus making him seem like the bad guy in both San Diego (who probably had the best deal they would've gotten) and in Chicago's south side. However Milwaukee is essentially becoming San Diego East, and Peavy would be reunited with former teammates, Mike Cameron, Trevor Hoffman, and Jody Gerut. So, could Milwaukee be an acceptable destination...though I couldn't find anything to back it up, an article on the Brewer Nation blog states:

"according to someone with inside knowledge of such matters, Jake Peavy's agent has submitted an addendum to the league office in which he has named the Milwaukee Brewers as an additional team to which he would approve a trade should one get worked out between the Brewers and his current team, the San Diego Padres."

The second problem is the cost to the Brewers. This is not a one year, wham, bam, thank you ma'am deal like CC Sabathia. Peavy has three more years on his contract ($15, $16, $17 million) and a $22 million option for 2013. For a Cy Young pitcher just hitting his prime years, this isn't really a bad deal, but it does tie up a lot of salary. Both Doug Melvin and Mark A. claim money is not the issue, and with Bill Hall and Jeff Suppan's bloated salary's coming off the books, money probably isn't the issue.

The cost issue is prospects. The Brewers, like any small market team, need a healthy farm system to be able to compete. If an all or nothing move fails, it has a negative impact for years on a team that traded its depth away. The team will fall to the bottom of the league and the fans will lose interest thinking management is clueless. If it succeeds though, it invigorates the fan base, see CC Sabathia.

So, what would the Crew have to give up? The Padres no doubt have their eye on the shortstop position. This is a spot the Brewers actually have wiggle room. JJ Hardy already an All Star Shortstop has a future star (hopefully) in Alcides Escobar knocking right behind him. In 2009 though, with Rickie Weeks already out for the season, I don't see the Brewers moving a steady hand at SS like Hardy, making Escobar the likely trade option.

Pitching - replacing Peavy is not an easy task, but the Padres will want to try. Look for a Major League arm. Manny Parra fits this bill, with tremendous upside, but still a work in progress due to inconsistancy, Parra provides a quality arm for the now and the future.

Lower level prospects - It'll take more than 2 players to get this deal done, if it were to happen, look for Jeremy Jeffress or Taylor Green's names to come up as possibilities.

So, are the Brewers willing to part with such prospects? Unlikely. Unless Mark Attanasio wants it to happen, I don't think Doug Melvin will execute this. With Hardy nearing the end of his arbitration years, Escobar is the likely Shortstop of the future. In fact, unless a deal is made for someone like a Mark DeRosa, Escobar could be called on to play 2nd at the Major League level, making him a potentially valuable part to the 2009 roster. And really, I don't think this deal gets done without Escobar involved, so, no need to even break down the other players.

Peavy seems to be a perfect match for the Brewers and I could envision this going down and wouldn't be surprised if it did. I just don't think it will happen. If the Brewers decide to make a play for a pitcher, even with a solid start to their staff for 2009, look instead for them to go to their old pal Jack Z. in Seattle. A pitcher like Erik Bedard would be a lot cheaper than Peavy, and Jack would love to get some more of the prospects that he helped bring to professional baseball.

Stay Tuned - As we get closer to the All Star Break, this will be a hot debate topic.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Gagne signs with independent team

Former Cy Young winner, Eric Gagne has signed with Quebec Capitales of the Can-Am League. Even though Gagne made his money on closing in the big leagues, the Capitales will use him as a starter.

For Gagne, I think this is an odd move to convert from closer to starter, or more than likely just an audition for anyone to try him out. He was absolutely terrible last year in Milwaukee, and I thought he would be done. Hopefully, Gagne won't choke against low A baseball players.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Who would you choose?

Last year the Milwaukee Brewers gave up top hitting prospect Matt LaPorta in the C.C. Sabathia swap. It was a good trade without a doubt for both teams, the Brewers made the postseason and LaPorta immediately became the Indians top prospect. That's old news though.

LaPorta was sent down today and the Brewers new top-hitter, Mat Gamel has seen playing time mostly against right-handed pitching. In my mind, as well as in the minds of many Brewers fans, these two hitters will always be linked. One the Crew kept, one they didn't. So let's lay out the facts and compare two very good young players.

Mat Gamel is left-handed and has shown good pop since his call-up, hitting his first major league home run in his second at-bat. Through the minors he's looked like an all fields hitter and batted .306 coming into the season. Good left-handed bats are hard to find, especially ones that can play every day, against lefties in the minors this year he hit .425 with five of his eight home runs. Defensively Gamel's not going to win any gold gloves, but neither is LaPorta.

Matt LaPorta
has big-time power from the right side. He was well known in the baseball world well before being drafted for the moonshot home-runs he hit in college and high school. He raked through the minors before playing in the Olympics last season, then raked for the Indians Triple-A affiliate before he got his call-up. LaPorta's got massive power and will, by many accounts, be a star in the show.

By the numbers: Neither player received regular playing time, and the Indians think they are still contending which is probably why LaPorta was sent down. Comparing what they have done though, in 21 career at-bats Gamel has three doubles, one homer and driven in five. He's also struck-out seven times and walked just once.

LaPorta managed 42 at-bats before being sent down. He had one homer, one double and four driven in. That's one less double and one less RBI than Gamel. He walked four times though and did manage to swipe a couple of bases.

Gamel will only see playing time against right-handed pitchers and only as long as Bill Hall continues to struggle. The Brewers next interleague road series is June 15 when they play against the Indians and follow it up with three at the Tigers. Might we see the Crew matchup against their former top prospect? Doubtful. But don't expect Gamel to stay on the bench too long after that.

It was a no-brainer for the Brewers to give up LaPorta, they didn't have a place for him to play and needed both a left-handed bat and a third baseman. Gamel fit both those needs.

But if you had to pick between these two hitters which would you take? I'd take Gamel, a good left-handed bat is too hard to pass up.

Spelling Bee Champs need to help out the Nationals

Can you find the mistake? Wow, another big mistake, by the Washington Nationals marketing department. Someone has to get the axe, right?

(via D.C. Sports Blog)

Lebron's shot

What a great ending to the 11 o'clock news! Too bad, Michael Jordan's game winner in Cleveland was still better....

Minnesota Sucks

I had the "pleasure" of going to the series finale against the Twins in the Metrodome. Allow me to say, we are very spoiled by Miller Park. About the only thing that kept me from thinking I was at some random Double-A game were the moon shots that Morneau, Mauer, and Crede hit. Otherwise everything else screamed minor leagues to me. Thank God that place is getting replaced next year, even if games will be snowed out in May up there. the concourse was dark and cramped. The scoreboards were small and impossible to find. They had every single gimmick between innings that one could think of. The sound system was worthless. You couldn't understand if the PA announcer was speaking in English or Chinese w/the echos.

Allow me to say good riddance to the Triple-H Dome. Who cares if the new stadium is across the street from a garbage burning facility! It's not like the Metrodome had a pleasant aroma to it anyway!

Monday, May 25, 2009


Bill Hall Are You Serious? Part Deux

Ok, so he took my advice and went to right field today, in a great end to an awesome (but slow) Brewer game. The Crew is now alone atop the NL central and looking to widen the gap over the next couple games, due to the man I have singled out as the biggest a$$bag on the roster.

He didn't disappoint me in the end though with his antics. Upon completion of his walk-off the guy bolts for the dugout at warp speed. This means one of two things to me. First, he forgot what a hit felt like, so he just made his usual run back to the dugout, assuming the out. Second, and most likely, this was a silent "f-u" to the fans. He didn't want to be out there on the field celebrating with the fans over his walkoff hit because we constantly boo him when he does terrible. This shows a ridiculous lack of accountability on his part. It is NOT our fault that we boo you dawg; it's your own. We know you are better than what you are showing, and you suck it up just because you think you can hit 40 homeruns a year. You get pull happy and that leads to longer swings and the sucktitude that comes with it. Everyone can see the player your should be except for you and your ego. Maybe this hit into right center today will spark something for you, but you never cease to amaze me. I can't wait for Bill Hall are you serious: Part Tres.

Let the games begin!!!

Today begins the war for dominance of the NL Central. With the baby bears to the south free-falling (swept by the Padres!), It's the Crew and the Cards. The Brewers, after a dissapointing sweep by the Twins in the Humpty Dump, are at home looking to get back on track. The Cards come to town for a three game set starting today. Here are some things keep in mind:

Season series: Milwaukee 3-0

Pitching Matchups:

Monday: Carpenter(2-0 0.00) v Gallardo (4-2 3.83)

Tuesday: Wainwright(4-2 3.41) v Suppan(3-3 4.71)

Wednsday: Wellemeyer(4-4 5.19) v Parra(3-5 5.79)

Key injuries:

Brewers: Weeks, Riske.

Cardinals: Ludwick, Glaus, Garcia.

Key points:

The Brewers will be facing a better Cards team the one we say just a short week ago. Rick Ankiel has returned to the lineup and will start vs. Milwaukee.

Chris Carpenter has not faced the Crew since 2006.

Look for YoGo to bounce back after his subpar performance in his previous start in Houston. Yo gave up 6 runs on 7 hits in 5 innings. Gallardo has rarely had back to back poor starts so far in his career.



The Milwaukee Brewers were swept by the Minnesota Twins. Fine, it happens. The Brew Crew didn't hit well during the series and they didn't pitch particularly well either. Fine, that happens now and then as well.

Umpire changes call after manager argues. Say again? That's right, After Twins Manager Ron Gardenhire pointed to a bruise on Joe Mauer's arm, MLB Umpire Adrian Johnson actually changed the call. In case you missed it look below.

Has hell frozen over? Is Pete Rose in the hall of fame? What could Johnson possibly have been thinking? Sure Managers argue calls all the time but they never win. We learned when we were in elementary school that throwing tantrums doesn't get you what you want.

Unless of course that tantrum is directed at Johnson. There is so much wrong with this it's hard to say where to begin. The precedent alone is dangerous, one whiney brat gets his way, whose to say the next time a Manager argues with Johnson he won't buy them that mini-bat that their parents won't let them have.

Would Mitch Stetter have gotten Mauer out? Now we'll never know. I'm sure Ron Gardenhire is happy since he got exactly what he asked for.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Twins sweep Brewers

Cameron joins 250/250 Club

Mike Cameron joined the exclusive 250 steals, 250 home runs club tonight as he hit his 250th home run off of Scott Baker in Sunday's game. Cameron makes this exclusive club as the twentieth member. This might be the only bright spot of the series, as the Brewers have lost the last two games in Minnesota.

Alfonso Soriano of the Cubs Suck!, joined the club last month. Current active players in the club are Gary Sheffield, Carlos Beltran, and Alex Rodriguez. Cameron is the second player from the Brewers to join the club, as Robin Yount finished his career with 251 HR, and 271 SB.

Terrell Owens twitters nonsense

It didn't take long for Terrell Owens to arrive in Buffalo, and already call out his former coordinator and star quarterback. Owens recently wrote this on his twitter account:
"neither ws i, blame the OC & romo!! but i'm happy 2 b where i am but i miss the other guys tht were & r true teammates!!"
Not quite sure, how the Queen diva Terrell Owens will survive in Buffalo, but we shall see. How short into training camp will this guy miss the Dallas Cowboys? How long until he wishes that Romo was throwing him the football instead of Trent Edwards? This is another new start for TO, hopefully for him, Buffalo is just an audition for next year.

Miami Dolphins player goes on joy ride

Early Sunday morning, defensive end Randy Starks was arrested for striking an officer with a slow-moving Freight liner truck. Starks was driving the truck on South Beach's Ocean Drive with over ten people in the truck. After bumper to bumper traffic, the officers attempted to stop Starks but he did not stop, and continued to move the freight liner, and pinned the officer into another car.

A couple questions arise here. What is this guy doing with a freight liner at 12:30AM? Doesn't he know nothing good comes after midnight for professional athletes? This seems to be another poor judgement made by an NFL player. Starks was arrested and released on $10,000 bail but we'll see what Commisionner Goodell decides to do after this crime is investigated.

Bucky impacting Stanley Cup Playoffs

We're closing in on the Stanley Cup finals and there is a good chance that a former Wisconsin Badger skater will be hoisting up the cup.

This year's western conference finals pits Original Six rivals Detroit and Chicago, two teams that have never liked each other and never will. Those two teams also feature a trio of Badgers.

Chris Chelios -(Right) The Red Wing defenseman is bringing new meaning to the words "veteran", Chelios is 47 years old and started his NHL career in 1984. He's only managed four games this postseason and no points. But he doesn't exactly have the speed he once did. Chelios was last with Wisconsin in 1982-83.

Brian Rafalski - (Left) Another Detroit defenseman, Rafalski is the triggerman for the Wings' power play. He's got five points and sports an impressive +8. Rafalski was fun to watch in college, especially during the 1994-95 season when he was named WCHA Defenseman of the year and scored 45 points in 43 games.

Adam Burish - (Right) The Blackhawks Winger has gained a reputation as an agitator in the NHL. He's an excellent defensive player and is one of my favorite Badgers of all-time. A Madison, WI, native, Burish captained Bucky's 2005-06 National Championship team, which one it all at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee.

Burish has five points in the postseason, he also led the team in penalty minutes going into Sunday's game four. He made his appearance in the highlight shows when he took this skate to the neck. Don't worry, he stayed in the game after getting bandaged up.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bill Hall are you serious?

Is anyone else tired of looking at Mr. Mother's Day? Just the sight of him coming to the plate angers me. We've been putting up with the same level of output (nothing!) for years now, based off of one lucky season. Yet we keep running him out there, and he doesn't disappoint.

In his mind he appears the he has his at-bats under control. He'll nod approvingly at a strike that is called on him, agreeing with the umpire on a good call. Why don't you swing the bat then you dipstick? Oh thats right, because your grotesquely long swing can't catch up to anything. I actually just watched him hit a ball into center and stare at it like he knocked it out of the park, marveling at his routine flyout to center field. I suppose it's better than missing the ball completely, which he is very accustomed to. Maybe it's that gigantic chew in his mouth that is distracting him. It reminds of me of a closer we had back in the day named Curtis Leskanic who was supposed to be our savior. I think the 3 pounds of chew in his mouth cut into his fastball speed and took some break off his curve.

Anyhow I'm getting distracted. Bill Hall needs to do one of two things. Start taking shorter hacks and go to right (the long ball will follow accordingly) or take your pink bat collection and get the hell off of our team. Seacrest out (oh yes I did).

Put 'em in pads

I'm not sure what made me think of this, maybe an offhand comment Brian Anderson or some odd train of thought. So here's what I was thinking, if you put the Milwaukee Brewers on a football field, where would all your favorite players line-up? Well here's how I think it would go...

Quarterback - J.J. Hardy - The quarterback is the face of the team, so at least you'd bring in the female fanbase. He'd probably be solid in the pocket but not too good when scrambling. J.J. is not exactly fleet of foot but his arm makes up for his speed.

Running Back - Rickie Weeks - I know Corey Hart is the fastest on the team, but Rickie can run a bit too. Just run a toss play and watch him go, there are no errors in football.

Wide Receiver - Corey Hart - At 6'6" and with great speed just throw the ball deep and let him catch it. Something tells me we wouldn't see him going over the middle though.

Wide Receiver - Ryan Braun - Wideout is the diva position, not that Braun is a diva. But to borrow from a previous post on this blog, I think that is the position that could most contain his "swagger." And yes, I would fully expect to hear "give me the damn ball."

Safety - Mike Cameron - Cam can run down everything, with his speed he'd be a ball hawk in the defensive backfield. I don't know about you but I wouldn't want to go over the middle against him.

Middle Linebacker - Jason Kendall - Captain of the Defense, he knows where everyone will be and exactly what to do to stop an offense. I have a feeling he would not be averse to laying out a running back either.

Defensive Lineman - Prince Fielder - I would not want to be the quarterback that Prince is targeting. Once he get's going he'll bowl over the O-line and not stop until the quarterback is picking himself up off the turf.

Backup Quarterback - Jeff Suppan - I can't really explain this one, but something about Suppan just screams "Doug Pederson" to me.

Tight End - Seth McClung - Probably more of a blocking tight end, McClung is 6'6" and 262 lbs. Send him over the middle and I don't know how many people would want to challenge him. He doesn't strike me as someone averse to contact either.

Kicker - Trevor Hoffman - Not a big guy, really you wonder what he's doing on the field. But he does one thing so well that the team wouldn't survive without him.

Any thoughts, differences or disagreements?

BallHype: hype it up!

Brewer Fans Are Valuable....But We Knew That

Brewers fans are the 2nd most valuable fans in the league...not bad for the smallest MLB market.

People drink at Miller Park, what? Get Rowdy with the Cubs fans, no way! This "hard hitting" investigation is a joke, and with only .01% of the approximate attendance getting ejected or cited, I actually think I will feel safer in Miller Park than I will walking down the street.

Remember to Vote Brewers

Now I leave you with a video of the 'classy' Cubs fans having fun in their 'sweet' Wrigley restrooms.

BallHype: hype it up!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Cuddyer stomps Brew Crew

Welcome to the other Brewers rivalry. The Twins stay hot after yesterday's shellacking of the White Sox, and pin the Brewers 11-3. Not only did the Brewers show no enthusiasm, Michael Cuddyer was able to hit for the cycle against the Crew with a broken bat triple.

Manny Parra struggled mightily after giving the Crew five straight quality starts, by giving up 8 earned runs in 3 1/3 innings of work. With tonight's outing Parra's ERA rose to 5.79. Even the budding confidence of Parra, will this loss curb his confidence?

In more injury news, JJ Hardy left the game in the bottom of the fourth with back spasms.

The Twins are now 5-2 against the Brewers in interleague play in the last two years.

And when are the Brewers just going to start Mat Gamel every day? This situation seems to remind me of Braun's scenario. Well guess what, Braun produced way more runs, than he gave up....time to start Gamel!

Tomorrow night it will be Braden Looper pitching against Anthony Swarzak, making his first appearance.

BallHype: hype it up!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Crew deals Gwynn Jr.

It was clear at the end of spring training that Tony Gwynn Jr's time with the Milwaukee Brewers was coming to a close, that became official today when the Crew dealt the Hall of Famer's kid back to his home town team for outfielder Jody Gerut.

Gwynn failed to make the opening day roster for the Brewers this year and cleared waivers, meaning no other team wanted him. But, after playing well in an every day role in Triple-A he made himself at the very least, trade bait.In his major league career TGJ is a .248 hitter, mostly as a fourth outfielder.

The player the Brewers added may mean the end of Chris Duffy's time on the big league roster. Duffy is 4-32 on the year. Gerut on the other hand is a veteran of five major league seasons and a career .267 hitter. He'll only be a fourth outfielder for Milwaukee. This season he's hitting just .221 with four homers and 14 driven in.

This deal may mean the Brewers will try and bring Mike Cameron back to play Centerfield next year and possibly the year after depending on the development of prospect Lorenzo Cain.

I know I echo the sentiments of a lot of Brewer fans when I say I'm sorry to see Gwynn go, if he had ever gotten a chance to play every day for Milwaukee I'm sure he would have been successful. At the very least he'll get a chance to go back home and play in a city the will immediately embrace him. Good Luck Tony!

Minor League flip flop

A pair of first round picks are trading spots for the Brewers. 2006 first round pick Jeremy Jeffress is heading down to High-A Brevard County and 2001 first round pick Mike Jones is heading to Double-A Huntsville.

Both are Pitchers, Jones' career has been waylaid by shoulder and elbow injuries so to see him pitching at all is a minor miracle. Jeffress has been hampered by control problems and a substance abuse suspension.

The reason for the swap? Jeffress seems to have completely lost the strike zone in the month of May. In his last four starts he's walked 21. No need to panic yet though, remember, Jeffress was the pitcher of the year for the Crew's system a year ago. It wouldn't be surprising to see him back at Huntsville within a month or two.

What we really can read into this is the progression Mike Jones. Keep your fingers crossed, if he can stay healthy he will put himself back on the map. For Brevard County this year Mike is 4-0 with 26 K's and an ERA of 4.06, which is slightly inflated because in his last start he gave up five runs.

Jones could be fast tracked as well, he's 26 and was drafted the same year as Tim Dillard, Manny Parra, J.J. Hardy and former brewers Dennis Sarfate and Brad Nelson. If he pitches well for Huntsville he could get bumped to Nashville at the end of the season.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

George Brett is not happy

George Brett defends Trey Hillman against the local Kansas City Media. And what are they complaining about? KC is above .500 and Zach Greinke is pitching lights out.

Brad Nelson signs with Seattle

Brad Nelson has found a new home in Seattle with a familiar face. Jack Zduriencik, former sidekick of Doug Melvin picked him up a few days after clearing waivers. He has already been assigned to Class AAA Toledo.

If I recall, isn't this the reason Nelson left the Crew was because he was blocked by Hart and Fielder? Well now he's blocked by former Brewer, Russell Branyan, and Ken Griffey Jr.

Good luck Brad, hopefully you'll get a hit soon.

What not to do

You probably should not do this on Mother's Day at Miller Park. Hopefully, she wasn't there!


Badgers lose Blue for now

Bo Ryan and the Badgers have lost a non-binding commitment to Vander Blue. A standout for Madison Memorial, Blue verbally committed to Wisconsin when he was only 15. The Badgers will continue to recruit Blue, and hopefully sign him to a letter of intent.

"In the long run if I feel home is where I need to be," he said, "you'll see me up here with another press conference signing a letter of intent with Bo Ryan."
via "UW Put on hold" (

So it looks like Blue might be leaving his hometown Badgers, I have an idea for him. Do exactly what Wesley Matthews did. Leave Madison, and head east to Milwaukee and go play for Buzz Williams. In fact, while working out for the Bucks, Wesley Matthews doesn't think the Badgers fit Blue's style.

"Not a knock on the Badgers, but I just don't think that Vander, knowing him as a person and a player, would be his best fit," said Matthews, after a pre-draft workout with the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday. "I'm not even saying Marquette would be his best fit, I just know that his best fit would be being able to get up and down (the floor). He needs to be taught to play off ball screens and make reads and stuff like that."
via "Marquette's Matthews says Badgers don't fit Blue" (

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Iribarren gets the call

Hernan Iribarren it is, for now at least. Utility man Hernan Iribarren was called up today to take the spot of the injured Rickie Weeks. Iribarren can play second base and also backup the outfield.

Realistically we'll see him in a pinch-hit/pinch-run role, it's doubtful he'll get any starts. In 35 starts for Triple-A Nashville Iribarren is hitting .308 with a .354 OBP. He's got 10 doubles, two triples and a home run with six steals in nine tries. In the field Iribarren has committed only one error.

Don't think that this injury means Mat Gamel will stick at the major league level either. Once interleague play is done and Frank Catalanotto has gotten some at-bats in the minors Gamel will be sent back down. He needs to play every day to continue his defensive improvement and can't hammer out those issues for a team in the division race.

I expect that the Brewers are content to fill their second base opening with in-house options until that proves a liability.

Green takes the field

How about some good news for Brewer Nation? Highly rated IF prospect Taylor Green returned to the field over the weekend after wrist surgery in January. Green, a 25th round draft pick plays primarily at 3B and is kicking off his minor league season at Class-A Wisconsin.

In the four games he's played so far Green has raked, hitting .500 with a home run and five driven in. He's also walked three times. Expect him to remain for a little while longer before heading to Huntsville(AA) for the duration.

If you're a baseball fan in the Fox Valley now would be a good time to go see the Rattlers play. Green was the minor league player of the year for the Brewers in 2007 and that team also features future major leaguer Brett Lawrie. Not to mention Cutter Dysktra and Cody Scarpetta who pitched a 1-hitter the other night.

Monday, May 18, 2009


Rickie Weeks is out for the season......oh boy.

What will Doug Melvin do? Craig Counsell will start at 2nd tonight, with Mat Gamel making his first start at third. Is Alcides Escobar an option? - Weeks out for season

Bogut Cleared to workout

In basketball news, Andrew Bogut has been cleared to begin work outs. Bogut played 36 games for the Bucks this past season, and with a bad back had to shut it down ending the Bucks hope. Now, we just have to wait to see if all goes well with Bogut and Michael Redd.

Scott Skiles and John Hammond got a free pass this season due to losing two key players forcing Jefferson to be the lone star. The Bucks hung in there, and played hard, but just couldn't reach the 8th playoff spot. At times, the games were dreadful, it was the first time that I can remember that I never attended a Bucks game at all. With the playoffs headed into the conference finals, the Bucks will prepare on their next draft pick. Hopefully, the Bucks can bring some excitement back to the Bradley Center.

DiFelice stuns everyone

Mark DiFelice is getting more exposure. Excellent article below.

Jeff Passan, Yahoo! Sports DiFelice's single, slow and unhittable pitch

Get the broom out

With a win tonight, the Brewers remain hot and really stick it to the Cardinals. Or, maybe it could be the storyline that coincides with this possible sweep. Due to the rain out, former Cardinal Braden Looper will take the hill tonight against the man that replaced him in the rotation. The Cards didn't even try to retain Looper, and instead signed Kyle Lohse for four years, $41 million. Looper started the year well, but his last few starts have been shaky. He has posted a 1-2 record with a 7.71 ERA in his last three starts.

Hopefully, if Looper can pitch into the 6th inning with minimum damage and the bats are hitting, the Brew Crew should be in good shape. And maybe silence Matthew Leach of MLB.COM. Then again my post is probably a demonstration of the Brewers and their swagger.

And bad news for Rickie Weeks, the Brewers sent him to Arizona to see Don Sheridan -- who performed his last wrist surgery in 2005. Hopefully, this is just a precaution and Weeks can just hit the 15 day DL and get back quickly. Otherwise, more bad luck for Weeks as he is having his best year in the bigs.

Worse Case Scenario

News of Rickie Weeks' "Sore" Wrist is not good. It seems like every time something is going good for Rickie he gets hurt. This time, Weeks left Sunday's game against the Cardinals after striking out in the first inning. The culprit was a sore left wrist, which is better news that a sore right wrist which is what was surgically repaired in 2005.

The fact that Weeks is seeing a specialist is not a good sign. So let's assume the worst, the Brew Crew will be without their leadoff hitter and second baseman for an extended period of time. So what are the choices?

On the starting roster now it's likely that Craig Counsell and Casey McGehee would see the majority of playing time which would bring to question whether or not Mat Gamel would remain on the roster to play of the bench. I doubt this is a viable option because Gamel needs to play every day in the field if he is going to be the future at third base. So I expect that Gamel will return to the majors at the end of interleague play.

Who in the minors will be able to step in at second base then? Hernan Iribarren is probably the most likely answer, not because he would be a starter for the crew, but because he would fill a good spot on the bench. Iribarren is left-handed and has been a utility player in the minors. He's a career .317 hitter in the minors and got a taste of the bigs last season.

If Milwaukee is going to need an even more long-term answer, why not look to free agency? One intriguing option would be Ray Durham. He has not retired, but he doesn't have a team yet either. Down the stretch Durham hit .280 for Milwaukee as the Brewers made their playoff run.

Another option would be an equally veteran player and Milwaukee native Mark Grudzielanek. A second baseman, Grudzielanek hit .299 in 86 games for the Royals a year ago. In his 14-year career he is a .290 hitter.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Farm Report: May 15

Well, It's happened. The Brew Crew officially called up Mat Gamel to DH next week and pinch-hit until then. So here is the skinny on the next in a long line of Brewers hitting prospects.

Mat Gamel (3B): He can hit, a .336 average and 20 extra base hits in 33 minor league games can attest to that so we move on to the defense where there are sure signs of improvement. Gamel had four errors in the first seven games. In the 26 since then he's had four more. He'll get a chance at third base because of that left-handed swing.

Nashville Sounds (AAA)

Alcides Escobar (SS): Escobar has been just O.K. so far this season. He's 18-22 on stolen bases but his average sits at .257. The OBP is better (.311) but could stand to improve.

Angel Salome (C): The bad, he still finds himself mired in a season long slump. For a guy who has been a .322 hitter in the minors coming into this season, the .200 average is not acceptable. The good, since we last checked in Salome launched his first two homers and his OBP is .079 higher than his average (.279 OBP).

Tony Gwynn Jr. (CF)(Right): Gwynn has been raking of late, a .359 over his last ten games he also launched his first long ball of the year, a lead-off shot against Omaha on Monday. Also Tony has more walks than strikeouts and still hasn't been caught stealing.

Cole Gillespie (OF): The former third round pick is starting to find his way at the plate, in his last ten games he is hitting .296. His plate presence continues to impress, his OBP is .333 compared to a .204 average.

Tim Dillard (P)(Left): ERA is good (2.31), Win loss is good (5-1), and no home-runs allowed in 35 IP. Still his strikeout to walk numbers aren't very good (15:12). That said he is the number one option to step in in case of an injury, he may also be a candidate for the rotation next season depending how things shake up.

Best of the Rest:
Mike Burns (P) is 5-0 with an ERA of 2.27 in seven starts, Hernan Iribarren (2B) is hitting .321.

Huntsville Stars (AA)

Jonathon Lucroy (C): His average has dipped, he's now hitting .250, but his OBP is still impressive at .368. He did jack his second homer of the year earlier this month though.

Chris Cody (SP)
(Right with Brevard County): Cody continues to impress, his ERA is under 2.00 and he has only walked seven in 32.2 IP. I doubt he'd get a call-up to Nashville however, he'll probably spend the whole season at Huntsville.

Jeremy Jeffress (P): Not Good, he's walked five in each of his last three starts and seen his ERA skyrocket to 7.04. Is a move to the bullpen coming soon?

Best of the Rest:
Remember Drew Anderson (OF), well he's back with the Brewers and hitting .368 for the Huntsville outfield. Mike McClendon (P) and Casey Baron (P) have been solid in relief, with ERA's around 1.50.

Brevard County Manatees (High-A)

Eric Farris (2B): He's raking in his last ten. Farris hit his first two homers of the year and is batting .357 to raise his season average to .267. He's also 16-16 in stolen base attempts.

Caleb Gindl (OF) (Left): Gindl has driven in 27 runs and is hitting .325. He's scuffling lately though, hitting only .231 in his last ten.

Evan Anundsen (SP): He put himself on the map with the no-hitter, he's won both starts since than and struck out seven against two walks.

Mike Jones (SP): A first round pick in 2001, Jones has been solid this year. He's 4-0 and tossed 33 innings. His era is 3.21 and he has 22 K's.

Mark Rogers (SP): Nothing worth mentioning, he pitched again but unless he does something I'm gonna leave him be for a month or so.

Best of the Rest:
There's a bunch of good relief performances for Brevard County, Roque Mercedes (P), John Axford (P), Brandon Rapoza (P), Robert Wooten (P), Rafael Lluberes (P) and Zach Braddock (P) all have ERA's around or below 1.00.

Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Low A)

Brock Kjeldgaard (1B): Need to see the average (.228) head north, but the other numbers are good. Five home runs and 21 driven in, OBP is .352 though.

Brett Lawrie (2B)
: Five doubles, four triples, four homers and 21 driven in. The offense is solid, seven errors though.

Cutter Dykstra (OF)
: Struggling mightily, Dykstra has .172 in his last ten games and his average has dropped to .212 on the year.

Cody Scarpetta (SP): Scarpetta has struck out 32 in 22 IP but is winless against two losses.

Wily Peralta (SP): An undrafted free agent signing, Peralta has been solid. He's got 23 K's against 8 walks but the ERA is a bit high (4.33).

Daniel Meadows (P)(Right): His 5-0 record is outstanding, even better is his WHIP, which leads the team at .92.

Best of the Rest
Corey Kemp (C) is hitting .333 in his last ten games, he's driven in 12 on the year.

For the Record (Injured Edition):
Don't forget about these guys, they'll be back and play an important role.

Chris Capuano (SP): He should be pitching soon, it's a bad sign that he hasn't yet. But May was the expected return so we'll keep you updated as to his status when it becomes available.

Sam Narron (SP): Hasn't pitched for Nashville for a while, hopefully he'll return to the Sounds rotation soon.

Lorenzo Cain (CF): Widely considered the Brewers top Centerfield prospect, Cain is out until June with a torn ligament in his knee. He'll return to Huntsville when he is healed.

Taylor Green (3B)
: Minor League player of the year in 2007, Green had wrist surgery back in January and was slated to be ready to play in May. It's May and he hasn't played yet, so much like Capuano we'll let you know what happens (Hopefully soon). I would expect him to head to Huntsville when healthy.