Friday, July 31, 2009

Tony Gwynn Jr.

Is it wrong that I want Tony Gwynn Jr. to destroy the Brewers in this series? I think it would be awesome. Am I an A$$bag? Thoughts.

Will The Bells Ring Once More in San Diego?

Trevor Hoffman was a staple of San Diego, but with new ownership looking to cut cost, Hoffman was essentially given the "nice to know you, now get out" treatment. The real losers in this were the fans. They never got their goodbye. They didn't know for sure that the last time those Hells Bells rang in 2008, that it would be possibly the last time they rang for him in PETCO ever. We as Brewer fans knew Geoff Jenkins was done as a Brewer in 2007. I was in the left field bleachers when he was pulled out late in the game (yes the same game the Brewers won to sweep the Padres and send them to a playoff game vs the Rockies). The fans got their good bye. San Diego fans have yet to get that.

Enter the scenario that entered my twisted head. If Hoffman comes out for a save against his old team, will the sound guy keep things quiet as most home teams will do when an opposing team attempts to close out a game, or will he give the fans what they will likely be asking for, AC/DC?

The last thing you want to do is pump up the opposing team, but the Padres have little to play for this season, so do you give the fans a reason to stand and cheer? They will be up and cheering anyhow, but why not put them into a frenzy? They're smart fans, they'll go back to cheering the bats the moment action resumes. I'm sure they would love to see how it feels to be on the other end of a Gwynn game winning hit off of Trevor.

Let's just hope the Brewers have a lead to find out if PETCO rings the bells once more! And if you are a San Diego fan reading this, leave a comment and let me know what your actual thoughts are, maybe I am way off.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Good Luck Bill Hall - We Mean That

We at Sheffield's House have been hard on you Bill Hall. Very hard in fact. The number of A$$BAGS that flew around this website were plentiful. Those, A$$BAGS, certainly made sure we didn't fool anyone into thinking we were trying to look professional, but Bill, you deserved them.

Bill, you gave us a great 2006, and we appreciated that. You then struggled in 2007, but we all agreed that you just needed to find a permanent home on defense, and you found it at third base after Braun was moved to the outfield. But, Billy, you struggled even worse in 2008. You said you couldn't see the ball and that LaSIK would fix that in the offseason, we bit at that. In 2009 though, no excuses, just, plain bad!

It had to hurt your pride to accept assignment, you certainly didn't have to, but you knew it was in everyone's best interest. You need quality ABs to get your stroke back and you aren't going to get that in Milwaukee. So, way to man up and head to Nashville. You gained a little bit of my respect back.

Here's hoping you do find your swing, it'll be a nice shot in the arm for the ball club that might need it come September. Everyone likes a good come back story, even Milwaukee, even for you.

Good Luck Bill, you show the Pacific League who the boss is! Remember, Bill Hall won wins games!

Toppers Pizza Trades for Bill Hall

The Milwaukee Brewers Triple A affiliate has agreed to trade Bill Hall to Toppers softball for select menu items, as part of a weight training/gaining regimen. The deal includes only traditional pizzas, as Bill Hall does not bring enough to the table to warrant house pizzas. Requests for taco and pepperonistix were denied as well, replaced by original breadstix and no sauces in the box.

"We feel Bill Hall will be a decent contributor to our Tuesday night men's league in Milwaukee," Toppers franchisee and team manager John Kubisiak said. "There are many adjustments we do have in store for him however. He will still only face left-handed pitching. He will not be allowed to stick that monstrous chew in his mouth during games either. We feel it hurts his concentration. Also, he must not rest his bat on his shoulders or he will receive a team fine. Players will be looking for him to pull, so he also only allowed to go to right field. Anything to the left of center will also result in a team fine."

Bill Hall could not be reached for comment, which also resulted in a team fine.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

When To Believe Brett Favre

We all know Aesop's famous fable about the boy who cried wolf. For fun and for attention he would cry wolf and nearby villagers would come to his aide only to find out he had been lying. Well, one day a wolf did come but the villagers assuming the boy was lying did not. The boy got eaten (or his flock of sheep if you want the watered down version).

We obviously see the comparison between this fable and Brett Favre. Who once again is saying he has retired for good, no one believes him. His credibility is shot. So, I am not yet ready to say that all wounds with Packer Nation are beginning to heal, not yet.

What will it take for me to say Brett Favre is officially done with playing in the NFL?:

- Favre signs a one day contract with the Packers, then submits retirement papers to the league office. This will not only win back many of his once adoring Packer fans who have turned on him (myself included), but be a pretty good indication that he truly is hanging them up.

- Favre actually misses Week 1-8. His record streak of consecutive starts is officially over after the first week, but that isn't what keeps him going. Why through week 8 though? If the Vikings current QB options fail miserably (and they will) and the Viking team is fairing poorly. Don't think the idea of playing half a season on a very good team that has little expectations after a poor start wouldn't be intriguing. He couldn't be a goat, only a savior. If they continue to fail, well, the ship was doomed from the start. If they go on a tear and make the playoffs or further, guess who gets all the credit?

-Favre signs a contract to play in the inaugural season of the UFL. Talk about one way to get a start-up league some face time with the mainstream media. The publicity would be huge and the expectations low. Think about how people cared about MLS for at least one month after David Beckham signed with the Galaxy. If the UFL can get at least one month of people caring, that will be one month more than even their own wildest expectations! Then with 4 or 6 teams in the inaugural season, Favre would have another chance at a professional football championship. I would be in favor of this, especially if his jersey says, "TT Hates Me"

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bucks sign Jennings

The future of the Milwaukee Bucks, Brandon Jennings has signed his rookie contract today. He will earn $3.75 million over the next two years and the Bucks will have the option his third year. During NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, Jennings averaged 14.6 points and 8.2 assists.

Out of the gates, Jennings looks to be the started for the Milwaukee Bucks as the point guard position. If you watched any of the Summer league games he is a young exciting player to watch. He opens the floor with his quickness and make those quick decisions that lead to easy baskets. The Bucks trotted out Luke Ridnour last year, and what a disappointment that was! Actually, I had ZERO expectations for Ridnour and he did not let me down. Ramon Sessions could resign with the team, as the Bucks can match any contract offer from another team if they choose to do so. Seems like a win-win for both the Bucks and Jennings.

The NBA season is a long way away, but its been a unexpected offseason for many teams. Many thought this may be a slow FA market with the 2010 free agent bonanza. What are your early expectations of the Milwaukee Bucks?

THANK YOU Brett Favre (I hope)

Wisconsin sports fan can breath a sigh of relief today. According to, Brett Favre, Wisconsin's football hero/soap opera star, is staying retired. The dreaded future of Favre in purple has been officially shelved.


Does he know what official means?


Mayday mayday mayday

Well, if last night wasn't terrible enough, we may get to see Josh Willingham hit another couple grand slams off of Carlos Villanueva. V12 has not started a game since May of last year, and has not been too sharp as of lately. Tim Dillard was brought up from Nashville, and if you were a betting man, you would have put your money on him over Villanueva. But no, Villanueva has 2-0 record with a 1.46 ERA in 5 appearances. So that explains that, because Macha is a stat geek (just like Yost).

The Brewers are 1 game under .500 and are 4 GB. We know the Cubs will blow it, but will the Cardinals?

Did I mention as a team the Brewers are hitting .259 to the Nat's .263 for the season? Ouch, must be the day games.

The Bandwagon Just Got a Lot Lighter

Many people are still feeling the road rash that they encountered after leaping off the Brewers bandwagon after last night's embarrassing defeat to the Washington Nationals. Most of us were still clinging on before last night, waiting to see what this series along with the next one against the Padres, would bring.

Enter Jeff Suppan in the 5th (and 6th) inning of last night's game. Exit fan's hopes and dreams of a repeat playoff trip.

So quickly do people forget that those who bailed off the wagon in April when the Brewers fell 5 games below .500 were left with healing wounds and the heckling from those who stayed aboard. The Brewers turned it around, and those fans who jumped off had to chase the wagon and crawl back on.

Yes, in April, when our fears were 'realized', that the pitching staff wasn't very good, and it put a huge strain on the bullpen, and well, the Brewers weren't winning games. It was ugly. Then something happened, the pitchers started going deep, the bullpen got refreshed, and the Brewer's bats were able to score the runs we all knew they could. They were the best team in baseball from the end of April to the end of May. What was our pitching staff then? Gallardo, Suppan, Bush, Looper, Parra. Right now we are missing a Dave Bush until sometime in August, but it is the same rotation right?

Maybe last night was the spark they needed, the slap on the back of the head to wake them up. Maybe, just maybe they can go on a similar type of run that they did during May! Maybe we shouldn't forget the Colorado Rockies a couple years back making an incredible, unforeseen surge late in the year (with help from Tony Gwynn Jr. and the Brewers) ....or, maybe we should chime the familiar chime we hear from the area around Chewing Gum Stadium every October..."wait until next year".

Let's see how the Brewers come out tonight, no, wait Villa is starting! Let's wait to see how the Brewers come out for the game Wednesday. Then for those still clinging on to the bandwagon by your fingertips, you'll know if you should hop back up or prepare yourself for football season.

Where am I you ask? Oh, I jumped off, and I am still rolling "right down Wisconsin Ave", but I am a passionate fan who over reacts on a game by game basis. So you know what? I'll will gladly chase that bandwagon and hop back on if given the opportunity. If the Brewers can at least keep their heads above the water until September, anything can happen (see 2008). Let's hope we can fill that wagon back up!

Has the Brewers 2009 Bandwagon officially been broken?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Jeff Suppan Sucks

Not only does he suck, but you have to love the timing of FSN. The guy gives up 8 runs in less than two innings, and during his pitching change they decide to run a recycling commercial featuring HIM. Not the best way to achieve going green.

Hardy traded for 1969 Camaro

Breaking news in the Baseball trade market, the Milwaukee Brewers have traded shortstop J.J. Hardy for a 1969 Chevy Camaro. "I'm totally pumped" says GM Doug Melvin. Melvin said he wanted to "improve team speed," he also looked into purchasing a segway for the slow footed Hardy so he could get down the line quicker, but league rules wouldn't allow it.

"I thought we would be lucky to get a short bus for J.J.," said First Baseman Prince Fielder between bites of salad, "When Doug said we'd be getting a Camaro, I was like hell yea!"

"I was hoping for a Toyota Scion" said Leftfielder Ryan Braun. He went on to explain that he thought his t-shirt designs would look good on a Scion. "It would just be so radical," said Braun, while holding one of his RB8 bats.

Hardy was informed of the trade by Melvin pulling up in front of his house at midnight in the newly acquired Camaro and revving the engine loudly. Neighbors reported hearing Foreigner's "Urgent" being blasted over the car's stereo system.

Hardy said he thought the trade was fair, but when he asked for a ride to the airport in the Camaro he was disappointed to be handed a bus ticket.

When reached for comment Melvin was found "whippin' shitties" in the Miller Park Parking Lot with Manager Ken Macha.
"We just wanted to give the fans something worth watching at the ballpark," said Melvin over the strains of Bryan Adams' "Summer of 69."

Macha said Rightfielder Corey Hart will only be allowed to use the Camaro at night, when wearing sunglasses. "I'm just so totally stoked, this is gonna be a great summer, hold on I love this part," said Macha as he proceded to stand on the roof of the car and shout "those were the best days of my life."

Baseball people love the trade, ESPN's Buster Olney says the Camaro "has all the tools to be a successful Major Leaguer." While Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman lauded the move as "the boldest of the year," saying "If this doesn't make the Brewers a better baseball team I don't know what will."

When asked for a comment ESPN senior writer Peter Gammons asked what the Brewers were and went back to writing his new book titled "Real Housewives of the Yankees and Red Sox."

In an unrelated move, Third Baseman Bill Hall was dealt for a moped with one tire and no handlebars. Also, the Brewers front office is in talks to trade Outfielder Jody Gerut for replacement parts for the moped, but he acknowledges that "We probably won't be able to get both the tire and the handlebars for Jody, we may have to settle for just one. But how sweet would a moped be?"

Friday, July 24, 2009

Matt Holliday To The Cards: Yuck

We at Sheffields House, being massive Brewers fans, should probably write a really long article about the significance of the Matt Holliday trade to the Cardinals. Frankly I'm too upset about it write said article, so this is what you get: This doesn't help our chances to win the Division.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Favre getting cold feet?

According to Ed Werder, Brett Favre seems "anguished" over choice on whether or not to play for the Minnesota Vikings. Is he getting cold feet this close to his self-mandated date on whether to return or not? I'd have to think this very important decision for Favre is quite the opposite of a stress relaxer. While, Brett has fans in Green Bay ready to start bon-fires of his memorabilia, and Vikings fans thinking Super Bowl, will it be a yes or no?

With receiving phone calls from star Vikings players trying to lure him back with the temptation of another Super Bowl seem to great, Brett's diva skills are conflicting him. Is he more worried about his legacy if he fails?

Who cares, we all know he'll throw 30 TDs, and 25 INTs regardless next year. He'll have to put aside his me-first attitude in Minnesota, unlike his first stint away from Green Bay in New York where players seemed to hate on him.

Also, how would you feel ife you were Sage Rosenfels or Tavaris Jackson? Would you want to play on a team with its players and coaches trying to bring in another QB? These two players are the victims, right along side Green Bay Packer fans and Favre's legacy.

Series Preview - vs. Atlanta Braves

Another huge weekend series for your Milwaukee Brewers against the Atlanta Braves this weekend. The Braves are currently 49-46 and 5.5 games back from the NL East leading Phillies. While our Brewers have had a rough couple of weeks, with a record of 48-47 which gives us 4th best in the NL Central. Did we mention after winning 17 consecutive games, the Crew snapped the winning streak and lost the series to the STINKING PIRATES!!!!

Probable Starters:
FRI 7:05 Parra vs. Vazquez
SAT 7:05 Gallardo vs. Hanson
SUN 1:05 Looper vs. Lowe

With those pitching match ups nothing will be easy for the Brewers. To stay in contention for even the Wild Card (starting to panic), the Crew needs to win the series. I'll let them lose the day game, because that's what they do, they have only won 11 day games all year. Very pathetic.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Huntsville in danger?

During an interview with the Huntsville Times earlier this month, Gord Ash warned that the lack of attendance could cause the Brewers to leave after their agreement expires after the 2010 season. The Stars are last in average attendance in the Southern League just averaging 1,523 fans a game. And it isn't because of the farm talent the Brewers have had there, or because the Stars don't win games. The Brewers have had quite a bit of talent run through Huntsville the last few years. So what's the problem Huntsville? The Brewers left Indianapolis a few years ago, also left Beloit, and now may be relocating after the 2010 season with their AA team.

I guess even if the PCL Redbirds with the nicest stadium is losing attendance and money, some minor league teams might also be struggling with the economy more than their big league counterparts.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Jason "The Animal" Kendall

After his near brawl with half the Pirates bench on monday night, the word is out that this man is not to be trifled with. So it begs the question: Who will have the guts to beam another Brewers hitter?

A Dish Served Cold - Vol. 2.

April 27, 2009

-Chris Smith was closing games for AAA Nashville
-Trevor Hoffman made his debut with the Brewers.
-The sound crew learns to not play Hells Bells for non-save situations.

But, what mattered on this date was Pirates pitcher Jeff Karstens nailed Braun in the middle of the back with a high heater, in what appeared to be a purposeful beaning. The Brewers were none too happy about this either. With Braun telling Bud Selig that there would be retaliation:

“We play them about 17 more times (actually 13). Tell Mr. Selig, we’ll see what happens. It’s going to be interesting.”

Sheffield's House's own Lange said at the time:
So what I wonder, is when and who will face retribution? The two teams have 12 more games against each other so does Macha wait until the next time the Crew sees Jeff Karstens in the batters box and put one between the numbers or will we see Adam LaRoche given a base via bruise in game two tonight? I say wait, and make sure Karstens gets his.

July 20, 2009
Well, good job Lange Macha took your advice!

Last night, almost 3 months after the mentioned incident. Chris Smith comes into the game at the top of the inning to face who else but Jeff Karstens. The Buc's manager had to know what was going to happen, essentially leaving Karstens (now a reliever) to the slaughter. I guarantee you Kendall was salivating when he saw Jeff step into the box. Here is what ensues:

So, Braun got his payback from his pitching staff...the same pitching staff he basically slammed not all that long ago.

I quickly sent an e-mail to Lange, that perhaps Braun just needed to see that to fire him back up. Braun's next AB:

Remember this NL Central...The Deputy gets his way! (and don't mess with Kendall either, wow)
Jeff Karstens tried to fight the law...the law won!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ill Say It Again: I'm Glad I'm Not A Cubs Fan

Due to the rain delay that is keeping me from my beloved Brewers I had the distinct pleasure of checking out Monday Night Baseball on ESPN. To my shagrin (butchered that spelling) it was the Phillies/Cubs. It did give me an opportunity to witness quite the beatdown however (In game feed, so hopefully I don't jinx the Phils). Its amazing just how lazy someone can be. Soriano was responsible for back-to-back defensive blunders, including a miscommunication with Fukudome and a straight-out booted fly ball, leading to multiple runs. This brings to mind images of Jason Kendall's triple into the left-field corner in a game against the Cubs I attended. How do you let Kendall get a triple in left field and still call yourself a professional? I think you get paid enough to TRY, don't you Alfonso? I offer no advice to Lou on how to handle this lack of team effort, as it is great to watch them fail....again....and forever.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Let's make a deal!

According to JSOnline, the Milwaukee Brewers have made their second trade of the season, adding infielder Felipe Lopez from the Arizona Diamondbacks. To get the player that will likely be their new starting second baseman, the Crew gave up outfield prospect Cole Gillespie and pitcher Roque Mercedes.

Lopez is enjoying one of his finest seasons as a professional, batting .301 with six home runs and a .364 OBP. He can play second base, third base and short stop. He's been around the block despite being only 29 years old, the Brewers will be the sixth stop in his Major League career.

Lopez' best season came back in 2005 as a member of the Cincinnati Reds. That season he hit .291 with 23 home runs and 85 RBI's. You may remember Lopez last year as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals. He was traded to the Cards from the Nationals and in 43 games in the Central he batted .385.

What he gives the Brewers is both a switch-hitting leadoff hitter, and an everyday second baseman. He is a decent defender and second base has been his best position. Another big positive is that Lopez is a switch-hitter, eliminating at least one platoon for the Crew.

The cost, to fix one of the understated needs, is not all that high. Gillespie was a third round pick back in 2006. Coming into this season he had hit .286 in his minor league career. At Triple-A this year he was batting just .242 this season after starting the year on the disabled list. In his last couple months though, he showed signs of turning it around. In June and July he was batting .267.

As far as Gillepie's potential as a pro you'll hear differing opinions. His tools don't jump out, he doesn't have great power, speed and isn't a gold glove defender. Realistically his most likely role would have been as a fourth outfielder, good but not great.

The other player in the deal was High-A pitcher Roque Mercedes. Mercedes has been in the organization since 2004. He spent two and a half seasons in rookie ball as a starter before being moved into the pen and advancing to Brevard County this year. As a relief pitcher this season, he was sporting a 1.08 ERA with 45 strikeouts in 41.2 innings.

Could this move be a lead-up to a Roy Halladay deal? I'm of the thought process that it's not. A Halladay deal would probably take four or five more prospects out of the the system, which means the Brewers would have dealt away eight minor leaguers this year. The system would be fairly thin after such a deal.

This likely will spell the end of Mat Gamel's time with the big club for a while. Yes, we'd all love to see Bill Hall gone, but that won't happen. We'd love to see Jody Gerut gone but that isn't going to happen either. Gamel has some big holes in his swing and his confidence seems to need a boost, he's not as aggresive as when he was first called up.

Take this deal as it is. The Brewers added a starting position player to fill a hole that was a drain on the offense. The Brew Crew just got better.

Will FSN Fire Their Camera Guy Please?

The Milwaukee Brewers camera man sucks. I don't know how many times hes screwed up a shot of a home run or would-be home run. Half the time it looks like the ball is going 650 feet and ends up being a flyout on the warning track. Prince Fielder just hit a bomb today but I have no idea where it landed because idiot boy thought it was hit out of the stadium about a half mile. Check after the game and see for yourself. This isn't golf, bro. I would think by this point in the season this guy would have it figured out. He needs to be demoted to following around Telly Hughes or Davey Nelson (we love what you do in the community though Davey; you are just the worst commentator in history).

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Farm Report: T-Rats Special

In this edition of the Farm Report we're going to go a little different direction. Why? Because I had a chance recently to go to a Wisconsin Timber Rattlers game and actually scout some of these highly touted prospects. Unfortunately, Brett Lawrie was not in the lineup for the game I attended, he was on his way to St. Louis for the All Star Futures game (in which he doubled).

Let me start by saying Fox Cities Stadium (or Time Warner Field as it is now known) is one of the nicest venues in Minor League baseball. The stadium is set up well, there are no bad seats and the environment is excellent. Also, there is a nice big parking lot for those fans who tailgate (which we did, steak sandwiches... delicious).

Beer is cheap, although I had to show two forms of idea since I am currently a Minnesota resident; tickets are also inexpensive and there is a good selection of souvenirs in the fan store, but enough about the stadium, on to the prospects. By the way the T-Rats lost 3-1.

Evan Frederickson - LHP - Frederickson (right) got the starting nod in the game. He was drafted in the supplemental first round, 35th overall, last season. He's 6'6", and has a good presence on the mound. From what scouting reports I could find he supposedly features a low 90's fastball topping out at 95. I beg to differ. The big lefty didn't break 90 on the gun the whole game and his fastball topped out at a pedestrian 88 MPH. When you're throwing that soft you need good command, something else he lacked.

Overall Frederickson was unimpressive and left a lot to be desired, on this particular night he gave up five hits, walked a pair and gave up all three runs. His season WHIP is terrible (1.77) and he looks destined for another year of A-ball. A lefty with his size will get plenty of chances.

Brock Kjeldgaard - 1B/LF - A big left-handed hitter, Kjeldgaard (above) is still very raw offensively. He was drafted in 2005 as a pitcher, and was converted to offense before last season. He plays a good first base and has the range to play in the outfield. On this night he was in the lineup as the first baseman. He did go 1 for 3 for the T-Rats and drove in the only run that the Home Team scored.

There's a lot to like about Kjeldgaard, he's 6'4", left-handed and leads the team in home runs. He's also hitting just .220 and leads the team in strikeouts so there is work to be done. But how could you not root for a guy with a name like that?

Wily Peralta - RHP - Where Frederickson failed to deliver, Peralta (left) was spectacular. At 6'2", 225 he's not a big guy but he has a huge arm. His fastball was consistently at 95 MPH, mix in a 78 MPH offspeed pitch and 84 MPH breaking ball and he had hitters guessing. Peralta pitched three innings in the game and struck out three.

Peralta has 89 strikeouts on the season, which is fourth in the Midwest League. By comparison though, the three pitchers ahead of him have pitched at least 18 more innings. What will have to be determined is whether or not he can command three pitches well enough to be a starter, or if he will end up as a reliever. Peralta has had some injury problems in his past too, he missed the 2007 season due to injury.

Lorenzo Cain - CF - You've probably heard of Cain (right) by now, the heir apparant to Mike Cameron in Center field for the Brew Crew. Cain had a knee injury early in the season and has been rehabbing with Wisconsin before, presumably, being sent to Huntsville(AA) or even Nashville(AAA).

He looked good, with four very good at bats. He singled and doubled in the game and played the field for the full nine innings, which says a lot about how his knee is doing. He didn't look tentative in the batter's box either, putting good swings on the ball. He's not quite %100 but he is very, very close.

Recap - If you haven't been to a Rattlers game you should go, especially with some of the Brewers top prospects playing there. It's a great place to watch a game and you'll have a good chance to see a win. Wisconsin is 11-7 in the second half and 45-43 overall. They have a few other players to watch for as well, including pitchers Cody Scarpetta and Trey Watten and hitters Corey Kemp and of course Brett Lawrie.

Is BUNT a four-letter word?

Apparently for Macha it is. All season long the willingness of the Crew to lay down a damn bunt has been nowhere to be seen. Case and point is Thursday's game with the Reds.

In the first inning, lead off hitter Jason Kendall (yes he is STILL leading off sometimes) is hit by a pitch. So when Counsel comes to the plate guess what happens? A Bunt? No, try a double play.

Third inning, same story. Looper and Kendall on first and second with NOBODY out. Counsel lays down the bunt? HA! Try a tap to the pitcher. Which, of course, lead to Looper being thrown out at third.

So why am I pissed you ask?

The Brewers are in a tight race for the division. And with half the lineup hitting below their averages, we NEED to manufacture runs anyway we can. Just think about it, would anyone have expected a first inning bunt by the two hole hitter? Not only that, but in both cases there would have been runners in scoring position with ONE OUT for Braun and Fielder.

If we brought Macha in to be different than Yost, then he needs to be different than Yost. Show some flair, some grit, some urgency for gods sake. Managers who don't take a damn risk from time to time DON'T WIN. Ask Tony LaRussa.

So if Macha is going to continue to play predictable baseball and hope for the big homerun every damn game, i expect he will be hearing plenty of four-letter words in his future.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Player Recap - Complete With New Nicknames

So here is a quick recap, and in honor of Shef's House starting "The Deputy" name (ahem Steve "The Homer" True, credit please), new nicknames for all mentioned:

-Ryan "The Deputy" Braun, is the media's best friend and an enemy to all other NL Central teams and fans. He isn't afraid to speak his mind, and usually backs his talk up. He has certainly endeared himself to the Milwaukee faithful though. He aims to be the best player of all fact this year he is gunning for the following hardware: MVP, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, Executive of the Year, and if the pitching doesn't improve, will probably try his place on the mound and shoot for the Cy Young as well. Seriously though, keep doing what your doing Brauny.

Enforcing the NL Central
Thanks to Stacey for the pic

-Rickie "The Wrist" Weeks, was finally living up to his 'potential', when he decided to punish Brewer fans who often gave him a hard time, and got himself hurt for the year. Who would have guessed the team would spiral downwards without Rickie in the lineup?

-JJ "The Streakmaster" Hardy, decided to take off the first half, I'm guessing in preparation to look good for his new team the second half. Don't worry JJ, the ladies thought you looked good in the 1st half still.

-Corey "Maybe You Should Try Wearing Your Sunglasses With a Prescription at Night" Hart, still hasn't met an outside slider he hasn't liked.

-Bill "Thinks He is the Best Third Baseman in the League....Really, He Said That" Hall, is apparently looking to spend some time next summer with his family and his $8 million. Mother's Day can actually be spent with his mother, how sweet.

-Craig "The Real CC" Counsell, adjusted his alienesque batting stance to a more traditional one and has found himself having a relatively good year. I love his simple reasoning for the change, ".226".

-Casey "Jim Hendry Mistake #45,201" McGehee, after making the team with a monster spring, McGehee found himself consistent playing time after Weeks' injury and hasn't disappointed. If the National League's rookie class was a little bit weaker, Casey would be a front runner for Rookie of the Year with a .329 average with 6 HRs. It's not like the Cubs were going to need a third baseman anyways......wait.

-Prince "If You Eat Your Veggies, You Too Can Hit For Average" Fielder, is batting .313 with 22 HRs and 78 RBIs....MVP is all but his right? Oh wait, Pujols is batting .332 with 32 HRs and 87 RBIs...sick. But at least Prince showed up Pujols at the HR Derby, then proceeded to show negative actions to the kids by untucking his jersey, THE HORROR!

-Yovanni "The Duel Master" Gallardo, similar to what Ben Sheets had to endure, YoGo can't seem to get any sort of run support. It is as if the batters feel confident enough in Yo's stuff to take the day off. Normally leads to an unnecessary pitching battle.

-Todd "The Percolator" Coffey, or, "Moobs", won the hearts of Milwaukeeans by sprinting from the bullpen to the mound (and pitching good I suppose), and like the great Joey Meyer before him, he gives all of us out of shape Wisconsinites hope that we too can be a professional athletes. Why the sprint? At first we thought maybe Marcus Hanel just dropped some major gas in the bullpen and Coffey wanted to get out of there, but nope, it's just how he enters the game. Why does Milwaukee like that, because we haven't seen a man that large run that fast since the deep fryer first hit the market at Sears. I actually think Manny Ramirez is jealous of Todd's all-natural boobs. How cool would it be if he came out to Percolator by Cajmere. "It's time for the Percolator, It's time for the percolator"

-Dave "Samson" Bush, lost his beard and subsequently landed on the DL, eerily similar to how Samson lost his power after his locks of hair were cut. Who is your Delilah Bushy, don't trust her!

Mark "The Cutter" DiFelice, gets credit for this nickname from Tom Haudricourt after his article on Mark and his cutting skills both on and off the field. He has had a great first half, let's hope it carries over.

Mat "Gone Gamel Gone" Gamel, is supposedly a big piece to the Brewers future, but Macha keeps rolling Bill Hall out there. Supposedly, for Bill's defense, which has suffered of late. Sure McGehee is getting a lot of playing time at 3rd as well, but I think he would best be served at 2B every day, allowing Counsell to be the utility backup infielder he was supposed to be. Gamel can hit lefties, so, no platoon is really necessary. Gamel will make some errors in the field, but is Hall's automatic out in the order any better? Please Macha, play Gamel everyday. Sure he is only batting .248 as of now, but he seems to come through at important times.

Jody "Hey You're Not Tony Gwynn" Gerut.......sigh, I mean.......ugh, but! need a drink!

Frank "FCat" Catalanotto, is on the team to give Craig Counsell a run for his money on the 'Youngest Looking Old Dude' Award. No real complaints about FCat. He's a serviceable backup.

Manny "Whipped Puppy" Parra, did not like that nickname from Ken Macha after being sent to Nashville, and responded with a stellar return to the Majors. So, if that is what it takes for Manny to pitch good, then that will be his name.

Mike "Band Aid" Burns, What would we have done without Burns? He is exactly what I called him, a band-aid, and he only really let us 'bleed' in one of his starts. He certainly is not the long term solution though, and with "Samson" coming back on the 20th, I think he'll be back in AAA until September (or if we need more patchwork).

Mitch "Stay Right There" Stetter, Leading the Brewers with 14 holds on the year. The left handed specialist has gotten the Crew out of a some tight jams.

Seth "Could You Imagine the Damage Big Red Could Do in a Barfight" McClung, McClung has too many nicknames as is, but he was going for his coveted title of 'starting pitcher' after Parra faultered. So, too did McClung faulter when given the opportunity to get some starts. The worst part is, there were no Seth McClung's to come in and eat up some innings! Big Red is still a Milwaukee favorite though...mostly because no one would dare want to tick that large Irish man off.

Mike "There's Only One" Cameron, I got this name after going to a game in the Metrodome and sat next to some Brewers fans who cheered "THERE'S ONLY OOOOOONE MIKE CAMERON!!!" It was catchy. Needless to say, after a red hot start, Cameron has come back down to his normal average. His defense is always appreciated though and that $10 million option pickup was probably a wise choice by Melvin. Could you imagine, Melky Cabrera the Brewer...ew

Braden "Jeff Suppan" Looper aka Jeff "Braden Looper"Suppan, I think these are actually two pitchers....they are both ex-Cardinals. They both are veterans. They both are as mediocre as you can get. What's nice is you know what you get with these two usually. They'll (Suppan) have a blow up game from time to time, but generally will give up 3 or 4 runs and keep the supposedly potent offense in the game.

Carlos "Last Week Doesn't Count Right?" Villanueva, Villa has a wicked changeup, that should be getting better under the tutelage of Trevor Hoffman. When he is on, he is on! But when he is off....expect the number in the L column to increase by one (along with his ERA).

Chris "Do People Know Who I Am Yet?" Smith, has been okay out of the bullpen. And every time he comes running out, the collective sound in the stadium goes like this.....WHO? Smith started the season as the closer in AAA and after a solid performance there along with the failed Jorge Julio experiment, has found himself pitching in the Bigs.

This is Chris Smith

Mike "Yes, I Am a Member of the Milwaukee Brewers" Rivera, Mike Rivera has something we Brewer fans aren't used to seeing out of a catcher, a respectable offensive game. Jason Kendall, Damian Miller, Chad Moeller, *cough*Jonny Estrada*cough*. This creeps us all out and we demand he stay on the bench, who does he think he is BJ Surhoff? Kendall is a defensive genius and can call a mad game. /begin sarcasm...Rivera can't call a game as evidenced by Dave Bush not getting that no-hitter! /end sarcasm. No one is cheering on Bush's return as hard as Rivera.

Jason "I Swear to God Ken, If You Bench Me Today..." Kendall, likes to play baseball! He gets so upset when he doesn't play baseball he has his niece whack him in the eye with a bat, so he can remember that feeling of getting pelted behind the plate. If I was Macha, I wouldn't mess with a guy like that, low average be damned. To be fair though, he is a vital part of the pitching staff. Milwaukee is Kendall's kind of town too, a hard working blue collar city. He has made it know he wants to stay for the remainder of his career in Milwaukee, which to him probably means 15 more years. That is unlikely to happen with Salome and Lucroy coming up, so Doug Melvin should start picking out his dentures now.

Trevor "I Run To San Diego & Back Every Morning" Hoffman, isn't sure why people thought he'd miss home if he played in Milwaukee, he runs that many miles everyday anyways. He has been absolutely phenomenal for the Brewers. His presence helped the bullpen settle down. He is a true professional with a legendary work ethic, and he doesn't complain unless the volume in Miller Park is too low for his signature AC/DC - Hells Bells walk on music. Milwaukee will soon have the highest rate of deafness in the country...but we don't care, keep ringing them bells baby!

Favre Watch - Who Cares

Brent Farfe??? Bert Farva??? Anyways, that dude that we Sconnie's used to like but is now dead to us. You know, he played some position for the Packers for a while, yeah, that guy! Well, he has told the media that he will announce his plans on if he will be joining the Minnesota Vikings on July 30.


What this really means in 'Favre speak' is, and I don't quote..."I want to go to as little practice as possible, and just when we need to start preparing for the pre-season games, I can participate. I also hope all Packer fans have cheese induced heart attacks."

At least that's what I hear when he talks. Just, go away!

Richard Jefferson ditches bride

Only Richard Jefferson, former Milwaukee Buck knew of his plans to call the wedding off. He was set to marry Kesha Ni'Cole this past weekend in Manhattan. According to friends, Jefferson broke up with Ni'Cole last week prior to the wedding.

And the big news was that his friends didn't even know, except on of them received his credit card, and they soon all forgot why they were all dressed up for in the first place.

Richard Jefferson gets a DNP at his wedding (USA TODAY)

Mid-Season Predictions - Cy Young

Pre-Season Picks

American League

Dustin - (Pre-Season Pick - Jon Lester) It's a runaway, and this one comes as a bit of a surprise (not to Lange), but much less surprising than Cliff Lee's outstanding 2008. This is Zack Greinke's to lose. Not much to say other than 10-5, 5 complete games 2 of those shutouts, 129 K's, and a 2.12! Roy Halladay will have to be mentioned if he stays in the AL, but he'll be a distant 2nd.

Lange - (Pre-Season Pick - Zack Greinke) The first half Cy Young in the AL is a no-brainer. The question for Zack Greinke will now become, can he maintain? More importantly, will the awful, awful Royals give him enough run support for Zack to win the requisite 20 games he will need to win the Cy Young? Well, he was the best in the first half, so I guess that'll be some consolation.

A. Guss - (Pre-Season Pick - Roy Halladay) I don't think I'm going to have to change at all. Halladay started the All-Star game, so what more do you need?

National League

Dustin -
(Pre-Season Pick - Brandon Webb) Webb's chances were all but killed early with an injury that has put him out most of the 1st half. Tim Lincecum is 10-2 with a 2.33 ERA...this award is all but his at this point right? Well, Dan Haren's 2.01 ERA with 9 W's trumps it, unfortunately he is on a bad, bad team, he has 5 L's to go along with that ERA, that certainly isn't his fault. Haren though is supposedly being shopped, if he goes to an NL team that can actually give him some run support, expect this to be a runaway. However, I think the price is too high for Haren, and he will stay put, so I am going to lean towards Tim Lincecum on this with his 3 finished games with 2 of them shutouts. Expect names like Gallardo, Billingsley, and yes even Chris Carpenter to be mentioned when it is all said and done.

Lange - (Pre-Season Pick - Chad Billingsley) I still like my Billingsley pick, unfortunately he walks far too many and has too many average starts to be considered the NL's top pitcher. If we had done first quarter awards, the Cy winner would have been Brewers Closer Trevor Hoffman, but he's struggled of late and a couple NL pitchers have really stepped up. So my winner will have to be Dan Haren of the D'backs. His numbers compare very well to Lincecum's, but you have to love the fact that he's only walked 16 batters in 130 innings. A starting pitcher with a .81 WHIP is as dominant as you could be. That said, Haren is usually a pretty good first half pitcher and doesn't tend to replicate his numbers in the second half, so Lincecum will probably come out on top. But through the break, it's Haren.

A. Guss - (Pre-Season Pick - Carlos Zambrano) Yes, and this is why I hate the Cubs. So I should pick Yovani just to get the bad taste out of my mouth, however he has an 8-7 record because the Brewer bats go anemic when he is on the mound. That being said, "Tiny" Tim Lincecum is my choice. Along side Matt Cain, Lincecum has provided the excellent pitching to put the Giants into the Wild Card chase.

Stay Tuned Next Week To See the Predictions for MVP & The Division Winners

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Obama's first pitch

What was with the weird camera angle FOX? Did they not want to show the President bouncing the ball in front of the plate? Oh well, little short otherwise it was a good showing.

Oh, and the "This One Counts" voice-over is horrendous.

Mid-Season Predictions - Rookie of the Year

Pre-Season Picks

American League

Dustin -
(Pre-Season Pick - Koji Uehara) Well, that was embarrassing, but not my most embarrassing pick I made in the pre-season. I think one of my favorites is Scott Richmond, but I am fairly certain that is just being biased towards my fantasy team. He is 6-5 with 1 complete game under his belt, and a fairly respectable 3.69ERA, remember he plays for the Jays in the stacked NL East. He has gotten bitten by the injury bug though, and lets face it, people like to forget about MLBs Canadian team when you have large east coast city teams like Boston, New York, and Baltimore, along with the surprising Rays. So, I am going to stick with the Orioles. Matt Wieters(above) came into the league with much fanfare, and the fantasy wires went crazy instantly. No, his arrival doesn't mean the O's have a chance to win anything this season, but Wieter's talent is not to be argued. He hasn't been stellar by any means so far (.260, 3HR, 9RBIS), but there aren't too many other options out there. If Gordon Beckham hits a groove though, he will make a case for himself since he is on a much better White Sox team.

Lange - (Pre-Season Pick - Matt Wieters) There are a lot of prominent rookies in the Majors this season, especially rookie pitchers. I did pick Wieters, but his offensive production in the first half is not nearly enough to give him the award. Hell, his teammate, rookie outfielder Noland Reimold (.257, 9HR, 23RBIS) has had a much better first half, as has one of the rookies now featured in the O's rotation. Brad Bergesen has been very good for a bad team, with a 6-3 record and 3.54 ERA. Ultimately I'll stay in the division but go north of the border to identify the AL Rookie of the Year. Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Ricky Romero, the guy drafted after Ryan Braun, has gone 7-3 with a 3.00 ERA and 69 K's in 87 IP. Yet another member of the most talented baseball draft in recent history.

A. Guss - (Pre-Season Pick - Bret Anderson) So, this pick was a great one...Well unless, he can start pitching the way he has up until the All-Star Game. In his last 3 starts, Anderson has picked up 2 wins, 19 K, and 1 earned run. However, I picture the A's shipping Matt Holliday elsewhere soon, and there goes the supporting cast. I'll be picking Gordon Beckham(right) from the White Sox as my new pick. He is entrenched in the starting 3rd base spot, and has recently shown that he can be a productive player. In early June his batting average was .172 to a current .272 average. Over the last 16 game heading into the break he is batting .367 and 12 RBI. Did I mention he only played 59 minor league games? He's still adjusting to the game, and I only see more big numbers from him after the break.

National League

Dustin - (Pre-Season Pick - Cameron Maybin) I bought into the hype, not going to lie there. Maybin's name has been mentioned since he was first drafted, and he finally was going to get his chance.....well, he managed to bat .202 in 84 ABs and earned himself a trip to the AAA New Orleans. While the future is still bright for Maybin, I am still thankful that Doug Melvin and Jack Z. went away from their philosophy of picking the best available player because of signing fears, and snared a one Ryan Braun (Melvin was in need of a future Deputy). Speaking of the Brewers, Casey McGehee is a name that will be mentioned if he keeps his numbers up. However, with Tommy Hanson (4-0, 2.85 ERA) and Colby Rasmus (.281, 11 HR, 34 RBIs) in the picture, the feel good story of McGehee is going to stay as is. Chicks dig the long ball, and so do sports writers...couple that with a contending St. Louis team and Colby Rasmus is your leading candidate.

Lange - (Pre-Season Pick - Cameron Maybin) I did give some love to Colby Rasmus(right) in our preseason awads, but the Cards had a logjam of Outfielders so I didn't expect him to get the playing time to win the award. Luckily for him, Ryan Ludwick and Rick Ankiel got hurt, and Rasmus has been in the lineup ever since. Through the first half, his 11 home runs and .278 average give him the award. That said, if he starts to slip LaRussa will sit him down to get his veteran's more at-bats, so a guy like Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates could have a chance to catch and pass him in the second half. Another good rookie, and also in the NL Central, has been Cubs pitcher Randy Wells, who has a 2.48 ERA in eleven starts. Oh by the way, Rasmus was also a product of the 2005 draft, picked 28th by St. Louis.

A. Guss - (Pre-Season Pick - Jordan Zimmerman) I should stop picking pitchers altogether. But, I'm not going to and my choice for ROY will have to be Tommy Hanson. I understand the Braves sent him down to add depth to their bullpen, but he'll be right back. He has posted a 4-0 record, and a 2.85 ERA.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Tips to Survive the All-Star Break

It's halftime everybody, and as much as I would love to get psyched up by Gene Hackman and get all motivated and such, I need a break!

Of course I'm not that stupid, baseball doesn't have halftimes, but it does have periods an all star break. The Major League baseball season is grueling, and not just for the players but for the fans. Sure the catchers are going home to ice their knees for a few days, the pitchers to ice their arms, and the Bill Halls to ice their egos, but I too need a reprieve.

The Brewers like to mess with my emotions. Their consistent ability to be inconsistent is maddening. Rarely did they put both pitching and batting together in the first half. The bats seemed to be either in a slug fest, or the pitchers were dueling. I'm a graying 26 year old now thanks to the Brewers.

A break will be good and much needed. But, what are you to do with your time? Here are some tips:

Catch up on your DVR'd shows: Yes, the season finale's have come and gone, but you've had your TV permanently set to FSN Wisconsin and missed them all. Enjoy! (hint, if you recorded "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here", just go ahead and delete)

Clean Your Grill: I mean, as tempting as that charred piece of chicken looks that has been there since opening day...umm yeah, just clean that.

Record the Home Run Derby: If you want to watch the Derby, do yourself a favor and record it. 30 minutes of sluggers hitting long balls wrapped up in about a 4 hour advertising bonanza. Unless you want the urge to eat Taco Bell every 2 minutes, just record it.

Call your mom: I'm sure she'd love to hear from you, its been since, what, Christmas? You can't be faulted for getting caught up in the winter meetings, spring training, and the regular season! I mean it is understandable that when Mother's Day comes all you can think about is when Bill Hall did something good.

Shave: Unless you are Dave Bush, you should probably shave. Consider it a fresh new start for the 2nd half. For the lady viewers...gross, get in the bathroom now!

Wear Non-Brewers Clothing: I'm sure you have something else you can put on, maybe a nice dress shirt even. Gain some respect with your co-workers and it for just a couple of days.

Take your significant other out: This will work best after completing the above 2 steps (especially women on the shave step...seriously, don't let that get out of hand again). Remind that special someone how much you care for them. They'll know you really mean it too if you don't mention anything about Roy Halladay trade rumors. While you're out, trade that Miller Lite for a glass of will look all fancy pants and whatnot.

Make a different meal: Brats are the best, grilled chicken is good, burgers are great....but seriously, make something different for yourself. While you might not like to think so, the 4 basic food groups are not: Brats/Beer/Cheese/ fight off scurvy and grab yourself some fruit.

Toss a Football: I know it doesn't fit in your glove as well, but your arm is going to have to be in shape come Fall.

Work on your tan: Ok, we know you love that baseball jersey, but all those hours in the Miller Park parking lot tailgating has left you with a rather unusual tan line.

Wash said baseball jersey: We get it, you have a 6-2 record on games you've visited this year and you are the superstitious type that doesn't want to 'ruin a good thing', but you are starting to look ridiculous. Beer stains are one thing, but nacho cheese from your cheese fries you spilled have been covering the 'B' on the front since May, and that patch of Secret Stadium Sauce you dropped on yourself while cheering for that walk off win on opening day, is not as friendly of a reminder to those with you, as it is to yourself. And, I am hoping that green stuff came from some Cactus League Nachos!

Mow the lawn: Ever since your portable radio broke, you've put off mowing the lawn because if you couldn't listen to Uecker, then you obviously had to listen to BA and Rock on TV. The result has caused you three citations for unsightly appearance, a lost dog, and probably 2 or 3 missing children.

Catch up on the news: Wait, Michael Jackson is dead? Iran's elections are apparently rigged? GM went bankrupt? Why is Conan O'Brien on at 10:30? What's up North Korea's @$$? Brett Favre is going to be a Viking....what a F#&%HEAD!!!


Just relax: Don't worry about the poor finish to the 1st half, it is after all a long season. Take a step back from it all and enjoy. The second half is going to be exciting. The Brewers have a soft August followed up by a playoff race deciding September. That is where the excitement will lie! If you watch the All-Star game, obviously cheer for the NL, but don't get too worked up. It's not like the All-Star Game means anything............wait....

Chris Berman is ruining my life

Why, oh why, does Chris Berman have to call the HomeRun Derby? And who is his co-anchor? The loveable Joe Morgan. There is nothing else on tonight, and all I want to do is watch Prince shred the opposition. I'm about to put my unopened Orange Sunkist through the damn television. Open up your mouth the whole way when you talk fatboy! And then theres Joe, answering rhetorical questions because he thinks he wrote the book. At least Erin Andrews is picking up the slack. So annoying. Dual a$$bags.

Dear Ryan J Braun

Let me start with this. You are my favorite player, plain and simple. You've done great things in the batters box, awesome! Great for you, Great for the fans, Great for my fantasy team! Until lately when you made certain comments about a certain pitching staff.

We all know the background information here. Mr. Braun decided to call out his pitching and stated something to the effect of "it sucks" and "we need help"(thats me taking his words into a different tone).

Since July 6th, Ryan has gone 3-25 with 1 base on balls, 4 strikeouts, 0 RBI's, and only 2 runs scored (Brewers are 2-4 in that span). Prince Fielder, clearly having the making of an MVP year, is mashing behind him. Where's the production Ryan? Be careful what you say as a Brewer, we seem to be just as cursed as our hated foes to the south.

We all know that he can turn it around, but why mount the pressure on yourself? It's nice that you take the fans side, you said what we've all been thinking, but thats not your job.
Go out and hit some F***ing home runs, knock in some of your G** D*** teammates, and work yourself into scoring position for the largest vegetarian you'll see. In case youve been missing it he's having a fine year, you wanna do us all a favor and join in?

Thats what we pay you for.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Mid Season---Open Thread

The All-Star break is here, and the Crew sits at 45-43. What are your thoughts so far on the season? Post your comments.

Bill Hall update

If you are going to stare down a ball you hit, while batting .195, make sure you hit it out of the ballpark, you A$$bag.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Bill Hall Update

"I still consider myself the best third baseman in the league," Hall said.

For Real?

Former boxing champ Arturo Gatti found dead

And the vicious cycle continues...

Arturo Gatti was found dead in his hotel room while vacationing in Brazil. No, indication on what happened. Follow the link for more info.

Ex-champ found dead in Brazil (

The State of the Brewers

Saving the best for last, we will now conclude our six part look into the NL Central by taking a look at the Milwaukee Brewers and where they stand going into the second half of 2009. Pardon me if this one is longer than the rest.

Milwaukee Brewers: The only roster moves the Crew have made so far have been the signing of Frank Catalanotto trading Tony Gwynn Jr. for Jody Gerut. Milwaukee sits at second place in the division and is above .500 with a legitimate chance to make the playoffs. Entering the season the biggest concerns were starting pitching depth, middle relief and third base. After the first half the only one of those trouble spot has been somewhat resolved. So let's take a look, position by position, player by player, at the first half of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Jason Kendall has done exactly what you could have expected of him. After a slow start he has been hitting better, but his .234 average is still a sore spot. As long he keeps calling a good game and playing good defense, the Crew can live with the low batting average. Mike Rivera is a serviceable backup, but I don't really want to see more of him than we do.

First Base: Prince Fielder has had one of the best first half in recent Brewer history. If he can maintain something of he his first half pace we might finally see someone break the franchise record for RBI's (Cecil Cooper had 126 in 1983). The best numbers for Prince are the .312 batting average and .433 OBP.

Second Base: Ugh, what a mess. Rickie Weeks' injury has been very costly. Yes, Craig Counsell has been an excellent fill-in and Casey McGehee actually looks like a better defender at second than at third but you really can't say that the Brewers are a better team without Weeks and the strides he made this season.

Third Base: Also a problem spot. Entering the season with Bill Hall as the starter, he is now completely out of the picture as a starting Major Leaguer. Mat Gamel looks like the future at third, yet he doesn't receive consistent playing time. McGehee has been plugged in fairly consistently and performed but nothing drives fans crazy like a platoon.

Shortstop: Don't get me wrong, I like J.J. Hardy, but he's taken being a streaky hitter to another level. When he is on, he is dynamite, but when he is off, he is flat out terrible. Hardy is hitting .223 halfway through the season, that is unacceptable. If you want a bright side, he's a career .286 hitter after the break.

Left Field: The only complaint about the Left Fielder is that he doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut. Other than that, Deputy Braun has had a fantastic first half. He's hitting .321 and is on pace to set career highs in runs, RBI's and walks. They may not keep pitching to Prince Fielder but Braun will still get pitches to hit, you can't walk them both.

Center Field: Yea, Mike Cameron is only hitting .252, but that's ok. Cam is only a career .250 hitter, and at this stage of his career you can't expect him to be astronomically better. His defense has been outstanding on he's walking more than he has in a long time. If you want more from Cameron, it would be to see him hitting better with runners in scoring postion, he's only hitting .164. He needs to better than that if he's batting sixth in the order.

Right Field: The only player more frustrating than Hardy would have to be right fielder Corey Hart. Coming up you always heard about how Hart may not hit for big power but he should always be keeping his average near .300. Well, this season he's doing neither. The worst part is that his history does not set him up well for the second half. After the All-Star break Hart is a .261 hitter, which would actually be an improvement this season.

Bench: We've already talk about what Casey McGehee and Craig Counsell have done. Also Mat Gamel has been a big piece off the bench, even though he should be a starter. Frank Catalanotto has been solid, giving good at-bats from the left side of the plate so no complaints there. The other two guys on the bench have been flat out terrible though. You can't find a worse aquisition than Jody Gerut, since joining the Brew Crew Gerut has gone 4 for 37. That's beyond bad, he's basically been a wasted roster space and you have to wonder how long Doug Melvin & Company are going to live with that. As for Bill Hall? Do I even need to go into detail about his phenomnal suckiness?

Starting Pitcher: Well, we know Yovani Gallardo has been good. He has definitely established himself as the ace of the pitching staff. Jeff Suppan has been himself, some good, some bad and we can't really expect any more than he's done. Braden Looper has had some blow up starts but overall there isn't much to complain about. Manny Parra's awful first was interrupted by a demotion to Triple-A. In his start on Thursday against the Cardinals he pitched asa well as we've seen him pitch in his career, if that's a sign of things to come than we could see big things out of Parra. As for Dave Bush? He had a poor first half. Once he comes off the DL he'll need to pitch much better than he has if he's going to help the team.

Relief Pitcher: Mitch Stetter, Todd Coffey and Trevor Hoffman have all done their jobs extraordinarily well. If they can keep doing what their doing, than the bullpen will be in good shape for the remainer of 2009. Mark DiFelice has been very good as well, but you have to dread seeing him face a left-handed hitter. Lefties are hitting .286 against him with a 1.44 WHIP. Also, what the hell is wrong with Carlos Villanueva? His command is off, and he has been completely ineffective as a setup man. It'll be important for him to not only find the strike zone, but to pitch like we know he can.

Outlook: The fact is, things aren't as bad as some people seem to think. But they aren't as good as some seem to think either. The Deputy and Fielder have been fantastic, but the other hitters just haven't been there. Hart and Hardy's first halves have been awful and completley unacceptable. If the Brewers want to contend, one of those two is going to have to step up their play, if they want to do more than make the post-season both players will have to produce.

Starting pitching is a problem, if Manny Parra steps into the role that Brewers people think he could they'll be in a much better place. Otherwise you're left with three pitchers who can't pick up the slack. Looper and Bush can be much better than they've shown, and they'll have to better for the Crew to either catch the Cardinals or win the Wild Card.

July has to be a good month, the Brewers have series againt Cincy, Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Washington. All very beatable teams. August is also a friendly month, after a west coast swing the Crew will play the Pirates twice, the Astros twice and the Padres and the Nationals. If there is going to be any serious discussion of the postseason they will have be in first place or holding the Wild Card by Labor Day, because September will be tough.