Saturday, May 31, 2008

Open Thread of .500!?

With a win today the Crew could even their record at 28-28. It's a nice step mentally if they can pull it off, but practically they can gain no ground on the major league's best (record wise) Chicago Cubs. That hurts to say.

Shockingly, to me at least, Russell Branyan is again getting the start, as Yost seems to be sticking to the straight platoon. I love it.

2B Rickie Weeks
CF Mike Cameron
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
RF Corey Hart
3B Russell Branyan
SS J.J. Hardy
C Jason Kendall
RHP Ben Sheets

Sheeter on the hill tonight, I'm stoked for it! Sorry about the lack of update yesterday, I had a softball game to play (another huge win, the opponents quit after we put up almost 30 in 4 innings) and wrote up an email to Chris but apparently forgot to hit send.

I'm smart like that.

GO BREWERS!!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Gone to the Woods

See you all Sunday Night

Chris

Gearing up

History returns to the Milwaukee Mile this weekend as the Indy Car Series makes its traditional visit the weekend after the Indianapolis 500.

Teams set up shop the morning of May 30 and IndyCar Series rookies will be the first to get on the track during a practice session from 4-5 p.m. Full-scale practice starts at 9:30 a.m. May 31, followed by four-lap qualifications for the Pole.

Tony Kanaan has won the last two years for Indy Car. Due to the competing Champ Car World Series Sebastian Bourdais also won in 2006. If Tony wins in 2008 he'll be the first to accomplish this feat since Tom Sneva and my high school graduation in 1984.

The problem for Tony is the shortness of the race and the difficulty in passing on Milwaukee's very flat oval. The best chance to win is if you have the pole position. That should make the qualifying laps instructive as to who has the best chance of winning.

New this year for the race is the addition of a 27th car to the race. The Mile only has room for 26 cars in pit lane. By adding concrete barriers to extend the lane and by slightly shortening each pit they will be able to squeeze another car. That's a lot of cars for a short track. NASCAR fans can expect a few extra wrecks.

I'm a grump about running open wheel races on anything less than 1.5 mile circuits. But after 100 years of operation Milwaukee has earned special consideration.

Sunday will be a race day doubleheader with the undercard 100-mile Firestone Indy Lights race, set for an 11:30 a.m. CST green flag. The premier event is the Rex Mays errrrrrrrrrrrr ABC Supply / A.J. Foyt 225 IndyCar Series race at 3:00 p.m. CST

Brewer Truths On A Slow News Day

Ned Yost should have been fired two years ago,

Tony Gwynn is a lighter hitting version of Juan Pierre. He is not a major league baseball player. His career minor league numbers are awful, why do people think he’ll be good in the bigs?

Strikeouts are overrated. Russell Branyan has the same career production numbers as Bill Hall.

A Russell Branyan/Joe Dillon platoon is better than a Branyan/Hall platoon.

Bill Hall is not an everyday player.

Corey Hart and Rickie Weeks have virtually the same OBP, why do people want Hart (who has power) taken out of RBI roles?

A position player bunting is always bad, stealing is almost always bad.

Prince Fielder is the first basemen, there is no point arguing about it.

Trading Will Inman last year is going to really haunt the Brewers.

Mike and Mike Think That You Are Lazy

Both of ESPN's Mikes seem like decent enough fellows, but they often contribute to a mentality that I hate. Golic is the guilty party, but Greeny is an enabler, and also must be held to account.

Yesterday they were chattering about some pro-am golf tournament, and Tony Romo's attitude regarding said tournament that he would be disappointed to be over 80. They then used this to discuss how professional athletes are more driven than normal people, and about how no one else understands what it's like to face "the best of the best" and how hard Golic and other professional athletes have had to work.

This is complete, utter, patronizing bullshit.

Golic goes off on this rant fairly frequently and it just drives me nuts. Athletes are not saints, and they are not extra-moral superbeings.

First of all, professional athletes work hard because it is there job and they are paid millions of dollars. If your only job was to be in shape and you were paid millions of dollars to be in shape (and if you didn't have your pesky normal job eating up all of your time) then you too would work very hard at staying physically fit.

Second of all, most people DO know what it feels like to compete against the best. For one thing, being a professional athlete means that you are one of the best, and so when you compete against the best you are simply playing at your level. Likewise, when any one of us engages in some recreational sport at our level we are having a similar experience.

But beyond that, we all have jobs. We all have (in general) gone through some level of advanced training for that job be it in higher education, or apprenticing, or trade school, or the military, or any number of other methods of acquiring a skill. These are expensive, time consuming, and often grueling tasks, and we do them for the same reasons as pro athletes.

Because eventually, we get paid.

This athlete-as-supermen mentality contributes to poor analysis as well. How often have you seen an analyst blame a faltering player's problems on attitude or some other moral failing (like not getting along with Derek Jeter, for instance)? In fact, other than the SABR-friendly folk on the internet I don't think I've ever heard an analyst blame a slump on age or lack of talent. Why is Jim Thome struggling? Is it his selfishness? Was he not sympathetic enough to Juan Uribe after he shot that guy last year?

Of course not. Jim Thome is old. And had old player skills. And now has really really old player skills.

So Golic, let me assure you that we regular folk know all about competition. Our arenas may not be as lush or as well photographed, but they are generally every bit as cutthroat and often require as much, if not more effort.

And if Tony Romo expects to shoot under 80 at the next pro-am, it isn't because of his "pro-athlete mentality." It's because Tony Romo is a good golfer, and good golfers expect to play the game of golf well.

Rules Are For The Unintelligent

Yes, more Yost bashing incoming, duck.

Ned Yost does not trust himself. He does no know his players. He does not know how to manage a bullpen. He cannot make decisions based on circumstances.

How do I know this? He told us himself:

"That's when I decided, enough's enough," Yost said before Thursday's game against the Atlanta Braves.

Since then, Yost has implemented the rule: If a reliever throws in a
game three days in a row, he shall be shut down on the fourth.

That was the case with substitute closer Salomon Torres on
Thursday. Torres had pitched three consecutive days and four of the
last five, so Yost made him unavailable for the series finale against
the Braves.

"You can go two innings, two innings, two innings or a pitch, a pitch, a pitch," Yost said
So, guy gets in, throws three pitches in three days he will not be used the fourth day. This is stupid. The Brewers currently have 1 lefty in the bullpen. Does this rule apply to Shouse? Does it include warming up? If a guy warms up three times, can he pitch on the 4th day?

No leader of men should box himself in with fairly arbitrary rules as a result of the complete inability to manage the bullpen. Clearly Yost realizes he has absolutely no clue how to manage a pen, thus the rules. Perhaps he needs to pull a Herm Edwards, but instead of a "clock coach" Yost gets a specific bullpen coach, who decides who pitches when. I don't care who. The Doorman probably has a better grasp on it. Bill Castro sees these guys when they are warming up and seems to be well liked. Half of that equation was enough to get Ted Simmons the bench coach job.

Rules are for the inept, the creatively bankrupt, the slow thinker.

A man who cannot adjust efficiently to the happenstance of circumstance creates rules to live by so he doesn't trip over his own inadequacies.




Thursday, May 29, 2008

Open Thread of Day Time Sweepin'

It'd be nice to sweep the Braves. I don't care if they are shit on the road...I want a sweep. Yost is growing some grey matter apparently and keeping the straight platoon intact, at least for today. He clearly wants the sweep as Ned is trotting out the big guns for a day game after a nighter. No subs here:

2B Rickie Weeks
CF Mike Cameron
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
RF Corey Hart
3B Russell Branyan
SS J.J. Hardy
C Jason Kendall
RHP Seth McClung

I like it. Anyone know if the roof is open?


Listen to this and tell me Yost isn't a prick

Seriously, even when the team wins he acts like everyone is out to get him. His act is old.

Best line: "we can use our stopper in the ninth, they couldn't"

Torres has clearly been granted mystical closing powers by Ned. May he use them wisely.


Too Good To Waste, Suppan and Torres blank the Braves

Last night Jeff Suppan looked worth every cent of the big money he is making this year. He scattered 4 hits and 5 walks(one INT) over 8 innings and held the sputtering on the road Braves scoreless for the whole 8 innings.

But he was not in position to win until the bottom of the 8th when Rickie Weeks tripled home J.J. Hardy with 2 outs to score "A" run and give Soup a chance for the win. That is two long starts in a row for the Crew with Bush going 7 Tuesday and Suppan going 8 last night. Other than Torres who has pitched in the last 3 games the rest of the pen should be fresh as a daisy.

Soup used a couple of double plays to help him wiggle off the hook yesterday the Braves ended up leaving 8 runners on base.

it is amazing the Brewers pitching has been outstanding this series so far they have held the Braves scoreless for the last 16 innings.


The Bats are still having their issues they have managed to do just enough the last three days. Baseball is funny they have scored a grand total of 4 runs over the last two days and won both games, what makes it funny is they can do that and have other nights where 6 runs will not even win one game lol.

But even as the Bats struggle you see signs of life Cameron had two doubles taken away from him by great leaping on the run catches by the Braves left fielder Infante, Weeks had a two hit night

A rare moment of agreement and clarity last night between ESK and Myself we both agree Cory Hart needs to stop trying to bunt when he is batting in the 5 hole and Billy Hall needs to stop trying to steal. Neither one of them are working.

Last night in the open thread it was mostly ESK and I for most of the night. And we both thought they were going to waste a really good outing by Suppan but alls well that ends well right.

How nice was it to see the Braves being the ones having to deal with an Umpire who was pissed off at them? Unlike last year when it was the Brewers getting the wrath of a pissed off Umpire crew.

With the win the Brewers pull with in a game of .500 and have locked up the series win with a chance for a sweep today. It is a shame the Cubs have matched our 3 game winning streak with their own so no ground has been made up on them but the Astros are starting to come back to us.

The What was Ned thinking Moment of the night. Hardy Walks Coxs pulls Reyes and brings in a right hander then Kendal sacs Hardy to second. Ned brings in Dillon instead of Branyan who is a left hander. Yes you do take a chance of a K with Branyan but isn't one of the reasons you brought Russell up was to give you another left handed bat on the bench? Someone back me up on this Branyan would have been the correct move right since the Braves reliever Boyer is right handed. But as has been happening a lot lately with Ned his team covered his mistake Dillon struck out but Weeks followed him his game winning triple so no one besides ESK and I will call Ned on it.

Today it is the battle of former relievers.

McClung vs. Campillio today at we never open the roof Miller Park.

First pitch is at 12:05pm CDT DAY BASEBALL ALERT.

TV: FSN | RADIO: WTMJ 620/BRN This is a game the originally not scheduled to be televised my guess is this is to make up for the broadcast they lost in Boston when they got rained out and they did not televise the second game of the double header in Boston So if you are near at TV that gets FSN-WI today you can see the game or set your DVR.

(Editors note if you own/use a DTV DVR you can now set it from your mobile device or online so if you are already at work go on line and set your box to record the game)

Story of todays game can the Bats hit and can McClung back up his last good start with another one.

Having won two games they only need to go 5-2 the rest of the home stand to leave Milwaukee 2 games over .500 that sounds a little easier than 7-2

Lets run it to 4 wins in a row
Hurray Beer
Chris

A quick final thought Jason Kendal is hitting better than any of us hoped but what impresses me is he is one hell of a defensive catcher that play he made on the Reyes bunt to start the 2 5 4 double play was a thing of beauty. It is nice to have a catcher who can make a play or two behind the plate the more we see Kendal the worse Johnny(the Piano on my Back man)Estrada looks.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Open Thread of Hall of a Guy

Can Bill Hall repeat his heroic performance of last night, when he took the entire team on his shoulders, threw 9 scoreless innings and hit a 3 run home run* to lead Milwaukee to victory?

We'll find out tonight, as he returns to the starting lineup, where whatever he does will be portrayed by the Urinal as the second coming of Ty Cobb.

It's Jo-Jo Reyes against the Milwaukee Hall's this evening (Hall is gonna let Suppan take the mound to start the game):

2B Rickie Weeks
CF Mike Cameron
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
RF Corey Hart
3B Bill Hall
SS JJ Hardy
C Jason Kendall
P Jeff Suppan

Notice that Kendall is still batting 8th, despite the men who get paid to study these things telling Yost that the swap was working.

I hope to God no one tells Yost the platoon is working.



Why No Love For Russ?

Bill Hall is getting all of the love in the paper this morning. Bill came in as a defensive replacement for Branyan even though he is a worse defender than the guy he replaced. Even though he got down 0-2 in the count. Even though his shitty, broken bat single (off of a righty) was more of an example of getting lucky than any skill. And even though he ended up stealing third, a risky proposition that happened to work out. (Although if it was as easy as the reports make it sound, I will not criticize him for it.)

Bill Hall is the last thing people remember about the game, but the man he replaced was at least as important as Hall, and almost certainly more so.

Russell Branyan hit a leadoff double in the 7th and scored on J.J. Hardy's single.

Later, Branyan was intentionally walked to load the bases with two outs to get to J.J. Hardy. Is Hall walked intentionally in this situation? Maybe, but probably not. (I for one, would not walk Hall to get to Hardy.) Hardy ended up driving in the tying run. The funny thing about walks is that they also generate an extra AB at the end of games. Cameron's flyball in the ninth could have ended the inning instead of driving in Hall under different circumstances.

On the season Bill Hall is walking in about 9% of his at-bats. Branyan is walking in 18% of his big league at-bats so far, and this is consistent with his minor league rate of 16%. Branyan's patience is valuable in and of itself, but his combination of power and patience makes him a likely candidate for both intentional and unintentional walks.

Branyan also did not make an error, and helped to turn a double play.

The Journal-Sentinel seems to be rooting for Hall today. They should be campaigning for the continuation of the platoon. Hall's heroics were mostly about luck. Branyan did exactly what you expect. He walked. He slugged. He played good defense.

Worse For The Win?

That was the type of game I absolutely love, until I sit back and think about it. First, the positives:

Dave Bush pitched well. He was able to hold it together through a rough start and went 7 solid. Nice work.

The Brewers won. Stealing third worked. Bill Hall as a defensive replacement didn't boot any balls.

But that last line is also the negatives.

The Brewers won this game despite the manager doing everything he could to throw it away. The worst defensive third basemen in baseball gets brought in for defense (I was going to defend this as an intelligent double switch, but all post-game comments seem to contradict that). The fastest runners on the team on base, a full count, a ground ball pitcher, and the Brewers don't send the runners with Prince at bat? Bill Hall steals third with one out in the bottom of the ninth???

This was the very epitome of "gut managing" and unintelligent baseball. It's awesome to see the win, but it's just another lucky outcome for Yost to point to when he talks about how numbers don't mean jack.

A "Everyone Wins" win

(AP)
What a nice way to start the home stand with a victory that could bring us all together.

ESK can say hey look my boy Russell Branyan scored the first run ending the shut out and was the only Brewer to actually drive a ball into the outfield against Tim Hudson.

Chris can say hey look my boy Bill Hall came off the bench and was a one man wrecking crew in the bottom of the 9th. He gets a bloop broken bat single is bunted over to 2nd and then catches the Braves napping and steals 3rd allowing Mike Cameron to hit a fly ball that was just deep enough to get the job done.

Brewers win Brewers win everyone is happy.

Even Dave Bush managed to pull it together after a rough start. If Bush could figure out how to cut down on the home runs he gives up he might actually be a serviceable number 4 or 5 starter. At least the two dingers he gave up last night were solo shots and he kept the game close enough that the bats had an honest chance to pull the game out. I will take 2 earned runs and 7 inning from Bush every night with this line up starting to heat up.

Once again the Brewers beat an "Ace" and Hudson was on last night ground ball after ground ball it looked like a cricket match.

My only Ned Yost bitch of the night was not sending the runners in the 6th inning when Prince had a full count. Even Rock was screaming to start the runners to stay out of the double play. No suck luck Prince grounds into a DP and the Brewers rally was snuffed out in that inning.

So the Crew wins a game most of had written off before it started so it is even sweeter. Two in a row could this be the start of a winning streak? They only need 6 more victories this home stand to meet the 7-2 goal.

And if they are going to have a prayer at 3 million people they have to start winning to get the walk up coming to the park last night was a little soft

Attendance: 28,872 (68.1% full) but the kids are still in school and people are coming off a holiday.

The Brewers pull with in 2 games of .500 that has to be the short term goal get back above the even line and then start climbing the standings.

Tonights game info
Suppan vs. Reyes at snug as a bug in a rug Miller Park(you bet your ass the roof will be closed tonight lol)

First pitch 7:05pm CDT

TV: FSN-HD | RADIO: WTMJ 620/BRN another game in glorious HD I could get used to this.

Face it Suppan is what he is he is going to give up a couple of runs the Bats have to account for that and score some damn runs early and often. It would be great to have another 3 pitcher night starter through 7 then two relievers to finish the game. Start getting the pen back on some kind of normal footing. Speaking of the Pen Tavarez pitched his first inning as a Brewers no hits one K. I will take that every time out please ;)

Right now I have a couple of simple goals in my life see the Brewers get back into this race and the Reds stay in last so I can keep teasing the Reds fan who has been stalking me since the Cordero deal.

Lets get three in a row

Hurray Beer
Chris

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Dumbest. Faux. Controversy. Ever.

C'mon. Is there really nothing better to report on than the fact the Packers haven't dismantled Favre's locker yet?

The Packers can do whatever they want to do with Brett Favre's locker. They can encase it in Plexiglass, erect a statue of him next to it, whatever. It's their locker room.

I have to respectfully disagree with coach Mike McCarthy and the team keeping it intact, as it is was during the Packers' organized team activity practices. Even though the Packers legendary quarterback called it a career in March -- albeit with a few public unretirement ruminations afterward -- his nameplate is still above his locker, and his shoulder pads are still on the shelf.

I think that's wrong. It isn't fair to Aaron Rodgers, who has as tough a follow-up gig as anyone has ever had at quarterback in the NFL. Not only is he following a sure-fire first-ballot Hall of Famer, which has been done before, but Rodgers is following a guy who started 275 consecutive games without missing one with an injury, and he's doing it in a town where Favre is a deity.

So f'ing what? Does article author Jason Wilde really think that this is one of Aaron Rodgers' biggest concerns right now? Apparently so, and the story took on a life of it's own with this quote from the column:

While Rodgers handled the 35-minute Q&A session at his locker with aplomb, the only two times he bristled were when I asked him about being labeled "injury-prone," since he doesn't like the term and Favre's track-record makes it difficult to follow him in that area, and when I asked him about the locker.

"C'mon, Jay," Rodgers replied. "What do you want me to do about it? I don't care."

Whether his answer would've been different off the record, I don't know. All I know is if I were Rodgers, it'd bother me. I'm not Rodgers, and it does.

So now other vapid columnists and sports talk radio hosts short on material have picked up on this, and most have decided it was a story based on Rodgers' response. And they've all gotten it wrong. They've determined that Rodgers is peeved based off that response, and they've determined that because they are all narcissistic idiots. To me, Rodgers' response is dismay over a stupid question from a stupid reporter, not any kind of angst over Favre's locker.

A word of note to the sports "media": Brett's gone, guys. Find a new source for your drama.

Open Thread of Sticking With the Platoon

So, looks like the pitcher hitting 8 experiment has died. I like Haudricourt's comment:
The team said it recently got some reports for the number crunchers and
Kendall hitting 9th was actually "working," whatever that means. But
for now, they'll scrap it.
What the hell sense does that make?
Yost: So, Poindexter, this shit with the pitcher you sold me on is shit. It ain't working, my gut tells me so
Educated Individual: Uh, actually it is working.
Yost: Fuck you, my gut doesn't wear glasses, so I trust it.

Fair enough. I was surprised to see Branyan in the lineup however, as Hall has had success against Hudson in 16 at bats (.375/.375/.438)

2B Rickie Weeks
CF Mike Cameron
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
RF Corey Hart
3B Russell Branyan
SS JJ Hardy
C Jason Kendall
P Dave Bush

Go Crew, gonna need a LOT of runs tonight.



The Closer Still Sucks

This time, the Twins are the victim:

We've seen Nathan left unused in the bullpen in tie games while lesser relievers take losses, because Gardenhire was holding him back for a "save situation" that never arrived. We've seen Nathan used for just a dozen or so pitches before several lesser relievers were called upon to throw multiple innings, eventually coughing up runs. And we've seen Nathan used in mop-up situations because he "needed work" after not being used in crucial, non-save spots during the previous few games.

Not only have Matt Guerrier and Brian Bass each thrown 50 percent more innings than Nathan, Juan Rincon has gotten about 10 percent more work. Even Jesse Crain has essentially gotten the same workload as Nathan despite coming back from significant shoulder surgery and not being effective since 2006. Beyond the seemingly counter-intuitive innings distribution, Nathan has also been allowed to throw just 16 pitches per appearance:
P/G
Brian Bass 34
Matt Guerrier 22
Bobby Korecky 20
Juan Rincon 19
Jesse Crain 17
Joe Nathan 16
Dennys Reyes 8

Except for situational left-hander Dennys Reyes, every reliever on the team has been allowed to throw more pitches per appearance than Nathan. Meanwhile, he's by far the best reliever on the team and makes more money than the rest of the bullpen combined. So why is the team's best, highest-paid reliever used the least? Because while Gardenhire likely would take pride in replying "no" if asked whether he manages by numbers and stats, in reality he does just that.

There's no indication that Nathan is incapable of throwing more than 70 innings per year or 16 pitches per appearance, but because his role revolves around the "save" Gardenhire refuses to use him in non-save situations. Not only is that letting stats impact the way you manage, it's letting the wrong stats impact the way you manage. If not for the fact that one counts as a "save" and the other doesn't, would a three-run lead in the ninth inning be seen as more important than a tie game in the eighth inning?


I would seriously be a better manager than 90% of real actual baseball managers. This is truly ridiculous.

I Hope George Lucas Dies In A Fire

***SPOILER***

I went to see Indiana Jones and the Shitty Slaughter of My Childhood last night. Needless to say, I was less than impressed. The acting was decent aside from the bloated hag they brought back from Raiders (seriously, Karen, you can't hop on a treadmill, it's not like you were busy with your career for the last 27 years). Harrison Ford conveyed the aged Jones well but without the annoying Lethal Weapon "we're too old for this shit" nonsense and Shia LeBouff (get a real name you fucking hippy) was servicable. Halfway through the movie I could totally see him being the next Young Indy (but no more George of the Jungle shit, k?)

Where it all really came crashing down was the God damned story. I think Hilary Goldstein, IGN editor, nailed it:

So Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is an hour and a
half of fun action followed by a half hour of complete and utter
garbage. It's almost as if Spielberg were responsible for the first 3/4
of the film and then said, "Fuck it dude, I'm going bowling" and left
Lucas in charge to finish off this (hopefully) final chapter in the
Indy series...

This has to be among the dumbest movies I have ever seen. It's too bad,
because I was going right along with it until they showed the dead
alien... and then a spaceship came and no one really seemed all that
impressed. Boooooooo!


EXACTLY! Jesus you f'ing moron. God I hate George Lucas so much. I actually attempted to go to the midnight showing of the movie in Cambridge but it didn't work out. I watch the trilogy twice this past week to prep. I played the LucasArts adventure games just because I was so stoked (and because they are both awesome). I don't think I've ever left a theater more disgusted in my life. Ever.

"whatever you say, you crazy fat bastard...you sign the checks!"

Disclaimer: No, I do not really want George Lucas to die in a fire. He has clearly gone insane. All rights to his IP must be stripped forthwith and he should be locked in an asylum for the remainder of his days.

It's Official

Tavarez in, my homeboy Zach Jackson out.

DiFelise somehow keeps his tenuous grip on the bigs for a few more days. I can only imagine Jackson will go back to starting in AAA and will likely be called on to spot start at some point.

I like Tavarez less as a replacement for Jackson than as a replacement for DiFelise (who doesn't belong in a MLB uniform) but at less than $400,000 how can you possibly complain about this move?

I wonder if he will ever actually play for MU

Madison Memorial's Maymon to MU

There is a reason Wisconsin did not go near this kid. Come I was drunk almost all the time in High School and I managed a 2.8 GPA.(I did much better in college since I was sober 98% of the time lol)

As a commenter said at the MJS 2.0 in High School come on does anyone expect him to be able to made the grade at a school like MU.

Come on a number of you mopes went to school there you know what the classes are like be honest here.

A nice pick up for MU if and it is a big if the kid can make his grades.

Chris

Doing Just Enough to Keep Ned Employed

Well the Brewers managed to pull out a win yesterday keeping Ned Yost employed for another home stand. See Yostafarians will say "hell he only lost one series on the trip" not stopping to see they went 4-6 and barely managed a split with the Nats.

That is my greatest feat they will shuffle along staying within 5 games of .500 bad enough to ruin the season but just good enough that bastard Yost might hang on for the entire year.

Yesterdays win was a typical Brewers win it required 5 pitchers yes Dillard only pitched to on guy but he still had to get up and warm up etc. So half the pen will not be available today.

I am sorry I am in a real down cycle with this team they will have to show me something over an extended period of time before I come out of my "They Suck" bunker.

They cannot string wins together every game is a 9 plus inning grind and this team has had no momentum at all this season.

Tonights game info

Bush vs. Hudson at Miller Park

First pitch is at 7:05pm CDT

TV: FSN-HD | RADIO: WTMJ 620/BRN Yes bad baseball in crystal clear High Def.

Every time pitches it is depressing and not just because Bush stinks on ice and you figure they are going to most likely lose the game. Every time he pitches it reminds you he is filling in for Gallardo(please give me a moment while I weep in my Tuesday morning coffee.) With Bush going tonight look for Braves to be launching home runs left and right.

It will be interesting to see what the crowds look like I think any chance of getting to 3 million is gone if they do not start winning soon. School is still in session and its cold I am guessing they do not break 30k tonight unless they have already sold a ton of tickets in season ticket packages.

Well who knows maybe they turn it around this home stand stranger things have happen the Rays are 11 games over .500 and looking down at Boston and New York in the standings so anything is possible.

Already slipping into grinding out the season mode
Chris

Too Bad Hall Is Worthless, Be Nice To Trade Him

So, Billy Hall has gone from overachieving super sub to disgruntled, overpaid, underperforming starter in a scant few years. Very little makes the Milwaukee fan base hate you quicker than bitching about PT. Just because the Brewers have finally realized you cannot hit righties to save you life and have decided to platoon you, Bill, doesn't mean you can rest on your laurels and be satisfied with every start against lefties. There is another guy who does that better on the bench as well:

Bill Hall v. Lefties:
.281/.361/.501

Joe Dillon v. Lefties:
.471/.561/.618

So keep being a whiny bitch Bill, keep booting balls, keeping air mailing throws. You've become soft, complacent, and shitty since becoming a starter, and this team is not good enough to carry your ass.


I deserve to start! Remember when I was good? This isn't fair!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Depressing Math

The Brewers would have to go 7-2 on their 9 game home stand just to leave Miller Park being 2 games over 500.

They play Atlanta Arizona and Houston anyone want to bet they go 7-2?


Math Sucks almost as much as Cubs Fans

Chris

Yes! It Makes a Lot of Sense!

Apparently Chris' boy Billy Hall isn't happy about Russell Branyan taking some of his playing time. That's fine, I don't expect him to be happy about it, in fact I want him to be unhappy about it. I want him to realize that he has to start playing better or he will see even less action. He is a professional athlete, he should want to play so I am glad he's a touch bitter.

What gets me is this quote from Billy:
"Going on the last four years, nothing makes any sense," he said. "My understanding is we needed a left-handed bat in the lineup and I was the odd man out. Does that make any sense? We'll see what happens the next couple of days."
"Does that make any sense?", he asks. Of course it makes sense! You have an OPS of .546 against righties this year. "Going on the last four years", what? You obviously forgot about last year when you weren't all that and a bag of chips against righties either with a .713 OPS. Plus to top it all off you look like you have that Knoblauch disease. Giving the Mussell some playing time makes this team better.

Billy I think you are a good guy, so be unhappy and try harder. Just please don't try to claim that you deserve to play all the time when you don't.

I'm Taking the Plunge

Tonight I decided that I am going to watch Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals. This is the first time I will have watched an NHL game in a few years. Lucky for me the two teams that I always kinda rooted for are in the Finals so I can just sit back and see if the game is better than it was a few years ago. Judging from watching highlights it seems that the game has opened up some, hopefully that will be the case tonight.

Anyone else gonna watch?

Open Thread of Throwing It All Away

So, after the Brewers book end their loss yesterday with wild pitches, Yost decides to throw out all indications that he is intelligent and has moved the pitcher spot behind Kendall. I assume they fired their SABR guy as well.

On the intelligent front, however, Yost once again went back on his initial assessment and has called up Russell Branyan, who in one game produced 20% of Gwynn's entire season output. Well done Russ! If Yost (or whomever the manager is tomorrow) sticks to a real platoon, the Hall/Branyan tandem may become the most prolific platoon in recent memory. That is what managing should be about, putting your players in the best position to succeed and no one can argue that the current situation at 3rd does just that.

So here is your lineup, if this group fails to produce and the Brewers drop three to the Nats, I think it is safe to say Yost is adios. Lucky for him Sheeter is on the mound:

2B Rickie Weeks
CF Mike Cameron
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
RF Corey Hart
3B Russell Branyan
SS J.J. Hardy
C Jason Kendall
RHP Ben Sheets

Come on, Russ, keep proving me brilliant. Against lefties Bergmann surrenders a career .862 OPS, so I think the Muscle may be due for some mashing today. I'm predicting an outright offensive explosion from the Crew, and an 8 inning gem from the Sheeter (he should be on some sort of pitch count after the masterful 130 pitch outing last time out).

Brewers to Sign Tavares

Julian Tavares used to be a hated rival. His battles with Mike Matheny are the stuff of legend (at least in my adolescent memories). Now, Tavares will be a Brewer. I don't hate this move. He was fantastic in 05, good in 06, about average in 07 and started the year off terribly. Now, you may take that as he is getting bad, but you can also see that in 2004 and 2005 he was with the Cardinals, in the NL Central, and pitched very well. When he went to Boston and the AL East, he has gotten progressively worse. Perhaps it's the competition?

Either way, the Brewers are in no position to not sign a proven reliever when given the opportunity. Jackson hasn't gotten it done in limited duty, Gagne is a mess, Torres is overworked, Riske is hit or miss, DiFelice is a literal joke and Mota is, apparently, the closer. That leaves Shouse, Villanueva (and Dillard who hasn't proven himself one way or the other yet). Even with his shitty ERA+ of 68, Tavares is better by a mile that DiFelice.

I applaud the signing, it was necessary to say the least.

In addition to bullpen depth, he has a long arm and can spot start in a pinch or split start until McClung gets worked up to 100+ pitches.

My trip to the Jake

As most of you know I was in Cleveland this weekend with my family. So as always when we travel during baseball season we checked to see if the local team was home. And we got lucky the Indians were home playing the Texas Rangers at the Jake.(I am on board with Paul and most of the Cleveland fans it will always be the Jake to me)

One thing MLB is pretty sneaky about when you buy tickets through the teams mlb website they do not really show you what row you are in. LoL we were one row from the top of the stadium and it was chilly with the wind blowing in off the lake.

As you can see in the pictures below it was a full house Cleveland loves their Indians and it was Grady Sizemore bobble head night.

The Jake is a nice ball park but I would not say as nice as Miller Park, they do not open the gates until an hour and half before first pitch so you stand outside in a long line and they only use a couple of gates so getting in and out if you are not familiar with the place can be fun.

Great sight lines no bad seats in the park but not as many concession stands or bathrooms as Miller Park so you saw lines at both. Weird to see lines for a mens bathroom you do not see that at Miller Park except right at the end of a game.

Very nice fans like Cardinal fans my son wore his Yankee hat to the park and only one guy gave him crap. I told my son the next time someone give you crap about your Yankee hat just look at them and say these two words "TWENTY SIX" that should shut them up lol.

If you get to see a game in Cleveland take a moment and wonder over to the Bridge from the parking ramp and you can watch the game from there way out in Center it was kind of neat.

Over all a nice trip to the ball park but I forgot how slow the pace of American League baseball can be. They were on a 30 minute an inning pace through the first two innings. The locals said 4 hours games were pretty common.

So final verdict a very nice park not as nice as Miller Park but I would go back if the Brewers ever get down there for inter league play.

Below some pictures of the game.












Check Jacobs Field off my to do list.

Chris

Life imitating Art aka Cubs fans are full of themselves jerks

Our tag line at the WSB since we started in July of 05 has always been

"No we won't put the Cubs game on TV"

Well yesterday I lived this moment. We stopped on the way home from Cleveland at a little Brew Pub we had read about in Munster Indiana(right on the Indiana/Illinois border. We are sitting there waiting for our check and on the wall of the dining room they had a flat screen which was playing Ferris Bueller's Day Off from a DVD. I know it was as DVD because the movie ended and it restarted so I was very sure it was not HBO or TNT.

So in walks this family of Illinois people and before the woman sits down she is asking our waiter if they can put the Cubs game on the TV. I being the nice guy I am I speak up and tell here it is a DVD, trying to let her know it was not showing broadcast TV. She turns to look at me and "I know it is a DVD it is Ferris Bueller's Day Off" like I could not figure that out. I guess since I had a Brewers T-Shirt on so I guess she figured that we did not have TV up there in Wisconsin.

I could not help myself I had to mutter "Fucking Cubs fans" loud enough I knew she and her ugly family heard me. But we were already getting up to leave so I did not care.

Cubs fans have to be the most self centered people on the planet. Yes I have walked into a bar and had them change the channel to something I wanted to watch. But I usually always ask people who were there before me if they were watching what was on before I would request the management changed the channel, it never crossed that stupid womans mind that someone might be watching the TV and might not want to see the end of the Cubs vs. Pirates game. I took great pleasure in the fact the Cubs lost in extra innings bwahahahahahaha.

Fuck the Whole Cubs Nation
Chris

Another suck ass road trip

Right now the Brewers road trip stands at 3-6 so even I can do the math they cannot have a winning or even .500 road trip no matter what happens today.

That have fallen to 4 games under .500 and 6 games back of the Cubs and Cards and are only being held out of the last spot in the division by the terrible Reds. Oh did I mention they are 3-7 over their last 10 games.

I did not get to see any of the games this weekend I did listen to their one win in DC, but right now this team cannot put back to back good performances together can they.

Even the great white hope Russell Branyan could not save them from themselves. Yesterday was another case of a starter going short and not making it out of the 5th which causes the pen to get over used Mota had pitched to innings Saturday and had already pitched one scoreless inning yesterday, he should not have been in there for the 9th. But it all goes back to Parra he has to go deeper in these starts if Parra makes it to the 6 you do not need to use Mota on back to back days.

And the Bats do not get off that easily yes they erupted for 6 runs in one inning but before that inning and after all you heard was crickets. We have been hearing a lot of crickets with this team lately. But when you have 220 runs scored and 242 runs scored against you it is easy to see why they are in the position they are in.

What can you do but ride it out and hope it gets better that Parra has more starts like the last two before this one and that McClung keeps throwing the ball well as a starter. Hart seems to be warming up Cameron has his avg almost back to .250 even Weeks seems to be bottoming out.

They are not out of it yet but it has been a miserable season so far, there are not may roster moves left you have to wonder how long they will keep Yost around if they keep grinding long like this win 2 lose 4 win one lose 3.

It was not supposed to be like this.

Todays game info
Sheets vs. Bergmann at Nationals Park

First pitch on this Memorial day is at 12:35pm CDT

TV: FSN | RADIO: WTMJ 620

They are trying to get a win to make the terrible road trip a little less horrific

Chris

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Start your engines!

So begins the 92 running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. Who's going to win? Probably easier to say who won't win.

Champ Car. None of those drivers will be familiar enough with the equipment or the course to win.

Rookies. They're more likely to crash than win. Just concentrate on finishing guys.

Danica Patrick. Yes, Indy is her best event, always finishing in the top ten. My opinion is she'll win a few 300 races before she wins the 500.

Dan Wheldon. He's the Tony Stewart of Indy Car. Something is more likely to happen than not.

Scott Dixon. I know he's the favorite but his car seems to have fuel issues this year.


My guess is Tony Kanaan. He's experienced but unlucky. I expect he'll be challenged by Helio Castroneves who is experienced but also Lucky. We'll see

Brewers Live Thread: The Muscle Returns

The prodigal strike out king makes his return to the line up today as the Brewers try to assure at least a split in the series and keep them in position for a possible .500 road trip. He may have to do it himself, as the Brewers trot out one motley Brew Crew today.

2b Rickie Weeks
CF Mike Cameron
LF Gabe Kapler
1b Prince Fielder
RF Corey Hart
3b THE MUSCLE
C Mike Rivera
SS Craig Counsell
P Manny Parra

If you are near a computer this afternoon, the comments are open.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Some where ESK is sporting a woody

Brewers just announced they are calling up Russell Branyan to start platooning with Billy Hall

ESK is now about to enter the wonderful area we call "be careful what you wish for because you just might get it" land.

I really hope this actually works team comes before personal hatred.

Hell so far the changes are working McClung gets a win in his first start as a Brewer.

Right now I am taking it game by game they won tonight so I am good until tomorrows game.

Now ESK go take a cold shower.

Chris

This idea has merit.

Minor Leaguer, John Odom, was just traded for 10 bats...

I wonder how many bats we could get for Gagne'?

You know, those critters are breaking at an alarming rate. (bats, not relievers)

Brewers Interested in Tavarez

Julian Tavarez was recently designated for assignment by the Red Sox and initially accepted a minor league assignment but then changed his mind and opted out for free agency.

He's been serviceable over his career but struggled in 9 appearances this year.

At this point Doug and company are looking for any help possible and finding a veteran like Tavarez on the cheap, they'd only have to pay him the minimum (I assume) and if he doesn't work they could cut their ties.

If he's picked up and is put on the big league club I could see him being placed in the rotation or used as the long guy.

Bill Schroeder Retires as a Packer

I'll be the first to admit that I don't get this:

The Green Bay Packers announced Thursday that they signed former wide receiver Bill Schroeder, a Sheboygan native and UW-La Crosse alum, so Schroeder could retire as a Packer, seven years after his last game in the green and gold and four years after his last NFL game.

Really? Dude's been out of the game for four years. While I will always have a soft spot for Schroeder because my late uncle, a groundsman at UW-L, loved him, I just don't get this. He hasn't caught an NFL pass in four years. Was this formal retirement really necessary at this point?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Open Thread of DL'ing the Closer

It's official, Gagne has gone on the DL. These guys will try and weather the emotional storm and win one for the Quebecer.

2B Rickie Weeks
CF Mike Cameron
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
RF Corey Hart
SS J.J. Hardy
3B Bill Hall
RHP Jeff Suppan
C Jason Kendall

Not much to get excited about. 4 games against the woeful Nats though could be a nice place to start the epic turnaround.

The Greatest Spectacle in Racing

Below is the list of events planned for the 92 running of the Indianapolis 500. Plan your Sunday accordingly.

It is required for this bar to support, cheer, and expect Danica Patrick to win. Not because she's a chick. Not because it's the popular thing to do. No, it's because she's a Wisconsin driver. That's what we do here, support our own.

Here are Sunday's events

Spectacle of Bands
8 a.m.

Celebrity Red Carpet Walk Hosted by EXTRA!, Pagoda Plaza
10 a.m.

2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden Demonstration Lap
11 a.m.

"On the Banks of the Wabash" Performed by the Purdue Marching Band
11:15 a.m.

Pre-Race Concert Featuring Jack's Mannequin, Coke Zero Stage
11:20 a.m.-12:20 p.m.

Celebrity/VIP Parade Lap
11:45 a.m.

Military Recognition Lap and March
12:09 p.m.

Driver Introductions, Yard of Bricks
12:32 p.m.

"God Bless America" Performed by Florence Henderson, Victory Podium
12:51 p.m.

National Anthem Performed by Julianne Hough, Victory Podium, Flyover
12:54 p.m.

Invocation by Archbishop Daniel Buechlein, Victory Podium
12:58 p.m.

"Taps," Victory Podium
1 p.m.

"Back Home Again in Indiana" Performed by Jim Nabors, Victory Podium, Balloon Spectacle
1:02 p.m.

Command to Start Engines, Mari Hulman George, Victory Podium
1:03 p.m.

2008 Chevrolet Corvette Pace Car Driver Emerson Fittipaldi Leads the Field to the Start
1:04 p.m.

Honorary Starter Floyd Mayweather Waves the Green Flag to Start the 92nd Indianapolis 500-Mile Race
1:11 p.m.

Brewers Recall Tim Dillard

Esk mentioned it in the comments but said he was too swamped to post it so I'm doing him the honors but giving him all the credit.

The Journal Sentinel has yet to pick it up which wouldn't be surprising for Bucks news but with Tom's blog he is usually on top of things.

Anyways, here's the link from 620's website

And here's a link from rototimes which intimates that Gagne may be placed on the 15 day DL.

I may not be around to update this post as I have to be at work.

UPDATE: Sorry Tom, you did post it on your blog.

Good News in Baseball

Doug Davis makes his first start back since undergoing surgery to remove his thyroid cancer.

Davis is thankfully free of cancer and joins the likes of Jon Lester in feel good stories for baseball.

I wish Doug the best of luck unless, of course, he's pitching against the Brewers.

Tonight he faces the Braves.

2 for 11 with RISP and 14 left on base and Dave Bush was pitching

What more do you need to say that is a combination for a loss.

I am in Cleveland for the Weekend(yes my family goes to Cleveland for vacations)

so I will be in and out this weekend so post will be spotty at least from me and I know ESK is out of the loop all weekend.

So this would be a great weekend for people to post maybe about the first unified Indy 500 in years or what ever you want. Just Post Please

Chris

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Open Thread of Mashing Lefties

Bill Hall is platooning! Well, at least for one day, and it was with Craig Counsell, but hell it's a start! Hall is back in the lineup tonight (and I am back in class) and haloscan is all kinds of wonky, so this thread should as awesome as the look Aaron Rodgers is currently sporting:



Lineup:
2B Rickie Weeks
CF Mike Cameron
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
RF Corey Hart
SS JJ Hardy
3B Bill Hall
P Dave Bush
C Jason Kendall

Get the broom pictures ready (but not too ready, Dave Bush is pitching)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Man Utd 2008 UEFA Champions





Manchester United wins on penalty kicks in Moscow


Glory Glory Man Utd

Premiership Champions over Chelsea and UEFA Champions over Chelsea

Twice As Nice

Chris

Open Thread of Fill In the Blanks

I gotta motor to the ol' softball field tonight to try and get this team above .500 and I am not seeing the line ups anywhere. As soon as they come up, I'm sure malevolent head bar keep will update this post with pertinent information.

Until then, where is Russel Branyan!!!???!!!

How your children can kill you even when they do not mean to

My oldest son is the newest member of the New York Yankees fan club and it is killing his Yankee hating father.(I do find myself hating the Red Soxs a lot more than I hate the Yankees these days but that is for another post)

You know how young children can be influenced by the the smallest thing, well my oldest boy is in little league and in his league every team is named after a MLB team and wears that hat. He is a Yankee has the Yankee hat(wont take the damn thing off) so even though he still loves the Brewers he is all over the Yankees.

This morning the flips on the big TV for a little cartoon time before leaving for school it was still on ESPN because that was the last channel I watched last night.

They were showing high lights from last nights Yankee game and A-Rods return to the Big Club from the DL. He goes "Cool the Yankees and watches the whole high light until they were done with the Yankees then changed the channel to Cartoon Network.

What is a father to do at least it is not the Cubs ;)

Chris

Man Utd vs Chelsea for the UEFA Championship Today in Moscow


ESPN Preview

This is the first time in the history of the UEFA series that two teams from England have made the finals both Chelsea and Manchester United play in the English Premier league(Chelsea is owned by a Mad Russian Oil Tycoon and Man Utd is owned by the same family that owns the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Chelsea came in second to United in the English Premierships league this year so this is a revenge game for them.

Man Utd is looking at it like we have beat them for a championship this season lets add another one.

I am looking for ESK's favorite player Christiano Ronaldo to have a big game.

Go Red Devils
Chris

Kick off is at 1PM CDT today on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD so if you like Football and are near a TV it should be a great match I know ESK will be sneaking peaks at the score from work ;)

Schedules Matter

This may be the greatest reason for optimism that I have seen:

The Milwaukee Brewers have a disappointing 20-24 overall record. However, they have played only 20 games at home (and have gone 11-9), while playing 24 games on the road (going 9-15). Additionally, of their 44 games this season, 35 have been against teams with records over .500. That’s right: in 80% of their games, the Brewers have faced a team with a winning record. They have yet to face the likes of the Nationals, Rockies, Pirates, or Padres, and have faced the Giants only three times. In fact, of their remaining 118 games, only 60 are against teams who currently are .500 or better, and they will play the Nationals, Rockies, Pirates, Padres, and Giants a combined 39 times. The Brewers' schedule is going to be much easier during the rest of the season than it has been so far.

On the flip side of this equation are the Chicago Cubs and St Louis Cardinals. The Cubs currently sit atop the NL Central with a 28-17 record, while the Cardinals are two games out, with a 27-20 record. Both teams have been greatly boosted by the amount of games they have had at home: of the Cubs’ 45 games thus far, 27 have been in Wrigley Field, and Chicago has gone 19-8 in these games. In their 18 road games, the Cubs have only been 9-9. St Louis has had 27 games at home, where they have a 17-10 record. They’ve played only 20 games on the road, going 10-10.

For the Cubs, only 15 games have been against teams with a better than .500 record – that’s just 33%, as compared to Milwaukee’s 80%. While the Brewers faced the Nationals, Rockies, Pirates, Giants, and Padres a combined three times, the Cubs have faced these teams a combined 20 times. In other words, in addition to playing nine more home games than road games, the Cubs have played the National League’s five worst teams in 44% of their games thus far. Obviously, this won’t continue.


Indeed.

(H/T, Danny)

Bill Hall Sucks

Quote of the day:

Bill Hall is currently tied for the major league lead in errors at the position with nine, last in fielding percentage, and in the bottom four in Range Factor.


- Caleb Peiffer

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Branyan, LaPorta, and Kouzmanoff?

In Joe Sheehan's most recent post at BP (regarding the Padres), I found this fascinating paragraph:

Kevin Kouzmanoff is another player whose future should be somewhere else. Not only is he blocking a better player in Headley—in fact, forcing Headley to the outfield, where his bat and glove have much less value—but he’s always been a poor fit for San Diego’s park, and he has spent six weeks showing that his 2007 performance was at or near the top of his range. With four walks and 35 strikeouts in 199 PA, he’s basically 80% of Russell Branyan. Kouzmanoff’s raw power and ability to almost play third base could entice a team, especially if the Padres convince trading partners that his power will play better outside of Petco. Dealing him for a nearly-ready outfielder blocked in another system—Matt LaPorta, maybe?—would make the Pads better at two positions almost immediately.


First, I do think that Kouz would play better at Miller Park, where it's neutral-ness will grant him several more HRs.

But second, Kouz's skill set (lots of power, lots of SOs, a few walks, and a passable third base) sounds much more like Bill Hall than it does Russell Branyan.

And third, who wants 80% of Russ when you already have 100% of Russ?

So, would you trade Matt LaPorta for a possible upgrade at one of our shittiest positions?

PECOTA likes Kevin in 2009 to the tune of .283/.343/.487 with 22 dingers. Currently (and remember, PETCO is where baseballs go to die), Kouz is underperforming to the tune of .269/.300/.383 with 4 HRs.

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Danica Patrick can't hold their bra's

Let me get the obvious male chauvinistic thing out of the way first. Ashley Force is HOT!!

But I am still trying to figure out why so many journalists are still going gah-gah over Danica Patrick? If you want a feel good women in racing story - why aren't they checking out NHRA racing?? It isn't like open wheel racing is popular.

Female fans stroll through the garage by the thousands. Women work on race cars by the dozens. And no fewer than seven women compete behind the wheel in the NHRA's four professional classes, as another wave of females races its way up through the Sportsman classes."

Are you just now catching on to this?" Three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Angelle Sampey said with a laugh. "Man, chicks rule!"

Sampey has a point. Consider this: In the weekends that bracketed Danica Patrick's much-ballyhooed IndyCar Series victory, 25-year-old Ashley Force not only took over the points lead in the Funny Car division in Las Vegas on April 13, she backed it up by earning her first finals victory at Atlanta two weeks later … and did it by beating her father, the winningest hot shoe in hot rod history.

But unlike Danica, she wasn't the first woman to visit an NHRA winner's circle.

She was the 10th! And while Force sits atop her class standings, another four women are ranked inside the top 15 in points in their respective divisions. In 2007 alone, four different women took home a Wally, the trophy given to an event winner.

While other motorsports series clamor, sometimes desperately, to prove their diversity efforts, the sight of females and minorities within the world's largest drag racing organization is so commonplace that it has become downright passé. "

Look at this," one longtime drag racing writer said as he flipped open the 2008 NHRA media guide. "Every other series in the world dedicates a couple of paragraphs to the history of women in their sport. We have four pages!"

"You know, I can't really explain why there are so many more women racers here than in other series," Force said less than 48 hours before her historic Atlanta win. "But I think it is one of the coolest things about our sport. "

And we're not just out here for publicity or whatever, you take a walk by all these teams out here and every one of these girls is a threat to win every weekend."

In 1964, Barbara Hamilton became the first female to earn an NHRA license. Two years later Shirley Shahan became the first winner. But the attitude of "good enough to get here isn't good enough" was set 35 years ago this summer, when Shirley "Cha Cha" Muldowney" rolled her Top Fuel dragster to the starting line for the first time.

While her oval racing counterparts struggled to score equipment good enough to simply qualify, Cha Cha was strapped into win-now rides prepared by then-boyfriend Connie Kalitta. She earned her first finals victory in '76 and the first of her three championships in '77, establishing a legacy within the sport perhaps matched only by the Dons -- Garlits and Prudhomme."

We went from token to smokin'," Muldowney says now. "And there was nothing easy about it. We put up with a lot of downright meanness. But in the end, we did our talking on the track, and I think these wonderful women today realized that was the best way to handle it. Go win races and they can't say anything."


Can someone tell me what is hotter than a hot woman behind the wheel of an 8,000 horse power nitro burning top fuel car that can go from 0 - 330 mph in 4 seconds???

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FIVE Pitchers

Why did Ned use FIVE pitchers last night?

One of my biggest gripes/complaints about Yost is his utter mismanagement of the bullpen. While last nights use of the pen did not cost them last nights game, it may turn out to be a factor in future games.

After 5 2/3 he pulled Manny Parra - got no issues there - Parra was spent. He threw 116 pitches and was facing a RH Jason Bay. Parra btw deserves a big ol' high five for his performance. Four hits and a walk. He only allowed two runners into scoring position all night. Another good performance for him.

McClung was brought in for an inning and a third - threw the 7th. Since he is going to the rotation, I understand why he wasn't trotted out for the 8th.

Mota was brought in for the 8th. He threw a whopping 9 pitches in the 8th. Now with a 7 run lead - he trots out Gagne in the 9th. Mota threw 9 pitches. 9!!! The pitchers spot didn't come up to bat in the top of the 9th. Why replace him. He has already been used for the game. Why not keep him for the 9th?

Gagne was brought in - who promptly walked the first batter, gets an out, then gives up a homer to Jason Bay. Shut out gone. Now, in part, thanks to Bill Hall's error Gagne can't get out of the 9th and Torres is brought in to get the last out leaving runners stranded at 1st and 2nd.

Why wasn't Mota allow to finish the game? Why did Ned have to burn 5 pitchers in what should have been a shut out 7-0 game?

Last nights 'management' of the bull pen did not cost them last nights game, but will it cost them any other games this week?

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I am not ready to declare the PNC Park Curse over yet

But damn it was nice to see them actually win a game there. Young Manny Parra pitched very well for the second game in a row and the Bats woke up also. So you see what can happen when they hit and pitch on the same day you get a 7-2 win in Pittsburgh.

Man this team could really use the boost they would get if Parra can keep this trend of good starts going. With all the other changes in the starting rotation having Parra and Sheets going back to back could be a very nice one two punch for the Crew right now.

As most of you know by now CV has been sent to the Pen and McClung has been promoted to the starting rotation. I had high hopes fore Villanueva but he cannot get through the line up the third time through. So maybe the role of long to middle relief is more suited to his talent at this time. If this works both the Pen and Rotation got stronger.

All three of the week sisters(Weeks Hall and Cameron) had at least 2 hits last night,Cameron actually had three one of them a huge breathing room 2 run home run.

It is amazing how easy scoring runs is when people other than Braun and Fielder start getting hits.

Watching the Pirates play yesterday showed me one thing The Brewers are head and shoulders above them when it comes to talent. The Pirates have been playing well at home lately but damn they looked like a little league team last night forgetting how many outs there were poor bunting leading to double plays. PNC Park or not there is no reason the Brewers should not be able to take this series.

What was the most important thing the Brewers did last night????............

They kept adding on runs until they had a 7-0 Gagne proof lead and thats is the key who cares if Gagne sucks like he did last night giving up two runs and blowing the shutout they still ended up winning by 5 runs. That is the only way this team will be able to win with Gagne on the team, get leads so big Ned will not use him because it is not a save situation. Or he will use him like last night where he cannot hurt us even when he implodes.


On to tonights game.

Sheets vs. Snell at PNC Park

First pitch is at 6:05pm CDT

TV: FSN-HD | RADIO: WTMJ 620/BRN so another game in HD which is nice after that long stretch of HD games its was hard to go back to SD I cannot wait for the day when HD is as every day as color. I can remember black and white shows and black and white TV's so I know the day will come when they will not even tell you it is in HD because everything will be in it. What a great day that will be.

The Crew is in a good position to lock the series up early, you have Sheets our ace going who will be looking to wipe out the memory of that bad 3 home run inning he had last time out. I look for Big Ben to be pitching with a little extra purpose tonight.

Man would it be nice to lock up a series win in PNC Park by the second game. Hell PNC Park has been the place where a couple of Brewers season went to die why not change that around and make it the place where the 08 season was redeemed?

I have to admit Brewers baseball was fun to watch last night for a change, I actually waited to watch the new episode of the Deadliest Catch until game was over I was so enthralled.

So here is to winning a road series tonight and maybe righting our ship

Hurray Beer
Chris

Final thought wouldnt it be nice if Gagne ended up on the 60 day DL ;

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Message for Ned

Hi Ned. I've decided to address this post directly to you. I know, I know, you claim not to read blogs or listen to sports talk radio. I know you're fibbing, though, because you always seem rather pissed about what they are saying about you. Quite the accomplishment for a guy not reading/listening.

Anyway, I read what you had to say over at Tom Haudricourt's blog at JSOnline about yesterday's little blog spectacle. I have a piece of advice for you, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to be blunt, so brace yourself: For your own good, get a thicker skin and shut your pie hole.

I know, it sucks to be unpopular. You aren't the first major league manager to have the fans turn on you, and you won't be the last. But here's where you are hurting yourself. What you are experiencing right now in Milwaukee is nothing. Seriously, it's nothing. Any number of markets in baseball would have ripped you to shreds by now. This market has complained, but you've still had your defenders out there. Still, you pout about how the blogs and talk radio are treating you. If you are lucky, a future employer in a bigger market will not hold this against you. Frankly, I would. If you can't handle the heat in Milwaukee, then it'll destroy you in any other number of markets.

Oh, and one more thing, and I can't really believe I'm going to say this: Lay off Haudricourt. Don't get me wrong, he did deserve a tongue lashing for making the news yesterday instead of reporting on it. He, and much of the rest of the Wisconsin sports media, have been carrying your water for a long time, bud. So much so that they've looked kind of silly at times. So while Haudricourt deserved what he got, he also earned a little consideration by keeping his nose tucked into your keister as long as he has.

Again, sorry for being so blunt Ned, but I think you needed it. It ain't that I or anyone else dislikes you personally--hell, I think I'd probably have a blast drinking beer and taking baseball with you. It is pretty shitty being the manager of an under performing baseball team, though, so suck it up. Overturn the table holding the post game spread, it'll make you feel better.

Sincerely,
Jib

Open Thread of 7.5 Games Back

It's a rough number, there are some changes to the lineup. Ol' Yostie is really shaking things up today!

2B Rickie Weeks
CF Mike Cameron
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
RF Corey Hart
SS JJ Hardy
3B Bill Hall
P Manny Parra
C Jason Kendall

Tonight's The Night

Other than being a good Neil Young album and song it also means the NBA Draft Lottery. The Bucks currently have a 4.3% chance of winning the top spot and 15% chance in getting into the top 3.

For a better run down of the odds and explanations in the process Brew Hoop does it better than I could.

Most likely the Bucks will keep their 7th spot in the draft but hopefully John Hammond brings some of the luck he's had with the Pistons and we'll land the top spot, take Derrick Rose, and become a winning team again.

The lottery can be seen on ESPN at 7 P.M.

Oh the Horror the PNC Horror

Well anyone feeling good about rolling into Pittsburgh and their house of horrors PNC Park. The Crew is riding a 5 game losing streak, a 9 game losing streak on the roads and they are heading into a series against a team they cannot beat in Pittsburgh no matter how good the Brewers are or how bad the Pirates are.

Sadly the Brewers are looking up at everyone else in the division they are already 7.5 games out of first place. It is not looking good boys and girls.

Right now it is hard to get to fired up over this team they really need a number 3,4 and depending how Parra pitches tonight maybe a number 5 starter.

Our bullpen is iffy at best and Our number one hitter sucks right now our number 2 hitter sucks right now. Our number 6 hitters sucks right now our number 7 hitter sucks right now and our number 9 hitter is sliding back to sucking right now.

Oh and Ned Yost is still the manage, damn I must fight the urge to go hang myself in the basement.

On the Bright side Ryan Braun is on fire and Mount Prince is showing signs of rumbling back to life. Cory Hart is still having a nice season. So not everything is bad news there is a little good news for this team to build on.

I really think the season can be lost in the next 7 games. I know it is early but if they lose these next two series I do not know how you can recover.

Lets hope the Boston series was rock bottom and they can find away to regain that swagger they had last season.

Todays Game Info.
Parra vs. Maholm at the PNC Park Pit of Death

First pitch 6:05pm CDT

TV: FSN | RADIO: WTMJ 620/BRN

Can they find a way to pitch hit, and play defense at the same time?

This is the "There backs are against the wall" series they know what they have to do lets see if they can do it.

Hurray Beer
Chris

The Badger Blogger Blow Back

AKA The MSM Empire strikes back.

First let me say this I think Bruce over at Badger Blogger did get it wrong and should hunt down his "source" and hurt him.

Here is his whole post(isn't it amazing how such a short post can usually end up causing Blogger Armageddon)

"While BadgerBlogger can not independently confirm this, sources close to the Milwaukee Brewers organization tell BadgerBlogger late this evening, in the midst of another horrid road trip, and on the heels of a sweep by the Boston Red Sox, that Brewers manager Ned Yost will be relieved of his duties during the team’s off day Monday, and replaced on an “interim” basis by team bench coach Ted Simmons.

Many baseball insiders routinely refer to Simmons as one of the “best minds in baseball“; perhaps his new role will provide the direction and leadership this team has been so badly lacking."


You can see the first line was a disclaimer saying this was basically a rumor, the mistake Bruce made was he did not use the word rumor in his post.

But in the end he got it wrong and that blog is taking its lumps and the rest of us bloggers are getting tarred with the same broad brush. The forces of the MSM in Milwaukee and Nation wide are using this incident to bash all bloggers.

The D-list talked a lot about this and I have to be honest Dan and Drew were pretty condescending towards bloggers Bill Johnson was a little more open minded. But we have to admit this whole thing has set bloggers back well the blogs that actually try to be sources of news, we do not fall into that category it was never our intention here at the WSB.

But what really has me fired up about this is how everyone is giving Tom Haudricourt a total pass on this. He never confirmed the story and just put it out there

I am really beginning to think that TH never thought this was a true story and only threw it out there so he could then turn around and bash blogs after he the "real" reporter had proven it false. Come on how many other rumors has TH ignored but he links to this rumor. I smell a rat.

I am not a Tom Haudricourt fan I think he carries the Brewers water too many times to protect his access. He totally failed last season to inform us about Estrada being a Cancer in the club house.

The shame of this unlike in politics in sports you were seeing a common ground between sports blogs and sports MSM at least in Milwaukee, the MJS sports blogs are actually good ones they do get information out very fast and can be a great source for sports fans.

Now I think this will open up a bit of a rift between the two groups.

I think on of the strengths of the WSB was we never have considered ourselves a "sports news" blog it has always been a place were we can talk about sports and other stuff we will break a story once in a blue moon if it falls in our lap but we are not the MJS we are just people looking for a place where we can make our voices heard on the teams and sports we love.

The really funny part of this is Badger Bloggers is not even a sports blog.

So that is my opinion I really believe TH did this to set up a opportunity to bash blogs.

Moving on now
Chris

The GM Speaks

From Yahoo! Sports

[Doug Melvin] leaned against a wall just off the clubhouse.

The [Milwaukee Brewers] , the roster he assembled – the lineup, the rotation, the bullpen – had been horrible again, this time in a five-run loss to the Boston Red Sox. They’ve won just 7 times since April 24th, and are – inch by dreadful, agonizing inch – being run out of the weak National League Central before summer arrives.

So, [Melvin], an amiable guy most of the time, a baseball man who has seen enough summers, won enough games, had his faith rewarded enough times to understand that six months is six months and not seven weeks, also knows a potential disaster when he sees it. When he’s, you know, built it.

The [Brewers] lost their [promising] ace, [Yovani Gallardo] for the season because of a torn ligament in his knee, and if that hadn’t completely fouled the GM's mood, the previous nine innings finished him off. More clumsy defense. More fat pitches. More casual at-bats. And, ultimately, another game gone in the standings.

“We’re bad, no question about it,” [Melvin] said. “There comes a point in time we can’t say, ‘It’s early.’ There’s nothing to lead me to believe – or the fans to believe – we’re going to turn this thing around.”

He promised changes. “Wholesale,” he said. And he waved his hands at the clubhouse, meaning most of the players in it, he had little use for right now.

“I’m certainly not going to watch this for another four months,” he said.

Judging by the stands at [Miller] Park [on the last home stand], he’s not alone in that.

“If you hear the word that morale is good in this clubhouse, we’ve got major issues,” he said. “The morale should be horrible. For winning-type players, morale should be horrible. I know it’s horrible in the coaches’ office. And it’s horrible upstairs.”

The results are one thing, [Melvin] said. But, damn, he sat and watched the [Brewers] get down by five runs, and then in the final three innings his hitters saw a total of 31 pitches. They’re overmatched by talent, and then outworked, which is no way to run a baseball season.

“We really grind pretty good,” [Melvin] insisted, “until we get behind.”

They’ve been behind a lot.

“That’s the way it’s been all year,” [Melvin] said.

Hours earlier, the major league standings were just sitting there on the [Brewers] bench, typed out nice and neat, not six inches from manager [Ned Yost's] right thigh.

“These?” [Yost] asked.

Those.

“Uh,” he began, “the thing that I look at there, what’s that add up to, 45?”

The [Brewers] had played 44 games, yes, and won 20 of them.

“That means we have how many left?”

A hundred-eighteen?

“That’s what I look at,” he said. “Needless to say, we haven’t played our best baseball as a group.”

They have played the worst baseball in the game. As a group.

The starting pitching, [Yost] said, has been OK “in stretches.” The bullpen OK in “flashes.” The offense rolls “a couple guys at a time.”

Put it all together, you get 20 wins and last place in a flagging division.

“I’ll tell you, it is what it is,” he said. “It’s not good. I hear you. I’m hoping the next 44, we reverse that and see where we are then.”

...

Management took its flier on aging center fielder [Mike Cameron], which ended up costing the [Brewers] about $7 million, or going on 10 percent of the payroll. It entrusted the infield to Rickie Weeks, JJ Hardy, and Bill Hall, which thus far has netted 100 Strikeouts and a paltry .209 batting average. Meanwhile, [Russel Branyan] lefty-hitting 3rd baseman with some power toils at Triple-A [Nashville] with a 1.163 OPS, a .683 slugging and a .452 OBP with a .359 batting average. When the changes come – and they [should] come – [Branyan should] be the first one at the airport.

Granted, the pitching staff hasn’t been what the [Brewers] expected – and won’t be as long as [Gallardo] is out, or as long as the bullpen tanks – but the offense is beneath even the [Brewer's] lowly standards. Remember, this franchise won NL titles in 1982 after switching managers mid-season. It’s as if the [Brewer's] have given up entirely on offense.

Prince Fielder is slugging a mere .451. It’s a wonder Ryan Braun ever sees a strike.

Opposing Right-handers? The tomato cans that have faced the Brewers look like reincarnations of Cy Young himself.

Generally speaking, the [Brewer's] haven't been hitting for power or average as was advertised in spring. They don’t get on base either. They have a team BA of .242 and OBP of .317. The BA is better than only Washington and San Diego, while the OBP is better than only San Diego. They do, however, hit a ton of fly balls and strike out much of the time, neither of which plays particularly well at [any ball park].

...

Then, last weekend, the majority of the [Brewer's] offense against the Boston Red Sox was Ryan Braun.

N[ed Yost and Doug Melvin] – so far – waiting on JJ Hardy, Ricky Weeks, Bill Hall, Mike Cameron and Prince Fielder to break free from an epidemic funk that has seized the season.

And now it’s already reaching a time the Padres will have to think about trading for the future, even parting with players [Melvin] likes, such as Ben Sheets or Prince Fielder, whomever.

“I just hope we all have the same feeling when we wake up in the morning and look at the box score, look at the standings,” [Melvin] said. “It should. If it doesn’t, we all shouldn’t be here. It’s the way you play the game. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see body language, the way you play and approach the game. Hey, you’re going to lose games. It’s the way you play this game from the first pitch to the last pitch. They way you carry yourself.”

Jeff Cirillo is in the broadcast booth this season because Doug Melvin like Craig Counsel.

Baseball player,” [Melvin] said. “That’s a friggin’ baseball player right there. No cockiness. No ‘Look at me.’ Play the game right.”

As he spoke, the clubhouse cleared, [Brewers] players passing and pretending not to hear.

“(Shoot),” [Melvin]s spat, “I’m not enjoying watching this. I’m looking for a little bit of progress, just to have some hope. It becomes like Groundhog Day, over and over.”


Ok - the article source isn't about the Brewers. It was about the Padres and Kevin Towers. I substituted names and stats where need be. The point is that the article could have been very easily written about the Brewers as much as it was written for the Padres.

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Some Scary Shit

Appearantly having one Ned Yost as a manager/coach in the Brewer's organization isn't enough. We have to have two Yosts.

Q: Andy of Mayville - I don't see Ned Yost Jr on any of the Brewers minor league rosters. What happened to him?

A: Tom Haudricourt - He retired this spring as a player and is now a coach in the Brewers' farm system.


WTF - Does Doug Melvin need to be fired too. Have we not learned our lesson yet.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

An All Dillon Lineup

Using the Baseball Musings lineup calculator I generated the runs per game that would result in a lineup composed entirely of one player (nine Rickie Weeks, for instance). I ran all of the starters plus Joe Dillon, and used their current stats. Here they are in descending order:


Ryan Braun - 6.117
Prince Fielder - 5.712
Corey Hart - 5.084
Jason Kendall - 4.484
Joe Dillon - 4.320
Mike Cameron - 3.888
Rickie Weeks - 3.688
Bill Hall - 3.453
J.J. Hardy - 3.423

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IT'S not OFFICIAL, NED YOST FIRED!!

Internet news giant WSB is not reporting that Ned Yost, manager of the Milwaukee Brewers baseball club, has been relieved of his duties by the fans of Brewers baseball.

The Ned Yost decision was not announced at a press conference today held by Brewers owner Mark Antonassio and Brewers general manager Doug Melvin. Antonassio regretted the decision but did state "I think i speak for Doug when i say that when i gave fans full authority for this club i really do mean full authority. I was not going to tie their hands over any decision making."

Mr Melvin echoed those sentiments as well. "Look," he said, "I can appreciate the fans agonizing over this issue but really WTF? Seriously, have you seen him manage the pitching staff? If i had an iron tipped boot for every bad decsion the guy made as aopposed to calculated risk i'd be a rich cobbler in an Ottawa lumberjack camp."

After dead silence followed that analogy one intrepid reporter asked what it meant. Melvin did not hear the question so the reporter moved on. "What took the fans so long? I mean, what was their to agonize over?"

"Some fans weren't sure if there were any '82 Brewers left to actually manage the team. They were hesitant to have an outsider join the team with no proven record of achieving a World Series appearance. But once we realized Sixto Lezcano wasn't dead the decision came swiftly.

TGJ: Worst Offensive Player on an MLB roster?

He has only appeared in 18 games but has been up most of the year.

He only has 32 at bats.

He is a "speed" guy and has struck out more than he has walked.

Of his 7 hits, only one has gone for more than a single.

His OPS is .566, his OPS+ is 51.

I blame this fantastic success for keeping Branyan down. Why does Tony Gwynn Jr. hate white people?

Hey Al Michaels just got a little love on ESPN 540am

Hey Al I guess you started a argument the other day between Drew and Dan they actually mentioned you by name. I guess you are in the Melvin is the problem group from what I gather.

The WSB we are everywhere. lol

Chris

It Could be Worse

Dusty Baker tried to have Adam Dunn sac bunt the other day.

Adam Dunn was so pissed off that he got down 0-2 in the count just so he could hit a walk-off, game-winning, three-run HR.

Dusty Baker is a moron.

Brewer Position Players By OBP

PECOTA say the Brewers' OBP as their largest roadblock. Typically the league average in the single most important offensive statistic is around .345, although it is likely down this year as the league is in a bit of a funk and Barry Bonds isn't playing. .340 is as good of a guess as any.

Rickie Weeks - .323
Mike Cameron - .282
Ryan Braun - .319
Prince Fielder - .372
Corey Hart - .354
J.J. Hardy - .313
Jason Kendall - .353

Tony Gwynn, Jr. - .316
Gabe Kapler - .293
Joe Dillon - .379
Craig Consell - .344
Russell Branyan (minors) - .431

Now for something really scary. Let's check out their OBPs against RHP:

Rickie Weeks - .305
Mike Cameron - .309
Ryan Braun - .318
Prince Fielder - .388
Corey Hart - .345
J.J. Hardy - .291
Jason Kendall - .350

Tony Gwynn, Jr. - .278
Gabe Kapler - .333
Joe Dillon - .250
Craig Consell - .382
Russell Branyan (minors) - NA

Why is this terrifying? Just for some context, in the year 2005, Adam Everett and Pudge Rodriguez tied for worst in the leage with a .290. The Brewers feature many players that are far too close to the "Everett Line" for comfort.

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