Thursday, July 31, 2008

Prediction

If the Packers do not resolve this mess in the next 7 days, it will overwhelm camp and they will come out of the gates no better than 3-4, no matter who is at quarterback.

We Will Get By

This has definitely been a tough week for Wisconsin fans as we watched the Brewers get swept by the Cubs at Miller Park and of course the on going Favre saga. So, I thought we needed some positive vibes.

Watch around 4:40 when Bobby screws up.




"Every silver lining's got a touch of grey"

Little League August

In August, there will be 57 Little League Baseball and Softball International Tournament games televised. For a day-by-day listing of all the games and events, click on the link below or paste it into your browser:

http://www.littleleague.org/media/newsarchive/2008stories/2008TelevisedGames.htm

Finally, the last Tee Ball on the South Lawn game at the White House for 2008 will be played on Sept. 7, and players will be the children of active duty U.S. Military Personnel. To see how a child in your league could attend, and to download a form, click on the link below, or paste it into your browser:

http://www.littleleague.org/Assets/forms_pubs/TBall_Form_9-7-08.pdf

Fuck all of them, The Brewers acted like bitches for the whole series

Fuck the whole Brewers organization what a gutless performance they put on this whole home stand.

Fuck Ned Yost and his spin the dial line ups his letting pitchers stay in way too long.

Fuck Rickie Weeks who is turning out to be a terrible baseball player.

Fuck almost all of our off season pick ups(looking at you Gagne Cameron and Mota)

Fuck Ben Sheets, I figured out why he is faltering in July he is not used to pitching this much. Usually by now he would have had 4 to 6 weeks on the DL to rest. He is worn out from actually pitching this deep into the fucking season.

Fuck our weak ass bench

Fuck our starting line up which leaves runner after runner stranded, which cannot move a runner from 2nd to 3rd without burning two outs. Fuck them for laying down and just giving up against a Cubs team that could not win in Arizona or Houston but came into Milwaukee and treated the Brewers like bitches for 4 games and the Brewers just took it.

What a fucking Joke this team can be at times

This has to be one of the most embarrassing home stands in recent memory

Anyone want to bet they revert to their normal suckage when they go back out on the road?

Yes I know there is a lot of baseball left but I am tired of this team lying down and dying every time they play the Cubs in Milwaukee

Bunch of Bitches

Chris

Open Thread of Panic at the Ballpark

Quite the lineup:

2B Rickie Weeks
3B Craig Counsell
SS J.J. Hardy
1B Prince Fielder
LF Ryan Braun
RF Gabe Kapler
CF Mike Cameron
C Jason Kendall
RHP Dave Bush

A couple questions I have:

Why not lead off Counsell?
Why no Branyan (and Counsell at 2nd)?
Where the hell is Rivera?
Benching Hart?

Aside from that....yeah, nice lineup.

Yankee Stadium picture post number 2

















Can you find the former Brewers in these pictures ;)

Chris

Yankee Stadium picture post number 1












I will do another one with game photos

Chris

My one and only trip to Yankee Stadium

On Monday I was lucky enough to attend a Yankee's game at Yankee Stadium, I was so glad that the weather worked out and I got the game in.

So late Monday afternoon after spending the day hanging out in midtown playing tourist we hopped the B train at Rockefeller Center and head North to the Bronx. We got there pretty early because we wanted to walk around and just soak the experience in.

While going to Shea is more like going to Miller Park with the parking lot and people tailgating, Yankee Stadium is more like going to Wrigley you do not tailgate(I do not remember seeing a parking lot to be honest) you go to bars along River Ave or 161st St. We stopped at "Billys" and had a beer before going into the Park. There are also stores along River Street underneath the train tracks which hawk Yankee's memorabilia.

So after having a drink and looking around outside we headed into the stadium, first thing that hits you is how small the concourses are compared to Miller Park or even County Stadium it was crowded trying to get around. We first tried to get over to the Monuments but they had already closed off the line by the time we got there so I did miss that part of the experience. We then spent almost 40 minutes trying to find a "Last Season at Yankee Stadium T-Shirt" in a size bigger than medium seriously the Yankees are completely sold out of any of those shirts in L XL or XXL with at the time 25 home games left. I think that is a major fuck up on their part but a minor one over all(I got a really nice one after the game from a store on River Ave.

We then headed in and checked out our seats which were outstanding on the lower level 5 rows back in the second section of seats very nice.

Let me take a moment to send a little love to Ticket King who helped me out of a tough jam I had gotten into with my Yankee Tickets. Short version I bought tickets on Stub Hub but goofed up the date I would have been 5 rows from the field, but Stub Hub would not cancel the sale even though nothing had been shipped so I was stuck with tickets for a game that I could not see, Ticket King sold those tickets for me at a very reduced cut for them and got me my replacement tickets I will tell you one thing I will never ever use another broker if I can help it. Once again Thank You to Ticket King.

The seats were great and as most of you know my background is history so I was actually just overwhelmed sitting there thinking that I was looking at a field that so many Great Baseball Players had played on from the 27 Yankees to Ruth to DiMaggio to Mantle and Maris through Jeter and A-rod. To look out at Centerfield at Yankee Stadium and to remember Joe DiMaggio used to patrol that grass or Ruth and Gehrig had ran around that base path. Or to think of all the home runs the true single season home run king Roger Maris had hit in that stadium that magic year.

Yes you can say I was a bit overwhelmed by the experience.

Then the game started and my luck held, the Yankees got hammered I am the winged angel of death when it comes to going to baseball games in person lol. Baltimore Ghetto Stomped the Yankee's that game but I still had a great time. The one thing that impressed me at the 7th inning stretch with the score 11-0 the stands were still 90% full hardly anyone had left. You can say what you want about Yankee fans but they are loyal to a fault.

Like I said I am so glad I went on this trip and actually did visit both stadiums, If you can still get to NYC and see a game at Yankee Stadium do it(looking at you ESK hop the shuttle and see a game you will regret it for your entire life if you don't)

Like I did with Shea I will do a picture post of the Yankee Stadium trip

Thanks again to my wonderful wife for taking me on this great trip

Chris

Something to make Eric drool






This is the little league field in Weehawken NJ right on the Jersey side of the Hudson river. I do not know if you can tell but the whole field is sports turf even the "dirt" is just sports turf painted brown. As you can see the outfield even has a warning track. I did not get a good picture of the backstop but it was much lower almost like a batting cage. Take a look at the "Batters Eye" these little leaguer's have, the Manhattan skyline including the Empire State Building.

This has to be one of the nicest little league fields I have ever seen

All I could think off was Eric laying down in the outfield to do sports turf angels lol.

Chris

I think ESK may be right, I do hate Brett Farve

First fuck Brett Favre and his goddamn Diva ways, not only has be played games all off season trying to fuck the Packers he decides that he only wants to go to teams in the fucking NFC North.

Fuck him and the fucking lawn tractor he road in on fucking bastard.

Yes I think it was stupid to offer him 20 million to go away he fucking retired he made that decision, not the Packers.

Fuck him if he wants to play for the mother fucking Vikings let him I cannot wait to see Packer's DB's picking him off on opening night. I really do hope they fucking break his spine.

The cock sucker waits to the last minute then says oh yeah I want to play again even though I have done nothing to get ready for the whole off season and oh if you do not want me I only want to play for your two most hated division rivals.

Fuck you Brett Favre I hope they never retire your fucking number you bitch I hope they do trade your ass to the Queens so they Viking fans can watch you lose 8 games a year in the Dome instead of your usual one a year there.

I hate you for all the discord you have brought down on the Packers and how you are trying to just totally blow up any chance of them moving on this season you fucking self serving bastard.

So Go put on the purple you fucking fuck you talking out of both sides of your mouth bastard

Yes ESK was right I do hate Brett Favre The Atlanta Braves of Quarterbacks

He is dead to me

I am a Packers fan I always have been and I will always be

Fuck Brett Favre Diva Bitch

Chris

Wow this series has gotten out of hand in a hurry

I guess history does repeat it self Brewers have a huge mid season tilt with the Cubs with major ramifications for the division lead and they fall apart faster than the French Army.

Well it did not take them long to undue all the good they had done on the road trip.

Face it they are not playing good baseball right now, they are 3 bad pitchers away from being 2 and 8 since the sweep of San Francisco. And one of those 2 wins was another come back win against the Astros.

After they get swept today we will have to see if they can bounce back like the Cards did after we swept them.

Following this team can drive you insane sometimes, they seem like they are putting it all together and then they go and do what they did this home stand.

Actually they have been pretty awful the whole month of July other than the Pirates and Giants series we are lucky to still be tied for the WC and only 3 games back on the Cubs.

I am really tired of these team wide offensive slumps this team has. What do they flip a coin before the game? Heads we all hit, Tails we all whiff. It sure seems like it.

Oh well the final game of the series is in a couple of hours
Bush vs. Harden at Miller Park

First pitch is at 1:05pm CDT

TV: FSN | RADIO: WTMJ 620, ESPN Deportes 1510 cool I might listen to the game in Spanish maybe not understanding the language will make losing less painful. Heads up DTV subscribers DirecTV is moving the sport channels all over the the fucking dial I believe that FSN-WI is now 669 instead of 642. Nice job of not having the HD signal at the start of the game asshats.

Yawn lots of baseball left blah blah blah must stay positive blah blah blah

Harden has been pretty damn good since the Cubs got him Brewers do their usual swing at balls in the dirt and at their eye and get swept today scoring their usual 1 run and fall 4 back and most likely one back in the WC

What a difference a week makes.

As I said "
Yawn lots of baseball left blah blah blah must stay positive blah blah blah"

I am so tired of them laying eggs like this in Miller Park against Those People.

Chris

Questioning My Allegiance

So, the Packers offered Favre 20 million to NOT PLAY for the Packers yesterday. This was the supposed "master plan" to resolve this situation and what a dumb plan it was.

I can't think of a more insulting thing for this organization to do than that. For me, it makes me question my allegiance to this Packers organization. This is what the team I root for decides to do to a quarterback who has done so much for us? Even taking into account what Favre has done on his part in handling this situation poorly it certainly doesn't come close to what the Packers have just done. Hell, they won't even pay their starting running back TO PLAY!

This is absolutely ridiculous and if I were Favre I would have told Mark Murphy to F*** off and there'd be absolutely no way that I'd ever play for the Packers again let alone step foot in Lambeau field ever again. I've never heard of a more insulting way to handle a player.

Today I am embarrassed to say I'm a Packers fan.

Can we pay Bob Harlan 20 million to come back and send Murphy on his way because that's the only way I can see this situation resolving itself reasonably.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Packers Offer Favre 20 Mill To Stay Home

Yes, you read that correctly. No, that's not made up.

Look, here's a link to prove it!

I have no idea whose idea this was but Murphy is the one who went down there. He should be fired immediately for such a dumb ass move.

Just wow.

Open Thread: Let's Avoid the Sweep

Yes, I know there's another game tomorrow, but does anyone like the Brewers in the Bush v. Harden matchup? Well, I suppose the functional equivalent went the Cubs' way in the opener, so you never know.

It's Parra v. the surprising Ryan Dempster. Just when Jason Marquis finally turns into a Pumpkin some crappy new Cub pitcher ends up at the ball.

Here's your lineup:

2B Ray Durham
SS J.J. Hardy
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
RF Corey Hart
3B Bill Hall
CF Mike Cameron
C Jason Kendall
LHP Manny Parra

Have at it, jokers.

We Should Trade For Adam Dunn Right Now

Why is no one interested in Adam Dunn?

Well, one team that should be interested is the Milwaukee Brewers, as their single biggest offensive problem is OBP, and by acquiring Dunn you can replace this OBP:

Mike Cameron - .320

With this OBP:

Adam Dunn - .383

He also slugs more. Yes this would make our defense worse by necessitating a Corey Hart shift to center, but it's not like Cameron is really an All-Star out there anyway, Hart's speed can still make up for his lack of instincts, and his bat plays better in center.

You may also have to move Braun to right, but he's got the arm for it, and Dunn isn't the butcher in the field he is made out to be. He is slow, and unathletic, but he has good instincts and takes proper routes. He would be an upgrade over Braun in left.

Anyway, if they did acquire Adam Dunn my lineup (MY lineup, not Ned's) would look like this OBP wise:

1. JJ Hardy - .356
2. Adam Dunn - .383
3. Ryan Braun - .341
4. Prince Fielder - .371
5. Corey Hart - .326
6. Russell Branyan/Bill Hall - .370/.420
7. Rickie Weeks/Ray Durham - .366/.390
8. Jason Kendall - .332
9. Pitch

That's not half bad. I might even ding Corey a spot and move up the platoon.

Check out the Cubs, if you're wondering why they score so damn much:

1. Soriano - .331
2. Theriot - .390
3. Lee - .359
4. Ramirez - .374
5. Soto - .353
6. Derosa - .369
7. Johnson/Edmonds - .410/.345
8. Fukudome - .383
9. Pitcher

Right now, by my rough calculations (weighting the platoons and such), the Cubs enjoy roughly an 18 point lead in team OBP over the Brewers. Substituting Adam Dunn for Mike Cameron would cut that number to a mere 10 point lead.

They would win a lot more games, and have better lefty/righty balance if they did this, and since no one is apparently offering, it probably wouldn't cost them much.

Remember Grant Ball-Four?

The Brewers traded him for Seth McClung. McClung has done an admirable job for Milwaukee but check out Balfour's current line:

27.7 innings 4 ER, 1.30 ERA, 40k/12bb 10 hits, 0 HR, 0.795 WHIP...322 ERA+

wow.

10 Things Brewers Fans Have Over Cubs Fans

1. We do not have Jay Mariotti.

2. Wrigley Field may have the worst food in all of sports.

3. We don’t have as many racist or homophobic T-Shirts.





4. We have Bob Uecker. You have Ron Santo.

5. Here are some actual lyrics from “Go Cubs Go”:

“Well this is the year and the Cubs are real
So come on down to Wrigley Field.”


They’re real! Just like Pinocchio! Also, “real” and “field” almost rhyme.

“Baseball season's underway
Well you better get ready for a brand new day”


Hey, why don't I just go and eat some hay. I can lay by the bay, make things out of clay, I just may, what'd ya say?

“So stamp your feet and clap your hands
Chicago Cubs got the greatest fans.”


Did they let Hawk Harrelson write that verse?

(For those who are unfamiliar with The Hawk, he is one of the TV guys for the White Sox, known for his excessive homerism and poor grasp of the English language. When an opposing batter strikes out he simply says “He gone.” He killed Lisa’s grammar robot, Linguo. He also has the worst home run call in the history of baseball. Yes, even worse than Ron Santo’s “Ooooooooooh yes!”)

6. The very best beer at Wrigley Field is Old Style. Ewwww.

7. We never let Ozzy Osbourne or Jeff Gordon sing. Instead we have sausages race.

8. We are allowed to have Friday night games.

9. Our crosstown rivals did not win a World Series in 2005.

10. Aside from all of the scapegoats used by Cubs fans (Bartman, Durham, Brant Brown, etc.) they actually blame and honest-to-god goat. It’s supposed to be a figure of speech, you idiots.

Bonus Thing Packer Fans Have Over Bear Fans

We may not know who our quarterback is, but we know he isn’t Rex.

On the season we’re 4 up, and 4 down. In the words of Al Bundy, let’s rock.

Shea Photos










My trip to Shea Stadium

Well now that I am back from my trip, time for you guys to suffer my modern version of the "slide show" bwahahahahahahahahaha.

As you all know I attended a Mets vs. the Cards game at Shea Stadium in NYC last Saturday.

The first thing I have to do is take a moment to thank my friend Bill the Mets Fan and his wife and family for showing us a kick ass time at Shea. They included us in their "Take Bill to the Mets game for his Birthday complete with tailgating extravaganza" Which was beyond a good time. And I am very greatful for them including us. It is a lot more fun to attend a game at a stadium when you are part of a group of home team fans. I look forward to returning the hospitality to Bill and his wife Christie if they ever make it to Miller Park.

They were driving in from Jersey so we said we would meet them at the Stadium. My wife and I hopped the 7 train at Times Square and road it out to Flushing Meadows, then played phone tag while hunting them down in the parking lot. Shea is different than Miller Park. They let you in and you can go park anywhere in the entire lot all helter skelter. We found them and hung out in the parking lot drinking and eating for the next 2 hours (yes we used plastic cups and did not get a ticket like the mopes 3 cars over from us who did get a drinking ticket because someone left a beer can in plain sight).

We then headed in to the park. It was Ladies' Night, so my wife got a nice Mets tote bag. We were in the top of the upper deck which was like being in the top of the Old Busch stadium; I sat down and looked around and it hit me Shea is really the last of the "Concrete Doughnut" Stadiums, they just never finished the circle when they built Shea. Here, look at this picture.


So, when Shea goes under the wrecking ball this off season, it. and not RFK will have been the last of the CD stadiums.

Shea was not as bad as I thought it would be. It was clean, and prices were not much more than at Miller Park. Even though we were very high up, there are great site lines and we could see everything. Great energy from the crowd; something the Brewers fans will have to learn to do. The Mets fans did not wait for the organ or the sound system to tell them when or what to chant. They do it on their own. I loved the thing they do when Jose Reyes hits a home run, they sing "Jose, Jose Jose Jose" to the ole song. Very cool when 50k are doing it together. I have to say the buzz in the stadium was impressive. There were a lot of Cards fans there, and it turned out a lot were doing the same thing that I was; seeing that game then going to Yankee stadium before they went home. We saw a lot of them Monday night too.

We saw 9 innings of a high scoring, 14 inning game and really enjoyed every minute of the trip to Shea (even though I left a credit card at the souvenir stand when I got a "last year at Shea" T-shirt but figured it out the minute I got back to the hotel and was able to cancel it before anyone could make any mischief with it.)

Once again I want to thank Bill and his family for showing us such a great time.

I have a bunch of pictures of Shea and the new park Citi Field I will put in a photo post.

Ok Check Shea off the need to see list ;)

Chris

Ok moving forward from here

Well as I said I go away and all hell breaks loose, I am actually happy I was on vacation, while I followed the games on my phone I was busy doing other things while on vacation so I did not have to suffer as much as most of you.

So we threw our best one two punch and whiffed both times. Not a good time for that to happen but you should not be all that surprised that Sheets looked so bad last night he has not looked all that good in his last couple of starts. Starting with that huge strikeout game against the Rockies Ben has not been well "Ben Sheets like" I have no clue what is wrong his velocity seems to be there it and his curve is there but the other team is hitting it. Not that it would have mattered last night since he only got one run of support and that came late in the 9th inning after Ben was long gone.

Face it Ben has not been right since they got CC maybe it is mental?

I am totally guessing since I have not seen a stitch of Brewers video since last Thursday.

So where are we at, even if the Crew wins the last two games to get a split they will be one game behind the Cubs when they leave town. But based on the way the first two games went I will take that. I did not see what Braun pulled last night but I hope it is a one time "aw fuck it" moment as ESK pointed out he has always been 100% professional so I am not going to dwell on it.

Ok, time to see if this team can get off the mat and show some life. Baseball is a sport of ebbs and flows in the beginning of the season the Crew owned the Cubs now it is their turn to be hot but lots of baseball left to be played. I know I keep dwelling on it but the Brewers play one team in August with a above .500 record and that is two games in St Louis with the Cards every other team they play is below .500 remember until the last two weeks of September this is a distance run not a sprint. Give the Cubs credit and let their asshole fans crow we will see who is laughing in September.

On to tonight's game

Parra vs. Dempster at wonderful Miller Park

First pitch is at 7:05pm CDT

TV: FSN-HD, ESPN | RADIO: WTMJ 620/BRN

I believe Manny Parra will stand in the breech tonight and rally the team to hold the line. With luck the Brewers bats will come back to life and we can get a victory

I am sending my secret weapon to the Stadium tonight my wife is attending the game in a sky box for work, The Brewers are undefeated in games she has been at this year without me(3-0) so I am doing my part by staying at home and watching on tv seems like very team I watch in person loses lately ;)

So no running for the lifeboats yet it is not even August yet.

Chris

Embarrassing

Sheets looked bad, Braun packed it in, and the whole damn team looked like they could not care less.

If I were a Cubs fan I'd come here and taunt as well.

Pathetic showing last night, none more so than Braun who clearly left the game in the sixth when that ball got by him. He laughed to Cameron about the bloop single he badly misplayed, was walking to the dugout before Zambrano's strike three crossed the plate and made Manny Ramirez look like a gold glover on that fly ball over his head in the 7th. It was a side of Braun we haven't seen before and my God I hope we never see it again.

Have some pride for God's sake.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I guess we can just declare the Cubs Division Champions now right

I do not think so. Just got back into town and see what happens when I leave? They go 1 and 4 while I was gone.

There is a lot of baseball left to be played, right now the Cubs have the Crew's number but lets see where we are at the end of August with one month left to play.

I noticed that the morons from Bleed Cubbie Bleed figured out we are here; great we will have to call the exterminator again. ;)

Let the Cubs fans celebrate their July Division title, we will see who has it in September.

I am going to reacquaint myself with my Xbox and ponder what has happened to Ben Sheets.

See you all tomorrow and I will start the NYC report.

I will leave you with this thought:

The Yankees have 26 World Titles since the Cubs last won one, why is it that I find Yankees fans are not near the assholes that Cubs fans are same could be said for St Louis fans vs. Cubs fans something to ponder.

Manny will get us back on track tomorrow.

Chris

Open Thread of Must Wins and the Muscle

Branyan is in, Hall is out. Durham is in, Weeks is out. Based on the numbers below, Ned is dumb. Hall should still be in there (I know, I know) and Counsell should probably be playing ahead of Weeks. However, this is the lineup we get and I'm going to refrain from picking too hard at the nits.

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

Game doesn't start for 3 hours but you can keep yourself occupied with the Braves-Cardinals which starts in two. I'll be busying myself with capacity utilization, Six Sigma and Ishikawa's crack pot theories on management. Hopefully by the time I am outta here Zambrano will have been knocked out by a Branyan bomb in the 4th.

Game starts at 7...Go Crew!!

Incidentally, Haudricourt says you can justify sitting Hall with stats, then sites only batting average, and not even Branyan's, and doesn't let his eye drift slightly right to see the rest of the line (provided in the previous post). Odd.

Favre applies for reinstatment. End-game coming?

The NFL has confirmed an NFL Network report that it received a request from Brett Favre for reinstatement. Once Commissioner Roger Goodell approves the request, the Packers will have but 24 hours to reinstate him, complete a trade, or give him his outright release. Unless Goodell dwaddles, which I cannot discount, I expect that approval to happen tomorrow, with the reinstate/trade/release clock running out on Thursday.

The problem with the trade third is nobody outside the NFC North, where Ted Thompson desperately doesn't want to see Favre end up, is willing to give up a third-rounder plus a defensive tackle for a diva whose current contract is for $12 million this year, $13 million next year and $14 million in 2010. This is despite reports of Goodell's involvement in trade talks.

If the trade talks continue to sputter, I expect Thompson to "reinstate" Favre and promptly find a way to keep him off the active roster and out of training camp in order to preserve his lifelong dream of being the guy who retired Favre. That is likely to result in a grievance.

Barring the miracle trade, this one's going to get even uglier.

R&E (4:44 pm 7/30/2008) - The Green Bay Press-Gazette has a couple of more developments:

- Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy met with both Favre and agent James "Bus" Cook today, and during a short break, Cook said things "were going well".
- The NFL announced that it would not take action on Favre's reinstatement letter today to allow the team and Favre more time for the two sides to work out a solution.

Who Should Start V Big Z?

We'll see how long I keep this up, but here goes:

Hall v Branyan
it's kind of a wash. Branyan has been atrocious but Hall has been almost as bad. However, in two games against Zambrano this year Hall has hit him well.

Weeks v Durham
There is no real contest. In 30 PA Weeks has an OPS of .729, and Durham has done nothing to suggest he'll be better than that in his 16 times facing Zambrano, getting just 3 singles and a walk.

Cameron v. Kapler
Cameron is 0-8 with 3 strikeouts. Kapler has never faced him.

Braun, Fielder, Hart and Hardy all have had excellent to marginal success against Zambrano and will obviously be starting. Rivera and Cameron are 0-fer while Branyan and Durham have been dominated.

Looks like Yost should go with the standard lineup today, and use Counsell as the first option off the bench if Z is in the game.

What do I expect? I sort of think Durham will get the start at second to punish Weeks, but if Yost really wants to do that he should start Counsell there and lead him off (.375 OPB v. Zambrano).

“Regression To the Mean” is not “Karma”

File this under “A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.”

Most of you probably have some understanding of the concept of “regression to the mean.” Simply put, it states that as a sample size gets larger, the effects of luck and Darin Erstad’s grittiness disappear. However, there is a tendency by some to equate regression to the mean and the bullshit Eastern concept of Karma, in which the universe will balance out the consequences of one’s deeds, giving them ultimate control over the results of one’s own life.

Anyway, let’s say that Juan Pierre starts out with hits in his first 30 ABs, an amazing feat. Karma would balance this out by, at a later date, causing Juan Pierre to go hitless in 30 ABs. Of course, that wouldn’t be that unusual for Pierre and the universe would probably have to ding him a few dozen more, but you get the idea.

This is not how regression to the mean works. While it’s possible that Pierre will experience some correspondingly negative luck in the future, it is certainly not required, or even likely. What regression to the mean does require is for Pierre’s little hot streak to end up buried in data.

Think of it this way. Let’s assume that Pierre is a .200 hitter, meaning that he gets 2 hits per 10 ABs over the long haul. And let’s assume that he has started the season 30/30 for a 1.000 batting average, and Jon Kruk is sitting around on Baseball Tonight wondering if Pierre will hit .500 for the season. At this point, let’s say that regression to the mean starts to kick in. Over Pierre’s next 100 ABs he gets 20 hits, making him 50/150 (.333) on the season.

And again, over his next 100 ABs he gets 20 hits, making him 70/250 (.280). And again, over his next 100 ABs he gets 20 hits, making him 90/350 (.257).

Juan Pierre averages 659 ABs per year. Even with his bit of luck, starting the season with 30 straight hits, after 650 ABs of regressing to the mean, Pierre will put up a line of 150/650 (.231).

If you let Juan play long enough, (say 11,050 ABs) his hitting streak will be almost completely lost in the statistics (2230/11050, .202)

At no point did we have Juan go into any sort of prolonged slump, it’s just that over time, your little peaks and valleys will get eaten up by the true you. In Juan’s case, that’s a pretty crappy, powerless corner outfielder.

Every time an announcer claims that some guy is “due” he’s alluding to Karma. Don’t believe it. While all players will go though hot streaks as well as slumps, one does not have any effect on the other.

A Quick Note About Pythagorean Record

The Cubs have a way better run differential than the Brewers. This means that the Brewers have probably gotten lucky to some extent, as they are in almost a dead heat at the moment. Because the Brewers have gotten luckier than the Cubs, some are concluding that the Brewers are destined to fall away.

This is Karma talking. And, as previously stated, Karma is bullshit.

The Brewers have been lucky; there is no doubt about that. But even if the Brewers regress to the mean right now, they have made drastic changes to their lineup which may be able to substitute for that missing luck. Adding Sabathia, and to a lesser extent, Durham, makes the Brewers a better team. The luck we have experienced is in the bank. It managed to keep us within striking distance of the Cubs. Going forward, the addition of better players is what is likely to carry the Brewers.

Regression to the mean does NOT mean that the Brewers will hit a stretch of bad luck. Of course, they might hit a stretch of bad luck, as might you, or I, or the Cubs. They will most likely play at the mean. Fortunately for the Brewers, their mean is now significantly better than it was before.

Week

When you fuck up a double play you generally do not get an error (as long as the 1st baseman catches the ball) because stat-keeping only requires you to account for one out per play. I wonder if this little esoteric bit of stat-keeping makes the defensively challenged Rickie Weeks look better than he actually is, because in all of my days as a baseball fan, I don't think there has ever been anyone worse at turning a DP than Rickie Weeks.

Last night Rickie fucked up at least two DPs. On the first, he made a diving stop, but he let the ball get away from him. It's tough to blame a guy for not making a diving play, except that it wasn't that tough of a dive, and the ball hit him right in the glove. Had he been able to flip to JJ, they would have easily turned two.

The second fuck-up was much more excrutiating, as it would have gotten them out of a big inning. I don't know how you miss Prince by as much as he did. Granted, some Cub was bearing down on him, but his sidearm toss was nonchalant and he wasn't even close. If you're going to make a throw like that, just put it in your pocket.

Other Observations

1. When Corey Hart was gunned down at third on his RBI double, he cost Rickie Weeks (or perhaps Ray Durham) an at-bat in the 9th. When Bill Hall was caught stealing (again) he cost JJ Hardy an at-bat in the 9th.

2. Whoever cut off that throw and gunned down Hart for the Cubs (I believe it was Lee) not only created an out that wasn't there, he also probably saved Geovany Soto's life, as there was going to be a play on Prince.

3. I thought the umpire calling balls and strikes was terrible, especially in the 8th with Gaudin pitching. No pitcher had been getting a low strike until that point. If I were a major league player I would get ejected every game. I hate subjective views of objective things. The strike zone is objective.

4. Carlos Marmol is still bad. He's been bad for awhile now, and nothing changed last night. He had the good fortune to face the most undisciplined part of the the Brewers lineup. Bill Hall bailed him out by swinging at a shitty 3-2 slider, and Cameron swung at everything. Jason Kendall just decided to watch and ended up on first. Gabe Kapler got a hanger and I thought he'd hit it out when it left his bat.

5. Bill Hall against righties: .171/.231/.327, OPS+ - 54.
Over the last two weeks: .200/.300/.371.

Russell Branyan against righties: .290/.374/.701, OPS+ - 173
Over the last 2 weeks: .333/.375/.733

Russ also kills the ball at Miller Park.

Russ was a pinch hitter in the 7th inning, after Lily had exited. Why did he not stay in the game? I suppose it's due to Bill hall's recent "hot streak."

6. We learned this morning that it took Mike Greenberg one hour and 15 minutes to drive from Evanston to Milwaukee. Evanston is a northern suburb. If you leave from Evanston, you miss all of Chicago's traffic. We can therefore conclude that Mike Greenberg drives like an old lady. (Note that this was in his college days and all of I-94 was not under construction at the time, as it is now.)

7. Corey Hart was actually safe. I know this because WGN showed only one replay and they shut it off half way through.

8. Solomon Torres should not escape blame. You cannot walk guys in front of Lee, Ramirez, and Soto.

9. Sabathia is not some Uber-pitcher. Besides being at a higher risk of injury, almost all pitchers lose effectiveness after 100 pitches as well. CC should have been removed earlier.

10. There's a Woot-Off today.

Monday, July 28, 2008

All of a sudden the Brewers not that good at Miller Park

The Brewers have actually been pretty awful at Miller Park in the month of July.

They started off like a house on fire sweeping the Pirates, but they have not won a series at Miller Park since then.

They split with Colorado lost the series to the Reds then lose two of 3 to Houston and now start the Cubs series off with a loss.

Nasty stuff, but they can still turn this around if they can take the last 3 games of this series.

Before anyone freaks out about tonight's game or even the rest the Cubs series.

Go look at the Brewers schedule in August and relax my prediction is the Brewers will be leading the Division by the end of August by 5 games.

It is all going to be alright, Now lets hope Ben can play the role of stopper like he was doing before CC got here.

I am flying home tomorrow and will start posting again on Wednesday starting with my NYC reports OMG Yankee Stadium is something special Shea was not all that bad either.

Let's go get them tomorrow

Hurray Beer
Chris

Wherein I Stir Up a Packer Shit Storm after a Brewer Loss

We've all tried our best to ignore the Favre saga, but it just won't go away. In that spirit, I present to you the words of Favre sympathizer Peter King:

His words to me Saturday: "I never didn't want to play. My problem was, was I committed to do the offseason program, was I going to be up to the task of doing everything that comes with it -- studying, working out, preparing? Playing was never going to be the problem. What I live for is playing the games.

"I know the perception is that I've waffled," he added. "But any veteran who's played in the league this long is going to have some doubts about playing in a 16th or 17th year. And [the Packers] wanted an answer from me early in the offseason. Ted and I talked about it. We talked about a lot of things. I reiterated to him, 'Ted, I was honest with you guys and gave you an answer March 3.' I could have faked it and came back, and no one would have ever known. I knew I could not have been committed at that time.

"Could I have forced them to wait 'til July before I gave a commitment? Sure. Like I said to Ted, 'You're right, you didn't hold a gun to my head wanting an answer.' But they wanted an answer. I felt like, from a team standpoint, the best thing was to give them an honest answer at that time. If I retired three days before camp, that would have been pretty low-class. This scenario, going back after I retired, might be low-class too, but I was honest and forthright with them.''

Really? Do that many of you think that a soon-to-be 39 year old quarterback is the best chance to get to a Super Bowl when even he admits he doesn't want to do the off season work to get there anymore? If he doesn't want to put in the off season work, do you really think he'll want to put in the in-season work? I love Brett, and I don't deny that he wants to play on Sundays, but this isn't sandlot football. Sundays are the result of a lot of of hard work during the week and the off season. Weighed against the natural deterioration of skills in an athlete's late 30's, I'm not sold on the fact that he is the Packers' best chance to win this year. At this age, the previous season is not necessarily a good indicator of future performance when the dedication level is reduced.

Open Thread of The Season Starts Now

No surprises in the lineup for the Brewers (despite Branyan having the most historic success...but I don't disagree with him sitting tonight).

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

As I pointed out earlier, the Brewers absolutely pound Lilly (including in April when he only lasted 4.2 innings) and he hasn't made it into the sixth in three straight starts. Sabathia has only faced the Cubs once in the past few years, getting absolutely shelled two years ago at home (2.1 innings, 9 ER).

The Brewers lead the season series 4-2 but the Cubs have the All Time lead at 81-79. These are two very evenly matched teams, throwing their top pitchers with almost entirely healthy line-ups. If this series doesn't have a playoff atmosphere, I can't imagine any games in July ever would.

Winning the first one is huge with the big man on the mound. Game starts in two hours...LETS GO CREW!!

Preemptive Strike

Every once in a while, Ned Yost will claim he looks at numbers and match-ups and makes lineup changes accordingly. Most recently that was his justification for starting Hall in Cincinnati and Durham on Friday night. However in those same games he benched individuals who had much better match-ups than their counterparts (Hardy, Branyan and Kendall in the past few games alone spring to mind). Also, he clearly didn't play the numbers yesterday, or Suppan would not have been trying to make "one more pitch" to Geoff Blum. It was clear to everyone that allowing Suppan to pitch to Blum was tantamount to conceding runs.

Anyhow, instead of second guessing Yost after the fact, I figured I'd look at the Brewers who have had the most success against tonights Cubs starter, Ted Lily.

Based on the report, only a few decision are reasonable, going by Yost's own reasoning behind starting Durham (i.e. 10 plate appearances are enough to justify a decision).

Cameron over Kapler (clearly this will happen). Weeks over Durham (while Durham has had success, Weeks has gone yard twice in 8 at-bats.) Branyan over Hall (Branyan only has 2 at bats, a double and a K, but Hall has struggled mightily in 10 at-bats, accruing only a .425 OPS).

After that, there are no real decisions to be made. It's solid to note, however, that the current Brewers (including the pitching staff) have an OPS of .777 against Ted Lily.

Tonight, I actually expect Yost to play the numbers and start Branyan. We shall see, however.

EDIT: yeah, i'm dumb, totally spaced on Lilly being a lefty. Branyan will see the pine tonight.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Open Thread: Sunday's First Place Tie Lineup

So, that Ryan Braun guy is pretty good huh? Thankfully Ned decides that even on Sunday's he can play too! In breaking news Mike Rivera was found alive today and will be catching. Kapler also gets the start in center. It's Jeff Suppan vs Randy Wolf in what could be a very offensive game, that is, if the Brewers bats wake up before the 8th inning.

Here's to a Brewers win and Cubs loss to take sole possession of first.

Your lineup:
2B Rickie Weeks
SS J.J. Hardy
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
RF Corey Hart
3B Bill Hall
CF Gabe Kapler
C Mike Rivera
RHP Jeff Suppan

Game Time: 1:05 CT Go Crew!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Open Thread of There For the Taking

The Cubs lost in fairly devastating fashion today, thanks to 3 runs scored by Hermedia. That means the Crew is a half game out with Bush on the mound today. Hopefully his luck holds up at home, because for some unknown reason, Craig Counsell is in the line up at short. Conspicuously absent against yet another right handed pitcher is Branyan. I'm befuddled.

Just so everyone is fully informed, this mythical hot streak Bill Hall is on has produced the following over the last 14 days:

.172/.250/.379 for an OPS of .629.

If someone can explain it to me I'd be stoked because I certainly don't get it.

2B Ray Durham
SS Craig Counsell
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
RF Corey Hart
3B Bill Hall
CF Mike Cameron
C Jason Kendall
RHP Dave Bush

Game starts in 40 minutes or so. Go Crew!

Branyan v. Backe:
2/5 HR, BB, K

Hall v. Backe:
2/11 HR, BB, 4K

Just so you can't claim Yost is playing the match ups.








Losing Sucks

To any WSB readers curious, a bit of a detour into experimental science. Why? Because think about it, as soon as they figure out how to use functional magnetic resonance imaging to weed out players fated to wash out at the professional level, every Major League franchise will insist on a pre-contract scan and the Yankees will buy a machine and keep it next to the trainers office.

Does Practice Make Perfect In Sports? One of the themes from this study is that, indeed, learning a motor skill takes place in the brain. This may seem like an obvious statement, but its important to accept that the movements that our limbs make when performing a skill are controlled by the instructions provided from the brain. So, what happens when the skill breaks down? …

Over repeated trials, changes in reach speed were associated with changes in pre-movement activity. So, instead of perfectly consistent reach times by the monkeys, they saw variation, like we might see when trying to throw strikes with a baseball many times in a row. Their conclusion was that this planning activity in the brain does have an effect on the outcome of the activity. Previously, research had focused only on breakdowns during the actual move and in the mechanics of muscles. This study shows that the origin of the error may start earlier.

As electrical engineering Assistant Professor Krishna Shenoy stated, "the main reason you can't move the same way each and every time, such as swinging a golf club, is that your brain can't plan the swing the same way each time." Postdoctoral researcher and co-author Mark Churchland added, "The nervous system was not designed to do the same thing over and over again. The nervous system was designed to be flexible.

Yes, monkey experiments, because real science experiments on monkeys unlike false science that simply programs computers to generate fake pictures of the North Pole melting. It is a head game. Question: If Kendall can’t hit better than Estrada, then who catches next year?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Open Thread of Triumphant Homecoming

The Brewers come home after the most successful road trip in the history of the organization, with a chance to grab a tie for first with the Cubs. Left hander (who is pitching surprisingly well this season) is in the way. His career numbers against the Crew are pretty bad, especially his last four starts. Rodriguez has lost 4 in a row against the Crew averaging just 4.8 innings in each of those 4 starts, compiling a per game score of 45.25. Not too hot. To be fair, however, Parra has not fared a whole lot better. Interesting, this will be his 4th starts this year against Houston. He is 2-1 with an ERA of 6.46 (wow) and lasting about 5 innings per start. Parra is riding a hot streak however, netting a win in each of his last 4 starts.

Keep it up Manny!

Yost trots out the regulars to face the southpaw:

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

Game starts in a little over an hour...Go Crew!!

Cubs Lose

And a man named Wandy is all that stands between Milwaukee and a share of first!

Kenny Irons Released...Ted Thompson Should Claim

In somewhat of a pre-training camp shocker, the Bengals announced this morning that they waived tailback Kenny Irons...

He failed a team physical earlier this week, the club said in a press release.
Irons played college ball at Auburn and was the Bengals' second-round choice in the 2007 draft.

He
has been unable to play or practice since suffering a torn left knee
ligament (ACL) in the 2007 preseason opener Aug. 9 at Detroit. He spent
the ’07 season on the Bengals injured reserve list.

If Irons were
to clear waivers -- meaning no other NFL team would claim his rights --
the Bengals could re-sign him and place him on a reserve list, but he
would not be eligible to play during the 2008 season.

I wanted the Packers to take Irons last year in the second round. They did not, and Irons got hurt. However, with a flash-in-the-pan threatening to hold out and a 2nd year guy with his own health problems, there is no reason the Packers should not take a flier on this guy.

ESPN Radio: Favre to Report to Camp

According to ESPN radio, Brett Favre will ask for his reinstatement and report to Packers camp on Sunday. This will come as bad news to Favre's biggest detractor, Chris.

I'll post more as it unfolds. I think this is probably just a move to get Thompson to finalize the deal to either the Jets or Buccaneers.

In case you missed it, Chris hates Brett Favre.

UPDATE: also, I am slow

Breaking News: Favre to Submit Letter of Reinstatement

According to Adam Schefter of the NFL Network Brett Favre is expected to submit a letter of reinstatement and plans to report to training camp this weekend.

Let's see who blinks first.

Maybe it really is our year

Good Morning Gentlemen a quick post before I pack up the puter to go to Gotham, what a road trip isn't it nice to see our young stars coming through again. Corey Hart should have been carrying Ryan Braun's bags last night for pulling his nuts out of the fire.

I am a firm believer that shit bad luck or what ever you want to call it floats around and randomly lands on people and last night was Corey's night to have it land on him.

He tried to single handily give the game to the Cards he could not get a "clutch" hit with RISP 3 different times he made a bad error to allow the Cards their 3rd run.(Is there ever a good error) But all of that stopped mattering when Ryan hit that ball and stood there and admired his handiwork.

That had to be a soul crushing loss for Cardinal Nation, I hope my Mets friends enjoy the emotionally scared team we sent them to NYC to play them. I intend to go into Shea early on Saturday and catch visitors bp so I can give shit to the Cards I am going to wear my Brewers hat and make sure my shirt is untucked, because that is how we roll ;).

Man do the Cards fans hate that whole untucked shirt thing almost as much if not more than the Brewers showboating their home runs lol.

The Cards fans are usually pretty cool but they went around the bend in their post game thread at Viva El Birdos and even invaded the post game thread at BCB to whine about untucked shirts. They should be lamenting the state of their bullpen not our untucked shirts. Man if the Padres had any sort of a pen the Cards would be out of the Wild Card race already.

So now they have to keep it going keep building on the Wild Card lead and then see if we can surpass the Cubs.

They have to hit better with RISP they left way too many runners on base last night(looking at you Hart)

They need to remained focused and TCB against Houston and try not to look ahead to the huge Cubs series.

So gents enjoy the day when I next talk to you all I will be hanging in Gotham. Reports from Shea on Saturday Night and Yankee's Stadium

Tonight's game info
Parra vs. Rodriguez at Home Sweet Home Miller Park

First pitch is at 7:05pm CDT

TV: FSN-HD | RADIO: WTMJ 620/BRN

Keep it rolling

Later Gents see you from the City next
Chris

Powell: Best Road Trip Ever

According to Jim Powell, the 7-0 trip was the best in franchise history:
That's right. There has never been a perfect, undefeated road trip
longer than six games in franchise history. That record has now been
re-written after a 7-0 road sweep through San Francisco and St. Louis.
Add in that it was capped by a four-game series of muggings over the
formerly wild-card-holding Cardinals, and you have a road trip that
will live in Brewers' lore no matter what happens in the future.

Very cool. The most memorable Brewers road trip I can remember is the infamous "Sweep Suit" series, and the Brewers promptly went to Pittsburgh, got embarrassed, and the season was essentially over. I have a very strong feeling this series will be different, as Sheets and Sabathia should prevent the Brewers from losing more than a couple at a time. God damn that is powerful stuff in that rotation.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Can Ben and the Boys deliver a sweep death blow

Sorry this is so late

Ben Sheets and the Brewers try to sweep the Cards in St. Louis

Ray Durham gets his first start as a Brewers

Rest of the line up same old same old

Lets go for 8 in a row and a 7 and 0 road trip

Hurray Beer
Chris

Finally proof CC is not perfect

According to the St Louis Post/Dispatch as good as CC was last night he did make one mistake.

"But it wasn't a perfect evening for Sabathia. After homering in a previous start, he went hitless in four at-bats and missed his first sign as a National Leaguer. Sabathia later learned he was supposed to bunt with two runners on and nobody out in the sixth. He tapped into a forceout."

Man if that was the worst thing he did last night I will take that everytime.

I did think it was odd he did not bunt, but we have to remember home runs or not this batting stuff is new to him.

Hurray Beer
Chris

C.C. and Sheets should not pitch back-to-back

The top five teams in the baseball for innings pitched from the rotation are the Angels, Jays, White Sox, Red Sox, and A's. The top five teams in bullpen ERA are the Phils, Jays, Dodgers, White Sox, and A's. That's three teams out of five that are on both lists. You see similar correlation at the bottom of both lists. I think it's intuitive and obvious that a rested bullpen pitches better than a heavily taxed one. But I also think that you can have too much rest (See ESK's discussion of why platoons work below).

By my calculations, Parra averages 5.67 innings per start, Sheets averages 6.74, Suppan the inning-eater averages 5.7 per start, Bush averages 6.28, and Sabathia averages 7.05. Sheets also has 3 complete games this year and Sabathia has 6. None of the other starters has a complete game.

While watching C.C. throw his sixth complete game last night, I was thinking about Sheet taking the mound tonight. It's possible that he could go 9 innings. It's likely that he'd go farther than anyone else in the rotation will go in their last or next outing. It's also more likely that we'll be winning when he does come out of the game. Does it make sense to let Sabathia save Torres et. al. a night of work so they'll be rested for... another night off? Why not stick Parra or Suppan between them? That way, you'll have more non-mop-up-duty relievers with a day of rest ready to step in for the middle guy. From the other angle, if you have Bush (or McClung), Parra, Suppan all in a row, you probably won't have Torres (and whoever we decide is the best 8th inning guy) ready for the third game if we happen to be ahead.

I think the rotation should go Sabathia, Bush, Sheets, Parra, Suppan. At least until the playoffs.

C.C. Sabathia, Prince Fielder Keep Imagining Each Other As Giant Talking Hotdog, Hamburger

I love the Onion.

Where in the World is Chris's Broom?



If anyone finds Chris's mother-in-law riding a broom somewhere please let us here at the Wisconsin Sports Bar know as soon as possible. Any leads are appreciated. This is a very pressing matter as Chris needs to sweep off the remaining playoff hopes the Cardinals had along with the broken mirrors which previously held them together. Once again this matter is urgent. Thank you for your attention.

Are you ready for the absurdity today?

The Packers hold their faux shareholder meeting today. OMG this should be down right insane as all these people who think they actually get a say in a multimillion dollar football team, because they were dumb enough to buy a $200.00 piece of paper get their shot at Ted Thompson.

I honestly feel for TT I can just imagine the insane over the top Favre Jihadists he will be dealing with today. I picture security dragging deranged shareholders out of the meeting.

It is funny how little I care about the Pack opening camp right now the Diva has turned this into a media circus and I am all Brewers all the time I will worry about the Pack when they figure out what they are doing.

Ted put your ear plugs in and just ignore them

Go Pack Go
Chris

The Series Of Righting Wrongs Continues

Well first the Giants felt the wrath of the Brewers and now The Cards are being crushed under Godzilla's feet.

News Flash: "That CC guys is pretty damn good." He just ate up the Cards line up and spit it out.

The Crew's bats actually were off last night only getting him 3 runs but that was more than enough, hell the game was over when Hardy's ball left the yard with the way CC was dealing.

I am sorry but none of us fore saw this kind of monster road trip, stop and think about it they are 6 and 0 with a chance to have a undefeated road trip with 4 of the games being in St Louis.

I guess it was too much ask of Arizona to sweep the Cubs but a tip of the hat to them for taking 2 of 3 now the Cubs have to head home to the Dump to play 4 with the Marlins before rolling into Miller Park.

I am not going to spend too much time talking about how good CC is, you all can see that for yourself. Dude is a horse even if he only plays in Milwaukee this year it is cool he wore Brewers Blue even for half a season. And you never know with this owner he might stay longer I rule nothing out with MR. A at the helm.

A seven game winning streak, a winning record on the road leading the WC and within one game of the hated Cubs for the Division lead. Yeah life is pretty good at the moment for you if you are down with the Crew.

On to today's game info
Sheets vs. Wellemeyer at beautiful Busch III

First pitch that goofy Cards starting time of 7:15pm CD

TV: FSN-HD | RADIO: WTMJ 620

Ok lets see if Ben Sheets can get back to being the Ben Sheets of most of the season, his last two starts have been so so(by his standards). Can he finally follow up one of CC's gems with a gem of his own. So far we have been connecting with the left but missing with the right of our 1 2 combination.

It would be great for them to jump on the Cards pitcher early and give Ben a nice cakewalk. You have to wonder how much life the Cards will have after the last three games.

Who would have ever dreamed of having a chance to sweep the Cards in St Louis, Most of you would have been happy with 2 and 2, I was on the record for needing 3 and 1 but a sweep never dreamed of it.

these are good times people breath it in enjoy it. Lets hope they can keep it rolling

My guess is you see Branyan and Durham in the line up today

Now excuse me I have to look for my Broom

Hurray Beer
Chris

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Time to foul ESPN's odious plan...

...to take the honor of Titletown away from Green Bay. Their idiotic little program includes the major metropolises of the country, so it is going to take a major turnout to overturn their hideous attempt to strip the moniker of Titletown from its rightful owner, Green Bay, Wisconsin. Go vote.

Open Thread of Death of a Platoon

No Branyan but Hart is back in there. It'll be interesting to see when Branyan goes back in. Guess we are yet again at the mercy of Ned Yosts gut. We all remember how well that worked last year right?

In this case though, it looks like Yost may actually be playing the numbers, as Weeks and Hall have fared better than Durham and Branyan against Looper.

Here's hoping the dealer busts as Yost yet again presses his luck and stays on 10*.

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


*see that Danny, I can make up my own shit completely unrelated to yours.


Game starts in like 2 hours or something, but I'm sick of the Reds being our top discussion. While we are waiting and I am doing more important things, someone do me a favor and figure out the Brewers record since May 25th.

EDIT: Thanks to Fred, who informed us that the record since May 25th (when Branyan played in his first game this year, and the hard platoon began) the Brewers are 34-14. Three straight games on Hall hitting against righties is a fair enough signal that Yost is off the Cialis, and this platoon is officially soft. Just an interesting side note in the middle of the season.

http://www.fatterthanjoey.com/uploads/branyan830.jpg
we hardly knew ya

Brewers Sign Jay Gibbons

Former major leaguer Jay Gibbons is getting a second chance with the
Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers have purchased Gibbons’ contract from
the Atlantic League’s Long Island Ducks and will assign him to their
Double-A affiliate in Huntsville, Ala. The 31-year-old Gibbons was
released by the Baltimore Orioles in March after he batted .189 with no
home runs and four RBIs in 16 games in spring training.

So, there was no room for Cirillo anywhere in the organization? Really? Gibbons was serviceable in 06 as a 4th outfielder, terrible in 07 and couldn't catch on anywhere this year. Maybe he's the new Branyan (no, he'll never even see Nashville).

Brewers (Sabathia) at Cardinals (Looper) Open Thread

Here's the lineup. Hart is back in the lineup, Durham is still on the bench.

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

Dusty Baker making progress... very slowly...

Dusty Baker is very stupid. He hates when his players walk because it "clogs the base paths." Obviously, his enemy has always been OPS. That's why it was so shocking to see this:

CINCINNATI -- Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn don't have the best batting averages, but Reds manager Dusty Baker doesn't plan on doing anything different with the two sluggers when it comes to filling out a lineup card.

Griffey's .236 average and Dunn's .230 average are the two worst of any active everyday starter. Only part-time catcher Paul Bako's (.213) is lower. But Griffey, the No. 3 hitter, and Dunn, the No. 5 hitter, are leading the way when it comes to on-base percentage, and for that reason, Baker isn't planning any changes.

"Their averages are low, but their on-base percentages are still high," Baker said. "Their on-base percentages are higher than some of the guys who are hitting.

Now that's progress! But as FJM points out, it's for the wrong reasons:

I know they can hit, but it also helps to get on base and put a pitcher in the stretch. That's the thing. Most starters don't like being in the stretch.

The stretch? The fucking STRETCH? Doesn't it help to have a guy on base? And not OUT?

Musial Musings

Like the Head Barkeep says, the Cardinals are a classy organization that can justifiably take pride in their tradition. I also don’t doubt that Hall would be on the 15 day disabled list if Gibson was on the mound for the Redbirds tonight. Old school is as old school does. If anyone missed Joe Posnanski’s article on Stan Musial, go read it.

The best line, however, is from a comment: A while back someone asked Stan how he thought he would hit against today’s pitching. Stan said: “Oh, I guess about .275.” Only that high his interviewer asked? “Well, you have to remember I am 85 years old!”

Chick Fight

Finally the WNBA figures out how to get noticed a good old fashion Cat Fight



I will be totally honest I would scared shitless to have to break up a fight between two groups of women who are mad enough to throw down.

Now it there had only been a tub of Jello

Chris

It must be the Red Uniforms

(WSB Original Photo)

Yes, it is that guy coming to the rescue again. I owe Billy an apology. ESK lead me astray. I flirted with the big muscle-bound guy. But I was wrong. My man crush is back on. La La La La La - I am no longer listening to ESK when it comes to Hall and Branyan.

The Cards radio guys were going on how Hall kills the Cards and it reminded me of how the Reds guys think the same thing. It must be the red uniforms

So ESK, get used to the idea that my love affair with Hall is back on

Billy Billy Billy Billy

Hurray Beer,
Chris

No We Mean It, Stay Down

I would like to believe we took the Cards best shot last night. Loshe is their best pitcher right now and the Crew found a way to win. I would think this loss has to hurt the Cards mentally. They know what they have to face the next two days in CC and Sheets. I think the Cards are realizing they are not playing the Padres anymore.

Right now the Brewers are on a hell of a roll. You just can see they are feeling it. They were forced to grind and grind against Loshe until they finally started to break through, getting runs in the 7th, 8th, and the dramatic home run in the 9th to take the second game of the series.

AS Danny said in his post below, the Crew has pulled their road record to .500 and are now in second place all by themselves. And thanks to the Snakes, they are now only one game behind the division leading Cubs. The Cubs are looking to avoid a sweep in Arizona, even though they missed Webb and Haren pitching.

The Crew has already locked up a winning road trip, and at worst can only split this series. My hope of taking 3 from the Cards is looking pretty good. This has been the road trip of righting wrongs from last year.

If Hall plays tonight, I expect him to get beaned. The Cards TV team was openly calling for that after he admired his 9th inning home run. Bob Gibson was referenced. I am sure if it happens, CC will be happy to retaliate. I do love the whole Cards organization. They are old school to a fault. While I do not want Billy to get hit, I would understand it. He was show boating after both home runs.

On to tonight's game info
Sabathia vs. Looper at Busch III(I learned that last night at Viva El Birdos)

First pitch is at 7:15pm CDT

TV: FSN-HD RADIO: WTMJ 620/BRN

Can CC go to 4 and 0 since his arrival in Milwaukee? Can the Brewers lock up the series and set themselves up for a sweep? Could the Crew move into a Division tie if the Snakes can throw down a sweep on the visiting Cubs?

We are almost to August and are within a game of having the best record in the National League. There's a lot of baseball left to be played, but I am going to enjoy every moment of this.

Hurray Beer,
Chris

Some numbers

Things are looking good at the 100 game mark. The Brewers just improved their record to 57-43. This time last year we were 56-44. In 1992 we were 54-46 at the 100 game point. In 1982, we were 57-42-1.

The Brewers also improved to a .500 road record of 26-26.

Why Platoons Work

We sometimes get criticized because we only question Yost when his gut instincts are wrong. While that is completely incorrect, I figured today would be an excellent day to say the following:

Starting Bill Hall against righties is wrong.

It's a good day to say that because Hall has crushed righties the last two days, getting the "clutch" hit in each case off a right hander.

The decision to start him was still wrong.

Platoons work because you take two guys who could (if all pitchers were their opposites) start everyday and play them to their strengths. Generally, this leads to the two players in question getting close-to-regular at-bats and staying fresh. This not only gives you two players who are in the best position to succeed, but gives you two "starting" caliber pinch hitters on the bench who have been getting regular ab's.

Playing the hot hand negates this positive effect. By playing the hot hand, you necessarily prolong the bench time (and thus diminish the plate appearances) of the other. In this case, Branyan has gotten a scant 18 plate appearances in the last 14 days. The lack of work has shown, as The Muscle has struggled to a mere .690 OPS.

The case was no different when Branyan was first called up, and the Brewers faced a litany of right handed pitching. While this happened naturally as a result of the schedule, Hall struggled. In Branyan's case, the manager is potentially contributing the the struggle, which is unacceptable.

In baseball outcomes cannot be controlled, but situations can. By starting Hall against right handed pitcher, Yost is not maximizing the Brewers chances for success in the given situation. Regardless of the outcome, that is unacceptable.

Either stick with the platoon or trade Branyan for some middle relief. I demand his value be maximized!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Remember Mutaman?

Well, does anyone? I bet E remembers him. After I read his "Calling All Reds Fans" I remembered there was a crazy Reds fan that was leaving comments after the Cordero deal went down in the off-season. So I decided to go back and see if I could find something Mutaman left us and boy did I find it. He left a comment to this post, at the time it was crazy and now it's even more crazy. Here it is in all its glory:
With all due respect, ESK, you're using different criteria for seperate issues. With regard to Cordaro, you're saying the investment wasn't worth it. With regard to Lohse, you're saying having him will improve the Reds. But thats different than saying that Lohse is worth the insvestment. You have to use the same criteria in judging both.

My thoughts:

1. The Red's biggest problem was their bullpen. They went out and got the best relief pitcher on the market.They changed a weakeness into a strength ( Cordero as a closer with Weathers and Burton as setup men is very solid).

2. Krivsky comes from the Twins and knows Lohse well. After all he traded for him. If he didn't think Lose was worth signing to a new contract, why would he want to pursue him as free agent, particularly in a weak market where Lohse's worth is really inflated.

3. Who says the Reds have no money left after signing Cordero? They are now out from under the Milton contract and will soon be out from Junior's contract. And who knows how much Castellini is willing to spend.

4. Like most Reds fans, i love the Cordero move and I'm glad Lohse is gone. And that's the bottom line.

4. If you think Lohse is a better pitcher than Bronson arroyo, there is no point in continuing this discussion.
Um, I don't think that guy is coming back.

Open Thread: Soup's On!

Rallying the momentum of a five game winning streak the Brewers once again attempt to correct their year previous road woes. It's Jeff Suppan fresh of the DL for the crew vs Kyle "Dave Duncan makes me millions" Lohse.

Ned Yost is a real man and real men manage with their guts. Here's what he spit up on the lineup card:

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

Oh and Corey Hart pissed off Ned by making fun of nascar so he's out of the lineup. Game Time: 7:07 CT. Go Crew!

Brewers sign Ryan Braun's brother:

The Brewers have signed three (3) additional players from the 2008 June First-Year Player Draft. These signings include RHP Blake Billings (19th round selection) from Hillcrest (AL) High School, RHP Bobby McEwen (free agent) from Gonzaga University and INF Steve Braun (free agent) from the University of Maryland. Steve Braun is the brother of Brewers OF Ryan Braun.

From a Brewers press release.

Still no news on who's moving to make room for Suppan

As of 1:00 pm the Brewers still have not announced who is going to go to make room for the returning Jeff Suppan. It is down to either Mitch Stetter who has options and can be sent back to Nashville, or Mota who would have to be DFAed. I am hoping it's Mota but my guess is that they will send Stetter because then they would not have to give up a player. The only thing that might keep Stetter up is that he is a lefty but I'm not all that hopeful.

They have to decide by game time, right?

Hurray Beer,
Chris

Calling All Reds Fans

Still liking that $40 mil over 4 years to Francisco Cordero?


"Just Stay Down Damn It"

I think that was the message the Brewers sent the Cards in the 10th inning. Everyone has seen a fight where the guy getting beat won't admit it, and finally ,the other guy has to say it, "Just stay down damn it." To me that was what the Brewers were doing with those 3 runs in the 10th.

Not a bad first game to the series. McClung did what McClung does, giving the Brewers a solid start, giving up his usual 2 runs (in 6 of his starts he has given up 2 runs.). If not for a rough 9th inning he would have gotten the win. But the important thing is they won his start. The Platoon is now 1-0.

The Brewers Offense up to the 10th inning did just enough, letting the Cards - who were aided by a number of really good defensive plays - off the hook more than once. The Crew should have had at least 2 runs in the second inning after hitting balls hard, but right at people.

For those of you keeping track, that was the second time Rickie Weeks has hit a home run into "Big Mac Land" in St Louis. He did it as a rookie in the old Busch, but the Crew lost that game so it was a much better result tonight.

You have to give Credit to Ned. When he is lucky, he is lucky. Not only did playing Rickie and Billy pay off but he got away with using Mota and Gagne back to back in the 6th and 7th. I cannot comment on how either pitched because I turned the game off for both of those half innings. I could not take the strain. (turned it back on to watch the Crew bat in both innings).

So now the Crew is in a tie for 2nd and gained another game on the Cubs who are finding life on the road a bit tougher than playing all their games in the dump against the Pirates. They wasted seven innings of one hit ball by their new hired gun and lost 2-0 to the Snakes in the Desert. Tell me they are not hearing footsteps.

Okay, winning the opening game does a lot of good things for the Crew. They only have to win 1 of 3 to get a split on the road, or 2 of 3 for a nice 3 and 1 road series. They have also pulled within one game of having a .500 road record. Four wins in a row on the road will do that for you. What a difference a year makes.

The Crew has to make a decision today with Suppan coming off the DL to start in tonight's game. Someone from the pen has to go. I hope it's Mota.

If they send Stetter down and keep Mota up, I will be very angry and will pout all day.

On to tonight's game:

Suppan vs. Loshe at New Busch Stadium

First pitch is at 7:15pm CDT

TV: FSN RADIO: WTMJ 620/BRN

Even with game one in the win column this is still an important game. A win tonight with CC and Sheets going in the last two does not bode well for the Cards. Hopefully the time off has gotten Suppan back to his early season form. As the magic run has to end for the Cards, so does the magic run for Loshe. So why not now with the Brewers?

We have a chance to put the Cards in our rear-view mirror. Let's take that chance. The Cubs still have two in the desert. They are 1 and 3 on this trip. The Crew is playing very good baseball right now they are 13 games over .500 and riding a 5 game winning streak; 4 and 0 in the the "second" half with all 4 victories on the road.

It just feels like it's coming together for the Crew. A bull-pen tweak or two and I think we are ready for the run to September.

Lets start tonight let's but the Cards in a 2 game series hole and take over 2nd place all by ourselves.

Hurray Beer,
Chris

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