Thursday, April 30, 2009

Random Musings from Miller Park Tonight

I just got home from watching the Brewers pick up another awesome win at Miller Park this evening, and there are a couple of points I wanted to make before Rubie makes 'em all before I even get up tomorrow. So, here's what I'm burning on...

-Holy balls can that Scherzer kid bring the heat. By all accounts the Brewers have a pretty good group of dead fastball hitters and they could barely touch this dude. Prince looked the most frustrated by it; striking out 3 times, including twice on fastballs that he knew were coming.

-Big ups to Suppan. Now that's how you "keep your team in the game." Yes I know that AZ is the perfect lineup for Suppan to face (a bunch of young, free swingers that have no problem expanding the strike zone and chasing bad pitches) but you still gotta give the guy credit. If he implodes yet again and gives up 3-4 runs early it completely changes the complexion of the game with Scherzer dealing like he was.

-I am really hoping that this is Rickie Weeks turning the corner. I have carried water for this dude for the last 4 years, he fucking owes me. Bag on him all you want for not taking more walks. I know you guys are really more "small ball" types, but fuck that. Almost everytime the guy is up he's putting a good swing on the ball. I say grip it, rip it, and keep coming up big for us Rick.

-I just realized that I have grown quite fond of Mike Cameron. We're not in man crush territory yet, but we can see it from here. The big hits speak for themselves, but the play that really sticks out for me was that ball in right-center that he caught in the 4th (I think it was the 4th). That ball was smoked and he broke instantly, took the perfect angle, accelerated to the ball and made the play look easy when it was anything but.

-Speaking of Cam's big hit in the 7th, was anyone as stunned as I was that the D'backs left Schoenweis in to face him? I was staring in the dugout waiting for Bob Melvin to come out and make the change, but he never came. Was he taking a shit or something? I had this image of him coming out of the can in a panic as he hears the crowd roar, fixing his belt and saying "What happened?" Then once he sees Cameron on 2nd base he begins berating his coaches, "I told you DON'T LET SCHOENWEIS FACE A RIGHTY! Weren't you listening? Damn this irritable bowel."

-I think something is off with the Miller Park radar gun this year. I think it might be reading a little hot. At one point during his 7th inning meltdown, Tom Gordon threw a pitch that registered at an even 400 mph!!! Now, Gordon has had so many surgeries that he essentially has a cyborg right arm now, but 400?? I don't even think that's safe. We may have to get someone over there to check the calibration on that gun.


Read this on Deadspin this morning, and, after I got to the last line, I haven't been able to stop giggling.

Yeah -- if you don't think I'm screaming "BITCH TITS!" at each and every one of you fuckers the next time I see you ... well, then you don't know me very well at all.

D3 Wants to Cuddle

More fantastic pictures here:

Swine Flu Update: Odds not looking good for Chorizo.

How Swine Flu Started...

And after another awesome episode of Lost...a picture of kate just for Rubie

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Come on, White House. Seriously?

Okay.  So I'm catching parts of the Presidential News Conference in between sips of New Glarus Stone Soup (excellent beer, I might add) and a few things have come to mind.

1. I don't really know much about politics and I usually don't watch these things, but they aren't in HD?  Really?  Also, I don't know if this is being done at the White House, but still.  No HD?  Wait, I just changed channels and it is in HD on other channels that are not FOX.  So, really, FOX?  You are not going to show this thing in HD?  I guess that is what you get when you just keep the same channel on that showed a Seinfeld rerun.  

2. Barack Obama is good with the media.  We all know that he is a media darling and the second coming, but I tell you what, he was good in the parts I caught.  He was very funny and candid on things that couldn't be scripted and written out.  Now, I'm sure he knew the questions or something like that, but he did a great job.  This guy knows how to get it done.  And this is coming from someone that voted for the other guy.

So, this post lost a lot of steam once I switched the channel, but it leads me to something else.  I've been thinking about starting a new blog for quite some time now.  I've wanted to start something that would deal with TV, movies, music... well basically the entertainment spectrum.  I think it would be a great place to talk about the stuff we bitch about that aren't sports.  This way STG and Rubie can discuss Lost, we can talk about the new Wolverine movie, or I can totally deconstruct a horrible album (we can all actually do that, which will be great).  Just wondering if you all thought this would be a good idea.  You would all be invited to be contributors (except Kenosha Mustache who should still be kicked off of here).  Let me know if I'm totally off base or if this will be a good thing to take up time during my summer vacation between Arrested Development watching.

Also... this new blog could lead to a future or a huge blog network the likes of Gawker... or not.

My Request to Brett Favre:

(Continuing our least popular running feature, Rubie's Open Letters to Brett Favre:)

Dear Brett:

Since it's abundantly clear that you want to keep playing, and since the most logical destination for your second comeback remains Minnesota:


Do it. Please come back. Please play for the Vikings. Please make clear, once and for all, what a self-absorbed, self-centered, selfish douchetard you are. PLEASE. There are still Packers fans who think you were wronged last year. Please show them they're wrong.

With warmest wishes,


Will He or Won't He?

Will Chuckie New-Town ruin Yo's gem? My vote is: Yes.


Llama Time!

Seems like Rickie Weeks has no problem putting on his cape when the Brewers need him the most. It was the third time this year at Miller Park that Weeks has hit the go ahead run. He has done it with nice variety whether it is a RBI fielder's choice or two-run jack like in Tuesday's 6-5 win.

... and has vaulted to an early lead in the all-important category: "Greatest Variety of Hits and/or Fielder's Choices That Drove In Game-Winning Runs."

Rickie stayed humble when talked about being the team's superhero.

Mostly because he's, um, not the team's superhero.

"Being a hero feels good but you got to do some good for the team," Weeks said. Weeks has looked nothing like the player we have seen the last two seasons. You know the one who could not hit, field, and drew a lot of boos.

Yep. Those fielding miscues are long gone. It's not like he made his fifth error of the season last night or anything.

But I will agree with the Llama on this point: Weeks doesn't look like the player who did everything he could to get on base last year (via HBP, walk, what have you). His OBP is .318, and he's drawn all of three walks this year.

Weeks is the first to admit he is not totally out of the woods yet as baseball is a long season. I would have more quotes but he is man of few words or at least ones that can be understood.

There is irony, and then there is a man who writes something like this: "The Brewers are 2-6 and trending towards a fate that only the Texas Rangers know" chiding another person for being hard to understand.

Jorge Julio did not start a small fire on the mound as he pitched a rare perfect inning.

What's up with Toddles and this "starting a small fire on the mound" shit? He said the same thing about Suppan last week. How 'bout we work on finding a different way to say that a pitcher didn't have a bad outing? Variety is the spice of life, little man.

Brewers manager Ken Macha admitted that pitching coach Billy Castro has really spent some time trying to turn Julio around.

"Admitted" is a curious word choice here, isn't it? It makes it sound like Macha was embarrassed that Castro has been trying to coach Julio. Isn't that what we pay the pitching coach to do? Wouldn't it be much more problematic if Macha had said: "Julio? Yeah, Castro and I talked about trying to help him, but, in the end, we decided: 'Fuck it. He's an adult. Maybe he'll figure it out on his own.'"?

The problem Macha sees is that Julio has trouble walking people. If he can avoid that obvious issue, than Julio will be all right.

As the Llama himself once wrote: "Thank you captian obvious!" (As always: all [sics] intentional.)

On this night, Julio got two fly outs and a strikeout so Castro must have said something right.

Or: Julio was pitching against the Pirates, and got to face the pitcher, Nyjer Morgan, and Fred Sanchez.

Macha admitted that he is not going to give up on his reliever because he loves to shag fly balls in batting practice and just loves the game.

I bet if you showed this sentence to Ken Macha and asked: "Does this accurately describe the reasons why you're not giving up on Jorge Julio?", his response would be: "Fuck no." "He loves to shag fly balls" is a reason you don't can a batboy who sometimes shows up late for work, not a reason you keep a pitcher with 7.00+ ERA on your roster.

Best Win Of The (Young) Year.

And not because the Crew sleepwalked (sleptwalked?) through the first five innings (including a comical top of the third, where Prince dropped a liner and Rickie threw the ball in the dirt to J.J. and Bill Hall overran a foul pop. We gave the bastards six outs that half-inning) but still managed to win the game.

Not because the much-maligned bullpen slammed the door with four great innings.

Not because Rickie Weeks came up huge with the go-ahead homer in the seventh.

Not because Brauny reached base three more times, running his OBP to a Pujolsian .478.

No -- this game qualifies as Best Win of the (Young) Year because Jon Freakin' Hart walked three times yesterday (and none of those walks was intentional).

To put that in context: Jon Hart drew 27 total walks last year. He drew his third walk (total) in the 10th game. His single game high was two walks (accomplished three times).

I mean, we're talking about a guy who is allergic to walks. He was Johnny Estrada-esque last year in his refusal to take a base on balls. But now, he's drawn 12 walks in an eighth of the season, and he's laying off the slider in the dirt, and he's setting the table for Braun and Prince and ...

Fellas, I don't know if I'm ready to live in a world where Jon Hart is a disciplined hitter.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Maybe We Should Throw At The Bench.

Word is that Braun is fightin' mad after getting drilled in the back by Jeff Karstens last night, and he's talkin' pay back: “We play them about 17 more times (actually 13). Tell Mr. Selig, we’ll see what happens. It’s going to be interesting.”

Awesome, and all; who doesn't love a good bean ball war?

But here's the problem:

Who in the hell are the Brewers supposed to throw at?

They hit our best player. So, naturally, we'd throw at their best player: Nate McLouth. But, alas, he's hurt and hasn't played since last Wednesday. Maybe we throw at the guy who's been with the team the longest: Adam Carolla doppelganger (and Brewer killer) Jack Wilson. But, alas, he's also hurt and got put on the DL yesterday. And, dammit, Ryan Doumit is out, too.

I'd feel bad throwing at either of the LaRoche brothers -- they suck so much ass (individually and collectively) that they'd probably end up swinging at the pitch.

Jesus -- that leaves us with Nyjer Morgan, Brian Bixler, Craig Monroe, Jason Jaramillo (who?) ... ugh.

Is it Fred Sanchez? I guess it's Fred Sanchez. Sorry, dude.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Ultimate D3 Wedding Gift

An authentic Nebraska Snuggie...enjoy my friend.

I Just Don't Get It.

So, after Ted Thompson drafts a reputedly-lazy, (alleged) pot-loving defensive tackle and an outside linebacker who started all of one year at USC, the talking heads are tripping over each other to get to the front of the line to blow the Packers general manager. "This is the type of draft we've been begging for!" the talking heads shout. "He's finally wised up!"

And I just don't get it.

For one, I don't think Ted deserves to get killed for his previous drafts. Yes, the Justin Harrell pick sucked balls. Fine. You want some other first-round selections who sucked balls? Take your pick: Terrell Buckley, John Michels, Ross Verba, Antwan Edwards, and, last and most certainly least, Jamal Reynolds -- all brought to you by the best general manager in the history of the franchise, Ron Wolf.

(And you bet your ass a major part of the reason Wolf gets a pass on Jamal Reynolds -- who was a much, much, much bigger bust than Harrell -- is because he brought Favre here, while Thompson gets crucified for the Harrell pick because he's the guy who ran Favre off when Brett still wanted to play. I'm not arguing about this.)

Two: take a close look at Thompson's draft history. His first ever pick was A-Rodg, and I don't hear many people bitching about that one four years later. He also snagged Nick Collins and Mike Montgomery in '05. The third round pick in that year -- Terrence Murphy -- busted his neck and is out of football, as is fourth-rounder Marviel Underwood (fucked up his knee). Hardly a disaster.

And then keep going down the line: Hawk in '06, who's been far from extraordinary -- but look at what was available around him. Anybody heard of any of those linebackers who got taken after A.J.? Throw in Jennings, Will Blackmon (just for his value as a return man), Jason Spitz, and Johnny Jolly, and that draft ain't half bad, either.

Now, 2007 wasn't a very good year, for sure (save for Mason Crosby), and it's still way too early to evaluate 2008 (though Nelson looked good last year, and Sitton is probably going to be starting at guard this year).

I don't know -- that draft history doesn't look like a complete clusterfuck to me. It's not like we're taking wide receivers in the first-round every year, or guys who run 4.3 forties but can't, ahem, catch the football.

But this year's draft -- oh, everyone loves this year's draft. Why? Apparently, because Ted traded with the Patriots to get back into the first round to take Clay Matthews XIV. I mean, Jesus Christ -- doesn't that pick have red flags all over it? The guy has great bloodlines, no doubt, but so does Tony Fucking Gwynn, Jr., and we've seen how that one panned out. Matthews walked on at USC, was a special teamer for three years, and started this year. That's the pick we're going to suck Ted's popsicle for? Really?

As for Raji: it obviously fills a need, which is great and all, but the words "weight problem" and "likes the sticky icky" scare the shit out of me. (The pot thing is especially worrisome in a town like Green Bay, where there's absolutely nothing for a guy like Raji to do. I'm not saying it's a foregone conclusion by any means, but when your Friday night options are "go to the Shopko again" or "hot box the Escalade" ... well ...)

Of course, it's too soon to meaningfully evaluate any of the '09 picks. I'm just sayin': I don't understand the unrestrained glee this morning, especially in light of the unrestrained rage we've seen for the last four drafts.

Friday, April 24, 2009

If You Liked The Llama On Baseball ...

You'll love the Llama on the NFL Draft!

And play along at home as we count the cringe-inducing metaphors.

There are plenty of needs to be addressed at No. 9 so Ted Thompson can do no wrong with the directio.

Annnnndddd ... we're off! We almost made it a whole sentence without a grammar error / spelling mistake. This, for Toddles, is significant progress.

That said: "directio"? Even if you slapped an "n" on the end of that word, what the fuck does that sentence mean? He can do no wrong with the "direction"? Wasn't aware that teams were going to be making directions this weekend; most of us call them "picks."

Well, okay the player could be a bust but with his penchant for taking the best player available, we may not have that head scratching feeling like when he took Justin Harrell.

OK, hold up a tick. Let's try to clean this up a little: what the Llama is saying (as best I can tell) is that because Ted Thompson's plan in the draft is to take the best player available, whatever pick Ted makes in 2009 won't leave Packer fans confused, like they were when Ted picked Justin Harrell. But ... wasn't Ted's plan to take the best player available when he drafted Harrell? I don't think Ted drafted him saying: "He's a project, but it's a position of need and we wanted him anyway."

The needs in the trenches, linebacker, and fullback leave Ted Thompson in the perfect position to get with his maxim of best player available and not a soul will throw up their arms.

Oh, so many things:

(1) Fullback? Really? The needs at FULLBACK are greater than the needs at corner, or back-up QB, or tight end, or running back? That's what you're going with? Fullback? I'm not even going to bother looking up the last fullback taken in the first round, because I think I can safely assume said pick occurred in roughly 1952.

(2) The needs at various positions "leave Ted Thompson in the perfect position to get with his maxim..." Wow. Either Todd Welter is speaking some type of slang that I've not heard before ("Hey, what are you guys doing tonight?" "Oh, I don't know, I was just thinkin' about gettin' with my maxim"), or his blog posts are being ghostwritten by a dolphin who has never seen a professional football game.

(3) Souls don't have arms.

My stance leading up to this weekend has been Drafter Ted must take a defensive lineman. The Packers' pass rush could not find the quarterback if it had the help of a Sherpa.

One cringe-inducing metaphor! Ha ha ha!

Now I am changing my tune. The Packers must select one of the quality offensive tackles that are available.

I don't much care who the Packers take in the draft. You want to take an offensive lineman? Awesome. Knock yourself out. But let me offer six words that might give you pause: Tony Mandarich. John Michels. Ross Verba.

Rodgers proved he was tougher than a two dollar steak last season.

Two cringe-inducing metaphors! Ha ha ha!

Chad Clifton is declining worse than the NASDAQ.

Three cringe-inducting metaphors! Ha ha ha!

Andre Smith or Michael Oher should be available at No. 9. They have question marks but not like Moll. Smith and Oher both have higher ceilings. Remember, Smith was being talked about at one point of being a top five pick.

Then he showed himself to be bat-shit insane.

And he took his shirt off to run the 40 (w/ love to Chuckie Hacks):

(Note: Them glorious man-titties call to mind the classic scene from The Simpsons "X-Files" episode, where Agents Mulder and Scully were performing a battery of tests on Homer, one of which involved Homer running on a treadmill -- and goddammit to hell that I can't find a picture or video:

MULDER: Wait a minute, Scully. What's the point of this test?

SCULLY: No point. I just thought he could stand to lose a little weight.

MULDER: His jiggling is almost hypnotic.

SCULLY: Yes. It's like a lava lamp.)

Let's not forgot another player that went from being a possible top five pick to being a Ted Thompson pick and things have turned out nicely.

Yes, please, let's not "forgot" that player at all.

Ted Thompson will have to pick what he cherishes more--keeping his quarterback upright or killing the opponent's quarterback. In this case, we know Rodgers is on the peak of greatness. He will not achieve greatness if he becomes an imprint on Lambeau Field.

Holy hell, man: Rodgers is "on the peak" of greatness, but he will not achieve it if we don't take a tackle? Typically, if someone is on the "peak" of greatness, that means they're already fucking great. Perhaps the word you were looking for was "precipice." I understand that's a tricky one, since both words start with "p" and you haven't learned "precipice" in your seventh-grade vocab studies yet.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Totally going to get fired

Quiet at the Buffet today. I have the Game Day up because it's a tad slow around the office. I'm sure IT is noticing the spike in Bandwidth usage.

Brewers are up 6-0 and Dave Bush is officially the first BrewCrew pitcher to make it through 7 innings. Better than average chance that I am about jinx him but, looks like Bushie is throwing the ball well today.

update: 7 2/3 innings, 2 hits, 1 run... thanks Bushie.

Anyway, I had a little time and I was looking at Bush's creepy beard in his Game Day photo (couldn't find exact shot but you know it). I always thought he looked a little like John Malkovic (someone at TMJ4 agreed as I was able to get the side by side there) but I've officially placed it, he has the Teddy "KGB" beard going on... frightening.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Cubs Joke

A student of proctology is in the morgue one day after classes, getting a little practice in before the final exams. He goes over to a table where a body is lying face down. He uncovers the sheet over the body, and to his surprise he finds a cork in the corpse's rectum. Figuring that this is fairly unusual, he pulls the cork out, and to his surprise, the rectum starts singing, "Hey Chicago what do you say... the Cubs are gonna win today".

The student is amazed, and places the cork back in the backside. The music stops. Totally freaked out, the student calls the Medical Examiner over to the corpse. "Look at this, this is really something," the student tells the examiner as he pulls the cork back out again. "Hey Chicago what doyou say... the Cubs are gonna win today".

So what? " the Medical Examiner replies, obviously unimpressed with the students discovery.

"But isn't that the most amazing thing you've ever seen?" asked the student.

"Are you kidding?" replied the Examiner, "I've heard hundreds of assholes sing that stupid song."

It must really suck being a Cubs fan, Go Go White Sox!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Manny Parra's Nickname Should Be "Maddening."

(Note: I started writing about how Manny should thrive against a team like the Phillies, a team that has a line-up stacked with strictly left-handed batters -- Utley, Howard, Ibanez -- and guys who switch hit, but spend most of their time hitting left-handed -- Rollins, Victorino. Unfortunately for me, the stats don't back that argument up at all. Rollins and Victorino are both really good right-handed -- in fact, looking at his OPS splits, Victorino is actually a lot better right-handed -- and Utley kills lefties and righties. Only Howard is appreciably worse against lefties. So that one's a non-starter. Still ...)

I chuckled when I saw this line from Manny in last Wednesday's Journal Sentinel:

"I've got to do a better job of attacking the hitters and getting outs," said Manny, echoing the sentiments of every Brewers fan who has been subjected to one of his patented 100-pitch, five-inning, never-stop-nibbling-at-the-corners clusterfucks.

So what does Manny do tonight? Seventy-seven pitches, 45 strikes, three walks in four innings.

Manny Parra is the poster child for not trusting your stuff. I don't think there's any debate that he's got the goods -- a plus fastball, good off-speed pitches -- but he pitches like he's Jamie Goddamn Moyer. He's so deep into his own head that it's almost comical.

Now, at this point, I'm legally obligated to parade the caveats: he's still young. He's only in his second full season. And, yes, we're still only two weeks into the year.

But yet ...

Dude knows what he has to do to succeed. It's apparent from that quote in last week's paper. He gets it. But, based on his work thus far, it seems there's still a pretty sizable gap between Manny knowing what he has to do and Manny doing what he has to do.

NFL Draft

The NFL draft really snuck up on me this year. I was hoping to post something regarding Packer needs, scouting reports, how TT sux, etc., but due to time constraints and the fact I will be away from the internet for the rest of the week, I thought I would throw together a little snippit. So first of all, what are Green Bay's biggest needs going into the 2009-2010 season? In my opinion, here are the top 5 needs going into next season:

1. Line Backer - GB is converting to a 3-4 from a 4-3, and it was already an area of little depth so this is a must in the early rounds.
2. Defensive Line - D-end/D-tackle.....take your pick. I'm no expert but I think that the middle man on the D-line is especially important in the 3-4 defense. Getting a talented DT that can anchor the line would be a great step in converting to the new system. Or is this the year that Justin Harrell FINALLY emerges as the player the TT hoped he could be (I'm not holding my breath).
3. Offensive Tackle - Clifton and Tauscher are getting old and injury prone. Further, I think this might be the last year of Clifton's deal. The Green Bay organization feels it has their quarterback of the future in Aaron Rodgers. I suggest they buy some insurance on his a** and invest in guys that can keep him off the ground.
4. Cornerback - The Woodson/Harris tandem has been solid, but like Clifton and Tauscher they aren't getting any younger and have an extensive injury history. We are an injury away from having a problem, so it might be wise to draft what might be our next starting CB.
5. Wide Receiver - I really don't think that we need another wideout at this point. I just have a hunch that since this is draft is alledgedly deep at the WR position, that ol' Ted will go with his "best available" in the 3rd/4th round and take a WR who will come in at #6 on our depth chart.

As far as who I think GB should take at #9, I am no college football expert, so I will leave that to the likes of D3 and Reid. I will of course give my opinion though. (I am going to think outside of the box a bit in this case) From all of the information that I have read, there are 2-3 "stud" offensive lineman that should go in the top 10. I say "2-3" because that headcase from Alabama could have been a legit #1 overall candidate until he decided to leave the combine without telling anyone, failed to show up to interviews, and put on some additional and unnecessary weight in the offseason. He's a risk, but has HUGE "Orlando Pace" upside.....or his it backside? Either way, if I'm GM and one of the 3 OL are available at #9, I take him. There are a select few elite tackles in the game, and if you have the opportunity to draft one that can protect your QB for a decade I say pull the trigger. If all 3 are off the board and BJ Raji (DT, Boston College) is still available I take him. If that fails, I predict Ted tries to trade down, but I would go with one of the pass rushing outside linebackers. There seems to be a plethora of solid linebackers that are about as good as each other, so when all else fails I suggest drafting a linebacker from Miami/Florida St./USC/Penn St.

So what do all of the experts here think? Agree with O-Tackle if available? The big question is whether or not Ted even keeps the pick. I'm going to set the over/under of times that Ted trades at 1.5.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Todd Welter - Back from Vacation??

For some reason, Welter hasn't posted since Wednesday. I've been lonely. Here's a recap from his latest drivel.

Jeff Suppan actually did not start a small fire. He actually pitched like a guy who is worth his hefty contract. I did not think we would ever see that day so it got me thinking about other happenings that will probably never see the light of day--but at the same time you never know…

Small fire? He walked in 3 runs on national TV on Easter Sunday. Apparently Sup didn’t get the memo before the 10th plague. Moving on from the Cub game, let's address the Mets game. As covered by Rubes – giving up 7 hits and 1 walk in 6 innings is NOT a good outing. It’s called luck.

-Prince Fielder forgives Cecil Fielder
-The Bucks are the 2010 NBA Champions
-Buzz Williams swears off sweat tea
Sweat tea? I really fucking doubt that Buzz is drinking sweat tea. Perhaps you mean SWEET tea??
-Buzz Williams actually lost count of how many days he has been head coach
-Ned Yost vs. Ken Macha in a steal cage of death match
Synonyms completely baffle Mr. Welter. It’s a STEEL cage match. This shit just writes itself.
-Ned Yost admits he did not know how to use a bullpen
Spectacular syntax
-Ted Thompson makes a free agent splash
Boom! Did the Swollen Tongue write this?
-Brett Favre and Ted Thompson plan a summer vacation together
-Brett Favre calls Aaron Rodgers back
-Ted Thompson admits he hates the NFL Draft
-Mike McCarthy admits he does not know what a Packer person actually is
What does this mean?? Anyone?
The rest of it is unfunny and not worth reading. Two great typos, though.

The Rickie Weeks “Good Start” Fallacy

I’ve been hearing some scuttlebutt around town that, despite the Crew’s slow start, people are encourage by Rickie Weeks’ progress thus far. The words I’ve heard bandied about are, “Rickie Weeks is off to a good start.” Let’s examine this, gentlemen.

First, let’s break the term “good start” down. “Start” loosely means his performance to date this year. It’s hard to debate that one. “Good” is a more difficult word, so I consulted A couple sample definitions are as follows: 1) Superior to the average; satisfactory and 2) of high quality; excellent. Let’s delve a little further into these definitions. Superior to the average of what? Rickie’s past performance or the league in general? Since 2009 Rickie is not competing against 2008 or 2007 Rickie, let’s compare him to the league. Still with me?

Rickie Weeks Compared to the MLB 2nd Basemen – minimum 38 plate appearances (see chart at left).
The conclusion:
Rickie Weeks is, in fact, NOT OFF TO A GOOD START! He’s off to an average start at best. Of course, he’s performing better than past years, but that just moves him closer to the “mediocre” category. Is the progress encouraging? Yes, it is, but he still has a ways to go.

The supporting facts:
Rickie Weeks is average in 3 categories and good in 2 categories. He is below the league average in 5 (!) categories including the always telling OBP & OPS. How, my fellow Brewers fans, can this be quantified as a good start? He’s mediocre. In fact, on Rickie’s Top 10 most comparable players on baseball-reference, 8 are catchers. Never a good sign.

Part Two of Two-Fer.

No, I didn't forget about MikeHunt's column this morning, which is boldly titled:

Hopefully, Brewers' bullpen has reached turning point

That seems like an odd thing to write on the heels of the Mets series, doesn't it? After Stetter gave up a game-tying homer to 73-year-old Gary Sheffield and MC Lung spit the bit in the ninth on Friday, and Chuck New Town walked a .188 hitter to lead-off the seventh inning on Saturday (and said .188 hitter eventually came around to score), and after Macha was forced to use Todd Freakin' Coffey for 2 2/3 innings yesterday because he has no faith in anyone else in the 'pen ... I don't know that I'd be crowing about "turning points" just yet.

But, then again, I'm not MikeHunt.

By the time the radio switched on in the bottom of the seventh inning Sunday, Cory Provus - who is, by the way, admirably following tough act Jim Powell - was saying something like, "Now it's in the hands of the Brewers' bullpen."

Radio? I understand the game wasn't in high definition yesterday, but, jeez, dude, you get paid to write about sports. Don't you want to at least watch the game, so you could see what happened instead of having somebody tell you what happened?

This was torturous listening, the Mets with the bases loaded, one out and Carlos Delgado at the plate, a disaster waiting to happen.

Something must've happened to the radio instead, because Provus was excitedly talking about a 1-2-3 double play.

See? This is exactly what I was just talking about: if you'd been watching the game, you could have confirmed the 1-2-3 double play with your own peepers. Instead, you listened on the radio so you could write this hacky, "the radio's on the fritz!" crap.

The boom box out in the garage was fine. It was just that Todd Coffey cat . . . again.

That Todd Coffey is one hip cat, I'll give you that. Matter of fact, I said the exact same thing to Mrs. Q last weekend. We took the car to the local speakeasy, and, as luck would have it, it was jazz night. Sure enough, the Todd Coffey Four was playing, and there was the man himself on the sax. "Golly," I said to Mrs. Q, just before the federalis kicked in the door and confiscated our bathtub gin, "that Todd Coffey is one hip cat."

Not to make too big a deal out of this after slivers of two seasons with the Brewers, but Coffey's earned run average in 16 appearances is the same as John "Bluto" Blutarsky's grade-point average after seven years at Faber College:


We're going to play a new drinking game. You have to do a shot every time MikeHunt makes a pop culture reference from the '70s or '80s. We're starting the game now, so prior references to the Marshall Tucker Band, Three's Company, Slap Shot, Rush, and ABBA aren't being counted...unless you're a hero and want to get a jump start on the competition.

Not only that, but Macha had the good sense to let Coffey bunt over the insurance run in the ninth so he could finish what he started in the seventh.

Does "good sense" mean "no other option"? Because, if it does, I agree: it was good sense to allow Coffey to bat in the ninth.

With all the talk about how much the pen turned over from last season, it's sometimes easy to forget how the Brewers overcame the Derrick Turnbow and Eric Gagné implosions, as well as the brushfires they put out from time to time out there.

I don't know that anyone who had to live through the Eric Gagne and Derrick Turnbow Experiences will soon forget them. They were scar-your-soul awful.

Although they lost two of three at the Mets' fancy new digs, the Brewers got quality starts the entire series from their troublesome rotation. Your favorite whipping boy, Jeff Suppan, finally did exactly what he is paid so lavishly to do.

Yes, he did -- he had a 1.5 WHIP. That's exactly what I've come to expect of Jeff Suppan.

Listen: let's not kid ourselves into thinking that Suppan was lights out yesterday. He gave up 8 hits and a walk in six innings. Fortunately, the Mets shot themselves in the foot with runners in scoring position in the first, second, fifth, and sixth.

Like always, Suppan flirted with disaster. This time, he avoided it. Great. But maybe we could hold off before we start giving congratulatory hand jobs, eh?

And for Coffey to take the ball as he did for two-plus innings had to be a huge confidence boost for the Brewers, caught as they are in the pen between injuries, closers and trustworthy arms.

Well, it's probably not a confidence boost for the other fucktards in the 'pen, the ones who couldn't be trusted to get a single out in the eighth or ninth innings. But other than that, yeah, good times all around.

USC Song Girls

D3's favorite cheerleaders are enjoying a nice swim.

More pics in the link below

A Monday Two-Fer!

MikeHunt with lots to say this morning. We tackled his dunderheaded argument for why Madison needs to bring back baseball last week, but, on Sunday, he devoted his column to that topic. If you were hoping for a more developed argument ... well, then you're probably new to Milwaukee and haven't read MikeHunt's stuff before:

Unfortunately, baseball is a sport that allows the Big Ten Conference to have truth in advertising. From Minnesota to Indiana to Pennsylvania, from Michigan to Iowa to Illinois to Ohio, 10 cold-climate schools are somewhere around 35 games into their schedules.

Wow, 35 games into their schedules already? How many of those have been home games? (No, I'm not going to take the time to look that up.) Oh, and by the way: We're supposed to get snow tonight. Spring fever! Catch it!

The longer this state's flagship university goes without the world's greatest game, the less inclined anyone becomes to end this embarrassment. The passage of time has caused the idea of UW baseball to become something less than an afterthought, as in why bother after all these years, it's impractical in Wisconsin weather, it's too expensive, especially now, there's no facility, you'd have to add a women's sport and blah, blah, waaaah.

Did you just reduce all of these completely legitimate, overwhelmingly valid reasons to not reinstate the program to "blah, blah, waaaah"? Wow. Your third grade teacher is not going to be impressed with your rhetorical skills, little Mikey Hunt. You really need to do more than blow raspberries at people when they make a strong argument.

So, as of today, I'm putting everyone from athletic director Barry Alvarez to Bud Selig, the world's most powerful baseball man who also happens to be a Wisconsin grad, on notice. And the alumni and the donors and the Brewers, too. You've got three years - OK, five max - to have baseball back up and running in Madison.

HEAR THAT, BITCHES?!?!? THAT WAS MIKEHUNT PUTTING ALL Y'ALL ON NOTICE! Fuck, I would not want to be in your shoes right now! You just got served, bitch!

Also -- I love that MikeHunt is a benevolent dictator: immediately after saying that we've got three years to get this shit up and running, he backs off and says: "OK, fine, you've got five." Thank you for taking mercy on us, MikeHunt. You are wise and generous. Praise be to you. [Kisses ring].

Say this is not a good time to add a sport? For one thing, it's baseball.

Remember this line last week? "Practicalities aside, it's baseball." Yeah, for those of you concerned that MikeHunt might actually try to develop his argument in the time between that blog post and this column, you can relax. He's still just saying the name of the sport over and over again.

Seriously, that's it. That's his entire argument.

No, really -- he's done. That's it. I have nothing else to deconstruct. Well, except for this:

Because here's the bottom line on bringing it back: Where the revered phrases "baseball" and the "University of Wisconsin" are concerned, the cynic's point of view should not apply. You know, the person who knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing.

First of all, "baseball" is not a phrase, it's one fucking word.

More importantly: if the "cynic's point of view should not apply" in this debate, neither should the idiot's. You know, the person who disregards the cost of everything and submits, as his argument in favor of reinstating a sport that no one seems to give a damn about, one word: "baseball."

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Sandwich Is a Sandwich, But a Mandarich Is a Bust

The Worldwide Leader's internet portal has a nice little story that pours salt onto an old wound. Mind, the wound is pretty old and has mostly healed over by this point, but enough granules still get through to cause a little bit of a sting.

Everybody here is familiar with the story, as well as the list of players that the Packers missed out on by drafting this S.O.B. What interests me more are some of the fantastic photos included in ESPN's story:

Anybody who says they had this cover hanging on their wall because it was "inspirational" or "rad" was full of shit. It was a signal.

Sweet Sassy Molassy, how was it not PLAINLY obvious what this dude was doing? I understand that many people were probably willing to ignore those pesky ethics in order to benefit from him, but, DAMN. At least we should have strapped an AK onto this guy and let him single handledly take care of the Persian Gulf War for us.

In fact, this is quite possibly the most homo-erotic picture I've ever seen on a magazine cover. If this magazine was sitting on my coffee table, I think I'd be afraid to open it, lest a giant centerfold fall out with a lot less left to the imagination.

Senior portrait day? The Thinker? Motivational speaker? Which direction is this photo going? I can appreciate a good black-and-white photo as much as the next guy, but a part of me really wishes this was in color, if only so I could be sure if those are flaming dragons or something out of the Bill Cosby collection.

Seriously, what are his intentions? What should I, as the magazine reader, be feeling here? Is this just going to be a harmless bit of show-and-tell, or is this going to be a full service oil change? A little warning would be nice - this might have an effect on the rest of my day.

Damn, Barry Sanders would have been nice.

So Madden is Out...

All I can say about that is: Gerablhorchrmph, baarohggh, Brett Favre there ya see, BOOM, agarreoabarlmgbamlr, turducken. Someone get me a telestrator.

So word on the street is that Cris Collinsworth is getting the gig alongside "Action" Al Michaels in the booth. It's the logical choice. But I got to thinking, maybe NBC should try and think outside the box. You know, like ABC did with Dennis Miller and then, to a lesser extent, Tony Kornheiser. Here are some of my thoughts on who I might like to hear calling games on Sunday nights this year, in no particular order:

1) Eric Dickerson - Remember his Mush Mouth act as a sideline reporter? Could you imagine the comedy value of Al rolling his eyes while Dickerson muddles through one inane sentence after another? It'd be off the charts.

2) Dane Cook - Sure his act has worn a little thin lately, but the man still amuses me. Imagine him confined within a booth, bouncing off the walls, doing all of his sound effects while calling the action. Then when Al actually asks him to analyze some aspect of the game, he'd be cornered by the fact that he knows nothing about sports and all he'd be able to say is, "Dude, the f*cking Redskins. Pssht."

3) Sifl and Olly - Sock puppets just aren't getting enough run these days

4) Christopher Walken - How much would you pay to hear Christopher Walken talk about football? I wish that I could find a way to type an attempt at a Walken impression. In order to better illustrate this, I want you all to imagine a breakdown of a Cover 2 defense done by Christopher Walken. I'm giggling to myself right now.

So that's my take. Chime in if you think you got something else. The possibilities are endless.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Truer Words Have Ne'er Been Said

From the MU message board courtesy of MayorBeluga.

"My first pastoral letter's gonna be a condemnation of light beer and instant mashed potatoes -- I hate those two things."

Archbishop Timothy Dolan

Rubes & Reid - There's still room in the fold

More Welter Stupidity

On the occasion of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball's color barrier, Todd Welter proposes that April 15 should be a national holiday. I doubt we need another banking holiday, but it's hard to say anthing remotely, tangentially bad about Robinson, so I won't delve into the whole article. I just have one quibble outside of the numerous grammatical errors.

I have read enough history to know that before Martin Luther King Jr. there was Jackie Robinson. Robinson faced just as much hate, denied opportunity, and the absolute worst in people and still put together a legendary career both statistically and as a humanitarian.

I really don't want to sound callous here, but Martin Luther King, Jr was shot and killed on a hotel balcony for his actions and beliefs. What Robinson faced in stadiums and in the clubhouse was deplorable, but he did not lose his life to it. You are an idiot Welter. An idiot of the highest order.

More Musings from the Llama

This was posted on the Llama blog yesterday, so the stats I use are through Tuesday's games.

The Brewers are 2-6 and trending towards a fate that only the Texas Rangers know. So far the pitching is not there and the Brewers are dying by the slugfest instead of living like what was hoped for. The Brewers are just not a pretty sight to watch right now. Remember Brewers fans[COMMA!] we still have 22 and [A!} half weeks left on [IN!] this season [COMMA!] so please do not jump ship just yet. Although going 7-for-49 with runners in scoring position over the last seven games is not the way to start. It does not help that the pitching staff has issued a league-high 42 free passes on base. Mike Cameron put it best as to how the start of this season is going.

Um, what does that first line mean? Let me take a stab at it. Is he saying the Rangers are a bad team? Yes, but so are the Pirates. The Rangers have a great offense but no pitching? Well, isn’t that every team in the majors? I’m out of other ideas, maybe the rest of the paragraph will enlighten me. Oh, I guess he means option #2. The Brewers are apparently losing in slugfests. Let’s define slugfest, folks. A slugfest is a baseball term wherein both teams’ offenses score more than the league average in runs. Slugfests were popularized by the 1928 Yankees, 1990s Detroit Tiger pitching, steroids and Coors Field. A quick check of enlightens us with knowledge that the Brewers are 24th in runs, 29th in BA but a robust 21st in OPS. Yep, it appears the Crew has been involved in several “slugfests.” Next point from the llama - never fear Crew fans because the season is long, but remember that they can’t hit with RISP or avoid issuing walks. I won’t even make a joke about “42 free passes on base.”

"It's the simple basics. Starts with good pitching and after that it is just a matter of getting some timely hits. Getting some guys on base. Giving ourselves an opportunity. It seems like it has been the other way around. It has been backwards," Cameron explained after the 6-1 loss to the Reds.

A limp out of the gate has a lot of heads being scratched and some early worry (COMMA!) but is the team losing confidence?

"We just have to continue to put it together," Cameron said. "We just really haven't put it together. Once you start getting a little bit of a flow of the game, guys start to build a little bit more confidence then things will start to iron out a little bit better. We do have a good baseball team. We just haven't shown it quite as well."

Well, thank you captian (SPELLING!) obvious! Although Cameron--who has been around this game and then some--did point out that it just takes a couple hits here and there and things could change in a heartbeat. So please remember a 2-6 start does not mean screaming [COMMA!] [QUOTATION MARKS!] [CAPITALIZATION!] you sunk my battleship [QUOTATION MARKS!] on the Brewers' season.

Let’s follow the logic. Welter leads by saying that “Cameron put it best” and then follows up Cameron’s vanilla quote with “Thanks captain obvious!” Except he spelled “captain” wrong, I didn’t. Then he follows that by reiterating that the season isn’t over. It’s like I’m on the Raging Bull here, folks, somebody hand over the Pepto.

One guy who could see his role sunk as the place holder for Trevor Hoffman is Carlos Villanueva. It was the second game in a row in which he gave up runs when called upon to protect the Brewers' best interests in the ninth. Brewers manager Ken Macha did hint he may not be so patient with Villanueva in the ninth inning role.

"Certainly [Todd] Coffey, [Seth] McClung, and [Mark] DiFelice have kind of pitched a little bit better than he has right now."

The major theme that came up after the 6-1 loss was how the team looked ready to go for this season during spring training but has been tough to watch in the first eight games. Maybe that is why this team is a little bit baffled by the 2-6 start.

"Much different results than what we getting in spring training," Macha said. "In spring training we played good defense. Pitching was very good. We swung the bats well. I'm hoping this is just a little dip and we can pull ourselves out of it."

So is the rest of the Milwaukee faithful who did not expect this bad of a limp out of the gate. Macha did admit he is just as surprised by this dreadful start. "We were kind of firing on all cylinders in spring training," Macha felt. "Prince was swinging the bat very well and the other guys. Yes, a little bit surprised [about the start]"

What might be really surprising to most fans is how Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun have really had some issues in the first eight games as both are hitting .190. Macha did not hide the fact that he thinks they are both trying to do too much. "Ryan is struggling right now. Prince has been struggling a little bit. I think those guys are trying a little too hard."

“have really had some issues” Let’s go ahead and clean that up a bit for the Llama – “have had issues.” You know, paring down your extraneous word usage, actually using punctuation and eliminating nonsensical metaphors makes the reading experience so much more pleasurable for the audience.

Fielder did not exactly agree that the team or him [HE!] are pressing. "I think we are just trying to get that 'feel good' and just feel good out there and sometimes you got to gradually get into it."

Well, [HOLY MOTHER OF NED YOST, THE LLAMA USED A COMMA!!] slow and steady may win the race but Brewers fans are not going to put up with taking your sweet time.

Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before.

Like Odartey Blankson, Dameon Mason, Karon Bradley, and Ryan Amoroso before him, Nick Williams has apparently decided he's had enough of Tom Crean's shit and is getting the rock out of Dodge.

I realize the circumstances of every transfer are different. Some guys -- Karon, Krunti Hester, Kevin Menard -- just weren't high major players, and were never going to become high major players. Some -- hello, Trevor Mbakwe -- are just headcases.

But then there are guys like Blankson, D-Mase and Nick Williams. Maybe they've got a bit of the headcase bug; I know we were quick to slap the "getting bad advice and listening to it" tag on ODB when he transferred to UNLV after a solid sophomore season. On the other hand, I don't think I've heard any of the three say anything positive about Crean ("he helped my career," "this is a decision for me, not a knock on Marquette," that kind of thing) after he left.

Maybe this is an Occam's Razor situation. For example: You know how there are people who claim to have the worst luck with friends? Where every "friend" this person has turns out to be (1) an asshole; (2) a liar; or (3) a budding felon? On closer inspection, it usually turns out that the problem is with the person, not with the supposed "friends." That's the simplest explanation, and, more times than not, it's the answer.

Perhaps the same is true of Crean. Maybe the issue isn't with the kids; maybe the issue is with him. When a kid like Nick Williams -- a kid who he recruited for two years at Marquette and who followed him like a sheep to Indiana -- decides to move on, it sure seems that way.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

FPMKE's Weird World of Banking

TARP. Sub-prime. Reverse-mortgage. Ongoing Capital concerns. "FPMKE, do you have anything to do with this nonsense?" one might ask. Beyond being asked about it on a regular basis, the answer is no.

I'm tired of this crazy economy and all the bullshit that has come with it. Each day seems to get crazier than the last. I feel like Peter Gibbons "...ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that's on the worst day of my life." Thankfully, I do not have 7 bosses and I do not have to worry about using the appropriate cover sheet for my TPS reports.

Take this crazy shit. I am now in competition with Bo Fucking Jackson. I would love to know how a bank managed to get a charter with him... Bo Knows, money talks.

If that wasn't weird enough, I went to visit a customer today and had to wait in a conference room plastered with sports memorabilia. I looked across the room and found a poster autographed by the 1999 McDonald's All American Team. Lot of guys on there who have had moderate success or have been horribly cursed (Jason Williams). My favorite find of course was big Marvin Stone... got me thinking about Freeway and the infamous "What about big Marvin Stone? Who's going to cover big Marvin Stone?" I don't know, Robert Jackson.

R.I.P. Marv.

DickHard's Wednesday Line:

Three innings pitched, five hits, four walks, four earned, 92 pitches (though he did have 8 strikeouts), for a Suppan-esque WHIP of 3.00. Yowza.

Any question that he pulls a Chris Carpenter and goes on the DL tomorrow? I think the odds are probably 1:3.

My Best "Old" Rubie/D3Some impression...

We are fucking toast...there's no way the Brewers win anymore games this year. We aren't even a tournament team. Fuck this team...cut them all!

I like the "New" Rubie am not throwing in the towel yet, but their first 8 games haven't given me much hope. The pitching staff better start turning things around (or at least stop giving up the huge innings with 4-5 walks) and our bats (ahem Ryan Braun) need to get hot as well.

Looking ahead here is my prediction for the Packers, despite their non-existence in the free agent season:

WIN vs. Chicago Bears
WIN vs. Cincinnati Bengals
WIN @ St. Louis Rams
LOSS @ Minnesota Vikings
WIN vs. Detroit Lions
WIN @ Cleveland Browns
WIN vs. Minnesota Vikings
LOSS @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
LOSS vs. Dallas Cowboys
WIN vs. San Francisco 49ers
WIN @ Detroit Lions
LOSS vs. Baltimore Ravens
WIN @ Chicago Bears
LOSS @ Pittsburgh Steelers
WIN vs. Seattle Seahawks
WIN @ Arizona Cardinals

You're Certainly Not Making It Easy On A Fella.

Before the season started, I predicted that the local nine would finish 90-72 this season, and would claim the Wild Card for the second year in a row. This prediction represented something of a sea change from my typical "we're fucked, throw in the towel" outlook. (You might remember me from such films as "Rubie predicts 74-88 for the 2008 Brewers season" and "there's no way in hell we're winning the Wild Card" [released September 5, 2008].) For reasons I struggled to explain, I thought people were undervaluing this team.

Now, after the amazing clusterfuck that is the Brewers 2-6 opening week (or so), Old Rubie would have said: "Fuck it. I'm an idiot. These assholes will struggle to win 70 games."

And New Rubie would very, very, very, very, very much like to say that, too.

But, for the time being, I'm not pushing the red button. It's very tempting; I feel like a smoker who quit cold turkey, only to have some jackass deliver a crate of Lucky Strikes at my front door. But I'm not giving in ...


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

F*ck me, Sox bring back Podsednik

Really, seriously, again?

I think center field for the sox is now like the QB problem with the Bears....just fugly.

Like Yo Last Night...

I don't have my best stuff, but I'm battling. Then again, when MikeHunt does a chat, things get considerably easier for your pal Rubie:

W.A.M., Milwaukee, WI. - Michael, If Jeff Suppan continues to be ineffective, how long do you think it will take the Brewers management to take hime out of the rotation? We can't let Suppan destroy our team too much longer or we will never recoup. You're thoughts? Thank you.

Friends -- note the chatter's question: If Soup continues his trend of 3-inning, 5-run efforts, how long will the Crew stick with him? Pretty straightforward, right? Answers we'd accept include: "two more games," "until the All-Star break," "for the rest of the year," and "until a fan takes matters into his own hands and brains Suppan with a 9-volt as he walks out to the mound."

A: Michael Hunt
- ... They've got to get him correctly quickly or take him out of the rotation before long because they hit and scored plenty enough runs in his two starts, only to have both undermined by his control problems.

Or you could just rephrase the chatter's question and not answer it all. Awesome.

Q: Big Al, Brew Town - Mike, If we could get Jake Peavy in exchange for Manny Parra, Tony Gwynn,Jr and that Escobar guy, would you do it? The Brewers have to do something fast. We have no decent pitching.

Remember when TGJ got put on waivers? And nobody claimed him? And I wrote that the fact that nobody claimed him should put an end to the debate about how good TGJ is ... but probably wouldn't?

Well, I'd like to thank Big Al for driving my point home. Seriously -- how do people continue to include TGJ as a bargaining chip in a trade proposal? Once again, with feeling: NOBODY WANTS HIM. NOT ONE SINGLE TEAM.

A: Michael Hunt
- There's a fine line between winning now and giving up too much.

And if you want to see somebody try to walk both sides of that line, you're in the right place.

Giving up Parra and Escobar is too much, in my opinion. No question, Peavy is this year's CC.

Er, no. While each was/is trade bait, Peavy's situation is nothing like CC's was last year. Peavy has a huge deal -- like, $16 million per -- that runs through 2012, with a $22 million player option for 2013. CC was in his last season before free agency. We could afford -- barely -- to rent CC for four months. It would take a massive reorganization to assume Peavy's deal. For the next two years, we'd have roughly $30 million (about one-third of our payroll) tied up in two pitchers: Peavy and Suppan. I don't think I'm comfortable with that.

Patrick, Chicago, IL
- 0-2..thats what the crew has already given up early this year. Can we now push the panic button as we all know that superman Trevor is still yet to be a factor and will most likely not have that great of an impact on our overal W vs L. My question is, as an owner of this team, what would you recommend doing to fix an already bleeding pitching staff(Ouch...Soup..overpaid...ouch Galldro...some ace) in recognition that this tem is already in peril? would you put Fielder on the block?

Two thoughts: Pat, holy fuck. Second: as I understand it, the way these "chat" things work, people submit a bunch of questions, and MikeHunt gets to pick the ones he wants to answer. What in the name of God would possess you to answer this one?

A: Michael Hunt
- ... There's not a lot they can do at the moment with the rotation except try to let them work through it. It's easy to say "trade Fielder,"

... "In fact, I've done so at least twice" ...

especially if you could find a starting pitcher, because you could stick just about anyone (Rivera?) at first. But who's going to hit behind Braun? That's the big risk, in effect taking two powerful hitters out of one of the NL's better offenses.

"And yet, I continue to advocate the move. I keep you on your toes, don't I?"

Ben, Waukesha, WI - Mr. Hunt With the recent news of Lambeau Field being conisdered for a World Cup venue, along with few noticing Camp Randall Stadium made the list, what do you make of this surge in soccer interest from the USSF? Would you think they would make the changes to Lambeau to make it wide enough? And you can't tell me having Mark Murphy on the Chicago 2016 board isn't helping either.

A: Michael Hunt
- I know I'm going to shock a few people here, Ben,

I say this in all sincerity, MikeHunt: there is nothing you could say about yourself that would shock me. You could tell me that you're a Level 18 Dungeon Master. You could tell me that you're into amputee pr0n. You could tell me that you own every album Bread released. You could tell me that your favorite food is yak scrotum. To each of these revelations, I would shrug and respond: "That's about right."

but I'm a closet soccer fan. I know that's kind of risky, sort of like saying you listen to Rush or ABBA, but I find myself gravitating toward those places that show the Premier League at the crack of dawn.

How is this a risky revelation? For God's sake, you're a fucking sportswriter, and you're telling us you like a sport! SCANDAL! OUTRAGE! You expect people are going to blush when they find that out?

And, let's end where we began:

Tom Michaels, Waukesha - Was Bill Castro the right move as pitching coach? I know it's very early, but I don't like what I see from the Brewer staff - or Castro. Do you?

Again -- note the question: Admittedly, it's early. But was Bill Castro the right choice as pitching coach?

A: Michael Hunt
- It's way to early to say.

MikeHunt will give an answer when he's good and damn ready, thankyouverymuch. Don't you dare come into this chat expecting to get your questions answered, jerkoffs.

By Popular Demand:

Or, really, just because D3 and I talked about this while waiting for the Slimosine yesterday: MikeHunt wonders whether Madison should attempt to resurrect its long-dead baseball program. (Apologies in advance for the C- effort I'm about to put forth. Brewer game ran a little late last night, and I don't have my fastball today.)

OK, Mike: let's weigh the pros and cons:

On one hand, it's embarrassing that UW is the only Big Ten school without baseball.

I know! I've heard so many Madison folks* complaining about the shit they take from Minnesota and Northwestern about not having a baseball team. I mean, what's the use in beating Indiana 69-3 in a football game when the Indiana alums can snidely say, post-beat down: "Yeah, well, at least we field a baseball team!" It's a devastating counterargument.

(*: I do not actually talk to Madison attendees or alums, save for FPMKE's new lady friend and my little sister's buddy Joe, who's a decent shit.)

On the other, Barry Alvarez, who happens to be a huge baseball fan - he grew up rooting for the Pirates - would face enormous obstacles to revive the program.

Beyond the current economic situation, they include:

I love this: leaving aside the fact that there's no money for anything right now, and universities are, in some instances, closing down whole departments, there are a few issues. Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how'd you like the play?

Title IX: To add a men's sport, UW would have to start a new women's sport or two to balance the male/female scholarship ratio. That would be expensive.

No facility: That awful boggy site where the Badgers once played is now a small lot behind the women's softball stadium. No site on that tight campus comes to mind, unless the Badgers could share with the Northwoods League team on the north end of town. Again, pricey.

Non-revenue: in Wisconsin weather, there is no chance for college baseball to cover its expenses. The first 25 games would be on the road, adding to costs. That would put more strain on football, men's basketball and men's hockey, which covers the bills for the other sports. And baseball is an expensive sport.

Wow. So, in the "reasons not to do this" column, we've got: (1) it's expensive; (2) there's no place to play; (3) it's really, really expensive; (4) Title IX; (5) it's really, really fucking expensive; (6) it's hard to play spring baseball in a state where we often see a few inches of snow in late March/early April; (7) it's disgustingly, prohibitively, ungodly fucking expensive, and it generates very little money once it does get up and running.

But then again ...

Practicalities aside, it's baseball.

Oh, Christ, I forgot what sport we were talking about! Thanks for snapping me back to attention, MikeHunt. Now, as for the reasons why Madison should explore this possibility:



Bottom line, is it a matter of cost or a matter of pride?

Um, it's a matter of cost. I think you conclusively established that, like, three paragraphs ago.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Field Trip & A Sad Note

Ok, mini field trip. Reid, Rubes and I will be heading to Miller Park for Gallardo v Volquez. This qualifies as a field trip b/c we will be enjoying the game from one of the newly remodeled luxury suites! Brats! Dogs! Dips of some sort! Beer! Should be a good time. We'll provide a full report tomorrow (maybe).

RIP Harry Kalas. I, for one, would love to go like you. At the ballpark, quickly, quietly. It makes it even more important that the Phils won the Series last year.

The Latest Bracketology!!

What an exercise in futility, especially we don't even have a full idea of who is transferring and leaving early. Regardless, Lunardi has MU as a #12 and UW as one of the first four out.

Hazel to Transfer...

well i guess that ends that speculation about why he never played anymore and why buzz signed another player for next year. best of luck Pat!

It's Official

Well the speculation has finally come to fruition. Pat Hazel, a 6'7" sophomore for the Marquette Golden Eagles, has officially announced his intentions to transfer at the end of the spring semester. Hazel is an athletic combination forward that had trouble finding playing time for the Golden Eagles during his short tenure at MU. He averaged roughly 2 minutes per game this past season, most of which came during the non-conference portion of the schedule when Marquette played the likes of Chicago St., Texas Southern, and UWM. It was obvious that Coach Williams didn't see Hazel as the future of Marquette basketball due to Pat's lack of playing time and the addition of 2 more combo-forwards (in addition to Lazar Hayward) that Buzz recruited for the fall class of '09. Furthermore Buzz recently added Darius Johnson-Odom, a juco transfer, that put MU over the scholarship limit by 1. This officially made it evident that a roster shake-up was on the horizon. It's rumored that Coach Williams is still looking to add one more player for the '09 class, so keep an eye out for more changes/additions in the near future.

Ring Out Ahoya!

The Crazy Clapper...

We have Warrior Brad and now the new generation of MU fans (or fan) has the Crazy Clapper, who is none other than our own D3Some. As we got back to the tailgate on Opening Day after the Brewers come from behind win, some brace-faced kid asks D3Some if he sits in the last row of the lower bowl in front of one of the corner boxes, D3Some replies yes, and the kid says, so you are the crazy clapper. sounds like a good blog name if you ask me.

Sportswriting 101 With The Llama.

A quick hitter from the Llama today. And, really, all you need to do is read the first paragraph to grasp the awe-inspiring, dimwitted majesty that is Todd Welter.

In fact, let's write our own lead-in to a sports column by using The Llama Model. Ready, class?

The Masters is a tradition unlike any other.

OK, use the cliched tag line of the sport/sporting event:

The NBA is FANNNN-tastic! Check.

Augusta National is one of the most beautiful courses in the world.

Now, reference something about the place where the sport is played -- something that is only tangentially related to the sporting event:

I'm told that the L.A. Lakers play in a nice, clean arena. Check.

Only swimsuit models are prettier.

Um, OK. A clause that, once again, doesn't even relate to the sporting event, and, really, when you get down to it, is a bizarre comparison for the place where the sporting event is played. (Seriously -- comparing a woman in a bikini to trees and grass? Alright, dude.)

Only Danny Tanner's bathroom is cleaner. Check.

The best part of watching the Masters is the final round nap I end up taking.

Oh. A sentence that makes clear I don't even watch the sporting event I'm writing about:

I love the NBA and the L.A. Lakers and their very clean arena because, sometimes, I will make a sandwich in the kitchen while the game is on in the background. Then I turn on SpongeBob SquarePants and eat my sandwich. Check.

Let’s face it, watching golf is much like watching baseball - A lot of nothing going on that lulls you to sleep and you wake up just in time for the good stuff.

And then a sentence that shows I really don't like sports in the first place:

Let's face it, watching the NBA is a lot like watching any other sport -- if you're not a fan of the game, it looks like a bunch of athletic dudes performing random acts to accomplish an ultimately irrelevant goal. If there were Martians, and if those Martians came to earth, and if those Martians watched a basketball game, they'd probably say: "This is retarded. What the fuck are they trying to throw that ball into that cylinder for? Why do they have to bounce that ball in between attempts to throw the ball into the cylinder? Seems like a waste of two hours." Sometimes, I feel like those Martians, largely because I'm a jackass. Check.

Hey, that runs together pretty well. Good job, class!

On The Myth of Successfully "Pitching to Contact."

Ever since the ill-fated signing of Jeff Suppan in December 2006, I've heard, incessantly, about "pitching to contact." In a word or two, "pitching to contact" is a philosophy espoused by noodle-armed pitchers whose fastball, breaking ball, and change-up are indistinguishable (i.e., each trickles up to the plate at about 83 mph and moves very little, if at all). When confronted by the facts that (1) the pitcher struggles to break 100 strikeouts in a 30-start season, and (2) has a WHIP flirting with 1.6, the pitcher will respond: "Well, I pitch to contact," as if those words somehow disinfect his putrid stat line.

Now, I'm not here to debate the merits of other "pitch to contact" pitchers ... mostly because I can't think of another "pitch to contact" guy who's had any success, other than maybe Jamie Moyer. If you're going to be a big league pitcher, you have to be able to strike batters out. Period.

(And let's get this out of the way right now: don't suggest that Greg Maddux was a "pitch to contact" guy who had great success. Greg Maddux didn't pitch to contact; he was just a really fucking great pitcher. He averaged 154 strikeouts per season in his career, and, in his prime, he was always in the 175-200 range. Yes, he could make a batter get himself out with a well-placed cutter or change-up. But he could also get a big K when he needed it.)

So I'm going to request a moratorium on this whole "pitching to contact is a good way to pitch" nonsense. Fuck that noise -- if you insist on "pitching to contact," I'm going to insist that you do so in the goddamn Pacific Coast League.

And one final note: I recognize that all of this is probably an academic discussion, since our purported "pitch to contact" guy CAN'T EVEN MANAGE TO THROW THE BALL OVER THE FUCKING PLATE ANYMORE. Seriously -- I've lived through this experience once before. The experience had a name: Glendon Rusch. Please don't make me do this again.

Ummmm.... Hell and Yeah!!!

So, the Va Jay Jay is on spring break (whoooo, spring break) this week.  I'll be spending half of it up north trying to shoot a turkey, but the first half of the week I'm down here.  As part of my daily routine when I have off, I check out jsonline.  This is something I do on a normal basis when I'm working because I find that teaching mad and upset at stupid writers is no way to educate the youth of America.  I'm really glad that I'm off this week and decided to read this article...

I find all of the reinvention and remodeling projects very interesting. They are extremely interesting when they involve old breweries. Now, normally I wouldn't link to an article like this here, but there is something in this article that holds a special place in most of our hearts. In this article you can find this sentence, "Developer Jim Haertel, who owns the former Blue Ribbon Hall, gift shop and Pabst offices, said he has negotiated a preliminary lease with investors who want to operate a Hofbrauhaus microbrewery and restaurant. Haertel and the Hofbrauhaus group are each seeking bank loans to finance the remodeling of the buildings." That's right kids. We could have a Hofbrauhaus right here in town. This sentence makes it even better. "Hofbrauhaus Milwaukee would brew its beers under license of the Munich, Germany, Hofbrauhaus. It would be operated by investors who own a similar Hofbrauhaus near Cincinnati."

Now, there really isn't anything too special about a Hofbrauhaus. It would have been really cool if we didn't already have the Old German Beer Hall, but it still is cool to think about getting one. A bunch of us have great memories from the one near Cincinnati. That alone should have us a little interested in the possibility of this coming here. It's location in the old Pabst Brewery would be great for post-Marquette game festivities. It would be great if this thing could be ready for the next Big East season.

Well, we'll see if I can find anything about sports to talk about today. Beer is always a good topic as well.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Milwaukee Brewers Opening Day

This was spotted outside Long Wong's after the game. And, it's autographed so I believe it puts D3's Estrada jersey to shame.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Stuck At Work...

Whilst all my friends go to Opening Day (save for out-of-towners Gunt and E$), I'm in my office attempting to get some work done. But you know what? That's OK. I'm not going to sit here and pout.

I'm going to make my own BioDome.

(Note: Joey Lauren Adams has always done something for me. I'm not sure what it is -- I've narrowed it down to the Daisy Dukes she was wearing in Dazed & Confused, or the bicurious character she played in Chasing Amy. That said, the chick who played Doyle's girlfriend, Jen, might be the hotter of the two. I don't know, you decide.)

I think there's some 1997-vintage Red Dog (which was a great season for Red Dog, I'm told) in the fridge in the office basement, and I've got some Goldfish crackers, and the Internet. So: tailgating at the park vs. Rubie-gating in the office. I'm going to call it a push.

Fine, it's not a push. Fuck all of you. I hope you have to park next to a caravan of Cubs fans.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

T Minus 25 hours...

....Until the first pitch of the 2009 Brewers home opener. I, for one, am f*cking STOKED!!! This time tomorrow we'll be numerous beers in, enjoying the revelry that only comes from Opening Day. I suspect that I'm not alone in these sentiments. Who's with me?

Eating the High Life!

I was checking out news on local companies and found this interesting piece of information about MillerCoors and Sara Lee.

Apparently they'll be making co-branded Hillshire Farms Miller High Life Beer Brats. Sounds delicious.

Fox Sports...

2 games into the season and they are still horrible.

I hate to complain because we get to see just about every Brewers game on TV and over 90 of them in HD this year (even though the Fox Sports HD leaves something to be desired).

Here are my gripes. They are supposed to be a professional broadcasting company. They do this thing for just about every sports team on the planet. You would think they could figure simple things out. I know it's still early in the season, but they had preseason games to work the kinks out.

I wish I had a screen capture of this because I couldn't believe it. Last night they showed a graphic of what Braun had done at the plate. Let me tell you what the graphic said so you can try to figure out what is wrong...

2nd - Flyout
4th - Double
6th - Double

What is wrong about that... What is that you say? Braun is our third hitter in the lineup? THEN HOW COULD HE POSSIBLY BAT IN THE SECOND INNING WITHOUT BATTING IN THE FIRST!!!

Sorry for yelling. That is an inexcusable mistake for a "professional" broadcasting company.

Next problem... Not a big fan of the new in-game graphic yet. Doesn't mean I won't be, I just don't like the setup. That isn't my biggest problem though. How hard is it to push the little ball or strike button in a reasonable amount of time? I know for some in-stadium crews it can be hard to see what the umpire calls. Last night's ump was a real douche about his ball and strike call making it in front of his body where people behind him are blocked. When you work for the TV network broadcasting the game you have a camera right there. Yet for some reason it still took them forever to update the count on several occasions. Get with it.

I know I'm probably the only one who cares about stuff like this, but man. Get with the program.

Sorry for the rambling. It's early and I must teach now.

Things I Don't Miss...

About Ben Sheets.

Having To Watch Ben Sheets Hit.

Listen, I know that anything you get from a pitcher, at the plate, is gravy. But Ben Sheets was beyond an embarrassment at the dish. And I'm not talking about the fact that he had about 4 hits during his Brewers career. I'm talking about how he would actively step away from the plate when a pitch was thrown, like an eight-year-old Little Leaguer who's afraid of the ball. Good God, man. Have some pride.

Now, I ain't expecting Yo to hit .250 this year or to club 3 homers. I'm just sayin': if Ben Sheets was pitching yesterday against a guy with a 90+ fastball who once disintegrated a bird with a pitch, Sheeter would've asked out of the game when his turn at-bat came up.