Monday, June 8, 2009

MikeHunt's Afraid of Changing, 'Cuz He Built His Life Around You.

(Two Quevedo Pesos -- monetary equivalent: one-half Schrute Buck -- to the first person who can identify the song from which the post title is taken.)

Anyway -- since the old baseball adage is "play .500 ball on the road, play better at home," it's hard to complain about a 3-4 roadie, especially when the pitching staff blanked the Braves on back-to-back nights.

That said, following a game in which Mental Case Manny again submits a line featuring a 1.50+ WHIP and allows 5 earned in 5.2 innings, it's equally hard to say that everything's splendid with the Crew.

At least, it'd be hard if your name isn't MikeHunt.

To see the public-relations problems the Atlanta Braves have caused for themselves with the Tom Glavine mess brings home a couple of relevant points.

And, if history has taught us anything, it's that those two relevant points won't have anything to do with the point you're ultimately trying to make.

One, however, is not that the Milwaukee Brewers should sign Glavine, but more on that in a moment.


The other point is that doing nothing is sometimes the best response.

The final game Sunday in the Milwaukee-Atlanta series was a backdrop for the overriding Brewers issue for armchair general managers everywhere. After the beating Manny Parra took in his previous start at Florida, the reactionary response might have been to get him out of the rotation and take a look at the suddenly available Glavine.

Let's clean up that last sentence:

"After the beating Manny Parra took in his previous start in Florida, coupled with the fact that he's yet to throw a game where his WHIP was below 1.00, and the fact that his team needed him to go at least 7 in that game against Florida and he, instead, crapped all over himself and burned out an already-overused bullpen, and the fact that he's clearly a head case who, from all appearances, is guaranteed to start weeping on the mound at some point, the correct response would have been to get him the fuck out of the rotation as soon as possible, no matter who the Crew had to replace him with."


Meanwhile, Parra was respectable Sunday. He was hurt by one of the best switch-hitters baseball has seen, and one of the gopher balls he threw to Chipper Jones was a decent pitch. He didn't lose the game.

Jesus Mother-Humping Christ: 5.2 innings pitched, 8 hits (2 homers), 2 walks, and 5 earned qualifies as a "respectable" start?

And re: the homer by Larry Jones. I'm not mad about the homer; that's going to happen, especially when the ball is carrying like it was yesterday. No, what I'm pissed about is the two-out walk to Nate McLouth that set the stage for the homer. Manny had handled McLouth easily his first two trips to the plate, but, with two down in the fifth, the motherfucker goes ball-ball-ball-strike looking-walk. That's inexcusable. And it's reason 418 why Manny needs to be sent down as soon as possible.

The larger point is the Brewers have a pretty good thing going. Messing with the chemistry could invite problems that likewise do not exist.

Well, that's compelling. I know I've read a lot of interviews where different players say: "Yeah, Manny's scuffling a little bit right now, but he's such a good teammate and such a great competitor that we're content to let him work through his problems."

The larger point is: I've never seen/read/heard anyone say anything that remotely suggests that Manny Parra is a swell guy who has a positive influence on the clubhouse. In fact, the only evidence we have about what type of teammate Manny is is the dust-up in the dugout with Prince last season. (On a related point: with what we've seen from Manny since then, Prince's actions seem, if not justifiable, at least understandable. If you had a puss-faced pantywaist like Parra on your team, you'd probably want to throttle him, too.) Which is to say: there's nothing to suggest that sending Manny down would have any kind of negative impact on club "chemistry" whatsoever.

This isn't to say they're a finished product that will return to the playoffs or that the Parra situation shouldn't be readdressed at some point if he puts undue strain on the pen every fifth day. But for the moment, the temptation would be to leave well enough alone.

You know what? I realize I'm in the minority on this issue, both on this blog and amongst Brewers fans in general. So let me ask this: what else does Manny Parra need to do to convince you that he doesn't belong in the rotation? Last less than an inning in a start? Walk 10 batters in a game? Curl into the fetal position on the mound after giving up another 3-run homer? Please, tell me.

And, as the cherry on top of this shit sundae, I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that Parra is scheduled to start on Saturday, the day of Tailgate 2k9.


FPMKE said...

Fleetwood Mac - Landslide

Rubie Q said...

Two pesos to the FIB.

Softball's Tony Gwynn said...

and lucky me I get soup on friday...again. I've been to 4 games and he's pitched 3 of them.

I'd like to prefice this by saying I agree that its time to send Parra down, but can we please no freak out evertime we lose or lose a lead late in the game? Our bullpen has been pretty solid this year and its acceptable and normal for a bullpen to lose leads late in the game just like its acceptable and normal for our offense to get 5 runs in the 8th to get the lead. Chucky gave up the game yesterday sure...guess what Hoffman is due for a blown save as well. My point is its going to happen and all i'm concerned with is that we win more of those games than we lose. We won the Braves series that's all that matters to me.

commence the thrashing of the optimistic one now...

Softball's Tony Gwynn said...

sorry for the typos I'm addicted to spell check and the comment section doesn't have spell check.

Rubie Q said...

You're referring, I presume, to my "Good to see that Villanueva remembered he sucks dick" text message after the 8th yesterday?

Devil's Threesome said...

I have no clue why Chuckie kept throwing the curve yesterday. He hung it every single time he threw it. He looked terrible, hopefully that's just an off performance. Time will tell.

EMoney said...

Didn't we discuss this about a week or two ago???

To answer your question though, I give you a question(s). What other option do we have? Do we have some unknown prospect that is ready to jump right into the rotation? Did we not lose our top 2 starters from last season? Are we not an organization that is hampered financially when compared to the rest of the league, and is therefore unable to go out there and throw free agent money at starting pitchers every year?

So I ask you GM Rub, Manny Parra has just been sent to the minors, how are you replacing him?

We can't just go out and accomplish something without having a plan in how to get there.

Rubie Q said...

Like I said above: I don't care who you throw out there. Let MC Lung start two games, for all I care.

Every start with Parra is now a near-lock to be a clusterfuck. This can't continue. He has to be sent down for a week, or two weeks, or a month.

FPMKE said...

I'm all for sending Manny down for a bit. I've been hating on him for a while now. I was thoroughly disappointed the other night when I realized he would be pitching tailgate; hence text to Rubie "fucking Parra is going to pitch tailgate". That was about all I could muster in my state of drunkeness. I'd be happy to see McDouche get a start or two; can't be much worse than what Parra has done.

And, yes, I know Hoffman is going to blow a save. Chuckie New-town is a mixed bag. Outside of that, the bullpen has done a great job; especially when you consider how much slack they have had to pick up for the starting rotation lately.

Any insight on Chris Smith? All I saw was the article on JSonline. He sounded like he could be a great addition to the bullpen.

Softball's Tony Gwynn said...

yes that was the text i was referring to.

Starting Pitcher Options:
1. Tom Glavine-might be too expensive but if its not he might be worth it.
2. Seth McClung-Is our long guy now, just stretch him out and put manny in the bullpen, another righty
3. Mark DiFelice - might be better in his current role.
4. Tim Dillard - 7-3 in AAA, 4.23 era, 1.41 whip, is another righty
5. Chase Wright - 4-5 with 4.12 era and 1.42 whip, lefty from Yankees
6. Lindsay Gulin - journeymen lefty just named PCL pitcher of the week.

EMoney said...

So you take a middle reliever out of the pen from an already overworked bullpen? Yeah, that sounds like a good....great plan....FOR ME TO POOP ON!!!

Softball's Tony Gwynn said...

I wasn't watching the game yesterday in fib land and only got the message from Rubie after the 8th so I figured it was bad news. the other time it happedn though I was at the movie with the Mrs. and got a very negative text from Rubie and went home to see the Crew wint 9-5 but Bushy gave up 4 in the first 2 innings and we all know how much rubie loves bush...i mean bushy.

Softball's Tony Gwynn said...

ok $ so whats your plan? keep parra out there? i'll poop on that. i'm suggesting putting parra out there in the pen for long work so he can go out there and give up 5 more runs in innings 4-7 after soup goes 4 and 2/3 and gives up 8 and the game is over all ready.

EMoney said...

I'm not at all familiar with what we have in the minors, be it young prospects or journeymen bullpen guys, so I can't send Parra down and bring 'x' up. That being said, here is what I think.

In regards to Parra being sent down, agreed! He is definitely damaging our opportunities at increasing our division lead and has shown no signs of turning it around. So, if we do have someone in the minors that can be a long-relief type guy and move McClung or even Carlos V to a starting spot.....fine. I'm all for it. Parra is still young, so maybe a stint in the minors can give him some much needed confidence.

If we do not have a solid option in the minors, I wouldn't be against swapping Parra for one of the long relief guys. However, what good is it having (as you stated above) Parra coming in in the 6th-ish and immediately giving up a couple of runs and either blowing a lead or extending a deficit.

All in all, I think that unless we have a good option in the minors to spell McClung of middle relief, we do nothing with the Parra.