(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.