Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day, Memorable Indeed

Happy Memorial Day to all the great men and women serving the USA!

And it was a memorable day for Chris Narveson who entered somewhat uncharted territory for the Brewers starting rotation by pitching into the 6th inning today. Unfortunately, the 9:30 show is completely different than the 7:30 show which is to say that, after 5 scoreless innings, the results in the 6th were not nearly as good. Narveson chose to pull a Manny Parra by losing command of the strike zone and giving up 5 runs. Chuckie New Town then came in to complete the 6th by giving up dos mas runs; nice work.

Speaking of Manny Parra and memorable days, Parra will be bumped back to the bullpen in hopes his good stuff will redevelop into starting material. This makes space in the rotation for the triumphant resurrection of Segway riding Chris Capuano's career. Props to the Brewers brass for sticking with Cappy and giving him a chance to be a starter as soon as possible.




As noted in Tom Haudricourt's piece on Parra/Cappy, decisions still loom on several pitchers within the organization. Things could get interesting within the next couple of weeks*.

*Update: Things got interesting a lot sooner than I thought. The Brewers are promoting Kameron Loe meaning another pitcher will be leaving the bullpen. They could make a Survivor-esque reality game show based on our pitching staff.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

It is Time for Jeff Suppan to Go.


People have been screaming for Suppan to get the axe for about 2 years now. I have not been one of them. It's not that I'm a Suppan fan or anything. In fact I was adamantly against signing him back in 2006. But I'm realistic. I knew that he would be given far more chances than he warranted, because of his contract, his relationship with the owner, and the amount of respect that people within the organization have for the guy. So railing against the man has been pointless. I've just bit my lip, crossed my fingers and hoped he did something to justify those opportunities. But all along, I knew the day would come that the Brewers would be forced to unload Suppan and eat that damn contract. That day arrived today.


I sat at Miller Park today and watched Jeff Suppan come into a tie game and promptly fall apart... again. I said to anyone that would listen that this was the deal breaker. Today's outing illustrated, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that it is time to be rid Suppan. And this isn't your run of the mill, "Suppan sucks" rant, where some jerk-off will yell and scream about how terrible Jeff Suppan is. I think very highly of Jeff Suppan. I think he is really is a great guy. His work in the community has been well documented. Every person that I have ever met that has had any contact with him has raved about what a nice guy he is. An illustration of that point: Two years ago my wife's sisters went down to spring training on a mission to get every Brewer's autograph on a jersey, that they then framed and gave to us as a wedding gift. In all their encounters with Brewers that spring, telling the story of how it was a wedding gift countless times, Suppan was the only one player actually appeared to care. He asked them about the jersey and the wedding, and said "Well, tell them I say congratulations!" While this is just one little encounter, and not a huge deal in the grand scheme, I think it gives us an indication of what kind of guy Soup is.


However, he is no longer a capable major league pitcher worthy of occupying a Milwaukee Brewers' roster spot, and today was the perfect illustration. Suppan entered in the 6th, with the game tied at 2. He got the first out, and then got into trouble. He ended up intentionally walking Jose Reyes with 2 down, to load the bases and bring up Luis Castillo. The Mets fan in front of me stood up and yelled "Castillo, if you can't hit this guy you just can't hit!" How true. Castillo lines one back through the middle, 2 runs score. Soup has always been a guy that works in and out of trouble, and he had his chance to wriggle off the hook today. But he didn't do it, and I don't know that he can do it.


Soup then got the ball again for the 7th. Things quickly went from frustrating, to downright depressing. After striking out Ike Davis (on what appeared to be a generous strike 3 call), Suppan began throwing BP. David Wright doubled to deep left. Then Angel Pagan homered to right center. Then Jeff Francoeur doubled. All very well hit balls. And the boos poured down in buckets. Rick Peterson popped out of the dugout, and the crowd cheered. When he returned to the dugout without removing Suppan, the crowd booed lustily. Soup then walked Hank White, and nearly botched fielding a sac bunt by the pitcher. Then Macha emerged, the crowd cheered, and Suppan exited to yet another chorus of boos from the home fans. It really felt like that was the last time we'd see Jeff Suppan in an Brewers uniform. His final line: 1.2 inning, 4 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks.


Now it can be argued that Soup shouldn't have been out there in the first place. Or that he definitely shouldn't have been sent out for the 2nd inning. But that just makes it even more apparent that he needs to go. Throughout the course of a major league season, every guy in that bullpen is going to have to contribute. Suppan's role, ostensibly, is to be the "long man", a guy that can go out and cover multiple innings. And in a game where the starter only goes 5, and the previous night's starter only went 3, that "long man" is going to be called upon to get through a couple innings. But Soup can't be trusted in any game that is close, or even semi-close. The only time it is safe to put him in is when you're down big early. The Brewers are carrying a $12 millon mop-up man. There is no point to continuing to lug around a pitcher that can't be used in games that matter. The fact that they even brought him in today, appeared to be a sort of audition scenario. Almost like they were giving him that one last chance, to prove that he was worth his roster spot.


With the looming opt-out deadline for Kameron Loe, who has been pitching well in Nashville, it appears to be the time to finally pull the trigger on this move. The Brewers don't have the luxury of keeping Suppan around and letting someone who may be able to contribute walk away. It's true that the team will be eating the remainder of his contract if he goes, but that's pretty much what they're doing now. What's the difference between paying him to not pitch and sit home, or paying him to not pitch and sit in the bullpen? I'm sorry it has to happen to such a good guy, but the reality of the situation was apparent today. It is time for Soup to go.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Brewers Purchase Segway

First and foremost, way to go Yo! Your complete game shutout gave the bullpen a much needed rest. And Corey Hart's first career walk-off homer decided the pitchers duel between Yo and Johan; nice work. Could this be the tipping point that brings back Rubie's too-tight sausage-stained Corey Hart retro jersey tee and a resurgence of the "Corey Hart I am a man club"? Probably not but who knows with all the goofy shit that has gone on this season.

On an important pitching note, the Brewers have purchased the contract of Segway riding bionic man Chris Capuano. Props to Cappy for making it back but it's a sad statement about the state of our pitching staff that I'm excited to have someone called up after two Tommy John surgeries and 30 months of recovery. He was impressive with Triple-A Nashville posting a 1-1 record with a 1.80 ERA in 25 innings; let's hope he proves to be durable. Corresponding roster move is TBD... Jeff Suppan?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Freckles Isn't Coming Back.

Unless we give her a reason to, and what's a better reason than ... SPIN-OFFS!

I have two LOST spin-offs that I need to see:

(1) Continuing the story from the purgatory / sideways / bizarro realm, Sawyer and Miles as LAPD officers.

(2) Continuing the story from the end of the island narrative, bossman Hurley and super sidekick Ben run the island. MR. CLUCK'S COMES TO THE SOUTH PACIFIC.

What else ya got?

Monday, May 24, 2010

FRECKLES COME BACK!



FRECKLES PLEASE COME BACK. It's only been, like, 12 hours but still that's long enough. Please come back to the island, there's no more Smoke Monster, everything is safe and you can go swimming in your skivvies and it'll be a great time with very little chance of death or maiming, etc., etc., etc.

PLEEEEEEEEEEEASE?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Apocalypse Wow!

Today's sign of impending doom brought to you from Target Field where Jeff Suppan has just entered the game in relief of Bushy... In the bottom of the 1st inning.

Game over?

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Magic Is Back.

It's no secret that the Buffet has hit a bit of a rut lately. Between the birth of our new baby, work, tax season, kids, and the pending nuptials of Mr. Sparkle and Sheets' Va Jay Jay (respectively, of course; they're not marrying each other -- not that there's anything wrong with that), it's been tough to find time to create any worthwhile content.

Throw in the fact that the Brewers, at this point, are who we thought they were (around .500, capable of being very good in stretches, capable of being very, very bad in stretches, no threat to contend for the playoffs), and there isn't a lot to say that hasn't been said before. Jon Hart still swings at sliders in the dirt. The pitching still isn't good enough. Jeff Suppan still is a sunk cost, though he's now sunk at the end of the 'pen. Ken Macha still looks like Leslie Nielsen, and manages the team as well as Mr. Nielsen tended to the passengers in Airplane! Ho hum.

BUT ... all that might be about to change: KING NED IS BACK.

The Kansas City Royals apparently decided there are levels of Hell they've not yet explored, so they canned manager Trey Hillman after a month-and-a-half and turned the reins over to His Majesty, His Highness, His Over-Caffeinated and High-Strung Worshipfulness, Nedly Yost III.

This means more Yostys! This means more dugout confrontations. This means more talk of pitchers walking the park and fielding their position well.

Nobody else will be watching, but we will. We've missed you so, Ned. Welcome back.