Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thursday Night: My thoughts on the Brewers, and that WSJ poll listing the most hated teams in baseball and more

Well, its been a few days since i've written anything. Not the best stretch for the Crew as they lost 3 out of 4 with Trevor Hoffman single-handedly handing the Pirates a couple of games.......ouch.

Well it's another day, another series as the Brewers are spending the next 4 days playing the NL's surprise team, the San Diego Padres. The last series proved back-to-back losses, blown saves and a conflict of interest scenario between real and fantasy baseball (the same type that kept me away from fantasy ball for several years (Ryan Doumit pretty much owned owned Hoffman and I happen to own Doumit on one of my teams...grrhhhhhh.

Tonight has a NL West oriented theme as the Brewers playing in San Diego is firing away on my laptop and the Pirates-Dodgers game is going in the background.........ahhhh to live on the West is weird to come home and have to wait an hour or so for the Brewers game to start.....the 2 normal scenarios are a) the played during the day and the game is long over by the time I get home or b) they play a night game and the game is in the middle innings by the time I come home from the gym.

Now would be a lovely time to congratulate Carlos Gomez for getting picked off and costing the Brewers a run....with the Brewers losing 5 of their last 6 and a closer that's singlehandedly dropped them into a tie for fourth.....not the best way to start a game.....

That base-running blunder not withstanding, it may be time to re-evaluate my take on the Gomez-Hardy trade. For pretty much the entire off-season, I was not feeling the trade at all. I saw Gomez as just another fast light-hitter along the lines of a Bourn, Taveras, etc. While 70 plate appearances isn't the greatest sample size, the early returns seem at least somewhat encouraging. So far his average is up 45 points his slugging average has gone from .337 to .468 and his OPS+ has gone from 64 to 108.....his BABIP is he's getting a little lucky but still leaves some proof that maybe his hitting game has turned a corner.

Speaking of off-season acquisitions, Doug Davis is in a bit of early trouble with runners on 1st and 2nd no outs and A-Gon at the plate, ouch. Not the best way to improve on an 8+ ERA. In Davis' case part of this high ERA can be explained by some extreme bad luck.......opposing hitters have a .450 BABIP against Davis.....there is no way that BABIP is sustainable and is going to remain at .450 all year and gives a silver lining of hope that Davis is not as bad as his current ERA indicates.

Not even an inning into the game, and the FS Wisconsin crew is having the mandatory conversation about Petco Park being a hitter's graveyard (it's almost like there was a law passed in 2004 making it mandatory for announcers to point this out within the first three innings).....or not.

Gotta give credit where credit is due....Doug Davis may have pitched his way into a sticky situation but he got out of it just as easily.

In terms of other stuff going on in the baseball world, this article from the Wall Street Journal is interesting. At first glance a bit surprising that the Yankees are only the fifth most hated team in baseball (somehow the Indians get this "honor") a bit surprising since the Indians probably haven't prompted any strong feelings one way or another since the late 1990s. But on second glance I can't escape the feeling that some New York bias is in there. Think about it, a newspaper based in NYC is trying to convince us that there are four other teams more hated than the would seem given that the Red Sox would be high on this list considering the New York basis.....and the (possible) poor cover-up of said bias by placing a random AL Central team at the top of the list.......i'm probably horribly wrong about this assesment....maybe the Indians are really hated but nobody admits....but with the Yankees being hated by everyone outside of ESPN and New York does seem a bit odd to say the least......having a favorite team hanging out in the NL Central that happened to play in the AL Central against the Indians during their 2010 i definitely have stronger negative feelings about the Yankees than the Indians

Could this be people that don't think the team name is PC? Maybe, maybe not........maybe they surveyed a bunch of people that don't like bloggers. This article from Walk Off Walk discusses the Indians reaching out to the Social Media world by inviting bloggers and local prominent twitter users to sit in the new section at Progressive Field. For reaching out to bloggers and that someone working for the Indians recognizing the existence of the blog/social media world as being relevant and here to stay. For that, the Indians do not get my vote for most hated team in baseball

And Doug Davis pitches himself out of trouble again........gotta say between his start against the Cubs and the first couple innings tonight, Doug Davis is looking pretty sharp and may be on the cusp of getting past his early struggles.

On the Padres side, Wade LeBlanc is also looking very impressive......looks like we could be in for an extended pitchers duel........while I like the results so far.....its a bit discomforting that Doug Davis' pitch count is in the 60s and its only the third innings.....with the bullpen being stretched out for 9 innings yesterday (5 of those after Hoffman failed to get a save).....this could make things interesting in a bad way towards the late innings.

Speaking of this closing situation, it seems reasonable to speculate on who should replace Hoffman as closer (assuming Macha ever notices that continuing to bring out Hoffman has the potential to derail the 2010 season. There has been some limited speculation about who should/would get a chance at closer usually involving Villaneuva, Hawkins and/or Coffey. While I see 2 of these 3 pitchers as relievers that can be relied on.......not sure what it is just a hunch i'm not sold on them being the best internal option.

I know i'm probably going outside the box a little bit.......i'm not sure if this option has been brought up elsewhere and I haven't read about it but my gut instinct says Manny Parra should be given a chance to pitch the 9th inning.

While Parra has been on the starting pitching path for most of his career, it seems as though the Brewers are planning not to place Parra in the rotation as he has been passed over for Jeff Suppan (bad decision) and Chris Narveson (defensible toss-up decision....Narveson had the better spring/better 2009.....Parra was off to a stronger start in 2010).

Beyond that I could see Parra having a good chance to excel in this role as a) thus far he has improved control-wise (11 2/3 innings is a small sample size but a BB/9 rate dropping from 5 to 1.5 indicates Parra deserves a chance at something beyond middle-relief and he's proven more than capable of ringing up strikeouts (7.9/9 IP for his career) that would make him an asset being handed the ball in the 9th inning.

As with the current game, Doug Davis is in another jam......the Brewers committing miscues with the glove and on the base-paths......this seems to not bode well for the next 5-plus innings, especially with the Padres getting on the board in the middle of typing this paragraph.

Ahh....Brewers down 2-0 and now for something that is a lot less depressing. I was stumbling around the internets and stumbled across a new website that is being rolled out on 5/1 that is blended the addictive powers of gambling and fantasy baseball. This new concoction, allows users to build a fantasy baseball team by spinning a slot machine........Just heard the words Jeff Suppan warming up in the bullpen from the FS Wisconsin crew.......not gonna lie those words don't do much for comfort.

Anyways, back to the Rosterslots....this thing gives you 20 spins in which to get a fantasy team to your liking (you can field a new team every day if you wanted to).....between probable starters, bullpens, middle infielders/catchers, corner infielders/dhs and outfielders.....the best part is you can get this done through your Facebook account as well........

Well....that time of the night....time to get some shut eye.


  1. Three Boston games on simultaneously tonight, and the Beantown Bad Boys went 3/3. Meanwhile I went 6/6 (downed 6 of 6 silver bullets procured for the occasion.) 200 minutes of sporting action without having to endure a commercial break is pretty sweet. One thing I learned is baseball seems a lot slower when juxtaposed with hockey, which is a sport I'm more excited about than ever.

  2. In addition to gloating about being a sports fan of the only city remaining with both a playoff basketball and hockey team in action, I also need to post: NBA ROUND 1 RECAP

    As if you need reminding, you and I filled out brackets for the NBA playoffs on a sheet of white-lined paper. I complained about why there aren't online brackets to fill out like for the NCAA tournament, and you explained that it was because the NBA playoffs always play out as expected, so it would be too easy to fill out a bracket. Well after one round, my bracket is completed busted, having picked Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks to hold high the Larry O'Brien Trophy. My logic was, as someone who'd been following the Sactown Kings all year, I'd seen them play everyone and the Mavs seemed like the most unbeatable team. Meanwhile the Kings had brought both the Lakers and Cavs to overtime, so I couldn't pick them. I guess how you play against a cellar-dweller isn't as important as how you play an experienced playoff contender. I watched all of Game 6 of the Spurs-Mavs game and thought that it was awesome.

    Cheddar, you have done very well for yourself in this bracket, having picked 7/8 series correctly (missing only by picking the Miami Heat in 6 games). Out of those 7 wins, you got the exact number of games it would take the victor to advance correct 4 times (You picked The Lebrons in 5, Magic sweep, Jazz in 6, and the "better bring your passport when you go to" Phoenix in 6.) All of your conference semifinalists are still alive. For the record, you have the Lakers beating the Spurs in 6, the Cavs beating Orlando in 7, and you have Lake Erie catching on a fire of glory in Game 7. By the way, I also finished 7/8 in the first round, but with only one perfect prediction (Utah in 6). In all, I need the Celtics, Hawks, Jazz, and Suns to advance if I'm going to catch up with you.

  3. To clarify, for me to beat you outright, I need the following to all happen: 1) Cleveland does NOT win the championship. 2) The Lakers do not win the west. 3) The Hawks beat Orlando. 4) Utah beats LA.

    We will tie if 1) and 2) are satisfied AND if Phoenix wins AND if either 3) OR 4) are satisfied. GOOD LUCK! YOU WILL NEED IT!@!@!@

  4. A lot to wrap my head around........I wonder how much crazier it would have looked if fear the deer made it to a second round.

    Haven't watched too much of the playoffs but it looks like you have a chance to tie as:

    The LeBrons are struggling with the Celts, this could be a sign of trouble to come. The Lakers definitely looked beatable during the Zombie series....who knows what would have happened in Game 7 if they don't get that last second shot.

    Phoenix....not sure about them...they have the talent but there's plenty of bad karma surrounding Arizona right now that I don't think they can with 3) The Bogut-less Bucks nearly took them down and the Magic annihlated them.....BTW....if the Bucks would have pulled off that series, they would be the poster children of the Ewing Bogut.....Bill Simmons picking them to go 19-63 (approx.).........don't see Utah beating LA......happy cinco de mayo