…I’ve just had a super busy week or so that’s barely enabled me to update my Facebook status, let along blog about my beloved Brewers. So, even though I can’t catch you up on all my thoughts about everything, I’m sure as hell gonna try.
First, let me just let out a huuuuuuuuge typewritten LOL to Ben Sheets giving up 9 earned runs out of 10 batters and not recording a single out in a game last week. I found it funny. It’s not an “I told you so” moment or anything by a long shot, especially because it’s only Spring Training, but him saying at least he felt good after it? Whatev. Of course he felt fine. He clearly wasn’t throwing as hard as he could if he couldn’t get anyone out. Sheets is a strikeout kind of pitcher and if he was just lobbing ’em up there, what else would he feel physically afterwards? I’m just so happy he’s not gonna be a crybaby in Milwaukee anymore. Enjoy it, Oakland.
I’m pretty sure I haven’t mentioned it yet, and if I did, here it is again. It’s exciting for me, so I don’t care. My parents gave the family certificates for Christmas to go to a Brewers game, disclaimers and all. Liiiiiiike, no Diamond Box seats, no Marquee games, etc. So when I suggested maybe getting a table at Friday’s Front Row Grill, I didn’t think it would be heeded. Instead, it was and we got a table right over the bullpen for Robin Yount bobblehead day. It’s probably the game I’m most excited to go to. Yes, the Minnesota roadie with the ladies is still on, but Robin Yount bobble and prime-o homerun ball territory? Awesome. (Don’t worry. I won’t be doing an “ballhawking.” But if a ball happens to land in my food, super.)
And speaking of that roadie, I’d like to personally thank Target and Joe Mauer for making it near impossible to get reasonably priced tickets. Stupid new stadium and stupid astronomical contract. Lucky for us, we managed to get tickets to the Friday night game, but by the time we were done ordering those, Saturday’s game was sold out. Unless of course we wanted to buy season tickets or a 20-game pack. Gah. So unless we can miraculously find tickets before we leave, the ladies and I are just going to have to find the most obnoxiously Twins-y bar and be our obnoxiously Brewers-y selves. Any suggestions, Twins fans?
And, since I’m obnoxiously Brewers-y pretty much all the time, guess who’s in charge of the new MLB display at work? I mean, duh. As if I even had to ask. The men’s department isn’t even one of my areas, but my boss knows better than to trust anyone else with this task. By the time I bring in some of my personal memorabilia to make it that much cooler (provided I can keep it all out of any human reach), the buyers in New York will finally understand that Milwaukee is NOT a suburb of Chicago and henceforth will never send us any Cubs gear again. Ever. (It will be worked on this week. Pictures shall follow.)
And because I said I haven’t forgotten about baseball, let me touch on a few things related to the world of baseball right now. Let me start with some looming decisions the Brewers staff has to face.
First, pitching. We all know Yovani Gallardo, Randy Wolf and Doug Davis have their spots locked down. And any idiot can tell you that Manny Parra and Dave Bush are prrrrrobably better choices than Jeff Suppan. Even Chris Narveson (whom I shall forever refer to as “The Narv-Dog.” Because he’s awesome. And it will catch on.) has been verging on amazing this spring, but lacks big league experience. I mean, your guess is as good as mine as how this starting rotation will pan out, but please, please, please leave Suppo out of it. Please!
Second, the Brewers have a few guys with “out” clauses whose deadlines are creeping up. Jim EdmOnds (I’d noticed I’d been spelling his name with a ‘u.’ No idea why.) has a 98.4% chance of making the Opening Day roster and I completely agree if and when that decision is made. So his “out” should be pretty much taken care of. Left handed reliever Scott Schoenweiss could make it to the bullpen, but so far, the staff seems content with Mitch Stetter taking on that lefty specialist role, not to mention LaTroy Hawkins being able to hold his own against left handed batters, as well. Schoenweiss may just be on his way out. And earlier today, contending back up catcher Matt Treanor was traded to the Rangers, answering the question of what the Brewers were going to do with him. I have to agree with this move, as I think George Kottaras is offensively better and will make a better back up to starting catcher Gregg Zaun.
And, I hope you all know what’s coming next.
THERE ARE 14 EFFING DAYS TIL OPENING DAY!!!
That means 2 weeks until cupcakes and cute shirts and flipcup tourneys and tailgating and wearing hats in appropriate, non-dirty hair situations and raspberry Long Islands and blue flipflops and cornhole and Ryan Braun’s bum and high socks and Sausage Races and Bernie’s Slide and, one things I’m most excited for at Miller Park this season, 50/50 raffles!
Seriously, 2 weeks until the best day of the year. Two weeks until My Boys are back to kick off 162 glorious games. I heart baseball.
I realize that the title of my last blog was a bit misleading, as there was absolutely nothing to do with a countdown of any kind in the entry.
For those of you that may be disappointed that I didn’t countdown the Top 10 Hotties like I did last year or that I have yet to even begin to plan out a day by day photo countdown to Opening Day as I did in 2009, I find it only fitting that since the aforementioned post didn’t promise on an actual countdown of anything, I shall begin one today.
All of my (what I can only hope to be many) readers know that I’ve been making my own Brewers apparel for a little over a year, so this season’s countdown to Opening Day will be a place to feature my work. Now, I don’t actually have 35 different articles of clothing to show off. Wellllll, not that I personally made, anyway. (I’m a bit of a clotheshorse as it is. In Brewers stuff alone, well, let’s just say I could go about a month without repeating. It’s a bit of a problem.) And, yes, most of these pics will be repeats, but hey, I’ll admit, I’m one to toot my own horn. Whatev.
So I’ll begin Week 5 with one of my first creations that was more than just a mere iron-on transfer. Yes, iron-on transfers is where it all began, but as you’ll see, I’ve become much more evolved than that.
This was completely done by hand. My bleeding fingertips spent somewhere around what I can only estimate as about 12 hours over a span of almost 2 weeks embroidering it. It was hellish at times, but I made it during the 2008 season, so a lot of it was done by the light of the television while Brewers games were on. I mean, totally worth the blood and deformed, claw-like fingers, but it was a lot of work. Things will get much less intricate. You’ll see.
And, just to mention some actual baseball, this Friday Yovani Gallardo will start against Ben Sheets as the A’s and Brewers kick-start Spring Training. My predictions? Yo will be incredible and Sheets will find something to whine about.
If the SI.com reports I read last night are true, the Brewers are one of the frontrunners making a play for starting pitcher Roy Halladay. And, if the reports are true, former Top 10 Hottie Manny Parra could be packing his bags for Toronto.
Now, I’m just a fan. I’m no baseball expert and I certainly have no say in who goes where and why. But again, really?
Clearly the Brewers starting rotation isn’t as strong as it could be, but why send off someone like Parra, who’s had nothing but good starts since his stint down in Triple A? Of course, adding Halladay to the rotation would do anything but make it worse and, understandably, the Crew could desperately use a helping hand. For a team that’s been lingering with 4 (sometimes) quality starters and 1 Mike Burns, it would be a huge plus to have a set starting rotation, something that Milwaukee’s been lacking for the majority of the season.
But is there another option that the Brewers are willing to part ways with? I’m not so sure. Right now, Parra is the choice to say goodbye to, and probably rightfully so. Dave Bush is currently on the DL and will hopfully be able to pitch to his ability sooner rather than later, and neither Bush nor Parra should be forced to the bullpen should the Brewers relieve a reliever of his duties to bring Halladay on. I’m okay with Parra being the odd man out, it would just be weird to see him in a uniform other than the Brewers, that’s all.
Now, if the Brewers do acquire Halladay, letting go of a pitcher isn’t the only way they’ll get him. I think Milwaukee is currently overloaded with infielders, so it wouldn’t be the end of the world to see Alcides Escobar go. There’s no room for him unless JJ Hardy gets shipped elsewhere in the near future. And we all saw what trading away top prospects for starting pitching did for the team last season. I don’t think anyone is holding their breath to see it happen again this year, but in a division that’s as wide open as the NL Central, why wouldn’t the powers that be do everything they can to snatch it up while it’s still up for grabs? Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m just as concerned about the future of this team as I am the here and now, but why throw away the chance when you’ve got it? The Brewers are great at growing their own players in the farm system. I think they’ll be okay if they let a couple go here and there for the greater good of the team.
All I’m really saying is, the starting rotation for the Brewers this season has been a question mark since parting ways with CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets in the off-season. I don’t think too many people expected them to do well with the rotation that was set back in April, and that’s starting to become a reality. The Brewers need a solid starter to help them finish out the season if they intend to stay in the NL Central race until October and if Roy Halladay is the one they need, then by all means, I hope they do everything they can to get him.
Next Up: Braves at Brewers. Javier Vazquez (7-7, 2.86 ERA) vs. Manny Parra (4-8, 6.37 ERA)
A sneeze may have done Braden Looper in a couple days ago. A sneeze. I don’t want to jump to any conclusions here, but I can’t another Ben Sheets on my hands. Just kidding. I have a pretty good feeling Looper will not be the big baby that Sheets was in his last couple seasons with the Crew.
Eduardo Morlan stepped up to the mound and went for 2 innings, giving up 3 walks and 1 hit, but surrendering no runs. Matt Ginter was the dark spot on an otherwise bright day for the Brewers, going 2/3 of an inning, giving up 2 hits, 2 walks and 2 runs. Not shockingly, he also has a 2 in his jersey number.
Ryan Braun headed off to Florida for training for Team USA after finishing today’s game with 2 hits and an RBI. The Brewers are now 2-1 in ST, with an 8-5 win over the Angels. (But the stupid Cubs are 4-0. Lame.)
Tomorrow the Brewers will be hosted by the Giants and Dave Bush, making a very concerted effort to break into the Top 10 Hotties list, will be making his first start of Spring. Today’s pic (41 Days!) is of my favorite high socks-wearing pitcher. So cute!
Dave Bush wears those socks like nobody’s business. Love it!
The Brewers traveled to Mesa, AZ to play the Cubs on this second day of Spring Training. The outcome wasn’t too favorable, but a couple of my boys did pull out some good stuff.
The Brewers out hit Chicago 12 to 10, but the final score stood at 7-4 in favor of the Cubs. Yovani Gallardo went up against Sean Marshall for each of their first starts of Spring, and Gallardo struggled through his one inning, walking 2 and allowing 1 hit, but did come up clean with no runs allowed. My boy Seth McClung didn’t fare so well, either, ending his 1 2/3 innings with a 21.60 ERA. Ouch.
JJ Hardy doubled twice, Mike Cameron homered and former Pirate Chris Duffy put up a triple for the Crew. A few players shined in today’s game, but it just wasn’t enough to beat out the Cubs. Tomorrow Milwaukee travels back to Phoenix and will be hosted by the A’s and Hottie Manny Parra will make his first start. Hopefully they come up with a win this time.
My Classic game today is the 2007 Opening Day win over the LA Dodgers. I just love it when I catch these games. For those of you that remember, this was a complete game for Ben Sheets, a 7-1 gem. I vaguely remember, as I tailgated my little heart out starting at 9am that day, but just a great game all in all.
Today’s pic is pre-game, pre-drunkenness from that awesome day. Me and my ladies bartended the famous Leff’s Opening Day Tailgate party, met some really awesome people and then spent the entire next day in bed. Man, I can’t wait for the season to start!
Nik, me and Mol representing at the Leff’s tent
Damn straight, Rodriguez.
I was trying so so so hard to not make any sort of comment on this whole A-Rod situation. So hard. Thankfully, I was working today so I didn’t catch any of the press conference (although that’s not to say it won’t be all over ESPN or CNN for the next few days. Those are the only channels the TVs at work get.), but I got the gist of it from mlb.com.
Here’s my feelings on it, and I’ll try to be brief, but somehow I see myself getting carried away. Rodriguez was 25 when his “cousin” began injecting him with, gee, I don’t know. He didn’t know. (Which I almost believe.) Regardless, this “cousin” (I use quotations because I really don’t believe that.) injected him twice a month, for 6 months each year, from 2001-2003. That’s 36 injections. I find it even harder to believe he didn’t think they were PEDs. HA! Okay, I’m 25. There’s no way in effing hell I would ever let any one of my 30-some-odd cousins inject me with ANYTHING for 3 years, especially if, 8 years after the first injection, I’m still claiming I’m not sure what it was. Don’t blame it on being young and naive and impressionable, Alex. You started playing baseball right after high school, correct? Maybe then I would believe your excuses. But at 25? That’s just stupid. You deserve the asterisk, my friend.
My favorite response by another player regarding this whole thing?
“I’m working with what I’ve got, and I’m going as far as that takes me.” Amen to that, favorite high-socks wearing pitcher, Dave Bush. Amen to that.
Now for the comments regarding the Brewers. Because, afterall, I’d much rather talk about them than anything related to the Yankees.
Shockingly, Eric Gagne has joined the team in Arizona after signing a minor league contract. Whaaaa? It’s ok, though. Sort of. Gag-me has to win a spot on the 40-man roster or else elect free agency before the Brewers season-opener on April 7th. I’m no fan of this guy. He certainly didn’t earn his keep last season. But, at least he has openly admitted to it and and acknowledged his poor ’08 performance. It’s unlikely that he’ll play in the minors, but I’d rather see him back as a free agent by the start of ’09 than back in a Brewers uniform.
New manager Ken Macha has said Yovani Gallardo, whom many hope will fill a large void left by Sabathia and Sheets, is not likely to start for the Brewers on Opening Day. I’m pretty much in agreement with this one. I think it’s a big game with a lot of pressure, even if it is on the road, and it’s probably best to give it to someone with more Big League experience. Gallardo should fit comfortable in the middle of the rotation and, if he repeats what he was able to do in 2007, he’ll definitely be called upon for the big games further down the line.
The Brewers have avoided any arbitration hearings again this year by coming to an agreement with right-fielder Corey Hart. The sides met in the middle, settling on a one-year $3.25 million contract. Seriously? I respect that Hart wanted the most bang for his buck and held out for it. And granted, he was a 20-20 player the past 2 seasons, garnering an All-Star appearance last year. Gah, I’m just not a huge fan of his. He completely fell off mid-season in ’08, definitely lost his speed from the couple years prior to that, and after Ned Yost was fired, it seems like Corey lost a lot of desire to play the game. (I’m sure he wasn’t a huge Yost backer like I’ve always suspected, but it was a pretty big coincidence otherwise.) I hope that playing for a new manager and new coaches will have a positive effect on Hart this season. I mean, with no Gabe Kapler to amaze (and stare at) in right field anymore, who else would be out there?
And last, but not least, to all of you broadcast boycotters out there, please get over Cory Provus. I understand he’s a Cubs fan. I understand he’ll be working alongside Milwaukee legend Bob Uecker this season. I understand how you don’t think that should be allowed. But guess what? I’m guessing very few of you can do his job. Just because you like baseball doesn’t mean you can be broadcasters. I certainly don’t think I could be a journalist because I write this blog. Seriously, until the day he is blantently rooting for the Cubs on Milwaukee radio, stop complaining.
Gah! sorry that was a long one. But only 52 days till Brewers Home Opener! I’ve decided to post pictures from past seasons just to get everyone as pumped as I am!
Me, Mol and Mark Attanasio after the Opening Day win last year. Awesome.
Well, it’s official. Braden Looper will be donning the Brewers uniform for the 2009 season. And lord only knows I’ve been pulling for another starter since the bittersweet departure of CC Sabathia and the bit-more-welcome send-off of the perpetually injured Ben Sheets. I think this was a good move for management. The pitching staff seems much more solid now. And since pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in just a few hours, it should be clear in the coming weeks how the acquisition will pay off. (And if my predictions for Seth McClung are correct.)
On a sad note, near-Top 10 Hottie Vinny Rottino was designated for assignment to clear a roster spot for Looper. I know he hadn’t spent much time with the Brewers, but the few times I did get to see him play, he was really, really hot. I saw him hit his first double in the majors in 2007 in a crazy, offense-laden 14-2 win over the Astros. He also took over at first for Princey that game, sooo that was kinda weird. I saw him in the second-to-last game of ’07. You know, the game that forced San Diego and Colorado into a tie-breaker, the game that gave the Brewers their first winning season in 15 years. Sure, Tony Gwynn, Jr. was the hero with the game-tying triple. But it was Vinny that knocked him in to win it. And the many times he was behind the plate to catch the first pitch, only to sit out the rest of the game on the bench. Man, I loved watching that fine, fine looking man play baseball.
But whatever. Spring Training is officially underway tomorrow! The 2009 season will soon be here and this girl is getting giddier (is that a word, I wonder?) by the day! Is it too soon to start planning what I’m gonna wear for Opening Weekend?