It’s that time of year again. I no longer have to plant myself in front of the television for nearly 3 straight hours on Thursdays to catch all the zany action in Pawnee, Scranton, New York and Philadelphia. The Top Chef has been chosen, Dexter killed his last victim until next year and I still don’t know how Ted met his kids’ mother. The freetime I have is astounding. I mean, just check out what I did last night in the same amount of time I would’ve spent on my couch with some of my favorite fictional friends.
I seriously don’t understand why I give so much of my life to television when I see what I’m able to do instead. I still can’t manage to turn away from The Jersey Shore or Tough Love, though. Ah, well. We all have our weaknesses.
But moving on to baseball.
The Brewers finalized their deals with new pitchers Randy Wolf and LaTroy Hawkins and also worked out a 1-year deal to bring Craig Counsell back next season. (Yay!) The Crew is also only a physical away from having Claudio Vargas back in their bullpen even though they probably could’ve had Seth McClung instead. Sorry, Big Red. I’ll miss you! In addition to McClung, the Brewers non-tendered catcher Mike Rivera and pitcher Mark DiFelice, though DiFelice later signed a minor-league contract with the club.
A couple of Milwaukee’s free agents have found homes this week, as well. Mike Cameron is heading to Boston, while Jason Kendall will be the Royals new backstop and Corey Patterson will be sucking in the Mariners minor league system. But the biggest news this week was undoubtedly the 4-team deal involving Toronto, Oakland, Seattle and Philly. The deal sent post-season superstar Cliff Lee to the Mariners and Roy Halladay can finally breath easy, having landed in Philadelphia after much trade speculation for the last six or seven months. Halladay wanted be part of a contending team in 2010, the Phillies seemed like the perfect team for him and he finally approved the trade.
And the TYIB winners were announced today. My picks didn’t fare so well. Obviously, Joe Mauer was winning Hitter. I just had high hopes for Prince Fielder. I was right on with Zach Greinke for Starter, was waaaaay off the mark picking Casey McGehee for ROY, but got back on track by choosing Jim Tracy for Manager. Stupid Yankee Mariano Rivera got closer. Again. I did pick Jeremy Affeldt for Set-Up, so way to go me, but Torii Hunter wasn’t even close to Jacoby Ellsbury for Defense. Mark Burhle, blah, blah, blah. Really? Dewayne Wise? The best play of the year? Sure, he kept perfection in order, but it was just robbing a homerun. It happens pretty much every game. Over it. How the Angels celebrating the post season in honor of Nick Adenhart didn’t beat out everything else for Moment is beyond me. Phillies Dad got his 15 minutes. Over that, too. Ruben Amaro, Jr. was pretty deserving for Executive. I tooooootally picked the Unsung Star in Jayson Werth and, yes, I’m a Yankee hater so their post season anything didn’t deserve to win. But anyway, congrats to all the winners. These awards mean nothing, so way to go.
And, lastly, since Christmas is only a week away and I work in retail, don’t expect any new posts for a bit. I mean, unless the Brewers manage to do something astounding in the next 7 days. Which is pretty unlikely.
I’m not dwelling on JJ Hardy’s departure. Sure, the Brewers lost a true hottie, a Top 10 Hottie no less, but here’s to hoping they gain much more. Much more by way of speedy, young center fielder Carlos Gomez.
These are just a few topics from the weekend that I’ve got an opinion on. Feel free to “tawk amongst yourselves.” Or, you know, leave your own opinion on the matter.
Brewers win 5 in a row!
The Crew has won 8 of their last 10, including sweeps of both the Diamondbacks and Astros, as well as a series split with the Cubs. The playoffs seem to be all but drifting away, yet the Brewers aren’t content, and I’m glad to see they’re still taking the field with their chins up. All it will take to officially be knocked out of the NL Central is a Cardinals win, but if Milwaukee can manage to keep winning (I can dream, can’t I?), the Wildcard isn’t entirely out of the question.
The Cubs are in town for their final showdown with the Brewers starting tonight, with Braden Looper (13-6, 4.89 ERA) going for his 14th win. Looper notched lucky #13, a career high, last Wednesday at Wrigley Field. Chicago has replaced scheduled starter Rich Harden with Tom Gorzelanny (5-2, 5.29 ERA). Harden was done after only 3 innings last week facing Milwaukee and this will be the first time the Brewers lineup has seen Gorzelanny since being traden from Pittsburgh.
Keep up the momentum, Boys, and kill those Cubs!
Corey Patterson doesn’t stike out. For once.
That’s right, Patterson swung at a pitch and it actually went into play. And then he was picked off. Super. Who is this guy and why is he here again? It seems like he’s trying just as hard as former Brewer Brad Nelson. I’m over him.
Milton Bradley suspended for remainder of season.
The same Milton Bradley who’s done nothing but cause trouble for every team he’s ever been with has been formally sent home for the final 2 weeks. The powers that be in Chicago had enough after Bradley reportedly said some nasty things about, not only Cubs fans, but the entire Cubs organization. I can’t say I blame them for sending him packing. Is is just me, or does the guy ever realize there’s an actual game going on? He was picked up for 3 years over the winter and stands to make $30 million. Astounding. Good luck with that, Cubs. Not only does Bradley hate playing for your team, but he pretty much flat-out sucked this season. It’s gonna be hard to unload that guy. Although, I can’t imagine why. He seems like a real sweetheart…
Gallardo shut-down for ’09.
Yovani Gallardo made his 30th and final start for the Brewers yesterday, to a pretty sad weekend crowd of just over 30,000. (My guess is no one wanted that Doug Melvin Bobblehead.) I guess I just don’t understand a world full of pitch counts and innings limitations. If it were up to me, I’d let Gallardo finish out the season. Especially after what he was able to do yesterday to round out the sweep of the Astros.
Yo went 5 scoreless innings, with 7 Ks, 3 hits and 3 walks, all with only 77 pitches. Those 7 strikeouts put him over the 200 mark, making him only the 4th pitcher in club history to hit at least 200 in a season. Rounding out 2009, Gallardo was 13-12 with a 3.73 ERA and struck out 204 over 185 2/3 innings.
I say, with Manny Parra still up in the air, Gallardo should have one more start this season. But I suppose I get that he missed nearly all of last season and the club doesn’t want to push him, especially since he’s the future ace of the Brewers. Okay, fine. Shut him down. But I’m not gonna be happy about it.
Cecil Cooper dismissed.
Really, Astros? Your team is out of contention. They have no chance left this season. Sure, Coop let them slide to 9 under .500 in the last 2 weeks, losing 7 in a row. Sure, they just got swept by a team that’s only 4 games ahead of them. But you know, there’s only 2 weeks left to play. Other than spoilers, what role do the Astros have? None. Let him keep his job until the end, at least. Who or what could that possibly hurt? It’s a hard decision for any ballclub to make to fire a manager, coach, whoever. It would be different if Houston was in the forefront leading up to those 7 losses, but they really weren’t. What’s done is done, but it’s a tough break for Cooper. I hope he finds a team for next season. I really like that guy.
Melvin questions roster expansions.
As he does just about every year, Brewers GM Doug Melvin had some things to say about the MLBs rules regarding September call ups. I never really thought much about it, but I have to say, I reluctantly agree with Dougie. (Only reluctantly because he’s not been on my good side this season.)
Go right ahead and let rosters expand from 25 to 40. Let the teams call up as many or as few guys as they deem necessary. I believe September is a good time to let the minor leaguers get a taste of the Bigs and I think it’s a good time to throw some extra arms in the bullpen and put some extra bats and gloves on the bench. I think, however, there does need to be some regulation on a game-to-game basis.
Melvin proposes that, after September 1st, teams must submit a limited roster prior to the start of each game, thus evening the playing field. I like the proposed limit of 30 players per team. It still makes each manager strategize before and during a game, yet limits the scenarios of countering pitchers and hitters, which could seemingly go on forever this time of the season.
I think 30 is a good number, allowing a team to put extra players in both the bullpen and on the bench for any number of situations throughout a game. Limiting who a manager can use per game keeps the game interesting, yet fair.
So keep on pushing, Melvin. I’m all for it.
Prince sets some new records.
Prince Fielder tied Cecil Cooper’s single-season RBI record at 126 and went 5 games without another one. Fielder finally broke the Brewers record on Saturday, with Cooper in attendance, as he did it against the Astros at Miller Park. Not only did it take him 5 games, but it took him 3 tries that game just to knock in that one run. He finally did it though, and the hometown crowd couldn’t have been happier.
Prince also broke a 9-year old club record for walks in a season held by Jeromy Burnitz. Yesterday, Fielder walked for the 100th time. He also hit his 40th homerun during yesterday’s 6-0 shut-out, making him just the 2nd player in Brewers history to have two 40 homerun seasons. I’m gonna say that he’s got more than 5 but less than 10 more in him in the remaining 13 games. I doubt he’ll hit 50 again this season, but he’s gonna have a big finish. And I think he’s gonna be ahead of Poo Holes in RBIs at season’s end.
The creepiest mustache ever.
I am a fan of high socks. I am a fan of stirrups. I am not a fan of people that look like child molesters.
There have been some amazing mustaches in baseball over the years. This is not one of them.
And that’s only the beginning. And only slightly less creepy than what Cardnials SS Brendan Ryan currently has growing on his upper lip.
The full-on thing not only ages Ryan by about 20 years, but it makes me want to grab all small children in his vicinity and run the other way. Creep-o.
Okay, that’s all. Just wanted to get some of that stuff out. This week is gonna be crazy for me, what with it being the final homestand for the Brewers, and all. I only have 2 games lined up for the week, but they’re doozies.
Wednesday will mark the last time my ladies and I will all be at Miller Park together this season. It’s only a little sad though, since we’ll all be in St. Louis next weekend to give our Boys a proper send-off. On the bright side, every time the Brewers play the Cubs and the 3 of us are all there, the Crew has come out on top. So that’s promising!
Saturday, Nik and I will use up the last of my 9-pack tickets and will officially say farewell to Miller Park until April 5th, 2010 when the season begins anew. I must say, 2009 has been a little bittersweet but I most definitely look forward to the next 2 weeks and everything they have to offer.