Here we are on May 13, and the crew has just 1 win this month. YES, ONE win in the entire month. The 15-20 mark matches last year's disappointing start. Is the season "snake bitten"? You tell me, I'll spell out the facts, and you make up your own mind. The following bullet points are displayed for inventory purposes, but who's keeping a list? Well...ME!
-I was hit in the head with a foul ball during spring training. Thanks to all who sent little stuffed animals, flowers, thoughts, and concerns.
-GM Doug Melvin was stung by a scorpion during spring training.
-Ron Roenicke fought a pretty bad cold during spring training.
-Ryan Braun's name popped up once again with the Bio Genesis PED story.
-Yovani Gallardo lost his mother during the off-season.
-Corey Hart has knee surgery, and will be out for at least 2 months.
-Mat Gamel is lost for the season with another ACL injury.
-Taylor Green starts the year on the DL, and is later lost for the year.
-Mark Rogers loses all sorts of velocity and command, and here in Mid-May, they are still trying to figure out what is wrong.
-Aramis Ramirez hurts knee during spring training, thus costing him playing time in which he wanted to play more during spring camp to limit his slow start history.
-A legitimate offer to free agent pitcher Ryan Dempster was turned down. Later he signs with Boston for similar offer.
-Roughly 12-13 players missed time during spring training to play in the WBC, including both catchers.
-Jeff Bianchi starts year on DL with hip injury.
-Ramirez is lost to the DL for knee injury, misses roughly a month.
-John Axford struggles, including a blown save on the opening day of the season.
-Ryan Braun misses the second series of the year with a neck strain, and the crew gets swept by Arizona.
-Chris Narveson hits the DL.
-Mike Fiers is sent to Nashville for struggling early.
-Brewers offense sets franchise record for 32 consecutive scoreless innings.
-Manager Ron Roenicke goes to hospital for a back issue.
-Tom Gorzelanny placed on DL with shoulder issues.
-A game 3 rain out in Chicago has the crew bussed back to Milwaukee because they could not line up a plane to get them to St. Louis.
-Alex Gonzalez misses time, twice, for injuries to hamstring, and being hit in the hand.
-Yovani gets arrested for suspected DUI.
-Kyle Loshe dislocated finger while running to first base.
-Jean Segura splits a fingernail during warm-ups, misses a game.
-Yovani loses velocity.
-Ricky Weeks gets off to a horrible start.
-Lucroy struggles offensively to start the year.
-The crew, as of this writing May 13, have won ONLY ONE GAME THIS MONTH!!!
-Starting pitchers, as a whole, is struggling as well in the month of May.
-Attendance has seen a marketable drop in 2013.
***The above list is in no particular order. Please feel free to notify me, on or off the air, if I have missed anything. Bad luck season? Snake bitten? Make up your own mind on this one. I, personally, am hanging in there. There is way too much talent on this team. It's time to overcome all the challenges. As always, Smile Milwaukee, the World Will Smile Back!!
Now that the Brewers first month of the season is over, the "Digging Is Done"! After the 2-8 start, the Crew has dug themselves out of a hole and into a competitive situation. Certainly rattling off 9 victories in a row has helped, but the season has settled in, and the Brewers can move on from here. Starting pitching and the bullpen has stabilized, and now it's time to work on the offense. Injuries to both Corey Hart and Aramis Ramirez have hurt, but couple that with slow starts by Weeks, Lucroy and Braun and you find yourself in an unfavorable position.
Think about the line-up when healthy:
THIS line-up is scary for opposing pitchers. The crew needs to tread water until then, but the offense as is, CAN be better. Looks like a fun and competitive season is about to heat up. Smile Milwaukee, the World Will Smile Back!
Drunk driving has, and continues to kill in America. Just read your local newspapers and you'll find that EVERY night people are cited for DUI. Society continues to think it's alright to get behind the wheel after drinking. Why? You jeopardize your safety, and more importantly, the safety of others. I know we all make mistakes, but we all make choices too. STOP DRUNK DRIVING!!!
Here's an 'All DUI TEAM', not to make light of drunk drivers, but to continue to call them on the carpet for stupidity:
*The following list of players and their DUI arrests were obtained through public record.
CF Shin-Soo Choo
2B Adam Kennedy
3B Miguel Cabrera
C Darren Dalton
1B John Jaha
LF Coco Crisp
RF Austin Kearns
SS Scott Spiezio
P Yovani Gallardo
Manager: Tony LaRussa
How early is it? Early enough to hit the panic button? Early enough for a classic 'Tim allen Rant'? A big resounding TOOOOO EARLY!! Injuries have played a prevalent role through the first home stand of the season. Some say you cannot use injuries as an excuse, I say HOGWASH, YES you can. Gammel, Hart, Ramirez, and Braun all out of the last couple of games has crushed this team. It goes deeper than the offense that is missing in action, it effects the overall attitude and confidence as well. Not to say that pitchers should stop giving up runs, but it DOES have an effect. Starters should be going longer, and that certainly will help the bullpen. The starters WILL settle in, the bullpen will get some relief, and the injuries WILL heal...won't they? Still way too early to call this a snake bitten season, so hang in there Brewers fans, they will get better. There is way too much talent on this team. Smile Milwaukee, the World WILL Smile Back.
The usual benchmark to get into the Hall of Fame is 3000 hits, but don't tell Pete rose that. He eclipsed the 4000 hit mark, and still is not in. We all know why...he gambled, denied it, then admitted it yet still is not in. One must ask why he is banished from the game, when dozens of players are essentially doing the same thing...GAMBLING.
When a player takes PEDs he is taking them for a reason. Some may say many reasons, yet it comes down to one, and that's the almighty dollar. Yes, fame and popularity play a role in it, but it always comes down to money. MLB needs to do what Woodward and Bernstien did, "follow the money." Take PEDs, bulk up your numbers, maybe get caught, serve your suspension, and make more money. In fact, more money than you would have made prior to the cream, injection, or whatever you ingested to perform at a higher level. Makes you wonder if the gamble paid off? It does.
Imagine your career on the downhill side, and you take PEDs. You have that breakout season and get paid more in your final few years of your career. Maybe you get caught. Oh well, serve up 50 games, and some team, somewhere will look at your numbers and take a chance on you. Coversly, if you're a younger player, and want the fastrack to fame and money, take your PEDs, again, bulk up your numbers, and hit the pot of gold.
Well, not so fast. You might get caught. If so, serve up your suspension, and some team, somewhere, will sign you based on those numbers. Despite the fact that the numbers are indeed tainted, a team WILL think you can do it without the PEDs.
I think you get the drift, the plan, THE GAMBLE! Does the punishment fit the crime in todays era of PED using baseball players? In this broadcasters mind, it certainly does NOT. There is simply too much money to ignore the temptation.
So lets fix it. Lets hit the player where it hurts the most...his wallet.
I truly believe that a lifetime banishment from the game is extreme. Our society is built, in some regard, on second chances. We make mistakes in life. We're young, immmature and tend to be different as we get older, so that banishment is too much. However, can we fine these cheaters?
Let's face it, we're not creating a deterant that is strong enough. Let's go back to that younger player for a second. What if, MLB dictates that if you are caught, red handed, hand in the cookie jar, failed drug test, through the apeals process, corked bat, sandpaper in glove, etc., that you, the cheater, now forfits 40 percent of your contract for the rest of your career. Yes, the rest of your career.
MLB is not going to banish you for life, no restraint of trade here, just a forfiture of almost half of your earnings. It still allows you to play the game, make a living, and get yourself on the highlite shows. 60 percent of a $10 million contract is still $6 million. Where does then, the money go? It goes to a charity of that players choice, in fact giving them a tax deductable donation...that's fun. But, it HITS the player HARD. That young player will think MUCH more about GAMBLING 40 percent of their career earnings for some PEDs.
Will a team sign a free agent that must forfit a large portion to drug prevention? The answer is simple: YES. They sign player now who has been suspended for PED usage, yet pay a big contract at times. It doesn't matter to the team, either way, they have to pay the cash. Does the agent want to retain a player that is in this particular situation? Yes.
MLB, in my plan, would make the donation (on the players behalf) AFTER agent commissions are paid. You see it's all about the money, it's all about the GAMBLE. Stop allowing gambling in baseball. Now, will the Players Association go for this? How in the world could they argue against it? It would be like them stating that they WANT the opportunity to enhance the numbers, thus enhancing their wallets. They would look somewhat ridiculous fighting against this plan.
Imagine your boss, coming to you Monday morning, and stating that if your partake in a certain activity, that you would jepordize about half of your salary. Not only in his office, but within your industry. I'll promise you, you would think long and hard about taking part in that actvity. Cheaters are not going to be allowed under this plan, however, there will ALWAYS be someone, somewhere who thinks they can beat the system.
All right, GO FOR IT! It's okay, but if your actions are dicovered, it costs you dearly. Go ahead, BET ON IT!
Get ready Brewers fans! The season is FAST approaching, and the biggest story, for the most part, is a YOUNG ROTATION. You'll read about it, you'll hear about it on the radio, and you will see the coverage on TV. With Brewers GM Doug Melvin focused this off season on improving a struggling bullpen, it is pretty clear to this point, that the organization is content to run 4 young starters out in 2013. It's somewhat risky, as the Brewers have one of the best offenses in all of baseball. You have to ask yourself, is this the right year to go with the youth movement on the mound? Could the organization wait just one more year to do that? Corey Hart is on the last year of his contract. Aramis Ramirez will have only one year left on his contract following the 2013 campaign, thus making him prime trade bait. Nori Aoki will be nearing the end of his deal as well. Point being...maybe wait one year, make one more 'go for it' attempt, and then re-tool.
As spring training approaches, it is becoming clear that the young pitchers are going to be given the ball every 5 days. That being said, Brewers GM Melvin and the organization have somewhat of a rule that they try to follow. When 'grooming' a young pitcher, the Brewers do not like a pitcher to increase his 'innings pitched' from one season to the next, by more than 20%-25%. I thought I would take a look at when some of the Crews’ younger pitchers would reach that point. I base these numbers on an average of 6 innings per outing. But, is it that simple? You have to look at experience, and innings to find out. It's not just about 5 starters, as most MLB teams will use 6, 7, 8, or more starters each season. Let’s focus on the principle pitchers for the sake of this blog.
Yovani Gallardo: No problems in terms of 'innings pitched' as he has seasoned his arm to carry the workload of a top of the rotation starter.
Marco Estrada: In 2012 Marco pitched 138 1/3 in the majors and 8 at triple A for a total of 146 1/3. An increase of 20% is roughly 175 innings. Averaging 6 innings per start he would hit his 'increase mark' around mid September.
Mike Fiers: In 2012 he had 127 2/3 in the majors and 55 at triple A for a total of 182. With the 20% increase, there is no concern about workload.
Wily Peralta: 29 innings pitched for the Brewers big league club and 146 2/3 in the minors for a total of 175 2/3. Workload should not be a concern in 2013.
Chris Narveson: Chris is coming off an injury, however, the 20% rule shows no concern, as he has pitched over 160 innings in both 2010 and 2011.
Mark Rogers: Rogers pitched 39 at the big league level last season and 95 at triple A for a total of 134. Again, basing this on an average of 6 innings per outing, he would reach his 'increase point' in late August.
Tyler Thornburg: In 2012 Thornburg pitched 22 for the Brewers, and 112 2/3 in the minors for a total of 134 2/3. He would reach his increase point in early September.
The 2013 Brewers will need more than 5 starters in 2013. There is no doubt about that, based on the numbers above. A young rotation can win, as the 2012 Oakland A's proved, but with the Brewers offense as good as they are, a re-tooled bullpen, is 2013 the year to go with the young rotation? It’s going to be a TON of fun finding out. I can't wait for the season and the Rupena’s Baseball Post Game Show to get underway. I'm not calling myself old, but the years are flying by. It’s my 8th season of Post Game Show coverage, and I have loved EVERY minute of them. 'Smile Milwaukee, the World WILL Smile Back'!
Hey Brewer fans! As I do each year, I don't consider the Brewers season to "officially" start for you, until the Packer season is complete. Well, it's complete, sorry to break the news to you. The bright side? Well, we can focus on the Milwaukee Brewers Championship season of 2013. Note to 'board operators' at WSSP...hit the Bart Scott sound effect..."CAN'T WAIT"!! Are we all ready to invest some attention to our Brewers? Let’s do it.
Rotation: Yo, Narveson, Estrada, Fiers, and well, pick a youngster for the fifth spot. On paper, this rotation does not jump off the page at you, however, it's just going to HAVE to do. Unless Brewers GM Doug Melvin signs/trades for a veteran starter, the crew may have to hit their way to many, many wins.
Bullpen: Give Melvin an 'A' already, for taking care of business. Quite frankly, the reconstruction of the bullpen does not surprise me. He HAD to do it. Along with the offense, this indeed is a strong part of the 2013 team. Will they be flawless? No, but they will be a huge factor in the team’s success. This will be fascinating to watch this year.
Offense: Chicks dig the long ball? Yeah, and they will dig the 2013 team once again. This offense was one of, if not the best in the NL last year, and returns intact. In fact, some say it can get even better. Either way, Miller Park will be electric this summer. They can hit for power, their averages are respectable, and they play an aggressive style of ball while stealing bases at will. Yeah, occasionally the team will run themselves out of an inning, or a rally, but an aggressive team will have that happen to them.
Coaching: Manager Ron Roenicke will get better as a big league manager. If you think he's good now, then like any other line of work, one gets better with experience, and I'm CONVINCED Ron will. The team seems to be comfortable with Ron and the rest of the staff, so no changes, or even problems here.
Bench: With younger players trying to get in the mix, this may be an advantage for the crew. Watch for Logan Schafer, Taylor Green, Mat Gamel and more to improve this area.
So, we're off and running with the 2013 season. Here's to a season in which I have a total of 0 "rants". None, not a one. Nothing about the bullpen 'wheel of doom', nothing about mental errors on the basepaths, and no rants on missing signs. Those are all in the past, right? Right? Tell me they are...
I, (state your name) hereby solemnly swear to draft to the best of my ability, to be on time, to pay on time, and to avoid, at all costs being "phone guy" at any and all drafts. I will maintain integrity, and I will show fantasy football intelligence through research and hard work, NOT by picking up a magazine on the way to my draft. I will continue to 'dish' out trash talk, however take it with dignity and respect. Under no circumstances will I engage in financial collusion with ANY other player within my league. This includes products, goods, services, and value meals. I will respect my commissioner, regardless of how intelligent he may be. Furthermore, if records indicate in any one season, that I am mathematically eliminated from playoff action, I swear to do what is best for my team, as well as my league, as it affects my fellow fantasy players. Additionally, I hereby promise to maintain self control, and in NO WAY-SHAPE-and FORM will I resort to physical violence. I agree to EACH leagues goal, to integrate more and more females into the sport of fantasy football, especially when they rate a '7 or above' on the 1 to 10 scale. I will follow each rule, as stated in league bi-laws. I will strongly oppose 'auto drafting'. Moreover, I will agree to a 'no trade clause' with any family member or significant other, within my league. Finally, I will not willfully wish injury upon any Quarterback, Running Back, Wide Receiver, Tight End, Kicker, or defensive player, as fantasy football karma will swiftly and harshly be applied to my own players. The following fantasy football pledge is made with liberty, and fantasy football justice for ALL.
One can look at the 2012 season and say that the organization is still years away from an appearance in the post season...but can they? The foundation still remains on the field, let's take a look:
Between Lucroy and Maldonado, the Brewers future at this position is outstanding. No worries behind the dish for years to come. Luc signed for the next 4 years, and Martin is under team control for at least that long.
Corey Hart looks like he has a new position. His defense has been rock solid, and his offensive numbers speak for themself. It would be quite risky to turn the position over to Mat Gamel at this point.
Rickie Weeks is not going anywhere soon. His disappointing season in 2012 should be a thing of the past, looking forward. He has been a big part of the Brewers success the past few seasons.
Jean Segura has the inside line on this position. If he turns out to be 80% of what most project him to be, the Brewers are fine at shortstop.
Aramis Ramirez is exactly what everyone thought he would be. Slow starter, and then puts together powerful numbers the final 4 months of the season. Signed for 2 more years, the crew sits well at 3rd.
Ryan Braun's name speaks for itself. It's a pleasure following Braun’s career, enjoy it.
Will the real Carlos Gomez please stand up? Let's see how this position shakes out. Logan Schafer is ready to go if Gomez returns to what he has been. Cross your fingers with Gomez, and if he continues to produce, this could be a key factor moving forward.
Aoki has been one of the bright spots in 2012. Some questioned the move, but Nori is good, and will help in 2013.
This is one department that is going to be the most interesting. Let's say for the sake of this writing, that Marcum re-signs with the crew. A rotation of Yo, Marcum, Fiers, (insert veteran starter here), and Thornburg could be what the 2013 Brewers are going with. Is this the rotation that brings them to the Post Season? Quite honestly, my answer is why not? It can.
Most teams re-tool their pen on a semi regular basis, and the brewers certainly will have to do something about it. With K Rod flaming out, Axford struggling for the first time in a Brewers uniform, the team must settle the pen down. I look for the crew to add 2 bullpen pitchers to the 2013 pen. Ax does not have to be the closer, and may be fine in that 8th inning role. Bottom line, new names in the pen, including a new bullpen coach.
All of the above being said, on a given game in 2013, your starting line-up could be:
RF Nori Aoki
CF Carlos Gomez
LF Ryan Braun
3B Aramis Ramirez
1B Corey Hart
2B Rickie Weeks
C Jonathan Lucroy
SS Jean Segura
P Yovani Gallardo
How many changes are coming for the 2012 Milwaukee Brewers? THAT is now the question. With everything that has happened this season, if there are no changes, somebody is doing something wrong. The results are just not there. Whether it's the injuries, bullpen issues, offensive slumps, or just bad luck the fact remains, changes are a MUST. Now, you have to make the right decisions, and you can't bat .1000 with trades, it's now up to Brewers GM Doug Melvin to go to work. When Ryan Braun is up in the 8th inning, and the crew is down by 2 the pressure is on Brauny, now Melvin gets to feel that pressure. While we're watching the bullpen melt down, or Ricky Weeks strike out, remember this Brewers fans, Melvin is making 'franchise changing' decisions right now. Now HE gets to know how pressure works. Not to say that his job has been on cruise control until now, but the way the organization currently stands, some of the upcoming decisions will affect the crew for years to come. Let's all wish Doug Melvin good luck as he grabs a bat for an action packed couple of weeks. Hey, remember this, 'Smile Milwaukee, the world will smile back'. See you after the game.