Brew City Sports
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Retro Post - Small Ball
We were just talking about this video, originally posted here
http://brewcitysports.blogspot.com/2008/05/small-ball-at-its-finest.html by LIFM on 5/31/2008.
It still cracks me up, so I have decided to do our first Retro Post.
Monday, June 27, 2011
Fucking roster me you Communists
DiFelice got optioned back to AAA today with no corresponding roster move yet. They could bring up Hirohito as he looks to be fully healed, but with two recent days off and some long efforts from the rotation, the Brewers can afford to go short handed in the pen for a few days while significantly improving their DH situation. Gamel hit his 18th HR of the year on Sunday, or, more home runs than Kockspray has hit since the start of the 2009 season.
Friday, June 24, 2011
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Top 10 Milwaukee Athletes of All Time - The Blog of Hate Discusses Players It Loves (Revised Version)
After much debate in the comments of the previous post, I think we here at BCS have come to a consensus regarding the top 10 athletes of all time in Milwaukee.
10. Mark Kotsay, UTIL Brewers 2011-present
9. Mark Kotsay, UTIL Brewers 2011-present
8. Mark Kotsay, UTIL Brewers 2011-present
7. Mark Kotsay, UTIL Brewers 2011-present
6. Mark Kotsay, UTIL Brewers 2011-present
5. Mark Kotsay, UTIL Brewers 2011-present
4. Mark Kotsay, UTIL Brewers 2011-present
3. Mark Kotsay, UTIL Brewers 2011-present
2. Mark Kotsay, UTIL Brewers 2011-present
1. Mark Kotsay, UTIL Brewers 2011-present
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Top 10 Milwaukee Athletes of All Time - The Blog of Hate Discusses Players It Loves
I'm bored and thinking about Fielder's impending departure and the legacy he'll leave behind in Milwaukee. Out of hand, he's probably the third most important Brewer of all time, likely to be solidified by the overall legacy he leaves behind after his entire career is complete. He'll likely be the third real Brewer to have his number in the ring of fame, provided he makes any meaningful contribution at his next stop (I'd say a career home run total over 400 would do). This got me to thinking - who are the most important athletes to have played in Milwaukee, based on their Milwaukee contributions only? Obviously if we opened the list to the entire state the list would be mostly Packers, but NFL teams don't face the same issues small market baseball and basketball teams face. I know this is the type of exercise that typically interests only me, but if you can muster up some like, let me know your thoughts.
Honorable Mention: Oscar Robertson, Ray Allen, Marques Johnson, Glenn Robinson, Ben Sheets, Rickie Weeks, Russell Branyan
10. Cecil Cooper, 1B Brewers 1977-1987 Career WAR 38.6
Cooper was a 3-time top-five MVP Candidate right in the middle of the Brewers' playoff years in the early 80's and compiled a .466 career slugging%. Not necessarily elite power numbers for a 1B (career high of 32 HR in 1982), but a consistent performer in the prime of his career that just so happened to be critical years for the Brewers. With a few more strong seasons in Milwaukee it's relatively easy to see Rickie Weeks take over this spot.
9. Sidney Moncrief, SG Bucks 1979-1989
Moncrief spent 10 of his 11 years with some pretty good Bucks teams in the 80's that were usually held back by the Boston Celtics. Moncrief was a two-time defensive player of the year in the NBA and a five-time All-NBA team member. He'd probably be higher on this list if he didn't play for the Bucks.
8. Ryan Braun, 3B/OF Brewers, 2007-Present (Career WAR 20.8) and 7. Prince Fielder, 1B/DH Brewers, 2005-Present (Career WAR 21.6)
The Molitor and Yount of the new generation. Fielder gets the slight nod for the time being due to his superior plate approach to Braun's prior to this season, as well as the disastrous defensive start to Braun's career (-27.7 fielding runs above average at 3B in 2007). Fielder was the youngest player to hit 50 home runs in history and did so in a Brewers uniform. He's currently tied with Geoff Jenkins for second all-time in HR in a Brewer uniform.
As I write this in 2011, Braun ranks as only the 8th most important athlete in Milwaukee history. Given that he's signed through 2020, it's not inconceivable that he could end up in the top two by the time things are said and done. A defensive butcher but an offensive ace, Braun has added plate discipline to his approach this season (11.9% walk rate, compared to a 7.7% career average), which was the final remaining piece holding him back from the offensive elite. Braun will certainly rank as the franchise leader in career home runs by the end of his career, and, health permitting, should set a plethora of additional franchise records.
6. Kareem Abdul-Jabar, C Bucks 1969-1975
The most important Buck on the list, Kareem led the Bucks to their only championship in team history. He's most noted for his runs in Los Angeles with both the Bruins and the Lakers, but he's also the best Buck of all time. He led the league in scoring twice in a Bucks jersey, including a 31.7 mark in the Bucks' championship season and 34.8 per game a season later.
5. Warren Spahn, SP Braves 1953-1964
The winningest left-hander of all time spent 12 years of his career in the Brew City, including his lone Cy Young Season with the 1957 Champion Braves. He also finished runner-up three additional times with the Brewers. I note this because his career peripherals are not overwhelming - only 4.4 strikeouts per nine, and a pedestrian ERA+ of 119 (his career ERA of 3.09 is a function of the time in which he played). Truthfully his legacy for longevity is the reason he is ranked so highly on this list.
4. Paul Molitor, 3B/DH Brewers 1978-1993 Career WAR 75.2
The Ignitor is 9th all time in career hits and was a no-doubt first-ballot Hall of Famer. Molitor stole 412 bases in his career with the brewers and had a near-80% career success rate. Statistically speaking his entire career may be more impressive than Yount's, but given that some of his production, including his 3,000th hit, came in Blue Jays and Twins uniforms, he falls short of Yount.
3. Robin Yount, SS/OF Brewers 1974-1993 Career WAR 74.1
Yount is unquestionably the most important Brewer of all time, the only one of any real significance to spend his entire career with the team. He holds team records in HR, RBI, Runs and Hits, and is the only player in Major League history to win an MVP award at two different positions. He will forever be a hero in Milwaukee, perhaps eclipsing the importance of the two players in front of him on the list, and with Ryan Braun and Tony Plush the only foreseeable threats to his throne.
2. Hank Aaron, RF Braves 1954-1965, DH Brewers 1975-1976 Career WAR 150.5
I'll bet this surprised you a bit. He suffers from the same impediment that Molitor does - he spent 10 years in another city. There's no question that his legacy in Milwaukee is more important than Eddie Matthews', but given that he spent 11 seasons in Atlanta and produced 4 40+ home run seasons in the ATL, his career numbers must be discounted some in a Milwaukee context. Regardless, he's not really a threat to drop any lower because despite Yount's awesomeness, Aaron was simply a better player. Perhaps the most important asset to Aaron's legacy in Milwaukee is the fact that he chose to close out his career here as a DH. Although this only resulted in 222 games, 22 home runs and 0.6 WAR, it's an important memento to the city's sports legacy.
1. Eddie Matthews, 3B Braves 1953-1965 Career WAR 107.2
Matthews spent nearly his entire career in Milwaukee, coming over in his Age-21 season when the team moved from Boston, and leaving with the team for Atlanta in 1966. Matthews Ranks 23rd all time in WAR for position players and tied for 21st in career home runs with 512. Matthews was underappreciated in his era as he never finished second in the MVP balloting, but OPS+s consistently above 140, and career ISOBB of of .105 and a career ISO Slugging of .238. He showed much better patience at the plate than his higher-profile teammate.
In today's game there's no way a team like the Braves would have been able to keep Spahn, Matthews, and Aaron together for as long as they did, so it's unlikely to see three Brewers teammates at the top of this list at any point, but it's pretty remarkable the elite talent that the 50's and 60's Braves had on them.
Brewers to Celebrate Tim Dillard Bobblehead Night
Friday, June 17, 2011
Brewers to Employ New Lineup Strategy in AL Parks
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Nieves Cut, Looking for New Work
We wish you the best in your new career, Wil.
Labels: Job Interviews
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Meet Your New DH
Why would you call up Gamel when you got a guy slugging .305 in the majors?
Labels: Mark Kockspray
Monday, June 13, 2011
Brewers Sweep the Cardinals
Labels: Prince Ruth
Friday, June 10, 2011
Dillard to Critics: "You Done Hatin'?"
Thursday, June 09, 2011
Game Review - Brewers 7, Mets 6
Ok, this won't really be a huge game review. Prince Fielder is crushing the ball right now, and Kameron Loe looks like he's facing Prince Fielder every at bat. That's all that really needs to be said about last night's game (strange for such an exciting one), other than noting a good effort by Randy Wolf, and that we may have our first player out-and-out excluded from the Hendies
Wednesday, June 08, 2011
Brewers-Marlins Series Recap
Sorry I'm a day late on this. I'm going to try to stay on top of series recaps going forward, at least for the weekday series. I'll also talk a bit about last night's game, because it's fresh in my mind.
It's pretty tough for a team expected to win 53-55% of its games to win only 32% (9-19) of its road games over the course of the season. However, that's exactly where the Brewers found themselves heading into a four-game wrap-around series against the Marlins last weekend. Similarly, it's difficult for any team to maintain a 14-7 record in one run games, which is exactly where the Marlins were heading into the series. So, what we saw was a perfect opportunity for the normalization of those stats heading into the series. However, I don't think many would have expected such an immediate and dramatic regression for each of those trends. Let's go to the tape...
Game 1 - Brewers 6, Marlins 5
The game started out with a bang when Prince Fielder got the green light on a 3-0 count and hammered a 2-run homer to right field, giving the Brewers a 2-0 lead. This was exactly the type of offense the Brewers had come to rely on in the previous four weeks, and was expected to continue in the favorable hitting conditions in south Florida. The runs were especially important this night because Ryan Braun was on the bench nursing a sore shoulder. However, those same conditions allowed the Marlins to jump on Randy Wolf as well, including homers from Gaby Sanchez and Mike Stanton, as well as a triple from Emilio Bonifacio, hit about as hard as Emilio has ever hit a ball in his entire life. After the fielder homer, the Brewers clogged the bases for a few more runs, but the Brewers found themselves behind after Sergio Mitre allowed a double to John Buck, later driven in by Greg Dobbs. Unable to produce anything for several innings, the Brewers found themselves down a run with one on in the ninth. They had hoped to give Braun a true day off, but were given no choice but to pinch hit him given the circumstances and their already impotent bench. On Braun's only swing of the day (no BP, nothing off a Tee, and a ball and a strike looking), he crushed one to very deep left that had shades of the finality of his grand slam against Pittsburgh and 2-run homer against Chicago in late 2008. I think I speak for everybody here when I say he is my favorite Jew since Jesus. The Brewers needed the emotional pick-me-up after the crushing loss to Cincinnati two days prior. In all, the Brewers looked pretty lost at the plate for a team that scored 6 runs (11 k's to 2 bb's) while giving up five walks to a relatively impatient Marlins team, but in the end a win is a win.
Game 2 - Brewers 3, Marlins 2
Unlike Game 1, Game 2 was a pitchers duel between Yo Gallardo and Chris Volstad. Gallardo did his part for the Brewers offense holding the Marlins to 2 runs, 1 earned (thanks, Casey McGehee! When was the last time we had a 3B that could competently field his position? Charlie Hayes?), on 6 hits and 2 walks. Meanwhile, Tony Plush, facing Chris Volstad for the first time since this muscled one as far as he ever has for his first homer of the year. In the 7th, Fielder hit another massive homer and YunE-6 just missed another, doubling in Johnathan Lucroy to give the Brewers a 3-2 lead. The game was not without late-inning dramatics from the Brewers' bullpen, though, as Omar Infante led off the 9th with a single, and his eventual pinch runner made it to 3rd on a wild pitch by Axford before Emilio Bonifacio's strikeout to end the game. With the win, the series was at worst a push, and the road trip at worst 3-4, a marked improvement for the Brewers overall.
Game 3 - Brewers 6, Marlins 5
The Brewers spotted Christy Mathveson an early five run lead, including a Rickie Weeks homer and run-scoring balk in the third, but couldn't produce another hit for seven innings. Meanwhile, the Narv dog mowed down the Marlins for five straight innings, but was vulnerable as he always is to the big inning. In the sixth, Narveson issued two walks, a strong double, and another single, while Marco Estrada finished the job, allowing a game-tying grand slam to Brett Hayes. The Brewers got out of a 1-out, bases loaded jam in the 9th against two of Florida's best hitters - Gaby Sanchez and Mike Stanton - that included a force out at home to send the game to extras. In the 11th, the Brewers got another pinch-hit home run from a bench player sure to make the hall of fame when Josh Ripken hit the eventual game winner in the top of th 11th. John Axford, pitching for the third consecutive day, made it interesting yet again by allowing two baserunners, but eventually closed it out to give the Brewers the game and the series. My heart can't take this anymore, please just blow them the fuck out tomorrow.
Game 4, Brewers 7, Marlins 2
I'll admit I didn't watch or listen to any of this game, but from what I understand Greinke was still giving up hard hit balls, though they resulted in only two runs. He continued to show the precise command of the strike zone that we all expected when he came over, which gives one hope for the rest of the summer. The offense included Fielder's third homer of the series. Fielder is finally looking like a man looking for a nine-figure deal. He's a notorious slow-starter, so I expect to see continued power from him for the rest of the summer. For the first time all series the bullpen held up their end of the bargain and the Brewers were able to sweep the Marlins.
Overall, the series put the Brewers hot on the trail of the Cardinals, who swept the Cubs but lost ground by the end of the day Monday. Much like the Marlins, the Cardinals peripherals (most notably the BABIP of both their hitters and pitchers) suggest a team ready to head back to earth, which would hopefully coincide with the upcoming weekend series in Milwaukee. The Brewers showed some significant impatience at the plate, drawing only nine walks all series, but the offense has enough raw power to keep them in games, given the talent of the top three starters in the rotation.
Brewers vs. Mets game 1 - Mets 2, Brewers 1
I'm running out of steam a bit here, but thankfully there isn't much to talk about from last night's game. Prince Fielder hit yet another home run, his fourth in five games, and muscle-bound former Brewer Chris Capuano kept the Brewers in check the rest of the day. Meanwhile, Carlos Gomez showed why, despite his utter ineptitude at the plate, YunE-6 is the frontrunner for the 2011 Hendy by getting to at least four balls that prevented extra-base hits/runs, including two in the 7th on Jose Reyes' tripe to the wall and Carlos Beltran's should-have-been home run (the others were a leaping catch into the right center wall, and another at the base of the deepest part of the center field wall, left field side in a dead sprint). However, it wasn't enough to win the game as the Brewers could do nothing right on offense. Ryan Braun looks like he's still struggling with his shoulder, which is problematic when the bottom third of the order can't do dick to score runs.
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Brewers 2011 Draft
On Monday night, the Brewers started what hopefully will be the beginning of the rebuilding of their decimated farm system.
It's hard not to be cynical when dealing with the Brewers' drafts, particularly those of the past few years and those where they do not pick early in the first round. Of the Brewers' top picks in the last five drafts, 3 have been traded, one was a bust within months of signing and one did not sign at all. With that recent history, it is no wonder that the Brewers currently sport the worst farm system in baseball, a system without a single impact position player prospect and no pitching prospect within 3 years of the majors. Historically, the Brewers have lived and died by the draft. This is because the Brewers have almost no international scouting and signing presence and because the Brewers are at best the 29th biggest market in baseball. Given the need for a boost to the farm system, there is as much pressure on this draft as any for the Brewers in recent memory.
The Brewers picked 12th overall and made what seems to be the consensus right choice in selecting Taylor Jungmann out of the University of Texas. Jungmann is exactly who I saw the Brewers targeting. He is a sinkerballer, and I get the impression that Doug Melvin has an extreme hard-on for sinkerball pitchers. He is also highly advanced and hopefully could be in Double-A by next year, meaning he could be with the big league club by 2013, the year after the MLB rotation is set to expire. Remember that Melvin is trying to stay competitive every year and not looking to go into any rebuilding process where the MLB team suffers. While this is probably impossible, Melvin is going to do whatever he can to patch things for 2013 and beyond.
Considering Melvin's objectives, I was also not surprised to see the Brewers select another college arm, Jed Bradley, out of Georgia Tech at 15th overall. Bradley was highly regarded, and few believe this pick to be a reach for the Brewers. However, there has been some questions about Bradley's true potential and whether he will succeed in the majors without dominating stuff.
Predicting how these guys will be is obviously impossible at this point, and most experts believe both to be solid picks for the Brewers. I do not know anything in particular about these guys that you couldn't read on your own. But I do have a system for determining whether a player is overrated by looking at a few key things that scouts and fans overvalue. So, here goes on those:
1) Speed. Not applicable here, as this applies only to hitters. Speed is an important component to baserunning and defense, but that's only about 2% of the game of baseball. Yet, in the desire to find the perfect five-tool prospect, scouts get huge, raging boners over guys who are fast to the exclusion of guys who can crush a baseball 500 feet.
2) 100 mph fastballs. This is the pitching equivalent of blazing speed. Again, this is the progeny of efforts to find the perfect, unhittable pitcher. Sorry, Rookie of the Year was a fiction. Didn't really happen. And, even in fiction, the guy who throws 100+ mph is on the operating table by the end of the story. Every year there is a player who throws ultra-hard but who "needs to work on his secondary offerings." 99 out of 100 times this guy is a bust (see e.g. Mark Rogers, Jeremy Jeffress). Fortunately, neither Jungmann nor Bradley were selected for throwing 100 mph. Each tops out in the low to mid 90's, which I believe to be just slightly below the optimal velocity for a pitcher on a scouting report. This is a plus.
3) Cool names. Neither Jungmann nor Bradley has a cool name. This is very good. This concept is beyond the reach of empirical study, but guys with distinct, cool names get overvalued. There are not a lot of guys named "Colt" in the majors. Good baseball players have normal names.
4) Body type. Good baseball players also come in all shapes and sizes. This is particularly true for pitchers. For hitters, there is a direct correlation between being big and crushing a baseball. Hence, bigger hitters are generally better. Way too much concern is given, however, to bigger pitchers. More size equals more moving parts, meaning more likelihood for mechanical flaws. This creates accuracy concerns as well as more injury concern. More muscle mass and fat means more strain on joints and tendons. If a guy is throwing 95 mph, who cares if he is 6'0" or 6"6"? Unfortunately, the Brewers seemed to be drawn to the fact that Jungmann and Bradley were good "pitcher builds" (i.e. 6'4" 220lbs). This is a knock against the pitchers, but not too much because they aren't being too overvalued. They aren't 6'8" after all.
5) Relievers. The desire to draft college relievers is still a mystery to me. They are not worth what teams think they are. Both Jungmann and Bradley are future starters. This is a plus.
6) Cold weather numbers. Not a factor here either, as both pitchers pitch in very competitive southern conferences. Their numbers are not inflated for playing against bad competition, and they are considerably more advanced than northern players.
Admittedly, my analysis could be considered backwards. But I take the information provided by experts, find the flaws those experts typically make, and use the history of mistakes by experts to determine where a player probably should go. Using this analysis, the Brewers seemed to make two very solid picks. I struggle to find any knock against them from this standpoint. They throw multiple pitches (4 for Bradley, 3 for Jungmann) and have no injury concern from what I can tell.
The concern I have from the traditional scouting standpoint is that neither is a big strikeout pitcher. I prefer this over the groundball-type pitcher. This is particularly true with Bradley, from whom I question if he has a major league strikeout pitch. But both Jungmann and Bradley are starting at a point where they could develop more strikeout skills. They have good control and command and enough velocity. And I love how advanced they are and how relatively low risk they are - particularly compared to high school pitchers and pitchers who throw harder with less control.
While I love to see the Brewers take position players instead of pitchers, this year's draft position was not as conducive to taking a hitter. There was a glut of college arms, and the two arms the Brewers picked would have been top-10 picks last year. This was a good, deep draft. We will what bats the Brewers can find in the second round and beyond when the draft starts up again on Tuesday. Considering the Brewers' window, which closes in 2013 and for the near future after that (despite Melvin's disagreement and efforts to keep the Brewers competitive every year - for this he will fail), I would not have minded seeing the Brewers take more high upside players who would not reach the majors for quite a few years. Who cares about the 2013-15 seasons, right? But I do prefer college players, so I won't complain with Melvin's strategy.
Jungmann is now the Brewers No. 1 prospect, followed closely by Bradley at No. 2.
Monday, June 06, 2011
Sunday, June 05, 2011
...And your May HIAWDA winner is:
Is it even necessary to look up his numbers in May? Does anyone even care anymore? Is anyone happier than me to see Tony Plush healthy? No, No, and NOOOOOO. I will admit though, he actually looks good in a Nashville uniform.
I gave in to my cynical curiosity and brought up his May stat line: 80PA, .200/.282/.414/.696, not to mention 7BB/27K
Enjoy pinch running for the remainder of the season, you worthless dick