Thursday, April 30, 2009

Did anyone else feel like they were watching a little league game in which one of the kids had clearly reached puberty before all the others?

8 innings pitched.

11 strike outs.

2 hits allowed.

1 walk allowed.

4 2/3 perfect innings.

1 Home Run.

Brewers win 1-0.

Yovanni Gallardo is looking like an ace.

Brett Favre: Petty B*tch?

Clearly the flirtations began long ago

"Nothing has changed," Favre said in a statement after the Jets officially released him. "At this time, I am retired and have no intention of returning to football."

Everyone in the NFL is a-flutter over the "at this time" part of that little statement. Greg Bedard is convinced that Favre will be a Viking:
He's obviously coming back. Hope Packers fans will like seeing Favre in purple
And Chicago Trib's Haugh wrote a nice little article about how the Favre-led Vikings would be the only thing standing in the way of the Chicago Cutlers juggernaut
The Bears easily have enjoyed the best off-season among NFC North teams thanks to the Cutler trade and signing of left tackle Orlando Pace. The Vikings, meanwhile, signed Sage Rosenfels to compete with Tarvaris Jackson at quarterback. As dangerous as the choice of first-round game-breaker Percy Harvin made the Vikings' offense, quarterback remains a question mark in Minneapolis.

Yes, they have Adrian Peterson and Bernard Berrian and now Harvin around an offensive line still solid despite losing center Matt Birk to free agency. But the mental asterisk attached to any optimism surrounding the Vikings remains necessary given the lack of consistency of Rosenfels and/or Jackson.
It's a shame the Packers no longer even merit a mention. I'd contend that Dom Capers is a much more important addition to an NFC North team than an old Orlando Pace.

Wo why is the Favre coming back? Was his time in NY just spinning his wheels until he could come back and bend Ted Thompson over? Haugh seems to think so:
Why else would Favre's agent request his release from the Jets, who don't care what Favre does after they drafted Mark Sanchez with the fifth overall pick? Why else use the phrase "have no intention,'' of returning to football instead of "won't.''

Favre wanted to play for the Vikings last year when he came out of retirement, and his main motivation was to stick it to the Packers for telling him he would have to beat out Aaron Rodgers if he returned.

The Packers were so worried about that possibility of Favre making the Vikings into Super Bowl contenders and creating a PR nightmare in Green Bay that they inserted a clause into the Jets trade. It would have cost the Jets three first-round draft picks to trade Favre to any NFC North team.
I agree with him. Favre wants some payback, and joining a team that only needs a QB that gets to play the Packers twice a year seems like the perfect way to get it. Nevermind the massive "fuck you" to the Green Bay fans who have supported him ceaselessly throughout his career.

It's all about Brett v. Ted, and Favre sees a chance to piss in Ted's cheerios. Too bad Packers fans are the ones who have to eat the cereal.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Let's Sweep the Pirates!

More day baseball today. The Brewers send Gallardo (2-1; 3.71) against Ian Snell (1-2; 4.50)and the Pirates. Duffy gets the start in center. Here's the lineup:

2B Rickie Weeks
CF Chris Duffy
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
RF Corey Hart
SS JJ Hardy
3B Bill Hall
C Jason Kendall
RHP Yovani Gallardo

CF Nyjer Morgan
2B Freddy Sanchez
LF Brandon Moss
1B Adam LaRoche
RF Eric Hinske
3B Andy LaRoche
SS Ramon Vasquez
C Robinzon DiazR
HP Ian Snell

Monday, April 27, 2009

Brewers-Bucs game 1 open thread.

I'm a little late getting started with this. Braun just went yard and Field hit a triple. That fat man runs alright. It's Looper vs. Karstens. Here's the Brewers lineup:

2B Rickie Weeks
RF Corey Hart
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
CF Mike Cameron
SS J.J.Hardy
3B Bill Hall
C Jason Kendall
RHP Braden Looper

Seemed Like A Good Draft.

1. Took best talent available? Check (at least as far as I can tell).

2. Addressed needs, particularly of changing defensive scheme? Check.

3. Are not the Raiders? Check.

Also, I know Denver had extra picks and had 7 RBs go on the DL last year, but really? Knowshon Moreno? If Denver has taught us anything, it's that if you have a good offensive line, your RB really doesn't matter. Like, at all. And here, under this new scheme, we see them chase a pro-bowl QB out of town and then use a 1st round pick (a HIGH 1st round pick) on a RB? Times they are a changin'.

Anyway, I'm more excited about the pick of BJ Raji than I should be. He's listed at 6-2, 337 pounds. In the past the Packers have tended towards lightweight defensive ends with their high draft picks. This guy, at the very least, will take up some space. I don't know how he or Clay Matthews will pan out, but I like that I can see the logic behind these picks.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Going for the sweep in Houston-Open Thread

The Brewers have been rolling on this road trip ever since Braun called the team out. After winning their first series of the season in Philly, the Crew is going for their first sweep in Houston. Manny Parra gets the start. Hardy and Hart get a day off, but not Kendall. Here's the lineup:

2B Rickie Weeks
SS Craig Counsell
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
CF Mike Cameron
RF Brad Nelson
3B Bill Hall
C Jason Kendall
LHP Manny Parra

Friday, April 24, 2009

Going to Houston: April 24 Open Thread

2B Rickie Weeks
RF Corey Hart
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
CF Mike Cameron
SS J.J. Hardy
3B Bill Hall
C Jason Kendall
RHP Yovani Gallardo

I wonder if Jason Kendall can actually look like a major league baseball player against a rookie pitcher?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Day Baseball

These are the best work days. Cole Hamels goes for the Phils. Last year, if memory serves, he had a reverse platoon split. Just something to keep in mind. He'll be opposed by David Bush. Will the Brewers win a series? Finally? We'll know shortly.

Go Crew!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Open Thread: Looper Time

Braden Looper faces off against Joe Blanton this evening. Looper has been the rock of the starting rotation this young season, and the Brewers will once again look for Looper to be their stopper. Also keep an eye out for RJ Swindle and his 50 MPH curveball, and Danny, sitting in row 1 just outside the Brewer dugout.

Go Crew!

Here's your lineup card:

2B Rickie Weeks
RF Corey Hart
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
CF Mike Cameron
SS J.J. Hardy
3B Craig Counsell
C Jason Kendall
RHP Braden Looper

SS Jimmy Rollins
CF Shane Victorino
2B Chase Utley
1B Ryan Howard
RF Jayson Werth
LF Raul Ibanez
3B Pedro Feliz
C Lou Marson
RHP Joe Blanton

My Top 5 Brewer Worries

1. Jeff Suppan's presence in the rotation.

2. Manny Parra.

3. Jason Kendall's constant presence.

4. Everyone in the bullpen not named Mark DiFelice, Todd Coffey, and so far, Trevor Hoffman. Also, walks.

5. Rickie Weeks' amazing ability to get hit in the head.

The Milwaukee Cardinals...what could have been

The Marquette University Law School faculty blog has a fascinating story up:
Few baseball fans today know how close the St. Louis Cardinals came to moving to Milwaukee in January of 1953. Had such a move occurred, and had Major League Baseball attempted to block it, organized baseball’s vaunted antitrust exemption might have ended decades ago.
Personally, I had never heard this story. I love baseball and baseball history but this whole episode completely slipped by me somehow. Definitely go read the whole thing, it really is a great story.

While St. Louis had been the fourth-largest city in the United States in 1902 when the American League’s Milwaukee Brewers moved there to compete with the National League’s Cardinals under the new name of the Browns, St. Louis’ growth had not kept pace with that of other cities in the first half of the twentieth century. Many observers questioned the wisdom of continuing to have two teams in the Gateway city. On September 23, 1952, the New York Times reported that the St. Louis Cardinals might be Milwaukee bound because of disagreements regarding their lease of Sportsman Park which was owned by their American League counterparts, the Browns. (Milwaukee’s new Milwaukee County Stadium made the city a particularly attractive destination for a baseball team needing a new home.) A December 23, 1952, story in the Washington Post predicted that it would be the St. Louis Browns, not the Cardinals, that would be moving to Milwaukee within the next two or three years. (The Browns were then owned by Bill Veeck, the former owner of Milwaukee’s minor league team, the Brewers.)

The situation came to a head dramatically on January 28, 1952, when Cardinal owner Fred Saigh pled “no contest” to charges of income tax evasion in federal court in St. Louis and was sentenced to 15 months in prison. Fearing that his fellow owners would strip him of his franchise, Saigh immediately agreed to give up control of the Cardinals and to sell his 90% ownership stake in the team. At that point several Milwaukeeans, anxious to have major league baseball return to their city, undertook to bring the Cardinals to Wisconsin.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Too Late Open Thread

It's over, it's raining. But if you want to bitch, go ahead.

(I got stuck in some terrible Cubs traffic. Sorry for the lateness. Didn't miss much though, apparently.)

Michael Redd is weak

I've always thought of NBA players as pretty super-human. That was until a friend sent me this advertisement for the Pure Power Mouth guard featuring Michael Redd. The PPM is apparently a magic mouth guard that makes you able to do four more shitty pull-ups than you could normally do. Michael can only do 7 pull-ups* without the PPM and 11 with it. All of his pull-ups had really really bad range. It's quite sad, but pretty funny too.

*I bet he could actually do a couple more. He didn't look like he hit failure. But his form was so so garbage it's hard to tell.

Monday, April 20, 2009


So Haudricourt proclaims; Reports of Jeff Suppan's baseball death apparently were greatly exaggerated.

Clearly Tom is easily impressed. Forget everything Ahren points out in the comments below (luck played a large factor in Soup's performance) and look at Suppan's numbers going back to September. Six of his last eight starts have been absolutely atrocious. One of his "good" starts he went 5 innings and allowed 9 base runners. Yesterday he went 6 and allowed nine. This isn't good pitching. This is the same shitty Suppan who catches a few breaks.

Jeff Suppan, effective major league pitcher, died in 2006. The corpse the Brewers are trotting out there now is a below replacement level stiff collecting a pay check.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Brewers vs. Mets Sunday game thread.

The Brewers are looking stop their slide after losing the first two in New York. Sadly Jeff Suppan is on the mound today. It looks like Corey Hard died his hair (and beard!) black though. So we got that going for us.

2B Rickie Weeks
RF Corey Hart
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
SS J.J. Hardy
CF Mike Cameron
3B Bill Hall
C Jason Kendall
RHP Jeff Suppan

April 19th Open Thread: KendaLOL & Supp-another earned run

It's a new day. Kendall is going to go yard is Suppan is going to pitch 7 scoreless. I can feel it.

2B Rickie Weeks
RF Corey Hart
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
SS J.J. Hardy
CF Mike Cameron
3B Bill Hall
C Jason Kendall
RHP Jeff Suppan

At this point I want Kendall in there every day just to see exactly what it takes to stop considering him the everyday catcher.

Jason Kendall OPS+: -5

On the other hand, Bill Hall is playing well.

C'mon Crew, time to turn this ship around!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Indications of a long year

Craig Counsell remains the go to pinch hitter off the bench.


UPDATE: Brewers lose, 1-0. Villanueva should punch Weeks in the face.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Gary Sheffield

Still an asshole.

ESK: Still a racist, tanking piece of shit asshole and his hitting 500 is all the proof I need that God does not exist.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How 'bout that Mike Cameron?!

Sorry for the late start on this open thread. The good news is we're up 3-0 on a pair of Mike Cameron homers. Nice. It's Looper vs. Owings. I hope you know your players because everyone is sporting the number 42 tonight. I'm off to play some kickball but will be monitoring the game by Blackberry.

2B Rickie Weeks
RF Corey Hart
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
SS J.J. Hardy
CF Mike Cameron
3B Bill Hall
C Jason Kendall
RHP Braden Looper

CF Willy Taveras
LF Chris Dickerson
1B Joey Votto
2B Brandon Phillips
RF Jay Bruce
3B Edwin Encarnacion
C Ramon Hernandez
SS Alex Gonzalez
RHP Micah Owings

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Open Thread - Parra v. Arroyo

Manny Parra was not impressive in his debut, and if the Brewers are going to contend in any way, that can't continue. Rickie Weeks is noticeably absent from tonight's lineup. As a bonus, here's the lineup splits against Mr. Arroyo:

2B Craig Counsell - .368/.455/.368, 22 PAs.
RF Corey Hart - .200/.188/.200, 16 PAs.
LF Ryan Braun - .250/.333/.313, 18 PAs
1B Prince Fielder - .346/.387/.769, 31 PAs
SS J.J. Hardy - .263/.263/.579, 19 PAs
CF Mike Cameron - .333/.368/.444, 19 PAs
3B Bill Hall - .125/.176/.313, 17 PAs
C Jason Kendall - .240/.296/.240
LHP Manny Parra - .000 across the board, in 2 PAs

In case you were wondering, Rickie Weeks has struggled mightily against Bronson, with a .050/.136/.050 line in 22 PAs. You'll have to look the Reds up yourself.

CF Willy Taveras
LF Jerry Hairston
1B Joey Votto
2B Brandon Phillips
RF Jay Bruce
3B Edwin Encarnacion
C Ryan Hannigan
SS Paul Janish
RHP Bronson Arroyo

If Parra can post a solid effort there is every reason to believe that they can put this losing streak behind them, and provide some momentum for tomorrow when they face the Reds worst pitcher, Micah Owings, with Braden Looper on the hill.

Go Crew!

Letting Jason Kendall Bat When Trailing Late Is Inexcusable.

I would occasionally defend Ned Yost in the past. My defense wasn't much of a defense actually, but it went something like this:

"Ned Yost is a bad manager, but he isn't the worst manager, even in his own division. It's not enough to fire him, you also need someone better."

Ken Macha has not necessarily looked worse than Ned Yost to this point, but he's not exactly doing anything to distinguish himself positively either.

Let's assume for the sake of argument that everything we hear about Jason Kendall's defense and staff-handling ability is true, and that Mike Rivera can barely get his mitt on correctly and burns crosses in the clubhouse. If you're down by a run in the bottom of the ninth, Jason Kendall's defense and gentlemanly demeanor don't mean shit. You need a run. Jason Kendall is terrible at producing runs. Having Jason Kendall on your team might not even be the worst thing in the world so long as you mitigate is offensive terribleness by pinch hitting for him in high-leverage situations, but if a manager is unwilling to do that, Kendall is a huge liability.

To put it bluntly, not pinch-hitting for Jason Kendall close-and-late is the same as not pinch hitting for the pitcher close-and-late.

I'm also not sure that Macha understands his team very well. I heard him on TMJ this morning. He pointed to the positive that "his offense is coming around." The Brewers have played 7 games against a veritable murderer's row of pitchers. Lincecum, Johnson, Cain, Harden, Zambrano, Dempster, Volquez. In those games they've scored 6, 4, 1, 4, 5, 5, and 6 runs. All things considered, I would say that the offense has looked pretty good (despite Jason Kendall's presence). You will also notice that the two Brewer wins came in games in which they scored 4 runs. That means that in Brewer losses, they scored 6, 1, 5, 5, and 6 runs. Again, offense has not been a problem with the exception of one game. Two of those games are the responsibility of the dead albatross that is Jeff Suppan, and you could argue that Jeff necessitating early bullpen use screwed them in a few more games.

Bad starts happen and this slow start is certainly not all Macha's fault. The Brewers have played a hard schedule and hit some tough luck against the Cubs, but there are some simple steps he could take to make the team much, much better.

1. Bench Jason Kendall late. (Or better yet, cut him, and call up Salome or LuCroy to split time with Rivera.)

2. Stick Jeff Suppan into the mop-up duty roll. Put McClung into the rotation (or Mark DiFelice)

These are easy and obvious.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Brewers ruining my vacation

If Macha lets Kendall make the last out in the ninth I am going to start calling for his ouster.

(This is a very, very bad baseball team right now.  I'm starting to wish I had stuck to my sub-80 win prediction)

update: You're an idiot Macha.  Kendall and Counsell are the last hope for Crew fans.  Jesus, this is what it's come to?

update 2: Shockingly, they are both miserable failures.

Milton Bradley's Groin Has A WARP of 1.

Reed Johnson managed to acquire the "scrappy" label by contributing several years of hustling service up in Canada, toiling for the Toronto Blue Jays, and while I'm generally the first person to call a scrappy player a crappy player, Reed's scrappy exploits plagued the Brewers all weekend.

First on Saturday, Reed Johnson pinch hitting in the ninth slapped a gritty single on a pretty good pitch by Carlos Villanueva. Johnson did what gritty players do, slapping a low outside pitch the other way with no power at all. A Soriano solo shot would still have been bad, but putting a guy on in front of him is always a bad idea, and that crappy little single cost the Brewers the game.

Then on Sunday Milton Bradley shockingly gets hurt while performing the strenuous activity of running from second to third. Reed Johnson, once again, is summoned to action, and promptly robs Prince Fielder of a game-tying grand slam with an unbelievable catch that Milton Bradley simply would not have made.

Of course, we can't talk about Sunday without mentioning Jeff Suppan, who, once again wasted a fine offensive showing by his supporting cast by walking 6 Cubs in 3.2 innings. The only thing Suppan should be walking is a plank. He's an innings-eater who can't get out of the third. An innings-snacker, if you will.

The Brewers now face the Reds, and are scheduled to see Bronson Arroyo, Edinson Volquez, and Micah Owings. The first part of the season for the crew has been brutal with regard to "starting pitchers faced" (Lincecum, Johnson, Cain, Harden, Zambrano, Dempster), and if my math is correct, they are likely to see Johan Santana on Friday as well.

Given the difficulty of their early schedule, it would have been nice to see them pick up a win in one of these two Suppan starts in which the offense has beaten around some pretty good pitchers. He needs to go away.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Open Thread

Jeff Suppan is probably already getting shelled because of a lack of cosistency, and Steve Phillips is already pondering signing Prince Fielder to a lucrative 10-year deal starting in about 2012. If you have additional thought, this is your time to shine. Fucking Soriano,

Friday, April 10, 2009

Open Thread - 4/10/2009

Have at it. I'm at the game right now, but if you're stuck on the internets at home, here's your outlet for venting. We've got Braden Looper v. the man who makes Ben Sheets look like an unstoppable force of pitching durability, Rich Harden. Nothing is better than beating the Cubs so here's hoping that we pound 'em good.

Go Crew!

Fun Friday

When you click on this link, you will probably wonder why I’ve sent you to watch a bunch of guys playing video games, why Aerosmith is involved, and why this is on a sports blog of all places.

Well, a friend sent this to me, and maybe it’s because I’m slap-happy from a long day of work (I’m setting this up to post tomorrow), but I had one of those moments where I had to try really, really hard not to laugh out loud in my very quiet office.

So take my advice. Fast forward to the 5:10 mark (or maybe 6:10, it’s hard to tell) where they play the good ol’ NES game Ring King (sports!), and make sure you are listening to the sound. I remember thinking the same thing about this game. Make sure you stick around until the end of the first round. I love the reaction from the guys who haven’t seen it before.

In retrospect, the audio is NSFW (what audio is SFW?), and in retrospect, the video isn't really either.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Open Thread - 4-9-2009

Tonight we have the young Manny Parra against the slightly younger Matt Cain. Cain has already established himself as a top flight starter, and would likely be a #1 on a team that did not have Tim Lincecum. Offense may be tough to come by, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Manny Parra continue the good string of Brewer pitchers hitting. His .226/.250/.371 is slightly worse than Yovani Gallardo's .235/.250/.490, but a few HRs would put them neck and neck.

Let's come home with a series win. Go Brewers!

Mailbag! Opening Day Edition

Occasionally we get letters,* typically from those scary, militia types. The mailbag is our chance to placate them with answers in the hope that this will prevent them from killing us in our sleep, or, better yet, prompt them into learning how to use the comments section. Let's jump right in.

Dear Brewed Sports People,

I'm in a crowded parking lot with 50,000 other people, I've been drinking all morning, I really have to pee, and the nearest bathroom is ½ a mile way with a huge line. Any ideas?

Alyssa M.
Los Angeles, CA

Well Alyssa, there are several schools of thought on the subject. First, there's the Sisyphean method. This involves getting a beer, getting in a bathroom line, doing your business, grabbing another beer, and getting back in the bathroom line. On the plus side, you'll always be near a bathroom, but there are several negatives. First, people in bathroom lines at opening day are very very annoying. For some reason they're always yelling “Go Brewers” even though there is no game going on. They tend to wear huge, novelty, non-baseball caps. Their jerseys are stained, and feature their own last name instead of the last name of their favorite player. And then there are Cub fans. Don’t even get me started about those guys. 2 words: No aim. Anyway, spending extended periods of time in bathroom lines isn’t anyone’s idea of a good time.

One frequent tactic is to open the front and rear doors of a car and go between them, but the ladies aren’t as big a fan of this idea.

A few years ago a rowdy group of tailgaters brought the following supplies:

1. A tent.
2. A bucket
3. A long, plastic tube.
4. A sign that read “No Deuces”

They set up the tent over the bucket, ran the tube from a hole in the bucket (dear Alyssa) to the sewer. This was both brilliant and disgusting, and may have caused Miller Park to fail an environmental audit later that year.

Some people strap port-o-johns to the back of their pickups, which seems like a good way to go. If you park on the west end of the stadium, you can also run up the hill a bit and be fairly secluded.

But all of these involve huge expenditures of money, effort, and disgusting, disgusting bother, so here’s what you do.

Grab a few beers. If you’re like me, your eyes were bigger than your tolerance when you planned opening day, and you probably have a few to spare. Next, find someone else who brought their own toilet. Walk over to them, and offer them beer to use their bathroom. There you go. And if you happen to be of the female persuasion, asking nicely will probably do the trick. This should increase your tailgating enjoyment 1000%, and who knows, you might make some new friends.

Dear Sirs,

I am Catholic, and I recently was invited to attend opening day. I was wondering if you might be able to help me out with a loophole, as I would like to enjoy a brat as much s anyone. In fact, the very thought of eating any seafood provided by SportService is too terrifying to contemplate.

Yours Truly,

Timothy D.
Milwaukee, WI

Catholics are really in a bind here. One option is to stop being Catholic, but no one ever seems to go for that option. Don’t get me wrong, I like fish fries and Mardi Gras, it’s just not my cup of tea. If quitting the faith is not your bag, might I remind you of the old adage that it is better to ask forgiveness than permission? Look at it this way; it’s unlikely that God will eternally punish you for not partaking of a ritual decided at the Diocese level for one day. Abstaining from good food will make your life worse while not improving your afterlife at all, so long as you make good on the whole repentance thing. What’s your incentive? Basically you’re being punished for no reason here.

That said, it’s tough to find an exception for a Friday during Lent. I found one possible out for you in this, uhm, particularly holy document:

The bishop of a diocese can modify these rules for Roman Catholics in his diocese; for example, it is not uncommon for a bishop of a diocese in the United States to give dispensations from the normal Lenten regulations if St. Patrick's Day (March 17) falls on a Friday during Lent.

Opening day is fairly analogous to St. Paddy’s, I would say. But as the Milwaukee Diocese appears disinclined to do this, you’d probably have to join another diocese temporarily.

Finally, an apocryphal tale that I’ve heard posits that this whole fish thing was declared by some Pope in the 1400s who owned a struggling fishing business. I’ve never managed to confirm this (as I often say, if the information is online, it’s probably not true, but if the information is not online, it’s almost certainly not true.), but in the spirit of this story, keep in mind that most of the tastiest ballpark food is produced in your fair state, and likely in the city itself. With the way the economy is going it’s positively an act of mercy to the local economy to eat a brat on Friday. Oh, and if you’re a frequent reader of this blog, you know that eating beaver is OK too.

Although, Timothy D., I suspect that might break a different rule in your case.

Lastly, if you’re still feeling guilty, recite Gabe Gross’s intro music 5 times. That should do the trick.

Newmans and other gus and girls if there are any,

I am a Cubs’ fan and Im going to you’re opening day (Ha!). Any advice? Culter Rules!

Fratman K. Brickdweller
Centrl Lakeview, Chicago (WOO!), IL

Why do people mispronounce my last name as Newman? Oh, right. The first name.

Sure, no problem Fratboy. We’re nothing if not friendly around here. The first thing to understand is that there are not bars all around the stadium. You’ll have to either drive, or take a shuttle from a bar. Instead of drinking at John Barleycorn or Moe’s Cantina before a game, Milwaukeeans drink in the parking lot outside of their cars, around a grill. This is called tailgating, and it differs from what you are used to in several important ways:

1. It’s cheaper.

2. There isn’t any blaring techno music, because that would be lame.

3. There are more bathrooms, and they are not as disgusting.

Once you manage to stumble into the actual game, you should know the following:

1. People tend to watch the baseball, and not just hit on drunk, sunburned chicks who reek of Old Style and onions.

2. No concrete will fall on your head.

3. It won’t rain. Or snow.

4. Starting a “Let’s Go Cubbies” chant entitles people to throw beer at you.

5. Secret Stadium sauce is appropriate for Brats, just like ketchup.

6. They carry the radio broadcast in all Miller Park bathrooms so you will get to learn what it’s like to have non-stupid announcers.

7. You should not shout ethnic slurs at the racing sausages. Too meta.

8. If you catch one of the many Brewer home runs and throw it back on the field, you will be ejected for throwing things onto the field.

9. There is not a truly disturbing statue of Harry Caray outside of our stadium, and everything is spelled correctly on all of our statues.

10. Oh, wait, didn’t you hear? Opening day is actually being played in Lambeau Field. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Head on up to Green Bay, see the Hall of Fame, grab a beer at Curly’s, and don’t worry if it seems quiet. I’m sure everyone will show up in due time.

So, you found a picture of the actual Two-Fisted Slopper?

Chris F.
Milwaukee, WI

Yup. Thank you, random person with Flickr account.

Yo, net-dudes. Cool blog! LMAO. IFA? Why is the mascot some guy with a huge mustache? Thnx,

New Holstein, WI

First of all, guy with terrible handle, text-speak is not acceptable when writing a letter. Or an e-mail. Or a text. Or anywhere.

Second, you’re probably too old to remember when the Brewers were actually about beer. Bernie Brewer was, by far, the coolest mascot ever back in the day. He used to be an actual German Brewer with Lederhosen and everything, and when someone would hit a home run, he would slide into a giant mug of beer and release balloons. It is hard to understate how awesome this is as a concept.

As you would expect, this did not sit well with the PC police, and with the huge uptick in small children sliding into giant beer mugs on playgrounds, the powers that be decided not to bring the mug with them to Miller Park. There also used to be a huge beer barrel at County Stadium. It’s gone (although that thing was kind of stupid, as it said “Sentry” on it instead of a beer company logo).

Bernie’s been neutered, which is too bad, especially since he doesn’t make any sense any more. Why does he slide? Why is he just a guy in a uniform? Why does he wave a big flag a the bottom of the slide? These are all eviscerated homages to the once proud, hard drinking mascot. Removed from context, they appear to be cheap cheerleading and nothing more.

Pretending that Bernie is just some guy is super lame, so I urge you to sign this petition, and to drink one down every time some Brewer hits a homer run, in memory of the mascot that would actually (well, pretend to) swim in beer in celebration. I don’t even care how old you are Braunchitis. Also, you might want to get that checked out. Sounds serious.

That takes care of our snail mailbag for another month or so. It’s a small bag.

Dear baseball know-it-all guys.

You can’t end the mailbag yet. Who’s going to win this game? On the one hand, I like the Cubs lineup, but on the other hand, Rich Harden hasn’t been consistent in spring training.


Joe M.
Cincinnati, OH

Harden did not have a good spring, that much is true. Lou Piniella tried to explain it as Harden not pushing himself when the games don’t matter, but with Harden, you always have to be concerned about injury.

I suspect that the Brewers will come out firing, that Harden’s struggles will continue, and that he’ll get knocked out early. I grant that I’m going with a small sample size so far, but the Cubs have some issues. Their closer, Kevin Gregg, has looked very shaky, and while Soriano and Ramirez have been hot, Derrek Lee looks very old and there’s already some clamoring for Micah Hoffpauir to take over. Kosuke Fukudome is still terrible (even though he want 4/5 last night), Geo Soto is dinged (and appears to be headed to the DL), and they’ve actually had some trouble scoring runs.

Braden Looper isn’t great, but the Brewers might not need great. I’m counting on a bigger offense this year with most of the offense entering their prime years, and while I only have a one game sample so far, I liked what I saw. I think the Brewers take the opener, 6-4.

Tomorrow is the greatest day of the year, so everyone enjoy it! Go Brewers!

*Not really.

Hair of the Dog-4/9/09: Yo goes Yard

Doode, did you guys see that? I'm sure nobody on here will believe me, but I do have one witness that heard me "guarantee" that Yo would hit one out of AT&T park last night. And he did. A game-winning 3-run dinger. He also threw 7 innings allowing 6 hits and 2 runs for a "W." Cameron added the other run with a solo shot in the Brewers 4-2 win. The 7th got a little interesting when Stetter didn't get his lefty out and Coffey got us out of a bases loaded jam. He then went on to pitch a beauty of an 8th inning. Carlos Villanueva pitched a beauty of a 9th to close it on out. A few things of note from San Francisco:

-AT&T Park is a great ball park. But it's not as nice as Miller park. It does have better customer service though.

-San Francisco is a city full of lunatics and the first few rows of the lower level seats at AT&T Park are no exception. The guy next to me kept heckling our bullpen catcher (by the way, is it still Marcus Hanel?) and the guys selling hot chocolate. What the hell is that?

-More people hated me because they thought I was wearing Dodgers' colors than for wearing actual Brewers' colors.

-People kept telling me to try the garlic fries. They were soggy and gross.

-There were a respectable number of Brewer fans at the game.

That's the first win of the season. I hope we get 100 more. Gallardo was obviously the player of the game. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's game. 2 out of 3 on the road would be a solid start to the season.

In other boring, bad news, the Bucks lost to Atlanta. I'm sure the dancing was great though.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Open Thread Time: 4/8/2009

Two things about tonight. First, you might be able to spot Danny in Row 2, one section from the Brewer dugout. Second, Yo made his MLB debut, and recorded his first win, against the Giants.

It's Gallardo v. Johnson.

Go Brewers!

Hair of the Dog, 4/8/2009

When Jeff Suppan faces Tim Lincecum, I expect Jeff Suppan to lose. If the Brewers manage to put up some runs against young Timmy (who clearly spent too much time listening to Dance Hall Days with his computerized alter ego this offseason) and knock him out early, it’s really a shame to see their own staff completely melt down and fail to take advantage, especially against an offense that simply isn’t very good.

So we have disappointing opening, but there is some reason for optimism (as well as a lot to be concerned about).

What went right:

Meet your new patient Milwaukee Brewers, who walked 8 times in the game and were hit by pitches twice. Mike Cameron showed exceptional patience in drawing four of those walks. Some people will probably bemoan a lack of “timely hitting” but it’s pretty tough to complain about the offense. 4 of their RBI came with 2 outs, they were effectively aggressive on the base paths, and managed to put up 6 runs in a Tim Lincecum start. What’s not to like? If J.J. Hardy could have kept his hot hitting going, they may have pulled this one out despite giving up 10 runs.

What went wrong:

Jeff Suppan pitched exactly as you would expect. Suppan just can’t put guys away anymore. He is very reliant on the low strike being called, and if he’s not getting the call, he’s worthless, as his repertoire consists mainly of a mid 80s fastball and a hanging curveball.

Seth McClung did his best “Ricky Vaughn before the glasses” impersonation, and Dave Bush, in a rare relief appearance to tune up for his weekend start, showed that he needs some tuning up. Julio still sucks too, in case you were interested.

Nits to Pick:

Corey Hart looked to me like he was fighting himself. He did manage a solid base hit, but on a day when Giant pitchers couldn’t find the strike zone, Hart still went first-ball swinging far too often. He was occasionally patient, especially when no one was in scoring position, but in RBI situations he went up hacking. Also, he still hits an outside slider just like Pedro Cerrano. (By the way, did I mention that it’s the 20th Anniversary of Major League?)

One other quick nit. Bill Hall. Still shitty.

With Yo going today there is reason for optimism. The offense still looks good, and if Yo can prevent prolonged exposure to the bullpen, we can probably square this series. Plus Randy Johnson is throwing tonight for the Giants and our righty-heavy lineup loves the lefties.

Around the Central:

The Cubs lost to the Astros in extras. I caught the end of this game, and the Cubs suffered from one of the worst calls I’ve ever seen when Reed Johnson was called out on what should have been an infield single. He was safe by at least a foot or two. Jeff Keppinger finished them off with a broken bat single in the 10th. Heh.

St. Louis beat Ian Snell all over the place to avenge their opening day loss. Pujols went deep, as usual.


Those hosers can’t hold their liquor, eh? Maybe they need to start using this announcement:

We’ll have our traditional Opening Day Mailbag tomorrow, so make sure to tune back in.

Today’s HOTD is brought to you by good ol’ Miller Lite, because nothing tastes better in a parking lot.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Fuck You Bill Hall

Still shitty.

Opening Day Game Thread

Well, I'm not sure if the game will be played today or tomorrow or some other time, but lets put out a thread anyway. If we need to move it to the top later, so be it. It's reigning Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum against mediocre old guy Jeff Suppan. Here are the lineups:

2B Rickie Weeks
RF Corey Hart
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
SS J.J. Hardy
CF Mike Cameron
3B Bill Hall
C Jason Kendall
RHP Jeff Suppan

RF Randy Winn
SS Edgar Renteria
LF Fred Lewis
C Bengie Molina
3B Pablo Sandoval
1B Travis Ishikawa
CF Aaron Rowand
2B Emmanuel Burris
RHP Tim Lincecum

Go Brewers!

Update: Tom H. says they're shooting for an afternoon start.

(ESK): Pass the time:

Opening Day Hair of the Dog.

I'm on a brake during a deposition in the San Francisco Bay area on the day the Brewers are scheduled to play their season opener. From where I'm sitting, it doesn't look good. There's talk of moving today's game to tomorrow for a day-night double-header. As I mentioned before, this would actually be good for me since I'd probably be able to catch all three games of the series instead of just the second and third. I'm not sure that's worth the price of waiting one more day for meaningful baseball though.

If you're looking for a good series preview, check out the Junkball Blues. Basically we got old vs. young, then young vs. old, then young vs. young. The Giants have a good top of the rotation and it'll be a good test for the Brewers.

Need a place to pre-game before the home opener? has a guide to Brewer bars.

I mentioned yesterday that my friend Amanda made Sportcenter dunking at the Bucks game. Here's the video.

That's all I got for now. Back to work.

Go Brewers.

something to look for...

i actually had a dream about the brewers last night, which is pretty cool. what is less cool, is that the dream started with them having a 4-2 lead and ended with them down 5-4. anyhow, in the dream, jj hardy made a couple awesome throws, which got me to thinking...

there was a lot of talk this off-season about moving hardy to third and inserting the slick-fielding alcides escobar at short. now, hardy is a pretty good fielder himself and one of his best attributes is that he almost never bounces a throw. additionally, he tends to throw the ball very hard and very straight every time, never really lolly-gagging one over to first.

we all know that our first baseman is... uh... less-than-awesome as a gloveman, with a particular weakness for scooping throws and moving off the base to collect errant throws. what i'm wondering is if having a fielder of hardy's type-- maybe a tick less range but very accurate arm-- is more valuable to the brewers than one of escobar's type-- a bit more range, but more prone to uncorking errant throws. i'm not sure it's something that could be measured or not, and i'll admit that my assessment of hardy's arm is basically anecdotal, but it's something to look for as the season gets under way later today (hopefully).


(please don't rain)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Any chance of an Opening Day Double-Header?

The Brewers are supposed to have their first game against the Giants tomorrow. It's supposed to rain tomorrow (and Wednesday and Thursday). They aren't supposed to play in SF again this season. If tomorrow's game were canceled due to rain, is there any chance they'd play a double-header on Wednesday? Because that would be awesome because I could go to both games then.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Hair of the Dog-4/6/09

Baseball season has just begun (Braves beat the Phillies 4-1) and the Brewers will have their first game on Tuesday in San Francisco, so hopefully we'll start getting these "Hair of the Dog" posts up on a more regular basis from here on out. By the way, did I mention that I'll also be heading to San Francisco this week and taking in a few of those games? And then flying back for the home opener on Friday? This is going to be an awesome week....

The Brewers have finalized their roster. No surprises really:

Pitchers: Dave Bush, Todd Coffey, Mark DiFelice, Yovani Gallardo, Jorge Julio, Braden Looper, Seth McClung, Manny Parra, David Riske, Mitch Stetter, Jeff Suppan, Carlos Villanueva

Catchers: Jason Kendall, Mike Rivera

Infielders: Craig Counsell, Prince Fielder, Bill HallSS, J.J. Hardy, Casey McGehee, Rickie Weeks

Outfielders: Ryan Braun, Mike Cameron, Chris Duffy, Corey Hart, Brad Nelson

Congrats to Brad Nelson for making his first 25 man roster and for capping an awesome spring with a 3-run homer to beat the Dodgers in the 9th inning on Saturday. I got a good feeling about this chubby kid.

Apparently, Dale Sveum added Jason Kendall to his list of guys whose swing he allegedly fixed. If Hall, Counsel and Kendall are all "good hitters" this season, Dale Sveum should get a medal.

In far less Relevant Milwaukee sports news, the Bucks are pulling the plug on Andrew Bogut for the season, and pretty much pulling the plug on the season itself too. The Bucks have 32 wins with 4 more games to play. Pretty bad, but I do think this season was a lot better than the record shows. In a "rebuilding" year, they lost their two best players for most of the season and still managed to play tough ball and toy with making the playoffs for a while. Sessions and Charlie V showed their potential and Skiles showed that he's the kind of coach the team needed. I look forward to next season. But I was at the game last night and the only highlight that made Sportscenter was Energee! dancer and friend of Brewed Sports Amanda T dunking:

Okay, back to baseball. Junkball Blues contributor Radio Silence gives us some hope in his Cubs season preview. The gist of it is that they're good, but getting old. Their window is closing, not opening.

Speaking of the Cubs, Carlos Zambrano and I have something in common. We both think Wrigley Field is a dump. It's a charming dump though.

Are you going to opening day? Miller Park Drunk tells us what not to wear in his Guide to Opening Day series. And don't miss this very important epilogue.

That's all I got for today. Drink up fellas because baseball is almost here.

Baseball Is Here!!

About 45 minutes til the 2009 season starts and I am absolutely stoked. Let the bitching, moaning, whining and complaining begin. I'm sure there'll be some cheers, jeers and sneers to go along with the rest. is available.

To celebrate, the relaunch is live. Check out the video for the new features, they've really added a TON of useful stuff.

Atlants - Philly...time to play ball!!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

2009 Official MLB Picks: ESK

East: Mets, Phillies, Braves, Nationals, Marlins
Central: Brewers, Cardinals, Reds, Cubs, Astros, Pirates
West: DBacks, Giants, Dodgers, Rockies, Padres
Wild Card: Phillies

East: Yankees, Devil Rays, Red Sox, Orioles, Blue Jays
Central: Indians, Tigers, White Sox, Twins, Royals
West: Angels, A's, Rangers, Mariners
Wildcard: Devil Rays

Phillies over Brewers
DBacks over Mets

Yankees over Indians
Devil Rays over Angels

Phillies over DBacks
Yankees over DRays

Yankees over Phillies

NL MVP: David Wright
NL Cy Young: Yovanni Gallardo (only way the Brewers win the division!)

AL MVP: Grady Sizemore
AL Cy Young: CC Sabathia

Real Brewers Prediction: 82 wins, a terrible bullpen, top 5 in extra base hits but bottom 5 in OBP...again

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Bears Acquire Best QB In Franchise History

Shit, shit, shit. The Chicago Bears, in a rare moment of front-office competency, have acquired Jay Cutler from the Denver Broncos (according to Even before he throws his first pass he is almost certainly the greatest Bear QB since Sid Luckman.

Not that Cutler's a hall-of-famer or anything, it's just that we're dealing with Jim McMahon, Erik Kramer, Jim Miller, etc.

This is bad news for the Packers, and the rest of the NFC North. I would imagine that the Vikings are feeling especially stupid today.

A pox on Denver for their terrible mismanagement of this situation. The AFC East is now truly terrible.

From the Sun Times:

The Bears acquired quarterback Jay Cutler today for first-round draft picks in 2009 and 2010, a third-round pick this year and Kyle Orton, the Sun-Times has learned.


The Bears have also signed Orlando Pace.

TGJ's Fate May Be Decided

TGJ is not in the starting lineup today.  He was also not in the lineup yesterday.   Interestingly, he didn't even make an appearance yesterday, in a game that featured a fair bit of shuffling.  If the same thing happens today it is safe to say he will no longer be a Milwaukee Brewers.

Just something else to look for when the Brewers play in an hour.


Well the Brewers are playing their final spring training game in Arizona today. They have a couple of fake games at Dodgers Stadium this weekend and then the Regular season starts in San Francisco on Tuesday. I'll be in the Bay Area next week so I'll be catching Gallardo's first start on Wednesday and the next game on Thursday before getting on the red-eye to make it back to Milwaukee in time for the home opener. Oh, and I'm going to the game on the 11th too. Attending four out of the first five is pretty good, no? Anyone else going to opening day (or any of the SF games)? I figure this is as good a time as any to make some season predictions:

East: Mets, Phillies, Braves, Marlins, Nationals
Central: Brewers, Reds, Cubs, Cardinals, Astros, Pirates
West: Dodgers, D-Backs, Giants, Rockies, Padres
Wild Card: Phillies

East: Yankees, Red Sox, Devil Rays, Blue Jays, Orioles
Central: Tigers, Twins, White Sox, Indians, Royals
West: Angels, As, Mariners, Rangers
Wildcard: Red Sox

NLDS: Brewers over Phillies 3-1
NLDS: Dodgers over Mets 3-0

ALDS:Yankees over Tigers 3-0
ALDS: Red Sox over Angels 3-2

NLCS: Dodgers over Brewers 4-2
ALCS: Yankees over Red Sox 4-1

World Series: Yankees over Dodgers 4-1

NL MVP: Ryan Braun
NL Cy Young: Cole Hamels

AL MVP: Don't care.
AL Cy Young: CC Sabathia

What do you guys think?

Is nothing sacred to this man?

[Archbishop Tim] Dolan says Catholics attending the home opener, or just with baseball fever for the Good Friday, April 10th game against the Chicago Cubs, still ought to abstain from meat and poultry.

"I think instead of eating the sausages or hot dogs that day, they just should say a prayer for the Brewers success this season," said Dolan.

If we don't eat brats on opening day, the terrorists will have won.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

From Platoon to Buffoon

In "be careful what you wish for" news, Casey McGehee has made the roster.  Stunningly Lamb was the odd mad out.  If you aren't aware, McGehee is a right handed bat.  The horrifying realization you are coming to is, sadly, correct.

Bill Hall is the Milwaukee Brewers everyday third basemen.

Let that soak in. 

The Brewers did keep the better overall player, and a better bench option (since lefties dominate the backups) but in the process they have made the starting 8 much worse.  Sure, Macha could throw McGehee in there against right handers, giving the Brewers the rare R/R platoon, but Haudricourt indicated this was not the plan. 

In 2007 Hall had an OPS against righties of .713.  In 08?  .557!

This man is not an everyday player.  He has made that abundantly clear. 

In other Brewers news, Macha shuffled his lineup last night and hinted it would be this was to start the year.  He had Hart hitting in the two hole and Hardy fifth.  Any opinions on that?

Brewers Sign Gary Sheffield

You have got to be f'ing kidding me. To make room they've given Gwynn his walking papers. That's good...I guess.

I honestly don't know if I can be a fan anymore.

No word on the money but it's apparently a one year deal.