Posts Tagged ‘Milwaukee Brewers’

Ah, the season is so young and one should just rest on their wonderful laurels and watch their teams statistics grow. That is, unless you own Mike Gonzalez and Brian Fuentes for your closers, and realize right off the bat if you don’t trade for saves you’ll be pulling a solid 1 or 2 in a category. Which will not win a league, by god. Which brings me to my first trade this season:

I trade Mike Cameron to Zegen for Brandon Morrow

If you remember, I have so many outfielders I couldn’t start Mike Cameron. I did manage to slot him into my line-up when he hit two homers (BONER!) but otherwise his starts have been wasted. I have all 5 outfield spots covered by sweet stats (besides YOU Maggs, hit a double or something!), and I still have Markakis as my UTIL. So yeah, you could say I was dealing from a strength.

So, bye bye Mikey C. and hello Brandon Morrow. Morrow is intriguing, a guy who went from closer to starter to closer this year, and the ride was bumpy. However, the day I made the trade, literally right after I clicked “Accept,” Jason Grey had this to say about Mr. Morrow’s future:

On Friday, we saw the power of a fully armed and operational Morrow, as he retired the Tigers on 12 pitches (11 of them strikes) to earn his third save. He legitimately hit 100 mph twice, and was 97 mph on the low end. The one ball was an 89 mph splitter that had sick break and dropped off the table, and Curtis Granderson just managed to hold up on it. This was the Morrow who posted a 1.47 ERA, a WHIP under 1 and 47 strikeouts in 36 2/3 innings as a reliever last season.

Um, could you say this destroyed any qualms I had with my acquisition? Yes. To be honest, I’d simply like a K/per inning with 22 saves and I’ll be happy. Cameron can be a beast for Zegen and that’s fine. Also, I’m not sure he’s planning on hitting .300 for the season. Just a guess.

Dropped Emmanuel Burriss

As much as this hurts, I don’t really need him currently. He was just moved back to eighth in the Giants lineup, and their are other options on waivers who have as much upside if not more. Plus he just can’t hit.

Activated Scott Baker

After stashing Scotty on my DL through his terrible starts, I feel confident that I will play him against the Rays. Much like I’m confident that he’ll probably get thrashed, but hell, what do I care? It’s just my precious ratios, right?

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I gave up a three-run jack...TO A PITCHER

I gave up a three-run jack...TO A PITCHER

The first week of fantasy baseball is coming to a close, and my team is wonderfully hot and cold. One night I bash four homers (with 2 on the bench!), the next none. Thus is the first week.

Also, it happened again. Mike Cameron, on my bench, terrible career stats versus Randy Johnson. I start Randy Johnson. RJ gives up a solo shot to Cameron. On my bench. ALWAYS. HAPPENS. TO. ME.

Anyways, here are some roster tinkerings:

Dropped Andy Laroche for Emilio Bonifacio

There were some angry human beings in my league when I pulled this pick-up. Bonifacio had just stolen his second base, and I had been weighing whether or not to grab him for a week. This made it easier. Now if I could only have that homer and three steals…

Meanwhile, Laroche had a great spring and then started sucking. He could still be good this season, so this could come back to haunt me.

Dropped Jordan Zimmerman for Brandon Inge

Look, I drafted Ramon Hernandez. Need I say more? This gives me much better flexibility at catcher, and Inge also qualifies at 3B and OF in Yahoo leagues. Also, he has 25 homer potential. Yum.

Zimmerman will be dope for someone else’s team. And by dope, I mean he’ll have great K numbers, great ratios and no wins for the Nats.  He’s basically a carbon-copy of three pitchers I already have on my team.

Now I just have to make those stupid roster tinkering moves that make you want to smack yourself in the mouth.  Start Inge or sit him?  Will Hernandez hit two bombs on my bench and then never homer for the rest of the year?

Only time will smell.

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Admittedly, I have a problem, and that’s beyond the idea that I spend my time reading baseball garbage day in and day out.

Ned Yost is on a mission. He would like to be the National League’s version of Ozzie Guillen, and so far, so good. Kind of. How about this gem of a conversation between reporter and manager:

What did the manager think of his offense?

“I thought our bullpen was awesome,” Yost said after Saturday’s loss.

No, Yost, the offense.

“I heard the question,” Yost said.

This is not out of context. Verbally, Yost is the antithesis of Guillen in that respect. When asked questions about his roster, Yost has enlightened the world with straight-forward, gutsy nothing.

Such as:

“Pitch counts have gotten into everybody’s brain. Guys make so much money now. You want to protect your investment. You don’t want to abuse your pitchers.”

That is a wonderfully fantastic quote for many reasons.

1. We are not in the 1970’s. We are also not in the 1960’s. Did I mention that we have also progressed past the 1980’s, and, BY GOD, we are freaking 8 years removed from the 90’s! Holy crap, Ned Yost, how things have changed. Like managers caring about pitch counts (which has been going on for how long?

2. Major League baseball players make a lot of money. It’s been that way since, um, Babe Ruth. I’m telling the truth, Ned. Baseball likes money because it is a business that generates revenue. Get it? Awesome.

3. If you can find a manager who would rather have Mark Prior and Kerry Wood than, say, healthy young pitchers whose arms have been preserved, show them to me (Dusty does not count). Oh yeah, Ned, you’ve done a fine job with Sheets and Capuano. Keep on throwing them out there. I wish I could blame Gallardo’s injury on you, but lo, Reed Johnson took that pleasure away.

Yost, if you want to stick around in any capacity, I would say learn how to read your pitchers. Let’s say that Carlos Villanueva is struggling through the sixth inning, barely scraping by and allowing two runs to score. Why would you then trot him out if you have a multi-million-dollar-revamped bullpen to go to? Torres, Mota, Shouse, Riske, hell, bring up Jeff Weaver for long relief. Why do you not understand baseball’s simplest philosophy?

If a pitcher is throwing terribly, take him out of the game. It’s pretty simple. Also, sitting back and waiting for your hitter’s to start hitting is not managing. It’s boredom. Unless you’re meditating to reach a new state of Yost-consciousness, or whittling figurines of Tony La Russa, what’s the point?

Recently, Yost has publicly supported Gagne until Gagne himself told Yost what to do. Also, given millions upon bajillions of opportunities to let his team have it and create a spark, Ryan Braun took care of business for him by swearing profusely at the lack of offensive production.


What is Yost’s role? He seems more a terrible PR guy than anthing else. This team should be KILLING in the Central division but their pitching, defense, and general strategy is awful. Also, depending on Bill Hall’s near-Mendoza bat and homerun-every-other-week approach will not help your offense.

Granted, Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun and Corey Hart will start swinging the bats better and the team will see its share of wins, but mentally this team will suffer. How many times can you trot Dave Bush out to the mound without praying to Yahweh that the game is rained out?

Grady Little could manage this team more effectively. There, I said it. I leave you with this pathetic, couldn’t-paint-the-freaking-picture-better quote:

“Now that [Gallardo] is gone, we’re going to need a little extra offense,” Yost said. “But you have to let it happen. There’s no way to make it happen.”


Never mind. Back to your whittling.

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There should be a sub-header reading, “That I Hate More Than Anyone Should,” because it’s true. Just watching baseball for what it is, certain managers stick out in one’s mind: Ozzie Guillen, Tony Larussa, Don Baylor…

But concerning fantasy baseball, there is a certain kind of coach that can single-handedly destroy a fantasy season. Cases in point:

Dusty Baker.

Hello. I feast on young pitcher’s arms and young hitter’s natural swings and offensive tendencies. If necessary, Baker will break his own son’s arm off at the elbow if it means one more meaningless inning pitched. I don’t have photoshop yet, but such an image will exist soon.

Newest victim: Edinson Volquez has been pitched into the ground recently, at the ripe old age of 24. Estimated time of arm problems: Eh, I’d say in about 3-4 months we start hearing about a “a slight tweak in the elbow.” At that point, Dusty will be in ecstasy at the mere collision of the words “tweak” and “elbow” in a single sentence.

Sign of Insanity: Of Joey Votto, the sweet-swinging rookie first baseman’s patience at the plate:

On Votto: “He needs to swing some more. I talked to him about that. Strikeouts aren’t the only criteria. I’d like to see him more aggressive.”

“A lot of this on-base percentage is taking away the aggressiveness of some young kids. Most of the time you’ve got to put handcuffs on a young to keep him from swinging.”

He needs to be more aggressive, but he shouldn’t strike out. On base percentage makes young hitters worse. Young hitters are usually terrible because they are too aggressive.

This is a logical breakdown of Dusty’s quote. He ascertained that by forcing Joey Votto to “be more aggressive,” he would in turn change Votto from the wonderful, patient, powerful hitter he is into a young, typically over-swinging piece of garbage. All of this makes sense when you remember that Dusty Baker’s head is empty, and at night Scott Hatteberg shrinks himself and his spaceship to a minute speck. He flies in Dusty’s brain and reminds him how much he loves veterans and the intangibles they bring to the game. How else could this even make a freaking lick of sense?

Ned Yost

Hi, I’m Ned and I’ve enjoyed watching the prospects of my Brewers organization succeed in the majors. And by that I mean that when called up, I offer nothing in terms of assisting player development and hope they just “heat up.”

Recent Victim: Ned Yost and his staff have done nothing to help Rickie Weeks turn into a good lead-off hitter. Sure, the runs are there now, but they are a statistical abberation.

Sign of Insanity: When speaking of Weeks’ bizarre ability to score 28 runs despite hitting .197 with a .324 OBP and the rest of the offense dead around him, Yost dropped the following science:

“Rickie’s a run scorer,” he said. “There’s nothing weird about it.”

Fantastic. Give this guy a permanent podium he can stand behind. Hell, strap him to it with suspenders. Yost gives you best reason why he’s a terrible manager in that quote. Stubborn, moronic, unmoved, christ, somehow this quote reeks of paranoia, as if Yost is afraid one day the Ghost of Robin Yount will force him to actually read the stats and gain any kind of knowledge from them.

Also, concerning maligned closer Eric Gagne, Yost elegantly put into words what I’ve tried to for weeks to express in smoke signals:

“I don’t have a timetable. I don’t have anything marked down that says when the 35th man gets on base I start to be concerned.”

Just so you know, I’ll be there when Gagne manages to walk 35 batters in an inning. And I will personally kick Yost in the mouth until he becomes concerned. Ridiculous. How do you really get away with saying crazy garbage like that? When your players are terrible, you should be angry, you should knock things over, and, if possible, you should be begging for an excuse to get thrown out of games! Something, for gods sakes!

“Yeah, he’s struggled a bit at times,” Yost said, “but he was a pitch away (Sunday) that could’ve gone either way two, three, maybe four times, completely ending the game and we wouldn’t even be discussing this thing that I find, pardon me, ridiculous.”

You know what’s ridiculous? A major league baseball manager who’s so recalcitrant that he can’t find a reason to be angry at a pitcher who has lost 5 games for his team. BE MORE CALCITRANT FOR GOD SAKES. There, are you happy Ned? Oh, what, you’re not happy until you murder an animal?

So be it.

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I think everyone who spends their time accumulating make-believe statistics has had this moment, which happened to ME of all people last night:

Me: Hmm…Jermaine Dye has been sucking butt this year. But he did hit a homer the other night…but I’ll bench him tonight. He’s probably still slumping.

Reality: Hi, yeah, you should’ve started Dye. He went 2-4 with a homerun, 2 runs and 2 ribbies.

Me: Fantastic.

Yeah, that jonesing occurred just this past inning. What did I receive instead of that sterling line from Senor Jermaine? Well, a perfectly useless 1-4 night from Matt Stairs. Jones.

Just today, Slanch’s team was graced with a huge jones. Based on John Maine’s career 6.00 ERA at the hands of the Dodgers, Maine rode the pine today on Slanch’s bench. At which point he threw 8 1/3 innings allowing one run and striking out four.

That, my friends, is a jones.

In other news, I picked up Austin Kearns. Sounds pathetic, but with the new ballpark, he can’t be this bad. I chalk it up to a bad month and I still think he’s good for 20 home runs, which should help replace Corey Hart’s absence. And to be honest regarding Hart, I watched a bunch of his games and the only thing more apparent than Ned Yost’s horrible manager’s instinct is that Hart is not hitting for power. He’s hitting for the gaps this year, and after one home run in April I’m pretty sure I’m right. He could be good for 20 home runs, but I see him hitting more doubles this year.

Also, I picked up Jason Bartlett to spell my MI slot when Jeff Kent remembers he’s so old he can’t bend over. Cheap steals at MI is always a good thing, especially when trying to replace Him.

I miss you.

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Fun. My team has been in shambles the past week, culminating with the impressive loss of potential you ace Yovanni Gallardo. This is the kind of injury that is back-breaking. And corrosively obnoxious considering the guy only gave up FOUR RUNS IN 20 INNINGS AND RECEIVED THREE RUNS OF SUPPORT. Brutal.

Every weakness of my pitching staff was revealed this past week. I felt like I was alone and naked in the cold dark night of the deserts of time. Also I felt like breaking Reed Johnson’s knee (just watched an hour of “Torture” on the History Channel, included a ten minute segment on Hammurabi’s Code, it was great).

I won’t go in to details, but my team has plummeted. I arranged a quick trade with Eick, nabbing James Shields for Corey Hart. I love Corey Hart. This deal hurt but I got a great Gallardo-clone here with a slightly better defense behind him.

And maybe, someday in the future, I’ll see your nice batting average and steals and homers and beards and mustaches on my future teams.

Also, yeah, I’ve been reading Ball Four. But I need more levity in my life.

That guy HATES Scotty Pods. HATES him.

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I’m not sure what to say anymore. Kyle Lohse should at this point be sucking balls to the tune of a 16.00 ERA and a 9.00 WHIP. Why dear god is he already blanking the Brewers and, what’s that, AN RBI SINGLE in this fucking game?

Granted the Brewers aren’t the hottest-hitting team in the universe (all seven of their normal 2-7 hitters are hitting below .270 as we speak), but Jesus criminy. Let’s see, how does a notorious shitbag pitcher end up with these numbers? Today he’s pitching at Miller Park, so he should be shelled. However, let’s note his pitching coach, Dave Duncan. This guy turned Braden Looper into a decent #4 starter. I went looking for pictures of Duncan, but all I could find was this:
Now you may have noticed a change in Duncan’s appearance, but that can be easily explained. When a pitching coach becomes so gifted he can turn a Victor Zambrano into a Johan Santana, he has achieved Elite Wizard Status. In fact, Duncan is such a powerful wizard he transformed Rick Ankiel from a terrible pitcher to a middling-high-power-no-average outfielder! You have to be a level 10 Wizard for that kind of mage-ish bullshit.

Other infamous wizards:

Rick Peterson

Mel Stottlemyre

Leo Mazzone

Also, after this post I promise to write less about the NL Central. Serious.

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Although you may not be able to tell, the beard behind the glove belongs to the face of Corey Hart. You may remember my impassioned letter to Ned Yost asking that he switch Bill Hall and Hart’s line-up sports, as having a guy who hits .200 and only occassionally hits a home run may not be one’s best pick to protect the clean up spot. This just in:

“[Bill] Hall was dropped to the sixth spot in the Brewers’ batting order on Friday, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports.

Fantasy Spin: Hall switched places with Corey Hart in the lineup. Hall has put up some good power numbers thus far, with five home runs and 11 RBI. But manager Ned Yost would like to see him get his batting average much higher than his current .203.”

Eat shit, Billy! Now all those myummy RBI opportunities belong to me and the beard!!!

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Paul Bako was definitely hit in the taint just now.

Good god. And he’s still catching.

Cueto is getting owned by Jason Kendall. Also, I really dislike Kenji Johjima right now. He just threw it into the outfield, allowing BJ Upton to score from home on a double steal. Idiot. And Bedard was charged with the runs, I believe. That’s wonderful. Only things like this can cheer me up.

PS- I love you Cueto, even though you smell like hype.

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