Monday, September 15, 2008


Alright, I'm over my giddiness. No more corny poetry.

Some thoughts and opinions on the Yost firing:

1. Has any team ever in the history of baseball fired a manager with so few games left in the season while they were still in contention for the playoffs? I couldn't find one.

2. Was Zambrano's no-hitter in the Brewers' home park the final nail in the coffin?

3. If the Brewers were willing to fire Yost before the end of the season, in the heat of a pennant race, why now and not before the Philly series? The Brewers needed to beat the Phillies. Now the Phillies are on a roll and play the rest of their schedule against some of the worst teams in the league. The Brewers could win 9 of their last 12 games and still not get in the playoffs. I hope this didn't come too late.

4. It's being speculated that the firing was Mark Attanasio's call rather than Doug Melvin's. If it was, I wish he would admit as much. People respect Atanasio. They would back this decision. It would be refreshing to have a little bit of a maverick owner in town.

5. I still can't help but think that Ted Simmons still fits into the Brewers plans somewhere in the future. Perhaps he was removed from his dugout position so that if these last 12 games don't work out, the Brewers can clean house and Simmons won't have to go down with the ship. I would love someday to hear Simmons' take on Ned Yost - the truth; not some media friendly BS.

6. On the other hand, it would seem that the managerial job is Sveum's for the taking if he can get this team to the playoffs.

7. Interesting that Robin Yount is returning as bench coach. I think his line about wanting to return to Arizona to spend more time with his family was just that. I think the real reason he left the first time is that he didn't get along with Yost.


Toast, toast, toast, toast,

Happy, happy, happy, happy,
God this team was getting crappy.

Hope, hope, hope, hope,
Nothing rhymes with Dale Sveum.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Adam Charles at Bugs and Cranks has a spectacularly well written piece of advice for Corey Hart regarding his comments about how he's "looser" playing in Philly. (Click here to read).

I have one tidbit to add. I hate to blame Ned Yost for everything, but I have long felt that he treats the players on this team like a bunch of cry babies. He coddles them, protects them, and never EVER calls them to task to the fans or the media. He didn't with Derrick Turnbow, with Bill Hall, Prince Fielder, Eric Gagne, Johnny Estrada, Matt Wise. You could go on and on and on. And I doubt he'll have anything negative to say about this. A good managers should set standards for his players so high that if the players lives up to them, he will be far exceeding the expectations of the fans and media. When he doesn't, you get crap like this.

As for Corey Hart, I can give him 3.1 million reason why the fans have a right to expect more from this team. If he doesn't like that and feels looser and more at home in Philadelphia than in Miller Park, then he's used one too many O's in describing how he feels.

Futility Streak

The Brewers have scored fewer than 5 runs in 9 consecutive games. This is their longest such streak since 2004. If they fail to score 5 runs tonight and run the streak to 10, it will be the longest since 1972.

Here is the list of the longest <5 run streaks in the team's history:

Year Games
1971 25
1972 17
1972 15
1972 12
1970 11
1971 10
2008 9
2004 9
2004 9
2000 9
1991 9
1983 9
1975 9
1972 9
1971 9
1970 9

You could say that the Brewers offense sputtered a bit in 1972. They scored 493 runs all season. To put that in perspective, they have scored almost 200 more than that so far this year. Almost. They're at 687. They should hit 693 tonight. Right? I hope.

Monday, September 8, 2008


The Brewers bullpen has been brutal in September (4.88 ERA) making Ned Yost want to stick with his starters as long as he can. If you remember late last year the bullpen also struggled and was a major contributor to the team fizzling away its lead in the NL Central. The excuse last year was that the bullpen was over worked. This year I wonder if the cause is that it's under worked.

Look at the bullpen innings per game this year compared to last year:

Bullpen Innings

2008 2007
April 3.3 3.0
May 2.8 2.7
June 2.7 3.1
July 2.7 3.2
August 2.1 3.4
September 3.5 3.3

In June, July and August this year, the Brewers pen pitched 62 fewer innings than in the same three months last year. I can't help but wonder if some of the relievers would be pitching better if had they been picking up a few garbage innings here and there over the summer.

CC Sabathia has 6 complete games for the Brewers since the trade. On August 18, Yost left him in for a 130 pitch complete game in which the Brewers won 7-1. On August 31, he went the distance again in his now famous one-hitter. Perhaps Ned Yost should have been thinking about getting his bullpen some work in a few of those games.

After the on-hitter, Yost threw a little tirade about the judgement of the official scorer. The Brewers are 2-6 since that game. I'm not saying that Yost's hissy fit is the sole cause of the recent slump, but I stand by what I said about the importance of not losing focus of the big picture.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Power Outage

Just when it looked in August like he was breaking out of his season-long power funk, Prince Fielder has now not hit a home run in 21 consecutive games played. This is the longest in-season home run drought of his career. His longest overall slump was a 23-game streak which covered the last 19 games of 2005 and the first 4 games of 2006.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Silk Sheets

Just a quick update to my post a couple of weeks ago about Ben Sheets' pitching well in September of 2004 - his last injury-free season. He now has 14 consecutive shutout innings this September and 20 consecutive dating back to August 26th - his three starts since my post.

Alright, fine. I'm gloating.

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