Friday, April 29, 2011

Time Off

Oakland A's catcher Kurt Suzuki and Arizona Diamondback shortstop Ian Desmond each spent time on the MLB Paternity Leave List this week.  Last year's All-Star break, I figure.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Happening Again

Heading into Thursday, the NL Central standings if you flip the result of all of the Brewers-Reds games...


TeamWLPctGB
Milwaukee1680.667--
St. Louis13110.5423
Pittsburgh11140.4405-1/2
Chicago10130.4355-1/2
Houston9150.3757
Cincinnati9160.3607-1/2

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

In The Red

The Brewers are 11-7 when they don't play the Cincinnati Reds; a pace that would win 99 games over a  full season.  The Reds are 8-11 when they don't play the Brewers; a pace that would win only 68 games over a full season.  Yet this morning, the Brewers trail the Reds by 1/2 game in the standings.  So far, the only thing separating the Brewers from looking like a championship caliber club and the Reds looking like an also-ran are the games they've played against each other.  If the Brewers can't solve this puzzle, in the end neither team will be that.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Beating a Red Horse

I've written about this over and over and over, but it still needs to be said.  The Brewers will not make the playoffs this year if they can not figure out a way to beat the Cincinnati Reds.  They were 3-11 last year; 0-3 this year.  Their failure to beat the Reds in the opening series is the reason they are not in first place right now.  The only reason.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Eras

Just a quick thought on Ryan Braun's contract extension.  There are some decisions that a team makes that directly affect the quality of the team on the field and other decisions that affect the quality of the team as a business entity.  Trading for Zack Grienke is an example the former.  The building of Miller Park is an example of the later.  Extending Ryan Braun's contract through most of the rest of his career is much more an example of the later.

There have been basically three 'eras' in Milwaukee Brewers history:  the pre-Robin Yount era, the Robin Yount era, and the post-Robin Yount era.  Now, there may be a fourth.  It's hard to argue with that line of thinking.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wilder Card

There's talk again about adding a second wild-card team to the playoffs.  There is a part of this that I love.  It gives meaning to winning the division again.  If you do you get a first round bye and a few days off.  That's huge. Last year it was a foregone conclusion for weeks that the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays were both going to make the playoffs.  Despite that they battled down to the last day of the season, it really didn't matter which team won the division because the other was going to win the wild card.  Under an expanded playoff structure it clearly would have mattered.

But there a part I don't like.  The part that exaggerates an injustice in how baseball teams are currently aligned.

There are six teams in the NL Central.  If all things are random, each team in the division has a 16.7% chance of winning each year.  By contrast, the AL West has only four teams.  Each of those teams has a 25% chance of winning.  To put it another way, a team in the AL West is half again as likely to win their division as a team in the NL Central.

Now add the current one wild card team.  A team that doesn't win its division in the National League has a 7.7% chance (1 in 13) of winning the wild card spot.  Over in the AL, the non-division winners have a 9.1% chance of winning the wild card (1 in 11).  Again, more teams in the NL; less chance of making the post-season.

Now add the two together.  All else being equal, a team in the AL West has a 34.1% chance of making the playoffs, while a team in the NL Central has only a 24.4% chance.  That's quite a gap - almost ten percentage points.  A team in the AL West will make the playoffs a little more than once every three years while a team in the NL Central will make it less than one in four.  One extra trip to the playoffs every ten years for an AL West team just because they have only four teams in the division.

Now add another wild card team.  The chances of winning the division remain the same, but the chance of winning the wild card in the AL increase to 18.2% while the chances in the NL increase to only 15.4%.  Add the two together again and an AL West team now has a 43.2% chance of making the playoffs while an NL Central team has only a 32.1% chance.  The gap has widened to over 11%.

I think Major League baseball ought to address this inequity.  A simple solution would be to move one team from the National League to the American League and have five teams in each division.  Of course there would then need to be at least one interleague series going on at all times, but I think that's OK.  Interleague play has been around long enough that we don't have to continue to treat it like the spectacle that we still do.  We could just incorporate it into the regular schedule - I'm sure that could be worked out.  A side benefit is that you could split up the NY-NY, CHI-CHI, and LA-LA series so they're not all happening on the same weekend.  Better for TV.

What team would I move to the American League?  Why, the one that's been there before of course.

Blue for Brew

Mark Attanasio's named has been mentioned as a possible new owner for the Los Angeles Dodgers.  On the same day, the Brewers extend Ryan Braun's contract until 2020.  Like Attanasio, Braun also lives in LA.  You don't suppose there's a movement afoot to move the Brewers to Los Angeles and the Dodgers to Milwaukee?  The Dodgers would still need a new owner of course - like perhaps the Selig's?

I don't know anything - I'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Online

A few tidbits from my browsings today...

Buster Olney on Twitter drops Mark Attanasio's name as a possible owner for the Dodgers.  Say it ain't so.

Bleacher Report names Ben Oglivie as the second most underrated player in baseball ever.  Sal Bando, Don Money, and Larry Hisle also make the top 50.

John Dewan's Stat of the Week says the Brewers are tied with the Baltimore Orioles as the fifth best defensive team in baseball so far this year.  Either the new metrics for evaluating fielding are fatally flawed - or I've been watching a different team's games.

So now the Cubs may have thrown a World Series too?  Is there any part of the world more corrupt than Chicago.  And they just can't get ahead for it either.

Just Like Starting Over

Five of the six teams in the NL Central are within one game of .500 right now.  The season has been shortened to 145 games.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Un-Grand Theft

Reds pitcher Mike Leake was arrested for stealing $59.88 worth of shirts from a Macy's store.  What I find most incredible about that story is the word "shirts".  With an 's'.  Plural.  I'm amazed that someone could find two or more shirts in a Macy's store that when added together cost only $59.88.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Narvelous

At the moment, Chris Narveson has the most innings pitched in the Majors among pitchers who have yet to allow an earned run.  He's 0 for 13 IP.  This is the longest streak of consecutive scoreless innings in his career.

Yovani Gallardo enters today's game with a string of 11 consecutive scoreless innings.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Start of Something...

The Brewers have started the season 0-3 four other times in their history.  Here are their full-season Win-Loss records in those seasons:


SeasonFinal W-L Record
1970
65-97
1984
67-94
2001
68-94
2003
68-94

Does this mean that the Brewers are going to lose 94 games this year?  No.  But it doesn't mean that they're not.  The Brewers magic number to beat the Reds remains at 163.  The Reds have managed to trim 6 games off of theirs.  The season has gotten quite a bit more difficult than it was three days ago.

 
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