brewers baseball and things


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bored revisited

You might remember the previous post on this site. For christ sake, i wrote it yesterday, a wordpress binge I guess. The post was called bored and so naturally or synthetically since this is a blog and we can’t see each other, the follow up post is called bored revisited. It aims to answer one specific question – why did do the Suicide Crew love Domingo (Sunday) Santana so much?

Well, we got hold of Hankus Pinyata, one of the founding members of the Suicide Crew and he revealed the reasons.

1) Sunday Santana showed no emotion. He dragged his bat to home plate. He could put a stadium to sleep.

2) But who cares about charisma, wearing woes on your sleeve, and all that. Jesus already died on the cross. In 2017 Santana demonstrated tremendous opposite field power….tremendous!

2) He also did a damn good Mike Hargrove imitation, messing with pitcher’s mound mind to the like of 4.10 pitches per plate appearance, good enough for 24th in all of baseball.

Yeh sure he slumped in 2018 but what the hell did the Brewers expect? They forked over their top prospect to get Christian Yelich and signed Lorenzo Cain…..good moves, great moves, took them to the brink of the World Series, but a big screw you to Santana’s 30 home runs the previous season.

He filled in for an injured Yelich in April, but struggled, was sent to the minors, got called up and served as a damn good pinch hitter, big hits in the playoffs too, an over simplification for sure, but the Brewers wanted more flexibility so they traded him to Seattle for a player with the last name Gamel. Sound familiar? It should. He’s the younger brother of the Brewer’s former top prospect Mat Gamel whose career slipped into Indy League oblivion due to injuries. But this new Gamel can apparently man all three outfield positions and work a count too.

Either way, here’s to you Domingo, you were here and now you’ll be there, in Seattle. The Suicide Crew will be watching and know that nothing lasts forever, everyone destined down the drain, Ted Williams came and went, Tony Gwynn too….

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bored

One witches tit-booger freeze-dead of winter day, they slipped into their avocado boots and ducked down into the subway catacombs. There were four of them. They arranged it that way…four corners…..Fuck Bi-Polar. They were Quatro-Polar.

They called it Operation Flipskin.

The subway stretched into beautiful darkness in both directions, east and west or maybe it was north and south…left and right. It didn’t really matter. On one side sat the Suicide Crew angling towards that beautiful infinite tunnel and trailing behind them, following them like flies on shit were the doting mothers pleading with them, begging them to not do it.

The Suicide Crew didn’t envision a hanging or a slit wrist, nothing self-negating like that. Their gumption, as old as Egypt, was more out of curiosity, to see, to finally know if there was anything else. They’d read and heard the slap stick, soppy sentimental, overwrought poetic, arduous scholar and it was all good, if not great,  but they wanted more.

Booze helped. Weed did too or maybe it hurt. Who knows? They didn’t. They were the Suicide Crew. They didn’t know shit except one thing – to stand up from their subway squat and flee the herd of mothers trailing them like scraps around a toilet’s ring refusing to flush. And when they finally moved, an amazing thing began to happen, a little like violet bulbs appearing on branches in spring. Last requests rose, initially only as blips on their mind’s radar, but then mushrooming into a blue print plan to walk, splashing through sewer water and above and then below again.

The weep and wails of mothers echoing in the subway chamber began to fade fast. The Suicide Crew marched on, towards Peoria, Rockford, Beloit, Janesville, and parts unknown, all the way to Milwaukee, home sick as they may be; they made it, upturned sewer cap and all, right there, they arrived in front of the Historical Society on some such downtown streets and what a surprise to find a plaque commemorating the birthplace of the American League, the words chiseled forever or until water wears it all away.

“On the night of March 5, 1900….” and so on, a bunch of bigwigs including Connie Mack and Ban Johnson met to flip off those self-righteous National League bastards and establish their own league.

The Suicide Crew had new life and despite the Brewers not being in the American league anymore and trading away their favorite Brewer – Domingo Santana = Sunday Santana in Spanish and so they crawled back down through the sewer hole to where the rats roamed and wondered how Santana had done in his short career on Sundays, a stupid trivial ponder that the metrics people would mock, but The Suicide Crew didn’t care because they were drunk on canned heat. They, like Santana were heading west, to reach the cactus before spring training.

 


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wine, whisky, beer

i’m drinking to Harold Baines tonight; heck i’m drinking to him right now. he was always my favorite player. i loved his swing and high leg kick and amazing arm in right field, maybe not the best range but he had a big glove so that helped. . I even had a jersey made of him at Merle Harmon’s fan fair…..the number 3 and BAINES on the back, not the classic black and white pajama uniforms which i loved but the ones after, kind of boring in comparison, just a banner across the breast with the letters SOX spelled out. Good old placid midwest Milwaukee. No one said a thing about me wearing a white sox uniform.

Anyway, he’s in the HOF now and well, i don’t really care, in or out, like a belly button, don’t matter to me. I’ll still love his humble attitude. Ozzy Guillen said the two of them once drove from Chicago to Milwaukee and Baines didn’t say a word and what about all his game winning rbi’s! When did they stop keeping that stat? I remember him having lots of them. Then there’s him as a DH, countless at bats, years and years worth of at bats, all that idling, all that being stuck on pause, no picking your crotch talking it up defense to forget about striking out with the bases loaded or whatever.

I find life’s riddle, sometimes anyway can be solved by keeping busy and what does a dh do? Watch film of pitchers? Do a crossword puzzle? Pick their nose? There’s no option of running around the block or working an 8-4 or writing a novel unless you’re Jim Bouton or Brosnan but they were pitchers. Cut off your eye brows? A DH sounds both boring and hard. Baines did it and hit well or well enough.

The experts talk about WAR, about the WAR of Baines being way below HOF caliber and it’s all well and good and I believe in their genius, in quantifying player performance thorough multiple variable analysis and making worthy comparisons. I guess that’s why the Reutenshell Analysis Center has announced that from now on, HOF inductions will be determined by a machine. You enter a piece of paper with a player’s name into a fully updated modern machine with all the statistical equations. You wait a few whistling seconds and presto out comes a verdict –  yeh or neh on the HOF, is the player in or not? No more ceremonial speeches, no more debate, no more intangible discussions, just cold hard stats.


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one more time with the numbers!

19.
that’s the number Robin Yount wore in 1982…last time the Brewers were in the World Series. I think I’m repeating myself, but they won the other night when the game’s first pitch 7:39 added up to 19 and well, they’re playing tonight on the 19th of October and in desperate need of a win, down 2-3 to the mighty Dodgers.

Steely Dan’s Hey Nineteen song was released in 1980, the same year the Brewers acquired Ted Simmons, Rollie Fingers, and Pete Vuckovich from the Cardinals in probably the franchise’s most significant trade of all time….significant because all three players were instrumental in the Brewers winning both in 1981 and 1982.

And that song, Hey Nineteen, ran on the charts for you guessed it…19 weeks.

Go Brewers!


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how did ted williams do that?

if good moods were the equivalent of getting on base

wait a second,

four out of ten?

baseball is really hard.


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Chuck “my bags please” Porter

No, this is not about the Brewers reliever who suffered the loss in what still is the longest game, time wise, in MLB history, 8 hours, 6 minutes. The game took two days, May 8th and 9th, 1984 and was played at Chicago’s Comiskey Park. The White Sox won in the 25th inning when Harold Baines hit a homer off Porter.

Porter, by definition is someone who carries luggage and loads, hence the Chris Berman nickname. He’s helping someone on the go and that someone is Edwin Jackson. This is an update, a glorious one in honor of Edwin Jackson. A few posts ago, I discussed the starting pitcher in the hopes he might be called back up to the Nationals and win a spot in their starting rotation or bullpen. Unfortunately, the Nats released him, but the A’s picked him up and sent him to AAA where he pitched well enough to earn a call up.

Yesterday, he got the nod to start the game and did well. (6IP, 7K’s, OBB’s, 1 ER) A no decision, but he showed that he can still pitch in the big leagues. He’s only 34 years young and here’s the kicker……he is now tied with Octavio Dotel for most franchises played for in the history of baseball – 13. What makes his traveling ways even more remarkable is that he’s a starter, not a LOOGY.

If I added a photo to this post, it would be a 13-sided collage.

Dear Edwin! You inspire me. Maybe you’ll one day pitch for the Brewers. If not, it doesn’t matter, I will always remember you, especially if one day I lose my job. I will never get too down.

Your friend and fan,
Steve


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stepping up and sitting down

Steve Sax had one named after him; so did Steve Blass, of curse, yes curse, this has nothing to do with their first name being Steve or I sure hope not anyway. It’s too small sample size to start attributing reasons especially not as silly and unsabermetric as a name. By the way, I often use the expression unsabermetric. I do not intend this as a dis or an insult. I find the science and math to better evaluate player performance as very fascinating. I simply don’t grasp most of the metrics, but I’m working on it, one at a time.

OK so on to the syndrome. Sax’s was an inability to throw the ball to first base, kind of important for a second baseman. Blass’s was an inability to throw strikes and get batters out. The syndrome hit Blass so hard that his career was cut short. Sax went on to have a few good seasons, both offensively and defensively.

What about career minor leaguers who don’t too well when they get a chance and their opposite…. mediocre minor leaguers who star in the show. I have no idea how to conduct the research for this so I’ll revert to what’s on the top of my head. In terms of career minor leaguers, I give the nod to Kilakila Kaʻaihue, born in Hawaii, an on base machine with power in the minors. But it never translated into much in the majors. He spent a few seasons with the Royals and A’s, then Japan. He’s now coaching a high school team somewhere.

Bob “Hurricane” Hazle was a big name in our house growing up. My dad made reference to him anytime anybody got on a roll doing something. He had OK stats rising the ranks of the Braves minor league system. In the year that he was called up, 1957, to give you an example, he hit .279 for AAA Wichita with 12 home runs in a little over 300 at bats, certainly good, but not out of this world. He saved that for the show where in 41 games (to replace the injured Billy Bruton), he hit  over .400 in 134 at bats, had a .477 OB%, slugged .649, and hit 7 home runs. The Braves went on to win their first ever National League and ultimately, the World Series that season.

Hazle was out of baseball in a few years. He finished with a .310 career average.

PS…yes the fences are closer to home plate, the ball seems juiced resulting in weaker hitters blasting opposite field home runs, but Jesus Aguilar barely made the team out of spring training and last night he broke up the Cardinal’s Jack Flaherty’s no-hitter in the 6th with a home run and then hit a walk off blast in the 9th off Bud Norris. He now has a team leading 16 home runs. I believe in Jesus. The Brewers believe in him. He is certainly making the most of his opportunity.

The Brewers have beaten the Cardinals in back to back games and once again sit atop the NL Central and maybe most revealing, have a winning record against division rivals.