brewers baseball and things


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and since the numbers have been working…..

The Brewers beat the Dodgers last night. It was Friday the 19th and 19 was the number worn by Brewer’s shortstop Robin Yount in the 1982 World Series.

So now there will be a game 7 of the National League Championship. It’s set to be played tonight, Saturday, October 20th. That was the number worn by Brewer’s center fielder Gorman Thomas. He also played in the 1982 Series.

First pitch is set for 8:09. Add the numbers, 8+9 and you get 17….the number worn by Jim Gantner who you guessed it also played in that 1982 Series, as the Brewers’ second baseman.

 

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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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this might wind up sounding like a john lennon song

sometimes if i’m lucky i get so lost in a baseball game that i forget about the team i’m rooting for. It happened a few days ago. I forget the details of the specific play that sucked me in but i no longer cared about Brewers at Wrigley trying to trim the Cubs little lead in the NL Central.

Thinking about it now makes ethnicities and religions and countries seem kind of well, i don’t know for sure what to call them except to say that those sci-fi movies with so any species of beings with three heads and all kinds of tentacles seem to make more sense.


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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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Making Sense of WAR

I was watching a special on the MLB Network about the 1967 Red Sox. It’s called The Impossible Dream:Red Sox Nation Begins. The premise was that 1967 marked a watershed moment in Red Sox history, that it turned a city’s attention towards its baseball team. I like that it’s narrated by Boston native John Slattery. Adds some local color to the show.

There were interviews and adjectives thrown around and yet, I still wanted to know what was implied by watershed as in how did it translate into numbers. Thanks to baseball reference, I had my wish. Attendance at Fenway did more than spike from 1966-1967. It doubled, from 811,172 (10,014 per game) to 1,727,832 (21,331 per game.) That may or may not be a record.

There is a dialogue between  two players from that team – Rico Petrocelli and Mike Andrews and also an extensive interview with Carl Yastrzemski. I don’t remember all the details of the show, but one really sticks out – that Yaz carried the team on his back for most of the season.

This type of single-handed contribution screams of WAR or Wins Above Replacement Player. I’m not too knowledgeable when it comes to today’s statistical analysis, but I don’t think the formula or factors or complicated math matters. What does matter is the intent – to determine how valuable a player is to his team. That’s interesting and in this case, it proved to parallel the word “carried team on his back.”

The all-time single season WAR leader begins with Babe Ruth (14.3 in 1923) and is followed by Ruth as well (12.9 in 1921) and who is third? Yaz in 1967 with 12.5.

Those numbers don’t speak to me the way a batting average above .300 does or an OB% above .400, but one day, they might…….

 

 


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Peralta’s revenge

On June 17th the Royals recalled former Brewer, Wily Peralta from AAA Omaha and since then have used him in semi, high leverage situations, an inning here, an inning there. He’s pitched well, earned a hold and a save.

The Royals took a 5-1 lead over the Brewers yesterday after roughing up the previously un-rough-uppable Josh Hader in the 7th inning. Tim Hill came on in the ninth to close the door for the Royals.

But then things got interesting. Recently acquired middle infielder Brad Miller hit a three run homer and suddenly the Brewers were within one run. . Peralta was summoned. He allowed a hit, but then induced his old teammate Ryan Bryan to hit in to a game ending double play.

Peralta earn the save and  helped the Royals split the mini 2 game series.


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Do we have to do the splits?

Last Friday, I bumped into a guy from work at the bottom of a subway escalator.  I didn’t know his name, but his hat, oh his hat; unmistakable;  it had the C and R for Colorado Rockies. I had never seen one in Montreal.  It proved to be a better conversation starter than a dog. I asked the obvious,

“So you’re a Rockies fan?”

He opened up right away, told me he loved the National League West. Then he reeled off the division’s teams. I said something about Coors Field being a real bomb. He said,

“Yeh, I’d like to go there some day.”

I countered with Diamondbacks being so good at the beginning this season, then so bad, and now leveling off, good again, still in first place.

“You know baseball…..” he said; as in nothing lasts forever.

“Yeh” I answered and with that he went through the turnstiles. I had to buy a ticket and by the time I had, he was gone. But I got to thinking of the Seattle Mariners winning 100 however many games back in 2001 and on the flip side, what team in recent memory lost the most games, maybe an expansion team or maybe one of the Astros or Royals teams that suffered three consecutive 100 loss seasons? I wasn’t sure so I waited patiently till I got back home and looked it up. Turns out the Tigers are the team. In 2003, they suffered a winning percentage under .300, going 43-119.

What’s remarkable to me is how close 119 losses is to 90 losses. If the Tigers would have simply won one more game per week or four per month, that would’ve been 24 for the season..easier said than done, but it would have brought their loss total to 95, barely better than the one year bankrupt Seattle Pilots who went 64-98.

Anyway, a team always offers intrigue, regardless of its place in the standings. Those 2003 Tigers had four guys hit double digit HR’s and well, if you prefer to visit funerals (like Harold in the movie Harold and Maude), there were three pitchers on that team flirting with 20 losses and one pitcher – Mike Maroth who did.

And so the Brewers beat the Cards two in a row, Thursday and Friday. Then they lost on Saturday and to make matters worse, Lorenzo Cain (grimace) left the game with hamstring cramps, same diagnosis that brought him out of Thursday’s game. He wasn’t in the lineup on Sunday and the Brewers didn’t win. Travis Shaw also left the game due to a wrist injury in the middle of his at bat. The Brewers were winning at the time 2-1, but went on to lose 8-2 as the Cardinals earned a split of the four game series and around dinner time, late Sunday afternoon, I heard an echo…”You know baseball.”