Posted on: June 24, 2008 12:26 am

Ben Sheets and his soon to be free-agency

There has been much debate about what to do with Ben Sheets whose contract is up at the end of the season.  My thoughts at the beginning of the season were to let him pitch this year and let him walk as a free-agent and take the compensation picks.  (Knowing full well that Sheets was probably going to have a monster year, hey I drafted him in my $250 entry fee fantasy league) 

After much thought on what to do with Benny I have come to this conclusion, the Brewers should offer Sheets a 5yr 75 or 80 million dollar deal.  It would be more of a feeling out process than anything.  I don't think it is necessarily a low ball offer, but probably slightly below market value.  This would give the Brewers a good idea of what Ben and his agent are thinking, and would let Sheets know that the Brewers are interested in his services.  I would probably expect Ben to reject it, but you never know.  If they think it is a severely low offer then you at least know what to expect.  Besides this gives the fans belief that the Brewers are building for the long haul with a true ace for the starting rotation.  Besides who in baseball other than maybe Arizona would have a better 1,2 combo than Sheets and Gallardo for the next 5 years?

The Brewers owe it to their loyal fan base to give Sheets a fair offer, whether it be now or at seasons end.  They also owe it to this fan base of making the best possible run to finally make the postseason.  Having Ben on our team regardless of what happens in the off season is why he cannot be traded. Great Starting Pitching is so important in the postseason.  There is no bigger advantage than to be able to trot you Cy Young candidate our their twice in a series.   If you trade Sheets when you are in contention you are basically waiving the white flag on yet another season.  We as fans cannot and should not accept that.

 Its been 26 years for people like me with no postseason, the team is finally showing that it is on the cusp of something great, lets make sure this run of success goes somewhere.  We are doing our part by being on pace for 3 million fans, now its time once again for Mark Antanasio, and Doug Melvin to step up.


Category: MLB
Posted on: May 30, 2008 6:07 am

26 Years and Counting

       Well now that June is about here it is not officially early anymore.  The Milwaukee Brewers will enter June with a losing record.   That said I am more disappointed in this Brewers team than in most of the teams of the past 26 years.  The 26 years I continue to speak of is how long it has been since the Brewers sniffed the postseason.  That is the longest streak in MLB.  It is really very pathetic that a franchise can go that long without a postseason appearance and still have a loyal fan base.  I am willing to bet half the people that read this weren't even a twinkle in their parents eyes the last time the Brewers were in the playoffs.   I am now going to take you on a quick rundown of some of the crap I have seen from this franchise since 1982.

       The Brewers have changed owners, from Selig, to Selig-Prieb, to Antonasio.  The Crew has changed leagues, and stadiums.  They have signed some free agents that were playing the 18th green  (Dave Parker, Jeffrey Leonard, Tom Brunansky, Scottie Fletcher, Jim Abbott, Greg Brock, Dickie Thon, Sean Berry, Jeffrey Hammonds, Franklin Stubbs, Doug Jones, and Eric Young just to name a few.  There have been prospects that have fizzled or that were traded away (Billy Jo Robidoux, Gary Sheffield, Joey Meyer, and Nick Nuegebauer to name a few.  There was the obsession with getting things from the Atlanta Braves (Dean Taylor, Wes Helms, and Ned Yost (we are still stuck with that problem)  We have had 8 managers that I can come up with Rene Lachemann, George Bamberger, Tom Trebelhorn, Phil Garner, Jim Lefebvre, Davey Lopes, Jerry Royster, and Sir Nedley. 

      There have been seasons that the playoffs were so close we could almost taste it, (1992, and 2007)  1987 was a exciting year no doubt with the winning streak to start the season and Molitor's 39 game hit streak.  There was the anger and resentment from many fans after Molitor was given a low offer as a free-agent after the '92 season and left for Toronto.  Many fans were torn as they later watch Molitor again put on a impressive hitting display on his way to winning the elusive World Series Title with the Blue Jays.

      I have many more memories of this franchise in the past 26 years, most too frustrating to mention.   Perhaps that is why myself like many other fans of the Brewers for the past 25 to 30 years are so sick of this underachieving team this season.  A change is needed now to try to salvage something out of this 2008 season.  I know most players are under performing, but the blame has to fall on the manager as the players can't all be fired for underachieving.  Ned has had 5 years and 2 months, and he has 1 winning season to show for his efforts.  Time for a change.

Category: MLB
Posted on: May 22, 2008 2:21 am

From A Strength To A Weakness

          When the Milwaukee Brewers first reported to Spring Training the starting rotation looked to be in fine shape.  Many people considered it to be one of the teams strengths.  The staff was going to be led by ace Ben Sheets and followed by steady veteran Jeff Suppan, and young phenom Yovanni Gallardo.  Those 3 spots were set in stone, the last 2 spots were an open competition between former 18 game winner Chris Capuano, Dave Bush, Claudio Vargas, Manny Parra, and Carlos Villenueava.  That was how things looked as camp began.

        News broke early in camp that Gallardo would need artroscopic knee surgury and would likely miss the first two week of the regular season.  Most thought, Ok no big deal.  That put things at 5 pitchers for 3 spots.  Late it camp Vargas was released, in what seemed to be a salary move saving roughly 3.2 million dollars.  Chris Capuano then goes down with a elbow injury eventually leading to Tommy John surgery.  So by process of elimination that has the opening day rotation as Sheets, Suppan, Bush, Villenueava, and Parra. 

       Gallardo comes back as expected in mid April and is very effective, he lasts 2 1/2 starts before tearing his ACL on May 1st in a nasty fall trying to avoid a collision at first base.  At this this point Dave Bush is recalled from AAA, as he was sent down when Gallardo was activated.  Losing Gallardo to a season ending injury was devastating to the staff as he was counted on by many to be a co-ace along with Sheets.

       Now fast forward to May 21st.   Bush has struggled most of the season, Parra has had his ups and downs, and Villenueava has shown he can't make it into the fifth inning in most starts.  Villenueava's ineffectiveness has forced management to remove him from the rotation.  In my opinion the Brewers had 2 options left to replace Villeneuava, Seth McClung or Jeff Weaver who the Brewers signed to a minor league deal in late April.  My vote would have been for Weaver taking over the spot but the Brewers choose McClung.  Now this is the same Seth McClung that has been terrible in every role starting, middle relief, and closing for the Tampa Bay Rays.  To his credit McClung has been decent with Milwaukee, but has poor command usually allowing a lot of base runners and high pitch counts due to walks.  Weaver has been far from lights out at AAA either, but I believe you go with the guy that has had some kind of success as a major league starter.

        McClung makes his first Brewers start on Sat. May 24 vs Washington.  I hope he does well, I just really don't think he will.  This is just a how far the rotation has sunk when the top 2 options to replace a struggling starter are Seth McClung and Jeff Weaver.  I am just hoping the Brewers can hang around until the All-Star break when some team become seller and they can grab a decent starter.


Category: MLB
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