Series 6-Pack: Trouble Brewing


We’re throwing a party here at TBOH, and everyone’s invited.  Unfortunately, this is a Brewers bloggers-only party.  We’ve got Lou Olsen from Reviewing the Brew and Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar here to try and tell me why the Brewers will win this three-game set with the Phillies.

I, however, remain unconvinced, because the Phillies won today, and therefore should win every game in the near future.  Its a flawed mentality, sure, but its worked thus far.  Besides, when I’m wrong I just black out for days at a time and wake up tasting blood anyway, so let’s hear them out.

1.  In response to Zack Greinke’s cracked rib, how close are the Brewers to banning “pick-up basketball” as a concept for anyone involved in their organization?

Lou: I think banning is a strong word.  Probably more like a mandatory option to not play pick-up basketball.  The team will probably be more flexible with people who are not Greinke.  Larry Bird, he is not.

Jaymes: It’s just a weird injury all around. I’ve never known anyone to actually break a rib playing basketball…you have to be pretty damn unlucky for it to happen. The way the Brewers made it sound, Greinke’s contract didn’t prevent him from playing pickup basketball, but does prevent him from playing in things like organized rec leagues. I’m going to guess that’ll change. The scarier thing to me was that Rickie Weeks — he of the long list of injuries — came out after the Greinke news broke and said he plays basketball all the time in the spring. Now that’s a guy I don’t want playing basketball anymore.

2.  Damn, I forgot all about Craig Counsell.  With the Brewers bleeding out at shortstop, whether through Counsell or Yuniesky Betancourt, how painful does it feel to see a cocky, awesome SS like Jimmy Rollins strutting around and being awesome?  Follow-up: How often do youforget about Craig Counsell?

Lou: Well, as a Brewers fan, pain is sort of my thing…….so Jimmy Rollins could tap dance in a clown wig while balancing plates on a stick and it would probably be better than watching Betancourt overthrow first base 80% of the time.  What was the rest of the question?

Jaymes:  It seems like Ron Roenicke forgets Counsell is there when he’s filling out the lineup card, because Betancourt has been getting far too many starts so far this year. Personally, I’d just like it if the Brewers could find someone with a decent glove to play there. Brewers fans were lamenting the loss of Luis Cruz after spring training. That’s how bad it is.

3.  How will the very nice watch Prince Fielder received for being NL Player of the Week affect his play?  Will the experience inflate his ego beyond repair and alienate him from his teammates?  How could it not?

Lou: As you know, “The Player of the Week Watch” is one of the most highly coveted awards in the game today.  Naturally Prince will be top peacock for a few days, but then the battery in the watch will die and he will be too lazy to replace it.

Jaymes:  I’m more worried about him straining his back from carrying this offense for the first few weeks.

4.  Deep Left Field, an Indians blog, recently published a post analyzing the C.C. Sabathia trade three years later.  Many people felt that the Brewers acquiring that giant who can never seem to figure out how to put his has on correctly, even for the brief amount of time they had him, was extremely valuable to the franchise.  Is this accurate, even though he got stomped out of the playoffs that year by a better team on its was to the World Series trophy?

Lou: Is that a question?  Or just a shot?  [EDITOR’S NOTE:  Just a shot.   A needless, provoking shot.]

Jaymes:  It had been 26 years since the last time the Brewers made the playoffs. They were the definition of a “happy to be here” team. I think they even mailed the Mets a “thanks for choking!” gift. There’s no doubt they’d do it again, though. I still think that series goes a little differently if Ben Sheets didn’t blow out his elbow in September, though.

5.  Your thoughts on the Sausage Race.  Is there a Brewers-Nats rivalry “brewing” over their blatant rip off of the tradition?  Also over their insane jealousy of you now tearing Nyjer Morgan from their bowels?

Lou: I think the Nationals are the ones who are violent and aggressive about it.  This morning I had to watch Teddy Roosevelt pounce on a cardboard sausage…..which he naturally crushed.  Why would they want our sausages dead, unless they want to take credit for our idea?  All those President’s are dead anyway, so it kind of balances out.

Jaymes:  There’s a serious case of gimmick infringement going on here, and frankly, I think the Brewers were so disgusted they got swept. I know personally I did not appreciate Teddy Roosevelt clotheslining and elbow dropping a fake Italian sausage on Sunday. Is this the kind of thing we want to teach children? Especially in a city with such a high crime rate?

6.  Miller Park recently celebrated its 10th anniversary.  What is your most treasured memory within its walls?  The All-Star Game tie of 2002?  I hope not.

Lou:  That All-Star Game was pretty terrific…………for a soccer match.  My favorite moment of the last 10 years of Brewers baseball has to be going with my dad to see Barry Bonds and the Giants.  That game he hit some number like 736 I think, anyway that I could not care less about.  My favorite moment was sitting in the stands with my dad and the entire left field bleacher section chanting “Bonds on Bonds” at him while he was in the field(You may remember Barry’s short lived reality show, it was called Bonds on Bonds, and it was a horrific pile of garbage that no one watched.  Then it was cancelled after like two episodes.)  It was cool to taunt a cheater with my dad and fellow Miller Park attendants.

Jaymes:  Dave Bush shutting down the Phillies in Game 3 of the 2008 NLDS. Seriously, guys?  Your big bad offense couldn’t hit Dave freaking Bush?  [EDITOR’S NOTE: I re-direct your attention to question number 4.]

1)  Do Phillies fans feel like Ben Francisco and Raul Ibanez are the right guys in the outfield to bring Philly another title?

Ha, ha, whoa.  Slow down there, buddy.  If anybody is bringing another title to Philly, those bodies aren’t in the outfield.  They’re on the mound, one at a time; and when they’re not there, they’re bowhunting bull elk in the Yukon.

When you look at Raul and Ben, you think, “Hmmm,” not “WORLD SERIES TITLE YEAH.”  Sometimes its “HmmmMMM!!!” and sometimes its “Hmmm…. ?” but any major success achieved by either will be a nice suprise.  They’re probably both capable of timely hot streaks.  But they’re also both capable of pop-ups and GIDP’s galore.  So, you know.  What was the question.

2)  It sounds like the recent injury to Oswalt is nothing serious, but what do you think would be the back-up plan if one of the “4 Horseman” went down for an extended period of time?

Season forfeit, blow up the stadium.

3)  How do you feel about the job Wilson Valdez has done in place of Chase Utley?

I’ve answered this question many times, and I’ve got to say the level of disrespect Wilson Valdez gets is truly disgusting.  He is an above average defender, a below average hitter, and he’s gone through his whole life looking like a dazed goat, so I think he’s doing just fine.

4)  This is a selfish question, but do you think that Cliff Lee’s off-season decision to come play again in Philly, for less money than other offers, will have an impact on how other players will view free-agency going forward (Prince Fielder)?

You know who had an impact on free agency with their offseason dealings?  Jayson Werth.  He hits the market as a strong five-tool player at just the right time–when the Nationals are looking to suck in some some talent like a black hole that also barfs money.  He gets his $126 million and suddenly Carl Crawford is worth exactly $147 million or whatever to the Red Sox.

Cliff is a different breed of person and a different breed of player.  There will be others like him someday, but you can’t find that mentality and talent in too many other players, especially pitchers.  We would know.  Because they’d be playing for us by now.

So when a guy like Prince Fielder hits the market, why the hell won’t he just follow the money?  It doesn’t make him a bad person.  It just makes him a guy who wants money.  Cliff is, based on his talent and attitude, able to pick where he wants to play first and know he’ll be set up for life regardless.

5)  Where do you rank Carlos Ruiz amongst NL catchers, both fielding the position and at the plate?  (Ruiz is probably my favorite Phil)

I swear to god if Chooch keeps this up and we still see Brian McCann behind the plate at the All-Star game I will shit a duck.  The guy catches the best pitchers in the game, and they love pitching to him.  Are there other catchers out there with a (identical copy of a) Cy Young Award?  He needs to just keep chooching out that offense and he’ll eventually get beyond the NL’s best kept catching secret.

6)  Who is the key for the Phillies in this series?  Every series has to have one guy step up and take over, who will that be for the Phillies over the next 3 games.

Chase Utley.  Its like come on, get over it already.