Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I like this better....

Central W L Pct GB Home Road Last 10 Streak
Cubs 58 42 .580 -- 37-12 21-30 4-6 Lost 2
Brewers 57 43 .570 1 31-17 26-26 7-3 Won 6
Cardinals 57 45 .559 2 30-23 27-22 6-4 Lost 2


Lots of Brewers links today.


I like what this game recap has to say about last night's game, including this quote from Cards manager Tony LaRussa:
"Do you think the bullpen lost this game?" an irritated manager Tony La Russa said. "Do you think the bullpen lost it yesterday? How many runs did we score? It ain't the bullpen, our team got beat."

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch did a feature on Corey Hart that's extremely flattering and says that despite the big names on the team, at the end of the day, Corey's the MVP. It also includes this:
An admitted bad-ball hitter, he has been called a "poor man's Vlad Guerrero," a reference to the Los Angeles Angels star who is the king of hitting off-the-plate pitches.


Now, the former 11th-round pick's stock has risen so much that when opposing teams try to discuss Hart in a trade, Melvin said, "I tell them I'm not going to even talk about him. But it's taken clubs three or four years to ask about him. They see him and say, 'Hey, that guy's a pretty good player.' (General manager) Jim Hendry of the Cubs told me they fear him more than anybody on the club.''

Definitely worth your time to read.

SI looks at the run to the playoffs and says:

NL Central

The Cubs are the best team in the league, and all the trade acquisitions in the world by the teams chasing them aren't going to change that. They won't be caught by anyone, leaving them only to manage their health and set their rotation for the start of the postseason. With as deep and balanced a roster as there is in the National League, the Cubs will be the favorites to reach their first World Series in 63 years.

The acquisition of Sabathia made clear what should have been before: the Brewers are better than the Cardinals, and will finish ahead of them in the Central. Whether that will be enough to reach the postseason -- the NL East features three teams as good as or better than the Brew Crew -- is an incredibly close call. It's not unreasonable to suggest that Russell Branyan saved this team, arriving in June and providing the second lefty power bat that the team desperately needed at a time when the team's hopes were fading away. With Ray Durham now on hand as well, the Brewers can put out better balance in the lineup than they've been able to in years, which should help them threaten both northpaws and southpaws. The bullpen remains a concern; their collection of veteran arms has been intermittently effective, and prone to ugly blowups. The defense is also sub-par, although much better than the 2007 team. If the Braves don't win the wild card, the Brewers will.

They also name Rickie Weeks as the player to watch. Interesting.

The Cubs were fined half a million dollars
for violations having to do with this year's draft that included failing to report a signing to MLB's New York offices and putting the player on the field before receiving approval for the signing from MLB offices.

Vote here for Baseball Tonight's all-time greatest of each of the franchises.
Brewers voting here.
The choices:
Who is the all-time greatest player in Brewers history?

Mike Caldwell (1977-1984):
Won 22 games with a 2.36 ERA in 1978.
Cecil Cooper (1977-1987):
Three-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glover with Brewers.
Jim Gantner (1976-1992):
Stalwart second baseman hit .333 in 1982 World Series.
Ted Higuera (1985-1994):
Led AL in ERA in 1988 with a 2.45 mark.
Geoff Jenkins (1998-2007):
Hit 212 home runs in ten-year Brewers career.
Paul Molitor (1978-1992):
Five-tool star became elite leadoff hitter with Brewers.
Ben Oglivie (1971-1986):
41 home runs led AL in 1980.
Dan Plesac (1986-1992):
Brewers' career leader in saves, games, and ERA.
Gorman Thomas (1973-1983, 1986):
Low-average, high-power slugger defined the "Harvey's Wallbangers" Brewers.
Robin Yount (1974-1993):
Hit .331 with 129 runs scored in 1982 MVP campaign.

The theory is that CC will look to go to California, his home, when his contract is up at the end of this year.


This tidbit from Sunday says we're still looking at Huston Street, but so are the White Sox...
The Brewers and White Sox are two of the teams to have inquired about A's closer Huston Street, has learned. Milwaukee's interest is no surprise since the contending Brewers have a willing owner, an aggressive general manager, a stash of prospects to trade and a deep desire to improve their bullpen. The interest of Chicago's South Side team is more curious since its bullpen has been among the best in baseball this year.

We signed Braun's brother to a minor-league contract.


In other signing news:

Also on Tuesday, the Brewers announced they had come to terms with right-hander Blake Billings, a prep pitcher selected in the 19th round of the First-Year Player Draft whose deal was first mentioned on the "Brew Crew Ball" blog last week.

The team also signed undrafted right-hander Bobby McEwen from Gonzaga University.

Milwaukee has now signed 34 of its 54 Draft picks including 25 of its first 26 picks. Their first-round pick, catcher Brett Lawrie, is playing for Team Canada in the run-up to next month's Olympic Summer Games. He remains unsigned, but indications from both sides are that a deal will be struck before the Aug. 15 deadline to sign Draft picks.


Veteran outfielder Jay Gibbons passed a physical in Huntsville, Ala., on Tuesday afternoon and cleared the final obstacle on his long road back to organized baseball.

The Brewers inked a Minor League contract with Gibbons, a left-handed hitter who belted 121 home runs for the Orioles from 2001-07. He was released in March and had been playing in an Independent league.

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