You can tell the network interest in the first game of the NLDS matchup between the Brewers and Phillies by the TV slot.Â 3PM EST on a Wednesday.Â Thanks MLB.Â The Brewers haven’t seen the playoffs in the entire lifespan of many of their fans and yet, those of us with jobs (you know, the ones most likely to buy tickets, apparel, etc) will likely not see the game.
Regardless, this should be a good matchup.Â Two very young and talented teams.Â Seems the Phillies have the edge of being more complete and having better pitchup through the roster, but who knows.Â Anything can happen in baseball.Â Just look at the Mets losing 2 of 3 to the Marlins.Â The first two games should be good ones.Â The Brewers are putting their prized young pitcher whose name nobody can properly pronnounce (hint: it’s NOT Gah-lard-oh) against the Reds’ ace who looks more like a frozen lemonade vendor than a pitcher.
Thankfully, the teams have a somewhat more reasonable 6PM EST start on Thursday.
Both guys were amazing all year, but there is simply no topping what they did today.Â Game winning home run for Braun and another complete game win for CC.Â Longest post-season drout in major pro sports is over!
So I hesitated to jump on board with the millions of other journalists and bloggers talking about Ned Yost being fired.Â Why?Â What could I say that they haven’t.Â Now that the Brewers have officially moved away from Yost and played (and lost) their first game without him, I feel I should add a little perspective.
First, I tend to agree with a select few folks from the Milwaukee area on this topic.Â Several people have said that they believe Yost was the right guy to get the Brewers to where they are.Â I’ll go as far as saying he was the right guy to get the Brewers to where they were last year.Â He did a great job bringing the young players along and not doing anything to shake their confidence over their young careers.Â On another team, Braun and Fielder would probably be where they are now, but players like Weeks, Hall, Hardy and Hart would likely still be in the minors.Â A majority of people outside of Milwaukee (those who haven’t seen the Brewers play regularly the last 5-6 years) really don’t understand this.Â I’ve seen Yost portrayed by the national media as being overly stern, but he really isn’t.Â Sure, he’s a statue during games, but he’s far too kind to the players.Â Few successful managers would’ve let a player like Rickie Weeks bat lead-off an entire season.Â Few would have let Bill Hall cost runs on a daily basis.Â Few would’ve stuck with starting pitchers who regularly could not get out of the 2nd inning.Â Yost did.Â He was a great leader for doing this while the team was growing and maturing.Â Although it could be easily argued they are still in the maturation process, the upper-management has decided that this year is the time for winning.Â The Yost method is clearly not the method for winning now.
So what are we left with?Â Quite likely we are stuck with the reality that the team still isn’t ready to win.Â The caliber of pitching falls off sharply after Sabathia/Sheets.Â You don’t expect your 3-5 starters to get 20 wins each, but you do expect them to manage games carefully and try to get through 6-7 innings on a semi-regular basis.Â The offense still is an all or nothing affair.Â The team has never gained the discipline to play unselfish baseball.Â They are seemingly unwilling to move runners into scoring position, take walks, bunt, etc.Â The Cubs were a great lesson last night in that, as they regularly got their lead off guy on base and followed with 1-2 outs through ground balls that moved the runner over to 2nd or 3rd.Â Home runs are great for fans, but being able to consistently score runs wins games and eventually pennants. Benching Hall and Weeks helps, but it won’t replace years worth of undisciplined training.
How we judge Dale Sveum as a coach will probably be unfair.Â He’s going to be charged with getting the team into the post-season and anything else will likely be considered a failure.Â I know that everyone else will claim that the move was more about trying to fix things before it’s too late, but let’s face it, it’s already too late.Â We’ve proven we cannot beat the Cubs and last night that was confirmed.Â Our once comfortable wild card lead has turned into a 1/2 game deficit.Â Sadly, we’re now hoping that the Mets and Astros free-fall and we can simply do enough to hang on.Â Even moer sadly, most Brewers fans are turning their attention to the Packers and forgetting about baseball as we have every time for the past 25 years.
Brewer game!Â I love Friday night baseball.Â Something about the atmosphere just makes it so much more fun.Â I think it’s something about everyone finally getting out of work after a long week and just letting go and enjoying the game.Â Brewers played the Pirates.Â We had great seats, it was a fun game and the hometown boys won 10-4.
Friday was also my first fantasy football draft; for the free league I’ve run the last several years.Â Since I was at the game, I missed the draft.Â However, I spent ages pre-ranking my players and it actually worked to my advantage.Â Despite the fact that Yahoo will fill all starting roster spots before bench spots, I still got a pretty good team.Â The draft order in this league was based on last years performance, and since I sucked, I had the #1 pick (snaking order, 8 teams)Â Here’s my draft picks:
2. (16) Terrell Owens
3. (17) Reggie Wayne
4. (32) Reggie Bush
5. (33) Brandon Marshall
6. (48) Kellen Winslow
7. (49) Matt Hasselbeck
8. (64) New York
9. (65) Shayne Graham
10. (80) Greg Jennings
11. (81) LenDale White
12. (96) Chris Chambers
13. (97) Donovan McNabb
14. (112) Alge Crumpler
I’m decently pumped about my team.Â I think I have awesome wideouts and running backs.Â The Giants defense is probably going to get dropped because of the hits they’ve taken on the D-Line, but I’m not terribly worried about that.Â In fact, while I was posting, I just dropped NJ-A and picked up Seattle.
There was also some good preseason football Friday night.Â Cowboys looked really good and Crayton even might have stopped Dallas fans from freaking out about their WR depth.Â Packers looked good as well and Aaron Rodgers definitely bounced back from poor play last week.Â Running game of the Packers is still a little scary, but hopefully Ryan Grant will help that in the regular season.
Went golfing Saturday morning.Â Got rained out midway through, which bummed me out because when the thunder was first heard I was starting to hit some really good shots.Â I also came decently close to a hole-in-one (I know, close doesn’t count for anything).
Went down to Chicago Saturday night and met up with best bud and his woman.Â Ate at this place called Earwax which had good vegitarian food and neat little atmosphere.Â Almost died afterward at this chocolate/ice cream shop… got some sort of orange dreamsicle float that was really large and had two huge ice cream scoops kind of hanging onto the brim of the glass.Â Shouldn’t have finished it, but it was good.
Another Brewer game.Â Finally saw CC in person, although he did not pitch a great game.Â Ended up being a pretty good game, went into extra innings (we’ve seen 3 extra innings games this year, 2 of them wins).Â On JJ Hardy bobblehead day, Hardy had the game winning single.Â Nice how that works out.
Had my other fantasy football draft tonight.Â Actually attended this one, although barely made it due to the length of the baseball game.Â Another 8 team league, snaking draft order.Â I had Yahoo auto pick the draft order and I wound up with the #1 pick (which of course everyone thought was a scam being I’m the commish of the league, haha).Â Here’s my team:
2. (16) Clinton Portis
3. (17) Braylon Edwards
4. (32) Laurence Maroney
5. (33) Torry Holt
6. (48) Roy Williams
7. (49) Derek Anderson
8. (64) LenDale White
9. (65) Earnest Graham
10. (80) Donald Driver
11. (81) Vernon Davis
12. (96) David Garrard
13. (97) Dallas
14. (112) Josh Scobee
Had one problem during the draft… I was connected to the internet via cell phone and lost my connection in the middle of the draft.Â I had players in my “draft queue” but once the connection dropped, the queue was erased and Yahoo auto-picked.Â Happened during a back-back pick, and I got Maroney/Holt out of it.Â I *never* would’ve picked Maroney.Â In the draft chat, I was just commenting on how Yahoo had Maroney ranked way too high just moments before it happened.Â Holt is good, but he’s old, so that scares me.Â I wanted to grab Reggie Bush in one of those spots and Wes Welker in the other.Â Damnit.Â Maybe I can make a trade…
Sadly, I won’t be at the game.Â I’m not even going to look at what ticket prices have jumped to in the last 24 hours.Â It will be pretty amazing to see a Milwaukee game likely sell out, on a Tuesday against the Rockies.
I will definitely be watching the game though, cannot wait to see how the new ace (do you call it a “deuce” when you have two aces?) settles in his first night.
So now it looks like the starting rotation will be:
– McClung or Bush
And at the end of the season, we have the *potential* of adding Gallardo into that mix and push Suppan into the #5 spot.Â
…but I’ve been reading the Sabathia rumors and have gotten rather excited.Â Well now that it seems pretty much official, I am extremely excited.Â In fact, I’ve been a Brewer fan for roughly 20 of my 26.5 years on this planet and I have not once been this elated to be a fan.Â I think you have to agree this immediately puts the Brewers as one of the favorites in the NL to go to the World Series (them and the Cubs).Â Man oh man, what a deal!Â I can’t wait to see how the rest of the season unfolds.Â It’s a tough to think of what LaPorta could have been, but it’s far greater to envision what is going to happen NOW.