Tuesday, June 14, 2005

R.I.P.

Let me preface this by saying that this wasn't really what this blog was intended for, however, it needs to be written.

This past Friday, the life of a great young man was senselessly taken by a drunken driver. Nels Jacobson was a kid from my town of residence, Elderon, WI (pop. 189). He was a graduate of my high school, Wittenberg-Birnamwood, only a few weeks ago. He was also a great guy, and one who I considered to be a friend. He was a great student, and had been nominated by Rep. David Obey to attend the Air Force Academy. He was also an athlete, and a good one.

The only word that could describe this is tragedy. That a person who hadn't accomplished anything in her life, aside from becoming an alcoholic, could take the life of a young person with so much in front of them, and so much promise.

You can read more about Nels, and the accident, at these links:
Link #1
Link #2
Link #3

Nels K. Jacobson


Nels Keith Jacobson, 18, town of Elderon, was killed Friday evening, June 10, 2005, from injuries sustained when the automobile he was riding in was hit by a drunken driver.

He was born Jan. 8, 1987, in Shawano, the son of Glenn and Karen (Frederick) Jacobson, town of Elderon.

Nels was a 2005 graduate of Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School, where he was an honor student. He also was an Eagle Scout and was an avid hunter and fisherman, skier, wrestler and football player.Nels also was a candidate for the Air Force Officers' Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.Š
In addition to his parents, Glenn and Karen Jacobson, Nels is survived by three brothers, Nathan and Jared Jacobson, Van Nuys, Calif., and Matthew Jacobson, Essex Junction, Vt.; one sister, Leah Jacobson, Aniwa; his grandmother, Evelyn Jacobson; many aunts, uncles and cousins and a very special friend, Wendy Stroik. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Eldo and Evelyn Frederick and Carl Jacobson; and an uncle, Kevin Frederick.

The funeral service will be held at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 14, 2005, at Trinity Lutheran Church, Birnamwood.The Rev. Erik Olson will officiate.Interment will be in Hillcrest Cemetery, town of Norrie, Marathon County. Friends may call on Monday after 4 pm at Schmidt-Schulta Funeral Home, Wittenberg, and again on Tuesday at the church from 1 p.m. until the time of services.

Online condolences at http://www.schmidtschulta.com.

Nels' charm and ready wit will be dearly missed by his family and many friends.

Please feel free to donate to S.A.D.D., and try to prevent senseless tragedies like this in the future.

Rest in Peace, Nels.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Brewers take one from Pads

It was an almost "must-win game", and Davis was great. Clark was great. Heck, Jenkins even had a decent game and hit the ball both in the air and into the OF. The only slightly disturbing thing was Turnbow's struggles in the 9th. Considering Yost moved Adams from the 9th due to his inefficiency pitch count-wise, you have to wonder how long The Bow keeps it. I think it's due to rust more than anything, but he hasn't been particularly sharp lately. One would assume that Julio Santana would take the position if a move is made, but his numbers, particluarly his BAA (.093) and WHIP (0.56), are extremely flukey. He has been tremendous to this point, and aside from his tater problems early in the season he looks like yet another great find my Melvin and great reclamation job my Maddux. That's becoming old hat.

They go to LA now, with Sheets on the hill tonight and Capuano starting tomorrow. That should mean at least a split in this series, and if they could beat Wilson Alvarez - who is exactly the kind of pitcher they normally can't beat - they could finish the road trip at 4-3 and welcome the Yankees (who have lost two in a row to the freakin' Royals) to Miller. If the offense can pick it up to their April level with Branyan seemingly healthy again, they could rip off a nice run. In roughly a month Rickie Weeks should be manning the keystone, and the offense could actually be good. It would be quite hard to expect the pitching to maintain this level of performance, but they certainly won't be bad, except when the sick to your stomach feeling returns every five days when Wes Obermueller starts. The fifth spot is certainly a concern, and I'd still say bring Ben Hendrickson back. The teams treats him like he's David Manning or something when he's done quite well (3.90 ERA) in the hitter-friendly PCL. He had a rough beginning to his season, which could possibly be attributed to mechanical changes, and has really come around quite well. The fact that he has allowed only three home runs in 57.2 IP is great in that league, or any league for that matter.

Once Obermueller pulls his usual act and implodes Glover-style, he needs to come up because the team may actually need him. Capellan doesn't seem to be doing much, espceially K-wise (37/49.1 IP). His HR rate is also quite fantastic (2 allowed), but the walks (23) aren't encouraging. Things could be worse, though, they could be paying a chump like Dan Kolb $3 million dollars.

Editor's note: Branyan broke his finger trying to bunt last night. Why the hell was Russell Branyan trying to bunt? Unfortunately his bad luck continues, but hopefully this leads to a call-up for Weeks, or one of the Brothers Nelson.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Cappy Deals

The Brewers got back on the right track Monday against the Rockies, as one would expect. Behind Chris Capuano, who one fearless blogger predicted would be better than Doug Davis, and a two-run single by the suddenly patient and disciplined Bill Hall, the Brewers pulled out a 2-1 win. Cappy was stellar, as was Ricky Bottalico, who notched his second save in place of the tired Turnbow.

Granted, the team has some major issues. Namely the second base situation, where Junior Spivey has been downright awful, and SS where J.J. Hardy has gone through the predictable rookie woes and has had to deal with a tenuous-at-best grip on the starting spot after being assured of being the everyday starter. Obviously, Sheets' injury has had an effect, but Obermueller has filled in admirably. Glover's been awful, and probably should be replaced by Obie when Sheets comes off the DL. I'd prefer to see Ben Hendrickson get another shot, but that will likely have to wait until Obermueller combusts. Rickie Weeks (.308/.384/.623 in AAA) is ready, but likely won't be called up, so I'd like to see the Brewers pick up D'Angelo Jimenez to help out the second base situation. They could probably send Hardy back to AAA, since his growth is being stunted by irregular playing time and his service time is being accumulated while being a below average player, and start Hall and his terrible defense at SS every day. Jimenez has experience playing 2B, SS, and 3B and would help out the team quite a bit with his nice OBP skills - something neither Spivey or Hardy has provided thus far. All in all, though, the team's in pretty good shape considering they are without their best pitcher, and he should be back on Saturday.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Do they really need 12 pitchers?

This is one thing that has irked me. The Brewers have carried too many pitchers for too long to remember, but this year it really seems really magnified. There are some fine arms in the pen, namely Mike Adams, Jorge de la Rosa, and Matt Wise, who seem to get very irregular work. They'll go a week without pitching, being passed over for the likes of Santana or Phelps, for no apparent reason. Then suddenly they get a flurry of activity in high-leverage situations. To me Turnbow's usage is troublesome, whereas Ned likes to use him when the team is trailing. I don't mind using him in tie games, but when the team is losing and there are plenty of serviceable to good options available in the pen, why use the relief ace?

What I'd like to see is, upon Sheets' return, Santana be sent down and replaced by a LH bat. Whether it be off the waiver wire, or someone from AAA like Krynzel or Nelson, it needs to be done. Too often Yost is stuck with no decent pinch hitters at all, especially those with pop. It seems to make sense that a trade similar to the Byrd/Chavez deal the Nats and Phillies recently did would be a feasible option, using one of the more expendable pitchers like Bennett, Santana, or Phelps.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Self-promotion (and others, too)

I'm also writing at a national blog now. It's called "The Standing Ovation". Check it out and drop a comment. Should be a lot of fun.

Also, I wanted to mention another excellent blog, called "Yark Work". It parodies ESPN's "Baseball Tonight", and the mindless drivel that is incessantly spouted on the program. It is required reading for a baseball-related laugh. Here's a little sample, from the Krukster:

I keep hearing people say the Braves screwed up by getting Danny Kolb from the Brewers. That Bobby Cox and Leo Mazzone have lost their touch. All these Moneyball people just keep on talking 'ERA ERA ERA,' trying to make a big deal out of the fact that Kolby's ERA is over 8.00 right now. But let me say this to the statheads: you statheads talk about numbers, but I have a number for you: 8-2. That's Atlanta's record when Danny Kolb comes into a game. The Braves record when he doesn't? 4-7. I'm sick of hearing folks talk like he's not a gamer. You don't get over 30 saves in a season without being a gamer.

I talked to Kolby the other day about his treatment by the media and those dweebs on their little computers. I asked him, "How do you feel about the Braves being 7-2 when you make an appearance in a game?" This was before he picked up a hold last night against the Mets. And you know what he told me? He said, "I feel good about that, John, but I'm still not pitching my best." You hear that? This guy's a gamer. His team's 8-2 when he comes into a game, and he still isn't happy. This is a hungry guy. Boy do I know what that feels like! Hahaha! You play for a team like the Brewers long enough, and you just want to win. That's it. Screw the numbers. Show me a win.

Right now, Kolb is in my top five for the NL Cy Young. Of course he won't win it, because too many computer geeks out there get to vote, and those computer geeks don't know what it takes to win. (Even though I'm using a computer I am NOT a computer geek!!!!!) They'll probably talk about someone like Roger Clemens because his ERA is so small it reminds them of their. . . Well, this is a family blog, so I'll leave that to your imagination. But the Astros are only 1-3 in their starts, and the Rocket has yet to win a game. And I don't want to belittle Roger because he's one of the greats, but after winning so many Cy Youngs and championships, you start to lose that hunger. That competitive edge. And I think that's what we're seeing with him right now. Sure, those numbers look great, but how has it helped the Astros as a team?

Anyway, what it comes down to is that if I were making my perfect team, Danny Kolb would be on it. Mariano Rivera has blown more saves than him this year, and everyone agrees that he's a first-ballot hall of famer. Now you tell me, what does that say about Danny Kolb?



Brewers continue to roll

The Brewers won another tonight, taking the first in Pittsburgh. Capuano was excellent, again, and worked deep into a game, something he has struggled with. Tonight he was much more aggressive, and took only 104 pitches to work 8 innings, before turning it over to The Bow. They've now won 11 of their last 14 games, and should continue to win in Pittsburgh, and likely Washington. With Rolen out for 4-6 weeks, now is the time for the Crew to make hay and catch up to the Cardinals and at least establish themselves as a team that will be somewhat in the thick of it all season.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Brewers push streak to 6


Miller wins it (MJS)

Man, things are good right now. The Brewers are back to .500, in sole possession of second place in the NL Central, and on a six-game tear. They're taking walks, they're pitching well, and things are falling into place. Lyle Overbay is the hottest hitter in the league, so hot in fact that Dusty Baker won't even pitch to him. Lyle has been walked six times in two games, and once in each game Damian Miller made it hurt. Yesterday was more of the same from the night before, a tight affair that went down to the end, and with the Brewers' changing luck they stay on the roll of one run games. Note to self: Derrick Turnbow is dominant. He hasn't allowed a hit in his last 10 innings of work. His ERA is 1.35. His BAA is .093.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Brewers 4 - Cubs 1: Alive at 5

The Brewers pushed their winning streak to five games tonight against the Cubs in an excellent game. Aside from two runners thrown out at home, one that was very borderline if not flat-out blown, and a boneheaded caught stealing, the Brewers played flawless baseball. The pitchers walked no one (granted, it's the Cubs), while Carlos Lee provided a spark for the first time in Miller Park. Like I said before the season, Chris Capuano is the second best pitcher on this team, and he may finally be living up to it. Just a great game all the way around. The Brewers sit at 12-13, in a second place tie, and with a chance to take it over for themselves tomorrow as they send Victor Santos to the hill against Greg Maddux.

Soap-box alert - sign a petition

Sick of the Larry the Cable Guy video shown before games at Miller Park? Sign this petition, started by fellow BrewerFan.net poster Charles Rickert. The goal is to get to 100, and as of now it stands at 51. Help out.

Shaky Yankees: Womack?

This is pretty crazy. It's May, yet the Yankees are losing it a little. Obviously, it brings an instant smile to those of use who root for the "small-market" and "low revenue" clubs, but really it's quite disturbing. I mean, Tony Womack in leftfield? Why? Look:

Tony Womack, average year: .274/.319/.362, 4 HR (ISO - .086)
Average AL LF, 2004: .281/.347/.453 (ISO - .172)

Keep in mind also that Womack is 35 years old and hasn't played more than five innings in a season in the OF since 1999 with the D'Backs. This makes no sense at all. He has no power. He has no on base skills. He's past his prime, and was never that much of a player when he was in his prime. Yet, this guy is playing LF for the Yankees? Sure Bernie Williams in his decline, as his OPS has dropped every year since 1998. Yet, the Yankees, already with the poorest fielding team in the entire league (according to BP's DER), put Tony Womack in left. Hideki Matsui is moved to CF, and he was a terrible LF as it was (-8 runs below average in '04 and '03), and likely will be even worse than Bernie (-4 in '04) in a premium defensive position. Why did they pass on Beltran, again? To get over the hill, injured retread pitchers? Good move.

Now, since Womack moves from 2B to LF, Robinson Cano moves up from AAA to become the everyday 2Bman. Cano doesn't seem like much of a player by looking at his minor league track record. Cano had a .719 raw OPS in AAA last year, that translated into a .685 EQOPS. He does seem to be a good defender, though. According to Baseball America, Cano has an excellent arm, and has developing plate discipline. He also has below-average speed, and reportedly his range is lacking. He is raking at Columbus this year, with a line of .333/.368/.574.

These are just part of the problems with the Yankees, though. Really, if they wanted to improve their awful defense, they would move Jeter to 3B and A-Rod back to SS. Their pitching has been awful, especially relief. It seems like all of their players have gone into simultaneous decline. What a beautiful sight, let's hope it continues.

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