Sunday, September 23, 2007

Two out of three ain't bad

A couple weeks ago, after one of the 16 games the Brewers have lost after leading by at least three runs, I uttered a curse word. Jana asked, completely without sarcasm, "Have the Badgers and Brewers ever been good at the same time?" The short answer was no, but since she asked and I was fired up, she got the long answer.

But why can't we have it all? I know it's greedy, but the Badgers are good, the Packers have the look of a good team, and even though the Brewers are good ... they're not good enough to win a pathetic division this year. And that really bums me out.

First of all, give the division leaders credit. The Chicago Big Contract Free Agents and Small Market Fire Sale Acquisitions have a respectable roster and as much as it feels like having a cigarette put out on your arm, it's no shame to finish behind them. With the National League being pretty weak overall, they'll have as good a shot as anyone of advancing to the World Series and getting swept by the Angels or Red Sox.

Also, as Andy was saying yesterday, we've got a young roster. I think Cordero is the only free agent of note, and he might stick around. The core should be in place for the next three seasons, and it's a pretty damn good core. The pitching should be better, but then again it should have been better this season. Gallardo and maybe Parra are exciting. With some ticket money, maybe Melvin can buy a better bullpen. And by my calculations, Sheets, in the last year of his contract, is in for about a $30 million season.

There's a week left, and the Cubs being the Cubs we're not dead yet. But realistically, no one will be peeing their pants, we're in for a few more weeks of those ridiculous "It's gonna happen" signs (worst slogan in sports history?), and for the next six months we'll be waking up in a cold sweat, swearing Turnbow just walked another batter.


Harry Caray said...

I have an "It's Gonna Happen" t-shirt that I picked up at Wrigley on Labor Day weekend. I wear it everywhere and nobody out here has a clue what it means. Some old lady came up to me at the grocery store and said "Can you assure me its gonna happen?" What she meant, I have no idea. Anyway, sorry you all won't wetting your pants this year. Perhaps you can at least make it over .500 for the first time since we were sophomores. Was that a Bando/Scrape Iron edition of the brewers?

Rob Jansen said...

I was at all four Brewers-Braves games this weekend. Extremely frustrating . . . they had their chances and couldn’t make the big plays when they needed to. Ray King did throw my cousin’s wife a ball because we were the only brewer fans in the outfield during BP. Anyhow, I’ve decided to try to start getting excited for next year already.

Free Agents: Cordero, Graffy, Linebrink, Miller

It will be interesting to see what the Crew does with the bullpen. They have a track record of not paying top dollar at the back end of the bullpen, but maybe that will change having gotten this close to the postseason. At least Cordero hasn’t increased his value by blowing the biggest save of the year so far on Saturday (to Scott Thorman of all people . . . the guy who couldn’t beat out Julio Franco for the first base job earlier in the year).

Arbitration Eligible (Notables): Dave Bush (will get raise from 450K salary), Cappy (3.25 Mil, don’t think he’ll be getting a raise), Hardy (400K . . . due for a big raise), Vargas (2.5 mil . . . may get a slight bump)

Team Options: Jenkins (9 mil), Koskie (6.5 mil) . . . Koskie is gone for sure and Jenkins would have to take a pay cut.

Anyhow, the payroll looks decent for next year. The money they’ll save on Koskie and Jenkins can be used to resign Cordero and Linebrink, give Hardy, Bush and Vargas raises and still have money left over to sign a free agent or two without significantly increasing the payroll. I like Hart in the outfield, but I don’t think Mench-Hall-Hart will scare a lot of people so I hope they do something there. Last year’s top pick LaPorta seems legit, but we probably won’t see him until 2009. I just don’t see how the team shouldn’t be better next year . . .

Scott Tappa said...

Hill, your comment made me laugh out loud. It's like someone seeing my son's shirt in Madison three weeks ago and saying "What are we jumping around for?"

Good points by Robby.

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