Category Archives: Steve’s Brewers/Baseball-related dreams

Deadline Week Cornucopia

Posted by Steve

A few things worth covering as we enter the last few days before the trade deadline.

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Suddenly, the Brewers are on a hot streak. Monday’s win over the Reds was their fifth in a row and 11th in 15  games. The Brewers can’t even seem to lose correctly. This is the worst time of the season to be putting together a stretch like this. Sadly, it’s too little too late. Yet, the worrier in me is afraid it will convince the front office not to sell.

Even after this stretch, PECOTA has the Brewers with a 0.78% chance of making the playoffs. It’s nice to see them finally playing well, but a five game win streak over mostly the Pirates and Nationals in no way should convince them to pass on a good offer.

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While we’re on the topic of things happening at the worst possible time, Corey Hart injured his wrist a few days ago. Thankfully it ended up not being serious, but I’m afraid he won’t get back on the field before Saturday’s deadline. That could kill what had been considerable interest in Hart around the league.

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I naturally have been wrapped up with trade rumors in the last couple weeks, but I have to talk about my guy Rickie Weeks. My years of fanboydom have finally, FINALLY paid off. He is having a phenomenal offensive season. Factoring in position, Weeks has been the Brewers’ best player and one of the 10-15 most valuable players in the National League. I’m hoping the  Brewers are able to extend Weeks, but to this point we haven’t really heard anything either way about his interest in signing an extension. Plus, his price is going up just about every day. Not only for his hitting, but because he has to be the first player in MLB history to stay in a game after getting hit by a pitch in the head/face two years in a row.

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It had been awhile, but my Brewer-related dreaming made a comeback. This one is easily traced back to the fact I was reading about trade rumors right before going to bed the other night. Here’s the scenario:

The Brewers had just pulled off a huge trade right before the deadline, but here’s the twist. I was the player who was traded! I had more or less taken the place of Prince Fielder. I was the big name player that teams had competed for to make a playoff push. I found out about the trade and headed to the airport, but I didn’t know where I was headed. A flight attendant came up to me with a giant gold envelope and said, “Sir, would you like to know where you’ve been traded to? You’re heading to… Colorado!”

My immediate response: “Okay… But who did the Brewers get in return?”

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That’s pretty much everything I wanted to touch on. Enjoy the last few days of wild rumors.

Odds and ends

Posted by Steve

For the most part, the off-season has begun the way I was hoping.  The Brewers declined David Weathers’ option (admittedly, this should have been a no-brainer).  Then on Friday they announced they were also declining to pick up the $6 million option for Braden Looper.

What a relief.  The only positive thing you can say about Looper’s time with the Brewers was that he stayed healthy all season.  He was most definitely part of the problem with the pitching staff.  The production he provided for one fifth of the starting rotation must be improved upon next season.  He likely isn’t as bad as he performed in 2009 (he was easily one of the five worst starters in baseball and had never been that bad before), but even if he’s slightly better next year, the Brewers will still get more bang for their buck if they spend that money elsewhere.  I’d be surprised if Looper stays in someone’s rotation next season.

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Some interesting reports surfacing in the aftermath of the J.J. Hardy trade.  Tom Haudricourt has reported that both Boston and Pittsburgh made offers for Hardy.  From Boston, the Brewers asked for talented young pitchers Clay Buchholz or Daniel Bard, and probably got rejected in about half a second.  TH reports the Red Sox offered prospect Michael Bowden.  Bowden is a decent prospect but nothing more.  He had a 3.11 ERA in 126.1 innings at AAA, but he had just a pedestrian strikeout-to-walk ratio of 1.87.  That doesn’t bode well for the big leagues.  Bowden is not likely to be any better than any of the Brewers starters outside of maybe Jeff Suppan next season, and they don’t need another number 5 starter.

The reported Pittsburgh offers were a bit more interesting.  One offer was for closer Matt Capps.  Capps regressed terribly last season, as his home runs and walks allowed were way up.  The other offer was Ryan Doumit, which is at least a better offer than Capps.  Doumit has a career .780 OPS, which is a nice number for a catcher.  However, the Brewers seem to like the idea of giving Jonathan Lucroy a shot this year.  Furthermore, both Capps and Doumit are due for arbitration raises and will cost at least a few million more than Carlos Gomez.

Many weren’t pleased with the return for Hardy, but I’ve yet to hear a reported offer that I prefer to the one the Brewers took.

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Not great news, as rotoworld/Buster Olney reports Craig Counsell is in high demand after his solid season in Milwaukee, and could actually garner a two-year deal.  If that happens, it’s likely that Counsell will not return to the Brewers.  That would be too bad; Counsell was a great utility player last season.  You have to wonder how good his career numbers may have been had he scrapped that goofy batting stance even earlier than last season.

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Lastly, it’s been quite awhile, but we finally have a return of the Milwaukee Brewers to my dreams.  Surprisingly, this one actually did not involve Rickie Weeks.  Allow me to share.

I am at my annual family Christmas gathering, but for some reason, one of the guests is none other than Manny Parra.  Making it weirder is the fact his presence is completely normal to me.  I start chatting with him; he’s a friendly guy.

At one point a thought comes to me.  At work, Parra was one of the tougher pitchers to chart.  I always felt he threw a slider, but others were not totally convinced.  For guys like that, we were supposed to keep a look out for any interviews in which the pitcher discussed his repertoire.  It occurs to me that I have a golden opportunity–I can simply ask Manny what he throws!

“Hey, Manny, I actually have a question for you.  People have a tough time charting some of your pitches.  I have you as fastball, changeup, splitter, slider, curve.  Is that right?”

“No, man!  That’s not right at all!  All I throw is a fastball and a changeup.”

“Really?  But I’ve seen you throw multiple curveballs.  And I’ve heard you talk about your splitter!”

“I swear, just fastball and change.”

I woke up completely convinced that Parra only threw those two pitches.

The Return of DreamRickie

Posted by Steve

It’s been a while since I last had a Brewer-related dream, but I’m still a bit embarrassed by the fact that I’ve now had three of them since this blog began.  Unsurprisingly, this one also centers around Rickie Weeks.  It’s pretty clear why I had this dream; right before bed last night I was drafting a post involving the leadoff spot that I haven’t finished (should be up tomorrow).  Here’s a summary.

I am at Miller Park, even though it isn’t quite Miller Park as it actually exists.  You’re familiar with this phenomenon in dreams in which things like that just make sense, I presume.  I am on a platform over the left field bleachers watching the game, and Rickie Weeks hits a bomb that reaches the platform (that would be like 600 feet, which is impossible unless you’re playing Mike Piazza’s Strike Zone).

I scramble to grab the ball, and when I get there I see it had been split in half somehow.  I took it anyway.  At this point, I time-travel to about a half-hour after the game ended.  I want to get the half-baseball autographed by Weeks, so I make my way to the clubhouse exit, which I of course am able to reach without any problem.  While I am waiting, an employee reads off game notes.  The last thing she said was, “And finally, Rickie Weeks has retired from baseball.”

My reaction was similar to the time I freaked out on Doug Melvin and Ned Yost in DreamRickie’s first appearance.  I pretty much said all the same things.  “He’s still young!  He still has potential!  And he’s losing SO MUCH MONEY BY RETIRING NOW! WHY RICKIE!?”

And here’s where it really gets weird.

Jim Powell appears, except it’s not Jim Powell; it’s a guy with Jim Powell’s voice.  But in my dream it’s completely normal that Jim Powell has a different body.  Anyway, he starts talking to me about Weeks, and how he’s not surprised at all that Weeks is retiring.  In fact, he’s glad Weeks is retiring!  “He just had a bad attitude, and he really just wanted to play for San Diego!  In fact, he’d always watch Padre games in the clubhouse instead of preparing for the game!”

By now this may be sounding more like A.J. Pierzynski, which is probably where that idea came from in my head.  Not much happened after that, except I somehow knew I was one of the only people to hear about the retirement, and I was debating whether to come and “announce” it here on this very blog.  I woke up this morning and almost made a “Weeks Retires!” post before my head cleared.  Too bad, because I’m sure that would have been entertaining.

Yep. Another one.

Posted by Steve

So I had ANOTHER Brewers dream last night.  You might guess it was about that great game last night, but that’s way too logical.  Here’s the shake-down:

I am at Wrigley Field. Hey, I’m on the field.  All the Brewers players are around me.  Cool, I have a uniform on too!  OH MY GOD I PLAY FOR THE BREWERS!

It is this current season, so I’m guessing it’s the Cubs series in Wrigley that is coming up.  I am, however, fully aware that this is my major league debut, so I guess I was a late September call-up.  I also remember being promised that I would only play in ONE game, so naturally they chose the Cubs in late September to play their scrub rookie.  I’m starting in left field today (no mention of why Braun is sitting). I don’t remember who pitched for the Crew, but Ted Lilly was definitely pitching for the Cubs.

We (I say we because I play for the Brewers in this dream, so back off) score nine runs in the top of the first inning.  Nine runs, yet somehow I didn’t bat in the first inning.  I guess mathematical impossibilities are possible in my dreams.

It’s a long bottom half of the first as well, as the Cubs rally back for seven runs.  Halfway through the inning, though, the need to urinate strikes.  It is becoming quite urgent, and when the inning finally ends I sprint back into the dugout.  For some reason, I don’t use the clubhouse bathroom–Probably because I’ve never seen one, so I wouldn’t know where to go. I hurdle the railing and run up the stands to the public bathroom.  Just before I get to the bathroom, I realize, ‘Crap, it’s almost my turn to hit!’ and turn right back around.

As I’m racing down the stands back to the field, I see Gabe Kapler in the batter’s box. NO NO KAPLER WASN’T STARTING WHY IS HE HITTING!?

When I get back to the field, someone says to me, “Steve man, where were you?  You were leading off this inning, but we couldn’t find you so Ned had to pinch hit.”

Temporary interruption for some commentary.  This is why my dreams scare me a little–because they seem so frickin’ real!  I cannot describe to you in words the disappointment I felt when I was told I was pinch hit for.  I was CRUSHED.  When I was told I was out of the game, it felt like the worst news in the history of news–Even worse than it would be if this entire dream actually occurred in reality.  Alright, back to the dream.

Anyway, so you get the idea: I am crushed.  But do you want to know the best part?  This is probably my favorite part of this otherwise unpleasant dream.  My initial reaction, before anything else, was to say, “Aw man!  And I even had the lefty-righty match-up with Lilly on the mound!” (If you don’t know, I’m a left-hander who inexplicably hits right-handed)

My second, more powerful reaction, was to pace the dugout, mumbling over and over, “Oh my God, I’m Moonlight Graham.  I’m Moonlight Graham!”  My third and final reaction was, “And I STILL have to pee!”

This is about where I woke up.  Unlike some of my dreams, I realized pretty quickly that it was a dream and I was just in bed.  I probably realized this quicker than normal because of my actual overwhelming need to urinate–undoubtedly the reason for that part of the dream.  Man.  So disappointing.

DreamRickie has even more potential

Posted by Steve

I realize I have what is likely an unhealthy obsession with the Milwaukee Brewers, and my dream last night confirms that. Here’s a description.

I’m at a third party to a meeting between Ned Yost/Doug Melvin and Rickie Weeks in a Miller Park office. I don’t really think I am there physically as much as I just have an omniscient view of what is going on, like in a movie. Ned asks Rickie to sit down, and then says (paraphrasing, as I don’t remember what DreamNed said ), “Rickie, we like you a lot. We drafted you very high, and we had great hopes for you as a baseball player. Unfortunately, we can’t afford to wait on you any longer in this pennant race. We’re releasing you.”

“What?!?” exclaims a stunned Weeks. “But I’m just starting to come around! I’m only 25, I mashed in the minors and I’ve been injured for much of my major league career! Plus I’m coming around offensively now!”

“I’m sorry Rick,” says Ned. “We can’t afford to wait. We have another option now, so we’re going to act. We wish you luck.”

“You’ll regret this!” yells Rickie. “You’re making a huge mistake!”

Fast forward to my reaction, which takes place in a new but unknown location. I am somehow in the company of Melvin and Yost, who are actually listening to me for some reason. I’m pretty much repeating what Weeks said to them, only more maniacally. I end it with the over-the-top line of, “And you’ll both be run out of town for this! You’re ruining this team! RUINING IT!!!”

I woke up sometime around there, and it was 2 am or something. Despite the fact I was actually talking to Doug Melvin and Ned Yost and it couldn’t have possibly happened, this was one of those dreams that seemed completely real. I lied in bed, 100% convinced Rickie Weeks had been released. I think I actually said out loud, “Ray Durham??” I started laying out in my mind all the things I would write here on the matter. I was ready to rip Doug Melvin to shreds. I was already envisioning myself comparing Ray Durham’s stats and Rickie Weeks’s stats since the trade (.275/.366/.438 for Weeks, .186/.271/.349 for Durham–small sample noted), noting how ridiculous it is for them to make this decision based on less than a year’s worth of stats, etc etc.

I was fully convinced Weeks was no longer a Brewer for what seemed to be about 20 minutes. The remote possibility that this may have been only a dream finally crossed my mind, but I wasn’t totally convinced. I was almost to the point of getting up and checking the computer, but then I must have fallen asleep.  I woke up and didn’t even remember having the dream for a couple hours before it all came back to me.

There has to be better things I can do with my time.