Posted by Steve
We will be starting something new at danandsteve.com/Brewers! Brewers! Keep Turnin’ Up the Heat!/seldom-used-yet-still-functioning stevealtstadt.wordpress.com (We really should do something about the “name” of this blog).
Introducing the first installment of “Bill’s Scouting Report of the Week.” The plan is to get one up every Monday. We’ll look back at the week’s broadcasts and pick our favorite “scouting report” from FSN Brewer analyst Bill Schroeder.
Since this is the inaugural BSROTW (Bill’s Scouting Report of the Week), allow me to give a background and list a few disclaimers. Bill’s Scouting Report is given at the beginning of each game for each starting pitcher. FSN shows three bullet points, and Bill expands on them. The points can be broken down into three categories: Legit, Wrong and Bizarre.
Sometimes they are useful bits information about the pitcher—He works in the low 90s, has a hard biting slider, lives on the outside corner, etc. These are legit.
Often times though, the points he make have nothing to do with the pitcher’s arsenal or tendencies—for example, before Saturday’s game, Bill said (paraphrasing), “The Brewers are 3-0 on days Suppan starts this season, so when he pitches, they win.” These points are wrong. You might recall Suppan’s outing in New York where the Mets crushed everything Suppan threw, yet the Brewers managed to come back and win.
Then we have the third category, which is my personal favorite. This category features wacky points that are barely even understandable. Until Bill explains the point, it is impossible to even determine its intended meaning. These points are bizarre.
Now for the disclaimers. I am fully aware that this is likely not totally Bill Schroeder’s doing. I imagine before the game he comes up with some things to say, and someone on the FSN crew converts them into three points to put on the screen. On the other hand, the points from the wrong category often indicate that Schroeder does not always do a very thorough job of preparing, so he certainly is largely responsible. Second disclaimer: A big reason these are so funny is because they are called scouting reports. In other words, the points would be much less funny if they had a more accurate name, such as “Bill’s Notes.” Finally, the third disclaimer: I realize there are several analysts throughout the big leagues who are much worse than Bill.
Now that I’ve got that noise out of the way, I give you last week’s Bill’s Scouting Report of the Week. The winner is Manny Parra on Thursday’s start against the Cardinals. A general word of advice to make these as humorous as possible: Read the points first without any explanation, then picture Jim Skaalen, the Brewers’ hitting coach, using them in place of an actual scouting report while sitting down with the hitters in a pre-game meeting.
Goose egg in first
Wow. Alright, let’s break it down one by one.
“Establish curve.” That’s not so bad, as Bill explains that being able to locate the curveball is a big key for Manny. However, this is not part of a scouting report. It’s more of a “key to the game.”
“Goose egg in first.” Now we’re getting crazy. It’s contradictory, since these scouting reports are geared towards a more casual fan, yet I imagine there are some casual fans who aren’t even familiar with the term ‘goose egg.’ So that has to look pretty funny to those people. Secondly, how is this a report on Parra? So far, this is just a list of things Parra needs to do and not a scouting report. Bill’s saying that it is crucial for Parra to not allow runs in the first inning. This is important for all pitchers and is in no way unique to Manny Parra.
“Dana Demuth.” My early favorite for “Point of the Year.” If there was no explanation provided, it would be mind-boggling. First of all, many fans won’t know who Dana Demuth is. Turns out, Demuth is an umpire who was behind the plate for this game and is known for having a pretty small strike zone. So, somehow, this goes into Bill’s scouting report for Manny Parra. This was also one of his points for his scouting report on the opposing pitcher, Kyle Lohse. This one definitely falls into the bizarre category.
So, there you have it. Check back every Monday for the rest of the season. There are sure to be some dandies.